Cuttlefish Classic: Creationist Museums

Image: Michael McRae

I took a walk through time and space—
Through several million years—
I found that some things never change,
Or that’s how it appears.
Stupidity’s a constant
(Hey, I call ‘em as I see ‘em);
I noted Man’s is not the sole
Creationist Museum.
Seems everywhere I looked around
In present or in past,
I found museums touting God—
And all of them half-assed.
I guess I shouldn’t be surprised
Or find them each defective;
Each species must be Number One
When seen from their perspective.

The early primates said:

God created Lemurs, and
The world was truly blest;
“Descent of Man” is apropos—
He’s clearly second best.
The perfect form’s arboreous,
As anyone can tell
When apes descended from the trees
Things really went to Hell.

The early tetrapods said:

Acanthostaga sits supreme
As God’s most perfect beast;
To get from them to humankind
Just go from best to least.
Look inside our holy books
And find revealed—the Flood;
God’s favorite creatures, thus, must live
In water and in mud.

The early chordates said:

God created Amphioxus,
Perfectly designed.
Mutations and deformities,
And now we have Mankind.
With notochord, pharyngeal slits,
Their form is most divine
Then vertebrates just messed it up
And now they have a spine.

The prokaryotes said:

The truly blest bacterium
God’s chosen form of life
With billions of them in the gut
Of Adam and his wife.
The heaven-blessed prokaryote
Is God’s Most Perfect Form,
And mammals are just one more way
To keep us nice and warm.

As I said before, I’m re-posting some of my favorites (and yours, if you let me know which ones) during this kinda sorta Fall Fundraiser Drive (tip jar over there on the right).

This one is from nearly 2 full years ago, back when about a dozen people were reading here. On top of that, it was not linked to from any of the more popular sites I comment on, so the odds are very good that the majority of you have not seen it. Nothing new in it–the Aesop’s fable of the painting makes the same point, as does Haldane’s “fondness for beetles” comment. Human creationist museums must necessarily show the god we created in our image; I cannot imagine that if bacteria had their own creationist museums, they would take a decidedly different perspective.

Cuttlefish Classic: Help Me, Estro-Blaster!

Image: Michael McRae

There is something in the waters
That can turn my sons to daughters?
I’m so happy that this flyer came to tell me of this fact!
Every smoothie that we’ve blendered
Means they’re halfway to transgendered!
Every second now is precious—it is time for us to act!

Time to panic, and I’m thinking
That the water I’ve been drinking
Is a chemical castration, and a feminazi plan!
I drink water like Niagara
As I wash down my Viagra;
Now I see why it’s not working, and I’m still a little man.

Time to buy some Estro-Blaster
And to hope the mail comes faster—
‘Cos I’m worried that perhaps it may already be too late:
I’m not thinking with my penis,
I’ve abandoned Mars for Venus—
And I find I’m moody, ‘bout a week before I menstruate.

As I said before, I’m re-posting some of my favorites (and yours, if you let me know which ones) during this kinda sorta Fall Fundraiser Drive (tip jar over there on the right).

This verse was my reaction to the snake-oil merchants at Estro-Blaster, who prey on fears of demasculinization (if that is a word) amidst news stories of trace amounts of estrogen found in drinking water. Whether or not something works, it would seem you can sell it better by promising to make manly men more manly. In a related matter, one of my most-read posts is my “ballad of smilin’ Bob”, with the subtitle “the biggest dicks of all”. All of my other most-read posts are associated with one or two days of popularity, but Smilin’ Bob gets a few hits almost every day… each by someone googling for “biggest dicks” or some variant.


Cuttlefish Classic: I Am Charles Darwin

Image: Michael McRae

I am Charles Darwin—ninety-nine point nine percent
There’s a little variation that I don’t share with the gent
But we share a common blueprint, which is kinda what he meant
When he came to the conclusion that we’re all of shared descent

I am Charles Darwin—what I mean is, I am Man
I’m a billion trillion accidents instead of One Big Plan
Just a step or two from chimpanzee or from orangutan
Maybe more than distant cousins, but you recognize the clan

I am Charles Darwin—I can’t help it; it’s my genes
We’re mutation and selection, see, when no one intervenes
Like a god with claimed omnipotence, or alien machines
None better and none worse than us, is really what it means

I am Charles Darwin—I was never Eden-cursed
I am just another animal, I’m neither best nor worst
From primordial beginnings, look how widely I’ve dispersed
Such a beautiful idea…Charles Darwin saw it first.

As I said before, I’m re-posting some of my favorites (and yours, if you let me know which ones) during this kinda sorta Fall Fundraiser Drive (tip jar over there on the right).

UPDATE!! I have been sent a rendition of this verse in song! A very nice ballad, with ukulele accompaniment, which you can hear here–just look to the player on the right of the page. As of this writing, it is the song on the bottom, but it looks like he has a bunch of original music there which I intend to listen to as soon as I am done writing this.

Cuttlefish Classic: The Evolutionary Biology Valentine’s Day Poem

Image: Michael McRae

In sociobiology,
Why I love you and you love me—
Which anyone can plainly see—
Is mostly in our genes.
No, not the ones you buy in stores,
But what a scientist explores–
I like the way you look in yours,
And you know what that means.

What subtly-coded stimulus
Takes you and me, and makes us “us
And makes us feel ‘twas ever thus?
The list of suspects narrows.
No longer are we all a-shiver
From some Cupid with a quiver
Out of which he might deliver
Fusillades of Eros.

Nor Dopamine, nor Serotonin
Tell us why our hearts are moanin’
Though they serve to help us hone in
On–not why, but how;
The parasympathetic blush,
Adrenaline to bring a rush,
Are how, not why, I’ve got a crush
On you, my darling, now.

But if old Charles Darwin’s right,
The reason that the merest sight
Of you will always give delight
Is…reproductive fitness.
Throughout our species’ family tree,
Producing proper progeny
Is what determined you and me
And Darwin was the witness.

Is thinking that you’re oh so sweet
And how you’ll make my life complete
Some trick to make our gametes meet?
It seems it may be so.
I feel the way I feel today
Because some bit of DNA
Sees your genetics on display
And wants to say “hello.”

But think of this, for what it’s worth:
Millennia before my birth
That DNA had roamed the earth,
In residents thereof;
The neat thing is, it’s really true,
The feeling that I have for you
Although, of course, it feels brand-new
Is truly ageless love.

As I said before, I’m re-posting some of my favorites (and yours, if you let me know which ones) during this kinda sorta Fall Fundraiser Drive (tip jar over there on the right).

This one has been reprinted in last year’s “The Open Laboratory”, and gets tons of hits every February, for some reason. Sadly, it has not yet shown up in the Hallmark aisle at the local drugstore.

Cuttlefish Classic: The Ballad Of Sally Kern

Image: Michael McRae

A legislator, Sally Kern,
Was simply voicing her concern,
But Sally Kern was unaware,
Or if she knew, she did not care,
That someone had a microphone
So Sally Kern was not alone.
“Oh, I’m not anti-gay” said Sally,
To the fifty-person rally;
“But there are things you have to learn”
And who will teach us? Sally Kern.
Sally Kern, she knows the answer—
Knows how gays are like a cancer,
Knows they’re worse than terrorists
If Sally Kern can keep the lists.
So Sally Kern must raise her voice
Against unhealthy lifestyle choice;
The cost of life against God’s Word
Is clear, the people gathered heard:
Disease and death, and then you burn
In Hell, or so says Sally Kern.
Then Sally Kern, in pure effrontery,
Tells us gays will harm our country:
If we embrace these sinful ways,
Says Sally Kern, allowing gays
To join the City Council ranks
Or work in schools, or stores, or banks,
Our country would be tempting fate,
And all too soon would be too late.
Now, such a stance may seem too stern
But heed the words of Sally Kern;
If we let gays live right among us,
Soon, like mold, or creeping fungus,
Even straights will be infected—
Sally Kern wants us protected.
The path to safety is God’s Grace:
We must protect the human race.
Sally Kern just wants us purer…
Right. Ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Fuhrer.

Special bonus: The Modest Agnostic’s youtube version of this verse!

As I said before, I’m re-posting some of my favorites (and yours, if you let me know which ones) during this kinda sorta Fall Fundraiser Drive (tip jar over there on the right).

This verse is one of my favorites for its seussian qualities, its hyperbole, and its godwinesque last line. This is one of those verses that pretty much came out in real time and in final form, and I really didn’t know what the last line would be until I got to the second to last. And The Modest Agnostic reads it so well! Much better than my own voice would be.

Cuttlefish Classics: I Thought I Saw An Atheist

Image: Michael McRae

I thought I saw an atheist, once, walking down the street.
I checked for horns, I checked for tail, I checked for cloven feet;
Began to tremble frightfully—my heart was in my throat—
Then sighed in happy recognition, for ‘twas but a goat.

I thought I saw an atheist, down near a swollen stream
With scaly skin, and blood so cold, I couldn’t breathe to scream!
I looked into his bulging eyes, and prayed “God, grant my wish”
Then laughed in my embarrassment—it only was a fish.

I thought I saw an atheist, with fur and pointed claws,
And wicked teeth for chewing up Judeo-Christian laws,
I ran, and tripped, and fell to earth, then hid behind a log—
It caught me, though, and licked my face—of course, it was a dog.

I thought I saw an atheist, though cleverly disguised
Not giant and reptilian, but human, normal sized,
It looked to be engaging in productive, useful labor;
But no, this was no atheist—this person was my neighbor!

I thought I saw an atheist; in fact, I saw a few!
My neighbor, and the grocer, and the cop, and maybe you!
I even found some in the church, right there beneath the steeple;
It turns out, to my great surprise… that atheists are people.

As I said before, I’m re-posting some of my favorites (and yours, if you let me know which ones) during this kinda sorta Fall Fundraiser Drive (tip jar over there on the right).

This verse is one of my favorites, and such a versatile structure! It was revisited twice (so far), first in a case of a Chicago state representative shouting down an atheist at a public meeting, as if atheists were somewhere below flatworms on her scale of respect:

…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.

And then once more, when Liddy Dole’s senatorial campaign tried to gain votes by accusing her opponent of cozying up to … of all things… atheists!

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!

Cuttlefish Classic: Oh, Wait…

Image: Michael McRae

My God is pretty self-assured, and quite convinced He’s right.
He made me in His image, so He’s green-eyed, blond, and white;
And He’s very, very wrathful with the folks who disagree;
He’ll hold a grudge for centuries—Oh, wait—that might be me.

He’s insecure enough to want to hear how much you love Him
And He never will forgive you if there’s someone else above Him;
He’ll jealously react to any threat to His domain
By smiting all His enemies—Oh, wait—that’s me again.

He’ll make the world a better place for those who think like Him
For those in opposition, well, the situation’s grim;
He’ll call jihad, or else crusade—some form of Holy War
Because He knows He’s always right—Oh, wait—that’s me once more.

He’s handsome, bearded, steely-eyed, deep-voiced and somewhat haughty
So wonderful, his naughty bits are never seen as naughty
But perfectly proportioned, grand and firm and never shrinking,
A miracle of awesomeness—Oh, wait—that’s wishful thinking.

As I said before, I’m re-posting some of my favorites (and yours, if you let me know which ones) during this kinda sorta Fall Fundraiser Drive (tip jar over there on the right).

This one was from May of 08–I remember it as being earlier than that, but such are memories. It was inspired by a poll in England, in which a majority of respondents apparently believe that god is, indeed, male. Likely white and bearded, too. It’s like the Sistine Chapel is a giant Polaroid shot.

We really like our gods to be made in our own image, don’t we?

Cuttlefish Classic: The Octopus Gods

Image: Michael McRae

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.

As I said before, I’m re-posting some of my favorites (and yours, if you let me know which ones) during this kinda sorta Fall Fundraiser Drive (tip jar over there on the right).

This one is from my very first month of posting here, when I averaged under 50 readers a day, so it may be new to you. Enjoy!

In Which It All Hits The Fan At Once

My laptop computer is giving me fits;
It will randomly fade into black.
It looks like it simply is “going to sleep”–
With a difference: I can’t get it back!

My car has a problem they can’t diagnose,
And it’s rapidly starting to die;
The gauges don’t work, and the power is weak,
And my grease-monkey doesn’t know why.

My bike needs new shifters, new gears, and a chain,
The socks I am wearing have holes
With two kids in college, and spouse out of work
It is difficult meeting my goals.

But I’m healthy, I’m happy, and looking around
I can see, many more have it worse–
I don’t think I’d trade places with anyone else…
I’ll just sit here, complaining in verse.

Ok… every word of that is true, but this is not meant to be a pity-inducing post; I am very much aware that a great many people (including, I would assume, some of my readers) are in far worse shape than I am. Last time I actively asked for money, I had a specific and immediate need, and my readers showed a generosity so far beyond any real-life people [read: my damned department] that it was my readers who made the single most amazing experience of my last 5 years (maybe more; I am being conservative) possible. I am not in such straits this time, and I am not trying to guilt-trip anyone.

But I am going to gently ask for money. No hard-sell, though; I am not threatening to stop posting (I am much too obsessive–if nobody donates a cent, I’ll still be here); I have no pressing problems (other than what is in the verse above, which could probably describe a great many lives, and is no great hardship); I have no claim of charitable need-based donating. If, though, you read and enjoy this site, please consider clicking the tip jar over there on the right. It’s the time of year when I start figuring out cephalopodmas spending, and right now my budget is zero. (Which, I will be the first to admit, puts me way ahead of a staggeringly large number of people whose budget is negative.)

For the next few days, I will be posting some “best of” re-posts. This is for two reasons. One–I have a lot of grading I need to get to, and a laptop to bring in for repair, and a car to set fire to, and a bike to fix, and socks to darn. Two–according to google analytics, the vast majority of people who visit here don’t look at the older posts, and I really like some of them! So if you have a favorite you’d like me to repost, just let me know in the comments here or in email, and I’ll surely get to it!