ID is a joke

Many years ago, I heard a story about a mohel (the man who performs ritual Jewish circumcisions), and this comment by the Disco. Institute’s Bruce Chapman reminded me of it. Bruce told Tom Bethell (author of the Incorrect Guide to Science):

if I were to carry around Discovery fellows’ peer-reviewed science journal articles on Darwinian theory and intelligent design I would need a suitcase, not a coat pocket.

Boy howdy! A whole suitcase in a decade or so of “research.” It’s a shame that, even when Chapman stretches, he can’t come up with anything more impressive.

Speaking of which, the mohel joke is below the fold.

A mohel is retiring after 30 years of dedicated service to his community. He goes to a leatherworker in town and says, “I’ve kept all the foreskins I removed over these many years and I would like you to make something out of them.” The leatherworker takes the jar full of prepuces, thinks for a moment, and tells the mohel to come back in a month.

A month passes, and the mohel is shocked when the leatherworker gives him a wallet.

“I gave you 30 years worth of foreskins, and all you can make is a wallet! What sort of a gyp is this anyway?”

“Don’t be so hasty, my friend,” the leatherworker calmly explains. “If you rub it, it turns into a suitcase.”


  1. #1 blf
    September 8, 2007

    The claim (about articles in a suitcase) seems easy to test: Get a list of said articles (ask Bruce, he seems to know what they are), count the pages, estimate the volume, and compare with the volume of a suitcase. You also should check that they really are peer-reviewed, and not, e.g., letters to the editor or other such non-reviewed material.

    As far as I know, there’s at most only that one which a cretinist editor printed in a minor geology(?) journal a few years ago. (I believe the article was then throughly dismantled on Panda’s Thumb.) That’s a rather small coat pocket. Of course, it does also fit in a suitcase. With sufficient room for the coat, plus a full change of clothing, laptop, shaving/makeup kit, and a few interesting books to read.

  2. #2 csrster
    September 8, 2007

    They fill a suitcase if you include the unrequested offprints.

  3. #3 Carrie
    September 8, 2007

    Tiny suitcase! :D

  4. #4 CRM-114
    September 8, 2007

    I first heard that joke in 1966. It was likely standard material in the Catskill circuit.

  5. #5 TomS
    September 9, 2007

    In the Derbyshire essay that you pointed to (and to which Bethell was replying), he wrote:

    Creationists themselves are not nice, in either the modern sense (pleasant to be around) or the older one (painstakingly accurate).

    I cannot resist pointing out the history of the word “nice”, with its earliest use in English (now obsolete) as “silly”, stemming from the Latin “nescius”, meaning “not knowing”.

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