I Am The Very Model Of A Devious Creationist

Ok, this is what comes of being just a bit too obsessive. On this thread over at pharyngula, is copious evidence that PZ’s commenters are a talented bunch! (Go ahead, look–you know you want to!) But somebody asked where I was, and long story short, my brain now hurts from putting the following together. (on the plus side… for once I don’t feel guilty pointing out the tip jar. Some of it will go for aspirin…)

I am the very model of a devious creationist
I’ve made a film that’s best described as stolen-animationist
I know the use of rhetoric when facts are unavailable
To render the impossible into the unassailable

I’m very well acquainted, too, with data manufacturing
I’ll claim I stand on solid granite even as it’s fracturing
I document complexity, like when it’s irreducible…
And think my movie’s in the league of Arthur Miller’s Crucible

And think my movie’s in the league of Arthur Miller’s Crucible
And think my movie’s in the league of Arthur Miller’s Crucible
And think my movie’s in the league of Arthur Miller’s Crucible

I’m very good at lying, both the verbal and statistical—
Like Darwin in his later years, I’m openly theistical
In short, you might describe me as a mental masturbationist
I am the very model of a devious creationist

In short, you might describe him as a mental masturbationist
He is the very model of a devious creationist

My evidence, in volumes that would baffle a librarian
Is not so much orthogonal as utterly contrarian
Presented with a problem like the claw of a Deinonychus
I pause for just a moment, then it’s “Dammit, bring it on!” I cuss

My scientific colleagues have been banned from Universities
Expecting them to publish was just one of their adversities
They’ve parried the attacks of retroviruses endogenous
Maintaining all the while that Darwinians are dodgin’ us

Maintaining all the while that Darwinians are dodgin’ us
Maintaining all the while that Darwinians are dodgin’ us
Maintaining all the while that Darwinians are dodgin’ us

My evidence is solid as a fossil of triceratops
Presented with the humor of a monologue of Carrot Top’s
In short, you might describe me as a mental masturbationist
I am the very model of a devious creationist

In short, you might describe him as a mental masturbationist
He is the very model of a devious creationist

In fact, when I know what is meant by “cinemas” and “enemas”
When I can tell by sight the harmless serpent from the venomous
And claim I found the evidence in chapter one of Genesis
You’ll see, compared to Darwinists, which one of us the menace is

When I have crack’d a book on Evo-Devo or Biology
Enough to understand instead of mutter simply “Golly gee!”
And understand my argument is simply false dichotomy
You’ll say that this creationist does not deserve lobotomy

You’ll say that this creationist does not deserve lobotomy
You’ll say that this creationist does not deserve lobotomy
You’ll say that this creationist does not deserve lobotomy

For the science that I know was not updated for millennia
Not since the latest virgin birth, or genesis parthenia
But still, you might describe me as a mental masturbationist
I am the very model of a devious creationist

But still, you might describe him as a mental masturbationist
He is the very model of a devious creationist

Friday Limericks: Expelled!

I hear a rumor that today there will be more than a handful of bloggers taking aim (metaphorically speaking) at the movie “expelled”. I can’t think of a better topic (or worse, I suppose) for this week’s Friday Limericks. Enough to make me wait up until midnight to post! Lots of good rhyming words here, and of course foul language counts… these are limericks, after all…

There once was a lawyer named Stein
Who argued the case for design—
He never did answer
Just who designed cancer—
Design, for Ben Stein, was benign

A fight over copyright spelled
The end of the line for Expelled;
Which, fortunate-ly
Meant that no one would see
Just how terribly bad the film smelled.

A plagiarized cell animation?
Then invoking the Aryan Nation?
In a monotone diction?
Ah, yes—it’s pure fiction!
A film made by “special” creation!

In an hour or two, I’ll be fine–
It’s just too much burritos and wine–
But for right now, oh boy, let
Me get to a toilet:
I’ve got to expel some ben stein.

Have at it!

The Curse Of The Buried Jersey

You have probably already heard the story–but if not, here’s one article. (And this just in–there may actually be some good to come out of the story.)

The things we might call hanky-pankies
Think outside the box;
The latest chapter pits the Yankees
Up against the Sox.

The sort of things that I or you do
Never seem to hurt
But we would never stoop to voodoo
With a Red Sox shirt.

The news says Gino Castignoli
Wants the Yankees beat—
And so, a jersey, buried fully,
Underneath concrete!

But sadly, Gino spilled the beans
About what he had done
Which led to superstitious scenes
That I found rather fun!

You’d think they might have laughed it off
As I do, here, in verse—
But no, the Yankees (don’t you scoff!)
Don’t want to risk a curse!

The Red Sox know that curses work,
For decades, theirs had meant
Bill Buckner’s famous fielding quirk
Or runs by Bucky Dent.

But surely, in this day and age
We’re rational at last
The Yankees simply turn the page
And leave this in the past.


In baseball, never bet against
The superstitious herd
The Yankee people then commenced
With actions quite absurd:

They found out where the jersey lay
And busted through a wall,
Through concrete floor, until—hooray!
There rose a cheering call.

The photos show them claim their prize
Still covered up with dirt.
Some fifty grand they spent—quite wise,
Cos… hey, they found… a shirt.

Join Me In A Moment Of Silent Prayer (or do nothing–it all comes out the same)

image thanks to PZ, who thanks Brian Flemming, who thanks Maria.
Let’s fold our hands and bow our heads
And mumble something low,
Or pray to tens of millions on
Some television show.
Let’s take a silent moment, and
Have others do the same,
So those remaining talking can
Be sure to feel their shame.
Let’s know that we are better, cos
We spent our time in prayer,
Than atheists and heathens who
Are working over there.
Let’s say a prayer for Washington,
For Darfur; for Tibet;
Let’s say a prayer for hunger, and
To fix the nation’s debt.
Let’s say a prayer for miners, trapped
In tunnels underground;
Let’s say a prayer for missing kids
In hopes that they are found.
Let’s say a prayer for polar ice
And students gone berserk;
Let’s say a prayer for everything–
It sure beats doing work.

Hard Determinism and the Meme of Free Will

Oh, the Greeks knew what they wanted—
Strong determinism stunted.
It is clear that if the populace was driven by free will,
Then society was blameless;
Truth be told, it was a shameless
Grab for power, and the senators were showing off their skill.
These philosophers were cunning
And in truth it was a stunning
Bit of framing—we can tell, because it lingers to this day.
We will claim we chose it freely,
Though the evidence says really
Our behavior was determined, and there’s nothing more to say.

You may cherish your illusion
It’s an understood confusion
But the truth is, you’re mistaken—it is nothing but a meme.
For the culture, it’s adaptive
Cos it keeps the people captive—
If you chose, then you’re accountable—a blame-the-victim scheme!
If the murder rate has risen
We just build a bigger prison
Cos it’s better than admitting that society has failed—
Better jobs and education
Can prevent incarceration
But denial of determinism keeps our people jailed.

Punishment, but not prevention,
Always focuses attention
On the action and the consequence, but not the prior cause,
So instead, we claim we see a
Mental state we call mens rea;
This reliance on an inner cause is written in our law.
If we look beyond the actors
In our quest for causal factors
Some environmental factors are quite easy to discern;
If mens rea and true freedom
Are illusions, we don’t need ‘em
We’re not stuck in ancient Athens—we can change, and we can learn.

Friday Limericks: Under The Sea

Maybe it is just those prepared cuttlefish snacks, but I am in the mood for fish.

‘Midst the seaweeds and sponges and corals
Live the cephalopods; and their quarrels
Will come, often, to blows–
A behavior which shows
A deplorable absence of morals!

A grey-haired and bearded signore
With a snorkel and mask, took a foray
To a reef, but gave flight
When his toe felt a bite–
But as everyone knows, that’s a Moray

Now a squid has a bite, but the truth is,
There’s a beak where you’d think that a tooth is
I suppose that won’t matter
If you’re on the platter–
A snack for a great Architeuthis!

I may add more later, but I have to get going–places to go, things to do! Uncharacteristic of Fridays for me…

Have fun!

Crazy Like A Squid…

The Deep Sea News guys have alerted us all to a libelous bit of writing by Jeff Vrabel that further convinces me that humans are not to be trusted with ink.

When possible, I like to keep close tabs on the world of octopuses, for two reasons: 1. Everybody has their hobbies, mine just involves cephalopod mollusks and don’t you judge me, and 2. I often get the feeling that they’re plotting something.

It’s like a weird sixth sense/octopus whisperer sort of thing. Come on – you know you’ve had that feeling, when you’re at home alone on a rainy night, reading by the midnight light of a single lamp, when all of a sudden you’re alarmed by a subtle yet inescapable fear that there’s an octopus over your shoulder watching you. Yeah. So it’s best if a few of us are just keeping an eye on them, is what I’m saying.

The Deep Sea News guys sum it up in their title: “Cephalopods Are Nuts”.


We’re not nuts, we’re just vindictive
And if history’s predictive
You can trace the simple logic that should quake you to your core
Take a glance at any menu
Look for “calamari”, then you
Have a taste of what humanity thinks squid are destined for.
People order up their sushi
Without wondering just who she
Used to be before they sliced her up and threw her on some rice.
People think it doesn’t matter
That what’s now your Tako Platter
Was an octopus, intelligent and social and quite nice.
Even cuttlefish are fried up,
Sometimes smoked or merely dried up
And available for purchase just like any other snacks!
With our lives so torn asunder
I must say that it’s no wonder
Every now and then, some octopus or squid just sorta cracks.
So if you are going fishing
For a humboldt squid, start wishing
That the rest of us don’t see you as you’re reeling in our friends;
Cos for those who know the history
It comes as no great mystery—
You’ve eaten us for much too long; it’s time to make amends.

Yeah, that’s right–just like it says on the label–this cuttlefish is prepared!

A Hymn

Ok, I admit it: there is a soft spot in my hearts for hymns. Both the staid and conservative hymns of the congregation I left decades ago, and the blues-laced gospel hymns that, for instance, the Blues Brothers Movie celebrated. There is a joy to that music, a weight to those lyrics, that is just beautiful. Now, I do not feel the same way about “praise music”, mind you. Its lyrics are insipid, its faux-anthemic chord structures and melodies are artificial, saccharine, and so without substance as to make Kenny G sound like Charlie Parker. It is clearly not the topic of hymns that makes me enjoy them, but rather the realization, in music and poetry, of their vision. I have no problems, atheist that I am, enjoying hymns or christmas carols, or the architecture of a cathedral or the design of a stained glass window. Beauty is beauty.

And I feel absolutely no desire to promote the idea of “atheist hymns” or “scientific churches” to serve whatever purpose hymns and churches do for the theist community. If I needed those purposes served, I would not be who I am. If I want to listen to a hymn, I am fortunate to live in an age where I can just find an appropriate internet site and listen. No need to write my own.

But I did anyway. It is all the fault of the Illinois legislature, and the million dollars being spent to restore or renovate that church. In all the furor over Representative Davis’s outburst, there were conversations here and there from people who either did or did not appreciate the architecture of that particular church. I swear I read one person saying that they would support the reconstruction of a church if it were secular. An odd concept to me, but whatever. Anyway, it all got me to thinking about these things, and the catch-phrase to my hymn showed up, in tune and with appropriate harmony.

The hymn can be sung either straight or gospel. Pipe organ for the first, combined piano and Hammond 3B for the second, and some singers who can shake the dust off the rafters. In the chorus, of course, the parenthetical parts are for the bass. As if I had to tell you that.

Oh, I still remember thinking that I had it figured out
I was certain of my theory, and I had no room for doubt
But my elegant predictions were in no way guaranteed
Now I’ll follow where the evidence may lead…

I’m following the evidence; I’m following the clues
                              (Following, I’m following the clues)
By following the evidence, there’s no way I can lose
                              (Following, I’m following the clues)
A slow and steady journey, make sure and then proceed
And I’ll follow where the evidence may lead…

I obtained my random samples, and I carefully took note;
With appropriate controls in place, the chances were remote
That some artifact would kill my study’s chances to succeed—
Now I’ll follow where the evidence may lead…


When I finished up my paper, then I sent it for review;
I was following procedure—it’s the proper thing to do:
But my peer-reviewers pointed to some things that I must heed
Now I’ll follow where the evidence may lead…

(skip the chorus this time)

My study’s methodology, reviewer one opined,
Was flawed because a crucial part was not made double-blind
And my biased expectations were a problem, I concede
Now I’ll follow where the evidence may lead…


There were parts of my procedure that I had to run once more;
I was happy when the data showed the same thing as before.
With a miniscule revision, my reviewers all agreed,
Cos we followed where the evidence did lead


Now it’s published in the journal, but that is just the start
A community of scientists will pick it all apart
Through acceptance or dismissal, now science will proceed
For we follow where the evidence may lead.

“I Thought I Saw An Atheist” Revisited

Ok, this one is seriously depressing. PZ reports on the deplorable actions of Illinois State Rep Monique Davis (D-Chicago), shouting down (easily, since he was not talking) an atheist activist (Rob Sherman), whose offense was that he was testifying against the expenditure of a million dollars of the people’s money to preserve a particular Baptist Church. There is an audiofile of the exchange.

…I thought I saw an atheist, upon the witness stand
It couldn’t be! Not where I live! This is a Christian Land!
The Constitution guarantees my right to scream and shout;
As the Good Lord is my witness, I demanded “You! Get out!”

I thought I saw an atheist demand an equal voice;
I told him he could leave right now, and that could be his choice.
I said his view was dangerous–our children must not hear!
It goes against the Bible, which our government holds dear!

I thought I saw an atheist nod quietly, and sigh.
The odds were stacked against him, which no person can deny;
What happens when a person is denied his civil right?
I may have seen an atheist who’s now convinced to fight.

Poe, Poe, Pitiful “Expelled”

Those who read the words of Myers know the fellow rarely tires,
No surprise a film desires his opinion, strongly held:
When they filmed him, on location, and they held a conversation,
It was all prevarication—lies are where Ben Stein excelled.
And producer, too, Mark Mathis, lying’s where the man excelled,
For the movie was “Expelled

“From our schools and institutions, in a form of persecution,
A priori, contributions from believers are withheld!
The design of all God’s creatures should be what is taught by teachers!”
With a cadence born of preachers, this the message that they yelled.
They were close enough to whisper, true, but verily they yelled,
And they made the film “Expelled.”

Though they try to make it killer, it comes off a bit as filler
When they try to say Kitzmiller versus Dover really smelled.
“It was purely propaganda!” you can read in memoranda
But the wedge-in-form-of-panda, as a weapon, never jelled,
Though it may be through incompetence the tactic never jelled,
And was properly Expelled.

It would really be terrific if Ben Stein could be specific
And provide the scientific stuff with which his head is swelled.
In the movie’s poor conflation, trading faith for explanation
Is the path to guide the nation to the glory it once held;
Back before the academics stripped the glory we once held,
And the truth became Expelled.

Ben Stein’s ultimate solution is to hogtie evolution
But it’s such bad execution the attempted coup is quelled
Stein is labeled as “heroic”; thus his monotone is “stoic”
As he braves the Mesozoic, where the early cavemen dwelled
If we disregard the science, who knows when the cavemen dwelled?
Any truth has been Expelled.

With a stolen animation, then a too-close imitation,
These nefarious creationists the storyline propelled.
All these lame attempts at spinning, from the end to the beginning!
Lying once was seen as sinning, if the Bible were upheld—
It’s too bad it’s inconvenient for those rules to be upheld,
Now the truth has been Expelled.

“A conspiracy of science!” they’re still yelling in defiance,
Though the truth is, their reliance on dishonesty has spelled
The demise of their position—and the crime’s of their commission;
The withdrawal of their permission, when the opening was held,
Because Myers tried to see it when the opening was held,
Was intelligence Expelled.

So accustomed to their lying, now they do it without trying,
These reality-denying little weasels are compelled
Even if their reputation had a granite-firm foundation
It would face annihilation, like a mighty oak now felled,
As it is, ‘tis but a sapling, but the sapling still is felled,
For the truth has been Expelled.