Pharyngula

He told on me! That wicked rat-fink has
reported me to the provost of my university, and now I’m a-tremblin’ in my pajamas. Here’s the text of the letter he claims to have sent in, revealing my perfidy to the administration.

Dear Tom Sullivan, Provost, University of Minnesota,

My name is John A. Davison. I am a retired Professor Emeritus of Biology from the University of Vermont. I earned my Ph.D. in Zoology at the University of Minnesota in 1954. While I am retired, I am still writing papers and engaging in internet discussions concerning the mechanism of organic evolution, a phenomenon I feel is no longer in progress

I have summarized my views in several papers especially in my 2005 paper “A Prescribed Evolutionary Hypothesis,” which present a viable alternative to the Darwinian mechanism. Naturally, a non Darwinian hypothesis is bound to create controversy and, as expected, my views have not been found to be acceptable to many members of the academic community.

It is in that regard that I want to call your attention to the manner in which I have been treated by a member of your faculty, Professor P.Z. Meyers, Associate Professor of Biology at the Morris campus. In my opinion his forum, ‘Pharyngula,” reflects poorly on his role as a university teacher and scholar. While I have been banned from participation in his forum he has introduced comments, some of them obscene, using my name as the source of said comments. I regard this as the bottom of the intellectual barrel and it is for that reason that I feel compelled to call the matter to your attention It is also a very serious breech of academic protocol and civil discourse. It is my conviction that Meyers should be, at the very least ,severely disciplined if not summarily dismissed based on his continued abuse of those with whom he disagrees. I am by no means the only one that he treats in such a manner His chronic, arrogant behavior reflects very poorly on what I have always regarded as a great University which by coincidence also happens to be my alma mater.

I remain, Sincerely yours,

John A. Davison, Professor Emeritus , University of Vermont

Hmmm. Let’s distill this down a bit.

First two paragraphs: “I am a famous internet crank and crackpot.”

Third paragraph: “P.Z. Meyers is being mean to me. Please fire him.”

Strangely enough, such a compelling and persuasive treatise has so far failed to elicit any thunderbolts from on high. I haven’t received so much as a querulous memo asking, “who is this guy?”, let alone revocation of tenure, summary dismissal, and immediate imprisonment in the Chateau d’If. I’m beginning to wonder if perhaps there is a Dr Meyers somewhere on one of our campuses who is currently baffled at all the administrative hellfire raining down on him; or perhaps I haven’t heard about it because the hapless and totally innocent Dr Meyers was quietly and efficiently terminated, and his bones now lie moldering beneath a goal post at the football stadium.

I’ll be sure to let you all know if I hear anything from anyone in the administration. On the other hand, if the blog suddenly goes silent, you know where to look: Chateau d’If, then the Gopher Stadium.

P.S. I haven’t written any obscene comments about Davison, let alone posted them under his name. I think he has gotten … confused.


I know why I haven’t heard from the administration! Davison forgot to include an important part of his letter:

It is not I who needs to hear from the Provost of the University of Minnesota. It is P.Z. Meyers, the most foul mouthed, base degenerate and miserable excuse for a human being that ever hosted a blog. That such a creature should be influencing our youth in or out of the University classroom or any place else should be unthinkable to any objective investigator of the greatest unsolved mystery in all of biological science. This creature is the bottom of the intellectual barrel and has no business representing any university in any capacity whatsoever. I am confident that The University of Minnesota will see to it that he receives his just rewards for his wholesale rejection of every aspect of what intellectual integrity demands. The man is a text book degenerate and a blight upon the face of academe. I am surprised he has been allowed to go as far as he already has. He has violated every aspect of the one thing that matters most of all, the unhindered search for the truth.

Wow. I think I may bug the poor man a little bit. I haven’t seen a screed like that against me since I last read some of the other scienceblogs here.

Comments

  1. #1 Ichthyic
    May 26, 2007

    funny, I wrote to the University of Vermont to ask about Davison a few years back (as he was using University resources to publish his PEH), and after first not recognizing the name at all, they finally informed me that the man had been “voluntarily” retired from teaching in the mid 80′s. John himself confirmed this, and mentioned he had tried to teach his PEH in his classes, and “those bastards” had quickly given him the proverbial boot from teaching responsibilities.

    It was pretty clear, though not explicity stated, that the poor guy had pretty much lost his mind after some family tragedy in the mid 80′s, and apparently has never recovered.

    you could do the same thing; write UVM and publish the response you receive. That should be good for a few laughs.

    personally, I simply hope that exposing John to his insanity over and over will eventually result in him entering a treatment program.

    The man did, at one time, have some legitimate contributions to biology, before he completly lost it.

    It’s both sad and annoying to see him continually flaunt his insanity all over the blogging world.

  2. #2 Ichthyic
    May 26, 2007

    btw, I always get a kick out of pointing out that John’s PEH is listed as CRANKIEST in the evolution category on crank.net.

  3. #3 Ichthyic
    May 26, 2007

    he really is batshit insane.

    there is no doubt.

    seriously.

  4. #4 Ichthyic
    May 26, 2007

    Woot had the best comment to Davison in that thread:

    wÒÓ? Says:

    Once again, when you’ve got nothing, you get petty and vindictive. It’s a disturbing pattern, and it’s becoming increasingly clear why UVM kicked you to the curb.

    If you don’t want to discuss the merits of your “hypothesis,” perhaps you should look for a different line of work.

    I understand Wal-Mart is always looking for enthusiastic persons to serve as greeters.

    perfect.

  5. #5 Torbjörn Larsson, OM
    May 26, 2007

    Davison’s cunning strategy is to insist on getting banned on all major sites. (“I love it so!”) And a few years later, bitch about it.

    Yeah, never seen that one before.

    his PEH

    PEH?

    “PEH Promotion of Environmental Health (WHO)” ( http://acronyms.thefreedictionary.com/PEH )?

    Um, no.

    “Profusely Erratic Harangue”?

    Perhaps.

  6. #6 Ichthyic
    May 26, 2007

    PEH?

    http://www.crank.net/evolution.html

    scroll down to:

    “an evolutionary manifesto”

    also known as:

    the Prescribed Evolution Hypothesis (PEH).

    http://www.crank.net/cgi-bin/redirect.cgi?http://www.uvm.edu/~jdavison/davison-manifesto.html

    for your own sanity, do NOT, under any circumstances, attempt to get him to explain ANY part of it.

  7. #7 Ichthyic
    May 26, 2007

    He is (or was) running for Governor of Vermont? This should be good.

    long time ago.

  8. #8 Ichthyic
    May 27, 2007

    Lago-

    it’s a complete waste of time to discuss it here. there is NO way you will get anybody here to start going into John’s insanity in depth.

    his materials are not only readily available, he repeats the gist of his insanity in every other post he makes, AND i linked directly to it above!

    you wanna learn? read his damn idiotic manifesto, or just read his posts on the thread linked to by PZ above.

    seriously, are you THAT lazy?

  9. #9 Ichthyic
    May 27, 2007

    …and yes, I feel it necessary to lash you with a wet noodle NOW.

  10. #10 Ichthyic
    May 27, 2007

    I have tried to read the guys posts, and NO he does not say what his proposed mechanism is.

    the jokes on you, lago.

    there IS no proposed mechanism. I thought you might have been able to grasp that by now.

    to confirm you can read his manifesto, if you wish.

    live and learn.

    BTW, as a tangent, for anybody concerned, John will claim he published his PEH in a peer reviewed journal.

    well, that “journal” is Rivista Di Biologia.

    to say it’s “peer reviewed” is like saying the news items on Fox News are “peer reviewed”.

  11. #11 Lago
    May 27, 2007

    Ichthyic, I am guess you finally read through the guys garbage and realized what I was saying, and now you are trying to pull a Pee Wee Herman and claim, “I meant to do that?”

    Not buying your BS…

  12. #12 Ichthyic
    May 27, 2007

    Not buying your BS…

    not that I give a shit what you think, but I read all of Davison’s stuff years ago, when he first started pushing it on PT.

    like i said, he doesn’t propose a mechanism, only that evolution stopped eons ago.

    that’s it.

    really.

    he never proposes a mechanism that stopped evolution; he simply says it’s obvious it has.

    as i said, if you don’t believe me, read his manifesto yourself.

    if you can’t figure it out, join the vast bulk of those who read it.

    guess what? It was written by an insane person, so not being able to figure it out should be looked at as a POSITIVE thing.

    trust me when i tell you that your apparent fascination with John’s manifesto will only lead you to a lot of wasted time.

    but, if you insist, why don’t you go ask him about it yourself?

    you might get as far as the hundreds of others that have tried to get him to say something lucid about it.

    good luck.

  13. #13 Ichthyic
    May 28, 2007

    Of course he is attempting to propose a mechanism,

    then you need to go back and learn what “mechanism” means in the context of a scientific hypothesis.

    ’cause there aint one there.

    He DOESN’T claim a mechanism, dolt. I thought for sure your perusal of that thread would uncover at least a few times someone asked him the very same question you did.

    go and look and see if he provides a response.

    hint: he doesn’t because he never has. ever. not in his paper, not in response to direct questioning.

    ever.

    got it now?

    gees, some people.

    now go flog yourself with a wet noodle or something, would ya?

  14. #14 Dustin
    May 28, 2007

    Ichthyic, it isn’t worth gettting pissed over. Step back and realize that you’re wasting valuable energy arguing with a guy who is not John A. Davison about John A. Davison.

    Anyway, Lago isn’t listening. I say let it go.

  15. #15 Ichthyic
    May 28, 2007

    Anyway, Lago isn’t listening. I say let it go.

    done.

  16. #16 Torbjörn Larsson, OM
    May 30, 2007

    the Prescribed Evolution Hypothesis (PEH).

    [Sorry for comment delay.] Ah, thank you!

    Guess I didn’t listen to him. :-o

  17. #17 dublin1
    November 22, 2008

    It may be true that the unexamined life is not worth living–but neither is the unlived life worth examining.
    ~ Dan Millman Quotes

    WARNING – The last “blog” of Davison takes FOREVER to load. I have gone there many times never a clinch, maybe you should upgrade your computer?

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