Pharyngula

I get email

At the end of February, I’ve mentioned that a flack from Answers in Genesis will be appearing in Morris. I guess the local hosts of that event are a little worried that I might breathe fire over their little church, so they just sent me a note.

Professor Myers,

I am the local coordinator for the Answers in Genesis conference which will be held in Morris on Feb. 27 and 28 featuring Dr. Terry Mortenson. I realize that there is a lot of real estate between our opinions on this subject. My hope is that we create a respectful discussion about this issue which will be challenging.

I would like to meet with you, at your convenience, to discuss the conference, the schedule, and how we can make it a positive experience for all members of our community.

How odd and annoying. I’ve attended creationist events in town before, and they should know by now that I don’t cause grief, at least not during the talks. So I wrote this back to him. I always believe in being honest and straightforward with people, even creationists.

Hmmm. Well. I can guarantee you that I and the people I will be bringing along to the event will be quiet, polite, and entirely non-disruptive; we’ll do nothing but observe, take note, and possibly ask a few simple questions, and we’ll follow any restrictions you want to place on us. You can ask your friends at Answers in Genesis; I led a group of 300 students through the Creation Museum, and we did not run riot or create any real problems for the staff or other attendees. We’ll do the same here, although we definitely won’t have such a large contingent this time around.

But I have to be honest with you: there will be no respect for this nonsense, and I do not consider bringing in dishonest incompetents to miseducate and misrepresent science to be a positive experience for our community. We will respect your right to have discussions of this sort and will in no way impede your ability to present creationist dogma to your audience, but I will not agree in any way with any of it, and once I step away from your church grounds you can expect that my criticisms will be thorough and fiery and will not include any pretense of respect for Answers in Genesis or the Morris Evangelical Free Church.

I don’t quite see the point of meeting. You know my position, and I know yours and Terry Mortenson’s. It is your event and I do not expect any accommodation for actual, honest science in it, nor do I demand it. Since I have promised that I will create no obstacles to your agenda, there really isn’t any good reason to discuss anything about it.

I hope they weren’t misled by my prior instances of polite behavior into somehow thinking I’m nice, or something.