Yesterday, a reader wrote:
A couple of years ago you wrote a parody of an article about Luigi Garlaschelli. I am preparing a lecture on the Shroud and was thinking of using the fake article as a humorous handout. I have not been able to locate it. Do you have a copy that you can send to me.
Actually, it was five years ago. As I read it now I am embarrassed. It was kind of stupid (nah, maybe it was a bit funny). Here is the boring original news story from Reuters. In tracking it down I found this lead up link to it in PZ Myers’s Pharyngula, unquestionable the leading New Atheists blog out there. Here, below the line, is what I wrote (undoubtedly late at night sitting alone in some Jimmy Buffet Margarita Ville bar that I can’t remember. Feel free to use it. And there is no need to give me the credit.
ROME (Reuters) – An Italian scientist says he has reproduced a human being, a feat that he says proves definitively that humans, which Christians say are made in the image of God, are medieval fakes produced using materials and techniques that were available in the middle ages.
A scientifically-made mannequin, measuring 6 feet, 2 inches tall, looks eerily like Luigi Garlaschelli, the scientist himself.
"We have shown that is possible to reproduce something which has the same characteristics as a human being," Luigi Garlaschelli, who is due to illustrate the results at a conference on the para-normal this weekend in northern Italy, said on Monday.
A professor of organic chemistry at the University of Pavia, Garlaschelli made available to Reuters the paper he will deliver and the accompanying comparative photographs.
The mannequin resembles the back and front of a bearded man with long hair with his arms crossed on his chest. He has two hands, two feet and a single head with two eyes and two ears.
Since Darwin, evolutionary biologists have believed that humans evolved along with other animals and plants from a common ancestor. But scientists have thus far been at a loss to explain why some people smoke cherry flavored pipe tobacco since it offers no evolutionary advantage.
Garlaschelli, who received funding for his work by an Italian association of atheists and agnostics, expects people to contest his findings. “They didn’t believe me when I reproduced the Shroud of Turin, Quantum physics and the Egyptian pyramids, thus proving that they, too, were medieval creations. “
“It works for me,” said PZ Myers, pastor of the Morris, Minnesota Pharyngula Church of Fundamentalist Atheists. “I was getting tired of evolution, anyway. I believe everything I read in the newspapers so long as it doesn’t conflict with my beliefs. If humans are manmade, that’s fine. I still don’t need to believe in God.”
Garlaschelli said the funding for his work by his own organization of like-minded atheists had no effect on his results. "I always start with results," he said. “That way, I always arrive at the desired conclusion.”