Hey Mooney and Kirshenbaum: you want an eloquent, impassioned and accessible defense of science from a scientist? Here’s one. Shame it happens to come at the expense of a lot of ridicule of those parts of your book that you get inexorably wrong — you know, those parts that you yourself said would ruffle feathers. And it’s also a shame (well, for you at least) that it comes from your most hated atheist, PZ Myers.
We’re all still waiting for you to respond to either of PZ’s critiques with bated breath. You had lots of time to interact with the denizens of Daily Kos recently, and you’ve had lots of time to reply at length in any number of other, more positive reviews, so what’s keeping you so busy that you can’t reply properly? Or is it that you know you threw the elbow, and don’t want to have to admit that perhaps you earned the retaliation? Or that the retaliation is more justified than being merely pre-existing bias as a result of your animus toward him?
It’s honestly a shame that you decided to throw so many elbows at the other folks in your own boat. As Scicurious points out, there’s apparently a lot of meat in that book, much of which will get drowned out by the plea to other atheists to stop being so noisy and sacrifice their ideals on the altar of public expediency.
Mooney, I honestly get the feeling you fundamentally misunderstand the enemy. I don’t know about Kirschenbaum, but I have an idea why I feel this way about him, at least — probably because he grew up in a secular environment. You’ve never been “inside”, Mooney. So, try it sometime. Find out exactly what the religious intend to do to your precious science, then ask yourself if deference is the appropriate course of action. And ask, specifically, if you should be targeting the people in your own boat while you’re trying to develop your own pro-science strategy, given how hypocritical you look in the process.
Oh well. At least your flailing has resulted in folks I’ve otherwise found distasteful in the past, putting forward spot-on analyses of your issues. And has even caused ages-old enemies to agree (even just this once). It’s nice to see some good things came of your backbiting.
I can tell you this — your book was on my to-get-once-out list prior to your “civility” post, and I was honestly going to read it, but knowing that within its pages you’ve explicitly told me and others like me that we have to play nice with the very people that hate science and would do anything to suppress it, I’d really rather not now.