Today I’m going to return back once more to Poe’s law. Only a few days ago I was blogging about “Internet Laws” and there introduced you to it. However, since then I’ve been exploring it a bit more and so I think I’ll share some of my discoveries with you.
As a quick reminder, it all started in 2005 when a chap called Nathen Poe came up with an observation in a discussion form that has since then become popularly known as “Poe’s Law”. It states
“Without a winking smiley or other blatant display of humour, it is impossible to create a parody of Fundamentalism that SOMEONE won’t mistake for the real thing”
In other words, there is some stuff out there that is so totally insane, its impossible to work out if its a genuine belief or is simply a parody or satire of a real belief unless you are given a clue that its just a joke. Ah, now this sounds interesting, so lets put it to the test and see how true this is. Below is a selection of some real statements captured out in the wild on discussion boards from fundamentalist believers. Some of them are simply jokes with the smiley face removed, the rest are genuine. Can you spot which is which? Go on, give it a go.
First up is a statement from somebody who can’t count …
“I can sum it all up in three words: Evolution is a lie”
Then we have text that is apparently from a billboard outside a church …
“Reason is the greatest enemy that faith has”
Next is a pearl of wisdom from a biblical scholar …
“The only thing I don’t like about them is they sell foreign language versions of the KJB [King James Bible]. I don’t think that’s right. We know the only true translation is the 1600’s version in English. It’s too risky for anybody to translate that into other languages. Mistakes can creep in… and that can lead to heresy. True Christians should only read English”
Ah, now we have a professor of Anthropology to educate us …
if we came from apes
how come were not hairy and have a big mouth
and did we end up looking like we do know
there isnt any serious proof of apes
they showd a video saying an ape was wondering around in the forest
that thing looked exactly like a costume that i had saw at a store
know one ever cought an ape”
Lets not forget a few words of wisdom from the physics department … or perhaps its the department of magic …
“Some things can not be explained by science. Take for example, rainbows. Rainbows are a mystery and you can not touch them, just like god. Despite this fact, they are still there even though there is no scientific explanation for them. So next time you find yourself doubting your faith, think of god as a rainbow. I know that this can be a difficult concept for some of you to grasp. It is just like air you can’t see it but you know its there”
Philosophy department perhaps …
“That’s the beauty of Heaven… we can leave our brains behind.”
I wonder how many years this chap will get sent down for …
“really sad that womyn got to be this way, it was better a few decades ago… at this point I honestly think a husband needs to be legally allowed to hit his wife once in a while when she misbehaves, it’s hard coded in womyn’s DNA that a strong man worthy of respect will hit her and severely scold her whenever she tries messing with him, in the end they love their husband a lot more for it… they subconsciously want to be hit and be told to shut up… sad that feminists have screwed this up because it only means that womyn will do all kind of nasty shit that will go completely unchecked and they think they’re entitled to it this is what happens in every third world country, and marriages are really stable there, because the man is the true chief of the family and he is allowed to be a man… this is the un-politically correct truth”
An insight plucked from a discussion about the logic of the Genesis creation story where we are told that light was created on the first day, and the sun was created on the fourth …
“The sun isn’t the only source of light you know? Think of a cloudly day, there’s light coming from somewhere.”
And lets not forget about climate change …
“Climate Change is a religion and it’s holy sacrament is Abortion”
How about a word of wisdom from this molecular scientist ..
“DNA can never be proven. Evolutionists are obsessed with it because they always say ”chimps share 97% DNA with modern man” etc. That’s great, however you would then need to prove DNA is real”
Almost forgot to check in with the maths department ..
“When you play with fire, there is a 50/50 chance something will go wrong, and nine times out of ten it does.”
And lets not forget a bit of guidance regarding health care …
“If a child under the age of 2 screams in the night, cries and is always feverish with deteriorating health, he or she is a servant of Satan.”
Finally, some thoughts on how to share your faith …
“I always carry a few nuts and bolts at amusement parks. after we get locked in the ride and start to move, I hold up a few of them and say to the person next to me look what just fell out of this thing. It is a great witnessing tool. Everytime I did that the person next to me started praying.”
So, were you able to spot the fakes? OK, I’ll confess and reveal the terrifying truth, none of them were fake. They are all genuine quotes taken from on-line discussion boards. It was also not challenging to find snippets of insanity, there is so much to choose from. The truly scary implication behind Poe’s law is that some fundamentalist belief can be so completely and insanely wacky that even satire and parody blend right in.