Pharyngula

Colorado kook identified

If you’ve been wondering who the ‘non-religious Darwinist’ (according to the DI, that is) who sent threatening notes to the University of Colorado at Boulder faculty might have been, wonder no more. The Colorado Daily News has revealed his name: it’s Michael Korn.

You can read Korn’s website and decide for yourself whether he fits the DI’s description of the culprit. Personally, I think the forensic skills of the gang of IDists have failed spectacularly, once again.

Comments

  1. #1 AJ Milne
    July 13, 2007

    Well… umm… hrm… obviously he’s really an eeevil ‘Darwinist’… and just posing as a raving Christian zealot with a website full of wacky fonts, random capitalized phrases, and screeds on creationism, weird fundy blends of Christianity and Judaism and… ummm…

    Okay. I don’t even know what half that shit is supposed to be…

    But the point is: obviously it’s an eeevilutionist setup. I mean, no one really believes stuff this wacky, right?

    I said: right?

    Someone say ‘right’ now. Please.

  2. #2 Reginald Selkirk
    July 13, 2007

    The police response seems rather nonchalant.

  3. #3 Warren
    July 13, 2007

    Wow. Wow.

    Just wow.

    What an absolute bona fide kook.

    Wow.

  4. #4 xeric
    July 13, 2007

    “First, as a believer in the authenticity of the Shroud of Turin….”
    And it just gets nuttier from there.
    Deport him back to his “Holyland”. We’ve got enough homegrown nuts as it is.

  5. #5 Blake Stacey, OM
    July 13, 2007

    Hmmm. I sense a whole new subplot for ScienceBlogs: The Movie!

  6. #6 raven
    July 13, 2007

    The police response seems rather nonchalant.

    The Boulder police have been criticized in the past for not being the brightest bulbs on the tree. Some people claim they botched the Joan-Benet Ramsey child killer case so badly that the killer will never be caught.

  7. #7 Brownian
    July 13, 2007

    Where are all the blogs about Michael Korn being a rude asshole for not respecting other people’s beliefs?

    Why aren’t the moderates all jumping up to say that he’s got a good point, that perhaps, like Dawkins, Hitchens, and Myers, he might win more converts if he were ‘nicer’?

  8. #8 Stephen
    July 13, 2007

    I used to live in Boulder, and some right-wing nut from Littleton used to come up and stand on a street corner with a sandwich-board saying “Hillary killed Ron Brown” and other non sequitors. This kook’s “9/11 was an inside job!” rant is reminiscent, but I don’t remember the sandwich-board guy having a beard.

  9. #9 David Levin
    July 13, 2007

    Even the Vatican doesn’t believe in the authenticity of the Shroud of Turin. It was determined by carbon dating to be a medieval forgery. What a dim bulb this guy is.

  10. #10 michael
    July 13, 2007

    Deport him back to his “Holyland”.

    Dude, the guy was born in America. As an Israeli, I say – You guys produced him, you get to keep him.

    Last time Israel admitted a guy like him, he murdered 29 unarmed Muslims (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baruch_Goldstein)

  11. #11 Zombie
    July 13, 2007

    How is it kooks always manage to type so much? TLDR

  12. #12 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    July 13, 2007

    I know a troll who’s got some ‘splainin to do.

  13. #13 garth
    July 13, 2007

    projection continues to be the theme of the millenium so far. “we are crazy, intolerant, fucked-up fundamentalists, therefore THE PEOPLE WE DISAGREE WITH are crazy, intolerant, fucked-up fundamentalist ATHIESTS! We’ll do anything to intimidate and frighten people, therefore they will too! It all makes sense!”

  14. #14 Steve_C
    July 13, 2007

    I think it’s all a VIral marketing campaign for PZ’s blog. Or the book he’s writing.

  15. #15 Lago
    July 13, 2007

    I am a little lost. Has anyone asked this guy if he dropped off these writings?

    If so, did anyone ask what he meant, as in, does he think the murder of evo-biologists is justified by god?

    Maybe we should just ask?

  16. #16 Reginald Selkirk
    July 13, 2007

    Even the Vatican doesn’t believe in the authenticity of the Shroud of Turin. It was determined by carbon dating to be a medieval forgery. What a dim bulb this guy is.

    But of course some believers never give up. Would you believe that a peer-review journal published a paper in 2006 claiming that all the isotope dating is inaccurate because the samples were all taken from patched portions of the shroud, and the true, older date of the shroud can be established using fibers of questionable provenance using the well-established vanillin method?

  17. #17 John Pieret
    July 13, 2007

    It is obvious that the availability of multiple fonts in multiple colors somehow drives people mad …

  18. #18 mojojojo
    July 13, 2007

    Korn claims it was disappointment with Zionist social policy that drove him to Christianity, but it sounds like it was the seder hishtalshelus (“order of development” or “order of evolution”, a dynamic process of continual creation) that flipped his wig.

  19. #19 Matt Penfold
    July 13, 2007

    “Where are all the blogs about Michael Korn being a rude asshole for not respecting other people’s beliefs?”

    Well Rob Knopp has told me that the wacky beliefs of many of his co-religionists are not his problem. Total crap of course, but it does make you wonder why he thinks PZ IS his problem.

  20. #20 BillCinSD
    July 13, 2007

    Aren’t their Vatican archives in which a papal delegate interviewed the person that made the Shroud?

  21. #21 Inoculated Mind
    July 13, 2007

    Hey has anyone noticed the correlation between Phil Plait moving to Boulder Colorado, and these letters showing up? Could it be a pro-astronomy anti-biologist plot?

    …hehehe.

    Hey lookie here, the DI has itself another False Positive.

  22. #22 Vyoma
    July 13, 2007

    The DI is now hard at work on a paper proving that Korn is not a TRUE Scotsman.

  23. #23 Kristine
    July 13, 2007

    If anything happened to anyone at the DI at the hands of a kook, of any persuasion, I would be utterly devastated, and I should think that they could show the same decency.

    I don’t understand what their beliefs mean to them when they bray their nonsense like this. And obviously this man needs serious psychological counseling. The DI certainly isn’t doing him any favors.

  24. #24 Lago
    July 13, 2007

    Again, has anyone asked the guy if he did it?

  25. #25 MikeM
    July 13, 2007

    Not just a kook, but a dangerous kook. That DI would describe him as non-religious is… It’s hard to find the words, but I guess it’s fitting DI would say that’s non-religious.

    And, seriously, I think he’s dangerous. His words were quite specific. He’s threatening. If they can positively link forensic evidence to him, I think they should arrest him. Those were serious threats.

    Arrest him for what? Stalking. Making credible threats. Among other things. He was going to do it.

    If Cho taught us anything, it’s that you don’t wait to do something. When you have a chance to stop someone, do it.

    I wonder what Debbie Schlussel has to say about this guy.

    Nothing. I just checked. Just wanted to save all of you the trouble.

  26. #26 llewelly
    July 13, 2007

    I note CU officials have not yet named a suspect. The reporters got the name from ‘sources close to the case’, who apparently only observed how the letters were signed. A good guess that Korn did it? Yes. Beyond a reasonable doubt? No.

  27. #27 forsen
    July 13, 2007

    This guy reminds me of the UNA bomber. Typical dangerous tinfoilhattery.

  28. #28 Lago
    July 13, 2007

    I think I’ll wait ’til I hear both sides of the story before I start discussing a person I do not know.

  29. #29 sizzzzlerz
    July 13, 2007

    I half expected to find a dancing jesus icon on his web page. However, everything else pretty much fit my preconceived notions as to what a fundy’s web page would look like.

  30. #30 Stogoe
    July 13, 2007

    You keep it up, Lago. Repetition over and over and over again will make people care about whatever the hell you’re blabbing on about.

  31. #31 Caledonian
    July 13, 2007

    Shouldn’t we wait to discuss how Korn’s religious attitudes are related to the letters he wrote until we get confirmation that he actually did write those letters?

    Anyone can sign a letter, after all, and a rumor that a particular person is under investigation is far from proof that the person is actually guilty of anything.

    I suspect Korn really did write those letters. But my suspicions aren’t enough to draw conclusions from. Let’s wait a bit and get more solid information before making any further statements.

  32. #32 Keanus
    July 13, 2007

    Korn reminds me of one of our new weekly protesters at a Planned Parenthood clinic in suburban Philadelphia. She’s a vegan pagan who, ‘though opposing abortion and family planning, takes serious issue with her fellow protesters who are all either fundamentalist Christians or Roman Catholics. The lot mix it up so heatedly in deep theological discussions that they often forget why their on the sidewalk in front of the clinic. She and Korn could have some great fights!

  33. #33 Keanus
    July 13, 2007

    Korn reminds me of one of our new weekly protesters at a Planned Parenthood clinic in suburban Philadelphia. She’s a vegan pagan who, ‘though opposing abortion and family planning, takes serious issue with her fellow protesters who are all either fundamentalist Christians or Roman Catholics. The lot mix it up so heatedly in deep theological discussions that they often forget why they’re on the sidewalk in front of the clinic. She and Korn could have some great fights!

  34. #34 PuckishOne
    July 13, 2007

    Brownian and Matt Penfold: Group hug time (don’t worry, I’m cute but married). 🙂 Since I’m so clearly a PZ “acolyte” I suppose I can join in here, too, eh?

    I can only assume that Lago is trying to say “innocent until proven guilty,” which is fine. However, the ol’ “ask him if he did it” technique of interrogation went the way of the dodo when it was pretty much proven not to work. Generally speaking, police will not release a suspect’s name until enough evidence has been gathered to charge said person with a crime, so at this point we have no choice but to assume that the Boulder police have done just that. I do agree with Caledonian, though…we should wait at least until the evidence is revealed before commenting further.

  35. #35 Jeb, FCD
    July 13, 2007

    He prolly crackd cuz he has a zany band named after him.

  36. #36 Nevyn
    July 13, 2007

    Did anyone else notice this loonytoon says he went to *Harvard*!!??!! If that’s true and they turn down my grad school application I’m going to be royally pissed.

  37. #37 llewelly
    July 13, 2007

    PuckishOne:

    Generally speaking, police will not release a suspect’s name until enough evidence has been gathered to charge said person with a crime, so at this point we have no choice but to assume that the Boulder police have done just that.

    Read the article. Does it say Boulder Police, or any similar authority provided the name?

    Article:

    CU officials won’t name a suspect, but numerous sources close to the case say the letters – as well as a barrage of threatening e-mails – were signed ‘Michael Korn.’

    [snip]

    Cmdr. Brad Wiesley of the CU Police Department says a detective is on the case. CUPD is investigating whether the note’s author and deliverer are the same person.

    Why would they be investigating ‘whether the note’s author and deliverer are the same person’ if they had enough evidence to charge Korn?
    Why would the reporter say they got the name from ‘sources close to the case’ if they got it from police?
    If police have enough evidence to charge Korn, why does the article not say so?

    At this point, we cannot assume the police have enough info to charge Korn, or that they released his name

  38. #38 autumn
    July 14, 2007

    Leaks in cases like this are too often simply fiction (the entrenching tool that was the murder weapon of Nicole Simpson springs to mind) for much stock to be put into them. The local press is going to trumpet any bit of innuendo as confirmed by “those close to the case”.
    We can, however, be entirely justified in skewering Korn as a deluded jackass, and making fun of him in the most delightfully mocking ways.

    He’s quite mad, you know.

  39. #39 Agent Smith
    July 14, 2007

    #2,

    since when has law enforcement ever taken right wing terrorism targeted against secularists, leftists or humanists seriously?

  40. #41 Ken Mareld
    July 14, 2007

    Wow!,
    This guy reminds me of a nutjob I ran across in the early eighties. There were four things important in his life. Number one: he was a crackhead. Number two: he liked to say that he was a Rabbi Kahane (radical US/Israeli nut job that promoted Muslim murder) bodyguard. Number three: he was a ‘bounty hunter’. And lastly he thought he was a quick draw artist. It’s odd that his name immediately made me think of this guy, whose name I cannot remember. I don’t know if it’s the same guy, probably not, but the creepiness of his website language is the same that raised the hairs on the back of my neck. Boulder police will also get a heads up on if this is the same guy

  41. #42 DSM
    July 15, 2007

    “Well… umm… hrm… obviously he’s really an eeevil ‘Darwinist’… and just posing as a raving Christian zealot with a website full of wacky fonts, random capitalized phrases, and screeds on creationism, weird fundy blends of Christianity and Judaism and… ummm…”

    And, of course, we know that that NEVER, EVER happens. Right? Right?

    http://www.landoverbaptist.org/

    Oh.

  42. #43 DSM
    July 15, 2007

    “http://www.landoverbaptist.org/”

    Well, okay. It happened once. Just once.

    http://objectiveministries.org/

    Okay, twice. But that’s all.

    http://www.youtube.com/user/SoldierInGodsArmy

    Ah, crud.

  43. #44 autumn
    July 15, 2007

    Okay, I need some sort of confirmation that the dude in the soldieringodsarmy videos isn’t doing a wonderful impression of Bush. It is exactly the same as every press conference our illegal tyrant has given since his taking of power.

  44. #45 autumn
    July 15, 2007

    Okay, saw a little more of his stuff. It is funny, but I live in Florida, and I hear this sort of thing all the time, except with honesty and hate. A white hot hate that is angry at everything different than itself, especially the blacks and the literate.

  45. #46 concerned christian citizen
    July 18, 2007

    check out http://www.scienceagainstevolution.org then get back to me.

    evolutionists are right that they descended from monkeys, but not so far and not so long ago.

    the science produced over the past 150 years since Darwin has overwhelmingly proved his ideas wrong.

    anyone who cannot see that is not just a godless atheist but a scientific illiterate and fool.

  46. #47 concerned christian citizen
    July 18, 2007

    check out http://www.scienceagainstevolution.org authored by David Pogge, US military scientist and author.

    the many discoveries in biochemistry and physics, to name just two fields, since the time of darwin have overwhelmingly proven his ideas false and even ludicrous.

    anyone who cannot see the flaws in darwinian theories is either a liar, self-deceived, or a moron.

    i like to say that adherents of darwinian mythology are descended from the apes, but not very far and not very long ago.

  47. #48 viggen
    July 18, 2007

    Holy fleakin’ cr@p! I think I saw that guy at Barnes and Noble a couple weeks ago. He was sitting in the cafe section chatting with another guy making plans about spreading god’s word or religious outreach or something. I took notice because he was wearing white robes and because he had a funny accent. I had originally thought him muslim mainly because he seemed middle eastern in feel.

    I took it as par for the course at the time because seeing strange people is not uncommon in Boulder Colorado.

  48. #49 valhar2000
    July 18, 2007

    Hey, concerned christian citizen,

    check out http://www.goddamnfundiesarekooks.org then get back to me.

    christians are right that they were created from dirt, but not so far and not so long ago.

    the science produced over the past 150 years since Darwin has overwhelmingly extended and refined his ideas.

    anyone who cannot see that is not just a deluded theist but a scientific illiterate and fool.

    check out http://www.whyarepeoplethisdumbgoddamnit.org authored by Yuris Troolley, DMV scientist and author.

    the many discoveries in biochemistry and physics, to name just two fields, since the time of darwin have overwhelmingly proven his ideas good and extremely fertile.

    anyone who cannot see the flaws in creationist theories is either a liar, self-deceived, or a moron.

    i like to say that adherents of christian mythology are descended from the apes, but not very far and not very long ago.

  49. #50 Chris Krolczyk
    July 18, 2007

    ccc:

    i like to say that adherents of darwinian mythology are descended from the apes, but not very far and not very long ago.

    Really?

    Well, I like to say that adherents of creationist mythology don’t even know that both apes and humans are descended from a common ancestor, but I guess that that would render your cutesy little insult moot, now, wouldn’t it?

  50. #51 Chris Krolczyk
    July 18, 2007

    PZ: Korn’s website makes it look like he’s in a competition with Wayne Manzo and Dale “Average Joe” Kelly (go ahead, google ’em) for the Strangest WWW Graphomania Award.

  51. #52 Jeff
    July 24, 2007

    This guy recently contacted me about my “apostasy” from Christianity.

    The guy is for real and truly believes what he preaches.

    Anyone who would like to see a flyer he sent me, email me at Canarsie66@aol.com

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