Access Research Network Announces: Rich Source of Irony Discovered

Coke says don't eat junk food

(Image from Rose Cantine)

Colorado Springs, CO, March 10, 2009 — In a major announcement today, Access Research Network reports that the depletion of the world’s irony supplies is not as imminent as some experts are predicting.

“Your Seinfeld reruns will be safe for decades to come,” said Kevin Wirth, of ARN. “Although known irony reserves are lower than at any time in the past 30 years, the prediction that the world will soon be out of irony is no better supported than a Darwinist’s claims of molecules to man evolution.”

In fact, the common belief that the world has passed peak irony is unfounded, Wirth says, and he ought to know. He is, after all, ARN’s Director of Product Development. “Nobody produces more irony than creationists. In fact, it’s the only product we develop,” says Wirth. “You can view us as the canaries in the coal mine. As long as creationists are happily pumping irony, the world is in good shape.”

Wirth made his comments today to announce the publication of the latest article on the ARN blog, “You Still Walk Amongst Judges, Prophet Darwin!” Written by ARN Correspondent Robert Deyes.

“Deyes’ article is the richest source of irony ever discovered at ARN,” reported Mr. Wirth. “The entire world could run for almost six months just on the irony contained in that one article! This rich Deyes deposit is showing no signs of depletion.”

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I have reason to believe that the above press release may not have actually come from ARN. Nevertheless, it accurately portrays the irony content of the latest article on the ARN blog (Motto: “Stop silencing Darwin Doubters! But it’s OK if we silence you, because we don’t allow comments on our blog.”). Let’s have a look at what Robert Deyes has written!

Deyes tries to use The Lost World by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle as a lesson in good science. This is ironic right off the bat, because Conan Doyle didn’t know good science when it hit him over the head. Despite Sherlock Holmes’ reputation for pure logic, Doyle himself was completely unacquainted with that skill. Doyle famously believed in fairies and ghosts, two things which are only slightly more credible than Intelligent Design creationism.

Deyes writes:

Conan Doyle’s The Lost World proved to be a resounding bestseller in its first year. Published during the centennial anniversary of On The Origin Of Species

Uhh… what? The Lost World was published in 1912. Since when does 1912 – 1859 = 100?

Oh I see what happened! Checking Deyes’ footnote, we see that his copy was reprinted in 1959! Oh, Deyes! You are such a moron! Conan Doyle died in 1930! How is it you think he was still writing in 1959? He isn’t L. Ron Hubbard, you know!

Set in early 20th century Britain, The Lost World tells a story of four men who ventured out on a voyage of discovery in search of a plateau that, as Professor Challenger unswervingly maintained, harbored a multitude of dinosaurs. Challenger’s claims were initially met with utter disbelief and ridicule…

Hmmm… You don’t suppose Deyes is trying to draw some sort of parallel here with a modern counterpart, do you? Because if he is, he is missing the entire point of the above paragraph. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Challenger was spouting off crazy talk, and he had no evidence to support his claims! Of course the scientists were laughing at him. What Challenger was doing at this point in the story wasn’t science!

But does Challenger claim he is being oppressed? Does he claim that his academic freedom is being suppressed?

Does he collect a few dozen dubious claims of minor and ambiguous snubbing, put it into a book claiming that it represents the slaughter of dissidents, which he pays to publish himself, and then gets ten of his friends to write five-star reviews on Amazon (but then is stuck with 990 copies sitting in his garage for eternity)?

Does he hire a former Nixon speechwriter and discredited economist to claim that people he disagrees with are responsible for socialism, communism, fascism, and genocide?

NO!

Challenger realizes that the scientists have a point. Unlike every creationist who has ever lived, Challenger actually goes out in search of evidence! What an amazing idea! Hear that, Deyes? Some people actually go out and collect data to support their claims!

Oh, look! A tiny bit of that concept actually managed to filter into Deyes’ thick skull. Look what he wrote next:

Challenger knew that his claims would have to be rigorously tested…

A gusher!! An irony gusher!!

Black gold!

Texas tea!

He was determined to bring back the empirical evidence that in his eyes would win him a position as one of the “prophets” of science alongside the likes of Galileo and Darwin. As his fellow travelers reminded him, “he was a man whose veracity was upon trial”, a man who, “walked among his own judges”.

Deyes wants to be sure we pick up on the “prophet” and “judges” labels, so he can spring a trap on the Darwinists at the end.

If Challenger’s expedition had returned without the slightest shred of observable evidence after having scoured the entire Amazonian jungle for the prehistoric plateau, his claim would have been classified as non-proven.

It’s amazing that Deyes is capable of comprehending this point when it is presented to him in a novel. But he can’t comprehend that creationists have spent the last several centuries scouring the entire world for any evidence to support any flavor of creationism, and they “returned without the slightest shred of observable evidence”. Their claim has “been classified as non-proven.”

Deyes then describes what happens when Challenger’s expedition returns. Summerlee, one of the team members…

…then proceeded to give a detailed account of the incredible diversity of prehistoric wildlife that they had encountered. Still, the audience made the hard but reasonable demand for solid proof in support of Summerlee’s accounts- science after all needs solid empirical data to test its hypotheses, not just ideas and inferences based on personal desires [emphasis added]

Yes. A creationist wrote the above paragraph. No. Apparently he doesn’t understand the very lesson he’s trying to give us.

We learn many a lesson from Conan Doyle’s thriller…

What’s this “we” shit, kemosabe?

…perhaps the most important being the absolute need for strong evidence and empirical rigor in science. [emphasis added]

I’m floored too. This is like Hurricane Katrina. It’s a broken levy of irony. The whole metropolis is flooded.

But look where Deyes goes with this. He completely misses the fact that both ARN and the Discovery Institute promote Intelligent Design creationism as science. Look what he writes next:

Ironically…

You know when fundies start off with that word that you’re about to witness gloriously oblivious reverse irony.

…such a lesson is entirely relevant to discussions on the apparent solidity of the “facts” of Darwinian evolution.

Yes, be sure to put “facts” in irony quotes! After all, those facts aren’t nearly as solid as the Intelligent Design creationism facts! There are mere “facts”, and then there are FACTS! When God was designing the universe, he made sure to create two types of facts. Real facts, which can only be detected by creationists, and fake facts, which can only be detected by people who are blinded by Satan.

While Darwin’s theory has been famously described as “one of the most illuminating scientific ideas of all time”, there is a growing body of respected scientists who are today skeptical about its macro-evolutionary aspects.

Deyes does give a footnote here, but it’s to a list compiled by Jerry Bergman of all people. It’s probably the same list of 700 that the Discovery Institute has been promoting. That list was discredited a while ago (Many thanks to Alcari, who found the video disproving the list!).

Deyes then goes on to quote mine and cherry pick and pretend to reveal all sorts of limitations in “Darwinism”. Blah, blah, blah. We’ve heard those lies before. Get back to the funny stuff!

Clearly there is much to be debated.

Is Robert Deyes merely ignorant or a total blooming idiot? Defending the ignorant argument is the Harvard Debate Team. Their opponent this evening, taking the blooming idiot side, is the Yale Debate Team…

I’m sorry. I drifted into a daydream. Where were we?

It seems somewhat ironic therefore…

…that Deyes keeps using that term without understanding that he is the irony.

…that the births of both Darwin and Conan Doyle should be brought together in a co-celebration of scientific and literary achievement…

…leaving Robert Deyes out in the cold, because he is incapable of either scientific or literary achievement.

After all unlike Conan Doyle’s Challenger, Darwin quite clearly continues to walk amongst his own judges.

Darwin’s real judges pronounced him accurate a century ago. Robert Deyes, however, still walks among his judges. They are about to decide whether he is an imbecile.

How say you?

16 Responses to “Access Research Network Announces: Rich Source of Irony Discovered”

  1. Alcari Says:

    I think this is the video you meant:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ty1Bo6GmPqM

    By DonExodus2, named “List of Scientists Rejecting Evolution- Do they really?”

  2. Lilyana Says:

    I say Yea! That man is an imbecile.

    While Darwin’s theory has been famously described as “one of the most illuminating scientific ideas of all time”, there is a growing body of respected scientists who are today skeptical about its macro-evolutionary aspects.

    The important part here is not that the list has been discredited, but that the list is irrelevant. I’m sure if I put a bit of effort into it I could find 700 scientists who think that psychology is not a valid field of science. But that makes it no less valid and makes many advances achieved in the field no less valid much as evolution has still shown to be within a strong margin of certainty to be true and advances achieved using evolutionary knowledge are no less valid. Also note, he mentions “scientists” as opposed to “biologists.” A physicist is not an expert in biology, and by extension evolution, but an expert in physics. As such, there is a much greater likelihood of “head-stuck-up-ass-pulling-shit-out syndrome” trying to emphasize respectability and expertise in fields outside of their expertise.

    P.S. CITATIONS, CITATIONS, CITATIONS! Learn them. Use them. It’s how people know you aren’t pulling shit out of your ass, which clearly Deyes is.

  3. Lilyana Says:

    P.P.S. Halfway through I almost had hope that maybe, just maybe some crazy fundie might have dawned on understanding and wouldn’t just pull things out of their rear end. Why must the world always disappoint me so? At least this one manages one [false] citation and almost makes an intelligent argument. Almost.

  4. Willis Says:

    Great Post!

  5. Jeff Eyges Says:

    there is a growing body of respected scientists

    They keep saying this. They need so desperately to believe that they’re winning, that increasing numbers of people are rallying to their side.

  6. Alcari Says:

    @Lilyana
    As a parody of the list, “Project Steve” is a listing of over 1000 biologists named Steve who support evolution.

    Still, the problem isn’t with numbers, or expertise. The problem is that creationists do seem to have taken the whole “Obey thy master” thing a little too seriously. They treat science like they treat religion: “X said it, I believe it, case closed”. That’s why you see so many personal attacks against Darwin. Creationists treat him like some kind of evolution pope, whose word is law.

    They fail to see that we say “Darwin was right”, not because he was Darwin, but because he was right.

  7. Parrotlover77 Says:

    Alcari – That’s also why when any biologist says something like “here’s a few flaws with Darwin’s natural selection,” pointing out some of the refining that’s been happening over the past 150 years, that creationists jump onto it and loudly proclaim, “SEE DARWIN WAS WROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONG! LOOOOOOOOOOOOSERS!”

    Quite sad, really.

    BTW, Ron, that image had me on the floor. OMFG that is awesome.

  8. Ron Britton Says:

    Lilyana:

    Halfway through I almost had hope that maybe, just maybe some crazy fundie might have dawned on understanding and wouldn’t just pull things out of their rear end.

    The reason this imbecile didn’t comprehend the very things he was trying to teach us is that none of the morons at the Discovery Institute or ARN or anywhere else are in the business of proving creationism. If I had a hypothesis that contradicted the common understanding of something, I would do exactly what Professor Challenger did. I’d go out and collect data that can withstand rigorous scrutiny.

    Clearly, they have no such intentions. Their only goal is to cast enough doubt on evolution that they discredit evolution in the minds of the populace. Creationism was the default belief for thousands of years. If people reject evolution, they will naturally return to creationism, and Jesus’ army gets bigger.

  9. Ron Britton Says:

    At least this one manages one [false] citation

    If you read the article, it’s full of citations, but almost all of them are to passages in The Lost World that support his statements. Fundies are real good about quoting passages from a single book.

    He does have a couple of other citations, but they’re just to creationism sites, so that’s exactly the same as pulling something out of his ass.

  10. Ron Britton Says:

    Jeff:

    there is a growing body of respected scientists

    They keep saying this. They need so desperately to believe that they’re winning, that increasing numbers of people are rallying to their side.

    This comes down to what they really know. Many of them really do believe what they say, but some of them are intentionally lying in order to create FUD about evolution. This claim about the growing number of scientists who reject evolution is part of that. Every single state lawmaker who proposes an “academic freedom” bill cites this “groundswell of scientists” who reject evolution as justification for the need to give equal time to religion in the classroom.

  11. Ron Britton Says:

    PL:

    BTW, Ron, that image had me on the floor. OMFG that is awesome.

    It crosses over from merely amusing to hilarious (and ironic) when you see who produced the sign. Interestingly, if you follow the link to where I pulled it from, she gives the impression that she had it on her site for a few days, and nobody got the joke. I was hoping my readers would be less oblivious.

  12. Ron Britton Says:

    Alcari:

    Yes! That’s the video. Thank you!

  13. Parrotlover77 Says:

    If you read the article, it’s full of citations, but almost all of them are to passages in The Lost World that support his statements. Fundies are real good about quoting passages from a single book.

    I’m trying to decide if that’s a new low. I mean he’s quoting a work of fiction to prove a scientific point?

    Well, I guess they cite the bible all the time, but I mean a contemporary (comparatively) work of fiction…

  14. Parrotlover77 Says:

    It crosses over from merely amusing to hilarious (and ironic) when you see who produced the sign. Interestingly, if you follow the link to where I pulled it from, she gives the impression that she had it on her site for a few days, and nobody got the joke. I was hoping my readers would be less oblivious.

    Before I saw the sponsor, I found it hillarious and ironic. Because I kept picturing a balding, fat, stereotypical american with a cheeseburger and milkshake in hand (and ketchup stain on his shirt) reading the sign thinking, “wow that’s weird. I wonder why this stuff is so bad for them?”

    Then when I saw the sponsor which added another giggle and a head nod of approval of the irony, but most of the humor (for me, anyway) was got in that above mental image. :-)

  15. Dana Hunter Says:

    Motion carried. He is indeed an imbecile.

    I’m so rich in irony right now I feel like I could stick forks to myself. Or possibly in my eyes. It’s a good thing I read that drivel through your filter, Ron. You’re a brave, brave man.

  16. Lilyana Says:

    @ Ron Britton

    Ah yes. I see now. Thank you for pointing out my error. He did in fact use a few citations. I retract my statement. I apo…sorr…apolog…ah screw it. Just can’t apologize to a fundie. Guess that makes me a bad person. The utter lack of comprehension and bullshit he spouts still leaves me way ahead though. I’ll apologize when he does.