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Borowitz writes: "Rep. Bachmann added that all the students who were forced to learn about black holes in college should now sue Dr. Hawking for a full refund."

Michelle Bachmann. (photo: AP)
Michelle Bachmann. (photo: AP)

Stephen Hawking's Blunder on Black Holes Shows Danger of Listening to Scientists, Says Bachmann

By Andy Borowitz, The New Yorker

27 January 14


The article below is satire. Andy Borowitz is an American comedian and New York Times-bestselling author who satirizes the news for his column, "The Borowitz Report."

r. Stephen Hawking’s recent statement that the black holes he famously described do not actually exist underscores “the danger inherent in listening to scientists,” Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minnesota) said today.

Rep. Bachmann unleashed a blistering attack on Dr. Hawking, who earlier referred to his mistake on black holes as his “biggest blunder.”

“Actually, Dr. Hawking, our biggest blunder as a society was ever listening to people like you,” said Rep. Bachmann. “If black holes don’t exist, then other things you scientists have been trying to foist on us probably don’t either, like climate change and evolution.”

Rep. Bachmann added that all the students who were forced to learn about black holes in college should now sue Dr. Hawking for a full refund. “Fortunately for me, I did not take any science classes in college,” she said.

Bachmann’s anti-Hawking comments seemed to be gaining traction on Capitol Hill, as seen from the statement by Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), Chairman of the House Science Committee, who said, “Going forward, members of the House Science Committee will do our best to avoid listening to scientists.” your social media marketing partner


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+108 # Billy Bob 2014-01-27 14:39
I think Borowitz's purpose seems to be stifling the right-wing by actually stating what they're really thinking before they get around to it, and then calling it "satire".

Bachmann was one microphone, or one photo-op from actually saying the words Borowitz put in her mouth. Now, if she were to actually follow through on her true feelings, and do just that, she'd even further humiliate herself and her cause.

Borowitz or The Onion should do a piece about the nation's right-wingers up in arms over not being able to say crazy shit before left-wing satirists preemptively make fun of them for doing it.
+52 # Eldon J. Bloedorn 2014-01-28 00:52
To: Billy Bob,
We, I, love Andy Borowitz's humor, satire. Tho, he got snagged by himself. Hawkings did not say there exist no black holes. They most definitely do exist. What Hawkings said is that a characteristic of black holes we have been taught to understand is in error. Hawkings is now saying that there is "maybe" no event horizon. The event horizon we have been taught is a characteristic of a black hole which robs that which it pulls into itself of information, loses its identity. All Hawkings is now saying, "you know, I think I was wrong. That which is pulled into a black hole cannot lose its information." I felt sad that Andy did not make this point clear. He could have said "yes, we have black holes, but we now know more about them and what you knew was replaced by new information." I love physics. I know Andy's post is supposed to be humorous. I hope guys like me don't reduce the intended humor.
Incidentally, Bill Maher once said, "Obama need not show his birth certificate until Palin (and Bachmann) show their high school diploma."
+31 # Sandy 2014-01-28 05:46
Thanks for setting the record straight on what Hawkings actually said about black holes, saved me from looking it up - I was worried for a minute.
+12 # Eldon J. Bloedorn 2014-01-28 10:03
My sister's husband does rocket engine research, fluid dynamics applications for an aerospace co. We have a great time talking about "God." He believes physics has a "God unto itself" that is not really understood except by a few people. Here is a comment made by him, some, and board members may not like:"you do not want to know your real God." Anyway, I'm glad we are able to realize that yep, black holes do exist and just because we now know more about them than we did before, doesn't change the elemental nature of a black hole.
+8 # Cailleach 2014-01-28 16:14
I have come to believe that God is the energy of the Universe. Everything is made of energy, so God is everything.

Oh yes, the word universe derives from an older word: yoni. Tell that to the women-hating GOP!
+7 # Eldon J. Bloedorn 2014-01-28 21:25
Try this as an interesting observation.
E=m x the speed of light squared. If that is what energy is, then what is matter? M = E divided by the speed of light squared. If you play around with that simple formula (which is actually very complex to understand), you will discover that matter is just slowed down energy.

I have an opinion of "what " and maybe "who" God is, but I keep it to myself. Why? Ben Franklin: "if you wish to have a calm normal discourse with people, do not tell all you know." But then, do I really know? You have a good point. Each has their own understanding of what or who God is. .
+1 # tgarcia39 2014-02-03 17:26
E=mc2 does not define energy. It simply shows the "energy/matter" relationship.
Matter is not "just" slowed-down energy, matter is comprised of mass and energy. Without either, no object can be matter. Your points are good ideas, though.
+4 # seeuingoa 2014-01-29 05:18
Quoting Cailleach:
I have come to believe that God is the energy of the Universe. Everything is made of energy, so God is everything.

Oh yes, the word universe derives from an older word: yoni. Tell that to the women-hating GOP!

Abigail: google the Dutch Philosopher
Spinoza and his Panteism.

"God is a feeling and you may call this
feeling whatever you want, you may even
call it God."
Spinoza in Europe during the Inquisition.
+21 # Billy Bob 2014-01-28 08:29
That's kind of the point, Eldon. People like Bachmann don't respond to actual words or thoughts. They respond to heresay. They respond to what they HEARD someone say, that someone else said. We read their comments on RSN threads all the time (MidwesTom, for example?)

They don't think to provide links, or bother to actually look up the truth before speaking. They're too important to actually verify their facts before acting on them. Thinking is for weak-kneed liberals, not for knee-jerk real man conservatives.

Andy doesn't need to clarify what Hawking ACTUALLY said. That's like making fun of global warming deniers, by, first, explaining why global warming is real. He's a humorist. That's not his job. He's not trying to convince people who actually think like Bachmann. He's just trying to make fun of them.
+13 # bmiluski 2014-01-28 10:20
People like Bachmann don't think. They decided which cash cow's teat they want to attache themselves to and then do/say whatever that cow wants them to do/say.
+4 # Billy Bob 2014-01-28 11:42
Yeah, you're right.
+11 # Eldon J. Bloedorn 2014-01-28 13:48
Republicans understand something that easily "sells" to the Old White Male Southereners. Pick women to run for office based on "what physical characteristics make them (excited.) Women who are still believers that the sun is not real because last night it was dark. The fact that birds fly proves gravity is not real. That heat melting ice is merely a theory." Fox News has lots of "hot chicks" who "spew" news while (accidently, hmm?) exposing a thigh with crossed legs. They, Fox News, sells Fairy Dust "using" some good look'n chicks.
+10 # Billy Bob 2014-01-28 14:09
Basically clouding the judgement of morons by flashing them some nice thighs. Yeah, I think you're onto a big part of it.
+6 # Billy Bob 2014-01-28 14:18
Of course conservatives would never admit the motivations for their "thoughts". Actually, there are a lot of things conservatives think, that they don't openly admit to, like the honest reason they question President Obama's citizenship.
+7 # Ray Kondrasuk 2014-01-29 21:05
Atop each Fox News queen
A hairdo to primp and preen
With luscious lips
spouting Limbaugh quips.
But not much in between.
+3 # tauzinger 2014-01-29 23:26
We don't need Hawkings to admit his error. The Bible doesn't mention black holes, so they don't exist. Just read Genesis, it's all about word, light, sea, land, creatures, no word of a black hole. I know you're probably going to say that evolution created black holes, survival of the fittest, but again, evolution is not in the Bible either.
+5 # Eldon J. Bloedorn 2014-01-30 00:57
Remember, the bible was written by those who did ot know what an atom was, is. But, you know, for a bunch of wandering dudes, biblical prophets, they did not talk about how to build a Saturn Rocket, a radio, a TV, solar panels, so none of these items really exist. "cause daaaay is nots in daaaa bible.
+2 # Eldon J. Bloedorn 2014-01-30 20:00
When a caterpiller becomes a butterfly or a tadpole becomes frog, I want you to shout at them when this is happening and say "you cannot do that 'cause the bible tells me so." OK?
+5 # Seadog 2014-01-28 10:23
Colbert specializes in a similar brand of satire at a much more dramatic and show biz level then Andy. I like Andy's brand more these days.
+86 # DaveM 2014-01-27 23:06
Every time Michelle Bachmann opens her mouth it is repudiation of the earlier theory that nothing can escape from a black hole.
+26 # wrknight 2014-01-28 08:21
It's also a repudiation of "Intelligent Design".
+14 # Billy Bob 2014-01-28 08:38
That may be, but it's also a repudiation of evolution.

People like her joke about the concept that "we evolved from apes". That's because people like her still haven't.
+6 # AndreM5 2014-01-28 13:09
We didn't "evolve from apes" but I am sure you know that, unlike Bachmann.
+8 # Billy Bob 2014-01-28 14:12
No. That's why I put it in quotes.

Althogh, truth be told, we ARE apes who co-evolved with the other apes from a common ancestor. It's not popular to admit we're apes, but I know that some scientists claim the only reason we're seperately classified is political. Think about it. We're as closely related to chimps as chimps are to gorillas, and as they are to orangutans.
0 # NAVYVET 2014-02-07 14:18
We are most closely related to Bonobos, and I'm glad, because they have more fun and their women are in charge.
+35 # DaveM 2014-01-27 23:08
I should add: if Michele Bachmann did not exist, it would probably be necessary for Andy Borowitz to invent her.
-26 # unitedwestand 2014-01-27 23:22
This is not one of my favorite Borowitz's pieces.
+30 # EternalTruth 2014-01-27 23:51
This is not one of my favorite comments.
+12 # johnlee100 2014-01-28 00:27
This is not one of my favorite replies
+7 # tinmanrs 2014-01-28 05:58
This statement is false.
+14 # Billy Bob 2014-01-28 08:37
These shoes are too tight.
+4 # Skippydelic 2014-01-28 18:13
tinmanrs: Along those same lines...
+1 # Billy Bob 2014-01-28 19:54
Great clip!
+1 # Billy Bob 2014-01-29 11:22
What?!? It WAS a great clip!
+36 # tigerlillie 2014-01-27 23:52
"Fortunately for me, I did not take any science classes in college."

Pure comedic genius.
0 # Ray Kondrasuk 2014-01-29 21:41
Makes me think of an astrophysicist' s (can't recall who) reply to the quierie:

"How do we know that there's life out there that's intelligent?"

"Well, they haven't come here, have they?"
0 # NAVYVET 2014-02-07 14:21
Fortunately for me, I took so many science classes as electives I ended up minoring in something unusual--"Gener al Science".
+39 # Cappucino 2014-01-28 00:11
It took me quite a while to figure out that this was satire, even though it was by Andy Borowitz. It's a little hard to explain why... maybe it was so overwhelmingly easy to believe that Bachmann actually said these things.

That having been said, I'll bet some money on her actually saying something this stupid when Stephen Hawking's TV special comes out where he talks with Dr. Robert Lanza. Guess what Lanza works on-- embryonic stem cell research!Guess how much Bachmann will love that. Never mind that we're two years away from a cure for the most common causes of blindness; forget about those ten-year-olds with Stargaard's who will go blind by the time they're 18... nope, nope, we must save those HESC's, because a couple of cells that haven't even formed into an embryo yet and would otherwise be thrown away are more important than tens of millions of living people, as Bachmann will doubtless remind us.
+23 # TCinLA 2014-01-28 00:34
It's hard to tell satire from the truth when it comes to these scum, because they are satires of themselves.
+18 # cordleycoit 2014-01-28 00:46
Lets have the over bred Congressman teach our youth about dinosaurs being transport for the Israelites. Then he can lecture us on inbreeding and the Republican party. Then we can watch Ms Bachmann kiss snakes.
+6 # Pickwicky 2014-01-28 16:22
No self-respecting snake would kiss Ms Bachmann.
+1 # bingers 2014-01-31 06:23
Maybe not, but one has fed her the apple of misunderstanding.

She used to be pretty hot and could have been a success as a streetwalker. She's now making up for lost time.
0 # NAVYVET 2014-02-07 14:25
You are correct! My old high school pal, Charlie the beautiful blue indigo at the Miami Serpentarium, DEFINITELY would consider her an enemy. Michelle would spot that gorgeous oil-slick rainbow sheen on each scale and try to frack him.
+21 # MindDoc 2014-01-28 01:09
Perhaps this was part of the inspiration here? This actually just happened at CNN (and is 'trending' across social media) - the aforementioned Michelle Bachmann. (She's still there showing her expertise in tax law according to her version of world reality.)

Anyhow, not only is this real (on video, and broadcast live), but this is Michelle Bachmann on CNN, bulldozing over an attempting-to-s peak Bernie Sanders and not much moderated by Wolf Blitzer. I won't even comment except to say that this is reality, and I guess we get to decide which is more "reality" in the case of what Bachmann actually says or believes. Who's a good discussant / debater here, and who is pure sound-byte? How close did Borowitz call it?

Whatever you think about Bachmann, or for that matter Sanders, their 'debate', which is at the link below, seems like the long-version of Borowitz' 'report', right on cue. The article has the video and transcript. Sanders tries to argue for bringing offshore jobs and hidden loot back home and Bachmann goes on about her tax expertise and the failure of socialism in Australia.

"Only in America" (said by me with the usual mix of reverence for the dream and dismay at the calibre of Congress). Shaking my head perplexed at being forced to accept: *this* is the 'state of our union' .

Bachmann vs. Bernie, epic 'debate' about economics and taxes:
Be prepared to laugh, cry, or become ill. Or a combination.

( 27-Jan-2014)
0 # bingers 2014-01-28 03:18
Link doesn't work.
+1 # MindDoc 2014-01-28 10:44
Link does work (just triple checked, 3 computers/browsers).
But maybe tiny.url shortcuts are blocked to you or something?

Here's the full, long url, which I thought might be tough to copy/paste or tap/click on:

IMHO, this is worth a look, along with the comments engendered, which (as of yesterday) seemed quite split on style and target of reaction. "Diverse". All very ... 'interesting'.
+4 # Mrcead 2014-01-28 06:59
Lol! Tell Bachmann to go play with her trainset.

The Republicans were definitely thinking this before Borowitz wrote this satirical piece. I would bet money on it.
+9 # fredboy 2014-01-28 07:29
Michell Bachmann is living proof that humans once bred with buffalo.
+6 # The Buffalo Guy 2014-01-28 11:40
Hey! I resent that! Maybe a cow but not a BUFFALO!
+6 # reiverpacific 2014-01-28 12:08
Quoting fredboy:
Michell Bachmann is living proof that humans once bred with buffalo.

Please don't insult the Buffalo!
-24 # RMDC 2014-01-28 08:11
I don't think Stephen Hawking or Michele Bachman exist. They are the true black holes -- empty spaces out of which noises come.
+7 # bmiluski 2014-01-28 10:57
Again people, RMDC is just another TROLL. Please ignore.
+5 # randrjwr 2014-01-28 10:51
I think Andy plagiarized this one from Bachman, herself, and called it satire. Shame on you, Andy.
+6 # iplau 2014-01-28 11:13
"I'm Michele Bachman, the world is flat, I tell you and the heretics who say otherwise are nothing more than charlatans and alchemists who do not know one vial from a bottle and should all be beheaded! Stephen who? Never heard of him!"
+5 # Billy Bob 2014-01-28 14:13
I'm Sarah Palin. Quit stealing my headlines!
+2 # RoseM 2014-01-29 08:11
They already don't listen to scientists so what is the big deal. Ignorance is bliss.
+2 # politicfix 2014-01-29 08:37
Fortunately, Bachmann is leaving Congress. Unfortunately, it's so she can completely unleash herself on society as the imbecile we know her to be as she continues her lunatic attacks to sway people toward the GOP. Obviously, the financiers controlling the GOP find her more useful as a loose cannon to spew her insanity on the country.... unplugged. If it looks like an imbecile, talks like a' s a imbecile. The best way to deal with this imbecile is to ignore her, not give her any press, or if she gets press give her no recognition. As difficult as it would be....If there were no comments about this article the message will be clearer than the outrage because she knows she's getting to everyone when she gets the reaction she wants. Just my view.
+4 # randrjwr 2014-01-29 10:29
"...If it looks like an imbecile, talks like a' s a imbecile. "....

You forgot "hangs around with other imbeciles"
0 # Gradivus 2014-01-29 11:09
Is there something about "The article below is satire" you don't understand?
+4 # Billy Bob 2014-01-29 11:26
The fact that Bachmann is an imbecile isn't satire.
0 # NAVYVET 2014-02-07 14:30
Don't insult imbeciles, please.
-7 # Gradivus 2014-01-29 11:07
Thank you for at least noting on your page that this "Borowitz Report" article is satire. "The New Yorker" magazine did not bother mentioning that, and the article has gone viral and is being used by anti-Republican s across the nation as an example of how "stupid" Michelle Bachmann is.
+4 # Billy Bob 2014-01-29 11:24
It's hard not to take seriously, since it IS the way she thinks. Do you have some special insight into the inner workings of Bachmann that would lead us to believe she's a scientific thinker?

Please share.
+4 # draypoker 2014-01-30 05:38
What does it say about the people who have elected her to the House?
Education doesn't seem to be working.

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