Biology History Hitler Zombie Humor Intelligent design/creationism Pseudoscience Religion Science Skepticism/critical thinking

After a year’s absence (except in reruns), the monster returns…for real

i-662fcdc36fa103d3c4b18ee98f72f16a-HitlerZombie-756531.jpgIn nondescript dressing room in a nondescript studio in a nondescript office building in in a nondescript industrial park, a short, pudgy 63-year-old man with the stereotypical demeanor of a particularly boring economist was trying to squeeze into a pair of shorts.

“Why oh why did I agree to do this?” he muttered in a whining drone.

He continued to struggle to get into the black shorts, virtually identical to the ones worn by English schoolboys and still worn by Angus Young of AC/DC on stage. Even though Young is over 50, somehow he managed to get into them, and so will I, thought the man. With a wheeze and a squeeze, he managed to pull the pants up to his waist, although the tension on the seam posteriorly was exceeding all design tolerances and his pale white belly flowed over the waist of the pants like a marshmallow squeezed at one end, covered by a schoolboy shirt and jacket draped over it like a canopy over a barrel.

“Now where’s my Clear Eyes?” he muttered.

And froze at the sound of a loud crash outside his door.

“What was that?” His marshmallow gut tightening enough that it no longer quite hid his feet, he grabbed a nearby bullhorn and crept to the door. He carefully opened it, the hinges letting out a tortured squeal.

“Darn!” he droned nasally. “So much for quiet.”

He carefully looked down the sterile white hallway, replete with ceiling tiles with small black- or blue-lined holes in it from interns wasting time lazy throwing pens up to see if they would stick and dusty framed movie posters that didn’t quite line up. At the end of the hall was a door with the words “Premise Media” stenciled on it. A fluorescent bulb flickered madly, threatening to induce seizures in the mouse scurrying across the hall. A faint odor of rotting meat became apparent, sickly sweet yet nauseating.

“Why did I agree to work for this chicken shit outfit?” the man droned aloud to no one in particular. “Not only can’t they find me an outfit that fits, they can’t even empty the trash.” He turned to head back into his dressing room.

And stopped.

Shambling toward him, wearing and old tattered uniform of some sort with a red armband was a vision of hell. Rotting flesh sinking into its cheeks, a tiny mustache above a lipless mouth with dung-colored teeth, it came. It was impossible for such a being to exist; yet it existed, and it advanced on the pudgy man. The man gave out a girlish shriek and turned to run. Surely he could outrun this creature.

He couldn’t.

Faster than a pudgy old man could possibly run, the creature leapt. It leapt and clenched its skeletal hands on either side of the man’s head. “Braaaaaaaiiinsss! Jeewiiisssh braiiins!**” it bellowed, a dim memory of its most dreaded enemy and most horrific crime against humanity in life driving it onward as it clamped its mouth on the man’s skull and fed with a loud crunch.

The man’s last thought before blackness fell across his eyes was, “Damn you, Charles Darwin! This is all your fault!”

Ensconced in a deep bunker somewhere under the brick and steel of a nondescript building in Manhattan, a clear box of blinking multicolored lights changed the pattern of its blinking. Ever since Orac’s narrow escape over a year ago, he had been cautious. Perhaps too cautious. Having foolishly exposed himself, he had nearly met his his end in a misbegotten war between groups that agreed on far more things than they disagreed before the monster had almost gotten him. If it hadn’t been for his ability to tap into the computer driving the teleport device and send the monster back before it materialized in the very sanctum sanctorum of his own ship, Orac would have been no more. Poor Vila had not been quite so lucky and bore a hole in the side of his head. Fortunately, no one had really noticed the loss of a part of his brain matter. Other than a newfound penchant for comparing political opponents to a German dictator, one would scarcely know that he been attacked. Indeed, he was now happily working for Fox News. He was even consulting with Jonah Goldberg to collaborate on a sequel to his masterpiece of argumentum ad Nazium, Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, From Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning.

Over the last few months, however, Orac had sensed something. The Hitler Zombie had been injured in the last fight, and fewer seemed to be the overblown analogies to the Holocaust and Hitler that his bite provoked in its victims. Orac, too, had returned to his bunker and nursed his own damage, while taking time to enjoy the sheer exhiliration of hooking himself into the world network, child’s play to the creation of Ensor based on the Tarial cell, the basis of all computers and networking in the galaxy. There was a reason that Orac was viewed as the most powerful computer in the world. He was also arguably the most arrogant and obnoxious, having been imbued with perhaps a bit too much of the personality of his creator. What Orac sensed, though, was the return of activity that made him concerned.

There were indisputable indications that the Hitler Zombie was definitely back. Worse, it was provoking a new round of mind-numbingly stupid Hitler analogies about the same old topic that kept cropping up again and again: Evolution. Orac was utterly unable to understand why there would be such resistance to what is obviously such a well-supported, predictive scientific theory such as evolution whose validity is supported by such an overwhelming confluence of evidence from many different disciplines supporting it, but then Orac never could understand the irrationality of humans. He had also noticed an obvious propensity of the creature to feast on the brains of humans who really, really don’t like evolution. Orac hadn’t quite figured out why. He guessed that it had something to with a natural proclivity of these people to view evolution and its founding father Darwin as being the authors of all that is evil in this world, up to and including one of the greatest mass murders in the history of humankind, the Holocaust, a crime done on the orders of the man that the zombie had been before, trapped in a bunker with his enemies closing in, he had decided to blow his own brains out. (Maybe that’s why the creature had such a strong hunger for brains, speculated Orac.)

“Orac!” A voice interrupted Orac’s silicon reveries. Orac scanned the room and didn’t see anything.

“Down here!”

It was Afarensis. Orac had forgotten that he was only 41 inches tall and adjusted the angle of his optical scanner accordingly. “What is it?” Orac responded.

I think I’ve located the monster.”


Here” said Afarensis, reading from a computer printout:

For Ben Stein, host of an upcoming documentary on the dominance of Darwinism in academia, Darwinism is not just problematic but dangerous even.

In a media teleconference for the film “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed” on Tuesday, Stein pointed out that Darwinian teaching on natural selection and random mutation “led in a straight line to the holocaust and Nazism.”

Darwin said that there were certain species that were superior to other species and all were competing for scarce supplies of food or resources, Stein pointed out. But if there was a limited supply of basic resources, Darwinism taught that “you owe it to the superior race to kill the inferior race,” he told reporters.

Darwinian evolutionary theory fueled Nazi idealism that felt gypsies, Eastern Europeans and others were competing with them for scarce basic resources, explained Stein.

“As a Jew, I am horrified that people thought Jews were so inferior they didn’t deserve to live,” he commented.

“Excellent!” Orac said. “That man, Ben Stein, is clearly the most recent victim of the zombie, as that has to be one of the most idiotic, brain dead analogies to the Nazis and Hitler that even I have ever seen. Truly, the monster has fed well.”

“Maybe there wasn’t much there to begin with,” said Afarensis. “After all, Stein was a speechwriter for Richard Nixon once.”

“Good point,” conceded Orac. “If true, it means that the monster, unsated by such thin gruel of a meal, will soon need to feed again. Nonetheless, such stupid statements blaming the Holocaust on Darwin are very strong evidence that the Hitler zombie has had his way with this Mr. Stein. Add to that the truly ignorant other statements he made in the same article that show that he does not even understand the basics of evolutionary theory suggest to me that there is little left there but enough brainstem to keep him breathing. Abbie!”

A young woman entered the chamber.

“Abbie, you have distinguished yourself in refuting the antiscientific lies of the deniers of evolution who try to claim that their ludicrous religion-based idea of ‘intelligent design,’ which has no evidence to support it, is somehow equal to evolution. Do you know anything further about this Ben Stein?”

Abbie paused. “I know that he is, unlike most ‘intelligent design’ proponents, not a Christian. In fact, he’s Jewish. I know that he’s the narrator and main interviewer in a pro-ID movie called Expelled!

“What is this movie?” interjected Orac. “Wait, never mind,” he continued testily.

Orac first located the Expelled! website. He was appalled at what he saw: historical revisionism in the form of labeling “Darwinism” as the “imperialism of biology” and rants about “suppression of free speech” when in reality the only thing that is being threatened is the ability of ID proponents to slip religion into science classes. If Orac needed any further evidence that Ben Stein had no brain left, it was all there, along with his apparent desire to have actually named the film From Darwin to Hitler. The fool, thought Orac. Hitler’s eugenic program was far more like “intelligent design” than evolution in that humans were trying to breed a better human based on the ancient principles of animal husbandry. Even the eugenicists who did invoke evolution did so because they thought natural evolution by the action of natural selection on random mutations was failing and needed guidance. Intelligent design, indeed! Moreover, just because science has been on occasion been used as a justification for ill or because some eugenicists thought they were “helping evolution along” doesn’t invalidate the science. One might as well invalidate Einstein because his work was part of the basis for designing nuclear weapons.

Orac was curious, however. What was this movie? What was this Expelled!? And why was this Ben Stein wearing such ridiculous shorts and carrying a bullhorn? It was not hard for him to locate a trailer and a rough cut of the movie. He decided to play the trailer:

There was a seemingly interminable pause. “This is worse than I thought,” said Orac. “It hurt my logic circuits just to view it.”

“What do you mean?” asked Abbie.

“Look at that trailer. It doesn’t take long before it shows images of the monster when he was still human and the ruler of Nazi Germany. It also clearly shows Ben Stein visiting the Dachau concentration camp. That 1933-1945 plaque is at Dachau. It also looks as though they visited Auschwitz, as they showed pictures of the reproductions of the Krema there, and, although I am not completely certain of this, the railroad tracks he walked along look like the ones that led to Auschwitz. Not only is this film claiming that Darwin led to Hitler, but it’s comparing scientists defending the valid science of evolution to Nazis ready to throw their ideological enemies into concentration camps or even death camps at the first sign of dissent! Truly, this takes the overblown ‘evolution = Hitler/Nazi’ analogy to heights never before seen.”

“It’s even worse than that.”

“What?” asked Orac. “Who said that?”

“I did,” said Bad. “It’s worse than that. Not only is he laying on the argumentum ad Nazium thick and heavy, but he’s even claiming that insights from ID have helped cancer research. With all the hyperbole and Stein visiting Dachau, if we see an emotional Ben Stein standing in the ruins of a concentration camp blaming Darwin for slaughtering the Jews I won’t be the least bit surprised.”

“It would be a logical next step,” agreed Orac, “if these stupid humans wanted to stir up as much emotion as possible. I will have to see the complete movie, as much as it will hurt my circuits to look at such concentrated illogic, antiscience, and lies. In the meantime, I must begin the hunt again with your help. I have been inactive far too long, and the monster has become stronger than ever. If we do not stop him, soon the entire nation will believe that Darwin was directly responsible for Hitler, and then no one will be safe from his bite.”

“Most of the nation already does seem to believe that,” muttered Abbie.

“Shut up, he’s on a roll,” countered Afarensis.

“Let’s cap this bastard,” added Bad.

“But where and how?” asked Abbie.

Orac raised his voice, “Seek the monster at the premier of the movie. He will be there, ready to eat the brains of those receptive to the movie’s message, who will then in turn start comparing evolutionists to Hitler. I give you these Darwin fish symbols as talismans; they will protect you for a brief time against the power of the monster, much as a crucifix was believed to protect one against a vampire. They should give you enough time to allow you a chance to plunge a specially designed weapon home.”

As if by magic, golden Darwin fish necklaces appeared around their necks.

“What’s the weapon?” asked Bad.

“You will learn in time,” replied Orac. “In time.”

TO BE CONTINUED…UNFORTUNATELY. (This monster just won’t die–rather like this series.)

**Translated from the German, of course.

ADDENDUM: Yes, after more than a year’s dearth of new material, the Hitler Zombie is back! Love him or hate him (and those do seem to be the only two reactions I get), he’s finally returned. If anyone out there has mad Photoshop skills and wants to send me some photos of Ben Stein getting his brain eaten or of just the Hitler Zombie, I’ll collect them and post them sometime in the next week or two.

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]

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