We’ve been neglectful. We haven’t had a Curmudgeonly contest since November of last year.
To remind you of all the intellectual thrills we’ve provided in the past, our earlier contests were: #1 (Creationism is to evolution as _____ is to _______), followed by #2 (The typical Discoveroid’s next job will be _______), and then #3 (The Discoveroids are the dregs of _____), and most recently Creative Challenge #4 ( The creationists’ biggest lie is _____).
Today’s contest was inspired by David Klinghoffer, the intellectual slasher at the blog of the neo-theocrats at the Discovery Institute‘s creationist public relations and lobbying operation, the Center for Science and Culture (a/k/a the Discoveroids, a/k/a the cdesign proponentsists).
Klinghoffer’s name has some of the resonance of Red Skelton’s Clem Kadiddlehopper. We refer to him as a slasher because of his creationist oeuvre which we last described here. He’s so good at it that the Discoveroids have bestowed him the exalted title of “senior fellow” — i.e., flaming, full-blown creationist.
It was Klinghoffer’s latest post that did it for us. It’s titled Can We Defend the Dignity of Human Life in Secular, Even Scientific Terms?, and although it’s not worth reading (trust us!) it contains a question he asked that really got us going. It’s actually his title question, but it’s expressed a bit more elaborately in the body of his otherwise valueless essay:
Can the unique dignity of human life — the idea of human exceptionalism — be adequately defended in secular, even scientific terms, without reference to religious teaching?
Think about it. He’s asking if something unmeasurable, perhaps even undefinable, can be defended (not described or detected, but defended) scientifically. You gotta admit, that could be one of the dumbest questions ever uttered by any human, anywhere, at any time. So it occurred to us that although you certainly can’t do better, the readers of this humble blog could try to formulate an equally stupid question. We’re asking quite a bit here, but we really want to see what you can do.
This is your opportunity to achieve eternal glory by asking a Klinghoffer-esque style of question — something like this, but maybe you can phrase it better:
An acceptable variation would be:
So there’s the challenge. You know the rules: Enter the contest as many times as you wish, but you must avoid profanity, vulgarity, childish anatomical analogies, etc. Also, avoid slanderous statements about individuals. Feel free to comment on the entries submitted by others — with praise, criticism, or whatever — but you must do so tastefully.
Your Curmudgeon will decide if there’s a winner, and whenever we get around to it we’ll announce who the winner is. There is no prize — as always in life’s great challenges, the accomplishment is its own reward. We now throw open the comments section, dear reader. Go for it!
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