Pharyngula

In my mailbox

Checking my mail today, I discovered one curiosity, one holiday card, and one piece of Very Official Stationery from the University that employs me.

The curiosity: I actually got a reprint request. Those are very strange — it used to be that you’d always get a flurry of these after publishing something, and you’d be sure to order lots of extra copies of your paper so you could send them out, but nowadays they are going the way of the dodo. It’s so much easier to download the paper from the journal’s electronic archives, and even when I get a request because of limited access, I can just email a pdf. I usually only get these from third world countries anymore. This one, though, was from the US. From Liberty University. Asking for a copy of my review of Miller’s book. Weird. Sorry, but I don’t have any paper copies of that article…and the request didn’t include an email address. How quaint!

The holiday card: it was from the OSU Students for Freethought. May the FSM nod benignly upon you, and caress you all with his pastalicious appendages.

The Official Notice: my request for a sabbatical leave next year has been Officially Approved! Huzzah! I have big plans for some serious writing, new course development, and new research directions, and now I may actually get the time to do it all.

Comments

  1. #1 Collin Tierney
    December 29, 2008

    WHAT? I’m coming back sometime next week, and I’ll be sure to ask you how the HELL you got a sabbatical when there’s a fricking hiring freeze at the U. Awesome news!

  2. #2 Blake Stacey
    December 29, 2008

    I have big plans for some serious writing,

    You better get cracking. Phil Plait is two books ahead.

  3. #3 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    December 29, 2008

    You damn lazy a-moral Intellectuals in your Ivory Towers.

    Sabbatical is just Darwin speak for “huge freakin’ party”.

    Heathen

  4. #4 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    December 29, 2008

    WAIT a minute!!!!

    I know what’s really going on here.

    The massive letter campaign from that insulted woman a few weeks back finally worked. You’ve been sent off as a punishment.

    Sabbatical my ass.

  5. #5 Glen Davidson
    December 29, 2008

    How can you get a sabbatical when you don’t keep the Sabbath?

    See, you atheists are sooooo hypocritical.

    Glen D
    http://tinyurl.com/6mb592

  6. #6 Nerd of Redhead
    December 29, 2008

    Congratulations on the Sabbatical. Put your time to good use. We want books. And you to keep the blog going.

  7. #7 PZ Myers
    December 29, 2008

    Actually, “sabbatical” is Darwin-speak for “frantically catch-up with your field and a new one or two in a year at reduced pay”.

  8. #8 Nate
    December 29, 2008

    Yeah PZ, when ARE you going to write a book(popsci or otherwise). I’m sure you have more to say than just re-iterating the Dawkins/Harris/Hitchens echo chamber AvG issues.

  9. #9 John C. Randolph
    December 29, 2008

    Liberty University? Isn’t that the new name of Liberty Baptist College, also known as Jerry Fallwell’s little brainwashing center?

    -jcr

  10. #10 Zeno
    December 29, 2008

    And you can raise your rate of blog posting to something more respectable!

  11. #11 Patricia, OM
    December 29, 2008

    I agree with the Chimp at #4.

    And what’s worse, it doesn’t sound like you’re even getting a paddling.

  12. #12 Nerd of Redhead
    December 29, 2008

    Ah, the old postcards asking for reprints. Very familiar with them. I think that they became defunct when everybody got hooked up to the internet. So Liberty U. is at least 15 years behind the times, and apparently nobody there can print off the internet. Must be a real bastion of ignorance.

  13. #13 jenniebee
    December 29, 2008

    Is it heretic-publication-bonfire season at Liberty again already? My, how the year does just fly by…

  14. #14 llewelly
    December 29, 2008

    From Liberty University. Asking for a copy of my review of Miller’s book. Weird. Sorry, but I don’t have any paper copies of that article…and the request didn’t include an email address. How quaint!

    Can’t afford printer paper? Neither can I. Fortunately I don’t have a printer.
    Well. Keep an eye out for ‘… and our request for a reprint was denied.’ from someone from Liberty University.

  15. #15 Bob
    December 29, 2008

    “Liberty University? Isn’t that the new name of Liberty Baptist College, also known as Jerry Fallwell’s little brainwashing center?”

    He did say he usually only gets those from third world countries, so that fits.

  16. #16 Michael
    December 29, 2008

    Go, PZ! I hope your sabbatical is a blast.

  17. #17 Invigilator
    December 29, 2008

    Please send the paper in plain brown envelope, with a false return address — it’s probably contraband at Liberty U.

  18. #18 DrBadger
    December 29, 2008

    congratulations on the sabbatical… will you be staying in Morris?

  19. #19 David Marjanovi?, OM
    December 29, 2008

    Print the pdf on a laser printer…

  20. #20 ThirtyFiveUp
    December 29, 2008

    PZ,

    Oh, my heart and gizzard! Will we finally get your book?

    I has da book by our bestest poet, Cuttlefish, and I wants yourz.

  21. #21 DrFish
    December 29, 2008

    I have to second the call for printing off your review and mailing it the old fashioned way. I know it can be hard to be optimistic about these things, but it is possible that someone at Liberty University has an open enough mind to actually be persuaded by words written in the last decade. Even if they don’t, it is always nice to maintain a high politeness score when you are not giving anything (other than a little time and university resources) to do so. I was a total reprint junkie when I started grad school, and I was never as excited as when I found a fat envelope of knowledge waiting in my tiny mailbox.

  22. #22 'Tis Himself
    December 29, 2008

    A paper reprint? Isn’t that what the cavemen passed around when they were writing papers about fire?

    PZ, you should just your review on a CD or even a 3” floppy (I don’t suppose you’re still set up for 5” floppies any more) and mail that to the Liberty U folks.

  23. #23 minimalist
    December 29, 2008

    Am I to understand that that hotbed of scientific inquiry, Liberty University, lacks a subscription to Nature?

    Or is it that the writer suspects you of fraud of some sort, and requires an original copy of the review to scrutinize for telltale signs of… well, something-or-other?

  24. #24 John Phillips, FCD
    December 29, 2008

    Does that mean a book to look forward at last? If so, yay, oh and about time.

  25. #25 Asdf
    December 29, 2008

    You better be writing a book during your sabbatical you big nerd!

  26. #26 Kel
    December 29, 2008

    Am I to understand that that hotbed of scientific inquiry, Liberty University, lacks a subscription to Nature?

    From memory, you didn’t need a subscription to view that review.

  27. #27 KL
    December 29, 2008

    C’mon guys, Liberty has internet! It’s just their firewall won’t let any science through.

  28. #28 Taz
    December 29, 2008

    I feel my psychic powers heating up. My predictions:

    1. Someone at Liberty University will use any positive things you had to say about Miller’s book as a knock against it.

    2. Some religious idiot will claim your universtity MADE you take a leave of absence because of crackergate.

  29. #29 Paul Burnett
    December 29, 2008

    “…that hotbed of scientific inquiry, Liberty University…. Or is it that the writer suspects you of fraud of some sort, and requires an original copy of the review to scrutinize for telltale signs of… well, something-or-other?” – Minimalist, #23

    Something-or-other, fer shure – I bet they want to poke a nail through it or burn it or otherwise desecrate it.

  30. #30 CJO
    December 29, 2008

    Dear Sir,

    It has come to our attention that there are some lovely little bits in your recent article that we can easily take completely out of context and present as if they mean the exact opposite of what you intended. If you would be so kind as to send a hard copy along so that our assistant can laboriously re-type and add elipses to them, we would be most appreciative. We are well aware that an electronic copy of the publication would make this task less onerous, but it’s been so hard to keep the help busy these days.

    Yours in Christ,
    Kuo T. Mine,
    Liberty University

  31. #31 Eric
    December 29, 2008

    Wow, you guys are such amazing examples of tolerance. Your little blog here showed up on Google.

    Peace!
    Eric
    (LU grad)

  32. #32 JoshS
    December 29, 2008

    Eric, #31 – Just exactly what do you find “intolerant?” You do understand, don’t you, that “tolerance” does not mean “refusing to engage with or criticize ideas or institutions that are intellectually bankrupt”? As a former newspaper reporter in Lynchburg, Virginia, I’m well familiar with that giant intellectual black hole from which you graduated. Liberty graduate pointing fingers at others and screaming “intolerance!”? Irony meter asplode.

  33. #33 Nerd of Redhead
    December 29, 2008

    Wow, you guys are such amazing examples of tolerance.

    Not a very tolerant remark now. This is PZ’s blog, and while we have to play by his rules, they aren’t your rules. If you have an iota of respect you would apologize for that remark. Then again, the sun might rise in the west tomorrow. I will put some e-ducats on the latter happening before the former.

  34. #34 funda62
    December 29, 2008

    Happy Sabbatical! Does this mean we’ll get the blog posts from far flung destinations like, “Deep on the ocean floor.”? I drove through Lynchburg yesterday. That hillside thing always gives me the shivers.

  35. #35 Epikt
    December 29, 2008

    Peace!

    Eric

    (LU grad)

    Suddenly I understand why your postings are the way they are.

  36. #36 Kel
    December 29, 2008

    Wow, you guys are such amazing examples of tolerance.

    If we started tolerating the intolerant, the whole system would break down.

  37. #37 Ben Breuer
    December 30, 2008

    For all the catching-up and reduced pay, enjoy the sabbatical! Shouldn’t it be good to catch up with your friends as well? Happy Monkey!

  38. #38 Feynmaniac
    December 30, 2008

    Eric #31,

    If you really were a Liberty University grad you wouldn’t be using the internet.

  39. #39 Faithful Reader
    December 30, 2008

    Congratulations on your sabbatical, PZ. As a fellow academic, I’ll testify thatit does feel good when your peers approve something like a sabbatical. I was part of a team that won a lil’ prize at my college this year and it was pleasant and sure helped our project.

  40. #40 Brad
    December 30, 2008

    What the world really needs is a good ‘Giant book of evolution bedtime stories’ (you might want to change the title to something less blatant) for 4-8 year-olds. Fossils, dinosaurs, geological strata, morphology, inheritance, cladistics, organelles, molecular motors, isotope dating, DNA, enzymes, biochemistry, predator-prey adaptation – all tied together. You probably have enough stuff in this blog to rework into a pretty good book.

    You’d have to have a preface that says that none of this is actually _true_ but it’s a simplified version of what our present state of knowledge is about the subject. Bit I like the idea. Could make as interesting reading as fairy princesses or dragons and knights in shining armor for lots of kids.

  41. #41 Nick Gotts
    December 30, 2008

    Ha! This is the punishment form Morris that all the cracker-lovers were predicting. Who’s sorry now???!!!

  42. #42 Eric
    December 30, 2008

    My apologies if Professor Meyers took offense. I thought his comments were funny, actually. My response was aimed at those mocking an institution that most of you know nothing about. True, the place has issues. Most students and alumni are well aware of them, trust me. I believe and hope things are changing at LU. It seems to slowly be opening up… slowly.

    I was trying to point out that by ganging up in a slapfest of a small school in VA, you only make yourselves look like intellectual bullies, and intolerant as well (especially since your blog popped up on Google). Just agree to disagree with the professors at LU, and chill out. To Josh S, glad you were able to move on to bigger and better things!

    Eric

  43. #43 CJO
    December 30, 2008

    Just agree to disagree

    That’s just a supposedly polite way to say “shut up.”

    Why the fuck should we, and why the fuck don’t you just agree to disagree and spare us your lame concern?

  44. #44 Janine, Vile Bitch
    December 30, 2008

    Posted by: Eric | December 30, 2008

    I was trying to point out that by ganging up in a slapfest of a small school in VA, you only make yourselves look like intellectual bullies, and intolerant as well (especially since your blog popped up on Google).

    Oh! Whoa! Is! Me! As a bible believing christian, I know the rest of this wicked, wicked world is against us. But I will prevail because I am right with god. And you intellectual bullies will burn forever for being so arrogant.

  45. #45 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    December 30, 2008

    My response was aimed at those mocking an institution that most of you know nothing about.

    That is quite an assumption.

    True, the place has issues.

    Many

    Most students and alumni are well aware of them, trust me.

    And yet they chose to go / teach there knowing the type of academic standards it has?

    I was trying to point out that by ganging up in a slapfest of a small school in VA, you only make yourselves look like intellectual bullies, and intolerant as well (especially since your blog popped up on Google). Just agree to disagree with the professors at LU, and chill out.

    It’s not ganging up on some small school in VA. This school is a darling of the Religious Right and our current boneheaded administration chose to pull a number of its staff from there (and similar institutions). Their standards are to teach bad science. A university that prides itself in its teaching of some of the worst scientific standards around. This is a science blog. Pointing that out isn’t “ganging up in a slapfest”. It is pointing out fact and in doing so also “disagreeing with them”.

  46. #46 Eric
    December 30, 2008

    True, this is a science blog. For a minute there, I was getting the impression it was the Huffington Post.

    Oh, and Rev BigDumbChimp, this former evangelical, gay guy isn’t as bonheaded as some of the boneheads that got internships in DC. Some of us managed to get an education, even if we didn’t agree with everything being taught.

    I’ll stay off your blog now, oh great scientists! Best of luck to you guys! Oh, and Janine, call me?

  47. #47 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    December 30, 2008

    Oh, and Rev BigDumbChimp, this former evangelical, gay guy isn’t as bonheaded as some of the boneheads that got internships in DC. Some of us managed to get an education, even if we didn’t agree with everything being taught.

    Listen Eric, I don’t think your sexual orientation has much to do with whether or not their math department can teach mathematical subject matter correctly or whether their biology department fails miserably at some basic levels. Bringing it up as some sort of defense of the school is an odd tactic, but ok. I do have to wonder what the experience at a school like Liberty U would be like for a gay man. I bet you have some stories. Anyway, The school has some serious issues in teaching from a position of theology first everything else second, and obviously a religious school is going to do that. That doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be criticized for it.

    And I said the Administration is boneheaded, not the student body. Though I’m sure there are plenty of those to fit the bill.

    I’ll stay off your blog now, oh great scientists! Best of luck to you guys!

    Weak Eric, weak.

  48. #48 Eric
    December 30, 2008

    Hey Rev, thanks for the comments. Was merely trying to show that not everyone that went to LU was a mindless right-wing robot missionary trying to burn non-believers at the stake. I personally didn’t really take very many science courses, I was a marketing student. The school was mocked for being behind in technology, no internet, called a bastion of ignorance, etc. None of that is true. It’s actually pretty advanced in a lot of those areas. The biology department is one department. I could list the areas where the university excels, but it would only be met with disdain by many on this blog. I welcome the exchange, I just don’t want to offend anyone. Again, I am not a scientist.

  49. #49 Janine, Vile Bitch
    December 30, 2008

    Eric, you are a former evangelical yet you still come in defense of Liberty?

    Perhaps you have seen this before but I find it to be very funny.

    And I will not be calling you. You are not my type.

  50. #50 Rev. BigDUmbChimp
    December 30, 2008

    Eric, that were the University’s positions on homosexuals when you were there? now?

    What about interracial dating then?

    What is the purpose of these rules in a university?

    The fact that he biology department acts the way they do reflects poorly on the university as a whole. Why have standards in one department and not in another?

  51. #51 Kel
    December 30, 2008
  52. #52 Janine, Vile Bitch
    December 30, 2008

    Um, Kel, er, um… How do I say this? That is the video I linked to.

  53. #53 Andrew
    December 30, 2008

    Wow… Not much science in this blog.

  54. #54 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    December 30, 2008

    Wow… Not much science in this blog.

    ASTOUNDING!!!

    Give this man a cookie!!

  55. #55 Kel
    December 30, 2008

    Um, Kel, er, um… How do I say this? That is the video I linked to.

    Yes, yes it was. I just didn’t feel like mucking around with the tags to quote you. That okay?

  56. #56 Janine, Vile Bitch
    December 30, 2008

    Andrew, please check the header.

    Evolution, development, and random biological ejaculations from a godless liberal

    There are peer reviewed papers to be found here. But this is also a popular place for creationists to spout there ignorance. And some of we regulars like to wait around and greet them with a great big toothy smile.

    So, Andrew, what would you like?
    ‘SMILE’

  57. #57 Eric
    December 30, 2008

    Rev, firstly, I’d like to mention that anyone that attends LU goes there voluntarily, it’s not a prison camp. That being said, I knew the lifestyle restrictions before going. At the time, the rules were in line with my own beliefs (which have since been modified). All sex outside of their definition of marriage was frowned upon, based on their religious beliefs. This is still the case today. Even though I disagree with their teachings in this and several other areas, I feel they are 100% entitled to believe and teach whatever they want. This is America.

    Interracial dating was not a big deal, and in fact I knew several interracial couples. LU has been said to have the highest percentage of African-American students of any private college in VA, a state with a sad history when it comes to racial issues. It may be a homophobic institution, but it is not racist.

    The purpose of the rules at the university is to help create an environment consistent with the majority of students’ religious beliefs… which obviously are at odds with the beliefs of many on this blog.

    Janine, I am merely stating facts.

    This blog was full of childish comments regarding LU… calling it a bastion of ignorance 15 years behind the times, questioning if it had internet access, calling it a brainwashing center. Many of the comments meant in jest, but with a twinge of disgust. Disgust leads to intolerance. There is intolerance and ignorance on both sides from what I can tell.

    When you boys and girls grow up and go out to play in the real world (far from Morris… where ever that is), be sure to try and play well with others.

    It’s been fun.
    Later, E

  58. #58 Wowbagger
    December 30, 2008

    Eric wrote:

    Janine, I am merely stating facts.

    I bet that habit didn’t serve you too well at LU…

    This blog was full of childish comments regarding LU… calling it a bastion of ignorance 15 years behind the times

    Hey, if you know any children who use the term ‘bastion’ in it’s proper context then they’re pretty advanced – in vocabulary at least. And ’15 years behind’? Are you a creationist, Eric? If so then you’re right to complain about inaccuracy.

    You should be described as being 150 years behind.

  59. #59 Janine, Vile Bitch
    December 30, 2008

    I just loves it when a supporter of intolerance attacks us for being intolerant of the intolerant.

    Sorry Eric but any institution that allows for bad information to pass for science is placed under suspicion for all of the other fields there.

    Lastly, there really is no need for Liberty to be a brain washing center. Most of the students there had that done for years before the attended the school. The purpose is to keep the students away from the real world and get them ready to erode the freedoms and knowledge of the population at large.

    We do play way with others. And we loved playing with you.

  60. #60 Eric
    December 30, 2008

    Wowbagger… LOVE your response.

    Janine, I think I will miss you most. I will never forget you. Thank you for allowing me to erode your freedom a little today.

  61. #61 Janine, Vile Bitch
    December 30, 2008

    To be honest, Eric, I will forget you soon enough.

  62. #62 Eric
    December 30, 2008

    See you next Tuesday, Janine.

  63. #63 Kel
    December 30, 2008

    Do they really have dinosaur fossils on display with an age tag of thousands of years? If so, lol.

  64. #64 Janine, Vile Bitch
    December 30, 2008

    Why is it that most people who say they are leave, don’t?

  65. #65 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    December 30, 2008

    Rev, firstly, I’d like to mention that anyone that attends LU goes there voluntarily, it’s not a prison camp.

    Needless qualification and completely beside the point. In fact it supports my point even more so.

    This is still the case today. Even though I disagree with their teachings in this and several other areas, I feel they are 100% entitled to believe and teach whatever they want. This is America.

    Right. Exactly. And there is this little thing called free speech that allows me to be critical of their assbackwards thinking and teaching standards.

    Interracial dating was not a big deal, and in fact I knew several interracial couples. LU has been said to have the highest percentage of African-American students of any private college in VA, a state with a sad history when it comes to racial issues.

    wait, what?

    They may now allow interracial dating but it is a very recent thing. The very fact they didn’t allow until just a few years ago is very indicative of racism.

    It may be a homophobic institution, but it is not racist.

    And you still support it as a gay man?

    The purpose of the rules at the university is to help create an environment consistent with the majority of students’ religious beliefs… which obviously are at odds with the beliefs of many on this blog.

    Precisely why we are critical of such a anti-progressive way of thinking.

    When you boys and girls grow up and go out to play in the real world (far from Morris… where ever that is), be sure to try and play well with others.

    It’s been fun.
    Later, E

    I live in South Carolina, well in the real world. About as far from Morris geographically and culturally (in the US) as you can get. I play nicely but I don’t suffer fools gladly. You may not be a fool, but you are exhibiting some foolish characteristics. Or at least some naive ones.

    Someone admittedly gay who continues to support one of Falwell’s institutional spawns brings up many questions for me.

    “AIDS is not just God’s punishment for homosexuals; it is God’s punishment for the society that tolerates homosexuals” – Jerry Falwell.

  66. #66 Kel
    December 30, 2008

    That “see you next tuesday” crap annoys me. How hard is it to call someone a cunt really? It doesn’t come off as clever or witty, it’s lame.
    Look, “You’re a cunt Eric”
    See? quick and to the point.

  67. #67 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    December 30, 2008

    See you next Tuesday, Janine

    what the fuck does that even mean

  68. #68 Janine, Vile Bitch
    December 30, 2008

    Fuck! I was not aware of that one.

    Eric, fuck off you forsaken self hating asshole. Shake hand with Falwell, he loves you for being you.

  69. #69 Kel
    December 31, 2008

    See = C, You = U, Next = N, Tuesday = T

  70. #70 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    December 31, 2008

    fuck

  71. #71 H.H.
    December 31, 2008

    what the fuck does that even mean?

    Kel has it right. “See you next Tuesday” = “C-U-N-T.”

    Slightly confusing because the first two words of the phrase are phonetically identical to the letters they stand for, and the last two words only begin with the same letter.

    Kel’s also correct that it’s a really lame insult.

  72. #72 Wowbagger
    December 31, 2008

    Just for the purposes of information:

    C U Next Tuesday; also referred to as See You Auntie – though that’s more dependent on pronunciation.

  73. #73 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    December 31, 2008

    Kel’s also correct that it’s a really lame insult.

    Very. And Kel is right. If you’re going to call someone a cunt, call them a cunt. Why pussyfoot around it?

    JANINE YOU CUNT. See, easy! ;)

    Using that see you next Tuesday bullshit is cowardly.

  74. #74 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    December 31, 2008

    though that’s more dependent on pronunciation.

    British I presume?

    oh shit did i use British where i should have used english or wait..I’m so confused

    :)

  75. #75 Wowbagger
    December 31, 2008

    Using that see you next Tuesday bullshit is cowardly.

    Well, he is a Christian; it’s kind of assumed. If he weren’t so afraid of the truth he’d admit to himself that his invisible super-best-friend isn’t real and he’s not a beautiful and unique snowflake after all.

  76. #76 Janine, Vile Bitch
    December 31, 2008

    Chimpy! Think of this as a cyber face slap.
    ‘SLAP’

  77. #77 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    December 31, 2008

    ouch!

  78. #78 John Morales
    December 31, 2008

    eric #46: I’ll stay off your blog now
    eric #48: I welcome the exchange, I just don’t want to offend anyone.
    eric #57: It’s been fun. Later, E
    eric #62: See you next Tuesday, Janine.

    Eric: Lousy, lame liar.

  79. #79 Wowbagger
    December 31, 2008

    British I presume?

    Well, you’ve got to try and make the ‘Auntie’ sound like ‘n,t’ so probably not. British (or English) is more like ‘aren’t-ee’, and curnt isn’t a word – well, not one that I’ve ever heard of. Maybe it should be.

    oh shit did i use British where i should have used english or wait..I’m so confused

    I’m Australian – we just call them all Poms.

  80. #80 Kel
    December 31, 2008

    I’m Australian – we just call them all Poms.

    Which is short for Pommie bastards. Though that can become pommie cunts if they ever beat us at a sporting event.

  81. #81 Feynmaniac
    December 31, 2008

    WTF is with all this spam?

  82. #82 Sili
    January 1, 2009

    That is a pretty lame insult, yes.

    But what do I know. I managed to adopt a wrong pronunciation for twat.

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