Pharyngula

Bad satire

I’ve remarked before how difficult it is to satirize creationists — they’re already so absurd that any mockery is often overtaken by the reality. There is a corollary: creationists shouldn’t try to do satire. They really, really suck at it. This fellow from Sebring, Florida, William Dailey, Jr., has created a web site called the First Church of Evolution, for instance. There’s not much to it; he seems to have simply vented his spleen in a few text pages, but while he may think he was cleverly making fun of evolutionists, but all he really accomplished was to parade his own misconceptions. Here’s a sample:

Statement Of Faith

NATURAL SELECTION

We believe Natural Selection is a God to many, with the power of chance to form all things. This unseen, unknown force is the power for those who truly believe they have ascended from lower animals.

CHARLES DARWIN

We believe Charles Darwin is the prophet of Natural Selection. Having been chosen by Natural Selection, he has evolved to the most high prophet, having visualized through imagination the formation of all living things.

DECENT

The belief in positive mutation of living things which have descended from a common ancester, through millions of years in time and gazillions of transitions is a matter of faith.

THE SACRED WRITINGS

We believe that each of the written words of the Prophet Charles Darwin are as holy scripture among those who by faith believe they have evolved from lower animals.

CHANGE OF SPECIES

We believe change above or below species such as frog to dog, pig or monkey to man is a matter of unquestionable faith.

WE BELIEVE IT TAKES FAITH TO BELIEVE IN EVOLUTION

Not even close. Look, a good satire needs a germ of truth to it. You need to take an actual attitude prevalent in the group you are making and just give it a little twist, enough that your target can recognize themselves and be made a bit uncomfortable. This is at best a satire of creationists, because it reflects their attitudes about faith more than ours.

Sorry, Bill. Go back to the drawing board, and aim for a little subtlety. This effort reminds me of a second-grader’s attempt at mockery, the kind of thing where a kid tries to make fun of someone else by making a funny face and announcing, “Durrr, I’m Suzy. I’m a poopy-head. Durrr.” I cringe when I see it, not because it’s struck anywhere near the mark, but because the poor dope doing it looks so foolish.

Comments

  1. #1 uncle frogy
    January 29, 2008

    I followed the link above read this and could hardly stop laughing as it sounded so sincere
    ” Only something massively complex could possibly have designed the universe; what that might be, we don’t know – it could be anyone or anything. Many serious electricians, vets, mathematicians, kinesiologists and nutritionists have grappled with this question”

    I do feel sorry for creationist and other “fundies” the fear and pain that must drive them to fight reality so hard must be severe. The desperate need to be the most important thing in the universe next to “God”.
    well damn what can I say. I may feel compassion for them and some understanding but that does not prevent me from resisting them at every opportunity, nor allow people of like mind to be in any position of authority. The mentally ill should be helped and understood and not pandered to.
    I see an element of paranoia in religion. It is this aspect, the paranoid is the target of some “evil force” why because he is important, instead of just some insignificant unimportant part of the universe (the creation) often stemming from feelings of fear, pain, abuse and isolation.

    I know on a personal level mentally ill people who have a similar understanding and could have written that blog.

    I do not hate mad dogs but I don’t try to pet them either