The Bible As Textbook

P.Z. shares with us a very learned man… who learned electron microscopy from the bible.

The books about astronomy,
Like Acts and Deuteronomy,
Are but a partial list of those in which I have reliance.
Biology’s dependent on
The First and Second books of John
And Genesis and Exodus? There’s nothing there but science.
The physicist who never fudges
Follows Joshua and Judges;
Daniel and Ezekiel show molar calculations.
In First and Second Timothy,
Electron-scan microscopy
Completes the compound microscopic treatment in Galatians.
The Chronicles of Higher Ed–
Both First and Second, which I’ve read,
Confirm for me the value of an honest education.
An education such as this,
That starts, of course, in Genesis,
And doesn’t give a Ph. D. ’til after Revelation.

Friday Limericks: I Wish…

First off, some thanks to a few people, so that they don’t get lost below the limericks. Thanks to the people who commented last week! My goodness, what wonderful verses! I am sorry I have been so busy in the real world–I should have heaped praises on each of you at the time. I hope that now is not too late. (Speaking of too late, it is never too late to add a comment onto one of those threads. Limericks should not be confined to Fridays alone, after all. Also, I should have thanked MuseSusan by name, 2 weeks ago, for her comment on “Limerick/War” that inspired the Friday Limerick Post. Thank you, MuseSusan–you are aptly named.

Now, on to the topic. “I wish”. There is a lot of room to play with this one. You can be silly:

I wish that my office were round
With no corners at all to be found
You would find me no mourner
For stacks in the corner—
Now everything’s all in one mound!

Or poignant:

I wish on the stars every night
That again she’ll return to my sight
It’s been too many years
And I can’t count the tears,
But the stars wouldn’t let me down… right?

Or put words in someone else’s mouth:

I wish I could frolic with squid
More closely than Jacques Cousteau did
I could study their charms
While ensnared in their arms
And surrender control to my id!

–P. Z. Myers

Even someone’s mouth you wouldn’t touch with a ten-foot toothbrush:

I wish I possessed such a brain
That biologists could not explain—
A fiery crucible
All irreducible—
Or, hell, at least one that was sane!

–M. Behe

Or just be boring and write a normal limerick…

I wish it were summer already
With the temperatures all nice and steady
These up-and-down weeks
Are for rougher physiques
I’ll just wait here in bed with my teddy.

Ok, have at it! I really wish you would…

On Anonymity

I know that I noticed the posts earlier this week, for and against anonymity in blogging and other sorts of writing, but this has been a busy week out in that place where there are three dimensions and most people don’t speak in meter and rhyme. But a cuttlefish must certainly have something to say on this matter. And now that Zuska brings up the topic once more, I found myself commenting on Physioprof’s blog, and before I knew it…

The right to be a cuttlefish
And hide behind my ink
May not appeal to everyone
Despite what I may think.
But having anonymity
Is useful, you may note—
That’s why we pull the curtain closed
Before we cast our vote.
The bully likes a public vote,
Each person known by name,
If someone feels intimidated
Shame on them! For shame!
They ought to have the strength to stand
Behind the words they speak!
(That way the votes go to the strong,
And rarely to the weak.)
Behind the voting curtain, though,
The votes all weigh the same—
Unless there’s something wrong with that,
You need not know my name.

And so I stand on principle
For any nom de plume—
A right to be anonymous
Is one I will assume.
I do not judge the reasons
Why some like it out of sight;
For me it is enough to say
It is their perfect right.

Loretta Would Be Proud!

If you have not seen this story yet, I am really jealous; you really found a good hiding place! “It’s My Right To Have Kid, Pregnant Man Tells Oprah” “Man Is Six-Months Pregnant” And of course, predictable variations on right-wing sources, left-wing sources, GLBT sources… you name it.

Thomas Beattie is, indeed, a pregnant man. He is also a pregnant woman (especially if you read the right-wing sources). Biologically, he could not be pregnant otherwise.

I am perfectly content with his legal status as a man; it’s how he views himself, how his wife views him, and none of my damned business, or yours either unless you happen to be Thomas Beattie. And it says nothing about his legal and self-referent status to note that, yes, biologically he is still female. But that said, I am a bit disappointed with the spin (or is that “framing”?) that the majority of the news outlets appear to be giving it. A “pregnant man” is a wow of a headline. The more accurate story–that a transgendered man loves his wife enough to bear a child when she cannot–is not merely more accurate, but more detailed and less “wow”. Unlike a sound bite, it takes more than a few seconds to comprehend. So I guess the news outlets didn’t want to take that sort of risk.

I don’t know if it is what they wish for themselves, but my wish for them is a return to anonymity as quickly as possible after the child is born. A media circus is something I would not wish on any baby.

The news reports on Thomas Beattie note that he’s a man.
He’s bearded, and he’s married to a lovely woman, Nan.
They’re planning on a family—how wonderful that is!
Oh, yeah, there’s one more tiny thing: the pregnancy is his.
Not his as in paternity, the papers try to tutor us,
But his as in he’s carrying the baby in his uterus.

In Monty Python’s Life of Brian, a character named Stan
Demanded that we recognize the right of any man
If he wishes, to be female, and to call himself Loretta,
And defend this right, by force, as in a feud or a vendetta.
And Loretta says that every man—no ifs, no buts, no maybes—
Possesses rights including each man’s right to carry babies.

Loretta did not have a womb, to utilize her right—
This futility of struggle was a symbol of their plight;
Thomas Beattie, though, in contrast, does not share Loretta’s gloom—
He’s the man Loretta wants to be—a man who has a womb.
If tomatoes can be vegetables, and also still be fruits,
Then a man can have a baby, if the situation suits.

Just for fun…