Fictional mad scientists are most often portrayed as highly driven and glory hungry; they are the unwitting villains, the victims of their own inquisitive natures. Author, Reto Schneider, has written The Mad Science Book, which chronicles the history and present of questionable experiments carried out by real-life “mad” scientists. A list of nine of these experiments is on The New Scientist website. My favorite is Dogbot, the robot dog that was a social reject. Real dogs wanted nothing to do with him. Maybe his nose glowed red or he aspired to be a dentist. Whatever the reason, Dogbot was not allowed to participate in dog games.
What I like about mad experimentation is it’s raw unbridled curiosity. What does it matter if some experiments go wrong or if others are completely useless and outright wacky? What counts is that humans have a desire to understand the world. Thomas Edison was a mad inventor; he wasted ten years of his life on devising a new mining technique, which failed miserably. He also designed furniture and homes made out of that comfortable substance know as concrete. Not big sellers.
The lesson here is that in a complex world, curiosity saves the cat, it doesn’t kill it. But still there is an intellectual divide in society. There are those who care to know the world, and those who don’t care to have their world views tarnished by reality. I’m talking about creationists here. To them a mad scientist is someone to be feared.
Top 15 Creation Science Fair Projects
15. Sexual Selection: Observations on the blond girl next door
14. My mom’s purse and the 2nd law of thermodynamics
13. The Grand Canyon: It’s smaller than it looks
12. Human vs. parrot IQ test – How Mr. Crackers cheated
11. Practicing Social-Darwinism for fun and profit
10. Bible College Cut & Paste Research Techniques
9. Viagra and the irreducible complexity in my pants
8. The geology of baking soda volcanoes
7. SPF 13: The Devil’s Number
6. Peer Review, Schmear Review: My friends suck
5. Praying For An “A+”, Without Really Trying
4. Abiogenesis in the Pillsbury Dough Boy
3. Spanking the monkey: Literally!
2. That evil Charles Darwin: An Unbiased Review
1. Noah’s Ark: Cargo Ship or Luv Boat?
When I wrote this silly list, I had no idea that the reality of creation science education is stranger than my fiction. I was shocked to discover an actual entry, from a 2001 creation science fair, “Women Are Designed For Homemaking”. It was an 8th grade boy’s project. I’d be interested to know if his mother or father had a hand in the work.
Searching the web for creationism is sometimes like sifting through trash and finding the occasional humorous but, completely worthless, object. You feel darn conflicted. You’re dirty from the trash but the “prize” makes the whole ordeal somehow worthwhile. Behold, the rotten fruit of my labors.
It actually says “Science From Dumbies”
. This ironic work of art is from a website called Evolving Minds
, but they’re selling them on eBay, too. Their “mission” statement is:
We are a new ministry dedicated to the fight against the theory of Evolution. We think it is important to defend ourselves against the falsehood of Evolution and the lies that are associated with it… Our mission is to reach out to the lost, mainly those who believe in Evolution. We hope to change their thinking and challenge their faith in the theory of Evolution. Our goal is to fully equip anyone who has the drive to debate this topic. We are in this fight together and want to offer our resources to help destroy the work of the devil.
The back of this devil fighting t-shirt has a popular misquote from Charles Darwin’s Origin Of Species.
It’s on the origin of the eye, and Talk Origins
explains the details of their mistake. Also, the EvolvingMind’s links page
contains both Kent Hovind (DrDino) and Ben Stein (Expelled: The Movie). I guess the Young Earth Creationists operating this ministry didn’t read the memo about Intelligent Design ostensibly being a secular theory, or see the news about Kent Hovind’s imprisonment on tax fraud. Wait… I’m still laughing hard at the shirt.
Take a good long look at the dim-witted fool in the above picture. He just turned Florida into an international joke. His name is Alan Hays.
A nebulous bill that allows teachers “to poke holes in the theory of evolution” passed in the Florida House. The bill passed 71-43. The full story can be read in the Miami Herald.
State Rep. Alan Hays, the republican who sponsored the bill, commented:
That’s a fancy way of saying it allows the teachers, without fear, to expose the holes in the scientific theory of evolution, No fossils have been found and no witness has ever seen one species turn into another. This is only a theory. [emphasis added]
Alan Hays is a retired dentist. The reasons given for the legislation were “to protect teachers’ jobs” and to ensure “academic freedom”.
Asked which teachers fear that teaching the ”holes” in evolution will lead to trouble, Hays acknowledged he didn’t have any names. ”This is being done as a preventive measure,” Hays said.
I know where I’m not spending my next vacation. If you want to voice your opinion to the Florida Board Of Tourism, GO HERE.
If you want to support the Florida Citizens For Science, GO HERE.
Perhaps Alan Hays D.D.S. will comment on string theory next.
Poor Mike Rowe, from the Discovery Channel show Dirty Jobs, had an early career hawking objet d’art on QVC. Like a skilled urban archaeologist, he deftly describes his find – the Ark of Noah. Except his Ark is a small garish highly-overpriced tote bag.
And check out the name on the side of that sturdy craft, it’s called the S.S. Noah. SS stands for steam ship. So here we have strong evidence that Noah’s Ark was self-propelled. I guess the Ark wasn’t thrust upon Mount Ararat by God, it was sailed there by Noah. He should have settled on Hawaii, the fool. Anyway, this is quality evidence in favor of the Biblical Flood, so we best keep it to ourselves or the creationists might use it. It’s better than anything they currently have.
Many people think the entertainment industry only pimps for liberal politicians. But here’s Chuck Norris, “B” movie star extraordinaire, backing Mike Huckabee, an ultra-conservative creationist Christian. Walker: Texas Ranger is now Wacko: Texas Ranger.
Chuck thinks he’s a tough guy, on and off screen. But we laugh at his tough guy act. Ha! Ha! Ha! A real tough guy is someone like Charles Darwin, who voyaged around the world on a tiny ship for five years, at a time when death and disease were normal experiences for travelers. Now that’s tough.
So, we honor Chuck Norris as creationist of the month for December 2007. Not only does he publicly denounce evolution, he also advocates the Bible being used as a textbook in public schools. But here’s Chuck’s scientific opinion on evolution:
“… But here’s what I really think about the theory of evolution: It’s not real. It is not the way we got here. In fact, the life you see on this planet is really just a list of creatures God has allowed to live. We are not creations of random chance. We are not accidents. There is a God, a Creator, who made you and me. We were made in His image, which separates us from all other creatures.”
Those are Chuck’s words as they appear on the ICR (Intitute For Creation Research) website and the conservative crap site, World Net Daily News.
We guess Chuck really is “pushing the Earth down” by helping to keep America’s youth ignorant and stupid.