My Uncle Is Not A Monkey
August 28, 2003 7:21 AM   Subscribe

Creation Science Fair - the first place for elementary level was won by Cassidy Turnbull, who demonstrated the differences between her uncle and a monkey. Much more impressive was the winner of the high school level who used prayer to make microbes evolve antibiotic resistance. I, for one, am glad that children across the world are learning the power of Creation Science! (via New Scientist)
posted by adrianhon (31 comments total)
Yes, it's a spoof, but it's a funny one that managed to take in New Scientist (as well as a bunch of weblogs)...
posted by adrianhon at 7:21 AM on August 28, 2003

Very funny link, thanks adrianhon.

Jonathan Goode (grade 7) applied findings from many fields of science to support his conclusion that God designed women for homemaking: physics shows that women have a lower center of gravity than men, making them more suited to carrying groceries and laundry baskets;
posted by vito90 at 7:28 AM on August 28, 2003

when it comes to studying the works of the Lord, there are no losers!

Somehow I doubt that.
posted by trondant at 7:34 AM on August 28, 2003

Yes, it's a spoof

what, Hopsiah the Kanga-Jew (scroll down towards bottom) wasn't enough to set off their sarcasm detectors!?
posted by bhayes82 at 7:37 AM on August 28, 2003

was this a post a month or two ago?
posted by geist at 7:38 AM on August 28, 2003

Yeah, but some of those links go to real places, which gave me pause--the Zounds Youth Ministry ("Jesus--the rock who rocks!") links to an actual (as far as I can make out) band called downhere.

Funny link though, thanks for the morning amusement.
posted by jokeefe at 7:40 AM on August 28, 2003

"who demonstrated the differences between her uncle and a monkey"

...which would have been much more difficult for George W. Bush's nieces...
posted by zanpo at 7:41 AM on August 28, 2003

This would be funny, if it wasn't so totally relevant to me this week.

Here in New Mexico, the "Intelligent Design" folks were lobbying hard to insert language into the State Education Science Standards that implied that evolution was just "one of many theories" and that many "scientists" had other explanations that differed from evolution.

Chrissakes people, even the POPE conceded evolution, and it took them, what, 200 years to forgive Galileo for being right....
posted by answergrape at 7:41 AM on August 28, 2003

I was actually preparing to post about the "Intelligent Design" issue because it is so serious here and so absolutely ridiculous at the same time.

The IDealogues sent out 17,000 surveys to employees at universities in New Mexico, as well as Sandia National Laboratories and Los Alamos. They got about 250 or so back, and tried to have their survey results included in the debate for the state science standards. After a few reporters pointed out the unscientific nature of their study, they withdrew it, but still insisted that many scienctists agreed with them. Balderdash.

Great link....
posted by answergrape at 7:44 AM on August 28, 2003

It is too bad its a spoof. I would love to see the "Pokemon Prove Evolutionism Is False" project.
posted by spartacusroosevelt at 7:51 AM on August 28, 2003

spoofs like this and landoverbaptist work so well because they Do link to real sites. hard to tell where the joke ends.
posted by th3ph17 at 7:57 AM on August 28, 2003

As a Christian that believes in evolution, this is pretty good. And, as a URL is fecking genius.
posted by Ufez Jones at 7:59 AM on August 28, 2003

Funny stuff; they even have the "Christian Website Look" down pat, complete with bold red all-caps text. I'm adding Objective Ministries to my Postmodern Christian Parody bookmarks, right up there with Ship of Fools, Landover Baptist, and Wibsite.
posted by brownpau at 7:59 AM on August 28, 2003

This would be funny, if it wasn't so totally relevant to me this week.

Me too, answergrape. The CS/ID people have infiltrated the board of my astronomy club now. They want to present programs from "other points of view." I and several others have left in protest in the past two weeks to start our own science club.
posted by AstroGuy at 8:02 AM on August 28, 2003

AstroGuy: Seriously?
posted by bshort at 8:05 AM on August 28, 2003

Er, ok, I'll bite - I've been over that site (Objective Ministries) and I'm still sitting on the hoax/no-hoax fence, leaning towards hoax. Does anyone have some proof (or the whole story) about that site?
posted by Fat Elvis at 8:09 AM on August 28, 2003

FYI: My virus software just went nutty when I visited one of the links at the bottom of the page. Be forewarned.
posted by jpoulos at 8:14 AM on August 28, 2003

Here ya go, Elvis, Hoax Proof from a thread on this page
posted by qDot at 8:15 AM on August 28, 2003

I was hoping for something a touch bit more concrete, but thanks!
posted by Fat Elvis at 8:34 AM on August 28, 2003

The strongest evidence that it's a parody is that it's well written with proper grammar and punctuation, has no exclamation points, capitalization or oversized fonts, it's skillfully laid out and it renders properly in my browser.

The real ones have few if any of these characteristics.
posted by George_Spiggott at 8:34 AM on August 28, 2003

The strongest evidence that it's a parody is that it's well written with proper grammar...

With the notable exception of the egregious mixup between possessive "its" vs. the contraction "it's" as seen in the first paragraph: "It's purpose is to get kids excited about Creation and motivate them to discover the truth of our Lord on their own."

Not sure why that one annoys me so much...
posted by udeups at 8:43 AM on August 28, 2003

Also note that one of the honorable mentions in the High School level was "The thermodynamics of hellfire" which strikes me as a reference to this classic which you'll find posted in just about any physics department you care to walk in to.
posted by jearbear at 8:47 AM on August 28, 2003

It would be funnier had the discussion about whether or not it was a spoof not been so necessary.

I find it quite frightening that a nation which has nuclear weapons should use so many backdoor tricks to force kids to ponder improbable drivel which would have been (deservedly) laughed out of the classroom 20 years ago. Scary and sad.
posted by clevershark at 9:21 AM on August 28, 2003

Her religion is a mess. She worships some strange Goddess.
But the Lord don't wear a dress. Now her soul is in distress.

From that #1 smash hit, Wacky Wacky Wicca Chick.
posted by PenDevil at 9:22 AM on August 28, 2003

bshort: Unfortunately, yes, seriously. I did forward the link to one of the others that left with me, since even in light of my current events, I did find pretty funny.
posted by AstroGuy at 9:23 AM on August 28, 2003

I remember a year ago somewhere, i think on Slashdot, someone noting that both this site and Landover Baptist had the same web host contact info.

Thanks, that was what I was looking for.
posted by Fat Elvis at 10:16 AM on August 28, 2003

What I find most interesting is not so much the content of this spoof (though it is very interesting in a scary way). No, I find the dynamics of parody to be fascinating.

On the one hand, if you label a parody as a parody, then it loses its parodic edge. But if you don't label it parody, then it might be interpreted as sincere. I suppose that any work that comes close to that edge will lose some readers who don't know it is parody.

It is that edge that makes the parodic experience, really. If the reader is continually holding off from being able to answer the question, "is this real?" then the parody works. Ultimately the experience must culminate with answering that question. But making the answer too obvious or too obscure makes for bad parody.

Maybe there's a particular thrill to be had in thinking that "some people" won't get the joke - i.e., those who are ridiculously emotionally invested in the topic. In this case, either staunchly fundamentalist pro-ID/anti-ID folks who get worked up by the piece. Maybe we who get the joke don't even need real people to not get it, but just the thought that there might be such people is enough. Would parody be enjoyable without that?

Actually, I am rather insensitive to many of the nuances used by parody (actually, nuances in general). I usually have to be told information directly, I can almost never understand any intended meaning that isn't overtly stated. Hence my analysis here, which probably just ruins the experience for most of you.
posted by yesster at 12:01 PM on August 28, 2003

This was a good parody, just because some people believed it doesn't make them dumb or ignorant. I actually thought parts of the site were real, or more precisely, I wanted it to be true for the sheer entertainment value it provided. For example I googled the word 'Triclavianism' and this was the first result. I loved the prose so much I wanted it to be real, just because it'd be a weirder world that way.
posted by elwoodwiles at 2:37 PM on August 28, 2003

Creation Science Polka! [warning, legal, zappaesque mp3].
posted by duckstab at 3:04 PM on August 28, 2003

How could this not be a parody? I mean, come on:

"Rocks Can't Evolve, Where Did They Come From Mr. Darwin?" - Anna Reed (grade 6)
posted by ssmith at 5:22 PM on August 28, 2003

This is a truly inspired ( hoax ): "A payoff matrix for the Pascal's Wager game makes it clear to the Atheist that his infinitely best choice is to accept the existence of God. Atheist and Believer represent different strategies the single participant can choose. Positive values represent gains, and negative ones losses. The value of -/+1 represents the time wasted/saved due to the pointlessness of spiritual activities in a Godless Universe. Subtracting or adding any finite number from or to infinity gives the result of infinity."
posted by troutfishing at 7:39 PM on August 28, 2003

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