Evolution: The Theme Of This Year’s Burning Man Festival

Those who call themselves “free thinkers” who are very much skeptical of all religions except for the metaphysical premise of evolution and pagan festivals. About 50,000 people attended the costume, war painting, drinking with sexual activity event  known as “Burning Man Festival” which is a pagan practice. Nature gave this totally depraved event some favorable press…

“Fittingly for the 2009 iteration of this social experiment, this year’s theme was ‘Evolution’.  In the 23 years that Burning Man has been replicating, certain behaviours have been selected for by the inhabitants: radical inclusion and tolerance, self-reliance coupled with extreme altruism, a gift economy and a leave-no-trace environmental ethic.  Add intense creativity, conscious participation, ingenuity and a propensity for hedonism, and the outcome is an unparalleled celebration of the human spirit.”

What does this really have to do with the evolution hypothesis? They make a lame attempt to justify how this is connected…

“This year, the 12-metre human shape hovered over a thorny forest – a tangled bank – atop a giant double helix.  The DNA molecule provided a powerful artistic meme, representing both life’s capacity to evolve through genetics, and perhaps something that needs to be overcome through non-genetic evolutionary paths.”

“Viewed from a different angle, the man seemed to float above a field of sea lilies, placing this celebration of human consciousness in an ancient evolutionary context. The most striking image at this year’s Burning Man, expressed in various ways across the city, was the famous “ascent of man” progression from great ape through to modern human, with the Burning Man icon representing the next step.”

Creationists and Intelligent design proponents use the DNA code and information as a profound symbol from their point of view but how does a shocking image such as a burning human become connected with evolution? Here is their crazy and non-scientific explanation…

“We created a zone at Burning Man that explored atavisms – reappearances of past events in new contexts – in human social evolution.  At our Atavism Camp we created ‘The Spandrel’, a shade structure built with materials salvaged from the ‘boneyard’ at the University of Washington’s Friday Harbor Marine Lab: leftover materials from past experiments, now reborn for a new purpose.  At a symposium entitled ‘Evolution and Society’, we asked how society has interpreted evolution and whether, despite its shadowy past, its principles can guide us to a much-needed behavioural shift towards sustainability.”

How can an unguided and non-thinking process lead to not only purpose but guidance as well? If they are viewing mankind similar to that of bacteria in hot springs then why not burn, baby, burn. This concept is pagan, science has nothing to do with an orgy party based on paganism.


26 thoughts on “Evolution: The Theme Of This Year’s Burning Man Festival

  1. Michael: “If they are viewing mankind similar to that of bacteria in hot springs then why not burn, baby, burn.”

    And yet—

    Nature: “In the 23 years that Burning Man has been replicating, certain behaviours have been selected for by the inhabitants: radical inclusion and tolerance, self-reliance coupled with extreme altruism, a gift economy and a leave-no-trace environmental ethic.”

    We can certainly rejoice that creationism would never approve of such goals. Can’t we?

    Michael: “What does this really have to do with the evolution hypothesis?”

    Nothing. For once, Michael has got something right. Why was the event reported in Nature? Well, it did provide a hearty laugh.

    ==Soc Puppette

  2. It may have a lot to do with evolution. Myths and fairytales dressed up as a social movement built on hedonism … that does sound a lot like it. Good post.

  3. Gaaahhh! Snow! This cannot be happening. It’s still almost Septober. The River Queen is still tied up in Red Wing for cruises to New Orleans before the shipping season closes. L’Etoile du Nord, the land of Nicollet, Hennepin, Larpenteur, and P.Z. Myers is not yet preparee for white stuff on the ground.

    We may comfort ourselves, however, in the words of Scripture. Does not Matthew 5:45 tell us that the snow falls on the just and the unjust alike? Jesus himself said, “Many are cold, but few are frozen” (Matthew 22:14), and “Suffer the little chilled ones to come unto me” (Mark 10:14).

    This keeps us going through the cold, dark winter. Until we can all hop on a plane for Maui!

  4. creationbydesign: “It may have a lot to do with evolution. Myths and fairytales dressed up as a social movement built on hedonism … that does sound a lot like it.”

    In the same sense that religion had a lot to do with Naziism. Hitler’s motto was “Gott mit uns” (God is with us), not “Darwin mit uns” or “Wissenschaft mit uns.” Martin Luther was a national hero to him. That would be the same Martin Luther who fumed, “I should have slaughtered the Jews when I had the chance.”

  5. For atheistic materialists, slaughtering of Jews shouldn’t provide any problem at all since its merely the function of physical laws acting on matter — and as Hitler understood, it’s a way to participate in the selection process.
    The attempt to push the argument back against religion doesn’t work because religions provides moral standards and guidelines in which actions can be measured against.
    It’s for that reason that Hiltler was excommunicated by the German bishops.
    There’s another new book out giving abundant detail on the Hitler-Darwin connection — so that truth is getting much wider attention now.

  6. creationbydesign,.maybe you can tell me why creationists continue to believe that they can falsify a scientific theory by impugning people who accept it or use it for dubious purposes.

    Saying that evolution is incorrect because a bunch of rowdies make it a centerpiece in a pagan festival is exactly the same as saying that E=mc^2 is wrong because people construct evil atomic weapons with it. Only the evidence makes or breaks a theory.

    Employing this type of theological argument against a scientific theory is feckless.. Remember that Martin Luther thought he had dusted up Copernicus’ heliocentric theory by quoting scripture to the contrary. Maazel tov. As Philip K. Dick, said, :””Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away.”

    If it eases your doubts about your faith, go ahead and besmirch evolution. But deep down, you know that whether evolution is correct or not is not up to you. What you besmirch is only the image, not the reality.

  7. Thanks, creationbydesign

    I was surprised Nature which is supposed to be a “science” journal giving favorable press to a pagan social party and claiming it’s connected with science…

  8. Socrates Puppette

    A symbol of a “burning man” is idol worship, it represents human sacrifice in the occult. The structure of a burning man does change, but it doesn’t gain any information, it looses information as the body becomes more and more damaged, this is hardly what you evolutionists would claim mutations are supposed to do. A symbol of a human being burning is nothing to laugh about which is why your in your second screen name…

  9. Olorin,

    Evolution is not a “theory” it’s an hypothesis. Science changes, what is considered now, may not be in the future. Francis Bacon who is known for establishing the scientific method of inquiry based on experimentation and inductive reasoning, rejected the Copernican theory. And Copernicus who’s theory you mentioned, he did not see any conflict with science and the Bible in which you are trying to imply. He served faithfully under Catholicism for 40 years.

    And another thing, you try to imply if the person is a religious figure comes down against a new theory, he somehow against science where as when secular scientists disagrees with theories and even if they are wrong, they are still not against science because they embrace evolution. Your implication is not based on any factual data but in what a person believes. Science and Christianity are not opposed to each other, but Christianity and evolution are opposed to each other.

    Changes in science have not helped evolution at all. In fact it has just made it more complex on a metaphysical premise.

  10. Falsifications of various claims of evolutionary theory (they appear frequently in scientific journals) is a scientific exercise. Showing the insanity and ignorance of those who embrace evolutionary theory and simply follow its logical implications is done with stories like this and with the growing literature indicating the Darwin-Hitler connection and Darwin’s eugenic and anti-religious ideas.

    “‘Social Darwinism’ is often taken to be something extraneous, an ugly concretion added to the pure Darwinian corpus after the event, tarnishing Darwin’s image. But his notebooks make plain that competition, free trade, imperialism, racial extermination, and sexual inequality were written into the equation from the start- ‘Darwinism’ was always intended to explain human society.” (Desmond, Adrian [Science historian, University College, London] & Moore, James [Science historian, The Open University, UK], “Darwin,” [1991], Penguin: London, 1992, reprint, pp.xix).

  11. We have a problem. In this year of of carnal celebrations of Darwinism, we are bombarded on every side by paeans to the pernicious doctrine of evolution. Fossils purporting to link fish and tetrapods. Sleight-of-hand reconstructions of supposedly 450 million year old proteins. And now Ardipithecus.Ramidus.

    I just finished watching the Discovery Channel special on Ardipithecus.. It was frightening. We ourselves can deny it, of course. We’ve had years off practice and charismatic leaders who remind us every Sunday of the charlatans who promulgate false evidence and twisted logic.

    But our children are in great danger. How can we shield them against the mountains of evidence that assault them daily? How can we protect them from the enthusiasm of these scientists for their work?

    The geologist didn’t merely claim that Ardi is 4.4 million years old, they demonstrated how they arrived at this number, the processes they employed in four different laboratories for analyzing the rocks surrounding the fossils. How can our sheltered children withstand the lure of these deluded practitioners?

    The paleontologists showed how they found the skeleton in locations predicted by other evolutionary and researchers. The photos of the researchers, kneeling in the sand, extricating tiny nbone fragments with porcupine quills to avoid destroying them. How can these scenes not arouse the curiosity of our children for forbidden knowledge?

    Artists taking years to draw a few images from pieces of bone, determining from decades of experience how to tell where muscles and tendons had been attached. Such skill, artistic ability, and patience cannot help but inflame prurient desires in our children.

    Because of her foot that is like no other fossil ever found, a grasping toe for climbing, yet a longitudinal arch for walking, programmers who otherwise spend their days developing software for orthopedic appliances waste their time winkling out possible gaits of this fraudulent fossil. Our children likely did not even know that such experts existed. How can we turn them away from wishing to know more, to advance knowledge—perhaps even to take up careers with the infidels?

    The danger is real and imminent. If our children are permitted to watch television series such as The Search for Ardi, if they view the skill and dedication of these people, many of them will become fired with a zeal that will destroy their faith.. Ignorance, the very foundation of our faith, will fall as scales from their eyes.

    We must act. I propose a rating system for science, like the admirable system already in place for sex and violence. Peer-reviewed scientific journals such as Science and Nature must be entirely out of bounds—an “SX” rating for hard-core explicit scientific evidence, and for television programs like Ardi that show people engaged in actual research, how they arrive at their results and test them. These would be restricted to properly vetted adults, if they cannot be banned altogether. The next rating, “SM,” would be affixed to popular magazines such as Scientific American, and to almost all programs on the Discovery Channel. (Probably the History Chancel also, as they sometimes display naked global-warming evidence.) Almost all biology textbooks must carry this rating. “SPG17″ may be safely viewed with parental guidance, or after a suitable indoctrination course in how to ward off scientific knowledge. Most news shows should carry this warning, because we never know when a new discovery will be made and reported.. In fact, almost all media will require one of these classifications, because knowledge about the world is springing up everywhere. (Bibles will probably be exempt, although some translations may be suspect.)

    Especially in this year of Darwin’s bicentennial, we can’t seem to suppress the frenzy over evolution, let alone all forms of scientific advances. Attempts to deny and distort science are overwhelming our resources. I have strained my own faith merely by watching Ardi. Others must be shielded.

    We must lobby the media at once to save our children from infection by science.

    ==Soc Puppette

  12. Huh. “awaiting moderation” Looks like I’m banned in Boston. Can’t say it’s a surprise.

    Too bad. I was looking forqward to taking on the army of one that Michael has assembled to take on evolution by calling it names.

    You can’t destroy my day, however. My youngest daughter has been offered a position as a staff doc at the Mayo Clinic. Will she accept it? There are other offers, too….

  13. (Michael, please delete previous comment – quotes missed above ):

    “We’ve had years off practice and charismatic leaders who remind us every Sunday of the charlatans who promulgate false evidence and twisted logic. ”

    Nothing like a little self-contradiction to make an argument more entertaining and witty.

    “I was looking forqward to taking on the army of one ”

    It’s an army of one giving you years off practice every Sunday?

  14. ad populum, ad verecundiam


    #4 (of 37) Arguments ad hominem may be valid in religion, but not in science.

    Ad hominem arguments may be positive or negative. In the positive sense, they are usually called arguments ad vericundiam, arguments from authority. We may believe that God himself handed down the commandment to keep the Shabbat. Ancient scholars decided that this entails not lighting a fire during this day of the week. More modern authorities may logically infer that interrupting an electrical circuit is forbidden, reasoning thusly: flipping a switch may create a spark. A spark is like a fire. A fire breaks the Shabbat. This argument depends ultimately upon respect for the authority of God, and is valid in the exercise of religion. Roman Catholics believe that the Pope is the Vicar of Christ, and his arguments are entitled to compliance for this reason.

    In science, the situation is different. We think Darwin was a great intellect, and that this intellect produced a pervasive theory. But he was wrong about many things. His concept of heritable traits was later disproven by Mendel. By the time of the final edition of On the Origin of Species, natural selection had so little apparent evidence that Darwin had almost abandoned it himself and become a Lamarckian. What then determines the weight accorded to a scientific theory, if not the authority of its founder or followers? The evidence. Ludwig Boltzmann toiled for thirty years to gather evidence for his atomic theory. Finally the dam broke when Einstein showed that an effect first discovered in the 1790s (Brownian motion) could be explained and predicted by Boltzmann’s theory, but not by its rival, continuum theory. Contra, Rene Blondlot had many people convinced of the reality of N-rays. But, when the provisional results vanished upon attempts at duplication, his theory tumbled into oblivion, even though Blondlot was a respected physicist.

    Evidence is the key to a scientific theory. Authority is immaterial

    Negative ad hominem arguments seek to invalidate an argument by showing that its proponents or consequenxces are not worthy of respect. David Koresh, the soi-disant prophet of the Branch Davidians, was an evil person for his polygamy and other acts. This may allow us to infer that Branch Davidian beliefs are unworthy. Jim Jones could charm the socks off an alligator. (I heard him speak once.) After the mass suicide (and murder of a Congressman) at Jonestown, people argued validly that the People’s Temple was forever tarred by the acts of its founder.

    Again, science begs to differ. Darwin himself could have had a heart black as the ace of spades. He could have (as is still occasionally claimed) renounced his theory on his deathbed. Eugenics movements and Nazis could have killed and sterilized millions in his name. Yet none of this has any bearing whatever on the theory of evolution by heritable variation and natural selection. The evidence is the sole arbiter of the theory. If the evidence stands the test, the theory is fortified. If not, the theory must be extended, modified, or replaced. Thus, the use of chemical bonding theory for the evil purpose of making Zyklon B and killing millions of innocent people with it does not falsify the laws of chemistry. I think you might just agree with that. Yet you persist in assaulting evolution with irrelevant arguments.

    The validity of a scientific theory stands or falls with physical evidence.

    The authority of the word of God does not establish creation of the world 6,000 years ago as a good theory, absent the weight of physical evidence. The darkest deeds of Darwinists cannot render evolution a bad theory in the face of physical evidence for it. A child may say a table is bad because it fell and smashed her doll, and adults laugh at her obvious error.

    Similar arguments by adults that evolution is bad—and therefore false—because of its founders, followers, or social consequences are merely pathetic.

  15. ‘The validity of a scientific theory stands or falls with physical evidence. ‘

    Sure, but one thing I know for a fact is that you have not personally tested the evidence. You haven’t done the lab tests or personally observed the evidence or the quality of the samples or any of the vast number of things needed to determine the validity of the evidence.
    Instead, you trust the word of various scientists.
    But you do this, even knowing that some scientists have lied, some have used fraudulent data and some have made exaggerated claims unsupported by evidence.
    The evidence doesn’t interpret itself. It relies on reports by scientists who could have whatever motivations to lie, cover-up or distort data.
    Now it will be said that “eventually” the truth will emerge.
    Sure — after generations believe the evolutionary lies, someone will discover that it was a fraud, and evolutionists will apologize or laugh about the “old research” and then go on to claim “trust us now because we have the truth now”. Then, a month later they “facts” are refuted again by another evolutionist who wants to make a name and some fortune for himself with some “brand new facts” that overthrow what was claimed as truth before.
    So, while you think it’s pathetic to evaluate the motives behind evolutionary claims (Darwin’s motives were clear and he manipulated the data to fit his ideas) — those of us who have been burned by the lies of evolutionary science will not simply go along with the pied-pipers in lab-coats. This bothers the evolutionary science world because they like to think of themselves as smarter and better than everyone else. But they’ve proven themselves to be manipulators of public opinion, and their “theory” is an absurd collection of contradictory speculations that is passed off on the public like it is sacred doctrine.

  16. CbD: “Sure, but one thing I know for a fact is that you have not personally tested the evidence. You haven’t done the lab tests or personally observed the evidence or the quality of the samples or any of the vast number of things needed to determine the validity of the evidence.
    Instead, you trust the word of various scientists.
    But you do this, even knowing that some scientists have lied, some have used fraudulent data and some have made exaggerated claims unsupported by evidence.
    The evidence doesn’t interpret itself. It relies on reports by scientists who could have whatever motivations to lie, cover-up or distort data.”

    I can tell, CbD, by your writing, by your thoughts, by your blind, unthinking faith, that you are one of us. Yes. There are accounts in our holy book, The Sacred Screed, which we take very literally You are the descendant of Frogs. The very first Book, Genetics 101, of the Screed tells us that some men originated as Frogs. Some of these men were exceptional. A few were princes.

    We know of the Frogmen, not only from the Book, but from the evidence. How else to explain the sudden increase in human population over the past few hundred years? There were not enough humans to overpopulate the world so thoroughly, yet the number of Frogs was legion. Frogs are links in themselves—born water breathers like primitive life, then metamorphosing to breathe the pure air of the higher animals.

    I can see it in your loose jowls and squinty eyes. You trace your lineage from Frogs.

    You may claim there is evidence that you were human all the way back. Yet you have not personally observed this. or tested the evidence of your descent from Adama. You have not done laboratory tests to determine that every one of your genes is unquestionably human, with no Frog component. You have not observed the quality of the samples of your forebears, or in fact any of the vast number of things needed to prove the validity of your evidence that you are 100% human. Even the written records go back only so far, and are lost in the lilyponds of time. Instead, you trust the word of your parents and their parents, who have been known to lie to you about Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, and many other important matters. Other relatives have used fraudulent data. Some have made exaggerated claims unsupported by evidence—for instance, that you were a cute baby and a wonderful clarinet player, when in fact you were an ankle-biter with a tin ear. You see, this evidence does not interpret itself. It was filtered through the minds of parents, aunts, uncles, and babysitters of questionable backgrounds with ample motivation to bend the truth and in many cases break it entirely in the interest of deceiving you for their own scrofulous ends.

    THEREFORE, unless you can prove beyond all doubt an unbroken chain of entirely human ancestors for the past 700 years, you are one of us, the Frogmen. Nothing less is enough. You must prove that every one of your ancestors in every generation for 700 years were born of humans, not Frogs. We accept only actual observers. We should ask for at least 1,000 years, but times are tough.

    Frogness should not ba a cause for disappointment. Although the world reviles us and calls us tongue-flickers, many kingdoms got their start from cleverly concealed Frog princes. Moreover, the Sacral Screed reveals that the Frogmen will inherit the earth, after the unbelieving humans have destroyed it with their global warming. If you send me your e-mail address, I shall vouchsafe unto you the secret symbol of Anura, our spiritual leader. In the meantime, ffllloop chuyips k schnrrgg—peace be upon you and upon your tadpoles.

    ==Croak Puppette

  17. I hear you, CbD. You claim that no one today observes Frogs becoming human—much less princes. You claim that you do observe humans reproducing, that you yourself know your own parents and grandparents, and even one or two great-grandparents.

    We of the Frog March do admit micro-ancestry. We too observe one generation begatting another generation. But only up to a point. Beyond two or three past generations, there are no direct observations. Experiments have failed to produce more than four generations within the lifetime of a single researcher.

    Thus we conclude that there is no such thing as macro-ancestry among humans.. So-called scientists who purport to have evidence of macro-ancestry are deluded or lying. Their flimsy evidence cannot overcome ours–which is that you simply cannot prove that all of your ancestors for 700 years were human, with not a single Frog among them.

    You must realize that 700 years is merely an experimental limit. If you could prove that much, we would demand more. Ultimately, no amount of evidence can overturn our steadfast faith in the words of the Screed. We see nothing that cannot be interpreted through Frogview. We hear nothing that cannot be said in Frogspeak. You cannot prove your claim with any evidence that is acceptable to me. Therefore, it’s Frogs all the way down.


  18. Ordinary Seaman Ralph Rackstraw: “Your arguments are unanswerable, Sir.

    Admiralty Lord Sir Charles Porter, KCB: Official pronouncements usually are.

    (W.H. Gilbert, HMS Pinafore)

  19. @Socrates Puppette

    Damn right ! You better be very, very afraid ! My theory of galaxy evolution is going to be so frightingly right, so completely solid in terms of evidence, solid theoretical reasoning, clear and testable predictions (which of course will turn out to be right), that you wish you were not born.

    My explanation for why galaxies stop forming stars will transform the life of billions, bring eternal food supplies to this planet, stop all wars, and make everybody very happy indeed !

    So, lock your children away to guard them against my explanations for the morphological change of cluster galaxies. Play safe, and lock youself up as well.

  20. @Eelco

    Pshaw. Galaxy evolution will not hold a Type Ia supernova to my theory of progressive Design. The details are still being worked out. The theme is that the Designer of the Universe is Himself evolving. This explains all the extinctions very neatly. Mistakes along the way. It explains the simplicity of ancient life forms. Learning pieces.

    If it can be worked out successfully, Progressive Design will do away with any need for evidence. If the Designer evolves, then the Design evolves. The evidence for my trheory will be exactly the same as the evidence for evolution. If no separate evidence is needed, then no research is required. A free ride!

    I could use some help with the cosmological aspects. When you’re not holed up all night in some chilly observatory in Chile. How about it?

    This will beat the socs off my MUltiple Designer Theory.


  21. creationbydesign,

    (Michael, please delete previous comment – quotes missed above ):

    Which comment of yours? Specifying a date would be helpful…Never mind, I seen it and by your request I removed it.

  22. Very informative post. Burning Man Festival in Nevada desert lasting for three weeks, its start from september. In festival you can enjoy mammoth wire-cased effigies, jazz coffee bars. Black Rock City is metamorphosed into the most sphinx-like cities in America. The camp site spans eight kilometres across and is organised in a horse-shoe shaped manner about the neon-veiled, close to twelve meters high Man effigy. For more details refer http://www.travelfront.com/the-burning-man-festival-not-just-a-nomenclature-part-i/

  23. Why would someone give justification for foolishness .It’s a meaningless festival of carnal idoloters. People like this will fall head over heals to worship Anti-christ when he appears. Burning Man is an ironic festival in that such people will see many burning men in hell fire;and that’s forever. One may be tempted to make a joke out of it ;but it is far too serious to do so. Please don’t partake in this festival. Turn to Jesus for forgiveness and he will give you a meaningful life, and not one of meaningless expression like Burning Man

  24. John W, You could not be more wrong if you tried. You can perfume it with all the words you want but it cannot hide the stench of this festival. You sound more occultic than evangelical. I have my doubts in light of your comments.

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