154: Beliefs

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Beliefs
Scientists are also sexy, let's not forget that.
Title text: Scientists are also sexy, let's not forget that.

[edit] Explanation

This comic is a reference to Young Earth creationism, which includes the belief that the Earth has only existed for about 6,000 years. Young Earth creationism is mainly based on literal interpretations of the Bible. The professor is originally not bothered by the fact that someone believes in Young Earth creationism and simply tells the child to look at the scientific evidence. However, she then hears that the person is actually a United States senator, who would presumably influence national policy according to his creationist beliefs. This, she acknowledges, is an actual problem.

The comment on the fossils refers to an argument by Young Earth creationists about the discovery of fossilized sea creatures at high altitudes. While mainstream science sees this as evidence of geological processes taking far longer than six thousand years, these creationists say that sea life reached these locations during a worldwide flood that covered even the tops of mountains.

The story of this flood, colloquially called Noah's Ark, is found in the Biblical Book of Genesis; chapters six through nine. Though it is not stated in the Bible story, many sea creatures are presumed to have died at high altitudes when the waters lowered. This is the Young Earth creationist explanation for the fossils.

The last panel is a reference to the fact that a number of people vote based on their perception that the person they're voting for shares their religious views. and then that person goes on to make legislative or educational (if they were voted to a board of education) decisions based on said beliefs. There have been several instances in the U.S. of state boards of educations trying to or succeeding at including young-earth or other creationist theories in the state's science curriculum, see for instance Theistic evolution.

The title text makes a further, more playful jab, claiming that scientist not only have the upper hand in reasoning, but also in sexiness. This subverts the once-commonly held idea that smarts and attractiveness are not always contained in the same "package", the stereotypical scientist being boring and dull. It also adds a tinge of irony, as no competent reasoner would make an argument from sexiness.

[edit] Transcript

[A girl with long black hair and a professor that looks like Megan stand together. The girl points to Cueball in the distance.]
Girl: Professor, that man claims the earth is 6,000 years old!
Professor: So? Just use your head and don't concern yourself overmuch with what other people think.
[Cueball is gone and the girl is no longer pointing but just talking to the professor.]
Girl: But he says the fossils in the mountains were put there in a flood!
Professor: Well, evidence suggests that they were not.
Girl: But he--
[A mountain landscape with blue sky to the left with white clouds, gray clod cover to the right and gray mountains below. The most prominent peak is just right of the middle, but there are 14 small and large peaks all in all.]
Professor (off-panel): A million people can call the mountains a fiction, yet it need not trouble you as you stand atop them.
[The girl throws her hands in the air while the professor just looks at her.]
Girl: But he believes the silliest things!
Professor: So?
[The girl has her arms down again and looks on the talking professor.]
Professor: The universe doesn't care what you believe.
Professor: The wonderful thing about science is that it doesn't ask for your faith, it just asks for your eyes.
[The girl and professor talks.]
Girl: But he's a US senator!
Professor: Ah, then yes, we do have a bit of a situation.


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Discussion

Doesn't the girl have too long hair to be Megan? The official transcript just calls them 'girl' and 'professor'. –St.nerol (talk) 17:43, 22 June 2013 (UTC)

Actually she looks more like Danish to me. -- BruceJohnJennerLawso (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)
They're just generic humans, stop trying to say "her hair is wrong for [character]". It's really dumb. -Pennpenn 108.162.250.162 04:27, 9 July 2015 (UTC)
The girls is definately not Danish. Danish has some special personality traits (being mean and clever and not caring a thing about other). The hair is just a small thing. Also children are neither Megan nor Cueball as these are adults. I have removed reference to Danish. Actually it is the professor that looks like Megan! --Kynde (talk) 11:01, 28 December 2015 (UTC)
Randall definitely uses a specific cast of characters, each of which repeat characteristic behaviors & are recognizable primarily by consistent depiction of individual hairstyles. I encourage everyone to continue attempting to identify & thereby more fully understand each character, based upon their relative hairstyles & attitudes. (... "~ how are they connected? Hairstyles & attitudes, how do they relate? How well do we use our freedom to choose, the illusions we create?" - Timbuk 3) 108.162.221.16 18:39, 27 May 2016 (UTC)
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