Carrier & Myers in Missouri

Here are the details people wanted; there’s more in the Facebook announcement. I understand it’s scheduled for the same time as their homecoming football game, but you can always get the score to that later…come on around, we’ll have a good time.


I’m looking forward to meeting Carrier, finally, and of course, all the Missourians. We should plan a Pharyngufest for that evening (it’s a Saturday), so even if you do choose to go to a boring old football game, we can meet up later. Leave suggestions in the comments for good locations.


  1. clinteas says

    My 18 month old son knows Springfield,from the Simpsons.There’s an actual town with the name??

    “Plaster Student Union”
    Sounds like my medical students…..

  2. Marc says


    there is not only ONE actual town with that name. No, there is a large number of Springfields all over the United States.

    That’s the whole point: Springfield is supposed to be the all-American every-town without being pinpointed to a particular region.

  3. says

    That’s the Richard Carrier of Antony Flew fame, isn’t it?
    Is there going to be a recording released of this meeting? I certainly wouldn’t mind hearing this talk.

  4. Joe Bradley says

    Ah, man… You picked my hometown and I’m all the way down here in San Antonio, TX. Yes, there is a Springfield in nearly every state, hence the selection by the Simpsons. Despite having a church on every street corner, Springfield does have a good downtown district.

    Suggestions for Pharyngula fests…
    Downtown: Springfield Brewery Company – great beer and live music, and nice digs too.

    Piano Bar – needs no explanation, but not great for discussions.

    Nakato’s – Great food, but they unfortunately serve squid.

    And no trip to Springfield would be complete without…Chinese food (you just have to live there to understand). Get some on the way out, and get cashew chicken or sweet and sour chicken.

    P.S. – I’m an engineer, and working to nullify Salem’s hypothesis.

  5. says

    That would be really awesome to go to. Best I’ve got here is a lecture on anomalistic psychology next fortnight.

  6. clinteas says

    Ok ok,I get it !
    My kid cant say more than 3 words yet,but he will grab the remote and stand in front of the TV zapping,when the Simpsons are finished…..I’ll explain the Springfield meme to him someday soon,I promise.

  7. Bart Mitchell says

    That poster just looks odd. At first glance, it appears more like a poster for a church revival. The crucifix growing out of PZ’s head makes it even more so.

  8. dWhisper says

    Now I’ll have to make an effort to get up there. For those who don’t know, Springfield is the center of the Assembly of God religion, houses several major Christian universities and colleges, and is generally one of the most “religious” towns you can ever visit. You can tell there are a lot of churches, because there are also several porno shops.

    If you’re driving there, avoid any car with a jesus fish on it… they’re bound to try and kill you at least once. Though I will say, nothing is so surreal has having a giant SUV with a jesus fish cut cut you off by illegally merging across 3 lanes, and then flip you off because you were driving on the road.

    And as for the homecoming game, MSU has traditionally been so bad at football that we could probably pull members of the audience out and field a team that’s better than them.

    I remember the realization that they were bad from my student days there. I lived in the same dorm as several football players, and almost every day, they’d take the elevator from their second floor rooms to the first floor to go to the cafeteria. At that point, I knew they couldn’t beat a kindergarten reading circle at a game of football.

  9. E.V. says

    Nakato’s – Great food, but they unfortunately serve squid.

    Hey now, that’s discrimination. As long as the squid can pay, I don’t see a problem.

  10. Mark says

    Another possiblity is the Mud Lounge. A better selection of beer than the Springfield brewing company in a somewhat cozier atmosphere…being a saturday night the brewco might be the better choice (much more room and better food).

    And the football team is still lousy so I would love to see masses heading for the talks and ignoring the football game (which most will ignore anyway).

    I’ll see you when you get down here PZ! I’m looking forward to finally meeting you.

  11. Rieux says

    I’ve liked his essays for a long time, but goodness–Richard Carrier looks like he’s fourteen years old.

    Maybe it’s just the tousled hair.

  12. Lance says

    Awww, wrong school in Missouri. I’m not too sure you’d have a big crowd in Maryville. We’d probably get lynched but that could be fun, right?

  13. Ryan S. says

    Well, thats about an hour away from me. But, Ick Springfield, MO is like the evangelical Mecca so you will NOT be liked there so be careful. Its mega church city.

  14. says

    I really like Richard Carrier. I read his book Sense And Goodness Without God and found it very useful. I’ve used it as a reference in philosophy essays for school.

    His writings on are really interesting too.

  15. joeyess says

    My parents live in Ozark, MO., a mere ten miles south of Springfield. P.Z., if you’re venturing into the vast fundie-land that is southwestern Missouri, you, sir, are truly an intrepid Atheist.

    They still proudly display their Bush/Cheney 04 bumper stickers and you can’t throw a rock without hitting a mega-church filled with whackaloons speaking in tongues and glorifying the virtues of Capitalism for Christ.

    A virtual
    Brave man, indeed.

  16. joeyess says

    Oops. To finish the last sentence…….

    A virtual world of wingnuts all assembled in one metropolitan area. Truly anomalous.

  17. says

    Yeah, around here (Springfield, MO) I sometimes wonder if I should bother putting any sort of non-religious sicker/magnet on my car for fear of it being vandalized. Living here long enough and you start to worry about the apparently very real threat of a theocracy (going on 25 years now. Damn I can’t wait to finish and move on to PhD school).

    As far as the MSU athletics program goes? The teams suck royally; but we (the university) built a new sports arena for a price-tag of $70+ Million (last I heard). However, we can’t find enough funding for lab equipment for the chemistry labs and have to kludge together stuff to make do. (Bomb calorimeters made out of insulated coffee cups for general chem lab anyone?)

    All that said. We’ve had some really amazing chemists (and other sciences) majors come out of here. So funding isn’t everything. We have some amazing prof’s who teach here.

  18. scooter says

    BWAHAHAHAHAA I was making a joke when I asked PZ if the Misouri meet was in Springfield.

    This is even funnier than Dawkins speaking in Lynchburg, VA.

    HOLY SHIT, this is where my carckpot fundie mom’s side of the family is from.

    Not only the home of all the Fundie College brainwashing mills, but also the home of the first Xian radio station.

    Springfield is the world capitol of xian fundamentalism.

    And they are hanging a poster that says: ” A discussion of Science and Theology” ????

    BWAWAWAHAAAAA, this is bound to attract some wack-a-loons, and a real weapons grade Q & A.

    Make sure to get info on getting a recording of this, it’s bound to be some air-quality entertainment.

    If gas wasn’t so high I drive up for this. We could stay at one of my crazy aunt’s house and eat meat loaf while she reads us some scripture.

    Have fun, and if you’re wondering what that funny smell is, Springfield is also the Capitol of rural meth labs.

    Insert conflation here:_______________ .

  19. druidbros says

    Well, as for the meetup afterwards there is a bar somewhere on the downtown square In the mens facilities there is a half wall and a one way mirror and a shelf. You can stand and contuct your business and see the stage. Finally I at least have a chance of attending one of the lectures.

  20. OneSeeker says

    Will someone PLEASE tape (video) this discussion and post it for those of us that are unable to make the drive?

  21. jonathan says

    I am so excited! I just have to share. I was praying that god would bring other reality based people into my life, because I have been a bit lonely here in Fundie Land when all of sudden the atheist god heard my prayers and sent PZ to gather his flock. Isn’t He great. He knows just what we need, sometimes even before we do, and guides His apostles Paul…unless your a calvanist atheist and believe god planned all this before the big bang… Oh, wait, I forgot again, that’s not how it works.

    Palin & Jesus 08 Why waste time learning stuff when you have the almighty on line 2?

  22. gburnett says

    Hey PZ,

    Springfield is my hometown and does indeed have a great number of fundamentalists and high levels of ignorance (yes, a bit redundant, I know) but MSU is a beautiful school with good teachers and you should have a fine time. I don’t live there anymore and my local knowledge is 17 years out of date, but still have family there and will direct them your way.

    And yes, the football team is really bad, so you shouldn’t have trouble getting an audience. But you are likely to have a number of high-functioning morons in the audience as well!

    Go get ’em!

  23. says

    Hey guys, thanks for all the interest in this event – it’s sure to be a good one.

    I will let PZ know about a meet-up spot ASAP.

    Also, there will be a professional-quality video produced through a local production company. I will be sure that PZ and Carrier receive copies, and I will youtube it for anybody else.

    I’m sure other arrangements for copies can be made. If you really want to help – blog about this, tell your friends, etc. We are in the hole a fair amount of money for this, but we really want to keep the event free (and we will). However, a large turnout will help us to recoup our investment.

    Help some skeptics out. :D



  24. B says

    BrewCo (must speak like a local) is an obvious choice. My kids will be with me, too, and it’s more family-friendly than a lot of places. The live music is normally confined to upstairs so it should be an okay place to converse.

    To answer someone else’s question, I’ve had a Darwin fish on my vehicle for about 5 years. Incredibly, my vehicles have only suffered minor vandalism to my knowledge. I had a nice, shiny pickup for a while and it looked like somebody slammed into the tailgate where the fish was with something sharp or pointed. It was dented a little bit with a small, extended scratch that broke through to the metal. It’s very common to see the Jesus fish eating the Darwin fish (or some derivative thereof).

    I think the fundamentalist Spgfld reputation is mostly true but there are a lot more free-minded folks around than you might think.

    Can’t wait to see you, PZ!


  25. Brian says

    Just judging by the fact that PZ is making the trip, I assume that Richard Carrier will *not* be delivering a similar lecture closer to the Twin Cities of MN? He seems to be following some sort of lecture schedule. Anyone have a link for it?


  26. Mark says

    Both PZ and Richard Carrier were invited to MSU by one of the student organizations, neither are affiliated with the Missouri State Campus (unfortunately, it would be nice to have them here as inspiration).

  27. Paula Helm Murray says

    ARRRGH! It’s on the last weekend of our Renaissance Festival in KC, my current only job.

    Springfield, MO is a destination of choice by me and hubby when we have a bit of money and just want to get away from it all. There’s a baseball team, odds and ends of tourism and lots of thrift stores and flea markets, which we lurves to explore.

    Plus it’s close enough that gas is not an issue and you can get a deal on a hotel room.

    Wanna come. Can’t. Sigh.

  28. cicely says

    I hope to make it to the talk, but unfortunately and evening Pharyngufest is a complete no-go for me. Ah, well; I’m not into beer anyway, but I would have liked the change to hang out (and see if anyone else I know would be there).

    Any ideas how long the talk will run?

  29. says

    It will run from 1-4. Each speech will last about an hour followed by a brief break, and then there will be an hour long Q&A.

    I think the Pharyngufest and hang out will start about 6pm at Brew Co.


  30. brettvk says

    This is exciting for me — longtime lurker in Spfd. Parking may be problematic, can the organizers direct us to a map of where we can park?

    Downtown has more than a few good venues for a meetup, but given the game, might be a good idea to reserve someplace.

  31. cicely says

    Thanks for the info, JT. If I can’t interest the hubby in coming with (he’s tepid on the whole cephalopod thing; maybe a few too many encounters with Cthulhoid nastiness), at least I can give him an idea of when to come pick me up.

  32. Colleen says

    Parking is going to be extremely tough. The football team, I am going to be blunt here, sucks. Homecoming still draws a crowd though, even though a majority come to see the marching band. There are two parking garages one located on Kimbrough and Cherry, the other on Grand and John Q. Hammons Parkway. There is a large lot across from the Plaster Sports Complex near National and Grand. There is going to be a Bearfest Village Tailgate Party around 9am and the game starts around 1:30. I am not sure how quickly these events get cleaned but we should not have many problems. The cops are less uptight on game days but I can’t guarantee that no one will be ticketed. This may help some, and will probably confuse the heck out of everyone else:

  33. Neil says

    Being born and raised in Springfield, MO and finding myself to be an atheist it’s quite amusing to see how my hometown is perceived by outsiders… It’s not that bad!