Another week, another university

Hello, Wisconsin! I’ll be speaking at the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point on Wednesday. At least I don’t have to suffer through airports this time — I’m driving, making a stop at UWSP, then briefly at Madison to drop my son off, then on to Chicago Thursday and Friday to talk morality with a communist and a priest. But this is next:



  1. Coleslaw says

    Stevens Point? My son had the joy of working at Stevens Point this past winter. Now he’s stuck in Paris for 4 months, poor kid, but he’ll always have Stevens Point.
    Good luck with the talk.

  2. llewelly says

    “The Internet’s Most Controversial Biologist”

    You and your cyber pistol. Out there shooting polls and causing controversy.

  3. jidashdee says

    I have a question regarding the debating of morality. Why is it that when the theists bring up the ten commandments as the beginnings of human morality nobody ever mentions the Code of Ur-Nammu?

    It predates the decalogue by a few hundred years and seems close enough that the Sumerians might have had a copyright infringement case.

  4. says

    Off topic, but maybe of interest:

    Fox and the fundie sites have been buzzing over one parent’s efforts to ban an AP biology textbook for referring to creationism as a “biblical myth,” and testimony from “a former science teacher” that since

    There is no good science to evolution [and] No one anywhere knows how to create life in a laboratory [so] because evolution has no good scientific evidence behind it … to put it forth as a good scientific basis is mythology.

    Links and video clips are posted now at

  5. rmp says


    One of these day’s PZ I’ll get the chance to buy you a beer. Steven’s point is to far to make it there and back again for work for Thursday morning and I’m picking my daughter up on Friday from Madison. So close but yet …

  6. tristanm1 says

    Steven’s Point? You really need to hit the Parkside campus one of these days. Preferably before I graduate :P

  7. Nerd of Redhead, OM says

    I’ll second the UW Parkside campus. Much easier to get there for me than the south side of Chicago.

  8. aratina cage says

    I hope someone records the discussion with the Catholic priest Bob Bossie and Sunsara Taylor so we can all extend the discussion here. Both of them may have the best of intentions and may in fact have outstanding moral compasses, but how does the dogma (Roman Catholicism and Avakianism) behind their activism affect the people they are out to help (could it taint their moral actions) and is that something that gives them pause?

  9. Zara Mikazuki says


    If someone isn’t willing to acknowledge what is a myth, accept evolution, or know that it is abiogenesis, not evolution, which is the theory for the start of life, they probably aren’t qualified to take/teach AP Biology, the equivalent of college freshmen biology. Pathetic.

  10. Dr. I. Needtob Athe says

    I don’t like this diverse combination of Bob Bossie, Sunsara Taylor, and PZ Myers. It’s liable to turn into an internecine battle with each person trying to steer the discussion toward their own particular specialty. At best it’ll turn out to be a confusing and aimless discussion.

    Bad idea!

  11. Givesgoodemail says

    Am I the only one that flinches at the phrase “defends evolution”? I don’t like being reactive when I can be proactive.

    I don’t see it as needing to be defended so much as creationism needs to be debunked.

  12. James F says

    “The Internet’s Most Controversial Biologist”

    In your face, Richard Dawkins!

  13. JPS, FCD says

    PZ, this beer geek hopes you will tell us if they’re still brewing Point Special and if it’s as good as it’s reported to be.

    Cheers, JPS

  14. sparganium5 says

    I’m having trouble with the phrase on the poster “Beauty isn’t chosen, it’s selected.” Chosen, selected, same diff. Could have been worded better.

    Plus, if the emphasis is on beauty per se, pick something showier than what’s pictured. To my botanical inclinations, the dried flower head is beautiful, but it probably won’t appeal to the masses.

  15. george.wiman says

    Wish we had something like this. I went to a meeting about “Humanism” that was advertised on campus, only to discover it was an anti-Evolution lecture by road-show creationist Steve Wolfgang, sponsored by a local church.

  16. GODis10-7 says

    Of course I find out PZ will be in town 10 minutes after I sign up for a shift that day…

    PZ, this beer geek hopes you will tell us if they’re still brewing Point Special and if it’s as good as it’s reported to be.

    It’s better than reported, Point Special light (which was short lived) was pretty awful, but most of their beers are pretty good.

  17. 'Tis Himself, OM says

    The Internet’s Most Controversial Biologist

    Isn’t there a song or something about that?

    He’s the P to the Z to the P-h-D
    He’s smarter than you, he studied biology.

    Or maybe I’m misremembering it.

  18. MadScientist says

    Priests have something significant to say about morality? Wow – that’s news to me. I’m betting the priest accuses the commie of being brutal without god – apparently being brutal because god told you so is a Good Thing. Oh well.

    @Coleslaw: Don’t worry, I’m sure your son will love Paris in the Springtime, and in early Summer when it sizzles … What I like best about Paris are the French.

  19. Bill Dauphin, OM says

    then on to Chicago Thursday and Friday to talk morality with a communist and a priest.

    Am I the only one who thought “A communist, a priest, and an atheist walk into a bar, see, and…”?

  20. 'Tis Himself, OM says

    Good luck with Sunsara Taylor. Remember she’s one of Bob Avakian’s minions.

  21. llewelly says

    ‘Tis Himself, OM | April 11, 2010 8:27 PM:

    Good luck with Sunsara Taylor. Remember she’s one of Bob Avakian’s minions.

    In case anyone forgets, she will remind them every other paragraph.

  22. catskill says

    “We were not created.”
    Created by natural forces but I get it.
    “Intelligent Design is not Intelligent”
    Stop saying Intelligent
    “The Internet’s…most…controversial…”
    “Defends Evolution…”

  23. Rorschach says

    Whoaaa, PZ is debating Sunsara Taylor ! Well you can be sure it will be recorded then, she tends to bring her own cameraman…:-)

    The poster for the Wisconsin talk is outright silly.

  24. llewelly says

    After some thought, I am beginning to worry about this discussion. Sunsara Taylor is a devout Maoist, and she believes a lot of weird pro-Maoist pseudo-history. If the priest decides to attack atheism by way of Mao’s horrible crimes, Sunsara will almost certainly use that pseudo-history to defend Mao, possibly giving anti-atheists a prime opportunity to portray PZ and other atheists as agreeing with pro-Maoist pseudo-history. (I don’t expect PZ to be able to mount a vigorous defense of history, as it isn’t his specialty.) That’s just one example of how Sunsara’s weird beliefs could make this go wrong.

    (On the other hand it’s possible Sunsara may come off as so extreme as to make PZ look like a moderate.)

    Whatever the outcome, I do hope quality audio of the debate will be posted online.

  25. RCramer says

    I’d love to go to Stevens Point but I don’t have the money for gas! Drats…

    Chicago is 4x closer but would take just as long to get to as SP with the traffic…

  26. says

    I saw Sunsara Taylor present her talk “From the Burkha to the Thong: Everything Must, And Can, Change – WE NEED TOTAL REVOLUTION!” at NYU. I can honestly say I had never heard a presentation like that before. Her communist goal of emancipating humanity was front and center, and Avakian’s reconception of the communist project, both goals and methods, was the foundation. Frankly, it was a very scientific examination of gender, the family, patriarchy and its relationship to capitalism, and why a radical (and yes, communist) revolution is the solution to current oppressive divisions in the world. It was exhilarating to be able to imagine and debate whole new ways people can relate to each other – like overcoming gender. Her moral compass and ideology are intimately tied together. Not that everyone has to agree with everything she is saying but, in a time of moral crisis, this upcoming dialogue is a discussion that needs to be had.

    Lastly, Bob Avakian’s insistence that the “means must be consistent with and must flow from the ends,” and that no one has a monopoly on the truth, is a much more scientific approach then some of the comments here. I urge you to actually engage with the philosophy and political analysis he is bringing forward, by checking out the film Revolution Talk ( And there are also people from different perspectives encouraging people to engage with Avakian at

  27. says

    Sorry about the yahoo id. The post is from me, Ray Geming.

  28. edwinainantarctica says

    Well, anyone really concerned about how Sunsara carries herself in a discussion with priests, scientists, and others can observe her online and determine for themselves. I can say from personal experience she is strong, principled, and inspiring, even for people who disagree with her on Atheism or Maoism. You can watch a discussion between Sunsara, Bob Bossie, and a Buddhist (Steve Asma):
    You could also just look her up on YouTube.
    And, for the record, Bob Avakian is worth reading, citing, and following if you want to change the world in the best way possible.