Monty Python does Intelligent Design

From Say What winners hosted at Chez Wattm 2006:


Customer: Hello. I wish to complain about this so-called ‘scientific theory’ what I purchased not half an hour ago from this very establishment.

Salesman: Oh yes, ‘Intelligent Design’. What, uh… what’s wrong with it?

Customer: I’ll tell you what’s wrong with it, my lad. Its vacuous, that’s what’s wrong with it!

Salesman: No, no, uh… what we need now is to ‘teach the controversy’…

Customer: Look matey, I know an empty ‘argument from incredulity’ when I see one, and I’m looking at one right now.

Salesman: No, no, it’s not empty: it’s just being elaborated. Remarkable theory, ‘Intelligent Design’, innit, eh? I mean, just look at all these books and articles: millions and millions of words…!

Customer: The verbiage don’t enter into it, my lad. It’s stone dead. It’s a non-starter. Empirically untestable, it belongs in metaphysics. This ‘theory’ makes no predictions; has no contribution to make beyond extended polemics; and can’t even be honest about who it thinks the ‘Designer’ was. Bereft of all logical and epistemological credibility, it has no scientific status! If certain right-wing and fundamentalist pressure-groups hadn’t hit upon it as a way of opposing decades of uncomfortable scientific and social progress, it’d be pushing up daisies! It’s off the table. It’s kicked the waste-paper bucket. THIS IS A NON-THEORY!

Salesman: Well, I’d better replace it then. [takes a quick peek around] Sorry, squire: looks like that’s all we’ve got…

Customer: I see, I see. I get the picture.

Salesman: I’ve got a piece of coal that looks quite a bit like a human tibia, if you squint at it…

Customer: Pray, is it part of a theory that unifies the paleontological and biological sciences and leads to a powerful understanding of observed homologies and the nested hierarchy of life?

Salesman: Not really.



3 Responses to “Monty Python does Intelligent Design”

  1. j-smith Says:

    Very funny stuff.

    Your comparison reminds me of some of the bleak absurdity in Terry Gilliam’s Brazil. ID may be ridiculous, but I tend to think the topic is almost too dismal to laugh.

    Having virulent memes attack the very science that named and elucidated them is definitely the sort of irony that Python is all about.

    the inquiring mind

  2. monado Says:

    I’m glad you like it. You’re right, it is dismal, and reminds me of “There’s a sucker born every minute.” But compared to some things people do to each other, it’s not much.

    And I must point out that it’s not mine, really; I just borrowed it from the Chez Watt site.

  3. The Rev. Jenner J. Hull Says:

    Great! I was reading out loud with the Cleese and Palin voices the whole time…

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