Today, we have to assess whether any of our contestants have met the immunity challenge. Very few have tried; I’m afraid this is very much like Monty Python’s Upper Class Twit of the Year contest, in which the competitors are lucky to stumble onto the field at all. Here are all the attempts to answer this question:
In a comment that isn’t longer than about 200 words, that is grammatically correct and logically coherent, and that does not cite the Bible or other religious authorities (and does not rely on tales about who you went to high school with, or tortured analogies involving necrophiliac pedophilic milkmen), explain how evolutionary biologists resolve the trivial conundrum represented by the common question, “If evolution is true, why are there still monkeys?” Remember, answer as a biologist or intelligent layman would, not like Pat Robertson or Ken Ham.
First, there is an entry from Barb. However, even if we didn’t see the sarcasm dripping from it, a check of the email address reveals that it actually isn’t from Barb. Disqualified!
Next up: John Kwok takes a stab at it, and gives a somewhat pompous but correct answer. His reply is notable for two things, however. It is accompanied by possibly the most empty threat I have ever heard — “PZ – If I am bounced off Pharyngula, then you may find yourself losing some friends over at Facebook.” — which immediately prompted a surge of voting to throw Kwok out. Then there is the fact that I specifically said there should be no talk of high school acquaintances, yet Kwok managed to squeeze in mentions of Abbie Smith, Ken Miller, his high school creative writing teacher, and the wife of his high school creative writing teacher. It is truly a marvel, and a beautiful example of exactly how he got on this list in the first place. The oblivious violation of the rules, however, means he must be disqualified.
Finally, Facilis. In an utterly stunning upset, he actually managed to turn out a brief, accurate, two-sentence explanation. The audience was stunned. The judge was frantically checking IP addresses and the validity of the entry, so miraculous was this short, and probably very temporary, flare-up of cogency. It stands, however. This twit has actually managed to complete the first section of the course!
If we’d had a few more entries, I would have opened the discussion up to judge who won. However, since we only have one standing entry, I must officially declare that Facilis is the winner of the immunity challenge. Shock! Horror! Drama!
Now, since I did have to close the previous thread, you can continue voting in this one. Do me a favor, though, and if you change your vote, please clearly say who you are retracting your vote from, and who you are now giving it to…this one may drive me insane trying to tally.