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Dog Butt, Evolutionary Adaptations, Christian Immaturity, and Bush

16 July, 2008

I enjoy being able check the stats page in my dashboard and find out how people found me (or, more correctly, found my site).  I can click back to people who visit me from links on other sites.  I have discovered lots of interesting and useful stuff.  Then, there’s this:

 

 

 

I found it at anatheist.net, posted by James Tracy.  It is one of the most magnificent examples of “pareidolia, or seeing recognizable religious imagery in what amounts to random stimuli.”  It is also the best example of the usefulness of said imagery.

Humans are pattern-seeking beings.  From an early age, we seek patterns in all that we see.  That set of shapes is Mommy.  That set of shapes is Daddy.  Once we have the basics, we start looking for patterns in inanimate objects as well.  As we mature, though, we understand both the randomness of the natural world and the pattern-seeking within ourselves.

Christians (most notably Catholics (and yes, I realize that not all Christians or Catholics see Jesus’ face on every pancake, tree stump, piece of toast or mould stain (though you don’t see too many atheists looking at a set of random shapes and seeing Jesus or Mary, do you?)))), though, seem to have missed out on this particular piece of maturation. 

Realizing the evolutionary predilections programmed into our bodies is part of maturity.  Recognizing that our evolutionary imperative (as a male) is to impregnate as many women as possible and reigning in that instinct in the interest of family peace is part of maturity.  Recognizing that, although we appear to be programmed to enjoy alcohol (the ripest, most sugar-laden, fruits contain trace amounts of alcohol), drinking to excess is (to males, at least) detrimental to impregnating the correct woman. 

So how would pattern recognition and forcing random objects into a pattern be of evolutionary advantage to a human?  Babies eyes do not focus well.  Their brain has not yet learned to put the electrical impulses from the eye into coherent order.  Being able to force these random shapes into a coherent form and recognize Mommy (as opposed to a Smilodon) increases the chance of getting food rather than being food. 

But some people, it seems, do not outgrow (or, at the very least, channel it into an appropriate adult form (don’t want to piss off the artists, eh?)) the juvenile form of this evolved pattern recognition.  They continue to see Mommy (Mary) or Daddy (Jesus or God (who are the same thing, so how do they know who it is?)) in random inanimate objects.  Maybe that’s one of the disadvantages of subscribing to a set of beliefs based upon received wisdom coming down from an authority figure (the Bible and God).  Not having to think for ones self is not conducive to learning how to think.  Plus, if you believe in the ultimate Daddy, why bother with maturity?  Just live like George Bush.

Hows that for a bizarre association?  Start with a dog’s butt, make a detour through evolutionary survival adaptations, and arrive at the mental immaturity of some Christians and, finally, to George W. Bush.

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17 comments

  1. I am going to pretend I didn’t see this.

    wow


  2. Prodigal Daughter: Welcome to my blog. Unfortunately, what has been seen cannot be unseen.


  3. Woven.
    Christianity is woven throughout our entire nation, being the very fabric that makes up these islands. It keeps the judgement of God from falling on us that is why we have been preserved from the many wars that have buffeted our shores.

    We need never feel that the darkness that comes upon us is permanent, for the light of Christ will always prevail by dispersing it with his glory. We need not be troubled by wicked people, for our God is surely dealing with them. I am amazed when I see Christianity in all our great institutions, I cannot begin to speak of all our workforce, builders, lawyers, nurses, miners, factory workers, who make our nation so great and confess Christ Jesus as Lord, Well, the list is never ending, where God’s people can be found, Christianity is literally everywhere. It cannot and will not ever be removed from these islands.

    Do not listen to doom prophets, when you hear them say things for example, like the abortion issue, they say, “surely this will bring God’s wrath upon us all, for that wicked thing that people do to our unborn children.” Well, God’s judgement will fall on them that commit such horrific killings, but I assure you, the righteous will not be included in God’s judgement.
    We remember how God’s mercy is shown to us in Genesis 18:24-26, I quote,
    “Peradventure there be fifty righteous within the city: wilt thou also destroy and not spare the place for the fifty righteous that are therein? That be far from thee to do after this manner, to slay the righteous with the wicked: and that the righteous should be as the wicked that be far from thee: Shall not the judge of all the earth do right? And the Lord said, if I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare all the place for their sakes.”

    You can see from this scripture that God will surely spare our nation, because there are more than fifty righteous Christians living here. Now Jesus has told us that this world is inhabited by the children of the kingdom and the children of the wicked, and that He will not bring final judgement on the wicked until the end of the world, because He will not destroy the wicked while the righteous are here.

    At the end of the world Jesus said in St Matthew 13: 41, – 43, “The Son of man shall send forth His angels, and they shall gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.”And so, that is how we can be confident that God will not let us be overwhelmed by these recent troubles that we face in our nation. Praise God, for every born-again believer that God has placed in our lands.

    EVANGELIST BILLY BOLITHO

    http://www.evangelistbillybolitho.blogspot.com


  4. You english twat. Jesus didn’t even know England existed. Hang on, Jesus didn’t exist either.


  5. Billy Bolitho: Welcome to my blog. Congratulations on being more offensive than the dog butt photo and making even less sense. Impressive.


  6. I’ve seen that photo before. A classic.

    I’ve never been able to understand why people would be so desperate to see Jesus or Mary in a water stain on a laundry room wall or on a slice of toast. What kind of miracles are they expecting? Their clothes are going to be cleaner because the Lord has blessed the Maytag? Their jar of jam will never run empty? If there really was a Supreme Being, it seems like he/she/it would manifest in something a little more impressive than a mold stain or a burnt taco.


  7. It makes you wonder if God is losing his power. I mean, he created the world, destroyed the world, recreated the world, parted the Red Seas, brought the dead back to life, but now, all he can do is appear on a dog’s ass. Sad.


  8. This just goes to prove the superiority of cats. You’ll never find religious figures on a cat’s ass. Cats, having been gods, realized long ago the folly of religion, and have been pure atheists ever since. Opportunists, too, as they have never disabused mice of the Mousian dogma that cats are demons.

    BTW, when the dog in the picture farts or poops, what effect does that have on those loverly Christians who see whatshisname’s face there?


  9. Humans are pattern-seeking beings.

    And design, too, no? It’s why Dawkins said that biology is the study of organic structures that appear to be designed, wouldn’t you agree?


  10. Dog’s butt to Dubya. Apropos 😉


  11. Rhology..what exactly is your point? I’ve read your blog and it sounds like the ramblings of a half witted pseudo philosopher, with just enough information to sound like a jack ass. If you stop quote mining for a second (always the mark of an intellectual lightweight), you would see the completion of his thought. That on observing these seemingly flawless and designed elements of our world, one can clearly see the chaos, mistakes, and inefficiency of said design. IOW, a little education, thought and study can show you that what seems like a perfect design, is actually an imperfect algorithm that somehow functions. If it was perfect, people wouldn’t have hiccups, hernias, or cancer. For more, Neil Shubin’s book Your Inner Fish is a good place to start.

    Until then, stay in the kiddie pool.


  12. Now that I think about it, it is a brilliant association 🙂

    The thing with patterns is that once you see “it” or once you see what others tell you must be there, it is really hard (if not impossible) to “unsee” it. I love making up new words…


  13. Sabrina: Thank you. I was trying to figure out how to say aproximately the same thing, but you beat me to it.

    James: I remember as a kid, my sisters would see a pattern in a natural formation and would try for, sometimes, hours to get me to see ‘it.’ I have never been real quick at seeing these (I have never been able to get the ones they used to have in the Sunday Comics to work) and they thought that either I was stupid or was lying about not seeing it. The possibility that my pattern recognition was poor (and would have thus made me a poor candidate for survival and procreation back in the old days) never occured to them.


  14. You know what I could never see…those stupid 3-D posters that were popular like ten years ago. The ones where you were supposed to stare at a bunch of colors and then a picture would emerge. Even if someone told me what the picture was, I still couldn’t do it. And I would stare at it until cross eyed. I’m glad those aren’t around anymore…very frustrating for me.


  15. Oh, I used to hate those migraine-inducing buggers.

    Never saw Jesus in one of them, though.


  16. Hey guys,
    I’m a Christian, but study biology.
    The whole cellular, tissues, organs, organ systems and organism structures are just too detailed and purposeful to have just evolved from a random explotion.
    Besides, the Cell Theory states that “no cells can be made from nonliving or dead cells”. So doesn’t that just blow apart the whole theory?
    And that’s what evolution is: a theory.
    It’s not immature to believe in a God; it’s practical and purposeful.
    If you don’t believe it, fine. But you’ve got no right to tell others what to believe.


  17. Impressive, Juliet.

    An argument from irreducible complexity. Which, as has been shown time and again, is bullshit.

    Then, a deliberate conflation of abiogenesis and evolution. The theory of gravity doesn’t explain abiogenesis either, but that doesn’t mean it is bullshit.

    Then, you toss out the old ‘evolution is just a theory’ which means you obviously do not know what the hell a theory actually is (and this is from Wikipedia):

    A theory, in the scientific sense of the word, is an analytic structure designed to explain a set of empirical observations. A scientific theory does two things:

    it identifies this set of distinct observations as a class of phenomena, and

    makes assertions about the underlying reality that brings about or affects this class.

    In the scientific or empirical tradition, the term “theory” is reserved for ideas which meet baseline requirements about the kinds of empirical observations made, the methods of classification used, and the consistency of the theory in its application among members of the class to which it pertains. These requirements vary across different scientific fields of knowledge, but in general theories are expected to be functional and parsimonious: i.e. a theory should be the simplest possible tool that can be used to effectively address the given class of phenomena.

    Which also tells me that your opening line about studying biology is bullshit, too.

    And last, I do have the right of free speech. I do not tell people what to believe. I state where I come from and what my world view is. Actually, the ones who tell people what they have to believe would be the religious — for instance, to be a Christian, you must believe the Nicene Creed.



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