I just mentioned on twitter this curious phenomenon that lately I’ve seen a major upsurge in requests to do debates — four in just the last two weeks. It started happening right after the Nye/Ham debate, in which Ham got clobbered thoroughly, but still bragged right afterwards that it had brought in enough attention and money to fund the preliminary work on the Ark Park.
Hmmm. Debate. Lose. Profit! Wonder why they’re suddenly more interested in debates?
Anyway, as I said, I mentioned this on twitter, and then moments later I check my email, and here’s this very polite, very nice letter.
Dear P.Z Myers
My name is Imran Hussein and I work for an Islamic outreach charity called IERA. You are most likely aware of our activities as some of our members engaged with you out side the atheist world convention a few years ago.
We have been undergoing some strategic changes in the way we have been engaging with academics and thinkers such as yourself. For instance Hamza Andreas Tzortzis recently had a very friendly nuanced discussion with Professor Peter Simons on consciousness. You can see how much we have changed and improved here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=77J6g04UeY0.
In this light we would like to invite you to the UK (flights, accommodation etc. paid for) to engage in a discussion on “Is Consciousness Evidence for God’s Existence?”
We are very flexible concerning dates. If you are interested I would be grateful if you can send me a range of dates that suits you.
I would like to inform you that it will be a great honour to have you as although we carry different world views you have positively influenced the way we work and we hope that a future interaction with yourself can further improve the way we connect with others.
You know, it’s so tempting…how often do you get an offer for an all-expenses paid trip to Europe? All it would take is an hour or two of work on the stage, and selling out my integrity to help promote Islamist bullshit. It’s
friendly nuanced bullshit, but still bullshit.
I think my answer will be…
FUCK NO! Politely.