The "magnificent P-Zed"?

Aww, I'm flattered; Richard Dawkins read aloud part of my Courtier's Reply in his recent debate with Alister McGrath. You can listen to it online—I think I'm going to have to have Dawkins read all of my posts aloud, since he makes them sound so much better.


If you want to listen to just the section where he reads my article, here's a 2.1 mp3 file.

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Wow he does make it sound good.

P-Zed does have a nice ring to it, but I think I'm gonna stick with P-Zee.

By Justin Wagner (not verified) on 28 Mar 2007 #permalink

It's a shame we cant see Alister McGraths' face as Prof.Dawkins was reading it...and read it well he does.

Congrats PZ on being quoted by the Prof.

Now if you can convince him to quote you in latin...

Quid quid latine dictum sit, altum videtur

By commissarjs (not verified) on 28 Mar 2007 #permalink

Although it is painful for me as a Canadian, I usually refer to you as "P-Zee" because I know that's how you refer to yourself. But it makes my ears bleed.

PZ: If this sort of thing continues, it could develop a life of its own, as when people speak of political appointees being 'borked' or censored texts as 'bowdlerized.'

I propose, therefore, that the public quotation of your writings to shame unsupported belief be similarly reified as 'PZ-ed' or (in the UK) 'PZed-ed'.

Sample usage: "I was trotting out the anthropic principle to support God's existence, when I was unceremoniously PZed-ed..."

Puckishly...SH

By Scott Hatfield, OM (not verified) on 28 Mar 2007 #permalink

OMG PZ! Did u just die! He wuz totally quoting u!

Dawkins is on Fresh Aire today. I don't care for Terri Gross' interviewing most of the time, but it might be worth listening in.

he's in ur base, stealin ur wurds...

You really need to get a book out there PZ. Now that you're being quoted by an author who has been on the best seller list for such a long time and your blog is probably being read by more people than read your average book. You'll have no trouble getting an agent with those creds.

In the clash between science ('Darwinists') and fantasy ('ID','CS'), why is that only one side has a sense of humor?

I don't trust humorless people.

By SnarlyGeezer (not verified) on 28 Mar 2007 #permalink

Excuse me for my presumption, PZ, but I swiped the Courtier's Reply (with proper attribution and a link to this site) to use in a debate with theists that I'm having on a movie discussion board.

Well, this Canadian always says "pee-zee" on the grounds that it's a proper name (or close enough).

But congrats on hitting the big(ger) time ;-).

By Eamon Knight (not verified) on 28 Mar 2007 #permalink

Simple solution: we must kidnap PZ and bring him to Canada, where we will brainwash him into pronouncing his name the correct way ie. "P-Zed" and claim him as one of our own.

Seriously, PZ, you should move. Our weather is similar to yours in Minnesota. We can bribe you with beer.

I just listened to the full recording. I wish Dawkins had seized on the following statement by McGrath (note the opening line, dripping with irony):

"One has to give such proof as is commensurate with the thing you are trying to engage with. And certainly in many cases we have to deal with looking at evidence which actually leads us to suppose certain things have happened - maybe have happened in the past. And we may believe these are very good explanations of what has happened, but actually we can't repeat history and step back into it.

Now, you probably know this, but Karl Popper (I think wrongly) said that, in his view, evolutionary theory was not actually strictly speaking part of the scientific method. Now, I think he's wrong, but the reason he said that was because it involves making judgments of what happened in the historical past, which actually could not be confirmed because you could not step back into history and repeat it. I think he's wrong there, but I think the point he was trying to make is that you're looking at a whole range of complex observations and asking, what is the best explanation you can give of this? And that does seem to me to be a perfectly legitimate approach given the nature of the material, and certainly I would want to argue in my own way I'm doing something similar. Experimentation is wonderful where you can apply it - but you can't always apply it."

Dawkins only commented that of course Popper was wrong on that point, and he mentioned the predictive ability of evolution despite Earth's biological history being unrepeatable to us. But that is only scratching the surface of this monument to hubris. McGrath may have once been a scientist, but he is surely no longer one.

He also claimed that "explicability demands explanation" - that it is very strange that we humans can understand so much about our universe, so there must be some (divine) reason for it. I would challenge him to explain why exactly this is strange. In fact, the whole of his comments were shot through with the same old arguments from ignorance or personal disbelief and other fallacies that we are painfully accustomed to from religious believers.

(delurks)

You mean to say there's *another* way to pronounce your initials besides 'Pee Zed'??

Next you'll be dropping letters from your spelling of words like 'colour' and 'neighbour'!

(ducks, then re-lurks)

By Take Her, She'… (not verified) on 28 Mar 2007 #permalink

adhominem ON
Wow, never having heard Alister McGrath speak before, I was surprised and irked by his whole William Shatner stress-ON!-every-seCOND!!-syLLABLE!!!...with A!!...gap...IN...beTWEEN!!...the...WORDS!!!!!!! thing
Yikes what a gasbag.
adhominem OFF

I wonder why Mr. Dawkins didn't go into his 747 thangy very deeply. He went into the Courtier's Reply quite extensively indeed! But, rather lamentably, he didn't go into the 747 thingymabbob thing, unfortunately. (Sadly so.) Hrmmm, I wonder why that is.

Alister McGrath seemed like a very nice fellow but it was kind of sad to hear all the typical special pleading Josh McDowell-ishy type stuff.

You really need to get a book out there PZ. Now that you're being quoted by an author who has been on the best seller list for such a long time and your blog is probably being read by more people than read your average book. You'll have no trouble getting an agent with those creds.

Posted by: Norman Doering | March 28, 2007 12:51 PM
#14

Yeah, Prof. Dr. P-Zed, Ph.D., weren't you supposed to be writing a book? You seem to be spending a lot of time on your blog. [/Mom-telling-you-to-do-your-homework voice].

Quid[...]quid latine dictum sit, altum videtur

:-D

(Have had 6 years of Latin at school. Am just evil enough not to translate the above. Harr harr.)

By David Marjanović (not verified) on 28 Mar 2007 #permalink

Dawkins lends such an air of sophistication and authority to whatever he says. I dare say I would actually start believing the stories from the OT if I heard him reading it.

Not only is PZ "magnificent", he is, according to Dr. Dawkins, "America's leading science blogger". Now if that's not a book jacket blurb (or blog tagline", I don't know what is.

Now that desperately needs to be mixed down with a crunchy trip-hop beat and some flattened clarinets with a bongo lead.

Quid[...]quid latine dictum sit, altum videtur

:-D

(Have had 6 years of Latin at school. Am just evil enough not to translate the above. Harr harr.)

By David Marjanović (not verified) on 28 Mar 2007 #permalink