Dispatches from the Creation Wars

Saturday’s Visits

I had a wonderful day on Saturday visiting with old friends and new ones. First, I had lunch with Dan Ray and his lovely wife, Kim, and got to find out what busy really is. You think your life is hectic? How about having two pre-teen children, working full time Monday-Friday and going to law school on the weekends, as she does? If I go to the bank and the post office in the same day, I need a nap. We had a nice lunch with lots of good conversation that ranged from Robert Bork’s judicial theories to neo-formalism to telling rude jokes and stories from my comedy days.

After lunch, I did some shopping. Picked up a new roaster for my thanksgiving dinner (the family is coming to my place for dinner, which is the way I like it – I love to cook big meals). And I also found a nice cheap paperback copy of Freedom Evolves by Daniel Dennett, a book I’ve wanted to read since it came out. I consider Dennett to be one of the half dozen or so most brilliant thinkers on the planet, and I’m quite jealous of fellow blogger Lindsay Beyerstein, who not only got to study under Dennett at Tufts University, but is even thanked by name for her contributions in the foreward to this latest book.

After that, I met an old friend for dinner. Mickey was also a debate coach in the late 80s when I was, and we became friends then. He left teaching when he got an incredible opportunity to join a large trucking company as a lobbyist and we lost touch for a lot of years. A few months ago, I tracked him down and called him and we finally had the chance to get together for dinner. Lots of reminiscing, of course, about our old students and our travels together (including a fairly frightening trip across the cultural divide and into the hills of West Virginia – insert banjo music here). We are now working on arranging a larger dinner for a bunch of other of the old debate crowd in a couple weeks, which should be a blast. Oh yeah, and I ate a steak the size of my head.

All in all, just a wonderful day of good food and great conversation.


  1. #1 Lindsay Beyerstein
    November 22, 2004

    Thanks, Ed! I share your opinion of Dennett. I am convinced that he will be remembered long after most of today’s analytic philosophers have been forgotten.

  2. #2 Dan
    November 22, 2004

    Kim and I had a wonderful time at lunch with Ed. Kim is, indeed, very busy, but of course Ed left off the worst of her plight. In addition to having a full-time job, classes all day Saturday and Sunday, and two very active kids, she has to put up with…ME! I’m quite sure there’s a sainthood in her future.

    If others who visit here get the chance to meet Ed personally, just get him started on some of the old comedy routines. And make sure he tells you the bear-hunting joke. If you’re like me, you’ll be laughing yourself into a state of near-asphyxia.

    It was a great lunch, and I look forward to seeing you again soon, Ed.

  3. #3 Ed Brayton
    November 22, 2004

    I share your opinion of Dennett. I am convinced that he will be remembered long after most of today’s analytic philosophers have been forgotten.

    I do too. I think he is one of the greatest thinkers of our time, regardless of his particular field. In fact, one of his defining traits is his ability to draw connections between different fields of study – philosophy, biology, mathematics, AI, etc.

  4. #4 Ed Brayton
    November 22, 2004


    The feeling is mutual. Always great company and I’m looking forward to a long friendship.

  5. #5 Lynn
    November 23, 2004

    Ed, I hope you told Dan and his wife how anxious I am to meet them too.

  6. #6 Dan
    November 23, 2004

    Lynn: Kim and I look forward to meeting you very soon. Any plans to be up here in Michigan in the near future? Do let us know, so we can meet for dinner.

  7. #7 Lynn
    November 23, 2004

    Dan, When I do, you and Kim will be invited to the wedding.

  8. #8 Ed Brayton
    November 23, 2004

    I’m certainly looking forward to having her up here to meet all my friends and most of my family LOL.

  9. #9 Peter Lund
    December 6, 2004

    Foreword, not foreward.

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