What if I don’t believe in South Dakota?

Seven of these signs are going up around the state, which if they’re effective might ameliorate my Dakota Denialism (I know it’s there, I just read the news about their state politics and wish it weren’t).


Good work, South Dakota Coalition of Reason!


  1. submoron says

    Taking bets now: 1) will it be vandalized or taken down as offensive? 2) How long will it last?

  2. laurentweppe says

    What if I don’t believe in South Dakota?

    Another hyperskeptic, pretending that countless witnesses of the Mount Rushmore do not qualify as credible evidence of South Dakota’s existence

  3. Sastra says

    The idea’s fine of course — but did they have to pick something so gratuitously insulting to people of faith?

    (that was snark, of course)

    I wonder how long it will take before Christians decide that enough is enough and it’s time to finally take action against the ceaseless, relentless aggression of the atheists and their dominance of the public square — and try to get their own message out for a change. Well, it’s probably already happened: someone is doubtless going into the need for a “response” right at this moment.

    Faith is so fragile a thing.

  4. otrame says

    Re: Mt. Rushmore

    If you want to know where I get some of my attitude, consider my mother. She referred to Mt. Rushmore as vandalism. She said she had great respect for the men portrayed there, but the mountain was best left as it was. I remember that in particular because we had just studied Mt. Rushmore at school and I was surprised (not for the first time) at her non-standard attitude. After all, this is the Christian woman (at the time, anyway) who told me, when I was about 10, that Abraham should have told God “No!!” when asked to murder his son.

    I have often wondered what Teddy would have thought of it, though. He loved the wilderness. I suspect he would have preferred that that mountain be left unsculpted.

  5. mandycommandy says

    Thanks PZ! Love from very-much-a-real-place-with-extremely-stupid-politics, South Dakota.

  6. mvemjsun says

    I live in South Dakota. I am also frustrated by the idiotic things many of my statemates think should be laws. I vote against the idotacy every chance I get. I am thrilled to see these signs. But would not be surprised if they are vandelized or have a hissy fit thrown about them. Thank lack of god for the South Dakota Coalition of Reason!

  7. mvemjsun says

    I know in my haste to post I typed idotacy instead of idiocy. PZ you can still be disappointed with SD: Currently we are dealing with bigoted rants against gays because of a pride gathering a few days ago. And today in the news a person is advocating putting a Jesus statue on public lands. They love church and state if it is someone else’s church but ignore it when its Jesus.

  8. hotshoe, now with more boltcutters says

    I love the design of this billboard. Good clear lettering, uncluttered message, nice implication that “science is the better way to move forward” in the background image of our Earth seen from space.

    I like the tag “join the club” in particular for its open friendliness. It’s better than “there is probably no god, so stop worrying …” which seems a little self-centered. This billboard encourages making contact with the social community.

    Well done, South Dakota!

  9. anchor says

    Now that’s a good one. That’s how to do it.

    It might collect a lot of bullet holes, but that will only indicate just how effective it is.

  10. anchor says

    One slight caveat: that particular image of the crescent Earth as seen from orbit might not have been the best selection, seeing that the one cloud band interferes with the text a little too much. Next time they put it or more up, they can select an image that wouldn’t do that – there are zillions of them to choose from with essentially the same phase from the ISS photo archives.

  11. Attila says

    PZ you are giving away the conspiracy. There is in fact no such state as North Dakota or South Dakota. There is only the state of Dakota. In an attempt to distract from the fact they are the least visited state in the Union, they created the myth of North Dakota, and just named themselves South Dakota. There are a small group of paid shills 200 or 300 in number that go around telling people they are from North Dakota. The state can then avoid the stigma of being the least visited and also control two more Senate seats.

    When will people wake up to the conspiracy. Wake up sheeple.

  12. says

    Ah, sure, I start lurking on Pharyngula and then SD come up …. of course, I feel the need to speak up.

    It’s great to see someone raising a counterpoint to the far more common, religiously-motivated billboards that dominate the highways of the plains. Don’t write all of us off, PZ!

    And, North Dakota does exist; it has a vital purpose: it serves to remind S. Dakotans that at least we don’t live there.

  13. says

    And, North Dakota does exist; it has a vital purpose: it serves to remind S. Dakotans that at least we don’t live there.

    entirely unsurprisingly, that’s how North Dakotans feel about South Dakota. You can’t even get to SD by train.