The Savage Truth

Looking over my most recent articles I notice that they tend to be pretty negative. That's not really the kind of person I am. Or at least not the kind of person I want to be. So I thought it might be nice to get away from mocking religion for a while and instead talk about one of my heroes: Adam Savage.

Adam Savage was the host of "Mythbusters," a science reality show on The Discovery Channel. If you're not familiar with the show, I strongly recommend that you fix that oversight at once. It's was a great show full of explosions, science, explosions, cool machines, and more explosions. For a long time it was literally the only reason I had cable TV. Now it's the only show I own on iTunes.

But "Mythbusters" isn't why Adam Savage is my hero. He's my hero because he's used the fame he's gained as a TV personality to promote science and reason. He speaks at Comic-Con, Maker Faire, and a variety of other venues.

He discusses everything from the value of failure to the construction of a replica Maltese falcon. Regardless of what he's talking about, his enthusiasm and energy send the same message: "Man this reality stuff is cool."

On top of all that, he makes no secret about being an atheist, while at the same time never being an ass about it. That's something the world of atheism needs more of.

For many years I lived just across the bay from the Mythbusters' home base at M5 Industries. Google maps says it was a 13-mile drive. I think it was closer to 10 miles as the air-cannon-propelled frozen chicken flies. The abandoned runway in Alameda (a location they often used for experiments requiring a lot of space) was closer to my house than it was to M5. If they took the route Google maps suggests, they would have passed within walking distance of my house.

But here's the strange thing: even though I lived there for close to 10 years, I never saw Adam Savage in person. You'd think that after all that time I'd have at least seen him at a coffee shop or something. Could it be that there really is no such person as Adam Savage? Could he be just a character on a TV show?

Being a man of greater than average intellect, it hasn't taken me long to think of many ways to prove Adam Savage is real. Here are a few, in no particular order:

Proof from Coolest Name

I think we can all agree that "Adam Savage" is the coolest name possible; it works equally well for a porn star, secret agent, supervillain, race car driver, or Mythbuster. A cool name is less cool if it's made up for a fictional character. For "Adam Savage" to be the coolest name possible it must be name of a real person. Therefore, Adam Savage exists.

Proof from Mythbusting

Everyone agrees that some myths are true (confirmed) and some myths are false (busted). For that to be true, someone must confirm or bust the myths. That person is Adam Savage. Therefore, Adam Savage exists.

Proof from Hot Coals

In one episode, Adam Savage walked across hot coals and burned his feet a little. It would make sense to make up a story where Adam Savage walked across coals unharmed (to prove he's awesome) or to make up a story where Adam Savage walked across coals and was seriously hurt (to get sympathy) but there's no reason to make up a story where he's just hurt a little. Since there's no reason to make up the story, it must be true. Therefore, Adam Savage exists.

Character, Crazy or Confirmed.

When we see "Adam Savage" appearing on Mythbusters there are three possibilities: He's a fictional character portrayed by an actor, he's a crazy guy who just thinks he's Adam Savage, or he's exactly who I think he is.

Adam does have some acting ability, but it doesn't appear to be enough to pull off that kind of act for the fourteen years Mythbusters was on the air. Of course, a really amazing actor could fool me into thinking he's just a fair actor, but it's unreasonable to expect he'd fool all the other people on the show. Besides which, the episode with the Mission Impossible masks proved he's not a good enough actor to consistently fool people into thinking he's someone he's not.

Adam does occasionally go a little crazy. He'll dress and act like a pirate, or a ninja, or a caveman, or whatever is appropriate. But he always reverts to just Adam Savage. The fact that he does become other people but always changes back shows a consistent ability to distinguish his fantasy personae from his real self. This shows that even if he had started out as a crazy person who just thought he was Adam Savage he would have reverted to his true identity by now.

The only remaining possibility is that he's a real person. Therefore, Adam Savage not only exists, but is also exactly the person I think he is.

Proof from Cool Things

Adam Savage has some really cool things.

If Adam is real, then those cool things are real too. If I believe he's real, I might get to see those cool thing in person some day. If I don't believe he's real I will never get to see those cool things.

On the other hand, if Adam isn't real then the cool things are just props. It makes no difference whether I believe in him or not, since either way I'll never get to see the cool things.

With nothing to gain from doubting that he's real, and something to gain (no matter how unlikely) from believing he's real, the safe thing to do is believe he's real.

Therefore, Adam Savage exists.

Proof from Circles

Circles are circular. Therefore Adam Savage exists.

Proof from Polished turds

Nobody polishes a turd like Jamie Hyneman.

Adam Savage does not polish turds like Jamie Hyneman.

Therefore Adam is not nobody.

If Adam is not nobody, he must be somebody.

If Adam is somebody, he must exist.

Therefore, Adam Savage exists.

Proof from Actual Evidence That People Who Aren't Deluded Fans Would Give Even Passing Consideration

Adam Savage appears in well over 200 episodes of Mythbusters. The Discovery Channel identifies Mythbusters as a reality show, indicating that the people who appear on the show are real people, not characters. Adam's status as a real person is confirmed by the existence of a biography on The Discovery Channel web site and entries on Wikipedia, IMDB and many other sites. He also has an active Twitter feed.

Adam Savage has made numerous public appearances in front of countless witnesses including the freaking President of the United States of America. Many of those appearances are documented on video. In fact, since Adam has a message he wants heard and he has the resources to ensure that happens, the documentation for his existence is so overwhelming that I would have to seriously question the sanity of anyone who doubted it.

You know, in retrospect I probably should have led with the hard evidence. In fact, I probably shouldn't have included the other arguments at all. Then I wouldn't have had to slight Jamie Hyneman by reducing him to the role of turd-polisher. I could have mentioned Kari Byron, Grant Imahara and Tory Belleci without being afraid it would undermine my argument. I wouldn't have had to pretend I doubted Adam was real. I wouldn't have had to lie to you, my loyal readers, by claiming this article wasn't mocking religion.

I was so busy trying to prove Adam was real without using the hard evidence that I... Well, it made me act like a willfully ignorant, intellectually dishonest douche nozzle.

I only hope that you can forgive me and that maybe, just maybe, someone out there can learn something from my mistake.