Saturday, April 03, 2010

Saturday Comics

 
This is the Saturday between Good Friday and Easter Sunday. Denyse O'Leary—your favorite Toronto science writer—tries to lighten your day with a very funny posting on Post-Darwinist and Uncommon Descent [Coffee!! Evolution in action! Check with your local humane society!].

She's responding to the idea that Lenski’s long-term experiment with E. coli has led to bacteria that have "changed shape, changed size, changed metabolism and changed food source."

Denyse replies ...
So the claim is, “changed shape, changed size, changed metabolism and changed food source. How much more MACRO do you expect an organism to evolve?”

Hmmmm. Kittens do this all the time.

Change size? You bet. Goes from a couple of ounces to five lbs in half a year.

Change shape? Sure. The average newborn kitten is just a little bag of mewing metabolism, blind and probably deaf, whose only real talent is using its sense of smell to get control of a teat.

Changed metabolism? Sort of. Kittens must be weaned onto something other than cat milk after about six or seven weeks. I am not a vet, but surely some changes in metabolism accompany this transition.

Changed food source? Yes! From mom cat to local rodents, birds, frogs, and eggs that can be cracked by being pushed off the branch or table. Or, if the cat is under human management, a science-based diet for growing felines. Or otherwise, scavenging a local dumpster. Or whatever an obligate carnivore* like the cat can stomach.

Okay, so where are we now? We have explained how a kitten gets transformed into … a cat.

And this is “evolution”?
Thanks for the comic relief, Denyse. But aren't you worried that someone might think you're serious?




[Image Credit: PTET]

12 comments :

  1. I love her! Denyse is one of those sly "Poe's" that just do their best to make the ID and Creationist sides look stupid so that it helps make the case for science. I mean, (chortle) how could anyone seriously write anything so dumb?

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  2. It has now vanished without a trace from her website.

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  3. She didn't get the populational part! Thanks for pointing it out.

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  4. This is why I don't frequent this blog quite as often as others: A funny thing is said that confuses the issue, and rather than explain why they're wrong and explain what is meant by the original comment, it is just left as is.
    It's a shame, it seems a good opportunity to educate the layperson.

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  5. I think Denyse O'Leary is probably the best spokesperson one could wish for ID. Along with Cornelius Hunter they really are an amazing pair. Keep it up Denyse and Cornie!

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  6. Well if Denyse is going to delete her mind-numbingly stupid posts, it's a good thing other bloggers take note for posterity.

    Let this be a lesson to Denyse. Stupidity is like a nude photo of yourself on social networking sites -- once it's on the internets, it's on the internets FOREVER.

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  7. This is why I don't frequent this blog quite as often as others: A funny thing is said that confuses the issue, and rather than explain why they're wrong and explain what is meant by the original comment, it is just left as is.
    It's a shame, it seems a good opportunity to educate the layperson.


    Explaining stupidity is like explaining the punchline to a joke. Sometimes it's a lot more effective to just leave it as is.

    But if you want the explanation, here it is: She is confusing evolution with ontogeny. The e.coli EVOLVED because the genetic makeup of latter generations is different from prior generations. The kitten DEVELOPED because its genetic makeup is still the same regardless of its age.

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  8. I'm just posting to add to the list of Anons.

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  9. To paraphrase A.E. Neuman, if Denyse O'Leary is a science writer then falling off a roof is transportation.

    Mike from Ottawa

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  10. I'm just posting to add to the list of Anons.

    Welcome. You are anon #1000! Please send me your name and address and a deposit of $300 to cover the cost of insurances and delivery. You can expect your prize within 10 days.

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  11. Denyse makes Sly Sal look intellectual!

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