Pharyngula

Phil Skell? Is he still around?

I’ve had a few run-ins with this wacky retired chemist and obsessive creationist, and recently pestered Jeffrey Shallit. There’s a good tip in that account; Shallit just mentioned my name, and Skell fled. I guess I’ve become an anti-creationist talisman now.

Comments

  1. #1 kzelnio
    December 30, 2009

    He is a professor at Penn State. RPM from the former evolgen blog and I used to anxiously await his questions about complexity at each evolution talk! He would go on and on and on… basically monopolizing any time he could grab to speak about absolutely nothing. My favorite was when he asked my advisor during one of his talks about how sight could have possibly evolved in the deep sea. His talk was about the ecology of animals at hydrothermal vents… Anyways, Phil Skell is very well known to the Penn State people and generally laughed down upon.

  2. #2 Gyeong Hwa Pak, the Pikachu of Anthropology
    December 30, 2009

    Skell is well-known for his monomania: claiming that the theory of evolution is not relevant to medicine or experimental biology,

    *Facepalm

    Only religious dogma can make you that blind.

  3. #3 stand.myopenid.com
    December 30, 2009

    Wow, I’ll have to remember that! I promise to only use the talismanic powers of PZ for Good.

  4. #4 PZ Myers
    December 30, 2009

    I’m pretty sure vampires flee in terror when they see me, too. At least, I’ve never encountered one.

  5. #5 sasqwatch
    December 30, 2009

    Lay off the garlic.

  6. #6 Cycle Ninja
    December 30, 2009

    I’m pretty sure vampires flee in terror when they see me, too.

    How good are you with Zombies?

  7. #7 jcmartz.myopenid.com
    December 30, 2009

    “I guess I’ve become an anti-creationist talisman now.”

    I should make a necklace with your name on it to keep the creationist/ID crowd at bay.

  8. #8 Romeo Vitelli
    December 30, 2009

    “I guess I’ve become an anti-creationist talisman now.”

    If you’re taking on divine attributes, does that mean Atheism is obsolete now?

  9. #9 steve
    December 30, 2009

    What is it with some chemists? This guy is a creationist, I’m sure many of you have seen Richard Dawkins’s interview with chemist/creationist Nick Cowan, we all know Michael Behe, and in C&E News there were 6 letters in one issue supporting IDiocy (July 6 2009).

    Please be assured that the views on evolution of Behe, Cowan, Skell and those who wrote in the aforementioned C&EN issue do not represent the views of the chemistry community. Many chemists (myself included) have no problems at all with evolution and put it as science right up with atomic theory, the gas laws, MO theory and so forth.

  10. #10 nejishiki
    December 30, 2009

    @9
    Not sure what Behe’s deal is, considering he’s a Biochemist, so his training is a bit different than your standard organic or physical chemist.
    But one explanation is that creationists who don’t want to have to learn or use evolutionary ideas might prefer to go into chemistry, where these issues don’t arise because it’s not an historical science like Biology or astrophysics. Chemistry (and engineering) thus become an ecological niche for creationism.

  11. #11 Rutee, Shrieking Harpy of Dooooom
    December 30, 2009

    “If you’re taking on divine attributes, does that mean Atheism is obsolete now?”

    Only after the divine attributes are verified with rigorous testing and replicable.

  12. #12 CanonicalKoi
    December 30, 2009

    @ #7 – I’m making a sign for my door:, “I read Pharyngula by P.Z. Myers, daily.” I’m hoping it’ll cut down on the number of nutcakes banging on my door wanting to “save” me.

  13. #13 speedweasel
    December 30, 2009

    PZ said,

    I’m pretty sure vampires flee in terror when they see me, too. At least, I’ve never encountered one.

    I have a rock that keeps tigers away.

  14. #14 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    December 30, 2009

    I have sweet handlebar moustache that keeps bothersome people away.

    It’s magic!

  15. #15 a_ray_in_dilbert_space
    December 30, 2009

    Re: Vampires.

    On a recent vacation to Sri Lanka (highly recommended btw), we were served garlic curry. Yes, it is just what it sounds like–garlic curried in coconut milk and spices. Not only did it keep garlic away, I noticed it got us extra spaces on the busses, too!

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