Pharyngula

Kurt Zimmerman is pissed off. He’s not a very bright guy, and he doesn’t know much about biology or history, and he’s extremely annoyed that not only is the local school teaching his kids stuff he didn’t know, but they’re actually telling them that his sources of information are wrong. You see, the only level of education we’re allowed to raise children to is the Kurt Zimmerman level…which is a little scary. I was kind of hoping that sending my kids off to school would produce progeny who are smarter than me, and now I learn that they’re only supposed to produce kids who are dumber than Kurt Zimmerman? How dismaying.

Anyway, Zimmerman is upset because he found a biology textbook that defines creationism as “the biblical myth that the universe was created by the Judeo-Christian god in 7 days”. This is mostly factually correct (one might quibble that the bible actually says their god created the earth in six days, and doesn’t really say much about the universe as a whole…but really, when you’re dealing with that degree of lunacy, 7 is the same as 6 is the same as canned beans), but seeing “myth” in the same sentence as “bible” has made Mr Zimmerman quite unhinged.

Zimmerman asked in December that the school immediately quit using the book “Asking About Life” in his son’s class and all classes.

He said it could “mislead, belittle and discourage students in believing in creationism and pointedly calls the Bible a myth.”

It’s not misleading at all, it doesn’t belittle students except in the sense that students who believe something that is wrong will be faced with a direct statement that they are wrong, and I should hope schools would discourage people from believing in stupid and fallacious mush! It also doesn’t go as far as I’d like or that Zimmerman thinks it does: it does not call the bible a myth. It says that it contains a myth, which it does. It would be nice if we did have a high school biology book that called all of Christianity and Judaism a collection of myths, but we don’t. Yet.

But Zimmerman has accomplished one triumph: he has won himself a brief spot on Fox News. The really astonishing thing about this clip is that the two Fox interviewers, Barbie and Dullard, actually come off as dumber than he is.

The good news, though, is that the local school board has decided not to decide anything about the book for 30 days. That’s committee-speak for “let’s wait for the noise and notoriety of Mr Zipperhead to die down a bit, so we can ignore the whole stupid proposal”.


Oh, this is interesting: a commenter looked up the book on Google Books and got the actual, full quote from the book.

In the 1970s and 1980s, antievolutionists in Arkansas, Tennessee and
Louisiana passed identical bills calling for “equal time” for teaching
evolution and creationism, the biblical myth that the universe was
created by the Judeo-Christian god in six days. But a court ruled that
the “equal-time” bill was unconstitutional on the grounds that it
violated the separation of church and state.

That’s even biblically accurate. And it’s a very reasonable context in which to mention the topic of creationism.

Comments

  1. #1 Stanton
    April 12, 2010

    There are times I bemoan the fact that stupid people wield a great deal of influence and power.

  2. #2 Celtic_Evolution
    April 12, 2010

    Fox News – committed to bringing you the people who make you feel better about yourself by comparison.

  3. #3 Feynmaniac
    April 12, 2010

    Dullard

    Um, his name is ‘Brown Haired Guy Who Is Not Steve Doocey’ [/Colbert].

  4. #4 https://me.yahoo.com/a/DhjBEuJ8pt63x6eBKuPx0Jv9_QE-#7c327
    April 12, 2010

    “Barbie” and “Dullard”? Please tell me you made those names up for purposes of humor.

  5. #5 Sven DiMilo
    April 12, 2010

    Anybody know the comic-strip Drabble?
    Dad Ralph’s best friend NoNeck?

    separated at birth

  6. #6 Celtic_Evolution
    April 12, 2010

    The really astonishing thing about this clip is that the two Fox interviewers, Barbie and Dullard, actually come off as dumber than he is.

    I read this and thought you were joking, PZ…

    But having watched the clip, it’s true, they actually managed to put an actual Barbie doll and this guy next to each other to host a show… and no-one at Fox seems to have even noticed!

    Does Mattell know about this?

    Barbie: “That sounds like a lot of work, Mr. Zimmerman”.

    *wince*

    Oh, and am I the only one that looks at this Zimmerman character and sees this.

  7. #7 Doug Little
    April 12, 2010

    I love the tag line

    “Claims bias against Christianity”

    Yeah, reality tends to be biased in that fashion.

  8. #8 AJ Milne
    April 12, 2010

    Please tell me you made those names up for purposes of humor.

    (Looks at still from video…)

    Those aren’t their real names? I mean, I just assumed…

    (Thinks briefly about clicking ‘Play’ button to confirm, one way or the other… Cringes in anticipation of burning stupid…)

    (/Closes browser.)

  9. #9 Doug Little
    April 12, 2010

    The dude doesn’t know how to dress himself either, I don’t know what kind of knot he used for his tie, but I think he got it wrong.

  10. #10 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    April 12, 2010

    I kind of agree with him on one thing.

    I don’t think that a biology textbook needs to have anything discussing religious myths.

    It’s not biology. Leaving it out gives it exactly the attention it deserves, none.

    If the students asks about it then the teacher can address it but I don’t think it needs to be in the text book.

    /flame on

  11. #11 Rorschach
    April 12, 2010

    Some dude wants a textbook banned because it calls a myth a myth which makes him uncomfortable, and this is news why ??

    And it wasn’t 7 days, it was 6, on day 7 the onmnipotent creator of the universe had to…rest.

  12. #12 David Marjanovi?
    April 12, 2010

    The really astonishing thing about this clip is that the two Fox interviewers, Barbie and Dullard, actually come off as dumber than he is.

    LOL! Thanks for watching it so I don’t have to.

  13. #13 neurosink
    April 12, 2010

    You almost tricked me in to watching that video! Nope, I don’t want to be cleaning up my brain from the floor again. I’m sure it was both funny and sad like all similar clips.

    I love the tag line

    “Claims bias against Christianity”

    Yeah, reality tends to be biased in that fashion.

    Love that, so true, reality is definitely biased against all that supernatural woo-woo, yet people still grasp on it. Don’t they realise that reality always wins in the end?

  14. #14 Sven DiMilo
    April 12, 2010

    OK, it wasn’t easy, but I finally found a pic of No-Neck from Drabble:
    http://comics.com/drabble/2010-03-23/

    see?

  15. #15 Gregory Greenwood
    April 12, 2010

    Watching that actually caused me physical pain. Such a concentration of corrosive stupidity in one place should really carry a health warning.

    I wonder why it is that whenever I hear people like this talk about ‘banning’ a book, I get the distinct impression that what they really want to do is burn all the copies, quite possibly along with the author(s).

    Fox; bringing journalism to a new low, in a ‘fair and balanced’ way.

  16. #16 InappropriateSusan
    April 12, 2010

    What are the other so called “problems” in the text book? He references that other parents have found inaccurate information in the text. What is it? That the “Noahdic Floods” are also a myth?

  17. #17 Mel N
    April 12, 2010

    I wholly agree that what is in the text is completely true but does it really need to be in the biology text book? I think the text book should deal with biology and not myths and fairy tales. A tremendous amount of energy is needed to keep them out of the school text books in the first place.

  18. #18 Holytape
    April 12, 2010

    The bible is mostly true. In have proof, that dinosaurs were on the ark. Well, it’s not really proof, but stuff I made up, which is just as good in my opinion.

  19. #19 Sastra
    April 12, 2010

    So how should this have been put?

    “Creationism is the Biblical story that the universe was created by the Judeo-Christian God in 7 days. And now we will go on to explain how this is wrong. But it’s not a myth. No, not at all. It’s a story that’s wrong.”

    I suspect that, now that Zimmerman has been alerted by the dog-whistle word “myth,” the term “story” will also bother him. Also the phrase “Judeo-Christian God:” it implies that it’s one God among others, and there’s only one, it should just say God. And then they’re finding “factual” errors in the book, all of them in that part where it is explained why the creation story explanation is wrong.

  20. #20 Celtic_Evolution
    April 12, 2010

    I don’t know what kind of knot he used for his tie, but I think he got it wrong.

    Come on… that’s the “my neck is too thick to button the top button so the very loose single windsor I attempted is slipping apart as we speak” knot…

    It’s a result of the strain on the neck muscles from this activity.

  21. #21 a.human.ape
    April 12, 2010

    It’s interesting that Fox News is infested with evolution-deniers who prove the idea that people who look stupid are stupid.

    It would be nice if we did have a high school biology book that called all of Christianity and Judaism a collection of myths, but we don’t.

    It would also be nice if a public school biology teacher could tell his or her students that all religious beliefs, including magical creation, are bullshit. But I’m pretty sure (and I hope I’m wrong) that would violate the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, and how can we expect Christians to respect our constitution if we don’t respect it ourselves?

    I hate very much to say this but “the biblical myth that the universe was created by the Judeo-Christian god in 7 days” really doesn’t belong in a public school textbook, even though this is what Christian students need to hear.

    Perhaps a competent biology teacher might be able to convince some of the brainwashed but more intelligent students that evolution is a basic scientific fact, and then they can figure out on their own that the Bible is ridiculously false.

  22. #22 onethird-man
    April 12, 2010

    …discourage students in believing in creationism

    I should hope it would. My beginning biology classes at college, our professor out-and-out stated that if you put the earth was 6000 years old on your answer, that you would get it marked wrong, he didn’t care what you believed. It was a low-level course, so we sat with about 120 students, and three of them got up and left. Considering it was required for pre-meds…

    Had another roommate who insisted he could get through pre-med without having to “buy” evolution.

    He later switched to psychology; make of that what you will.

  23. #23 Carlie
    April 12, 2010

    It does actually bug me when textbooks put things like that in – it’s still privileging Christianity above all other mythologies. They could just as well say “There have been many ways that people have tried to explain the formation of the world using stories and myths, such as (list including crationism)”. Knock them back down to their place amongst the rest of the rabble.

  24. #24 Gregory Greenwood
    April 12, 2010

    Rev. @ 10;

    I don’t think that a biology textbook needs to have anything discussing religious myths.
    It’s not biology. Leaving it out gives it exactly the attention it deserves, none.

    Ordinarily I would be inclined to agree with you. Biology textbooks should deal with biology, and leave politics and the like to one side.

    Unfortunately, creationism continuously propogates a wilffully ignorant and inaccurate version of the origin and development of life on this planet. Such a pernicious mythology has to be combatted if the education of biology is to be continued in a manner that is free from the warping influence of theology.

    Staying silent may not be the best strategy. As we all know all to well, creationists are very quick to equate silence to assent. Before you know it, they would be claiming that science and scientific education supports their chosen woo. Such a claim should not go unchallenged.

  25. #25 Suzie Penguin
    April 12, 2010

    I’m also from Tennessee. (I know, I know, I ask myself why I live here almost everyday!) While I, of course, don’t agree with almost anything coming out of this gentleman’s mouth, I do have to say I am very glad he is being a gentleman about the whole issue. He went through the proper channels to get the book removed. Which is a lot more than what most people with his mindset seeming willing to do around here.
    I work in a public library and we had a mother put up a stink about her teenage son reading “American Psycho”, which was in the adult – not young-adult section of the library. Needless to say it got pulled quietly and without any sort of committee getting involved. Which meant that the next week, being the good little contrarian that I am, quietly added “The New Joy of Sex” to the collection. As much as we all can dislike them at times these sorts of committees can do good things. And I’m glad that it has worked for this school, so far.

  26. #26 MadScientist
    April 12, 2010

    Now why would a biology textbook even mention creation myths?

    @Doug Little: It looks to me like the original Windsor, which does tend to be obviously asymmetric. I can’t tell off hand if it’s the left-hand or right-hand version though; I think the duke did his left-handed (only 50% chance of getting it wrong). Celtic_Evolution says it’s a single Windsor, so it looks like there is some sort of consensus on the knot; it’s a pity it’s not a hangman’s knot (any variety would do).

  27. #27 Rorschach
    April 12, 2010

    I hate very much to say this but “the biblical myth that the universe was created by the Judeo-Christian god in 7 days” really doesn’t belong in a public school textbook, even though this is what Christian students need to hear.

    I dont know for what ages that textbook is, but if it is for year 9+ or so, I don’t see a problem with pointing out that “poof” is not a valid explanation for why we are here, especially in a biology textbook.

  28. #28 clausentum
    April 12, 2010

    The passage in the book is in fact a bit provocatively phrased. It could have had the same content without red-rag effect, or was it necessary at all to contrast the biblical narrative?
    Oh, silly me, round here provocation is the name of the game…

  29. #29 Poggy
    April 12, 2010

    I wonder what the other ‘technical inaccuracies’ were that other parents noted? Evolution, perhaps? I am trying to imagine the response from the news presenters if Mr Zimmerman had started spouting that the book was saying humans had been around for more than 4000 years, which clearly wasn’t correct.

  30. #30 briankspears
    April 12, 2010

    I went to college with a Kurt Zimmerman, who’s religious enough that this could have been him, so I was sweating until I saw the video and saw it wasn’t, mostly because my Kurt was a nice enough guy, even if he was a bit of a twit religiously speaking. On the plus side, this guy doesn’t seem to be receiving much in the way of support. Don’t know how long that will last.

  31. #31 MadScientist
    April 12, 2010

    @Rorschach: But we shouldn’t be trying to explain “why” we are here but rather how we got here. “Why” implies some intent (as in why did the chicken cross the road, as opposed to how did the chicken cross the road). Nature has no intent; it just does whatever it does. A series of serendipitous accidents over unimaginable numbers of years resulted in humans on the planet – that hardly answers the question “why are we here” (because we are).

  32. #32 Sven DiMilo
    April 12, 2010

    I think Carlie has a good point @#23.
    Has anybody seen the textbook quote in context? I have not seen even the complete sentence, let alone the offending paragraph.

  33. #33 Billy C
    April 12, 2010

    I’m a bit bothered to admit it, but I have to agree with Kurt Zimmerman. The statement,
    “Creationism is the biblical myth that the universe was created by the Judeo-Christian god in 7 days,”
    is factually incorrect, and possibly confusing to students.

    “Creationism is the belief that the universe was created by the Judeo-Christian god in 7 days, as described in the biblical myth.”

    Fixed now. [/grammarnazi]

  34. #34 Gregory Greenwood
    April 12, 2010

    clausentum @ 28;

    Oh, silly me, round here provocation is the name of the game…

    Your concern is noted.

  35. #36 inkadu
    April 12, 2010

    It’s perfectly appropriate to talk about other theories of life in an introductory text. It may not be politically wise, but it makes perfect sense. Students coming to this book may have a mix of creation/evolution in their heads and they need help distinguishing one theory from the other; that starts by defining what each theory is and how they relate to one another. The book is titled, “Asking about Life,” so it makes sense to anticipate early questions such as, “Didn’t God make the animals on Wednesday?”

    And “myth” is such a deliciously subversive little word. Myths can be almost any story, but especially a story with archetypal resonance; calling something a “myth” in a technical sense doesn’t say anything about its truth value. For instance, the “myth of JFK” is about the power his memory still has over us. But it’s also used to talk about religious stories of all types, and anyone being strictly fair to all religions has to use the word “myth,” just like when we talk about Norse or Greek or Hopi stories.

    But the word’s most plebian denotation is “story that ain’t true,” and the word is a red flag to those who haven’t thought about religion. Christianity is much more palatable when you think about it as a mythos Neil-Gaiman-style anyway.

  36. #37 Celtic_Evolution
    April 12, 2010

    I hate very much to say this but “the biblical myth that the universe was created by the Judeo-Christian god in 7 days” really doesn’t belong in a public school textbook, even though this is what Christian students need to hear.

    Huh? Why? As Sastra pointed out, is this not an accurate and apt description?

    Would you make the same claim if it read:

    Ancient Greek Creationism: The myth held in ancient Greek society that a supernatural being created order out of a mythical void called Chaos.

    Or this, if you want something more modern and still practiced:

    Massai Creationism: the myth that a creator deity fashioned humanity from a single tree that split into three pieces.

    Would this offend? Why not? Do you think captain Sunday School here would have raised a stink if either of those two things were mentioned? Or is it only modern christian myths that are not allowed to be called myths?

    No, I’m sorry, but biology books and allscience books should be based in reality focused on presenting facts. If creationism is to even be mentioned, the fact is that in reality it is a myth, no different than Greek mythology or Massai mythology.

    The argument could be made that the entire reference to “creationism” could or should be removed. Bullshit. Teaching the history behind science and the challenges to scientific theories and why those theories stand up or are knocked down, and the process by which that happens, is as important as learning the science itself.

    I’m not interested in coddling the sensitivities of easily offended christians kids or their parents. I’m interested in teaching them and having them become intelligent, useful members of the community. And allowing them to become adults that still believe in Santa is merely continuing to dumb down the culture.

  37. #38 llewelly
    April 12, 2010

    “Barbie” and “Dullard”? Please tell me you made those names up for purposes of humor.

    Those aren’t names at all. At Fox, they are job titles. Prestigious job titles.

  38. #39 Rorschach
    April 12, 2010

    But we shouldn’t be trying to explain “why” we are here but rather how we got here.

    You’re correct, I wasn’t clear there, it’s not about why we’re here, but how we got there.

    So to refer to evolution as an explanatory framework and mention that “poof” doesn’t cut it, is not way off for a biology book IMO.

  39. #40 moochava
    April 12, 2010

    I don’t think mentioning Christian mythology in science texts is “elevating” it. I remember in high school how every science text had a few pages on the history of that science and the earlier, failed or incomplete theories. Our physics book had the Lumeniferous Ether, chemistry had the plum pudding model and phlogiston, biology had Lamarckian evolution and special creation, geology had Catastrophism in its religious and non-religious forms.

    It just so happens that educated white men during the formation of what we would call modern science were mostly Christians and Jews, so the Bible (rather than, say, the Upanishads) was where most of their guesses about the world came from. North American Indian creation myths don’t show up in science textbooks because confused 18th century archaeologists weren’t trying to figure out how the fossil record could be compatible with North American Indian creation myths, they were trying to figure out what fossils meant in light of the Book of Genesis. From a historical perspective, knowing that people thought the Bible had *explanatory power*, but then they decided it didn’t, is an important thing to understand.

  40. #41 Poggy
    April 12, 2010

    @lausentum, I don’t agree that it is provocatively phrased at all. There seems to be a trend that when someone refutes religion / states their opinion of the facts they get labled biased, or offensive, or provocative (a good example was when Richard Dawkins appeared on ABC question time recently), but in this case the sentence is quite neutral. Consider comparitively ‘the biblical myth that the entire world was flooded in an instant by God’ as a description of Noah’s story in a geology text book explaining sediment layers, rock formations, etc.

    I do agree that the context is questionable, though.

  41. #42 Steve LaBonne
    April 12, 2010

    The passage in the book is in fact a bit provocatively phrased.

    Horse pucky. All those sophisticated theologians, to whom we unwashed militant atheists are supposed to defer, routinely use the word “myth” to describe these ancient Hebrew, well, myths. So this usage can’t plausibly be taken as even mildly anti-religious, except by drooling cretins.

  42. #43 creating trons
    April 12, 2010

    I live in Knoxville, so this is not surprising, but will be interesting to see how it plays out.

    In this area of the buybull belt it may be necessary for the teacher to say “Listen up. This is biology/science class. Check your magic sky daddy at the door and pay attention. I promise you’ll learn some neat stuff.”

    I don’t know, I’m just asking.

  43. #44 Billy C
    April 12, 2010

    According to a snippet on Google Books, here’s the exact quote (from the 2005 ed.):

    In the 1970s and 1980s, antievolutionists in Arkansas, Tennessee and Louisiana passed identical bills calling for “equal time” for teaching evolution and creationism, the biblical myth that the universe was created by the Judeo-Christian god in six days. But a court ruled that the “equal-time” bill was unconstitutional on the grounds that it violated the separation of church and state.

    Note that at least in this earlier edition, PZ’s complaint about “7 days” is addressed. Either the text was amended for the current edition or Fox misquoted the text. (Hm. Which is more likely: (a) that there is a change in the new edition other than price or (b) that Fox lies? Tough choice.)

  44. #45 binaballerina
    April 12, 2010

    You know, I’m young enough that I was still in public high schools when this whole cretinism debate was gaining momentum, but I honestly can’t remember anyone ever mentioning it in my science classes. Although I thought I was rotten in science, I took more science classes than I needed to because *gasp* I’m a girl who likes science. Turns out, I’m not as bad at it as I thought; I couldn’t make a career out of it, however. At the time, I was still pretending to be christian, so if the topic came up, I’m sure I would remember it. I clearly remember being told – by my teacher, no less – that I didn’t need to do so well on my exams because I was a girl and wouldn’t ever need to know any of this biology stuff.

    Now that I think about it, I can’t ever remember the word ‘evolution’ being used, either. I well remember it in college biology classes, but never in high school.

  45. #46 Celtic_Evolution
    April 12, 2010

    In the 1970s and 1980s, antievolutionists in Arkansas, Tennessee and Louisiana passed identical bills calling for “equal time” for teaching evolution and creationism, the biblical myth that the universe was created by the Judeo-Christian god in six days. But a court ruled that the “equal-time” bill was unconstitutional on the grounds that it violated the separation of church and state.

    Ah… thanks, Billy C…

    So, given the context, and presenting the statement as part off an over-reaching summary of the history of evolutionary theory and the challenges to it, I can’t see anyone making the argument that the comment is either offensive or needlessly provocative. It is simply presenting creationism as defined by the court that made the ruling to which they are referring.

  46. #47 jidashdee
    April 12, 2010

    What’s with that look on Gretchen Carlson’s face? It reminds me of Michelle Bachmann (another specimen of unadulterated Minnesota Whackaloon), Ann Coulter, and the runaway bride from Duluth, GA.

    It’s a sort of “scared-of-the-universe” look. I think this could be applied as a handy indicator of the presence of the deep down crazies:

    Mildly Insane.
    Certifiably Insane.
    Criminally Insane.
    Bugshit Crazy.

    If you see a similar look on a face near you, immediately check the charge on your cell phone (and your tazer, should you be lucky enough to have one).

  47. #48 Doug Little
    April 12, 2010

    OK, so the consensus seems to be a badly formed single Windsor due to his inability to fully button his top button, because he has a massive neck which is caused by, and here the evidence gets sketchy, the constant strain of having his head up his arse.

    He really needs to learn how to tie a double Windsor, obviously doesn’t he watch any ESPN, the fat tie look is in at the moment.

  48. #49 NeilB48239
    April 12, 2010

    Here’s a coherent definition of “MYTH.” I copied and pasted this from http://dictionary.reference.com/

    Word Origin & History

    myth
    1830, from Gk. mythos “speech, thought, story, myth,” of unknown origin.

    Myths are “stories about divine beings, generally arranged in a coherent system; they are revered as true and sacred; they are endorsed by rulers and priests; and closely linked to religion. Once this link is broken, and the actors in the story are not regarded as gods but as human heroes, giants or fairies, it is no longer a myth but a folktale. Where the central actor is divine but the story is trivial … the result is religious legend, not myth.” [J. Simpson & S. Roud, “Dictionary of English Folklore,” Oxford, 2000, p.254]

  49. #50 Katrina
    April 12, 2010

    Further to Billy C’s comment, here’s the link to the entire page:

    Asking About Life

    This is part of the chapter introduction where the book discusses evidence for evolution and the mechanism of natural selection.

  50. #51 VoiceoftheGods
    April 12, 2010

    “I don’t think that a biology textbook needs to have anything discussing religious myths.”

    Actually when looking at the full context of the quote this part is in a larger section on the Scopes trial and “equal time” laws trying to shoehorn creation into science classrooms.

    http://books.google.com/books?id=cjgdW4SjoJcC&pg=PA299&dq=%22Asking+About+Life%22+biology+tobin+%22the+biblical+myth%22&cd=1#v=onepage&q&f=false

  51. #52 Celtic_Evolution
    April 12, 2010

    He really needs to learn how to tie a double Windsor, obviously doesn’t he watch any ESPN, the fat tie look is in at the moment.

    Tying a double Windsor around a neck of that significant circumference would require a tie of extraordinary length… or else a tie that only goes down to about the 3rd button on his shirt.

  52. #53 Benny the Icepick
    April 12, 2010

    PZ,

    I don’t know where you picked up the term “Zipperhead,” but it’s a racial epithet for people of Asian (and particularly Korean) descent. It’s a very derogatory term, and not just a generic insult.

    Next time, please check out Urban Dictionary before slinging around terms like that.

  53. #54 zz.rx.zz
    April 12, 2010

    Kurt Zimmerman is uneducated and uninformed. But as a matter of fact we have no idea what IQ he has. And certainly one’s skill in speaking on television is not an indicator of intelligence.

    The real problem is that modern 19th, 20th, and 21st century thought has not penetrated into large regions of America. The causes are multitude and variegated. Among them is the perfectly inept American schools in which curricula is decided at the local level.

    But the cause is NOT the lack of intelligence of individuals. C’mon, stop bullying the most hapless in our society. It’s just self-aggrandizing bullshit. That’s being part of the problem. Be part of the solution. Thank you.

  54. #55 VoiceoftheGods
    April 12, 2010

    @Billy C #44

    That’s what I get for not reading all the comments before opening my big mouths, I get scooped. My omniscience must be slipping. :-)

  55. #56 MolBio
    April 12, 2010

    As a medical scientist in training I apologise. My field has kept people like Zimmerman alive. I am sorry that science has been inappropriately used, we will work better to rectify this problem. :p

  56. #57 Doug Little
    April 12, 2010

    Celtic,

    The guy is a clown so a tie only reaching a third of the way down to the belt buckle is quite apt. Hey I wonder if this guy is short as well, this could quite possibly offset the extra fabric required to circumnavigate that massive neck of his.

  57. #58 Celtic_Evolution
    April 12, 2010

    But the cause is NOT the lack of intelligence of individuals.

    Wait… what? Did you listen to this guy? He has a clear lack of intelligence regarding the subject, and that most certainly is the problem.

    C’mon, stop bullying the most hapless in our society.

    Wait… what?? It’s this guy that’s trying to bully the school-board, along with other un-intelligent parents, into treating their silly belief system with deference and force schoolbooks to omit facts that they don’t like. I don’t think you quite understand what bullying really is.

    It’s just self-aggrandizing bullshit. That’s being part of the problem. Be part of the solution. Thank you.

    Ok… now that I’ve managed to roll my eyes back into place…

    You concern is noted.

  58. #59 DLC
    April 12, 2010

    no doubt biblical inerrantists would consider any writing to the contrary to be a factual error, but really. . . the age of the earth ? something this well decided ?
    These people are just plain nuts.
    The positions demanded by evangelical Christianity
    are simply insane. Un-sane. Irrational no end.
    I just cannot see myself making that kind of leap, from 4.5(ish) billion year old earth to 6000(ish) year old earth, from evolution by natural selection to Goddidit. It’s just too large of a gap to jump.

  59. #60 Doug Little
    April 12, 2010

    Maybe he needs to look into a cravat. That would solve his tie length issue and also match up quite reasonably with his line of thinking. Either that or a massive polka-dot bow tie that can spin around and make a whirring noise.

  60. #61 dutchdoc
    April 12, 2010

    Did you hear him say this (3:10 into the video), when Dullard sort of complimented him on catching the “offending” phrase:

    “Well, yeah, it’s really the kids who identified it, I’m not smart enough to pick THAT stuff up

    So, if it would have been just him reading that book, he wouldn’t have seen ANYTHING offending at all!

    AMAZING!

  61. #62 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    April 12, 2010

    As a comment on the history of evolutionary theory in a chapter about the Scopes trial I guess I don’t really have an issue with it.

    I’m sure someone can convince me differently but is it important in high school level classes to go into the political history of challenges to scientific theories in order to teach the basics of the science?

    Shouldn’t the focus be on the actual science to prepared them for the next step in their education?

  62. #63 Katrina
    April 12, 2010

    According to the reviews on this book, each chapter is preceded by some sort of relevant story. The brief, one-page summary of the history of challenges to the ToE is one such story.

    I suppose it isn’t, technically, relevant. It’s the style format that the authors chose to use for this text. And, bear in mind, this is a text generally used for Advanced Placement classes.

  63. #64 David
    April 12, 2010

    I was surprised to learn that Wikipedia’s article is called Genesis creation myth. Apparently they’re having the same problem there though (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Genesis_creation_myth), where people don’t like the word “myth”.

  64. #65 norbizness
    April 12, 2010

    I liked him better when he was yelling at Nell Carter on Who’s the Boss.

  65. #66 Celtic_Evolution
    April 12, 2010

    I’m sure someone can convince me differently but is it important in high school level classes to go into the political history of challenges to scientific theories in order to teach the basics of the science?

    As part of a comprehensive teaching of evolution, how it came about as a theory, the challenges it has faced and why the theory has stood up, yes.

    Think of it this way, is it not significant, when teaching an entry level or high school level class on astronomy, to teach of the struggles Galileo had with the church when putting forth helio-centrism?

    I think it is.

  66. #67 Michelle R
    April 12, 2010

    @David #64: I’m not THAT surprised… I’m rolling my eyes but I’m not surprised at the reaction.

  67. #68 negentropyeater
    April 12, 2010

    The really astonishing thing about this clip is that the two Fox interviewers, Barbie and Dullard, actually come off as dumber than he is.

    Barbie is Gretchen Carlson who graduated with honors from Stanford in Sociology and plays the violin. I think she dumbs herself down deliberately in order not to pass for “elitits” and appeal to the most dumbest common denominator of the Fox and Friends viewers.

  68. #69 Celtic_Evolution
    April 12, 2010

    I think she dumbs herself down deliberately in order not to pass for “elitits” and appeal to the most dumbest common denominator of the Fox and Friends viewers.

    Then you may add master Thespian to her resume…

  69. #70 Steve LaBonne
    April 12, 2010

    I think she dumbs herself down deliberately in order not to pass for “elitists” and appeal to the most dumbest common denominator of the Fox and Friends viewers.

    I don’t think any of that whole tribe of shit-eaters, even the seemingly insane Beck, actually believe any of the swill they purvey to the pathetic dupes who watch them.

  70. #71 Katrina
    April 12, 2010

    Jon Stewart noticed this about Gretchen last December, as seen here:

    http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/tue-december-8-2009/gretchen-carlson-dumbs-down

  71. #72 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    April 12, 2010

    Think of it this way, is it not significant, when teaching an entry level or high school level class on astronomy, to teach of the struggles Galileo had with the church when putting forth helio-centrism?

    Well there you go.

  72. #73 Abdul Alhazred
    April 12, 2010

    OK so the textbook “privileges” Christianity by mentioning one particular creation myth. On the other hand, the partisans of turtles-all-the-way-down haven’t been agitating to prevent teaching biology.

  73. #74 ursulamajor
    April 12, 2010

    “Good morning class. We will be learning about evolution this semester. I will not require that you believe it, but you will be required to understand it and you will be tested on this understanding. Questions about how any religion feels about the origin of life on earth should be directed to your religious leaders, not to me. Thank you.”

    That was tough….

  74. #75 raven
    April 12, 2010

    The Barbie does have a sort of crazed look in her eyes.

    But it also reminds me of a deer caught in the headlights at night.

    I hope she doesn’t try to cross streets by herself.

  75. #76 Sili
    April 12, 2010

    What’s this talk of Windsor? I’ve never seen a half Windsor that small (or crooked for that matter). Unless that tie is significantly thinner than standard, it’s a badly tied four-in-hand. And frankly I find the idea that he’d even know that there are more ways than one to tie a tie laughable.

  76. #77 creating trons
    April 12, 2010

    #74 ursulamajor:

    That was much better than I @ #43.

    Thanx.

  77. #78 timrowledge
    April 12, 2010

    “elitits”? That rather brilliantly encapsulates the wingnut hate of intelligence and their sexism all in one appropriate malapropism

  78. #79 Doug Little
    April 12, 2010

    Sili,

    Yes I think it is a four-in-hand that would make the most sense being the simplest to tie. None of those elitist flamboyant knots for this guy.

  79. #80 MetzO'Magic
    April 12, 2010

    Hmm… possible career choices for a Stanford honors graduate with a degree in sociology:

    1. Stay in academia
    2. Faux News faux dumb blonde
    3. Interact with the public at the counter in McDonald’s

    It’s literally a no-brainer, isn’t it?

  80. #81 dahduh
    April 12, 2010

    And intriguingly, the complainant had a perfectly square head.

  81. #82 Celtic_Evolution
    April 12, 2010

    Yes I think it is a four-in-hand that would make the most sense being the simplest to tie.

    Looking at the video more closely, I agree… this is clearly a four-in-hand knot.

    I still stand by my claim that it’s coming undone because he can’t button his top button, and his tie is in fact serving as a sort of belt for his collar.

  82. #83 zz.rx.zz
    April 12, 2010

    Celtic_Evolution #58

    Wait… what? Did you listen to this guy? He has a clear lack of intelligence regarding the subject, and that most certainly is the problem.

    Do you understand the distinction between intelligence and education? Between intelligence and knowledge?

    Wait… what?? It’s this guy that’s trying to bully the school-board, along with other un-intelligent parents, into treating their silly belief system with deference and force schoolbooks to omit facts that they don’t like. I don’t think you quite understand what bullying really is.

    Do you understand what a tu quoque argument is?

    To some degree PZ plays a role in advancing education awareness in America. But in this case we have mere petty self-aggrandizement: pile denigrations onto a hapless, uneducated, uninformed, misguided individual. That’s what bullying is, bitch.

  83. #84 Steve LaBonne
    April 12, 2010

    Concern troll’s concern is noted.

  84. #85 negentropyeater
    April 12, 2010

    I don’t think any of that whole tribe of shit-eaters, even the seemingly insane Beck, actually believe any of the swill they purvey to the pathetic dupes who watch them.

    What they really are is comedian. They get paid for interpreting a role and following a fiction script that are determined for the sole purpose of pleasing the target audience, confirming their biases and maximizing advertising sales to enrich Murdoch and Fox’s other shareholders.
    It’s only tragic that so many people seem to live in an bubble of warped reality where they can’t tell the difference between comedy and news reporting.

  85. #86 Sven DiMilo
    April 12, 2010

    each chapter is preceded by some sort of relevant story. The brief, one-page summary of the history of challenges to the ToE is one such story.
    I suppose it isn’t, technically, relevant. It’s the style format that the authors chose to use for this text.

    That’s the key context. Most bio texts, at all levels, do just this these days: try to whet the appetite of interest with a little relevant story as chapter prologue, an attempt to take the edge off of the infodump of terms ‘n’ diagrams that follows.
    As an intentionally tengential “interest” piece, directly addressing the history of evolution and its discontents, there is nothing whatsoever wrong with the quote.
    The opposition is solely to the word “myth”.

    (which is pretty fucking stupid)

  86. #87 Matt Penfold
    April 12, 2010

    That’s what bullying is, bitch.

    Tell me, do you deliberately set out to piss people off with you use of misogynistic language, or is it simply incompetence on your part ?

  87. #88 Sven DiMilo
    April 12, 2010

    Gretchen Carlson who graduated with honors from Stanford in Sociology and plays the violin.

    Katrina’s link @#71 includes a clip of her playing (talent competition for the Miss America Pageant). She’s flat.

  88. #89 tsg
    April 12, 2010

    I don’t know where you picked up the term “Zipperhead,” but it’s a racial epithet for people of Asian (and particularly Korean) descent. It’s a very derogatory term, and not just a generic insult.

    Seeing that the person he used in reference to is clearly not Asian, I think it’s safe to say that’s not what he meant by it.

    Next time, please check out Urban Dictionary before slinging around terms like that.

    First, there are 15 definitions in Urban Dictionary for “zipperhead”. Many of them are different from what you claim it “really” means. Second, Urban Dictionary is hardly a reputable source of information. Third, condemning the use of a word based on a single definition specifically chosen for being the most offensive is stupid.

    Shorter me: your concern is noted.

  89. #90 zz.rx.zz
    April 12, 2010

    Tell me, do you deliberately set out to piss people off with you use of misogynistic language, or is it simply incompetence on your part ?

    No reason to get your panties in a bunch.

  90. #91 Matt Penfold
    April 12, 2010

    No reason to get your panties in a bunch.

    I’ll put it down to your being a moron then.

  91. #92 Celtic_Evolution
    April 12, 2010

    Do you understand the distinction between intelligence and education? Between intelligence and knowledge?

    Do you understand the notion of relevance? This guy is clearly, as demonstrated, both uneducated AND unintelligent with regards to the subject he went on national TV to discuss.

    See if you can figure out why I bolded that… don’t pull anything, though.

    Do you understand what a tu quoque argument is?

    Yes. Do you?

    And do you understand what irony is? My argument was to point out the irony of your claim of bullying, when bullying was exactly what this guy has in mind… to bully a school board into forcing facts out of the curriculum in deference to his silly beliefs.

    I think you need to look up tu quoque again, and this time read more carefully, and not off of your “logical fallacy of the day” toilet paper, sport.

    To some degree PZ plays a role in advancing education awareness in America.

    On this blog? Oh stop it… you’re reaching.

    But in this case we have mere petty self-aggrandizement: pile denigrations onto a hapless, uneducated, uninformed, misguided individual.

    Do you have some PZ envy issues? Are you looking to brag to your other internet tough guys about how you “took PZ to task”? Get a grip.

    Did PZ ask this guy to take his hapless, uneducated, uninformed, and misguided thoughts on this subject to fucking national TV? And use that platform to further his attempt at bullying the school board into capitulating to his ignorant demands?

    No, what PZ did is call this asshole out for being ignorant, uninformed and misguided and getting national attention for it.

    That’s what bullying is, bitch.

    .

    Oooohh… we have yet another misogynistic internet tough guy.

    Despite your clear experience in the realm of bullying, you’ve far from shown that to be the case here.

    Now kindly go fuck yourself, tough guy.

  92. #93 PZ Myers
    April 12, 2010

    Sven, must you criticize her appearance?

  93. #94 tsg
    April 12, 2010

    Re: my #89

    I should clarify this:

    Third, condemning the use of a word based on a single definition specifically chosen for being the most offensive, regardless of what was meant when it was used, is stupid.

  94. #95 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    April 12, 2010

    Sven, must you criticize her appearance?

    Unless I’m missing a wink wink from you PZ, Sven wasn’t.

  95. #96 KOPD
    April 12, 2010

    @94

    Actually, that seems to be pretty common here and I got to be ass of the day due to that (not that I didn’t deserve some or most of what I got).

  96. #97 Snitzels
    April 12, 2010

    “The term “myth” is often used colloquially to refer to a false story; however, the academic use of the term generally does not pass judgment on its truth or falsity. In the study of folklore, a myth is a religious narrative explaining how the world and humankind came to be in their present form.”

    So… academically, they don’t even judge the validity of myths or say that myths are false… so why is this guy all upset? Ah, because he’s an idiot.

  97. #98 PZ Myers
    April 12, 2010

    Is that Kurt of the Incheon Zimmermans, or the Gwangju Zimmermans?

    Look at the last sentence of Sven’s last comment, Rev. Then imagine both of my eyes going into intense myoclonic spasms, if that will help.

    I don’t do ‘smilies’. Hate ‘em.

  98. #99 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    April 12, 2010

    humm, let me rephrase that.

    Just incase I’m missing a “wink wink” from you PZ, Sven wasn’t.

  99. #100 Gyeong Hwa Pak, Scholar of Shen Zhou
    April 12, 2010

    I don’t do ‘smilies’. Hate ‘em.

    ;)

    That’s committee-speak for “let’s wait for the noise and notoriety of Mr Zipperhead to die down a bit, so we can ignore the whole stupid proposal”.

    Unfortunately, we know that Zimmerman isn’t the only dumbass creationist raving out there. He may even play the persecution card to get other creationist to pressure the school board.

  100. #101 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    April 12, 2010

    I don’t do ‘smilies’. Hate ‘em.

    Yeah I understand.

    And I assumed the flat his was talking about was the pitch of her violin playing.

  101. #102 Matt Penfold
    April 12, 2010

    And I assumed the flat his was talking about was the pitch of her violin playing.

    It was. PZ decided to jokingly misunderstand and assume it was about how well stacked she was.

  102. #103 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    April 12, 2010

    his = he

    Ok, now that I’ve ruined the “joke” by talking about it too much, back to work.

  103. #104 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    April 12, 2010

    It was. PZ decided to jokingly misunderstand and assume it was about how well stacked she was.

    right, I see that now.

    /slinks off to the corner of his job

  104. #105 Celtic_Evolution
    April 12, 2010

    There’s always one guy in every crowd that needs the joke explained to him… jeez… ;^)

    (I have no problems with winks, PZ, you elitist bastard)

  105. #106 Matt Penfold
    April 12, 2010

    There’s always one guy in every crowd that needs the joke explained to him… jeez… ;^)

    There is.

    I once had to explain the King Arthur, Guinevere, Sir Galahad and razer blade joke to a girl who did not get it.

  106. #107 Ted Zissou
    April 12, 2010

    That guy reminds me of George Liquor – American.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r_Ku2UCbhL4&feature=related

  107. #108 Gyeong Hwa Pak, Scholar of Shen Zhou
    April 12, 2010

    There is.

    I once had to explain the King Arthur, Guinevere, Sir Galahad and razer blade joke to a girl who did not get it.

    I do not get it.

  108. #109 Celtic_Evolution
    April 12, 2010

    I once had to explain the King Arthur, Guinevere, Sir Galahad and razer blade joke to a girl who did not get it.

    I’m so going to regret this but…

    I’m not familiar with this joke…

  109. #110 zz.rx.zz
    April 12, 2010

    Do you understand the notion of relevance? This guy is clearly, as demonstrated, both uneducated AND unintelligent with regards to the subject he went on national TV to discuss.

    Again, I point to the obvious fact that we do not know the level of his intelligence.

    That’s the problem with brainwashing; in fact, smart people are even slightly more susceptible to it. See the chapter “Why Smart People Believe Weird Things” in Michael Shermer’s “Why People Believe Weird Things”.

    You appeared (and still appear) to be justifying the epithets hurled at Zimmerman by pointing to Zimmerman’s actions. That is tu quoque, whether or not your intent was to show irony.

    There’s an educational crisis in this country, as this case highlights. We can respond it in rational ways — by investing in education, scientific literacy, etc. We can try to help the underprivileged, those who have not even been exposed to the most basic of scientific thought.

    Or we can respond with an orgy of locker-room bravado and mutual fellatio by ridiculing the most pitiful, sorry, backward products of our society as shown on television.

  110. #111 Aquaria
    April 12, 2010

    No reason to get your panties in a bunch.

    Wow–keeping digging that hole of stupid, moron.

  111. #112 Sili
    April 12, 2010

    It was. PZ decided to jokingly misunderstand and assume it was about how well stacked she was.

    A blonde walks into a bar and asks the bartender for a double entendre.

    He gives her one.

  112. #113 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 12, 2010

    Yawn, the concern troll is still concerned. He needs some pearls to clutch. And clutch them elsewhere.

  113. #114 kantalope
    April 12, 2010

    Things learned – let me get this straight: concern trolls are concerned that the bullying bully might be getting bullied….bully!!

    **Wear a shirt that fits when going on nat’l TV
    ***Buy Ties at big-n-tall store if you are big and/or tall
    ****Barbies may be too smart to be as dumb as they pretend to be but that too might be really smart (and probably pays well too)
    *There is never a need to get panties in a bunch

  114. #115 dutchdoc
    April 12, 2010

    @PZ himself (re#93)

    Sven, must you criticize her appearance

    Ah! You must have found out she’s a former Miss Minnesota, eh?

    AND… one of her childhood nannies was … Michelle Bachmann!

    link

  115. #116 tsg
    April 12, 2010

    Actually, that seems to be pretty common here and I got to be ass of the day due to that

    As have I. It hasn’t, however, changed my mind.

  116. #117 Steve LaBonne
    April 12, 2010

    Celtic Evolution, I assume it’s this one:

    King Arthur was in Merlin?s laboratory where the good wizard was showing him his latest invention. It was a chastity belt, except it had a rather large hole in the most obvious place.

    ?This is no good, Merlin!? the king exclaimed, ?Look at this opening. How is this supposed to protect m?lady, the Queen??

    ?Ah, sire, just observe,? said Merlin. He then selected his most worn out wand, one that he was going to discard anyway. He inserted it in the gaping aperture of the chastity belt whereupon a small guillotine blade came down and cut it neatly in two.

    ?Merlin, you are a genius!? said the grateful monarch. ?Now I can leave, knowing that my Queen is fully protected.?

    After putting Guinevere in the device, King Arthur then set out upon his Quest.

    Several years passed until he returned to Camelot. Immediately he assembled all of his knights in the courtyard and had them drop their trousers for an informal ?short arm? inspection.

    Sure enough, each and every one of them was either amputated or damaged in some way. All of them, except Sir Galahad.

    ?Sir Galahad,? exclaimed King Arthur. ?My one and only true knight! Only you among all the nobles have been true to me. What is it in my power to grant you? Name it and it is yours!?

    But, alas, Sir Galahad was speechless.

  117. #118 timothy.green.name
    April 12, 2010

    Seeing that the person he used in reference to is clearly not Asian, I think it’s safe to say that’s not what he meant by it.

    I’ve often heard gay used as an insult to describe people (or things) which are clearly not gay. Are you saying that this isn’t a problematic use of language?

    TRiG.

  118. #119 Aquaria
    April 12, 2010

    zzzbszzbszzbszzz:

    You talk about what we don’t know, but you don’t know anything about this guy, either. You don’t know that the guy didn’t have every educational opportunity handed to him and he blew it.

    Even if he was shafted by education in this country, there are people here on Pharyngula who didn’t get a lot of support or opportunities for education who nevertheless don’t go on national TV and presume to tell educators what they can teach children.

    In the end, we can only go by what he says and does. Speculating about his background is pointless.

  119. #120 Doug Little
    April 12, 2010

    Celtic,

    and his tie is in fact serving as a sort of belt for his collar.

    That is some funny shit, people are looking strangely at me LMFAO here at work.

    zz.rx.zz

    There’s an educational crisis in this country, as this case highlights. We can respond it in rational ways — by investing in education, scientific literacy,shirt buttonry,etc. We can try to help the underprivileged, those who have not even been exposed to the most basic of scientific thought and tie knotting procedures.

    There fixed it for you.

  120. #121 Sili
    April 12, 2010

    Looking at the video more closely, I agree… this is clearly a four-in-hand knot.

    I still stand by my claim that it’s coming undone because he can’t button his top button, and his tie is in fact serving as a sort of belt for his collar.

    Oh, you’ll find no argument there. But a full Windsor is usually strong enough to keep the shape when worn loose like that – if needs must.

  121. #122 Celtic_Evolution
    April 12, 2010

    Again, I point to the obvious fact that we do not know the level of his intelligence.

    It’s on display, front and center… did you watch the video?

    You appeared (and still appear) to be justifying the epithets hurled at Zimmerman by pointing to Zimmerman’s actions. That is tu quoque, whether or not your intent was to show irony.

    Wha??? In addition to not understanding what tu quoque actually is and when it’s actually being used, you also still don’t have the foggiest idea what bullying is…

    No, what I’m doing is pointing out the irony of calling what we’re doing bullying. Hurling epithets at a person that isn’t even present, within a blog he’s unlikely to ever visit, amongst ourselves, is hardly bullying.

    Now, taking a case to national TV in an attempt at forcing a school board to capitulate to your demands by using a national negative PR campaign is bullying, and it’s frankly a common bullying tactic that’s been tried many times before.

    Stop embarrassing yourself by continuing to claim that anything we’re doing here on this blog in any way represents bullying this ignoramus.

    There’s an educational crisis in this country, as this case highlights.

    Yes… one this guy is on national TV to continue to deepen.

    We can respond it in rational ways — by investing in education, scientific literacy, etc. We can try to help the underprivileged, those who have not even been exposed to the most basic of scientific thought.

    And we can point and laugh where it is deserved. It’s a useful tactic. Your concern, however, continues to be noted.

  122. #123 tsg
    April 12, 2010

    But, alas, Sir Galahad was speechless.

    The way I heard it: Sir Galahad replied, “a thouthand golth pietheth.”

  123. #124 Feynmaniac
    April 12, 2010

    I still stand by my claim that it’s coming undone because he can’t button his top button, and his tie is in fact serving as a sort of belt for his collar.

    LMAO!

  124. #125 Celtic_Evolution
    April 12, 2010

    #117 Steve LaBonne

    Ahh… thank you… yes.. funny.

    You might need to explain it to Rev. BDC, though…

    Wait… I’ll do it…

    See, Rev… he wasn’t able to speak because his tongues was…

    Eh… nevermind… he’ll find it.

  125. #126 SC OM
    April 12, 2010

    To some degree PZ plays a role in advancing education awareness in America.

    The Pharungulanian Center for Excellence in Promoting Scientific Advocacy for the Advancement of Education Awareness. (I love phrases that mean nothing.)

    the most pitiful, sorry, backward products of our society

    I know I would feel deeply respected to be referred to that way. Clod.

  126. #127 aratina cage
    April 12, 2010

    pile denigrations onto a hapless, uneducated, uninformed, misguided individual. That’s what bullying is, bitch.

    Not another dufus who doesn’t know a damn thing about bullying. *sigh*

  127. #128 zz.rx.zz
    April 12, 2010

    I do admit to planting the “bitch” phrase to see if would cause any alarm. Why should it, though? There’s no moral problem in hurling all manner of epithets at a random person, right?

  128. #129 Celtic_Evolution
    April 12, 2010

    I do admit to planting the “bitch” phrase to see if would cause any alarm.

    So, you both admit to being a troll and a misogynistic fuckstick.

    Why should it, though? There’s no moral problem in hurling all manner of epithets at a random person, right?

    You are a real piece of work, aren’t you? You keep using the word “epithet”, instead of merely “insult”. They mean the same thing, essentially, but your choice of words is quite intentional and is a clear marker of your concern trolling. Insults are fine… we sling them at each other all the time.

    Misogynistic, racist, or other insults of similar ilk are a different story altogether, and unless you’re a complete clownshoe, you already know that.

    Yet you chose to use a misogynistic insult and are now claiming it was intentional as some sort of sociological experiment?

    You’re a piece of shit. Fuck right off.

  129. #130 aratina cage
    April 12, 2010

    I do admit to planting the “bitch” phrase to see if would cause any alarm.

    Trolling is a bannable offense:

    Making comments intended only to disrupt a thread and incite flames and confusion.

  130. #131 tsg
    April 12, 2010

    I’ve often heard gay used as an insult to describe people (or things) which are clearly not gay. Are you saying that this isn’t a problematic use of language?

    It depends on what you mean by “gay” when used as an insult. It’s only problematic if you’re going to assert it can only mean “homosexual (and therefore bad)” when used as one.

  131. #132 Gyeong Hwa Pak, Scholar of Shen Zhou
    April 12, 2010

    I do admit to planting the “bitch” phrase to see if would cause any alarm. Why should it, though? There’s no moral problem in hurling all manner of epithets at a random person, right?

    Idiot. Calling a person a twit or the like denote that person as they are. However, saying ?bitch? implies that there is an inferior quality to females. See the difference?

  132. #133 truebutnotuseful
    April 12, 2010

    I do admit to planting the “bitch” phrase to see if would cause any alarm. Why should it, though? There’s no moral problem in hurling all manner of epithets at a random person, right?

    False equivalence, thy name is zz.rx.zz.

  133. #134 Poggy
    April 12, 2010

    @118

    ‘Gay’ seems quite different to me, as it is a universal term for homosexual people (used by themselves) and also a widely used insult.

    Zipperhead is not a standard term for Asian people, and seems to have several other meanings, according to Urban Dictionary, which you cited.

    PZ isn’t using a standard term for a particular group as an insult. He was clearly building on the gentleman’s name.

    This reminds me of the recent whoo haa over the ‘racist’ Australian KFC advertisement, which was labelled racist by Americans, who were offended that a white guy gave fried chicken to black people, even though most Australians would be unaware of this *American* stereotype.

    My 2 cents.

  134. #135 IslandBrewer
    April 12, 2010

    Wait, there’s one thing I just don’t understand in this entire thread.

    Why didn’t the guy in Tennessee have access to a clip-on? This IS Tennessee, right?

  135. #136 zz.rx.zz
    April 12, 2010

    Oh, get over it already. On the internet, “bitch” is interchangeable with “asshole”, “dickhead”, and such.

    It would only have a misogynistic undertone if I actually said something misogynistic. Furthermore, the name Celtic_Evolution is neither male nor female, nor is there any indication that he/she is female. There is no reason to read it misogynistically.

    And I use “insult” equivalently with “epithet”. That one could read some calculated strategy into this distinction smacks of 9/11 conspiracy thinking.

  136. #137 KOPD
    April 12, 2010

    zz.rx.zz:

    On the internet, you’re an asshat. You’re not going to convince anybody that bitch is not a misogynistic term. CE’s gender has nothing to do with whether calling CE a bitch is a misogynistic act. It’s the fact that the word ‘bitch’ itself is misogynistic because it implies that being female makes one inferior.

  137. #138 Gyeong Hwa Pak, Scholar of Shen Zhou
    April 12, 2010

    It would only have a misogynistic undertone if I actually said something misogynistic. Furthermore, the name Celtic_Evolution is neither male nor female, nor is there any indication that he/she is female. There is no reason to read it misogynistically.

    Still wrong. When used against a female, bitch denotes her female quality as animal like. When used against a male, it emasculates them because of the association of something female with inferiority. In the end, it’s still misogynic.

  138. #139 CJO
    April 12, 2010

    Words have different meanings on the internet? In that case, zz, you’re a fine fellow.

  139. #140 QuarkyGideon
    April 12, 2010

    Teach the controversy folks!

  140. #141 SteveM
    April 12, 2010

    re 137:
    Oh, get over it already. On the internet, “bitch” is interchangeable with “asshole”, “dickhead”, and such.

    so it does not serve a unique role and so can be eliminated. use one of the alternatives, dickhead.

  141. #142 Doug Little
    April 12, 2010

    Why didn’t the guy in Tennessee have access to a clip-on? This IS Tennessee, right?

    He probably tried a clip on but the collar gap due to the missing top button to button hole interface was just to large for the wings of the clip on to bridge. Of course it depends of the particular model of clip on utilized.

    I’m actually surprised that he wore a tie at all. Do you think that it was foisted on him pre-interview to try and make him seem more intelligent to the typical faux viewer? Talk about a wardrobe malfunction.

    Oh look he has a tie on, he must know what he is talking about!

  142. #143 truebutnotuseful
    April 12, 2010

    On the internet, “bitch” is interchangeable with “asshole”, “dickhead”, and such.

    Maybe on your private Internet. But here, where the grown-ups are talking, using the word “bitch” as an insult is considered sexist. But please do continue to publicly defend and excuse your sexism. It’s really quite amusing to witness the defense of an indefensible position.

  143. #144 Celtic_Evolution
    April 12, 2010

    That one could read some calculated strategy into this distinction smacks of 9/11 conspiracy thinking.

    So, ummm, ok Glenn Beck… let me just get these out of the way for you as I’m sure you’ll be using them to magically inject validity into your argument:

    Nazi, Mao, Stalin, Timothy McVeigh, KKK, and, of course, Stalin.

    Oh, and Goats on Fire…

    Did I miss anything?

  144. #145 zz.rx.zz
    April 12, 2010

    It’s curious that the Politically Incorrect Police surfaces at just the moment when someone says something critical.

    For example, consider this comment made here:

    “In the end, however, it seems fear is the only truth this little prick could understand, and to lose his pulpit would have made the bitch cry like…well, …like the little bitch that he is.”

    Nary a word from the PI Police.

    It even appears in the title of a thread on this blog. There were mild objections, but none suggesting that use of the word is equivalent to being a misogynist.

    Get over it, bitches.

  145. #146 aratina cage
    April 12, 2010

    sleepy pills,

    Your HTML-fu sucks.

  146. #147 Gyeong Hwa Pak, Scholar of Shen Zhou
    April 12, 2010

    It’s curious that the Politically Incorrect Police surfaces at just the moment when someone says something critical.

    Claiming PI? Well, assclam, aren’t you the typical misogynist.

    For reference reprocussion =/= oppression, gobshite.

    Get over it, bitches.

    Digging yourself deeper, idiot.

  147. #149 Evolving Squid
    April 12, 2010

    The Faux News subtitle there says it all: Claims bias against Christianity.

    That’s the root of most of the problem with Christians. Their view is that anything that is not clearly and directly supportive of their mythology is “against” them. There is no such thing as a neutral statement. It’s all for or against.

  148. #150 Jadehawk, OM
    April 12, 2010

    so zz.rx.zz’s argument is now that unless we catch every single usage of a misogynist term, we’re not allowed to catch any of them?

    what bull.

  149. #151 zz.rx.zz
    April 12, 2010

    so zz.rx.zz’s argument is now that unless we catch every single usage of a misogynist term, we’re not allowed to catch any of them?

    what bull.

    Since you mention it, in fact one catch will do.

    http://www.google.com/search?q=%2Bsite:scienceblogs.com/pharyngula+%2Bbitch

    If anyone can find a case in there where someone using the word “bitch” is automatically assumed to be a misogynist, I will thoroughly apologize.

    C’mon, be honest. I was being critical of the blog post. Surely that has something to do with such an accusation.

    In the meantime, I leave it to you to ponder why comments such as these are left alone: “Her aunt, who she resembles frighteningly, is a fundamentalist Christian bitch.” http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2010/02/they_dont_really_care_about_th.php#comment-2294901

  150. #152 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 12, 2010

    Our concern troll is still full of shit. A common state of affairs with such trolls. Bad language isn’t in itself bannable, but when used solely to insult the regulars by non-regulars, like our troll is doing, often ends with them in the dungeon. Which is likely to happen shortly as the troll is not making any cogent points about the thread topic, and is just being nasty to be nasty. I’m sure PZ is watching. What a pointless loser.

  151. #153 jcmartz.myopenid.com
    April 12, 2010

    But the biblical creation story is a myth written by someone with little or not creativity at all.

  152. #154 Fluxious
    April 12, 2010

    Despite the deterioration of these comments, this blog is amazing and represents non-theists with the cold honesty necessary to drive the point home. Keep it real (get it?).

  153. #155 Doug Little
    April 12, 2010

    Cold Honesty? I never knew honesty had a temperature, and what point are we supposedly driving home?

  154. #156 Jadehawk, OM
    April 12, 2010

    C’mon, be honest. I was being critical of the blog post. Surely that has something to do with such an accusation.

    yeah, it made your assholery more visible and easier noticable. And since, despite your idiotic claims, we’re not the police, we don’t catch the words in every instance, because we don’t go through threads with the “find” tool to make absolutely sure every single instance gets caught.

    If anyone can find a case in there where someone using the word “bitch” is automatically assumed to be a misogynist, I will thoroughly apologize.

    response 2 comments later

    conversation about the misogyny of “bitching”

    response 2 comments later

    now kindly fuck off with your persecution complex.

  155. #157 Doug Little
    April 12, 2010

    It’s not so curious that the Concern Troll surfaces at just the moment when someone says something critical.

    There fixed it.

  156. #158 Caine, Fleur du mal
    April 12, 2010

    SleepyPills:

    For example, consider this comment made here:

    Sleepy Pills, you run right over to The Intersection, where they’ll have your pearls for PearlClutchin’&trade and they’ll love you. They’ll really love you.

  157. #159 rockman911
    April 12, 2010

    As an educated Tennesseean, this is horribly embarrasing, especially since I live close to the Farragut community (I’m in Oak Ridge). Fortunately, the influx of scientists from the University of Tennessee and Oak Ridge National Laboratory provide a nice liberal foil for the background conservatism that permeates virtually all communities out here…I doubt the schools will drop the text.

  158. #160 Caine, Fleur du mal
    April 12, 2010

    rockman911:

    As an educated Tennesseean, this is horribly embarrasing, especially since I live close to the Farragut community (I’m in Oak Ridge).

    We all get embarrassed by the idiots who surround us. I’m glad you’ve found an oasis of sanity.

    I doubt the schools will drop the text.

    That’s good to know.

  159. #161 Pew Pew Lasers!
    April 12, 2010

    They found more “inaccuracies” in the book? Is this guy a biology teacher now?
    Ugh…this makes me want to bang my head against my desk.

  160. #162 tomdoc
    April 12, 2010

    The Fox headline reads “bias against Christianity” but the creationism fairy tale (sorry I prefer fairy tale to myth, wonder what Zimmerman or Fox would think of me) is actually in the book of Genesis, in the OT; so wouldn’t the bias be a bias against Judiasm? Fox may be showing their ignorance of religion, among other things.

  161. #163 stevieinthecity#9dac9
    April 12, 2010

    The problem for christians is the reality is biased against them. Pointing that out just pisses them off.

  162. #164 zz.rx.zz
    April 12, 2010

    response 2 comments later

    conversation about the misogyny of “bitching”

    response 2 comments later

    Thanks, that is a perfect demonstration of my point.

    In the first case, person A calls person B a “haughty bitch.” Person C chimes in sarcastically that person A is the proud owner of another “misogynistic title.” Person A nonetheless responds rationally to person B. At no point is person B (conveniently) vilified as a misogynist, as if that would amount to a counter-argument.

    In the second case, there is an actual discussion on the word. Differing points of view are put forth. In fact the whole discussion revolves around whether misogynistic overtones are necessarily implied. Again, at no point is it suggested that mere use of the word is sufficient cause to call someone a misogynist.

    In the third case, there are legitimate protests against the word, and some debate. But again, the discussion is about the word itself. It’s not being used as a device for ad hominems.

    Which brings us to the real fallacy here. The claim that I am a misogynist is not only inconsistent with the evidence, but totally irrelevant. This sub-thread is a textbook case of the ad hominem fallacy. Your post alone is filled with silly ad hominems, as if to drive the point home.

    Since I keep hearing the term, I googled “concern troll.” Oh my, this really is 9/11-conspiracy-crazy. Anyone who is critical must covertly be working for the other side? So therefore I am secretly an ID proponent, a creationist, or whatever? Good grief, this is nutty.

    One way to embarrass an ID proponent is to ask him, “What evidence would differentiate intelligent design from an amorphous ‘life force’ which pervades living creatures?” (After all, intelligent design is just another vitalism.) So, what evidence differentiates someone being critical from a concern troll?

  163. #165 entropia
    April 12, 2010

    But, didn’t they want their version taught in science class? This is exactly it. The myth that God created everything in six days.

    I truly can’t understand these creationists. A book tells the story, and they get angry.

  164. #166 Gregory Greenwood
    April 12, 2010

    zz.rx.zz;

    At 83 you said;

    That’s what bullying is, b**ch.

    You claim that you employed this term without intending its use to be misogynistic. Lets say that we accept that you intended to use this term as simply a generic insult, and that you were somehow ignorant of its misogynist undertones. Despite the fact that you are employing a term commonly used to denote a female canine to describe a human being.

    Even if we give you that one, we then come across you post @ 110;

    Or we can respond with an orgy of locker-room bravado and mutual fellatio…

    I suppose that it is possible to interpret your use of such terminology as an innocent short-hand for an environment of conformist thinking. A ‘pressure-cooker’ where dissenting thought is discouraged, even ridiculed, and the engineered consensus is maintained by a mutually congratulatory mindset. After all, the above is a somewhat unwieldy form of words.

    However, your choice of words may equally be read as an expression of homophobia (notwithstanding the presence of many Pharyngulites of both [perhaps I should say all] genders, since you paired the fallatio comment with a reference to a ‘locker room’, which implies a mono-gendered environment) taken alongside your earlier use of the term ‘b**ch’, what we seem to have here may be a course of dealing. Both misogynist and homophobic language used to denigrate those you disagree with. All you need to do now is throw in a few racial ‘epithets’ (to use your favoured term of the day) and you will have the complete set. A one-stop-shop of bigotry.

    I may be being unfair to you I suppose, but even my tendency to readily extend the benefit of the doubt has been stretched to the breaking point by your rationalisations.

    If the use of the language was truly intended to be without malice, then the least you could do is accept that the words may have given legitimate offence to the other commentators here. Attempting to write it off as some kind of laughably unlikely social experiment and then repeating the use of the offending term does nothing other than undermine your claim that the word was not used with misogynist intent. Claiming that ‘b**ch’ is a gender neutral term is an even weaker argument.

    Why not simply retract or re-phrase the posts in question and then proceed to actually contribute to the thread, rather than trying to hide behind transparent semantics?

  165. #167 SC OM
    April 12, 2010

    Again, at no point is it suggested that mere use of the word is sufficient cause to call someone a misogynist.

    Look, asstroll, that’s irrelevant. We’ve had this discussion many times, and no one wants to have it again. Sexist, racist, and homophobic insults aren’t welcome here. If I were you and I had admitted to trolling, which is a bannable offense, I’d be watching my step or slinking quietly away right now rather than continuing to draw attention to my violations of community norms and blog rules.

    And judging by your “defense” of Zimmerman, with friends like you…

  166. #168 Jadehawk, OM
    April 12, 2010

    In the first case, person A calls person B a “haughty bitch.” Person C chimes in sarcastically that person A is the proud owner of another “misogynistic title.”

    your reading comprehension sucks. the “misogynistic title” comment was addressed at person B for gaining another “title” from person A; “haughty bitch” was considered misogynist. do you understand that, you fucking moron?

    It’s not being used as a device for ad hominems.

    you do not know what an ad hominem is. a conclusion, even a potentially incorrect one, isn’t an ad hominem; neither is an insult. show me where people are dismissing your arguments specifically because you used the word “bitch”?

  167. #169 Mike in SD
    April 12, 2010

    For those of you in Minnesota, you might want to check out a St. Paul Saints baseball game. Saints owner Mike Veeck, known for humorous gameday promotions, leaked that his favorite promotion this summer will be “Creationism Day.” Apparently, they will mockingly celebrate Creationism to provide balance after having a 3rd baseman named “Danny Darwin.” http://www.twincities.com/ci_14865209

  168. #170 robinjjj
    April 13, 2010

    Dude, you can’t call him zipperhead. That’s a racial slur against asians. I know he’s not asian, but still. It’s like calling him Mr. Wetback.

    I love how the subtitle on the Fox show is “Claims bias against CHRISTIANITY,” even though the textbook specifies a JUDEO-Christian deity, concerning a myth believed by muslims as well. But noooo, it’s JUST anti-Christian. Jesus, talk about a martyr complex.

  169. #171 BradW
    April 13, 2010

    I apologize for not having read all of the comments, but I simply don’t have the time. Therefore, I apologize if I repeat something that has already been stated.

    The issue with the language in the biology textbook is that of “establishment”(or more accurately in this case “disestablishment”)and has no place in a secondary biology text book. The issue can be more appropriately addressed via history, social studies, and comparative religion courses and that is where students should be directed if the question arises in a biology classroom.

    In 50+ years of different associations with our public school systems, I have known very few biology learning facilitators(teachers: I rather dislike that term as it is probably impossible to “teach” anyone anything; we only learn if we want to)who are competent theologians or theologians who are competent biologists.

  170. #172 'Tis Himself, OM
    April 14, 2010

    BradW #171

    I have known very few biology learning facilitators…who are competent theologians or theologians who are competent biologists.

    Is there such a thing as a “competent theologian”? Since theology is the art of interpreting the thoughts, wants, and wishes of a make-believe being, then theology is simply based on people pulling manure out of their rectums. “Hey, I’ve pulled out the biggest turd so I’m much more competent than these other assholes.”

  171. #173 Sven DiMilo
    April 15, 2010

    “asstroll”?

    gives new meaning to

    TROLIS! PO?EMYJE!

  172. #174 BradW
    April 16, 2010

    #172: exactly!

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