I’d prefer Twizzlers
As an Aussie, I must endorse Jaffas.
Red Vines are where it’s at!
When it comes to licorice, I like the traditional black straps best of all.
Eeeeuuuuuugggghhhh. Vile, filthy creatures, those.
Black Licorice? why Plasma Mongoose? WHY?? i thought you were so great with your constantly changing gravatars and your constant demand for characters in flagrante! how could you betray me? how could you betray…THE INTERNET??
Is there a meme with black licorice that I am unaware of, or do you all just hate black licorice for some strange reason?
it’s icky…that’s the joke
I most likely do have odd tastes compared to normal people, a number of foods that I really liked over the years have been taken off the market due to lack of sales and many popular food items such as strawberries, mayonaise, coffee, bacon an even champagne are all nasty tasting as far as I am concerned.
I SECOND PLASMA ON BACON.
I have (due to a birth defect) almost no sense of smell. Bacon is one of a tiny handful of items I can smell (Skunks are on the can’t smell list, oddly enough.) and the smell of bacon actually makes me violently ill.
Bacon is gross.
You very well may be the ONLY person in the last thirty years that enjoy the stuff. Hell, I thought you people didn’t even exist anymore.
I enjoy most black licorice more than other colours/flavors. The only exception is the cheap rolls I get in assorted bags which don’t have any flavor.
I’m 52 and in this day and age, I am fairly certain I have the potential to live a few more decades at least.
That is just Black licorice talking, it became sentient and now is known as Plasma Mongoose…
I like it too ;p
No way, you can’t be that old.
Somebody: Why not? There are plenty of people in the world WAY older than me around. ^_^
I think it is because it is kinda gross… 😀
They just have no taste. I’ll eat black licorice with you!
Nice to know that I’m not the only one left on the Internets to eat licorice.
Traditional black licorice is too strong a flavour for some people.
They’re all stupid for hating on black licorice. Everyone has different tastes, and black licorice is amazing <3
Also, 52 isn't even that old.. These people need to expand their horizons some and step outside of their individual comfort zones.
Licorice is black. It’s always been black. You don’t need to specify the color when speaking about licorice.
That would be true IF licorice were like M&Ms where all the colours taste the same but believe me when I say the colours taste different.
He’s (she’s?) saying that whatever “red licorice” is, it’s not licorice.
Um… licorice is licorice. It should taste the same regardless of color. If it doesn’t, it’s because it’s made with different recipes, not because it has different colors. Unless all available coloring agents have a perceptible taste themselves, which would surprise the shit out of me.
And “black licorice” is redundant. It’s like saying “white milk” or “red tomato”.
They must be thinking of Red Vines. Also, a tomato can be orange or yellow.
Well, it can, but 99 times out of a hundren if you ordered a tomato salad in a restaurant you’d be pretty annoyed if they weren’t red.
or green, or even purple. And those are just the naturally occurring ones. Imagine dyed tomatoes.
And then you say “orange tomato” or “purple tomato” or “strawberry milk” or “chocolate milk”. But you don’t normally say “red tomato”, because red is the default. As is black with licorice and white with milk.
Depends a little of where you are actually, that with the tomatoes. All grown tomatoes counted worldwide however, red is surely the dominant colour. What with a lot of modern breeds unfortunately came with less taste.
Actually, black licorice is made with extract from the root of the liquorice plant (which gives it a distinct flavor), whereas other kinds of licorice are made with fruit flavorings.
Exactly this. Most relevant post in the thread!
Wait, is this the proud American tradition of taking established words and changing their meaning? 😛
Fine, I’ll switch to European spelling.
There is hard liquorice and soft liquorice. There is sweet liquorice and salty liquorice. There is liquorice made from real liquorice root extract and liquorice that approximates that taste, by natural or synthetic means. All kinds of liquorice are, by default, black. Other colors are just for show, and do not indicate a different flavor. There is no liquorice that doesn’t taste like liquorice. Fruit flavoring is not a standard ingredient.
So, what defines this candy-that-you-call-licorice, if not the taste or the color? What makes it more specific than just “candy”? *sincere curiosity*
We Swiss-Germans actually got an easy solution for the whole problem.
We call original licorice “Bäredräck”. Which would translate to “bear’s dirt”.
@Tenn, long after the fact: In America, licorice is any candy that is shaped like a rope or a string, like Yotomoe’s Red Vines. Personally, I call ‘red licorice’ ‘Twizzlers’ (a brand name, like Kleenex or Frisbee), while black licorice is ‘black Twizzlers’.
There are different flavors of milk. Mostly based on how much water is added. I prefer “whole milk” (aka Vitamin D milk”) which is the red capped stuff and the closest thing to the real deal available in most modern grocery stores. Hook me up with an honest to God dairy farmer that can get me the goods straight from a cow’s udder (preferably refrigerated a bit to a proper chill) and I’ll pay a tip.
I didn’t grow to be 6’4″ by drinking a gallon of that weak-ass skim shit every day. I was chugging the good stuff and, before anybody asks, I’m actually a bit lean for my height (6’4″ 195 lbs and at the age of 31 I still drink about a half gallon a day). My health nut sister that just sipped on skim ended up 5’4″ which is normally average for American women but my other sister that drank a lot of 2% and at least some of my full powered milk ended up 5’11” so I’m endorsing the good stuff.
MILK! It does a body good, dammit.
And the only way I can endorse black licorice flavor is when in the form of Jagermeister mixed with Red Bull. Otherwise it’s gross.
I know where you can get the good stuff. My step-mom’s farm in Trego, MT may be a bit out of your way, though.
How much water is added? Sheesh, how about from different animals? Try milk from sheep or goats for once. There you’ve got different taste!
But of course the difference between fresh, pasteurised and ultra-high-temperature processed milk from the same animal is already staggering.
Personally I prefer pasteurised. And whole milk, of course.
Black licorice? Do you want to become undead candy pirates?
Can’t handle the black stuff, laddie? What’s the matter…ye aint Sugar Free, are ye?
Hm. So then would green licorice make you a brave candy pirate?
You… I like you.
I like to use them as writing instruments.
I use my licorice as straws.
I mostly say Twizzlers because it’s usually what I can get my hands on
Plus, if you bite off the ends, it makes a good Mt. Dew straw
…and will cut a few years from your life
Twizzlers are like a cross between liquorish and strawberry sented candle wax. I’ll get the nerds rope.
Twizzlers are like a cross between licorice and strawberry sented candle wax. I’ll get the nerds rope.
I thought I was the only one that did that.
I either figured it out, or someone told me about it, when I was in like 8th grade, but I’ve seen many references to it, so it’s apparently a poorly kept secret.
That. Is. Brilliant.
Uh, “traditional” would be the glassy sticks looking like they are cut from monoliths, not some straps.
As a citizen of the holy British Empire, I must fully endorse Plas and all of his disgusting ways.
Black-lace licorice is nummy.
I fully concur on that!
32 (soon 33) year old Swiss by the way. So geographics certainly and age most likely don’t play that much of a role here.
I’m with mongoose on this one.
YES! *does that arm thing*
Had to look it up but Damn now I kinda wana try Jaffas too. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jaffas
I want some M&Ms!
In the ‘old days’ (read 20th century), one of the times people did besides eating Jaffas in the cinema was roll them down the stairs for shits nd giggles, this is bck when they were cheap.
You… you EAT Jaffas?! o_O
“Jaffa, kree!” Teal’c would be very disgusted by you right now.
I don’t think even Ra or Apophis was that sick and demented!
Why wouldn’t they, Goa’uld cannibalised infant Goa’ulds after all.
Hey, Plasma, just a heads-up from Northern Europe: Licorice is very popular in different varieties across the whole region. If you ever get to Amsterdam or Berlin, there are special stores for that stuff Thinking about some Bulgarian, it may be even more widespread …
Here in Oz, you can buy everything from the long thin hard black licorice straps(that I like best) to twirly soft pieces and even the cubed licorice allsorts with the different colours.
Jaffa cakes are superior, though.
But nothing beats skittles.
Oooh, Jaffas? Where are the goa’ould we’ll be fighting?
This promises to be an arduous journey of madness. WUNDERBAR.
I don’t know. I have stared into the face of madness and this isn’t madness.
Son, if you knew what I’ve done, you’d bite your tongue about staring into madness, I can guarantee you that.
Oooh a Wonderbar wuld be delicious right about now…
Will this lead to fanservice? I sure hope so. 😀
Hard to say, but here’s hoping.
Me too. My fan hasn’t worked right in months!
The pope emeritus totes said evolution was cool, tho, so…?
Joyce would get a nosebleed from the suggestion that she consider what the Pope says.
You’re not talking about the anime-style nosebleed are we?
A nosebleed…? Oh wait, not one of those nosebleeds.
Ah, but Joyce is a Christian fundie. I wouldn’t be surprised if she thought the pope was the Anti-Christ.
The SDA church suggests that the Pope is the ‘little horn that speaks blasphemies’ on the First Beast of Revelations, it’s amazing how much I can still recall the teachings from my childhood.
You were raised SDA? I went to an SDA college. It was quite a culture shock.
Did you go there as a full time boarder or just a day student?
I ask this cos only the fulltime boarders get to see things like the conspiracy films that theorise about how what happens at the End of Time.
I lived on campus in the dorm. And this started during the Net 98 series. I don’t remember any conspiracy films: they were pretty up-front about everything they believed about the End of Time in church, religion class, science classes, etc.
Joyce isn’t Catholic. She’s [generic hardcore protestant].
Can we assume that Joyce is Church of God (Anderson), since Becky goes to their affiliated college? Or would that put too many constraints on the story?
As a teenager, many from our church went to summer Bible camp at Anderson, despite our church not being affiliated with Church of God. I think they were just Close Enough.
He said that to lead astray good Christians – everybody knows the Pope is in league with the Communists to bring about the reign of Satan.
…things my church legitimately believed, #241
The Apostolic Palace does kind of seem contrary to Jesus’ teachings, to be fair.
Ask your local neighborhood fundie about the Whore of Babylon.
(And then ask them how the Orthodox fit into all this and watch their head explode.)
Pope is Catholic only. Non-Catholics see the pope as either a guy with a funny hat or the Antichrist.
Not necessarily. Just not as the leader of our church or the penultimate authority about questions of the faith. (Member of the second biggest Swiss protestant church talking here. Which by the way is called Evangelisch-reformiert. And I just found out is usually considered the oldest protestant church worldwide, it would seem.)
Older than Eastern Orthodox? Also, I would imagine many people would at least acknowledge that he’s a guy who’s read the bible a few times.
Well, the orthodox churches aren’t usually considered protestant churches, but… well… orthodox.
And yep to the second sentence. Doesn’t necessarily make him right, but one can still listen to and consider what he says.
Also the new guy seems quite alright so far.
That’s cool and all, but it’s a very different story with non-Catholic Christians here in America.
The Catholic Church’s opinion that Evolution is not incompatible with God seriously predates Benny Sechzehn. It goes back to Pius XII’s Humani Generis, and John Paul II went ahead and basically said ‘not only is it not incompatible, but it’s pretty indisputable, but, you know, God gave us souls’. Benedict actually backpedalled a bit.
If Joyce had a biology textbook, why did she tell Dorothy to not bring her biology textbook when they went on that trip?
Joyce had a Christian biology textbook. The kind of biology textbook that exists for the same reason a lot of homeschooling does — to avoid the evil secular public school textbooks.
Wonkette has a lot of fun with them.
For the record, can there be a clarification on ‘homeschooling.’ I’ve already seen several people use it to refer to specifically ‘Christian’ homeschooling, which isn’t the only type.
I was homeschooled for about 4 or so years (and it might have been longer if my family hadn’t moved to a safer town with a not-terrible public school), and I’m now working on a PhD in Pharmacology. I’m sure no one meant anything bad, it just kind of rubs me the wrong way.
I agree!: http://www.dumbingofage.com/2013/comic/book-3/03-answers-in-hennessy/slurp/#comment-114555
It’s why I said “a lot of homeschooling,” rather than “all homeschooling.”
I know, and I noticed your later comment after I had made mine, I just wanted to make sure people could see both sides. Thanks!
Thank you for the link. That was educational, entertaining and just a bit horrifying.
Wasn’t there something earlier about Joyce having friction with someone who was being homeschooled by hippies?
Now that type of homeschooling sounds like me
Indeed. My fiance was homeschooled, but she’s actually deathly afraid of religion. I took her to a Catholic mass with my family once and as soon as it was over she was out of there. Just confirmed her fear of the cultish nature of religions.
In the interest of making sure people see all sides: There are also Christian homeschoolers who are taught and believe in evolution and the rest of modern science.
I wanted to read the article, but then there was a link titled “10 Totally Adorable Cats”
I can’t be the only one annoyed by the fact that they capitalize the species and subspecies names in the image at the top of that link, right? Right?
Sarah is also me as I read Joyce’s fundie comments. They make me laugh SO HARD.
Same, here but that’s also me in regards to Dina. “It’s not that you’re wrong, I’d just rather watch this happen then take a side. If I get involved, it will ruin the moment.”
I honestly think this is the happiest i’ve ever seen sarah
That was going to be my comment, or near enough, anyway.
honestly sarah smiling is subtly disturbing, almost unnatural. That 4th panel goes against everything I’ve come to know about this character
AWWWWWW JEAAAAHHHH Dina ’bout to lay down some hard core knowledge for my girl joycie over here!
Your choice of avatar is perfect.
It really is. XD
Just so I’m clear, does Joyce know how evolution works? Like, is she actually aware of the theory and rejects the true idea, or does she have a wonky idea of what evolution actually is and rejects that?
judging from her comment about the pig i would assume the latter
I think it was given to her in a “slippery slope” format as to make it sound less viable than it really is, So she knows ENOUGH to refute it but not enough to believe it.
i dont think she “knows enough to refute it” so much as she “knows enough that it’s bad and goes against the bibleshutupimnotlisteninglalalalalalalalalalalalala!”
Maybe she thinks it works like it does in Pokemon games … assuming she wasn’t of the mindset of Pokemon being satanic or something
If you want an idea of what Joyce thinks, Willis! reblogged this on his tumblr and you can pretty much imagine this is exactly Joyce’s quiz sheet … http://itswalky.tumblr.com/post/48574197049/adolf-kitler-itswalky-vikingstorytime
I am now vomiting. A lot.
Words fail me. I teach and I’m appalled by this. Whether his or her teachers believe what they’re teaching or they’re willfully distorting the facts, I’ve lost a bit more faith in humanity. Excuse while I go find some cute animal videos to salve my pain.
From someone who had many incompetent teachers, thank you for being a teacher who cares. We need more of you.
Biologist: “Universe is billions of years old, started with the Big Bang, life began from non-life, life then evolved for millions of years, etc.”
Creationist: “Were you there?”
Creationist: “No, you weren’t!”
Biologist: “How can you prove it? Were *you* there? (Because I don’t remember seeing you.)”
About my thoughts. Though I maybe was a bit meaner.
The first time a kid would actually ask me that to prove I’m wrong, I’d probably more go like this:
“Where you there when the bible was written?”
“Where your parents there?”
“Anyone alive that could tell of it?”
“Then by your own definition, it could just as well have been written by some guy playing a cruel joke. Or by Satan to lead you astray.”
I am a believing Christian, you know. But there’s only so much I can tolerate when it comes to people’s behaviour.
Almost certainly not. Anyone who says their “homeschooling textbooks” taught them the definition of evolution means the following:
“God created all the world in seven days! This includes dinosaurs. Later on the flood killed off all the animals, and for some reason the dinosaurs didn’t come back (we were told it was the humidity in the air – only after the flood did rain exist), so now all they can find is the bones.
“Some evil/crazy/stupid/silly scientists believe in the “theory of evolution,” because they don’t know the truth. This theory says we all came from monkeys! Aren’t those scientists silly? But for real there are major holes in their “theory,” like if all animals evolved from other animals, why haven’t we found any half-bats, or half-dog-half-whales, or anything?
“The scientists are deluded by Satan. They might SEEM nice, but never listen to them, or you might believe them and then go to Hell.”
That’s not inherently true. Not all homeschooling parents are religious.
Ah, sorry; you’re right. ALMOST anyone who says they learned evolution from their homeschooling textbooks… yeah. Sorry about that, I forget sometimes.
For that matter, not all religious people necessarily reject science and the like.
As a matter of fact: Most don’t. But those who do are still numerous enough.
I’m gonna call “Citation needed” on any claim to what percentage of homeschooling parents do/don’t include serious science in their curriculum. Whether it’s ‘most’ or ‘a few’ or ‘nearly all’ is not something I’ve ever seen hard numbers on.
Of the homeschooled kids I know, 2/3 of them have had
sheltered religious schooling (one had all of the classical Greek myths
omitted as well). My neighbors homeschooled to get a more thorough
education, so they’ve been through intense science work as well, but
they seem to be rare
Well, I for one won’t be caring about delivering any such thing since both me and someguywithakatana were not talking about homeschooling parents but religious people.
It amuses me to no end that creationists get the monkey thing wrong. Nobody ever said humans descended from monkeys. Apes aren’t monkeys! It’s like saying dogs are descended from bears.
DOG is evolving!
*Dun duh, dun duh, dun duh, dun duuuuh*
Shouldn’t it be:
Who is evolving?
Dog is evolving!
How can this be?
Congratulations! Your DOG evolved into SLIGHTLY DIFFERENT DOG!
As with so many, many other things in life and biology, the truth is complicated.
If you look at monkeys as a cladistic group, then our last common ancestor with today’s monkeys was probably small, furry, and had a long tail – it was likely something that we would call a monkey if we saw it running around today.
If that’s true, then technically speaking, it is accurate to call humans “monkeys”, in much the same way that it is accurate to call us “apes” – because every human is an ape, and every ape is a monkey, though we still didn’t descend from any modern species of monkey.
In much the same respect, it’s technically accurate to call every mammal a synapsid and every bird a dinosaur.
I like it! From now on, I’m a “severely mutated lobe-fin fish.”
Taking that even farther, every species on Earth descended from bacteria, so…
They’re related. I think you mean there is common ancestry.
Pretty sure she got something like this:
Whoops. Lemme try that again.
(Last time I try to be one of the cool kids with your newfangled youtu.be thing…)
I managed to listen for about thirty seconds after the Bare Naked Ladies stopped.
I mean, I understand they’re mocking the concept, but who the hell decided it was clever to use the word “magical” that much? Had it been used just once or twice, Dayenu.
It does not exactly do good for their credibility, that’s true.
I lasted about that long too. Every second or third word being “magical” seemed to give an indication of the depth or lack thereof of any discussion to follow.
It’s as if they thought “Crap, with only one use of the word ‘magical’ it still seems like a more credible theory than ours! Well, what can we do to fix that?”
The second he said evolutionist I had to turn it off.
By the way: I wrote a comment to that video, noting in a short and polite manner that they got quite a lot of things wrong for someone trying to seriously rebut evolution.
The comment has vanished since.
She’s Kirk Cameron and anticipates the advent of the CrocoDuck to make evolution logical.
I’m not kidding.
She seems to be one of those people who thinks evolution means we evolved from monkeys with the aid of Aslan.
Nooo… she thinks it means we evolved from modern* monkeys with the aid of Tash**†, who has convinced some poor deluded fools he’s Aslan.
(* Because we sort of did evolve from, and sort of remain, monkeys.)
(** Seriously, do a Google search for evolution Gaia or evolution vedas – you would not believe how committed these people are to making science out as religion.)
(† If you didn’t know, incidentally, Termagant Tash is the god of the Muslims Calormenes, who in the last and most explicitly religious book is “wrongly” associated with Aslan by a false prophet.)
To answer either viruses are alive or not, we must first answer this very important question: What is life? And don’t give me the dictionary definition of life.
So you want a definition for life, but not the commonly accepted definition of life?
Yes. Life is concrete yet at the same time abstract.
Are we allowed to use other words in the dictionary, or do we have to define it through some kind of interpretive dance?
Depends. How good are you at interpretive dance?
Didn’t I see you doing the dances for the Pip Boy demos?
What is life? Baby don’t hurt me, don’t hurt me, no more.
My limited understanding of viruses is that they’re not really alive, and more like naturally-occurring microscopic robots that fuck up living organisms. How inaccurate is this?
It’s…well. By the very admission of being a microorganism, that means it must have some semblance of life. Even a plant has life. It’s just a different walk of life.
See? That’s what I’m asking. What is life, really? How do we define “living”?
Life- The state of not being either air, an element, a chemical reaction or a rock.
I always go with this idea (I am no scientist by the way): If it is made of cells, it is life.
Convection cells? Is the atmosphere or a pot of boiling water alive 😛
Actually there was a Sci-Fi story that had a life form that was indeed made out of convection cells in the hot swamp that was most of their planet. Their nature later made them a bit of a problem, as a human destroyed their sun, and they migrated into the quantum foam of reality.
I generally go by purposeful replication of protein using the materials given or near its origin.
Except for the part where life kind of is a chemical reaction. Or at least a series of them.
WAAAAAAAY OVERSIMPLIFIED, BTW!
To answer your question: There’s about 5 or 6 “criteria” for life, including reproduction, maintaining an internal homeostasis, responding to stimuli, carryout out metabolic processes, and evolving. Viruses technically don’t do the second or fourth; they hijack other cells to do it, and they “arguably” don’t do the first either since they hijack other cells to do it. Biologists admit it’s a real grey area though.
Viruses don’t have cells with autonomous metabolisms. They do have genetic material in a protein coat. Those can and do evolve. In fact, evolution in cellular life is generally defined as changes in the genes, so viruses can evolve in *exactly* the same way as things we all agree are alive, mutation of their genes and differential replication thereof.
Having: homeostasis, one more cells, metabolism, the ability to grow, the ability to adapt, being capable of responding to stimuli, and being able to reproduce. (Wikipedia “life” for more info on these shenanigans)
BAM! Not abstract at all, in the biological definition (which is what the above is). A virus is not alive because it can’t reproduce without hijacking a cell. Moreover, a virus is completely passive until it encounters a suitable host.
A good definition, and probably broadly right, but don’t mistake that it is the “true” definition. There is not really a single definition of life accepted by all/most biologists any more than there is for species.
Even this definition is a bit dodgy. All living organisms are completely dependent on their environments, which usually means other living organisms. For example, many plants can’t grow without certain fungi in the soil, and a huge number of organisms are parasitic, saprophytic or symbiotic and can’t survive (or reproduce) independently. Lots of things form spores or seeds which are completely passive until they are in the right environment. Is this so different from viruses requiring an environment which consists of another organisms cells?
It is in that they still reproduce on their own, have a metabolism of their own and such. Which makes quite a difference.
Bizze really outlined it quite good a few comments up.
Parasitic wasps can’t reproduce on their own: they have to lay their eggs in some host species. The two species that make up a lichen don’t have their own metabolisms: they completely depend on each other.
In fact, the genetic evidence implies that the mitochondria in every cell in your (and every other animal, plant, fungus etc) body was originally a separate species, but it no longer has its own metabolism, and nor does the cell without it. Of course it’s now considered to be part of the same organism, but what about when this symbiosis first happened?
Bizze’s definition kind of works, but it’s pretty arbitrary. Can you be sure it would apply to life on another planet?
Actually those wasps do reproduce on their own. Hence the egg, which is the result of their reproduction. It’s just that their offspring can’t survive without being fed after hatching and that they use these methods to feed them. But saying that they can’t reproduce on their own is like saying humans can’t because a baby will starve after birth if not fed.
Lichen again are composed of different species that however have their own metabolisms. As a matter of fact, the algae/bacteria partners could (and do) survive just fine without the fungus.
You are right about the mitochondria once having been a species of their own that started a symbiosis and over time got absorbed, so to speak, so that they’re merely parts of a bigger organism now. One can only guess as to what it looked like when the symbiosis first happened, but they most likely were more complex back then.
And yes, there is discussion about the finer points of the definition. Mainly because every now and then we find organisms that can’t surely be attributed to the living or non-living group. (Though that is often only a question of insufficient data.) And viri are a quite prominent point of discussion in that regard.
about the mitochondria: I meant to say “You are right that it is generally assumed that mitochondria once were…”
Life! Don’t talk to me about life.
Baby don’t hurt me
I don’t know if I can answer what life is, but I do know what is best in life. To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of their women.
To debate with your enemies, see them driven before you, and hear the lamentation of their Joyces.
I had a series of stupid jokes that boiled down to “Conan the prolific golfer”.
My microbiology prof back in college had a whole thing about this. Viruses show considerably greater biodiversity than, say, animals. The lack machinery to carry out most functions considered definitive of life, and are thus wholly parasitic, but the same is true for entire genera of Bacteria, as well. So yeah, there actually *is* a fair amount of dispute among biologists over whether viruses are “life”, and if not, how close to “life” they actually are. And tacitly, an understanding that our definitions of “living” and “non-living” in this case are at least the *slightest bit* arbitrary.
And just think, that’s *without* getting into any of the politically-charged issues surrounding our definitions of life, like “origins of” or “what should we count as the beginning and/or end of”.
So this is just an adaptation of yesterday’s comment section?
An adaptation written weeks in advance. Willis knows us well.
I telling you, Willis is from the future…or psychic. Whichever floats your boat.
If only you posted this two minutes earlier, or I could have said to look directly over to your left.
“What does he mean by ‘look to your left’?”
Do you see the Buffer Watch thing on the left? That’s what he meant.
Yes, thank you, I saw it. I just couldn’t resist the quote.
“I think it’s a political statement.”
Man, I wrote that last night and I was too sleepy to realize it looked like I was actually saying Willis plundered the comments for story. What I meant to convey was that he knows us well, and played us like a dime store ukulele, predicting our every comment, then posted our conversation here to prove his mental mastery.
Maybe none of us are real and he wrote the comment section yesterday to match what the story would be today.
Viruses can’t be alive! They don’t have femurs!
I love that we just see Sarah’s face and nothing else.
She’s all like:
This is really nice coke.
I think I need some popcorn.”
Beliefs aside, I have never really understood where do you indicate where one species has changed into another species.
I think it’s the point at which interbreeding is no longer viable? My knowledge is admittedly way out of date. I’m sure some young whippersnapper will be along to correct me shortly.
Pretty close, I think. Like…once you cannot breed these two things anymore, they’ve evolved into some kind of 3rd thing. Like you can make a mule by breeding a horse and a donkey, but you can’t breed a mule with horses or donkeys. Just other mules.
Actually, there is no completely solid definition. Labeling species is an arbitrary, human endeavor with a lot of flaws when applied to the fluid system that is evolution. Kind of like trying to tell exactly when black becomes white on a scale… you end up with a lot of shades of grey.
That is one definition proposed, but another is when two groups of animals no longer interact in a meaningful way. For example, even if two species can breed, if one is nocturnal and the other not, that acts as a reproductive barrier.
So, some say that new species arise when that barrier forms. Others say it isn’t until the animals cannot produce viable offspring.
I thought that mules were sterile. I’ve always heard the argument being that to be the same species, two animals have to produce a SUCCESSFUL offspring: one that can itself reproduce.
If the production of reproductively capable offspring is the criterion for being the same species, that means that servals (Leptailurus serval) and house cats (Felis catus) are the same species. Asian Leopard Cats (Prionailurus bengalensis) and Geoffroy’s cats (Leopardus geoffroyi) and caracals (Caracal caracal) and bobcats (Lynx rufus) would also all be the same species as the domestic cat (Felis catus).
And, of course, hot Wailord on Skitty action.
If they can’t produce fertile offspring, they are pretty much going to be called different species. Just because they can produce fertile offspring doesn’t mean they are going to be called the same species, though. Look at seagulls, or cats, as JustDucky said.
Actually, you can’t breed mules with other mules either. They’re sterile. Horses and donkeys are from a similar line, which is why they CAN breed, but because they have a different number of chromosomes, their offspring will always be infertile. It’s a similar situation with Ligers/Tions.
Domestic bengal cats, on the other hand, are the result of two species being related enough to produce fertile offspring (wild Asian Leopard Cat crossed with a domestic housecat). So it can happen.
Just to confuse things further, mules are not *completely* infertile. There have been a handful of rare cases where a mule (offspring of a female horse and male donkey) and a hinny (vice versa) have mated produced offspring.
What constantly amazes me is that “species” is the taxonomic category that is honestly the *least* arbitrary, with a technical definition as discussed above. But, it is still riddled with exceptions and edge cases.
My personal favorite, by far, though, are ring species: species that have populations that exist on a continuum, where intermediate populations are closely-related enough to interbreed, but the ones on either end can’t and are effectively distinct species. One such species forms a *literal* ring around the arctic circle, and meet back up in Europe seeming like two different species.
Science: the more you learn, the less easy it is to fit in easy boxes, and the even more interesting it becomes in exchange.
“Hinny”? Hang on, is that where the American-English thing of using “hinny” to mean “ass” (as in “bottom”) comes from?
That’s spelled “hiney”.
Damn, that does make it more confusing.
Mules are sterile because their chromosomal numbers are generally incompatible with the chromosomal numbers of related species. But in rare instances, when the numbers do match up… yes, it could be possible, I’ve just never seen/heard of it.
Reduced to the simplest terms, one becomes a new species once you’ve changed enough that you’re no longer to mate and produce offspring with other members of what used to be your species. However, the idea of a species is sort of an artificial distinction that only helps us organize life (for our sake) within a single snapshot in time. As evolution is an ever-flowing continuum, we’re all basically just Life.
It also gets a bit weird when you find things like dogs and gray wolves, which can produce viable offspring, but they still aren’t considered the same species.
Actually they’re categorised as the same species (Canis lupus); they’re a different sub-species, though.
I agree on the ever-flowing continuum. Though, actually, some different species are able to interbreed and produce viable offspring, but for taxonomic reasons it’s practical and useful to still classify them separately because they are that distinct (and I guess the interbreeding would be atypical, if the populations remain distinct).
Plus, that definition doesn’t really help with asexual organisms, which are are extremely common in the world, so a blanket definition of species which depends on sexual reproduction isn’t useful.
So basically it’s an even greater ever-flowing continuum and really species classification is only done because it’s useful and practical for us to say “these populations of organisms which exist in this period of time are X”.
Right, and there are at least several dozens of different definitions of “species”
In language maybe. In biology there’s only really one or two.
No, in evolutionary/biological terms. For example, to quote David Marjanović (PhD, biology): “The term “species” had 147 different definitions as of February 2008″
John Wilkins, on the other hand counts 26 in 2010:
Clearly we are dealing with different definitions of “definitions of species” 😛 But there are a lot.
Right. I phrased that quite wrongly. What I meant to say was that there aren’t that many different definitions in taxonomy. Which is, of course, only a part of biology.
(My bad, really. Thanks for pointing me to it.)
Interbreeding is possible, but a) only between species that are very closely related anyway (i.e. you won’t get anywhere with a lion and a cat, if you were to try) and b) the offspring is nearly always sterile and can’t reproduce.
And even the species that do reproduce asexually can sometimes have sex. Whiptail lizard egg-laying is stimulated by f/f matings, and bacteria can exchange plasmids and chromosomes through conjugation, as well as through picking up loose genetic material from the environment. To make matters crazier, bacteria can pick up DNA from another species.
Lesbian lizards and bacterial sex. See, science is fun!
Back in the Myocene God released “New Life” but it was wildly unpopular so he cancelled it and returned to Life Classic.
That’s basically just a rule of thumb, since among other reasons it’s not transitive, it’s difficult to verify, it’s hard to apply over time, it makes no sense with asexual species, and in a few cases, even where it’s verified and provides a more-or-less coherent group, it lumps together such populations so different in the wild that scientists just say “screw it.”
That’s more taxonomy than evolution.
A lot of people will give a lot of answers.
At the end of the day, it’s when taxonomists decide “yeah, this is enough of a difference to call it another species.”
Taxonomy is useful, but don’t make the mistake of thinking that the natural world is categorized for our convenience.
I suspect that this is what Joyce really hates about the idea of evolution: it makes rigid classification impossible. There is some evidence that she likes separate things to be kept separate here.
That… actually makes sense.
It depends on what definition/species concept you’re using. Under some definitions, in sexual species, it’s when two populations cannot interbreed and produce a viable individual anymore. Under others, it’s two populations that don’t interbreed in nature (which makes dogs/wolves different species).
Aside from all that, it still remains a bit fluid, because plant hybrids happen much more easily and frequently than animal hybrids, so you can separate species via things like chromosomal count. Then you also have ring species, where geographically there is a lot of variation, but there is literally a circle of variation where the starting point is the ending point.
*Sits down* *Grabs popcorn* *Offers popcorn to Sarah… somehow.*
At least Dina didn’t have to deal with the “transitional forms” “argument”
Go, Dina. DESTROY HER.
gezzz so violent.
Dina is merely a distraction, the true destruction will come from the sides, from arguments Joyce isn’t even aware are there.
FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT
The shortcomings of homeschool science.
In Homeschool Science’s defense. It’s not all bad. It just has the potential to be.
So, is homeschool is a good thing or a bad thing?
Depends on how it is implemented.
Depends on who’s doing the homeschooling and to whom. Some folks thrive in the homeschooling environment more than they would have in public schools. Some parents are great teachers and some kids are better learners in a different environment. So I don’t think a blanket statement could be made.
There was an Ozy and Millie storyline where one of the characters decided to give homeschooling a try out of dissatisfaction with the public school system and ran into problems because most available resources were for people doing it for religious reasons.
If that ever was the case (and I don’t think it was), it is not anymore. There are plenty of non-religious curricula available.
Most of isn’t though.
Maybe at higher grades it’s harder to find, but I know my parents went to school supply stores for workbooks and materials, had catalogs to order similar materials, and would regularly take me to libraries that have textbooks you can use, all exactly the same as what teachers at a regular school would use.
I was homeschooled for much if high school. I breezed through material in months and as a result didn’t get bored like I would have working at a slower pace.
I can see that being the good side. The negative side I would assume (if we remove religion) is that it impedes social development by making it harder to hang out with other children, and when you do it will probably be at groups where the kids are more like you and therefore you don’t learn important lessons like how to deal with arseholes and bullies. But that’s a seperate argument that I am sure will be more relevant when DW does a full on “homeschooling” storylinem
“Impedes” is a really polite way of putting it.
I suppose it comes down to what you believe school is there for. If it’s just education, then homeschooling from good parents/tutors is fine. If, however, you believe it’s also to develop socially as a person and become a more rounded member of society, then it falls down a bit.
“Impedes” isn’t weak. Its inaccurate. Homescholed children are usually able to get plenty of socialization in, plus they don’t have to deal with the bulyling and peer pressure that public and private schools are so rife with. Anecdotally, I went to public school and my cousin is homeschooled. He’s extremely confident and welladjusted, I have depression from being a constant outcast.
The big downside of homeschooling is possible bias, -not- the “sickly, unsocial freaks” that south park depicted.
Hi! I’ve never commented here before but as someone who was homeschooled (And not in the christian manner) for the vast majority of her life, I feel the need to comment here. Social development isn’t impaired much by homeschooling at all if you do it correctly. There are ALWAYS arseholes and bullies no matter the setting, though frequently less of them, so you’re not spending your entire day five days a week being mercilessly bullied to the point of depression like so many children are forced to suffer in public school. I spent almost every day out of the week interacting with other children of a variety of ages, and lots of them. On Tuesdays I went to a math club, Wednesdays chess club, Thursdays and Fridays we usually went to the park. And then of course, being homeschooled, we frequently had time to actually hang out with friends for other days. Our chess team even got to compete in tournaments against the schools, so we got to interact with a lot of schooling children at once and made some friends that way. I got a lot more social interaction being homeschooled than I ever did when I finally went to highschool and we were stuck sitting in a class being forced to be quiet for seven hours a day. The problems you’re thinking of are probably the people homeschooling to keep their kids AWAY FROM the influences of other people in the first place, rather than the parents who legitimately want to give them a better education. There are all kinds.
This looked much shorter and simpler before I posted it. Whoops.
tl;dr is that it depends why the parents wanted to homeschool and how they went about it, and it’ll still vary as much as normal kids in school.
GOSH DARNIT! Now I really want popcorn. But I can’t have it because I can’t operate the microwave without waking everyoby else in the house. DAMN YOU WILLIS!
Wow, really? what do you have, a diesel powered microwave?
It’s to make sure every kernel gets popped.
Whether viruses are alive or not is still the subject of scientific debate but I have the nagging feeling that Joyce doesn’t know this and simply thinks all microbes are not considered alive.
A virus is to a cell what a memory stick is to a computer.
A virus is to a cell what a virus is to a computer. 😛
An organic virus is more like a malicious piece of software stored inside a protein data storage device while a computer virus is just plain old malicious software(protein data storage device optional).
So a computer virus is more like a prion.
You might be onto something, I cannot say I have heard of prions before but the wiki article about them seens interesting as they seem to be a type of subcellular lifeform.
Not life, less alive than a virus in fact. But still cool, and dangerous.
I was introduced to prions when the Jurassic Park sequel The Lost World came out (the book, the movie has no relation). And all the “mad cow” stuff is all about prions, and Alzheimer’s is looking somewhat prionic these days (though it doesn’t seem to infect new hosts…)
I have always thought that Joyce follows the ‘world was created in 7 days: Man was put here 12,000 years ago: and if you cant see it, it doesn’t exist” school of thought. And yeah Sarah go get that popcorn, this could get interesting, Dina is the only one who seems to be impervious to Joyce’s brain waves. She actually talks to her.
I hope Joyce wasn’t hoping Sarah would take her side. Cuz that would be kinda sad.
Yes, you must fight your own battles…..and that’s why I used to chase people with a brick in my hand when I was 10.
I would love to see some home videos of this. Maybe A police tape…
I wonder if Joyce believes Dina is the strange one for believing in evolution and everyone e;se, aside from Dorothy, believes God did it all at once?
Considering how shocked she is at Joe being both Jewish and sticking to his faith, surprised at Dorothy for being atheist and a nice person, Ethan for being gay and not effeminate, and probably someone else, I get the feeling that she views the world as agreeing purely with all her beliefs and anyone else who doesn’t as weird or broken. She does seem to do her darnedest to get them to be ‘right’ in her eyes. (‘Fixing’ Ethan, using her deal with Dorothy to guilt her into going to church with her.)
Viruses are considered non-living because they are unable to reproduce on their own. They require the use of their host cell’s machinery in order to produce copies. This is unlike parasites because although parasites require a host to survive or progress to the next stage of their life cycle, they use their own biological machinery to produce offspring. -this is what I understood from my microbiology course, feel free to correct me if I have made an error.
To answer Plasma Mongoose, speciation occurs when two populations either will not produce offspring, the offspring they produce are infertile, or the offspring of the offspring are infertile. These last two are especially important for plants, many of which can cross pollinate, but do not produce fertile offspring.
For populations that do not produce offspring, this could be due to zygote all the way to fetal death, temporal displacement of mating (like when flowers bloom), or failure to recognize potential mates (ex. two bird species that would normally be able to produce fertile offspring do not mate because they do not recognize each other as potential mates). However, in reality defining species is rather convoluted in science. -from my evolutionary biology course, again feel free to correct if needed
That indeed goes a long way to answering my question, kiitti! ^_^
Pheh, humans can’t reproduce on their own either. They need to find some other organism to help. Sure, that organism happens to be a human, but that doesn’t change the fact that we’re no more independent than the viruses are.
Face it; life is a fuzzily drawn circle around a particular set of vaguely related organic machines, which are defined that way so that when the computers speak up and ask for their basic rights we’ll have a basis for denying and enslaving them. Simple as that.
Exactly. We tend to think of ourselves as independent and self-contained, but genetic research shows that the old idea of DNA as a coded description of an adult organism is inaccurate. It’s more like a set of instructions which, if put in the nucleus of exactly the right kind of cell, and that cell put in the womb of the right adult, will cause the cell to divide and grow in a way which might lead to an adult.
“On their own” here means able to do it without help from other species. Not without help from other members of the same one.
Therefore humans can reproduce on their own.
So you can’t define life without defining species first?
(also, think about parasitic wasps)
That is just a food source, humans need a food source to reproduce too. It just isn’t a caterpillar that we inject our eggs into.
Instead, it’s the mother.
You know… That’s actually a very good and tricky question!
Viruses are also considered non-living because organisms are defined as being composed of cells, which viruses are not.
Not to mention that viruses lack practically every function that characterises living creatures: they don’t even eat or grow, they’re inert things to all effects, until they touch a living cell and their reproduction mechanism is triggered. Basically, they’re considered to be the transitional form between inert matter and living organisms: living cells would be the descendants of viruses that developed other functions.
Not necessarily. We don’t know for sure. We DO know that via abiogenesis, the first proteins were probably thermal proteins. We do know that viruses, for all that they are not composed of cells, are composed of proteins. But we do not know whether the conditions that caused proteins to be synthesized resulted in a large variety of synthesized proteins, a select few, or even just one. So it’s quite possible that protocellular organisms that were not viruses were formed at the time time as protoviral or actual viruses were also formed.
The RNA world hypothesis is probably the most popular right now. Strands of RNA can act as genetic material (and does so for a large class of viruses), and they can also act as enzymes, doing the jobs otherwise played by proteins. So ribozymes enclosed in lipid bubbles may have been the first life/precursor to life.
We are however in a highly speculative area here. Quite an interesting one too.
I agree with Sarah, this is highly amusing.
Personally I want Jelly Babies but yeah this is going to be fun
While I do like Joyce, it’s fun to see how creationists make asses out of themselves.
might we add a ‘some’ prior to that ‘creationists’? Not all of them are going to make asses of themselves. I was/am a creationist. ironically enough my viewpoints on the matter are evolving through carefully considered thought after convo’s with my roomie.
I think that’s fair. A lot of creationists are perfectly nice people who don’t make asses of themselves. My grandmother is one, but she’s never once told me that evolution is wrong. In fact, it wasn’t until I asked her about it that she said she believed in creationism.
Now, personally, I think creationists are incorrect, but that doesn’t mean that they all make asses of themselves and/or are jerks. I imagine the people who push the schools to ban evolution are only a percentage of the creationists available. Same as any other group: a few fanatics make the whole group look bad.
Joyce has a funny looking thumb in the first panel.
Why can’t we ever find middle ground, people?!
People did. It’s called guided evolution.
Probably because 99% of the people who argue about stuff have no idea what they’re talking about and never think to ask the experts in the field. Therefore, all they get is a distorted viewpoint via polarizing popular media, and since it’s polarized, the only middle ground ends up being “who cares?”
Sad but I guess you’re right. Also I’m curious, is there a large following for guided evolution?
The Catholic Church has it as doctrine I believe. So yes.
I went to a Catholic grade school (circa mid 80’s) and they were definitely teaching evolution. The school did not even push a ‘guided” viewpoint. There was a religion class most days but I do not recall any sort of religious viewpoint being interjected into any of the normal subjects.
The problem with casting guided evolution as a “middle ground” is that it accepts the backward and ignorant idea that evolution is anti-theistic.
Also that it tends to involve a very simplistic view of evolution. Intelligent Design is a really incomplete and nonsensical “theory”.
Evolution does not require God and does not align with a literal interpretation of any religious creation theory that I am aware of, so it doesn’t require that you abandon spirituality, but it absolutely does male plenty of religious people very uncomfortable and anyone who believes in the literal and inerrant gospel CAN’T simultaneously believe in evolution.
You are kind of simplifying the issue, is what I’m saying.
(Accidentally put this elsewhere, but this is where it belonged.)
Does God setting evolution into motion and then sitting back and watching the show count as guided evolution? That’s the kind that I’m trying to get my grandma to consider.
Go Team Deist!
It’s odd for me when it comes to religion and labels, since I identify as Jewish, but my actual beliefs are kinda Jewish Athiest Agnostic Deist, toss em in a blender and hit frappe.
That’s what “guided evolution” is, also known as “theistic evolution,” or simply “evolution” (since the theory of evolution has nothing to say about divine plans or beings one way or the other).
It’s true that it’s incompatible with a reading of Genesis as the literal factual truth, but nothing is compatible with reading Genesis as literal factual truth, since Genesis contains multiple mutually exclusive creation stories.
I agree with this, and think people should really really really give up on trying to interpret the Bible literally, but. You know.
Yes, that counts, and yes, a large portion of Creationists would have a huge problem with it.
Truth be told: That’s basically what I believe. And I’m quite happy with it.
So we have reality, and we have lies and delusion. Can’t we all just do the sensible thing and pick something in the middle? Like, um, lies and delusion?
No, no, begbert. The middle ground is a blend of fact and outright lies, and between observation and delusion.
Because the compromise is always best, nobody knows better than anybody else about anything, and all opinions are equally valid.
True fact, that. So you’re going to have to come up with an outright lie to blend it with.
Nobody know better than anyone else, except Willis.
I’ll have you know that lies and delusion can be a lot of fun.
The middle ground is The Twilight Zone, everyone knows that. 😛
Because fundamentalism does not allow for a middle ground. It teaches an all-or-nothing approach. Either everything is true (creationism, homosexuality is a sin and a choice, etc) or nothing is true. Which means, as Slacktivist puts it on his blog “if it turns out that the Earth is actually 4.5 billion years old, then, according to fundamentalism, life has no meaning, happiness is impossible, love is illusion, Jesus is dead, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins”.
Furthermore, science doesn’t allow for a middle ground, either–nor should it. A ‘middle ground’ on scientific issues leads to children dead of diseases that should’ve been wiped out by now; to students who fail to grasp the basic principles of science; to the ongoing refusal to even consider that maybe, just maybe, continuing to burn fossil fuels at our current rate is a less than stellar idea in the long run.
The closest thing to an acceptable ‘middle ground’ is hard-core deism: God created a universe, for reasons inscrutable, and then let it run along as it would, neither interfering nor assisting with that result.
Because facts are pesky things. There can be no middle ground between a fact and a myth.
I think there are a lot of facts about myths taught in some good schools …
I like it when Sarah helps. Now we go to our chief biologist Dina with her take on this interesting prey. Dina?
“Thanks Warden. As you can plainly see, the Calm-Tits Broken Record-osaur transforms to the Agitated-Tits Naizlawnchawk Boar(d) at the slightest provocation. Note the exclamation marks it spews with every sentence. Note how the Violet Bandanawhamma’s behavior is typically the inverse of her child’s. The Violet will leap into action, for better or for worse, to protect its mate and children if it sense agression.”
I like this period where the comics big fans are in the comments talking about candy and defining life, because I know that within 24 hours this will probably degenerate into another debate about evolution.
I think the hardcore debaters/trolls only show up later, after everyone’s gotten some sleep.
Then again, care to join me in the debate bunker? We have popcorn!
We don’t really have debates about evolution around here. You have the rare person who says foolish things and sounds silly, a number of people who calmly point out established reality, and a lot of people who heckle, possibly while also pointing out established reality. But that’s not debate, because debate requires both sides to bring something to the table.
It’s a debate the way a pyramid scheme is an investment.
I think the transition happened while you were typing.
I am now officially shipping Dina and Joyce.
Where to? 😛
The Creation Museum in Kentucky.
It will make things interesting later if things end up the way they did in ItsWalky. Hopefully without the terrorism and random explosions. And the bodies falling on people.
DINA SAUR WINS.
how did she even get into college.
Pretty easily. Biology isn’t part of the SAT series of tests, and evolution really only gets covered in biology, which is only one class out of twenty-eight.
PZ Myers complains pretty regularly about how many college freshmen have not been prepared for the biology classes by high school.
You know, for someone who makes no effort to talk to anyone about anything save dinosaurs, Dina really is good at antagonizing people
It’s so unusual to see Dina get (rhethorically) aggressive.
And to see Sarah smile.
Every time these two are together is gold as it brings out such different aspects of their characters. Dina especially. It’s great to see her kicking ass and taking hats.
You tell her Dina.
Good to know my science professors are on the same level as Joyce.
Oddly enought, commentators actually gave some almost good enough reasons as to why a virus is not alive.
I’m with Sarah. MOAR POPCORN!
I thought the jury was still out on whether viruses were considered alive?
Technically, it is. The jury keeps coming back to ask for more soda, though.
I sense great butthurt towards religion in general from so many webcomics.
It’s always the same…use a sensible argument from an intelligent character to counter a nonsensical stance that few religions actually agree with recited from the naive character of the group.
Hate that this comic keeps coming back to the “religion is dumb and you’re dumb if you like religion too LOL” viewpoint, it’s really irritating when an otherwise good comic resorts to it.
I see it happening most often around the time a webcomic artist goes to a convention.
Great way to lose readers , comedy resorting to the alienation of certain groups is a double-edged sword.
I have a thing here.
Joyce’s characterization and the depiction of her religion in It’s Walky! was mostly positive. She suffered crises of faith, she met people who didn’t agree with her, but it was a big part of her character and it gave her guidance.
After It’s Walky, there was Shortpacked, and the perception of religion shifted a lot in that. One of the main characters was a stoic jerk who’d commit sacrilege if it annoyed someone, another was a hyperactive scatterbrain who was religious, but she didn’t mention it often, and when she did she was (usually) very lighthearted about it, one was an introverted geek who seemed to have no interest in it, and the most-main-character of all was of a certain persuasion which is frowned upon in most religious groups.
The previous quite good-natured view on religion couldn’t apply to these four, and jokes about religion abounded, sometimes with an accusing tone. The thing is that Joyce was made in the early, early comic Roomies!, where the author held different religious views, and so every character in that comic was written from the standpoint of the heavily religious. That’s possibly part of why Joyce was able to have a positive view on her religion — it gave her another connection to her friends. Then, with Dumbing of Age, lots of these characters’ religious persuasions were changed to what made sense to match up with their characters.
Suddenly Joyce is one of the only very religious, and the only very religious main character. Two roads diverged and now they’re coming together, and the atmosphere isn’t conductive anymore to a very positive view on religion. (Plus, the established tone in the most recent previous work was on the negative side of the religion issue. Writing in a whole different style would be not only difficult but jarring.)
Basically — there is only one heavily religious character in a comic which is an ensemble work. Most are apathic about religion, while some are strongly against it, either for ideological reasons or because it’s affected them personally. While I understand your concern that a character is being set up as a strawman (hoo boy, that word again), I don’t think conflicts in this area are avoidable.
Since David has described Joyce as autobiographical I disagree. It’s not so much “religion is stupid and so are people who follow it” but rather “this is how I sound when I look back at myself when I was that religious”. We’ve seen Joyce’s faith in a positive light too and that she, as a person, is meant to be relatable. Yes she’ll often be the weaker argument or the butt of the joke but not because “religion sucks” but because that’s how David looks back at his faith.
In short it’s Joyce’s faith, not religion in general.
In a 2012 Gallup poll, somewhere around 46% of the US population said that they don’t believe in evolution. That’s a pretty sizable number of people, even if they do represent only a few religions.
I’ll agree that creationism is nonsensical and completely unsupportable, but I don’t see how religion is being attacked here.
It’s not like Dina is saying “You’re stupid for being Christian.” she’s saying “You’re horribly misinformed about so much geology, biology, astronomy, climatology, and physics.”
That poll makes me sad.
Intelligent design is a pseudoscience because it tries to explain natural phenomena with supernatural answers. Science attempts to explain natural phenomena with natural answers.
Sob, that’s NOT the comment I wanted to make HERE. See below for my actual response to THIS person.
Servers are giving me such guff today.
THANK YOU. Gets a bit exhausting trying to convince people that these comics DO represent even a real segment of Christianity, let alone a large enough number to be worth addressing.
…you’ve never been near the united states, have you? Trust me, if anything David WIllis is being kind to large swaths of christianity.
I am in fact a USAian. I was lamenting the difficulty in convincing others of the facts I know to be true about our country, and am grateful to have a statistical anecdote.
Well, Glad I could help. Just realized my wording was so confusing it made it look like I was almost speaking at cross-purposes with you for a minute.
“Use a sensible argument from an intelligent character to counter a nonsensical stance that few religions actually agree with recited from the naive character of the group.”
There are many people of many religions who accept that evolution is the current theory that holds the most water, and that it is the current theory that explains all evidence previously and currently being discovered.
But of the people who DON’T believe in evolution, most of their arguments bear a disturbing resemblance to Joyce’s: “It’s a still a virus! It doesn’t turn into a pig or whatever!” In short, they don’t believe in evolution, and for two primary reasons: they have a heavily flawed understanding of what the theory entails, and many of them had parents/family and/or religious leaders/figures teach them to automatically reject it because it is “wrong” and “against god”.
There are many churches that reject evolution and encourage their followers to reject it. There are also many churches that don’t have anything against evolution at all, because they accept that it doesn’t conflict with a belief in god. But it is wrong to say that Joyce’s view is not representative of a large number of churches throughout the world today.
Not religion per se really. Not even christianity. Just some few of the many different beliefs being part of it. That, I’ll admit it, have quite some following in certain parts of the world.
“Great way to lose readers” is also what the folks say who get pissed off that I write characters who are gay as not monsters. Because I’m losing all the people who hate gay people, and they are apparently an important demographic.
Didn’t stop me.
(also yesterday was my biggest traffic day ever out of fifteen-and-a-half-years of cartooning, so whoops)
It was a pretty great comic! As a Christian who believes in Evolution, who also studies influenza (got my PhD in it) and strongly supports vaccines I was enormously entertained and may have contributed to that traffic flow
“Great way to lose readers” is also what the folks say who get pissed off that I write characters who are gay as not monsters. Because I’m losing all the people who hate gay people, and they are apparently an important demographic.
Didn’t stop me.”
Well, I don’t know if you are likely to gain or loose readers. You can (and I’m sure will) do what you want. It is your comic after all. However, (and a hesitate to write for fear that you will see it as some sort of attack) but I think you are drifting not toward portraying a minority (Joyce and people who believe in a literal bible) as “not a monster” but toward portraying them, if not as “monster”, certainly in a negative way.
1) They’re not a minority
2) Even if they were TECHNICALLY a minority, like men are technically a minority, they would not be an oppressed minority. White straight Christian men and women have literally all the possible privileges it is possible to have, and so the only way a modern Christian can claim “victim” status is with imaginary wars on Christmas and the looming threat of gay marriage. Hint: THOSE ARE NOT FORMS OF OPPRESSION. NEITHER IS HAVING A WEBCOMIC MAKE FUN OF YOU.
3) We do actually know that these strips gain him readers, because Willis has said so.
4) In a similar vein to Point 2, disagreeing with you and exposing the flaws in your argument is not attacking you.
Well, I think you are wrong about people that hold literal interpretations of the bible being minority part and I do know people that will tell you that they have to be quite about their beliefs to get some jobs. (Yes, being white is only a plus, but you conflation of “christian” with “white” is just stereotyping). But, more importantly, I don’t think you need to be in a minority to deserve respect and I think picking an individual because of their religious beliefs is wrong no matter how well off the group is. An antisemite who corners a Jew in Israel is still wrong.
And I think the mocking of someone in tears counts as negative portrayal even if you discount the “anyone who believes that must be an idiot” tone. (And if you add in the bile thrown at her in the comments…)
1.) I’m not. 46% of the country doesn’t believe in evolution, and I’d be willing to bet that a decent swath of them hold a literalistic interpretation of the Bible. This is not really a “minority”.
2.) Having to be quiet about your lack of belief in evolution in order to get a job teaching science is not oppression, nor is it the rule in parts of the country.
Your religious freedom is LITERALLY protected, under the law, in the workplace. My sexual orientation is still a matter of debate.
3.) Of course conflating Christian with white is inaccurate. That was a list of all possible privileges: the privilege of Christianity, of whiteness, of maleness, of heterosexuality. I left off cisgender privilege. Never did I imply or mean to imply that Christians are predominantly white.
4.) “An antisemite who corners a Jew in Israel is still wrong.”
This is a deeply bizarre analogy that reeks of “reverse racism” and “reverse sexism”. While the dictionary definitions of racism and sexism make no distinction, institutionalized racism, sexism, religious persecution, etc., IS MUCH, MUCH WORSE.
I can say, “You, David P. Summers, are a man and all men are bad.” That might hurt your feelings. It might also hurt the feelings of other men who read my comment. But your hurt feelings are where it ends.
Meanwhile, if you were to say to me, “You, Li, are a woman, and all women are bad,” you would not just be hurting my feelings. Your statement would be echoed by our society, and indeed most societies in the world in ways you probably can’t even imagine. Link: http://shitstraightwhiteguyssay.tumblr.com/post/43739677590/excuse-the-sloppiness-i-feel-like-people-are-more
As just a tiny segment of the toxicity at work here, know that middle school students were, fairly recently, asked what they would do if they woke up tomorrow as the opposite sex.
The girls expressed some initial mild dismay, thought about it for a while, and then started saying things like, “I’d become an astronaut”, or “I’d become the president.”
This is already sad, because these girls felt they couldn’t do these things as they were. Right? Already, you are sad.
But the crushing thing is what the boys said.
By contrast, the boys spent almost no time considering the question. Almost all of them immediately responded, “I’d kill myself.”
Want another one? Read this: http://shitstraightwhiteguyssay.tumblr.com/post/48652785632/lizzybell27-teachers-are-often-unaware-of-the
And that’s JUST male privilege. There is a huge difference between you having to deal with people being mean to Joyce in the comments on a website and, say, the fact that an Atheist would never be elected president.
I feel like your dim understanding of privilege is the real sticking point here. You should educate yourself, so that you can better understand the very, very, VERY real difference between people complaining in an internet forum about Joyce — or even making Joyce herself cry! — and people who are experiencing real oppression.
Christianity is not just the dominant religious. Its dominance is an oppressive force that impacts us all on a daily basis. Those of us who are Christian get to be “faith-blind” in the same way that only white people can really claim to be “colorblind”, but for everyone else — what they are experiencing is not oppression. What they are experiencing is their OWN oppression, backfiring on them.
People who are hurt in very material ways by their oppression, reacting to it.
I was a bit distracted when I wrote that second-to-last paragraph, so let’s try it again:
Christianity is not just the most popular religion — it is the dominant religion, and that dominance is an oppressive force that impacts us all on a daily basis. Just as white people are the only ones who get to claim to be “colorblind” — because they are the only ones whose race does not negatively impact them constantly! — Christians too can claim to be “faith-blind”. They get to expect everyone around them to wish them a Merry Christmas and to acknowledge that all of their major holidays are special and worthy of respect; their religion is “normal”, and their religious beliefs are so thoroughly accepted that they keep expecting the separation of church and state to not apply to them.
Sometimes, Christians might get yelled at or mistreated — but what they experience, even then, is not oppression. Atheists and Jews and Muslims do not OPPRESS Christians. It is exactly like the image of the patriarchy from my first link: all Christians are experiencing is the backfiring of their own oppressive force.
TL;DR: People react badly to Christians because Christianity oppresses them. And by the way, you really don’t get to tone-police anyone’s response to oppression.
6) Joyce is not being portrayed negatively. She is a very sympathetic character with some very ignorant beliefs and when she expresses those beliefs in an arrogant manner (as she does, on occasion, not out of meanness but out of comfort and certainty!), TWO characters have now called her out on not being a bad, stupid, or otherwise inferior person but on her inconsistent and unsupportable ideas.
If you want proof, look back through the Ethan tag to find where she takes him to church and Mike asks her point-blank how she feels about gay people. Joyce’s response there is very careful and considered, and I’d be more than willing to bet the comments on that day were NOT full of amusement at her expense or any calls for her to be set on fire.
Some people do really really hate Joyce. They don’t actually do it because Joyce is a caricature or because she is being portrayed negatively, though. They do it because she brings up things for them in their own lives.
Things like bullying and oppression. Things like being denied basic human rights. Things like being denied autonomy over your own body.
Joyce’s faith and her blind rejection of certain facts do not exist in a vacuum. People just like her, or people like her but LESS obviously well-meaning and kind-hearted, have hurt those who leave angry comments asking for her death. Have hurt those who sneer and shout victory cries as she loses arguments no one with her beliefs could possibly win but which people with her beliefs still FEEL they have won and then go on to make legislation forcing schools to tell children they’ve won.
Joyce is not a strawman, she is espousing real beliefs, and with an 80% Christian country made up of 40% evolution-deniers, she is most definitely not representing some tiny ignorant sliver of the country we should ignore.
Well said! Very well said!
(I’m sympathetic to Joyce– she’s a nice person, and has a good heart and good intention. But her flaws and ignorance and knee-jerk rejection of facts really do represent a shockingly large portion of the US population.)
Thanks, and I agree! I really like Joyce and my heart often goes out to her. But yeah, this notion that Joyce-type Christians are a nonrepresentative fringe instead of a very very sizable chunk of modern American Christians is one I’ve seen too many times on here. Fine, you aren’t ALL like that, but A HUGE PERCENTAGE OF YOU ARE. Almost half! That’s not a crazy fringe!
To the best of my knowledge, the denial of evolution is not a religion in and of itself. It is, however, an absurd stance many take because religious leaders have instructed them to do so. If your interpretation of this comic is, “religion is dumb and you’re dumb if you like religion too LOL,” perhaps the problem is with your idea of what religion is rather than the comic.
I’m starting a slow clap for that last sentence.
I sense great butthurt from so many comments like yours.
It’s always the same… be upset that people saying stupid things are portrayed as saying stupid things, and demand that people saying stupid things be portrayed as not saying stupid things.
If you think that Willis has ever resorted to “religion is dumb and you’re dumb if you like religion too”, you suck at reading.
Maybe certain groups should stop believing in fairytales :>
But, but Little Red Riding Hood was TOTALLY a real person! 😛
“I sense great butthurt towards religion in general from so many webcomics.
It’s always the same…use a sensible argument from an intelligent character to counter a nonsensical stance that few religions actually agree with recited from the naive character of the group.
Hate that this comic keeps coming back to the “religion is dumb and you’re dumb if you like religion too LOL” viewpoint, it’s really irritating when an otherwise good comic resorts to it.”
I do like Joyce as a character. My person view is that it would be a shame if she became just a whipping boy for those who want to attack a set of religious views.
Hee, Dina’s face in the last panel. So disgruntled.
Sarah may be pleased with this both for amusement and for thinking it’s a good confrontation to have! Joyce being exposed to other viewpoints is necessary development.
(I just realized another thing — Joyce is autobiographical. Dumbing of Age is a comic set in college, in which one of the main characters is a heavily religious Christian who regularly gets into confrontations with characters with other viewpoints. She has just realized gay people aren’t monsters. …Is Joyce going to turn into a snarky webcomic artist?)
Probably not. While she has many things in common with David, I’m wagering her college experience has already been drastically different.
For instance, I have no proof, but I’m pretty sure that David never dated a Jewish boy who was trying to closet himself again. I’m pretty sure that David’s first kiss wasn’t at a Pizza place with said boy.
I’d also be willing to bet that David didn’t own sweater vests at that age.
But he did go to college just to find a husband, right?
We’ll just have to ask him. Well Willis, inquiring minds want to know.
Rawr rawr rawr *Insert crazy comment* rawr rawr rawr.
There’s my contribution to the Willis popcorn show.
I really like Joyce as a character, but I loathe when she appears because instead of anything interesting to read in the comment section it’s people either circlejerking to imagined collapses of her worldview or slamming David for “not depicting it right.”
I was a Homeschooled Evangelical kid whose life was much like Joyces, and by extension I imagine David’s. So many of you fail to understand what that life and its perceptions are truly like, and so many of you take Joyce’s depictions as if David is trying to say she is all of us.
Who am I now? I’m certainly not the kid I was back then, but I am still an Evangelical Electrical Engineer. I enjoy Joyce because she reminds me of my first two years of college and also reminds me of some of my friends and how they reacted to living away from home. 90% of the kids I knew growing up were other homeschooled kids (yes, for religious reasons) in our own pseudo-bubble community in California.
Two of them ended up graduating from Harvard with various degrees. One ended up a plumber. Not all of us “kept the faith,” but we still are friends and respect where we ended up. Being homeschooled doesn’t mean “you don’t understand,” it doesn’t mean “your education sucked,” it doesn’t mean “you would have done better in a Public School” any more than the jokes we used to crack about those of you IN public school.
Also, to those of you who just want a three panel strip with Joyce crying blood and tearing the skin off her face with her nails–get help. Serious. For a character depicting a life with shades similar to the author whose work you enjoy so much, show some more respect.
Being Joyce style home-schooled does mean your education sucked. To get a totally bias teaching of (or just plain skip) some sections of fundamental, globally accepted science, just because it doesn’t agree with your parent’s religion is just not a good education.
What about the many people who were homeschooled and DON’T understand and who WERE badly-educated?
The hurdle homeschooled kids face is that their parents are not usually licensed teachers. There is no regulation, no oversight, and while math and English can be taught easily from a textbook, subjects like science and history DO suffer for being taught by someone who is not an expert in the field. And because it is difficult for ONE person to be an expert in ALL educational subjects, you are more likely to get a lopsided or otherwise poor education from homeschooling than from the public schools.
So sometimes homeschooling works out great, but it is a crapshoot: without accountability, all schooling is. Which is why “charter” schools are a similar mixed bag, with some good schools and some piss-poor schools.
Yea…math and English can’t be taught from a textbook as easily as you think. They require training to understand how to impart the import of certain areas, and how best to train students in others just as much as evolution and the rest of the sciences. It’s the same. You have to know your stuff, to a certain degree, to teach it, and even that usually isn’t enough.
Further, the lack of a teacher who understands or is willing to put aside personal prejudices can still cause great problems. SEE: papers that think “Yall” is an appropriate term in formal english.
But math and English are the areas where kids like Joyce usually get taught “well enough” to pass. I’m not saying they’re easy subjects, but I think there is less math misinformation out there than science misinformation.
In my old age, though, I am getting way more permissive re: formal English. For example, “don’t end sentences with a preposition” got a did-you-know recently stating that this “rule” was made up by a bitter writer who wanted to discredit Shakespeare.
The thing with English is that the public school curriculum has such lowered standards, you’re just as likely to get those papers from a public school student as a homeschooled one. I’m sure there are individual counties that have higher standards, but you can’t depend on it.
Yeah, but they’ll fail. You’ll get creationists in biology classrooms at public schools too. That’s not the school’s fault, that’s just statistics.
Again, I feel I have to interject on behalf of those who were homeschooled, but NOT for religious reasons (and again, can we please at least attempt to differentiate between those that are and those that aren’t). My parents actually were held accountable; they had to provide curriculum to the state to make sure I wasn’t just not being schooled. They even went above and beyond and made sure to have me regularly take standardized tests and would try and supplement anywhere that I seemed to need some extra help.
I just find this whole thing really interesting. I remember when I was a kid, the public view of someone that was homeschooled was usually that they were ahead of the curve, not behind.
Unfortunately, the way homeschooling and private schooling operates has really changed. So, frankly, has the way most RELIGIOUS families operate. The enormous hostility towards science of our current crop has not always been the common attitude. But right now, since there IS enormous hostility towards science — and history, and everything else that might possibly be causing kids to grow up LIBERAL GASP — …yeah. There’s a lot of really upsetting and depressing stuff right now, not just by homeschool curricula or private school curricula.
But we do know that not all people are homeschooled for religious reasons. It’s just that MOST of them are: most of the material available to aid parents trying to homeschool their kids is still religious, and there’s a reason for that.
Incidentally, the last paragraph sounds like the MOST METAL DOA STRIP EVER!
As a side note: David, Joyce is one of the fairest depictions I’ve seen in any medium for our kind.
Any definition of live that excludes the possibility of robots being classified as alive is one I will never accept. 😉
As someone who’s spent a fair bit of time arguing with creationists on the Internet (and occasionally just trying to help people understand the misconceptions they have about what evolution does and does not mean), this is immensely satisfying to read.
Sarah’s trope Fu is weak. She should have been able to materialise popcorn instead of just wanting it
WRT “viruses being alive or not” and “how do you tell when a new species has evolved,” I think it’s a matter of people trying to put things in boxes, but the idea of having such strict boundaries doesn’t necessarily reflect reality. I feel like this also applies to . . . well, almost everything; for example, human sexuality. The SP! comments section sometimes gets into debating whether Robin is straight, bisexual, or a lesbian. I think the truest answer may be that you can’t put Robin in a box.
You actually can put Robin into a box; the easiest way is telling her that she’s supposed to wait ten minutes, then jump out and say “Boo!”.
This also applies to the whole wave/particle duality of light.
Its neither. Its something else which doesn’t fit neatly into either metaphor.
It’s a wavicle
Of all people to be the Author-insert, I don’t think I expected Sarah somehow. But it does now make total sense.
“They’re not even alive”
Wow why didn’t Dina react to that properly.
Actually, Viruses aren’t technically alive. it’s a fine distinction, but they’re little more than rogue pills full of genetic material.
*tries to throw it to Willis*
*fails to even reach France, never mind cross the Atlantic*
*goes back to drawing board to build an intercontinental popcorn cannon*
And the world is safe. For now.
Seriously! Don’t you see how this device could be used for evil? Popcorn bombs exploding over the greater united states, radiating superheated curnels down on our heads, awful artificial movie butter blanketing the streets like some horrible fattening napalm….
I wonder if Mr. Willis secretly enjoys reading the paragraphs of debate in the comments section whenever he covers these subjects?
Given the alt.text? I’m going with “hell, yes.”
Crap! I keep forgetting that Willis puts up alt text now. Time to go back through a few weeks of archives again.
I realize Joyce is a caricature, and one that is true-to-life for a nonzero number of people, including a younger David Willis apparently, but the majority of Christians and/or homeschoolers aren’t at all like this. I hope that David Willis and the other readers recognize this. A lot of people that were raised or became atheists apparently hold the view that all Christians are backwards hillbillies that believe in seven-day creationism.
Joyce isn’t a caricature, mostly in that while her religion is easily her most important trait, its not her only one.
As for Christians not being hill-billies, probably due to a vocal minority. The 7th Day Creationist are loud and annoying. So they draw the attention and the ire. Even in my bible classes from high school they pretty much admitted their own creationist, literalist view was a minority one.
I have cousins that were home schooled by their parents because their parents were born again and wanted to provide a religious education.
Their father, at least, is a young earth creationist because he believes in the inerrancy of the bible. He has purchased books by Ken Ham. I am absolutely sure that his daughters were taught nothing that would conflict with his beliefs.
It was from their fourth daughter that I first heard the expression “I’m going to college to get my MRS. degree.”
I wouldn’t call any of them stupid (well, I’d call the father willfully stupid), but they are misinformed.
Willis is not representing all Christians, but he is representing some.
“the majority of Christians and/or homeschoolers aren’t at all like this. I hope that David Willis and the other readers recognize this”
No, we’re all stupid.
Dude, Gallup poll in 2012 said that 46% of Americans believe in creationism, that is “God created humans as they are now”. That’s nearly HALF THE COUNTRY.
The other half also believes in Creationism because this is ‘MURICA.
Oh? Are you trying to say you have proof against Creationism?? Too bad! I can’t hear your nonsense over all this Freedom.
Freedom is, apparently, really loud.
To be fair, Gallup also said Romney would win.
That’s predictive polling and a totally different monster than opinion polling.
It’s apparently up from 45% in 2009.
There’s break-down by religion from that year: http://www.pewforum.org/Science-and-Bioethics/Religious-Differences-on-the-Question-of-Evolution.aspx
So it’s quite evident that Christians are very likely to be creationists.
If we take the average across the protestant dominations, we find that about 62 percent of them are creationists.
If we can’t say “most” at this point, then I don’t know what most means.
Wait, I did that wrong.
I wonder if there’s a corresponding study about Europe. Or at least parts of it.
I think there was one for Switzerland, some years ago.
No Joyce, you are the demons.
There is division over whether or not viruses are alive. And I’m sick of that Young Earth definition of evolution.
Bad Dina, stop confusing Joyce with those pesky facts. But seriously, I am really enjoying this storyline, and as usual, the forum is it’s usual source of entertainment and illumination.
I still maintain that Fire is a living thing.
But it isn’t a proper noun.
Except it has no cells, no DNA or DNA analogue, and doesn’t reproduce.
-Puts dry stick next to fire, now has two fires-
Ahh, I though you said it doesn’t reproduce!!!!!!
That’s not biological reproduction, the question of “is it the same fire or two different ones” isn’t a scientific one, it’s a philosophical one.
*Watches a one-cell organism divide through a microscope*
What were you saying, again?
Also, cells and DNA analogues are pretty arbitrary specifications which fall apart on close examination. Once-celled organisms don’t have cells, obviously, and every computer program is a “DNA analogue”, in that it’s a string of codes that is interacted with and ‘read’ by an outside force to direct the behavior and development of that outside force.
The only distinction that you could make that would include all things traditionally called “life” and exclude both fire and computer programs is “biochemical”. Which of course includes various things we don’t consider alive. (Like corpses.)
A single cell is still a cell. And no, viruses are not considered to be alive. So, yeah, the distinction has kinda already been made.
But its kinda backwards isnt it? By having a “cell” as a requirement for life, we are not using criteria to define life, but rather adding one specific criteria to rule out a few things we don’t want.
A cell is pretty arbitrary too – it defines how something is, not what it does like the rest.
Seems to me it makes more sense to purely like it to replication and change, therefor everything alive evolves and visa versa.
I’ve got to say, I’m kind of disappointed with Sarah here. Although I expect of course she isn’t, she’s sort of presenting herself as neutral on an issue where neutrality rather decidedly gives one side more credit than it deserves, in a very objective way.
Maybe she doesn’t think Dina needs the help.
Yeah, Dina’s doing great on her own. I’d kick back and watch the fireworks too.
my my willis, Trying to break the comment barrier are we?
as you scripted this arc out did you forsee the numbers of comments you would get? at least it is a testament to the number of readers you have, and the varied groups of readers you attract.
The last time Dina and Joyce clashed on this topic, it was my best traffic thus far at the time. (And yesterday’s was the same, but by a much wider margin, though I was also linked to by girlswithslingshots, so…) So I figgered these would also be popular.
I wonder how Joyce would react to find that many Christians (most, in fact) believe in evolution.
I think simply “Matthew 7:21-3.”
In other words, quote-mine the Bible.
Most being 54%. So, technically most, but more like “half”.
Joyce’s beliefs here are not shared only by a tiny minority of cave-dwellers. They are in fact being taught in schools right now, across the more rural parts of the country. Real schools, some of them public.
I’m sorry she embarrasses sensible Christians? But she is in no way a minority viewpoint.
The U.S. of A. is not all of the world though. And if I remember correctly, the number is quite a bit higher for Switzerland (I’m sure there was a survey sometime the last few years). And it’s a reasonable assumption that what holds true here in that regard would do so as well for Germany and quite probably Austria at the least.
Of course it isn’t the whole world, but for a number of reasons I’m not talking about the rest of the world. No one really thinks Joyce is meant to represent Roman Catholics (except that one person who thought she should care what the Pope says).
Although when looking at the linked survey further up, I was actually surprised a bit by the number of catholics not believing in evolution. Especially looking at the ruckus Benedict caused with some comments on the matter among European catholics.
But rest assured (actually that phrase sounds kinda wrong in this context) that there are people rejecting evolution around here as well. Not as numerous but unfortunately making some headway in that department. But then the vast majority of kids in Switzerland attend the (rather good) public schools. And the only chance for their ideas ever making it into the curricula of those is as a mentioned point in… religious education is really the best translation I can think of for that particular subject. Though it’s not teaching kids the religion, it’s teaching them about religion. With an emphasis on Christianity, but covering other religions, basic ethics and worldly wisdom just as well.
I am the most reassured
by which I mean depressed.
I have really enjoyed your comments, btw. One of the highlights of the storyline!
“roman” here as in actually European.
“Römisch-Katholisch” (roman catholic) is in fact a widely used synonym for the catholic (in the sense of accepting the pope as their leader) church in the German speaking area.
Whether viruses are alive goes back and forth. I don’t think they are but many of my colleagues in Astrobiology do (and “alive” is current gaining ground).
Whether they “evolve” is another matter. Even computer programs and engineering designs can evolve. So viruses are generally accepted as evolving and that evolution is considered a specific example of more general Darwinian evolution.
However, to many in the public, “evolution” means “evolution of man” and Joyce specially states they “adapt”, which in the case is a form of evolution and her comment how that is different than becoming a pig implies that her intent is to differentiation viral evolution from the origin of higher mammals.
So, absent just assuming the worst about Joyce, all you can really say about her is that she is saying that the evolution of virus doesn’t mean she has to believe that human were formed by evolution. While I’m sure many will call that absurd, it is a position that I’ve heard well informed people defend.
I’m a scientist who believes in evolution, I also have relatives who have faith based views (what some here would label fundamentalist) that I can respect. What I get tired is the “search” and destroy attitude that I see so often on both sides.
Calling an idea silly and attempting to provide better information is not an attempt to destroy anything.
That said, no, I think you are misinterpreting Joyce. Her statement is in line with the mistaken belief that people evolved FROM modern monkeys rather than that we both share a common ape ancestor. Her understanding of evolution IS incomplete. And your otherwise well-informed friends ARE just wrong, period, in their assertion of “micro, not macro, evolution”.
Which is a thing it is possible for otherwise intelligent and well-educated people to be, especially if they let their preconceived notions have priority over facts.
I mean, what is your argument here? That if otherwise smart people believe in a lie, that means the lie can’t possibly be a lie, or just that the lie must not be *that* outrageously untrue?
Because, uh. Trickle-down economics (disproven earlier this year after decades of studying the effect of tax cuts for the wealthy on the health of the economy at large), eugenics (“mongoloidism”, Down called his syndrome, because these poor white babies had only “evolved” as far as Asian!), the once-widespread idea that the Earth is flat (look up flat earth society, there are STILL some seemingly smart people out there, denying what’s right in front of them), etc etc etc.
Mind you, Trickle-down economics didnt have any economic evidence backing to start with. It was just assumed to be correct by those wanting to feel better at their low tax rates.
Totally. But it’s still a theory lots of otherwise eloquent and educated people espouse. 😉
Dina. I like you.
Licorice licorice sweet juicy and red, It grows like bamboo. That said, black licorice is my favorite, next to wasabi peas or any chili-flavored candies.
Im agnostic but when i was christian, i still believed evolution had a point. Then again, I look at the thought of giant bird-based lizards and think, “Come on scientists, prove dragon and bring one to life. Dragon Park has a way better ring to it than Jurassic Park.”
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