Of Pandas and Pornography

THE last time pandas were in the news was during the trial of Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District, when it was revealed that the “science” book promoted by the school district was really a creationist book that had undergone a sudden search-and-replace face lift, changing the term “creationists” to “design proponents.” This shabby ploy was exposed by comparing early versions of the book to the final one, and it gave us cdesign proponentsists — a term described here: Missing link: “cdesign proponentsists”.

Hey, Wikipedia has a stand-alone entry on Of Pandas and People, of which a subsection is devoted to “cdesign proponentsists”.

Well, pandas are back in the news, and this time they’re in bigger trouble. We bring you some excerpts from Pandas could be extinct in 2-3 generations, which is reported by the Paris-based Agence France-Presse (AFP). The bold font was added by us:

BEIJING — China’s giant panda could be extinct in just two to three generations as rapid economic development is infringing on its way of life, state media said on Monday, citing an expert at conservation group WWF.

We leave it to you, dear reader, to assess the credibility of this story. It’s reported by the French, based on Chinese media’s citing of an expert associated with the WWF — we assume that’s the World Wide Fund for Nature, formerly known as the World Wildlife Fund. So this one has everything: Chi-coms, French, and anti-development environmentalists. And as you will see, it also involves global warming, evolutionists, and Darwinist porn. How could we resist?

Let’s read on:

The problem is that the pandas’ habitat is being split up into ever smaller patches, preventing the animals from roaming freely for mating partners and in turn endangering their gene pool, the Global Times reported.

“If the panda cannot mate with those from other habitats, it may face extinction within two to three generations,” said Fan Zhiyong, Beijing-based species programme director for WWF. “We have to act now.”

So, given that this fellow says “we have to act now,” what shall be done? The article continues:

Fan said that highways pose major restrictions on the panda’s free movement. “We may have to give up building some infrastructure,” Fan said. “I don’t know the solution to this problem.”

We are never surprised when the solution to the crisis of the day is the same as the solution to the crisis of yesterday, and of the day before. Does this panda crisis remind you of the global warming crisis — or are we alone in our paranoia?

Stop booing! We have another question — does Al Gore look like a giant panda? Okay, okay … we’ll get on with the story. Here’s another excerpt:

In addition to environmental constraints, the animals’ notoriously low libidos have frustrated efforts to boost their numbers.

Yes, that would be frustrating. Here’s the final paragraph:

Breeders have resorted to tactics such as showing them “panda porn” videos of other pandas mating, and putting males through “sexercises” aimed at training up their pelvic and leg muscles for the rigours of copulation.

And so, dear reader, now we have the ultimate piece of evidence that should help the creationists bring down the Darwinist conspiracy. It’s all together in one story — Chi-coms, environmentalists, French journalism, Darwinism, global warming, and even pornography.

Has the Curmudgeon finally lost it? Consider this dialog from the film Patton:

Col. Codman: You know General, sometimes the men don’t know when you’re acting.
Patton: It’s not important for them to know. It’s only important for me to know.

Teach the controversy!

Copyright © 2009. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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12 responses to “Of Pandas and Pornography

  1. I have a difficulty with getting hysterical over species becoming extinct. I especially get tired of hearing that humanity is always responsible for it. Why is this a problem? Extinction has happened since the beginning of life. It is a “natural” process. Sometimes a lifeform just can’t adapt to current conditions and it becomes extinct. That is just part of the process of evolution.

  2. retiredsciguy

    Why is it always the species we really love that are endangered? Why not the starlings and mosquitos?

  3. retiredsciguy asks: “Why is it always the species we really love that are endangered?”

    It can sometimes seem that way, but dogs aren’t endangered. As for the dodo, I hated them!

  4. Ying-Ying, a Giant Panda escaped from the zoo.

    [Funny, but not appropriate here.]

  5. Why is it always the species we really love that are endangered? Why not the starlings and mosquitos?

    From the CdesignProponentsists’ perspective, the answer is clear:

    ….. the Intelligent Designer has a cruel & perverse sense of humor.
    ;-)

  6. Roger, just because it happens in nature does not make it good, or desirable.

    In a larger context, that species face extinction is not the issue, the issue is their extinction may be a part of a larger pattern.

    We care about other species extinction, beyond the change it makes in our quality of life, because the change in their environment reflects a change in our environment. The question then becomes; what in their environment is likely to negatively affect us, and is the disappearance of that particular species going to cause problems for us in the future. We’ve always been subject to the law of unintended consequences.

    Ignoring the effect we have on the environment will give us the same result as blindly walking through a china shop not caring which porcelain figures we break – a rather large bill we have to pay.

  7. I see cycles within cycles all over. A species that has such a restricted ecosystem to support it would be under pressure with or without humans. On the other hand Palin has spoken out about “Death Panels”, but in a way humans form such panels if we ask, “Why should this species survive and this other one become extinct”. Then we have the obvious fact that every species has an effect on its environment and not only should humans have an effect – it is right that they do. Then we have the bit that humans are special and we should protect weaker species than us because we are able to see the effects of our actions. And this goes on and on.

    So, what should we do? Protect every species at the cost of ours? Is every weak species, because of its nature, deserving of equal protection? Would the world be better off without humans on it?

    Something tells me that having all these things pulling against each other is good because that keeps us from sliding over to any extreme position. So the extremes – get rid of humans so the Earth can live on as it is meant to (assumes humans are evil, accidental, threatening – well maybe some), or the opposite “damn every other species, full scale ahead with human progress” (death to everything that gets in the way).

    Here’s another example of where being in the mushy middle is the right place to be.

  8. retiredsciguy

    b sharp says,
    “Ignoring the effect we have on the environment will give us the same result as blindly walking through a china shop not caring which porcelain figures we break – a rather large bill we have to pay.”

    Nice analogy. Do you take full credit?

  9. Gabriel Hanna

    My dear wife and I argue about pandas from time to time.

    My thought is that if pandas need such constant coddling they deserve to go extinct.

    My dear wife, who is originally from Beijing, says that they are a Chinese national treasure and I am not allowed to say anything bad about pandas. But she admits to being curious about what pandas taste like.

    My father-in-law is widely read in the Chinese classics and when my dear wife told him what I’d said about pandas, he gave an eloquent argument, rooted in Confucian principles, about why people should preserve pandas despite their not being of any use. I’m afraid my dear wife did not tell him I was joking.

    If we really want to preserve pandas, it should be legal to raise them for food. Last I heard the world is not running out of cows or chickens.

    Incidentally, from time to time you will read news reports such as this one:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/5364058.stm

    where a man gets attacked by a panda after sneaking into its enclosure, because he wanted “‘a hug”.

    Alcohol is usually involved.

  10. Gabriel Hanna

    p.s. What’s with the moderation?

  11. Gabe‘s comment was held overnight, and he quite reasonably asks why. “Moderation” can happen for several reasons. I can turn moderation on as a general feature for all comments from everyone, but I’ve never done that. I can add someone’s name to the moderation list, which I do when a creationist or other questionable person shows up. In your case, Gabe, that’s not the answer to why your comment got held up. I also have a few selected words in the moderation list, so that intemperate language will trigger moderation. Again, nothing like that happened with your comment. And finally, there’s a ghost in the software that will occasionally grab a good comment and toss it into moderation. There’s no explanation for it, and I approve such comments as soon as they come to my attention.

  12. Curmudgeon wrote “and anti-development environmentalists”

    I think that may be a tad uncharitable these days. Certainly that was the case in the past, but a lot of these organizations – particularly WWF, have gotten better leadership that recognizes development is going to happen. So they are trying to do better at working with companies and land owners to encourage development that is more friendly to wildlife. They’re not perfect, I just don’t think they’re always reflexively against development.