George Carlin: Scientifically Uninformed Idiot

Let me tell you about endangered species, alright? Saving endangered species is just one more arrogant attempt by humans to control nature… Over 90%, way over 90%, of all the species that have ever lived on this planet, ever lived, are gone… We didn’t kill them all… They disappear these days at a rate of 25 a day, regardless of our behaviour.

I don’t think he needed to speak much further than that for me to know that Mr. Carlin is a completely bonkers scientifically uninformed idiot.

Funny how later on he mentions that the Earth has been around for 4.5 billion years and that we’ve been doing industrial stuff for 200. Life has been around for about 3 billion years. I’m not going to do all the math, but I’d be willing to bet that if species disappeared at a rate of 25 per day for 3 billion years regardless of our presence, there would be many, many, many more extinctions than all the species that have ever been alive.

As for meddling with nature, it’s not like nature put a sudden selection pressure against bamboo that’s causing the pandas to lose their food supply that’s causing them to become endangered. I’m sorry, but it’s Chinese who are cutting down bamboo forests and all that jazz.

He keeps talking about how everybody’s talking about “saving the planet.” No, the planet itself doesn’t need saving. Even if we blasted all of our nukes and started a nuclear winter, the rock itself would probably continue cycling on for another few billion years until the sun turns into a red giant. The part that needs saving is the ecosystem. Yes, there were mass extinctions in the past… induced by nature. The one we’re facing is being caused by us and it might just be the worst one in the history of the planet.

It’s not just a matter of the Earth absorbing all our plastic when we’re gone. We also have global warming to deal with. Yes, it’s only 1 or 2 degrees increase in global temperature per year but… that means in 25 years global temperatures will be 50 degrees warmer than they currently are. That’s nowhere near enough time for life to evolve to catch up.

Yes… not all forms of life will die. There are probably plenty of simpler organisms that can survive (extremophiles for example). But… say there is a mass extinction caused by global warming and we’re still around along with a few life forms that were hardy enough to make it… What are we going to eat? It’s a rather good bet that most of the natural resources we rely on won’t be around after that. There’s probably going to be a lot of… other people though.

Y’know, one of the ancient Incan kings apparently liked human thighs with tomato sauce and…

But, I do acknowledge that there are lunatic environmentalists who are only a little educated about what’s going on are kind of dumb. What’s so great about “all natural” food anyway? And they are quite ignorant when it comes to the actual science behind genetically modified food.

Environmentalists are often arrogant about how they’re “helping the planet”. Fair enough. People often worry about stuff for no good reason and try to do stupid stuff to fix it. Fair enough. But, Mr. Carlin, I’m afraid that you are very scientifically uninformed.

Please go fuck yourself.

Those of us who are scientifically informed (not the lunatic environmentalists who don’t know what they’re doing) are going to try to fix this. This is what science is for.

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34 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by reedbraden on April 14, 2008 at 3:29 am

    Methinks you’re a bit too quick to judge. In context of the entire routine, George was talking about the liberal hippie fucktards who would rather reroute an Interstate highway away from a small town who needs the traffic to save a rare species of bird. This happened a few years ago just south of my city. The I-73 plans were warped to save the lives of less than 100 migratory birds, moving the much-needed traffic away from a dying town. Guess what happened when they finalised the plans for that section of highway–the one that was taken away from those who most needed it so it could be re-routed around some dumbfuck pigeons. The birds never came back (not because of the Interstate, but because of climate change) and the town needlessly suffered and still does.

    That’s who Mr. Carlin is attacking: those who try so desperately to save one species that they ruin the lives of certain members of the human species.

    Penn and Teller have a few better examples too.

    You are taking one single thing he said, misconstruing it and casting a negative blanket judgement over his entire world view. This seems a bit naive. I think you would agree with him very much on the issues of consumerism and America’s preoccupation with celebrity and corporations; religion and Atheism; America’s travesty of a media; America’s travesty of a political system; blind patriotism and nationalism; unnecessary lingual and sexual taboos; abortion; and privacy and surveillance. Just because you don’t like his views on the (I think) bogus and restrictive and unnecessary Endangered Species Act doesn’t mean that George Carlin is, “is a completely bonkers scientifically uninformed idiot.”

  2. Posted by reedbraden on April 14, 2008 at 3:31 am

    Remove an “is” from that last sentence.

  3. Not to nitpick, but he clearly said that species, THESE DAYS, disappear at the rate of 25/day.

    This should make your calculations a little more manageable 🙂

  4. Lol at the video. Like the above poster, I agree that he is not completelly uninformed and bonkers. He made a few valid points…

    Anyway I am not going to give a essay here but I will just mention one point: As for the species extinction thing what seems so wrong about it? 3 billion years is a hell of a long time and you would be surprised at all the bacteria species that can form and die of at that time (let alone all the other things that have ever been on this earth that we have no clue about and will probably never know as there will be no evidence for their existance).. I mean what is defined as a species…. as long as it can’t mate with each other? Genetically diferent from the parent? Etc…

    Nice find btw… Keep up the great work!
    Cheers!!

  5. pKay:

    Biologically speaking, a species is a population which has a sufficiently different genome that it can’t breed with other individuals in a different population and produce offspring that’s fertile. Obviously, the definition breaks down a little when you get to bacteria…

    The problem with losing species is…

    1. You risk the collapse of an ecosystem. Other species rely on other species. Lions have to eat, zebras have to eat, etc. This might also result in the loss of natural resources for us.

    2. There’s a great loss to science whenever a species goes extinct. Scientists like diversity.

    Reed:

    I acknowledged (notice the ed) that there are lunatics out there who are completely bonkers. However, Mr. Carlin is even more bonkers in thinking that there is no problem whatsoever and it’s just a matter of “the Earth absorbing our plastic when we’re gone.”

  6. Posted by Grumpy on April 15, 2008 at 4:44 am

    “Yes, there were mass extinctions in the past… induced by nature. The one we’re facing is being caused by us and it might just be the worst one in the history of the planet.”

    Wow – differentiation between “us” and “nature” is a specifically Judeo-Christian notion. The bible-based philosophy of man’s dominion over nature is what got us into our present predicament. The current extinction is just as “natural” as any other. A mass extinction by any other name would still kill the roses.

    Real progress will be made in the environmental movement when it is realised we have to be selfish and save ourselves. The fact that we are part of nature and not seperate from it will necessarily entail us dragging the ecosystem with us.

  7. The “God gave man dominion over the earth” shit is also the excuse anti-environmentalist evangelicals use to do whatever they want.

    I did not say that man is not part of nature, but what we’re doing to the Earth is not natural. In the past, mass extinctions have been caused by meteors and stuff like that. Stuff that the Earth recovered from fairly quickly.

  8. Posted by reedbraden on April 16, 2008 at 1:13 pm

    “I acknowledged (notice the ed) that there are lunatics out there who are completely bonkers. However, Mr. Carlin is even more bonkers in thinking that there is no problem whatsoever and it’s just a matter of “the Earth absorbing our plastic when we’re gone.””

    Ummm… it will. What else would it do with our plastic? Will it eject our non-biodegradable garbage into space? Will the Earth cease existing because of a few Styrofoam cups? I think not. Earth will “absorb” our plastic, both in a geological sense and in a biological sense.

    The plastic isn’t going to poison the ground any more than uranium does. Do you know where uranium comes from? The fucking Earth. Our planet is not a fragile little puff ball that our species has any hope of destroying. The only thing we can destroy is ourself. We can take a shit load of other life forms with us, but life will not be destroyed and the Earth will not be either. Our Earth, far from being a puff ball, is a giant, tumultuous cunt who’s always on her period.

    Entire mountain ranges collapse from time to time. Yellowstone is a fuckgiant underground volcano that can destroy the world’s richest and most powerful nation in a matter of days. There is only an eggshell-thin crust protecting us from a literal fucking planet-full of gelatinous molten rock with enough heat to melt your face off before you know it’s there. You know what’s in the middle of all of that deadly fucking goop? A big-ass ball of solid fucking death: a hot, dense mass of radioactive metal. The ground beneath your feet is festered with large pores and caves that can collapse at any moment, sending your house down a giant hole covered in bat guano. One of the Canary Islands may blow at any moment, sending an entire side of the volcano into the ocean. Can you say, “giant fucking tsunami?” The Earth can. The Earth can open up and swallow you at random. It doesn’t fear you, nor does it have cause to do so.

    Not only will the Earth survive us, but it won’t even know we were here after we leave. Our cities will collapse and forests will spring from the rubble. Our roads will turn to black sand and blow away. Our plastic will remain and what’s left of the biosphere will use it. Life has nothing to fear from plastic. Life will adapt to plastic. If some species are destroyed because of our species’ remnants, so be it. Others who can adapt to withstand plastic will take their place. I never knew that you considered adaptation to be “bonkers.”

  9. Yup, don’t judge Carlin too quickly. Overall he’s a really good guy and is on our side more so than the retards’ side.

  10. Posted by j4yx0r on May 16, 2008 at 7:12 am

    Elles,

    I would echo some of the sentiments from posters such as reedbraden and others but the truth is, I think both you AND they are taking George’s rant a little too seriously.

    I appreciate the way you used that particular piece of his to springboard into some thoughts on environmental matters but I think you’re missing the point of his bit (or a bit of his point). I think you may be taking it out of context. I question how familiar you are with the rest of Carlin’s body of work. If this clip was your only exposure to him, I can absolutely understand why you came to the conclusions you did.

    George is actually VERY educated and scientifically informed (mathematic inaccuracies aside) and I think it’s unfair of you to say otherwise without a larger sampling. Much of what he does is fettered with mass hyperbole. You caught him taking an extreme view and running with it. He’s acting here. His heavy cynicism and seemingly close-minded, volatile attitude are satire. Something he says over and over is that he takes issue with ANYONE who takes themselves too seriously. This is part of the point he’s trying to make here.

    Opinions are opinions but I hope you don’t deprive yourself of taking a little more of his work in before you write him off completely. He’s got a lot to teach.

    For fun, here’s another piece of his which I bet you’ll be able to identify with MUCH more readily.

    Thanks for the excellent blog and PLEASE keep doing what you’re doing.

    ~jay

  11. Posted by Tom Teller on June 29, 2008 at 9:03 pm

    Carlin has always tilted at everyone’s windmills — somehow it is seen as being ultimately noble (or is it arrogant) to be critical and above it all. However, I can assure you that Carlin’s god was laughter: it sustained him.

    Liberalism is a mental illness that unfortunately expresses itself in public policy and popular culture. All I can say to you “libs” is that soon you will be paying for $5 – $6 a gallon gasoline because of your belief in the Global Warming Hoax. This kind of economic reality brought on by the left (green-communists) is an attack on poor people — shame on you liberals! In the meantime, I will say: enjoy the higher fuel and food costs — oops there goes those pricey organic foodstuffs!

  12. Pop a few pills.

    1. I’m not a Liberal. Nor am I conservative. Nor am I a Democrat, Republican, etc. I’m just on the side of Science.
    2. I don’t eat pricey organic foodstuffs. I don’t see how organic foods are any better just because they’re “natural”. I don’t get the whole GMO scare seeing as how a lot of our food was bred through natural selection. However you made that poor inference is beyond me.
    3. Global Warming is not a hoax perpetrated by communists. I know, it’s hard not to see commies everywhere… But McCarthy died several decades ago when he became a drunk because he realized how deluded he was.

  13. Posted by Tom Teller on June 29, 2008 at 11:31 pm

    Truth hits hard when it hits so close to home — doesn’t it spendidelles? You lefties will sink your own boat, and, unfortunately, poor people who cannot afford the increase in fuel when oil hits $200 a barrel-who — by the way — drive old gasoline powered vehicles. And the trucking industry runs on diesel oil — not dreamy fairy dust. Again, enjoy the high cost of living the “high” life. I am sure you were “high” when you typed your rant. Have fun in Obamaland! Happy Trails.

  14. Posted by Jason Fishbane on June 29, 2008 at 11:51 pm

    Tom T is correct. Recently, 31,000 scientists seriously doubted the Global Warming threat. Also, ask the British Courts, and the founder of The Weather Channel (who, incidentally, has threatened to sue Al Gore for his flawed “An Inconvenient Truth”) about the scant solid evidence of Global Warming. Also, the Artic ice pack is gaining ice, not losing ice. This is just a few things that splendidelles should take note of — hey, splendidelles, expand your horizons to do more than just lay a foundation to legitmize your “views”.

  15. I’m going to ignore the fact that you’re assuming that I’m a leftist despite my repeated statements that I am not a Liberal/Democrat/Conservative/Republican/Communist, as well as the ad hominem accusation what I was high at the time of typing this post (I have in fact never done any drugs in my life… unless caffeine counts).

    Now, this is the part where I ask you people to cite your sources. Preferably peer reviewed scientific literature, not propaganda from political websites.

  16. Posted by Bemidjigreen on July 18, 2008 at 7:18 pm

    Its nice to stumble on people talking/thinking about this bit by George Carlin. I remember watching this many years ago and found myself stunned. For me, this was food for thought for a very long time afterward.

    I don’t think that Carlin was attacking the environmentalist movement and saying something to the effect “it doesn’t matter, we’re going to die anyway”.
    What I think he was exposing the hypocrisy and flawed thinking of such things as the eco banner “save the planet”. He was pointing out that this banner has the same fundamental beliefs underlying it as those who don’t give a shit about the environment.

    The ‘anti-enviro’ position is basically rooted in a judeo-christian point of view that god gave us dominion over the earth. The plants, trees, animals, etc. are put here for us, god’s special little creature. They don’t worry about the fate of the environment because they have a ‘get out of jail’ free card with salvation and the rapture. I don’t think I am wrong on this at all given the LONG silence of the religious on the environment till the last year or so.

    However, the environmentalists share this same arrogance when they say ‘save the planet’. They do not want to save the planet, they really want to save people and the state of the world as it–they don’t want their own habitat to change because of their actions. They live in the suburbs in a 3000 sq. ft. McMansion, commute an hour to work everyday and they don’t what to be affected by the ravaging of the environment required to sustain this lifestyle.

    The environmental movement has the same arrogance as the opposition in that it still perceives man as a force outside of nature. Like man is an alien dropped on earth and everything he does is evil/unnatural. They don’t acknowledge that we are a species subject to the same laws of nature as other species–degrade your habitat and you die. We forstalled this principle by continuously moving to ‘new frontiers’ for eons, but there are no more green hills just over Yonder.

    More times than not the causes of the environmental movement really have NIMBYism at its root. Fight the building of a nuclear plant or coal plant or ethanol plant–but you have central air conditioning in your house, a cell phone, ipod, computer, etc. Someone like that doesn’t care about the planet, they just don’t what that plant in their backyard.

    And what about efforts to do something right–remember the fit about windmills offshore at Nantucket? Who were the people who lead this fight? Its this type of activism which carlin blasts in this skit.

    The eco movement is populated by too many people who blast the burning of the rainforest, lament the collapse of the fisheries, the death of coral reefs and the topping of mountains in West Virginia while tooling around in a land rover or volvo, jetting off the Caribbean for a winter holiday, buying organic tomatoes grown in california, eating sushi flown in from Tokyo, sipping starbucks or Dasani water while sporting an ipod glued to your ears.

    The failure to see the connection to ones own daily choices and lifestyle with the state of the environment is the HEIGHT of arrogance, self interest and hypocritical. To insist that developing countries stay in their dismal standard of living because we need their forests to eat up the carbon dioxide our Suburbans churn out every day is arrogant. And the failure to react to this obvious connection is self interested.

    Anyway, I am glad Carlin pointed out this hypocrisy and arrogance and love that he was able to do it in such a hilarious and insightful way.

  17. Posted by UGK on May 31, 2009 at 11:32 pm

    You like to take a dig at China. why didnt you criticise the damage the USA causes to the environment which surpasses any other nation.

  18. Posted by a3 on August 24, 2009 at 10:53 am

    good luck… dumbass

  19. Oh noez you better watch out the George Carlin fan boys are getting butt hurt!

  20. Posted by RockNRolla on August 29, 2011 at 3:26 pm

    You’re an idiot
    over and out

  21. Posted by C-Man on September 23, 2011 at 2:33 am

    he actually did make a lot of good points. And look hippies are better than nazis. So shut up against hippies cause there are a lot worse things in the world than tree huggers. And George Carlin is a comedian some of u guys actually take him seriously!

  22. Posted by Red Scourge on December 21, 2011 at 6:38 pm

    You are more likely to be bonkers than him. Just because the rate of disappearance is 25 per day does not mean there are not 26 per day that are appearing. It is a known fact that tons of species are being added on a regular basis which we do not know about. Also realize that 25 per day is nothing impressive if we have over 30,000 species, whereas if we only had about 10 it would be outrageous. Maybe not everything is linear at all points in time, and Carlin is still right? No, couldn’t be, you know more than him, how dare I question you.

  23. You have incorrectly interpreted which is a common case with George Carlin since his way of speaking is often sarcastic or rhetorical. Firstly yes the species are becoming extinct at a rate of roughly 25 per day. This involves small species found in distant islands. You might not believe me but please check it out – whenever a new island or a habitat is discovered it often leads to discovery of many hundreds of species. Now back to your remark. What I guess Carlin was saying was that earth is fine since extinction and reappearance is a normal phenomenon. Earth is not a loving being who wants to save people. Earth is fine. What actually is wrong is that people will be fucked and people dont want it. So in their own selfish interest humans are doing this and saying they are saving the planet when indeed they are saving themselves. Hence he is ridiculing those people who are crying saving the planet where planet is fine and it is the human who are in danger due to loss of habitat.

  24. Posted by Mushroom Man on August 17, 2012 at 9:26 am

    “liberal hippie fucktards”, and that all I had to read of your post to know I wouldn’t find anything new or interesting.

  25. Posted by Mushroom Man on August 17, 2012 at 9:27 am

    George Carlin, gets diagnosed with cancer, has two heart attacks…comes out with album, “You Are All Diseased.”

  26. Posted by Unimpressed on September 27, 2012 at 7:54 am

    Hardly surprised and must agree completely with the OP.

    George Carlin was an imbecilic schmuck. The man spouted the most nonsensical drivel, playing to the lowest common denominator in an effort to gain some semblance of a following. If Carlin was any good at anything in his life, it was as a charlatan. He will wind up on the slag heap of history, utterly forgotten and rightfully so.

  27. Posted by asd on December 16, 2012 at 2:23 pm

    cunt

  28. Posted by Samuel Ciraulo on April 24, 2013 at 3:50 am

    You’re both idiots, one thinks the earth is 4.5 billion years old and that life has existed for 4.5 billion years as well. The other thinks that the earth is 4.5 billion years old and life has existed for 3 million years. What both of you fail to realize because both of you are too stupid and ignorant to do the math, Is that the Earth is no more than 30,000 years old based on Polonium halos, Lunar dust, The Magnetic shield of the earth, The lack of equilibrium of C14 in the atmosphere, and there is absolutely no evidence what so ever that the earth is more than 30,000 years. Id say around 6-20k years. Life itself has a time limit of perhaps 10,000-50,000 years, Go study genetic decay, genetic entropy. Learn how we accumulate negative mutations at an alarming rate of on average 200 per generation. You both need to start doing intensive research, Both of you sound like idiots.

  29. Posted by Samuel Ciraulo on April 24, 2013 at 3:51 am

    3 billion years, Forgive my typo.

  30. Posted by Meca on May 21, 2013 at 1:59 am

    I’m a fan of Carlin myself, but I think that the Carlin’s dissenters in agreement with this post seem just as ill informed and imbecilic as many of those who are rushing to defend Carlin from the brain-dead Moron Who made this post.

  31. Posted by Asashii Fustazi on June 12, 2013 at 4:32 pm

    yes, a liberal talking trash and showing other liberals just how stupid they really are, like george i know that the sky is not falling. oh my god know one will be able to go to the gulf coast for the next 30 years because of the oil spill, guess what….i cant tell!!!!

  32. Posted by Samuel Ciraulo on August 3, 2013 at 2:01 am

    You are as much of an idiot as he is.
    One idiot calling another idiot an idiot, Which one is more idiotic? The earth is not Billions of years old, The earth was never a hot molten mass, There has always been oxygen on earth even more so in the past bast on EMPIRICAL geological evidence in particular the study of the layer of granite across the whole world.
    You both are Evolutionist, You both are propagated morons who cant think for themselves, You are both scientifically uninformed and you should both Shut the hell up.

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  34. Posted by usman on September 9, 2014 at 1:36 am

    So you know more than scientists about the age of the earth. I mean really you’re gonna argue it isn’t 4.5 billion? The only people who do that are creationists and you’re not even that, you’re saying its 3billion…

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