Neal Adams: pseudoscientific kook and artistic hack

Can you stand one more Gene-Ray-level internet crackpot? A reader sent me a link to this guy, Neal Adams, who has this insane “Growing Earth” idea. Forget all the physics and geology you think you knew—this animator and comic book publisher has invented his own solution, and it involves reworking particle physics (there are no electrons!) and making bizarre calculations, all ‘demonstrated’ with computer animation.

That last link give you another reason to despise this kook: he’s responsible for that awful annoying commercial with the big-eyed bee hawking allergy medicine. I hated that stupid bee—it was the work of someone who’d never even looked at an insect, and why did it have that dumb French accent?

Reason #4 to vote for Pharyngula


Phil is still playing the speciesist card, and now he wants to invoke the so-called superiority of bony internal skeletons. There’s nothing wrong with a good hydrostatic skeleton, you know, it’s one of those useful innovations that allows a soft tissue to extend and become rigid. I’m sure Phil’s lovers have all wished he had one. (Perhaps that’s the source of the telescope fixation over there, a little rigid tube envy).

And look at how far he’s willing to go:

That is why I am promoting the “Defense of Vertebrates Act”. This legislation, which I will submit to the National Academy of Higher Mammals, states that affection, care, and declarations of ” Awwwww, isn’t that cute!” can only be given to animals with bones (and to whatever animal goes into making McNuggets).

If he’s going to do that, we’re going to have to restrict all declarations of “Thou art AWESOME!” to organisms other than the bone-bags he’s raving about. He can have the trivial “cute” adjective for all of gangly, clumsy concatenations of stick-like sprues he favors, and we’ll reserve “terrifying”, “slimy”, “spiny”, “oozing”, “gelatinous”, “tremendous”, and other such inspiring adjectives for the non-vertebrate biota—the majority, as we all know.

Vote for Pharyngula (and remember, you can vote every day!). Unless you like flaccidity.

Blame the pope…for everything!

A reader sent me a link to this very strange site, and I’ve been trying to determine whether it’s a satire or not. It seems the answer is…not. There’s a huge amount of kook screed here.

We get to learn that we Americans are actually living in Cabotia, named after the one true discoverer of North America, John Cabot (oh, and since North and South America are all one connected land mass, he gets to claim both continents.) Pope Pius IX had something to do with Lincoln’s assassination, and Kennedy’s assassination was the work of a conspiracy by Nelson Rockefeller.

The author is not a fan of Catholicism: the pope is the anti-christ.

His science is also wacky. He’s an anti-vaccination nut. Albert Einstein was a “lazy dog” whose wife actually wrote his books, and he was a creature cobbled up to hide the most important discovery of all time: the earth doesn’t move. The sun orbits the earth once every 24 hours, while the moon orbits us once every 24 hours and 50 minutes. Geosynchronous satellites are truly stationary, because “at exactly 22.300 miles above the equator, the force of gravity is cancelled by the centrifugal force of the rotating universe.” Please don’t ask me to explain that.

As you might expect, he doesn’t care much for Darwin, either, but there’s a twist: he dislikes three Darwins. Erasmus Darwin, well, he was just crazy. Charles, he stole his theory from the Egyptians, and lied about the Patagonian giants (What? Get used to it; this is a mind unhinged at work). But perhaps the really wicked Darwin was George.

You don’t usually hear much about George Darwin. He was Charles’ son, and he grew up to be an astronomer and mathematician. And, it seems, he published a book about the tides—which is entirely cockamamie if you know the earth doesn’t rotate. I guess astronomers would tend to be anathematics as far as geocentrists are concerned, and an astronomer named Darwin…? In the mind of a conspiracy theorist? Heady stuff.

Before you decide the author of these web pages is totally nuts, though, he’s quick to reassure us that he doesn’t believe the earth is flat. Flat-earthers are insane, unlike geocentrists who know the pope is out to rule the world.

If there were a god, he’d make Deepak Chopra shut up

This has been really tiresome. Deepak Chopra’s endless string of ignorance is simply wearing me down, but he has declared that he has made his last post on The God Delusion. I’m sure, though, that he’ll find other things to babble about.

In this one, he claims he’s going to deal with objections that people have brought up to his previous inanity; he doesn’t, really, and the few things he does choose to highlight expose the fact that he hasn’t been listening to the criticisms. He only makes four rather incoherent points.

  1. Chopra has claimed that Dawkins believes in a purely random universe, which is complete nonsense, of course, and certainly Dawkins claims nothing of the kind. Chopra’s response is to say that “Dawkins stoutly maintains that genetic mutations are random”, which is a true, but incomplete statement, and further, Chopra seem to think that suggesting that “atoms and molecules know what they are doing” is a rebuttal, rather than evidence that he is koo-koo for cocoa puffs.

  2. Chopra thinks that when someone says God is an unnecessary hypothesis, that means they are condemning “art, music, truth, beauty, etc.” This is just stupid stereotyping on his part, in which he wrongly assumes that godlessness entails a denial of human values.

  3. His third point will leave you gawping in astonishment. He’s trying to argue that the brain is not the source of the mind, and he makes a banana argument. “I want to eat a banana, and once I do, my brain carries out the necessary action”…he’s simply asserting that the “I” precedes the biological process of the brain that generates an action, rather than considering the possibility that the “I” is also a consequence of the activity of the brain. He’s surprised at this idea: “How in the world do our thoughts manage to move the molecules in our brain?” It’s a classic example of being stumped entirely because you’ve phrased the question in an invalid way.

  4. His final point is the same old excuse of theistic apologists everywhere: that Dawkins is dealing with a crude and stupid version of religion, not the sophisticated, clever, wonderfully enlightened kind of religion he practices. Someday, someone is going to have to tell me about this brilliant version of religion, because I’ve never found it (I’ve looked), and if Chopra’s is the kind of mind that emerges from his faith, I don’t think I want any part of it.

He also asserts that materialistic science is “a model that is quickly crumbling”. He might be right in that, but only because his kind are fostering stupidity and ignorance, two properties that are antithetical to science. He seems to be proud of that, though.

Borat funny and enlightening … … … … … … NOT!

I finally saw Borat last night, and I’m afraid I was unimpressed. There were a few funny moments, there were a few horrifying moments where he raised a mirror to our culture to make us squirm (the cheerfully eliminationist cowboy at the rodeo, for instance, or those appallingly stupid frat boys), but mostly it was incoherent, weird, and rude for rude’s sake. There was a scene with two naked men wrestling in a hotel that was nothing but vulgar slapstick, and while I’ve got nothing against a little slapstick now and then, it just didn’t advance the film anywhere.

I think Sacha Baron Cohen is capable of flashes of brilliant satire, but he lacks the chops to assemble them into a coherent movie.

Reason #3 to vote for Pharyngula


Now Phil has gone too far. In a Rovian scheme to pander to bigotry, he has confessed to cultivating my love of cephalopods to discredit me, and he has also stated that liking invertebrates is “unhealthy”. And now he has called us cephalapodufascist!


This is what he sent me in his sneaky, long-term plan to pander to the anti-cephalopod faction. It’s adorable, it’s charming, it’s sweet…yet Phil Plait considers it “unhealthy”. He probably hates Cephalopodmas, too.

Vote for Pharyngula. Unless you hate squid and want to be eaten last.

By the way, you should also vote for Sadly, No for Best Humor blog

Cultural Learnings of Borat for Make Benefit Glorious City of Morris

We have a splendid double feature weekend of liberal extremism here at the Morris Theater: Borat and Happy Feet. This is going to be one of those events where I’ll see all these people I know from the university lining up for the show, and the only community people will be the fervent DFL contingent…oh, and swarms of kids for the early penguin cartoon, whose parents don’t realize it’s going to brainwash them into being tap-dancing gay godless communists.

(Yes, I know, everyone has already seen these movies ages ago, but this is Morris. At least I’ll get to see it in a real old-fashioned art-deco single screen theater for less than $6.)