Pharyngula

Awww, Mike S. Adams noticed me!

Mike Adams latest column is all about his UMM visit…although, actually, it’s more of a whine about me.

Dr. P.Z. Myer did, in fact, make my talk Thursday night and something very strange happened: He, too, experienced a sudden and dramatic change in his level of courage during the course of the speech.

During the question and answer session, Professor Myer simply leaned against a door post with his arms crossed and said nothing. He just stared at me blankly and stood motionless in the same place where he was standing for the last twenty minutes of the speech. During the “Q & A”, I looked directly at him and asked “Are there any other questions?”

He looked directly at me? How was I supposed to tell? He is correct that there was a big crowd there, and a spillover into the hallway. I arrived late, and there were 3 or 4 people in front of me before the entrance…as they trickled away at the end, I worked my way farther forward. I only got as far as the door by the halfway point in the Q&A.

I’d be flattered that he noticed my presence if he weren’t such a pathetic gomer.

More important than what the video will show is what it will not show. Specifically, there will be no image of Dr. Myer mustering the courage to ask a question of Dr. Adams. Instead, he simply cowered away, and then ran back to his home computer in order to blog a fictitious account of a wonderful event — probably while sitting in his pajamas.

But it is a shame that Dr. Myer lacked the courage to ask me a single question. I certainly had a couple to ask of him. And I’ll bet the audience would have liked to hear him explain how an evolutionist who deems the universe to be accidental can be so full of moral superiority. Or perhaps how the accidental moralist can be an atheist and yet so angry at God.

It takes courage for a man to admit that he is sometimes afraid. But that courage is not a gift of random mutation. It is a gift from a God who loves even the most hardened atheist.

“Cowered away”? Or stood (apparently, prominently) at the door listening?

It wasn’t a lack of courage, I have to say. I have a personal policy at these sorts of talks of always giving the students first crack at speakers, no matter whether I approve of them or not. I’ve been at events where a professor and a speaker get into a little dialog at the end, and entertaining as it might be, it’s not as instructive as getting the students involved. While the students were readily raising their hands, even if they were college Republicans, I wasn’t going to interrupt. And the questions were still coming fast when the organizer peremptorily ended the session.

Since he had questions for me, I suppose he could have asked them directly, since he seems to have noticed me there; I think he’d reply rightly that he wouldn’t do that as long as he was getting questions from his audience. In this column, he could have replied to my complaints about the unlikelihood of his stories—a guy who claims he converted to being a far right wing Republican because of his revulsion at the unprincipled abuses of their immense power by feminists has some explainin’ to do—but whining that I didn’t ask a question at his talk is mighty feeble stuff.

And speaking of courage—complaining on the web about a criticism while not giving a link and misspelling the critic’s name, let alone neglecting to address any of the points, is at best discourteous, and more likely a reluctance to let his happy audience of cheerleaders actually see the substance of the complaints.

But here’s a deal. Since Dr. Mike S. Adams is such an avid proponent of seeing alternative points of view expressed on college campuses, and since he has so much clout at the UNC as a beloved professor, he can always get one of the campus organizations there to invite me out to his university (I expect the same honorarium he got here, of course) to give a talk on evolution and creationism, and then he can ask me his questions. I’ll even make sure to keep a seat in the front row open for him.


His readers apparently are smart enough to figure out my email address despite Adams’ coy misdirection. I’ve got lots of messages calling me a “liberal pussy” this morning—why are they calling me that which Mike S. Adams fears the most?

Comments

  1. #1 Sastra
    October 30, 2006

    The real reason Adams wanted PZ to ask a question — and was disappointed when he didn’t — was that he wanted to make rhetorical hay of the fact that this here scientist who is *pro-evolution* is an ATHEIST. Atheist, evolutionist; atheism, evolution. I was just asked a question by an ATHEIST, who favors EVOLUTION. Did you kids in the back hear that? Did you hear the question asked by the ATHEIST who is defending EVOLUTION? Did you get that okay? Is it on the videotape?

  2. #2 Shawn S.
    October 30, 2006

    Kozinator,

    If God loves us so much then why are we all going to hell if we don’t buy into his bullshit? God’s ‘love’ is so conditional it would make any psychologist shudder at the dysfunctionality of it.

    Being a member of God’s family (and we can use this metaphor freely because God The Father is always used in the Bible) is like being a member of some unpredictable, capricious, drunken guy’s family. He’s totally megalomaniacal, and plays head games. He has a stick in one hand and a dubious looking carrot in the other. He is constantly bugging your bedroom to make sure you aren’t breaking his house rules and he has fake birth certificates planted in a cheap lockbox (easily opened if you take the time) that makes you doubt your parentage, but if you look at these fake birth certficates he has in this cheap-ass lockbox (which you broke into because he kept saying, “Don’t look in that!”…and grinning) and take them seriously then he locks you in the garage where his estranged nephew (who is consigned to doing God’s dirty work in a dirty garage because of some falling out) tortures you all afternoon with a blowtorch. This is NOT LOVE!

    This is God’s family. It’s LESS functional than the Manson family.

    The best tool for converting Christians into atheists is the Bible.

    As Dawkins said, “God is one of the most awful characters in all of fiction.” (I may be paraphrasing a bit)

  3. #3 Ichthyic
    October 30, 2006

    All religion is bad because some religions, which you have had the misfortune to encounter, are bad. What happens to me when atheists do that is that I am left thinking that you have no clue what I am talking about, and wouldn’t understand why, as a Catholic, I also argue against a lot of what you argue against.

    an atheist does not use the evidence of the societal effects of religion to justify atheism. an atheist uses the lack of evidence in support of any deities to be all the justification needed.

    decrying the societal effects of various religious sects has nothing to do with atheism, as you rightly point out that you yourself can decry various religious sects as well.

    don’t confuse one for the other.

  4. #4 Ichthyic
    October 30, 2006

    …and as the counterpoint to that, Ann Coulter’s latest dreck spillage was a bestseller for several weeks.

    seems lot’s of folks were interested in what she had to say, based on book sales at least.

    doesn’t mean she actually did have anything original or factual to say, however.

    ahhh, the republican mantra:

    “If you’re rich, you’re automatically a genius!”

    just ask Dave Scott Springerbot over on Uncommonly Dense.

  5. #5 Ichthyic
    November 2, 2006

    SteveS, you asked:

    Steve_C, I ask again, can someone please explain to me the value in personally attacking conservatives as opposed to actually engaging them with an open mind?

    are you saying you consider this waste of human skin to be representative of what it means to be a “conservative”?

    do you really think engaging someone like Adams with “an open mind” would make one whit of difference to how he thinks?

    hardly.

    if you think Adams is representative of a true conservative, you better hope you’re wrong.

    if you think criticizing adams is criticizing conservatives in general, you’re just an idiot.

  6. #6 Ichthyic
    November 2, 2006

    To some here, specifically Mr. Myers, I guess I’m a dimwit for having the audacity to question the absoluteness of his apparent lifelong studies.

    one, it’s not just some here who think you’re a dimwit.

    two, the reason we think so isn’t because you have audacity, it’s that, well, you’re a dimwit, as even you yourself admit in your second paragraph, and make abundantly clear throughout your post.

    anybody who reads your missives could only reach the same conclusion.

    accept it and move on.

  7. #7 Ichthyic
    November 2, 2006

    twisted concern troll.

    BINGO!

  8. #8 Ichthyic
    November 3, 2006

    Now you can mate with another ape just as you can a horsebut

    sorry, I’m not touching that one with the proverbial ten foot pole.

    it really is a new take on the “birds and bees” lecture.

  9. #9 SteveS
    November 3, 2006

    Gee, I tried to leave you folks alone but I knew you couldn’t resist the parting shots.

    Ichthyic, are you saying you consider this waste of human skin to be representative of what it means to be a “conservative”?

    Believe it or not I don’t even think PZ is “a waste of human skin.” You’re just reinforcing the notion that liberals are “mean,” you see no value in someone like Adams whereas I see unlimited value and potential in ALL people…something I might expect to hear coming from the mouths of liberals everywhere. That my friend, is what I don’t get. I don’t get that an ideology that allegedly embraces diversity and tolerance – the right to be and think differently – produces so many people that think and act exactly alike in being so intolerant of conservatives and their values.

    do you really think engaging someone like Adams with “an open mind” would make one whit of difference to how he thinks?

    Very revealing, so it’s about changing how Dr. Adams thinks. What about changing how you think? What about Adams the person? Some of my favorite people are liberals, and as much as I may despise some of how they “think” I adore them as friends. Is this how we make the world a better place, by insulting, impugning and alienating everyone that thinks differently?

    if you think Adams is representative of a true conservative, you better hope you’re wrong.

    Why?

    if you think criticizing adams is criticizing conservatives in general, you’re just an idiot.

    Again, I am reminded of PZ’s criticism of UMM students: “I’m very disappointed in our students. We’re far off the beaten track and we don’t get that many speakers passing through our area, and they had to go exhibit the poor taste to invite this sorry sack of rethuglican excreta to our campus. Couldn’t they have at least tried to find an intelligent conservative to bring out here? Why’d they have to scrape the bottom of the barrel for this guy? At least we’re seeing our rather dismal right-wing campus rag’s fading credibility implode with their sponsorship of such a low-wattage guest speaker.

    Let us not forget the link: http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2006/10/mike_s_adams_here.php

    PZ’s contempt for conservatives seems fairly apparent to me.

    Steve_C:

    Wow. If I have to explain why it’s ok to call Rush and Adams buffoons…then you really are not very bright. It’s almost like you’re some twisted concern troll.

    Who said anything about Rush? I guess all us redneck conservatives must be Dittoheads, walking in lockstep with Rush – Rush for president people! No wait, that’s Adams for president. Hey, there are plenty buffoons to go around, but you didn’t asnwer the question, who or what is the arbiter of what ideas are worthy of contempt?

    “why do liberals have to be so mean?”

    Damn good question. Thus far I’ve been called, jackass, moron, internet troll, and now “twisted concern troll.” What’s next?

  10. #10 Ichthyic
    November 3, 2006

    help!

    we’re being invaded by fake concern trolls.

  11. #11 SteveS
    November 3, 2006

    Ichthyic, get a grip. I’m not a troll of any sort, and I damn sure haven’t faked anything. Foolish me, I keep thinking it possible to actually come to some sort of working mutual respect with liberals but you people are impossible.

  12. #12 Ichthyic
    November 3, 2006

    but you people are impossible

    say that a little louder, Steve, I didn’t quite catch that.

  13. #13 SteveS
    November 4, 2006

    Ichthyic, if the evidence supports the conclusion…isn’t that the stance here?

The site is currently under maintenance and will be back shortly. New comments have been disabled during this time, please check back soon.