That depends. Are you the leader?

Discussion (43)¬

  1. Dave N says:

    Bloody awesome!

  2. Unruly Simian says:

    So what are the options “New Level Accomodationsist” vs “Old School Fundamentalists”? Thats the spirit eh???

  3. Snowflake says:

    Great one!

  4. tone-toni says:

    a) There really is no such thing as a “science fundamentalist” (great tongue-in-cheek, though, author) based on the definition of “fundamentalism” as

    “A usually religious movement or point of view characterized by a return to fundamental principles, by rigid adherence to those principles, and often by intolerance of other views and opposition to secularism.” (Dictionary.com)

    Science operates on principles such as thesis formulation, debate, experimentation and peer review. If we applied the same principles to religion, that would lead to the demise of religion – even before we got past the debate stage.

    b) Science and fundamentalist religion simply do not speak the same language, so dialogue, let alone “accomodation” is impossible.

  5. Scott says:


    The problem arises though when science has the definition:

    a. The observation, identification, description, experimental investigation, and theoretical explanation of phenomena.
    b. Such activities restricted to a class of natural phenomena.
    c. Such activities applied to an object of inquiry or study.

    Which shows that if something has a supernatural answer, science will discount that answer.

    To not even consider the possibility lends itself to having a “fundamentalist” attitude.

  6. DGKnipfer says:


  7. gös says:


    I define “natural” as anything that can affect other natural phenomena, directly or indirectly. I think most scientists who think about it would choose a functionally identical definition. At the very least I doubt any self-respecting scientist would decline to investigate phenomena that can affect phenomena the scientist is interested in, no matter what label is attached to it.

    I defy you to define “supernatural” in any meaningful way that supports the deifinition you give above.

  8. Prithvi says:

    epic lulz

  9. Nassar Ben Houdja says:

    Global warming world of warm craft players have re-defined “fundamentalism. The fervour or those inconvenienced by carbon make the religious fundamentalist reasonable and open minded.

  10. Briar says:

    But it’s true–science by definition doesn’t lend itself well to fundamentalism, since it proceeds by disproof rather than by proof. No theory in science is ever considered invulnerable to disproof; the elements of every theory tell you how the theory may be disproved. No religion is ever going to tell you how to disprove it! Religions consider their claims fact, and say end of story.

  11. Steve Jones says:


    Surely you jest. The greenhouse effect induced by increased levels of carbon dioxide, methane and other so-called greenhouse gases is observable, predictable and repeatable. Skepticism over its application on a global scale is one thing, and welcome in the scientific debate. Outright denial is the realm of the fundamentalist.

  12. wright1 says:

    @ Briar: exactly. Science is a self-correcting process, with tens of millions participating worldwide in hundreds of overlapping fields. Even if a given individual / group tried to censor data they disagreed with, such attempts would fail as others investigated the same phenomena.

    This is something that those afraid of science –particularly religious fundamentalists– really have a hard time grasping. Religious hierarchies MUST control “truth” or be overturned; science THRIVES on competition.

  13. jean-françois gauthier says:

    reasonable people just want to get along and are tired of the culture war between science and religion, they thirst for a reasoned middle ground. can’t we just say the earth is a somewhat flattish sphere? or settle for a fat, maybe rotund pizza?

  14. […] ‘n’ Mo ‘n’ Moses In this week’s strip, Moses, sent by Templeton, counsels a search for common […]

  15. You’re asking me? I’m against you. I think we both know that.

  16. MrGronk says:

    How can there be such a thing as a “supernatural answer”? That’s simply saying “I can’t explain this, so god dunnit”. Surely you can see that’s just a mental shrug and intellectual cop-out. Such an approach leads quickly to the absense of curiosity and open-mindedness that we see in religious fundamentalists. Whereas the scientific insistence that things must have a natural cause, far from being closed-minded, leads to a love of and fascination for the unexplained.

  17. Spange says:

    @ jean-françois gauthier

    When I was at primary school, they in fact did teach us that the Earth is a somewhat flattish sphere. I always thought it was to avoid introducing confusing terminology but it seems clear now they had an accomodationist agenda all along. I feel so dirty!

  18. Headbhang says:

    I actually agree with Moses on the left side of the comic to a certain extent.

    Religion will never cease to exist, no matter how much science piles up against it, especially as long as the conditions that feed it continue to exist (poverty, injustice, ignorance, suffering…).

    Eventually, both sides will have to find a way to live and respect each other.

  19. jerry w says:

    I’m with him up to the point of wandering around the desert for 40 years, couldn’t he just stop and ask for directions? Too bad he was pre GPS, he might have lived to see Israel….

  20. archbish says:

    Author – excellent
    @spange – also excellent:)

  21. nina says:

    brilliant – plus I love when Moses drops in – funny how he’s more often than not the voice of almost reason

  22. Mohamad says:

    How the cartoonist become so stupid and idiot person when he draw the cartoon. Athiesm is very idiot, until now they have no answer how the shape of universe, how the shap of pain, how the big bang process was started, why monkey, gorilla, orang utans, chimpanzee, babbon and others primat not change yet to a human such Darwin or Mr. Gronk, Arnold Lane, Barrier John, Jerry W and all athiesm people such they learned from idiot and silliest book, Origin of Species. All of you have no answer, but, still to show you idiot by creating such stupid drawing to insult religion. I challenge all of you to give me an answer for each of my questions. Thank you.

  23. kiyaroru says:

    Yu anser qweschin.
    How profit becum troll?

  24. Mohamad says:

    How much profit and what benefit you got as a follower for the most idiot and silliest ideology like athiesm, Mr. Kiyaroru? The book of athiesm, Origin of Species is an idiot and sillest teaching to destroy human civiliziation. If logic if human is from primat such monkey, gorilla, baboon, orang utans, and chimpanzee but there are millions of these primat still an animal that live in zoo or in jungle? When all of these primat will change to be a human? Tomorrow, next week, next month, next year or never because information from silly book, Origin of Species is very idiot and a liar. Thank you.

  25. Mohamad says:

    NOTE: This comments section is provided as a safe place for readers of J&M to talk, to exchange jokes and ideas, to engage in profound philosophical discussion, and to ridicule the sincerely held beliefs of millions. As such, comments of a racist, sexist or homophobic nature will not be tolerated.

    So funny note from moderator, if you are so courteous, why you insult religion and prophet? You are the one is immoral and irresponsible person that use freedom to attack religion and prophet, but if we comment back to answer your idiot question by a quality of answer, you can’t accept it, your freedom is bastard, idiot, and the silliest freedom in the world. Thank you.

  26. author says:

    Thank you, Mohamad, for your vivid demonstration of the damage caused to the human mind by religion.

    Unfortunately, personal abuse is not tolerated here, and, as it seems pretty clear that you have said everything of interest that you have to say, you have been blacklisted.

    Bye, bye!

  27. Unruly Simian says:

    Funny that Muhamed thinks that the origin of species states the humans came from monkeys. Almost everyone gets that one wrong. The other thing he gets wrong is the creator of the big bang. He figures if noone can figure that out it must be GOD. Thanks Author for banning him from posting I have already sacrificed several small animals. Nina they were stuffed and/or plastic not to worry…..

  28. As Simian said, thank you Author for that act of kindness to the rest of us.You will find a little something extra in your pay envelope this week, according to your daily horrorscope.

  29. wright1 says:

    It’s a rare thing, on the atheist forums I frequent, to see a troll so unrepentant that they actually get banned. Atheist moderators are pretty long-suffering. Religious forums, on the other hand…

    I guess in Moses we see the Militant Moderate asserting himself. “Anyone not agreeing with my eminently self-evident reasonable civil position is the ENEMY!!”

    Way to take the high ground there, Moses. Who else does that remind me of…

  30. I saw a great answer to “why haven’t primates all become humans then?” the other day, possibly in a previous comment thread here. That answer is “why hasn’t an olympic athlete’s brother become an olympic athlete?” or “why hasn’t a successful guy’s deadbeat brother become successful?”

  31. nina says:

    Unruly Simian

    thanks for the clarification

    but my plush microbes are nervous now

  32. tone-toni says:

    @ Headbhang: I did specify that there can be no dialogue between religious fundamentalism and science. As regards dialogue between scientists and religious people, well, that’s quite a different matter. It all depends on the frames of reference of the religious person in question. If he or she happens to be fundamentalist in outlook, then he or she will adopt a literalistic outlook and refuse to consider other points of view or any evidence contrary to his or her received point of view. MrGronk actually puts it quite well.

  33. MrGronk says:


    Good examples. Also: 75% of the planet is water. Why aren’t we all giant squids?

  34. MrGronk says:


    Mohamad will be back in a new guise, incredibly crafty fellow that he is. He’s certainly clogged up the Freethinker’s threads over the last few days.

  35. jerry w says:

    @Reverender RavenBlack
    My return question; Why do so many humans act like primates?

  36. Daz says:

    Ah, but if humans are so ‘sapiens,’ howcome there’s still fundies?

  37. daoloth says:

    This might interest JanMers, and provide a rich vein of comedy material for author
    Although not as semit-literate as our our own dear Mohamad the reasoning is on a par…
    BTW- why did no-one answer our dumb troll? (“There are still orang utans around etc because we all come from a common ancestor, in this case 14mya, as traceable through mitochondrial dna” etc)

  38. Unruly Simian says:

    @ daoloth – its like that old beggar that hangs out in front of your local mall. you pretend he is not there in hopes that he might go away. Oh and the mitochondrial dna only proves that women had common relations with these animals (just kidding)

  39. GE says:

    @Reverender RavenBlack:

    I like that one! It’s similar to the one I favor: why doesn’t your first cousin once removed look and act exactly like you? They’re expecting the “next step” (the child) of chimps’ (our cousins) evolution to be human, so it seems like a pretty direct analogy.

    @jerry w:
    An awesome remark, though it won’t really convince a fundie of anything. I liked it, though, because I’ve recently been writing on the remarkable similarity of eye contact protocol (among other social behaviors) in all primates, including humans.

    @MrGronk and Daz:
    I dig your answers, but unfortunately see them as ineffective in the context they’ll be needed. The squid answer assumes a basic acceptance of evolutionary theory and natural selection – which your interlocutor won’t have. The sapiens v. fundie answer makes me chuckle, but does little to counter the original misleading question. (Of course, if the chuckle from non-fundies was your goal, you win.) 😉

    Of course, none of it really “answers” the fundie, because they have a fundamental (oops) misunderstanding of evolutionary theory in the first place. In creationism, there is obviously a specific “goal” of creation – to create the resulting products (i.e., humans). They can’t wrap their heads around the idea that biological evolution doesn’t have a “goal” – just an ongoing process. Their assumption is that we are the goal, the final phase, and therefore anything evolving must be inching ever closer to being like us.

    Like we’re the most efficient and adaptable example of life on the planet? At the very least, I’d put the tardigrade well above us on that score.

  40. Simon says:

    I have a solution acceptable to both sides. In honour of Gould I’ve named it “Slightly-Overlapping Magisteria” or “SOMA” for short. In it the religious promise to make only minor claims about their religious doctrine extending into the world outside they head, whilst the scientists promise not to point out that those claims have no evidence to a believer’s face, and also promise not to explain any results in neuro-science that explain what is really going on in their head to anyone currently wearing a visible religious symbol.

  41. dysamoria says:

    The agnostic argument against atheists claiming there is no god… Wow. It really shows how saturated humanity is with god-belief that the assumption is that god is the normative state and must be proven or disproven! Why don’t they apply that line of thinking to all other magical fairy tails? Why is god so etched into the structure of humanity that it needs to be disproven as equally as proven? There are two books of interest hat discuss human belief in gods and magic on a genetic level. One I own & barely read so far (shame on me): “The God Gene” and “Why God Won’t Go Away.” Neat stuff but kind of sad for those of us that really would prefer to see religion banished from humanity. I was moderate about my feelings on co-existence for most of my life, but the religious abuses pushed me over the edge toward near intolerance of all religion.


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