One of the more asinine comments made about the coronavirus pandemic this week unfortunately comes from the kind of person that a lot of others will listen to. Matt Birk, former professional football player and Superbowl winner, suggested that perhaps we should listen to amateur epidemiologists because amateurs built the Ark, referring of course to the likely fictional giant boat big enough to carry two of every animal species during a world-engulfing flood.
But the Titanic was built by experts, and it’s definitely the expertise that made it sink.
As we listen to epidemiologists, it’s good to remember that the Titanic was built by experts, the Ark by amateurs.— Matt Birk (@BirkMatt) May 20, 2020
It’s kind of impressive to get so much wrong packed into a single tweet.
First of all, the Titanic didn’t sink because of the way it was built. It was very much a sinking-resistant ship for the time, but some of the materials used to build it may have been cheap and low-quality. Furthermore, repeated warnings by experts on sea ice were ignored because investors would have been displeased if anything had disrupted the maiden voyage. Whoops.
The second factually iffy part of Birk’s tweet is the suggestion that Noah’s Ark was built.
This would all be very funny if it weren’t for the fact that people who are not taking the advice of epidemiologists right now are contributing to the coronavirus pandemic, as states and cities opening up against expert advice have seen spikes in new cases and corresponding deaths. Former football stars encouraging people to do more of the same is not a good thing.
This is what leadership looks like https://t.co/llRQwuDBKW— Matt Birk (@BirkMatt) May 21, 2020
With expert-listeners still cooped up at home because others refuse to practice basic social distancing, there’s little to do but drag Matt Birk.
did they teach you at harvard that the titanic fell apart because of sloppy welding https://t.co/wKtRNzOSQL— Sigh Hersh, Hostile Witness (@Ugarles) May 20, 2020
Technically, the Ark's plans were expert design.— Tom Nichols (@RadioFreeTom) May 20, 2020
If only there were more than 2 boats so we could know for sure... https://t.co/vPRa0P8gv7— Andrew James Carter (@Carter_AndrewJ) May 21, 2020
Umm well actually Titanic was designed and being run in a manner according to directions from a greedy corporation defying advice from experts.— Toronto_Guy (@Mr_TorontoGuy) May 21, 2020
But hey! That's just a technicality right?
Quintessential U.S. hypochristian.— Gregory the A'ight (@driven2drink) May 20, 2020
Ironic that the story of Noah was about someone heeding a warning, planning in advance, building what was necessary and executing the plan.— Jim Grace (@mac_puck) May 21, 2020
As we listen to epidemiologists, it’s good to remember that scientists and engineers have saved millions of people with better agriculture and medicines, while religious bigots killed millions over centuries of ideological infighting.https://t.co/ybhXnBVR6c
— Monty 🇺🇸Curve The Curve🇺🇸 Boa (@MontyBoa99) May 21, 2020
Reactor #4 in Chernobyl was built by experts, while Iron Mans arc reactor was built in a cave by amateurs
— razzle dazzle (@A_Gustafson08) May 20, 2020
Furthermore, White Star Line ignored the designer of the ship himself Mr. Thomas Andrews who had argued the boat needed more lifeboats because they thought it might "ruin the view" which is another expert warning ignored.— Marquis de Lafayette(Reese) (@JackJackington) May 20, 2020
This sounds awfully relevant!
If Santa Claus can deliver billions of packages in one night, then why can’t shipping experts do the same?
— Matthew Dowd (@matthewjdowd) May 20, 2020
The irony in your ignorance being that the fictional story of Noah was supposed to offer a lesson about someone heeding a warning, planning in advance, building what was necessary and executing the plan. https://t.co/x5K6e2pAi2— Socialist Opera Singer (@OperaSocialist) May 21, 2020
Which is why I go to an auto mechanic for all my dental needs. https://t.co/wyVOwZTNh7— Benjamin Allbright (@AllbrightNFL) May 20, 2020
Imagine being an adult, a grown ass adult, who thinks there was a ship where all 8 million species of animals lived and fucked. https://t.co/HVa3T1XMcp— Tentin Quarantino (@agraybee) May 20, 2020