Reality, it’s a bitch


I don’t think I have much to say here other than to urge you to read this great article from the Guardian. I suppose it’s merely a very big advertisement for a new tv special by Dawkins for the BBC called ‘The Genius of Dawkins’ which “sets out to calmly and lucidly explain
a) Why Darwin was so ace, and
b) Just how much evidence there is to support his findings.”

What I found amusing was the analogy of science being that really good friend who tells you not what you want to hear, but what you need to hear. It reminded me of a Sex in the City episode (clear giveaway I’m not single here) where the girls are sitting around chatting and the redhead can’t figure out why some guy isn’t calling her. Each friend makes up complex excuses for how he could be busy, shy, intimidated, etc, but then Carrie’s boyfriend, who was stuck there listening to all this crap finally blurts out, “maybe he’s just not into you.” The girls are shocked and appalled of course. How could he possibly say that? Thankfully the redhead found his candor refreshing and in fact was better off once she accepted that possibility.

The author, Charlie Brooker, brought up three reasons why people are wary of scientists, but #3 is the most important and the one we deal with a lot here in the US:
3) They’re always spoiling our fun, pointing out homeopathy doesn’t work or ghosts don’t exist EVEN THOUGH they KNOW we REALLY, REALLY want to believe in them.

Reality, it’s a bitch. Tough shit. Suck it up, cupcakes. Enough with the “I can’t see how…” or “I wouldn’t want to live in a world where…” or “You can’t prove god (or ghosts, or bigfoot or ghosts or Nessie) isn’t real so it’s reasonable to believe.” Enough already. You’re all just making excuses to indulge in fantasies rather than face reality, and this happens the most after some big tragedy. “Oh god works in mysterious ways.” Yeah, or maybe he’s just not into you, or any of us, or maybe he’s just not there at all.

A rather comical and insightful bit from the article I want to share is this:

If the Bible had contained a passage that claimed gravity is caused by God pulling objects toward the ground with magic invisible threads, we’d still be debating Newton with idiots too.

And I’d add that all of us would be called “Newtonists” no doubt by those idiots.

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41 Responses to “Reality, it’s a bitch”

  1. So let me get this straight. Are you saying that there’s no such thing as a straight single guy who enjoys watching Sex in the City? Can you prove that a straight single guy who enjoys watching Sex in the City doesn’t exist? I can’t see how you can deny that there’s a straight single guy who watches Sex in the City, when it’s obvious to so many people that everybody likes that show. Anyway, I wouldn’t want to live in a world without straight single guys who watch Sex in the City.

  2. Well every straight guy watches it at least a few times. I mean you’ve got “sex” in the title, attractive women and it’s HBO. Eventually once the hopes for seeing sex, or simply just plenty of hot chick nakedness are dashed, then that’s the end to that.

    In the mean time, there’s a whole generation of boys growing up with the name Aidan who may never know why they were named that. Even their fathers don’t know.

    So if anyone finds this Dawkins special on a torrent or something, please post a link. Thanks.

  3. Sweet. Take out the British accent, and that could have been by a guy I know. People make him say things like that all the time.

    I really hope Rhology bothers to read that short article (since I know he won’t bother to read the books I offered him).

    Usually, those videos show up within a week of broadcast, Philly. I wouldn’t be surprised if they post it on Dawkins.net.

    Well every straight guy watches it at least a few times.

    I’ve never seen it. What are you implying?

  4. That you didn’t have HBO when it was on?

    I do enjoy British accents. Maybe I should start a poll – what British accent would you want. Well it would have to be a write in, not multiple choice, although that could be funny. Poof, punter or pundit?

    I think a Gordon Ramsey voice would fit me, although in a debate I think I’d prefer a Cleese.

  5. Not Ricky Gervais?

    I like Condell’s accent.

  6. This is how I imagine Philly with a British accent.

  7. Accent? Queen Victoria’s for me. “We are not amused.” As a second choice, maybe the voice of Cyril Ritchard as Captain Hook.

  8. Sean Connery – “Shaken, not stirred”.

  9. No single completely straight man watches Sex in the City. If your male and watch it for entertainment, and you’re at the very least bi-curious. PERIOD.

    As an aside, I think that Sara Jessica Parker should marry John Elway. You can use it cool program to see what their child would look like:

    http://www.skytower.me.uk/wp-content/horse_teeth.jpg

  10. Well thank you for that scientific reproduction of their possible love child. Of course any put downs of past or present Broncos are always welcomed.

  11. My favourite quote from the article? “What was it that spooked them so? Probably natural selection’s lack of reassuring narrative.” We are brought up on fairy tales, just-so stories, Santa Claus and Jehayzus and (though some do grow up and embrace reality) many people (they seem to be a majority in the USA (not to mention my office)) just cannot grasp that the universe does not operate like those ‘reassuring narratives’ of our childhood.

    Please note that I wrote this with an English accent (note the spelling of ‘favourite’).

    Also, please note, I am straight (married, two kids (great cover, eh?)) and have never watched “Sex in the City.” I was unnaware it existed until after it was off the air.

  12. Never having heard of it is also gay.

  13. Thankfully the redhead found his candor refreshing and in fact was better off once she accepted that possibility.

    And that, ladies and gentlemen, is when every guy forced to watch the show (by whatever female happen to be around) is reminded that TV-series in no way depicts real life anymore.

  14. Evo: No, just cluelessness.

  15. Well said, Toby

  16. Billy, I’ll accept that. As soon as you offer definitive evidence that you aren’t gay.

  17. Figure skating and lack of Chiefs respect = gay. No more evidence needed.

  18. Evo: Happily married to a woman for 19 years (though we were married in Massachesetts), two kids, four cats, minivan (seriously, who but a straight married guy would ever be seen in a mini van?), football fan (a real team, not the Chiefs), baseball fan, hockey fan, gymnastics and figure skating fan, skier (well, I used to be before the Army destroyed my knee), and you should see the way I dress on my days off. What other evidence may I offer?

  19. Read this to (((Wife))). She told me to add that I like musical theater and gourmet cooking. But I have faith that I am straight, no matter the evidence.

  20. Oh yeah, faith does really well here over evidence. Have you taken the Evo challenge?

  21. You do realise that Dick Dawk happily claimed the term “Darwinian” for himself in _The Selfish Gene_, right?

  22. That’s nice. Can you put it in context? In other words, how did say he was?

    Let me direct you to a blog posting at the NY Times, which is reprinted at RichardDawkins.net, entitled “Let’s Get Rid of Darwinism”:

    Then there are the words: Darwinism (sometimes used with the prefix “neo”), Darwinist (ditto), Darwinian.

    Why is this a problem? Because it’s all grossly misleading. It suggests that Darwin was the beginning and the end, the alpha and omega, of evolutionary biology, and that the subject hasn’t changed much in the 149 years since the publication of the “Origin.”

    He wasn’t, and it has. Although several of his ideas — natural and sexual selection among them — remain cornerstones of modern evolutionary biology, the field as a whole has been transformed. If we were to go back in a time machine and fetch him to the present day, he’d find much of evolutionary biology unintelligible — at least until he’d had time to study genetics, statistics and computer science.

    I think that pretty much sums up why using “Darwinian” for anyone who accepts evolution is a mistake. Why, in light of that obvious fact, creationists use it of course is clear – they want to reduce acceptance of the theory to dogmatic veneration of a man, painting it as a cult of sorts. It’s always quite amusing though to see things like this, because it’s like religious people are saying, “look, they’re no better than us”.

  23. Logy:

    Who’s this Dick Dawk you speak of? As far as I knew, The Selfish Gene was written by Richard Dawkins.

    And in what conceivable way is your comment relevant to the discussion in this thread? I think you probably meant to comment here.

  24. No, I don’t have the book. I read it, I don’t own it.
    Look yourself – he was only too happy to claim the label. Maybe he changed his mind – TSG was written a few years ago, after all.

    Dick = abbreviation for Richard.
    Dawk = abbreviation for Dawkins.

    Sorry, I should have been more elementary to accommodate you.

  25. Logy:
    Well, your evidence for its relevance seems backwards to me. Philly’s comment came after yours, by more than half an hour.

    I’m still highly dubious that you actually read The Selfish Gene. You’ve made this claim in a number of places throughout the Atheosphere, but you don’t actually seem to know what the book is about.

    Also, if you don’t have the book in front of you, how do you know exactly what Dawkins said. I assume you didn’t memorize the entire text. Could you give us the edition and page number as a reference? And, just as a test, could you tell us the first and last words of the very next page?

  26. Understanding of a quote is impossible without context. That’s something you’d know if understanding mattered to you instead of scoring points. The fact that you vaguely remember a statement but fail to remember it’s meaning and can’t place it in context is quite telling.

    The NY Times post was addressed partly to ignorant point scorers like you Rho but mostly to those ignorant and ambivalent towards evolution who have or might use “Darwinian” instead of evolution. It was not an appeal to the scientific community or even those with rudimentary knowledge of evolution. That is it’s relevance.

  27. Philly:

    Thanks for reminding me about Logy’s points. I’m going to have to petition his god to deduct ten of them on the grounds that Logy blatantly lied about having read The Selfish Gene. That’s allegedly a sin, right, Philly? I’m kinda thinking that lying might cost more than 10 points, but I’ll leave that between the two of them.

  28. Oops, you’re right. I forgot what brought that up in my mind.
    It was the last lines of the post itself, sorry.

    If the Bible had contained a passage that claimed gravity is caused by God pulling objects toward the ground with magic invisible threads, we’d still be debating Newton with idiots too.

    And I’d add that all of us would be called “Newtonists” no doubt by those idiots.

    That’s what I meant.

    Also, if you don’t have the book in front of you, how do you know exactly what Dawkins said.

    I have a good memory, and that was striking to me.

    Could you give us the edition and page number as a reference? And, just as a test, could you tell us the first and last words of the very next page?

    What part of “No, I don’t have the book. I read it, I don’t own it” don’t you understand? Should I have refrained from using a conjunction? I do not have the book. I got it from the library, read it, and returned it.

  29. Well as always, it depends on interpretation. They’re forbidden to bear false witness against their neighbor. Now imo, it should have stopped at witness, making it an absolute. By adding the second part, it removes it from being an absolute so one could rationalize bearing false witness against anyone they didn’t consider as a neighbor.

    Of course even if they did stop at witness, they’d still be able to weasel out of it probably. Look at “thou shalt not kill”. Sounds like an absolute to me, yet plenty of killing done by self-professed christians. Hell, you can do anything you want as long as you repent before you croak. That’s how it works.

    So Rho you’re what, agreeing with the last lines of my post?

  30. “Neighbor” is not defined as just whatever, biblically, you know. At least have the courage to engage the actual Christian position rather than a strawman. Again.

    I bring up the Darwinian thing b/c a prominent Darwinian happily claimed that label for himself. You seem to be complaining about it – I remind you to look to your betters for an example of your misguidedness.

  31. The more I encounter you Rho, the more I wish I had a button to push that would make the words “you missed the point” appear to save me from typing them.

    The point was anything after “witness” detracts from the commandment. Quibbling over the meaning of neighbor not only misses the point but such quibbling actually validates mine.

  32. Oh, and appeals to authority don’t work over here, so your Dawkins point, even if you could prove it, is still meaningless. Why is that so hard for religious people to grasp? You don’t have to agree with it, but you can at least recognize that it carries no weight over here. I don’t agree with appeals to authority yet I recognize such things work over on the religious side.

  33. So, Logy, you don’t remember a damn thing about the content of The Selfish Gene, but you do “remember” vividly one random quote that you can’t even reference?

    That’s just out-and-out bullshit.

    As far as I can remember, although you’ve misrepresented and mischaracterized various arguments, and bent or ignored the truth in manhy of your comments and responses, you’ve never stooped to downright lies before. But this one is a doozy.

  34. you don’t remember a damn thing about the content of The Selfish Gene

    Never said that. I just haven’t seen the need to give you a book report. Maybe if you were my professor or something…

    you’ve never stooped to downright lies before. But this one is a doozy.

    Prove it. What did I lie about?

  35. Here I wander in expecting a new and snazzy blog post and all I find is 20 new comments of latent hostility. What gives o_Ô

  36. Well I’m getting to another post. For once my problem is not what to write, but what not to write, because I have multiple things on my mind at the moment.

    As for hostility, what’s the problem? I don’t see rainbows and bunnies picking flowers with puppies and kittens in the header of this blog, nor is there a pastel color in sight. I think you must be looking for the rainbowflowersbunniespuppieskittens blog. You came here by mistake, no doubt due to the left turn at Albuquerque.

  37. Correction: left toin at Albequoique.

  38. As for hostility, what’s the problem?

    Who said it was a problem? I merely commented on what I saw <_<

    I don’t see rainbows and bunnies picking flowers with puppies and kittens

    Oh, lemme help you with that!

    Rainbows, bunnies and kittens and puppies!

    I couldn’t find any picking flowers though… In my defence though, I don’t think anyone has seen a rainbow picking flowers (except maybe the occasional speed freak on a really bad trip o_O).

  39. In fairness to Rhology, I went on to Amazon.com’s page for the paperback edition of The Selfish Gene (but not the 30th anniversary edition) and searched the text for the term Darwinian.

    In fact, on pages 190 to 191, Dawkins refers to himself twice not only as a Darwinian, but as “an enthusiastic Darwinian”! Here are the sentences in full:

    As an enthusiastic Darwinian, I have been dissatisfied with explanations that my fellow enthusiasts have offered for human behaviour.

    I am an enthusiastic Darwinian, but I think Darwinism is too big a theory to be confined to the narrow context of the gene..

    The time has probably long since passed where evolutionary biology has outgrown Darwin, though it certainly sounds more pleasant to the ear than Dawkinism!

  40. Going along with the whole Newton/gravity thing, check out these loonies. Based on the Bible, they’ve proved that the world is indeed flat. Genius.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flat_Earth_Society

    Based on his interpretation of certain biblical passages, Rowbotham published a 16-page pamphlet, which he later expanded into a 430-page book, Earth Not a Globe, expounding his views. According to Rowbotham’s system, which he called “Zetetic Astronomy”, the earth is a flat disk centered at the North Pole and bounded along its southern edge by a wall of ice, with the sun and moon 3000 miles (4800 km) and the “cosmos” 3100 miles (5000 km) above earth.

  41. I think the idea that global warming is tied to number of pirates makes far more sense that that

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