Stranger Fruit

Unchallengable Orthodoxies

I spent last Thursday and Friday at the Unchallengeable Orthodoxies conference hosted by the ASU Sandra Day O’Connor Law School in conjunction with the University of Cambridge. Lots of interesting discussion on academic freedom, scientific practice and suchlike. I presented a 20 minute case study on why I felt that evolution was not an unchallengeable orthodoxy and why creationist claims about being stifled or expelled do not hold up when examined in light of scientific practice and the history of science. It’s a talk that I’m working up into a longer version to be presented at the American Humanist Association Annual Meeting in June. That meeting is here in Tempe, and PZ Myers is to be receiving the Humanist of the Year award.


  1. #1 Doc Bill
    March 23, 2009

    And you will open your MacBook which will light up and purr, connect to whatever wi-fi you near and ask you, seductively, “what would you like to do tonight, John?”

    You’ll caress her solid aluminum sides and say, “Baby, whatever you want to do I’m up with that.”

    And you’ll be up with that.

  2. #2 Steve Matheson
    March 23, 2009

    Uh, speaking of unchallengeable orthodoxies, how’d Tempe Normal do in the little hoops tournament? Aw, darn, so does that mean there are no Pac-10 representatives left? Wait…oh, good, there is one in the Sweet Sixteen.

    BTW, to calculate the number of years that my wife (UA Systems Engineering, 1985) and I have been married, just add up the number of consecutive years that THE University of Arizona has had a team in that little tournament. But hey…the perennial hope of Tempe Normal: we always win in baseball! (At least that was the cry in the 1980s, even though UA won two national championships in that decade.)

    Oh and PZ will be here in Grand Rapids this week. That’s almost as newsworthy as a tournament win for Tempe Normal! 😀

  3. #3 John Lynch
    March 23, 2009


    And there was I thinking you were classier than that! *sigh*

    5-0 … just saying. You know what I’m talking about. (Oh, and a 3-0 sweep over the weekend in baseball)

    All gentle ribbing aside, I have no problem with UA doing well in the tourney, though you have to admit that the wildcats had the easier first two games.

  4. #4 Steve Matheson
    March 23, 2009

    You’re right about the first two games, and Utah should be pretty annoyed about being paired with a 12 seed that was clearly a whole lot better than that seed. And I would think you’d be a big fan of Pennell — he’s the class act you thought I was (:-D) and besides, didn’t he spend some time in Tempe?

    Someday when we have a beer at the Chuck Box I’ll tell you my sordid tale of Sun Devil fandom and my spectacular conversion experience. (Please tell me the Chuck Box is still there.)

  5. #5 John Lynch
    March 23, 2009

    Chuck Box is still there and still serves heart attacks on a plate 🙂 Do indeed let me know if you’re ever in town.

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