Pharyngula

Here Comes Science!

I got a letter from John F — you know, John Flansburgh, of They Might Be Giants — and he says, “We’ve got this new album coming out that you might like, want me to send you a copy?”, and so I nonchalantly type back, “Sure, here’s my address,” which was really hard to do when you understand that I was dancing jigglety-pigglety in my chair, pumping my fists in the air, and shouting “WOO-HOO!” at the same time. It would have been impossible except for my blogging superpowers. (Oh, yeah…I’m a TMBG fanboi.)

I got the album Here Comes Science the other day, and it is fabulous. It’s kids’ music, so it’s catchy and a teeny-tiny bit didactic, but don’t let that put you off — I’ve loaded it onto my iPod and am enjoying it all the time. It’s also contains a CD and a DVD: each song also has an animated cartoon to go with it. They’re great and enthusiastic songs — my favorites so far are “I am a paleontologist” and “Science is real”.

You should buy it. It’ll be available next week, or you can always stop by my house and I’ll put the DVD up on the big screen and we can all rock out in my living room — I’ll push all the furniture to the side so we can all dance. Or if you’re cheap and don’t like me, you can subscribe to the TMBG podcast on iTunes: they’re going to release a song a week.

Can’t wait? You can get a look at “Science is Real” right now.


I should warn you, though, it’s controversial. Yeah, right. Look at the comments on Amazon. The song “Science is Real” contains these lyrics:

I like the stories
About angels, unicorns and elves
Now I like the stories
As much as anybody else
But when I’m seeking knowledge
Either simple or abstract
The facts are with science
The facts are with science

This has prompted a few comments.

I love TMBG more than anybody, but was it really necessary to take a pot-shot at religion?

This guy must be one of those thin-skinned elf worshippers.

As a Christian I’m offended by comparing unicorns, elves with angels. Unicorns and Elves are fiction, and angels are biblical. End of story.

(Shhh. Don’t tell him about Numbers 23:22 and 24:8, Deuteronomy 33:17, Job 39:9,10, Psalms 22:21 and 29:6 and
92:10 or Isaiah 34:7. Unicorns are biblical, too.)

This is why the accommodationist strategy is doomed to failure. There is no gentle demurral from religion that will not offend someone — even fun songs about science are expected to pretend that angels are real.