Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Happy Birthday, Origin! or: No better reason for a Tuesday-night party!

Today marks the sesquicentennial of On the Origin of Species! I just had to rescue my copy from between my Oxford Annotated Bible (complete with heresy!) and my Encyclopedia of Mythology. I needed heavy books, you see, and I'm not a fan of cleaning up after old projects. It's a metaphor in my basement: somewhere in between the organic collection of fables, and an academic discussion of naturally occurring phenomena, there's science afoot. Or I'm reading too much into a pile and it's just a meaningless coincidence; I mean, the World is full of those, too.

PZ gives thanks and airs grievances, bridging the gap between our autumn harvest and winter solstice. Oh, and he also points out some... some... some I don't know what. I read this earlier today, but was waiting until I got home to watch it with my own eyes, and I watched a lot. I see a guy flail at a couple points, it doesn't look comfortable. And I see a lady holding his hand and moving it to type on a touch screen. Like, he's usually looking vaguely at the shiny screen when they show this "facilitated communication." But I never see him do any typing by himself, and I really have no idea how (or even whether) they checked to see if it was "really him" talking. Like, I'll totally settle for any old footage, but I gotta see something more than this to believe - especially when they say things like, "He was conscious for a long time, but it's difficult to know for how long."

You know why this testing thing is so important to me? Because what if their brain scans are right, and he's "really in there," aware of everything going on - but he's still paralyzed, and all the world is going crazy around him, and he can do nothing but watch helplessly as he's led along in a farce? What then? Damn, I guess we'd better make damn sure, huh?

Anyway, I was reminded of this when I clicked one of the latest posts on the Atheist Blogroll over there to the right, taking me to Infallible Failure. He's also got a post on some more bus ad news! At least the discourse is civil, this time - I would actually like to hear atheists pimping for their worldviews when showing off how happy their kids look, so I won't begrudge that to a Christian (or anyone!). But he and Jen before him are technically correct that they miss the point - and she says it with an awesome MS Paint diagram, so who am I to quibble over technicalities? MS Paint is like cruise control for masterpieces!

No, seriously, stop acting like your kids have to believe the same things you do, Humanity. The more you try to make that happen, the more they'll resent you for it. Read the sign, dammit.

But yeah, happy anniversary of publication to Mr. Darwin! I'm gonna go celebrate.

Oh! And I just saw this, too:
Y'know, as long as I'm linking things, I may as well point you at Caveman Science Fiction, because it's awesome. This guy needs to like do more awesome things, because they're awesome and so is he.

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