Saturday, March 26, 2005

We're Not Telling!

Pharyngula: I'm on the Edge of my Seat!

Will PZM's fate prove Socratic,
Martyred by loons theocratic?
Or will he be freed
By some valiant deed,
And fashion a state democratic?

Pharyngula: The Musical (Part Twelve of Several)

[Contents] [<<] [<] [>]

ACT THREE, SCENE THREE

SCENE: A Prison Courtyard, dominated by a towering Scaffold, upon which His Holiness awaits, along with a Hooded Executioner. A great throng of Newscameramen, Students, and Churchgoers has turned up to watch the Spectacle. From offstage, a Solemn Hymn strikes up, and a Procession of Church Officials appears, leading a Shackled PZ Myers. The Newscameramen train their Cameras upon him.

CHURCH OFFICIALS' CHORUS: Let our purpose never falter,
Gird our resolve sturdily;
As we lay out, on this altar,
Bloody sacrifice to thee.

Lord have mercy on this heathen;
Gather him unto your breast.
Cleanse him of his sinful burthen;
Let him find eternal rest.

Let his spirit fly to glory,
Joyful in its bright rebirth,
Singing out the splendid story
Jesus brought to us on Earth.

PZ MYERS (aside): (Each hymn they sing outpongs the last!
Miltons and Shakespeares, they're not.
Ah, string me up, and make it fast;
I've had enough of this rot.)

PZ is cuffed into silence by a particularly burly Church Official, and herded up the steps of the Scaffold.

CHURCH OFFICIALS' CHORUS (with Renewed Passion): Let this errant soul find slumber
In our Saviour's outstretched arms
Let him rise up, unencumbered,
Free at last from toil and harm.

Having reached the Gallows Platform, the Church Officials stop singing, at last. They step aside, leaving PZ to the tender mercies of the Executioner, who makes an Elaborate Production of hanging a Noose about his Neck. This done, His Holiness steps forward.

HIS HOLINESS: Professor PZ Myers, for the crimes of treason, sedition, and petty theft, you have been sentenced to hang by the neck until you are dead. Have you any last words before we shall carry out your sentence?

Several Newscameramen edge up the Steps for a better angle upon the Proceedings. PZ, ignoring them, addresses the crowd.

PZ MYERS: Who can remember the scent of September,
that leafishly redolent zing?
The jubilant quiver of birds by the river,
puffing themselves up to sing?

A seagull commotion; the tang of the ocean,
the taste of the sea in your mouth,
A mixture of fishes and salt-spray delicious,
And remnants of birds flown south?

The flash of a salmon, the taste of an almond,
the myriad marvels of life?
Who hasn't wondered just where the bear lumbers,
and why swans take only one wife;

Why serpents are heelless, and deserts are eel-less,
and some folks have two extra toes;
why bats roost together, in huddles of leather,
while sloths hang in lonely repose?

The purpose of science lies not in defiance
Of all that is noble and good;
We live to discover, to dig and uncover,
revealing a world understood.

NEWSCAMERAMEN and STUDENTS: We can remember the scent of September,
of schoolbooks, erasers, and gum,
Biology teachers with curious features
lecturing us on the thumb.

CERTAIN CHURCHGOERS: We can remember the scent of September,
of knowledge too quickly forgot;
The droning of teachers, while under the bleachers,
what we did, God only wot!

NEWSCAMERAMEN, STUDENTS, and CHURCHGOERS: Ah, what a disaster! This kindly schoolmaster
hardly deserves such an end!
Is this Christian mercy, convicting on hearsay,
With nobody there to defend?

PZ MYERS: Who can remember (etc.)

NEWSCAMERAMEN and STUDENTS: We can remember (etc.)

CHURCHGOERS: Ah, what a disaster (etc.)

HIS HOLINESS: Will that be all?

PZ nods.

HIS HOLINESS: Blindfold the prisoner!

A Menacing Drum-roll sounds. The Executioner ties a black Hood in place over PZ's head.

HIS HOLINESS: Release the trapdoor!

The Drum sounds again. The Executioner reaches for the Trapdoor Release Mechanism.

A NASAL VOICE, OFFSTAGE: Wait! Wait!

HIS HOLINESS (annoyed): What is this?

The Executioner stills his Hand, for the Time Being.

NASAL VOICE: I bring urgent tidings...from Rome!

HIS HOLINESS: Let him approach.

The crowd parts, to reveal...oh, no! It's the Narrator.

POMPOUS NARRATOR: Who can it be, at this late hour? An emissary from the Pope, himself? Does the Vatican rise in defence of Reason? No, it's--

It's...it's...it's a mystery! Who dares interrupt PZ's execution? We shall find out shortly, in the final scene of "Les Myersables", or "The Crucible Tongs".
Conclusion

When I Was A Lad

Pharyngula: In which I lose patience with these drooling gomers

WIZBANG PAUL:
When I was a lad I went to school
And took to skepticism as a rule;
The teacher showed man's bumbl-ing
And we learnt how science can be humbl-ing.

CHORUS:
And we learnt how science can be humbl-ing.

WIZBANG PAUL:
I practised doubt so doughtily
That now I am an expert in biology.

CHORUS:
He practised doubt so doughtily
That now he is an "expert" in biology.

WIZBANG PAUL:
I took my simple skeptic mind
And applied it cluelessly to Einstein
Who showed old Isaac's theories lack
And proved that Newton was a worthless hack!

CHORUS:
And "proved" that Newton was a worthless hack!

WIZBANG PAUL:
I practised doubt so dubiously
That now I can't believe the law of gravity.

CHORUS:
He practised doubt so dubiously
That now he can't believe in relativity.

WIZBANG PAUL:
I wrote a blog denying stuff
To show that science geeks were not so tough.
I touted trite creationist tropes
Then wondered why they grouped me with those dopes.

CHORUS:
Then wondered why they grouped him with those dopes.

WIZBANG PAUL:
I practised doubt so public-ly
That now I've shown my ignorance for all to see.

CHORUS:
He practised doubt so public-ly
That now he's shown his ignorance for all to see.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

PHUNICULAR:
When Wizbang claims that we know naught
It's just a projection of his lack of thought;
He's taken doubt to new extremes
To avoid admitting to his simian genes.

CHORUS:
To avoid admitting to his simian genes.

PHUNICULAR:
He practised doubt so gormlessly
That now he can't distinguish fact from sophistry.

CHORUS:
He practised doubt so gormlessly
That now he can't distinguish fact from sophistry.

PHUNICULAR:
Now bloggers all, please learn from this
If you want to criticize "the synthesis"
Take time to learn how evo works
And shun the religion of the I.D. jerks.

CHORUS:
And shun the religion of the I.D. jerks.

PHUNICULAR:
So read and read, it's there for free
And you can start to understand biology.

CHORUS:
So read and read, it's there for free.
(Dear G & S, we owe you an apology.)

Oozers? Don't Mind if I Do!

Pharyngula: In Which I Lose Patience With These Drooling Gomers, re: Wizbang's latest(1).

Consider, if you will, a day in court;
A barrister relating to the judge
Particulars of some familiar tort,
Some fossil-bounden mammoth of a grudge,
With precedent perennial besteep'd,
Debated for appearance sake alone,
When, on the bench, a lunatic has leap'd,
Whose screeching drowns the soporific drone
Of ordinary courtroom goings-on:

When he cannot find a word
He makes one of his own; (Oozer! Oozer!)
When his ramblings get the bird,
He hurls jagged stones. (Take that!)

He dances, prances, mad-cavorts, laments, complains, and moans;
He threatens legal action as he breaks the judge's bones.
He twaddles on, but makes no sense, and in the end, becomes
A lawyers' luncheon laughingstock, louted over buns.


(1) Apparently, PhaWRONGula, too, makes Paul's official Oozers List. In an earlier diatribe, we formed the "B" in G-O-O-F-B-A-L-L. Honestly, Paul, we're insulted. We believe we constitute a WHOLE goofball, between the two of us.

Catachism Catalyzes Cranial Catagenesis

Pharyngula: Man, look at all them cats

I asked on catastrophist chat
if Noah's ark carried a cat.
They told me, "Yeah, plenty,
approximately twenty—
they're tasty and very low fat."

Friday, March 25, 2005

Pharyngula: The Musical (Part Eleven of Several)

[Contents] [<<] [<] [>]

ACT THREE, SCENE TWO

SCENE: The same Prison as in the Last Scene. A brief Orchestral Interlude takes place at this juncture, during which, by means of Stage-Lighting, we see that several Days and Nights go past. PZ Myers adds up Tally-Marks on the Walls, writes Letters, and otherwise Amuses Himself to the best of his Ability (within the confines of Decency, of course). Occasionally, a Churchgoer Guard comes by, presumably to Make Sure he is Still There. After some time of this, the Orchestra Segues into a More Dramatic Theme, and Mr. Iscariot enters, in a state of great Discombobulation.

MR. ISCARIOT: Mr. Myers! Quick! Mr. Myers!

PZ MYERS: What is it now?

MR. ISCARIOT: Yonder tumult, yon commotion,
That's the Cardinal's devotion
Where the gallows towers tremendous,
And the vultures skulk, horrendous,
Trembling with anticipation
Of your grisly expiration!

PZ MYERS (with great Sarcasm): My own demise, I'd clean forgot,
My deepest thanks, Iscariot.

He turns his Back on the Traitor. Mr. Iscariot, Persistent to the Last, lets himself into the cell.

MR. ISCARIOT: That's not the news I came to tell.
I've come to free you from your cell!

He tears off his Coat, much to Myers' discomfort.

Like Sydney Carton, I shall take
A great man's place upon the stake!
Our time is short--put on my coat
And hasten forth, to where your note
Directed that your students go!
Take shelter there! No-one will know.

PZ MYERS: No.

MR. ISCARIOT (attempting to remove PZ's coat by Force, with Little Success): No time to argue--quickly, fly!
Delay much longer, and you'll die.

PZ MYERS (shoving Iscariot away): No!

MR. ISCARIOT (falling to his Knees): But why not? Please! You have to hurry!

PZ straightens out his coat, and draws himself up to his Full Height. It is a Great Pity he is not Taller. The Orchestra strikes up a March, using lots of Percussion.

PZ MYERS: Sound the funereal fanfare;
I shall go forth, unafraid!
Let my last words be of freedom;
I'll stand before them, unswayed!

MR. ISCARIOT: Professor!

PZ MYERS: Raise up your scaffold unyielding;
I'll stand upon it, and cry:
"How does a man without Reason
Differ from pigs in their sty?"

MR. ISCARIOT: Professor, please!

PZ MYERS: Lead me, in chains, to the altar
I'll raise my dying refrain.
Sacrifice science for dogma,
You'll be no better than Cain!

MR. ISCARIOT: Ah, Professor! It's too late!

Offstage, the sound of Tromping Feet can be heard, and approaching Torchlight flickers on the walls.

PZ MYERS: I'm ready.

MR. ISCARIOT: Give it to 'em, Mr. Myers. Do the University proud.

The Tromping comes closer.

PZ MYERS and MR. ISCARIOT: Ah, sound the funereal fanfare;
I shall go forth unafraid!
Let my last words be of freedom;
I'll stand before them, unswayed (etc.)

A throng of Churchgoers floods the stage, bearing PZ off to the gallows, still valiantly Singing. Mr. Iscariot, left behind, sits down on PZ's vacated chair, in the cell. Enter the Narrator, wearing a Revolutionary Rosette over his Collection of Red As.

POMPOUS NARRATOR: I'm all aquiver! Will our dear Professor really snuff it like this, twitching and gyrating at the end of a rope? Will these sanctimonious buffoons never get their comeuppance? And what of Mr. Iscariot, and the students, and, for that matter, the University of Minnesota? Does our story end, thus, in a flurry of incense and cassocks?

What will happen, indeed? Only two scenes to go! Will PZ kick some Churchie buttocks, or will he only kick the air?
Part 12

No More One-Click Wonders

Pharyngula: A question about this site...

What's this? Our one-click world will die?
Our daily dose of snickering snark--
A broadband feast of fools stir-fried
With slug or squid or wry remark?
Our extra ergs of clicks you'd cause
To save your server excess stress
And aid the dial-up dinosaurs?!

(It's cool. I read with RSS.)

PhaWRONGula Makes a Tasteless Remark

Pharyngula: Tremoctopus: That's One Big Mamma, a Dream for the Macrophiliacs

A Lilliputian lad, it's said,
A Brobdingnagian maid did wed.
He won her heart with roses red,
And whisked her off into his bed,
Wherein, assisted by a ladder,
A pulley, and a rope, he had her!

Haiku for a Turkey

Pharyngula: Old Brenner Quotes Always Crack Me Up

August's proud gobbler
is November's crispy bird,
interred in gravy.

Please Pick Up After Your Creationist

Pharyngula: A Good Decision

The eggheads are standing their ground
Against those Creationist hounds:
"They scratched up our door,
And peed on the floor,
but we sent them back to the pound!"

Denatured Monomer Soup!

Pharyngula: Tyrannosaur Morsels

Denatured monomer soup!(1)
Ten cents per ladle of gloop!
It's lovely and smelly
And warm in the belly,
And cures both consumption and croup!


(1) Although I, being easily distracted by all things brave and shiny, found myself quite entranced by the phrase "denatured monomer soup", and the idea of eating those tyrannosaur morsels, this really is an extraordinary discovery. I recommend doing as PZ suggests, and keeping an eye on The Panda's Thumb.

The Wondrous Walktopus

Pharyngula: Octopus Marginatus and Octopus Aculeatus

Where the drowsy oysters sloom
'Midst the deep pelagic gloom;
Where the laughing clownfish play
In a cave which, yesterday
Held a lusty pirate's eye,
Whose reflection of the sky
Made the ladies swoon and sigh--

Where the moon's pull on the tide
Waltzes herrings side to side,
Strides a gracious gentleman,
Scribing footprints in the sand:
Two feet down and six feet up,
'Cross the sand-whorls, hup-hup-hup;
With a gait both swift and loose
Comes the wondrous Walktopus!

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Sticky Pages

Pharyngula: Slugs 'n' bugs 'n' books

I remember when I was at school
thinking Taylor's Mollusca were cool.
But of all the old books
there was more slime in Hooke's
from zoology nerds and their drool.

Brains!

Pharyngula: Maybe it's just me

Asks PZ, "Is it only me
who hears that pseudo-nominee
and, chuckling, thinks immediately
of brains encased in comedy?"
Distracted Andy, squirms with squee
(or Freudian associativity?)
of mud-bound Scum-Queen repartee
and dreams of dates with prof PZ.
Then "O! Em! Gee!" exclaims NelC
"It's Terri's cranial cavity
that Hammesfahr is keen to see
support his corporal amputee!"
PZ, with equanimity,
replies "He loves her brain, maybe?"

He Hasn't Found Much, I'm Afraid

Pharyngula: Seeking Earth Scientists, re: Green Gabbro

Slogging through strata of noxious errata,
The Blogging Geologist goes,
Bravely prospecting for something reflecting
An IQ exceeding his toes.

Can I be Goth Too?

Pharyngula: Great galloping vampire bats!

Hush! hush! my dark enchantress, don't you weep.
My love for you, a love they call a sin,
Heeds not the fears of dull bipedal sheep
But knows your beauty deeper than mere skin.
Hush! hush! my graceful angel of the night
And soar for me in sweeps of wild romance,
For had I wings we'd whirl and twine in flight,
Yet earthbound, still I thrill for your swift dance.
Hush! hush! my somber mistress, moan no more
Of hateful epithets and tales untrue
About your tastes. 'Tis these that I adore:
The appetite we share binds me to you.
My dear Desmodus, shed no tears for now.
Come run with me; I see a sleeping cow.

Where Do They All Come From?

Pharyngula: Wingnuts Mangling Science Again, re: Wizbang

Where do they come from, these
madmen, these devotees
of trembling corundums
and specious conundrums,
exchanging arrangements
of blooming derangements,
like children with posies
held up to their noses,
admiring some sweet scent
from long, long ago?

What do they see when they
unbox some new nosegay,
fresh from some florist who
deals in these things that you
somehow, instinctively
see for distinctively
not what they're meant to be:
"If they were sent to me,
I'd have them quarantined,
locked up and gasolined;
these are not flowers."?

Why do they always come
raging like bulls from some
china-shop closeout sale,
ready to hot-exhale
down your neck, just before
drowning the stands in gore,
nostrils dilated with
things they're frustrated with,
burning-eyed juggernauts
out to kill argonauts;
and how do they constantly
miss by a mile?

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Darwin's Band

Pharyngula: Charles Darwin has a posse

Apologies to P.P. Bliss1

Standing on objective fact,
Seeing life firsthand,
Shining light that doctrine lacked;
All hail to Darwin's band!

Dare to be a Darwin;
Dare let facts be shown;
Dare to see life as it is;
Dare to make it known.

Many mighty minds are mired,
Sunk in dogma's sand;
Would that they could be inspired
By joining Darwin's band.

Dare to be a Darwin;
Dare let facts be shown;
Dare to see life as it is;
Dare to make it known.

Many trolls, thick, deaf and stale,
Teaching Dubya's land,
Would in vain the truth assail
Were more in Darwin's band.

Dare to be a Darwin;
Dare let facts be shown;
Dare to see life as it is;
Dare to make it known.


1 And wouldn't you love to have a name like that?

Pharyngula: The Musical (Part Ten of Several)

[Contents] [<<] [<] [>]

ACT THREE, SCENE ONE

SCENE: A Dark, Dank, Disgusting, Rat-Infested Dungeon, underneath the City. PZ Myers can be seen, inhabiting a Particularly Loathsome Cell, complete with Buckets catching Drips from a Substandard Ceiling. He is bent over a desk, pen in hand, apparently composing a Letter. No, maybe it's his Memoirs. No, it's definitely a Letter. Enter the Narrator, in a Sneaky Fashion.

POMPOUS NARRATOR: Poor Professor Myers. The wheels of Justice turn with all the grace and alacrity of mushrooms falling upstairs. Which is to say, of course, with no grace or alacrity at all. And so, our poor professor languishes, here amongst the rats and the fleas--

PZ scratches his neck.

PZ MYERS (grumbling): He had to mention the fleas!

POMPOUS NARRATOR: --with only a twitching, grotesque death to look forward to!

PZ MYERS: Guard!

A Churchgoer Guard enters, collars the Narrator, and drags him from the stage under Protest.

POMPOUS NARRATOR (on his way out): Undaunted by the prospect of an early and MOST GRUESOME demise, P.Z. pens a rousing farewell to his students!

With a resounding Crash, the Guard and the Narrator vanish into the Wings. PZ returns to his Letter-Writing, with a Derisive "Pssh" Sound.

PZ MYERS (writing): Forget, if you will, your professor,
But carry in mind his last--pshaw!

He crosses this out, crumples up the Paper it was on, and starts again on a New Sheet.

I leave, as my final behest
To my students, a humble bequ--augh!

He crosses this out, also, and begins anew.

E lucevan le stelle....

SPECIALLY PLANTED AUDIENCE MEMBERS: Booooooo!

PZ MYERS (tossing this Latest Abomination aside, and writing with Renewed Determination): I am not a wordy man.
In this note's my master plan
Written in a clever code
To flummox any Churchie toad!

Where the thrumming Rana quivers,
And the Schoenoplectus shivers,
Let Larus hyperbore's crying
Guide you where the Salix, sighing,
Reaches for the wind.

Turn you, then, to face Eudyptes
And his neighbour, Ovis aries;
Follow them where Digitalis
Purpurea
seeks to balance
Poison with succour.

There, you'll find an equine fellow,
'Midst the Helianthus yellow--
Beyond him, green Glechoma bowers
A greenhouse, full of rotten flowers,
Sunken in its frame.

From there, it's but a simple task:
Seek out the spot where Felis basks;
Scare him off, and dig down under,
Careful not to rip asunder
The bounty hid beneath.

He folds up the Letter, and seals it into an Envelope.

I've left them a book or two: Eberhard's Developmental Plasticity and Evolution, if I'm not mistaken, and Thompson's On Growth and Form. Moby Dick, as well. I hope they find them before they get too soggy. I hope they keep up with their reading. Guard! Guard!

He Rattles at the bars of his Cell. A Guard appears. This time, it is Mr. Iscariot, who has apparently been assigned to Dungeon Detail.

PZ MYERS: You!

MR. ISCARIOT (aside): (I can't look him in the eye.)

PZ MYERS: Well, if it isn't Mr. Iscariot, the traitor!

MR. ISCARIOT: No! No! I'm here to save you. I'll do anything you want.

PZ MYERS: Where have I heard that before?

S.P.A.M.: (Various Salacious Whistles and Catcalls)

PZ MYERS: On second thoughts...just get this to the University, won't you?

MR. ISCARIOT: Consider it done.

He hurries off into the Wings, letter tucked into his Sleeve for the purpose of Concealment. PZ returns to his desk to await, presumably, his next Rodential Visit.
Part 11

Double-Dactyl for a Real Pterodactyl (Junior Birdman!)

Pharyngula: Uncritical Journalism from the WaPo

Whackety-jobbery
Jay Mathews, pedagogue,
seeks to add spice to our
boring regime!

Will he bring elephants,
Arguing relevance
Ideological?
My, what a scream!

1-2-3-4, I Declare a Thumb War!

Pharyngula: Happy Birthday, Panda's Thumb!
and The Panda's Thumb

Said the bamboo sycophant
To the panda gourmet:
"Happy birthday, you!"

Said that diner elegant,
To his paltering prey,
"Chew, chew, chew, chew, chew!"

Tangled Bank #24 Is Up

Pharyngula: Tangled Bank #24
and Tangled Bank #24 at Syaffolee.

Twin blossoms emerge
from the root of all evil;
one quiet, one wild;

Here is a hedgerow
in ebullient upheaval,
salamander-stocked;

here, a storm-scoured shore,
scrubbed free from ant and weevil,
hoards the past, instead.

A courting duck calls,
from the forest primeval,
far into the night.

Threatening

Pharyngula: A Lovecraftian auditory phenomenon
Pharyngula: I want a living will like this

Terri,
A soulless husk,
A human monument,
Shows the fragility of life
In law.

No student left awake

Pharyngula: Oh, no, not a new edition!

High school biology, chapter one:
"In the beginning God..."
High school biology, lesson one:
Off to the land of nod.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

I can make sense of it

Pharyngula: Victor Zammit, the Latest Kook in my Collection

His methods of flight are advanced—
Larus occidentalis enhanced.
Zammit's height, I'd explain,
comes from sources mundane:
He's supported by gulls he's entranced.

And If You Can Make Sense of This....

Pharyngula: Victor Zammit, the Latest Kook in my Collection
and, just for fun, Mr. Zammit, himself

Cosmic gyrations, man,
Can you feel the high?
Nanovibrations, man,
From up in the sky.(1)

Wild palpitations, man,
Electrified hair!
Heavenly stations, man,
Way up in the air!(1)

Mind-masturbation, man,
A feverish pace!
Chakras are racing, man,
Straight out into space!(1)


(1) Junior Birdmen

Prithee, Do Not Meme Me!

Pharyngula: This Is NOT Allowed!

(For the purposes of this rhyme, please pronounce "meme" as mee-mee. Although this is not technically correct, we think it is funny.)

From the desk of our P. Zee:
"For heaven's sake, don't meme me!
The meme that you sent today
Already hit me yesterday.
Tomorrow's meme's just the same
As last week's get-to-know-you game.
I've had it with these silly lists;
No more memes, I insist!"

Monday, March 21, 2005

Haiku for a Brain in Prison

Pharyngula: A Wee Slip, But Revealing or "Ken Ham Reveals His Slip".

Convicted, alas;
and, season after season,
sentenced to Jesus.

Lecture Preparation Differences

Pharyngula: I'm Beautiful--On The Inside

When a lecture's about to begin
Mr Myers seeks pow'r from within,
and the song that he hums
(done his own way) becomes,
"I've got myself under my skin."

Ere I lecture a crowd I just sit,
for it settles my nerves just a bit
if I ponder my gut
and its maximal glut,
and then think what I plan to emit.

I Didn't Say "Sanguine", So It's Not That Bad

Pharyngula: I'm Beautiful--On The Inside

Look--a corpuscular tide!
Has PZ gone gothic inside?
Is he besotted
With cruor beclotted?
Or is he just puffed up with pride?

Pharyngula: The Musical (Part Nine of Several)

[Contents] [<<] [<] [>]

ACT TWO, SCENE FIVE

HIS HOLINESS: Very well. Has the accused anything to say in his own defence, before the jury shall convict him?

PZ MYERS (beetling his Brows and tugging at his Padlock): Mm-mm-mm mm!

HIS HOLINESS: No? In that case--

PZ MYERS: MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM!

HIS HOLINESS: Ah. I see. Remove the padlock.

The Violent Court Official unlocks PZ, who rises, rubbing the Sensation back into his Lips.

PZ MYERS: I've never been accused of excessive eloquence, but I do have prepared, here, a short statement:

He extracts a crumpled Paper from his pocket, and begins to Read, in a Stiff and Stilted Fashion.

A Scientist, sconced in his lab,
Up to his eyeballs in gore,
Has taken his first halting stab
At quashing diseases galore.

His scalpel does not desecrate
Tissue or gristle or bone,
Except that it might obviate
The need for one agonized groan.

MR. ISCARIOT (aside): Oh, furious pangs of remorse!
How can I ever atone?
For want of an A in one course
Iscariot cast the first stone!

PZ MYERS: A Science Professor at work,
Teaching his Schleiden and Schwann
Hopes only that, out of the murk,
New theorems might be born.

He does not preach tumult or war,
Or agitate bumptious protest;
I'd like to bring this to the fore:
Professors exist to profess.

MR. ISCARIOT (aside): His barks echo up the wrong tree,
If it's forbearance he seeks!
If only he'd enter a plea,
He might be out within weeks!

Oh, pitiless, poignant regret!
This is a trial without hope!
He's tangling himself in their net.
(Perhaps I can help him elope.)

PZ MYERS: A Student, enrolled in my class,
Reads about Darwin, it's true.
In order to earn a pass,
He masters his Punnet squares, too.

He finds--

HIS HOLINESS: Enough of this blasphemy!

PZ MYERS: He finds that life's answers are not--

HIS HOLINESS raps his Gavel repeatedly.

HIS HOLINESS: Order! Order in the court!

PZ MYERS: --found in some mouldering book!

The Violent Court Official wrestles PZ Myers from the Stand by Force, Silencing his Protests without Trouble.

MR. ISCARIOT (covering his Eyes): I'm frozen! I'm glued to the spot!
Yet, I dare not sneak a look.

CERTAIN SHOCKED CHURCHGOERS: A Churchgoer, down on his knees,
Baring his soul to his God,
Asks only forgiveness, and peace;
Not that the weak be downtrod!

PZ MYERS: Augh!

HIS HOLINESS: Order! Order!

His Gavel snaps in two, Head from Handle. Gradually, the Court becomes quiet. The Orchestra strikes up a Tense and Foreboding Theme.

HIS HOLINESS: We will now hear the verdict. Gentlemen of the Jury, how do you find?

JUROR A: In the matter of the Church of Divine Creation versus Professor PZ Myers of the University of Minnesota, we, the Jury, find the defendant--

JUROR B:: Guilty.

JURORS C-L, IN TURN: Guilty.

JUROR A: Guilty. By unanimous vote, we find the defendant guilty--

HIS HOLINESS: --and sentence him to hang by the neck till he is dead.

The Orchestra abruptly stops playing. In the ensuing Dead Silence, PZ Myers struggles free of his Captors, and Leaps upon the Podium.

PZ MYERS: A Scientist, sconced in his lab,
Up to his eyeballs in gore,
Has taken his first halting stab
At quashing diseases galore.

MR. ISCARIOT: Oh, furious pangs of remorse!
How can I ever atone?
For want of an A in one course
Iscariot cast the first stone!

HIS HOLINESS: What ludicrous antics are these?
What furor, what empty refrain!
I'll see that man down on his knees,
Begging for mercy in vain.

PZ Myers is dragged from the Podium by various Officials of the Court, and led Offstage. The Churchgoers begin to file out, as well, led by His Holiness and the Jury. The Narrator enters, looking Disheveled.

POMPOUS NARRATOR: Oh, horror! Oh, travesty! What is this? Our esteemed P.Z. Myers, sentenced to death? What a shock! What a farce! What a conclusion to Act Two! Do be sure and present yourself, post-intermission, for the conclusion to our thrilling tale of murder, intrigue, and...fish.
Part 10

Equus cabala

Pharyngula: Iconic horse evolution

"Fear not!" said Wells, for weighty facts
Had warped their troubled creed;
"Glad findings, full of joy, I bring
In fossils of the steed.

"For unto us is born this day,
Of Eohippus' line,
Cabalist's Equus caballus
(Creationist design).

"Illumined dreams relate that in
Phylogenetic knots
A covert constellation hides,
So come, let's join the dots!"


While many want for wit to judge
The wood from all the trees,
Who blinded John, that by a hedge
One branch is all he sees?

Our thanks PZ; you dare to delve
In dankest Wells to find
All nature's stories glibly snipped
To suit a one-track mind.

Without Science, There's Only God

Pharyngula: An Anti-ID Piece From Virginia

Where would we be, if we scrapped evolution,
And Pasteur, and Fleming, and sought a solution
To pestilent problems in holy elution?
Fast in the grip of the Flea Revolution;
Widespread Yersinia pestis pollution;
Bulging black buboes, resisting ablution;
Pustulent priests, rapt in strident locution,
Begging their God for divine absolution!

The March of the Myers Clan

Pharyngula: Surnames on the March

This is the march of the Myers clan, (boom, boom, boom)
Proud from the throat of each Myers man! (boom, boom, boom)
We rule the North, and the Southlands too; (boom, boom, boom)
We'll rule your lands, when we marry you! (BOOM, boom, BOOM, boom, BOOM, boom, BOOM!)

Oh, the Myers clan! (BOOM!)
Oh, each Myers man! (BOOM!)
Oh, the Southlands, too! (BOOM!)
OH, we'll marry you! (BOOM-TSS!)

Here's a proposal, from Myers pen-- (boom, boom, boom)
From Myers cock, to prospective hen-- (boom, boom, boom)
From Myers knight to his dulcet dame: (boom, boom, boom)
I'll pick your flower if you'll pick my name! (BOOM, boom, BOOM, boom, BOOM, boom, BOOM!)

Oh, from Myers pen! (BOOM!)
To prospective hen! (BOOM!)
To yon dulcet dame! (BOOM!)
Won't you take my name? (BOOM-TSS!)

A Costoro Schiavo Non Sono

Pharyngula: Swarm the Media
Majikthise's Call for a Blogswarm

Gathered round a dreary bed,
See the living and the dead,
Both enslaved, I've heard it said,
Why not let them rest, instead?

What's the purpose of our lives?
Funding furs for rich men's wives?
Tell your Congressman, today
You pay tax; you want your say.

Write and tell your senator
There was not a civil war
So we could be traded for
Cash, distinction, fame, and power.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

The Intellectual Elite's Gigantic Phallus

Intelligent Design is Not a Limerick.

Pharyngula: Theory

a) The Theory Limerick

A theory is hard to unpick,
Or batter to bits with a stick;
It's sturdy and sound,
And carefully wound,
Much like a good limerick.

b) The Hypothesis Haiku

A haiku's less firm;
speaking of seasons, and things
hypothetical.

c) The Intelligent Design Nonsense Rhyme

Hibbery-habbery hoo
Hallulla-labulla-nanoo.
Banana-fo-fanna
Habana-maranna;
Bahapata-didgeridoo.
Intelli-ga-hoonie
Designutaroonie
Bahollah-barollah-banoo.

The Horowitz Continuum

Pharyngula: At One Of Those Other Places
The Cronkite Continuum

Horowitz, looking ahead,
Sees a future where science is dead;
Where Jesus is king,
And angel choirs sing,
And teachers and preachers are wed.

Goin’ to Carolina in my Mind

Pharyngula: North Carolina: I don't know how you smell, but some of your 'educators' stink

I can hear the Aussies laughing:

"In Australia our culture dictates
that we're patient with ignorant mates.
But this teacher was bats,
preaching bull to the brats,
so we bought her a flight to the States."

Arise My Brothers!

Pharyngula: So then, Wichita would be like Minas Tirith?
irrationalRobot: We've been letting Mordor gather power for too long

My brother orcs, I tell you straight, them men are telling lies.
We're more than Melkor's mix 'n' match,
The products of some brew or batch.
We're pure creations, made to serve our Master, only wise.

My brother orcs, what can we do to teach men better ways?
They think we got no heart or soul,
As dumb as any mountain troll.
They curse our righteous Master and refuse to give Him praise.

My brother orcs, you seen them men; you heard how they blaspheme.
They claim our Master can't be good!
His plans for peace—misunderstood.
Just one true leader, ever more, all seeing and supreme.

My brother orcs, there's war to wage against them evil men.
They hate our freedom, hate our guts;
To win our peace we'll kick their butts;
One nation under Sauron's name. To Him be praise.
Amen.