Difference between revisions of "154: Beliefs"
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Revision as of 09:31, 13 December 2015
Title text: Scientists are also sexy, let's not forget that.
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.
The title text makes a further, more playful jab, claiming that empiricists 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.
- [Girl and a professor stand together, with another figure 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.
- 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.]
- Professor: A million people can call the mountains a fiction, yet it need not trouble you as you stand atop them.
- [Girl and professor again.]
- Girl: But he believes the silliest things!
- Professor: So?
- Professor: The universe doesn't care what you believe. The wonderful thing about science is that it doesn't ask for your faith, it just asks for your eyes.
- Girl: But he's a US senator!
- Professor: Ah, then yes, we do have a bit of a situation.
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