When Michael met David

The direct confrontation between Bérubé and Horowitz has been recorded for posterity at the CHE—I think Bérubé handled it perfectly, not taking the reactionary clown seriously, and getting a free lunch out of it.

Next, though, he’s going to be on the Dennis Prager radio show. I’m beginning to think he’s trawling very deep for the pallid, slimy worms that dwell in the abyssal darkness…but hey, whatever satisfies your appetite, I say.

Now we just need the Chronicle of Higher Ed to sponsor my free lunch with Deepak Chopra…or perhaps I could someday aspire to locking horns with Prager.


  1. says

    Earth Island Journal would be glad to sponsor your “meeting” with D-Pac, PZ, if we can agree that by “sponsor” we mean “provide a room that seats 35 people snugly and fire up a coffee pot.”

    And if it’s a success, we can make it a series. Wolcott has a beer with Victor Davis Hanson, Amanda Marcotte eats lunch with Luciane Goldberg, and one of those singing plastic fish plaques matches wits with Jeff Goldstein. That kinda thing.

    Though that last one might be a trifle unfair.

  2. Mnemosyne says

    About halfway through that transcript, I expected Horowitz to scream, “I will not be ignored, Michael!”

  3. Ginger Yellow says

    I have to say Horowitz comes across as a lot more, shall we say, hinged in person than he does in print, which along with some of his comments rather suggests he realises he’s bullshitting most of the time for political and personal gain.
    I do wish the Chronicle had published a full transcript – the conversation doesn’t flow very well.

  4. Greg says

    Y knw, ftr rdng ll ths stff bt thsm nd wht lt f thsts thnk, m strtng t hv dbts.

    hv t dmt ths. m srs.

    Bt hw d dl wth t? D jst gv p vrythng hv bn prsng. Ds nybdy hv rl nswr fr m, r wll jst b dsmssd?

    ‘m wndrng.

  5. says

    Pl wrt:

    “r prhps cld smdy spr t lckng hrns wth Prgr.”

    f crs, n pnch y cld lck hrns wth m.
    Bt y hv chsn nt t. Ws mv!
    Yr rfsl t ngg m clrly dmnstrts th bnkrptcy f yr pstn. Prtndng tht dn’t xst dsn’t mk t ny bttr fr y.

    [There you go, Charlie. That’s about the level of engagement you deserve. –pzm]

  6. says

    Greg, just keep thinking, observing and questioning everything that you are told by those in supposed “authority” with regard to all things political and religious, scientific too for that matter. Seek evidence, not rhetoric, not belief in the absence of evidence. Analyze the evidence and question even yourself as to potential alternative hypotheses to the immediate conclusions you might be drawing based upon your observations. It is an iterative approach but it leads to reality; or at least the best rendition of reality that we can observe via our senses, instruments, and the modeling capabilities of our brains.

  7. poke says

    Greg, you’re having doubts about atheism? You think you might be a Neville Chamberlain Appeaser? Just bury those feelings deep inside.

  8. MG says

    The conversations might not have flowed that great, but I thought the sub-story was hilarious.

    “Once during the lunch, Mr. Horowitz pointed at Mr. Bérubé with a morsel of half-eaten bread.”

    Sounds intense, what if it had been the whole piece of bread? That might have turned the whole thing into fisticuffs.

  9. Greg says

    Y hv msndrstd m. m hvng dbts bt thsm tslf. m strtng t lck th fth y ll hv tht ll xstnc, lf, mnd, nd rsns tslf cn b xplnd by mndlss prcssss!

    Hlp m.

    My thst fth s wknng!!!

  10. Aureola Nominee, FCD says

    Oh, gee, yet another “atheism takes MORE faith than theism, so there!” troll…

    Since we are at it, can someone tell me how much grease do bald atheists have to use on their hair?

  11. says

    Greg is a known troll who morphs his username. Ignore him.

    It should be a clue that this post was about Bérubé…not a word about atheism was mentioned until he showed up.

  12. says

    PZ is a braver man than I. The intense levels of slime exuding from Deepak would ooze over the table, grab me by my throat, and force me to drown myself in my soup. Even the very thought of being in the same room with the guy gives me the heebie jeebies. Honestly, I’d rather share lunch with our lord Cthulhu.

  13. Steve LaBonne says

    Wouldn’t you BE lunch in that latter case? (Assuming you’ve been a good boy and deserve to be eaten first, of course.)

  14. says

    Thanks for posting this. I was not familiar with Bérubé, but I knew a little about Horowitz. He spoke at my college in the 90’s, and I attended his speech.

    That seemed like a very civil exchange and much more refreshing than soundbites being launched from Faux News.

  15. says

    Pl wrt:

    “Thr y g, Chrl. Tht’s bt th lvl f nggmnt y dsrv.”

    Try t dsmvwl ths mssg. bt y cn’t!

    f crs, y cn jst dlt t…..bt tht’s n fn!

    [some people can’t comprehend the power of grep, or consider that a script can handle diacritical marks just fine. There’s a lesson to creationists in that.]

  16. stogoe says

    Big Mouth Billy Bass would mop the floor with Jeff Goldstein.

    Maybe as an encore we can have a debate between ‘St.’ John McCain and ‘Holy’ Joe Liberman, the front-runners for the Unity08 nomination. The winner will be the one who finds the pony.

  17. Tukla in Iowa says

    Oh, good. The textual static cleared up. I thought I had a loose connection on my browser.

  18. says

    Paul wrote:

    “There’s a lesson to creationists in that.”

    Well, since I’m not a creationist, I guess you’re not referring to me ;-)

    Anyway, I’ll continue to look at the problem and see what I can come up with. It’s good exercise for the brain and I learned something new.

  19. Kagehi says

    Well… No one is quite sure what you are Charlie, other than confused by arguments dealing with information theory and other stuff, that are total BS, and, I don’t know, stuck on the theory that some bad Sci-fi involving “uplift” is actually a science text? Forgive me David Brin, I don’t mean *your* books on the subject, they at least allowed for evolution to the point where inteference was actually “interersting” to an alien species, as well as wolflings that managed spaceflight on their own.

    But seriously, its not entirely clear “what” you are Charlie, other than seriously confused by some basic principles, both the ones you deny *and* the ones you insist make sense in place of them.

  20. says

    Kagehi wrote:

    “Well… No one is quite sure what you are Charlie,”

    There really is no mystery. Everything is laid out as clear as a bell on my website and in the thousands of messages that I’ve posted over the years. I welcome criticism of any of my views and encourage people to challenge what I say with facts.
    Unfortunately, I get very little of that. The preponderance of the replies are filled with personal insults and abusive and disrespectful rubbish, absurdity and horsepookey. Just look at these recent threads and you’ll see what I mean. Not a word of sensible criticism.

  21. Steve_C says

    He’s an ID’er. It’s all just so perfect! It must have been designed and organized.

    Tell that to the dinosaurs.

  22. Ichthyic says

    Unfortunately, I get very little of that,


    You get a ton of it, in spades. you simply are incapable of recognizing legitimate criticism of your ridiculous, unsupported notions.

    and yeah, the fact it’s been that way for years says a tremendous amount about you, personally.

  23. says

    Earth Island Institute? I remember corresponding with Gar Smith, a columnist for that organization, about his frustration with EII not willing to consider some of the cutting edges of science.

    U of Illinois-Champaign-Urbana has a how department focusing on quantum biology — through photosynthesis.

    So — more idiots — well at least they’re in the Midwest, closer to PZ’s great cultural divide.

    PZ don’t google “quantum biology and consciousness” — because you might discover a whole discipline of science in league with Deepockets.

  24. says

    Sheesh, Ichthyic, I went to the URL you posted and began reading. A few paragraphs down my brain began rebelling and asking me why I was wasting my time reading this illogical and irrational dreck. This occurred coincident with nausea that, I presume, was due to the fact that there are so many of these “theomagicians” trying to counter the understanding of science in our society.

  25. Ichthyic says

    A few paragraphs down my brain began rebelling and asking me why I was wasting my time reading this illogical and irrational dreck.

    that’s a healthy response, I’d say. In fact, we maintain that thread at ATBC mainly because AFDave is such a perfect example of how the underlying psychological malady produces such consistent and intractable irrationality.

    plus, I guess it’s really fun to poke at him every morning and get the same response. It’s become like a cup of coffee for a lot of the folks there.

    I, like yourself, got bored of it ages ago, and moved on to poking others who exhibit similar symptoms… like CW.

  26. Ichthyic says

    Earth Island Institute

    are you referring to the same EII that has a headquarters in San Francisco?

    I have stories…

  27. Ichthyic says

    Water on Mars?

    finally, someplace to go to get away from the creationist idiots and still do aquatic biology…

  28. Great White Wonder says

    I, like yourself, got bored of it ages ago, and moved on to poking others who exhibit similar symptoms… like CW.

    A little known fact is that Chuckie was the inspiration for my username. For some strange reason, he felt compelled to let everyone at PT know that he or his dad splooged in Zimmy’s Greenwich Village apartment. Or something like that.

  29. says

    I did the inevitable and googled “quantum biology and consciousness” — came up with a 2006 article in the journal Nature (will PZ exclusively ignore this “highly respected” source on quantum biology and consciousness while posting other Nature articles?) Yes I think PZ will:

    EMBO reports 7, 10, 971-974 (2006)
    A quantum leap in biology. One inscrutable field helps another, as quantum physics unravels consciousness

    Philip Hunter

  30. Ichthyic says


    if you are indeed referring to the same EII as the one in SF, we might actually know each other.

    are you?

  31. Ichthyic says

    A little known fact is that Chuckie was the inspiration for my username.

    ha! Yes… now that i recall back a ways, you and CW had some interesting moments on PT.

    Popper’s ghost (aka TS, aka Morbius) has kind of filled in the color gaps in your absence.

    It’s quite remarkable how little CW has changed in the intervening years, eh?

    his head must literally look like a golf ball from being hit in the head with a hammer that many times.

    alas, somehow i think we finally got to him here too, as PZ has tossed him like the sack of moldy potatoes he really is.

    alas, there will always be another to fill the gaps, as we can see young Sean Henry as the new generation of intractable religious robots.

    I have serious doubts (hence my first post in the thread made for him), that he will ever change his mind about much of anything; his arguments will just become more “nuanced” in his own mind as he learns “adult” ways of rejecting evidence in favor of dogma.


    do doubt in a couple of years, he will bounce back and get banned from some evo site, just like old charlie.

    maybe Dawkins’ new foundation will finally start making inroads in to the underlying psychology behind the fundie mindset.