The official site of bestselling author Michael Shermer The official site of bestselling author Michael Shermer

Why Darwin Matters (The Colbert Report)

November 2007

Dr. Michael Shermer, author of “Why Darwin Matters,” says we’re just as gullible as previous generations. (Source)

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7 Comments to “Why Darwin Matters (The Colbert Report)”

  1. Webmaster T. Says:

    I am skeptical of the claims in Alan’s comment. Cheerleaders commonly wear short skirts and kick their legs high into the air and I have yet to see Shermer try that. Alan then claims that Shermer is a materialist by bagging him up and slapping a label on him when in fact I suspect that Shermer has spent a lot of time in thought and contemplation in order to reach the insights and conclusions that he has. Thought and contemplation are not exactly materialistic but would be in order for anyone before claiming Shermer to have been without a father.

  2. Toni Says:

    I enjoyed this video, Thanks for sharing it. Colbert is quick and witty. It’s like he has a come back line before you can finish a statement. I feel this threw you for a loop. This man has a great talent. How many people could make Dr.Shermer silly dizzy like this. Colbert was dizzy,witty,silly and unique to what we are all accustom too. It was refreshing to wittiness this. It was charming. between the LOLs I did actually get some good incites from Dr. Shermer though. I hope Shermer is refreshed by the chance of even meeting this kind of human being. At the end of the video I saw the statements longing to shouted to the nations. I know he wants the best 4 all of us. I’m glad this happened, by chance to laugh at the aged debate.

  3. Cliff Says:

    Yo yo Shermster,

    Would it kill ya to laugh at yourself? Colbert may have told you he was going to be an idiot, but he got you at the end with the Big Foot problem.

    Your only argument against Aliens is based on a Newtonian standard of evidence which of course isn’t applicable in the case of intelligent life forms.

    Remember the legendary giant squid of ancient lore that washed up on a beach one day? Or the Snow Leopard.

    Whatever will you do when the Aliens come?

  4. Grendel The Martyr Says:

    Not a good venue for a skeptic, but face time is face time. Colbert, playing a faux Bill O’Reilly or other iconic conservative, has to schtick to his stick, er, stick to his schtick and pretty much hogs most of the brief time allowed. Still, Shermer got a few points in. I wish there were still true talk shows on the air, like those once hosted by Dick Cavett and Tom Snyder. There a skeptic might actually be allowed to go into some detail without all the manic laugh-mongering.

  5. GM Says:

    I think we could use more people like Colbert. There are people who really do think like his “act” and it might help them to see themselves as who they really are.

  6. Mark Says:

    Shermer was a bit rigid, but held up well.

    Yes, Colbert parodies O’Reilly very well. The problem is that O’Reilly is a rude, bambastic blowhard… so Colbert veers into the same behavior. I wish the interview had been a little more intellectually sly, but that’s like wishing Fox News was fair and balanced.

  7. Colbert Stephen Says:

    Michael, it’s not so much an exaggeration of a devout Conservative, it’s essentially an accurate impersonation. It’s not hard to do, but it’s hard to do with such wit, and humor.

    It’s an extension of Poe’s Law.

    Poe’s Law states:

    “Without a winking smiley or other blatant display of humor, it is impossible to create a parody of Fundamentalism that SOMEONE won’t mistake for the real thing.[1]”

    Poe’s Law points out that it is hard to tell parodies of fundamentalism from the real thing, since they both seem equally insane. Conversely, real fundamentalism can easily be mistaken for a parody of fundamentalism. For example, some conservatives consider noted homophobe Fred Phelps to be so over-the-top that they argue he’s a “deep cover liberal” trying to discredit more mainstream homophobes.

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