Glenn Beck’s anti-science rant: Evolution is “ridiculous — I haven’t seen a half-monkey, half-person yet.”

“Glenn Beck and a monkey”

TPM has a great post (and the above separated-at-birth photos) on Beck’s latest anti-science rant.  Evolution, as you know, was discredited by the Piltdown Man hoax, and “It’s like global warming.”  This clip from his radio show is evidence that perhaps he’s right, at least in his case — evolution is no longer operative, and we are regressing:

TPM quotes Beck:

“I don’t think we came from monkeys. I think that’s ridiculous. I haven’t seen a half-monkey, half-person yet.””If I get to the other side and God’s like, ‘You know what, yep, you were a monkey once,’ I’ll be shocked, but I’ll be cool with it,” he said.

“They have to make you care,” Beck continued. “They have to force it down your throat. When anybody has to force it — it’s a problem. You didn’t have to force that the world was round. Truth is truth.”

Et tu Christopher Columbus?

Remember, Beck is the guy who told William Shatner, “I think there are too many stupid people.”

38 Responses to Glenn Beck’s anti-science rant: Evolution is “ridiculous — I haven’t seen a half-monkey, half-person yet.”

  1. Lore says:

    ”If I get to the other side and God’s like, ‘You know what, yep, you were a monkey once,’ I’ll be shocked, but I’ll be cool with it,” he said.

    I’m suprised that Glenn Beck is so sure that he’s going to meet God?

  2. Peter M says:

    He says ‘I haven’t seen a half-monkey, half-person yet.”

    Go look in the mirror Glenn- surprise.

  3. Michael Tucker says:

    Sorry Joe but your caption is not clear enough. It just says “Glenn Beck and a monkey” but I can’t tell which is which.

    If Beck was any stupider he would need to get watered twice a week.

    [JR: I must point out that this was TPM’s caption.]

  4. Prokaryotes says:

    Why not make a ranking with all the top people from the denial industry and what they contribute to threaten the survival of the species. At some point in a not so far future these people will hide under rocks.

    And in general i would try to ignore trolls and focus on solution.

  5. Bruce says:

    Well, evolution is like global warming. Evolution has been shown to be happening, with some uncertainty on the details.

  6. Mike says:

    The man has never been to a museum of natural history. Maybe we should send him a ticket to go to one.

    Here are some poll numbers on evolution beliefs. It is shocking and sad.

  7. James says:

    @ Bruce

    Evolution is like global warming in that Beck understands neither but manages to influence far too many people about both.

  8. Mike Roddy says:

    Devo, the 70’s and 80’s band, was ahead of us on the notion of devolution:

    “The band devolved from a long line of brain-eating apes, some of whom settled around Akron, Ohio. Spuds yelled and threw things like beer bottles at them when they played until one day in 1977 the spuds cheered and threw fits because spudmen in the cities realized we’re all devo.

    “Booji Boy had been telling everyone this fact for years. They are suburban robots designed to entertain corporate life forms. Devo says opposites and rebellion are obsolete. The clues to it have to do with infantilism, things falling apart, things unwinding- Devo is the cleanup squad of the time, getting rid of the flabby, horrible, derivative rock and roll crap. The ‘Industrial Look’: the cleanup crew, the robots, the spuds following their genetic imperative.”

    Glen Beck deconstructed, in other words. It’s impossible to be as dumb as he appears to be. His role has been predetermined by evolution, and fit into robot entertainment by corporate operatives. The only difference between him and Devo is that he doesn’t know that what he’s doing is a joke.

  9. john atcheson says:

    Yes, Glenn, there certainly are too many stupid people. There certainly are.

    A lot of them seem to work for FOX. Many more seem to watch it.

  10. LP says:

    Has anybody seen the movie Idiocracy? The theory behind that plot was pretty valid – stupid, irresponsible people are much more likely to breed than the rest.

    There is a lot of circumstantial evidence for why devolution does in fact take over once you remove something from nature.

    Global warming deniers are a perfect example – they are particularly detached from nature, they are dumber than dirt, and they start to breed like rabbits once you combine the nest of the internet with the seed of oil-funded astroturf propaganda.

  11. llewelly says:


    This clip from his radio show is evidence that perhaps he’s right, at least in his case — evolution is no longer operative, and we are regressing:

    I know I’m ruining your joke, but it relies on the “great chain of being” fallacy. Evolution is not about progress.
    When the less-adapted members of a population fail to survive, the remainder is not necessarily smarter; in fact, humans and our near relatives are highly unusual in having a (highly irregular) trend toward larger brain sizes in our recent evolutionary history.
    It doesn’t matter whether it’s a snail, or a shark, a hominid or an E. coli, a fungus or a tree, all life forms on Earth have been evolving for the same amount of time, and there is no objective metric by which one is “more evolved” than another.

  12. catman306 says:

    Two things are immediately apparent from your photo comparison:

    Apes don’t wear glasses.

    Glenn Beck has a better razor and therefore a closer shave than the ape.

    Now do I get a free subscription to Science magazine?

    As for this global climate problem:

    Whip It!

  13. Brian says:

    He’s a dangerous fool, because I don’t believe for a second that he actually believes what he says.

  14. Theodore says:

    Widespread belief in a supernatural God may in itself be evidence of evolution. It is irrational and without supporting evidence, yet most people believe. This is because they are genetically predisposed to believe. It provides additional social contacts and a slight, but very real reproductive advantage. The evidence of this is that they continue to be a majority element of the population. If they did not have a reproductive advantage, they would be a small minority. We continue to evolve toward this predisposition, which is embodied in the biochemical connection between ritual, self-delusion, spiritual traditions, social grouping and the pleasures that result from these practices. In short, religion is fun. Those who are wired to enjoy it have more babies.

    I think it was Bill Maher who once said “I love idiots. I just don’t think they should be in charge.”

  15. Mike says:

    I have a question. The lack of understanding of evolution and climate change seem related, but are they? Is there survey data that would show how much or how little the two groups of deniers overlap? Is it larger than one would expect from chance? College education is a good predictor of lack of belief in evolution, but not of climate change. Many AGW denier blogs seem to be pro-evolution when it comes up and some evangelical leaders are supporting action to stop dangerous climate change. Anyone know? Would knowing this help efforts to better inform the public about climate change, or evolution for that matter?

  16. llewelly says:

    October 20, 2010 at 6:21 pm:

    Two things are immediately apparent from your photo comparison:

    Apes don’t wear glasses.

    You’ve made two common mistakes. First, you assume humans are not apes. In reality, since humans are more closely related to chimpanzees than chimpanzees are to either gorillas or orangutans, any definition of ape which includes chimpanzees, gorillas, and orangutans necessarily includes humans. Humans – you, me, Jim Hansen, Stephen Hawking, and Glenn Beck, are all apes, so the individual on the left – the one wearing glasses – is an ape.
    Your second mistake to assume the individual on the right – the one without the glasses – is an ape. That’s wrong too; the individual on the right is a monkey, but not an ape (all apes, including humans, are monkeys, but not all monkeys are apes).

  17. Seems to me the creationists are the ones shoving things people people’s throats.

  18. Peter Bellin says:

    Denial of climate change and denial of evolution are linked in that both frames deny scientific thought and show no evidence of comprehension of the scientific method.

    I do not know what to say or think. How has it come to pass that this person is apparently respected by so many people in this nation?

  19. Theodore says:

    Reply to Mike #15:

    Evolutionary biology and other earth sciences are intimately intertwined. Geology, paleontology and climate history are all using the same evidence, and evolution is a common thread running through all of it. Climate history is the bulk of climate science, since it is an understanding of climate history that makes it possible to predict the future of climate.

    If you do not believe in evolution, it is difficult to imagine how you could accept, or even understand, the evidence for climate history. Politically, it may not be nice to intermingle the two discussions, but in reality they are so much the same discussion that separating them is nearly impossible.

  20. Anna Haynes says:

    IMO we’re seeing a push to rope evangelicals into the climate head-in-the-sand tribe. I’m not sure it’s wise to aid & abet this.

    (pattern – Glenn Beck, the “Green Dragon” meme/virus, the Lomborgian “let’s focus today not on climate, but on the poor and sick” (thus setting stage for future crop failures & famine)

  21. Jim Apollonio says:

    If the deniers were squirrels, it would be pretty amusing watching them ridicule and sneer at the squirrels who were busy storing up nuts and making their preparations for what’s coming…

  22. Jim Groom says:

    Glenn Beck is living proof that you can’t fix stupid. Ignorance is entirely another thing. Perhaps Beck does not believe the crap coming from his mouth considering that he gets paid very well to appear a buffon. But stupid certainly applies to those poor souls who hang on his every word. This country is in for a hell-of-a-ride after the latest group of knownothings get into office.

  23. riverat says:

    Regarding overlap between evolution and climate change deniers I suspect most anti-evolutionists also deny climate change. But I think there’s a large contingent of climate change deniers of the objectivist/libertarian persuasion who accept evolution so it’s not a total overlap.

  24. SecularAnimist says:

    Glenn Beck himself is half-human.

    And half corporation.

  25. A Monkey says:

    Me and my friends are very much offended by the pictures at the top comparing Glenn Beck to a monkey!

  26. Keith says:

    Beck is simply a “step-and-fetch-it” for his corporate overlords.

  27. catman306 says:

    Another devolution proponent:

    GOP’s Broun adds to his list of unconstitutional programs

  28. Kaj Luukko says:

    “You didn’t have to force that the world was round. Truth is truth.”

    But they put Galileo under house arrest. What’s the difference?

  29. Lewis W. says:

    Given how much poo Mr. Beck slings he seems accomplished at aping the behavior of monkeys.

  30. mark says:

    If you doubt Glenn Beck, “then how is it possible that there are PYGMIES + DWARFS?”

  31. darth says:

    The denier sub-groups intersect but do not perfectly overlap. For instance, David H Koch is a big climate denier but has funded “Nova” on PBS for years which does many episodes about evolution. (Not too many on climate though, hmm).

  32. Chris Winter says:

    Odd. In that picture of Glenn Beck, his chin looks like a bulls-eye target. ;-)

  33. Chris Winter says:

    Fundamental religious believers aside, the great difference between evolution and climate change is that the former in non-threatening, while the latter permits the belief that humans are the crown of creation.

    BTW: Many here will remember the Jefferson Airplane song “Crown of Creation.” Grace Slick took the words for that from John Wyndham’s Re-birth, a post-apocalyptic novel of a world that in some ways resembles what the world of 2100 may become if nothing is done.

  34. Chris Winter says:

    I edited that last and put in a mistake. It should read “…is that the former is non threatening. It permits the belief that humans are the crown of creation.”

    ADAP ==> Always do a preview.

  35. John McCormick says:

    RE # 26

    Kaj, you said “You didn’t have to force that the world was round. Truth is truth.”

    Truth is not easily accepted if it does not fit your mind frame on the question at hand. If someone with no education to speak of lives his whole life in the middle of Kansas, he could be convinced the world is flat when he looks out the kitchen window.

    Born-agains, evangelicals, rabid religeous types can easily be persuaded of a “truth” being a “truth” because their frame of reference is so narrowly formed by the teachings they have bought into entirely….creationism being a ripe example.

    Some of them believe so strongly in the ‘rapture’ that they live their lives knowing all they have will be consumed in a ball of fire as they rise to the heavens…that is their ‘truth is truth’.

    Beck plays this out for them every day and they grow stronger in their denial of common sense or original thought. Those people are beyond reach to us but sheep for rulers.

    John McCormick

  36. Berbalang says:

    I have a hypothesis about how stupidity could be selected for. Basically stupid people will tend do things that result in their death and the deaths of those around them. Intelligent people will do things to avoid their death and the deaths of those around them. The result is that intelligent people will try and keep stupid people from killing themselves and stupid people will accidently kill intelligent people.

    Of course once the stupidity reaches a certain level stupid people will accidently do lethal things that cause other stupid people to accidently do lethal things in a chain reaction I think of as Critical Mess.

  37. peter whitehead says:

    Someone should ask him if he can please take on the evil ’roundists’ who fail to see the obvious flatness of the earth.

    These Mad Hatters would get on really well with the Taliban and other Wahabi Muslims, who also don’t accept evolution and who stick resolutely to a non-Copernican sky.

  38. cait says:

    I’m with Brian, who left a comment some way up now.

    if you look at footage of him before he worked at fox, he can even – please forgive me – come over as being quite reasonable sometimes. I think somewhere along the line he managed to burn out the part of his conscience that wouldn’t let him lie for money.

    If he is lying, and in fact he’s laughing at all the idiots he’s deceiving, what does he want to achieve with all this dangerous garbage. Prove some point or other?