Pharyngula

The scoop on Mike S. Adams

For any locals who are curious about that Mike Adams character who gave a talk on campus yesterday, Bartholomew’s notes on religion has a good summary of his career as a professional victim. There’s also a more complete account of the terrible oppression Adams faced after his response to the 9/11 emails, a story he told in part but at some length yesterday. Funny how he didn’t mention that part of the story involving an undergraduate student he’d marry 18 months later…

Comments

  1. #1 j.t.delaney
    October 28, 2006

    Ah – a professor of criminology – not a proper scientist then!

    It could be handled as a science… But then again, considering how well America’s right-wing criminology experts are handling our homicide rates and the War on Drugs, why mess with success?

  2. #2 postblogger
    October 28, 2006

    In your previous post about Mike Adams, George said that they’d spent 10 minutes looking him up on the web and now felt kind of dirty. I’ve just done the same thing and feel much the same way. However, while I enjoy a good mock as much as anybody else, would it actually be useful to attack his credentials in, say, an open debate?

    As a comparison, we hate Adams and fundies hate Dawkins. Now, Dawkins is a scientist talking about God and we defend his qualifications on the grounds that God doesn’t exist, so there’s nothing to be qualified in. Adams is a criminologist talking about Evolution and my guess would be that fundies would put forward a similar (and, I think, consistent) argument – they’d say that Evolution doesn’t exist so there’s no need to be qualified in it to attack it. I think Adams is a knob, mind, I just worry that sneering at his credentials makes us look a little like the people we’re supposed to laugh at in Chomsky’s interview here (relevant extract below):

    Some years ago I did some work on mathematical theory of automata. At the time, I gave invited lectures in mathematics and engineering departments at major universities. No one believed that I was an accomplished professional mathematician, but no one cared either; people were interested in determining whether what I said was true or false, interesting or not, susceptible to improvement and further work or not. On the other hand, when I’ve worked in such areas as history of ideas or international affairs, the reaction has commonly been quite different, ranging from near-hysteria of an often comical variety to fury that I should even dare to step upon this sacred turf without the proper letters after my name. I don’t think it’s very hard to explain the difference, which is quite striking.

    Second, I’m writing from the UK and don’t quite understand some of the terminology used. In one of his essays (Townhall.com, 28th August ‘The Queer Professor’, but I really wouldn’t bother reading it) Adams uses his staircase humour to its usual devastating effect to tell his correspondent, ‘I am sorry to report that I do have tenure’. In a later one (Townhall.com, Oct 23rd ‘My Apology to UNC-Wilmington’) he talks about UNC-Wilmington’s, ‘decision to deny my promotion to full professor’.

    I thought that Tenure = Full professor. Is that just ignorance on my part?

  3. #3 johnj
    October 28, 2006

    The basic problem in dealing with people like Adams is that as scientists we are used to dealing with a proven hypothesis – it takes half a library from Darwin to Dawkins to explain the theory of evolution – creationists merely point to the Bible and tell us its all in there. We have to prove everything – they merely have faith – it is this that makes creationism appeal to the uneducated – they don’t have to understand – merely believe

  4. #4 Bartholomew
    October 29, 2006

    Thanks for the link. I didn’t know about Adams’s current “deficient in all areas” situation. He goes on about it at Townhall:

    Given that I have won several teaching awards and wildly exceeded the average productivity of my colleagues – even in refereed or “scholarly” journal publications – it was assumed by most observers that my denial would be explained on the grounds of “collegiality,” or lack thereof.
    Those observers were wrong. According to the written explanation I have now received, I am deficient in all areas; teaching, research, and service.
    As I sat back in my office – with my 1998 UNCW Professor of the Year Award hanging just to my left and my 2000 Faculty Member of the Year Award hanging just to my right…

    Maybe Adams has a point (ugh!), although it’s worth noting that a) his awards predate his rise to pundithood b) he doesn’t tell us anything about his academic publications and c) he doesn’t actually give us the text of the “written explanation” so that we can judge for ourselves; instead he prefers to rant about his employer being a “Communist dictatorship”.

    By the way, I’ve a bit more amusing humbug from Adams here.

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