Denver bound in the morning

Remember, all the cool people in Denver will be at the Wynkoop Brewing Company around 5 on Thursday evening—I have been warned, however, that there will simultaneously be some peculiar game called base-ball played on a nearby empty field. It appears to be a sporting event in which hooligans compete with scalliwags in determining who can hit balls with clubs and scamper about in circles the most, and its inexplicable popularity means that parking in the area will be in short supply. Use mass transit if you can. Avoid burley men with sticks.

I can see already that I shall have to try a Silverback Smoked Porter while I’m there, to help gorilla conservation and to honor an absent ape.


  1. says

    Have fun! I’ll be thinking of you-all as I start writing my first wiki. I had a Church Key (?) Smoked Porter once and it was splendid.

  2. lytefoot says

    Oh, wow! Someone else doesn’t understand that game! Wonderful, I thought I was the only one!

  3. Michael says

    I’m gonna try and make it for a little… although I have a kickball game at 6pm, it’s only a few blocks away.

    If you’re daring, and like a little spice, I’d suggest Patty’s Chili Beer.

  4. says

    Dr. Myers,

    If you run into a very nice Catholic lady who doesn’t understand atheism very well, that’s probably my aunt. Be nice, she has a good heart, and her Rockies suck this year.

    @ Patrick Henry. ERV blogged all about it, too. That’s the beauty part about creationists; the hypocrisy is awfully consistent.

  5. Janine, Disingenuous Jackass says

    ‘sounds of clacking glass bottles’

    Pharyngulites! Come out and pla-ay!

  6. says

    Denver! Clean air, right?

    Good thing, PZ, that this isn’t your week for being in California. We’ve done away with both oxygen and invisible air for the duration of the fire season. Most of the state has highly visible air with enough ash to warrant a warning from the U.S. surgeon general.

    Don’t worry, though. We’re not going to let out-of-control fires dampen our naturally high spirits. Lots of people are insisting they’re going to observe the Fourth of July with traditional fireworks. It’s apparently not patriotic to worry about high fire danger or to pay attention to pleas from the governor’s office to play it cool this year. (It’s one of the few times I agree with Arnold, yet many folks are kicking sand in his face.)

  7. minusRusty says

    This ought to be grand. I’ll bet at least five people show up, maybe six! :-D

  8. minusRusty says

    Air? Oxygen?!? In Denver??? Bwahahahahahaha…….

    No. We’re expecting an infusion of hot air, though, right around the end of August…

  9. BA says

    The smoked porter is fantastic but the chili beer very overrated and a waste of alcohol intake. Try whatever they have in the cask for a change of pace.

  10. David Brown says

    Love the description of the sport. I usually say something dumb like: “baseball, that’s the one with the hoop, right?”

  11. Phaedrus says

    Hey PZ, when you coming to Bend, OR? I’m dying for some like minded beer drinkers and I’m sure they’d come out the woodwork for you. I even thought about doing that liberally drinking thing, but I suck at organization…

    I’ll get the first round – local stuff is better than that Coors shit.

  12. says

    I’m coming out to Oregon again in April, but it’s to Ashland, I’m afraid. That’s only 3 or 4 hours from Bend, right?

    I don’t know if you’d want me in Bend. We used to go there every once in a while — it was a short and pretty hop from Eugene — and we saw all the promotional stuff about the many days of sunshine every year in Bend, so that also drew us there. It has rained every time I’ve been to Bend, without fail. It was starting to get a little spooky.

  13. Michael X says

    So I wrote before in another Denver tread about my schedule getting in the way? Yeah, that again. I was in Chicago, when you guys met up, California when everyone met up, and now I can add Colorado to the list of places I’ll have missed a gathering. I humbly request a stout get downed in my name, Michael X.

    But, um, hey, if anyone feels like seeing some theater in Creede (a measly 4ish hours southwest) I’ll be around.

  14. Kubenzi says

    So PZ is coming to consume alcohol in Denver the very week that ends with us being able to buy alcohol on “the lord’s day” FINALLY? Sheesh throw something else into this week,like i dont know,the 4th of july,and i might be attending AA meetings by next tuesday.I will try to make it down there!

  15. Mark E. says

    So, why are you coming to Denver? I likely won’t be able to make it, but if you’re around for longer than a day, you should do this another night!

  16. Arizonasunrise says

    I have been reading some stuff on atheism on this blog. I have to comment on this since I have lived with a man who professes to be an atheist all my life, my dad.

    I compare all humanity who wish to believe in God like an infant who believes that he/she has a mother who wishes to nurse him and has a breast upon which to feed. I believe the desire to survive is so innate that each infant surely realizes that there is mother’s milk somewhere.

    Apparently, some infants learned otherwise, which is how I compare atheists to those infants. Somehow they were deserted somewhere sometime…just a thought.

  17. Dr. No Wu says


    The Pew poll results could simply be a curiosity. Without a definition of “God” or “atheism,” who really knows the state of unbelief that an atheist feels? If you take the common image of God as a patriarch sitting above the clouds, it’s entirely possible to reject a personal God while retaining a religious spirit. Einstein spent years explaining this as his position, and few understood what he meant. The fact that Judaism forbids physical representations of God and that Christ describes no such image, either, hasn’t stopped the literalists. They demand comforting pictures and mindlessly equate “abstract” with “Godless.” By the same standard Buddhists are atheists, along with non-dual Hindus and many other flavors of Eastern spirituality.

    Disapproval will never expunge “the will to believe,” and as familiar as William James’s phrase is, a mystery still hides behind it. Is the will to believe an automatic human trait, part of our genetic package? If so, as some geneticists believe, then what triggers the gene in some people but not in others? One envisions the believing atheists captured in the Pew poll fighting against their inheritance like children of alcoholics against theirs. In the blossoming field of epigenetics, which studies how gene get triggered or suppressed, we are gaining a glimpse of many behaviors being passed down from one generation to the next, not as a matter of survival but because they mean something. In essence the will to believe, which can be traced back to prehistory, spread around the globe like a God virus – it could be as universal as art, another genetic trait that has zero value for survival but infinite value as meaning.

    How will belief evolve next? Maybe these believing atheists are showing us the way, along with Einstein, beyond a personal God on to the shores of eternity. Einstein had his sights set on a secular spirituality that, he said, was most closely approximated by Buddhism. He believed that the universe contained a deepest layer of reality that couldn’t be rationally comprehended but only witnessed with awe and wonder. He famously said that great discoveries in science need this sense of wonder before the infinite. To me, that implies a shift in consciousness. The rational mind cannot go beyond words and concepts, but consciousness can expand within itself without limits. Whether accidentally or by intent, I hope at least a handful of believing atheists have set out on the journey that begins with the will to believe and ends beyond images, even beyond thought itself.

  18. schmeer says

    I was never abandoned. I have a terrific relationship with my family and I’m marrying a Catholic in a week. It just so happens that many of those young’uns realized that the “mother’s milk” is actually a mouthful of sour lumpy corruption. I think for me that realization came when someone tried to tell me that a cracker was really the flesh of a man that died about 1950 years ago. And that it was ok to eat it.

  19. MarkW says


    Atheists don’t believe because of abandonment issues? What? Pop psychology now? Thanks for your diagnosis professor Freud, but atheists are not a monolithic group, and inference from one (alleged) atheist to all atheists won’t work.

    Anyway, I’m onto you! You’re leading up to “well, God will never abandon you!” aren’t you?

    Well, no, gods won’t abandon people, what with them not being real and all that. Sheesh.

  20. Janine ID says

    Arizonasunrise, comparing all of humanity to infants, how condescending. You claim to have a father who was a atheist but it seems you have no idea what it is. You cannot see how silly the poll is that you linked to.

    Part of being an atheist is taking responsibility for yourself, which no infant is capable of doing. Just a thought.

  21. Wicked Lad says

    That does indeed sound like one strange game. Strangest of all is that it’s played on an empty field. How does that work?

  22. Hans says

    all the cool people in Denver

    Cool people? Man, for once PZ comes to Denver, and apparently I’m not invited.

  23. anon says

    “AVOID burly men with sticks?!…crap.”

    No, he said _burley_. So if you see any tobacco farmers wielding sticks, avoid them.

  24. Arizonasunrise says

    Thanks, Dr. No Wu for your interesting perspective about atheists and the shifting consciousness.

    That makes a lot of sense.

    schmeer, MarkW, Janine ID:

    To make generalizations about faith is probably not a good idea, but I actually do believe that the idea of a God high in the clouds is probably more true than an atheist would consider. But that is because I have literally experienced the image of a giant Jesus type image hovering all around me at one time while walking here at the ranch. Most of religious faith is simply that, testimony to some event in life that one has endured or enjoyed.

    And yes, I do believe that anyone who has not enjoyed that kind of experience lacks the faith that I have in it.

    For a fact, I believe that a Deity exists which is greater than any of humanity can comprehend, again due to the personal experience of realizing its presence around me.

    Just as blind men cannot appreciate the visual experience of a rainbow, those who reject the notion of greatness in God never will be able to experience that kind of presence that made itself known to me.

    But I do not try to create an organization of faith or believers in my telling of it. It was just an occasion where I came to learn of it. It is very precious to me. I am a mere cell in the complexity of life, and that is true humility to realize that and to appreciate it. I love it,knowing that I along with the rest of humanity, am equal in size to each and every one, but that there is that Deity which is greater than the sum of all of us.

  25. Squiddhartha says

    Mass transit in Denver is, eh, marginal, but fortunately the Wynkoop is near one of the major transit stations. Should be able to get there with one bus and home with two, as long as I don’t stick around ’til closing time…

  26. Patricia says

    Bend, Oregon?! Hot damn, I can be there Monday – Thursday any week. My husband drives a semi to the Jeld Wen (?) factory.
    Please tell me they don’t have chilli beer and base ball. ;)

  27. CitizenVA says

    I’ll be there! Taking the light-rail to Union Station. Should get there between 5:15 and 5:30.

    C-y’all there!

  28. Patricia says

    #31 – I’ve read some really senseless drivel in my life, but I’ll give you the lollipop for today. That doesn’t even add up to a steaming pile of horse dung.

  29. Janine ID says

    Just as blind men cannot appreciate the visual experience of a rainbow, those who reject the notion of greatness in God never will be able to experience that kind of presence that made itself known to me.

    Maybe you would not seem like such a wool brained fool if you did not use such insulting analogies. Have fun in cloudcuckooland. I am not able to do so.

  30. marc buhler says

    There is a comment in a paper from 2001 I remember well about the skills represented in baseball and the role those skills may have had in the transition the human species has undergone from “animal” to “man”.

    An image that this idea represents will be familiar to all – that ape in the movie 2001 realizing a bone could smash stuff.

    The paper is “Human evolution and human history: A complete theory” by Paul M. Bingham of SUNY; Evolutionary Anthropology 9(6):248-257, 2001.

  31. Patricia says

    #6 – Janine, Disingenious Jackass – I’m really jealous that you got such a good tag from that slasher truth machine. All I got for my slashing was ‘general worthlessness’. Now what the hell can I do with that…sheesh. ;)

  32. says

    Arizonasunrise: I have literally experienced the image of a giant Jesus type image hovering all around me at one time while walking here at the ranch.

    I am not a medical doctor, but I think I can recognize a case of too much Arizona sun when I see one.

  33. Janine ID says

    Patricia, perhaps you could go with Generally Worthless. But you are right. What else can you do?

    I am pleased that you and others were amused by my using that title. But I have reverted back. While it is a joke tag, it is a joke I like much better. Really, which you rather be; the Intelligent Dominatrix or the Disingenious Jackass?

  34. Arizonasunrise says

    Oh my, I had such a great experience at a discussion group which gave a link to the book that peers into eternity: “I AM THAT” by Nisagadatta, and then when I come to this site, I find the aetheists are attacking again.


    Actually, the kangaroo’s instinct is what I had most in mind about mother’s milk as most children do not crawl up their mother’s stomach to her breasts for nourishment, as usually the loving mother picks them up and holds them gently and tenderly in her hands to suckle her breast.

    But it was with fascination that I learned how infant kangaroos behave.

    So you don’t like the analogy…pop psychology and other trivia…that is what I usually expect and get from most people who don’t have love as the foundation of their life.

    Just don’t try to reverse the sign and command of Love One Another because you dislike its message as my aetheist father once did to my board which displayed that thought. It so angered him that he could not face it.

    Some aetheists are just angry at God it would seem and try to deny God’s existence, going so far as exploding over the thought of it.

    There is such beauty in the world that as the saying goes, the beautiful are who recognize it.

  35. Wowbagger says


    Unfortunately, personal experiences of the kind you mentioned can be used as the basis for nearly any belief system you can imagine. It doesn’t help your argument much at all.

  36. Patricia says

    #43 – Janine, Ha! Yes, I like ID much better. I have a feeling that the slasher will strike again, he’s so cute. ;)

  37. Patricia says

    Arizonasunrise – you are so lucky it’s my bed time. Otherwise I would explain to you just what sort of witless fucktard you are.
    My best advise for you youngster, say goodnight, not gawd bless you, and run like hell, because you just stepped through the gate.
    *she twirls off to bed….*

  38. Janine ID says

    Some aetheists are just angry at God it would seem and try to deny God’s existence, going so far as exploding over the thought of it.

    Posted by: Arizonasunrise

    ‘sigh’ Please, explain, just how can one be angry at a being that one does not believe exists?

    Also, most of us do not explode at the thought of the big sky daddy. There is nothing to get mad at. But what does get some of us angry is fuzzy thinking, especially when we are expected to take seriously.

    Arizonasunrise, you claim your father is an atheist. Has any of the fine arguments you posted here worked on him?

  39. Janet, Genuine Jerk II says


    Sounds like you need a shut down ms patty. I am the only one that can give you that beating, so lets go bitch. Why ya so mad? did someone take somthin’ from you, or maybe you just thought it was yours… HELLO bitch it never was, so smile and be happy to see that Arizona Sun rise, ’cause it is just on lone, for your viewing pleasures! Get It? Got it! GOOD!

    ps. bark like a dog you anger bitch cause thats all that we hear!

    Oh yes I can be super duper mean, because I can feel every drop of anger THERE IS! and use it to spank YOU!

  40. Janet, Genuine Jerk II says

    Dear Arizona, I feel what you so deeply want for your Dad, but here’s the deal, your ideas of what “God ” means is just different than what your Father believes, that does not mean that he doesn’t feel and sense what you call “God.” He may not chose to call it GOD, that’s ok, there’s room for that too, remember love conquers all, and that is the truth that always stands! This is for you too ms Patty : )
    GOD is just a WORD!

  41. Dustin says

    Janet, I don’t think that PCP and Prozac were meant to be taken at the same time.

  42. Janine ID says

    Janet, calm down. Methinks Patricia is more slutty than angry.(Janet, before you fly off the handle again, that last statement is a joke.)

  43. Janet, Genuine Jerk II says


    You know, Dustin, I am out of that yummy stuff at the moment, but I know you have more than your share in your bathroom cupboard, be a nice Dustin and share some, will ya?

  44. Janet, Genuine Jerk II says


    I am talking to myself idiot, if you have ANY TRUE COMPASSION know this! If you think I am not as crazy as a march hair you’re wrong, so crazing I almost have compassion for myself, SO THERE!

    What do you think about that?

  45. says

    Some Christians are just angry at Allah it would seem and try to deny Allah’s existence, going so far as exploding over the thought of it, and slaughtering thousands of Jews and Muslims in the meantime.

    Arizonasunrise, I hope you don’t mind, but I edited your comment so you don’t come across as a barely literate bigot who’s never bothered to pick up a history book.

    Don’t thank me, just promise you won’t infect any children with your glaring disregard for truth.