Paul Revere by Cyrus Dallin, North End, Boston



Sunday, June 7, 2015

Sunday Science Blog

Justice Scalia gives dog whistle to creationists in commencement speech

"Supreme Court Justice Nino Scalia just gave the commencement address for the graduating class of one of his 36 grandchildren, delivering some comic stylings by skewering weighty maxims like "to thine own self be true" and "never compromise your principles." (Hard-hitting stuff!) 

The best part, though, was when he threw a triceratops femur to the young Earth creationist set: "Class of 2015, you should not leave Stone Ridge High School thinking that you face challenges that are at all, in any important sense, unprecedented," he said. "Humanity has been around for at least some 5,000 years or so, and I doubt that the basic challenges as confronted are any worse now, or alas even much different, from what they ever were." At least 5,000 years—he's not wrong! 

And McDonald's posts those signs, you know, that say, "Over 5,000 served." Of course, he's also hedging by a factor of 40, since good ol' homo sap. emerged 200,000 years ago. 

So why that specific number, 5,000? It just so happens to be right around what those who take a literal view of the creation story in Genesis believe the age of the earth to be. (Current year in the Hebrew calendar: a nicely palindromic 5775.) Surely a coincidence, yes? Well, Scalia's right: We're still facing the same old challenges as we always have—in this case, rank ignorance."  --daily kos

The loonies on the far right have been whining for 6 years about how President Obama has made the U.S.A. an embarrassment on the world's stage. But that's wrong, since the U.S.A. is very much respected around the world.  Oh, and Russia?  Remember the TGOP's love-fest with Pootie, the bare-chested totalitarian the TeaPublicans swooned over and said was what a REAL leader is?  Russia is the LEAST admired country

It is ignorant statements about how old the Earth is that make us look like flat-earth idiots to the rest of the technologically advanced world.  And religionists like Scalia advance that view of the U.S. when they make what they think are humorous statements that enforce the myth of creationism as scientific fact.


Infidel753 said...

Scalia really should know better. After all, he's at least a full year old.

Les Carpenter said...

It really would be amusing were it not so embarrassing for the nation.

Jerry Critter said...

Is Scalia really that stupid or is he mocking the believers.

Ema Nymton said...


Take a deep breath.

""Humanity has been around for at least some 5,000 years or so, and I doubt that the basic challenges as confronted are any worse now, or alas even much different, from what they ever were.""

Justice Scalia is playing on words. The key word is _humanity_. The judge is playing semantics to an audience. Throughout the talk, Justice Scalia has complete denial-ability; he never said the human race. He knows many will not pick-up on the difference in semantics.

It is game to Justice Scalia.

Ema Nymton

Anonymous said...

Antonin "Fat Tony" Scalia once stood on the steps to a Catholic Church and Yelled "va fanculo!" He's as classy as a slug on a pile of merda.

Ducky's here said...

At the same commencement:
"Justice Antonin Scalia spoke at his granddaughter Megan's graduation on Thursday, applying his strict constructionist faith to clunky commencement clichés. It would take judicial activism, he argued, to make "never compromise your principles” mean what you think it means. “Never compromise your principles, unless of course your principles are Adolf Hitler’s, in which case you would be well advised to compromise them as much as you can."

This all seems to be part of a very bizarre sense of humor.
The man is reputed to be brilliant. The brilliance eludes me.

Other than the unworkable doctrine of "original intent" I don't know what he's contributed
to jurisprudence, either.

Les Carpenter said...

It'a a game to the LION share of attorneys Ema. Whether conservative OR liberal.

Les Carpenter said...

Bork was brilliant as well. Unfortunately he was nit confirmed by a partisan and more liberal senate.