DI speak with forked tongue…

So, PZ reports that the Discovery Institute people are shocked–shocked, I tell you–that Ben Stein and Bill O’Reilly think that Intelligent Design requires the intervention of a deity. Could it be that they want it both ways? “If you believe in God, then goddiddit. If you don’t, the theory makes no claims at all about the ‘intelligence’ involved.”


The Disco folks, with gaiety
Deny that there’s a Deity
That sparks the spontaneity
Of origin of life.

They swear it’s based on evidence—
Objectively it all makes sense;
The problem is that this pretense
Is quite a two-edged knife.

In truth, behind the smiles
And the vehement denials
(Though they won’t hold up in trials
They’re the only thing they’ve got)

Is the fact that certain tribal
Myths, collected as “the Bible”
Are (on punishment of libel)
The foundation of their plot.

And whenever they talk science,
How they’re fully in compliance,
They are risking their alliance
With their fundamental base

To retain the congregation
They use double-conversation
One that’s broadcast to the nation—
Quite another, face-to-face.

Now, this double-speak position
Is a recent acquisition
But it placates opposition
So no worries—problem solved.

By this gradual correction,
It appears, upon reflection,
That through natural selection
Their two faces have evolved

Just like it says in Genesis

Stranger Fruit reports that 60% of adult Americans report that they believe the biblical story of Genesis to be literally true.

Note–I say that they report this, not that they believe this. I am firmly of the conviction that the vast majority of those who report that they believe the Bible to be literally true have never actually read it. I am fully aware that there are people–good people–who have read the entire thing many times and still believe it to be true….but in a random sample of only 1000 adults over the age of 18, the odds are against those good, well-read people skewing this poll.

No, the people polled are very likely those who “know the Bible” the same way grade-schoolers know the opposite sex: from what they hear from equally ignorant peers. And the sort of information they get?

I believe that God wants “Adams and Eves”,
But never “Adams and Dennises”
And when people get married, then nobody leaves—
Just like it says in Genesis.

I believe that dragons once roamed the Earth
True fire-breathing menaces;
And a fetus has rights, right up until birth—
Just like it says in Genesis.

I believe that global warming is wrong
Just look what a beauty Venice is;
And Bill O’Reilly is handsome and strong—
Just like it says in Genesis.

I admit that I haven’t quite read the whole thing;
It’s as boring as amateur tennis is.
But Bush is my President, Jesus my King—
Just like it says in Genesis.

Talk to the tentacle…

Pharyngula shows cephalopods some love…
…but maybe sometimes we crave a little respect and…yes…fear.

Oh, the cephalopods have their Octopus Gods,
With tentacles stronger than steel,
Who have taken down ships with their powerful grips
And made many a sailor a meal.

They win wrestling matches with submarine hatches
Like popping a tin of sardines
Then it’s horrible cries, and tears in the eyes
Of the witnessing Merchant Marines.

Survivers are few, but they swear it is true—
“The monster, it started to throttle us!”
You can vividly note, from the scar on his throat
He survived the attack on the Nautilus.

These powerful deities loves spontaneity,
Thus, are well-loved by their followers
Who all serve as one, having octopus fun
Whether tiny, or submarine-swallowers

When I tell you (no lie) that the octopus eye
Is superior even to Man’s
It’s clear that this creature’s the centerpiece feature
In a sinister deity’s plans

They’ll take down a shark, like a walk in the park—
You’ve seen it on YouTube, I know
And to get to their goal they can squeeze through a hole,
Up the drain, in your tub, to your toe!

So guzzle your Folger’s—these octopus soldiers
Are coming for you while you sleep!
These eight-legged beauties will all do their duties;
Invisible devils, they creep.

So the next time you think, “could one hide in my sink?
Or my bathtub, or even my toilet?”
As a Cuttlefish, I would be seen as a spy
If I told you (besides, that would spoil it).

If you find an appeal in an octopus meal—
Say, for sushi you’ve got a real itch—
The cephalopods have their Octopus Gods
And I’m telling you, payback’s a bitch.


cellular biology…an excerpt

In every cell, the means of replication,
Monomers (they’re termed “nucleotides”)
A sugar and a base in combination
Link in helix, forming side by side;
Guanine will attach to cytosine
Always “G to C” or “C to G”
And thymine will as well, to adenine
With “T to A” or maybe “A to T”
The polymer called DNA is made
By adding monomers onto the end.
In living cells, a template strand will aid
The synthesis—the two strands now will bend
In double helix form, as we have seen.
The information carried in this strand
Will be transcribed by RNA; it’s been
Discovered that this process has a hand
In synthesizing proteins—but that’s still
To come—for now, we take a closer look
And see thymine replaced by uracil;
A slightly different way to write our book.


The one-eyed…nevermind…

At one time or other, each sister and brother
Has pondered the musical question
(The topic’s not easy, just take it from PZ):
How an eyeball is like an erection.

The answers may vary—be skeptically wary—
Like “Both can display your affection.”
Well, so can a rose, but that doesn’t disclose
How an eyeball is like an erection.

Perhaps evolution provides a solution
Both organs arise through selection
But so, then, do fingers; the question still lingers
How an eyeball is like an erection.

We may hope to deduce, if we try to reduce
To a chemical sort of connection
But will “similar stuff” prove an answer enough
How an eyeball is like an erection?

Nitric Oxide (you know, you can call it NO)
Causes GuMP to take up a collection
So that GuMP, for a lark, keeps your dick “in the dark”
Thus an eyeball is like an erection

Reproductive success got us into this mess
So it might get us out, on reflection—
But Viagra, we find, is not blindly designed
We distinguish both eye and erection.

With both vision and hearing, the answers are nearing
(Although we can’t hope for perfection),
And for now it’s just fine as a bad pick-up line:
How an eyeball is like an erection.*

(*answer: “It’s an empirical question—let’s experiment, and find out.)

Pharyngula asks the question…
…based on effectmeasure’s post.

Templeton has no purpose

The question of the universe’s purpose, whether posed vocally or in text,
Leaves people vexed.

Although, I would not be averse
To studying the purpose, characteristics, ins and outs of Miss Universe.

So, rather than debating whether or not a black hole is evidence of Where God Went Wrong,
I can see whether Miss Brazil or Miss Argentina looks better in a thong.

So that I can get back to the business of inspecting the finest examples of female form in the human race,
I will suggest that the purpose of the universe is: to take up space.

“No purposes but those we create” on Pharyngula

Sign me up!

Denyse O’Leary is teaching Intelligent Design?

When I start to grow weary of Mrs. O’Leary
I think she takes pity on me.
As a sign of affection, she changes direction—
A brand-new performance to see!

I’ll get myself, pronto, right up to Toronto,
Enroll myself into her class
With God as my buddy, I’ll sit there and study
Whatever she pulls from her ass.

Her guest speaker, Behe (just hear the class tee-hee),
Will make irreducible claims
(If you point out one blunder, it all falls asunder—
Add drinking, and now you’ve got games!)

In the syllabus—wait, is there really debate?—
It says both sides bring science to bear;
But the insider rap says it’s “God of the gaps”
And frankly, I really don’t care.

See, I know in my heart, it’s not science, it’s art
And Denyse does interpretive dance.
And yes, she is lying, but, Lord, she is trying
Her best, by design or by chance.

But wait! Someone said it would not count for credit?
Does UT admit this is shit?
With no compensation, no change of location
For Cuttlefish—sorry, that’s it.

Plot synopsis

Pharyngula reports on the movie “Einstein Wrong”…

Albert Einstein (that poseur) was wrong;
The housewife, of course, has it right.
The film clearly shows that stupidity flows
Just a little bit faster than light.

With the “dark side of physics” exposed
And the world once again seen as flat
The film next unlocks Dr. Schroedinger’s box
And discovers what’s up with his cat.

Joseph Priestly was also a fraud—
There’s no “oxygen”—perish the thought!
And with oxygen pissed on, it’s time that phlogiston
Is once again what kids are taught.

The de Hilsters’ new paradigm shift—
“The new physics”, we call it at work—
Shows a housewife can still, through the sheer force of will,
Kick the ass of a dumb patent clerk.

You may all disagree if you wish;
You may find it a little bit funny
But the most crucial part—from the depths of my heart…
Won’t you please send us lots of your money?

Version 2.7

The “cognitive daily” blog asks: Will humans marry robots in 50 years?


She’s my little bit of heaven, even better than real life,
She’s the version 2.7 motor-actuated wife.
When I come home from the office, she’s a sympathetic ear,
With the faintest scent of silicone I catch as we draw near.
“Here, let me take your papers, Hon, and let me rub your back;
You must have had a stressful day—come on, let’s hit the sack.”
Her lips are warm and supple, with a kiss that shows desire—
A brilliant application of a bit of memory wire.
She trembles gently at my touch, as strain-gauge sensors feel,
And as she starts to moan and gasp, you’d swear that she was real.
But she’s better than a flesh-and-blood—For one thing, she has codes
Allowing me to choose from seventeen vibration modes!
She never has a headache; there’s no in-laws to avoid;
Heck, I’ve never even had the need to change a solenoid!
She’s my little bit of heaven, even better than real life,
She’s the version 2.7 motor-actuated wife.


Rainbows and Rubies…

Once upon a time, the rainbow’s end
Is where a leprechaun would hide his gold
Then Newton showed us how a glass would bend
A beam of light—a rainbow we behold!

This bending light is what allows, today,
A view of distant galaxies and more
The start of time itself is on display
And lifetimes’ worth of treasures to explore.

These treasures, it now seems, include real jewels
When quasar jets spit rubies and sapphires;
From Newton’s prism, oh what wondrous tools
Expose a treasure passing all desires

The rainbow’s gold’s forgotten; this is real:
A myth discarded, treasures may reveal!

Inspired by
This blogpost at Cat Dynamics