Recall those threats made against evolutionary biologists at the University of Colorado at Boulder? You can read the text of some of them at the Panda’s Thumb now. This is clearly the work of a deranged Christian cultist and creationist kook. We at the Panda’s Thumb also know who the author was, since he didn’t conceal his identity in the letters, and have tracked down his website, and yeah, he’s one of those wacky creationists and a fervent convert to Christianity from Judaism (we are not linking to that information until the police or other sources confirm it).

The most genuinely contemptible reaction to this whole affair belongs to the Discovery Institute. They complain that the letters are unlikely to have come from a real religious person, because with their deep, clever minds and great insight into the workings of the religious mind, they claimed that ‘Rarely do Christian groups refer to their own “religious beliefs”’ … which is news to me. I should point out that it took only a moment with google to find individual articles on the DI’s website that use the phrase “religious beliefs” 3 times, 9 times, even 11 times. Oh, and in case they try to make the lame excuse that they are a secular organization (we can all see through that pretense, of course), it’s similarly easy to find that the Catholic League frequently uses the phrase. Perhaps Bill Donohue isn’t a True Christian™?

Then, to complete the sliming on flimsy grounds, they state that they suspect it was the work of neither creationists nor Christians — implying what? That it was some godless biologist threatening harm? — and compare it to the Paul Mirecki case, implying that he was beat up by some wicked ‘Darwinist,’ too.

This is a case where the DI is clearly shown to be wrong. Don’t expect any retractions from them, though.


  1. #1 Brownian
    July 12, 2007

    Ha! I called it when I discussed this on my blog on Tuesday:

    Alright, let the comments informing me that these people aren’t true Christians commence.

    The religious are so predictable.

  2. #2 Blake Stacey, OM
    July 12, 2007

    From the first e-mail quoted at the Panda’s Thumb:

    your sarcastic attitude is not at all becoming to an Associate Vice Chancellor for Undergraduate Education of a major american university. judging from your response to me, you dont seem very skilled in human relations. i thought universities respected and cultivated a diversity of opinion. in fact that is why it derives from the root word universe.

    Neglecting everything else, the language geek in me has to note that university does not come from the word universe, but rather from the Latin universus meaning “whole” or “entire”. This became universitas which in Late Latin meant “corporation” or “society”, giving eventually the Old French universitei (attested in the 13th century) which entered English around the year 1300. Universe, meaning “the whole world” and equivalent to the Greek-derived Cosmos, is not attested in English before 1589.

    University is not the descendant of universe; they are, rather, verbal cousins.

  3. #3 Ichthyic
    July 13, 2007

    They live in fear. They even admit as much, calling themselves god-fearing. This fear compels them to give up compassion, integrity, honesty and conscience in a craven attempt to please their imaginary sky-father.

    sounds more like a massive case of displacement behavior to me.

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