Saturday, 9 May 2015

"WHEN GIANTS WALKED THE EARTH!" PART NINE OF SCHOOLTIME SCANDALS...


Image copyright MARVEL COMICS

I don't remember her name, but I do remember what she
looked like.  She taught English (I think) in a room of one of the
annexed huts at the back of my secondary school's main building.
I don't recall how the topic came up (talking about DAVID and
GOLIATH perhaps), but I suddenly tuned in to what she was
saying when I heard her say that giants had never existed. 

I knew that wasn't necessarily true.  Didn't my ENCYCLO-
PAEDIA BRITANNICA Anthology say otherwise?  You
can bet your last ROLO it did!  Here's part of what it said:

Remains of Giants

January 11.  1613, some masons digging near the ruins of
a castle in Dauphine, France, in a field which (by tradition) had
long been called the giant's field, at the depth of 18 feet discovered a
brick-tomb 30 feet long, 12 feet wide, and 8 feet high;  on which was a
grey stone, with the words Theutobochus cut thereon.  When the tomb
was opened, they found a human skeleton entire, 25 feet and a half long,
10 feet wide across the shoulders, and five feet deep from the breast-
bone to the back.  His teeth were about the size each of an
ox's foot, and his shin bone measured four feet.

It goes on to list other examples, but the one above will
suffice for the purpose of this post.  I couldn't remember the
exact details when I put my hand up to point out her 'error', but
I knew I had the book back home which revealed the rashness of
her claim.  I told her (in the politest of terms, naturally) that (if the
EB accounts were true) she was wrong, but she pooh-poohed my
earnest assertion with the assured, contemptuous manner of the
intellectually superior towards the gullible and superstitious,
and heaped scorn and derision on my head.

The very book I took to school in 1971 or '72

"There's no such thing as giants!  Only the most unedu-
cated of people would ever believe they once existed," she
mocked, dismissing me with a wave.  Next day, I brought in
the very book and showed it to her in front of the class.  As she
read, she paled, then blushed, looking distinctly uncomfort-
able.  She might be able to look down her nose at me, but
the Encyclopaedia Britannica was a different matter.

She spoke, but her voice was hoarse.  She cleared her
throat, then stuttered and stammered her reply.  "Er, there's
no such thing as giants, but there were tall men.  I never said
that there weren't tall men.  This was obviously just tall man
a very tall man," she said lamely.  The class sniggered at her
desperate and unconvincing efforts to extricate herself from
an embarrassing situation of her own making.

"Well, 25 and a half feet seems pretty gigantic to
me - but regardless of their exact height, that's what
they called 'very tall men' back then - 'giants'," I said.  "And
what about the other examples?" I continued, triumphant in my
vindication.  "Tall men, just very tall men," she blustered, trying
to cling on to her credibility.  Too late!  It had vanished like a thief
in the night, and yet another teacher had learned the folly of under-
estimating me.  Neds they could deal with, but  I represented an
altogether different kind of challenge - one that they routinely
found themselves ill-equipped to tackle.  (Yeah, you can
feel the ego there, can't you?)

She always tried to avoid my gaze after that.  We both
knew who had come off second-best in our little encounter
and doubtless she didn't want to be reminded of it should
our eyes meet across the classroom.  Teachers, eh?

The full extract.  Click to enlarge

******

(What she should have said, of course, was that she
was talking about fairy-tale giants who lived in castles in
the sky, or that the excerpts in the book reflected the know-
ledge and opinions of earlier times, which had since been
supplanted by subsequent discoveries and enlightenment.
However, she wasn't quick-thinking enough for that.)

30 comments:

DeadSpiderEye said...

She doesn't sound very educated herself, if she was referring to Goliath, she'd be in for a shock, because the earliest scriptural reference states he's was 6 1/2 foot tall. Giants as a cultural and philosophical concept have been distorted by fictionalisation, it's the Disney effect but with a much longer history. As for the 20 - 30 foot variety, I think they're probably apocryphal. They're too far beyond the known parameters of human physical deviation to be easily accepted and while we know that people have tendency to tell porkies, I think that's a much likelier explanation by a long long way. Then again, you have to consider, what is a giant, there're the Greek Titans and the giants from the bible who're conceptualised as something other than human, just how far does that otherness digress, different race, species, whatever? Brontosaurus and Tyrannosaur are giants of a kind, we know of their existence through their fossilised remains but it's still difficult to conceive the world they lived in. Without the fossils, there's absolutely no way I would ever believe in them.

Kid said...

I suppose it depends on one's definition of a giant. In Biblical times, the average height was just over 5 feet, maybe 5 and a half, so Goliath would've been considered a giant. That was my point. The tallest (verified) person in history was a hair off 9 feet tall, which at nearly twice the height of someone in earlier ages, would truly have been a giant. Perhaps there were quite a few people like that back then, who knows?

However, the EB entry about a tomb containing 25 and a half foot human remains is certainly interesting, and if it was ever shown to be a hoax or a mistake, I've yet to read about it. (Not that I've pursued it, to be honest.)

Had I been her, I would've defined my understanding of the word 'giant' - then she'd perhaps have been better able to defend her view of things. I think she must have meant the fairy-tale idea of them, but she never explicitly stated that - she got too hung up in knocking anyone's use of the word in a legitimate fashion.

DeadSpiderEye said...

Yeah I think you're probably right about her reasoning but it's kinda interesting in that it illustrates how people chose what the boundaries of reality are and how they distort concepts that don't fit with that reality in order to relegate them to fantasy. My personal reality boundaries are quite conservative, unfortunately they can't explain reality either.

Phil said...

You do realize there are several problems with the 25 foot giant.
First the old square cube law. If you double the height you cube the weight. The bones and joints would be under tremendous pressure. You can see it today, the world's tallleat humans can barely walk.
If a person was actually 25 feet tall the bones would have be proportionally larger to stand the weight. You would probably look like an elephant man.
Also you would need a breeding population large enough to maintain the population I.E. More than one person. Preferably a few hundred. No such remains have been found. Also in humans you get the problem of genetic drift and inbreeding which you are remember. You end up with nasty genetic defects.
You would not be able to produce giant offspring in one generation.
Even if the giant was a tall tale ( get it tall tale?) it may have in fact been a misidentified ....elephant. After all, we know the genesis of the cyclops was elephant skulls.

TC said...

I admire your assertiveness. When I was in school, I kept my mouth shut, no matter how often a teacher mispronounced words, used words in the wrong context, contradicted herself, or stated unfounded opinions as if they were facts.

"Giant" is a versatile term, and can mean anything from an unusually tall person (7') to a fictional character like the ogre in Jack and the Beanstalk.

I'm sure a lot of ancient accounts of giants were exaggerated, particularly when soldiers told stories about the enemies that they had fought. Like fishermen describing the one that got away.

Wikipedia lists some fossils of supposed giants up to 11" tall, but I've been unable to find anything to confirm or debunk the EB entry.

Kid said...

I suppose I allow the possibility of just about anything within reason, DSE. After all, unless I know everything, how can I know what's possible or not?

******

Ah, but, Phil - according to the EB account, the bones WERE proportionately larger. Teeth like ox's feet. Obviously, their bones would have to be in balanced proportion to their height, unlike 'very tall' people today. However, I wasn't proposing a tribe of related giants, only the odd exceptions, who may then have palled around together because society shunned them. As for no such remains being found - hardly surprising. Even the fossils for the alleged human evolutionary chain are rather sparse, relatively speaking. One thing is certain - people who were regarded as 'giants' in their time existed, so for my teacher to say that they didn't (even 'though she may've had something different in mind) was being somewhat dogmatic.

******

TC, in an effort to condense what I said into one or two convenient sentences which carry the essence of my conversation with my teacher back then, I've probably made myself seem more assertive than I actually was. I was really quite a shy boy, and usually sat quietly in class unless I was spoken to.

Colin Jones said...

Kid, that EB article was written in 1777 - even supposedly educated people believed in all kinds of guff back then. The idea of people growing to 36 feet as mentioned in the article is absolutely ludicrous - as Phil says the human body would be unable to cope much beyond 9 or 10 feet and where are these astonishing bones now anyway ? Apparently there were quite of few of these astounding skeletons but not a single one was ever saved for posterity by collectors or museums ? And why does nobody grow to such heights now ?

Kid said...

CJ, you always seem to jump in both feet first without considering all the factors. There's actually nothing ludicrous about larger than normal people - in principle anyway. There have been giant versions of other species, so why not humans? As previously stated, if their bones were in balanced proportion to their size, there would be no difficulty in supporting their weight. Elephants don't seem to have much trouble, and apparently neither did dinosaurs. Mind, now, I'm not claiming that 36 foot giants DID actually exist, I'm only saying that it's not the impossibility that you and my old teacher dogmatically assert. As to why nobody seems to grow to such heights now, who knows, but that's not an argument that it was impossible in the past. You consider yourself scientifically minded - so why are species not evolving into different species now, as organic evolutionists claim they once did? As for where these astonishing bones are now - try Google.

Colin Jones said...

Kid, evolution is happening all the time but is a very, very slow process taking tens of thousands of years at least just to make a small change. Proof of evolution can be demonstrated very easily by cold and flu viruses - they go through thousands of generations in just a few weeks which is why they are so difficult to defeat because they are constantly evolving and changing into different versions of the virus. This is why all colds and flu viruses weren't wiped out when penicillin was discovered - if evolution didn't exist penicillin would have destroyed the cold and flu viruses.

DeadSpiderEye said...

Regarding the scale of a human body, yeah if you directly scaled a human body to 30ft tall, you gonna hit problems. But these are the same problems that arose when they first considered dinosaur fossils, or at least the larger specimens. We now know most dinosaurs are likely to have been much smaller, it's just that the remains of larger ones are more likely to survive as fossils. These apparent conundrums arise because we tend to preserve the parameters from familiar examples when we regard novel phenomenon. So if you try to extrapolate the example of say, an elephant to the size of dinosaur things start to get a bit untenable. We made progress when people realised the parameters need to be shifted, the structure of dinosaur bones is completely different to modern mammals, it's likely some species had gas permeable bones this could allow the air sacks that are likely to have been present to pressurise a much lighter bone structure. This would be like a plastic coke bottle, stiff as poker till you the take the top off when they become really wobbly. It doesn't need to much pressure either, just above atmospheric pressure works.

Now, I'm not saying that's a viable hypothesis to apply to giants, it's clearly not, it's just an example of parameter shifting, another example would be an aquatic habit. I still don't believe in the 30ft giant skeleton, Phil's point about populations is one of the reasons -- but just bare in mind that there are precedents for the overturning of our understanding of the world. I would cite Neanderthal man as being the single most difficult discovery to reconcile with theory, so difficult in fact that a lot of people denied the obvious till they had it hammered into their skulls with the hefty mallet of DNA analysis.

Kid said...

Well, that's a bit of a contradiction there, is it not, CJ? You say evolution is a very slow process taking tens of thousands of years, then you say cold and flu viruses go through thousands of generations in just a few weeks. However, the point is that cold and flu viruses do not evolve into anything else - like smallpox, measles or aids viruses. That's because there are two distinct forms of evolution. There is the demonstrably true form of living beings adapting to their environment (within generations, not thousands or millions of years) - but still remaining the same kind of lifeform. Then there is the theory of organic evolution that claims one species can evolve into a completely different species. When you ask for the evidence that it ever happened, the old excuse is trotted out that it takes millions of years and therefore soft cell life forms don't survive in the fossil record. Where're the 'bones', CJ - where're the 'bones'?

We must do this more often.

******

Well, to be honest, I don't much care whether 30 foot giants existed or not, DSE, and I'm not leaning either one way or the other. The honest answer is I haven't a scooby, but I know enough to know that, as a theoretical possibility, it MAY not be as ludicrous as some people suggest. I just love a good discussion.

I'm not quite sure what you're saying about neanderthal man, DSE, but, last time I looked, the current idea was that if you gave him a shave and a haircut and put him in a suit, he'd be largely indistinguishable from a regular modern guy in the street. I also seem to remember that the stooped posture in artists' interpretations was later attributed to the fact that the remains which had been examined all suffered from rickets. Having said that, with all the opposing viewpoints in scientific circles, it's difficult for the man in the street to know what's true and what isn't.

Not all scientists are as impartial as is generally assumed.

Colin Jones said...

Well, I give the famous example of the archaeopteryx which is considered to be the first bird - it has both birdlike features and lizard-like features and is a perfect example of a small dinosaur evolving into a bird. Birds evolved from small dinosaurs and archaeopteryx proves it.

Kid said...

No, it doesn't, CJ - that's merely an interpretation by scientists who favour the organic evolutionary theory. It could just as easily have been simply a bird with teeth. Perhaps a change of diet led to it adapting to its environment and evolving teeth-like protuberances on its beak. Or it was just a one-off exception. Not all birds can fly, but they're still birds.

One species somewhat resembling another does not in itself prove that one changed into the other - that's simply speculation in line with a particular theory.

(Had to cut & paste your comment, CJ, to keep them in sequence.)

Colin Jones said...

Kid, my last comment appears in the wrong place for some reason - anyway, you obviously don't believe in evolution and I'm not going to change your mind so I'll just say goodnight as I'm off to bed - bye :)

DeadSpiderEye said...

Ooh evolution! Evolutionary theory is full of misconception, the main one being it that it takes 'millions of years'. Nope that's not necessarily true, just a few decades in fact and there's a very good example going on right now in Ireland. We can witness it because of the isolation of the British Isles from Europe that occurred during the ice age. This allowed a distinct population of a particular species of fish to survive, Abramis Brama (common bream). The population in Ireland is apparently unique in that they will hybridise with a related species, Rutilus Rutilus (Roach) and a proportion of their offspring will be fertile. That's an extremely important event when regarding evolutionary theory because it means that if that doesn't occur within other populations of Abramis Brama then then the ability to hybridise in this fashion is extinct within those populations. One thing to note here is that Roach were introduced to Ireland in the 20th century, you know what that means? you've just seen a species evolving through semi fertile contact with a related species.

Kid said...

What's happening, CJ, is that in order not to have my ugly mug appearing too often, I'm combining my responses into a single comment. Trouble is, while I'm doing that, other comments are coming in, which I'm not aware of until I've published my reply. That necessitates me having to cut & paste comments from others in order to keep them in sequence. As for evolution - of course I believe it. However, I'm not convinced by the argument for organic evolution, which seems to interpret the evidence to suit itself.

Have a good kip.

******

Yup, but they're still fish, DSE. As explained elsewhere, there's a difference between the observable fact of evolution (adaption of a species to its environment) and the theory of organic evolution (one species evolving into a completely different one). Not that I'm suggesting that you're disagreeing with that (although you might), but I thought it worth reiterating.

DeadSpiderEye said...

Neanderthal is important because he completely upset the apple cart in regard to established theory. It doesn't really have anything to do with his appearance, which I must point out, has largely been constructed as a product of artifice. We don't really know what he looked like, what we do know is that his morphology (shape) diverges from that of the modern human population to such an extent that he more different than any living human by a -very- large margin. If you saw one walking down the street, I'd think you'd probably spot him, unless he was wearing a burka. The most significant difference, I feel, is the jaw and teeth, which just cannot be reconciled with modern human morphology, not even slightly.

DeadSpiderEye said...

Regarding evolution, I'm getting a bit tired, so this might be a bit taciturn. Evolution is not a response to environmental stimuli, that's a misconception. It's the inevitable consequence of of the processes that bring about complex life forms. If evolution where a response to environment there would be a clearly discernible solution to every circumstance, that's clearly not the case. Instead we have a chaotic variation of life forms that interact with and shape their environment. Success can be measured as the survivability of a particular form but even those forms that have endured, crocodiles for instance, will be distinct as species so that no crocodile living today will be genetically compatible with one living in the Cretaceous.

Kid said...

Having just looked at various visual interpretations of NM (which, as you say, is based on artifice) on the internet, he seems remarkably like an aborigine, who is fully human. According to what I've read (and I suppose it depends on what source one reads), Neanderthal man is now regarded as fully homo-sapien. Back when he first surfaced (or close to it), the depiction of him as a brutish sub-human was based on tests on bones of an individual NM who, it was later discovered, had arthritis. Also, it's now known that these people suffered severely from rickets, and were malformed due to a vitamin D deficiency. Your claim that his jaw and teeth being irreconcilable with modern humans appears to be at odds with current thinking, as far as I can see.

Ah, evolution - there are so many interpretations of what it's about, DSE, that it's almost pointless arguing about it. However, adapting (or evolving) to one's environment is a recognised fact. Brought up in a cold climate? You're more able to withstand it than someone who isn't. Brought up in a warm climate? Well, you can see where I'm going. On the Galapagos islands, tortoises are native to seven of the islands, and vary in size and shape depending on the conditions. As you'll know, it was these slight variations that contributed to Darwin's theory of evolution. Therefore, adapting (evolving) to one's environment certainly isn't a misconception. Unless, that is, you subscribe to one of the various different ideas of what causes it.

You pay your money and you make your choice, I suppose.

DeadSpiderEye said...

The notion that environment generates morphological or behavioural deviation is quite an old one it goes back much further than Darwin. Darwin called his book The Origin of Species and that title illustrates the manner in which his theory is distinct from such ideas. Environment does effect evolution but as a moderator through the impositions it places on the products of evolutionary development, what we know as the survival of the fittest. Darwin is remarkable because he proposed a mechanism through which species are propagated, something which can't be explained by the environmental adaptation concept. It's a remarkable achievement because he did it without recourse to any of the knowledge we've accrued since his time, he did it purely through observation and reasoning, that makes him a clever man. In a sense, it is pointless to argue over evolution, evolutionary theory is still not fully resolved in fact there are probably still more questions than answers but -- the misconceptions over it are so prevalent, even amongst proponents, it offers a good excuse to exchange banter over the subject.

I confess, the rickets Neanderthal association took me aback, that's a bit of choker. I seriously suggest you identify the source of that concept and cross them off your, take seriously list with heavy indelible marker. Were Neanderthals fully genetically compatible with modern humans, ie were they Homo Sapiens? Yeah -I think- they were but it's a contentious issue and there's plenty of scope for argument over that question. What we can say, is that there has been strong evidence for a long time, that Neanderthals bred with our ancestors. What wasn't resolved till quite recently is to what extent is Neanderthal the ancestor of modern humans, which today we can say is as about much as one of your great-great grandparents for the average European.

Colin Jones said...

Kid, if you don't believe that one species can evolve into another how is there any life on land at all ? Life began in the sea as single-celled organisms and then over a vast stretch of time they clumped together to form larger organisms like fish - eventually some species of fish evolved the ability to breathe air on land and those amphibian-like creatures evolved into all living land animals. Without evolution everything would still be living in the sea.

Kid said...

The observable fact is, DSE, that living beings adapt to their environment. That's why tortoises on one of the islands had an 'arch' in their shell above their necks - because the vegetation was higher and they had to reach up for it. However, it was still a tortoise. There are all sorts of theoretical models as to exactly how it works in regard to propagation, which is why discussing it can be so difficult. The goalposts are ever-shifting. Are you saying that there are no evolutionists who don't believe that environment is an important factor?

On the matter of rickets, there is, of course, debate on the issue, but who is the average person to believe? It's certainly open to question as to whether rickets (if they had them) would be entirely responsible for the physical appearance of Neanderthal man, but having a prominent brow doesn't necessarily mean that NM was a grunting, ape-like savage; the assumption that he probably had the fully developed power of speech and was a thinking being is not an unreasonable one. However, organic evolutionists hardly present a united front, except when it comes to mocking 'creationists'. For my own part, I've found that both sides talk a lot of pish in equal measure.

******

The honest answer to your question. CJ, is that I don't know. But what you are saying is a theory proffered as a possibility to explain the existence of life on earth in accord with a particular philosophical model, believed by people who, if they were honest, would admit that they really don't know either. Given your 'religi-phobia' (hey, I just invented a new word - so the concept must be true), you're obviously averse to considering the possibility of a supreme being (and I'm not necessarily talking about any one particular religion's concept of God, Christian, Muslim or whatever), so it's understandable why you'd so eagerly accept the evolutionary idea. However, the evidence can be interpreted either way: life-forms may seem similar because they may reflect the hand of a 'designer' of some kind, or because they evolved from a common ancestor - you pay your money and you make your choice.

For my own part, I rule nothing out, but I have to play devil's advocate on some occasions in order to try and get to the heart of the matter. I've studied both sides of the debate, you see. It's a fairly safe bet that you've never picked up a book that examines the theory of organic evolution in anything other than a positive light.

DeadSpiderEye said...

I don think I implied that environment is inconsequential, what environment isn't, is the instigator of evolution, it can't be. As stated, environment is a moderator, its consequence is obvious, enacted through extinction and the selective encouragement of traits better suited to the circumstances it imposes. I really can't stress how important that concept is to understanding Darwinian evolutionary theory. I have no doubt that you've encountered proponents of evolutionary theory who contradict that assertion, it's a very common misconception but I can assure you, with one minor caveat, that the notion that evolution, as understood by the Darwinian model, occurs in -response- to environmental -stimuli- is profoundly mistaken. You have to forgive the emphasis there but it quite a fine distinction, that is difficult to express properly.

This rickets thing, I confess I'm not a paediatrician but it's just so wide of the mark it's jaw dropping. You should scrutinise anyone who advocates this theory very carefully, I would suggest they are being less than earnest in their respect for truth, but heck you know, I could be wrong and you could have an original genius on your hands.

Kid said...

I'm not quite sure what you mean by 'instigator' as it can be interpreted in at least two ways. Whatever there is in a living being's make-up that causes it to adapt to its environment is inherent - the ABILITY to evolve is not imparted TO it BY the environment. However, the direction that such adaptation takes (when or if it happens) IS. In that sense, it seems to me (and has certainly been proposed by others), that such adaptation occurs in response to environmental stimuli and is therefore not the misconception you claim. Remember, I'm making a distinction between 'evolution' and 'organic evolution' and I'm not sure that you realise I've made that distinction.

As for the rickets thing, it was German anatomist Rudolph Virchow who said that the first known Neanderthal remains (a skullcap - which Virchow himself discovered, I believe) was that of a modern man who had rickets and osteoporosis. In 1958, A.J.E. Cave said that a 'Neanderthal' skeleton was that of an old man who had arthritis. In 1970, Francis Ivanhoe, an evolutionist, noted that extreme variation in locations of Neanderthal finds probably played a role in the diversity of fossils categorised as NM. He thought the differences in such finds were as a result of different amounts of sunlight in any given area, which retarded the production of vitamin D, the lack of which causes osteomalacia - a softening of the bones resulting in longer bones 'bowing'. (A condition in many, but not all, NM fossils.) And, apparently, there are fossils of 'modern' man which pre-date Neanderthal finds, suggesting that NM is unlikely to be one of our ancestors.

Do others dispute this? Of course, that's the problem - organic evolutionists can't even agree amongst themselves on where the goalposts are.

At the end of the day, it's all guesses and supposition - no one knows for sure what actually happened. (And that goes for creationists as well.) We all tend to believe what we want to believe, but some of us are more easily persuaded than others, regardless of our 'leanings'.

DeadSpiderEye said...

'Instigator' was a poor choice of words, I did mull over that one and still messed it up. I get your point about how the conception of environment shaping form is conceived and to certain extent that's valid, as a theoretical proposition and as an observable phenomenon but the mistake is ascribing conditions within an environment as the cause of morphological change. The cause is within or arises within a population of particular life form through its heritage. If that change doesn't occur then nothing happens, so there's nothing to see. Say trees got taller in Africa but the ancestor of the giraffe didn't have or didn't develop the genes for long necks, bang no giraffes.

The Neanderthal phenomenon has been subjected to a lot of quackery, partly because it was extraordinarily difficult to reconcile with orthodox theory. I'm afraid you're not going to get any of the -ooh it's science so it must be right- from me, that doesn't work in the real world I'm afraid, I can cite half a dozen examples of rampant scientific orthodoxy taking precedent over demonstrable reality. If you want a starter on the subject, you want to look up the circumstances surrounding: Deutsche Physik, Ignaz Semmelweis and the villain of the show Dionysius Lardner. Now that doesn't mean I blythely endorse the denigration of scientific endeavour or claim flawless insight over who's right or wrong and, as mentioned, the subject of Neanderthal is a difficult one.

Kid said...

If I read you right, DSE, I think you thought that by 'cause', I was attributing the ability to adapt or evolve as some kind of 'gift' from the environment, when, as I think you now realize, I meant that it 'causes' (influences) things to adapt (to a certain extent) in they WAY they do, but not as the 'source' of that ability, which is inherent. The elasticity of certain words often causes (there's that word again) such confusion. And, of course, my tendency to long-windedness doesn't help. (I could surely have said the preceding paragraph in two short sentences.)

I'm afraid I've probably disappointed some observers of this discussion who insist I'm am aggressive, ranting, deliberately provocative troll - all this 'disagreement' and neither of us has resorted to insults or name calling. As I have a scurrilous reputation to maintain, I'll start the ball rolling: DSE, you're a bad boy! (And let that be a lesson to you!) Right - let's see what you've got.

DeadSpiderEye said...

I dunno, I quite like being a bad boy, the chicks go for it but perhaps I should've -evolved- beyond such concerns by now. Anyway -big man- I can't quite summon the cheek to heft a pithy put-down across the web at the -colossus- of comicdom, so Ill settle for a bit of punning.

Kid said...

'Colossus-of-comicdom'? I recognize irony when I read it. I'm mortally wounded - and may never recover. Groan!

Colin Jones said...

Kid, on the subject of my "religi-phobia" - I'm not religious but I'm NOT anti-religious either. My attitude to life is "live and let live" and if other people want to believe in God that's up to them - what does annoy me is religious FUNDAMENTALISM which I consider to be right-wing, deeply hypocritical and downright nasty. Liberal Christians are none of those things - and plenty of Christians have no problems with evolution, they believe God started the whole thing off but from then on it was evolution that led to humans. Being Christian doesn't automatically mean believing in creationism.

Kid said...

Well, no one group has a monopoly on hypocrisy, CJ - it's part of the human condition. Also, not all Christian fundamentalists are the same, apart from their belief that the Bible should be the only guide in matters pertaining to religion. To dismiss them all as such is no different to dismissing an entire group on the basis of their culture or skin colour. (Politicians, of course, are a different matter - they're ALL self-serving b*st*rds!)

Yes, some Christians believe that 'God' used evolution as a means by which all living things came to be - what should we hang them for, do you think? Believing in organic evolution is as much an act of faith as believing in God (or aliens, or reincarnation, or any number of things), so they're doubly deluded according to some.

Shoot the buggahs now, I say, and just believe in me - to deliver thought-provoking discussions on this, the best blog in creation (as far as fantasy-land goes anyway). Now, time for my reality pill.

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