But, but . . . Santa Cruz is real!

I’m used to being called a censor for decrying creationism taught in the public schools, published in scientific journals, or offered as a recreational event on a public school trip. But these critics don’t understand that, since creationism and its gussied-up twin Intelligent Design are seen by the courts as “religion”,  they can’t be taught as science in public schools. As American schools are an arm of our government, such teaching violates the First Amendment, and it’s meet and proper to call for its banning.  As for creationist papers in journals, I don’t demand their retraction, I ask that the publisher look at them and see if they’ve made an error, or at least refrain from passing off religion as “science” in the future.

That misguided construal of censorship is one reason I’m putting up Adam Ossmann’s response to my tweet to Springer’s CEO about their creationist paper. Ossmann, who isn’t exactly tearing up Twitter, commented on that tweet, and though I almost never look at responses to tweets (that’s a sure way to get gastric distress), I found the one below.

The main reason, though is that Ossmann seems to think that the California city of Santa Cruz is fictional. Where did he get that idea?

I’ve been to Santa Cruz, I’ve stayed in Santa Cruz, and believe me, Mr. Ossmann, I have empirical evidence for that town. I don’t take its existence on faith.

Here it is!



Not real

Not real


  1. Posted December 19, 2018 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    Ha! So you have a couple of pictures. They made pictures of the moon landing, too, and surely you don’t believe THAT was real?! Santa Cruz is a liberal hoax! Probably created by the Chinese to undermine our economy!

  2. Randall Schenck
    Posted December 19, 2018 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

    This has to be a joke, right. A bad one but still….

    • Posted December 19, 2018 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

      Naah. . . I think he’s an Arab-speaker and meant to write “Santa Claus”.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted December 19, 2018 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

        “Santa Cruz” — wasn’t he involved in the JFK assassination according to Dear Leader and The National Inquirer?

      • Posted December 19, 2018 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

        Or Turkish.

        • Nicolaas Stempels
          Posted December 20, 2018 at 7:04 am | Permalink

          Yes, ‘Ossmann’ sounds kinda Turkish indeed, for some unfathomable reason or other.

  3. Posted December 19, 2018 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

    Did he mean Santa Claus? That would be a stretch, even for autocorrect. If not, what’s his beef agains Santa Cruz?

    • Posted December 19, 2018 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

      Never underestimate how far autocorrect is willing to stretch to make you look like an idiot.

      • Posted December 19, 2018 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

        I don’t think the poster needed any help from autocorrect.

      • Serendipitydawg
        Posted December 20, 2018 at 7:37 am | Permalink

        +1. Brian Cox has publicly stated that auto-correct changes “Large Hadron Collider” to “Large Hardon Colluder”, so Claus to Cruz doesn’t seem that far 🙂

  4. yazikus
    Posted December 19, 2018 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

    Could he possibly be referring to the Saint? That would make more sense, sort of. Whatever Else Theory would make a good band name.

  5. Sarah
    Posted December 19, 2018 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

    Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Cruz.

  6. James
    Posted December 19, 2018 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

    This argument has never made sense to me.

    First, you’re not the government and cannot commit censorship. An argument could be made that a private organization with a monopoly on a form of communication can take actions just as bad, but I seriously doubt you have that power (we’re talking entities like Google, Facebook, and Amazon here).

    Second, and more significantly: What do they think free speech is? You cannot argue FOR censorship by arguing AGAINST censorship, which is exactly what they are trying to do. The whole point of free speech is to provide a marketplace for ideas; whether you have a market share or not depends on your ideas. And “Your idea is wrong” is as valid as any other idea!

  7. Posted December 19, 2018 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

    Santa Cruz is probabky real, but Bielefeld on the other hand…

    • Ted Burk
      Posted December 19, 2018 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

      I thought I had spent a week in Bielefeld in the 1970’s, but perhaps I was fooled by a “Potemkin Village”?

  8. Posted December 19, 2018 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

    Santa Cruz is real, except on 4/20 when it is totally unreal.

  9. Serendipitydawg
    Posted December 19, 2018 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

    Santa Claus is real(ish), ask any shopping mall.

    I bet his phone has auto correct turned on 🙂

  10. Posted December 19, 2018 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

    Every enlightened flat-earther knows that California ends at Los Gatos.

  11. Ken Pidcock
    Posted December 19, 2018 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

    Yes, Santa Cruz is real. And they sell a lot of antibodies. I get an email from ’em every morning.

  12. Posted December 19, 2018 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

    Santa Cruz is around x meters above chimney tops, somewhat higher when returning to the north pole. But not to high for a ho ho ho!

  13. Bruce Lyon
    Posted December 19, 2018 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

    Yikes, maybe the University of California at Santa Cruz is also a fiction. Am I out of a job?

  14. eric
    Posted December 19, 2018 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

    but at the same time you prevent other to believe in what they would?

    How does pointing out the multitude of both scientific and authorial problems with a published paper count as “preventing” someone from believing something?

    Honestly, even from the creationist position, this is just one paper. It’s not like the entire religious edifice hangs on it. I doubt anyone will be prevented from believing in creationism even if this particular author turns out to be a fraud. I’m sure creationists will go on being creationists long after this paper drops down the memory hole.

    • Zetopan
      Posted December 22, 2018 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

      It’s the same argument that fans of astrology use whenever the topic of “why do newspapers publish astrology columns” comes up. i.e. “You are intruding of my freedom of belief” if you remove columns peddling superstition. Creationists and other willfully ignorant ideologues claim that they deserve equal time while both totally failing to provide any evidence that their claims are valid, and really wanting *all* of the time so that no dissent is allowed.

  15. Posted December 19, 2018 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

    Every country has at least one non-existing place. Here in Germany there is news that the city of Bielefeld is a fake.

  16. Posted December 19, 2018 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

    The city of Santa Clause is also real; south western Indiana.

  17. Adam L
    Posted December 19, 2018 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

    His other replies to your tweet aren’t much better

    “How an insitution can give credit to a paper?
    What is your insitution? Isn’t some walls and corridoers and offices? How this can give credit to ideas more than someone who have no such walls and offices?
    What was the institution of Gregor Mendel, father of genetics?”

    “Mr. Coyne, your critics are ad hominem that are based on nothing objective. You mock of the author’s country and institution as if country or institutions are gage of credibility and truth.
    If you are a true scientist, you should focus on ideas, not on institutions.”

  18. Posted December 19, 2018 at 3:10 pm | Permalink


  19. Tom Besson
    Posted December 19, 2018 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

    Wait. What? My birth certificate says I was born in Santa Cruz, California. Was I duped? Say it ain’t so, Joe. Say it ain’t so.

    • ToddP
      Posted December 19, 2018 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

      I was also born in Santa Cruz. Dominican Hospital. It’s real…and it’s spectacular. Read all about it in my forthcoming book, “Why Santa Cruz Is True”.

  20. Diane G
    Posted December 19, 2018 at 11:42 pm | Permalink

    For the first time it occurs to me to wonder why Santa Claus isn’t San Claus.

    • Posted December 20, 2018 at 9:22 am | Permalink

      That’s a good question. Santa is sometimes used as “Holy” as in Santa Fe and Santa Cruz, but that doesn’t seem to explain why Santa and not San. Here’s one explanation: “The term Santa Claus came from English into Spanish (it is probably the American pronunciation of Sinterklaas in dutch). Probably a direct result of the very very famous and beautiful Coca-Cola posters that many people associate with Christmas around the world. “

  21. infiniteimprobabilit
    Posted December 20, 2018 at 12:59 am | Permalink

    Santa Cruz brings first to my mind the Santa Cruz Operation, aka SCO, which eventually degenerated into the most spectacular and farcical slow-motion train wreck in the history of computing. Well, one of the most farcical, anyway.

    Most of their imaginings were unreal, too.

    (Google ‘SCO vs IBM’ for the gory details. Reminiscent of the Black Knight in Monty Python’s Holy Grail)


  22. Richard
    Posted December 20, 2018 at 1:48 am | Permalink

    “You can’t fool me. There ain’t no Sanity Clause.”

  23. Roger
    Posted December 20, 2018 at 2:22 am | Permalink

    Lame creationist excuses volume eleven zillion.

  24. Posted December 20, 2018 at 5:46 am | Permalink

    Funny – if Ossman were a Germanic name, it would mean something like ‘priest’ – os = Aesir = collective name for Scandinavian gods + man…

  25. Nicolaas Stempels
    Posted December 20, 2018 at 6:59 am | Permalink

    He obviously meant Santa Claus (I’m with Daedalus Lex on that one), but he completely/i> missed what Jerry was saying. It is not about prescribing what to believe or not, it is about the publishing of drivel (and creationist drivel at that) in a paper that pretends to be scientific and peer reviewed, and pulling a reputable publishing house through the mud.
    Has Mr Ossmann anything to do with Springer? Where does he come in?

    • Nicolaas Stempels
      Posted December 20, 2018 at 7:00 am | Permalink

      Aarghh, why is there no edit function ?

  26. gravelinspector-Aidan
    Posted December 21, 2018 at 10:32 pm | Permalink

    Having seen the logical contortions and resurrection from the dead involved in the Santa Cruz Operation series of lawsuits from the early 2000s to the present day, I’d be moderately unsurprised to see Santa Cruz obliterated from the reality that is the Internet.

  27. Zetopan
    Posted December 22, 2018 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

    Sadly, Jerry has fallen victim to the “Big Cruz” conspiracy and the fake story about the JFK assignation!

    Note that OSS in the OSSmann name is the Office of Strategic Services (predecessor to the CIA) and MANN is obviously a man, conclusively proving that Ossmann is actually a CIA mole trying to promote “Big Cruz”.!!! DON’T BE FOOLED SHEEPLE!!!!!*

    *The nurse just arrived with my medication.

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