Exposing PseudoAstronomy

October 4, 2010

Comic Strip “Get Fuzzy” Tackles Pseudoscience with the “Big Bonk” Theory


Introduction

I listen to a lot of Coast to Coast AM. I know that a good fraction of the guests are quite literally certifiable, but it’s a good distraction from the mundane work day and, well, it can get addicting.

One of the hallmarks of the show, and something that its originator Art Bell would frequently say, is that that they will put ANYONE on to talk about ANYTHING (so long as it’s civil, etc.). This means that you get a lot of crazies. Same with folks who call in (despite the screeners). People who advocate pretty much anything and everything that the “mainstream” does not advocate. And a frequent refrain is that their “theory” is just as good as the mainstream one.

The Parody

Note: All images posted here can be opened in a new window and will be roughly double the posted size for easier reading.

Early in my college career I was introduced to the comic strip Get Fuzzy drawn by Darby Conley, one of the only things to which I’m thankful for my roommate. But that’s a different story. Anyway, the premise behind the strip is a single guy, Rob, living in an apartment with an anthropomorphized talking cat and dog. The cat, Bucky, is fairly insane while the dog, Satchel, is fairly dopy. I think the height of the strip was a few weeks where the cat was suing the ferret next door for knocking out his tooth … on Judge Judy.

Anyway, starting September 20 and going through October 2, barring the Sundays, the artist ran a story where Bucky decides to challenge, in a very Coast to Coast AM -like way, the idea that an asteroid killed the dinosaurs. The September 21, 2010 strip follows:

September 21, 2010, Get Fuzzy Strip

September 21, 2010, Get Fuzzy Strip

Well, when put like that, the scientific consensus seems laughable. But that’s because you have left out a significant amount of information. But it gets better. In the strip from September 24, 2010, the final line from Satchel is actually one that the Coast to Coast AM host, George Noory, has stated many times to someone’s crazy idea:

September 24, 2010, Get Fuzzy Strip

September 24, 2010, Get Fuzzy Strip

Continuing:

September 27, 2010, Get Fuzzy Strip

September 27, 2010, Get Fuzzy Strip

September 29, 2010, Get Fuzzy Strip

September 29, 2010, Get Fuzzy Strip

September 30, 2010, Get Fuzzy Strip

September 30, 2010, Get Fuzzy Strip

October 2, 2010, Get Fuzzy Strip

October 2, 2010, Get Fuzzy Strip

The Moral of the Story: Final Thoughts

Why am I taking the little free time I have these days to make a post about a comic that has little to do with astronomy? Because it has everything to do with how people think. And it has everything to do with how that maybe 1% of the population is willing to elevate any hair-brained notion to the same status as a scientific theory that has theoretical and observational backing and has withstood all attempts at falsifying it. And I do mean all.

This series may be a comic strip, but people really do this kind of thing, and worse, there are people who unquestioningly believe the one lone nut who promotes it!

The next time you read about or hear about or see about someone’s “theory,” pause and think. Don’t just accept it at face value. Is there evidence behind it? Are they giving you all the background information? Are they making things up, or are they “on the level?” In the end, is it something that’s worth your time to investigate further and seek out independent information, or is it just another “Big Bonk?”

Legal note: All images shown here are housed on the original server and I did not download them. All are copy written by Darby Conley and distributed by UFS, Inc. and posted online at comics.com. For brevity, I have not posted all strips in the series but picked the most relevant.

3 Comments »

  1. I have mentioned another “Big Bonk” version where we can connect the extinction of dinosaurs and the Maya. Of course, it all has to do with 2012: 2012: Prophet of nonsense #6: “Apocalypse porn” – Chicxulub and the return of the plumed serpent

    Any news on Nazon?

    Comment by Johan Normark — October 4, 2010 @ 11:11 pm | Reply

    • Cute post. Nope, no news on Nazon. After she threatened the both of us, I haven’t heard a peep. Didn’t really expect to, but it would have been interesting if she had attempted to pursue anything against either of us. Also, after that “tip” on your blog about the NY Times doing an expose on her, I’ve periodically searched their site and found nothing. So I’m not sure if that was actually true.

      In other news, I’ll be on a radio show in a month that advocates similar metaphysics stuff related to, well, everything, though I’ll be talking about 2012 stuff. It’ll be a learning experience, I think.

      Comment by Stuart Robbins — October 4, 2010 @ 11:17 pm | Reply

  2. This got me on two levels, one that I had to zoom in twice to read the cartoons, which reminds me that I just turned 43, which bums me out. Uh..I mean, 40 is the new 20! – just with bifocals…

    Second that my dad is an Art Bell fan and throughout my life he has tried to engage me in belief in astrology, aliens, alien abduction, the magic bullet, psychic phenomena, out of body experience, Bigfoot, Rosecrucianism, Vince Foster’s “murder”, the Illuminati, various Freemason conspiracies, libertarianism, “9/11 truth” and lately Christianity but won’t believe Clinton left office with a budget surplus, no matter what evidence is presented to him. I guess I’m glad he instilled in me the idea to question everything…just wish I could dismiss his crazy talk as easily as one could dismiss their delusional cat.

    Comment by Amber K — October 21, 2010 @ 6:52 pm | Reply


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