A Quack Guide To Intelligent Evolution

A quick and simple (in every sense of the word) guide to Intelligent Evolution makes good use of our old friend circular reasoning, assuming its conclusions all the way to proving the existence of the intelligent designer, simply by assuming that A) DNA is an example of “design” and B) all designs require a designer. They could have saved a step, by instead of using two false assumptions, simply assuming their final conclusion in one step, but I suppose that would have taken the fun out of it.

The code contained in DNA
Is evidence, or so they say,
God’s handiwork, there on display, the product of His Mind.
It’s plainly seen by any fool
It’s more than just a molecule
But rather, a precision tool that shows that we’re designed!

This molecule contains the clues
Creationists can gladly use
To show we did not come from ooze, through natural selection;
No “nature, red in tooth and claw”
But God, in wonderment and awe
Created, like a man of straw, his image in reflection.

A “pattern” differs from “design”
In elements which we define—
If your examples don’t match mine, why, mine are clearly right.
Our genes’ designs are clearly code;
A blueprint—Man, or tree, or toad—
From information God bestowed, in His most perfect Sight.

This Holy Blueprint I assume
Is proof we’re woven on God’s loom,
Created by the one to Whom we’re in eternal debt
The fact that I assumed it, true,
Could leave my “therefores” all askew
But have I ever lied to you? I wouldn’t take that bet.

You might suggest my logic’s flawed,
That my conclusion’s over-broad,
Or go all out and call me fraud—I’m doing righteous work!
I figured “What would Jesus do,
To have God’s message shining through?”
He’d lie, and cheat, and misconstrue, and be a total jerk!

And what’s important isn’t facts
But saving souls, and so the tracts
Say “judge them by their righteous acts” like lying in His name—
My logic’s circularity
Is more than mere hilarity
It’s honest Christian charity… and really, that’s a shame.

Cuttlecap tip to PZ, of course.

Rest of poem here.

I Thought I Saw An Atheist… In North Carolina

Our friends at Friendly Atheist and Daylight Atheism are in the spotlight these days. Senator Elizabeth Dole (R-NC) is attacking her opponent, Kay Hagen, simply by telling voters that Hagen, well, won’t actively discriminate against atheists. Click through for the stories, even if you read PZ’s take on it. As for me…

I thought I saw an atheist
Approach a voting booth—
Her voice was shrill, her eyes were wide
Her manner quite uncouth;
She tried to force her views on us
And exercise control—
I looked again—I’m wrong once more
Why, this was Liddy Dole.

I thought I saw an atheist
Discriminate and hate;
Deride a weak minority
Because the hour’s late—
To try to stir the masses
She’s been losing in the polls;
I looked again, and listened well—
Those words were Liddy Dole’s

I thought I saw an atheist,
So “radical” and “vile”
Wage war against America–
A villain with a smile
Promoting hate, promoting fear
For petty, selfish gain—
I looked again, and clearly saw
The Liddy Dole campaign

I thought I saw an atheist
Stand up and say “no more!”
I will not be your scapegoat
Like so many times before!
Americans, stand up as Christian
Muslim, Jew, and Pagan,
Or atheist, or anything,
And cast your vote for Hagan!

Of course, this poem expands on the original here and the first revisiting here.

International Cephalopod Appreciation and Awareness Day!

Cephalopodcast has some suggestions:

Top 10 Things You Can Do on Cephalopod Appreciation Day

1– Make a Cephalopod
hansigurumi, home of peculiar knitted cephalopods and other original designs
Papercraft Flying Squid

2– Wear a Cephalopod
Buy a plush squid hat
Make a quick squid costume using office supplies




Oops–their links did not work here. Oh well, you’ll have to click through for the links, and for the rest of the top ten list!

I will suggest an 11th: Follow a cephalopod. In particular, follow a cuttlefish; even more specifically, follow a Digital Cuttlefish!

(I must admit, I really have no idea what all this “following” means, but I have noticed a handful of “followers” when I log on to blogger.com, and I figure I might as well make it easier for people to do this if it is something they are interested in.)

You may find it funny, you may find it odd
To follow a virtual cephalopod
But click if you wish, and follow me, follow,
For all of the verse (and much more) you can swallow!
If you want to sign up, or just think that you might,
The link’s over there, just a bit to the right.

Being the obsessive type (what, really? NO! we couldn’t tell!), I would love to see as many followers as possible. I don’t know why. But if you like what you read here, or if you are angry and insulted by what you read here, or you just feel like clicking a link, sign up, tell your friends, tell your neighbors, tell your pets, tell your enemies (and their pets, too), and make me regret the day I even considered putting up a followers list!

Brother, Can You Spare….

What a long strange trip it’s… nah, wrong music. It has, though, been the end of an era. Probably. Remember “Greed is good”? Remember Milken, and Boesky, and Schwarzman? Remember the parties, and the cocaine, and the opulence? Yeah, well, my dad remembered when his house was first wired for electricity, and the magic of turning on a bare lightbulb. Your kids and grandkids will find it all rather amusing.

I have given up predicting the future, but it certainly feels different this time. Seven Hundred Billion Dollars.

Actually, it feels like “dollars” are the wrong monetary unit. History has enshrined a particular coin as the touchstone of such situations… and even though the melody has to accommodate just a bit, it still has the right feel.

They used to tell me streets were paved with gold, they told me greed was good,
There were stocks and bonds and buildings to sell, millions to make if I could.
They used to tell me streets were paved with gold, all across this great land,
Why should I be off to D.C., holding out my hand?

Once I built a market, I watched it grow, every day in The Times
Once I built a market, well, you know… Brother, can you spare me…
Seven trillion dimes
Once I worked on Wall Street, I rolled in dough, with my partners in crimes
Once I worked on Wall Street, well, you know… Brother can you spare me…
Seven trillion dimes

Once in tacky suits, with condos to sell
Bullish on sub-prime real estate loans
Half a trillion bucks in short-terms as well
And I was the guy with the phones

Say, don’t you remember, you called me Hank, all throughout the Dow’s climbs
Say, don’t you remember, I ran your bank, buddy can you spare me…
Seven trillion dimes

Once in tacky suits, with condos to sell
Bullish on sub-prime real estate loans
Half a trillion bucks in short-terms as well
And I was the guy with the phones

Say, don’t you remember, you called me Hank, all throughout the Dow’s climbs
Say, don’t you remember, I ran your bank, buddy can you spare me…
Seven trillion dimes

Modern Technology Meets Bronze-Age Morality

PZ reports about the modesty police, the ultra-orthodox Jews who are justifiably fed up with lust and temptation, and are doing something about it! That’s right, they are stoning women who dress provocatively and lead good men to evil thoughts.

PZ’s suggestion?

Hey, I have a suggestion for all those fearful people who want to punish women for being so darn tempting. Instead of targeting women, let’s have all orthodox, fundamentalist men fitted with devices that measure penis enlargement, and that set off blinking lights and whistles mounted on the gentleman’s hats when significant arousal is detected. Then the clerics and rabbis and orthodox mobs can patrol the streets and stone anyone with a flashing hat — one way or another, the visible responses to perfectly ordinary human forms will disappear, the clerics will be able to claim victory over temptation, and they can stop abusing innocent women.

What an incurable optimist.

Of course, what really would happen if someone were to use such a device?

You have to promise not to laugh
Although my logic’s iffy;
I hooked up a plethysmograph
To show I’ve got a stiffy.

So if some woman’s leg I see
And “beep-beep!” goes my cock,
I do what scripture asks of me
And hit her with a rock.

If just a bit of ankle shows
But I still get a boner,
I’m justified, my Rabbi knows,
To go ahead and stone her

The scriptures say it’s not my fault
Some temptress shows some skin
It’s simple justice, not assault,
To stone her for her sin.

We’ll stone the sluts, on God’s behalf
Till all temptation’s gone…
But… wearing this plethysmograph?
It kinda turns me on…

Certificate of Lack of Achievement

PZed reports on an exciting new opportunity to boost your CV, bolster your credentials, and most importantly, hide that embarrassing crack on your wall with a shiny new Official Creationist Worldview Professional Certificate! I have no idea whether there is an actual physical certificate awarded to you, or whether it is cranked out of a Xerox copier or hand-lettered on lambskin parchment in 24-carat gold leaf by silent, solitary monks on the slopes of Holy Mount Athos.

Either way, it’s still worthless.

A Creationist Certificate, on parchment or on vellum,
Is the perfect bit of pseudo-bling to hang upon your wall.
Your friends will think it’s beautiful (unless, of course, you tell’em
What it is) because it’s done by hand, calligraphy and all.
Your brain, of course, from frontal lobe to back of cerebellum
Will now seize itself in protest ‘til your prostrate form will sprawl,
As it tries forgetting all it knows about, say, the flagellum,
And your cranial activity reduces to a crawl.

Your science is now up-to-date (that date is Antebellum)
Cos you dropped a bunch of money on a worthless bit of scrawl.

Friday Limericks–a debatable proposition

There once was a scheduled debate
Put in jeopardy, nearly too late
Now McCain says he might
Meet Obama tonight
But who knows? Now we just have to wait.

The topic is up in the air
(It appears that McCain likes it there)
And I think it may be
That the plan is to see
If the public will simply not care.

What’s the picture from Europe–say, France?
As they watch as the candidates dance
In this sad pas de deux
Do they wish we were through?
Does our image abroad stand a chance?

Ok, so it’s not a terribly pleasant topic, but there’s plenty of fertilizer here to grow limericks. Candidates, topics, delays, crises, views from near and far… have at it!

The Awesome Power Of Prayer!!!

(With one minor modification, adapted from a comment on Pharyngula.)

With a million fervent prayers combined
It won’t be long until you find
The mighty force that lies behind
The simple-seeming prayer.

The “clasp your hands and kneel” routine
Holds powers that are unforeseen
By heathens (and by that I mean
You, too!), but which are there!

So when they say “I’ll pray for you”
Remember, it’s a heady brew–
The Holy Spirit must come through,
You must already know.

And whether they are priests in collars,
Pastors, Rabbis, even scholars,
Remember–Prayer, plus five more dollars
Will buy a cup of joe.

The Digital Pack-Rat, volume 3

More odds and ends.

First, a recent one, about the defacing of the atheist student organization’s sign:

A simple sign, with scarlet letter–
Surely, one could make it better!
I knew I could, and so I drew
A heart, and cross, and “God Loves You”.
“Jesus Is Coming”–there, I’m done;
That’s much improved, and so much fun!

But now, sit back and watch–I’ll bet
Those angry atheists get upset;
They’re not content to turn a cheek–
They’re uppity, they’ll want to speak!
It’s just like them, to be so rude…

And that’s why they deserved it, dude.

About the attempted pharyngulation of a World Nut Daily online poll:

His minions do as they are told
But even they cannot be sold
On this, and so they’ll have to fold;
This craziness cannot be polled.

Perhaps it was a really bold
Idea from a different mold
Or else, perhaps, comedic gold;
This craziness cannot be polled.

Of course, I do not mean to scold
But polls like this are getting old
I think it’s gotten uncontrolled;
This craziness cannot be polled.

The World Nut Daily must uphold
It’s principles (what? none? that’s cold)
With tinfoil hats, and shirtsleeves rolled;
This craziness cannot be polled.

A couplet entitled “I promise, I’ll pull out!”:

So President Bush, that son-of-a-pistol,
Told Iraq the same thing that Levi told Bristol.

A disturbing post by a disturbed writer, perhaps an attempt at satire, proposed some solutions for what to do about the atheist problem:

A modest proposal, on how to dispose all
The Atheist garbage and haul it away–
Although it’s Tom Willis, I think that it still is
A decades-old tactic, the Klan used to play.

It may be that laughter is what he is after
It may be he thinks he’s a humorous guy
Or maybe some tumor deprived him of humor
He thinks it is funny…. I just want to cry.

A double dactyl about a (frankly, very cool) wristwatch–instead of numbers, it showed intermediate species on the long road from single-celled organisms to everybody’s favorite vertebrate, the featherless biped:

Witchily, watchily,
P.Z.’s chronometer’s
Lovely to look at, but
What are the odds

He could get rid of the
Nature’s epitome?

The Digital Pack-Rat, volume 2

Another batch of comments. Again, nothing organized, just collected.

First, when PZ came back from the Amazing Meeting, he decided he needed to wear a hat…

While the women all adore a
Man who’s sporting a fedora
There are men who look like idiots with something on their head

Not a porkpie, fez or turban
Whether rural wear or urban
Is the sort of thing I picture looking stylish on P-Zed

When he put on a souwester,
Why, his hair began to fester
And he had to reconsider why that’s something that he did

But if I could write a sonnet
To suggest his sort of bonnet
I am thinking, on his head should perch some stylish sort of squid.

Regarding a charming little animated short, showing the trials and tribulations of a pair of octopi and their pursuer, a Chef, as they are chased through a seaside Greek villa…

When the chips are all counted, when everything’s done,
When push, they say, comes to shove,
I’d wager against the return of the sun
Ere a cephalopod who’s in love.
When the wagering comes to affairs of the heart
(where a cuttlefish, reader, has three)
Then a cephalopod has a boost from the start
(well, at least, it appears so to me.)
Now an octopus (mutant, with only six arms)
Fights for love–for a life lived in peace;
And a cephalopod can find magical charms
When it finds it’s in love and in Greece.

I honestly don’t remember anything about this one, other than the the post spoke of “Dr. Who meets Dr. Seuss”. Maybe that’s enough…

If you see Bob, or Sue, or Alex
Tell them to avoid the Daleks
They do not like; they only hate,
And always yell “Exterminate!”
A Dalek kills
It kills for thrills
In Dalek dales and Dalek hills
And here’s some news
They hate the Whos
Whichever Doctor you may choose!
From then to now, from now to then,
Doctor Who is everywhen!

I tend not to collect my limericks–too many of them, you see. But this trio followed PZed’s admission that he was “oozing slime and fluids like a mollusc”… as if that were a bad thing… and his revelation that he is scheduled for one of the exams people generally don’t like being subjected to…

There once was a blogger named Myers
Who confessed that among his desires
Was a peek up his ass
With an brass looking-glass
And an old pair of needle-nosed pliers.

A colonoscopic exam
Is a good way to show who you am
You can lie there and take it
Or take drugs and fake it
By muttering softly “goddamn”

Just back from a trip to Galapagos
P-Zed is now oozing, non-stopagos
That won’t stop his blogging–
He just keeps on slogging–
Complaining with each little dropagos

And lastly (for volume 2), a couplet. It really could comment on so many topics, but I don’t recall which it actually did comment on.

Wherever two or more of you are gathered in His Name
The odds will rise, the exercise is one of casting blame.