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Sunday, February 17, 2008

Those damned Pollsters

What's Mallard raving about today?

Pollsters, Anthropologists.

It doesn't happen often, but credit when due.

Today's panel made me smile and didn't offend me in any way.

In the final sign of the End Times, the artwork of the crazed hunter is almost amusing by itself.

14 comments:

factinista said...

So why did Mallard's head get slapped into the corner there? If you have to find a way to shoehorn the MAIN CHARACTER into the comic like that, you're doing something wrong.

BillyWitchDoctor said...

Broken clock, twice a day, yadda yadda.

Tinsley sure seems to enjoy his Primitive Man bits. Hmmmm, I wonder why.

confused said...

"Broken clock, twice a day, yadda yadda."

In an odd scientific quirk, it was determined that the broken Mallard clock was only correct once a day. And even then, there seemed to be a margin of error.

Kaitlyn said...

Why was Mallard's head shoved in a corner?

1 - It doesn't matter, we didn't have to see his pantsless body watching TV.

2 - Sunday strips don't need the duck, Tinz uses all that space for great art. (Why does the gatherer look so shifty?)

12xuser said...

Yeah, "pollsters have been wrong lately" actually makes some sense, and could theoretically be fodder for a humorous comic strip.

"Hunter, gatherer, pollster" might even have a germ of funny.

However, "the assumption that increased specialization among species is necessarily a sign of progress" is just another straw man, pulled directly from his feathery posterior.

dlauthor said...

"Increased specialization among species?"

What the hell does that even mean? Did he mean within species? Or is he implying that hunters, gatherers, and pollsters are different species?

Aaaargh, he came so close to wit, and ruined it with incoherent gobbledygook.

rewinn said...

About the "increased specialization" line ....

There used to be (and maybe still is) a strain of rightwing wack-o thought that disparages scientists who distinguish between various ant species on the basis of intraspecies specialization.

Some ants are large, solitary individuals that basically do it all themselves; other, smaller ants exist in highly organized social entities. For some reason, scientists tend to call the solitary ants primitive, probably because of evidence that they evolved first and the elaborate social structures evolved later.

The wack-os argue that this proves the communistic leanings of evolutionary biologists since labelling the ruggedly strong, solitary Ayn Randian ant "primitive" and the more social ants "more highly evolved" betrays a prejudice toward socialism ... you see?

exanonymous said...

I won't nitpick.

I'd just say that pollsters are responsible for those polls that resulted in 500 or so scientists who say they don't believe in Global Warming.

Michael said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Michael said...

exanonymous: Those pollsters you're referring to are usually called "oil companies".

luke said...

rewinn- You have got to be kidding me. Right-wingers were getting worked up about ANTS?? When was this?

dlauthor- I think he means within species, except the Hunter and Gatherer in the comic are clearly different species, so who the hell knows.

Jay Sherman said...

It stinks!

BillyWitchDoctor said...

There are reightwing kulturtruppers aplenty who still refer to the long-debunked The Bell Curve as if it were the Third Testament as proof of the inferiority of Them Scary Others.

The "ant" stuff seems tame in comparison, although it serves its purpose: "proving" that schools of higher learning are all anti-Jeebus and anti-American brainwashing camps whose goal is the destruction of all things good and white.

rewinn said...

About ants ... while I don't have a link to the RW attack on ant science (and doubt the ducky has the intellect or sobriety to study the matter deeply anyway), Wilson and Holldober's revolutionary paper on ants is definitely worth scanning, if only to get RW'rs quivering with rage.

You'll recall that the "standard model" of evolution is highly attractive to Randians: individual selection (the strong and fit survive, the weak and unfit go under) is what makes society work; government interference in this process (roughly but not exactly analogous to group selection) destroys society. In contrast, when Wilson looks at the facts...

"In this new assessment of the empirical evidence, an alternative to the standard model is proposed: groups selection is the strong binding force in eusocial evolution, individual selection the strong dissolutive force..."

http://www.pnas.org/cgi/reprint/102/38/13367.pdf

Or you can see a brief, nontechnical summary of the argument as it applies in politics (from a more liberal POV) :

http://conniff.blogs.nytimes.com/2007/06/27/nested-tug-of-wars/