Rudy Park by Darrin Bell and Theron Heir

Rudy Park

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  1. William Bednar

    William Bednar GoComics PRO Member said, almost 4 years ago

    Trust Sadie to give us all a heavy dose of reality!

  2. pschearer

    pschearer GoComics PRO Member said, almost 4 years ago

    I’m distrustful of the collision hypothesis. It reeks of the silly theories of Velikovsky who tried to explain the miraculous events of the Old Testament in terms of a series of encounters between earth and a runaway planet that eventually became Venus. And so far I’ve not seen the advocates of the collision hypothesis even try to explain where such a planet came from or where it went. Too pat, too ad hoc, too little evidence, though I am open to any good explanation of why the moon is so disproportionately large.

  3. Lynne B

    Lynne B GoComics PRO Member said, almost 4 years ago


    I hate this stupid cop-out.

    The earth is more than a ball of dead rock. It’s a system of interlocking living ecosystems, which even affect the rocks themselves! Yes, it has passed through major extinctions in the past – as a result of supervolcanoes, asteroids, uncontrolled runaway climate change…and on each recovery, (a) it has taken tens of millions of years to regain full ecosystem recovery, and (b) the species which are gone, are gone forever. They no longer exist in all the universe.

    What this whole “don’t worry about it, the earth will survive!” crap implies, is:

    1. That mass extinctions don’t mean anything to the planet. (This is false. Mass extinctions are killing off massive parts of the planet, because the planet is all the life which lives here, not just gabbro over a spinning iron core; and mass extinctions leave scars even in layers of stone laid down over millions of years.)

    2. That mass extinctions are just “normal” and have no overall meaning. (The species caught up in them I doubt would agree with this!)

    3. That a mass extinction caused by human activity is not qualitatively different from a mass extinction caused by blind physics. (Hint: asteroids and supervolcanoes have no conscious awareness, much less awareness of consequence, and certainly have no ability to change the course of their own actions. The same does not hold true of a conscious and aware and supposedly intelligent species. Whether or not you choose to accept that responsibility, makes no difference to the fact that the responsibility exists.)

    and finally

    4. That the long-term existence of a ball of rock is the only major concern anyway. Which is stupid, because humans have human quality of life to be concerned with, as it has a very real and immediate effect on us.

    If you want to blow it all off as “the earth will survive!”, well, f***, no it won’t. The sun will eventually go nova and it will be gone. Eventually the entire universe will die a thin, whimpering heat death. If you want to blow off responsibility for your actions on the basis of a long-term nebulous whatever that doesn’t affect anyone or anything now, then you might as well go whole hog.

    The sad fact is, it’s just another version of “I don’t want to have to take responsibility.”

    It’s an “I don’t care if I’m responsible or not, I don’t care if my actions are having an effect or not, I don’t care if my actions are damaging, I don’t want to have to change how I do anything, and I will just find this pseudo-philosophical bs to make myself sound all intellectual and noble and forward-thinking and stuff, so I can be superior-sounding about the fact I can’t be arsked doing anything.”

    In its own way, it’s worse than outright denialism simply because it is so hypocritical. It’s still a stupid, shallow excuse not to actually think about anything or do anything, with extra added pseudo-intellectualism.

  4. Lynne B
  5. Lynne B

    Lynne B GoComics PRO Member said, almost 4 years ago

    You shouldn’t.

  6. amaryllis2

    amaryllis2 GoComics PRO Member said, almost 4 years ago

    So she’s mooning him?

  7. Lynne B

    Lynne B GoComics PRO Member said, almost 4 years ago


    A bit more background:

    The violent early solar system


    A different look at the violence


    Not the only large violent collision


    A look at analogous violence elsewhere


    There’s plenty of discovery yet to be done, but rvernon is right, you have to remember that we exist, now, in a mature solar system which has had billions of years to find stability. It didn’t have to start that way.

  8. Lynne B

    Lynne B GoComics PRO Member said, almost 4 years ago

    Keep reading.

    To the species we kill, it matters. If your point is that “we are not the be-all-end-all of earth”, then you are at least implicitly accepting that other aspects of the earth, including other species, have a value of their own. In which case, logically, their desire to survive ALSO has value of its own.

    Weirdly, by saying “it doesn’t matter to the earth”, you are also diminishing and belittling the loss of all the other species in a way which is primarily self-centered. I’m sure that we’re all glad that we have cheetahs and fennecs and parrots and ponies and what-have-you, but I’m pretty sure that triceratops and the spinosauridae were not all that thrilled at the transition. Basically, though, you are saying that killing them off is fine, because of the potential that something else will exist later. And that is a….well, a dubious ethical stance, really. Are you really going to argue that it’s ok that we’ve killed off the baiji, on the basis that there will probably be some other large water-dwelling predator there in ten or twenty million years’ time?

    And yes, I will point out again that previous mass extinctions have been the result of blind physical forces which could not be averted and which could not possibly have an awareness of consequence, whereas what human populations are doing to the planet is anything but.

  9. Lynne B

    Lynne B GoComics PRO Member said, almost 4 years ago

    (Incidentally, on the “if humanity destroys itself” thing – people keep saying that as if humanity would destroy itself while leaving all the other animals. That is not going to happen; it’s not what’s happening now.

    Humans are an ultimate generalist species. We can eat a huge variety of foods, we can tolerate a large range of temperatures, and we have colonised every continent and almost every ecosystem on earth — including, now, Antarctica. We have shifted much of our evolution to our technology now, too, which we can alter a great deal faster than any species can alter its genes — and our technology has enabled us to change the surface of the earth in stupendous ways, eliminating our predators, dedicating over 25% of the earth’s surface to growing almost exclusively only things that we want to eat, and heavily exploiting large areas beyond that. Even rats and cockroaches are only as successful as they are because they ride in on our coattails, and colonise habitats that we build.

    And because we can eat almost anything, tolerate almost any temperature, and in general act as clever (at least short term) and adaptable manipulators of the environment, before we check off the planet we will have eaten everything right down to the algae. Literally.)

  10. puddleglum1066

    puddleglum1066 said, almost 4 years ago

    @Lynne B: you raise some good points, but I do not fear for the planet, its life forms, or even our own particular branch on the tree of life (intelligent hominids). Having spent a career in the soft underbelly of this thing we call “technological civilization,” I am quite convinced that long before we have “eaten everything right down to the algae,” this entire house of cards (built on a foundation of finest sand) that is the life support system for our seven billion people will collapse. At that point, the majority of our species will die off, and those who survive will be those who can adapt and be self-sufficient on a small (family, band, maybe tribe) basis. And, with its population most likely well under a billion, intelligent life will get a chance to try again.

    Of course, that’s not the outcome I’d prefer—I’d rather prefer we get our collective act together, become good stewards of this planet and stop treating it as a combination ATM and garbage can, but if we don’t… well, it is, quite literally, not the end of the world.

  11. Lynne B

    Lynne B GoComics PRO Member said, almost 4 years ago


    Puddleglum, your prediction for the future is already wrong. We are actually in the 6th Great Extinction. Some argue that it will really only peak in the next century or two…but the chances of humanity being decimated before that point are parked between “almost nothing” and “not at all”, really.

  12. Lynne B

    Lynne B GoComics PRO Member said, almost 4 years ago

    I kind of think you’re missing my point though, about why “the earth will abide” isn’t even a comforting notion, and becomes such a vile platitude.

    I thought of a way to do a tl;dr summary of my point:

    The whole “the earth will abide” thing is an enormous cheat and an abominable notion because

    a) some of it will, but very large parts of it won’t; and

    b) it is usually used (especially by people like Sadie!) as an excuse to do absolutely nothing about the behavior which is killing things off in the present.

    And yes, I am largely dismissing the hypothetical life which may exist in the future, for pretty much the same reason as why you don’t tell someone whose baby has just died “don’t worry, you can make more.”

  13. markjoseph125

    markjoseph125 GoComics PRO Member said, almost 4 years ago


    See the articles that Lynne posted; she’s the smartest one posting here, so listening to her is a good idea. Besides, the scientists aren’t trying to shore up Velikovsky or Old Testament myths; they are trying to formulate a theory that explains all of the observable data; the collision hypothesis, so far, seems to do the best job of that. Of course, as new data comes in, the theory will either be strengthened or overthrown—that is the way science works.
    What is especially impressive about this discussion is that all the active participants seem to understand that the earth (and moon) are about 4.5 billion years old, an irrefutable conclusion of modern science. We greatly appreciate the creationists refraining from burbling.
    I’m mostly with Lynne in response to the cartoon; completely with her when people use past or future history to avoid doing anything about current ecological issues. The politicians are the worst, as they are only interested in being reelected, but as long as we keep voting in people who have no sense of the long-term, the fault is really our own.
    Steven J. Gould commented on this once; I’m quoting from memory, but it was something like “it doesn’t matter that in 10 million years nothing we do now will matter.”

  14. Lynne B

    Lynne B GoComics PRO Member said, almost 4 years ago

    Given Sadie’s past political history, I can’t really agree with you here, either. Mort is an environmentalist. Sadie has quite consistently been more Republican-right-wing. And has a long past history of dismissing Mort’s concerns.

    Everything exists in a context, and that’s this context. That, and the fact that yes, that is how I have consistently and over the long term seen this exact argument used, with only perhaps two exceptions.

  15. Steve

    Steve GoComics PRO Member said, over 2 years ago

    Why does it appear that Mort’s shoulders are shaking in the last panel? Is he weeping? Or afraid? Either way, it’s a nice touch! LOL

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