DANGER DANGER DANGER — 2500 milliHovinds of stupidity ahead


You know you’ve got a live one when a creationist post begins with The Most Abused Quote in Creationism:

To suppose that the eye, with all its inimitable contrivances for adjusting the focus to different distances, for admitting different amounts of light, and for the correction of spherical and chromatic aberration, could have been formed by natural selection, seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest possible degree. – Charles Darwin

They never bother to quote the pages and pages that follow in which Darwin explains how that “seems” is misleading, because here are all the intermediates and mechanisms that are extant in nature right now. Trust me on this: when a creationist starts that way, you can just stop reading.

But I kept going anyway. I’ve got years of experience dealing with toxic levels of stupid. But here, even I was challenged. It was a bit like stumbling across Chernobyl’s “Elephant’s Foot”. It’s a post titled X-Men and the Theory of Evolution, and yes, it actually tries to use comic book science to argue against the theory of evolution.

You see, if evolution were actually true, we’d all evolve into Wolverine because, somehow, mutations are supposed to be able to defy entropy.

The entire living organic system is in a constant fight for survival. Unfortunately, there is nothing in its intrinsic composition powerful enough that would enable it to suppress the inevitable and fateful pull toward its own dissolution or death.

Otherwise, it would divert all of its energy into overcoming said fate by “evolving” out of it, exactly like X-Men’s Wolverine manages to do. Why? Because the survival instinct is the most dominant one. Said evolving characteristic – if it were possible – would in turn be uniformly present in all of creation, and entropy would be nothing but a bad memory.

Then we get a dictionary definition of evolution, which is not how scientists use the term at all, and another argumentum ad comicbook.

If according to evolution, mankind is the end result of animals evolving into a better species – hence the word evolution which Webster defines as “a process of continuous change from a lower, simpler, or worse to a higher, more complex, or better state” – how come many of the X-Men, like Wolverine, devolve into beasts?

Because…comic book? It’s fiction, and fiction that is nonsensically unscientific at that?

I had to just stop, because I left my lead-lined suit at home. These were lethal levels of idiocy. I got a brief glimpse of a diagram that’s somehow supposed to show life would have billions of…lines?…(I don’t understand) if evolution were true, and that everything in nature is supposed to go in cycles, and since evolution isn’t cyclic, it must be false, and then I had to flee. I’m trying to detoxify myself with massive coffee doses right now. It’s not helping.

Maybe I need to switch to alcohol. It’s Friday, it would make my last class of the day entertaining, anyway.


  1. busterggi says

    Evolution really does work the way that article says but only in universes where adamantium exists.

  2. wzrd1 says

    If it weren’t for that work thingie, I’d recommend ethanol.
    As I’m off today and re-adjusting my sleep schedule, I took the liberty of imbibing for you already.
    There were a couple of real howlers in the article on the “elephant’s foot” as well.
    Such as, “it’s still melting” – no, it’s not, it’s chemically breaking down, which is actually worse. Getting into the ground water isn’t going to poison anyone – the entire region was evacuated.
    Hell, if I had encased that corium mess in lead, *that* would be breaking down, both from neutron embrittlement and from plain vanilla chemical reaction to the atmosphere and water. Hell, the last time I bothered to check, it’s down to 10% of how radioactively “hot” that it was upon discovery (hint: they looked down there for a reason), that’s still hotter than a cathouse on payday!

    But, that gives me an idea. Let’s find those fine authors and offer them superpowers, they get a rock hammer and get to take the next corium sample. Then, hand them an upholstery hammer in place of that engineer’s hammer.
    Then, eagerly await their superpowers.

    No, maybe not. Anyone who believes in that level of stupidity probably would willingly go in there with that toy, thinking that they’d actually evolve super powers.
    Just tie their shoelaces together. That should baffle them into starvation.

  3. blf says

    Hovindman, Hovindman
    Stupid as stooopid can
    Evolution’s bunk
    Full of junk
    Ask Wolverine

    Hovindman, Hovindman
    Stupid as stooopid can
    Eye’s a mystery
    Ask a squid

    Hovindman, Hovindman
    Stupid as stooopid can
    Human’s the pinnacle
    Hovind’s off the scale
    As an eejit

    Hovindman, Hovindman
    Stupid as stooopid can
    Apologies for this
    I really always miss
    No moar “poetry”!

  4. Joseph Berger says

    That dictionary source lists a different, quite reasonable, definition of biological evolution. The one he cherry-picked is intended to be a definition of a process more akin to the “evolution” of ideas.

  5. taraskan says

    Maybe I need to switch to alcohol. It’s Friday, it would make my last class of the day entertaining, anyway.

    PZ, I will give you my secret recipe for Romulan Ale I invented for paper grading in grad school. I was going to take it to my grave, but that X-men quote put me over the edge and I think you need this more than I do. Be not intimidated, it’s 37.5% and goes down easy. I keep a few bottled for a rainy day. A good friend of mine made the label in the image.

    1 part Everclear 190
    1 part raki (or arrak, ouzo in a pinch)
    1 part blue curacao
    2 parts ginjo sake
    Serve in a collins glass neat or a lowball over ice.


  6. NitricAcid says

    I spent five minutes going through the “Elephant’s Foot” article, trying to figure out what was stupid about it. Then I realized that you were talking about the radiation danger. Back to midterms……

  7. Ambidexter says

    Instead of trying to punch holes in evolution why don’t the creationists ever try to justify creationism? My guess is that they know creationism is so weak that there’s no way they could prop it up for close examination.

  8. blf says

    Ambidexter@8, Restricting ourselves to modern-day cretinists, it’s simpler than that: It’s a binary situation, if evolution is not true, then cretinism must be.

  9. wzrd1 says

    @taraskan, screw that. I prefer my arak iced, diluted *only* by the ice.
    Not that I can find the beverage in NW Louisiana. :(

    I’ve used it repeatedly as an anise extract as well, when cooking recipes requiring anise extract.
    A bottle of that is a hell of a lot cheaper than a fiddling anise extract bottle, but the ethanol would cook off rapidly.
    So, I’d only go to extract for someone of a religious view that all ethanol is “evil” or something (yes, I’ve done that and a bit more. Hosts should accommodate guests. That’s something inherited from my Sicilian-American grandparents, whose names are on the Ellis Island plaque).

    I’m also the odd host or guest (I do both equally well, as in exceptionally well and reinvited), as the one who discusses religion and politics, but fails to cause offense – in person.
    Online is where I run into problems.
    Nobody can see my face, when I say some things that’d otherwise be unacceptable and hence, turn them into a joke.
    Or if I veer off into some uncomfortable land, microexpressions tell me that and I cease and desist.
    Then, defuse a barely irritated situation, usually, with humor. Frequently at my own expense.
    After all, I’m a perfect ten – on the Richter Scale. Which is six sigma below the reality of energy causing damage… ;)

    Fortunately, I only screw up that way in real life on days that end in “y” in English and immediately defuse those screw-ups before anyone even notices.
    Although, too many drinks of arak would then cause some confusion and hence, I remove myself from a potential disaster. :)
    And promptly go to sleep.

  10. wcaryk says

    “I got a brief glimpse of a diagram that’s somehow supposed to show life would have billions of…lines?…(I don’t understand) ”

    Oh thank Bastet! I read the thing a dozen times, and thought maybe it was just me: there was at least one “Whut?” per paragraph. I figured there had to be at least a dwarf pony in there somewhere, (but believe me, it’s a great pony, a fabulous pony, I mean it’s the greatest pony you’ll ever see) — but try as I might, I couldn’t even figure out what the alleged points were supposed to be. It seemed like concept salad. Everything is cyclic! Everything! It’s a fundamental law of nature!!

  11. taraskan says

    @11 wzrd1

    Great to meet a fellow anise spirit connoisseur – may I recommend Efe 3 (“triple distilled”) as your next purchase. It’s a Turkish rakı, only a few dollars more expensive than the more widespread imports Club Rakı or Yeni Rakı, but way more refined. I do prefer my anise louched with 40% ice water, but if I ever want it your way, Efe is king. Hail to the king. Since you are more of an arrak individual, which do you recommend?

    Efe is almost never in American stores, even here in NY, but it is widely available from domestic online retailers and really quite affordable – about $25-30 plus s&h. It isn’t so rare you’d need to order a case to be economical. The only issue I sometimes run into with ordering spirits online is depending on the state you may need to be present to receive it or pick it up from the P.O.

    If anyone does make my crazy drink, don’t use the good stuff for it, use Club Rakı with a coupon as it is just a mixed component. I chose it to add an opal louche and add some flavor. We all know Romulans love hard candy, and a raisin-distilled high proof anise spirit seemed appropriate for this.

  12. rabbitpirate says

    To anyone thinking of engaging the writers of that terrible blog post in discussion I should warn you that, as someone who has already tried this on a number of occasions since the post was first uploaded, just don’t bother.

    If they think that your comment undermines their position or if they think that you are making a point someone else already has then they just won’t post it. When I asked why they didn’t post my comment addressing a specific question they asked me regarding a previous comment I posted they came back with this response:

    “If something is an obvious lie, we don’t publish it even if the one who sends it thinks it not. God knows there are enough lies out there.

    Further, we don’t get involved in tit for tat because there are those who will never see our way since they prefer to fool themselves believing otherwise. As J. Heywood said: There Are None So Blind As Those Who Will Not See.

    Thanks for reaching out.”

    So yeah, waste of time talking to those people.