Pharyngula

Free Beer and John West tonight

A reminder: tonight is the creationist schlockfest at the University of Minnesota. Smart people will meet at the Campus Club, on the fourth floor of the Coffman Union, between 5:30 and 6:45, for pre-seminar preparation.

See you there!

Comments

  1. #1 Greg Laden
    November 30, 2007

    Although I usually find it prudent to keep the details of my movements secret for obvious security reasons, I’ll be there.

  2. #2 Joe Blough
    November 30, 2007

    The title of this blog entry reminds me of this sign from This Is Spinal Tap.

  3. #3 mn_monkey
    November 30, 2007

    Can’t make it, was thinking about it, but what with the snow and all getting back down to Rochester might be tricky. Have a great time and score one for good ol’ Charlie.

  4. #4 Theo Bromine
    November 30, 2007

    And if you are in or near Ottawa (Ontario, Canada), and can’t make it to MN in time for the schlocktalk, you can come to the lecture “Think or Sink” at Carleton U, sponsored by the Carleton Secular Association and CFI – http://www.centerforinquiry.net/toronto/events/think_or_sink_with_drhenry_beissel/

  5. #5 Glen Davidson
    November 30, 2007

    For the vast majority of us tard-craving types who can’t get stupid on free beer and even more stupid on John West, here’s some TV tard tonight (quoted from Behe’s Amazon blog, via evolutionnews.org):

    Case Western Reserve University Professor Patricia Princehouse and I recently taped an episode of the program “Close Up at the Newseum”, where we discussed intelligent design, Darwinism, The Edge of Evolution, and other topics with an audience of about 40 high school students. The purpose of Close Up is to get students interested in issues of the day, and to become active participants in our democracy. The show will air this Friday, November 30th, at 7:00 p.m. Eastern time, on C-SPAN 2.

    Glen D
    http://tinyurl.com/2kxyc7

  6. #6 Chris Morse
    November 30, 2007

    Please, please, please someone record it!

  7. #7 Rick Schauer
    November 30, 2007

    Please go to the bar area and I’ll see you there! Remember to wear something warm for the walk from Coffman to Nicholson.

  8. #8 pablo
    November 30, 2007

    Good luck! I hope we get a report tomorrow.

  9. #9 No More Mr. Nice Guy!
    November 30, 2007

    When I was an undergrad, there was a student band who called themselves “Free Beer”. They used to put up signs on campus with “Free Beer” and tricked people into coming to their concerts. Not surprisingly they didn’t last long.

  10. #10 Marcus Ranum
    November 30, 2007

    Aaah, beer. The Sumerians were brewing it 500 years before the earth was created according the young earth creationists. I guess that beer would be special, then, since god created beer, too. What day did that happen on, I wonder? Did he give adam the recipe? “Yeast. Grain. No apples. Got it?”

  11. #11 Dan
    November 30, 2007

    Yes. Don’t be shy PZ. And, don’t pull any punches. If you dominate the Q&A, I can only think that the people gathered with benefit greatly from what you have to say when exposing the fraud.

    Oh. And have fun.

    I do wish I could be there.

  12. #12 scienceteacherinexile
    November 30, 2007

    well, it’s a bit of a commute from South Africa.
    How will I ever get PZ, Phil, Greg L, and throw in Greg D for good measure to come to Jo’burg for a talk?? Why doesn’t James Randi have an Amazing Meeting here?

    If only the world revolved around me.

  13. #13 Dan
    November 30, 2007

    Someday, I’ll go to South Africa and talk about stuff. Just make sure you keep those expectations low seeing as how I’m usually about as sharp as a box of doorknobs.

  14. #14 waldteufel
    November 30, 2007

    PZ, one can only hope that you will give us all an account of this event, sparing nothing, and giving that odious lying West all the hell that he deserves!

    “Give ’em Hell” Harry Truman used to say about the Republicans: “I don’t give ’em Hell, I just tell the truth on them and they think it’s Hell . . .”

  15. #15 Kristine
    November 30, 2007

    Well, West ducked my question and went on and on about how choice is a form of “forced abortion” (eugenics). Got that, ladies? If you think you’re free, you’re not. Then he stated that he wasn’t opposed to “voluntary birth control.” Well, does that include abortion, then?

    He also denied that he ever heard Jonathan Wells say that HIV doesn’t cause AIDS, an idea that is devastating South Africa, and never touched on my question of how global climate change will disproportionately affect the poor, people of color, and people in developing countries (almost as if global climate change was a form of eugenics).

  16. #16 Olorin
    December 1, 2007

    John West’s entire 40-minute talk was an ad-hominem attack on “Darwinist biologists” for promoting eugenics in the name of natural selection. Of course it was all innuendo rather than direct accusations, so he was able to evade frontal attacks: “I didn’t really say that, now did I?” No, but you certainly implied it.

    One questioner afterward asked whether West thinks evolution is wrong because some “Darwinists” supported eugenics. West slickly parried that with “That’s a separate question.” End of discussion.

  17. #17 Ichthyic
    December 1, 2007

    The purpose of Close Up is to get students interested indoctrinated in issues of the day bullshit, and to become active participants in our democracy forming a theocracy.

    there, that’s more like it.

  18. #18 Ichthyic
    December 1, 2007

    He also denied that he ever heard Jonathan Wells say that HIV doesn’t cause AIDS

    IOW, he lied.

    so what else is new?

  19. #19 melior
    December 1, 2007

    Did anyone attend Dennett’s debate?

    After reading Darwin’s Dangerous Idea, I expect there’s nothing left of poor Dinesh but a grease spot.

  20. #20 Rick Schauer
    December 1, 2007

    The beer was good…and PZ did his usual bang-up job of critiquing West’s selective use of quotes from Darwin’s Decent of Man.
    …furthermore, huge quedos to U of M Prof. Mark Borrello (go Gophers) whose short-notice rebutal was spot on.

    In summary, I couldn’t help but think that West could’ve transposed Darwin name with that of uber monk Gregor Mendel.

  21. #21 Ichthyic
    December 1, 2007

    Did anyone attend Dennett’s debate?

    not me, but if you go to D’souza’s website, he was “pre-crowing” about the arguments he planned to use.

    the funny thing is, all the commentary on his own blog basically shredded his idiot arguments before he left for the debate.

    I wonder if he bothered to read any of them?

    nawwwww.

  22. #22 Dave Puskala
    December 1, 2007

    My wife and I want to thank Rick for hosting the gathering. It was wonderful to meet so many wonderful folks and talk about evolution, and those that fear it. We were sorry that we couldn’t attend the talk and help give West hell. It sounds like we were very well represented.

  23. #23 Bonzo
    December 1, 2007

    Kudos to PZ for driving in from Morris (three hours) and then driving back last night in the face of an oncoming pretty heavy snowstorm.

    It was a pleasure to finally put a 3-D face together with this blog and also to chat with historian of science, Mark Borrello. As long as folks like these are around and vocal, I feel a little better. Nonetheless, now is not the time to get smug about all this. West and his ilk are dangerous.

    It is snowing to beat the band right now in South Minneapolis.

    Ciao, Bonzo

  24. #24 SEF
    December 1, 2007

    The title of this blog entry, with its big text, really messes up the “Recent Comments” list on the left hand side of the page (when people comment …)!

  25. #25 Olorin
    December 1, 2007

    My thanks also to Rick for hosting the pre-talk get-together.

    With limited experience in the evolution/ID festuche, perhaps I am late to the party in this observation: The overarching agenda of John West’s talk seemed to be to destroy public confidence in scientists for the purpose of limiting their credibility when speaking on policy matters. And, by extension, destroying their credibility even in strictly scientific matters. Among other things, it responds to our assaults against the DI’s creds because of their dishonesty.

    Attacking credibility as to science serves the DI goal of impugning the theory of evolution. If scientists employ their theories for evil purposes, how can we trust the validity of the theories themselves? This is why I thought the most insightful question to West concerned whether “Darwinists” support of eugenics affected the truth of the theory of evolution. (West was obviously ready for that one: Entirely a separate question; I’m not saying; next question.)

    Attacking scientists’ credibility and motives in policy matters serves the goal of lessening their influence in educational and related spheres where the DI seeks to gain dominance. It was interesting that West very briefly mentioned* global warming as another subject where scientists overreach in attempting to set public policy. (The DI is a global-warming denier as well. Remember that Phillip Johnson’s goal is to overthrow all materialistic science, not just evolution.)

    The audience seemed surprisingly muted for a DI presentation. If ID shills were present, they left their revival-tent Amens at home. It was also interesting that, immediately after his introduction, West acknowledged the presence of “PZ Myers and a group of his supporters, who had met beforehand at the Student Union.” Nailed.

    ========

    *–I can’t remember whether this was in West’s talk itself or in response to a question.

  26. #26 Mike
    December 2, 2007

    Attacking credibility as to science serves the DI goal of impugning the theory of evolution. If scientists employ their theories for evil purposes, how can we trust the validity of the theories themselves?

    Here’s a nice way to counter that “argument”: If evil aerospace engineers use ballistics to drop bombs on us, how can we trust the validity of the theory of gravity?

  27. #27 raven
    December 2, 2007

    Attacking credibility as to science serves the DI goal of impugning the theory of evolution.

    The Attack on Science by the fundies has got to be the dumbest thing since the attack on their left ventricle and lungs. 2000 is much different from 1900. Among other things we drive cars, use computers and TVs, and live 30 years longer. It is directly responsible for what preeminence the USA has in the world today. Knowledge is technology is power and money.

    What has Xianity done to improve our well being in that time? Other than stop killing each other in waves of sectarian violence.

    They would be better off if they just shot themselves in their feet. Or we would be at any rate. Aim carefully and remember that there are two of them.

  28. #28 Ichthyic
    December 2, 2007

    Aim carefully and remember that there are two of them.

    better yet, aim high and you only have to shoot once.

  29. #29 Damian
    December 2, 2007

    Anyone who wishes to watch the debate between Dan Dennett and Dinesh D’Souza:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iw7J15TeDG4

    It’s in 15 parts.

    D’Souza has to be seen to be believed in this one. He ranted and raved like a lunatic, as usual, and spewed out more logical fallacies per minute than I thought possible. And, he mentioned the fine tuning of the universe, once again, as well as Hitler in conjunction with atheism (once every 5 minutes, in fact). The piece de resistance of his argument was, wait for it….Pascal’s wager, no less…..and he attempted to defend it several times!

    Dan Dennett, in his imitable style, exposed religion for what it is by presenting many of the different religions, as well as the subsets. Although it has all been done before, it is still a very simple but powerful argument, in my opinion, because it forces a theist to admit that at least all but one is man-made. It also forces the antagonist to attempt to reason as to why their particular version is the one true version, rather than babble on about why *a* God must exist.

  30. #30 Micheal Albatron
    April 5, 2008

    Well, West ducked my question and went on and on about how choice is a form of “forced abortion” (eugenics). Got that, ladies? If you think you’re free, you’re not. Then he stated that he wasn’t opposed to “voluntary birth control.” Well, does that include abortion, then?

  31. #31 Desmond
    April 27, 2008

    Dan Dennett, in his imitable style, exposed religion for what it is by presenting many of the different religions, as well as the subsets. Although it has all been done before, it is still a very simple but powerful argument, in my opinion, because it forces a theist to admit that at least all but one is man-made. It also forces the antagonist to attempt to reason as to why their particular version is the one true version, rather than babble on about why *a* God must exist.

  32. #32 porno
    July 29, 2008

    thanks admin

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