Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Old News: The practice of Irish oneupmanshit

I've always maintained that anything the yanks can do, we Irish can do too. We just do it shittier.

Television shows. Fashion. Women. Roads. Obesity epidemics. Anything they do, we Irish will chance a second-rate knockoff.

One thing that the nutbag yanks like to do is manufacture controversies about the theory of evolution's veracity. Let's have a look at an Irish take on this phenomenon, eh?

One of the more notable items from the news in Ireland last week was the short sightedness of Conor Lenihan, who is our Minister for Science (among other responsibilities) for agreeing to launch a creationist book. The inevitable backpedalling? He was attending in his "capacity as friend", not as a person with intellectual responsibility. Shitty Irish politics from a shitty Irish politician.

There was a bit of a shitstorm that played out on the blogs, columns, and letters pages, but what caused it?

A manic depressive by the name of John J May.

John J May has self-published a pathetic treatise on why evolution is a sham, called "The Origin of Specious Nonsense". He is promoting it with a series of inane videos on YouTube in which he lists some incredible scientific facts about reproduction, and argues that the mere act of considering these vast odds proves that the theory of evolution is false.

He's a shitty author, a shitty thinker, and he has a very shitty website. Let's look at the website, in all it's 2001 school-of-web-design splendour:

Not pictured: Terrible Soundtrack

The site has a dazzling range of keywords to lure in the punters. Including "evolution, birth death, charles darwin [...] Sam Harris, Daniel C Dennett [...] religeon, muslim, orthodox faith, atheism, life, babies, pregnancy, cancer." (And yes, they misspelt "religion" in the keywords.)

Of course, the effort to cast a wide net with the keywords has been nullified by the background music that can't be disabled, thus making spending any time on this website even more of a chore than it ought to be. Since the website is clearly a steaming pile of excrement, the author has wisely decided to over-compensate with breathless enthusiasm for the book's content: "You will be shocked, mocked,amazed, dazed, confused, amused, enraged, engaged, but most of all thrilled and mentally fulfilled by the information you are about to read.. After 18 years research & 18 months writing comes" THE ORIGIN OF SPECIOUS NONSENSE""

I'll hold for a moment if you want to take a quick vomiting break.

All flushed out? Jolly good.

Perhaps being aware of the popularity of lists on the internet, the author has compiled the seven reasons that he "rejects and detests evolution". Here comes the science!

1: It teaches us to be satisfied with - not understanding origins.
2: It promotes the dangerous nonsense of no first cause - no supreme scientist and suggests order came from disorder.
3: It is a metaphysical speculation, a doctrine dressed up in scientific garb.
4: Anyone who teaches evolution is either ignorant or deliberately suppressing the known scientific facts.
5: It is a toxic poisonous mind virus which destroys the hearts immune system against hope and common sense.
6: It is an anesthetic against reason.
7: It cripples sanity, promotes myths, obscures reality and elevates matter above a maker.

Actually, wait a sec. These are all emotional reasons! This troglodyte has no interest in a scientific discussion, despite his repeated appeals to reason and sanity. This jackoff deserves no interest from me, you, or the media. Those of us itching to have a dance-off between the forces of enlightenment and medieval superstition can go home disappointed. This lunatic represents no threat to the theory of evolution, his appearance on the radar serves only to highlight the incompetence of yet another Irish politician.

I'm going to leave the last word to Dr. Steven Novella, from last week's Skeptic's Guide to the Universe:

"Have you guys taken a look at John J May's book or website? This guy is the living embodiment of the arrogance of ignorance - the Dunning Kruger effect [...]" The less able you are to assess your own stupidity, the smarter you think you are."

Yep. Sounds fairly spot on.


Sully said...

Things from my notes that didn't make it into this blog entry:

The website's repeated insistences that this is "The Most Controversial Book in Decades" and a "highly controversial book"

The author's proclivities to scream and wave his arms in his YouTube videos to distract away from all the mad bullshit that he's spouting.

The author's bloated writing style (likely employed to fill a book with no content) spilling over onto the website: "Evolution is a fantasy of farraginous farcical fatuous feculent facile facetiousness".

The book can be bought from the website, or THREE bookshops in Dublin.

Mays lists his 'experience' on his website, he's been a writer, poet, ex religious leader, philosopher, businessman, owned a PR company, actor, Radio show presenter and magazine publisher. And he's completed two courses on marriage counselling. Sounds like the rigorous academic background I need to overhaul my belief in evolution! Well, now that he's done with all that, he insists "my real passion now is my book and the elevation of reason above fantasy." Riiiiiiiight.

May sez: "My book "The Origin of Specious Nonsense" is unceremoniously unashamedly and unmistakably going to expose the fiction of evolution." How's that John? "It is a non academic attempt." FAIL!

The book took "18 years research & 18 months writing". But still is "a non academic attempt". Fail.

The author admits that his nuttery was triggered by one book: "My daughter gave me a facinating book to read "A Child Is Born" [...] I was only mildly interested as I started to read [...] I had always suspected that the arguments for Darwinian evolution were seriously suspect and now I knew for a scientific fact such an idea is simply not credible."

Okay, there's a lot more, but picking on the cognitively impaired isn't exactly PC, and my girlfriend might be reading.

Jason said...

Good post.

May's "ideas" are the shrieking, inane ramblings of a tard.

The Kruger-Dunning effect has mercifully robbed him of the ability to see that.

Gammagoblin said...

Has anyone actually bought this book? I'd be willing to lash the cash if I saw it for sale in Cork.

Sully said...


I guarantee that this has been bought by the small but fervent community of religious fundamentalists who believe the bible to be literally true.

These culture-warriors will buy a copy for themselves, and a few for their cohorts and family as gifts. I'd stake my reputation that this has sold in excess of 12 copies.