Editorializing Mike S. Adams

Well, I thought I was done with Mike S. Adams, but I keep getting sucked back in. I was asked by the University Register, our weekly campus newspaper, to submit an editorial on Adams’ talk last week. “Sure,” I said, and whipped out eleven hundred words. You can read them in situ in the online edition of the Register, or you can look below the fold.

Talk by Mike S. Adams lacked that certain je ne sais quois

I attended part of Mike S. Adams’ talk last Thursday. I have to say that I was very disappointed.

He spent on hour telling us about his victimhood—that he has been continually oppressed by feminists, that feminists have such awesome power and so much influence on society that they control hiring and promotion at his university, that he is greatly offended at such emasculating displays of feminine power as, say, performances of the Vagina Monologues on campus. He was also fond of explaining how liberal university campuses try to restrict free speech using speech codes, specifically to silence conservative voices like his.

Firstly, I was disappointed to see the complete lack of appreciation of the irony that he, a tenured professor at UNC-Wilmington despite all the feminists there, was being paid to give this talk at our politically diverse university, where students were encouraged by their professors to attend his talk, not necessarily because they endorsed his views, but because it is important to listen to other opinions—even those of extremists. I understand he’s going to be giving this extended tirade about how his opinions are suppressed by the liberal universities at several other liberal universities, as well.

Hmmm. I suspect my litotes will not leave him nodding his head in comprehension.

I don’t even want to touch the irony of a fellow who claims that the abuses of power by feminists drove him to enroll in a group dedicated to defending the civil rights of average Americans…the Republican party. That’s too easy.

Mostly, though, I was disappointed because he had so greatly diluted the content of his talk from the rich, ripe lunacy of his columns; it was a kind of Adams Lite. Sure, he wallowed in his status as a victim like he does in his columns, and of course he took a few swipes at feminism, but I missed the juicy stuff, the kind of potent far-right-wing statements that his on-line audiences revel in.

For instance, I would have enjoyed hearing him discuss how “Republican women were more attractive than Democratic women” with some of our students. He has, after all, declared this to be an important topic, and part of the discourse the College Republicans should learn about:

The public discussion of this issue will help Republicans answer some important questions. For example: “Should we assume that being gay often causes one to be a Democrat? Isn’t it more likely that the lack of exposure to attractive women causes Democrats to be gay?” And “Do Democratic women consider compliments in the workplace to be sexual harassment simply because they rarely hear them?”

I’m sure a public discussion of the idea that Democrats support gay rights because Democratic women are ugly would have been vigorous and stimulating.

Speaking of gay rights, it’s another subject on which Mike S. Adams often converses at length. He’s against them. After all,

There is nothing wrong with discriminating against a class of people who are afflicted with an emotional or mental illness that is relevant to the completion of a given task—especially if that task is crucial to the well-being of the society at large. That is why I am opposed to the idea of gays adopting or teaching our children.

We could have spent hours discussing the idea that gay people are mentally ill individuals who need to be kept away from children. Why was Mike S. Adams reluctant to bring it up? I understand we’ve had similar sentiments against gay members of our community scrawled on walls here, so someone would have appreciated hearing about it.

Lately, our campus has also experienced some deplorable instances of hate speech against students of color. It would have been timely if he had discussed these matters in some detail; Mike S. Adams has interesting ideas about race. After all, he has encouraged students at his campus to celebrate diversity in an interesting way:

All UNCW students have to do on (Change Your) Ethnicity Day is to stop by the Registrar’s Office to have their race changed from White (or Asian, or Hispanic, or Native American, or “Other”) to Black. Once they do so, they will be eligible for lots of free stuff without having to earn it.

I should like to have heard more about all the free stuff black students get without earning it. He also recommends this as an easy way to rapidly increase minority representation on campus.

Personally, I had hoped he would discuss evolution. I do understand, however, that it is a rather narrow topic of greater interest to us biologists than to the broader spectrum of attendees at his talk. Dr. Adams, a criminologist, has been known to write discourses on evolutionary theory in his columns, though…long explanations of odd distinctions that he makes in the theory that bear no relationship at all to what biologists understand of the process. Perhaps it would have been too esoteric, but honestly, like all of his columns on science, I would have found it amusing. I would have laughed and laughed. It would have been great fun to explain why statements like this are ludicrously wrong:

The latter theory [macroevolution] is less than unproven. In fact, it isn’t even scientific. I believe that it is nothing more than the new religion of pseudo scientists who think that they are atheists.

Unfortunately, he also avoided this potentially promising vein of discussion. I’ve since learned that he had heard I would be at the talk, and has admitted to actually being afraid when he entered the lecture room, apparently because he was concerned that I, a hostile presence, would confront him on these kinds of statements.

Perhaps that explains why his whole talk was an extended whine about how he had been bullied and picked upon throughout his academic career, rather than his usual attacks on women, gays, and minorities. Unintentionally, and without even trying, I seem to have cowed the poor man into diluting the content of his speech into the sad pablum he served up last Thursday. I apologize to the student body of UMM for accidentally depriving you all of his insights, but of course, you can still read those lovely bon mots of his at townhall.com, and in particular, you can read his latest tirade against a certain PZ Myers at the University of Minnesota Morris—I seem to have earned his ire by not confronting him. I must also apologize to Mike S. Adams for failing to explain to his audience what an ass he is.


  1. wildlifer says

    Obviously the reason he was scared prior to the speech was because he was scared PZ would not ask him any questions. Thus he was scared he would be unable to play the victim again.

    Nice job PZ.

  2. says

    “I must also apologize to Mike S. Adams for failing to explain to his audience what an ass he is.”

    That’s the clincher right there. Best last line, ever.

  3. Joe Griffitt says

    Look, I want to make something perfectly clear: This man is not representative of UNCW. I got my BS in MArine Biology there in the late 90’s, and it was then regarded as one of the best schools for marine bioology education. I don’t know if he was there then, if he was I certainly never heard about him. But hte Biology department should not be tainted by association.

  4. Randy! says

    Delurking to say, Damn! I believe the kids call this being “p0wned”. That’s such a great smack-down that I’d consider it an honor to be humiliated like that. I’d be surprised if Mike S. Adams doesn’t drop you a line thanking you.

  5. says

    I have no gripe with UNC-Wilmington. I’ve even challenged Adams to get a campus group there to invite me out for a talk — I’d be happy to visit the place.

    Every university has these little stains to deal with.

  6. Occam's Electric Razor says

    Man, does this mean I have to surf over to townhall.com again and read the responses to this post? It’s like a trip through the looking-glass!

  7. says

    This must have been such a pleasure to write!

    My wife went to UNCW (Philosophy) and she has also never heard of Mike Adams. Is he a recent hire, or does he hide somewhere on campus too afraid of being assaulted by beautiful bikini-clad Republican women on the beach, or is he too busy travelling and giving stupid speeches to ever be on campus to teach (which would be a good thing fo rUNCW students)?

    I’ll see if I can pull some strings to get you invited…

  8. afterthought says


    Please let us know if you do get an invite to UNCW.
    There is no way I would miss it.

  9. Steve_C says

    That last line made me laugh out loud. Brilliant.

    Nothing like a clean evisceration to start the day.

  10. rrt says

    PZ, there seem to be some editing issues with the school paper version. For instance, this bit:

    “After all,

    There is nothing wrong with discriminating against a class of people”

    drops the quotes and makes it look like (along with a strange comma placement related to the error) as if you are making this claim.

  11. FishyFred says

    PZ, there seem to be some editing issues with the school paper version.

    School paper editors are AWFUL. My brother writes the humor column at Johns Hopkins. He’s gotten used to the editors adding punctuation mistakes to his columns.

  12. George says

    Way to go, PZ! Brilliant.

    Every campus should have a token idiot Republican to pick on. These fools end up doing more damage than good to the conservative cause.

  13. says

    School paper editors are AWFUL.

    During my graduate school stint our student paper had (usually egregious) spelling errors in front page headlines quite regularly.

  14. Ksenkiya says

    “Every campus should have a token idiot Republican to pick on. These fools end up doing more damage than good to the conservative cause.”

    While I agree with you in spirit, in my (limited) experience I don’t see them doing much damage to their reputations or causes, because the people whose minds could potentially be changed don’t perceive the idiot as an idiot, and never will.

  15. says

    Isn’t it more likely that the lack of exposure to attractive women causes Democrats to be gay?”

    Ah, the ole Rush Limbaugh “buncha cows!” pick-up line. “Prove me wrong, prove me wrong, show some leg.” I’m wise to it by now, Adams, and since you obviously want BD pics and were too scared to ask me you wasted your whole time with this “staging a lecture” farce, because I’m not posting anything! Coward! Next time, ask me. ;-)

  16. Kseniya says

    “Prove me wrong” – LMAO.

    And yet, they constantly – CONSTANTLY – bitch and moan about “Liberal Hollywood” and, as everbody knows, there aren’t any attractive women there.

    * eyeroll *

    Idiots! If they could hear their own nonsensical spew. Three hours a day, that’s all I ask…

    When a bright and attractive woman (for example, Susan Sarandon) does open her mouth, she’s made out to be a traitor who shouldn’t speak about things she doesn’t understand: After all, she’s “only an actress.”

    Meanwhile, a leggy, bottle-blonde lawyer makes moronic statements about biology and writes entire books full of hateful lies and inaccuracies, and they worship her like a goddess.

    How much more shallow can they get? I ask you!

  17. Ichthyic says

    How much more shallow can they get? I ask you!

    please retract that question! I, for one, really DON’T want to know how far down the bottom of the barrel really is for these idiots.

  18. Kseniya says

    Don’t be too hasty, now, Ichthyic. Maybe the answer is “infinitely shallow,” which means they’d become 2-dimensional, and vanish from our reality.

    Maybe I should offer it as a challenge, like a game of Limbo where the bar keeps getting lower until the space beneath it disappears.

    Ok, boys!


    [cue Carribean music]

  19. says


    My interpretation of the statement…

    Isn’t it more likely that the lack of exposure to attractive women causes Democrats to be gay?

    …was that being gay is the default, and you only become heterosexual if you are shown a sufficiently attractive member of the opposite sex. Though in that case, since you would not be interested in the opposite sex sexually, you wouldn’t view any of them as sexually attractive anyway, and what other sort of attractiveness would override someone’s sexual orientatttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttt

    Damn – the FreeperThought Emulator always causes my brain to lock up… :-D

  20. Gentlewoman says

    I must also apologize to Mike S. Adams for failing to explain to his audience what an ass he is.

    I’m sure Dr. Mike S. Adams (you must always call him Dr. Mike S. Adams. Because it’s funny, that’s why. Just do it, OK?) didn’t need any help with this.

  21. says

    So: Adams realised he couldn’t argue with you over evolution, so he prayed to God and you were struck dumb with fear for the duration of the questioning.

    And then you reported that some guy with a ponytail had asked a question, but you also somehow reported that he had been prevented from doing so, not knowing that you would be confounded by video evidence later.


  22. Ichthyic says

    Don’t be too hasty, now, Ichthyic. Maybe the answer is “infinitely shallow,” which means they’d become 2-dimensional, and vanish from our reality.

    or maybe drag us unknowing into some form of singularity.

    didn’t you ever see that episode of Star Trek tng where the 2d critters nearly dragged the enterprise into a “cosmic string fragment”.

    IOW, if they get too much shallower, they might destroy us all.

  23. PhilAndTheFrantics says

    Thank goodness the field of biology doesn’t require too much brain power. I’d put the professor’s point/counterpoint talents somewhere between Koko the Gorilla’s signing abilities and a stoned sophomore’s all-nighter term paper ramblings.

    You were in the front row, professor. Why didn’t you ask a question?

  24. says

    Oh, don’t you just love how these wingnuts twist the truth.

    I arrived late, stood in the hall with a dozen or two other people, got as close as the door during the Q&A…and now this has become “You were in the front row.”

    So, hey, you’re a fan of Dr Mike S. Adams. Perhaps you could explain the logic and accuracy of “Republican women were more attractive than Democratic women”. Do you agree with that? Do you believe that discriminating against those “mentally ill” gay people is reasonable?

    You aren’t going to get to just pop in here with a quick and dirty lie and disappear again without being confronted with the substance of Dr Mike S. Adams bilious nonsense. Care to try and address it? Or will you just run away?

  25. PhilAndTheFrantics says


    Oh, professor … how unprofessorial, how unprofessional of you to talk that way (actually, quite typical of today’s “professors”).

    Lie? So you weren’t in the front row. Sorry for the “big lie.” With your messianic interest in Dr. Adam’s speech, you could neither get to the room early or on time nor ask a question from the doorway. Seems it wasn’t a big room. You’re a hell of a crusader … until you shrink in front of your opponent (also typical of today’s “professors” who become a bit impotent when the opponent isn’t a tongue-tied undergrad hoping for a good grade).

    Fan of Dr. Adams? Not really. I’m not a Christian, I support gay marriage. I grew up a liberal Democrat (Yes, I was a teenage lefty) and have been a lifelong student, mostly part time (also working full time and raising a family) and have observed over the years the evolution of professors to the antithesis of the ideal.

    That’s my beef. Dr. Adams is a breath of fresh air against this dangerous trend.

    Your type, like the plodding dinosaurs, will, hopefully, go extinct.

    Winnut, indeed.