Salon on Martin Gardner's debunking book: "Did Adam and Eve have Navels?" Think about it. : LUSENET : TB2K spinoff uncensored : One Thread

"Did Adam and Eve Have Navels?"by Martin Gardner
A witty, world-class debunker cuts through centuries of pseudoscience crap, from earthbound asteroids to balancing eggs.

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By Tom DiEgidio

Oct. 17, 2000 | Before cracking open Martin Gardner's latest book, "Did Adam and Eve Have Navels?" I was prepared to be, at best, mildly amused. You know, ho-hum, yet another tome poking fun at religious fundamentalists unable to comprehend the basics of science -- the Scopes monkey trial revisited for the 1,000th time.

How interesting could the topic of Adam and Eve's navels be, anyway? I thought how much more amusing it would be to examine that hot old question -- much discussed at the Council of Trent -- of Adam's penis. (It was decided, given the absence of desire in the Garden of Eden, that Adam's erections were voluntary, that appendage functioning more like his arm.)

Did Adam and Eve Have Navels? Discourses on Reflexology, Numerology, Urine Therapy and Other Dubious Subjects

By Martin Gardner

W.W. Norton
310 pages

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Yet it turns out, as Gardner explains in the title chapter, that there have been full-fledged political implications to the question of biblical bellybuttons. In 1944, an acrimonious congressional debate was occasioned by an armed services manual on "The Races of Mankind," which depicted Adam and Eve with those cute remnants of our umbilical cords. Gardner views with amused distaste the idea that some of our lawmakers were worried that the U.S. government might offend that portion of the electorate who take their Bibles literally and hold sacred the unborn status of our original ancestors.

Gardner has his vision trained on all instances of blatant disregard for the scientific method that has been the cornerstone of technical and theoretical progress since Galileo. This colorful collection was culled from the column that Gardner contributes to Skeptical Inquirer, the official organ of the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal. Perhaps the best-known representative of that organization is magician James Randi, who has often appeared on TV in his role as debunker. Gardner, however, might be considered the ideological father of the CSICOP, since its foundation was partly inspired by his pioneering bestseller, "In the Name of Science."

-- cpr (, October 17, 2000


Which came first,The male sexual organs or the female sex organs??

Which came first.the "Y" chromosome, or the "X" chromosome??

Other ????? to follow.

thank you.

-- al (, October 17, 2000.

Of course Adam and Eve had navels. God had to give them a place to keep lint and a place to keep salt when they ate celery in bed.

A more important question: why didn't Barbara Eden have a navel?

-- (Paracelsus@Pb.Au), October 17, 2000.

I've always suspected that some of the Y2k optimists were actually what one might call "professional skeptics." Stephen Poole was one of the first I noticed. First it was debunking computer viruses, then Y2k, and then...?

Maybe he doesn't get paid for it, but I think cpr is looking for the next big thing to come along so he can debunk it. Or an old chesnut like creationism. As for that, I've seen good evidence both supporting and challenging evolution, and I just don't worry about it very much. Al did make a good point about XY and XX chromosomes.

-- (XY@XX.calm), October 17, 2000.

the bible,s been around longer than the SKEPTIC,S and will outlast em-all!!---can the hammer outlast the anvil??

-- NOT-SURPRISED!! (, October 17, 2000.

The only cavity CPR has is the one in his ass which, when he talks comes out his mouth.

-- cpr-u-idiot (, October 18, 2000.

Since the Annunaki created us by gene splicing why all the fuss? They're supposedly returning before long so maybe we'll find out the truth.

-- Waiting (for@our.Creator's.return), October 18, 2000.

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