Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Back Off Man, I'm a Scientist

"I have no faith in anything short of actual measurement & the Rule of Three"
-- Charles Darwin

In an interminable thread about recycling computer parts, on the Boulder Linux Users' Group mailing list, Davide Del Vento injects a completely unsubstantiated and largely dubious claim:
The point of the discussion is what we agree is ok to "kill" or "destroy", and what is not. Is it ok to kill a cow to feed my kids? Most people would say "yes". Is it ok to kill Jeffrey Haemer to feed my kids? Most people would say "no".
Doing science means collecting data. The polls in the left sidebar test his claim.

We shall see, eh?

18 comments:

nan said...

I only voted no re: having actual kids because I'm past the age. DAMN!!!

Ken said...

Our eldest daughter and grandson are both vegetarian. Our daughter says they don't eat anything has a mother. Out of respect for our grandson, if you have a mother we won't feed you to our kids.

Since I'm out of work we might, however, raid your fridge. :)

Nate Duehr said...

"Our daughter says they don't eat anything has a mother."

Test tube babies for dinner for them it is, then. Mmmm. Tastes like veal!

Uthacalthing said...

As I was riding past the usual fox habitat where I release the mice I trap in my house, I was thinking about just that. Is it OK for a fox to eat mice? Is it more or less OK when I provide some of them?

(What about if it's hailing and I'm getting both pummeled and soaked? OK, that's another issue. One involving my poor timing.)

Moving up the chain a bit, Is it OK for a mountain lion to eat humans? What about if I provide some of them?

My answer, philosophically, is yes to both.

I eat mostly but not entirely vegetarian (fish and chicken once in a while) out of a desire to have a smaller footprint on this planet. So there's more room for mountain lions, maybe.

They can eat Jeff... if they can catch him.

(Now, let's see if I can defeat this captcha mess and actually post a comment. Google is so good at writing code for web apps that they often just give up and provide a meaningless error code to give you the illusion that they care and will fix things. Hah!)

Robin said...

I voted "Yes" but since I have no kids Jeff's not in too much danger ...

So long as I don't adopt.

Richard G. Combs said...

Our daughter says they don't eat anything has a mother.

Blatant discrimination against organisms that reproduce asexually. I condemn such prejudice. It's the yeast I can do.

In any case, Del Vento's questions can't be logically answered by appealing to what "most people" say. Instead, he should inquire into the differences between a cow and Jeffrey Haemer.

Give me a minute...

Richard G. Combs said...

Blatant discrimination against organisms that reproduce asexually.

Of course, I meant "Blatant discrimination in favor of organisms that reproduce asexually.

Damned adult beverages.

Richard G. Combs said...

No, wait ... I was right the first time. Or was I?

By choosing to eat something, are you discriminating in favor of it or against it?

I'm so confused...

Oh, well -- closing thought: In the immortal words of Neil Smith (in his classic sci-fi novel Pallas), "If you are what you eat, that explains vegetarians."

Stephen R. Walli said...

I've noticed that no one actually asked if he tasted good. Oh, well. I voted no to both regardless.

I must admit I'm curious about the fox and mice problem. Are you just giving the mice a chance? Merely not getting your own hands sullied with death? You like foxes? (I always raised the girls to know there are at least three "right" answers to counter the silliness of the educational system.)

Kristina said...

What about organisms that have a mother, but not a father? Male Hymenoptera (ants, bees, wasps), for example are haploid, the result of an unfertilized egg, and therefor have a mother but no father. Is it okay to eat them? I feed drone honey bees, because they can't sting, to all sorts of things from mice to tarantulas. Is that wrong? How about aphids, which mostly have only parthenogenic mothers and no fathers?
By the way, getting back to the original topic, Jeff thinks it's perfectly okay for me to nibble on him...

Kristina said...

Oh, and you should be very careful when raiding our fridge. Not everything is
a) intended for human consumption
b) intended for consumption

goyishekop said...

Richard G. Combs: "... he should inquire into the differences between a cow and Jeffrey Haemer."

This question is asked so often that hearing it inevitably gives me a sense of Deja cow.

We have all been Hereford.

Stephen R. Walli said...

Excellent, Kristina! You said: Jeff thinks it's perfectly okay for me to nibble on him .... So if you DO nibble on him, you could confirm whether or not he tastes good before others decide whether he's food for more than thought!

jo said...

Oh Hell Jeff!
I'd feed you to my cats.
-Your loving Muuuuch younger sister
Jo

Crabby Bottoms said...

Not to mention, Jo is way more cute...

JasonZ said...

Hey, Jeff, would you kill yourself to feed your kids?

I wouldn't kill Jeff to feed mine. There are other people I'd kill, despite the fact that I am 100% certain they have bad taste. (Which, I admit, isn't precisely what Stephe was talking about, but I think it's more germane.)

And I'd kill Stephe to feed his daughters. Only as a last resort, mind you, and only cause I know that's what the girls would want me to do for'em. I am, after all, on their side, not his. :-)

Stephen R. Walli said...

So wait, are we saying if someone has good taste they may not taste good? Or that being food for thought isn't nourishing enough for the body? I'm lost ....

Anonymous said...

man to serve man

NAME
to serve man

DESCRIPTION
it's a cookbook!