An Adequate poem

This poem from the EvC Forum, “Another Reply To Bishop Wilberforce,” tickled my fancy, so here it is. All credit goes to the author, who goes by the name Dr Adequate.

Another Reply To Bishop Wilberforce
“I asserted — and I repeat — that a man has no reason to be ashamed of having an ape for his grandfather. If there were an ancestor whom I should feel shame in recalling it would rather be a man — a man of restless and versatile intellect — who, not content with an equivocal success in his own sphere of activity, plunges into scientific questions with which he has no real acquaintance, only to obscure them by an aimless rhetoric, and distract the attention of his hearers from the real point at issue by eloquent digressions and skilled appeals to religious prejudice.” — T. H. Huxley’s reply to Bishop Wilberforce, as reported by J. R. Green.

I’ll wager that you’ll never see
a monkey or a chimpanzee
denying they are kin to me;
they’ve got more sense.
In all my life I never knew
a wallaby or kangaroo
to disagree with Darwin’s view
and take offence.

Creationists cannot pretend
that any rodent would descend
so very low as to defend
or back their side.
No tiger stalks you to explain
how Darwin softens up the brain
and nor do lions (in the main)
they’ve got more pride.

The works of Gish and Johnson both
(so naturalists will take their oath)
do not convince the three-toed sloth
or slender loris;
and self-respecting plankton, I’m
informed, have very little time
for less developed forms of slime
like Henry Morris.

No matter how Kent Hovind prates,
close observation demonstrates
no members of the ungulates
endorse his views.
For antelope he’s no allure;
impala find his works obscure;
and wildebeest are too mature
(but that’s old gnus).

Creationists cannot deceive
orang-utans: they’re not naive.
They hear them out, but don’t believe
a word they tell ’em.
E. coli cannot understand
why Behe’s books are in demand
and wouldn’t want to shake his hand
with its flagellum.

Amongst the lemurs, not a word
in praise of William Dembski’s heard;
his work’s considered quite absurd
in Madagascan climates.
The howler monkeys’ tuneful throngs
are not debating in their songs
if Bishop Wilberforce belongs
among the primates.

But Man, that self-conceited chap
this “clever man”, this Homo sap.
can’t find his arse without a map
— pretentious clown!
It seems the swelling of his brain
has only made him quite insane.
Let’s climb into the trees again
and not come down.


  1. JB says

    Just keep your atheistic rants off the Kansas Citizens for Science site.

    You hurt the cause of science in Kansas.

    Once the evolutionists are in control, of course, then we can push the atheism.


    No way, the ACLU can just sue to protect the atheistic rants!

  2. Rowan says

    If religion is strictly not allowed into science, does that mean that science is atheistic?

    It sounds to me a little like the difference between something that’s invisible and something that can’t be seen.

    At any rate, I’d say that a scientific website should be more receptive to atheistic points of view than theistic ones.

  3. Stephen Wells says

    I think it’s more that science doesn’t feel a need to take seriously statements equivalent to “You have an invisible, intangible parrot on your shoulder.” The statement is undisprovable, but not deserving of equal time in science classes.

    N.B. I intend no disrespect to the visible shoulder parrots of the piratic Pastafarians.

  4. Scott Hatfield says


    As a private matter, I’m a believer but as a member of the scientific community properly speaking I have no views on the supernatural. Doing good science means doing it without appealing to the Almighty, but that doesn’t mean that scientists ‘push’ atheism on anyone as a personal matter. We simply insist that science itself be practiced (and taught) without appeals to the supernatural. And the involvement of organizations like the ACLU helps safeguard the religious liberties of all persons, not just atheists.

    By the way, people, if you like this poem, you’ll love a song by Elvis Costello called “Monkey To Man”.


  5. Chris says

    Caledonian: Why would you be impressed with a concern troll, whether or not it could spell?

    Oh no, please don’t come onto our pro-evolution site and post something in support of evolution, that would be so terrible! You simply must go away and leave all the argument to the respectable religious types before you damage our cause by supporting it!

    Hogwash. Accommodationism has gotten us nowhere – or worse. It’s time to stand up for reason. And it’s transparently obvious that this “complaint” is a creationist attempt to drive a wedge between atheist supporters of science and theist supporters of science.

  6. Chet says

    PZ, do you often lurk around the EvC Forum? If not, I invite you to do so. If you’re already a lurker, I invite you to post.

    If you’re already a poster I hope you’ll tell us what your username is, there.