One discoverer of double-helix turns out to be fool

Happy Jihad’s House of Pancakes (which has some almost painfully funny posts, like this on Beowulf, and some generally sparkling use of language) quoted Answers in Genesis on the racist garbage reported as having come from the mouth of (Mr DNA) Watson.

What is perhaps most notable is that despite the flak from other scientists, Watson is being entirely true to his atheistic, Darwinist beliefs.

This got me frothing with righteous rage, as nothing has since – well – yesterday, probably. I am going to say this once, despite my desire to repeat it infinitely. But I ‘ll use Bold and caps. Just in case, it’s not clear.


It is science in the same way that crystal aura therapy is medicine.*

Everyone on the planet is of mixed genetic heritage.

However, the human race seems to have indeed originated in Africa, which makes us all genetically African. Which is obviously a problem for Watson, because that includes him in the allegedly less intelligent section of humankind. (Along with, oh I don’t know, 100% of the human species.)

Watson’s adherence to a completely stupid belief system (the unfounded belief that there are races and that there are better and worse ones) does not relate to his atheism. Nor even to his so-called “Darwinism” (which I will take as referring to his recognition of the evidence for evolution, as I am unaware that Darwin devised a philosophical system.)

Wingnut daily took evident delight in drawing a connection between Watson’s casual Jade-Goody-style racism and his failure to believe in God. As if they somehow reflected on atheism itself, in conceptual contrast to the rainbow-coloured-group-hug gathering of brothers and sisters in Christ. As if atheism breeds racism…..

It’s therefore worth pointing quite how recently the US religious right became anti-racists. There was virtual apartheid in the Southern States until the 1960s. And it didn’t go quietly either.

*Unnecessary footnote to spell this out but I’m going to anyway. Just in case someone like Watson ever reads this:

Think “human race.” In this case, the word “race” means “species” – an abhorrent connotation when it’s carried over subliminally into the whole discourse of “race” to refer to … well, what? What else does “race” mean. It would have to have a definable meaning, surely, if Watson believes it can be used in “scientific” experiments to measure “intelligence” (and since when have we had valid cross-cultural measures of that?)

As a concept, “race” has a relatively short and murky history. It was developed, as an ideology, in support of the genocide of the native population of the Americas and, above all, the Atlantic Slave Trade – in order to appease the consciences of the societies that profited, by inventing categories of human beings who could be considered less than human. The idea of race was further refined through centuries of European colonial expansion.

(The Romans had slaves who were mainly Northern Europeans. They characterised all non-Romans as barbarians, i.e. not fully civilised human beings. This [seeing people you are oppressing as not really beings human] seems to go with the slavery territory. However, it wasn’t full-blown racism. Maybe you need pseudo-science to underpin that.)

From the European perspective, “race” got a pseudo-scientific gloss, in Victorian times, along with lots of other wierd pseudo-science concepts about human beings, like phrenology or Lombroso’s identification of criminals by their facial features.

Racist ideas were thus conveniently placed to support the full-blown era of European colonialism in Africa, in the later years of the 19th century. In the 1930s, as colonialism was falling apart, “race” appeared as part of the odious concept of eugenics, which, of course, found its full expression under the Nazis.

In the USA, false concepts of race were used to “justify” slavery and post-slavery Jim Crow laws until the mid-1960s.

Racism seems to have two main flavours: the monochrome (blacks/whites) version or a graduated scale (e.g. the brazilian version with seemingly dozens of distinctions between moreno and louro).

Trying to treat this hateful concept with some undeserved respect, at best it could be seen as a shorthand to describe varying collections of physical and ethnic characteristics. Hence, the Victorian English were able to conceive of the Irish as a different race, on the basis of a slightly greater statistical preponderance of red hair, a different accent, a potato-heavy diet and an adherence to the catholic religion.

The very fact that races cannot be defined outside of culture should be a clue to the purely cultural nature of the construct of race.

Racial definitions continue to manifest themselves very differently throughout the world. In the US, you are racially black if you have even one distant African ancestor. Americans who would be considered unquestionably white in Africa are considered unquestionably black in the US. Do they gain or lose IQ points according to their surroundings?

Turning the other cheek?

An advert on Wingnut Daily leads to “The ultimate biblical exploration of self-defence”, a book with the title Shooting Back also available as “an exciting DVD.”

What would you do if armed terrorists broke into your church and starting attacking your friends with automatic weapons in the middle of a worship service?

Well, that is one form of terrorist attack that is never going to affect us non-believers….. You might therefore think a common-sense solution to that imaginary scenario for phobic believers might be to maybe stop going to church, but this book doesn’t go down that route….

It’s advice for his fellow worldnutters from a South African who was in a church that was attacked in 1993. (Don’t ask me if it was one of those extremist Terre-Blanche-style-white-hate-“churches” because they don’t actually mention that small detail. )

….But van Wyk was not defenseless that day. Had he been unarmed like the other congregants, the slaughter would have been much worse.
“Instinctively, I knelt down behind the bench in front of me and pulled out my .38 special snub-nosed revolver, which I always carried with me,” he writes in “Shooting Back,” a book being published for the first time in America next month by WND Books. “I would have felt undressed without it. Many people could not understand why I would carry a firearm into a church service, but I argued that this was a particularly dangerous time in South Africa.”

Many people indeed might not understand why someone would carry a firearm into a church service.

(I am a mite distracted by the odd physical conformation of someone who is naked without a gun. How much human flesh can a gun cover? Is he a really odd shaped human? Is it a pretty large gun like an anti-aircraft weapon. That might cover enough flesh to constitute an article of clothing. However, it would be hard for it to pass unnoticed by even the dumbest church-attackers.

If he put the gun behind a bench, was he was therefore conceptually naked in his church? No, my misunderstanding. The gun wasn’t behind the bench. To cover his conceptual nakedness effectively, it must have been stashed somewhere about his person that he couldn’t get at without having to do the modest thing and get behind a bench. )

Now, maybe I am being a bit too biblically literal here but from my school Religious Knowledge lessons, I don’t remember much in the New Testament about fighting back with maximum firepower? I thought it was all about loving thine enemies and turning the other cheek. My misunderstanding. That was another New Testament altogether.

But, I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt. In fact I’ll see his paranoid advice and raise it.

I myself feel in a state of mortal terror unless I’m armed with at least a couple of dozen inter-continental ballistic weapons. I mean, you never know when you might come under attack and have to protect innocents around you. So I always feel that a few medium-to-long range nuclear weapons gives you all the security you need. Why stop at carrying mere hand-guns into church?

And indeed, what utopian fool would go anywhere without wearing at least an NBC suit over a set of Kevlar underwear? And carrying a light submachine gun. We live in a dangerous world.

Sorry, I just had to share

I decided I would see if good ol’boy Chuck Norris was back blogging about his doing the “cruel and unusual” thing and visiting US troops in Iraq. (Yes, some people are just really easily amused. I admit it.)

I lazily typed “worldnet daily” into the Google search bar, forgetting I was in Google Images rather than standard Google.

Showing that the singularity is here and that computer networks have achieved sentience, it said

Did you mean: worldnutdaily?

Real men don’t eat quiche

According to worldnet daily human sexual orientation results from consuming the wrong legumes.

You think i’m making this up. I can tell. (Granted it’s not news, it’s a post nearly a year old. I spotted it while looking at other tosh on worldnet dialy. It was such a bizarre headline that I had to read the piece.)

How about

Soy is making kids ‘gay’

I know there are some reasonably strong arguments that soya-based foods that haven’t been fermented in the traditional ways, are dubious and not just as a source of estrogen-like compounds. (Quite apart from the facts that they almost inevitably taste crap and that farming them attracts massive agro-industrial subsidies and can involve clearing forest.)

However, it’s a whole other world to assume that this proves to the general effects that Jim Rutz claims – some of which would surely get any medicine banned instantly, let alone a food product. But the “soya makes kids gay” argument is in a class of its own…..

I assume the gayness applies only to males and is the supposed outcome of taking in phyto-estrogens. Cast aside any other thoughts you might have about this bullshit.

Doesn’t it suggest that these wingnuts have to stop ranting against gay men if there is any internal consistency in their arguments? It treats gay men as unwitting victims of hormone imbalance. So demanding that they stop being gay would be like demanding that the congenitally blind make the bloody effort to see.

A quote from Mr Rutz’s page 3:

My larger concern is that the increasing number of less robust 15-year-olds who are already “struggling with their sexual identity” will be shoved over that thin line into homosexuality. No, they won’t wake up some morning with floppy wrists and a nasal lisp, but they may begin to gravitate toward social circles where they feel more comfortable — and less expected to be rowdy or brag about a string of sexual conquests. And once a teen is ensconced in a homosexual milieu, breaking free from it could mean abandoning his best friends.

What a disturbing picture of “gay” and “straight” teenage boys here. Non-estrogenised straight boys are expected to be “rowdy or brag about a string of sexual conquests.” Oddly, this stereotype almost defines for me the very picture of a lad “struggling with his sexual identity.” But maybe that’s what counts as normal for wingnuts.

Wing-nut t-shirts

Reinforcements sent to Iraq – Chuck Norris!
In visit to encourage troops, says surge working, morale ‘way up’

(From the reliably bonkers Worldnet daily of course.) Haven’t the Iraqi people and the US troops suffered enough?

I was browsing the Worldnet daily. (Well, looking for a cheap laugh, since you ask.) From that post about the intrinsically-comical Chuck Norris, I followed a link to a company selling conservative t-shirts.

How po-faced is this? From a gif at the top of the page.

Humor? (hyoo’mer), n. The ability to perceive, enjoy or express what is comical amusing or absurd.

So now you know what humour means.

That’s obviously there to shed some reflected comedy on the t-shirt slogans. In case you don’t realise they are supposed to be “funny.” Not surprising really, given the dearth of the evidence. Still, I’ll have to see how far this definition applies to some of the t-shirts on show.

E.g. “Old School Conservative 1980” around Reagan’s face. Comical? Well, no. Amusing? No again. Absurd? No, again.
“Celebrate diversity” and a picture of lots of different guns. No. No. Maybe.
“Redefeat communism” with the red circle with a slanting line that you see on a no-smoking sign but with Hilary Clinton’s face in it. No. No. Yes. But not in a funny way, surely.
Che’s face in the same no smoking sign. No. No. No.
“Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms. Should be a convenience store. Not a government agency.” A bit. A bit. No.
“Better Fred than Dead” and “Fred Thompson 08. Kill the terrorists. Protect the borders. Punch the Hippies” both with a picture of that chap who used to have a bit part in Lawn Order. No. No. No. for both.
The Baby t-shirts are really depressing. Who on earth would want to parade a toddler round with these slogans on their chest?

  • (Smiley face) Imagine no liberals.
  • Help! Ted Kennedy drives me to daycare.
  • I survived Roe v Wade

I have a question, though, after looking at so many right-wing “comedy” t-shirts that I fear I may never laugh again,. The conservative pin-ups at the bottom of the page include “Fox News contributor Michelle Malkin,” wearing a t-shirt with the word NUKE visible in large letters. I can’t see enough of it to read the “humourous” (sorry, “humorous”) slogan in full but I swear I can’t find one on the site with a comedy NUKE slogan….

Nukes are so funny, after all.
I’m sure this slogan would have me laughing hard enough to split the seams on any

100% preshrunk heavyweight cotton Style: Men’s short sleeve tee Color: White

(Oddly, no “women’s short sleeve”, etc but a monster range of sizes)