Forget about Second City, Tempe’s new Something From Nothing comedy club is rocking with this hilarious spoof on evolutionary thought featuring Lawrence Krauss as the neurotic Rick Moranis and Richard Dawkins as the pompous Dave Thomas. It’s Sophism gone-wild as the Woody Allen and Bob Hope characters trade one fallacy after another over an ironically-placed stack of great books, all in front of the huge neon sign looming above assuring that it is all “Something From Nothing.” Meanwhile a sort of inverse teleprompter is recording their every precious word. The only thing missing was chapter and verse citations.
The skit begins with the usual adoration of biology’s version of the perpetual motion machine where the entire organic world appears spontaneously. But this is old news and the new news is that it is not just the biological world that happened to happen, but the whole world. And it is not just the universe that we can see, but the laws of physics and even empty space itself. It all just happens. In this all-too-real spoof, the all-knowing wise men assure the commoners that everything could have literally come from nothing.
Of course the metaphysics does not stop there. For the world is full of “bad design features” that “any decent engineer would send back to the shop.”
There is no one so metaphysical as those who deny metaphysics and the skit is topped off with a hilarious exchange which finds that skeptics are the ones who are guilty of cognitive dissonance. Woody Allen wonders aloud “It’s interesting to me, at the same time, how people can hold beliefs which are incompatible with other beliefs they have” [24:36] and Bob Hope reassures the younger sophist that “It demonstrates, clearly, intellectual deficiency. And, in fact, scholarly deficiency … they’re hypocrites.” [27:01]
The not-too-subtle play on SCTV to spoof evolutionary mythology is as ingenuous as are the performances of Krauss and Dawkins. We trust a good time was had by all.