The Lower Quote, As If You Didn't Know, Is By Richard Dawkins, Son.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Ball-Peen Dobson & Jillette Gets It Wrong

Part Un

James Dobson is a tool.

His new website says there is no evidence for animal homosexuality. Really? Hm. How about National Geographic? They a solid enough source for you? Who are you going to believe when it comes to animal research - National Geographic Magazine, or some douchehat who thinks there's a man floating in the sky? Yeah, thought so.

"Dogs don't 'moo', therefore gayness is bad"? What kind of fucked up peyote flashback from the '60s did Dobson have to slowly psychiatrist's-chaise-lounge himself through in order to have that make sense? Fuck, it's like he's Luke Skywalker going into the Dark-Side Tree on Dagobah and he saw himself all gay like Mr. Garrison, so now he hates fags.

Can we put him in jail with Hovind? Is that at all possible? I don't know what for, I'm just fishing for ideas...

Part Deux

I like Penn Jillette. I like him on the radio, The Aristocrats was great, Bullshit is almost always bang on, Penn & Teller rock as a magic act, and his writing is funny and intelligent.

I was listening to his radio show the other day and the topic was stem-cell research. It was before Bush vetoed the thing, but everyone knew he was going to. Jillette's position (what he refers to as the "libertarian nut" position) is that the Government funding stem cell research is wrong because governments shouldn't be involved in anything that not everyone agrees upon, therefore Bush is correct to veto the bill - albeit for entirely wrong reasons. Bush did it because he thinks fetusus are people, much like soylent green.

My problem with Jillette's logic here reminds me of an episode of The Dennis Miller Show where the guest was George Carlin. Miller asked about the military and Carlin said that for all the wars and shit that were happening, he blamed the soldiers who kept showing up. His argument was, "Fuck 'em (the "suits" and generals), nobody go - what are they gonna do? Courtmarshall everyone?"

Miller razzed him a bit about blaming a young kid who is probably scared out of his mind and blah blah blah, but Carlin's response was enlightening; he said, "I'm talking about a macro idea: no one show up. I'm not living in the same world as you people."

Carlin was referring to an idea that would work in an idealized world. That's the same as Jillette's idea of individuals funding stem cell research based on their agreement with the concept, while not paying taxes to the government. When he says that Bush did the right thing in vetoing the bill, he's talking as if we were actually living in that utopian world - we're most certainly not. You can't take a fantasy world idea and apply the conclusions to reality.

Government funding is what will allow stem cell research to continue. Individuals can't fund it and everyone pays taxes, that's the reality. I agree with him in principle, but I also agree with the idea of me getting four blow-jobs a week. The harsh truth of my life situation dictates that I must take what I get.

7 Barbaric Yawps:

At 23/7/06 4:31 am, Blogger Thursday said...

Been watching a lot of his "Bullshit" series lately. They've been fun, but his libertarian streak gets a little tiresome (to me, anyway), and they do have a habit of using a false dichotomy argument. Part of it comes from being forced into an entertaining half-hour format, sure; but when you're relying on the Cato Institute as your only source to counter enviromentalist arguments? Then something's lacking in your debate, boyo...

 
At 23/7/06 9:16 pm, Anonymous modusoperandi said...

Yes, the environmentalism one was terrible. Proving that the "other side" is wrong by showing one group of kids that don't know what they're fighting for and one person's interpretation of one study is a pretty weak argument.

It would be better as in a one hour format. Provided, of course, that they used the extra time for more than strawman arguments.

 
At 25/7/06 3:56 am, Blogger Thursday said...

My favorite "debunker" series is still Mythbusters. I just loved Adam's reaction after they tried to test pyramid power:

"Can we please, PLEASE never do this made-up stuff again? Could we just do actual, real world experiments from now on?"

I'm paraphrasing a little, but not by much. These guys like playing with physics, not fantasy.

 
At 27/7/06 3:03 pm, Anonymous modusoperandi said...

...of course Adam is the same guy who got his lip sucked into a vacuum cleaner motor...

Randi is the best debunker. He should have his own show.

 
At 27/7/06 3:23 pm, Blogger BigHeathenMike said...

Love Mythbusters (Adam's lip in the vacuum motor was too funny - he is prone to bouts of retardedness) but Randi having his own show would rock my Casbah.

 
At 28/7/06 1:18 pm, Anonymous modusoperandi said...

yes, the interview with him in the extras for bullshit season 1 was sweet.

Too bad Penn had to ruin it by dressing up as a Miami Vice pimp...and by talking way too much. Also the sound level was all over the place.

Randi, as usual, was witty and adorable (I'm certain he'd fit in my jacket pocket).

 
At 30/7/06 6:11 am, Anonymous modusoperandi said...

I just saw the Bullshit episode on Recycling.

One word.

Awful.

Their argument boiled down to being against recycling because it takes more energy to recycle plastic than it does to make new plastic (completely ignoring that a significant part of plastics recycling cost is the "hand sorting" cost of filtering the, what, 14 different types/variations of plastic that are only distinguishable by that little "recycle #" on the bottom of the bottle) and that it's cheaper to just dump it.

Of course it's cheaper to dump it: it's always cheaper to do nothing than to do something. That doesn't make it right.

Sigh.

Their show is certainly hit-or-miss, even occasionally (dare I say it), bullshit.

Randi should debunk their bad episodes.

 

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