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venerdì 3 dicembre 2010

Yes, I am a mutant slime-snake-monkey-person!

If you take the opportunity to follow a few scientifically-minded and skeptical blogs, you'll find things that look and sound pretty strange.
Sounds terrifying, doesn't it?
Well, it makes reference to an “exchange” with one of those bizarre fundamentalist Christian creatures that inhabits vast parts of the United States.
Someone called “Robert Bowie Johnson Jr.”, besides claiming that the tales of the Bible are verified by ancient Greek art, decided to launch a policy of actually insulting “Darwinists”. The phrase he coined was "Slime-Snake-Monkey-People."
Pz Myers discussed this in 2007 in his lovely science blog Pharyngula, and it all makes for an interesting reading.
In conclusion, it was felt by most that a creationist had unwittingly said something true, and evolutionists could proudly use a formulation that recapitulates, albeit with some imprecisions, our genealogy as human beings.
Here it goes: we are obviously “mutant” (without change there can't be evolution), deriving from “slime” (some kind of primitive being, mid-way between mud and life), from “snake” (taking snakes as representatives of our reptilian ancestors), from “monkey” (again, using a generic category to capture our simian/ape ancestors) and, finally we are “people”, indeed that's what we all are nowadays – even though one can always raise doubts about how complete this step is, when referrring to fundies...