The “Argument Sketch” continues, ad absurdum

13 07 2007

Awfully smug and probably feeling like he’s bested me with his cromulent blogging skills, our friend “Zapa King” has posted yet another smarmy response to my “Show Me the Monkey” post from a few days ago, recounting a hypothetical discussion between him and me. In reality it would probably be more along these lines;

If it was ZK’s intention to throw me into a petulant fit, he’s failed miserably. In fact, I couldn’t help but laugh at it, especially the brief character sketches in the beginning.

The Players:

* Zapa King, a man with an inquiring mind.
* Brian Switek, a man who has to meet certain requirements to get a degree.

Indeed. You see, I’ve been fooling you all. On a dark and stormy night, wandering my way home from a “Darwin Youth” meeting, I heard an odd shuffling sound. Being that the secret society meets at such ungodly hours (*wink**wink**nudge**nudge*), there was no one around to call for help as a group of evolutionary zombies came after me. They were all there, T.H. Huxley, G.G. Simpson, Stephen Jay Gould, Ernst Mayr, Carl Sagan, Jean-Baptiste Pierre Antoine de Monet, and (of course) Charles Darwin himself, the shambling mass slobbering and demanding my juicy undergraduate brain. I can’t remember much after the first monstrosity grabbed me by the wrist, only that I woke up in the Ecology & Evolution department with the strange desire to change my major. Now, I am cursed to finish out my bachelor’s degree, slave to professors who nearly never mention evolution, although I thoughtlessly accept anything they say anyway.

ZK, on the other hand, is a scholar of the utmost repute, unraveling the mysteries of the heavens and laying waste to the arguments of any who are unwise enough to oppose him, thus making me a fool. Yes, while his mind is free to inquire and learn all, I am mentally shackled by the curse put upon me so many nights ago, oh, woe is me…

Ok, ok, I’ll lay off the sarcasm now. In a way, I’m flattered by the attention that I’ve gotten from ZK; it shows that I’m enough of a threat that he has to waste time coming up with ad hominem attacks than actually addressing any of the questions I asked. Why should I go into detail about human evolution, essentially walking into a trap, if ZK won’t even come clean with his own ideas of how it happened. Either he’s so closed minded that he doesn’t care how we got here as we are (which I doubt, given his opposition), or he’s merely too scared to put forth any hypothesis. I’m not looking to end all debates on the issue, and I doubt we’ll change each others standpoints, but all I asked was for an alternate hypothesis for how humans came to be as they are. His silence on the matter (and his rather mean-spirited loquaciousness about my personal character) speaks for itself.

I don’t think I need to go to great lengths to defend my character; anyone who knows me personally or is familiar with my writings can tell that for themselves. If ZK decides to think me an idiot, then that’s his prerogative. I’m just not going to lose sleep over it because my stats, regular readership, and compliments from scientists I have had the pleasure of working with positively overwhelm the rantings of an anonymous pissant on the web. I’d actually absolutely love to have a debate, to hear a different interpretation of how humans came to be, but until ZK actually puts his money where his mouth is, it is all just going to be a big waste of time. Besides, I think my copy of E.D. Cope’s The primary factors of organic evolution came today, which I’m sure will be both interesting and humorous (Cope was a Neo-Lamarckian in terms of evolution), and I’d much rather go outside and read that than write up an unappreciated overview of human evolution.




One response

13 07 2007
Chris Harrison

Very funny post Brian. I can’t get this kind of humor out of my discussion with the IDists at TelicThoughts. I’m jealous.

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