Got a confession. I'm under the weather (sore throat). I spent part of my day disassembling Christmas (gosh, that would be a good title for sump'n or udder). Anyway, started feeling lousy. So, to lift my spirits, Tom 'T-Bone' Stankus's all-time classic, for many years in Dr. Demento's annual 'Top 10'.....



PZ Mwahaha commends his readers to check out the Buffalo Beast's "50 Most Loathsome List."

It is profane, obscene, brutally funny. And sobering. The part that most struck a chord with me is below. Warning: if any of this applies to you, you'll probably end up concluding that I'm a troubled character rather than engaging in honest self-assessment. And you'll probably want to drop a few zingers at my expense in the comment zone. And then I'll ask you to defend the charge that incites you. You've been warned....

"Charges: You believe in freedom of speech, until someone says something that offends you. You suddenly give a damn about border integrity, because the automated voice system at your pharmacy asked you to press 9 for Spanish. You cling to every scrap of bullshit you can find to support your ludicrous belief system, and reject all empirical evidence to the contrary. You know the difference between patriotism and nationalism -- it's nationalism when foreigners do it. You hate anyone who seems smarter than you. You care more about zygotes than actual people. You love to blame people for their misfortunes, even if it means screwing yourself over. You still think Republicans favor limited government. Your knowledge of politics and government are dwarfed by your concern for Britney Spears' children. You think buying Chinese goods stimulates our economy. You think you're going to get universal health care. You tolerate the phrase "enhanced interrogation techniques." You think the government is actually trying to improve education. You think watching CNN makes you smarter. You think two parties is enough. You can't spell. You think $9 trillion in debt is manageable. You believe in an afterlife for the sole reason that you don't want to die. You think lowering taxes raises revenue. You think the economy's doing well. You're an idiot.

Exhibit A: You couldn't get enough Anna Nicole Smith coverage.

Sentence: A gradual decline into abject poverty as you continue to vote against your own self-interest. Death by an easily treated disorder that your health insurance doesn't cover. You deserve it, chump."

To which I would add: You think the Earth is likely less than 10,000 years old. You tell all your friends about Airborne. You regularly check your horoscope because you claim "it's all in good fun". You don't need to know anything about evolution, because it's just a theory. You regard the teaching profession as overpaid and lazy, but when you encounter real working teachers as individuals you tell us how unappreciated we are. You live in a technological society that was created by the application of science, but you not only have no appreciation or understanding of what science is, you regard science education as a competing belief system that wants to undermine all you hold dear.



During the holiday season, many of us who are normally out of touch suddenly are reminded that we are connected to a larger world. With that in mind....

#1 The name of my blog, of course, takes its name from the famous Scopes 'Monkey Trial' of 1925 that forever altered the landscape of science education in the United States, mostly for ill. In this trial, perennial Presidential candidate (and creationist) William Jennings Bryan went head-to-head with noted attorney (and evolutionist) Clarence Darrow in defending the case of John Scopes, a substitute teacher who deliberately provoked Tennessee's law against the teaching of evolution as a publicity stunt on behalf of the ACLU....

#2 This, in turn, inspired Lawrence and Lee's Broadway play Inherit the Wind, which used a fictionalized version of the Bryan/Darrow courtroom duel to explore the implications of public witch hunts in the McCarthy era....

#3 In the original film adaptation of this play, Spencer Tracy is an idealized liberal version of Darrow ("Henry Drummond") and Fredric March is Bryan's succedaneum ("Matthew Brady"). Dick York (shown at right) plays the Scopes stand-in, but as in real life, his character is convicted and draws a modest fine....

#4 Dick York later went on to star for five seasons in one of those weird fantasy sitcoms that were so popular in the 1960's, Bewitched, along with the gorgeous Elizabeth Montgomery. Both co-stars smoked heavily, and York would eventually die from emphysema and lung cancer, while Montgomery succumbed to colon cancer....

#5 Montgomery married her long-time beau, actor Robert Foxworth, while fighting the cancer that claimed her life. Foxworth had a particularly distinguished acting career himself, and narrated a National Geographic special on volcanos entitled 'Ring of Fire' in 1991.....

#6 A later entry in National Geographic's series of videos which covers volcanoes is 2004's 'Forces of Nature', with narration by.......Kevin Bacon....


I'm not big on sending out Christmas cards, and many of my skeptical friends tend to withdraw in the holiday season anyway. But I feel like sending holiday greetings near and far to the people who have brought some humor, compassion or thoughtfulness to the blogosphere. And so, here I go, with thanks:


Blake Stacey.

Charles Hatfield.

Glen Davidson.

Greg Laden.

Ian Ramjohn.

James McGrath.

John Wilkins.

Josh Rosenau.

Karl Mogel.

Ken Cope.

Ken Miller.

Kristine Harley.

Lawson Stone.

Madhu Katti.

Mark (Calladus).

Nick Matzke.

PZ Myers.

Rog Lucido and EPATA.


Wendee Holtcamp.

Wesley Elsberry.