Humor in Science and Theology

(Randy) #1

Does anyone have a good joke or cartoon to share that might lighten our perspective? Topics related to the Biologos site, including science and theology, in good taste, with friendliness to other points of view, would be terrific.

(Phil) #2

Knowing this crew, be careful what you ask for!

here is one I posted before that relates to Joshua’s geneological Adam thoughts:

(Randy) #3

Good one! Here’s a joke my son got from a church joke book: Three pastors were discussing the aftereffects of a revival meeting. The Methodist reported, “We did very well. We added 4 new families in our church!” The Baptist said, “Yes, we did well, too. We have now have 6 new families in our church.” The Presbyterian retorted, “We did very well, too. We got rid of our 10 worst trouble makers!”

(Juan Romero) #4

This is one of the best ones I have, since I can almost identify myself with the situation.

(Randy) #5

Looks good!
Makes me think, too. I am EC, but it reminds me of how a strong viewpoint one way can result in error the other when undeceived. Thanks.

Another avenue of humor: maybe we can share experiences from our professions. I’m a family medicine physician–so not a scientist, but I would appreciate insight from both scientists and theologians. One humorous observation about primary care in my case is this: “The difference between primary care and the specialties is that a primary care physician knows less and less about more and more, till he knows nothing about everything; and the specialist learns more and more about less and less, till she knows everything about nothing.” I do feel overwhelmed by the sheer amount of knowledge involved in caring for my patients, sometimes.

(Mervin Bitikofer) #6

Wow! Your cartoon doesn’t belong so much in any humor section as it does in a serious theology section. It’s the conversation that most might aspire to but nobody ever gets that many exchanges in because we don’t keep that many pithy replies close at hand and even if we did, it is rare that two parties will both stick it out that long before somebody gives it up. It is also worth noting that the conversation depicted was not a successful one – for either side! Is there perhaps a good (relationship) reason why we so often “let it rest” so much sooner? Maybe sometimes mountains get moved a few pebbles at a time.

(Christy Hemphill) #7

It is somewhat satirical, which is why some people put it in humor. In some notable ways it is a parody of this classic Chick tract.

(Juan Romero) #8

There’s also an atheistic parody, but even though the science in it is correct, the rest of it is the average “there is no extra biblical evidence that Jesus ever existed/other gods did the same things Jesus did/religion was invented because people didn’t want to face death/God=magical space pixie/science can save you” type of stuff.

Even though I have atheist friends that I have a great respect for, the atheistic parody of Chick’s tract ends with the average “now that I am no longer religious I will…” followed by some nasty things not worth repeating.

(Andrew M. Wolfe) #9

I just couldn’t finish reading that. Wow.

The kicker? You can still buy this junk. In 2018! At the end, it actually asks you how many you want to purchase! [shaking my head] Unbelievable.

God willing, someday, this will just be an exhibit in an academic article by Ted Davis, and not for purchase…

(Mervin Bitikofer) #10

That provides some context – I see it now. They look very “echo-chambery” to me. One side gives itself its serious and best answers and consigns the other side to caricature; especially in the Chick tract. I’m a bit one-sided myself I guess as I think the cartoon in Juan’s link did a better job putting real YEC responses forward.

(Jon) #11

Forum clickbait titles for Biologos.

  • 300 reasons why you’re going to hell (#217 made me cry!)

  • This Christian was asked how old the earth is. Scientists are furious!

  • American preacher shares one weird tip for making millions off gullible Christians!

  • This theologian came up with a new argument for free will. Calvinists hate him!

  • The Pope was asked why women can’t be priests. You’ll never believe her answer!

  • Critical scholar hears about new Kompositionsgeschichte theory of the Synoptic heiligen Schutzengeln, and his reaction is Zumderfundeißplaschesse!

Only critical scholars will get #6!

(Jon) #12

Hierarchy of academic citation methods.

(Randy) #13

Good. I didn’t get the number 6 either, but from my German great-grandmother, Ach, du lieber Strohsack!

(Jon) #14

The joke is that critical scholarship is typically full of technical terms in German, which have been coined by German scholars and then adopted by English speaking academics, often because there is no equivalent meaning in English (or because the equivalent in English would be too long and clumsy), or just because the terms became well known and were imported by German scholars writing in English.

(Mervin Bitikofer) #15

For more comparison of German words, check out this very scholarly video. :smile:

(Randy) #16

Good one. But I was surprised how some German is actually very beautiful when I listened to the Erlenkoenig (Elf King) and some High German in college. I guess it’s all in your ear and what you are used to. my other grandparents were Dutch, and the language in our old family Bibles is like low German. Sounds a bit like KJV in cadence. I enjoyed the video. Is your surname German?

(Mervin Bitikofer) #17

It is I guess … there are lots of Bitikofers (spelled differently) in Switzerland. But the low German in my heritage actually comes on my mom’s side. They were Russian Mennonites, so it was my mom who brought in low German, and not my dad (to my mom’s parents’ initial distress). So we did not hear low German in my growing up years unless mom was visiting with her sisters. I don’t think it’s a “written” dialect as such, so any German Bibles are probably just German.

Maybe more response later … gotta run.

(Randy) #18

Interesting! As a child, I learned chess from a Russian Mennonite from Canada, a missionary on our station. He had an amazing story regarding how Stalin’s policies had affected his family.

I’m sorry–my family Bibles were actually from the Dutch side. I guessed they were more similar to low German, but I don’t know. I only know about 12 words and greetings in Dutch. My favorite is “banket” (almond pastry). I really enjoyed studying German for 3 semesters in college (ich habe drei Semestern studiert), but haven’t been able to use it much since.


(Andrew M. Wolfe) #20

On my slow-as-molasses internet tonight, the pun was even more dramatic, as the image loaded top to bottom over several seconds. Good stuff! :smiley: