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Jul 13 2009

Throw dem bows

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.

6 comments

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  1. 1
    CyberLizard

    One other good thing to come out of this; it reminded me that I don’t always have to buy a book. The good ol public library still exists and they deliver (at least I think mine does. Have to double-check that). Someone mentioned that they had ordered the book from the library so they wouldn’t have to contribute to the royalty check of an unliked author.

  2. 2
    Jason Thibeault

    You make an excellent point. Our local libraries aren’t really big into getting the latest science-related books though — they stick to fiction and theology. They know their main audience, I guess.

  3. 3
    DuWayne

    Wait a minute!!! You’re a fucking Canadian!!! I always thought Canadians ate science for fucking breakfast…Maybe I’ll have to withdraw my offer to *Lost Marbles not to invade Canada if she marries me for healthcare…

    (*see Toaster’s megalomania post)

  4. 4
    DuWayne

    (and just watch yourself there eh, I’m building me a moosemindcontrol ray and I’m not afraid to use it!!!)

  5. 5
    Jason Thibeault

    Just because a statistically disproportionate amount of internet enabled Igloos belong to us intelligent folk, doesn’t mean there isn’t rampant idiocy up here in Canuckistan.

    Granted, we’re more sciencey than the States, and our politicians would get thrown out for daring to expose their religion much less set policy by it, but that ain’t to say we’re some kind of secular haven by any stretch of the imagination. Especially in the more rural areas of the country, in which our current residence definitely counts.

    I’m stocking up on tin foil for the local moose population.

  6. 6
    DuWayne

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!11!!1!!111!! Tin foil just makes it work that much better!!!!1!!11!!! Lead is the thing to use!!!!!1!!111!!!!!!!!!

    …Oh shit, what was it Toaster said about exposing one’s mad sciency plans for world or Canadian domination…

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