Science is not always cool

>> Tuesday, June 17, 2008

I mean, it is, it's just that I'm not sure I needed to hear about the wasps that lay their eggs in caterpillars, where they hatch, feed on the caterpillar (nothing unusual here), and then leave the caterpillar alive as a zombie bodyguard after they emerge from the host to finish developing into wasps.


Ick. I mean, that's about all I can say about that.


Well, not quite all. Normally when I think about Nature, I think about the magnificence. And then you hear about something like this, and you're reminded that Nature is not only magnificent, but also gross and disgusting and cruel. And that's about when I wonder if I'm the only person who's noticed that things like this are just one more piece of evidence against the existence of a benign and beneficial deity. Oh, obviously it doesn't preclude the existence of a Supreme Creator who is One Sick Fuck, but the usual depiction we have around here of the kindly grey-haired geezer with his finger out to poke Adam into life? Nuh-uh.



22 comments:

Michelle K Tuesday, June 17, 2008 at 8:37:00 PM EDT  

Are you kidding?

Stuff like that is what makes science extra cool!

I mean, all parasites are nasty, they're all just nasty in different ways.

But really, science is awesome when it's being gross. See:

Dr Tatiana's Sex Advice To All Creation by Olivia Judson

and

Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach

Eric Tuesday, June 17, 2008 at 10:44:00 PM EDT  

I love science, adore science, was a science geek from my earliest memory to the present. So I should confess my tongue was slightly in cheek with my post. But I do have kind of a thing about parasites, internal or external, and a thing about loss of mental control. When it comes to sheer visceral horror, vampires and zombies have nothing on tapeworms and Alzheimer's where I'm concerned. So the parasitic was larvae are kind of a twofer on the horror level for me.

But you're still completely right. Science is awesome when it's completely gross! Call it a paradox, or an inconsistency on my part!

Jim Wright Tuesday, June 17, 2008 at 11:05:00 PM EDT  

But I do have kind of a thing about parasites, internal ...

Yeah, like tapeworms. Ewwwwwww! One of the most recent issues of Scientific American had a whole article on intestinal worms. I read it, because I too am a science geek, but I was choking back vomit the entire time. Not much bothers me, but I admit to having a thing about parasitic worms. What kind of God creates tapeworms?

Nathan Tuesday, June 17, 2008 at 11:57:00 PM EDT  

What kind of God creates tapeworms?

A God who will eventually correct things by ridding us of Oprah! He works in mysterious ways, I've been told.

Michelle K Wednesday, June 18, 2008 at 8:13:00 AM EDT  

What kind of God creates tapeworms?

The God of Tapeworms thinks they're the pinnacle of being.

Eric Wednesday, June 18, 2008 at 10:18:00 AM EDT  

Michelle, you just reminded me of J.B.S. Haldane's famous (but possibly apocryphal) response to someone who asked him what inference about God could be drawn from studying the universe: "He has an inordinate fondness for beetles."

"God Of The Tapeworms" would be a great beastie for a Lovecraft pastiche, or a good title for a song by a Swedish death metal band, no?

Michelle K Wednesday, June 18, 2008 at 12:37:00 PM EDT  

If Haldane didn't say it, he should have. So we'll keep using it. :)

And my brain pulled "The God of ____" from something, but I can't remember what.

I hate it when that happens.

By the way, you're now the top Google hit for "The God of Tapeworms"

Tania Wednesday, June 18, 2008 at 2:45:00 PM EDT  

All Praise and Glory to the GOD OF TAPEWORMS!

Hail the Vermificent One!

On a more serious note, see if your library has Mary Roach's newest book, Bonk, it's about sex. Everyone likes to read about sex. Um, don't they?

kimby Wednesday, June 18, 2008 at 3:44:00 PM EDT  

I am thinking "God Of The Tapeworms" would be the perfect name for that Swedish death metal band.

Michelle K Wednesday, June 18, 2008 at 4:15:00 PM EDT  

I really like the phrase "Vermificent One." I must concoct a reason to use that phrase more often.

And I think Bonk is on my look-for list. Have you read it already?

Matt Warnock Wednesday, June 18, 2008 at 4:19:00 PM EDT  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Matt Warnock Wednesday, June 18, 2008 at 4:26:00 PM EDT  

Sorry, first one didn't work right:

There are some impressively cruel things that are part of nature. Things that I wouldn't dream of in a hundred years.

Is the God of Tapeworms a parasite to another god? or is it so great that it isn't a parasite, but it plays host to other tapeworms?

Here's a post I did a while back about the Bolivian Banded Tapeworm:
mjwarnock.blogspot.com/2008/04/
survival-tip-337-bolivian-banded.html

Nathan Wednesday, June 18, 2008 at 5:18:00 PM EDT  

Not fair!

I've just finished posting the requested hatemail on Whatever and I stop in here and see "vermificent one". Damn missed opportunities!

vince Wednesday, June 18, 2008 at 7:03:00 PM EDT  

And that's about when I wonder if I'm the only person who's noticed that things like this are just one more piece of evidence against the existence of a benign and beneficial deity.

I don't have a problem with it. Fallen world and all. Just sayin', not preachin'.

And my brain pulled "The God of ____" from something, but I can't remember what.

You've got something about you
You've got something I need
Daughter of Aphrodite
Hear my words and take heed

I was born on Olympus
To my father a son
I was raised by the demons
Trained to reign as the one

God of thunder and rock and roll
The spell you're under
Will slowly rob you of your virgin soul

I'm the lord of the wastelands
A modern day man of steel
I gather darkness to please me
And I command you to kneel
Before the

God of thunder and rock and roll
The spell you're under
Will slowly rob you of your virgin soul

I am the lord of the wastelands
A modern day man of steel
I gather darkness to please me
And I command thee to kneel
Before the

God of thunder and rock and roll
The spell you're under
Will slowly rob you of your virgin soul

Kiss
God Of Thunder
From the 1976 album Destroyer

Tania Wednesday, June 18, 2008 at 8:48:00 PM EDT  

Bonk is in my TBR stack. John will probably get to it first. I finished up the Marie Brennan last night, and just started Skulldugerry Pleasant #1 during lunch today.

Michelle K Wednesday, June 18, 2008 at 9:05:00 PM EDT  

Vince,

Thanks, but that wasn't it. It was something I read. Fantasy. Something along the lines of Terry Pratchett's "Death of Rats" SQUEAK.

Tanya, what did you think?!

Eric Wednesday, June 18, 2008 at 11:32:00 PM EDT  

(Sorry I haven't had a chance for an in-depth reply. I've been following the comments, but had a pretty full day and have been away from the internet for most of it--the Genesis video for NWW was scheduled yesterday. I've enjoyed the responses, tho'!)

The God of Tapeworms,  Thursday, June 19, 2008 at 8:29:00 AM EDT  

Eric,

How dare you ignore my existence!

I can make life very unpleasant for you if you choose to disregard my powers and disdain my followers.

Jim Wright Thursday, June 19, 2008 at 11:33:00 AM EDT  

Argh! I was busy all yesterday and missed this whole bit. And I'm glad I did.

STOP talking about tapeworms. STOP it now. Gag. Please.

I've spend some considerable time in third world countries, parasitic worms, gag gag gag.

The God of Tapeworms,  Thursday, June 19, 2008 at 12:10:00 PM EDT  

I'm watching you too Jim!

Eric Thursday, June 19, 2008 at 3:51:00 PM EDT  

Crikey! We've had a visit from on high... or is it... a voice from within? The God Of Tapeworms has joined us and speaks to us directly!

To answer at least one question for anyone still following this: we are discussing the God Of Tapeworms, not the Tapeworm Of Gods. The Tapeworm Of Gods has been known to infest the Fenris Wolf and most of the Egyptian pantheon, and infected Cronus when he ate an improperly-cooked Hestia (how Hestia got it remains a mystery better left unanswered).

The God Of Tapeworms, on the other hand, is a tapeworm deity who should not be confused with God's Gift To Tapeworms, a Bolivian Banded Tapeworm named Steve who was recently spotted in a convertible Camaro unsuccessfully trying to pick up young women with the line, "Hey, baby, my segments aren't the only long thing about me." God's Gift To Tapeworms can also be distinguished by his copious thickets of chest hair and gold bling.

No, the God Of Tapeworms is a deity in His own right, although there's a question over whether the God Of Tapeworms worshipped by the Seventh-Day Latter Tapewormists is the same God Of Tapeworms worshipped by the Orthodox Tapeworm Church.

It must be noted that the existence of the God Of Tapeworms is questioned by many scientists, though their comments are sometimes twisted to indicate some passing belief in something more substantial. For instance, tapewormists have been known to claim that Einstein's famous comment, "God Of What? You have to be kidding me! That's disgusting! Is this some kind of sick joke? Who are you? Why are you in my house? Where are your pants? I'm calling the cops!" is somehow indicative of some kind of belief on the famous physicist's part in the God Of Tapeworms, when in fact the statement is more properly viewed in the context of Einstein's life as more of a metaphor for the natural order underlying the universe which can be understood through observation and deduction.

The God of Tapeworms,  Thursday, June 19, 2008 at 8:18:00 PM EDT  

It is good to be recognized for our Vermificence.

We shall bestow Our Blessings upon Eric.

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