Shock Discovery by Dawkins, Pinker: It's All Socially Constructed

Written by TM_Dealer

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

A group of prominent evolutionary scientists, once previously fiercely opposed to the po-mo pretensions of well-tenured intellectuals, have now been suitably chastened by a recent scandalous discovery.

Yes… time, gravity and even cheesy Doritos are actually social constructed™ after all.

Kein Scheisse Scherlock, it's the Absolute Truth! Genial and witty project leader Professor Richard Dawkins says:

"I mean this is science, you go wherever the evidence takes you™. It's really quite embarrassing; but now, at least, it all makes perfect sense.

"Well, here are some of our findings. Apparently if you watch a kettle, it seems to take ten minutes; but if you don't, it only takes about two minutes. So clearly, time is not a given fact.

"Again, as for gravity, if you watch Superman films or, say, the combat scenes in "Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon," it turns out that far from being a brute fact, our understanding of gravity is also entirely observer-dependent™…

"Well, perhaps there are some evolutionary implications™."

Stylish and charismatic project colleague Steven Pinker agrees:

"Personally, I always thought postmodernism was just a heap of 60s zero-fat, low-sugar, gluten-free granola™; well, I was wrong. The evidence is compelling…

"And to build upon what Richard has said, our last hope (after time and gravity) was Cheesy Doritos.

"Well, yeah! These things have always been a mystery to me. But at least there was one thing, we hoped, that would not turn out to be purely a discursive epiphenomenon of incommensurable Wittgensteinian language games™.

"But it wasn't to be. Yes, it really wasn't. We were wrong all along! I mean, I asked Richard: "What kind of cheese do you think these Doritos are?"

"Evidently cheddar," said Richard; "evidently."

"Really? You sure? I think it's just possible there may be a little whiff of Monterey Jack about them."

"Oh, dear God™!" said Richard. "We're going to have to conduct a proper empirical survey!"

"Well, we picked up our pens and clipboards, consulted a random sample of junk food lovers in five different US cities. It was kind of difficult to find many junk food lovers, but we managed somehow.

"Yeah, we eventually had to hang out together in the bathrooms of KFC, Pizza Hut, McDonalds, hoping that no-one would think we had bad intentions or wanted to take their second virginity…

"Actually, arguably, maybe the latter would also count, strictly speaking, as a bad intention? Kind of tautologous… semantics is a fascinating intellectual discipline actually, you should try it some time.

"Anyhoo… Richard said I needed to get my hair styled a bit differently, otherwise we might get into trouble, but I reminded him we were there purely for the purposes of scientific research.

"I mean, sure, people thought it was a bit odd, but they couldn't exactly say no to our giving them exactly what they desired, craved and longed for more than anything else in the world… a few Cheesy Doritos, right?

"Yep, no-one threatened to call the police once we'd whipped out and shown them… our massive… our massive bags…

"Sorry, it's a bit hot in here, let me take my jacket off. And… my hat, yeah. And of course. And finally, of course, my… yeah, I can see people better without them sometimes… and actually these… may I?

"Well, maybe not, actually…. Just loosen this a bit, it's a bit tight, it's constraining me… yeah, it's because my feet are a bit itchy, it's so hot in here. These shoes aren't so comfy, sometimes.

"Yes, we showed them... our massive bags of Doritos. So we'd finally found a huge, diverse, merry and vocal gang of very happy respondents and allies, who were passionate about aiding us in a very vigorous and assertive manner.

"Yeah… I mean, to the point where Richard and I almost had to fight over who was dealing with whom.

"And guess what? We got the names of over 200 cheeses, and a much larger number of combinations of these. I'm afraid that our last hope was gone…

"That's right. Everything is socially constructed, nothing is a brute fact, not even gravity, time or… least of all… Cheesy Doritos.

"So… that's that, then. I'm currently planning my next career move; I'm gonna brush up on my Jacques Lacan, Roland Barthes, Rosa Braidotti and Harriet Harman."

I ask a musing, anxious and slightly twitchy Pinker (must be the stress of his anticipated career change):

"But what will your students and former colleagues think?"

The new star of postmodern fashionable nonsense shrugs.

"Never mind the haters; as I used to say back in my more positivistic years, you just follow the truth wherever it leads."

However, the Signifying Muladhara Bishop of Post-Derridean Nomadic Deconstruction and mixed Quasi-Gadamerian hermeneutical methodology(ies)™ at the University of Nietzschesville, California, is unimpressed, as the following words make clear(ish):

"They're nowhere near getting it "right." You see, all this nonsense about "evidence," so-called..

"I mean, the fact that they use that word shows they are still enslaved to a Platonic/Cartesian/Occidental/Athenian/White-Anglo-Saxon-Protestant/Heterosexual/Cisgender/Phallocentric evidence-based problematic…

"That's got nothing to with "doing theory." I mean, hell, no! The intellectual elites and publicly-intellectual preservers of the Public Interest and the Greater Good will not be fooled.

"Got it? Anyway, it's too little, too late.

"I mean, as communicative agents of the arbitrarily constructed, hegemonically articulated discourse of bourgeois science go; well, on a sliding scale, Stephen Jay Gould was always better at this stuff than Dawker/Pinkins (sic)."

(Oof! ™ massacre!:( )"

However, Dawkins and Pinker are unimpressed at these comments:

"Stephen Jay Gould? Why, that charlatan! What utter nonsense!"

"Uh-uh. No way. Listen, if our change of heart, I mean if Richard and I, we are being compared to Stephen Jay Gould, then we're all in trouble. No way. We might as well just give up now."

They shouldn't be despondent. Don't worry, both of you… if you fail, there's always some money to be gained at McDonalds!

That is, preferably behind the counter, serving customers…. with hamburgers… but hopefully not socially constructed ones. Because people in my town like good, solid, substantial junk food; not cotton-candy dreamin'.

The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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