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Monday, May 14, 2007

Welcome Pharyngula Readers

Avidor's video of Rep Tom Emmer stammering over a question from colleague Kate Knuth over whether the earth was billions or thousands of years old made Pharyngula.

Avidor has a video of an exchange between a defender of science (DFL) and creationist coward (R). It's amusing. Kate Knuth (DFL) asks a simple question—whether Tom Emmer (R) believes the earth is thousands of years old, or billions of years old—and Emmer runs away from the question. First he babbles about how he has a different science than she does, and then he justs asks her whether she's an evolutionist.

It's just weird. They know enough to realize that they sound awfully silly when they claim the earth is ten thousand years old, but they don't know enough to think that maybe they're wrong.

Commenters reacted:


I guess an "evolutionist" is supposed to mean somebody who is not a young earth creationist. But, for example, Behe and Dembski aren't young earth creationists and yet nobody ever calls them "evolutionists." Uhhh, Behe and Dembski aren't young earth creationists, right? Riiiiiiiighhhhhhtttt?? (I'll bet they are.)

Posted by: 386sx | May 14, 2007 07:00 PM

I could be wrong, but I think people like this Tom Emmer guy don't actually believe the earth is only thousands of years old but they can't say that in public or else their fundamentalist supporters will cut him off.

Regardless of how he answers, he's screwed. If he says the earth is only thousands of years old he pleases the religious nuts but looks like an idiot to everyone else. If he says he doesn't believe the earth is only thousands of years old he pisses of the base . His goal is to never answer.

The lesson here is this question should be asked repeatedly of all our elected officials. Put them on the spot and get them on record.

Posted by: gonzoknife | May 14, 2007 07:09 PM

Emmer starts "Ngah. Ngah. Ahhh ..." like a drunk clown doing a broad comedic impression of someone choking, and then ends with not answering the very simple question.

He looks stupid. AND gutless. No matter what the larger context, I can't believe you could be absolutely blindsided by that question.

I'm glad he's not in MY state legislature (although I'm sure NY has its share of 'em). The guy appears to have some issues.

On the other hand, it kinda looked like even Knuth was overdelicate about her belief in evolution. Maybe it was the company she was in.

Posted by: Hank Fox | May 14, 2007 06:05 PM


He didn't answer (and thus looked gutless and stupid) because he was running his mental spin engine trying to come up with the most strategically worded answer to the question. Upon being asked the question again, he has nothing, so he uses the "evolutionist" term in a connotative fashion to push the heat back at the person doing the questioning.

It's republican debate tactics 101 material. How they consistently get away with speaking nothing and/or falsehoods punctuated by their own verbal insults is a question that people really should ask more often.

Posted by: BlueIndependent | May 14, 2007 07:36 PM