Thursday, July 28, 2011

Why God Never Recieved Tenure

Speaking of Bob Ettinger, there was a joke running around universities before the internet - in those days, the only way we had of sharing jokes were to tell them to each other. So primitive, and there's no way to monetize that. But someone in Mrs. Doc's biology lab told me this one and I never forgot it, and I used a condensed version as the opening lines of my presentation on "Transhumanity" at Carnegie Mellon in 2005. I thought it would be fun to share it in its entirety:

Why God Never Received Tenure

Fig. 1. Question MY syllabus, will you?

  1. He had only one major publication.
  2. It was in Hebrew.
  3. It had no references.
  4. It wasn't published in a refereed journal.
  5. Some even doubt He wrote it Himself.
  6. It may be true that He created the world, but what has He done since then?
  7. His cooperative efforts have been quite limited.
  8. The scientific community has had a hard time replicating His results.
  9. He never applied to the Ethics Board for permission to use human subjects.
  10. When one experiment went awry He tried to cover it up by drowning the subjects.
  11. When subjects didn't behave as predicted, He deleted them from the sample.
  12. He rarely came to class, just told students to read the Book.
  13. Some say He had His son teach the class.
  14. He expelled His first two students for learning [Fig. 1]
  15. Although there were only ten requirements, most students failed His tests.
  16. His office hours were infrequent and usually held on a mountaintop.


  1. I'm in stitches! Required reading for every untenured faculty member.

    What about awarding only 2 final grades (Up or Down), and the good grades only went to students who agreed with the Teacher?