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weird

I’m sure there’s a perfectly natural explanation.



Discussion (82)¬

  1. Please do not blaspheme or his noodly appendage will smite you with hot spaghetti sause: and that really hurts!!!

  2. How embarrassing, I mean ‘sauce’— see how He hurts the slightest transgression!

  3. NSPike says:

    spoing!!

  4. Russ Smith says:

    Hello J&M – I really cannot understand some of the comments regarding “absurd beliefs” and “atheism”. My wife and I are regular churchgoers and firmly believe in the teaching of the Bible. That doesn’t prevent me from enjoying these very clever cartoons and they do not affect my faith in the slightest. Indeed, some of them are supportive, in particular the invisible barmaid who actually said “Happy Christmas”. Long may they continue.

  5. Shire of York says:

    More barmaid please.
    I like the Bert & Ernie bedtime set up.

  6. Chris says:

    Look out, Mo!!!

  7. Innocent Bystander says:

    Russ Smith, Your firm belief, in order not to be absurd, should be based on evidence that can be verified, like if you went to church and asked God if he was there. If he replied to indicate that he’d heard you and other people heard his reply then it would not be absurd to conclude that he had heard you and was replying. Otherwise some would conclude that is was absurd for you to ask God anything because He never replies. Unlike a belief that is verifiable empirically, your belief has no basis in fact and therefore would be deemed by many to be absurd. Hope this aids your understanding. Atheists, incidentally, are people who believe that the Spaghetti Monster is no more absurd than any other imagined deity; an imagined deity being one whose idea is conjured up by people who claim to have superior knowledge in such matters but who can only be persuasive by convincing gullible people of their “divine” authority, which can’t be verified objectively.

  8. NSPike says:

    Russ Smith – I’m glad you commented, as it does need to be recognised that plenty of people with faith have a sense of humour at religion’s expense too. This is a much more positive frame of mind to have than an irrational aggression towards anyone who shows the slightest dissent towards religion. Humour originates from differences, observing them and laughing at the contrasts they cause but without meaning harm (offence is different to harm in my opinion). As a Brit, for example, I will laugh at stereotypes of British people when they’re not thought of as completely true… that said I literally had a cup of tea and crumpets for my lunch today. Slightly shameful but I’m sure very amusing for some.

    You’re obviously aware that most patrons of the C&B don’t agree with you, as we get most fun out of pointing out the quirks of the religious, but the point of this post is to say – I’m glad to see you here and glad to see that sort of reaction from you. The comments you see about ‘absurd beliefs’ are already largely outlined by Innocent Bystander, I think originating from the definition of absurd: “wildly unreasonable, illogical, or inappropriate.” Wildly unreasonable and inappropriate seems a little unfair but illogical and unreasonable certainly apply once rationality is applied to faith. I would never want someone to feel they’re under attack, but if you want a reasoned (perhaps one sided) debate, you’ve come to the right place!

  9. Jcorcor says:

    Why would it be irrational to walk around all day tomorrow with ashes stuck on your forehead? Oh wait, I could think of a reason or two… But spaghetti sauce on your chin that might have a reasonable explanation. Just don’t tell them the spaghetti monster “told” you to do it!

  10. Arbitrary and weird – nicely judged choice of adjectives.

  11. Jerryw says:

    When you speak to god, it indicates that you believe there actually is an invisible being who will listen to and consider your every word.

    On the other hand, if you hear the invisible being reply personally to you, perhaps it’s time to change or adjust the level of your meds.

  12. Ketil W.Grevstad says:

    Agree with Mo, people are fools when they belive this monster is true.
    This monster dont exsist

  13. Micky says:

    Never mind the irony meter going Spoing, my troll detector is on the blink. Help!

  14. JohnM says:

    @Ketil W.G.
    The FSM is a properly-defined deity. Therefore, by definition, you cannot know if He (BuHN) exists or not – He (BuHN) works in a mysterious way.

    Your outrageous statement would’ve earned you immediate consignment to the next world – if His Noodliness hadn’t proscribed any and all forms of violence among His followers.

  15. David D says:

    Hilarious and ironic!

  16. The Reverend Bolognaise says:

    As a representative of the Pastafarians, I am deeply offended by this cartoon. Well I was after I stopped laughing. I read the holy scriptures for the correct punishment and it states “send the offenders a complaint by email or posted on their website”. So consider retribution complete.
    Oh, and because you have blasphemed against the FSM (bolognaise be upon him), you will not go to Pasta heaven.

  17. Mark S. says:

    JohnM: BuHN ?

    I was so amused by the joke that it took me a second viewing to realize that His Noodliness (Pesto Be Upon Him) has made a cameo appearance in the last frame.

  18. Canneloni says:

    Thanks, Mark – I hadn’t spotted that either!

    Or did it appear after I looked the first time?

  19. Bobby Fulcher says:

    Just what part of Mo’s paradise doesn’t appeal to man’s basest instincts?

  20. two cents' worth says:

    Does BuHN stand for Blessings upon His Name? Or Bolognese upon His Noodliness, perhaps?

    There have been several cases where a local school board in the US tried to force creationism (a.k.a. intelligent design) to be included in elementary and high school science lessons on the theory of evolution, to give students “the other side of the argument.” As I recall, I first heard about the FSM when a student wrote to his or her* local school board stating that, if creationism were taught in science class, his religion’s creation “theory” should be taught, as well. The letter went on to explain the Pastafarian theory of creation. There was a Web site** that publicized this student’s letter and his or her request for others–especially scientists–to write to the school board in support of his or her request. One of the scientists who wrote in support stated that the Pastafarian theory was just as reasonable as the creationist theory supported by the school board.

    For more info. on the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, see http://www.venganza.org/

    *I can’t remember if the student was a boy or a girl. As I recall, it was not Bobby Henderson, but someone who may have heard about his seminal letter to the Kansas School board.

    **I spent some time using Google to look for this Web site, but couldn’t find it, and couldn’t justify spending more time in search of it. This isn’t it, exactly, but it comes close: http://fringe.davesource.com/Fringe/Entertainment/Flying_Spaghetti_Monster/ — especially the section on What the Experts Are Saying.

  21. PhillipHirst says:

    Canneloni, I think you’re right! His noodly appendages were definitely not there the first time I looked. If that isn’t proof of his holiness, I don’t know what is. Beats the hell out of appearing on a piece of toast, that’s for sure.

  22. Nassar+Ben+Houdja says:

    Flying Spaghetti
    Monster is considered
    Divine, a dente.

  23. Mary2 says:

    Russ Smith, Welcome. My spouse is also a ‘god-botherer’ who often finds J & M amusing and accurate in picking up the absurdities of religion.

    Please feel free to join in any discussion (you will probably be greatly outnumbered) and tell those of us (not me, of course ;) ) who get a little over the top with our condemnation of ‘Believers’ to pull our claws in.

  24. Second Thought says:

    It looks like Mo is about to touched by his noodly appendage.

    The spell-checker on my system is clearly anti Pastafarian as it flagged ‘noodly’ as a misspelling — and Pastafarian too)

  25. Ernie and Bert, Eric and Ernie, or Noddy and Big Ears. Could this be the beginning of a Holy War?

  26. white squirrel says:

    we know the flying spaghetti monster is not real because the invisible pink unicorn is the one true deity
    besides who would want an edible ‘god’

  27. botanist says:

    Theobroma cacao – the food of the gods. So we are all gods :-)
    More chocolate anyone?

  28. hotrats says:

    Russ Smith:
    I really cannot understand some of the comments regarding “absurd beliefs” and “atheism”. My wife and I are regular churchgoers and firmly believe in the teaching of the Bible.

    Let me help spell it out for you. You seem to be reasonably intelligent, so I’ll assume that you know for certain that snakes can’t talk, wisdom can’t be got from fruit, the sun can’t stand still in the sky, and that the whole Earth can’t be flooded and all its genetic diversity held in one boat. When we write here about ‘absurdity’, that is the kind of insupportable, infantile rubbish we are talking about. Stuff you can only believe if you abandon all reason.

    So the question is, which bits of scripture can you believe wholeheartedly, and what criteria do you use to decide this? Even if you believe in god (another whole question), how do you work out what the bible ‘teaches’, when so much of it is contradicted not only by modern science, but perennial common sense?

  29. MarkyWarky says:

    Hotrats, please be un-reasonable. Just like my sister in law, I suspect Russ does NOT know the things you mention. He does know that they don’t happen without devine intervention, but does not accept that they are impossible. His (and her) reason concludes that precisely BECAUSE these things don’t happen normally, God must exist, because it needs God to make them happen, and they did happen, because God said they did in the Bible.

    Basically, if you knew that god existed, you’d not consider any of these things to be absurd, because you’d have a perfectly valid explanation for how they came about.

    Yep, they’re all absurd beliefs, but you’ll never convince him that they are because to him they are perfectly reasonable (def; capable of withstanding a process of reasoning).

    This is why I’m beginning to agree with Peter Boghossian in his “Manual for Creating Atheists”. It’s not the absurd beliefs themselves we should attack, but the process used by believers to arrive at them. Their invalid epistemology is bound to arrive at the conclusion that these beliefs are reasonable, so they need to be taught how to apply a valid one, rather than having the actual beliefs attacked before they understand why their reasoning is flawed.

  30. hotrats says:

    MW:
    Point taken, but I felt I wouldn’t get very far by going to the root of the problem and saying, “Of course, as long as you perversely believe in god and inerrant scripture, you are locked out of rational thought and the discrimination to detect absurdity.” And of course anyone who is prepared to indulge belief as if it were a form of knowledge can’t be rescued from the inevitable circular reasoning that is generated whenever the belief is challenged by evidence.

    It’s not the absurd beliefs themselves we should attack, but the process used by believers to arrive at them.

    I don ‘t think it’s valid to say that believers use a ‘process’ to arrive at belief. Rather, through indoctrination, the ‘process’ uses them to replicate itself into the next generation, without ever addressing the logical fallacies. Nobody finds their belief by working their way through a series of logical arguments from first principles; all religious belief is irrational, almost by definition.

  31. MarkyWarky says:

    I agree Hotrats, but they do use a fallacious epistemology; faith, and it’s that that needs to be targeted.

    Some of them will even tell you that there are more ways to come to the truth than reason or science! You and I know that no other epistemology has ever produced reliable results (and ironically even when, by chance, faith has come to a correct conclusion, that’s only been confirmed – become knowledge – when empirical evidence has come to light!), but as you say, it’s circular because any epistemology that confirms their belief will be judged valid by them!

    With regard to the type of reasoning process you’re talking about, I guess the key difference is that their reasoning, in so far as it resembles proper reasoning and if they ever use it at all, is applied after the conclusion is drawn, rather than in order to reach a conclusion.

  32. two cents' worth says:

    Botanist, I like your reasoning! And I always say yes when offered more chocolate :-) .

  33. omg says:

    I just find this today, and I think you can like it (I know, I’m “again” off topic):
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=ohrtFuxUzZE

  34. Sinnataggen says:

    The Flying Spaghetti Monster (Parmesan be with Him) is not a true deity. You see, His most holy name actually means something: you would recognise Him if you saw Him, however many ways His appendages might squiggle. Not so with the Abrahamic deity(ies). I mean, if you were to see Michelangelo’s model in the street, you might just think “Oh, there goes another old man who doesn’t own a beard-trimmer.

  35. Sinnataggen says:

    Yea it is written “Oh Ye of little semantic understanding! Know Ye that the very act of ascribing meaning to the name of your deity is the most abominable blasphemy!

  36. Mark S. says:

    hotrats: “Nobody finds their belief by working their way through a series of logical arguments from first principles; all religious belief is irrational, almost by definition.”

    I did. That’s why I’m an atheist. The earliest I can remember suspecting something was phony was at about age 6 years, and I was fully atheist by age 15. (This is looking back from age 50.)

    white squirrel: “who would want an edible ‘god’”

    You don’t go to war with the god you’ve got; you go to war with the god you have. :)

    One of the things I find surprising about believers is how they think they can pick what god to believe in. Obviously the only reasonable god to believe in is the one that is real.

    I once explicitly stated that to a Catholic friend. She interpreted it to mean that I would go to church, etc. I had to point out that evidence would make me believe the god exists, but that doesn’t necessarily mean I would play it’s game.

  37. Pliny the in Between says:

    “besides who would want an edible ‘god’”
    Obviously not written by a Christian ;)

  38. JohnnieCanuck says:

    Pliny, have you ever had one of those wafers? The Anglican church ones kind of dissolved in your mouth and turned to glue. Capable of being digested, I might grant you, but edible? Yeuchh.

    Jesus, the digestible god (barely).

  39. Pliny the in Between says:

    As a kid Johnnie, I was forced to partake of similar wafers. I always wondered why they couldn’t make shortbread ones. It would have made the kids more eager to take part.

  40. Russ Smith, welcome. I hope you will comment from your perspective on reality. We tend to live in an echo chamber at the Cock and Bull. Not that we mind, because we are generally happy to share the threads with like minded friends. But when somebody like you shows up it’s, frankly, refreshing.

    Your wrote: “I really cannot understand some of the comments regarding “absurd beliefs” and “atheism”.”
    If you could be a little more specific about what you find confusing, I’d be happy to try to explain our point of view. Hotrats and MarkyWarky have already addressed this, but I’d like to hear what you find difficult to understand. Do you not find the belief in talking snakes, a man living in the belly of a giant fish, turning water into wine, raising the dead, etc. etc. to be absurd beliefs? Do you accept everything the bible says as the word of God? Or do you accept some of it, but not the silly bits such as the story of an amateur boat builder who stocks his miraculous ship with two of every kind of animal on earth and somehow cares for these creatures for a whole year while all the plants on earth drown?

    Do you simply not believe these things, or take them as metaphor or poetic flights of fancy, in which case where do you draw the line about what to believe and not believe?

    You also wrote: “My wife and I are regular churchgoers and firmly believe in the teaching of the Bible.” Again, what teachings specifically? Some Christians believe that the bible condemns homosexuality, and insist that gays should be put to death. Others support marriage equality. Both claim the bible as their authority. So how do you pick what to accept and what to reject? Some Christians believe that some of the rules in the Old Testament should be followed, though usually not the ones about stoning people who work on Sunday. Others believe that Jesus brought a whole new ball game, that the Old Testament can be ignored because Christ gives you a way out no matter what you do? How do you reconcile this muddle, and how can you be sure that your sect, your particular understandings, is the correct one given that so many Christians are sure to disagree with you?

    I assume you and your wife get something very important out of spending your time with regular church going. Do you see your pastor or priest as a spiritual leader? Do you question what this person says? Or do you just bask in the fellowship and good feelings, enjoy the music, and let the ideas confirm what you have always been told? Do you believe that humanity was poofed into existence by your God as the main purpose of creation, given dominion over all other creatures, and so very important that this vast and incredible universe exists simply so that we could be placed on this tiny speck of an insignificant planet circling an unimpressive star? Doesn’t this seem like an absurd belief to you?

    Do you believe that we were all born in sin? Do you believe that Christ somehow took all of this sin on himself when he died on the cross, in which case how?

    I probably sound dismissive and argumentative now, but if you would join the conversation I am sincerely interested in what you can tell me about your beliefs. Even more that that, I’m interested in why of you believe. So please share.

  41. JohnM says:

    @DH
    An interesting set of Q’s and propositions. I, too, look forward to some answers.
    @hotrats
    As the father of a non-church-going believer, you can take it from me that there was no indoctrination of the kind that inevitably produces life-long adherents. So there must be a spontaneous eruption of belief in the developing human brain, and this allows nascent multinationals the opening they need to insert a sales pitch which eventually gets them a world-renowned brand. The rest, as they say, is history.

    I recognise this forward-looking belief in myself. My spirituality is strong, but I sublimate it in nature, science, music, art, family, love, humanism, etc.,etc. These things need training and study, lots of it, in order to develop. For those lacking sufficient drive and self-discipline, pinning everything onto a load of made-up crap can be an easy way out. It’s like linking your political notions to a political party and then never having to think about them again – even at election time.

  42. DH – Presdient Bartlett has a good take on your points in this clip from “The West Wing”

    H/t Barry Lyons at WEIT

  43. white squirrel says:

    a school star for Pliny-in-between for spotting my target

    as for anglian wafers [or death cookies as Jack Chick calls them] – do they? -I thought it was just catholics
    maybe Xians chould take pasta saurce or marmite or cream cheese or jam [and a knife] to church services

  44. white+squirrel says:

    will progressive modern churches adopt pringles or doritos instead of wafers?

  45. Mary2 says:

    Darwin Harmless, “ditto”. I second those thoughts Russ Smith.

  46. MarkyWarky says:

    HaggisForBrains, that’s a brilliant clip! I intend to learn that word for word and use it!!!

  47. FreeFox says:

    *sighs* you scared him away… or he was just a flake… and I would have liked to have another theist join the discussions… but most Christians feel their position is so weak that it cannot withstand debate, as Data from the old Star Trek series I believe put it. Too bad.

    Hey, MW, wanna epistemologically straighten me out? Hm, that sounds dirty. Now I feel like a sinner and need a good spanki… er… berati… er… debating. :P

    Edit: Love the new 5 minute edit period! Awesome new feature, Author!

  48. Jerryw says:

    @FreeFox,
    I believe that the 5 minute edit period isn’t exactly “new”, perhaps resurrected or risen from the grave might be a more appropriate (for this site) choice. As for me, I’m still waiting for the 2nd coming of the eye blink.

  49. MarkyWarky says:

    @Freefox, I would, but I’ve never worked out what your epistemology is. It seems to me to be something along the lines of “feels right, and you can’t prove it’s not, so it is”, but I think that’s a massive oversimplification. Or is it more like “I believe it’s true, so it IS true for me”?

    Maybe we need a long overdue explanation of exactly what you do believe in, and why? I apologise if there is one somewhere and I’ve missed it; out of necessity I dip in and out of here as time allows.

  50. steeve says:

    Hey guys, this looks fun:

    ‘A Creationist Christian group in the US said it has received enough funding to build an Old Testament theme park with a 510ft replica of Noah’s Ark’

    http://news.uk.msn.com/world/old-testament-theme-park-with-replica-noahs-ark-to-begin-construction293838

  51. MarkyWarky says:

    Hey Steeve, we should all grab just one species of animal and see how many of us can get on board!

  52. hotrats says:

    MW:
    I think if you work your way through the archive of the last 2 years or so, you will find enough FreeFox epistemology to fill a book. Some threads were so long the scroll cursor changed from a bar to a ball. It was all very, shall we be polite and say, idiosyncratic. His beliefs are no wierder than your average religious punter, but that isn’t saying much.

  53. Dear HaggisforBrains, thanks for the reminder. One of my favourite clips from the best television series ever produced.

    MarkyWarky, that’s “kind of animal” not “species of animal”. Apparently in the demented mind of Ken Ham that makes a difference to the space allocation. According to him the original magical ship contained one of each “kind” of animal, and the diversity we now see happened during the ensuing few thousand years since humanity bottle necked at eight members. This is his answer to how could so many species fit on one boat. It was kinds, not species. Just read yer bible, ’cause it’s tellin’ ya the truth.

    Steve, not fun. Ham is claiming that his new financing, allowing them to start construction, resulted from the publicity generated by the Bill Nye/Ken Ham debate, a debate that Ham clearly lost. Just shows you the dangers of debating young earth creationists. Even when you win you lose.

  54. Freefox, sorry. Didn’t mean to scare the fella. I keep expecting believers to be big boys, but that’s probably a definitional contradiction.

    If anybody is interested in Freefox’s opinions about deities, we had a rather extensive debate on one of these threads some years ago when he first joined us. If you can’t find it with a search on J&M, it’s archived on my site. It was fun.
    http://www.darwinharmless.com/thoughts_and_comments/index.php?s=Freefox

    Please pardon the repetition at the beginning and i hope the site wasn’t too slow to load for you. I’ve been hacked, apparently. I can’t edit my site right now, or make new posts, and I haven’t had the time to fix the problem.

    And please pardon the shameless self promotion.

  55. Pete says:

    Overcook the blasphemers, until soggy

  56. Mary2 says:

    MarkyWarky, I like your thinking. Each visitor to the ark turn up with one animal – even with ‘kinds’ (whatever that is) it should be full in no time. Unless by ‘kind’ he means ‘mammal’, ‘retile’, ‘amphibian’ …,

  57. Mary2, I actually think that’s what he meant. So one pair of snakes is enough. One pair of lizards. One pair of birds. One pair of horses. One pair of ungulates. Even at that I think he’d have a problem with fitting them all in, not to mention the care and feeding and where did that dove find a green leaf after all the plants had been under water for a year. And then after the ark landed, these kinds of animals generated all the diversity we see now, without evolution. It doesn’t matter how he twists and turns the fantasy, the silly still dominates.

    Anyway, nice idea but I suspect they wouldn’t let us through the gates with an animal. I think it’s in the plans to have animals on board, but I’ve read from a zoo keeper that the facilities will provide horrible living conditions for his token display creatures. The whole idea is just a wank, but I’m sure Ken Ham is getting his fees and expenses off the top. The amazing part is that enough people are stupid enough to donate to his cause that he’s able to go on pushing it.

  58. JoJo says:

    Russ Smith, hearty welcomes. As fantastic as these cartoons are, the comments thread here can take on an intellectual life of its own and the whole is always greater than its parts. You’ll have fun. NSPike- can I slightly disagree with and expand upon your comments regarding comedy? It’s an important point for us, since our favourite strip is capable of inducing a total sense of humour failure in those of a religious tendency. Humour, as I see it, draws on similarities to unite a group, it being part of our tendency to form social groups. That can be to draw upon common attitudes towards those outside a particular group, but these need not be hostile, indeed in my view it works better as comedy when it is not.
    Deconstructing comedy as a whole, I would boldly argue that it is possible to identify the ‘secret of comedy’ and it is this: the secret of comedy is dignity frustrated. Think Basil Fawlty, Oliver Hardy, C3PO, Tony Hancock, Mr Bean, Blackadder and the J&Mo strip titled “ball” (among many others). Thus, in its social function, the best comedy draws people together in humility – a claim made by some religions, while in reality they end up a artifices of affected and jealously guarded faux dignity so as to project authority and power. Puncture that dignity and attempt to draw out a little humour induced humility and, well, Pike, to quote your comedic namesake and extractor of humility from Captain Mainwaring, “They don’t like it up ‘em!”
    That is perhaps why satire and comedy is treated with hostility by some people of religion (and some religions are greater offenders than others. Yeah, you know who I’m on about). It is a competing social group that directly threatens the ‘dignity’ of religion by which it attempts to communicate and spread it’s asserted power and authority.
    But we laugh because we are all absurd. A bunch of very lucky primates clinging to a rock hurtling through a universe totally hostile to our existence while agonising over the merest trivia, scaling the greatest heights of love and plumbing the darkest debts of murderous evil while pretending we are in some way dignified because of where we stick our little fingers when drinking tea. If we didn’t laugh at our absurdity we would go mad. And that is what those who are unable to stomach the humility of comedy end up doing.
    Russ, your ability to laugh at our shared absurdity (whatever its form) makes us of one congregation. Welcome, brother.

  59. Mary2 says:

    DH, no, no. You got it wrong. Ken Ham DOES believe in evolution – but within kind. So it is possible for the animals off the ark to diversify into all species today, they just had to do it very, very quickly. I think the kind of evolution he is talking about is the horse givingt birth to a goat type. And the dove finding a green leaf thing? Well, that’s easy: God did it.

    JoJo, It wasn’t Pike who said “they don’t like it up ‘em”, it was Jones (I think – testing my age here).

  60. Mary2 – yes, it was Jones. And NSPike, remember not to tell him your name.

  61. steve oberski says:

    Russ Smith says:

    I really cannot understand some of the comments regarding “absurd beliefs” and “atheism”.

    Russ, I think you are being less than honest when you say this.

    I think you understand perfectly well how absurd your beliefs are.

    Your comment reflects a certain level of cognitive dissonance as reality impinges on your irrational beliefs.

    Does not your very own big book of bad ideas say:

    Hebrews 11:1 – Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

  62. white+squirrel says:

    an Old Testament theme park with a 510ft replica of Noah’s Ark’

    not cubits ?
    cant see it working, the whole idea just doesnt hold water

    and will they complete the construction in just 7 days with only 8 builders – good luck on that 0 and they cant claim the original had help from ‘god’ cos the bible clearly states that ‘god’ said ‘ build for yourselves’ EG the deity is clearly saying it refused to help according to the story – prob pissed off with al the noise/being woken up

  63. white+squirrel says:

    And the dove finding a green leaf thing? Well, that’s easy: God did it.

    but if this ‘god’ can do anything – why have humans build the ark – why not just have the select individuals able to breath underwater for the duration of the amaru – far simpler
    it might even explain how the kangaroos got to Australia – better than the idea of a volcano throwing them there anyway!

  64. hotrats says:

    I always liked Eddie Izzard’s take on the flood;

    Two dogs, OK. “Long ears? Along the side, please. I’ll explain it to you later. Two sheep? Well done. On you get, sit along the side there. Two cats, small ears? Inside the boat. Two ducks?”
    The ducks are going, “We’re not coming.”
    “There’s going to be an enormous fuck-off flood.”
    “So? What’s the big problem?”
    There’s a huge hole in the whole flood drama because anything that could float or swim got away scot-free, and the idea was to kill everything. He didn’t say, “I will kill everything except the floating ones and the swimming ones “who will get out due to a loophole.” In a James Mason voice…

    Glorious, 1997

  65. JoJo says:

    Mary2: yup, silly me. Jones. Was half asleep when I wrote that. Never mind, close enough.
    As for Noah, there are calls for a ban on the new film by some of the nuttier Muslims, claiming it is offensive to depict ANY of Allah’s prophets. Even the ones that had been depicted for millennia before there was an ‘Allah’. Ho hum.
    Also, Noah’s achievement in building the Ark is all the more impressive since he could see nothing except alternating light and dark blurs as the day progressed. God only invented the rainbow AFTER the flood. Meaning before the flood, there was no such thing as refraction. Which means the lenses of his eyes would not have worked.

  66. fenchurch says:

    Show of hands: anyone else breathlessly hoping that the Noodly Appendages would creep closer or move about, much like those eyes that kept following you (as in other panels)?

  67. LostInTheDark says:

    Am I in tin-foil-hat territory here, or does this http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-26479985 sound an awful lot like the Calf-licks and their friends in Mecca have heavily influenced the ICO?
    Maybe even Yankee “pro-lifers”?
    The fact that BPAS gets massively fined for being criminally hacked does seem a touch odd.

  68. LostintheDar, thanks for the link. It does seem suspicious. In fact it seems criminal. Most victims of crime are not heavily fined for allowing themselves to be vulnerable out of ignorance. I can’t think of another case where this has happened. If you leave your keys in the car and it is subsequently stolen, you may find your insurance doesn’t cover any damage. But a fine on top of that? I don’t think so.

  69. LostInTheDark says:

    JoJo, a couple of years ago a TV serial called “Fringe” had a plotline where physics was breaking down somewhere. [I’m trying to be as spoiler free as possible.] One of the characters said that this had extinctified rainbows. Something in the air made them just not work any more. That has always nagged at me as refraction is such a fundamental phenomenon that many other effects would have been seen. Including, as you note, mass blindness. This being SF, I shrugged it off with a temporary willing suspension of disbelief, I accepted the flaw for the sake of the storyline. Somewhat like accepting FTL and wormholes for the duration of the episode. But that doesn’t really work in “real-life”. If we assume no refraction at all before the first Noahan rainbow then we are in a very strange world.
    A world where the electrons in matter don’t work properly.
    Which could explain their lack of TV.
    And their unending obsession with begetting.
    It also explains the legs on insects. Big Daddy’s eyesight was too poor to be able to count them. It was also so poor it couldn’t see the teats on bats so thought they were birds.
    See, the whole thing is starting to make sense. YWH didn’t think his clay puppets would eat the fruit because it never considered they could find it, so it never thought it would need a fence.

    DH: England doesn’t really have “abortion clinics” which must piss-off the pro-birth, anti-lifers. That being so, they could be “strange bedfellowing” with the Calf-licks and the Meccanics to work over the nearest things they could find. The poor dears are probably terribly confused by our lack of an obvious target for their bigotry and hate-speech so they lash out at the closest match to their daemons they can find.
    One really must pity them.

    fenchurch, that sounded so dirty in my head. Which probably says more about the contents of my head than it does about your comment. Picture a grossness of priests advancing on choirs waving their vermicelli and micro-swedishes… or not. No, probably better not.

  70. LostInTheDark says:

    RC Papa and The Meccanics. It has a certain postprandial eructative air to it. Like a deadly wind left in the lift.
    And SpaceWeed’s Wee-ally-akbar [YWH-Ally-Akbar] could be their lead guitarist.

    It’s strange what thoughts may come when exhausted.

  71. DH – in the UK we have the Data Protection Act. I don’t pretend to know it in any detail, but it does impose a duty of care on any individual or organisation storing personal information, to protect that information and not give it out or allow it to be accessed without permission. I think the fine is justified in this case. I don’t think that many people contacting the British Pregnancy Advisory Service would want that to become public knowledge, and I think they have a right to expect the BPAS to take every care to protect their identity.

    Fenchurch – Me! Me!

  72. European says:

    DH – have to agree with HfB, you can let your car be stolen or give it away as you please, but you are responsible for sensitive data in your possession. And with those lynching attitudes pervading part of the public, it can be really pernicious if such issues become public knowledge. Peace :-)

  73. Haggis and European, I see your point. The fine still seems excessive for a non-profit organization, but I do see the logic of imposing a fine.

  74. IanB says:

    Does seem a bit harsh on the BPAS, given that Google got clobbered 1/2 that for stealing WiFi data. There’s a list of those falling foul in 2012 http://brianpennington.co.uk/2012/12/29/2012-was-a-big-year-for-the-data-protection-act-with-record-fines-and-breaches-see-the-full-2012-list-here/ if you’re suffering from insomnia :D

  75. JohnM says:

    @ IanB

    The low fine for Google perhaps reflects the power of multinationals who can use their in-house legal team to give authorities a long, long runaround. In effect, by the time they finally pay up, the value of the currency has decreased, they have had this capital working and earning the whole time, etc., etc. As far as I am aware, Microsoft still hasn’t paid up a huge fine in Europe, which was levied many years ago for general carpetbagging and associated naughtiness.

    With only a small fine, Google might decide it’s worth paying up immediately.

  76. Chiefy says:

    DH, thanks for that link to the old discussion with FreeFox. I don’t remember seeing it, probably tl’dr at the time. I kind of see FF’s point on useful “metaphors,” but it’s hard to follow since he isn’t consistent with it. I agree with him on one thing, though, if there existed an omnipotent, omniscient, personal god, he would have to be a real bastard.

    fenchurch, my hand is up.

  77. two cents' worth says:

    Fenchurch, my hand is up, too–motion would make the noodly appendages easier to notice. Also, if the Author decides to use animation in (one or more of) the J&M cartoons, it would give future art historians and other academics topics for for their papers :-) .

  78. hotrats says:

    Chiefy and tcw:

    Doesn’t having your hand up make it tricky to sit down?
    (Sorry, I think I must have been channeling Julian Clary…)

  79. stevegallacci says:

    The one tragedy in the various rants and raves of the scary-crazy end of the Christian (or any religion) spectrum and the well-deserved scorn they deserve, is that it also, by extension, villifies moderate limited believers who only seek practical moral guidance. The whole god package isn’t as important as the generally benevolent and reasonable rules of conduct that the best of the various holy texts can provide.

  80. NSPike says:

    Well, I’m away for a few days and come back to all this! I feel now if I respond to the previous points made to me properly I’ll be reversing the flow of the conversation (and taking too much time out of doing the work I should be doing… whoops!) so I’ll keep it brief.

    JoJo – I agree with a number of your points, I think however we’re not always seeking to unite with the jokes themselves, although the end result (laughter and shared experience) certainly is aiming towards that. I think humour and jokes can be found in pretty much anything, whether it’s observing differences or similarities, and a lot of the time trying to subvert what we expect those to be.

    Laughing because it’s all ultimately absurd is definitely true though, I think even religious people seek to laugh and distract themselves from life with entertainment a lot of the time as we all want to be happy within what is ultimately a minute amount of time on this planet, whether or not in their opinion there is an afterlife.

    In addition – I knew I was on to a decent and intelligent group of individuals here but knowing the ‘Pike’ references confirmed that. It is indeed my surname, but on almost every other website and online community I’ve visited they all think it’s supposed to read N-Spike… the capital letters are assigned as they are for a reason, but this seems to be lost on most people. Not you good folk though!

  81. Chiefy says:

    hotrats, I suppose it depends on what it’s up.

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