Archive - May 26, 2009

Ham On Wry

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Memo to One News Now: YOU ARE DUMB.

You're either dumb naturally, or you're dumb as a business model, but sweet Jesus fucking a rhesus are you morons. As I've mentioned in the past, the kind of research required to provide you with the greatest commentary on the entire Internet has left my e-mail address in the hands of a number of less-than-savory right-wing organizations, including the world's most biased news outlet ever, One News Now.

I know people say that biased news sources like Fox* exist to reinforce people's existing mindset and beliefs, but there's a certain relative subtlety to that on cable news. Well, everywhere except Glenn Beck's show, but he's special. One News Now, on the other hand, goes out of their way to specifically reinforce the mindset of their audience. Like, for example, when scientists discovered the transitional fossil "Ida". One of the tenets of creationism is that no evidence of transitional forms exists, and so, when a transitional form is found, creationists need a flimsy excuse to reject it.

And flimsy excuses are One News Now's specialty! As we see with their article, helpfully headlined "'Ida' an extinct primate - and that's all." See? Nothing to worry about. Just an extinct primate. Now, with today's creationist news consumer, that headline would be enough. But One News Now went the extra mile, consulting the nation's leading authority on not knowing shit about science, Answers In Genesis founder and longtime You Are Dumb Dot Net "contributor" Ken Ham! So what does the ass-end of the pig have to say about Ida? ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!

"One of those reviewers said that...whether nor not it's going to be a transitional form, or missing link, is a judgment for the scientific community. And he's quoted as saying that [issue] will be sorted out, or at least debated extensively in the community for years, once the paper is published." - Ham, quoted by ONN about how the scientists who found the missing link were clearly unsure of their findings and hedging their bets.

It's not surprising, but it's very, very telling that Ham views the very definition of peer-reviewed science as a sign of weakness. Because in the creationist view of "science", you state untrue things outright, develop a series of supporting arguments you repeat for years after they've been debunked, and never, ever, ever let anyone else check your math. Since the discoverers of Ida are willing to leave the judgment of what they found up to their fellow scientists, they must not know anything for certain, and everyone knows facts are determined by the fervency of one's certainty.

Oh, also, it can't be a missing link because the skeleton kind of looks like a lemur.

If you're relatively new to creationists, you might think the above is some kind of joke. A playful exaggeration of an actual viewpoint in order to make it sound more ridiculous. This, of course, would be wrong, as any more concise statement of creationist belief makes it sound MORE reasonable, not less. Here's what they actually said.

"Because the fossil is similar to a modern lemur (a small, tailed, tree-climbing primate), it's unlikely that creationists need any interpretation of the 'missing link' other than that it was a small, tailed, probably tree-climbing, and now extinct primate -- from a kind created on Day 6 of Creation Week."

This statement is the creationist equivalent of the book report you wrote ten minutes before class when you hadn't read the book. It looks like a lemur! I know, from my Wikipedia search on lemurs, that they are small, tailed, tree-climbing primates. Therefore, this fossil was probably a small, tailed, tree-climbing EXTINCT primate. I will repeat these words used in science because they make me sound like I know what I'm talking about. And then I will mention Day 6 of Creation Week, which is not, as you might expect, when all the Noah's Ark specials air on the History Channel around Easter, but is instead when God created all the creatures he only wanted around for a little while.

This is the level of intellectual rigor that gets you your own museum and nearly qualifies you to have your viewpoint taught in science class. Oh, and while I try not to bother much with creationist commenters, as they are the lowest form of life still protected by the UN Declaration of Human Rights, I have to take a moment to pick out this one sentence from the mass of undifferentiated, all-italics, all-anonymous text ejaculations that follow One News Now's story:

"I have not seen or heard of evidence that a human being has given birth to any type of primate." - Some dipshit who is clearly unaware that human beings are one type of primate.

*I know it's fashionable to put "or MSNBC" here, but a couple hours a day doesn't fucking count, and everyone knows it.