Pharyngula

The inevitable has occurred

Hey, you know that $15 million lawsuit that was filed against me by Stuart Pivar? He’s been getting hammered on the weblogs, the City Pages was preparing a story on it, the Seed lawyers were unflappable, and Peter Irons was constantly sending Pivar and his lawyer cutting dissections of their poor case. Peter was in contact with the City Pages reporter, who received a brief comment from Pivar earlier this evening.

“My attorney withdrew the suit today.”

I wonder if the article is still going to be published…?

I can’t say that I was ever really worried — the man had no case — but it’s nice to see that silly potential time-suck gone.


No good deed goes unpunished, as they say. Peter Irons, who did such good work on my behalf, is now being threatened with legal action by Stuart Pivar’s lawyer, Michael Little. The mouse squeaks at the lion; we should all close our eyes and turn our heads aside to avoid the inescapable carnage to follow. Either that, or open up a popcorn and cotton candy stand.

Comments

  1. #1 Brian W.
    August 28, 2007

    praise the lard!

  2. #2 Greta Christina
    August 28, 2007

    That’s great news! Congratulations! We all knew it would turn out this way eventually, but it’s great that it happened sooner rather than later.

    I do have to say, “My attorney withdrew the suit” is just about the wimpiest way he could possibly have put it. Like his attorney wasn’t acting on his instructions, but was some free-floating agent out of his control. Can’t he take responsibility for anything? Sheesh.

    But anyway — congrats!

  3. #3 Gilgamesh
    August 28, 2007

    Awesome. Glad that this thing disappeared. I guess whatever sense of dignity had enough of a residue to prevent going through a further humiliating process in a court room and on web blogs.

    Wait. . . the blogosphere has this much power? That is kind of scary in itself. Maybe I should start a few more blogs. . . (oh, the power!)

  4. #4 Stanton
    August 28, 2007

    Perhaps Mr Pivar would have done better had he used a horse’s head, instead of a frivolous lawsuit to get his point across.

  5. #5 Che
    August 28, 2007

    The creationists will probably try to spin this like he was “silenced.”

  6. #6 Tatarize
    August 28, 2007

    Pivar spends his time sodomizing animals. He’s a communist abortionist who has a foot fetish. My brother was going to buy 3 million copies of the book. However, after I informed him that he was homosexual, he promptly moved to not order the books. Probably directly costing Pivar some money.

  7. #7 Bryn
    August 28, 2007

    Huzzah! I’m glad you don’t have to waste your time sitting around in a courtroom swatting gnats. Why is it that kooks and creationists (wait…same thing) are only able to back down if there’s the possibility that they might be countersued and lose money? If there isn’t any money involved, they seem to be able to withstand any amount of intellectual evisceration and blithely keep repeating the same nonsense.

  8. #8 j
    August 28, 2007

    Haha! I don’t know whether to say “Pivar chickened out” or “Pivar saw the light.”

  9. #9 paul
    August 28, 2007

    jeez I hope they know at Uncommonly Decent. they seemed to be getting quite a chuckle out of it for a while.

  10. #10 Carlie
    August 28, 2007

    Ding, dong, the suit is dead. Huzzah!

    Now can we see if we can get the top Google match for his name to be “crackpot”?

  11. #11 Dan
    August 28, 2007

    PZ? I really think you need to send Pivar a nice fruit basket or something. Put some balloon animals in there too. He’d like that, I’d imagine.

  12. #12 peter irons
    August 28, 2007

    PZ, thanks for mentioning my small contribution to convincing Pivar that his case was crap. Let’s see, over the past 9 days I’ ve put in about 40 hours on this case, and I charge $200 an hour, so PZ owes me $8000. Just kidding: I did this because I admire PZ and despise rich bullies like Pivar. Here’s my pay: a commenter on one blog said “I want to have Peter Irons’ baby.” Wow! and another said, “Let’s send him home-baked cookies.” Chocolate chip, please. Seriously, if this kind of time-suck can happen to people like PZ, it could happen to anyone who says “boo” to a crackpot. But maybe Pivar’s humiliating back-down will prevent other crackpots from trying the same tactic. Now, back to whittling on my front porch.

  13. #13 Brian
    August 28, 2007

    The noodly one truly favors you PZ. How tall are you? Short people are touched by his noodly appendage more often you know. Perhaps alternatively you are a pirate or of pirate extraction. Do you like beer?
    RAmen.

  14. #14 Stuart Coleman
    August 28, 2007

    Congrats, does this mean you can talk about it now?

  15. #15 toomanytribbles
    August 28, 2007

    whew! pivar must really be relieved!

  16. #16 John Pieret
    August 28, 2007

    That’s the best possible ending.

    Congrats.

  17. #17 Blake Stacey
    August 28, 2007

    Wow! I’ve been spending all afternoon feeling skeeved about dishonest people — particularly PRISM — but this made my evening quite a bit better.

    Thanks for the link, too.

  18. #18 Brownian
    August 28, 2007

    …a commenter on one blog said “I want to have Peter Irons’ baby.” Wow! and another said, “Let’s send him home-baked cookies….

    Can’t it be both? How ’bout a nice basket of home-baked babies?

    Oops. That comment should have gone on the “You can’t replace animals with petri dishes and computers” thread.

    Seriously, well done Peter!

  19. #19 pharandaway
    August 28, 2007

    Jeez, and I was just getting ready to ramp up the folks at the RA forums to buy t-shirts emblazoned with “Free PZ!” and “Pivar’s a crackpot. Sue me.” All for your legal fund, I assure you.

    Cheers, and congratulations! I’m raising a budlight in the general direction of Minnesota.

  20. #20 Ian H Spedding FCD
    August 28, 2007

    A few days ago, I caught part of a talk by Peter Irons on C-Span about his book God on Trial and had been considering buying it.

    Now, I shall definitely get it.

    This is excellent news. Congratulations to all who had a hand in bringing this about.

  21. #21 Zarquon
    August 28, 2007

    Well I’m bummed. I was hoping that the court case could go ahead and PZ would call John Baez as an expert witness as to how much of a crackpot Pivar is.

  22. #22 tourettist
    August 28, 2007

    Any one care to lay odds on how long it will take the IDers to claim Pivar as a martyr? Or the whole fiasco as evidence of how Darwinist establishment uses intimidation to silence innovatiion and dissent?

  23. #23 Jon Eccles
    August 28, 2007

    Re: comment 6

    I heard that after he sodomises dogs, he sells them on to Michael Vick. And he was personally responsible for the deaths of JFK, Versace and Princess Di.

  24. #24 Jewel
    August 28, 2007

    Excellent news. Of course we all knew that it would either end this way or it would get thrown out of court. I admit to hoping for the latter. It would have been funnier that way. Still, great news!

  25. #25 J Myers (alas, no relation)
    August 28, 2007

    Well, at least we’re doing all right within the legal system; those pesky standards of evidence….

  26. #26 Sergeant Zim
    August 28, 2007

    Jon, I thought he sodomized the dogs AFTER Vick was done with them…

    Mr. Irons, WELL DONE!

    Gilgamesh, you forgot one addition to your post:
    (oh, the power!) BUWAHAHAHAHAA!!!!!

    Congratualtions PZ, (raising a homebrew to your honor) Keep up the good fight, “Never give up, Never surrender!” Capt. Peter Quincy Taggart – Galaxy Quest

  27. #27 Steve Murphy
    August 28, 2007

    Hurray for a (ahem) load off PZ’s plate and for a brief moment of sanity in all this. On behalf of a few fellow Canadians who were in the process of gathering our loonies and toonies to send to PZ, I am recommending we (instead) buy Prof. Irons (#12) a large jug of maple syrup and some flapjacks. These are probably not be better nutritionally for you than the cookies others offered and it pales in comparison to the “having my baby” thing – perhaps we can send ex-Canuck Paul Anka along to help out on that adventure. Oh and we’ll send a (rare, non beetle infested) Douglas fir for Prof. Irons to whittle on.

  28. #28 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    August 28, 2007

    While I’m glad you’ve recoverd potential future time, I was hoping for some entertainment comign from how embarrassing this was going to be for him.

  29. #29 John Koehler
    August 28, 2007

    It was as if millions of atheists suddenly cried out in terror, and were suddenly silenced – as they breathed a collective sigh of relief for our beloved Prof. Myers…

  30. #30 Stuart Weinstein
    August 28, 2007

    Drats.

    Come on PZ, admit it.

    You couldn’t wait to take the stand. You wanted to take the stand. They wanted the truth! And you can handle the truth!

    Stuart

  31. #31 sailor
    August 28, 2007

    Congratualtions PZ!
    “Well, at least we’re doing all right within the legal system; those pesky standards of evidence….”
    Yes lucky we are not still back in the times of the inquisition with cardinals judging us and torturers working on the evidence.
    Peter Irons book gets good reviews on Amazon, sounds interesting, and I shall buy it soon.

  32. #32 Colin M
    August 28, 2007

    Congrats!

  33. #33 raven
    August 28, 2007

    Peter Irons:

    On a substantive level, the complaint will never survive a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, for “failure to state a claim upon which relief can be based.”

    I wouldn’t want to face Peter in court with a weak case. Nor a strong case for that matter. LOL
    I’ll remember Rule 12 for a long time.

    Pivar was smart to drop it. The first step when you find yourself in a hole is STOP DIGGING. At worst he would have spent a lot of money, lost, and looked like a loon anyway.

    The old saying is that there is no such thing as bad publicity. In this case, not seeing that his self inflicted bad publicity did him any good.

  34. #34 Toby J
    August 28, 2007

    Glad to hear it, PZ. Now back to work.

  35. #35 Dave Carlson
    August 28, 2007

    Congrats, PZ!

  36. #36 Dahan
    August 28, 2007

    Gratz! Also thanks to all those invloved, like Mr. Irons. Back to the classroom with ya!

  37. #37 Jonathan Vos Post
    August 28, 2007

    So, if a millionaire can’t complete a lawsuit against a blogger for calling him a crackpot, then I have reduced incentive for suing crackpot bloggers for insisting that I do not exist, that my CV is full of lies, that I haven’t published what I’ve published, and that my coauthors are my “aliases.”

    Because, you know, being called a crackpot (Pivar) by someone who exists (PZ) is probably more damaging than my being called nonexistent by a crackpot (several of the Cult of Bostrom).

    Defamation suits, to prevail in the USA, must prove financial damage, not just hurt feelings.

    So, as you say: “it’s nice to see that silly potential time-suck gone.” I just have to let crackpots deny that I exist. If I leave the fools alone, maybe they’ll think they’re right, and go on to attack someone else, like Darwin, or Einstein.

    Do you guys get your costs and fees reimbursed in the global release and settlement?

  38. #38 Crudely Wrott
    August 28, 2007

    Can’t say I’m surprised, given the tenuous basis of the suit, but I am glad that the threat level has been reduced. Of course, the neat stuff is yet to appear, that being Pivar’s next utterances.

    I don’t think that a lawyer can withdraw a client’s suit. To represent and announce a client’s wishes, yes. But making the Big Decision. no.

  39. #39 Elizabeth
    August 28, 2007

    Drat! And I was already halfway through writing the script for Boston Legal (working title: Inherit the Octopus), and now my time was wasted. Next time, PZ, could you critique somebody who has a bit more staying power?

  40. #40 Spanish Inquisitor
    August 28, 2007

    I don’t think that a lawyer can withdraw a client’s suit. To represent and announce a client’s wishes, yes. But making the Big Decision. no

    Alack and Alas. ‘Tis true. I could not imagine unilaterally withdrawing a case without my client’s express permission. Nor could the Disciplinary Board.

  41. #41 Keith Douglas
    August 28, 2007

    This is good news …

  42. #42 Graculus
    August 28, 2007

    Now can we see if we can get the top Google match for his name to be “crackpot”?

    At Amazon “classic crackpot” is not yet the number one tag for Pivar’s book.

    You know what to do.

  43. #43 justawriter
    August 28, 2007

    PZ, if you or Mr Irons (or both) are ever in Grand Forks, I shall stand a round of drinks for the house.

  44. #44 PalMD
    August 28, 2007

    Yea!!! Of course, Pivar is a martyr to the evil science/truth conspiracy. So sad. That’s OK, a colonic, some chelation therapy, and a good prayer circle should make him feel better.

  45. #45 Brian
    August 28, 2007

    Pivar’s lawyer is going to sue Peter Irons because Irons showed him that he’s gonna get his arse kicked in court? He should thank him for limiting the damage he was doing to his reputation if his client continued with the case…..

  46. #46 Dan
    August 28, 2007

    Wow! I’ve been spending all afternoon feeling skeeved about dishonest people — particularly PRISM — but this made my evening quite a bit better.

    Thanks for the link, too.

    Posted by: Blake Stacey

    Blake, you’re just bitter because now you have to give back that PhD. Mr. Pivar gave you.

  47. #47 Blake Stacey
    August 28, 2007

    Dan (#46):

    Blake, you’re just bitter because now you have to give back that PhD. Mr. Pivar gave you.

    Actually, I had already gotten one last year — that’s a story I should write about some day, too. . . .

  48. #48 Andrew
    August 28, 2007

    I am so relieved. It is no surprise that Pivar’s lawyer pissed his pants after Irons chimed in.

    I am slightly disappointed that I didn’t get a t-shirt…lol… Not that sorry.

  49. #49 J Myers
    August 28, 2007

    sailor, I meant that (at least for the time being), crackpots of all sorts are stymied when they actually have to meet certain standards of proof for their claims, though I certainly agree with your interpretation, as well.

  50. #50 mojoandy
    August 28, 2007

    O’Leary has already mentioned it, claiming she predicted the outcome all along [the dreck in question].

    I love her line: “Let the Internet police itself”. It’s almost like she’s saying the bad ideas will die out on their own and the good ones will be naturally selected to survive. Hey, wait a minute…

  51. #51 IanR
    August 28, 2007

    This is great news.

  52. #52 Jeff
    August 28, 2007

    I would like, Mr. Myers, to let you know that my lawyers and I have also decided to withdraw our suit. It has become apparent that you don’t know who I am, and therefore cannot be held accountable for me sucking at everything.

    Best,

  53. #53 Eggrott
    August 28, 2007

    Anet #23:

    Princess Di?

    Was he dirvin’ the car, then?

  54. #54 CalGeorge
    August 28, 2007

    As a result of Pivar’s hissy fit, thousands of people who didn’t know him from Adam now recognize his name and think: “complete crackpot”.

    Way to go, Pivar. You idiot.

  55. #55 Tulse
    August 28, 2007

    Congrats, PZ!

  56. #56 Susannah
    August 28, 2007

    “Peter Irons, who did such good work on my behalf, is now being threatened with legal action by Stuart Pivar’s lawyer, Michael Little.”

    Oh, his poor wittle hurt feelings! They (Pivar and Little) deserve each other.

    “The mouse squeaks at the lion; we should all close our eyes and turn our heads aside to avoid the inescapable carnage to follow. Either that, or open up a popcorn and cotton candy stand.”

    I could go for some popcorn. With real butter. And great glee.

  57. #57 386sx
    August 28, 2007

    No good deed goes unpunished, as they say. Peter Irons, who did such good work on my behalf, is now being threatened with legal action by Stuart Pivar’s lawyer, Michael Little.

    Lol who didn’t see that one coming a mile away.

  58. #58 Ed Brayton
    August 28, 2007

    If I know Peter Irons, his response to any threat from Pivar’s lawyer is the same response I would have: bring it on, pal.

  59. #59 Mena
    August 28, 2007

    Steve Murphy(#47): Poutine and screech!!!!
    Mr. Irons, I second the baby thing.
    Congrats PZ!

  60. #60 garth
    August 28, 2007

    i was thinking it would get withdrawn once they admitted to themselves how likely it was they’d A) lose and 2) get a mighty fine for being jackasses.

  61. #61 Mena
    August 28, 2007

    Whoops, typo. That was supposed to be Steve Murphy(#27).

  62. #62 Lynn David
    August 28, 2007

    That’s natural selection for you…. Pivar didn’t make the grade.

  63. #63 andbrooke
    August 28, 2007

    Congrats, PZ! Best wishes and keep up the good work!

  64. #64 John Morales
    August 28, 2007

    Congratulations, PZ.

    BTW: Mr. Vos Post, regardless of any merit of your position, you do seem to repeat your OOT assertions in various posts.

    It detracts.

  65. #65 C.E. Petit
    August 29, 2007

    Hmmm. I wonder if perhaps

  66. #66 Paula Helm Murray
    August 29, 2007

    RE: Suing Mr. Irons.
    I”d buy tickets to that court date. Just to see Mr. Little get his arse handed back to him by the judge.

    and Mr. Irons. I have doubts that Mr. Little could fight his way out of a paper bag. IF he does help with a suit versus Mr. Irons, I hope the state decides to punt him off the bar.

  67. #67 jaim klein
    August 29, 2007

    I dont know if to laugh or to cry. I am glad that the 15,000,000 dollar menace has been lifted, but on the other hand, I wanted to see PZ deconstruct Mr Pivar in court. Is it now safe to say “crackpot?

  68. #68 Bert Chadick
    August 29, 2007

    I read a sci-fi short story years ago, and I can’t remember the author, but the gist was that aliens were hampering Earth technology by getting the most productive scientists to waste their time going to endless meetings and conferences. It’s obvious to me now that the sinister aliens are financing law schools.

  69. #69 Just Al
    August 29, 2007

    Peter Irons, who did such good work on my behalf, is now being threatened with legal action by Stuart Pivar’s lawyer, Michael Little.

    Michael Little strikes me as the kind of guy who, when presented with the comment, “That’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard,” responds with, “Not yet it isn’t!”

    How long before we hear of Little being sued by Pivar himself for damages from an ill-advised lawsuit?

    And a lesson for all the other crackpots out there: There’s a definite benefit to staying beneath the radar. The alternative is to try and sue yourself for damages (and I imagine Mr. Little is drafting up the letter now…)

  70. #70 HP
    August 29, 2007

    JvP @ 37: Those of us who’ve followed your comments on various fora for the past few years know all about your celebrity coauthors and colleagues. We just wish you were, you know, cooler about it. Suck people in with quality, and your associations will reveal themselves.

    Peter Irons: Do you have a blog? Does it have a PayPal button? That might take some of the sting out of the pro bono work. Of course, blogging will cut into your whittlin’ time, so there’s that to consider.

    Oh, and congratulations to PZ and a big thank you to Peter Irons and the Seed legal department.

  71. #71 MOLLUSKMAN
    August 29, 2007

    Peter Irons…..Antioch College Grad.

  72. #72 Nullifidian
    August 29, 2007

    God on Trial is going straight to the top of my reading list. Cheers to Mr. Irons.

  73. #73 SteveC
    August 29, 2007

    Well, probably not related except, that “the inevitable has occurred” is the title of this thread. At least Americans are not the only stupid ones, such infinitesimal, depressing “solace” that might be…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m0CjrNgK0zw

    What orbits the earth?

    The Moon,
    The Sun,
    Mars,
    or Venus.

    You think the an adult Frenchman can answer?

    Humanity… a lost cause. You want to convince them belief in deities is irrational? You think they’re that smart?

  74. #74 MikeM
    August 29, 2007

    Peter Irons, who did such good work on my behalf, is now being threatened with legal action by Stuart Pivar’s lawyer, Michael Little.

    It’s like a stupid parade that has no end, but you wish it would.

  75. #75 forsen
    August 29, 2007

    Congrats, mr. Pivar. Thanks to your silly attempt at a lawsuit as hollow as your balloon animals, you have been immortalized throughout the web as a crackpot – by thousands of people who never would have known you as such otherwise.

  76. #76 anti-nonsense
    August 29, 2007

    Yay PZ. Of course we knew he didn’t have a hope in heck of getting his silly ass lawsuit recognized, it’d be thrown out of court, but still it’s good to hear that you don’t have to waste your time on that whiny little moron and his pathetic hissy fit.

    I suppose he hopes it will get more copies of his book sold if he gets publicity? Too bad it just makes everybody think he’s a moron.

  77. #77 Stephen
    August 29, 2007

    A few days ago, I caught part of a talk by Peter Irons on C-Span about his book God on Trial and had been considering buying it.

    Now, I shall definitely get it.

    Rather than causing terminal damage to Peter Irons’ waist measurement, this seems to me an excellent way that readers of this blog could repay him.

  78. #78 HellKaiserRyo
    August 29, 2007

    “Cult of Bostrom”????? Are you refering to Nick Bostrom?

  79. #79 Tatarize
    August 29, 2007

    >>I wonder if the article is still going to be published…?

    They should. I’ve never heard of them and you tend to link to articles about you. They’d be silly to get rid of their hard work and potential publicity.

  80. #80 Mrs Tilton
    August 29, 2007

    Little: Well, can I sue you, then?

    Irons: Sue me?! What for?

    Little: Emm… ehh… for punitive damages!

    Congratulations, PZ. And all praise to Peter Irons, both for his assist to PZ and for some of the sweetest, sweetest pWnage ever published on teh internets.

  81. #81 SEF
    August 29, 2007

    Peter Irons … his book God on Trial

    The wikipedia entry’s list of his works appears to be incomplete then.

  82. #82 Stein
    August 29, 2007

    This is a good result.

    It will embolden PZ and his kind to say more and more vicious things about the opposition, insuring that the conflict goes on, and that victory on your behalf will be delayed, it it comes at all.

  83. #83 Luna_the_cat
    August 29, 2007

    Peter Irons, who did such good work on my behalf, is now being threatened with legal action by Stuart Pivar’s lawyer, Michael Little.

    …Yup, pass the popcorn. [settles back in lounge chair, munching happily and watching expectantly]

  84. #84 Jet Black
    August 29, 2007

    well this seems to be doing Peter Irons’ book sales some good and Pivar’s some bad. I’d never heard of either of them before – I think this is almost a record in the speed in which a creationist has entered my crackpot list 🙂

  85. #85 Azkyroth
    August 29, 2007

    Stein:

    No one likes a concern troll. Bye now.

  86. #86 lunartalks
    August 29, 2007

    Clang. (That was was my atheist ass being laughed off.) I suggest Mr Pivar spends some time in an elementary school playground getting hardened up to infant-grade heckling before he comes and plays with the big boys and girls.

    One thing I’ve noticed over this, Crapped out sorry I mean ‘Expelled’ and other spats with creationists and IDers, is just how touchy and humourless they are. It looks like their subconscious demons know it’s all bollocks that collapses under scrutiny.

  87. #87 Louis
    August 29, 2007

    DAMN! You mean we now don’t get to see PZ on the witness stand eviscerating Pivar, and the whole Latin-fest/Wigfight (purely UKcentric courtroom facets) shennanigans which would result in Pivar owing PZ one of his kidneys and his firstborn child?

    Oh well, I suppose I’ll have to settle for being pleased at PZ not having his time wasted by frivolous lawsuits. Dammit, I was really looking forward to the bloodbath. Where’s a Colloseum filled with lions and christians when you need one.

    Oh well.

    Louis

  88. #88 Mike O'Risal
    August 29, 2007

    Pivar dropping his fruitcake lawsuit is only the good news. Don’t bet that this is over yet. Rumor has it that he’s now retained the services of a voodoo priestess and intends to turn you into a newt.

    I hope Peter has good mojo.

  89. #89 FlipVanTiel
    August 29, 2007

    Following all the turmoil and elated by the result thus far, I got the irresistible urge to get both the inimitable Peter Irons’ volume ‘God on Trial’ and Mr. Pivar’s ‘Lifecode’.

    The first was no problem. It may be interesting to see what happens to its Amazon.com sales ranking (which right now stands at #38604) in the coming weeks. The extra sales will, I guess, handsomely defray the $8000 that Mr. Irons has invested. (I guess he has by now switched on his cookie filter).

    The Pivar volume is a somewhat different case. It can be ordered at http://www.axiomhouse.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=CTGY&Store_Code=AH&Category_Code=LFC.

    However if you turn to that webpage you’ll see that the title reads “Lifecode: From Egg to Ebryo” (repeat Ebryo [sic]). I first didn’t believe my eyes, but then I realized that this Freudian slip — ebryo, from Lat.: ebrio = to make drunk — reveals something, if not a lot about the state of mind of the author. I decided not to purchase the volume, after all. I strongly dislike eggnor!

  90. #90 steve_h
    August 29, 2007

    Now he’s commented here, I vote Molly for babe & cookie magnet Peter Irons.

  91. #91 A. Bellis
    August 29, 2007

    “Peter Irons, who did such good work on my behalf, is now being threatened with legal action by Stuart Pivar’s lawyer, Michael Little. The mouse squeaks at the lion; we should all close our eyes and turn our heads aside to avoid the inescapable carnage to follow.”

    I hope Irons rip their balls off.

    Alan.

  92. #92 dhonig
    August 29, 2007

    Peter, I’m just curious. Was a Rule 11 notice involved?

  93. #93 Mrs Tilton
    August 29, 2007

    steve_h @90: seconded.

    Just ordered Irons’s God on Trial, BTW. Its subject is one that interests me tremendously, yet it took PZ’s tribulations to bring it to my attention. Surely the Almighty works in strange and wondrous ways!

  94. #94 Steve LaBonne
    August 29, 2007

    Congratulations, PZ. And all praise to Peter Irons, both for his assist to PZ and for some of the sweetest, sweetest pWnage ever published on teh internets.

    I second the motion!

  95. #95 Ginger Yellow
    August 29, 2007

    Yes, that’s the way to dig yourself out of an embarrassing hole – sue a lawyer.

  96. #96 Steve Murphy
    August 29, 2007

    Mena (#59 and 61): I bow to your superior choices as alternatives to my suggestions; poutine and screech it is – especially given the lawsuit pending (threatened) against Prof. Irons. The screech name seems somehow appropriate; there might be room in here for a line about this lawsuit being akin to kissing a cod but it is too early here to contemplate that weirdness.

  97. #97 chris y
    August 29, 2007

    Peter Irons, who did such good work on my behalf, is now being threatened with legal action by Stuart Pivar’s lawyer, Michael Little. The mouse squeaks at the lion

    Why did I read this as: “…threatened with legal action by Michael Pivar’s lawyer, Stuart Little. The mouse squeaks at the lion”

  98. #98 Bryn
    August 29, 2007

    Reference Mr. Pivar and Mr. Little, “methinks it is like a weasel” (with all apologies to Messrs. Shakespeare and Dawkins). And while threats of lawsuits are being bandied about, Mr. Little might want to look up “barratry” as well.

  99. #99 Andy
    August 29, 2007

    So much for that tempest in a teaspoon. I wonder how much he paid for that bit of publicity?

  100. #100 Janine
    August 29, 2007

    This is a good result.

    It will embolden PZ and his kind to say more and more vicious things about the opposition, insuring that the conflict goes on, and that victory on your behalf will be delayed, it it comes at all.

    Posted by: Stein | August 29, 2007 04:48 AM

    So, having an opinion and backing it up is ‘vicious’. Ah, if only true viciousness were this harmless.

    And just a little question, did you pick the name ‘Stein’ in honor of the mocumentary?

  101. #101 CaseyL
    August 29, 2007

    That is great, great news! Congrats to PZ, and thanks to Peter!

  102. #102 Calilasseia
    August 29, 2007

    We’ve been covering this at IIDB. And noting developments with much mirth.

    Incidentally, when the news that the suit was being dropped made its way to the forums, we decided to commemorate the event by passing round a celebratory cephalopod. This one in fact:

    http://zapatopi.net/treeoctopus/

    Your assorted well wishers at IIDB are almost as pleased as you are. Only ALMOST of course, because after all, we weren’t the ones facing the suit. 🙂

  103. #103 Matt
    August 29, 2007

    For a good laugh, check out the tag-lines on Amazon.com that people have attached to the book. It’s hilarious.

  104. #104 George Cauldron
    August 29, 2007

    This is a good result.
    It will embolden PZ and his kind to say more and more vicious things about the opposition, insuring that the conflict goes on, and that victory on your behalf will be delayed, it it comes at all.

    Ah yes, the fundie creationist earnestly assures the ‘other side’ that they’d win if only they’d start losing court cases and quit fighting back.

    And here I thought the classic ‘concern troll’ was dying out.

  105. #105 lunartalks
    August 29, 2007

    The Romans had a good way with people who brought false accusations. A ‘K’ was branded on their forehead, signifying kalumniator.

    I like the Romans. A lot of them thought St Paul’s epistles were bollocks, too.

  106. #106 Azkyroth
    August 29, 2007

    Janine:

    I think this comic might prove illuminating, with regards to Stein and his ilk and their motives and roles.

  107. #107 Steve LaBonne
    August 29, 2007

    I like the Romans. A lot of them thought St Paul’s epistles were bollocks, too.

    Pity they ran out of lions too soon, though. 😉

  108. #108 Stanton
    August 29, 2007
    I like the Romans. A lot of them thought St Paul’s epistles were bollocks, too.

    Pity they ran out of lions too soon, though. 😉

    It’s my personal idea that, if the Romans fed lions to the Christians, lions wouldn’t be an endangered species today.

  109. #109 Pareto
    August 29, 2007

    Because clearly, the best person to threaten with a lawsuit is a Harvard lawyer.

  110. #110 JanieBelle
    August 29, 2007

    HAHAHAHAHA!

    Not unexpected, but funny nonetheless.

    Next he’ll be suing TEH INTERWEBS!

    Kisses and Congrats Dr. PZ.

  111. #111 Bryn
    August 29, 2007

    Some good came out of all this–I bought Mr. Irons’ “God on Trial” today. An excellent book, so far (I’m only 3 chapters into it) and a fascinating read.

  112. #112 JackC
    August 29, 2007

    I am out the door to pick up some new glasses (of the eye vareiety) and there is a bookstoor right next door. I am going to find and pick up God on Trial. I can’t think of a better way to support the Honourable Mr. Irons.

    Congratulations!

    JC

  113. #113 Bee
    August 29, 2007

    This is a very good outcome, PZed, and a big thank you to Mr. Irons, who has made the internet a safer place for speaking fearlessly. Poutine, Screech and Maple Syrup indeed, but I gather the gravely endangered kissable Cod has been replaced with a stuffed one, in order to not adversely impact its dwindling numbers. So it’s a dryer experience these days.

  114. #114 Ray C.
    August 29, 2007

    Pivar dropping his fruitcake lawsuit is only the good news. Don’t bet that this is over yet. Rumor has it that he’s now retained the services of a voodoo priestess and intends to turn you into a newt.

    He’ll get better.

  115. #115 Terry Karney
    August 29, 2007

    Glorious news.

    But what in the world does Mr. Little (esq.) think he has as a cause of action against Mr. Irons?

  116. #116 dwarf zebu
    August 29, 2007

    The mouse squeaks at the lion; we should all close our eyes and turn our heads aside to avoid the inescapable carnage to follow. Either that, or open up a popcorn and cotton candy stand.

    You should make a killing if you sell goggles.

  117. #117 Roger, FCD
    August 29, 2007

    Congrats to PZ and Mr. Irons!

    Mr. Irons, I’m sorry that the pipsqueak lawyer for Mr. Pivar has created yet MORE work for you to do. One would think that he would have learnt his lesson the first time. Please keep PZ (and us!) informed as to how it goes.

  118. #118 Sour Grapes
    August 29, 2007

    I think Jesus brought this about, because he knows how it feels to be persecuted, yea even as thou wert persecuted. So Jesus got you off the hook. Now lighten up on the guy.

  119. #119 Angus Gafraidh
    August 29, 2007

    Oh, come on! What a hollow victory! Bollocks on a stick to the time-wasting aspect of it – I was looking forward to watching Pivar being dissected alive in a courtroom where every word said about him, his book and his fanciful ten-legged spiders would have been protected by absolute privilege. Wouldn’t that have been far, far better than allowing him to slither off with just vague accusations of legal cowardice to answer? His case didn’t have a snowball’s chance and while the costs wouldn’t have ruined him – he’s a crank, but he’s a rich crank by all accounts – it would have done my black heart proud to watch him paying through the nose for his stupidity in bringing the case in the first place.

  120. #120 Alareth
    August 30, 2007

    This is good news PZ, glad to hear it.

    Still there is a little part of me that would have liked to see this make it to court, just to set an example to others that try this by having Pivar beat down in public like that.

  121. #121 nota bene
    August 30, 2007

    Congrats on what amounts to a TKO.

    Science won over ignorance without a shot being fired, so to speak….the 21st century has gotten off to a genuinely awful start, but maybe there’s a flicker of hope for us yet….

  122. #122 geralkd spezio
    August 30, 2007

    Threatened by a lawyer. “Saved” by another lawyer. Hosannah!
    Praise be to the legal Gods, and their training in framing the expensive debate.

    What a system, and the glorious system still there for more yuppie games. And you thought framing was horseshit. Lawyering was framing long before framing yuppies, Nisbet & Mooney, were infected with the virus.

    “If the gloves don’t fit, you must acquit.” And O J was “saved” for a life-time of golfing. In a Christian culture “getting saved” turns up everywhere.

    Remember the gypsy curse reserved for a gypsy’s most despicable enemies; “May you be involved in a lawsuit in which you know that you are right.”

    As your lawyer in the Italian suit will remind you: “You don’t want to lose and be wiped out financially do you? You have valuable legal rights. Let ME help you!”

  123. #123 Ophelia Benson
    August 30, 2007

    I want to have Peter Irons’s baby chocolate chip cookies! Well I want to have pretty much anyone’s chocolate chip cookies.

    As I keep saying – People’s History of Supreme Court – great book – don’t miss it.

  124. #124 Lurchgs
    August 30, 2007

    groovy shoes, PZ!

    I, too, while respectful of you and your time, would have loved to see this wend its way before the bench. Whereupon Mr Little and Mr Pivar’s lawsuit would have been abused in the way in which Gallagher (sp?) treats a watermellon.

    And what the HECK is wrong with Mr Little? Or is it Mr Pivar? Nobody in his right mind sues a lawer. You hire the good ones and shoot the bad ones let the bad ones into public office.

    As soon as Iwin my suite against Mr Pivar and Mr Little for being dangerously stupid, I’ll have enough money to buy Mr Irons’ books.

    in conclusion, to rant a bit more: Mr Little is obviously why lawyers have such a bad name in this country.

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