Pharyngula

Anytime something wrong happens, there is a Christian who will blame it on atheism and evolution. The latest is the case of the foolish woman who kept an adult chimpanzee as a pet, and got badly mauled for her trouble. This, of course, is Charles Darwin’s fault.

How is it that we live in a culture where people think it’s safe to have a chimpanzee as a pet? Where do people get the idea that we ought to take a wild animal and treat it like a human being? The chimp owner treated the animal like a son who ate at her table, slept in her house, and even drove her car.

Last week the world celebrated Darwin’s 200th birthday. Universities placed tributes to Darwinism on their home page (examples include Oxford and Cambridge) and major networks such as BBC ran extensive programs devoted to Darwin’s great contribution to the world.

Yet, ironically, this week we witness a brutal act that seems to logically follow from Darwin’s ideas. You may be wondering how I can possibly link Darwin to this atrocious event. But think about it, if humans are deeply related to chimps then why not expect them to act that way?

“…seems to logically follow…” — I don’t think that Mr McDowell understands that word “logic” very well. I don’t think Darwin ever endorsed the idea that one should keep large, powerful, temperamental animals with the strength to rip your arms off as pets; I’m quite confident that neither did he regard the differences between animals as trivial. I’m also even more closely related to Charles Manson than I am to any chimp, something with which even a brainwashed parrot for jebus like McDowell would agree, yet this imposes on me no desire or obligation to go on a psychopathic killing spree.

It’s funny that McDowell complains that the owner treated the chimp like a son. After all, if we obeyed the rules of his religion, this is how we should treat a son.

Police said a 58-year-old man stabbed his teenage son after he refused to take off his hat at church earlier in the day. The father and his 19-year-old son got into an argument on Sunday afternoon. That’s when police said the father went to a car, got a knife and stabbed his son in the left buttock and fled.

Quick, shut down the churches! Christianity leads to filial buttock mutilation!

Comments

  1. #1 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    February 26, 2009

    Christianity leads to filial buttock mutilation!

    Well if you are catholic it might lead to another kind of buttock mutilation….

  2. #2 Morgan
    February 26, 2009

    have a chimpanzee as a pet… treat it like a human being

    I’m disturbed by the implication that I could keep someone as a pet and yet be “treating them like a human being”. I see the two as rather separate.

  3. #3 10channel
    February 26, 2009

    Humans are also deeply related to bacteria, even if it is a more distant cousin.

  4. #4 Mark
    February 26, 2009

    Chimpanzee that monkey news!

  5. #5 valdemar
    February 26, 2009

    If humans were just knocked together from mud or old ribs by a foul-tempered god, one can expect them to behave… like what, exactly?

  6. #6 Bobber
    February 26, 2009

    filial buttock mutilation

    Sounds like one of those modern pharmaceutical commercials. “My doctor says I have FBM – filial buttock mutilation – and that TurnTheOtherCheek-Guard, in easy to swallow capsule form, might help.” And then at the end there are two Christians sitting in separate baptismal fonts in an exotic, romantic locale.

  7. #7 photonfan
    February 26, 2009

    ‘and even drove her car’

    What kind of driving test do you have over there? :)

  8. #8 AJ Milne
    February 26, 2009

    Humans are also deeply related to bacteria, even if it is a more distant cousin.

    Indeed. And speaking of: tho’ I initially assumed one of the assumptions of his odd little riposte here was just standard creationist straw man boilerplate, now that I think about it, Mr. McDowell may also be dismissing this ‘is related to = acts like’ notion a little too quickly, seems to me…

    I mean, I’m assuming Mr. McDowell might demonstrate the intellectual acumen of a sea sponge, since he’s also related to those. And that’s looking like a decent call so far, actually…

  9. #9 Walton
    February 26, 2009

    This McDowell article is pointless, poorly-argued, incoherent drivel. It’s almost childish in its simplistic pseudo-reasoning.

    What I don’t know is why Professor Myers feels the need to draw any attention to it. I would personally ignore these stupid people.

  10. #10 NewEnglandBob
    February 26, 2009

    Sean McDowell proved that he is far less intelligent than a chimp.

  11. #11 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    February 26, 2009

    What I don’t know is why Professor Myers feels the need to draw any attention to it. I would personally ignore these stupid people.

    It’s all for the yuk-yuks Walton.

  12. #12 ZenMonkey
    February 26, 2009

    Slight correction: it was the owner’s friend, not the owner herself, who was mauled. But PZ’s larger point stands.

  13. #13 Vic
    February 26, 2009

    Turn the other cheek?

  14. #14 Aris
    February 26, 2009

    From McDowell argument, it seems to me to logically follow that it would be OK to keep Charles Manson as a pet.
    ____________________________________________

  15. #15 Kobra
    February 26, 2009

    Oh, the horror! Oh, the fallacy!

  16. #16 raven
    February 26, 2009

    McDowell got it all wrong. The chimp went on a rampage because of the gays.

    Gee, these morons are incoherent thinkers. They can’t even keep their demonology lists updated. I’m sure some of them are still blaming the Jews.

  17. #17 dNorrisM
    February 26, 2009

    Then why did McDowell star in three Planet of the Apes movies?

  18. #18 SteveM
    February 26, 2009

    PZ, your second article about filial buttock mutilation pretty much proves McDowell’s point that the chimp was indeed acting pretty much like a lot of humans.

  19. #19 John Phillips, FCD
    February 26, 2009

    Unhappy Monkey.

  20. #20 Africangenesis
    February 26, 2009

    From the article:

    “Yet, since Darwinists argue so fervently that humans are closely related to chimps, then shouldn’t chimps be expected to act like humans?”

    Hmmm, killing? I thought the chimp was acting like a human.

    Rather than blaming evolution and atheists, the writer might have been more on target if he blamed a culture that worships nature and considers humanity a scourge upon the planet. Those of us that have read Goodall, would not have been under such delusions.

  21. #21 me
    February 26, 2009

    Christianity leads to filial buttock mutilation!

    Come on now PZ. We all know you’re trying to give Christians a bum rap.

  22. #22 John Phillips, FCD
    February 26, 2009

    BTW, was that the chimp the NY cops had to shoot and later starred in a tasteless and racist NY Post cartoon about Obama and the stim package.

  23. #23 ice9
    February 26, 2009

    The chimp was gay. It’s just logic talking.

    I think the victim’s name was Eve. I don’t care enough to check. But what if it was Eve? Darwin vs. Genesis. First woman…first woman to have her face ripped off by Charles Darwin, more like! The logical connections are all just lying there, waiting to be created. Created! Designed, intelligently! I amaze myself. Incoherent, my stabbed buttock. That thinking is overcoherent, unicoherent. Nothing is unconnected.

    ice

  24. #24 Naughtius Maximus
    February 26, 2009

    Probably Darwins fault this law was needed.
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090226/ap_on_re_us/guns_in_church

  25. #25 Tulse
    February 26, 2009

    Humans are also deeply related to bacteria

    That’s why I keep so many as pets in my bowel.

  26. #26 Valis
    February 26, 2009

    I am the acid chimp:

    But the most prophetic test, although no-one realised this at the time, was the one with the chimps. One day Rothlin injected LSD into a lab chimp, and then reintroduced the animal to its colony. Within minutes the place was in an uproar. The chimp hadn’t acted crazy or strange, per se; instead it had blithely ignored all the little social niceties and regulations that govern chimp colony life

    Storming Heaven – Jay Stevens

  27. #27 mikecbraun
    February 26, 2009

    So is Newton and his fancy-schmancy law of gravity responsible for bridge jumpers? Seems logical, if logic to you means just making shit up.

  28. #28 Cadon
    February 26, 2009

    Not surprised that this McDowell is the son of uber-nutcase Josh McDowell. After all, if you can make yourself believe that 2 days and 2 nights equals 3 days and 3 nights (Google McDowell’s explanation of Matthew 12:40), you can believe anything.

  29. #29 Sven DiMilo
    February 26, 2009

    the father went to a car, got a knife and stabbed his son in the left buttock and fled.

    And I’m sure that showed him.

    it would be OK to keep Charles Manson as a pet

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z5IrRe2F7qY

  30. #30 maddogdelta
    February 26, 2009

    What’s the big deal with a chimp attacking someone? We just got rid of a chimp who invaded Iraq…

  31. #31 Eternal Critic
    February 26, 2009

    I cannot fathom what this has to do with Darwin. People were keeping exotic pets worldwide long before Charles Darwin was even a gleam in his father’s eye. How is it special now? Oh wait, that’s right. Cheap shots in the name of Jebus are all the rage when it can target evolution even in the most remote way possible. The amount of desperation in all this is palpable.

  32. #32 Kemist
    February 26, 2009

    I know a woman who, as the mother of a mentally ill son, regularly faces violence and threats of violence from him. Methinks she’s pretty much related to him.

    What can jeebusbot “logically” infer from that ?

    And I keep cats as pets, but I don’t live with my cousins and uncles. Does that mean I’m more related to cats than my cousins ?

    A four-year-old could point out what’s wrong with his “logic”.

    What a doofus.

  33. #33 B.B.
    February 26, 2009

    PZ Myers:
    I’m also even more closely related to Charles Manson than I am to any chimp, something with which even a brainwashed parrot for jebus like McDowell would agree, yet this imposes on me no desire or obligation to go on a psychopathic killing spree.

    Of course not, that would be ridiculous and a complete non-sequitar. Instead, being related to Charles Manson imposes on you the desire and obligation to convince other people to go on a psychopathic killing spree for you.

  34. #34 buddyllove
    February 26, 2009

    fucking idiot. cant believe this guy

  35. #35 Ali
    February 26, 2009

    Has anyone else tried to read the feedback posted with the original article? While the site claims they want “healthy debate” you have to sign up for their weekly newsletter to post feedback!

  36. #36 Becca K
    February 26, 2009

    Oh, I SO want that last line on a teeshirt.

  37. #37 Dianne
    February 26, 2009

    Humans are also deeply related to bacteria
    That’s why I keep so many as pets in my bowel.

    Hmm…I like to keep them as pets in my lab and occasionally share my DNA with them. (Ok, it’s not really my personal DNA, but it’s from my species so that should count.)That way they can make lots of nice little manimal proteins for me to play with. (This sounds much more exciting than “transfected E coli with hCD39 and collected supernatant” doesn’t it?)

  38. #38 JustJoeP
    February 26, 2009

    “filial buttock mutilation” – the Catholic Church has already proven this to be the case, 10s of thousands of times, with many ordained priests (not just a few bad apples) sodomizing many of the young men in their flocks. “My son, kneel and pray for forgiveness” has been uttered far too many times in too many rectories in the US and Europe.

  39. #39 Ramases
    February 26, 2009

    PZ,

    “It’s funny that McDowell complains that the owner treated the chimp like a son. After all, if we obeyed the rules of his religion, this is how we should treat a son.”

    Actually, if we followed the example of that religion we should be sending our sons places to die in agony on crosses to “atone” for the sins of others shouldn’t we?

    I have never quite understood how having someone, son or no son, die in agony would do this, but that I understand it the theory.

  40. #40 Valis
    February 26, 2009

    Instead, being related to Charles Manson imposes on you the desire and obligation to convince other people to go on a psychopathic killing spree for you.

    Excellent! I’m forever having to explain this distinction to people.

  41. #41 John Phillips, FCD
    February 26, 2009

    Valis, so GWB had been channelling Manson for the last 8 years or so. Now it all makes sense :)

  42. #42 Valis
    February 26, 2009

    Hehe, I didn’t think of that ;-)

  43. #43 ndt
    February 26, 2009

    Now, PZ. Christianity doesn’t teach that you should stab a disobedient son. It teaches that you should stone a disobedient son. Get your facts straight!

  44. #44 TomS
    February 26, 2009

    The creationists tell us that evolution is just a matter of chance.

    That means that if we are evolved from apes, that is just a matter of chance.

    The creationists tell us that everything is a matter of design.

    That means that we are designed to be like apes.

    Which of those tell us that we are supposed to act like apes?

  45. #45 Sclerophanax
    February 26, 2009

    Why can’t christians be bothered to read their holy book? You stone disobedient children to death, not mutilate their glutes!

  46. #46 Ricahrd Eis
    February 26, 2009

    Apparently the chimpanzee was being treated for Lyme disease however i don’t know how relevant that is in the schme of things.

    -But think about it, if humans are deeply related to chimps then why not expect them to act that way?-

    Well, humans sometimes do.

  47. #47 Michelle
    February 26, 2009

    Dogs were taken out of the wild. They were frickin’ WOLVES for sake. You gotta start somewhere when you want pets.

    Oh and dogs attack people too. Are they gonna ban dogs? (Beyond poor Pitbulls. Such amazing dogs, such bullshit said about them…)

  48. #48 Cruithne
    February 26, 2009

    The chimp owner treated the animal like a son who ate at her table, slept in her house, and even drove her car.

    Drove her car?

    Hello?

  49. #49 Furlong64
    February 26, 2009

    I just returned from the 3rd Annual Filial Buttock Mutilation conference and there was no mention of this incident.

  50. #50 Valis
    February 26, 2009

    Blockquote>-But think about it, if humans are deeply related to chimps then why not expect them to act that way?-

    Well, humans sometimes do.

    I think they mostly do. Look at human behaviour with a subjective eye, don’t we act the same as other primates? We fight, have tribal wars, compete for resources, compete for females (not trying to be sexist here, but it’s true). Evolution shaped our brains over millions of years, a few thousand years of civilisation isn’t going to change that.

  51. #51 penn
    February 26, 2009

    Also, despite our close kinship to Charles Manson, I wouldn’t recommend letting him live in your house.

  52. #52 misc
    February 26, 2009

    PZ, you might consider installing a facepalm-o-meter.

  53. #53 Michelle
    February 26, 2009

    @Cruithne: …I would so TOTALLY make a chimp drive a car. Come on! they’re nature’s joker! Smoking chimps are funny! Driving chimps must be PISS HILARIOUS!

    …Of course I might die but…

  54. #54 John Phillips, FCD
    February 26, 2009

    @Misc, it better be at least military grade if you want it to last more than a post or two on here :)

  55. #55 Cheezits
    February 26, 2009

    …this week we witness a brutal act that seems to logically follow from Darwin’s ideas.

    So, that proves that Darwin was right?

    Or is she saying that the chimp attacked because it believed in evolution? :-D

  56. #56 And-U-Say
    February 26, 2009

    “filial buttock mutilation”

    Best Band Name Ever!

  57. #57 Taz
    February 26, 2009

    You may be wondering how I can possibly link Darwin to this atrocious event.

    I don’t wonder at all Mr. McDowell. The answer’s obvious: you’re an idiot.

  58. #58 The Biologista
    February 26, 2009

    Evolution:

    -Will make you a eugenicist

    -Will make you a murderous cannibal

    -Will make you inappropriately empathic towards animals

    I’m no master of logic, but aren’t these various assertions not really compatible?

  59. #59 cpsmith
    February 26, 2009

    @16
    “The chimp went on a rampage because of the gays.”

    I think those darned immigrant loving liberals are to blame to this. I mean really, once we open our borders to foreigners then we just open ourselves to chimpanzee invasion; bloody buggers will come in, steal all our jobs and bleed us dry with their reliance on welfare. Them bleeding heart liberals are just refusing to take the chimp immigration problem seriously.

  60. #60 John Phillips, FCD
    February 26, 2009

    Michelle, quite some time ago, Longleat Safari Park in the UK used to have chimps that were taken over on rowing boats every morning to an island in the lake where the visitors could see them from a boat trip around the lake. At the end of each day the chimps were brought back the same way. One day, one of the keepers got distracted doing something on the island and when he came back to the boat it was gone. One of the chimps had untied the boat and was half way across the lake rowing the boat leaving the keeper stuck on the island until was rescued.

  61. #61 John Phillips, FCD
    February 26, 2009

    The Biologista, you expect logic from an IDiot or a creotard? Come now, be reasonable :)

  62. Don’t forget the Donner Party and that scratch in Dad’s Oldsmobile 98. We might as well go ahead and fess up to everything.

  63. #63 Glen Davidson
    February 26, 2009

    It is our relatedness to wolverines that causes me to give them free rein in my house.

    I have to say, though, that they’re not my favorite cousins.

    I don’t know if I can live with grizzlies, but committed as I am to accepting creationist delusions, I must accommodate them within my dwelling as well, and soon.

    Glen D
    http://tinyurl.com/6mb592

  64. #64 Michelle
    February 26, 2009

    @60 John Phillips: …No. Way. THAT IS SO AWESOME.

    See? Nature’s most perfect joker.

  65. #65 blueelm
    February 26, 2009

    Isn’t murder one of the things that MAKES chimps so like people? Did he forget that people get angry and hurt each other some times? I guess, by his logic, those people it would be ok to keep as pets so long as you don’t let them drive or eat at the table.

  66. #66 The Biologista
    February 26, 2009

    @61 John Phillips:

    I’m hopelessly optimistic.

    I’ve found a way for all three to work though. We are eugenicists who murder and cannibalize the weak, and favour other animals so long as they are the fittest of their species. Those are the ones we treat as equals. It’s got some holes in it, but I intend to gloss over those.

  67. #67 Glen Davidson
    February 26, 2009

    I’d also point to the contradiction between the idea that evolution means that we’ll treat apes like humans, but evolution caused Nazis to treat humans like animals. Worse than animals, in fact.

    Or, in other words, is the real problem some of these dolts have with evolution the fact that it (along with other factors) tells us that all humans are closely related? And worse, that a particular religion doesn’t make one group better than another one?

    Glen D
    http://tinyurl.com/6mb592

  68. #68 John Phillips, FCD
    February 26, 2009

    Michelle, if you like clever monkeys and apes, have a look on Mininova for a BBC program named Clever Monkeys. There’s also a PBS version of it available on DVD but I prefer the BBC version as it has David Attenborough narrating.

  69. #69 John Phillips, FCD
    February 26, 2009

    The Biologista: It could do with a bit of tweaking perhaps, but I like it anyway, nice one. Then again, even if it is flawed logically, it is still far more logical than anything they are likely to posit :)

  70. #70 Al
    February 26, 2009

    hmmm..
    This explains why so many evolution scientists have primate pets. As compared to creationists, anyway.

    Too bad the author didn’t include this data. But then, why mess things up with data, or correlations, or things like that, I guess.

    A

  71. #71 Donnie B.
    February 26, 2009

    So, the logic (?) seems to go as follows: the woman kept a potentially dangerous chimp as a pet because Darwin’s teachings led to to think the chimp would behave like a human.

    My version would be a bit different: the woman kept a potentially dangerous chimp as a pet because she was a moron. As were the local animal control authorities, who knew about it but let it go.

  72. #72 Janine, Ignorant Slut
    February 26, 2009

    I hate every ape I see
    From Chimpan-A to Chimpan-Z

    Say! Did not the creationists favorite president star in a movie with a chimpanzee?

  73. #73 SimonG
    February 26, 2009

    What idiot thought it was a good idea to take a wild animal out of its natural habitat and keep it in their home for fun? It’s not as if we’re supposed to have dominion over all the wild beasts, is it?

  74. #74 Richard Wolford
    February 26, 2009

    What idiot thought it was a good idea to take a wild animal out of its natural habitat and keep it in their home for fun? It’s not as if we’re supposed to have dominion over all the wild beasts, is it?

    Beautiful.

  75. #75 Sastra
    February 26, 2009

    Walton #9 wrote:

    This McDowell article is pointless, poorly-argued, incoherent drivel. It’s almost childish in its simplistic pseudo-reasoning.
    What I don’t know is why Professor Myers feels the need to draw any attention to it.

    By and large, creationists are not really drooling idiots. They’re perfectly normal people, with the normal range of skills and intelligence — high, low, and in-between. But they slip easily into some very bad habits of thought. I rather like your phrase “simplistic pseudo-reasoning.” Yes. Incredibly popular and common simplistic pseudo-reasoning.

    Richard Dawkins has talked about problems with what he calls the “discontinuous mind.” The discontinuous mind takes shortcuts on heuristics, and so tends to divide things into neat and separate categories of things, each with their own distinct sort of ‘essence.’ Everything is either one thing, or it is completely and totally something else. A sort of fundamentalist mindset of black and white.

    When they apply this sort of thinking to evolution, creationists cannot understand the concept where a branch of one species gradually changes over time into another species. No. That would require that a mother either gives birth to something that’s another species, or a baby who is just like her except with the head — or arm — of some other species. The croco-duck. “Transitional species” would not be an actual species in their own right. They would be in the middle of a transformation.

    That kind of discontinuous thinking is I think where McDowell is coming from. Either we are low animals, or we are humans. One thing or the other. That’s how we ought to think of everything. Right or wrong. Good or bad. So if people are told that we are “partly” similar to monkeys, then they should conclude that we are monkeys. And monkeys are us. No halfway truths, no nuances, no degrees. That’s common sense.

    It’s a bad argument — but it’s a very broad bad argument. It’s not just confined to McDowell and this issue. Creationists use it across the board, on a regular basis.
    Heck, almost all the religious and pseudoscientists use this sort of discontinuous thinking at some point, somewhere. If we can’t explain, slowly and clearly and in simple and easy to understand language why it is bad — and why we ought not to think so discontinuously — then we are not going to be able to get through to a lot of ordinary people.

    I only wish McDowell was a nut spewing incoherent drivel. Instead, he’s normal, and he could be someone you’d take advice from on fishing, or buying a car, or fixing a computer — and never guess.

  76. #76 Leigh Williams
    February 26, 2009

    One of the chimps had untied the boat and was half way across the lake rowing the boat leaving the keeper stuck on the island until was rescued.

    Duh. It was time to knock off work, have a drink, and watch the evening news.

    Stupid humans can’t ever stick to a schedule . . .

  77. #77 Umkomasia
    February 26, 2009

    I blame Ronald Reagan and those Bonzo movies.

  78. #78 cpsmith
    February 26, 2009

    @58

    Sorry for the double post but I just found #58′s post confusing. These three assertions are certainly compatible (at least they do not appear logically inconsistent to me). But so are these statements:

    - Having six fingers increases your odds of dying young.
    - Having six fingers makes you more likely to prefer sex over chocolate.
    - Having six fingers impairs your ability to tolerate reality television.

    These statements are perfectly compatible, but this says nothing about whether or not any of the statements are true.

    Were you asking if the attributes you described follow logically from acceptance of evolutionary theory? If that is the case, then no they don’t. Belief that eugenics is morally acceptable does not follow because evolutionary theory describes only WHAT happens when you try to breed animals. It is silent on the morality of such manipulation. In the same way atomic theory tells us what happens when we split atoms but says nothing about the morality of using this knowledge for making bombs. Science gives us information about haw the world works. We have to turn to philosophy if we want to know how to use this knowledge ethically.

    The second statement is obviously not true. If it were, we would expect high murder rates in countries where evolution is widely accepted. Instead, we see just the opposite. Acceptance of evolutionary theory correlates strongly with lower murder rates. Just looks at the US murder rates as compared to other countries like Canada (or most of Europe) which are far more accepting of evolution.

    As for evolutionary theory making you inappropiately empathetic towards animals, that depends entirely on what you consider ‘appropriate’. If you think that humans have a God-given dominion over all lesser creatures and that any care for their well being is inappropriate, then yeah evolutionary theory might make it harder to remain so detatched. So I guess you might have me there. Evolution makes you care about other living things. Curse you Darwin!!! What have you unleashed?!

  79. #79 RamblinDude
    February 26, 2009

    Am I the only one who gets a mental picture of a chimp nailed to a cross? (Yeah, probably.)

    You may be wondering how I can possibly link Darwin to this atrocious event.

    No, I stopped wondering a long time ago why Christians religious fanatics keep saying idiotic things. In the Christian brain every neuronal pathway leads to jebus, (God willing!), and the only way to accomplish that is to throw out logic and integrity.

    McDowell isn?t even one of the more stupid believers. His ?reasoning? process is typical of the faithful, and every Sunday morning preachers throughout the land say similar things in their sermons as they fixate the attention of their congregations on subservience to a dominate alpha male.

  80. #80 Knockgoats
    February 26, 2009

    the writer might have been more on target if he blamed a culture that worships nature and considers humanity a scourge upon the planet. – Africangenesis

    Ah, it’s good to know you can still astonish me with your idiocy.

  81. #81 bc23.5
    February 26, 2009

    I can’t understand why that lion tried to maul me while on my safari trip in Africa. It’s a cat, just like my little Fifi at home. Here kitty kitty kitty.

  82. #82 cpsmith
    February 26, 2009

    @Biologista

    I appologize for my last post. I completely missunderstood what you were getting at.

    *Corey hangs her head in shame*

  83. #83 kryptonic
    February 26, 2009

    Federal legislation is being debated:

    The Captive Primate Safety Act would add chimpanzees and other nonhuman primates to the list of “prohibited wildlife species” that cannot be sold or purchased across state lines.

    Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., who sponsored the bill, said it would provide an important enforcement tool to the 20 states that have already banned primates as pets and encourage the other 30 states to act. Under Connecticut law, a permit is required to own a chimpanzee.

    “Last week’s chimpanzee attack brings renewed urgency to this,” Blumenauer said. “It is important to do what we can to stop the potential of additional problems.”

    By the way, the chimpanzee (Travis) had lyme disease and prior to the incident, was given tea with Xanax to “calm him.” Unbelievable!

  84. #84 Sastra
    February 26, 2009

    The other odd thing about this argument is that, in my experience, scientific rationalists tend to be much more realistic and pragmatic when it comes to their pets, and how they think about animals in general. They may play with them the same way, but they don’t really think their dog understands everything they say, or that their turtle enjoys watching the television. People who base their world view on a scientific understanding of reality don’t over -anthropomorphise their pets.

    Not so my religious and spiritual friends. They think their cats understand what they tell them. Not just “off the counter now!” but “I don’t want you to bring dead mice in the house anymore, so if I tell you I admire your skills will you feel supported and validated enough to stop?” (Actual example.) They anthropomorphise freaking everything, because “soul” and love connects all. Tropical fish can sooth you after a bad day because they can sense that you’re down and feel sympathy for you, and then project this through their consciousness vibrating in harmony with yours. Really. Believe.

    You are not going to see a secular humanist buying into that sort of crap or playing those sorts of mindgames. We’re much more realistic. If one of us has a chimp as a pet, we’re going to read up on the species, understand the science, and not kid ourselves that Love Conquers All.

  85. #85 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    February 26, 2009

    Sastra, you don’t have a clue what you are talking about.

    My dog understands EVERYTHING I tell him… and even things I don’t tell him. He’s brilliant.

    I think I caught him using my wife’s laptop once and I’m pretty sure there is some doggie disco in the next neighborhood over that he frequents.

  86. #86 Janine, Ignorant Slut
    February 26, 2009

    Posted by: Sastra | February 26, 2009

    Not so my religious and spiritual friends. They think their cats understand what they tell them. Not just “off the counter now!” but “I don’t want you to bring dead mice in the house anymore, so if I tell you I admire your skills will you feel supported and validated enough to stop?” (Actual example.)

    These are the same types of people who try to feed their carnivore pets a vegan diet.

  87. #87 Bachalon
    February 26, 2009

    Who did these people blame in the dark ages?

  88. #88 Qwerty
    February 26, 2009

    I was stationed in African once. Someone at our base decided to get a baboon for a pet. Bad idea. This was a very vicious creature. This woman was stupid but blaming it on Darwin is even dumber.

    This plays into Christians who think we are better than any other animal as we are made in God’s image.

  89. #89 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    February 26, 2009

    These are the same types of people who try to feed their carnivore pets a vegan diet

    Ugh. One of my best friend’s sister does this. Her dog eats vegan aaaaaaaand she’s feeding her newborn a Vegan diet.

    I’m pretty sure that isn’t really the most healthy thing for a newborn or a dog for that matter. Even my hardcore Vegetarian friend feeds his son an omnivore diet.
    But that’s another topic all together and I may have managed to derail. Sorry.

    I’m pretty sure my Husky would pack up and leave if I switched him to vegan.

  90. #90 E.V.
    February 26, 2009

    Sastra:
    So to the religious/spiritual people, everything that doesn’t openly contradict them is merely a screen for self projection?
    This makes perfect sense. The nature of their support is largely delusional and inarguable but oh so comforting.

  91. #91 Hank Bones
    February 26, 2009

    Sounds like someones been studying his Plato:

    -You say that you have a dog:
    -Yes, a villain of one, said Clesippus.
    -And he has puppies?
    -Yes, and they are very like himself.
    -And the dog is the father of them?
    -Yes, he said, I certainly saw him and the mother of the puppies come together.
    -And is he not yours?
    -To be sure he is.
    -Then he is a father, and he is yours; ergo, he is your father, and the puppies are your brothers.

    I’m tired of seeing the same 2500 year old argument trotted out in new species! C’mon Xians, get some new material!

  92. #92 RamblinDude
    February 26, 2009

    Sastra,

    They anthropomorphise freaking everything, because “soul” and love connects all.

    You made me laugh. Yes, they do!

    I blame Disney. ; )

  93. #93 The Biologista
    February 26, 2009

    @ cpsmith

    That’s quite alright. ;)

  94. #94 Sven DiMilo
    February 26, 2009

    I don’t let my turtles watch TV, but they do enjoy listening to the Grateful Dead. Guess their favorite album?

  95. #95 Janine, Ignorant Slut
    February 26, 2009

    Posted by: Rev. BigDumbChimp | February 26, 2009

    But that’s another topic all together and I may have managed to derail. Sorry.

    When a thread goes long enough, it is bound to derail. I thought you would have known that by now. But on the larger topic, you are still on topic; now humans treat animals.

    Besides, it was all Sastra’s fault.

  96. #96 raven
    February 26, 2009

    Evolution:

    -Will make you a eugenicist

    -Will make you a murderous cannibal

    -Will make you inappropriately empathic towards animals

    I’m no master of logic, but aren’t these various assertions not really compatible?

    Yes, good catch there. According to the Texas SBOE loon who channels Dahmer (Gardner?), evolutionists are cannabilistic serial killers. Therefore that women with the chimp should have tackled it, killed it, butchered it, and made it into stir fry and barbecue.

    Since she didn’t, she is probably a religious kook of some sort.

  97. #97 E.V.
    February 26, 2009

    Back off RamblinDude. I’m sucking up to Sastra. ; )

  98. #98 Guy Incognito
    February 26, 2009

    And to top it all off, didn’t Darwin claim he stuffed all the creatures of the world into the Beagle and treated ‘em all to a 40 day cruise? No wonder this woman thought she could keep a chimp as a pet. The ideas you crazy Darwinists spread are going to get somebody killed one of these days!

  99. #99 fastpathguru
    February 26, 2009

    I should be upset that so many people have stolen my line, that:

    It has been well established that associating with the Catholic Church leads to an increased risk of getting stabbed in the ass.

    But I can’t stop laughing about it…

  100. #100 Nadai
    February 26, 2009

    Who did these people blame in the dark ages?

    Women and Jews.

  101. #101 E.V.
    February 26, 2009

    It has been well established that associating with the Catholic Church leads to an increased risk of getting stabbed in the ass.

    I’m sure this will be news to many former altar boys.

  102. #102 Brownian
    February 26, 2009

    But think about it, if humans are deeply related to chimps then why not expect them to act that way?

    My sisters are both deeply related to me, yet I’ve never expected them to pee standing up.

    Again I must reiterate my claim that cannibalism is the only sensible way to deal with doughheads like these. Add a little sugar to a maroon and you get a macaroon.

    McDowell needs eating.

  103. #103 Pierce R. Butler
    February 26, 2009

    …he refused to take off his hat at church …

    I’ve visited synagogues where they refused to let me in with an uncovered head: in one case, where they had run out of caps for visitors, I was issued a little plastic baggie to balance on my bean to forestall divine wrath.

    As the meaning of “Judeo-Xian traditions” apparently means that Xians must do everything differently from Judeos, perhaps the backstabbing daddy was simply performing his divine duty. After all, pictures of JC wearing a hat are so rare they probably qualify as blasphemous.

  104. #104 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    February 26, 2009

    I don’t let my turtles watch TV, but they do enjoy listening to the Grateful Dead. Guess their favorite album?

    I. Have. No. Idea.

  105. #105 LMR
    February 26, 2009

    I think you can antropomorphize things to a certain extent without any issues. It’s just how we tend to relate to things. It’s when you take it too far and stop seeing the thing for what it really is that becomes the problem.

    We treat our dogs like part of the family, but we don’t lose sight of the fact that they are dogs and will think like dogs. I remember that our young kids thought it was unfair that our one dog got to have her treat before the other. I had to explain that dogs are different. They have an order, and they are happiest when it is clear. I try to impress in them that as cute and family-like as dogs are, they are still dogs and you can’t forget or blame them when they act like dogs.

  106. #106 Jason Thibeault
    February 26, 2009

    The thing that bothers me the most about the chimp episode is not that the chimp may or may not have been on Xanax when it mauled the family friend (the owner’s now denying having dosed its tea). The thing that bothers me is that there’s the possibility that the chimpanzee was vastly out of sorts from either the medication for, or the symptoms of, Lyme’s disease — symptoms which in humans includes flu-like symptoms, arthritis and MENINGITIS — and the owner thought it was perfectly acceptable for this sick chimp to see random people. With a potentially swelled up brain, and dosed to the nines on meds that have who knows what side effects, with or without the extra Xanax, this is a chimpanzee, an otherwise wild animal, that would, regardless of being domesticated, lash out in the only way it knows how, when it feels threatened or somehow mistakenly correlates its pain with a random person.

    The fact that it may have been on Xanax as well, just makes it all the more likely that something was going to happen. Ultimately this is not the chimp’s fault, it was the owner’s responsibility to tell its vet that it was out of sorts, not to make it tea and possibly dose it with antidepressants that may work differently in chimps.

    Pah, I say. Pah.

  107. #107 KI
    February 26, 2009

    Sven@94
    I’ll bet the second side (ooops, dating myself) starts “Let my inspiration flow…”. Y’know, it took me nearly five years to figure out the whole Terrapin suite, just in time for them to publish the “Anthology” which had the whole freakin’ thing written out.

  108. #108 MH
    February 26, 2009

    Ow! I just stubbed my toe.

    DAMN YOU CHARLES DARWIN!!

    Really, ol’ Chuck seems to be taking the place of teh devil in the minds of some theists. It would be funny if it wasn’t so pathetic.

  109. #109 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    February 26, 2009

    Therefore that women with the chimp should have tackled it, killed it, butchered it, and made it into stir fry and barbecue.

    mmmmmmmmmmmmmm

    Monkey bacon

    grgrgrgrhagaghsga

    /homer

  110. #110 LMR
    February 26, 2009

    Stop anthropomorphizing animals … they hate when you do that.

  111. #111 Sven DiMilo
    February 26, 2009

    KI:
    There’s always Part 2!

  112. #112 salana
    February 26, 2009

    Nothing good can come of treating animals like humans. Why, old Grog used to give that wolf his leftover mammoth bones all the time and look how that turned out!

    Now you kids play your panpipes more quietly and get off my hunting grounds!

  113. #113 E.V.
    February 26, 2009

    Sven: Obviously there was a little something still left in the bowl this morning and naturally since you had a lighter nearby…

  114. #114 Brownian
    February 26, 2009

    I think they mostly do. Look at human behaviour with a subjective eye, don’t we act the same as other primates? We fight, have tribal wars, compete for resources, compete for females (not trying to be sexist here, but it’s true). Evolution shaped our brains over millions of years, a few thousand years of civilisation isn’t going to change that.

    Valis, an anthropologist and primatologist (I want to say Sarah Hrdy, but I’m not sure) described humans as acting like chimpanzees toward those we deem as part of our out groups, and like bonobos towards members of our in group.

    Horny sometimes, bloodthirsty others? Makes sense to me. Then again, I was raised Catholic.

  115. #115 KI
    February 26, 2009

    Sven
    My musical duo partner has been singing Hunter’s lyrics in the finale part, and we’ve started to work some of the rest into it. My less fanatic Deadhead friends accused us of adding our own stuff, “violating” the original (Deadheads can be dogmatic absolutists and the religiosity of late-period Dead shows was a major factor when I stopped following them around, as I saw no need for a substitute for church, which is what it was becoming).

  116. #116 Jay
    February 26, 2009

    I place the blame fully on George Lucas’ shoulders. Why, if he didn’t create paganistic space fantasies depicting Humans and Wookies working, living and loving together while hyperjumping spices from system to system, people would never have had the idea to keep hairy humanoid animals riding shotgun.

  117. #117 Sastra
    February 26, 2009

    Janine, Ignorant Slut #95 wrote:

    Besides, it was all Sastra’s fault.

    Noooooo.

    Oh, wait. You mean derailing the thread? Probably. But thinking about it, I did appear to contradict myself.

    First I said that McDowell and Creationists have discontinuous minds, and therefore think that if humans and apes are not completely separated by specially created essences, then it is perfectly reasonable for people to think they’re the same, and over-anthropomorphise an animal.

    Then I said that religious and spiritual people think all things are connected by souls and sensations, and therefore think that humans and other animals think alike, and thus it is perfectly reasonable to anthropomorphise an animal.

    Hmm. They seem to be doing both. Some religious people are radically dividing us off from all the other species at the same time that other religious people seriously believe that other species are really just like us. Minds that make too sharp a distinction vs. minds that don’t make enough distinction.

    I wonder. I’ve noticed a tendency on the part of conservative religionists to couple secular humanist-atheists together with liberal-New Age spiritualists. Not just politically, but they often think we have the same beliefs when it comes to religion. I wonder if McDowell thinks of evolution in the magical-mystical-evolving to higher forms way that the “spiritual” crowd thinks of it, and therefore he’s actually criticizing the New Ager-type view which anthropomorphises animals, assuming that this is what evolution implies.

    Could be.

  118. #118 Greg Laden
    February 26, 2009

    All of the links to chimps on Catholocism.org have been mysteriously removed.

    Don’t ask me how or why I know this. But it is true.

  119. #119 Sven DiMilo
    February 26, 2009

    the religiosity of late-period Dead shows was a major factor when I stopped following them around

    Hey, me too, man. I got on the bus in 79 but by 88 or so the crowds were freaking me out. Sure was fun for a while there though!

  120. #120 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    February 26, 2009

    Yep I stopped going to shows in 92. Was considering a couple Jerry Band shows in 95…

    Instead I decided to wreck my liver and join the high level accommodation crown and start traveling to see Panic. Plane rides beat bus trips to shows most any day.

    Especially after they are over.

  121. #121 Carl
    February 26, 2009

    McDowell has, I believe, written a book with Dembski.

  122. #122 John Phillips, FCD
    February 26, 2009

    Carl, does the two of them together lead to a linear or exponential increase in teh stoopid.

  123. #123 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    February 26, 2009

    McDowell has, I believe, written a book with Dembski.

    ouch

  124. #124 KI
    February 26, 2009

    Scene from a Dead show circa 1985:
    “Jerry was lookin’ right at ME when he sang that line.”
    “No way, man, that was about me!”
    (Hippie #1 starts to bleat “Jerry! Jerry!”)

    Keep in mind this was about thirty rows back.

    Sven, it’s too bad you didn’t get to see them BH (before heroin), the shows in the Keith and Donna era were astounding music.

  125. #125 Qwerty
    February 26, 2009

    Someone mentioned the ark. It is amazing that McDowell probably believes that seven people managed to coax two of every “kind” into the ark and then spent weeks taking care of these creatures during a raging storm on high seas, but it’s not okay for one person to have one chimp as a pet because Darwin’s theory may have caused the pet to go bonkers.

    It boogles the mind.

  126. #126 thalarctos
    February 26, 2009

    Since the thread’s derailed anyway…

    Hey, Stanton–did you see this?

    Placoderm sex.

  127. #127 amancay
    February 26, 2009

    The chimpanzee incident happened in my community. Just to clarify a few things…it was a common sight to see the chimp riding around in their truck (not driving it! – apparently McDowell’s reading/writing skills are on a par with his logic skills), the woman who was so gravely injured was a friend/employee whom the owner had called to assist her when the ape ran outside and was clearly out of control (I don’t know why she didn’t call the police first), there had been incidents in the past when the chimp got out and police had to be called (one could make a case that the city was remiss for not removing the animal years ago), the couple had lost a daughter prior to adopting the chimp so draw your own conclusions.

  128. #128 llewelly
    February 26, 2009

    Cruithne | February 26, 2009 10:51 AM

    The chimp owner treated the animal like a son who ate at her table, slept in her house, and even drove her car.

    Drove her car?

    Hello?

    Of course Cruithne. Why else do you think the chimp was so angry? He was cut off in traffic by some idiot yammering away on their cell phone.

  129. #129 rufustfirefly
    February 26, 2009

    Sean McDowell is the son of Christian apologist Josh McDowell, “author” of Evidence that Demands a Verdict, a great scholarly tome. What a surprise.

  130. #130 Mike in Ontario, NY
    February 26, 2009

    Ramses @ 39

    Actually, if we followed the example of that religion we should be sending our sons places to die in agony on crosses to “atone” for the sins of others shouldn’t we?

    My father always said how jealous he was of God. Sending the kid away to be raised by someone else for 30 years sounds like a GREAT idea. Spares parents all the torment of those teenage years.

  131. #131 Mike in Ontario, NY
    February 26, 2009

    Rev. BDC @ 109:

    I prefer peel and eat chimp.

  132. #132 NoFear
    February 26, 2009

    What gets me is this:

    “But think about it, if humans are deeply related to chimps then why not expect them to act that way?”

    So, logically, if they (I can’t tell whether she meant the human or the chimp or both, but it doesn’t matter) act that way, which they did, then isn’t it reasonable to expect that humans are deely related to chimps? It seems like she is arguing against her beliefs, not for them.

  133. #133 teammarty
    February 26, 2009

    BOBBER @ #6
    I’d hate to imagine what the side effects are. They probably include death.

  134. #134 Lucas
    February 26, 2009

    “I don’t think Darwin ever endorsed the idea that one should keep large, powerful, temperamental animals with the strength to rip your arms off as pets”

    This is clearly Han Solo’s fault.

  135. #135 Katkinkate
    February 26, 2009

    Posted by: Sastra @ 84 “The other odd thing about this argument is that, in my experience, scientific rationalists tend to be much more realistic and pragmatic when it comes to their pets, and how they think about animals in general. … Not so my religious and spiritual friends. They think their cats understand what they tell them. Not just “off the counter now!” but “I don’t want you to bring dead mice in the house anymore, so if I tell you I admire your skills will you feel supported and validated enough to stop?” (Actual example.) They anthropomorphise freaking everything, because “soul” and love connects all. Tropical fish can sooth you after a bad day because they can sense that you’re down and feel sympathy for you, and then project this through their consciousness vibrating in harmony with yours. Really. Believe.
    You are not going to see a secular humanist buying into that sort of crap or playing those sorts of mindgames. We’re much more realistic. If one of us has a chimp as a pet, we’re going to read up on the species, understand the science, and not kid ourselves that Love Conquers All.”

    Nuh, I don’t agree. I blame Disney myself (and to a lesser extent Warner Bros.) I have fond and exasperated memories of all those Disney movies they showed every Sunday night when I was a lass. Especially the nature documentaries with all the anthropomising characterisation of the animals. It took me years to retrain my mind to see them more realistically. I’m sure I’m still affected to some extent.

  136. #136 Katkinkate
    February 26, 2009

    Posted by: Bachalon @ 87 “Who did these people blame in the dark ages?”

    SATAN!!

  137. #137 NoFear
    February 26, 2009

    JustJoeP #38
    “”My son, kneel and pray for forgiveness” has been uttered far too many times in too many rectories in the US and Europe.

    I just now realized the irony that a priest’s residence is called a “rectory”. Maybe they were all designed by Buttminister Fuller. (groan)

  138. #138 Sastra
    February 26, 2009

    Katkinkate #135 wrote:

    It took me years to retrain my mind to see them more realistically.

    And this is one huge difference between the scientific humanist, and the “spiritual” believer. Disney appealed to — and fostered — a pr-existing childish and innate tendency to see animals as being just like people. Wise Mr. Owl is best friends with Baby Bunny (yeah, right).

    To those with a more rational mindset, our early intuitions are not reliable guides to truth. We “retrain our minds” to see the world more realistically. We work at it.

    But to those who believe we are born “knowing God,” our simplistic ways of looking at the world represent an innate wisdom. In their view, reason and science lead us away from our spiritual roots, and corrupt the initial purity. Whether it’s a New Ager learning (or ‘re-learning’) to “trust your heart,” or a traditional Christian seeking to become “as a little child” in faith, the concept of trying to use education to fight against things that are “unrealistic” is foreign to them. They think we have it backwards.

    True story: I was arguing this point with a New Age friend, and told her that I understood the urge to anthropomorphise, because I do it all the time. I collect dolls, for example (Gene Marshall) — and when I change the dress for one, I “have to” change them for all of them, because otherwise it feels like they might get hurt or jealous.

    Ok. I know better. I am deliberately giving in to what I consider to be whimsy, a sort of play-acting. But I recognize the impulse, a result of how my brain evolved to see patterns and ascribe agency.

    My friend then tried to suggest to me that I was wrong. Since soul flows through all things, the dolls would be hurt if I neglected some for others. What I was sensing was not leftover attitudes from my childhood, or innate tendencies in the human brain to misattribute intentionality to objects — but the Truth. It was trying to speak to me, and here I was, just blindly rationalizing it away.

  139. #139 thalarctos
    February 26, 2009

    My mistake–I should have known better.

    Placoderm sex

    Make that “Placoderm fucking“.

  140. #140 rpsms
    February 26, 2009

    Two word rebuttal for the crazy lady:

    peaceable kingdom

    (Google-image it if you need to)

  141. #141 Ken
    February 26, 2009

    What disturbs me more than this is that the federal government has introduced (and passed in the House!)a bill that would ban owning a chimp. Where in the Constitution does the federal government get the authority to do this? Well I guess we fixed the screwed up economy and cured AIDS and now its time to move to the important stuff…chimp banning. I hope they realize how stupid that is.

  142. #142 SASnSA
    February 26, 2009

    I tried posting a nice comment on their site, on how that case was just another example of an idiot keeping an exotic pet for vanity reasons, and how these people forget that they’re meant to be wild animals only to get a wake-up call eventually. I also told them that blaming Darwin or evolution for this was as stupid as blaming Sir Isaac Newton for a plane crashing.

    For some reason it hasn’t been posted. Go figure.

  143. #143 Irene Delse
    February 26, 2009

    @ Greg Laden: I looked in Google cache and there was one story on Catholicism.org about the woman mauled by the chimp. Wonder why it was deleted.

  144. #144 Africangenesis
    February 26, 2009

    Cruithne#48,

    ?He was able to open doors by himself,? she told NBC. ?He could drive. He took off with the car a couple of times.?

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/29255129/

  145. #145 Kel
    February 26, 2009

    When people keep looking to misunderstand evolution, how is it ever possible that there’s going to be a cessation of idocy like this?

  146. #146 slang
    February 26, 2009

    How is it that so many of those incredibly dumb statements start with “how is it that”?

  147. #147 Silver Fox
    February 26, 2009

    There seems to be more to this father-son altercation than meets the eye. There was probably a long standing, perhaps simmering, hostile relationship between Pere et Fil. The issue of “uncovering” arises in not wanting to remove his hat in church as this would expose, maybe, a confessional issue. At any rate the church may have been a stimulus, albeit tangential circumstance.

  148. #148 Silver Fox
    February 26, 2009

    There seems to be more to this father-son altercation than meets the eye. There was probably a long standing, perhaps simmering, hostile relationship between Pere et Fil. The issue of “uncovering” arises in not wanting to remove his hat in church as this would expose, maybe, a confessional issue. At any rate the church may have been a stimulus, albeit tangential circumstance.

  149. #149 Lowell
    February 26, 2009

    a long standing, perhaps simmering, hostile relationship

    Ya’ think? Nice detective work, SF.

  150. #150 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    February 26, 2009

    Inspector Silver Fox is on the case!

    Where’s your buddy Kato?

  151. #151 Lowell
    February 26, 2009

    Fox of the Yard?

  152. #152 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    February 26, 2009

    A triple post, then the obvious. CSI SF will be the next spin-off. (The first one to be canceled due to lack of interest.)

  153. #153 'Tis Himself
    February 26, 2009

    Elementary, my dear Rev BDC.

  154. #154 Cowcakes
    February 26, 2009

    Fundies are really quite incredible. Just when you think the heights of stupidity have been have been reached they go and pull another ladder out of their arse and extend the summit.

  155. #155 Last Hussar
    February 26, 2009

    “No one cares if you upset a Evolutionist”
    “Thats because Evolutionists don’t rip your arms off if they lose”
    “May I suggest a new strategy PZ[D2]. Let the Chimp win.”

  156. #156 Naumadd
    February 26, 2009

    It’s rather stating the obvious but, it seems to me the chimp behaved EXACTLY like a human being. As I understand things, many violent crimes among humans are between family members. We most violently react to those we are closest to.

    In any event, we humans are notorious for inflicting our beliefs on one another. It comes as no surprise we do the same to our pets – as cats and dogs would know – however, a chimpanzee with an intelligence that comes the closest to our own and arguably superior strength to a human is likely to rebel similarly to a teenager and with predictable consequences. The incident isn’t to be blamed on any but the owners and their making stupid assumptions regarding chimpanzees.

    This incident has nothing at all to do with Darwin, Darwinism, evolution or atheism – and everything to do with irrational human thought and behavior which, I might add, is generally the root of most of our world religions. The chimp’s owner behaved far more like christians, jews and muslims than atheists.

  157. #157 Kevin Schreck
    February 26, 2009

    There’s an article in today’s New York Times about adults who keep primates as pets.

    Darwin is (obviously) not to blame; it’s the immature and irresponsible anthropomorphizing owners!

  158. #158 Twin-Skies
    February 26, 2009

    “How is it that we live in a culture where people think it’s safe to have a chimpanzee as a pet? Where do people get the idea that we ought to take a wild animal and treat it like a human being?”

    I dunno, maybe from the same dumbass culture that still thinks T-Rex’s have sharp teeth just to crack open coconuts, or that raptors let us ride them piggyback.

  159. #159 DLC
    February 26, 2009

    Police said a 58-year-old man stabbed his teenage son after he refused to take off his hat at church earlier in the day. The father and his 19-year-old son got into an argument on Sunday afternoon. That’s when police said the father went to a car, got a knife and stabbed his son in the left buttock and fled.

    So, the guy’s Dad is a pain in the ass.
    nothin new there.
    (/joke)

  160. #160 Notkieran
    February 26, 2009

    >I just now realized the irony that a priest’s residence is called a “rectory”. Maybe they were all designed by Buttminister Fuller. (groan)

    Surely you mean Buttminister FILLER?

  161. #161 simon
    February 27, 2009

    Quick, shut down the churches! Christianity leads to filial buttock mutilation!

    Atheist’s Crime :

    Elderly Rape Victim: Attacker Told Me ‘No Decency, No God’There is no God.”
    KYW Newsradio

    do not allow atheist to visit the nursing home !

  162. #162 Moggie
    February 27, 2009

    #141:

    What disturbs me more than this is that the federal government has introduced (and passed in the House!)a bill that would ban owning a chimp. Where in the Constitution does the federal government get the authority to do this? Well I guess we fixed the screwed up economy and cured AIDS and now its time to move to the important stuff…chimp banning. I hope they realize how stupid that is.

    At least you still have the right to keep and arm bears. I think I’ve got that right.

  163. #163 Reynold
    February 27, 2009

    Speaking of blaming, brain trust member Ray Comfort is playing the racism card again.

    I tried replying:
    ===
    Here’s the whole title:
    On The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or The Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life
    First Edition

    It’s long, that’s why it’s rarely used. Though you’re lying when you say it’s no longer used, as it can be found quite easily.

    Guess what one of his first examples of the usage of the word “races” was, Ray?

    Have a look:

    Nevertheless, as our varieties certainly do occasionally revert in some of their characters to ancestral forms, it seems to me not improbable, that if we could succeed in naturalising, or were to cultivate, during many generations, the several races, for instance, of the cabbage, in very poor soil (in which case, however, some effect would have to be attributed to the direct action of the poor soil), that they would to a large extent, or even wholly, revert to the wild aboriginal stock.

    Did you get that Ray? Cabbage. The context that you’re trying to avoid here is that the man is using “races” as we would use “varieties” today. You of course are trying to imply that Darwin was saying that in certain species, like humans, that different “races” meant that some were not human at all.

    I’m sick of your constant lying, Ray. As I’ve said before, it was people like you who have helped refute any notion of a “truth-loving god” out there.

    Thanks a lot.

  164. #164 Grimalkin
    March 1, 2009

    Crazy groups have been having a field day with this story. I work in animal welfare and, believe it or not, this was blamed on us as well. Apparently, animal welfare/rights group believe that people and other animals are the same so we can pee on fire hydrants and treat chimps like people.

    Never mind that a central tenet of most animal welfare and rights groups is that we need to treat each species as is appropriate for that species.

    It’s fairly typical. “I disagree with group X. Group X is wrong about everything. Everything that goes wrong is group X’s fault.”