Saturday, July 08, 2006


The Prophet (sp?) of Flatulence

Ann Coulter's book (to the extent it is hers), Godless: The Church of Liberalism, contains a ham-fisted attempt to mimic the whimsy of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, which was created to mock the ID-spouting biblical literalists on the Kansas School Board. Coulter's stab at humor is called the "Flatulent Raccoon Theory."

Throw in enough words like imagine, perhaps, and might have -- and you've got yourself a scientific theory! How about this: Imagine a giant raccoon passed gas and perhaps the resulting gas might have created the vast variety of life we see on Earth. And if you don't accept the giant raccoon flatulence theory for the origin of life, you must be a fundamentalist Christian nut who believes the Earth is flat. That's basically how the argument for evolution goes [emphasis in original]. (p. 214)

Now I would have thought that a giant fart would be a better description of the Big Bang than the development of life over some 3.8 billion years. And, of course, the Big Bang, ID advocates assure us, is evidence for design. And since we cannot ask about the nature and attributes of the designer, why not a raccoon? Naturally, if you don't believe in the Flatulent Raccoon, you must be an atheistic Darwinist.

Why is it that the clueless always wind up in such obvious projection, if not unconscious self-parody?

Anyway, there is now a massive and (to the extent I've been able to go through it so far) excellent point-by-point refutation by Robert Savillo of the supposed "controversy" about evolutionary theory set out in Coulter's book which, according to William Dembski, is an accurate summation of the case against evolution that the Kansas standards are supposed to encourage.

Case closed, then.
P.S. For more debunking of Coulter's and Dembski's nonsense, check out James Downard's articles, "Secondary Addiction: Ann Coulter on Evolution," Part I and Part II at Talk Reason as well.
P.P.S. Now it can be revealed! Carl Zimmer is the Giant Flatulent Raccoon!

So Coulter attacks the theory of evolution by likening it to a patently absurd caricature she calls the Flatulent Raccoon Theory. Does she explain how the belief that a giant raccoon farted the universe into existence is any more absurd than the belief that it was conjured out of nothing by an old man with a white beard who happened to have nothing better to do that particular aeon?
No, of course not, silly!

That is, I suppose, actually the point of Coulter and the rest of the creationists. They think "science" means pulling any old crap out of your nether regions that sounds vaguely plausible. At least they hope their readers will think that's what it is, because otherwise they will see that "creation science" and ID are just pale imitations of science.
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