This is another of those social, community threads. Introduce yourself, say what your interests are, what brings you here, whatever you feel like. No arguments, no wrangly discussions, no debate, no crankiness allowed. Consider this a chance for newbies to say something where they won’t get pounced on, and for the regulars to leave a calling card.

Status: Heavily Moderated


  1. says

    I’ve been here for years. Can’t remember how I stumbled across it. I have a BA in history (focusing mainly on US race relation before/during World War 2) and no job currently. My pets are a stray cat that followed me home, my brother’s cat I adopted because his wife is scared of cats, three rats (domestic) and three wild mice that I caught in my kitchen.

    I’m into home theater and have an elaborate 7.1 surround sound set-up. I think I just got back together with my girlfriend. I’ll know when I get a Facebook relationship request or not.

  2. says

    I am PZ Myers. I am the irascible owner of this site. I sometimes speak in the color of oxygenated blood, and you should listen and obey. I’m mostly harmless, except when I’m angry. You don’t want to get me angry.

    I also have an about page which desperately needs some image repair.

  3. says

    Hi! I’m Felix, lifelong nonbeliever, German, scientific layperson, unemployed, profession toy retail, father and husband of a female woman.

  4. says

    Interesting concept – this thread could turn out fairly long.

    Anyway, to stay on topic, a brief intro to myself.

    I’m a Danish IT consultant, who runs a blog called Pro-science, which I infrequently updates these days. I also help run Copenhagen Skeptic in the Pub

    I’ve been around in the Pharyngula comments for a loooong time. I not only pre-dates FreethoughtBlogs, I also pre-dates ScienceBlogs. Back in those days I was one of the most active people in the comments threads, but these days I participate much less – this has much to do with the volume of comments which are up by the time I see the posts.

  5. cofertest says

    I’m cofertest. I’m a PhD student in marine biology down in south Texas. I’ve been lurking on Pharyngula since high school, so I suppose it’s time I start commenting occasionally. I’m an atheist, skeptic, climate change researcher and feminist.

  6. joed says

    joed here. I consider my self an atheist and skeptic. I enjoy Pharyngula because of the chaos and opinions of most people.
    I think PZ is trying to make the site work for most people. Seems the site can be intimidating at best to some folks. Also I think some commenters show up just to create havoc and keep the “conversation” from developing naturally. One of my favorite sayings, If you get in a pissing contest with a skunk you can not win.
    Any way here I am.
    Thanks pZ.

  7. says

    Hallo new peoples! I’m the nasty one. I also have the ability to be disconcertingly nice and welcoming. I’m also in charge of the Plague of Rats. Right now, I have a concussion and tying a knot is a challenging activity, so I won’t be saying much.

  8. says



    Cool. Mister homebrews. Our hops have had a bad time this year with all the heat and a lack of rain. Culled a ton of dying/dead flowers and they are working on a second flowering right now.

  9. Stacy says

    Hi. I’m Stacy. I live in Los Angeles with my cat Mungo and volunteer at CFI-Los Angeles. I’m disabled with Major Depressive Disorder. Maybe someday I’ll share about the tragic clusterfuck Christian Science helped make of my childhood.

    Saw some Perseid meteors last night. Also a coyote.

  10. kieran says

    I’m Kieran a botanist by trade an ecophysiologist by profession. Finally finished my PhD thesis is May(still waiting for the viva), was unemployed for a few months just recently fell into full time work… strange not to be working 16 hour days anymore.

  11. says

    I am a librarian and have studied history, Russian, Chinese, German, Spanish and music. Never went anywhere in particular with any of it (many librarians do not have a Ph.D., possibly because we can’t concentrate on any one subject for very long? Or maybe I’m just speaking for myself).

    I blundered upon this blog from Panda’s Thumb (highly recommend it if you do not know about it already). PZ posted something there which got my attention (Oooh! Shiny!).

    One of my friends in college was a graduate student studying “The Sociology of Religion.” Once a sweet but very confused freshman asked him how he was different from the theology students in the same dorm as the grad students. He answered “They’re studying God and I’m studying them.” That pretty much reflects my thinking on and relationship to religion. Hmmm… fascinating creatures, what do you call them? Church-goers? Really how dotheir minds work? And what’s the symbolic meaning of the wine and the cracker? Oh … sorry I asked.

    I’m always on the look out for a free science lesson. It’s the one subject I have not studied much in a classroom setting. Sometimes Prof Myers treats us to one.

    Also, if I am wrong about something I really want to know what and why. Assumptions are what you don’t know you’re making and stuff your mother told you is not necessarily true even if she sincerely believes it herself.

  12. operabuff says

    As my name implies, I love the opera; I have undergraduate and graduate degrees in art history, which is why I currently work as a Labor and Delivery nurse, but I still love and collect art, mainly ethnic fiber art and pottery as well as folk art. I live in Minnesota where I indulge in native prairie gardening, raising orchids and spoiling my two rescue mutts, Emily and Alice.
    I have been an Atheist all my adult life; there was no sudden “revelation”, no rejection of religion – I was raised in a secular Jewish household where Judaism was a culture rather than a religion – and I just cannot understand belief in the “supernatural”.
    I’m a widow, in a serious relationship with a man who is also an Atheist – he was raised Episcopalian, but, since we are both Atheists, it does not matter.
    I find the history of religion fascinating from an anthropological perspective (and I had to know about religion because of the iconography in the art I studied) and I am a science Greek with a mad crush on Neil deGrasse Tyson.

  13. Mattir says

    This is a tl;dr, but I wrote it, so here it is.

    Mattir originally stood for Middle-Aged-Tone-Troll-in-Recovery, but feels way more like a name to me now. I was a mushy theist for a lot of years (Catholic, then Jewish) and have now abandoned the theism for a more sensible (and fun) atheism-with-lots-of-cultural-holidays-and-practices-as-long-as-I-enjoy-them, but I’m glad for the religious background, because I’m quite confident that I can out-argue most religious fools I might run into in life. I am a nature educator and do all sorts of naughty things with animal and plant fibers, including felting, spinning, dyeing, knitting, crocheting, and (soon to come) kumihimo and weaving. I’m a Boy Scout/Venturing Scout (co-ed program for teens, run by BSA) leader, in which role I seek to provide some protection and sanity for the youth I encounter, and I’ve had brief careers in law and clinical psychology. I’ve homeschooled the PeskyTwinSpawns for 9 years now, and while their spelling is sometimes iffy, their critical thinking skills, science and history knowledge, and exposure to literature is fantastic. Most importantly, they know that learning is pleasurable and that knowledge makes life more fun – too often, the kids who come into my nature programs at the park where I work have had this drilled out of them before they’re 10 years old. It makes me sad to see.

    I love the Horde a great deal. The Spouse and I have no extended family, and even though I came to Pharyngula because of one of PZ’s rants about homeschooing, it has turned out that the Horde has become, for all intents and purposes, our extended family. We visit Horde members on vacation, welcome visitors into our house, and assemble with Hordelings at Sheep and Wool Festivals, atheist and skepticism rallies, and movie and museum trips. The Spawns lurk here sometimes, but participate more on the FB spinoff groups.

    One funny Boy Scout camp story – DaughterSpawn worked as an instructor at a BSA camp for 8 weeks this summer. One of the newer staff, a somewhat skeezy boy, noticed that she was reading one of Greta Christina’s fashion posts. She closed the window, but the boy went and googled Greta’s blog, and was (to put it mildly) astonished. Even more astonished when I was volunteering at the same camp for a couple weeks and he thought to embarrass DaughterSpawn by mentioning Greta Christina in front of me, but ended up wordless when I said “Oh yeah, she’s a great writer – we’ve met her a couple of times at conferences and she’s really nice. Her wife, Ingrid, is great too.” Kid was literally goggle-eyed at the sheer audacity of a chubby middle aged mom admitting to knowing an atheist sex blogger… This would never have happened were it not for Pharyngula.

  14. kurt1 says

    Hi, my name is not Kurt. I study biosystems technology, some weird mix of cellbiology, systems theory and process engineering in germany. I was brought up Christian, because my father is a pastor. A very smart, kind and liberal man, whom I have a lot of love an respect for. The environment I grew up in made me a skeptic, which led me to be an atheist and a feminist. I read this blog frequently since 2007.

  15. machintelligence says

    I am a 64 year old White Male Atheist(TM) and have been for over 50 years. My college training is vertebrate zoology (avian ecology and population dynamics), but I am not a practicing biologist. I am currently semi-retired from a career as a remodeler and professional handyman. I began reading pharyngula at about the time of the “Expelled” fiasco. Since the American Atheists convention is here in Denver this year, I will be there as a local. I’ll wear my blogonym on a name tag, so if you see me, say Hi.

  16. Rieux says

    Thirty-something-year-old attorney in the Twin Cities. Father of a loud one-month-old boy.

    I’ve always been curious whether the particular shade of red PZ chooses for his comments correlates with the blood-curdliness of his mood, or what.

  17. devogene says

    I am Bassel, a Biology undergraduate student in Canada. I am very interested in Evo-Devo and Phenotypic Evolution, that is what brings me here. I am an atheist, secular humanist, and an ex-muslim.

  18. says

    I teach physics. I also write (blog is linked to my name). I was just published in Atheist Voices of Minnesota (among over 30 other writers – including PZ), and I’m really stoked about that.

    I have two little boys and am married to someone who homebrews. I’m a big fan of sci-fi TV. My favorite Doctor is Tennant and my favorite Captain is Sisko.

  19. Woof says

    I am Woof, atheist, skeptic, geek, and a big fan of logic and reason.

    As you might guess, I’m a Dog Person, although I accept that cats and cephalopods are people too.

  20. says

    Logic Priest here, I prefer my nice little pseudonym, have been using since I was a wee lad playing games online. I like puppies and kitties and arguments. I have been lurking for a while on FTB and laughing from the sidelines at the strange bile the network receives for often imaginary wrongs.

    I’m slightly educated in lots of different fields, since I change majors and studies and like to learn things on my own too, and thusly only claim any kind of expertise at all in IT. Mostly I am concerned with scientific and rational thought as a whole, hoping to apply critical reasoning to everything, not just squiggles in microscopes and telescopes but in society, and hence consider myself atheist, skeptical, feminist, pro equality in every way and gradually more active politically for all of these.

    I actually like being proven wrong, which can happen in certain cases often since I come from every visible privilege possible, with the only unpopular bits being easily hidden (like atheism and psychological thingies). On the other hand I will defend any and all positions until proven wrong.

    As for “communities” I prefer the multi defined ones full of diverse views, which is why I started reading FTB blogs, since it isn’t “skeptics” or “atheists” but skeptical humanists and feminists who happen to be atheists, who can disagree and it is fun to watch. I hold loyalty to truth and kitties far above loyalty to individuals and communities.

  21. whiskeyjack says

    I don’t know if I count.

    I’ve been here for years and years and might have actually posted half a dozen times. I mostly don’t post because I find the comment threads inconvenient to navigate, not because I think you’re bullies. Which is funny, because I don’t agree with some of what is said here, so I could be the poster child for the dissenting voice who’s shut out by your hive-mind — except I’m not quite dishonest enough to go that route.


    I live in Canada. I work in the financial industry in a position where I have no control over the global economy (not my fault, guys). I read a lot. I’ve traveled a lot. I went to university. Not much else to say.

  22. says

    Hello. I’m MikeG (defunct blog at iamlabboy). I post infrequently, but i’ve been reading for a long time. I love the community here, and i like feeling part of a larger community of freethinkers.

    I’m a microbiologist, working on marine stuff. Atheist, though only within the last decade did I give up the last vestiges of a “spiritual” faith. I ferment stuff as a hobby and I want to turn that into a career (I figure I work feeding the bugs for a living, they owe me some tasty stuff when I get home). Occasional home brewer. Owned by 2 cats, 2 dogs and 3 chickens (south Florida pullet patrol auxiliary). Lazy gardener. I’m fond enough of BBQ that I have named my smoker Alice (the first meal cooked on her was second thanksgiving). I’m married to a wonderful woman who shares enough of my hobbies to get into some really fun and tasty trouble (out romance blossomed over the stove).

    Anyway, I think that’s a brief enough introduction. Hello!

  23. brazenlucidity says

    Dan Hansen. Been here for years and years. Formerly a very active commenter under a different name, now I just tend to lurk. Atheist, former Marine, current artist, liberal and science lover from Minneapolis.

  24. Quinn Martindale says

    Young attorney down in Texas. My route here was Shermer -> Randi -> Penn (I know) -> Phil Plait -> PZ. I’ve interacted in spurts on the JREF forum , and went to some Atheist Community of Austin happy hours in law school.

  25. jennifred says

    I am a SAHM to three children currently living in northern Ontario but about to make a big move to Alberta. I was raised in a churchy household, but have been heavily influenced by my science-loving husband. We have had wonderful science/religion discussions and I have come to discover I don’t believe in any god, and that realization really doesn’t bother me at all.

  26. Arkady says

    I’m a virology grad student in the UK, been reading Pharyngula for what feels like forever (was probably around 2004-5 I think, followed a link from Scientific American), mostly lurking but very occasionally commenting. In many ways I’m here more for the science/geekery/feminism/general-awesomeness than the atheism, I’m lucky enough to live in a country and work in a profession where it’s more unusual to find that someone is religious than an atheist. (Can probably sum up my attitude as ‘there’s probably no god… Ooo, tentacles!’)

    I’d like to thank PZ and the commentariat here for everything that happened with E-gate, seeing people here respond the way they did has given me a lot more confidence about dealing with the arseholes I have to encounter in meatspace.

    And I should be writing my thesis instead of commenting here… damn you interesting internet!

  27. says

    I first became aware of Pharyngula when PZ gave my husband Aron Ra’s youtube channel a shout out in 2008. His subscriber base went up by thousands in a week. I first started commenting here when Aron was asked to join FtB a few months ago.

    In a former life, I taught at a Christian school. Ironically, my interactions with atheists on a Christian CreVo forum first educated me as to why many things I had been taught about the world were wrong. I now teach science in an inner city middle school where no one will never here the canard “Evolution is just a theory!”

    Occasionally, I contribute opinion articles to a major metropolitan newspaper. One of my articles about my experiences with the failure of abstinence only education resulted in me being asked to speak to a Jewish group. Apparently, they are way cooler than Catholics and Fundamentalists when it comes to contraception.

    My idea of a perfect evening is attempting to reason with people, who have decided they won’t be reasoned with.

  28. says

    Well okay then.

    I work in post-production and am a sometimes magician (hence the name) and juggler. Well I say sometimes but I’ve been doing magic for over 20 years now (since I was 8) and even make some money at it every now and again.

    I also write code for fun. Because I have a somewhat warped sense of fun. I currently like python and haskell for no particular reason in case anybody cares.

    I’ve been lurking for a few years now and even post from time to time. Though not with enough frequency or relevance that I would expect anyone to recognize my nym.

    I studied a bit of physics in university and I’ve always loved science.

    I mostly don’t comment because:
    1. I can’t keep up. Seriously, you all move fast.
    2. And to avoid thread-bloat. Mostly by the time I get to a thread,
    anything I would have said has been said. And usually better than I was likely to say it myself.

  29. Tiranna says

    I prefer to be Tiranna to those who see me online. I’m a PhD graduate student in biochemistry/cell biology (though soonish I hope to be a post-doc). Unless I have something small to say, I lurk, but I otherwise really enjoy this blog and the comments.

  30. sc_88a92fb85aea5860697ffa5e97e999e0 says

    Hey! Michel here. I’m French-Canadian, doing my PhD in physics in British Columbia, but actually based in France near CERN.

    I find myself agreeing with PZ’s position almost all the time. He’s not forcing me too. I don’t consider myself part of a hive-mind.

    I don’t comment often because I hate the Internet flame wars. I see the point though, and the awareness it springs has got to make a positive impact in the end.

    I once wrote a blog (licollider.com), but I’m on a hiatus now. My graduate studies have taken a very busy turn. I should be able to start writing once again in the fall.

    I love the community here. You guys are awesome to stand up for all these things.

  31. says

    Mister Sleight of Hand, I remember you, one benefit of such an interesting nym.

    2. And to avoid thread-bloat. Mostly by the time I get to a thread,
    anything I would have said has been said. And usually better than I was likely to say it myself.

    So many people say this and I really wish they wouldn’t feel this way. Each voice is unique as is each perspective. You never know what you could contribute if you don’t bother and you never know just what might reach out to a lurker or three. Everyone’s voice is important, no matter the length of a thread, no matter if you’re basically in line with others. And thread bloat? Pffft, we thrive on that here!

  32. Doubting Thomas says

    That’s my name. I consider it amusing and ironic since my mom was a good Episcopalian. I can’t remember how I found Pharyngula but I’ve been here almost every day and several times a day for five or six years now. Being a non-believer in the deep south, its a place where I feel welcome and can enjoy the company of like minded folks. The usual water cooler conversation in these parts consisting of “sports”, NASCAR and huntin’ leaves me in need of more enlightened discourse. I don’t comment often and the volume of comment is overwhelming if I get here more than five minutes after PZ has made his appearance, but Its good to know there really are so many of us. Glad I am to be one of PZ’s minions.

  33. Cannabinaceae says

    Hi, my ‘nym is Cannabinaceae. At present I lurk.

    In the past, when I did post, I mostly made jejune comments about beer and marijuana, sometimes about food and whisky. Pretty much all I eat I cook from scratch. My friends and I brewed all the beer served at my wedding (in Seattle, in 12.5 gallon batches, and they drove it across the United States to Baltimore, where I currently live, for the reception. The first batch arrived just as the rehearsal dinner was starting, after being driven in my own car at 100 miles an hour, although not for the whole trip; the second batch arrived, about 1/2 hour later, by an entirely different route, and had less beer in it than it had started out with, though there was no breakage).

    Substantive comments take me enormous amounts of time, and then when there are misunderstandings or disagreements, even more time must be spent, and I often end up feeling as if I’m too defensive or vapid anyway. Although I am not at present employed, I am actively searching for work, and somehow I find posting time to be unavailable. Thus my lurking rather than posting. When I become employed, and therefore start working less, I hope to start making jejune comments again. Maybe even substantive ones.

    I recently obtained a Ph.D. in biology, and whereas I worked in yeast before, I am at present only interested in working with cyanobacteria. Not necessarily for Pure Science; I want to Put Those Bugs To Work, although much of what I want to do will generate Pure Science.

    I don’t think I’ve ever quite believed in gods, though I went through the motions in my earlier years. I finally came out as an atheist to some asshole evangelist who must have been trying to earn his conversion chops, one Saturday morning after a 16 hour shift (I was night operator in a room full of PDP-11’s and Vaxen; Friday was full backup/disk reorg night). He was predatorially awaiting me at my bus stop in Bellevue, where I caught the 256 – or was it the 255? – across the lake to the U District in Seattle, somewhat near which I lived at the time. He preached at me for at least fifteen minutes as I awaited my bus (by which time I had been awake >24 hours – I was a student at the UW and of course had classes on Fridays), and continued to berate me as I climbed aboard the bus. I had spent the entire time saying things like “Yes, I’ve read the Bible. It is boring and stupid. You are not making any sense.”

    I was highly involved in the Seattle BBS community in the late 80’s (my shared household had four phone lines with no phones connected – if you wanted to talk to a person, you’d just call one of the boards and shout over the carrier; if somebody wanted to answer, they’d plug a phone in and pick up), and almost all of my current friends I first met electronically. From my ‘nym and my story so far, you’d already guess who I am if you knew me then, and if I listed the boards we ran – Tuk Station, XAKPOBO MECTO, Cafe Dionysus, Biosphere III – you’d know for sure.

  34. says

    I’ve been living in Saint Petersburg, Russia for tha last three years with my over-achieving girlfriend. I teach English at pretty much every level but usually higher intermediate. I so love my job!

    Before Russia, I lived in San Francisco for 22 years but I was born and raised in Arizona.

    My gf is an ex-Soviet champion and I believe this has given her amazing discipline and stamina. It also gave her wanderlust (she traveled a lot for competitions and can’t stop). So we travel a lot.

    One of my many gay ex-Mormon boyfriends hooked me up with Pharyngula in 2008 and I’ve been hooked since.

    I have two very talkative Siamese cats and I love to paint, sculpt and draw. Oh, and I also love opera! And ballet.

  35. jefrir says

    Hi, I’m Jefrir. I’ve been lurking, and occasionally commenting, for about 4 years now. I have a degree in French and Russian, and am currently studying for a Masters in translation (or, more accurately, what I’m mostly doing is ignoring my dissertation and hoping it goes away).
    I work in a university library, cataloguing books as part of a project to get all the older books onto the electronic catalogue. I’m not yet a librarian, although I am considering it.
    I knit, lots, and I’m very jealous of Caine’s rats.

  36. says

    Hello, everybody! I’m Audley and I’ve been around for three years or so. I’m a life long atheist who bakes, plays video games, reads mysteries/thrillers and fantasies, and wrangles a turtle, several cats, and a couple of gerbils.

    I’m also pregnant with my first child– DarkFetus is due at the end of October. I’m a feminist above all else and fiercely pro-choice.

  37. says

    Why not. I’m almulhida. That’s Arabic for “the atheist”; a name which took a great deal of originality to come up with. I’m an ex-muslim from a Saudi family, and I run a little blog where most of the time I don’t know what to write in it.

  38. SPK says

    I mostly lurk (not posted under this account before) and have been following since around Crackergate (is it that long ago?). I come for the flamage, smackdowns, science, and cephalopod.

    I’m a 30-something who moved from the West to the Midwest and now down to the South (Alabama) (live, study, then work); I was a homebrewer, but not here; I teach German, code some, and am trying to finish a dissertation and banish a long-riding back-monkey.

    From time to time I cook, wrangle cats, and try to work on creative outlets.

  39. Pteryxx says

    Caine remembers eeeeeveryone. *spooky jazz claws*

    Hi, I’m called Pteryxx because I was an outspoken dinosaur nut way way back in fundie grade school, and spent plenty of time in detention for it. I found Pharyngula via Scienceblogs while looking for arguments defending evolution, and phase-changed to outspoken during Elevatorgate’s 3D5K (three days, 5000+ comments on Pharyngula alone). I ended up in Texas somehow, but even this place has freethinker events and I’ve been to a few. Also I’m glad to be called “it”… on the Internet nobody knows you’re a small extinct dinobird. ~;>

  40. says


    I knit, lots, and I’m very jealous of Caine’s rats.

    Aaaaw. Lately, I’ve been handing out virtual ratlets. Beatrice is Beatrice’s virtual rattie and Agnes is Amblebury’s virtual rattie and Carrot is Tethys’s virtual rattie. You want a virtual rattie?

  41. rowanvt says

    I found this blog through some strange convoluted path that I believe began with the blog that did/does the Left Behind Friday mockings of those atrocious books. My path towards atheism was equally convoluted and this blog helped put the final nail in the coffin of my religiousness/spirituality.

    I’m a registered veterinary technician (like a registered nurse, but for animals) and officially a sucker when it comes to injured animals so I have a fairly constant stream of foster critters going through my house.

  42. otrame says

    I am an old, fat, white woman who has been an atheist since my teen years. I am a retired archaeologist and part-time consultant who studies faunal remains found in archaeological sites. I am very liberal and completely unrepentant about that. I sometimes despair for my country (the US) and have occasionally threatened my son who lives in the UK that I am coming to live there. I started reading Pharyngula a few months before the “Expelled” fiasco.

    I sometimes think PZ is wrong.

    PZ doesn’t give a damn what I think.

    Good for him.

    I love the Horde and often wake up family members in the middle of the night laughing at the nonsense that is posted here. There is a great deal to learn, a large number of assumptions to examine, and enough trolls to keep my coat sniny. In other words, you all teach me, entertain me, and, most importantly, help keep my brain well-excercised, which is important for us older people. Who could ask for anything more?

  43. NateHevens says

    Hi. I’m Nathan. I have a blog that needs a bit more traffic.

    Atheist since I was 21. 25 now. I play guitar and sing, though I don’t have anything recorded; I would like to change that, if I could ever afford to.

    I need a new laptop, but can’t afford one, so I use my parents’ netbook to get online.

    Let’s see… I’m liberal (though somewhat of a social libertarian, insofar as I think you have the right to do whatever you want as long as you do not violate somebody else’s right to do whatever they want), trying to start a chapter of the SSA at Florida Atlantic University, and I love to argue and debate, although I do have somewhat of a temper and arrogant ignorance can tick me off pretty quickly. I also think of myself as a Feminist Ally, though I feel like I should have to earn that title before I can actually be considered one.



  44. says

    Hey, I’m Rose Boy. I’m a postdoc in the biological sciences. I’m married to a medical student and have a daughter. I have also started a blog recently, The Rose Boy Chronicles. I don’t have much up yet, but plan to include my musings on atheism, feminism, and sexuality, among other things.

    I’ve been reading Pharyngula for about 2 years now, and mainly lurk, since the amount of comments usually overwhelms me. I hope to contribute more.

  45. says

    Caine, Fleur du mal @35

    Thanks! I will try to keep that in mind. Certainly lately some “issues” (which I won’t drag in here) have had me wanting to just chime in with a, “no. This is wrong. Everyone should know it’s wrong. And people should be seen to be opposing the wrongness.”

    Or something like that.

    I remember discussing…I think it was CSS issues…with you during the move from SB. You’ve never struck me as being particularly “nasty.” I mean dancing in the entrails of your enemies sure…but I always thought that was part of the charm of this place. :)

  46. NateHevens says

    Oh… and my first exposure to PZ was when he “desecrated” that communion wafer.

    Great stuff.

  47. davidrichardson says

    My name’s actually David Richardson … but that must be one of the commonest English names after John Smith, so it doesn’t say much.

    I teach English at a small university in southern Sweden – English to people who don’t have the language as their mother tongue, that is, so it’s a bit more technical than it might sound to a scientist!

    I’ve been a vegetarian since I was 18 (that’s 40 years now) and I’ve been an atheist even longer (say, add 8 or 9 years to that total). After a few years, I kind of forgot that there are people who eat meat … and the same thing happened with my atheism. I don’t eat soap powder … and I don’t have any worries about any kind of after-life. Soap powder isn’t ‘food’ (nor is that dead animal stuff) and belief in a god makes about as much sense as eating soap powder …

    I discovered Pharyngula via Richard Dawkins, which is probably about the best way in you could ever find. I actually appreciate PZ’s science even more than his atheism. I have no problem ‘taking on trust’ that PZ and his peers know what they’re talking about when it comes to biology, even though I understand a mere thousandth of a percent of what they’re talking about. I don’t understand the exact way my car engine works either – but I’m quite prepared to trust a mechanic! I’m just glad that there are people in the world who do.

    On the other hand, if someone were to come up and tell me that my car engine works by magic, I’d be naturally suspicious – even if I couldn’t explain it myself! So I’m glad there are mechanics to bring reason to my interaction with cars … and PZs to do the same with fundamental truths about how the world actually works! Thanks, PZ.

  48. lesterley says

    I’m Leslee, a former church organist/pianist (since the age of 13) and graduate of a private Lutheran school.

    But I got better and found atheism.

    I miss playing large pipe organs, but they don’t tend to exist much outside of religious institutions. Boo!

  49. Gene says

    I’m Gene. I think it’s a good name to have if you like evolution and biology! I was fortunate enough to have parents who were not religious and so was not burdened with the nonsense of religion as were many of my friends. We would go bowling Sunday mornings while my friends had to go to church. They all envied me (hehe).

    I consider myself an agnostic, as I define the term, as someone who has no knowledge of any god(s). I am also an atheist because I do not believe in any god(s) as I have never seen any evidence of any god(s).

    I also do not think it would be possible to ever have any knowledge of any god(s). Even if the entire world were presented cosnsistently with what appeared to be strong evidence of god-like behaviors from some entity, we still could not KNOW that it was THE god, or just god’s idiot second-cousin (twice removed) playing pranks on us. Or if it was any “god” at all, but simply some other kind of awesomely advanced being that was entirely natural (as opposed to supernatural). [I know this introduction is not the forum, but someone please pick this apart and help me come up with a better way of thinking about this.]

    I spent a few years as a lab tech doing cervical cancer research and then studies on adrenergic neuro receptor binding in drosophila. Then I became a full time musician playing drums.

    Now I’m a software developer.

    I support the ACLU, NCSE and the Texas Freedom Network. Pretty much anything that will help to keep creationism out of the classroom.

    I’m also a Troskyist. I became radicalized while in college by reading a lot of economics and comparing Friedman and Keynes to Marx. I think that Marx is more relevant today than he has ever been. From what I can see, any sort of communist perspective on this site will tend to get battered by the liberals (obviously the “conservatives” tend to stay away unless they’re trolling). But I’ve heard it all before many times. So do your worst and maybe we’ll all end up learning something new.

  50. carlie says

    Yay delurkers!

    I have a tendency not to shut up, so part of my personal growth exercise on the internet is to practice not commenting. Sometimes it sort of works. Sometimes I need to be told to shut up and listen.

    I’ve been commenting on Pharyngula since 2006, I think, reading a little before that. It was very shortly after the move to Scienceblogs, although I don’t remember how I found it. I grew up a devout Southern Baptist, and it took me until my mid-30s to divest myself of religion. I think the biggest influence was simply that my family was away from church for a few years while we were in a place that didn’t have a church that suited us, and after we moved and found a church, then threw ourselves into it, suddenly I had a bit of an outsider’s view from being gone so long and it started to rub me the wrong way. I started delving into anti-apologetics about the same time PZ started ramping up about it here, and there was much recursiveness and positive feedback loops until it had all been eroded away. My entire family is still religious, though, so I’m not officially “out” to very many people.

    I’ve met many Pharyngula commenters in person, and all of them have been fantastic wonderful people who are fun to be around.

  51. devoutlyathiest says

    I’m Caulier from the big land of Canadia. I’m 17, and have been athiestic since I realized everybody in my church was going to hell for wearing mixed fabric clothes and couldn’t comprehend it.
    I’ve read these blogs for over a year, and I’ll definetly be here for another few.

  52. craftybunny says

    Craftybunny here. Long-time lurker, very (very) occasional commenter. It was from reading here that I finally identified as atheist – I think I always had been, but I’d never really given it enough thought. (More easily done in the UK than I think it would be in the states.)

    Lace knitting addict, so I’m glad to see so many other fibre enthusiasts here. One day I’ll get up the courage (and cash) to head over to Rhinebeck to do some Horde spotting. Slight people-o-phobe (social anxiety), hence the need for courage!

    Mostly I love this place for the sheer amount I can learn from lurking here. Oh, and I would have a ratlet in a split second if weren’t on the wrong side of the Atlantic.

  53. SteveV says

    Another lurker and another with the feeble excuse of never being able to catch up (sorry, Caine) compounded in my case by you bastards being most active while I’m either asleep or at work.
    No bloody consideration some people.
    Engineer (mechanical), worked in all sorts of fields from petro-chem to semiconductor production equipment via metal refining and rubber products. Currently non-hydrocarbon offshore drilling gear.
    Old git. Brit. Married to a woman who is better than me in every way that counts.
    No pets these days since Murphy (Irish terrier)died. We miss her.
    Despite attending a 400 year old church school, never a believer, but it took years before it gradually dawned on me (thick or what?)that I’m an atheist.

  54. carlie says

    Wait, I think I might remember! Wasn’t there a list of good sciency books for kids that PZ made on his first site? I think I saw that linked somewhere, and by then (or within a month or so) the SB move to SB had been made and I followed over there and started reading.

  55. croorsingh says

    I’m Croor. I am a grad-student from Bangalore. I study cloud-flows. I write a wordpress blog, off and on.

    I’ve been reading Pharyngula for a long time. I remember coming here for the first time after Dawkins mentioned PZ in “The God Delusion”. I usually just lurk in the shadows here. Partly because by the time I think of something to say (what with the time-difference and everything), somebody’s already said it.

  56. says

    I’m Coleslaw, a nickname I chose because years ago when I told an online friend I was a member of United Methodist Women, he told me that when they were first organized they were called the Women’s Service Commission. Since the WCS was often responsible for serving food at church suppers, people joked that WSC stood for “We serve coleslaw.”

    I read here often and post seldom. I’m a retired SLP living in Louisiana with my husband and two cats, and I have an ex-patriate son living in London. I have 11 more states to visit plus Australia to fulfill my goal of visiting all 50 states and all seven continents. I also have a blog called Word Salad which doesn’t have much of a theme other than my wandering mind.

  57. says


    I have a blog that needs a bit more traffic.

    Nate, you can make your name a hyperlink to your blog. You might want to try that, as Pharyngula is chock full of curious people who will click your name to find out more about you. If you don’t know how, click on your nym above the comment box, then click ‘profile’ and go from there.

  58. insipidmoniker says


    I’ve been an atheist almost all my life, but was really only exposed to accomadationist thinking. When I first found Pharyngula I was almost flabbergasted that people were allowed to talk about atheism like this.

    I am also a recovering sexist moron. The reason I’m still around Pharyngula is because they helped me figure that out. Long story short, I was reading a thread in which Audley, SallyStrange and Caine were all making very solid arguments. Being naive, and a bit stupid, I was reading Caine as male. Then I slowly realized she was a woman and that I had been paying much more attention to her arguments than those of Audley or SallyStrange because I had subconsciously tagged them as female. In a blinding flash of the obvious I realized that I was really sexist and that I really didn’t like that.

    Ever since then I’ve tried to pay very close attention to the threads on feminism, particularly when they relate to behaviors I’m all too guilty of. Won’t say that I don’t still have a long way to go, but I think I’m making progress.

  59. says

    @ 53. lesterley

    I miss playing large pipe organs, but they don’t tend to exist much outside of religious institutions. Boo!

    Every work day for the last 25 years the LRV that I ride to work and back takes me past a big house with enormous organ pipes in the window. I’ve never heard any organ music from that house whenever I’ve walked past it. Curious, that.

    You could always have one installed. I’m not sure how your neighbors would feel about it, but it would likely make you feel better.

  60. says

    I’m Enopoletus Harding, a lifelong atheist and former Objectivist and Libertarian who sometimes wanders into the threads on Libertarianism and the Bible to correct untruths sometimes spouted by the regular commenters (and PZ) on these subjects. I found Pharyngula in June 2010 by means of Orac and scienceblogs, which I found probably by means of the Skepdic. I usually confine my free time to the study of the relationship between the Bible and Archaeology. My Youtube channel is at http://www.youtube.com/user/againstjebelallawz/ I have just begun teaching myself to type without looking at the keyboard.

  61. says

    Mister Sleight of Hand:

    You’ve never struck me as being particularly “nasty.” I mean dancing in the entrails of your enemies sure…but I always thought that was part of the charm of this place. :)

    Oh, you’re so sweet. I’m…blunt. And my habit of calling people Cupcake has done given me a reputation. Gotta live up to it. :D

  62. gazetteer says

    Hello; I’m Gaz. I’ve got a piece of paper that says that I am a qualified library technician, but as of yet I have not actually found employment in the field. I’ve been an atheist quite literally all my life (when I was five years old, I informed my father that I didn’t really believe in Santa Clause, only to furiously backpeddal when he suggested that I probably didn’t need presents if that were the case), but spent several years being all wishy-washy and describing myself as agnostic before deciding to drop the pretence.

    My interests include narrative-heavy videogames, LGBT literature, creative writing, and roleplaying of both the play-by-post and tabletop varieties.

    I primarily come to FTB for Natalie (I’m trans, if closeted in meatspace at present), but as I’ve been recently reading this blog, I figured I might as well drop a post.

  63. durga says

    Hello! I’ve been around since that “Expelled” ordeal. Someone commented about it over on Shakesville and I came over to find out what all the hubbub was all about. I’ve been reading ever since. I only commented a few times, under different names. I’ll try to stick to this one in the future. :)

    I’m in my early twenties, recently graduated and grateful to have a job in my field that pays a living wage, though I should be making more.

    If there are any atheists in the Columbus area, I’d like to meet you. :)

  64. Pteryxx says

    …There does seem to be a promising critical mass of tabletop gamers and RP’ers here, if we could just sort some groups out. Check out Maptools for RPG infrastructure. (Also my obligatory plug for Brettspielwelt, the awesomest free online Euroboardgaming community ever. Jonesing for Settlers of Catan at three AM? You’re not alone…)

  65. plonchitis says

    Great thread for us nervous lurkers!
    I’m Holly, a middle and high school math teacher of 10 years coming this school year.
    I found this blog a little more than a year ago when I heard an interview with PZ on Minnesota Public Radio. It was perfect timing as I was just starting to solidify my stance as an out-atheist.
    This blog, the community, and many of the other freethought blogs have been invaluable to me over the past year–I’ve learned an incredible amount and my confidence in being an atheist, a humanist, a liberal, and a feminist is consistently bolstered by reading both posts and comment threads.
    Keep up the good work, all!

  66. benkvi says

    Hi, my name is Bent. i’ve been around a few years, posted once or twice. I’m 35, work as a network tech, and live with my girlfriend and two kids in norway. pretty happy, though still recovering from my younger years (the 90’s) where I went pretty gung-ho on the party scene which was going on over here. Messed pretty much around with mdma and other stuff, which I do Not reccommend by the way. I may spend the rest of my life with strange, paranoid and fearful thoughts. Well, enough of that. 90% of the time I’m living a happy life and building a promising future with my loved ones.

    Never given religion much thought personally, but my experience with religious people has been very negative. Friends who have been disowned by their religious parents for getting knocked up outside marriage, for instance, has given me great distaste for their thoughts and priorities. Later years’ religiously motivated violence sparked my full on interest in the “culture wars” though I rarely post in english, because I write it too slowly and seldom feel satisfied with my expression.

    I love this place, and adore many of the regulars. This thread; good thing! It’s good to speak out and feel safe

  67. alysonmiers says

    I think I’ve been reading Pharyngula since about 2007/2008; I used to comment more often back when my day job was so slow that I struggled to fill up the hours. I haven’t commented much lately because it’s tedious to log in, but since it’s a quiet Sunday and PZ is asking for intros, I figure why not.

    I love books; I love to read, and I also write. I just dropped off a load of used books for the annual sale at my town’s Labor Day Festival not because I didn’t like those books, but because I would like to have other people read them. I’m the author of a godless novel that was recently podcasted at New Books in Secularism.

    A good deal of square footage in my apartment is currently taken up with fiber. I own a spinning wheel and several spindles, and am trying to spin it all up before I have to move house again. I’m also a knitter, crocheter and I’ve been known to dabble in needle-felting.

    Some months ago I got a link from Black Skeptics with my review of Sikivu Hutchinson’s book, Moral Combat. Just last night I got a link from Ophelia Benson about a post I did on some annoying Facebook meme.

    I really enjoyed the Reason Rally and WiSCFI. I’m looking forward to PZ’s talk in Arlington, VA next weekend.

    My family are mostly churchgoing Christians but they also love science and value critical thinking. (Compartmentalization, and all that.) I gave my dad a copy of The Demon-Haunted World and he loved it.

  68. linuxryan says

    Long time lurker, first time motivated to figure out how to log in to post (took a couple tries, for some reason my mail server doesn’t like the FtB domain’s confirmation email).

    I’m an electronics engineer, most recently designing flight computers for satellites. I love all things technical, especially electronics and astronomy. I enjoy PZ’s science postings, biology is outside my comfort zone so I’m enjoying learning something new. I enjoy following the discussions on FtB, I learn lots of things here too. I’m a recovering Catholic. I also have trouble coming up with things to say, so back to lurking for the time being. :-)

  69. triskelethecat says

    Whee! Introductions! I’m triskelethecat, and I used to post a LOT more before work blocked posting ability – I can read but can’t post, and by the time I get home from work I’ve forgotten what I wanted to say.

    I, too, have met many Hordlings in Real Life and want to say that they are all great people. We help, protect, scold, educate and love each other – just like a family. And while I do have family, the Horde has become a large part of my extended family.

    And I was really excited to meet PZ at the Reason Rally, and even more excited to meet the Lovely Mary, Trophy Wife ™.

    And looking forward to Horde, sheep, airplanes, pizza, gossip, and October!

  70. penguinninja says

    Hello. My name is penguinninja. Pharyngula has helped me get in touch with my inner fiery feminist, fine tune my bullshit detector, and learn about privilege.

    I was already an atheist before I found this place, but I was quickly inspired to stop feeling apologetic about it. I am one of those lurkers who would like to tell the tone trolls to shut it, because if everything said here was soaked in smarmy civility, I might not have learned that the substance of a statement is more important than the style. People here are passionate about the truth, excited about science, and it really is infectious.

  71. marinerachel says

    I’m Rachel. I’m a twenty-four-year-old Canadian woman from the Pacific Northwest. I live in the Selkirk Mountains now. I miss the ocean. Cetology is my thing. I love babies. The baby longings I have make me cry. I enjoy baking and rugby. I have a crush on David Futrelle. I sing in a folk band with my dad. I share house with fourteen rescued possums. I recently had my heart shattered.

    I’ve been following Pharynula for between four and five years now and commented in the past. For the last three years I immersed myself in the world of online atheist/skeptic forums. I spent the last year and a bit believing, if I was eternally civil, eventually the people who have spent all that time harping on Rebecca Watson, using such brilliant arguments as “HARRASSMENT POLICIES WOULD HAVE ANY MAN WHO APPROACHES A WOMAN LABELLED A RAPIST” in addition to the rapey-rapey lolz and referring to woman such as Elyse and Rebecca as “fat, ugly bitch”, would hear me and the issue could be dropped. Pro-tip: you can’t reason with the unreasonable. Doodz (not exclusively male by any stretch of the imagination) with persecution complexes who go off when they hear the words “Don’t do that” are not reasonable.

    I’ve finally given up and embraced the Squid Squad. My first attempt to get back into commenting on Pharyngula failed when I recieved a completely disproportionate, hostile response to a remark about cancer incidence with age. It reinforced the stereotype that everyone posting on Pharyngula is a big meaniepants and totes unreasonable. Over several months though it became apparent that bit of shittiness was actually pretty unusual. So, I tried again and here I am.

  72. onychophora says

    Another long time lurker here. I teach evolution to creationists here in Texas. I often feel like Sisyphus, always addressing the same tired arguments over and over and over again.

  73. says

    I’m Jim, a junior high math teacher from the Deep Desert in California. Got my “Why I Am An Atheist” published here a few months ago. Very pleased that PZ considered me to be worthy of posting here. I’m married, dig all animals but currently have a dustmop of a dog. Got into this through astronomy, but took anthropology in college and used to date an anthro major so I got interested in anthropoid evolution. Empiricist through and through.

  74. cag says

    Hi. cag here, and if/when PZ uses my Why I am an atheist post my real ID will be out there. I was born in Sweden to an atheist father and somewhat superstitious mother. Family moved to Canada when I was 9. Never went to church except for the usual weddings etc. Been an atheist for 70 years so far and my wish for my deathbed is to have some smarmy goddist trying to convert me and me requesting that the goddist perform an act requiring extreme dexterity.

    As a 10 year old looking up at the stars, I was inspired to learn more about the world and the universe. The first time I cracked open a bible and read the first 10 words, the fallacy of the bible became apparent. I’m appalled that something as ludicrous as religion is still a major force in the lives of so many people, and disgusted that my taxes are used to support the continuing intellectual destruction wrought by organized religion.

  75. lpetrich says

    I’m lpetrich in a lot of online places, and an admin in the Secular Cafe messageboard, a third-generation IIDB offshoot.

    I’m interested in a lot of things, and I’ve been a follower of this blog for some years now.

  76. gillyc says

    Hello! Very occasional poster, mostly I lurk. Middle-aged mum in the north-west of the UK, proud of having raised two kids who are both atheist and feminist. And one’s a scientist too (doing a PhD in microbiology).

    I work in IT (very lowly – Service Desk Analyst) and have a degree in Computer Science. But I prefer ‘real’ science. Computers are boring.

    I don’t post much because usually everyone’s said everything I want to say, and better than I ever could, by the time I get caught up with all the comments. (Stupid time zones!) So I just read. Which means I’m oddly fond of a whole bunch of people who don’t know me at all.

  77. Cannabinaceae says

    Oh, and FWIW, I’m almost 50 years old, a bearded white male, married, and have a miniature Poodle, Toby, who just turned one year old. No kids, but I’m “Uncle Cannabinaceae*” to rellies kids and the kids of some friends.

    I used to be on Facebook, but killed my account there since I never used it much. Simply knowing it existed became too stressful for me to bear. Some things that don’t bother others really stress me out.

    My observations suggest that having your belly rubbed while you are gnawing on a rawhide is, in fact, the most possible pleasure to experience. Well, if you are a one-year-old miniature poodle named Toby anyway.

    I like to memorize relatively short, medium difficulty piano pieces, and play them expressively with my eyes closed as much as possible. I’m not all that good at it, but sometimes there is a connection with how I’m trying to make it speak and how it actually comes out sounding.

    Currently I’m drinking a Smuttynose IPA, and am bereft of my other namesake.

    *Well, uncle my real name. I look forward to the day when I hear a story about kids coming home from school after drug miseducation where the cops burn some marijuana in the classroom, and they say “It smells like Uncle Cannabinaceae!”

  78. Antiochus Epiphanes says

    onychophora: I do the same thing in the same state. My nym is also of Greek origin. We are alike, you and I.

    I also enjoy gardening, crushing my enemies mercilessly, and tardigrades.

  79. gambit says


    I’m gambit. 44 year old Athiest and skeptic from Calgary.

    Been reading PZ for a few years now but never posted.

    I enjoy reading, music, movies, science, beer and travel.

  80. says


    I’ve finally given up and embraced the Squid Squad.

    :Tentacle hugses to you.:

    For all the newbs & delurkers, it helps to remember that all of us were new at some point and pretty much all of us had our ass gnawed off and handed to us at some point or another. I certainly did.

    Don’t let that stop you from speaking out, please. And as I said supra (#35): Each voice is unique as is each perspective. You never know what you could contribute if you don’t bother and you never know just what might reach out to a lurker or three. Everyone’s voice is important, no matter the length of a thread, no matter if you’re basically in line with others. And thread bloat? Pffft, we thrive on that here!

    Speak up, we love new voices here, really.

  81. rwgate says

    I’m Bob, and I’m a lifelong (66 years) atheist, who started reading Pharyngula during the cracker period. I graduated from the U of Washington in 1971 with a degree in history, but I’ve been a professional photographer since I was 16, including a stint in Vietnam in my early 20’s.

    This is the first site I read each day, and I get pissed off when there’s only one or two comments from PZ. I feel like I’ve been cheated. While I don’t comment often (for the same reason others here don’t, i.e. you’ve said it all before I get to the bottom of the comments) every once in a while I put my nickel in (two cents before inflation).

    I guess, on Dawkins scale of atheism, I’d be right there with Dawkins, about a -6.5. I used to just ignore the religious right, but now I confront them every chance I get.

    And yes, my cat does have two different colored eyes.

  82. Hairy Doctor Professor says

    Long-time lurker; reading Pharyngula from long before Expelled or Cracker-Gate, posted only occasionally before the switch to FtB. Three degrees in computer science, teaching at a university in New England for more than 20 years, still consider the Pacific North West to be home. Biologist father taught me to hunt and fish; I got college-level biology lessons at the dinner table. Went to high school and college with evangelicals in the 1970s, many are still close friends, but they never knew quite what to make of me. Entertainments for me include programming (Delphi, Python, various assembly languages, lots in between (except for the C-based languages, which I can’t stand)), building electronics, woodworking, cooking, hiking. No interest in alcohol, gardening, most music, or large crowds (although I once cooked for 90 6th graders for three days). Watch and enjoy football but don’t really care who wins; since family can’t stand it and it doesn’t take much of my attention I get about 3 hours alone-time to work during a game. Baseball puts me to sleep by the third inning (great naps!), and I find basketball and hockey unwatchable. I don’t tend to post because I’m pretty sure I can’t keep up with the rough-and-tumble, but now that I’ve registered again I might add a minor comment from time to time.

  83. bubba707 says

    I’m Bubba, solo kayaker, misanthropist, antisocial cranky old man andall around curmudgeon.

  84. insipidmoniker says


    It is at that. I guess what surprised me wasn’t that I was learning, but what I was learning about.

  85. honestade says

    Hi, I’m honestade, and I’ve been reading for a few years, I suppose, but lurked all that time – I’m pleased to get the chance to say hello!

    I’m an atheist, mainly because of what I’ve learned about evolutionary biology (although I never was particularly religious – growing up in a part of the world with a long and gruesome history of sectarian violence probably helped).

    I work in science (on the periphery, anyway), and I’m also into astronomy, biology, and football (well, probably soccer to most of you).

  86. tynk says

    I am tynk, in irl I am known as lindsai. I am a lesbian, an atheist, a computer geek, a biker chick. I unintentionally brake stereotypes on a daily basis. But I am also very reserved. I have been following PZ for years, this is probably the first and last comment you will see from me.

    I have been on the net since ’94 and have learned that is better not to interrupt, so I just view from afar.

  87. schweinhundt says

    Regular visitor; occasional poster. Most distinctive feature vis-à-vis this crowd is that I’m decidedly agnostic.

  88. onion girl, OM; social workers do it with paperwork says

    Hello! I’m a licensed social worker in the D.C. area (primarily working with families, children & trauma). I’ve been reading Pharyngula since pre-Crackergate days. PZ’s the reason I’ve become an out atheist (which led to me attending the Women in Secularism con ((Go CFI-DC!)), which led to me deciding to be more active in the movement, which led to me becoming the coordinator of my local humanist group!).

    The Horde’s become part of my extended family as well, and I organize gatherings for the local Horde members (contact me for more details if you’re local!). I’m also one of the organizers for Rhinebeck (along with Mattir & Muse).

    I actually started commenting on Pharyngula regularly on PZ’s first ‘listen to the women’ thread, but I comment less frequently mostly due to lack of time (partly because I’m more active in atheist events IRL :).

  89. says

    Oh and a bit more about me, besides that I’m the nasty one. I’m female, 54 (55 in November), mixed race, bisexual, childfree, married 33 years, two monster dogs, 1)half white German shepherd/half coyote, 2) half white German shepherd/half chow, stupid as a box of hair; 5 cats and 26 rats and ratlets. Yes, twentyfuckingsix. The ratlets were not planned. Ratlets and rats can be seen at my blog, click the nym for lethal levels of cute.

    I’m an artist and photographer, self-employed for 30 some years. Full time geek, curious about pretty much everything. I enjoy doing embroidery, too. Supposedly, I’m working on The Darkheart Duckie Project, a baby quilt for Audley’s Darkfetus.

    I like the idea of gardening, but I pretty much let the ‘garden’ take care of itself. Mister homebrews, so hops abound on our property. I haz many, many books. Love books. Love reading. I prefer paper books to e-books, however, I do have an e-reader.

    I’m a native Southern Californian, living in North Dakota for the last 20 years. I live in a town the approximate size of a postage stamp. Life in the slow lane.

  90. procyon says

    Hey ya’ll. I’m Procyon, named after the family of raccoons that happened to be in my yard one night when I needed a nym. I was one of those kids that found the Natural History section of my little country elementary school when I was in first grade, and basically never left. I have a small business I run, but spend as much time as possible in the Cathedral of the Great Outdoors, trying to visit as many different ecosystems as I can before the Big Dirt Nap, and keeping myself as educated and up to date as possible on the latest news in the world of science.

    I found Pharyngula while doing a search for Vetulicolians many years ago (possibly when they were reassigned as possible Dueterostomes) and have been a lurker ever since. I have always been an atheist and really didn’t think much of it, or that the creationists were a problem to be taken seriously until I started reading this blog. I was under the impression they were just a fringe group of radical nuts and that they weren’t taken seriously by even most religious people. Maybe it was just the environment I grew up in, before Falwell and his Moral Majority.
    Or maybe they weren’t as vocal and obsessed as they are now.
    I any event, this blog was my entrance into the world of science blogging and I still read it or at least visit everyday. I used to post more often back in the day, under a different name but have taken to lurking in last several years.

  91. geocatherder says

    Geocatherder here. I’m a fifty-something former software engineer who just completed an MS in geology. Science is SO much more fun than engineering ever was! Alas, my current employment consists of nothing paid, as I’m dealing with lots of health issues. Fortunately I have a husband to live off of. We have no offspring and are the sometimes-unwilling staff to two demanding cats.

    I don’t remember how I found P.Z.’s blog, but it was definitely before the move to ScienceBlogs. I read it daily, but comment VERY seldom, since the Horde will have invariably gotten to the article before me and said anything I might have wanted to say.

    I like to make beaded jewelry, I’ve tried my hand at and enjoyed silversmithing, painting, printmaking, and a few other art forms. There’s not enough time to get well, read P.Z., and do all the creative stuff I want to do!

  92. lorigb says

    I’m Lori. I’ve been hanging around here for something like four years or so, but I rarely comment. I think I’d been reading for about a year before I even started looking at the comments. I’m on the Facebook group though, and much more active on there. It just seems way easier to keep up with everything. I’m an Iowan, working on my undergrad linguistics degree, currently studying abroad in Chile until December. I’ve met a couple of horde members, and they’ve both been fabulous.

  93. twist says

    I mostly lurk, don’t comment very much as I’m not that good with words and can never write anything I think is coherent enough.

    I’m a postgraduate student in the physical sciences. Plan to stay in academia, if they’ll have me.

    I’ve been an atheist most of my life, I think, aside from a brief attempt to make myself believe in the christian god, and an even briefer flirtation with buddhism.

    Realising that according to the majority of mainstream religion I was a second-class citizen, however they tried to dress it up and make it seem not so bad, was what pushed me to acknowledge my atheism and grow enough of a spine to start telling the people around me that I didn’t believe that crap!

  94. says

    Hi, I’m aleph.

    I’m a mathematics grad student, but my undergrad degree (which is, amusingly and frustratingly not quite finished) is classical music performance.

    I first started reading and lurking at Pharyngula a few months before the move to FTB, and have started commenting in the last few months.

    I live in a town the approximate size of a postage stamp. Life in the slow lane.

    I’m living this summer in a town in Vermont with a population of about 600 people and a few thousand cows.

    I don’t know quite what else to say. Love this community, even as a mostly-lurker.

  95. blindrobin says

    I am blindrobin, of the herring variety, being neither blind nor robin. I have been around for a very long time though I seldom comment. I am a crabby old cynic yet generally affable. My work in past years had me travel extensively around the world with many years based in the UK. Though originally from the US my interaction with various cultures has coloured my perception of the human nature. I now reside in a large city in Texas that is best described as a collection of industrial areas and subdivisions of varying ages glued together by strip-malls.

  96. blacksteel says

    I’m BJ, I’m a firefighter from New Zealand. I found PZ via a comment by Rebecca Watson on the Skeptics Guide a few years ago. I really enjoy the blogs combination of batshit crazy rants from the fundies sprinkled with science and thought from PZ. I got the chance to talk to him in a Melbourne pub for the Global Atheist Convention 2010, and all I could manage was ‘how was the trip?'(He’d just spent 3 days travelling). I’m a tech nerd and my favourite captain would be Janeway.

  97. says


    I’m living this summer in a town in Vermont with a population of about 600 people and a few thousand cows.

    Ha! That’s huge compared to Almont, which has a population of 79, 202 if you count all the outlying farms. Many more cows around than peoples. :D

  98. Hairhead, whose head is entirely filled with Too Much Stuff says

    I have been reading PZ Myers for more than five years. I post occasionally — and recently a bit more. I never really get into the swing of things as I have Chronic Major Depression and sometimes things go to shit.

    Other things: I’m fifty-five, father of a 13-year-old autistic boy. Having an autistic child (yes, formally diagnosed) forced me to examine my life past, and slowly come to terms with my own Asperger’s/Autism Spectrum Disorder. Of course, I was never diagnosed, I was just “the family weirdo”, and have had decades of unhappiness trying to figure out what the fuck is going on in the lives and minds of other humans.

    My father was a minister, an accomplished and charismatic man, but suffering from PSTD acquired in six years of wartime service and a bullet through the head. My mother is the strangest combination of rigid/bohemian I have ever come across. When I was about seven figured out that there simply was no evidence for God or Gods, yet the appeal of the admired authoritarian father and the knowledge that I, as a child, simply did not know enough to be atheist, kept me from acknowledging as such until the age of 12, when the atheist revelation during a suicide attempt caused me to choose life, however harsh it may be.

    I currently live Vancouver, BC, where I mostly do legal video work, which is interesting enough to engage my mind, and well-paid enough to let me work part-time and supervise and guide my son.

    I also have real problems with expressing anger; you may find my reasons in an earlier post from about 2 weeks ago. The Horde has helped me come to terms with that — an important thing, as I am frequently angry at the vicious jackasssery which passes for “conservative” thinking nowadays. I’d like to meet BC Hordemembers but have no idea how to make a connection.

    And I am totally shit at proofreading, no matter how much I try.

    P.S. – For all of you out there: When I was finally diagnosed with Chronic Major Depression, I learned how well most mentally ill people (and I count myself one) manage and hide their afflication. The ones you perceive as obviously mentally ill are only the tip of the iceberg; the vast majority of us are very intelligent and have developed coping methods and hiding techniques to keep ourselves out of judgement’s eye. . . .

  99. silomowbray says

    My name is Silo. I’m a Canadian, 40-something MBA(-ish, almost done), specialty in consumer behaviour. In undergrad I pursued a science degree, didn’t finish, then started over. The religiosity in the U.S. scares me and infuriates me at the same time. In Canada it seems to be much less in-your-face. I was once an Other, but that type of Othering seems to be fairly rare now. Also I’ve had the unpleasant experience of fighting depression, like so many of us have. I still fight it from time to time. For the most part, thanks to friends and family and nice strangers, I come out ahead.

    I don’t post that much here. I find I’m still learning a great deal about my own privilege, and really don’t want to screw up.

  100. skeptiverse says

    Hi all, I’m Skeptiverse, i am a 25 year old soil scientist working for the government in Australia. I was brought up as an italian roman catholic and went to a catholic boys boarding school for 4 years. Going to compulsory religious education classes and having to go to church twice a week, i started to pick up on the inconsistencies and fallacies inherant in religion (maybe catholic schools shouldnt give you a good science education if they want you to stay catholic), i see my atheism as a logical extension of skeptical thought.

    I started reading Pharyngula during the whole crackergate thing and have spent most of my time as s lurker. Being able to read FTB before work everyday gives me the energy to deal with senseless bureaucracy and the smattering of fundagelicals in my office.

  101. opposablethumbs says

    Hi, I’m opposablethumbs because my forelimbs have these handy grasping appendages (dead useful for lifting Nice Cups of Tea* or glasses of other beverages when available). I read around here quite a lot (often when I should be working … dammit) and sometimes chat a bit; much more rarely I actually get up the nerve to post a comment in yer proper argument threads, where (a bit of a common theme, this) smarter and more knowledgeable people have usually already said everything I would like to say and more, only a lot better.

    I first came here a few years ago now. I came for the atheism, I stay for the feminism – and the Horde.

    *Nice Cups of Tea are of course British; the other beverage I only wish I had some of right now is whisky, which is of course Scottish.

  102. says

    Hi, I’m Stella. I use my real given name here, because my comments at Pharyngula are all unvarnished, unadulterated me. I’m a 27 year old analyst from Wellington, New Zealand and in my spare time I’m a sculptor. I like to stimulate my creative processes with homebrewed absinthe. My degree is in Classics and Philosophy, with a dissertation on government structures in the Iliad and the Bronze Age Aegean. I’m here for the lolz and the occasional game of whack-a-troll, but mostly I’m here for the learning.

  103. dogeared, spotted and foxed says

    It would be nice to unveil and share in the handshakes but I’ve got one of those friendly internet stalker types on my ass. Not that I’m super secretive but do avoid announcements.

    As an occasional unlurker, it’s been really nice getting to know some of you a little better. Promise to return the favor as soon as it is possible.

  104. says

    Donovan. I’m from NH, graduated college in WV, and am hiding out in Ga with my wife and infant daughter while I look for a graduate school. I am studying ecology. I have very socialist views and tend toward the left. I am a US Navy veteran and flip between pride and embarrassment over that.

  105. piscador says

    Piscador here – teacher, atheist, FTB junkie (important part of my morning ritual), citizen of the world (now living and working in a seaside town in central Vietnam), amateur baker, motorcyclist, hiker and bookworm.

  106. echolocation says

    I’ve been lurking here for a couple of years. Never commented until now, so, “Hi Everyone.”

    I am a white male, a professional in the U.S. construction industry, and in my forties. Evangelical. Accept evolution. Reject YEC. Just wanted to be clear about that.

    Thank you, PZ, for what you do on Pharyngula. I come here regularly because I’m fascinated by science, and because you shoot straight. While I might very much be in the minority here as a theist, the perspective I’ve gained by reading here has expanded my world. The word ”atheist” has taken on a different meaning for me since I started reading what atheists themselves have to say, instead of reading only what my fellow evangelicals have to say about atheists.

    I don’t have a cat.

  107. says

    This is probably too far down in the thread for anyone to be reading it, but hi, I’m flamethorn. Probably not a great nym but I’ve used it here before so might as well keep it up. I mostly lurk because I’m terrible at expressing myself about issues and don’t have the attention span to keep refreshing a post to see who’s replied to me.

    I’m also chronically depressed although sometimes it doesn’t show, miscellaneously pagan, somewhat of a fledgling SCAdian, recovering WoW-addict, compulsive creator of RP characters and worldbuilding details but can’t plot to save my life, more than a little aspie, voracious f/sf reader annoyed with the constant repetitiveness within the genres, incredibly fucking unhappy with being single and a whole bundle of random issues.

  108. says

    Christopher Bair here. Freelance author, web designer, debunker…

    I have a YouTube channel with over 2000 followers as csbair, a WordPress debunking blog at idebunkforme.wordpress.com, and two Twitter accounts: @iwriteforme for personal and writing tweets, and @idebunkforme for debunking tweets.

    Nice to meet those in the comments.

  109. sobrickette says

    Hello, I have been here for a couple of years at least. I nonchalantly beat up the ocean of willful ignorance and unreason and enjoy the wonders of reality in what science can provide, mostly because it works.

  110. says

    Read and watch more than comment. Ex-fundamentalist still working out the quirks. Interested in raising my kids, trying not to be an idiot, and reading just about any book I can get my hands on. My main goal currently is to create paintings worthy of a gallery show.

  111. Blueaussi says


    I mostly lurk, ’cause trying to get a word in edgewise around is too much like work. Geez, you people are chatty! By the time I read the other comments and compose a response, the whole conversation has blown by me. I am enjoying the whole Free Thought Blogs experience, though, and am posting more to other blogs.

    I’m a Laboratory Animal Technologist with far too many job duties to list here, although one of my mostest favorites is terrorizing grad students. I also spend an inordinate amount of time doing stuff with poo. Sometimes I keep it all for myself, sometimes I ship it to other people.

    When I’m not playing with official research poo at work, I collect poo from various herbivores and compost it for my garden. I grow all kinds of flowers, herbs, vegetables; especially tomatoes and peppers. Do not, under any circumstance, open a conversation about gardening, especially about peppers, around me unless you really want to hear me natter on for hours and hours.

    I have three mutts and two cats that run me ragged, but that I adore. My nym, Blueaussi, comes from the blue merle Aussie mixes around here. I also have temporary custody of an African Sulcata tortoise that someone abandoned, I’m trying to get the little dude into some sort of rescue.

    So, yeah, hi!

  112. millssg99 says

    I’m Stephen, 51, worked as a computer analyst for 30 years. I live in Houston, TX. I prefer the culture of more Northern climes but can’t stand cold weather. I have grown children and now the home is filled with many dogs and cats.

    Like Caine I love books (mostly nonfiction) and can’t give up on the paper ones though I do occasionally purchase ebooks.

    I grew up in a fundamentalist family and am the only one to make a break. It happened in my early 20’s though the doubts had been simmering for years before that.

    I love all things science and philosophy. I used to be very political but became disenchanted with the DemoPublicans.

  113. says

    European immigrant to the US who kinda regrets that choice and is trying to get the fuck out again (1st choice NZ; 2nd choice Vancouver; 3rd choice going back home). Self-employed graphic designer/illustrator who’s also working on a Bachelor’s in Environmental Sociology. Occasional blog-writer. Temporarily suffering from broken foot and associated medical bills.

  114. Shell's Bells says

    I’m Kristen. I live in Houston. Been lurking here for a couple years now because I’m not great with words, and when I do have a comment someone has always already said it more eloquently than I could. I graduated two years ago with a BA in biology and I’m still looking for a job to utilize it. I was raised as a baptist but since my dad was in the Air Force and we moved every couple of years, we never really committed to going to church regularly. I think it was during my freshman year of college that I sat down one day and thought about what I really believe. At the end of that day, I just couldn’t convince myself that god existed. I suppose I was a bit ashamed of myself at first, but now I realize that day was the most freeing experience of my life and I only wish I could have come to the realization earlier. I don’t remember how I came across Pharyngula or whether it was the first atheist blog I read. I just remember thinking it was so refreshing to find people talking so frankly about atheism. It’s amazing what you guys are doing here, and your blog was one of several that helped me feel comfortable calling myself an atheist.

  115. piegasm says


    I’m Pie. I’m currently in Upstate New York (Syracuse-ish) and have lived in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Illinois. I was born in Chicago. I’ve never really been a believer but I’ve only really identified as an atheist in the last year. I found my way to Pharyngula via hopping from one atheism related video to another on Youtube, starting with a Sam Harris talk and eventually stumbling upon PZ. I’ve no idea at this point how I found the Harris video.

    For a job, I manage an insurance office which sells Life, Accident and Health policies (we deal mostly with Medicare Advantage and final expense plans as well as the odd fixed annuity) and am a licensed agent in NY state.

    I’m an MMO gamer who just got dragged back into World of Warcraft to get ready for the new expansion next month. I’ve tried just about every MMO ever made but I keep coming back to WoW because it’s where all my gamer friends are. I love to read, mostly fantasy and non-fiction of all kinds. I’m a big Harry Potter fan (the books, the movies are awful for the most part IMO) and I love Dickens. I fancy myself a musician but I don’t actively play anything. I played alto sax in high school, I bought a guitar last year which I have thus far failed to learn how to play as well as a drum set to which I hope to transfer my mad Rock Band skillz. I’m totally sad that the Olympics is over now for another four years but I hope desperately that NBC isn’t covering Rio because they were AWFUL from start to finish. Aside from Olympic sports I love tennis, especially Novak Djokovic.

    Pets-wise I have 2 cats: Nigel, a boy and Skittles, a girl. There is also a pug called Shri who I like to think of as mine because I spent a lot of time around him when he was a pup but he really belongs to a friend.

  116. David Marjanović says

    I found Pharyngula in 2005 (before ScienceBlogs) and immediately turned and ran, because it was so interesting – I was afraid to add another timesink to my daily schedule. In 2006 (after the shift to ScienceBlogs), I thought I had that kind of time now. I’ve been staying here ever since.

    (Incidentally, the ScienceBlogs version still exists, because the science-related posts from here are published there as well, and it has an antivaxxer and two “the order of Genesis 1 is miraculously correct” people right now.)

    I’ve been interested in dinosaurs since I was 7. Consequently, I have a doctorate in natural sciences, more precisely vertebrate paleontology, and an additional bachelor in biology, more precisely molecular biology. (If you’re interested, find my publications in Google Scholar. Several other regulars are published scientists as well, I hasten to add because (AFAIK) none of them has shown up in this thread yet.) My current (and first) postdoc has the same subject as my doctoral thesis – not dinosaurs, but the origin of the modern amphibians.

    I’ve also been an armchair linguist since the age of… maybe 6, and I’m interested in lots of other things as well. I promise to start a blog Real Soon Now.

    I’m incapable of believing without evidence. So my (post-Vatican-II European Catholic) faith gradually faded away during let’s-call-it-highschool as I learnt that there is no evidence for anything supernatural.

    On my rare forays into meatspace, I’ve received more hugs from Pharyngulites than by everyone else together ever. That’s in part due to a coincidence of culture, though. #sadthingsdavidsays

    I unintentionally brake stereotypes on a daily basis.


    Awesome bumper sticker. :-)

  117. Jem says

    I’m a young’un currently studying art. I’m an atheist, feminist, and science-enthusiaste who mostly lurks because somebody else usually says what I’m thinking with more eloquence than I can.

  118. Beatrice says

    Hy, I’m Beatrice. I have a degree in applied mathematics, but am currently unemployed. I’m an atheist. When I’m not despairing over my empty CV and writing cover letters, I’m cooking or learning French or spending way too much time reading FTB (mostly Pharyngula).
    I’m in a bit of a strange place in life right now and I’m mostly trying to figure out a way to somehow fix the whole thing into something functional. This place helps to keep me going.

  119. kaboobie says

    Kaboobie was a flying camel on the Hanna-Barbera cartoon Shazzan. He didn’t speak, but his vocalizations were done by the late, great Don Messick. Some similarities to his later creation, Scooby-Doo, will be obvious to the listener. I chose the pseudonym for no particular reason other than 1) it’s a silly name and 2) my husband and I like old cartoons. You’ll see me posting occasionally on FTB and Skepchick, but I am primarily a lurker.

    In real life, I’m a 40-something woman from New England. My husband and I are regulars at Dragon*Con’s Skeptrack and are active with the Boston Skeptics (a group founded by Rebecca Watson). I have a degree in biochemistry, and after working for many years in the biotech industry I now work for a scientific instrument maker.

    I don’t go out of my way to tell people I’m an Atheist, but I wouldn’t deny it if asked about my religious views. Jessica Alqhuist’s case taught me I can take nothing for granted, even in liberal New England. If I feel I can help make the world a better place by speaking up about my Atheism, I will gladly do so.

  120. ljbriar says

    I am LJ or Briar, I respond to either. I drifted into atheism, skepticism, and even feminism quite gradually. I think I was one of those people who was actually born with a complete inability to have faith but I didn’t even really know atheism existed until my early twenties. I was raised to be a moderate Christan of sorts but changed to Wicca/general New Age beliefs in my teens.

    I am recovering from a life of perpetually keeping myself at the bottom of life’s totem pole and giving abusers and bullies too much access (that is to say, any access) to my time, resources, and emotions. I’ve gotten better at holding my ground and trusting my own instincts in the last number of years, but I’m still a little shy offering a brash (even if well-deserved) fuck-off.

    I am a freelance writer and editor. Interests outside of the scope of this blog and my work include horses, belly dancing, playing piano, adorable pet ratties, adorable pet puppies, other animals that are adorable, video games to a limited extent, knitting, sewing, books, and horror movies.

    So wattup, Pharyngulites?

  121. tajparis says

    I’m James, another one who has been lurking around Pharyngula for a few years now. I read most of the comments here, though I rarely post. Mostly for the same reasons that Mister Slight of Hand expressed. The Horde moves quickly, and by the time I figure out what I want to say it has already been said. I have learned a lot here, not only from P.Z.’s posts but from the Horde as well. This is a good opportunity to express my appreciation for that; the Horde has given me invaluable new perspectives and allowed me to understand privilege better, and that is a really good thing. So thank you to all you active members!

    This thread is a good idea, it’s nice to learn a bit about the regulars and my fellow lurkers. As for myself, I live in the Cleveland, OH area. I spent too many years in the Air Force after dropping out of high school, and then spent a few more working as a cop. Now I’m a full-time undergrad student struggling my way toward a biology degree, and hoping that I didn’t make a big mistake going back to school.

    My dear wife and I are working on raising a new generation of critical thinkers, lovers of science, and all around geeks. I have the fortune of being friends with a couple of other occasional Pharyngula commenters through our local skeptic and atheist groups.

    Also, I’m another table-top and role playing gamer, as well as a science fiction/fantasy/comic book nerd.

  122. cicely says

    Hi, everyone; I’m cicely. I’ve been here since Expelled! or Crackergate (whichever came first; I don’t remember and am way too lazy to try to find out). My job here is the Righteous Denigration of Horses, keeping an eye on the Pea Menace (be sure you despose of them in the proper recepticles, currently defined as Caine’s ratlets, for recycling into Cute), and making comments of little moment. Like this one!

    Once upon a time, I was a right horrible fundagelical. This memory gives me a Shame. I now suspect that I really threw myself into it in a mistaken attempt to “fit in”. Didn’t work; girls just didn’t read scifi, or enjoy sciencey stuff. Anathema! Unclean! *gesture of aversion*

    Anyway. Pharyngula is a much, much better community to try to fit into. I recommend it highly.

  123. csue says

    I’m CSue, and mostly I lurk, but I’ve been reading for years, so I feel I know a lot of you better than I actually do. :>

    My husband (Tom Holtz) posts comments here pretty regularly. We live with three rescue cats, two horses, and a lizard.

  124. David Marjanović says

    Many people comment here drunk and/or stoned. I comment tired, which has pretty much the same effects.

    Location: depends. Linz (Austria) till age 11; Vienna till Master-equivalent thesis; most of that and most of the doctorate in Paris; now two-year postdoc in Berlin. Will need to spend some time in the US later this year, to visit museum collections and Pharyngulites. Next postdoc? Perhaps in China? They have awesome loads of awesome fossils, and right now they’re shoveling money into science as fast as possible (though I’m told their economy, too, will collapse at some point). Or perhaps I’ll manage to find a job in France? Or whatever.

    No pets, but I’m a cat person.

  125. mattee says

    I’m mattee, age 35. I am a Canadian, an atheist-skeptic, and father to an awesome baby daughter. I have posted maybe three times in the couple of years I’ve been reading Pharyngula. I have a BSc in the social sciences and I am married to an amazing biologist. I come here because of science and atheism and social justice. It’s a good place for such things. I love science fiction and board games and gadgetry and getting lost in the woods and writing music and also poetry and drawing and and and…

  126. Lofty says

    Hi all, I live in Australia, my Nym is about my height (six foot three) my morals (equal rights for everyone) and my location next to a small hill called Mt Lofty (Joke, it’s only 2000 feet high). I’ve always been an atheist having been born to atheist parents, never doubted the non-existence of a particular god. I grew up in the heady days of the Space Race, science and the US seemed to be able to do anything. Trained as an engineer, I now love fixing broken machinery and working out how people think (similar). I found Pharyngula in a comment in New Scientist magazine, I comment occasionally when I feel like it (time zones and all that stuff) and believe This Site Rocks.
    Cheers all.

  127. oolon says

    I’m a relatively recent reader here (6 months or so) linked from Skepchick, male and married with a lovely daughter and two cats. I’ve never believed in anything much despite going to a pretty religious CofE secondary school in the UK — actually I’d say probably because I went to that school I don’t believe in any gods. I work in IT because while I liked Archaeology I discovered I’d get paid sod-all if it became a career. Oh also because I discovered after doing a PhD and working as a researcher on Carbon-Carbon composites that I didn’t like working alone in a lab. Basically I’m a flibbertigibbet and my short attention span fits IT very well.

    I’ve commented a little and my style could be reasonably described as contrarian with a little bit of childish name calling thrown in for good measure. I’m really happy that FtBs is engaged in a virtual war with Thunderf00t and ERV etc as while my attempts to take the piss out of people on here mostly failed there are a lot of opportunities on Thunderf00ts blog to really let rip. I unfortunately find myself in the role of defender of feminism and FtBs over there – which does make me laugh given how some here might view that. Anyway apologies if I’m at all sarcastic or insulting on the more open threads.

  128. says

    Hi everyone

    I’m Stephen. Historian, then data base designer. Lifetime atheist. Retired early. Went to India to see if I’d like backpacking in developing countries – I did – and I’m now in my thirteenth year of almost continuous travelling. Currently in Brasil, coming towards the end of a five year trip through Latin America. No blog, but I do maintain a photography website.

    I’ve been reading Pharyngula since before Crackergate. During my earlier trips, I’d find an internet cafe every other day and browse the blogs for an hour. Now, all the hostels have wifi, and I’m travelling with a laptop, so I can catch up on the threads after breakfast – usually too late to contribute but yes, Caine, *waves*, I hope to change that.

  129. Fred Salvador - The Public Sucks; Fuck Hope says

    Englishman, Scotsman, (im)mature student of Chemistry and Biological Sciences hoping to get into pharmacology, biochemistry or immunology, currently temping through college and planning to set up a business to pay for uni.

    I believe that mathematics is the language of Satan and wish it would die.

    Grew up in a militant socialist household (earliest memory is being on the Miner’s March in my pram and hitting a policeman with a little flag my mum gave me) so I’ve never had a chance to be religious, although I did poke at Satanism for a short while when I was 6 or 7, insofar as I prayed with my fingers pointed at the floor during school prayers so the Devil would hear my prayers instead of God. The idea amused me greatly.

    Also a reformed bigot of many colours; male chauvinist, racist, homophobe, transphobe, neo-Nazi – you name it, I hated it. I grew right out of that once I actually started to think about the world instead of just blaming it for my problems, which fortunately happened before I had a chance to get any tattoos, although I still keep my hair short.

    And that’s me.

    Also Fred Salvador is not my real name.

  130. Trickster Goddess says

    I’m Stephanie. I live on the west coast of Canada and work as a graphics designer for a local publication. In the 90s I worked in the Vancouver film industry on many productions, including The X-Files.

    I was raised Mennonite but I never drank the Kool-Aid. My path to atheism started when I was 8 and in Sunday school they taught us the story of God commanding Abraham to sacrifice his son. I was freaked out by that and wondered if God would ever command my dad to kill me? That God stopped Abraham at the last minute and said he was just kidding didn’t make it any better; it just showed what an Asshole He was.

    I have also suffered from drug resistant depression for a long time, and despite occasional suicidal thoughts, I can’t shake this nagging intuition that I am doomed to live to be over 100 and I am only half way there.

  131. says

    Hi, I’m one of the Aussie contingent. Not a huge Paul Hogan fan, but how could one resist the opportunity to use “crocoduck”? I’m a regular, been “here” since ummm mumble, well before Crackergate but not before ScienceBlogs. I used to post as Cath the Canberra Cook back when I was food blogging quite a lot. I’m a very miscellaneous science nerdy type, background runs across physics, maths, comp sci, sociology & bioinformatics. 3 degrees in 3 subjects but no PhD. These days I’m working in public health statistics.

  132. says

    Hi, folks!

    My username is my real name, first initials and last name anyway. I use this a lot because there’s a USA Today reporter with my real name and using a different handle helps keep us apart.

    I’m one of those evil government workers (IT support for FDA), live in Rockville, MD and am a transplant from Texas, some 26 years ago. Married to the same woman I met in Germany as a GI, we had three wonderful girls, which we raised together.

    Currently empty nesters, except for the one Australian Shepard named Orion and tuxedo cat called Maxine, we are beginning to enjoy the freedom of no kids!

    Wife is self employed, but is not quite as much of an atheist as I am. I am a member of the Washington Area Secular Humanists group, and host a monthly discussion group in my home that is posted in Meetup. Been doing that for over three years now.

    I also post on the WASH blog, Secular Perspectives, and cross-post with my own blog, The Cybernetic Atheist:


    (blog is linked to my name)

    “Turned” atheist back in ’05 (though really just noticed I had been for years), and got hooked on Pharyngula when I saw a link to it as I was reading about Expelled. It was a story about how PZ got kicked out of the theater, remember that? I was amused by his reactions, and when I read his blog, got instantly hooked. Crackergate just cracked me up, pardon the pun…

    Glad to be here, though I don’t comment much, it’s great to be part of such a great group of people!

  133. David Marjanović says

    Oh, I forgot to mention that when I came here for good in 2006, I immediately commented. Like (pretty much by definition) all regulars here, I have SIWOTI syndrome.

    I may or may not be a sockpuppet of PZ Myers.

    You disagree with him even more often than I do. Clearly, you can only be a badly disguised sockpuppet of PZ Myers… as we all are. *nodnod*

    I found Pharyngula while doing a search for Vetulicolians many years ago

    :-) :-) :-)

    Best News & Views title in Nature ever: “On being vetulicolian”.

    the atheist revelation during a suicide attempt caused me to choose life, however harsh it may be

    …That’s intriguing. If it’s not too upsetting for you (in which case I apologize), please tell me more.

    My husband (Tom Holtz)


    Do you come to SVP meetings? I’ve only ever seen him alone…

  134. says

    My name is Phil. I used to believe in demons and angels and hell and three-persons-in-one deities who created the universe on or around October 23rd, 4004 BC. I don’t believe in these things anymore. Now I believe in entities like the Higgs boson (as well as other bosons, like photons) and the existence of creatures from our evolutionary past like Homo habilis. I play music for a living in an experimental folk band and I recently wrote a book about atheism called A Crisis of Faith. I am currently engaged in a debate with Tom Gilson over at Thinking Christian. Feel free to friend me on Facebook: Phil Torres / Baobab.

  135. PatrickG says


    When I’m taking a break from my newibe kicked-puppy duties here, I’m originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, went to school at UC Berkeley for undergrad/graduate studies, got my Master’s in Civil and Environmental Engineering (focused on computational fluid mechanics, contaminant transport, and meteorology), and I play lots of games (board and computer).

    I spent a lot of time in the state of “I’m atheist but then, so is everyone else I know.” Then I moved to Kentucky. Right about the time Williams accused Beshear of idolatry for participating in a Hindu prayer mat ceremony. It sort of woke me up, and I’ve been trying to expose myself more to rationalist/skeptical/atheist thought, which is how I found Pharyngula. <3

    Also, I've learned that this blog and bourbon don't mix, but I hope nobody will really hold it against me that I've done some stupid things here. :)

  136. didgen says

    I’m didgen, I have an undergrad degree in biology from a long time ago. I worked as a critical care/transplant RN until five years ago when an anoxic episode after surgery left me with memory and expressive aphasia issues. Goodbye to career, hello to new and even more difficult life.
    I am atheist, have been for as long as I can remember, but I did envy the girls in church so much those lovely dresses and the patent leather shoes. I came from an extremely dysfunctional family, where religion consisted of abusive Protestant,then divorced father, southern Baptist mother, abusive Catholic step-father. Much of my childhood consisted of hoping and praying no one ever found out what our home life was really like.
    I have lurked both here since this site began and at the SciBlog site, for a long time. Now mostly here since the elevatorgate thing blew up. I cannot get my head around how anyone can take the position that making anyone feel uncomfortable is acceptable. I have spent so much of my life feeling that I was the outsider that I can’t see making someone else feel that way is acceptable, let alone reveling in it as so many seem to.
    I want to thank PZ for his work, even though reading was difficult for me after my attempt to join the anaerobes, it was easier than trying to speak and have a conversation that consisted of anything more than a few words from me at a time. My husband and family are supportive, but I understand their frustration in trying to follow a conversation where there are so many pauses while I hunt for words. I have come to look at this site as my therapy, my family almost. My reading comprehension is not as good as it was, but the articles presented, and the conversations and links provided by the commentariat have given me back what I thought was lost forever. A group of people interested in so much of the world of science and trying to make the world a better more caring place.
    Some of the fighting does make me despair that it will never be a world where people accept others, but I think it is possible, and am willing to fight for it for the sake of my grandsons.
    Thank you all.

  137. Hairhead, whose head is entirely filled with Too Much Stuff says

    David @ 148

    I can answer you. When you’re thinking/acting out a suicide, most often you’re thinking either a) “they’ll be sorry when I gone” and paradoxically imagining yourself alive to enjoy their pain, or b) “I’ll be in heaven!”.

    I looked up at the stars (I was on a bridge at the time, January about -20F, a very clear night), and all of the science fiction I had real flipped through my mind, the pages turning over faster and faster and blurred message becoming clearer through the moments:


    And when I admitted there was no heaven, perforce, I had to take responsibility for my life decided to try and make it better — or rather, because I had no idea how I could make it better, learn to suffer more stoically.

  138. says

    I’m Kari! I’m a 21 year old nursing student.
    I care about atheism, science, biology, feminism, and politics.
    I was raised by my father who is a diest, so when I heard my first christian story I knew it was fiction (it was the Jonah and The Whale). I was a closet atheist most of my life, and it wasn’t until college that I was able to feel confident, and talk about it.
    I have a really cute dog (Charlie), and I really, really, really hate chiropractors.


  139. portia says

    I’m a white 25 year old woman who’s newly a lawyer and long been a theatre geek (hence the nym). I just opened my own law practice in the U.S. Midwest. I have been an artist my whole life, an atheist much more recently, and an infrequent commenter much more recently than that. I used to be a Very Devout Christian and GOP operative, until I realized that both factions’ ideologies saw me as inherently lesser. (May FSM forgive me for McCain 2008). That just wouldn’t do, so now I’m a godless leftie. Getting further “left” all the time, it seems. I think I found Pharyngula through Greta Christina, after googling a question about sex a few years ago, ha. Lucky me that she was the first result. When the world in general and the internet specifically is making me hate people, I come to Pharyngula to have a little sanity restored. Thanks for that, all of you.

    P.S. Blacksteel, I’m also a firefighter! (Volunteer).

  140. Wowbagger, Antipodean Dervish says

    I’m Wowbagger, another of the Australian contingent, and I first showed up here just after the infamous Expelled debacle; I really got involved during Crackergate – that is to say I posted a lot.

    Unlike many of the others here I don’t have a science background, but I am an atheist and a secularist, and very keen on critical thinking, intellectual honesty and social justice; I also love a good knock-down-drag-out (figurative) battle, and this is by far the best place I’ve found on the ‘net for that.

    I also consider many of the regulars here to be as close as family, and there are few things I’m more proud of than my (old school) OM, and being able to call myself a Pharyngulite.

    Oh, and I’m very fond of snark.

  141. Suido says


    Australian, civil engineer, interested in just about everything. Discovered Pharyngula many years ago, and was a very infrequent lurker. That led to finding FtB earlier this year, and I love the variety and quality. Came for the blogs, stayed for the commentariat.

  142. Millicent says

    ‘Lo. Mostly I lurk. I read every day, though, and I am grateful to FtB and Pharyngula for having strong humanist voices and commenters who support the social-justice agenda.

  143. portia says

    On second thought, it might have been boobquake that brought me to Pharyngula… that was what normalized the secularist leanings I was having. Hm, now I can’t remember. Oh well. Glad it happened either way.

  144. says

    *waves* I’ve been reading Pharyngula since before the move to SciBlogs, and used to read PZ amongst the mayhem on talk.origins before Pharyngula even started. I’ve been blogging myself since 2005, and I founded a Feminism 101 blog not long afterwards (largely inspired by the talk.origins FAQ). I have also been reading a fair few of the other blogs that now form FTB for quite a while now. I tend to mostly lurk but occasionally erupt with flurries of SIWOTI.

    I live in Australia and love traveling. My family groans when my steps move towards museums, because my pursuit of the obscure collections that only get talked about on the internet is relentless. I also love the bush/wilderness, since I grew up bushwalking (also around a lot of folkies and nudists, which made for an interesting mix of family friends).

    I have a degree in physiotherapy but don’t practice any more because I have a Car Crash Neck; I do the webwrangling for Geek Feminism and Feministe and once in a while I get an opinion column published as a paying gig. I did stand up comedy gigs for long enough to feel confident criticising comedians when they get lazy and try to pass it off as “edgy”.

    I am an atheist for all pragmatic purposes and an agnostic when it comes to rigorous epistemology.

  145. magistramarla says

    As my screen name implies, I’m a retired Latin teacher.
    I’m the wife of a scientist and the mother of a neurobiologist.
    I was never much of a church-goer, except for a few years when we did it for the socializing aspect and because I enjoyed singing in the choir at a very liberal Episcopalian church.
    That ended when we moved to Texas and learned that Episcopalians can be fundis, too.
    I lost even my passing acceptance of religion when I was teaching about the ancient Greek and Roman cultures. By studying more about ancient religions and how they influenced each other, it became clear to me that ALL religions are man-made mythology.
    I was also the GSA mentor/teacher for my high school, and I was getting more and more fed up with the way my LGBT kids were being treated by the religious people.
    Add in the rage that my husband and daughter were feeling toward the creationists’ treatment of scientists, and it didn’t take much for me to acknowledge that I am an Atheist.
    I happened upon Pharyngula through StumbleUpon back when it was at ScienceBlogs. I’m proud to say that I introduced my science-loving hubby to Pharyngula. We now both follow Pharyngula and the rest of FTB every day.
    I don’t post very often because I’m not as good at logical discourse as I used to be. I’m disabled by several overlapping autoimmune diseases, and they have affected my reasoning and speaking almost as much as my mobility. I do enjoy reading all of the threads and both my husband and I occasionally join in.

  146. says


    yes, Caine, *waves*, I hope to change that.

    Yay! I *love* your photography, a lot of talent there. Everyone, go look! I just got back from a shoot myself, haven’t looked at photos yet.

  147. Rawnaeris says

    Howdy, Rawnaeris here. Um…I don’t remember when I started reading or commenting. It was sometime before the RDF forum died a fiery death back in ’10. After that, I packed up bags and moved my Internet presence here.

    I am a true blue geek. I read constantly, play video games, am a Doctor Who fan, knit, and rockwall climb in my spare time (which is pretty thin on the ground as it is.)

    I have a degree in chemistry, but am not currently employed in that field.

    I’ve mentioned this on previous threads, but I feel that the Horde has collectively taught me how to be a decent human being.

    And…that will have to wrap this post up, as North Texas is about to get nailed with yet another summer storm. Here’s to hoping the threatened hail won’t get too large.

    Oh, and Hi! to all the lurkers.

  148. rrede says

    rrede was my fandom nym during my Trekkie and APA days in the late 70s-80s; I go by Ithiliana over on LiveJournal/Dreamwidth (have been active in online LOTR fandom since 2003, and do fan studies as well as other types of scholarship).

    I am a queer woman in my late 50s living in rural Texas; I am a professor of English at a small university (I teach creative writing, critical theory, new media/internet studies, and sf/f). I came from the Pacific Northwest, and plan to retire there in 7 years and get the hell out of Texas (I was on the job market with a new PHD in English in 1992 when the market was about as lousy as it is now, and I got one job offer out of 100 applications and five interviews). It was actually an offer from the kind of school where I wanted to teach (about 10K, major focus on education and/or liberal arts, in rural area), so I took it, and I stayed. I met my partner the years after I came down when she was hired in the history department; we moved in together, and started accumulating rescue animals (our high was 13 indoor cats and four outdoor dogs).

    My parents took the family to the Presbyterian church because it was something that was expected in the 1960s; I characterize the theology taught there as lukewarm. They left in the late 60s because the denomination got too political (ANGELA DAVIS!). My only regret then was my losing the time spent in choir with the minister’s wife who ran it who, to my fevered adolescent eyes, looked and sang like Julie Andrews. Twenty plus years later, Angela Davis’ work played a major part in my dissertation.

    I was agnostic a while, then had a Goddess vision and was non-practicing wiccan (writing a lot of fevered poetry to the Goddess), then eventually morphed into more or less secular humanist–was never interested in the atheist movement because it seemed to be a lot of white men. I’ve come to FBT quite recently–from Manboobz-because of the feminists and other social justice activism going on attracted me, and I enjoy reading and participating over here.

    Classes start in a couple of weeks, and my online courses are SO not ready, so I may have to cut back a bit.

    With regard to the most important issue of all (cats vs. cephalapods), I come down on the cat side:

  149. Cannabinaceae says

    Hairhead, whose head is entirely filled with Too Much Stuff

    I looked up at the stars (I was on a bridge at the time, January about -20F, a very clear night), and all of the science fiction I had real flipped through my mind, the pages turning over faster and faster and blurred message becoming clearer through the moments

    I have had several similar experiences, which I call “secular epiphanies”. They only happen when I’ve essentially exhausted myself, and then “something happens”. For example, I went camping in the Cabinet Mountains of western Montana, after a trip from Seattle to Spokane to the trailhead what was Quite Fraught, leading to nobody getting much sleep for 36 hours. I happened to look up at a mountain peak when an avalanche occurred on the flanks, miles away. So it took seconds of me silently watching before the sound arrived. I started thinking of the difference in the speeds of light and sound, and then geology, then plate tectonics, the origin of the solar system, supernovas, etc.

    It felt as if literally everything factual that I knew was being reviewed before all of my senses in the space of a couple of minutes. When the avalanche sound actually hit it was like dropping acid and having it take effect instantly, but only lasting for another minute. But instead of feeling like I was “almost enlightened” (stronger and stronger “almost” for higher and higher doses), I truly felt a satisfactory feeling of enlightenment.

    I blame the serotonin.

  150. mythbri says

    I’m one of just two or three “out” ex-Mormons in my vast immediate and extended family, and am still living in an area in the Southwest U.S. where the LDS church is very prevalent. My work is primarily bringing manufacturing companies kicking and screaming into OSHA compliance.

    I came to Pharyngula by way of feminism, through reading Amanda Marcotte’s posts on Pandagon. Feminism is much more important to me than atheism, although both movements can can progress through secularism and humanism, and the magical combination of secular-humanism.

    I love the fact that this is a rough-and-tumble environment that prizes good arguments and intellectual honesty above the bluntness of scary swears. But even more amazing is that this is a no-tolerance zone for insults with splash-damage, and that is a rare thing indeed. I don’t comment on every thread, because when I don’t understand something I like to learn about it first, but the “Horde” has given me the confidence to jump in feet-first in the threads about feminism and human rights. So, thanks. Y’all spoil me.

  151. broboxley OT says

    Bro_Boxley OT spent one year in highschool back in 1970 and decided I didnt like it. Currently designing and maintaining cloud solutions as a contractor. Spend a lot of time herding apache, linux snmp and laughing and pointing fingers at java developers. Side business as expert witness in computer forensics.

    Not an atheist, found PZ by virtue of he teaches in Morris MN where my step daughter spent 7 years working on a bachelors. She still swears she has never heard of him.

    PZ has interesting science posts. Is willing to explain to folks without a background in biology how it works.

    Im a juggalo for entertainment. Also enjoy the company here as I dont like the privilege, racism and self righteous assholery that exists elsewhere on the ‘net. Chas may be a sockpuppet but he is two binary to be pz

    Live in the greater atlanta area

  152. anathema says

    Hi. I’m a college student (history major). I grew up in Southern California. As I was lucky enough to be the daughter of two non-religious lawyers, I’ve lived a fairly comfortable and privileged life. I’ve been an atheist for about as long as I can remember. (In all fairness, I vaguely recall my grandmother convincing me that angels were real when I was four or five or six. So I suppose it’s perfectly possible that I might have briefly believed in some sort of God at some point, but I certainly don’t remember it.)

    I’ve got ADHD. I also suffer from social anxiety (hi, crafty bunny!), which has lead me to be rather anti-social at times. I’m currently working on trying to improve that.

    I’ve been reading Pharyngula and lurking in the comments here for two or three years. I don’t remember how I found the site in the first place. I didn’t start commenting here until fairly recently. I still don’t comment all that often. On any given topic, there are other commenters who are much more informed and knowledgable than I am. In any case, by the time I show up, usually someone has already said what I would have liked to say, only wittier and more concise.

  153. PatrickG says

    @ Portia:

    My partner is a lawyer as well (health law policy and litigation currently). I’m not sure what part of the Midwest you’re in (Kentucky isn’t really there), but she has some contacts here and there, and she’s more than willing to serve as a resource to others. Given geographical differences, might not be helpful, but figured I’d throw it out there.

  154. mythbri says

    And I love animals, by the way, especially cats but also rats and cephalopods. Perfect blog for me.

  155. PatrickG says

    @ mythbri

    Interesting! I found Pharyngula through Pandagon as well, though I forget which particular topic brought me here.

    Sorry for the OT, but I’ve been a bit disappointed since the move to RawStory… comments have deteriorated since then.

  156. mythbri says

    @PatrickG #174

    Oh yes – much more MRA activity than usual, although Jesse is posting more, which I like.

  157. Zamza says


    I am a physicist working in Germany. I have many philosophical ideas on the source of morality and mankind’s purpose in the universe, all of them unreliant on the intervention of any Gods. I am an apostate and an atheist. I strive to have empathy for other living beings, and want to fight to bring them to the understanding that the desire to dominate other people, foisted onto our society by our reptilian brains, is something that makes sentient humans indistinguishable from brutal apes.

    I will try to be a good contributor to this community.

  158. didgen says

    Ah, forgot to mention, after 25 years of working strictly critical care and transplant nursing I can say that neither I or any of the people I have worked with have ever, ever , EVER even heard of someone having a NDE. Trust me we would have talked about it. I have had lots of people that required extreme measures to resusitate, none have even come back with a story of anything other than bright lights.
    My own boring return from almost dead was simply waking up in a panic state looking into the stressed out faces of people working very hard. I am going to simply assume that this is our one go round, and appreciate the time I have, and not waste this one hoping for limited admission to something better in a later one. Especially if my dogs, cats, and various odd animal companions don’t get to come with me.

  159. says

    Jafafa Hots, been around since at least the blog before the blog before this one. Losing count.
    I have some cats.
    I like old stuff.

    That’s about it really.

  160. pensnest says

    Hi. I’m an indolent ‘housewife’ (although not actually married to a house) with natural tendencies towards writing stories and creating Stuff, which these days mostly means knitting. Thoroughly English, planted not far from London, and currently enjoying my third adolescence.

    I’ve been reading Pharyngula since I found PZ’s post about being expelled from Expelled, learning a lot but commenting only rarely. Same is true in fandom, where I mostly live, and was also true back in the days of alt.callahans, which had… a surprising amount in common with this place.

  161. David Marjanović says

    And when I admitted there was no heaven, perforce, I had to take responsibility for my life decided to try and make it better — or rather, because I had no idea how I could make it better, learn to suffer more stoically.

    Ah, that makes sense. Thanks!

    the RDF forum died a fiery death

    It was brutally murdered by one of the most evil people I’ve ever read of. Say it like it is.

    But instead of feeling like I was “almost enlightened” (stronger and stronger “almost” for higher and higher doses), I truly felt a satisfactory feeling of enlightenment.

    *pretending to be able to raise one eyebrow*


  162. PatrickG says

    @ mythbri

    Yeah, I’m a little sad a lot of the commentariat didn’t migrate over. I’ve lurked there for a long time, as I lurked here, but I’m less likely to comment there, I think, until something comes up that really stokes my ire.

    On the other hand, Marcotte/Taylor are obviously getting a wider play for their views, so non-existent hat off to them. More rampant trolling is always a sign you’re getting more attention!

    If you care to delve further into the change in Pandagon’s blog forum, perhaps we should move it to the lounge. :)

  163. vaiyt says

    I found Pharyngula through a chain of links that, I remember well, started at Slacktivist.

    I started following links on both social justice and denouncement of fundies, until I got here.

  164. Michael says

    Greetings from the Vancouver, B.C. area. I’m a high school math & science teacher, and a part-time magician. When I have time I sometimes project movies at the UBC Theatre, enjoy waterskiing, skiing, hiking, photography, reading, creative writing, squash, fencing, cooking, chocolate, and have one of the best(worst?) sweettooth’s around.

    I enjoy reading this site to keep up on science news, takedowns of creationist drivel, and to improve my debating skills. Looking forward to reading PZ’s book.

  165. David Marjanović says

    reptilian brains

    SIWOTI syndrome kicking in! What’s commonly called the “reptilian brain” is actually much, much older. The “neomammalian brain” is common to all chordates – yes, even amphioxus have a limbic system.

    brutal apes

    Chimpanzees may not wage war less often than we do, but they clearly don’t do that more often than we do. Bonobos and orang-utans seem to be more peaceful, gorillas and gibbons definitely are.

  166. says

    @ PatrickG

    I’m in Illinois, so I’m not sure of the overlap either. But I do appreciate the kind offer, and am always interested in making connections with other lawyers. (Particularly if they are of skeptical/humanist/feminist persuasion, as I am awash in good ol’ fashioned Amurrikin values out here). Litigation is one of my passions.

  167. vaiyt says

    As for me, I don’t like blabbering about my personal life on the internet. I’m from a strange country far, far away. I’m interested in science and social justice. I’m one of those that loves the rude Pharyngulite approach.

  168. a3kr0n says

    I’m Andy, And I started visiting here after seeing PZ on Mr. Deity, and wanted to more about biology, and crazy creationists.
    I’d like to be involved in the atheist movement but to be honest, it doesn’t seem like a very friendly place at times. Lately I’ve been feeling like building one of those cages mentioned in another post, and just concentrating on my hobbies. Right now I’m 80% done printing a Voronoi vase. I’m glad you started this thread. Hopefully I’ll feel better after a good night’s rest.

  169. PatrickG says

    @ portia

    We’re trying to move back to California, but my partner has contacts in multiple professional organizations throughout the greater area. She spends a lot of time in Ohio, which ain’t that far.

    I’ll send you a quick email based on your profile link. If you want to follow it up, I’ll doublecheck with her and invite networking and all that. But we should probably stop spamming the thread. :)

  170. meandmine says

    Hi, I’m meandmine. I’ve been reading the marvelous writing of PZ Myers for over two years now but I’ve only posted a few times. I’m a final year undergraduate in physics at a University of California. I’ve dabbled in philosophy and I’ve been an officer of the local branch of the secular student alliance. I frequently look for people to have long conversations about deep questions of morality, mortality, the splendors of science and the future of humankind. I lately find myself frustrated by my inability to express my views and motivations in some way throughout my every day life. Maybe posting here more frequently would be a healthy outlet for that desire. Thank you all for being here and thanks to PZ Myers for bring us together.

  171. thegeographer says

    30 year old Norwegian male. I have undergraduate degree in environmental geography and a graduate degree in human geography. I work as a regional planner in Norway.

    I have a general interest for science, social science and the humanities. Other than: music, playing guitar and bad movies.

    I have been an atheist for as long as I can remember. Pharyngula offers some entertaining material on creationism and other forms of quackery, and that is what why I find this site entertaining. At this point I can’t remember how I found the sute, but it may have been through a youtube video 3-4 years ago.

  172. triskelethecat says

    @Carlie!! (returns pouncy hugs!) Just reading through the intros…this is fun.

  173. jenniferphillips says

    Hi everyone,
    I’ve been around here since sometime in 2006–I think I first found PZ through the Richard Dawkins site. I used to comment as “Danio” and did a bit of guest blogging in ’08 when PZ went to the Galapagos.

    Working scientist, mom to two budding skeptics, swimmer, runner, PTA treasurer, mostly pretty boring shit, really, but that’s me :)

    I infrequently blog here about my work.

  174. KG says

    I first posted at Pharyngula, I think in 2008, under my real name, which some here know and anyone could find if they really wanted to. I might go back to it sometime, but I’m used to being KG here. I’m 58, highly privileged (white gentile able-bodied cisgender hetero male) in reasonable health, English but living in Scotland with my wonderful wife and son, and an old dog – all-in-all, a very lucky man. An atheist since 12, politically a liberal (Brit-style) then an anarchist from 14, since my mid-thirties a democratic ecosocialist and feminist; my activism has waxed and waned, always through environmental/peace pressure groups rather than parties; my main concerns are anthropogenic climate change, social justice, biodiversity and the (much underestimated) threat of nuclear war. I’m pessimistic both about the possibility of a sustainable capitalism, and that of getting rid of it in time to avoid environmental catastrophe; but haven’t given up hope. I have wide interests in science, history and maths, I’ve always been in academia or research, first in psychology, then AI, then complex systems dynamics and agent-based modelling. At the end of June I gave up full-time paid work – I’m one of the few that has benefited personally from the financial crisis, as it led to my employer offering good terms for volunteers to leave. I intend to spend the rest of my life researching, writing, campaigning, and being with family and friends – if I can make some money with the first two, so much the better.

  175. says

    I’m a 31 year old male from Oregon, USA. I’m a third generation atheist, although my grandmother went to a Unitarian church for the socialization. I’ve been reading Pharyngula for a year or so now, but I only post intermittently, due to a combination of fast moving comment threads and bouts of severe depression. I have a blog when I can muster the energy to post, which is rarely right now. I have Bachelor’s degree in Community Development, and I presently work as a custodian for the local school system. I am married to a wonderful man, 7 years and counting, and we have a dachshund.

  176. sabazinus says

    I am Sabazinus and I lurk most of the time. I am a gay, male, atheist, special edcuation teacher working with city kids. Science has always been one of my strong interests, including environmental sciences and geology/paleontology. British humor formed much of my adolescence (and still taints my adult years). Soon, my partner and I hope to move to Vermont to start hobby farming and spending more time enjoying the scenery.

  177. tyche says

    Tyche here. I’ve been lurking for four-ish years now, more actively so these past six weeks as I’ve been on maternity leave. (Our daughter preceded Esme’s ratlets by a mere 25 hours; I was tremendously saddened to hear of Esme’s passing, both on her own merits as a Rat and because, due to the nearness of our deliveries, I felt closer to her than perhaps one should a being one has never met. Felt silly for feeling it at the time, and feel a bit silly now for getting teary-eyed over her, but it’s a feeling and it’s there to be felt. I’m sorry, Caine. Many cookies were consumed here in Esme’s honor.)

    *cough* Anyhoo. I grew up non-religious but have only recently become serious about it. I’m fascinated (in the “train wreck” sense of the word) by fundamentalist religion, particularly the LDS church and its offshoots. I enjoy both coffee and tea, but prefer *good* coffee and will pick truly atrociously prepared tea over mediocre coffee. I’m a decent hand at crochet but can’t knit to save my life. Like many people here I’m sure, I’m alternately known at work (white-collar accounting drudgery) as “well actually” and “that vaccination lady”.

    I also tend to be long-winded and over-fond of parentheticals, so I’ve avoided commenting; the incisiveness of many of your comments puts me to shame.

  178. athyco says

    Hi. I mainly lurk and make “whew!” noises when I occasionally dip my toe into commenting and don’t get a reply. In my book, that means that I didn’t horrify anyone with my ignorance. My latest attempt to move quickly from one thread to another involved opening Pharyngula on multiple tabs, but it meant that I’d inadvertently addressed a comment to PatrickG…in Thunderdome. Aw, crap.

    Folks who know me in my Alabama community have known me as someone who’ll speak right up, but they aren’t aware how much my speaking up has been influenced by the comments here in the last five years.

  179. amethyststarling says

    Hey there. AmethystStarling here. Just recently started to comment on posts. My journey to this blog is very roundabout. I was reading a astrophysics blog that moved to scienceblogs. I kept seeing PZ and Ed Brayton’s posts as the most read/active, so then I started to read them, and now I am here. I am an atheist. I love art, art history, physics, space, science, crocheting and sewing. I love to read. I have to read dull as rock books at night because I will try to finish it in one night if I love the story (latest at night book before bed: Wealth of Nations) I am an Anglophile – love anything King Arthur and Alice in Wonderland. I ask a lot of questions, and want to know all the answers. I have diagnosed OCD. Real true OCD. It sucks but I deal with it as best I can. I just started blogging to help with my thoughts and thought process – amethyststarling.wordpress.com.

  180. Pteryxx says


    Soon, my partner and I hope to move to Vermont to start hobby farming and spending more time enjoying the scenery.

    If and when you do, I would like to pre-emptively subscribe to your hypothetical newsletter. ;>

    Dalillama: I know this sort of thing

    I am married to a wonderful man, 7 years and counting, and we have a dachshund.

    shouldn’t be Big News, but it still makes me very happy to hear. Congratz to all three of you.

  181. naturalcynic says

    I am a sixty-something former exercise physiologist with a PhD, former college teacher former broker and formerly q few other things. I learned about evolution when I was insecure about my knowledge of the subject [no formal training] almost 20 years ago. I was confronted by creationists and had too few answers, especially to satisfy myself. So, I took to that emerging thing, the internet and matriculated at the University of Ediacara, appreciating the skewering of idiots on talk.origins, further education at Panda’s Thumb and was a reader of scienceblogs from the beginning.
    I put myself into religious situations [choir and teaching adult sunday school]. Liked the singing, but the more I learned, the less I believed.

  182. Cunning Pam says

    ‘lo, all!

    I’m Pam, and I’ve been lurking on and off for a couple of years now. I became an atheist at a very young age after being raised in a Polish Roman Catholic family, but I fought it with forays into Buddhism and Episcopalianism. I finally realized that it was futile to try to hold on to something as silly as a belief in a supreme being, so here I am. I still miss the meditative ritual of Mass, though, although I suppose I’ll get over that eventually as well.

    I think I’ve commented here two or three times, max. Honestly, most of the folks commenting here terrify me. As a fairly intelligent individual who’s never had much in the way of formal education (undiagnosed major depressive disorder for many years made sure I underperformed…hell, I positively underlived) I’m extremely intellectually insecure. I’m trying to rectify that in my dotage as best I can, but I’m still painfully aware of my shortcomings. Still, I do what I can to fill in the gaps in my education and life experiences, and Pharyngula has been a boon in that regard. I’ve always loved the sciences, and this is a great jumping off place to learn more. It’s also awesome to find someplace on the Internet where there are people capable of using multisyllabic words in conversation!

    I’m married to the love of my life and recently moved from Texas to Missouri. Out of the frying pan and into the fire, I’ve discovered, in terms of the religiousity of the populace, but it’s a more settled personal situation for me. I enjoy reading, cooking, and handicrafts of all types: I knit, quilt, make decorated cookies, create jewelry and make glass beads (my favorite hobby.) Hubby and I live with three wonderful cats, and I have a son away at college. Unemployed, like so many others nowadays, but hoping to find a relatively mentally stimulating position soonish.

  183. Nutmeg says

    Hi, everyone, I’m Nutmeg. I’m 23, female, and two thirds of the way through a M.Sc. in biology. I use gene expression to look at evolution and speciation. I live in Manitoba, Canada.

    I was raised without very much religious influence, but when I was 10 I started going to a non-denominational summer camp with a distinct evangelical flavour. I was a conservative Christian and (unfortunately) a creationist throughout my teens. Fortunately, I took every science course my high school offered, so I realized that creationism was nonsense when I was in twelfth grade. I stopped believing in God in early 2008, after reading The God Delusion and realizing that it made a lot more sense than the Bible.

    I found Pharyngula in December 2010, and I’ve been commenting since the beginning of 2012, I think. The Horde has taught me a lot about equality, privilege, empathy, and being a decent human being. I have a lot more to learn about those things, so I don’t often get involved in troll-stomping here (unless there are tasty creationists). I mostly hang out in the Lounge.

    For fun, I do just about anything outdoors. My favourites are canoeing, camping, and fishing. I also hike, geocache, bird-watch, and hunt ducks, and I enjoy doing very casual photography while I’m outdoors. When I’m inside, I like to read, watch geeky TV, and eat chocolate. I live with my parents (yay for insufficient science funding in Canada) and our Golden Retriever.

  184. jillpoke says

    Hi all! Been lurking since last year sometime and I have no idea how I got here (elevatorgate??). I love this place and the regulars who always make me think even if I don’t want to.

    I have a few BS degrees in this and that and have mostly never used them in a professional way. I’m a mom of three crazy and wonderful kids at an age much too old for some. There is a Mr jillpoke who amazingly tolerates all of my quirks. I live in the wrong part of a state known for being “blue”. I have three cats who consent to live with me, but I long to have a dog in my life, possibly a turtle and/or a rodent or two. I love to bake and will find any excuse to do so. I drink coffee when on duty and beer when off.

    I’m a newly identified feminist (a former chill girl, I hate to think), very pro-choice, and a social misfit. That’s it for me.

  185. sabazinus says

    @202 Well Pteryxx, I’ve already got the gardening blog up and running with info from my days working in the field of horticulture. Farm blog will be soon.

  186. triskelethecat says

    Hmmm…based on some of the lovely intros, guess I’ll expand mine a bit.

    50 year old white female, divorced, 2 lovely adult daughters, 1 very spoiled Siamese cat. I discovered PZ way back before sciblogs when Orac either linked to a post or commented about it. His writings helped me solidify my identification as an agnostic.

    I work for evil American Health Insurance company, and I am a supervisor of a department many doctors (and people) hate – we review services for medical necessity. As a daily job, I am continually amazed at the inventiveness of mankind: one of our latest “finds” was a doctor injecting various homeopathic solutions for foot pain (google Zeel and Trameel if you want amusement).

    I’m also a lot more active on the Facebook group but I’m trying to get back to Pharyngula more often.

  187. hyoid says

    Hello, my name is Rickey Miller. I was some type of Christian minded for 47 years; Catholic, Protestant and a short while with a “cult”. (LOL), in fact: (LMFAO)funny! I’ve been trying to get around all that, without becoming an A-hole, since the Autumn of 2007. I used 20 years, 8 months and 10 days of my life in the US Army. I’m sure that kept me out of Jail on more than one occasion, except for a short Tour of San Quentin in the late 80’s. I stopped wearing BDU’s in 97 and now kind of build communication facilities for an undisclosed government agency. Just trying to keep America safe for democracy. I play golf almost every day, play my guitar and write lyrics every day. I sit in this little room, reading Blogs and watching YouTube, every day. (Your time has ended. Please insert another 2 cents to continue this dissertation:.)

  188. says


    (Our daughter preceded Esme’s ratlets by a mere 25 hours; I was tremendously saddened to hear of Esme’s passing, both on her own merits as a Rat and because, due to the nearness of our deliveries, I felt closer to her than perhaps one should a being one has never met. Felt silly for feeling it at the time, and feel a bit silly now for getting teary-eyed over her, but it’s a feeling and it’s there to be felt. I’m sorry, Caine. Many cookies were consumed here in Esme’s honor.)

    Oh…oh my. Now I’m crying. All I can say is thank you. Thank you so much. Congratulations on having a daughter! That’s wonderful.

    I miss Esme so much, every day. I’m glad to have her ratlets though, who are very tightly bonded with me. They are delights, all of them, but my secret favourite is Chester. He’s my little madman. :D

  189. says

    (undiagnosed major depressive disorder for many years made sure I underperformed…hell, I positively underlived)

    I know what you mean (on Myspace I gave myself the tagline “wasting my potential since 1982”), and even though I’m finally getting a proper degree and all, “officially” I only have a 10th grade education and a GED.

    Anyway, welcome and stuff :-)

  190. Pteryxx says

    sabazinus, I think you sell your writing short!

    Sample for everyone, then I’ll stop derailing:


    It is extremely important when designing to plan with the future in mind. Plants will not stay the same size they are when purchased. Many plants do not approve of heavy pruning and even if they do it often takes a careful hand to cut correctly. The cherry in that design was the Weeping Higan Cherry, Prunus subhirtella Pendula. This tree grows quickly and can reach a height of 30’ and has arching branches that reach outward 30’. I’ve seen mature specimens flanking the entrance to a park and they towered over the entry road. This is not a delicate and small weeping plant; it’s a real bruiser once it gets growing. Years ago, a customer asked me about purchasing one as they wanted it to grow beneath their dining room window. The window was about 5’ off the ground and their intent was to plant the cherry there for birds to perch on. They were totally convinced they’d be able to pull it off. All the while I was envisioning the tree inviting itself in for dinner by crashing through the window.

    Also, thank you for including so many resources for further study.

  191. chigau (違う) says

    snip snip snip
    I am 57, all-white, cis-female, Canadian living in Canada.
    I went from RC to vague deist to vague theist to vague agnostic to atheist about 40 years ago.
    I’ve been in Pharyngula since Expelledish (more or less).
    Today I saw a muskox, a red fox, a wolf and a grizzly with two cubs.

  192. Happiestsadist says

    I’m HappiestSadist, I live Canada. I grew up some sort of pagan-y-nature worshiper type. Then I lurked here for years. I finally came to atheism while reading Carl Sagan in a bubble bath. So it moved from nature worship, to nature awe.

    I have two cats, and enjoy baking, writing, comics, sci-fi and horror, stomping trolls and wearing human teeth as jewelry. I’m a genderqueer androgyne, and prefer “they” pronouns.

    I’m currently drinking a gin and tonic, and am being reminded that I do not care for good gin in cheap tonic.

  193. woodsong says

    I’m woodsong.

    I’ve been (mostly) lurking around Pharyngula since before Expelled and Crackergate. I came here by way of The Panda’s Thumb, after noticing two things in particular: 1) The science posts I enjoyed most on PT were all PZ’s writing, and 2) Trying to engage in on-topic conversation in the PT comments was hopeless! I gave up after a thread I was interested in the topic of devolved into maybe 10 on-topic comments in a sea of more than 300 arguing about unrelated derails. I started looking at Pharyngula, and decided to stay.

    I’m interested in a wide variety of subjects, but especially biology (and related fields like ecology) and astronomy. I remember as a child exploring the forest, fields and creeks near my house, turning over rocks and grabbing whatever squirmed out…good times! Fortunately there weren’t any venomous snakes in our backyard (Tompkins Cty, NY), and my parents would happily pull out whatever field guide was appropriate when I came home with something they didn’t recognize, whether caterpillar, insect, spider, salamander or snake. I found all of those fascinating, and still do.

    I’m very much a cat person, although I don’t live with any of the hairy beasts now, just a tank of tropical fish (mostly tetras). I’m a (few days shy of) 43 year old white woman, married for 17 years to a man who suffers PTSD from childhood sexual abuse issues (former Catholic altar boy).

    My hobbies include reading (mostly scifi/fantasy), crafts (several fiber arts including crochet, embroidery, weaving & braiding, plus beadwork, drawing, wire-wrap jewelry, and whatever else catches my fancy at the moment), music (I play several instruments passably well but not professionally), and occasionally writing or photography.

    I don’t often speak out here for similar reasons to what others have said, combined with the fact that I’m usually late to the thread, and whatever comment I think to respond to is often several dozen (if not over a hundred) comments earlier. I’m also not particularly into joining a brawl, although I do enjoy reading them.

  194. ibelieveindog, the silent beagle says

    Hi all!

    I’m not a dyslexic goddist. I actually have a (mostly) quiet beagle. I got him seven months ago from a beagle rescue. I adore him because he helped me pull myself out of a mental dungeon.

    I’m an out atheist, skeptic, feminist, free-thinker, sex-positivist, and humanist. I don’t have a deconversion story; though I was raised by nominal goddists, I never believed in any gods. I frequently thought I *should* believe in something, so I tried, mostly neo-paganism, but it wasn’t real to me so I stopped wasting effort.

    I love the English language and I have a tendency to be a grammar cop. I’m studying English literature in Orlando with a tentative desire to be a freelance editor. I read all kinds of things, anything I can get my hands on really, but mostly fiction. I’ve read nearly every ST:TOS novel published, many of which are actually good.

    I found PZ’s blog when I googled images of octopuses earlier this year. I lurked for a while then I commented on a post about Trayvon Martin. I was immediately stomped on and accused of being racist. I don’t think I would have grokked the concept of privilege quite so well or so quickly if that hadn’t happened, so thank you to whomever did that.

    Finally, and maybe most importantly, I have a Spock monkey.

  195. Mattir says

    This is a totally awesome thread.

    For the lurkers who are worried about how their social anxiety disorder would mess up a Horde gathering, I offer you my own experience – I alternate between being stupidly outgoing in groups, to the point of making a total fool of myself, and being so ill-at-ease that I feel like I have no skin. The Horde gatherings are wonderful because if you’re feeling like you have no skin, there’s a good chance most of the other people there have had the same experience, so if you say you need some quiet downtime, you’ll get it and a lot of sympathetic understanding. You can ask if you’re acting okay, and no one thinks it’s strange.

    For those who might worry about not being smart or educated enough, I offer you the advice I offered to a commenter’s husband when he expressed the same worries: the Pharyngula commentariat is comprised largely (not entirely) of curious, intelligent people who had “could do better if wanted to…” written on every report card since kindergarten. If you’re curious about random stuff (“why is rabies vaccine purple?” was a recent discussion – answer is that the purple is a pH indicator to monitor vaccine quality), you’ll fit right in.

    Should you want to come to Rhinebeck (see oniongirl’s post above), remind yourself that you don’t even have to be interested in sheep or fiber arts, although David Marjanovic did discover a previously unrealized desire to learn to spin the first time he attended…

  196. says


    I’m Tony, yet another recovering fundamentalist Christian. Currently an Atheist of the hippie humanist variety, 40 going on 21, cis-male still exploring my world after leaving the fold around 2005. I am a Linux, ham radio and sustainability geek, living and working at Breitenbush Hot Springs, Oregon.

    Me: Angry with Unicorns
    My awesome employer, which totally knows about my atheism: Breitenbush Hot Springs
    My ham radio call: N0NRO (I moved from Iowa in 2011, which explains the 0 call)

    Feel free to ask me anything about being an atheist among new-ageyness. I love living here, and even find some good things to take away from my new-age, quite open-minded counterparts. The same cannot be said of fundamentalist Christianity.

    We’re trying to set up an astronomy club here while the clouds are still staying away for the summer.

  197. Happiestsadist says

    woodsong! I loved flipping rocks and checking out what’s underneath SO MUCH when I was a kid. I’ve always loved bugs and crawly things. So: What was your favourite find? (Mine: pillbugs, which I find cute. Also, petting drowsy bumblebees.)

  198. infraredeyes says

    Infraredeyes here, so named because I am part owner of a company that sells infrared spectroscopy equipment.

    I am originally a Scot, now living in the US, with a couple of degrees in chemistry. So far as I can recall, I have always been an atheist, although I was subjected to a certain amount of Christian propaganda in school. Religion never made much sense to me. I assumed from an early age that it was one of those things like table manners that was basically arbitrary, but most people just went along with it. I remember being gobsmacked (more than once, I can be slow on the uptake) when I realised that some people take religion stuff absolutely seriously. Still a bit gobsmacked, come to think of it.

    Oddly enough, one of the things I like about Pharyngula, and FTB in general, is the occasional insight into the religious mind, a subject that usually baffles me. I like PZ’s science posts, too, having given up biology much sooner than I probably should have.

  199. archaeopteryxlithographica says

    Hi. I’m Archaeopteryx. I’m a biology professor in the deep South. I mostly lurk, but I appreciate all the things that most of you folks say.

  200. barfy says

    I live in Amarillo, Tx. Where I have actually had arguments about why George Bush was a bad President with George Bush(not the same guy). Where our Jewish State Senator voted for a humans-walked-with-dinosaurs-and-by-God-we’re-gonna-teach-that-to-the-kids dentist to head the State Board of Education.

    On my little block of 12 homes, my neighbors have included an out gay couple, a women with Elephant Man’s disease who climbed Kilimanjaro, a widow of a cattle baron, a US Open tennis men’s doubles champion, the guy who buried ten Cadillacs ass-up, the scion of the Helium King, an Ambassador to Sweden, and a grandma-murderer who did it in the house. So, I guess you could say I fit right in.

    Oh, and a friend and golf-buddy plastic surgeon just got arrested for hiring some dude to kill his ex-girlfriend’s boyfriend. My (ex)friend paid the dude three bars of silver.

    and yet,
    and yet,

    Youse guys are the ones I’d be scared to meet.

    but I really, really want to. And not because I’ve been called a troll(which I’m sure I’ve been a time or two – although innocently) and a libertarian(which I am not) and a liar(only to my mother). Which really hurt my feelings. So, sometimes I lash out say, “Now, listen here, wife, I won’t be talked to like that.”
    And, then to hear it again from PZ and Pharyngula…

    I very much enjoy being challenged. So, please believe me when I say to people like Caine and Ing and others-of-ilk, that the beer’s on me, and go ahead and argue and name-call and I promise that even if you leave not liking me, I guarantee that I’ll like you. (Not that you’d worry about that. Which is only one of the reasons that I’d like you.)

    No matter how much I’ve tried to reconfigure the software, my meatspace avatar is a balding, overweight male that looks much older than I feel.

  201. Squigit says

    *sees introduction thread. Thinks: Oh! good place to try to start over!*

    So here I go, starting fresh on Pharyngula.

    I’m Squigit . I stumbled upon Pharygula I guess about three years ago? I rarely comment because the threads usually 1. exhaust me and 2. what I want to say has usually already been said by a regular by the time I see it and I see no point in repeating the same things over and over and over.

    I have a BA in anthropology and I’m currently working on getting together the necessary stuff for applying to graduate school. I’m into pre-contact archaeology of the SE US and engaging the public with archaeology.

    Leaving my husband last year was the best thing I have ever done.

    I became a vegetarian this week.

    And during my unemployment period last year, I began watching Doctor Who. Now I’m obsessed with all things Doctor Who.

    *scrolls up to read the rest of the intros*

  202. rockatte says

    Yay! So happy for this thread so I can come out of hiding. :)

    I became an atheist and found PZ through Dawkins who I found through Bill Maher (I know PZ will be pleased), all in Sept. 2010. Have been lurking here ever since.

    I got to meet Paul Zachary at TAM9 and was astonished by how cuddly he actually is.

    I have been a professional dancer all my life and, as the nym implies, was a Rockette for 6 years. Now in dance retirement, I’m looking for a new career path. I would love to get a Masters in Biology, but it may just be a pipe dream, as my B.S. is in Speech/Theatre. @aleph squared (and/or others): any input on the matter?

    After 15 years in Los Angeles, I’m back in my small hometown in rural Illinois until I figure out where to go/what to do next. The hillbillies are already scaring me. I can hang with them, as I love beer, baseball, and football. I cannot hang with them, as I am, as it says on my Surly, “A Thoughtful Honest Ethical Intelligent Skeptical Thinker.” And feminist. And tree-huggin’ hippie liberal.

    I am straight, but have a super-giddy-crush on Rachel Maddow. Brains are sexy.

    I am dying to have ghey secks with Brownian.

  203. w00dview says

    Hi. Originally from the west of Ireland (Mayo)and came from a very easy going Catholic family, so going atheist was not too difficult for me. Started reading Pharyngula not long after I finished the God Delusion, so around 2007. Loved its style and have only started commenting since the move to FTB last year. Used to be apolitical and thanks to this blog and others, moved towards the left over the last couple of years. Originally came here just for the arguments against creationism but over the years have been convinced that libertarianism is dangerous nonsense, the merits of feminism and learned what logical fallacies are and why you should not make them.

    My passion in life since I could talk and walk was natural history. Attenborough documentaries, trips to the library and discovering the natural world were a huge part of my childhood which has now led me to Bristol with a MsC in Palaeobiology. Currently trying to get my thesis published (found out quite recently that peer review can be quite tough!) and have sent on a proposal to do a Phd in Vienna. Won’t find out the verdict until late this year so hope for the best!

    Love almost anything that walks, crawls, swims or fly. My personal favourite group are teleost fishes. Make up half of all vertebrates, can live in just about any aquatic habitat, eat just about anything and are all over the place sexually. Fascinating bunch of organisms.

    Unlike PZ, I think cats are adorable but agree with anti-caturday because c’mon internet, cats are not the ONLY cool things living on this planet. PZ is giving a valuable service enlightening folks on the diversity of life out there, embrace it!

  204. konradzielinski says

    I’m a programmer and life long atheist from Australia. I came here for the anti-theist rants, and stayed for the Cephalopods, well not really but I do agree that they are fascinating creatures. The one time I saw squid and cuttlefish at an aquarium I was certain that they where watching me as much as I was watching them.

    I’m interested in new atheism because segments of Australia seem to be trying very hard to import American style evangelism into the country where I live, and I find the tend worrying.

  205. says

    Been atheist since I could think: got taken to Sunday school when I was 4, picked out the vicar and called him “shit-face”. Thoroughly rational education including Oxford chemistry degree, then at 27 encountered something I wasn’t looking for: another kind of human being. Shocking! Some decades later…

    I’m 99.9% behind PZ, also Dawkins and Harris, but I have an unusual motivation. My problem with “religion” is primarily that it distracts attention from religion. I’m talking about a deliberate, persistent, empirical enquiry into one’s own subjectivity.

    Got no time for new-age woo, I still shit on authority, and I don’t pretend about stuff I don’t know; but consciousness can’t be reduced into information, it can’t be finessed into non-existence. I AM, and even though my nature is obscure, still nothing is more directly observed than the fact of my own existence.

    So there really is a mystery to investigate, and there are other, sharper, tools than thinking available. So I make the occasional post here, when someone says something that contradicts my own direct experience. The responses I attract are mostly ignorant, meaning they ignore what I’m actually saying, but I reckon there a few people out there who can appreciate my stance.

  206. Tetrarch says

    Haven’t commented for years,and that was under another nym, but have been reading for years after finding a link from Orac.

    I think I really became an atheist when I read Clarke’s “The Star” 40+ years ago, but the change didn’t become blatant until within the past few years.

    I live in Michigan, work in higher education,love my family, my garden, my dogs (current two and the whole Pack of the Past), literature, theater, the Great Lakes, and much else.

    Pharyngula has taught me much and made me laugh (goats on fire!).

  207. jez says

    Hi, my name’s Jeremy & I’ve been lurking on this thread since around about the time of the infamous cracker incident (from quite a few of the earlier intros, this turned out to be a great way to drive traffic to your blog, PZ!).

    I’m a lifelong atheist, born & raised around Wellington, New Zealand, where I still live, although I spent time as a teenager in the Persian Gulf (Bahrain) & another few years in the UK (Manchester) while my wife earned her PhD. I tend to lurk due to the unforgiving time zones (“dang – I wanted to say that!”) & life as a busy father of 3 teenagers involved with a lot of after-school sport. I’m traditionally a bit of a lefty politically, but becoming slightly more right-wing* (but greener, too – I’m so confused!) as I get a bit older & crankier.
    *(in NZ, that is; that would be a fair way to the left of Obama for you Americans out there)

    I’m pretty fascinated by the contradictions that make up the good ol’ USA – you “locals” are certainly living in interesting times! NZ, despite a few flaws, is remarkably normal in comparison. The comments on Pharyngula & other FtB sites are a source of (mostly) entertainment, tinged with despair when I remind myself that the Christian apologist loonies I am so entertained by are actually serious.

    Oh yes – and I also own a cat. If it’s any consolation, PZ, she could be evil/bipolar – she’ll quite happily switch from cute & cuddly to feral at a whim, going from scratchee to scratcher in an instant.

  208. ibyea says

    I am ibyea, currently studying to become an astronomer. I have been reading for years but delurking started around two years ago. I used to live in Venezuela most of my life, but around six/seven years ago, I moved to the US. Pretty much became an atheist a year or two afterwards.

  209. mocular says

    I’m a geologist and a long time lurker but rarely comment. I read all PZ’s posts but not enough free time to jump in and chat it up. Really appreciate your voice in the secular movement. Also, enjoy the commenters free-for-all approach to ideas. Thanks!

  210. says

    I am Mark Myers. 49, male, happily married. Conservative christian till I spent a little too much time studying and teaching the bible. Now atheist.
    Regular Lurker and rare commenter on this and Richard Dawkins’ sites for last couple of years.
    I am an internet news and facebook addict, but work too much most of the year running my landscape nursery business to spend the time I would like online.
    I care about my community, family, and world and try to make a difference.
    I live in a conservative community and would like a few more non-christian Facebook friends. I tend to get unfriended a lot by family and neighbors due to my liberal stance and skepticism. The public school where my children attend unfriended me from their facebook page because I was the lone dissenter (Besides the school lawyer) in a community meeting where everyone else wanted to continue a tradition of teaching bible classes during school hours.

  211. Happiestsadist says

    Welcome to the Horde and the herbivorous order, Squigit!

    So: Best Doctor? (#1 and #10 for me.)

  212. says

    Hi, I’m Steve, a transplanted English psychologist who has been at Illinois State University for the past three years.

    I started reading pharyngula around 5 years ago. Not sure how I found it, but I think there may have been a trail of breadcrumbs starting with Ben Goldacre’s Bad Science blog and possibly trailing through Why Evolution Is True.

    I have not been a commenter, partly because I don’t get to see the comments in google reader. Also, I tend to find it takes me plenty of time to just keep up with what the authors of 30 or so blogs are writing, without following the comments as well. I do, however, realise that this is A Bad Habit and I hope to become A Better Person.

    I recently (last month) started up my own blog, Cognitive Revolution , with the idea of discussing the intersection of skepticism/atheism/freethought and psychology. We’ll see how that goes!

  213. Randomfactor says

    Middle-aged atheist in the Bible Belt of California, doing my best to help carve some notches in it. Bakersfield is getting less red and less Christian these days but not fast enough to suit my tastes. Don RenFaire garb from time to time and purchase books faster than I can get them read. Widower.

    Actually met PZ once–he signed my plushy cephalopod, which sounds dirtier than it actually was.

  214. No One says

    *grumble* I guess I should be nominally sociable.I’m in my 50’s. I live in Florida in a small log cabin next to a pond. I love being alive because I get to see what happens next.

  215. says

    #198. M. A. Melby



    Does your name refer to a noise project by any chance?

    Alas, neither to them nor to their inspiration … just my initials. Short and sweet.

  216. Sean Boyd says

    My name really is Sean Boyd. I’ve been lurking about Pharyngula for maybe a couple of years now, occasionally delurking for a comment or two, only to turn my lurking device back on in short order.

    Introducing myself on this forum is a bit nerve-wracking, for no good reason. It’s something I’d not likely do in person, were this a Pharyngula meat-space meet-and-greet.

    I was born on the morning of the “Heidi Bowl”.

    Tacoma, Washington, the “City of Destiny”, is the place I call home. If the real City of Destiny comes looking for its slogan, they’re welcome to take it back.

    Newly mindful of Caine, Fleur du Mal’s admonition for the newbies to become okay with jumping into threads, even if all the cogent points seem to already be made, I will make an effort to delurk more frequently.

    I’ve a couple of math degrees, and a appreciation for science that is growing daily.

    A year or two ago, I think I unintentionally annoyed PZ on Twitter. Sorry, PZ.

    I’m currently a caregiver for my parents, both of whom have more medical issues than I’m capable of counting unless I have my shoes off. I have previously worked in software, in direct mail advertising, in retail/wholesale, and briefly in academia.

    I used to be an Adventist. I got better.

    I liked Pharyngula pre-rule change. I think I’ll like the new sniny Pharyngula just fine, too.

  217. Dhorvath, OM says

    I came here through Greta Christina and Skeptico continually linking the place. What a fine ballet ensued, so full of life and colour. Now it’s the home away from home and I likes it.

    I am a bike mechanic by trade and highly recommend such employ to any who can fit it in their life: being paid to play with toys is a delight.

  218. tyche says


    Congratulations on having a daughter!

    Thank you! This week’s goals are to properly introduce her to her thumb and to identify just what it is on the bookcase closest to the computer that she finds so fascinating.

    They are delights, all of them, but my secret favourite is Chester. He’s my little madman. :D

    Forgot to say this before; happy Adamsversary (42 days) to the little guys! The amount of sheer “squee!” condensed in those ratlets should be studied by physicists. :)

  219. woodsong says

    Happiestsadist, I don’t really have a favorite find, although I always found frogs and snakes fascinating. I think the amount of interest I had in a critter was directly proportional to how difficult it was to catch! Except for caterpillars, the variety there was fascinating, and I always wanted to know what kind of butterfly or moth would this one turn into.

    Pillbugs are indeed cute! I never tried to pet bumblebees, although I did try to pet a honeybee (once), and one of my earliest memories involves a queen bumblebee that I thought was PRETTY….I was about 2 1/2! Yes, I grabbed, and yes, she stung. No, I didn’t drop the little fuzzball or scream–my mother had to pry my little fingers away! And then apply some baking soda & water to minimize the pain, while I looked in puzzlement at the red spot on my palm. I didn’t develop a fear of bees from that, just a healthy respect.

    Bats were always amazing, too. I could sit out at dusk for hours watching, until it was too dark to see them, by which time the stars were out and I’d be watching for meteors, or else catching fireflies.

  220. strongtoes says

    I am Angie. I like geocaching, the color green, listening to podcasts and writing. I’m a life long atheist who is new to Pharyngula and freethoughtblogs. Tomorrow is my first day in a Speech Communication PhD program.

  221. markr1957 - old enough to know better says

    Hi, I’m Mark. I was born 55 years ago, traveling with the family of a dad in the British Army. Initially devout Catholics it all changed just as I changed boarding schools at the age of 11, after which they never took us to church again, and expressed no concern about whether we went or not. By the time I was 14 I had pretty much decided that the god of the old testament was impossible, and that evolution with natural selection was too obvious to not be true.
    Though I grew up in the UK my life was spent traveling, especially after I joined the Army too. Turned out that I was insanely faster at learning new things than the typical Army volunteer, so I ended up with two postings that took me all over the world, and to over 50 different countries. A career-ending injury in 1981 coincided with me determining to find some way to advance my education beyond what the Army offered, and my injury made the decision even more important after reconstruction surgery was unsuccessful. In 1985 I decided that life as a pencil pusher in a green suit wasn’t my idea of a career, so I quit.
    After leaving the Army I had a brief spell with the BBC as an angineer, before taking the oil exploration job that brought me to Louisiana, where I fell in love with the only other agnostic in the state (that I knew of anyhow) at the time. I decided being with her meant more to me than working for the evil oil empire after a year spent working in Mumbai!
    I found my way to Pharyngula via the DC blog, although I have grown out of that now. I got interested in reading the FT blogs after hearing about the “Don’t do that, guys” furor, because I truly couldn’t understand how anyone so intelligent couldn’t see the problem with the “Dear Muslima” response. I have learned so much from this blog despite making a total fool of myself at times. I live to learn now, and my worldview is much brighter without the blinkers of religion.

  222. Parse says

    My preferred moniker is Parse, or (in the very few cases where that name is already taken) ParseThePotatoes. If in doubt, look for the Double Star Snark of Quality. ‘ParseThePotatoes’ works on at least two levels – one for the obvious programming reference, and the other due to the fact that, in the local accent, it’s how we’d ask for the spuds. And, of course, for the high-starch diet the area’s known for.

    I’m a giant math geek, a programmer, and a fan of terrible, terrible puns. I’m a culinary mad scientist – I enjoy experimenting in the kitchen, and as such I’m an enthusiastic cook (though not necessarily a GOOD cook). I’m a gamer of multiple flavors – board, RPG, and PC – but my main distraction of choice (since 2004) has been Kingdom of Loathing. I’ve been slowly learning how to solve cryptic crosswords, and I fold origami occasionally, though I’ve not gotten to the point of making my own designs. I’m also on antidepressants, which I call my little happy pills.

    I started reading during the ScienceBlogs days, though I don’t tend to comment much. Mainly because I don’t have anything interesting to contribute that hasn’t already been said, and that I generally only read threads after the bulk of the conversation has already moved elsewhere. The main thing I’ve learned from reading Pharyngula (as well as the other blogs PZ has written alongside) is about the metric fuckton of privilege I have.

    Well, that, and the proper way to spell ‘Myers’.

  223. says

    Name’s ginmar. Ex Catholic (got thrown out three times, delighting my father, once for using the word “motherfucker”. I was eight.)Ex ballet dancer. Ex soldier. (My drill sgt. called me “Private Gumby.”) I served in Iraq 2004 to 2005, pretty much one of the bloodiest years of the war. Came up for two promotions while I was there, both of which were sabotaged by the NCO From Hell, who was a sexist racist Bagger before there were baggers, and who tried to get me to lie when he got busted for calling our black, female BN. CO a ‘bitch.’ I reamed him out and it was all worth it.

    When they talk about the horrors of war, they’re not exaggerating, but often it’s a quiet horror. The Iraqis were decent folks, and we couldn’t do much to help them as long as we were dished out thousands of dollars for, say, rented SUVs for the Halliburton folks. We even had “KBR only” portajohns. All we had to do was give all that money to Iraqis and hire them for lots of jobs.

    I was in combat, did hundreds of convoys, and the VA did more damage to me than the insurgents ever did. I’ve tried to kill myself four times, was hospitalized twice for it, and the VA’s response was to put me in a therapy group with a bunch of REMF sex offenders. Next group they put me in was with SAHMs—with the order to ‘be tactful.’ That didn’t work. I’ve gone through three senators, two governors, five or six patient advocates—-some of whom never even bothered to call me back, ever—-and now, in addition to the untreated back and shoulder injuries that can be screamingly painful, I have tendinitis in my good arm. I have nightmares, which leads to weeks-long periods of insomnia, agoraphobia, panic attacks in vehicles, hallucinations that are terrifying in the extreme because they come only at night, and what I discovered were migraine headaches that blind me for a portion of every day. The VA doesn’t believe you’re experiencing pain or have any injuries; when I joined a women veteran’s group, I found that my ‘doctor’ routinely diagnosed every woman with arthritis. One woman’s building got mortared, and she got diagnosed with….arthritis.

    The VA won’t listen to me about my meds, so I’ve been on the same shitty drug for six years, and my stupid yuppie white girl suburban nurse practitioner has the curious habit of writing the exact opposite of what I say in her patient notes. No, I’m not angry, why do you ask?

    I want to get better and build tiny houses (not like the Jay Schaefer ones) for veterans and homeless people, and even smaller houses for homeless people who could start out with small, durable, movable shelters. I miss traveling. I used to fly tens of thousands of miles per year while I served under my old 1st. Sgt, who was old school and awesome. I once broke my leg one day while I was getting ready for drill(but I didn’t know till I got to the ER) and walked around on it for an hour in jump boots till he made me go the ER, where it turned out I’d broken it in three places. I made them give me scrubs so I could save my favorite fifteen-year-old jeans and my 1st. SGT. put me on orders so I could have something to live on. He was shocked when I showed up for work at our local Army base, because he didn’t meant it that way. After two months in a cast I begged to go somewhere, so I got sent off to the Ykraine, which I love and adore to this day.

    I’m the stray cat repository on my block, where the kids know to drop off stray kitties. They’re all eccentric, and in some cases, so affectionate they fall over (the cats, not the kids) (Fred the giant cat, and I do mean giant) or so loud the neighbors can hear him (Snowball, FLV+, who has to be isolated from the other kitties), or pretty and, well, kind of dim: Morgie, who looks like a white Maine Coon, and has a tail that looks like it’s a whole new kitten forming, like some kind of mutant.

    I’ve wanted to build a small Rom vardo ever since I saw a picture of one in the family photo albums, dating back to the last century. (My dad’s family. Basically, I tell people I’m the daughter of an Irish gypsy and a French Jew, so I’m a broadway musical waiting to happen.) Oh, and my family called me a traitor when I came home from Iraq, and told the truth about the lack of a connection between Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden and the absence of WMDs. Republicans, of course. My brother told me that I “just had one tour in Iraq,” while he had two college degrees. (One of which was in accounting.)

    I envy Caine her adorable little ratties. There’s film on youtube of rats giggling.

    I, er, also talk too much.

  224. Happiestsadist says

    Woodsong: Oh, I miss proper bat-watching. Where I’m from there were so many more.

    Ouch, that seems a pointy introduction to bees. Bumblebees, being fairly laid-back will let you gently pet them, especially on cool mornings when they’re still all groggy. They’re soft, like just above a cat’s nose. If they wave their legs at you, that means stop, though.

  225. says

    Yay we’re still doing intros!

    I’m Erik, or eriktrips as you can see. I am a doctor of rhetoric, a poet, a videographer, a musician, a cat-owned human, a builder of bed lofts, a queer transsexual disabled mental patient who swears a lot, a self-taught geek who prefers Unix-like environments to DOS-based ones, a long-time apostate/escapee from fundamentalist xianity, a former veterinary technician and an inveterate acquirer of books on every subject.

    As might be expected, I am atheistic in temperament. I am interested in “god” as a fictional trope in a number of cultures, but I am not at all interested in a big invisible hairy man in the sky who likes to punish us when he is angry and then promise us he’ll never do it again. I don’t like abusive assholes either.

    I’ve been reading here for a few years, commenting with ever so slightly increasing frequency as the conversation has become better acquainted with the vagaries of kyriarchical power relations. As to what a humanities nerd is doing on a science blog, well, in another life I wanted to be an astrophysicist but got all depressed and stuff and turned into a more philosophical and literary sort as I grew older and sicker. But I retained a taste for empiricism and besides I like life on Earth a lot so biology, evolution, and other aspects of deep (pre)history fascinate me.

    There is more about me than you ever wanted to know in my growing autobiography and I have published a book of poetry and short prose that I happen to be giving away in .pdf form. The printed book is prettier, though.

  226. sebloom says

    I’m Stu — a retired teacher living in NE Indiana. I just wrote a lot and then lost it somehow…so here are the basics without the extra fluff.

    1. I taught elementary school for 35 years, ending the last dozen or so as a reading specialist.

    2. I’m married to a teacher, have three grown children and five grandchildren.

    3. I taught at a community college for a while after retirement, but didn’t like it so now I am volunteering at a local elementary school.

    4. Raised in a liberal Jewish home in Chicago, I became a skeptic in college.

    5. I’m a fan of great science teachers…Isaac Asimov and Neil deGrasse Tyson.

    6. I’ve been reading PZ and Ed for a while…comment rarely.

    7. I also read blogs supporting public education and definitely don’t like the move towards privatization. I’m a fan of European Social Democracies. I know they have some problems, but I like the idea of no one going bankrupt just to pay their medical bills.

    8. Don’t like Rethuglicans…not too crazy about the Damnocrats either.

  227. Ray, rude-ass yankee says

    Hey, I’m Ray. My wife (from south Georgia, USA) gave me the rest of my nym using the letters of my name to good effect. I was raised catholic in New York, but never really had all that much faith in it, I just did it because it was expected of me. I read the bible around 12 – 13 years old, and that was that, I couldn’t believe anymore and I never looked back. I was mostly an apathetic agnostic and didn’t acknowledge I was an atheist until I started reading PZs blog and got fired up(around 2003-2004? I saw a short blurb in a magazine in a “new & interesting websites” kind of section and have not been able to track down exactly what magazine or when that was.) I support a lot of progressive, liberal, social justice and feminist causes as I can, and try to vote that way too.
    I’ve been lurking mostly, but I used to comment under just “Ray” if only rarely. I comment a little bit more now, but still not exactly regularly. I enjoy the feeling of community here and it’s good to know I’m not alone since I live in the religion soaked wasteland of SW Virginia. I actually went to the “Reason Rally” in D.C. and enjoyed the heck out of it, but was too worried/awkward/shy/distracted to try to find and meet in person with the group of Pharyngula commenters there. Maybe next time, (sigh).
    It’s very hard to keep up with all the comments here, but I try at least to read all the posts. I like the new lounge!
    I have learned much about privilege and feminism here and am still trying to incorporate and use it to be a better person.
    I’ve rambled long enough. So, Hi.

  228. Ava, Oporornis maledetta says

    Hi. Ava is not my real name, bui it does mean “birds,” which I really, really like. And plants and ecosystems and teaching (formerly) for the Massachusetts Audubon Society. Musician and editor by trade.

    I’m not sure, but I think I first came to Pharyngula through a reference or link from another site, one that was spoofing “We Stand On the Bible” with hilarious pictures of atheists standing on Bibles. Having been raised Catholic and now a skeptic, religious kitsch is very funny to me. I came for the science and then started readng/dabbling in the comments. Mostly lurk on account of getting my head bitten off almost immediately. Still hesitate to post but will try The Lounge.

    I’m a cat person because cephalopods don’t purr. But they’re cute in their own way.

  229. williamquinn says

    I am Bill Quinn and I live in David Duke’s former state senate district and I stay in the atheist closet most of the time. There are, after all, still a few churches that pay me forty bucks every now and then to come by and lead hymns and chant psalms. Bach and pipe organs, I guess that makes me an accomodationist. At work I have been sucking snot out of lungs and sticking needles into arteries in my role as a respiratory therapist for some 35 years now.
    I left christianity in high school but have to admit that I had a hard time living with the idea that man is the measure of all things. For a few years I clung to some sort of Spinozan pantheism or maybe Whiteheadian quasi-theism or what have you. But I finally just said the heck with it, I’m an atheist, though coming out with it has been problematic to me. I come here (x five years)for PZ’s entertaining writing and also to learn from those who are more openly atheist. I did write a “why I am an atheist” post that was on the blog a few monoths ago, under a pseudonym. Otherwise I am a lurker.
    Wow, what a big thread! Really got everyone going here.

  230. marypoppins says

    Hi Became Mary Poppins when my child was young and I would send emails when I traveled alone.
    I think I came here via Orac when this was still on ScienceBlogs. I come here for rationality as most of my friends aren`t. Mainly lurk – my health is shaky so haven`t been following all the comments, especially with all the hostility lately, and taking on perhaps too many volunteer commitments.

    I am a late 50`s woman in Canada. Hi Rachel, – I grew up in the Selkirk Mountains and ended up in the Okanagan. On long term disability so like to read at lot of FreethoughtBlogs most days.

  231. cartboy says

    Cartboy (Scott) here. Retired Cartographer. Very new here. My journey to be an atheists was completed during the 8 year rein of W. It makes sense if you think about it in my world anyway.

  232. says


    I live in Hawaii perched atop a hill. And I write. I aspire to write children’s fantasy novels. But when I go to write, what keeps pooring forth is Strange Other Stuff. I can’t control it. I’ve assembled the Strange Other Stuff into a book, an evolving book, which I’ve put online for anyone to peruse for free. Here is the full title:

    The Way of the Merrily Dancing Ape
    A Philosophy of Life
    for Naturalists, Agnostics, Atheists,
    Humanists, Blasphemers,
    and Other Heretics and Rabble Rousers,
    and Even Theists (Be They of an Open Mind)

    I once lived in New York City for twelve years. I was an actor there. Off-off-Broadway. I was pretty good at it and it was fun.

    My politics are liberal. I think DOMA is immoral, John Paul Stevens was an excellent supreme court justice, Barack Obama deserves to be re-elected, and I once voted for Dennis Kucinich but then campaigned for John Kerry in the general election when Kucinich didn’t win. I believe animals ought to have a rights beyond what we afford to plants.

    My favorite celebrity right now is Stephen Fry. My favorite word is “kindness.” My favorite cave formation is frostwork. My favorite tropical fish is the yellowtail wrasse. The children’s fantasy novel you’ve never heard of that I’d recommend you read is Fly by Night by Frances Hardinge. Shhhh! It’s secretly atheistic propoganda. My favorite book on evolution is The Beak of the Finch by Jonathan Weiner. My favorite captain is Malcolm Reynolds.

    A pleasure to meet you!
    ~William Bloom

  233. Ava, Oporornis maledetta says


    Wow, that’s tough. Sorry you have so much trouble with the VA. What area are you in? My brother (Navy vet) got pretty good treatment at the Boston area VA. I hope you get the care you deserve somewhere. Good for you taking in strays and wanting to build housing.

  234. says

    Oh and I am off my meds. Well, just one of them. It was making me twitch plus also I read Mad in America and it caused me to regard my pills with deep suspicion.

    Apparently this particular pill was robbing me of a great deal of energy so I apologize in advance if I cannot shut up. I’ll take one of the other ones soon and pass out, if all goes well.

  235. firefly says

    Born and raised in Europe, now living in Tennessee. Background in anthropology/psychology, now an entertainment publicist and freelance music journalist.

    Started questioning the RCC in which I was brought up around age 14, left it all behind age 16, spent many years searching for a kind of spirituality which suited me, and now happy with the knowledge that none ever will.

    Over the last 2 years especially, I have become increasingly vocal about issues of equality (with no small amount of credit to the regulars in this place!) which sadly has resulted in losing connections with people whom I considered to be friends.

    When I’m on the road I don’t always have time to keep up here, but I do try and hope to get a little more involved in the conversations in the future.

  236. Tâlib Alttaawiil (طالب التاويل) says

    hi all,
    talib is not my government name, but it is still my real name…

    about me: atheist, anarchist, linguist, scholar of burusyaski (a language isolate spoken in the himalayas), espresso & thc enthusiast, u.s. citizen (alas), once & future expatriate, musician, lover of hip hop, admirer of pz, dawkins, dan dennett, desmond morris, frans de waal, richard feynman, mark twain, g.b. shaw, lieutenant commander data.

    about cats: i’m endlessly fascinated by them. whereas dogs are fervently religious, cats seem to me to be unapologetic atheists.

    pharyngula has played no small part in keeping me sane these last few years back in the states. been a fan since dawkins reprinted the courtier’s reply in pb edition of ‘the god delusion.’ my other fave blogger here at ftb these days is zinnia.

    peace, salaam

  237. says

    I’m William, and I run a blog called The Bolingbrook Babbler, and I’m also involved with The Chicago Skeptics. I’ve always been interested in science and progressive politics, and I like how PZ combines my two interests. I don’t always agree with PZ, but I do understand his arguments.

  238. tami says

    I’m Tami, a rape survivor. Yes, trigger warnings ARE important.

    I’m a secretary with a Masters degree in education…no jobs where I live. I’ve been an atheist since my parents died 19 years ago. My “Why i am an atheist” composition consists of three words: Religion is irrational.

    I was born to American parents living in Tel Aviv, and came here to live with my aunt when they died. Living in the war zone in Israel was fine…I came to the US and was assaulted, raped and beaten. Welcome to the home of the brave and the land of the free.

    I lurk mostly…

  239. Squigit says

    Hi, Happiestsadist! Thanks for the welcome! :)

    Ten is definitely my favorite Doctor of all time. And Donna Noble my favorite companion. We gingers have to stick together!

    I should also point out that even though I will desperately try to make jokes, I’m just not funny. I still try…way too many times. So, if I say something that leaves you thinking/saying “WTF?”, it was probably me attempting humor and failing miserably.

    *Apologies if this comment or something similar posts twice; I got a strange error message the last time I tried to post and then the whole of FTB looked like a 2nd grader’s plaything. From the late 90s. It was terrible.*

  240. woodsong says

    Happiestsadist: I miss bat-watching, too, although (unfortunately) that’s because our local bat population has declined due to white-nose fungus. Last year there were half a dozen that hunted around our yard (including one that found a way into our living room!), this year I’ve only had a few sightings, and those were brief enough that I can’t be certain that they were bats rather than late-flying birds.:-( I’ve heard that some bat researchers think the little brown bats may be adapting to the fungus and their population stabilizing (I hope so!!), but we’ll just have to see what happens.

    RE: bumblebees:

    If they wave their legs at you, that means stop, though.

    Did you learn that from direct experience, or did someone tell you? :-D

    I’ve rescued bumblebees from indoors by coaxing them to walk onto my hand, then going outside and coaxing them to leave my hand for a branch. The first time that happened, the bee was in my room, crawling along the floor, when I woke up in the morning. I put a hand on the floor in front of her, she climbed onto my hand and settled at my fingertip, and stayed there until I was outside (I tried putting the hand out of a window twice, she stayed put). I tried holding her up to a daffodil blossom, thinking she’d climb onto it for a meal–nope. She reached out with the two front legs, hanging on to me with the other four, grabbed the flower, stuck her proboscis in for a drink, then released the flower when she was done! The next stop was out cherry tree, in full bloom, and when she attempted the same maneuver, I moved my hand under the branch so that she would have to choose between letting go of me or letting go of the flower. She let go of me and grabbed the branch.

    Yes, I do like bumblebees. Despite my pointed introduction to them.

  241. Cosmas says

    Arab-Am ex-muslim here and one of the servants of Professor Zouzou, the cafter our host. I live in MN and think this warm summer was great for my h
    Roommate I’ve beenLearned a lot followinis site for a fethe last years now and eavesdropping on the community’s conversation.

  242. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    What an excellent thread. It’s a true delight to hear from so many lurkers (and some regulars). Fascinating, talented and interesting lot we have here. Thank you for telling all of us about yourselves.

  243. echolocation says

    Caine, Fleur du mal

    I wish I lived in a big cave so I could have a family of bats.

    They are amazing creatures and I stand in awe. Cepholopods, turn green with envy. Cats, you EEEEVILLLL predators, you’ve got nothin on bats.

  244. says

    Hi, I’m me. I work too much and spend too much time online (that’s midlife crisis for you), mostly with the fine people who frequent the dark recesses of this place below the glitter of the OPs. Now can we have a singles thread, PZ?

  245. jedimasteryoda says

    Yoda is a software design lackey in the valley of Si. Most time is spent injecting a bit of reality into the otherwise logical fallacy laced world of software design management (idea + people + CPU time = madness). Rest of my time is spent with my lovely wife and daughter, which is why I’m primarily a lurker here.

  246. says


    Hi, I’m Niki, fledgling smut writer, part-time knitter, college drop out, professional opener of other people’s mail, part-time lurker (my claws are not nearly as awesome as the regulars, but I like to pounce every so often to lend support), and giver of beer at cons when I’m not cheerfully handing out science-themed booze at room parties (if you were at CONvergence, you probably saw me. I pride myself on not being that hard to miss in person). I’ve been a lurker around the edges of Pharyngula for a couple of years. I’ve lived in MN for a year and a half now after two years in Boston and for-frickin’ ever in GA.

    I’ve considered myself an atheist since I was 12 (I’m in my early 30s now) and a skeptic since dropping out of college. I’ve had experiences with the oddity that is the black church, then flirted, danced with, and fooled around with paganism and its assorted woo while in college. I’ve done some sex work in the past, and I consider myself an expert on nothing by my own outrage.

    The last book I read involved two FBI agents who ended up in the sack while solving a serial murder case, the last thing I knitted was the worst cowl ever, and the last game I played was Mass Effect 3.

  247. (e)m says

    This will be my first comment on Pharyngula inspired by Caine fleur de mal.

    I found Pharyngula in kind of a round about way. I grew up Catholic, rejected that for Protestantism, finally read the bible, realized that I didn’t believe any of it so called myself a deist while looking into other religions. Read up on eastern religions like shintoism, Buddhism, Hinduism, and read the Tao Te Ching. I also looked into neo-paganism and the various reconstructionist religions associated with paganism. I could not find a reason to believe in any of them either. I finally found Hermant Mehta’s blog Friendly Atheist. From there I found many different links to youtube sites, and JT’s blog WWJTD. The YouTuber who calls herself Bionic Dance is responsible for my deconversion. From JT’s blog I found the rest of FTB and have been happily lurking ever since. I check Pharyngula everyday along with WWJTD, Sincerely Natalie Reed, and Zinnia Jones (who I followed on YouTube prior to her arrival at FTB). I browse the rest of FTB when I have the time.

    Other than that I am deeply damaged by my Catholic upbringing and still trying to erase certain aspects of the brainwashing. It is what made it so hard to accept that I’m bisexual, not to mention trans*. I live in the deep south and am not out about my gender identity or sexuality (for safety and job discrimination issues), but everyone who knows me knows that I am an atheist.

    I am kind of afraid to comment here due to my lack of education. I was a Culinary Arts major. Most of the knowledge I have comes from self initiated study in my off time. Y’all are all so much smarter than me.

    I don’t consider myself part of the atheist community, and all the recent dust up over harassment policies makes me not want to reach out and join. After all, where I live, I am legally protected from being discriminated against for my lack of religion, but not for being trans* or bisexual.

    I would like to take the time to thank Pteryxx for all the wonderful links that have given me so much information.

  248. broboxley OT says

    Ace of Sevens #3 interested in the same period of history. What do you think of “Speak now against the day” by John Egerton? finding it very interesting. I have been in a marriage that would have resulted in our arrest and incarceration in many places in the south not that long ago.

  249. RickR says

    Hi! I’m Rick, 51 year old white male. I think I started reading Pharyngula right around the time PZ was interviewed for that doco that became “Expelled”. (They even lied about the fucking title. “Crossroads” I think they called it.) I came here from Panda’s Thumb. Read a lot, but don’t post much. I’m an atheist raised in a non-religious home. I’m a professional artist working in film. I’m attracted to people whose genitals look like mine. Spent some time on one of the early endless threads trading quotes from John Waters movies with Josh. Hi Josh! *waves*

    Spend most of my free time plotting how to have teh gay secks with Brownian.

  250. says

    A singles thread? Yeesh. I was just going to do a Rev Sun Myung Moon and pick out a bunch of you and do a mass wedding ceremony.

  251. Pteryxx says

    (e)m, as you’re bi/trans/closeted/in the deep South, we’re not all that far apart ;> and you’re welcome. *blush*


  252. Socio-gen (the former BCPA_Lady) says

    As noted above, I recently changed my ‘nym, mostly because the old one was, well, “meh.”

    I’m a middle-aged mom of three twenty-somethings, out and vocal atheist of ~5 years, life-long feminist and pro-choice advocate, and Doctor Who fanatic. I am also petless by choice after 22+ years of being the default caretaker of my children’s various pets.

    A year ago, after 42 years in Pennsylvania, I moved to the Red River Valley (Minnesota side) where I’m an undergrad, majoring in both sociology and women’s & gender studies.

    Currently, I’m wrapping up a few weeks in PA visiting the previously-mentioned children and the rest of my family.

  253. gragra, something clever after the comma says

    I’m Grahame, 51, and although I’m an Aussie, I live in Syracuse in upstate New York (hi piegasm!). I came to the USA for luuuurv… it didn’t work out, but I am still here after ten years. I am happy living here – camping, hiking and paddling opportunities are amazing, and I’ve even developed a soft spot for a busted arse town like Syracuse. The snow in winter is still cool – I never saw snow until I was 25. Recently bought a ridiculously cute little craftsman bungalow for next to nothing and am redoing the front porch at the moment.

    I’ve been an atheist since I was about 17 although I probably wavered into a vague deistic agnosticism for a few years during my “seeking” stage. Although well over my culture shock it still surprises me sometimes how people are so open about their religion here and how often they assume I must also have an invisible friend. In Australia you keep that to yourself unless you want someone to make a smart alec remark.

    I am organizer of the Syracuse Atheists Meetup group and have met a bunch of great people through them. We have 240 members – not bad for a small city. Piegasm, if you’re not already a member you should join us! Campfire at my place September 8!

  254. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Syracuse native here. Sympathies to all y’all current Salt City residents:(

  255. didgen says

    A last thing about me, I do a lot of crafting mostly children’s costumes, and crochet. I collect old crochet patterns from the early 1900’s to about 1950, if you are looking for some pattern and can’t find it I may have one. Mostly thread though. No more about my hobbies I promise.

  256. IndyM, pikčiurna says

    Hi, I’m Indy, short for Indrė (which means “reed” in the Lithuanian highlands dialect). (And my last name means “blueberry” in standard Lithuanian.) I usually go by “Indy” because everyone finds “Indrė” too difficult to pronounce here in the US. When I lived in Lithuania for 5 years, it was nice to hear both my names pronounced properly. :) (Note: I was thrilled when I discovered that Brownian is also Lithuanian.)

    I’m a 48-year-old woman, single, live in NYC, and have 4 cats. I’m a somewhat weird bookworm who hasn’t owned a TV for over 20 years. I was an English major in college, after which I had a rather non-linear career path. I’ve been a deli worker, a teacher, a nanny for a famous fashion family (the stories I could tell…), the business manager of a newly established international school, and most recently, a sales/marketing manager in publishing. I’m currently unemployed and am looking for work. I’m also a bit depressed about my current situation.

    I forget how I discovered Pharyngula (probably through links in the blogs I read), but once I found it, I stayed (I arrived just before Elevatorgate, which was quite an introduction!). I’m a quasi-lurker; I find The Horde incredibly intimidating (not intimidating in the sense that you’re bullies–intimidating in the sense that you’re all brilliant, and witty, and the fastest writers I’ve ever met). I was a very lukewarm Catholic who never really believed in all the nonsense. Once I found PZ, it was easy to finally shrug off all the religidiocy.

    I cannot wait until Rhinebeck! As I said, I’m a bit intimidated by The Horde and will probably be a bit shy, but I’m also really excited. David Marjanović: I’m really looking forward to meeting you! I just checked the Rhinebeck post and saw your message (I missed it the first time around). Thank you; you totally brightened my evening! :)

    Sorry for the TL;DR (in regards to my writing, I have also been known as “Windy”). I learn SO much here, and am grateful to PZ and all of The Horde–I think you are all amazing.

    P.S. Caine: you have made me appreciate rats. I adore all animals, but I was always afraid of rats; however, when I see the pics of your cute little ratlets, I find myself wanting to snorgle one (or a dozen…).

  257. broboxley OT says

    PZ I would hold off on that, it may confuse the crap out of some, exhilarate others and make you have to edit the washington examiner on top of your regular duties. Besides juggaloes harassing terrified airport travelers into buying made in NK celephopod might put a dink into your reputation but may add to your bottom line…

  258. says

    I was just going to do a Rev Sun Myung Moon and pick out a bunch of you and do a mass wedding ceremony.

    eh? last I checked, many of the regulars of both sexes are already sisterwives/brotherhusbands to the Spokesgay.

  259. jim says

    I’m Jim, and I’ve been reading PZ for . . . I don’t know how long. It’s been a number of years now. It seems like one day I was reading Radley Balko (way, way before HuffPo, Reason, or even Cato, when he was just a guy blogging on civil liberties), then the next day I was reading PZ. No idea how that happened really. I’ll be 40 next year, and I’ve been an attorney (3rd generation) since the late 90s.

    I would say I am technically still in the atheist closet as some others have posted, although it’s pretty thinly veiled. Most people who know me well I’m pretty sure would just say they figured it was obvious.

    I lurk almost exclusively. Back in the early 90’s I used to love getting into rough and tumble online discussions. Lately there’s just seemed to be less of a point to it . . . most of the game (metaphorically) seems very tilted depending on where you’re playing it. I admit I have found the recent feminism issues complicated to work through internally, although generally speaking I do consider feminism an important force in society.

  260. says

    I suppose I’ll be brave and expand on my introduction — please be gentle!

    I am very much a cat person, in more than one way — I am a Furry, and my family is owned by one very spoiled feline overlord (Gracie). I am also disabled. I have Cerebral Palsy and use a wheelchair for mobility. I also get to deal with depression, OCD (that manifests as epic “What If-ery” and nearly-crippling anxiety), some kind of anxiety or panic disorder, ADD, and a lovely touch of PTSD (stemming from an abusive relationship that damn near killed me.)

    I know (and accept) that I am not the sharpest knife in the drawer, and sometimes I’m like, stupid-stubborn and won’t let go of things. Just smack me if I’m doing that, I’m trying to stop.

    Oh, and I’m one of those people that tends to post while stoned — I apologize if anything I post is incoherent or confusing.

  261. says

    I’m Sally. Not feeling to well tonight, I think I’ve got a sinus headache. I’m white and 34 and a cis woman who could be bisexual except that I’m mostly attracted to men. Over the course of my life, I’ve done green building (cob and strawbale construction mostly), food service (deli, working the fryolators), baby-sitting and preschool teaching, farm work, sales (Macy’s, Nokian Tyres), more sales-type stuff for a non-profit devoted to bicycling and skating and other non-motorized transport, telephone fund-raising for PIRG, conventional carpentry and roofing, front desk receptionist, soil science lab technician, data analyst and GIS technician, and now volunteer coordinator and database manager for a local politician’s campaign as well as educator and outreach coordinator for a statewide energy efficiency program for homeowners and small business owners.

    I have a BSci in environmental science but finding jobs in that field has been tough in the three years since I graduated.

    I’d like to go back to school to get my Master’s in urban/regional planning but I’m also considering doing it in something a bit more marketable, like database design and management.

    I’d also like to live on a sailboat someday. I live with my sister, her husband, and their 14-month-old daughter, who thinks I am the bees knees on account of me being rather more permissive about small things like climbing the stairs than my sister or brother-in-law are. I suppose a couple of decades of childcare have made be a bit blase about toddlers bonking their heads on things. It happens, you know?

    I love music. I grew up listening to New England style folk music but now love hip hop, electronica, pop, punk, and all kinds of things. Working my way through Wax Tailor’s discography right now. I play clarinet and sax but haven’t been playing much these past six months. My folks are not very religious and it took me until my teens until I realized that some people took Bible stories as literal truth. It was at that point that I started speaking out against religiously-inspired injustice, in the form of letters to the editor of my local paper in support of gay rights. I dabbled in paganism for a bit. I started reading Pharyngula sometime around, oh, 2007 I think. It was through Scienceblogs, which I was perusing because I was looking for a way to get news and information about my chosen field of study, environmental science.

    That’s about it. I’m really impressed with all the lurkers popping up. Makes me happy. Really glad y’all are here.

  262. says


    I, er, also talk too much.

    No, you do not. Thank you so much for that wonderful post, Ginmar. I hadn’t known you were a vet and I really appreciate your service and it infuriates me that vets have so much fucking trouble getting the help they need. Our Patricia has been fighting the VA for ages.


    I came to the US and was assaulted, raped and beaten.

    I was assaulted, beaten, raped, beaten, yada, yada, yada myself. All my empathy, Tami. It’s difficult to deal with, to say the very least.


    I am kind of afraid to comment here due to my lack of education. I was a Culinary Arts major. Most of the knowledge I have comes from self initiated study in my off time. Y’all are all so much smarter than me.

    We have peoples here who have a high school education or less and are ferociously intelligent people who have continued their education themselves and have learned a whole hell of a lot. Every single one of them has taught me a lot. Please, don’t think people here are smarter than you are – the level of education isn’t what’s important. Culinary arts is a challenging field, to be sure, and you need to be smart to grok it all. I’m willing to bet you’re just as smart as anyone else here and it’s a willingness to learn that marks a person to the positive, eh?


    P.S. Caine: you have made me appreciate rats.

    Thank you!

    To all those who have de-lurked, thank you! It’s been great to read all the intros and stories.

  263. jaywalker says

    I’m Jay. I run Freethink For Dummies blog. I’ve been a regular reader of Pharyngula for several years now. I love FTB. They have brought together many of my favorite bloggers in one place.

    I don’t comment much here mainly due to time constraints, but I’m going to try harder to make the time.

    So, hey, to everyone!

  264. IndyM, pikčiurna says

    @ Jadehawk

    eh? last I checked, many of the regulars of both sexes are already sisterwives/brotherhusbands to the Spokesgay.

    PZ’s proposition might also cause a ruckus in Brownian’s enormous Geh Secks queue.

  265. says

    *waves at Ginmar*

    (((hugs))) to you if you can use them, Ginmar! I’ve been seeing your around the internets since my Jezebel days and I love you and I love your anger and your sense of justice. I knew you were having trouble with the VA but I didn’t realize how bad it was. (I’ve told Ginmar, but others may like to know, I used to post as Valkyrie607. Actually it was the tabloidization of the Gawker network that drove me to become a more regular poster here.)

  266. John Phillips, FCD says

    I’m now entering my dotage and originally from the S. Wales valleys where the main available occupation was mining and farming, so I left at the first opportunity. I am the average USIans’ nightmare, or at least of those who follow Faux news, an actual commie. Though the ‘from each…, to each…’ kind, not the USSR or Chinese kind and I also recognise that humanity has to evolve a great deal, if only socially, before there is a snowball’s chance in a hot place of that happening, if ever.

    I first came to Pharyngula I remember not how or when, but it was well over a year before SB happened and was very glad to leave SB for here. I rarely comment much now as I mainly tend to come in every few days when threads are mostly over, but I still feel compelled to occasionally comment, either against some particular inanity by a drive bye or one of our resident idiots or in support of the many great commenters here. I have learned a great deal over that time from the many excellent commenters and like to think I have grown in the process, for which I thank you one and all. I also love that nobody is afraid to call a shovel a shovel on here; long may it continue.

    I now regularly partake of many of the ftb bloggers but this is still my first port of call and will remain so, well unless PZ goes all holy roller on us :).

  267. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Syracusians—I don’t live there anymore (I’m in Vermont) but I travel to Syr/Ithaca several times a year for family. Will be sure to look you up next time!

    Some Phun Phax:

    1. Know Elmcrest Children’s Center on Salt Springs Road? I spent my teen years there.

    2. I waitressed overnight at the Perkins at the now-defunct Camillus Mall. And yes, I do mean “waitressed.” I worked hard for the money but my customers never treated me right.

    3. Got my gay activism on at the Firehouse that is the Westcott Community Center when it hosted a gay youth support group. Sadly, its website is in comic sans.

    4. Spent many “happy” years waitressing at the Pizzeria Uno at Carousel Mall. Those were the days when you could smoke your fucking brains out in the backroom where all the food got delivered.

    5. Munjed’s on Westcott Street has the best falafel in the entire world. Anywhere. Ever.

    6. King David’s on M Street has the best overall Middle Eastern food in the city.

  268. says

    I’m Markita Lynda. I have been writing a science blog science 2004 although it’s somewhat neglected at the moment. I’ve been reading and participating less–can’t keep up with the volume and don’t want to get involved in feuds. I’ll be in the Lounge. I’m also over in the Facebook group more of the time.

    I discovered Pharyngula before it moved to science blogs. It has been an education in science, logic and rigour as well as in recognizing privilege and learning about other people. It has helped me to move from cowardly agnosticism to public atheism. I’m amazed and dazzled by the knowledge, compassion, and wit displayed by some Horde members.

    My spouse and I live in Canada with three cats.

  269. gragra, something clever after the comma says

    Hey Sally! I didn’t know so many of you guys were around here! You’re most welcome to join us. We will probably drink too much and sing Tim Minchin songs.

    A couple of us came down to Binghamton a couple of months ago to hear Matt Dilahunty debate that twit – I forget his name.

  270. Ouigui says

    I’m Ouigui, which I suppose is the French way of spelling a nickname I was given in the 3rd grade. (It translates to “yes, mistletoe” — quirky but meaningless.) I’m an evil gay liberal atheist physics prof who lives in horrible homo-sin with a not-legal-yet fuckyouDOMA husband of 13 years. We live in the Southeast US, but manage to surround ourselves with a good community of progressive folks IRL to keep us in a bubble of sanity.

    I teach a lot about spherical cows. We have a cat who is super-cuddly (and totally indoors, PZ). I have way too much on my reading list at any one time, which distresses me. I’m a Linux geek who comes from a family of computer nerds, and I’m currently a big fan of Python (but not pythons, because I’m not keen on snakes).

    I mostly lurk, because I’m almost always playing catchup on the reading!

  271. says

    I call myself feralboy12, but I also have a fake real name which I use occasionally: Monte Grumwald, which is a dorkier version of my real real name.
    I wandered into Pharyngula at ScienceBlogs from, if memory serves, Good Math, Bad Math, which has since moved. I found that while searching for debunkery.
    I think I’m terribly, terribly funny, and haz a blog where I try to prove it (nym is a link).
    I live in the hippie capital of the world, Eugene, Oregon, which I believe is one of the places where PZ went to school. Oddly, I was born in Breckenridge, Minnesota, about 50 miles from where PZ is currently located.
    I am currently looking for work rather desperately, although to an outsider it may appear that I’m merely watching season one of The Walking Dead for the 27th time. I have been, in my life, a sportswriter, a musician, a telemarketer, a wheelbuilder (bikes and trailers), a production planning coordinator, and an accountant. I dropped out of music school in 1990, having learned wonderfully salable skills like drawing little dots on paper and spelling French augmented 6th chords.
    I am living proof that you don’t need to be a scientist to hang out here. My formal science education ended in the 8th grade after I shorted out the lab with a pair of tweezers. Despite this, readers here gifted me with the honor of the Order of the Molly, in which I take great pride, mostly because it tells me that my 30 years of self-education in the sciences has been mostly successful.
    I’m divorced and have a daughter. I ride a bike everywhere I go.
    I bid welcome to all those de-lurkers. I’m sorry I can’t marry you all, though; I ruined my only pair of good pants in a bike crash a few years ago and would have nothing to wear.

  272. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Oh, also, Horde members traveling through Lower Canadiastan New England should look me up. I have a guest room, two snuggle kitties, a 66 Plymouth and a huge culinary repertoire.

  273. says


    I think I’m terribly, terribly funny,

    You are, you are!

    Despite this, readers here gifted me with the honor of the Order of the Molly

    And rightly so. I too am very proud of my Molly, it means a great deal to me.

  274. says

    A couple of us came down to Binghamton a couple of months ago to hear Matt Dilahunty debate that twit – I forget his name.

    Oh yeah, Mr. “I bet you all would love Stalin’s purges.” I was there. Got to have drinks with Dillahunty afterwards at a bar in Endicott. Too bad we weren’t acquainted then.

  275. says

    Hey, I spent some time in Eugene OR. I was living in a large tent made of tarps, vinyl tubing, and iron rebar, in someone’s backyard which was on 60-somethingth St, I think, when 9/11 happened. Good times. I’ve been trying to remember what is the name of the park that was right nearby. The one with the skateboarding bowl.

  276. Loqi says

    I’m a 25 year-old software developer currently hermiting in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area. I reasoned my way out of Christianity in my early teens, but didn’t discover the atheist community until recently (grew up in rural WI, not many “out” atheists). I found Pharyngula about two years ago when PZ posted one my my coworkers’ videos.

    I enjoy gaming, reading, weightlifting, and other things that don’t involve any face-to-face social interactions. I wasn’t kidding about being a hermit. The number of times I’ve left my home (for reasons other than going to work and the grocery store) in the last six months can be counted on one hand. I am the anti-fun.

  277. (e)m says

    Caine, Fleur du mal

    Please, don’t think people here are smarter than you are – the level of education isn’t what’s important. Culinary arts is a challenging field, to be sure, and you need to be smart to grok it all. I’m willing to bet you’re just as smart as anyone else here and it’s a willingness to learn that marks a person to the positive, eh?

    Thank you for the kind words. I will try to remember them. As someone who has trouble keeping up, it helps to be told this. I have ADD and dysgraphia so I struggled in school, even though I did well. I pick up subjects that interest me fairly easily. I am insecure when communicating with a group of intelligent people, even though most of the people I know consider me smart, I don’t in comparison to the people I look up to. I feel like I’m too smart to be stupid, but too stupid to be smart. I struggle with severe depression from time to time and the feelings of worthlessness kind of sink in after a while. Your words have helped a great deal.

  278. Brownian says

    I’m Brownian.

    I first showed up here sometime in 2006, I think. I was arguing with a creationist and found my way to the JREF and the Panda’s Thumb, but I didn’t spend much time at either of those places. I’m a liberal humanist before I’m an atheist.

    My favorite activity is engaging in large, raucous conversations with people I like, which is why I’m still here, six years later.

  279. Brownian says

    Oh, and for everyone who feels intimidated or insecure: we’ve all (well, close to all, I’m sure,) been too intimidated to comment. I remember being nervous my first comments for sure. And many times after that.

    I’m not a scientist, but I’m pretty loud and tend to dominate conversations in person, though I’ve learned to be conscious of leaving space for others to jump in. And the nature of online conversation lets me hear the perspectives of people who might not speak up at a table full of people at the pub.

    So, thanks everyone for commenting.

  280. Fizzing thru da Fizzics says

    Hi all, delurked before (rarely) to comment. Currently in New Zealand, which confuses the timing of comments no end, born seriously fundamentalist in South Africa, (elder bro a minister, Dutch Reformed). Sang in gospel groups, did evangelisation, the works. Started doubting, then woke up. Made it to Pharyngula from Panda’s Thumb, been here every day since early 2006.

    Oh yes, I teach high school Physics, and general sciency awesomeness to anyone and everyone I encounter. This sometimes irritates the wife, as she is still religious, and amuses the spawnlets.

  281. Crip Dyke, MQ, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    I’m Crip Dyke.

    I’m pseudonymous in part because I do consulting work and not everyone who likes my consulting work would necessarily like my opinions here. Likewise there are institutions with which I am connected in different ways, and I don’t want them to feel like they are being associated with my private speech. It leaves me freer to say things that are (I hope) useful, though they may push buttons, without worrying them about their image and me about efforts to suppress such speech. (I have no personal experience with such conflict, but I know that it is very possible and this is a respectful step to prevent such conflict with institutions and hassles for those persons who work with me within such.)

    But much more importantly, because I speak of personal stuff here. It’s not often, but sometimes it’s relevant that I’m a transsexual woman, or that I’m polyamorous, or that I participate in certain Jewish communities, and so on. This stuff necessarily has social implications, which means my friends can be affected by what I say online. If they don’t wanna talk about knowing me during transition, or what they think of the fact that I have a partner who’s out on a first date with someone else tonight (go Ms. Crip Dyke – I’m crossing my fingers), or whether it’s weird have an atheist Jew in the congregation (for the record, it’s pretty typical to have a few in the liberal congregations – some of us go for the community and a few other benefits without having any belief in god). For their privacy more than mine, I use a pseudonym.

    As for an introduction to me, well, the fact that I spent 2 significant paragraphs on why I use a pseudonym isn’t a bad start: I go long periods without commenting (much), but when I do, it’s usually because I have a really significant amount to say.

    Issues I care most about are feminism; the place of trans people in a broader justice movement; science, education & science education; the way that magical thinking sometimes prevents best solutions to problems of major import (if the rapture is coming next week, why plan ahead for next year?); violence – especially domestic and sexual violence; and law.

  282. Fizzing thru da Fizzics says

    There is a few of us around, I’m as far south as you can go.

    I also sing (bass-baritone) and have a lot of fun in choirs singing religious stuff. Disconnection can be fun

  283. reallythisisapain says

    I’m a privileged, middle-aged, divorced white guy, living with a cat, dog, and fish. Liberal in view, conservative in lifestyle. I have a disabled daughter, and two sons – one gay, one not. I’m proud of all three. I like all things science, dislike religion. Professionally, I’m in IT, but used to do theater.

  284. says

    Hullo. I’m Setár, a 21 year old who is currently sort of floating in space in terms of life, having dropped out of college and escaped out from under my abusive family’s roof to relative mental stability. From my attic stronghold in the Fraser Valley (named as one of Canada’s Bible belts by Marci McDonald in The Armageddon Factor) I keep a close eye on Vancouver’s Mormon temple (two blocks away) and the headquarters of Focus on the Family Canada (five blocks away).

    I came to Pharyngula in the spring of 2010 after poking through skeptical blogs I’d somehow come across. Being a committed atheist already I wasn’t very interested in Pharyngula at first, but the comments eventually sucked me in, and (after dealing with a bout of suicidal ideation) I started to poke and prod in January or February (among my first comments was a request for help in dealing with a multilevel marketing pitch), and then joined the facebook thing when TET went on its first vacation. I became a lot more active across the board after Elevatorgate, which I consider my red-pill moment for social justice (even though I’d learned bits about racial privilege before coming here). Since then, I’ve come to realize that religious apologists, privilege denialists, and “economic liberals” (aka libertarians, conservatives, or aristocracy denialists) share debate tactics, from the basic threats and invective on up to the long-winded ‘splaining and condescending cries of “both sides!”, and have re-kindled my raging hatred for ALL OF THEM, ESPECIALLY THE FUCKING CENTRISTS that was subdued by a few years of condescension, which is what I probably deserve for thinking that the extended-discussion board on a forum run for socializing rather than debate would be anything but run by trolls.

    As far as my upbringing goes, I was raised a nominal Christian, but never really believed. I was never even really raised with Christianity; my first memorable exposure was in kindergarten, where I heard the story of the resurrection and immediately objected by saying that either the “crucified” or “resurrected” Jesus could have been an impostor. I attended an Anglican church for a short time at age 8, but it was really mostly for socializing — I didn’t pay much attention to the Bible, felt very very weird (my non-NTness likely contributed to this) going through the motions…but what I do remember was that most of the Bible study we did was John, which contains most of the supernatural stuff (funny, that). At 13 I initially declared myself an atheist, but backslid to wishy-washy ‘agnosticism’ and later became enthralled with The Dark Tower, building a wishful-thinking belief system based on that. I realized at age 18 (while reading The Satanic Bible — please note that at this point I’d just rolled to the first plateau on my descent into depression) that this was simply just wishful thinking, rejected it, and set out trying to live life. Which wasn’t much; the next year and a half was a blur of pot, attending two college courses out of the six I ever registered for, and as many euphoria hits as I could get my college-and-family-shackled hands on.

    Pharyngula was not much of a part of my life when I was suicidal, but I credit the people I’ve met through coming here for giving me hope and keeping me on the rise, reminding me that no matter how shitty any of my meatspace acquaintances, or later my roommates, treated me that there was a place where, well, maybe everyone didn’t know my name, but they were always glad that I came, be it to socialize in TET or go vent all my anger in the trenches. In particular, Pharyngulites kicked in over $400 to help me buy a new computer when my old one had a motherboard failure after just under two years of service, and — far, far more graciously in my mind, because this really helped me come out of my shell and connect with the local skeptics, who are a very social-justice-minded bunch — also kicked in close to the same amount at the last minute to send me to Imagine No Religion 2 after I realized that I had no meatspace friends; it was there that I met not only PZ, but also Crommunist, Natalie Reed, Desiree Schell (she was the best. I ran into her just inside the doors after dealing with a liberturdian; after I exasperatedly vented this to her she gave me a HUGE hug and dragged me off to get some beer and go hang out with many of these awesome people), Edwin Hodge, Matt Dillahunty, Maryam Namazie, and many other absolutely wonderful people.

    Since then, I’ve become active in the local pro-choice counter-demonstrations (which are now expanding, since an MRA contingent has come out of the woodwork this past week) that Crommunist has been linking to every month. The second week I was there, I was harassed and gay bashed for the mere act of holding a sign that said “Trust Women” on one side and “End Rape Culture Now” on the other. This, combined with the fallout over TAM (which had been the week before), caused me to write a short piece detailing what I think lies at the heart of ALL social justice conflicts, which is that we are fighting a war against assholes who want the freedom to be assholes under the guise of social mores, and that it must be a war because the enemies of social justice will not see it any differently (I have other posts on that blog, but it’s pretty sporadic, and one or two of them are pretty damn wrong — shouldn’t be hard to figure them out). Furthermore, I am of the mind that our greatest enemies aren’t the people spouting dishonesty and threats, but rather the people that appeal to “both sides” when the dishonesty and threats get called out, and as such I attack such radical centrism with even greater prejudice than the outright bigotry.

    Other than that, I like pot, cats, hockey, and random silliness. And while I am no historian, I am very well-informed about misconceptions regarding 20th century history, specifically World War II, and will gladly explain to anyone interested why I think that the reason Germany lost World War II is named Adolf Hitler (and it was lost with the Battle of Britain).

  285. woodsong says

    gragra, I’m in Ithaca. There are indeed a number of Pharyngulites in central NY!

    I believe that a friend of mine who lives in Syracuse has met with your group a few times, although I’m not sure. Maybe sometime I’ll coax the husbeast to come drop in on one of your meetings.

  286. marypoppins says

    @291 didgen – do you have then indexed? I am looking for something specific and haven’t been able to find “the perfect one” in the magazines I have. Incidentally I am learning to tat.
    Mary P

  287. says

    Hi, I’m Lee Brimmicombe-Wood. I am British and I’m a computer games designer working in southern Sweden, near the Oresund bridge, and I have a sideline in designing board games on subjects such as air warfare. I used to be an illustrator and an author in an earlier life.

    I am married to a lovely Japanese lady named Motoko and have a six year-old son.

  288. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Hi, I’m Lee Brimmicombe-Wood.

    I feel stupid asking you this, especially after reading your comments for so many years, but how do you gender-identify, Lee?

  289. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Annnnd. . I could have answered my #330 for myself. Stupid.

    Object lesson: question your assumptions.

  290. bethy says

    Hey Pharynguleans.
    I’m a 23 year old health professional from a very shaky city in New Zealand. I have been an atheist since I was old enough to think critically- which was at about age 4 when I made a great joke out of putting a seatbelt around “god” in the empty seat in the car because it seemed silly even then that god was everywhere! I am engaged to my lovely lady lover and hoping that we can swap a civil union for a marriage soon when the bill makes it through parliament.
    I’ve been a little too timid to post so maybe this will kickstart something!

  291. says

    I feel stupid asking you this, especially after reading your comments for so many years, but how do you gender-identify, Lee?

    That’s the first time I’ve ever been asked that, so I had to stop and think for a moment. As male, I suppose.

    Thanks for asking, though… That cheered me up no end.

  292. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    I just have to say it.

    I am an object lesson in how stereotypical assumptions can lead one astray. For goodness’ sake, if you’re tempted to get your back up when someone suggests you’re blinded to some really dumb gender assumptions, read this and remember it.

    I’ve been laboring under the misconception that Lee Brimmicommbe-Wood was a woman. For several years now. He is not.

    Why have I thought that? Because Lee is the very model of tact, restraint, and pin-point-accurate critique that manages to avoid making the target feel. . .targeted. He can get right to the core of a problem without leaving the subject feeling flayed and defensive. It’s a talent I do not have.

    And it’s a skill I’ve associated exclusively, obviously wrongly, with women. So I’ve thought of Lee in my head all these years as a “gentle, tactful” woman.

    Yech. It’s gross to realize one’s head is clogged up with moldy, greasy old dust-bunnies and sexist tropes. But know that your head probably is filled with them.

    The next time someone tells you something you’ve said sounds sexist and stupid, shut your mouth for a minute and consider whether they’re right. They probably are.


  293. says

    Caine and Sally, I’ve seen you guys around. You’re too kind. I feel most of the time like I’ve got a huge bottleneck in my brain, where too many interlinked thoughts have to get out at once to paint an accurate picture of what I’m trying to say. I look back at my writing from before the war and now….it’s just not the same. I see things in my head that I can’t put into adequate words now. I’d noticed that I couldn’t read fiction or just relax when I was in Iraq: I can’t write fiction at all now, because I’m so hyper alert all the time. Also, I have a high school diploma and a year at DLI, and that’s it. A lot of the time I wind up describing what I’m trying to say, hoping whoever’s on the receiving end will get it. It’s very frustrating, especially amongst this bunch. Just so you all are warned. I’m not fishing for anything, I just say whatever it is.

    I learn a lot posting here, and whoever said they’re into epidemiology—post more! I’m reading Laurie Garrett’s books now and they’re excellent.

  294. woodsong says

    SallyStrange: What’s up? Not a whole lot. My husbeast has been out of town this weekend (he returns tomorrow), so I’ve been doing whatever I feel like for the past couple of days. This has included staying up later than I normally intend (like tonight! I really should be getting off the computer and going to bed Real Soon Now).

    You say you have friends here in Ithaca? Cool. It’s entirely likely that I know them!

  295. ethermal says

    First time de-lurking.

    I’ve been reading Pharyngula for years now. I was originally introduced to this blog from Dawkin’s site. I mainly read this now.

    I was raised a wishy washy christian. I stopped believing sometime in college. I took a comparative religions course that really knocked out the last of my faith. I’ve become much more outspoken about atheism after reading The God Delusion. I now consider myself and anti-theist. I never realized how god soaked the US is until I lived abroad. I live in the heart of silicon valley, so religion isn’t in my face all of the time. I’m glad for that.

    The posts and comments at Pharyngula make me think. Sometimes even help me change for the better. When I first read about elevator gate, I thought it was no big deal. So what if somebody gets hit on in an elevator. The guy took no for an answer and moved on. No harm no foul, right? Wrong…for many reasons that were thoughtfully laid out in the comments. The comments about male privilege really hit home for me. I had never given it much thought before. I’m a white cis male, I’ve got the privilege trifecta. I try to be more mindful of that now. Thank you to the posters for helping me learn and grow as a person.

    I love the blog, and may even start posting from time to time.

  296. says

    Why have I thought that? Because Lee is the very model of tact, restraint, and pin-point-accurate critique that manages to avoid making the target feel. . .targeted. He can get right to the core of a problem without leaving the subject feeling flayed and defensive.

    Thanks for that. It’s an interesting observation because I never feel I am that person. I regard myself as a sweary, shouty, blokeish arsehole. So blokeish, in fact, that I really have to pay close attention to the gender issues on FtB because I feel constantly on the verge of getting them wrong. I’m learning, though. And hopefully getting better.

    If it’s any consolation for the women and LGBT folk who have had to deal with withering flak recently, this stuff really helps unreconstructed types like me reconstruct ourselves. It’s been an education and I thank you for your patience and endurance.

  297. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    It’s an interesting observation because I never feel I am that person. I regard myself as a sweary, shouty, blokeish arsehole. So blokeish, in fact, that I really have to pay close attention to the gender issues on FtB because I feel constantly on the verge of getting them wrong

    Never. You’re the envy of anyone aspiring to learn tact and social grace. Really.

  298. Lyn M: Humble Acolyte and Brainwashee ... of death says

    Sheesh, step out early because it is supposed to hit a “real feel” of 111 F today, return and whooooosh! More than 300 comments. But I went out when it only felt like 105.

    I found Pharyngula in early 2008, but didn’t comment for quite awhile after that. I arrived close in time to the telephone incident and so-called Expelled. (I think of it as Excreted.) I heard of PZ from several sources. He seemed to have some serious nerve, so I came over to read. (Echo reverb) The rest is history. (/Echo reverb)

    I try to keep up with comments, but I find it hard as so many can appear so fast. I post when I think I have something to add, but quite often I feel way behind the curve. It’s the time-zones, I tell you, not me.

    I was a practising lawyer for 25 years, then took a break. I am now in China where I teach law. I like China, much of the time, and will be here another year, for sure. I have taught myself Python, and write short phone style games. I keep intending to learn more Chinese and then goof off. But for a good time, I do like coming here. Hope to hear more from the de-lurkers. Fresh eyes and comments are always a plus.

  299. Janine: Fucking Dyke Of Rage Mountain says

    Hello. My name is Janine and I am an A-THE-IST!

    There, that is out of the way.

    I think I have been commenting here for about five or six years, not sure. But I was around for the great Cracker desecration and the night that PZ was expelled. That was the most fun I even had online, reading about the updates and laughing in real time.

    As for how I found this place, I have no idea. I remember that some blog mentioned Pharyngula as a place where atheists gathered. So I had to check it out. I lurked for a couple of months, mostly out of fear that I would say something stupid. What broke the ice for me was when SB was reaching it’s 500,000 comment. PZ set up a thread just so people could fill it up and reach that goal. People where tossing up rabid comment and I joined in, laughing and joking about the silly event. And it seemed that some people were amused.

    And that was the first mistake.

    It has been interesting watching this place grow, develop and change over the years. And I would not have stuck around if I did not like and approve of some of these things.

    I cannot say that I had my world view changed or challenged. I was an atheist decades before I heard of this place. (Put that blame or credit on the many science fiction authors I was reading at the time, Isaac Asimov and Arther C Clarke and others.) And I was a lefty and activist before I knew of an internet. But it is nice to be part of a group that, hopefully, is helping to change people’s minds.

    Not going to give much personal information except what most of the regulars already know. Female, mid forties, queer, warped humor, single, music geek, loves books, and…well feel free to add on.

    You call me and I come runnin’
    I turn the music on
    I bring the fun in
    Now we’re partying
    That’s what it’s all about

    The Dancer-PJ Harvey

    The Hammer Song-Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds

    The Act We Act-Sugar

    For Love-Lush

    This has been a great thread to read.

  300. hessener says

    Hi. Hessener here. Not a real Hessener although I spent some time there (Fulda) with the US Army.

    Been reading Pharyngula daily since finding out about it about a year and a half ago. Love spending time with all of these smart people, but like many of the other newly delurking lurkers, I have a hard time coming up with anything to say when all of you smart people get the thread moving.

    Had some back and forth for many years moving from religion to reason, but am now solidly in the real world. I’m no scientist, but I enjoy learning about lots of different topics and have more books than I’ll ever get around to reading.

    I live about 150 miles NW from PZ’s current locale. I actually used to work at the hospital in that town. Also a former resident of the PacNW.

    Am freshly retired from the military and I’m enjoying the free time, but looking for some sort of work to keep busy. The economy is doing better here than most of the rest of the U.S. (and the drought hasn’t been as severe either) so life is just peachy here, but the freethinkers are few and far between so I will continue to visit FTB to get a daily dose of truth, reason and…SCIENCE!

  301. NuMad says

    I’m NuMad (possibly not my real name,) and I like this thread. Born and raised in nominally Catholic Quebec, currently living in Quebec City. I must have found my way to Pharyngula from another blog, back when I started having an internet presence as a result of persistent problems with my offline presence. Here I’m an occasional poster, habitual lurker.

    I’m interested in History and Art History. I think cats, rats and dogs should get along. I’m into style and writing, though ironically I can rarely write more than five sentences in a row (in any language) before I start being unintelligible. So I’ll quit here while I’m ahead.

  302. catlover says

    Hi, everyone! This is my first post ever.

    60s, mostly straight white female, divorced, two grown sons. Live in California — native Californian. BA in Music from a public university. Former housewife. Self-educated all the time, as I loved to say, “I have a big curiosity bump!” [GO Curiosity and JPL and NASA!!]

    Former lurker here, only discovered Pharyngula about a year ago from an atheist friend at my church and loved the place. Not a true atheist yet (I may be!) but throwing off decades of Christian (middle-of-the road) training) took time. [I, too LOVE to talk a LOT! :) ] “Cradle Episcopalian, morphed in my 30s into paganism, then drifted away from that. Only recently stopped going to church, which I only went to in order to be around people. And to sing in the choir. (I am going to miss that!)

    I just don’t believe “all that stuff” any more — BIG credits go to my friend who told me about Pharyngula. I always, since I was a child, loved to ask WHY? I love “unscrewing the inscrutable” — a phrase I ran across in one of the many sci-fi novels I used to read. Trouble is, it is STUCK, and seems to need a much bigger wrench. (LOL)

    In love cats, and was owned by many all my life, until my most recent two died some years ago. I am on a limited income, and can no longer afford to keep the little darlings around. :( I also love rats, and had one as a pet long ago. Such a sweet little guy!

    My biggest hobby, though, is — TRAINS!! I am a HUGE raifan. Caught “the bug” in the mid-1970s, and have only gotten worse since then. Don’t get me started on trains, if you aren’t prepared for a long talk on my favorite RRs and locomotives, and the trips I have made as a Car Host on Class 1 railroads. It is a really fun hobby, but there are few really enlightened folks in it, so I love to come here for a breath of fresh air. I love reading posts by people that are really intelligent, who have, as I like to say, enough brain cells to rub together to make a small — or large! — fire!

    I no longer drive due to glaucoma (real bummer!), but I stay connected on my computer.

    I am interested in music (BA degree) of all sorts, cats (of course!), birds, animals of all sorts, pillbugs (cute lil’ things!) astronomy (Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson is one of my favorite people), politics (I am a flaming tree-hugging liberal/progressive/socialist), dancing (square dancing and Renaissance dancing), and in general, annoying the heck out of people by asking “WHY?”.

    I, too, was diagnosed as a mental patient (bi-polar), but this was after a big energy burn-out several years ago, which led to my early retirement. I was “burning the candle at both ends — and ran out of candle”. :( :(

    I prefer to be kind,, rather than confrontational, but I also LOVE a good intellectual argument. I can’t STAND fundies or idiots or Rethuglicans or some Demicans, either. I am not “out as an atheist to anyone in my family, except my dear adult son, who lives with me — and who shares many of my beliefs (not all!).

    Tolja I loved to talk, didn’t I? Back to lurk mode — maybe! :)

  303. Nepenthe says

    Oh look, I get to write about my very favorite topic!

    I’m in my mid-twenties, trying 5 years on to put my life back together after Something Bad happened to me (or more accurately, was done to me). At about the same time that happened, it was discovered that there’s Something Wrong with me that causes me to be in a great deal of pain a lot of the time and to become fatigued very quickly, which really puts a damper on the whole “living” thing as well. Lately I’ve been doing crazy things like leave my apartment occasionally and tentatively make friends from the real world. Trying to get back into the academic world and am planning on applying to graduate schools this fall if all goes well.

    While I’m inside my safe, cozy apartment, I am bossed around by my FeLV+ cat–who is blissfully unaware of her shortened lifespan and enjoys hungrily staring at her sister the corn snake–watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and am a Wikipedia administrator (perhaps someday I will get a job where I’m at least paid to be cursed at).

    I’ve started reading in late 2005, linked here from Shakesville. I have very little to say generally, except that rape apologists and MRAs get my goat. They have all my goats now. :-(

    I’ve been starfarted on.

  304. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Only recently stopped going to church, which I only went to in order to be around people. And to sing in the choir. (I am going to miss that!)

    Oh, dear. Music is important. I heartily endorse going to church as a hypocrite if it’s the best means of getting your music fix. Don’t stop going to choir if it means a lot to you!

  305. thorby says

    I’ll start with a cliche….long-time lurker, first-time poster.

    I’m in Arizona. Retired AF. Very little formal education past high school. I’m a white male over 50.

    I’ve always been a voracious reader, especially science and science fiction.

    My parents weren’t particularly religious and managed to raise three boys who are all proud atheists.

    I remember thinking my friends were strange for this God stuff they wasted their Sundays on. Years later I read an Asimov essay and discovered there was a word for me, ATHEIST.

    My heroes are almost exclusively scientists and SF authors. Special thanks to Isaac Asimov who probably defined my world view more than anyone else. Sagan is a close second.

    This isn’t fawning hero worship, but I think PZ is right almost all of the time. There really is only one right way to be a moral skeptical atheist. Accept no substitutes. (This is a feature PZ shares with Asimov and Sagan.)


  306. McC2lhu saw what you did there. says

    I guess it’s safe to post now as most people will have fallen asleep by now. I wish my nym was Popeye. I yam what I yam. I used to go by the nym McCthulhu but got POd at the FtB settings not letting me input my new email address, so now McC2lhu is the official monicker.

    I was born in the ‘Summer of Love’, so I was unfortunately too much a noob to get to enjoy any of it. Grew up in Alberta in a religiously ambivalent family, my dad just paying enough attention to it to keep my grandparents happy and appease the fact he never really thought about it much, and a mother that hated religion because of her disdain for her overtly religious mother in law (that sort of believed the Mormon stuff, but not all of it). I usually took the sarcasm of my mom’s comments regarding religion to mean that anything discussed in that realm needed to be taken with mammoth-sized grains of salt.

    I still believed in some sort of deity by end of high school, but took a long and meandering empirical approach and tried on just about every philosophical avenue available to humankind, even Ayn Rand (how dirty I felt afterwards). My friends and some rellies would worry on occasion that I was serious about the stuff, especially tarot and psychics and all that junk, but it was simply me doing investigation. By the end of it I was in a Dawkins-like scaling scenario, with my scale for remote possibilities of incredible intellects or technologies with god-like capabilities in the 1 in a hundred million zone. I’m certainly atheistic about any of the religions introduced on this planet. They all have the stench of superstition and lack of knowledge, or ‘so let’s fill in the blanks with whatever we can pull out our arses!’

    Up until just a couple of years ago I thought that was all that was required. But I have been reading the experiences of people on this web log and several others (I take a wandering smorgasbord approach and casually float between this and several other related skepticism/atheism sites, with some time in between each visit). In reading those experiences and getting vicarious experience from them, it’s been made obvious that the roads leading to this Rome, whether it’s via skepticism, atheism, free thought, rational thought, humanism, or any of the other myriad avenues, really don’t amount to making you a better person unless they are accompanied by intention to pursue equality for all, social justice for all. I try to make things better by applying the saying ‘The poor man shames us all,’ and trying to rectify that situation. But the poor man could be a woman who was raped, a gay teen being bullied or beaten, a black person under suspicion simply because of colour…there are a lot of ‘poor’ people and situations that should shame us all. These situations bother me to the point that I do literally lose sleep over it.

    I am quasi-trained in Astrophysics, as in I know about as much as someone with decent math skills that reads Sci-Am regularly. I was in the program at the University of Calgary when I began to develop sleep disorders that were so disruptive I could no longer continue. I’m married and have a little girl via the wonders of science and modern medicine (I don’t think she was in a test tube, but I think she did get to ride in a petri dish). Because of my bizarre sleep patterns, I am doing the Adam/house husband routine, my wife is chief programmer for an analysis software development company. I’m not a huge hobby person, I never really thought of the side activities as hobbies, but necessities. I NEED to mountain bike and hike regularly. I NEED to take pictures of the things I see and my family doing stuff. I NEED to read the science journals and magazines, with almost every publicly available one in print arriving in the mailbox and backlogging to the point I’m still reading some from last summer. I NEED to lurk around FtB occasionally and see if anyone has done something interesting or learned something worth paying attention to/fighting back over. And that’s why I’m an atheist. Oh. Wait. That’s another thread. Never mind.

    Hi, I’m Vince/McC2lhu. I’m good here (without God). Hope you are well.

  307. says


    I think cats, rats and dogs should get along.

    They do, as long as it’s clear to all that rats are the bosses. (Hey, they all do get along in my house!)

    Josh, you simply aren’t nosy enough. I knew Lee was male right off the bat, ’cause ages ago, I searched his name because he had mentioned he was a writer. Colour me curious…

  308. says

    Oh, some quick biog stuff.

    I’m an ex-godly type escaped from the Church of England. A.N. Wislon’s biography of Jesus finally did for my faith.

    Politically, I’m a lefty Private Eye reader, which means I affect some form of nonconformism. I lean towards the more confrontational end of the spectrum because I don’t have much time for mealy-mouthed equivocation. I suppose that explains my presence here at FtB.

    I’m a big history nut. I love art. I adore aeroplanes and aviation. I’m fond of writers with a facility for the lapidary phrase, which is why I have recently mourned the losses of Gore Vidal and Robert Hughes. My musical interests are all over the place, though I suppose punk and new wave never entirely left me.

    I support Tottenham Hotspur. This is the last vestige of tribe and religion that I openly profess.

    Like catlover above I have an interest in trains.

    (As an aside, I was once fortunate enough to work on rail simulation game. Microsoft paid for me to learn to drive a steam locomotive and I was a guest of the Norfolk and Souther railway, riding Horseshoe Curve in Pennsylvania aboard a Dash-9 loco. On the Deutsche Bahn I drove a scehdule ICE 3 service from Dusseldorf to Cologne–an astonishing experience akin to being at the helm of the Starship Enterprise, albeit one that travelled only 200 kph.)

    That’s all I can think of for now. Thanks for indulging me.

  309. fly44d says

    Hi, I’ve mostly lurked and sometimes commented for years, I have no idea how I found this place. Memory is not one of my strong points.

    44D is the airplane (C35 Bonanza for those who are interested) I purchased from my grandfather in 2005. I’ve flown in that plane most of my 55+ years. Keeping a 60 yr old plane flying is my challenge. I don’t go many places in it but have given over 200 rides to kids from the Watsonville/Santa Cruz area over the last 6 years. It also keeps me sane.

    I am a life long atheist but wasn’t really cognizant of that until the Israelis and Palestinians started killing each other’s kids again in the early 2000’s. Pushed a button somehow. I’ve been blogging since 2003, mostly to record my own rants and act as a diary. It is hit and miss.

    Why am I atheist? Mom showed me Greek mythology and dad showed me fossils. I didn’t see a bible until much later.

    I think I am a feminist. I have two very intelligent daughters and I want them to thrive in a world that respects them and gives them equal opportunities. Life in the future will be hard enough for them without misogynistic culture, I fear. I have learned a lot in the last year+ about feminism and I have enormous respect for those fighting this battle. I try to join in where I can.

    I am an engineer doing mundane space operations for over 30 years and looking forward to getting out. I’ve had enough of the big corporation world.

  310. redwood says

    Redwood here, occasional commenter but mostly lurker. Originally from Missouri, I’ve been teaching English in Japan for 33 years. My house is about 60 miles from Fukushima #1, so I usually type in the dark because my keyboard glows, along with my gall bladder. It’s nice living in such an atheistic country, though many Japanese, like my wife, believe in some kind of great spirit somewhere out there, as well as souls continuing on after death (now is the O-bon season when the spirits of the dead return for a night, much like Halloween but without the costumes and trick-or-treat).

  311. redwood says

    Okay, tabs don’t work here, they send your piece in instead of indenting. Still learning.

    I like gardening, puzzles, painting, playing go, reading, computers and wasting time. I have two cats and a daughter who’s a freshman in college here in Japan and who was very curious about religion when we spent a year in Oregon on my sabbatical, but who now thinks it’s kind of silly (wonder where she got that?). I love reading Pharyngula but find some of the arguments unpleasant, especially when regulars jump all over someone who says something they disagree with or dislike without first rebuking them in a more measured way. I also find it a bit wearisome when someone pops up to point out that someone had said something reeking of privilege or misandry. No, I don’t condone what they said, but it kind of hijacks the thread and I wonder if we should be the tone police. Maybe we could wait until they do it really egregiously or else the second time they do it.

    There really are a lot of sharp people here and I’m learning a lot from them. Thank you, PZ, for working so hard to keep this going. I have a lot of respect for you, even though I don’t always agree with you.

  312. katiearcher says

    Hiya :)

    I’m mostly a lurker (been around since Crackergate) and I did manage to post a few times under “Sometimes Quirky”…but for some reason WordPress will no longer let me log in here under the usual nym, so I’m stuck using my nickname.

    I’m interested in Forensics – mostly psychiatry and psychology.

    Hobbies are woodwork (pyrography), drawing and photography.

    Been an Atheist for years now – ever since it was politely suggested by the youth leaders that I stop attending church because I asked too many questions.


  313. dianne says

    Hi, I’m Dianne. I’m shy and retiring except when I’m being overly opinionated and obnoxious.

  314. says

    Oh… I’ve been told that PZ has a cult. I’ve been watching and reading since before the realtime Expelled event (that was a highlight Janine!) and not once have I been asked/told to give PZ all my money or to stop talking to my friends. Or to think as he does. From him and all the really smart people here I’ve learned a lot. It has been interesting browsing through all of these introductions to see the diversity of backgrounds. Good bunch of people.

  315. lexie says

    Hi, I’m Lexie as evidenced by my nym I am not particularly creative. I’m mainly a lurker here and have been for a few years but have posted a few comments here this year and may start posting a bit more. I’m 23 and a DVM student (I will admit that I like cats more than cephalopods, is that heresy?). I’m mainly just interested in companion animal medicine. I have one dog, who is very cute (very biased), sweet and a total sook. I would like cats however, can’t have any at the moment, however, hearing about rats from several of you mainly Caine, makes me want to own some because they seem so cute (are . I grew up Christian, I became a atheist a couple of years ago, I’m out to my family (well they just kind of ignore and pretend it didn’t happen but I told them) and my uni friends (actually nice about it) but I haven’t yet told my school friends (I’m a bit scared too, I think it will result in me losing them which given some of their view on things like homosexuality is probably not such a bad thing but it’s painful to lose people I care about). Anyway soon hoping to be a totally out atheist. I like baking, sewing and cross-stitching in my spare time. I do also cook real food but my baking is significantly better (this is really more of a reflection on my bad cooking than my ok baking). Also I’m an Aussie, from Adelaide.

  316. blf says

    I’ve been told that PZ has a cult. I’ve been watching and reading since before the realtime Expelled event … and not once have I been asked/told to give PZ all my money or to stop talking to my friends.

    Oops! Sorry for the service failure. We’re adjusting the hyperspacial brainwave mindfecking raygun right now. Instructions from Teh Poopyhead should be coming through shortly.

  317. DLC says

    DLC .it’s not Democratic Leadership Committee, it’s my initials.
    dumbass nym to pick, but there you have it.
    It should go without saying that I’m a non-believer. I’m also an asocial loner who likes people despite that.
    I’m roughly PZ’s age, with almost the opposite in education.
    I have no PHD, no BS, no AAS, none of that. I have no children, spouses or exes. I’m largely self educated starting from around the second grade. I don’t want to go into much biography here, but I’ll note that my interests include many of the things Mr. Sherlock Holmes was “well up in”, but with more science, politics, roleplaying games*, computer games, MMOs** and literature. I hope to be a writer when I grow up.
    Or something.

    Perhaps I’ll elaborate if I ever open my own blog or something.

    (* the D&D type games but not munchkin. )
    (**WoW, LOTRO, SWTOR and I’ve tried others)

  318. Louis says

    Good Morning Humans,

    Louis is an enigma who likes to talk about himself in the third person. Actually Louis does not like to do this because Louis feels it to be the pinnacle of douchosity, but Louis will do so purely for the purposes of propitiating one of his two conflicting gods: Comedy.

    The other god is Science. Neither is actually a god. This is an joke. Sometimes the gods conspire to smack Louis about. This happens frequently in the Lab. The Lab is the source of all that is Holy and Good.

    Louis thinks he is Funny, Louis isn’t. This has been Established.

    Louis also thinks he is Clever, Louis isn’t. This has also been Established.

    Louis is working on both of the above.

    Louis favours random capitalisation to Signify Things.

    Louis has some qualifications and has met and worked with some remarkable people. This is meaningless. Louis does not have a Nobel Prize but would like one please.

    Louis realises this is monumentally unlikely. Louis also wants a pony, dammit.

    Louis believes firmly in the value of Comedic Self Deprecation. This may be because Louis is British-ish.

    Louis is new-ish to feminism, but not social justice issues in general, and as such still Fucks Up Royally.

    Unlike everyone else in the universe, Louis is not perfect.

    Louis is part of the Big Pharma Conspiracy….for now.

    Tonight Louis will be doing the same thing he does every night: Try To Take Over The World.

    Louis is the head of LouisCorp and its subsidiaries. LouisCorp is a global corporation dedicated to [Redacted].

    Louis is also Fond of Orgies.

    Louis thinks this Joke has gone on too long already. Louis will now stop. No. Really.


  319. DLC says

    DLC Thinks Louis is amusing, and so thanks the Louis-entity for their contributions . DLC also sometimes tries to be funny, usually not as successfully as Louis, but tries anyway.
    I should change my ‘nym to Down Loadable Content.

    and Louis, you still owe me a Leica camera body.

  320. dianne says

    Louis is part of the Big Pharma Conspiracy….for now

    Louis is considering changing this status?

  321. roldt says

    Liberal/atheist college student in California learning all about biology. Yes, I know its painfully predictable. I sometimes help K-12 classrooms get a more hands-on approach to science.

    Pharyngula was the first blog I ever read, and I haven’t missed a post since I started reading five years ago. I prefer to stay out of the messy cephalopod v. feline battle and stick with my beloved haplorhine primates, the tarsiers.

  322. jefrir says

    Caine, I would love a virtual rat. My grandpa used to keep rats, and they’ve always been among my favourite animals. I probably won’t get to keep some myself, partly because my current accomodation doesn’t allow pets, but mostly because I’m accumulating a growing list of allergies to small furry animals. I don’t know for sure if rats would affect me, but it’s probably not worth the risk – I especially don’t want to end up developing an allergy after bonding with a pet.

  323. Amblebury says

    Hello, I’m Amblebury, (the ‘nym is a mistake, I read the inscription on a monument incorrectly. I think this is funny.)

    I’m in my 40s, and live in New Zealand. It’s not too bad really.

    I told SallyStrange I would read this entire thread after dinner, but I didn’t. I watched the (taped) closing ceremonies of the Olympics and drank red wine instead. Sally will understand.

    I’ve read for years, and started posting a coupe of years ago. On a thread about dandelions. I felt very brave. Then I got sick, and stopped posting for a year or so. I’m not so sick at all now, and have been trying to maintain some sort of presence.

    Agnes is my virtual rat. This is probably the most important thing about me.

  324. says

    that’s ok, I appear to be doing fine without the mindfecking.

    Heck, where did I put the aluminum foil?

  325. rq says

    I lurk at Pharyngula but I’ve been bothering a few of the other bloggers around here from time to time (mostly Dana, because she has the tequila). I don’t think I’m much good at it, which is why I don’t comment here, and also – most of this subject matter feels too advanced for my out-of-practice thinking/debating skills. So I read and learn and sometimes follow comment threads.
    My sister rather randomly introduced me to Pharyngula with no particular intent (I’m pretty sure she only came around for the cephalopods), but I’ve ended up lingering.
    ‘rq’ stands for ‘red queen’ of Lewis Carroll/evolutionary fame, because most of the time, that’s who I feel like. Don’t want the rest of the (science) world leaving me behind, so I pretend I’m all caught up because I read fancy blogs.
    Formerly from Canada, I am currently (not) enjoying the opinions and atmosphere of a post-Soviet society considering itself the Last Bastion of Righteousness due to its disapproval of gay pride parades and the Working Woman (Low demographics? Because of Feminism. Obviously.). It’s been 6 years and I still can’t get used to it. I live with a house full of men and one ex-man (that would be the cat), with the daily fear that I will be a Bad Parent and fail to teach the characteristics of Respect, Critical Thinking, and Tolerance to the three malleable ones. I’ve given up on giving them my opinions straight up; they seem to have their own.
    What else? I work in the state police forensics lab, where the ‘new’ technologies (chem, DNA, toxicology) are curiously female-dominated, while the old ‘physical’ standbys (trace, guns, fingerprints) are still mostly for the boyz.
    I dream of going back to school one day (reasonably) soon. In the meantime, I aim to take advantage of the knowledge here, within the Horde (of which there is a bit, from reading other introductions) and from PZ himself. When I find my courage and an empty time slot, I might even try commenting here from time to time. Thus far it’s been a very educational and interesting journey and I hope to stick around for quite some time yet.

    I’ve enjoyed this opportunity to read about other commenters

  326. KG says

    And while I am no historian, I am very well-informed about misconceptions regarding 20th century history, specifically World War II, and will gladly explain to anyone interested why I think that the reason Germany lost World War II is named Adolf Hitler (and it was lost with the Battle of Britain). – Setár, self-appointed Elf-Sheriff of the FreethoughtBlogs Star Chamber

    I’ll argue that out with you sometime!

  327. Louis says


    Louis might have no bloody choice considering the state of the industry in the UK. Have no fear, if Louis has to retrain/sideways shift such change will at least maintain or even increase the level of Louis’ Evil.

    Louis is in no immediate danger as of this moment however. But as Louis approaches the end of Louis’ thirties, it may be time for any shift to happen if it’s going to happen. Louis is considering this, painful and aggravating though it is.


  328. Louis says


    Please apply to the LouisCorp HQ front desk for your Leica Camera Body. They will direct you to our Camera Compensation Department.

    Claiming camera bodies requires evidence that you:

    a) Attended a famous (high) school with notable alumni, with whom you claim to be in contact

    b) Attended a famous university with notable alumni, with whom you claim to be in contact

    c) Possess a powerful willingness to de-friend people on Facebook.

    There may be other requirements. They are currently secret.


  329. mudpuddles says

    Hello everyone, I’ve been floating in and out of here for a few years. I found PZ on Science Blogs via Panda’s Thumb or some similar blog when I was looking for answers to certain religious arguments. I found them at Pharyngula, and lots more besides that I liked.

    I am a biologist by profession, specialising in public health and environmental issues, particularly in the areas of conservation medicine and human rights. My pet interest (sometimes but not always related to my work) is examining the invariably negative impact of religious missions (particularly Christianity) on indigenous and local communities around the world – historic and current.

    Unfortunately, anonymity is essential for me to interact here and on other blogs. I work at high up levels and being “outed” as a secular humanist would really affect my ability to do what I do and to interact with the people I need to work with to get things done. Someday soon I hope I can be more open and honest about what I am, but for now its not important. Everything I do is based on science anyway, so whether I have blind faith or not is largely irrelevant. But the fact is that some of those I need to deal with are blinded by faith, and maintaining an appearance of being “neutral at worst” is essential for me. I don’t need to pretend to be a believer or something else that I’m not, I just manage to avoid any such questions arising.

    And to answer those who have asked about my pseudonym – I was stuck for one sitting at my desk one day and looked out the window, and as I enjoyed watching the rain splash in puddles in a nearby car park it came to me.

  330. says

    Hello. I’m Mark. The ‘W’ is from my surname and to distinguish myself from other Marks who may (or may not) comment. I generally post elsewhere (and may have posted here in the past) as markfiend.

    I work in web development (php/mysql mainly but also python from time to time) in the North of England. As a hobby I do origami (and occasionally blog about it).

    I have learned from posting this stuff elsewhere that the above information is enough to track me down by my real name, but I’m not entirely bothered about that; I’m “out” as an atheist in meatspace, and where I work it’s not a big deal at all.

    I’m yet another semi-regular in that I read a lot and comment only occasionally.

    I can’t remember when I found Pharyngula but it certainly struck a chord with me the first time I read PZ’s agressive no-nonsense Gnu-Atheism. The blog and the Horde has certainly led to me considering my unexamined privilege a lot more than I had in the past.

    My avatar is based on nigel molesworth as ane fule kno.

  331. piegasm says

    @ Ring Tailed Lemurian, nope…don’t even recognize the acronym…what is it? I don’t think I’ve used Pie as a character name outside of WoW and The Sims Online (le sigh, I so miss pre-EA TSO). Rift is the only game I’ve even gotten to max level in outside of WoW so I doubt I’m anyone you’d recognize from another game.

    @gragra, I’d love to join an Atheist group but Syracuse is a bit too much of a drive for me to make all the time as I actually live in Rome. I just say Syracuse-ish because it’s the nearest city most people would recognize. Though the fact that you’re Aussie might be enough to get me out there. I neglected to mention in my post that I have always had a fascination with Australia and I totally can’t get enough of Aussie accents. I’ve even looked into emmigrating there but I doubt I could get a resident visa. You guys don’t make it easy, lol. :D

  332. Louis says

    Oh, Additional LouisFacts:

    Louis is an (the only?) Official Hetero-ish (emphasis on the ish) Virtual Life Partner/Husband of Locutus of Ghey, aka Josh Official SpokesGay. Louis is also a Brother Husband to all the Wives of Josh. Louis is Lax In His Duties and regularly has to Make Amends.

    Louis can also Do Things With Chemicals quite well.

    Louis has been known to Play Rugby, Drink Alcohol, and Sing Songs About Unlikely Sexual Practises And Women’s Genitals, as befits a Gentleman Of The Rugby Persuasion.

    Louis is Officially Crap at Health Kicks.

    Louis subscribes to the philosophy of Comedic Pogonophobia. Beards must be mocked. Especially on Men. On my Auntie, they are Not To Be Mocked, mainly because She Be Scary (and is Not A Gentleman).


  333. edgibney says

    Thanks for this opportunity to jump in. I’m a new blogger (3 months) and fiction writer (2 years) working on a new belief system I’m calling Evolutionary Philosophy. Start with the simple recognition that we are just products of evolution, and use the best information we have from the natural and social sciences to come up with a comprehensive view of the world that helps us adapt and survive.

    – Follow me on twitter at @EdGibney.
    – Check out my beliefs at http://www.evphil.com
    – Follow my blog and help me evolve my beliefs at http://www.evphil.com/blog.html
    – Buy my first work of fiction: a bureaucratic fable (I worked in the FBI, Secret Service, and DHS, while my wife interned with non-profits and a Senator) called “Draining the Swamp” at http://www.evphil.com/help-me-survive.html

    Thanks for any interest or cooperation!

  334. jetboy says

    TL;DR: Hello everyone, I am a normie who’s always watching the back-and-forth!
    I am jetboy. I post here maybe once or twice a year. I’ve posted under other names, but only because I so rarely post anywhere. I forget my names. I used to work on aircraft in the USAF several years ago, hence the name. I am a recovering libertarian. Before you ask, yes, it hurt.
    I’ve never really identified as an atheist, as I am apathetic to theological questions. I’ve heard non-theist, agnostic, deist and other slurs and misnomers. I’m not sure; I just don’t think the question of deity yes/no is relevant. I identified as “sort of pagan” up until a year or so ago, when modern “allopathic” medicine saved my ass. (I know, I know, but when your head’s up your ass all that shit sounds as good as anything else) I finally went to the damned doctor for some lifelong difficulties that were getting worse, and the diagnoses and prescriptions I received made my life much less like a living hell and hell of a lot more like the life I used to live. I was then mildly ostracized by my fellow dirt-worshipers for telling them that non-scientific “medicine” was a load of impolite and filthy things.
    In my professional life, I am currently in transportation but seriously considering returning to corporate security. In both of these fields I have done a considerable amount of investigation and interviewing, and this made me think more rationally and critically.
    In my civic life, I am pretty much a socialist, and tend to be technocratic in my voting decisions. I am neither violent nor am I a pacifist. I tend to obey the law, even the minor ones about noise and hygiene.
    In my personal life, I have a spouse, a cat, and several potted plants. I make jewelry, costumes, and masks. I also make lamps and lanterns, and I paint landscapes and still lifes. I brew beer and mead. I am a certified Leave No Trace trainer and I have particular skill in wilderness survival. I am also a pretty good carpenter and mechanic. I am a giant nerd. I love geology, botany, and astrophysics. I am conducting a geological study of a local formation, which I hope to publish soon. I am eternally in college, usually an average of two classes a year.
    I have lurked every day since the Christ-on-a-cracker incident. I don’t post here often – “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt,” and, “I would never join any club that would have me as a member.”
    I also play the bass guitar, inexpertly but enthusiastically. I think religions are daft. Sexually – ahem – vanilla IS a spice, you know. Despite all the experimentation and various amusements, I am depressingly normal when it comes to tastes, preferences, and mental illnesses – so as a result I never comment on threads addressing those topics. What could I say but, “that must be enormously frustrating for you?” Since I consider myself a humanist, I am by extension a feminist, but generally keep my mouth shut. All I can do is throw money at Planned Parenthood and not vote Republican. Oh and I speak Spanish quite well, Russian and German haltingly, and am learning Japanese.
    I generally write like a pedantic, pompous ass but am quite social and convivial in person. I think it’s the absence of body language.

  335. eveedream says

    Gaaaah, I’m continually late to the party!

    IRL I’m Jessi from Rochester NY, but the two years I spent living in Japan felt more like home than most of the rest of my life. I taught English over there after I got a BA in East Asian Studies. Post -Japan I got another mostly-useless degree (Communications), and now I’m a mostly-unfulfilled cubicle slave. My present employer allows me to have blue hair, so I’m more satisfied lately than I have been since leaving Japan.

    I’m a vegan, and I used to have a food blog (www.afreshnewstomach.com) before I got too busy and let it slide. I mostly like animals more than people, and Hubby and I have two dogs and three cats, all rescues. Adopt!

    In my fantasy life I learned to either fly a plane or to sail, and I wander the globe Firefly-style, just barely earning enough to keep going. Maybe someday. In the meantime, I’m a gigantic nerd about all kinds of things. Firefly, Sailor Moon, The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, all kinds of things.

    And while I don’t have all the answers, I know enough about the world to be spectacularly anti-theist.

  336. says

    I’m electrichalibut. It’s not my real name. I’ve been a regular reader, lurker and very occasional commenter since I first found the old Scienceblogs site (can’t remember how) back in about 2006.

    Like a lot of people I came for the squids and the creationist-mocking but ended up learning new stuff about a far larger range of topics.

    I live in the UK (South Wales, specifically) and have a totally adorable four-month-old daughter who is clearly a frickin’ genius and whose endless questions about the universe I’m looking forward to answering.

  337. PigDiesel says

    I am an agnostic/atheist and have been out for around five years now. I am originally from Washington State(USA) but am now residing in Australia. I am a ten year navy veteran and served in desert sheild/storm and in Somalia. I currently work as a heavy vehicle mechanic hence the user name. I have been lurking around for a couple of years now and enjoy the liveliness of this blog.

  338. gragra, something clever after the comma says

    woodsong: Ithaca is a really nice town. It’s been ages since I was there. Ms Zoologist runs the first ever Atheist Meetup group in the USA in Ithaca. It’s very active. Also I believe, a certain ex-Pharyngula blogger is based there?

    Sally: ““I bet you all would love Stalin’s purges.” That got a round of booing, didn’t it? Like I said, you’ll be very welcome at our our campfire. I also have a spare room you can crash in if you’re not to the drive back. You can find our meetup site and the details there.

    Josh: I know all those places (except the day care center). Used to go to the Westcott Cr on Wednesday nights for life drawing. Davids and Munjed’s is not just the best middle eastern food, but unfortunately as far as I know the only middle eastern food in Syracuse. Coming from Sydney that has been sometimes hard to endure. I fucking love falafel.

  339. apcrumley says

    I’m Anthony from Northern California the state of Jefferson in fact. No, I don’t consider San Fransisco part of “Northern California”. I’m interested in so many things that it’s impractical to list them here. Lately I’ve been studying wilderness survival, sustainability, atheism, humanism, h+, WTSHTF, and Parenting Beyond Belief. My desire to raise my son in a healthy, skeptical, free thinking environment led me to watch a google hangout/youtube vid about godless parenting in which PZMeyers among other FreeThoughtBloggers participated.

    In short I recently deconverted after spending(wasting) my whole life believing in god and living for his glory as his servant and all the usual B.S. Unfortunately I’m struggling with the fact that my wife may never think the same way that I do and may want to indoctrinate our child… or has already begun doing so. Wow writing this comment just made me a little depressed…

    I don’t comment much because when I did on The Atheist Experience blog it never made it through moderation and I figure that most folks wouldn’t want to read through my newb opinions anyway. This thread feels a bit like a forum introductions page. Are there plans to incorporate such a forum on FTB? FTF? That would be interesting to say the least.

  340. carlie says

    This thread is awesome! But it makes me sad how many people say they want to comment more but don’t. Comment moar!

    Josh, I’m in the corner with you on leebrimmicombe-wood. Mainly for the same reasons you mentioned, but also because I read the name as hyphenated and here usually only women do that.

    I am organizer of the Syracuse Atheists Meetup group and have met a bunch of great people through them.

    gragra, do you have a website besides the facebook page I just found? I am purposely not on facebook.

    piegasm – I may know people in your area who would be fun to meet up with, if we can figure out a way to exchange information.

  341. carlie says

    All you Syracuse-ish people should come to Rhinebeck! Even if the whole weekend is too much of a commitment, it’s not that far of a drive for a day trip for the saturday part only. It will be fun…

  342. kage says

    Hello, I’m a 40 year old SWF of the queer variety from Australia (not far from Mt Lofty – if you’re still reading, Lofty). I’m a largely self-educated high school drop out who uses too many commas, and I shuffle papers for a living. I’ve been reading Pharyngula for 5-6 years, having found my way from here Pandagon.

    I’ve always been an atheist. My parents split when I was a toddler and I was raised by my Mum (luckily). My Dad’s family is super religious, while Mum was unfortunate enough to experience Catholic school and for a short time a Catholic orphanage in the 50’s. This left her with a personal contempt of religion which meant I never needed to convert to atheism.

    I read constantly – everything and anything. I love the discussions that happen in the comments here and I especially love the social justice slant at FtB. I’m an feminist and an old school lefty, or a bleeding heart do-gooder depending on who you ask. My commitment to social justice is stronger than to the atheist movement, so I’m actually pleased the current DEEP RIFTS are being explored. I believe we will win this battle. As with the same sex marriage debate, my (our?) opponents will be on the wrong side of history.

    I’ve been meaning to jump in to the comments for a while, and I will. Eventually.

    I share my living space with two great mates (my chosen family) and the cutest cat in the world.

  343. dianne says

    KG and Stetar: Sounds like an interesting argument, but probably not for this thread. The Thunderdome?

  344. beyondhope says

    Greetings Horde,

    Have loved Pharyngula since early Scienceblogs days; only ever lurked until now though.

    Native of Sydney, Australia and would love to meet locals and visitors – much good beer in Oz….

    Although I work as a clinician I have some lab time under my (expanding) belt; pure science captivates me in a way clinical work never can. I’m the worst kind of dilletante, and will learn from anyone willing to teach me. I’m a voracious reader and love reading pz, Caine, josh and most of the regulars – you guys have taught me so much. Thank you, sincerely, for your selfless activism.

    Although i used to lurk over at Dawkins’ place, I like pharyngula heaps better than rdfrs, especially since elevatorgate. I’m hugely into social justice, especially women’s health.

    Hi to all, I’ll try and post again. This is probably the only online space that matches my views and passions.

    Hope to talk to some of you in the future maybe?


  345. paleotrent says

    I am a PhD paleontologist who in the interest of ?trying? to remain anonymous, will not say what specific time period(s) or taxonomic area of expertise. I grew up in Louisiana (hence my periodic venting about Bobby Jindal) in a mainline Protestant church. My family was very active in said church, but I realized that I was an agnostic at age 11 (which I felt was a “dirty” secret I kept from my family), and only just realized in 2005 that I have truly been an atheist all that time. I am married with two great kids. My parents don’t know I’m an atheist yet, but it’s only a matter of time before one of the kids “blows my cover.” I discovered this site about three years ago while doing some background research for a class lecture, and have been a regular visitor and rare commenter ever since (I try not to post here too often because I need to collect data and write write write).

  346. says

    Greetings. I am known interchangeably in real life as either Skimble or Richard. I’m gay (I don’t remember appointing Josh as official spokes-gay… Josh, that meeting’d better have been quorate!), in my mid-thirties and from England.

    I like to write, draw, read and play games – whether console, board, card or roleplaying. I’m usually the Game Master for our group and like to think I’m pretty good at it.

    As a child I went through a phase where I had a morbid fear of death (my own and more particularly that of my loved ones) and I found succour in Christianity and the idea of life after death. I was confirmed in the Church of England and was actively involved in the church choir and other events. I even went to a Billy Graham video showing and stood up to take Jesus Christ into my heart.

    When I went to University I went through a period of self-discovery and realised that, yes, I was gay after all.

    I became a sanctimonious and proud gay guy, even posting on parenting newsgroups about the gay experience and the like. Despite this I maintained my religion even in the face of fierce debate with my best friend at University.

    I think I’d always had some qualms about the more overtly supernatural parts of my faith (I remember thinking ‘do I really?’ when we recited the Nicene Creed of what we believed).

    Eventually the scales fell from my eyes when I came to realise that religion was a mechanism of control founded on a work of fiction.

    Time went by and I gradually got rid of the other foolishness I believed (I had an ‘open mind’ about ghosts, psychic phenomena etc.) until I became the self-declared rationalist you see before you.

    I have a simple code of ethics that says I should:

    a) Be polite and use empathy to understand others as much as possible
    b) Base my thoughts, beliefs and opinions on evidence rather than what I want to be true
    c) Minimise the harm I cause to other people as much as possible
    d) Do my best to enhance the lives of those around me

    And that’s me!

  347. Marcus Hill (mysterious and nefarious) says

    Fair warning: this is liable to be too long, rambling and dull!

    I can’t recall what circumstances first brought me here, but Pharyngula has formed part of my timewasting for a fair while. I tend to have periods of activity and inactivity based largely on how long a lunch break I can justify to myself in any given week.

    I’m a mathematician (really, my Erdős number is 3). I train maths teachers for a living and live and work in the northwest of England. Despite frequently using “the civilised world” to refer to countries saner than the US, I have yet to notice any of the American commentariat rising to the bait. Damn you and your nonstereotypical lack of irrational nationalism.

    I am a (insert list of every privileged class here). I have a wife who has put up with me for 17 years (12 as my wife) and a son who has put up with me for eight months. Some of you have seen pictures of him, or so I infer from the fact that I had to explain to my wife why two photos of him (pre implantation and post birth) gathered a few hundred views after I linked to them in a comment.

    I’m a card carrying geek – not just maths and science, but also SF, roleplaying (yes, I’m also a LARPer) and other related nerdity. I’m also an incurable pedant, though I generally manage to keep it under control unless I’m also attacking something of more substance.

    One of the things that keeps me coming back here and makes me read the comments whenever I can make the time is the low level of tolerance for bullshit and wrongness regardless of source. Even if the Someone who is Wrong On The Internet is one of the regulars (or even the High Poopyhead), people will still call them out. Quite often this results in someone actually changing their mind and admitting they were wrong (I know I’ve done so more than once). This is a Very Good Thing.

    One of the things that I’ve really learned from my interactions on Pharyngula is to become more aware of my assumptions based on privilege. I made a decision a couple of decades ago to always interact online using my real name. Using this fact, some of what I’ve said in this comment and five seconds on Google would probably enable anyone who gave enough of a damn to send me an email at work (please only do so if you’ve got something more than “yes, I can find you” to say!). Although I already knew reasons why some people would choose to “hide” behind pseudonyms, I don’t think I fully appreciated how much my own privilege was a factor in my being comfortable not to do so until I saw some of the things people talk about here.

    Right, that’s enough incoherent rambling in run-on sentences for one lunchtime. I must get back to work.

  348. smellyoldgit says

    What’s to say? – I smell, I’m old and I’m a git. More of a lurker than a poster coz I spend too much time cat herding (badly) over here – http://ravingatheists.com/forum/index.php
    Construction & engineering used to earn a bit of cash till semi-retirement started driving me even crazier. I hail from a small cross-pond island, but often cause havoc with a merkin better half – despite the language barrier.
    Never got infected with any of the god-bollocks and feel great pity for those that did.

  349. karlotterson says

    Karl Otterson, here. I teach physics in high school. Going to do chemistry this year for the first time. I was one of those muddled agnostics all through my younger days, who didn’t really grasp that this meant I could ALSO be atheist.

    Came to pharyngula somewhere five and ten years ago, having entered skepticism through the SGU podcast, which was introduced to me by a friend in the gaming community. I also read Sam Harris’ End of Faith around that time, and I have been a bit of an evangelist for atheism and skepticism ever since. I am also a feminist, and have been all my life. I was dismayed by TF’s revealing his true colors.

    I love this community. I do my bit to fight ignorance, and it is good to be reminded I am not alone sometimes. I run a small gaming store as a second “job” but my new school schedule, plus some ongoing life changes may put an end to that soon. We’ll see.

    That pretty much covers the broad brush strokes. Science, skepticism, atheism, gaming, that’s me. Also aikido, which my 12.9 year old and I practice, but we have been unable to get to class now for almost six months. Hope to get back to that soon.

  350. Don Quijote says

    ¡Hola! I live in Galicia, northwest Spain. I have an English wife (marrid 38 years) and I am retired although I do a bit of English coaching for some local kids.

    I don’t comment much because like somebody said upthread, by the time I’ve formulated what I want to say, somebody has already said it better than I could have done. Sometimes I’m glad that I didn’t comment because I would have put my foot in it. As some one once said, “You never learn anything when you are talking.”

    Oh yes, I used to work in the merchant navy and was fortunate enough to visit many countries and make many friends worldwide.

    Also,I detest the Catlick Cult.

  351. azgeo says

    AZGeo here. Longtime reader infrequent poster. I live in Phoenix Arizona and work for a local city. I was an undergraduate student at ASU until the tuition became unaffordable. I started off as a history major, then switched to geology after taking GEO 101. Now I’m saving money to move to a country where healthcare and education are valued highly enough to be guaranteed for every citizen. I was raised a fundie christian conservation and am now an angry godless socialist. My deconversion was due to reading The God Delusion in an attempt to “disprove” it. I went from fundijelical to atheist in three days. I lived a very insulated life before that and simply had never been shown anything to contradict my stupid beliefs. PZ would probably call me a “dictionary atheist”, since I refuse to say that any of my values come from my lack of belief, rather they come from my humanism. Unfortunately, I’m still in the closet as my parents are still fundies and I owe them a lot of money from college. Also I live with them. They aren’t bad people; I just want to have security before I tell them, just in case. Sorry if this was a bit rambling, but I haven’t slept in 26 hours.

  352. gussnarp says

    I am not named Gus Snarp, but to my knowledge, neither is anyone else on Earth, and I’ve been the only person using that name on the internet for at least ten years, so I’m pretty attached to the nym. that’s sNarp,not sHarp, BTW. I don’t particularly like attaching my occasional political and religious rants to my real name, especially now that I’m in corporate America. Otherwise, I’m playing the game of life on the lowest difficulty setting, I have a wife, two kids, an unspecified number of cats, and a dog. I found this blog a couple of years ago while searching for some bit of information to hammer some creationist about in a stupid argument I had gotten into elsewhere on the net, and it was on that day that I realized there was a whole community of atheists not just on the internet, but in real life as well. And there was this other overlapping circle in the Venn diagram called “skeptics” and I was one of those two. So yeah, Pharyngula led me to Bad Astronomy, Blag Hag, Richard Wiseman, Skepchick, the SGU, the rest of Freethough Blogs, heck, even over to the Intersection for a while before I got as fed up with it as everyone else. I comment occasionally, but try not to get too involved in threads as it is on of my procrastination triggers. Also, as others often note, when I get in an argument with a particularly annoying theist, this is the one place on the internet where I know I can walk away and find when I return that no one has missed the argument they should have made. And I’m not nearly as funny as Brownian.

  353. says


    I also find it a bit wearisome when someone pops up to point out that someone had said something reeking of privilege or misandry. No, I don’t condone what they said, but it kind of hijacks the thread and I wonder if we should be the tone police.

    Privilege and sexism of any flavour aren’t matters of tone. Just want to point that out.

    Maybe we could wait until they do it really egregiously or else the second time they do it.

    Three post rule. Perhaps you missed all the new rules? (Even though the three post one isn’t new.)

  354. Louis says

    Marcus Hill,

    Erdos number?

    I has an impressed.

    I do want to figure out my Erdos number, as a chemist it’s probably a little high!


  355. says


    For those who don’t know me yet, I’m pentatomid. I’m a biology student from that magical country of chocolate and beer known as Belgium. I’m a bit of an entomology nerd and, apart from biology, some of my interests include science-fiction, fantasy, art, heavy metal and beer.
    I’ve been reading Pharyngula for about two years or so, and have been commenting since a little under a year, I think.

  356. says

    I actually dig on the “don’t do that, it reeks of privilege” posts because I haz privilege and sometimes (often) need to be reminded of it.

  357. IndyM, pikčiurna says

    @ gussnarp:

    And I’m not nearly as funny as Brownian.

    Don’t feel bad: no one is. :)

  358. Louis says


    Can I virtually adopt a black ratlet of your choosing please? The blacker the better! I have no preference about sex. Do I get naming privileges or are they all named?


  359. ajb47 says

    I’m AJ. Been lurking here for a year or a year and a half. Since sometime around one of the debunkings of life found on a meteorite. I lurk because others usually say what I think better, and post it faster, than I can.

    I was a software engineer and I’m now a stay-at-home dad (to two kids and a dog). I like camping and fishing, RPGs and reading. And I probably watch too much TV. Most of that in southeastern Pennsylvania.


  360. sisu says

    Hey Rieux, I’m also a 30something attorney in the Twin Cities!

    Aside from that… I’ve been reading here for about 2 years now, and commenting sporadically. I credit Pharyngula (and the other FTBs) with getting me to be more “out” as an atheist IRL as well as online. I’ve started going to occasional meetups and have met some great people.

    In my personal life I’m married to an awesome man who’s a stay at home dad to our 2 daughters. I drink a lot of coffee and crochet and ride my bike around the lakes (but not all at the same time).

  361. LuminiferousEthan says

    Hello! My name is not Ethan. It’s not even close to Ethan. But since I like space and funny sounding words, and because I consider myself quite clever, I thought the name fitting. I used to be a member of CFI Toronto, but due to their administrative changes recently, among other reasons I did not renew my membership this year. Which allowed me to spend more time at the RASC (Royal Astronomical Society of Canada). I’ve been reading Pharyngula for a number of years but only comment now and then. I try to keep my head out of the lions den. But very much enjoy watching from the sidelines. I find everything above our ridiculously thin layer of atmosphere to be much more interesting than anything below it. I try to participate in Astronomy outreach programs, and was able to spark some interest last night with the Perseid meteors when I had my canon of a telescope out in the park. I know Pharyngula can get a lot of flack, and can seem harsh to a lot of people, but I love what you do here! Keep up the good work!

    -For Science!

  362. says

    My name is Drew Vogel. I’m a 35-year-old straight white male. I attended church when I was a kid, and I took religion very much more seriously than my family or most of my peers. And that’s what ultimately forced me to become an atheist. I was no longer to confess myself that my religious beliefs were true, and I was too stubborn to go on pretending.

    I’ve been a regular reader of Pharyngula since shortly before the move to FtB, and an irregular reader for quite some time before that. I recently left my first comment, which was in defense of Sam Harris, who comes in for a great deal of unfair criticism, I think (mixed in with plenty of fair criticism, as well). I chose to voice my defense here for the same reason (I imagine) that do many people here criticize Harris so harshly, i.e. because I hold skeptics to a higher standard.

    I have a blog at http://www.dailydrew.com, where I talk mostly about TV and movies.

  363. says

    I am Icaarus, this Icaarus – http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2012/02/13/why-i-am-an-atheist-icaarus/

    I am a Canuck Physics grad student, with the typical nerdy white boy attributes. Been here since just before FtB started up. Frequent reader and infrequent commenter. If you find this spelling somewhere else, there’s about a 50/50 chance it’s me too. Some of you may find me adversarial, that’s because like most, I don’t announce my agreement with the crowd unless I really feel the need to.

    treefrog – If you’re here sorry for not replying to your comment on your WIAAA, didn’t read it until after the thread closed.

  364. curdle says

    Hi there –

    A friend recomended Pharyngula to me a few years ago as “something you might be interested in” but although I read regularly, I never quite got around to posting. I really like the reading and after 3 years,I’m starting to feel very lazy not posting.

  365. mikecline says

    So many interesting people on here, making it a tough act(s) to follow.

    I’m a high school geography and economics teacher moonlighting as a conservation educator. I’ve been reading PZ forever and am lucky that this amazing collection of blogs still isn’t blocked in the crazy fascist country I live in.

  366. linma says

    I’ve been lurking for several years – I remember leaving one or two comments during the time I’ve been reading but haven’t made much of a splash.

    I’m a finnish folk musician/teacher in my thirties. I’ve got the paperwork to prove I’m somewhat insane, and now spend time on sick leave to get better. I grew up as an agnostic, defined myself as atheist by the age of 15 and queer at 16. I’m a roleplaying medievalist geek with an interest in MMOs, a feminist, regular reader of Dan Savage and all-round liberal weirdo.

    The men in my family have often worked as high-ranking army officers; partly as a result my views on national defense and foreign politics are on the conservative side… for a liberal finn. Practically a socialist, I guess! I went to do the national army service even though it’s not compulsory for women but couldn’t make a career out of it due to a shoulder injury that needed surgery.

    I specialise in lurking. I enjoy listening in on intelligent conversation and often just don’t have any need to butt in (aside from the occasional question to keep the discussion going). I keep a specialised blog about my Warcraft nerding, but that’s the extent of my public internet participation. A persistent digger could no doubt find much more, but for now I’m content to keep on watching from the sidelines as the ferocious commenters of Pharyngula rip their way through a variety of subjects.

  367. carlie says

    In my personal life I’m married to an awesome man who’s a stay at home dad to our 2 daughters.

    Sisu, I have a stay at home male spouse too! We also have two kids, but both boys.

  368. Cunning Pam says

    Jadehawk, a belated ‘thank you’ for the welcome!

    Louis, at the risk of sounding stalkerish, your posts are one of the best things about Pharyngula IMO, and one of the reasons I always comb through the comments. I certainly find you to be funny and clever, even if it’s been established that you are not (always) so.

    Caine, I love ratties myself, but I can’t stand having them as it hurts my heart too much when they leave so, so soon. Thank you for the pictures and the updates of your own adorable ratlets. It makes me happy to enjoy them vicariously, and it makes me fondly remember all the whiffle-squeaks in my ear from our sweet girls Maggie and Petunia.

  369. katchen says

    Hi all – thanks for the thread PZ. I’ve posted a couple of times; it’s nice to be able to say hullo in a less fraught thread than those I’ve ended up on – I’ve been skimming the lounge for a few weeks (‘nthing the ‘d’awwwwww; ratlings’ Caine; they’re adorable!), but felt slightly awkward intruding on the regulars hang-out space. I’d have got over that at some point, however this is a welcome chance to delurk!

    Also – I get the impression my favourite pea and lettuce soup recipe isn’t necessarily going to go down too well?

    I’m a UK-based photographer; I knit, code a little, read voraciously (mostly sci-fi, photography-related theory/criticism and pop-science), make and bind books, play online RPGs and fiddle around with ridiculous fruit and vegetables in my allotment garden; I’m a sucker for unusual colours, daft names or background stories.

    I’m a second generation Atheist, and a lefty-type feminist, although in general I’m somewhat disappointed by the movements, if not the ideals.

    I’ll never be a frequent commentator; I’m disabled – typing is often painful after I’ve done too much of my various geekerys, and I experience intermittent mild ‘fogging’ of cognitive ability – not conducive to regular commenting, but I do follow a fair amount of threads here.

  370. Marcus Hill (mysterious and nefarious) says

    Louis #403: nah, like a PhD, it’s something that seems significantly less impressive when you have one. If you want to find me by email, we can discuss the possibility of getting you a 4 – as an education researcher, I can potentially drag anyone into co-authoring a paper with me.

  371. Louis says

    Cunning Pam,


    Awww thanks. And Welcome!

    I am completely stalker friendly as long as they fulfil my stalker requirements.

    Yes, those stalker requirements are deeply perverted and involve a Herculean series of Trials. I feel it’s only fair to let people know what they are in for.

    Mind you, if your nickname is anywhere near representative of reality, I’d expect you to deal with the Traps and Diversions segment of the Trials easily. I’ve only had a few people make it through that to the Deviancy stage, and a mere handful have made it from there to the Comedy Science Steeplechase.

    No one survives that.

    No one so far.

    Evil Science is one thing, Comedy Science is lethal. Why the Touch Sensitive Explosives Golf Course alone usually has a 90% drop out rate, and the survivors can’t even hear the liquid nitrogen in the otherwise empthy mag sulfate tub grenades…


  372. says

    I used to keep hamsters; they also teach about the impermanence of life with their thousand day lifespans.

    For me it’s all about enjoying the time I have with a pet; I try not to grieve too much when it is time for them to go.

    When we take home a pet (unless it’s a tortoise or parrot) we know it will die before we do. As pet owners we must all suffer the pain of that inevitable separation.

    Our reward is the days or years of companionship and affection that precede it.

  373. says

    ^ That’s my real name, because I don’t like the covers of anonymity. I’m usually a lurker at Pharyngula, occasionally commenting if I feel particularly drawn. I am 28 years old and 5 years Jesus-free — grew up in Alabama in a very Southern Baptist family, spent my high school and undergrad years leading mission trips to Mexico and evangelical work around my hometown, and had a crisis of faith as a new grad student in biology once I began to adopt an evidence-based worldview and read lots of great books by the great Four Horsemen. Escaped to NorCal for a couple of years post-MS, and now back amongst Southern hospitality and insanity and ridiculously hellish weather in PhD school in Louisiana.

    Oh, I almost forgot. Remember Tom Johnson the Notorious? Yeah, that was my lab. I was the other person at that outreach event he kept making shit up about. Apparently I attract drama.

    Also, I am not an accommodationist. Thought I’d get that out there, too.

    That’s me. *waves*

  374. McC2lhu saw what you did there. says

    This is all so friendly. I feel like we should all be going out afterward and having some beers/coffees/cake/empty calories/skittles&koolaid, etc. Some of you have even already done so. I haz a jellus.

  375. sisu says

    In my personal life I’m married to an awesome man who’s a stay at home dad to our 2 daughters.

    Sisu, I have a stay at home male spouse too! We also have two kids, but both boys.

    Carlie, no kidding! That’s awesome. :) I feel like our family setup is really unusual (with stay at home dad & breadwinner mom) so I am always happy to meet another.

  376. says

    @rockette 229

    I would love to get a Masters in Biology, but it may just be a pipe dream, as my B.S. is in Speech/Theatre. @aleph squared (and/or others): any input on the matter?

    My experience has been really positive doing graduate mathematics after undergraduate classical music, that said, I did take a lot of math classes at the undergraduate level (that’s how I knew I wanted to go on with it.) So that definitely helped. Also my only experience was in the US, I don’t recall if you said where you are, but I’m sure it is different elsewhere.

    If you are willing to do the work, there’s no reason you can’t get a masters in a different subject than your undergrad. It *might* take longer — depending on the program, they might want you to take some of the undergrad classes first (there’s a guy in my masters program who did his undergrad in econ, so they had him take some of the undergrad math classes first.)

    But I definitely wouldn’t write off the possibility

  377. says

    Louis, answered you in the lounge.

    Cunning Pam, thank you! :Whiffle-squeak: Perfect. I know what you mean, it’s terribly hard to lose them so soon, but I’ve come to terms with it. For a rat, it probably feels like a full and long life, it’s short to us, not them. I do wish they lived longer, though. I know this will strike some people as odd (or possibly scary), but when our rats die, I bury them in a large pot outside and let nature take its course for a year, then dig them up so I can keep their skulls.

    Katchen, thank you and feel free to join in the lounge! It’s great to get new people chatting away.

  378. KG says

    KG and Stetar: Sounds like an interesting argument, but probably not for this thread. The Thunderdome? – dianne

    Not here, sure – but probably not vicious enough for Thunderdome! Maybe the lounge, or Setar’s blog?

  379. TheFormerAstronomer says

    Hello everybody.

    I first came to Pharyngula when I first discovered that people still believed in young-earth creationism, which would be around 2003. Yes – I know, I have led a sheltered life (it wasn’t until I started reading and contributing to the old BBC science discussion boards that I discovered that particular strain of gross stupidity). Naturally that eventually linked to here (possibly directly or via the Panda’s Thumb). I’m one of those people who rarely comments because I’m always late to the party (like now!) and Caine or carlie have almost always already said what I was going to, only better :-). I’m also learning to become a better ally to the T, A and I parts of the QUILTBAG, which often means shutting up and listening when others are talking.

    I live and work in Edinburgh. As my ‘nym suggests, I used to be an astronomer; actually I was only very briefly a fully-fledged astronomer because I decided very quickly that academia was not for me in the long run. Now I work in marine renewables, which takes me to the most northerly (and windiest) parts of the UK on a fairly-regular basis.

    I occasionally like to wear heels even though I know they’re not really good for me. Fortunately no-one has asked me to turn in my feminist membership card yet.

    I dance and knit and paint and read as hobbies, and I know a lot about whisky. I have an extremely unrefined taste in films.

    I like both cats and cephalopods.

    I have the worlds biggest internet crush on Louis :-)

  380. TheFormerAstronomer says

    Oh, this is a good start. Half of my first comment doesn’t even make sense.

    I discovered that people still believed in YEC when I was already a grad student – hence the comment about having lived a sheltered life.

  381. Richard Austin says

    ^^ That’s my name.

    By some factors, I should be exactly the kind of guy that this site is fighting against: white, blonde hair/blue eyed, upper-middle-class single male specializing in a predominantly male field (computers and technology). My father’s family was relatively well-off, to the point that visiting his mother required learning how to be served by waitstaff at the age of 5. My father’s father was a noted engineer who designed and built at least one device that is (to my knowledge) currently on the Moon.

    By other factors, not so much. My mom’s parents were lower-class, one a child of eastern European immigrants, the other a mechanic from a small town in Missouri that still only had a population of 187 when we visited in the early 90s. My mom’s mom hitchhiked to California during the depression, was a waitress at the first Brown Derby, and served lunches at my elementary school.

    I also came out at the age of 13 (in 1990, when this sort of things wasn’t done); screwed up my liver in a suicide attempt (sort-of but not completely related to my gayness); am dyslexic, ADHD, OCD, and some weirdness that could be slightly Autistic, Aspergers, or something else entirely (my opinion leans towards sociopathy); am good enough at process and systems analysis that I’ve been able to “fake” neurotypical well enough so most people don’t notice most of my quirks; and am a gamer, a photographer, a traveler (when I can), and an employee of a non-profit working to help cure cancer.

    If I had to say, my biggest “social issues” blindspot is a tendency to step out of a situation and treat it as an abstraction, and then step back in and apply the rules that worked in abstract to specifics involving people. While that’s the logical thing, people are more than just logic and shouldn’t be treated as simple factors in an equation. So, I’m working on it.

    Most of my comments here are of the totally-random stuff (I read a lot of news and will often post links to things), answering technical questions (I’ve been programming since I was six), or applying my abilities to refine/simplify/condense rule sets to more elegant solutions (I hope).

    I enjoy long walks on the beach (preferably naked), gazing at stars (looking out, not up), and learning absolutely everything I can about everything (information junkie).

    Oh, and lollipops. It’s impossible to be angry or upset while sucking on a lollipop. True fact.

  382. says

    @Rockatte 229:
    My UG is in elementary education. My MS is in biology. I spent one full year in between as an “irregular post-grad” taking a full course load of undergrad bio classes so I’d have all the prerequisites to start grad school in biology. Now I’m in a PhD program and feel equally prepared to anyone else in my program who has a BS in biology. It’s doable!

  383. says

    Hi, my name is not Tipo, although my dad told me it was*. When the kids at primary school found out, they naturally called me Teapot, a nickname that stuck. I chose Cosmic Teapot in deference to Russell’s celestial teapot when I joined Pharyngula (at the time of Expelled!).

    I’m a 40ish Englishman living in Düsseldorf, Germany. I realised I was an atheist when I was about 10 years old. Due to a difficult time in my teens I briefly turned back to christianity. It, along with witchcraft, buddhism, etc did not solve any of my problems, so I accepted my atheism and skepticism, and been there ever since.

    I haven’t commented lately because of personal reasons, but I still check every now and then as I have learned a lot in my time here, especially about feminism and privilege.

    * My great grandfather was Hungarian, and did not want us to forget our roots, so we all had to have an Hungarian name. Even the boys, who would keep their Hungarian surnames when they married. So my dad said one of my middle names was Tipo, even though it is not officially.

  384. jayarrrr says

    Hi, I’m J. R. I’m Atheist, Liberal, lean towards the Socialist end of things, don’t expect Medicare or Social Security to be there when I need it in about 10 years, Fool around with Bonsai and houseplants, Love cats enough to spend $800 trying to cure a stray that came wandering up to the back door (we won), hate Republicans and other bottom feeders like Neo-Cons and Libertarians (See? I was NICE and didn’t use my usual term for those twits) Play with Ham Radio and target shooting (air rifle, smallbore and high-power).
    I HATE Starbucks.

  385. sidneyschwab says

    I’m Sid Schwab (don’t know how it got to be sidneyschwab, which won’t link you to my blogs. Oh well.) I’m a retired surgeon. My good blog, Surgeonsblog, was actually invited to join Scienceblogs, but, feeling I was nearly the pull-date, I wimped out. Currently, I blog about politics and religion, mostly the former. I can’t remember when I started following Pharyngula, but it’s at the top of my list.

    I grew up as a high-holy-days sort of Jew, went through the early teenage wanting to be a rabbi, finally figured it out somewhere after college, maybe. I never made much of a point of my atheism until the last few years, as believers are threatening — no, succeeding — to make the US an uneducated, fact-free, expertise-mocking theocracy.

    Been married 41 years, have a son who’s engaged to a fabulous girl, used to be heavily into cycling, but have gotten to a point where me and lycra on an open road would violate highway beautification laws.

  386. carlie says

    sisu – definitely! It’s always nice to find someone who wouldn’t give you that weird look when you tell them the home setup. :)

  387. Pteryxx says

    Sid Schwab: thank you for posting! I used to follow Surgeonsblog, er, religiously, and still post links to classics like “The Beauty of Bowel” when opportunity arises.

    The Surgeonsblog sampler:


    The Beauty of Bowel:


    and one I read a few times a year just for the lift of spirits it gives me:


  388. shortwind says

    I am Gayle Myrna, an atheist living in Portland, OR. Due to chronic health issues, I am now retired. I am a former journalist and had a number of other jobs. I am also a singer/songwriter who performs sporadically, due to the medical challenges. I am active in several local secular humanist, skeptic and atheist organizations. You can hear my relentlessly non-commercial and thought-provoking music at http://www.reverbnation.com/gaylemyrna.
    And here is a video of me performing my secular tune “Lonely Travelers” at a humanist event Aug. 11, 2012 near Washougal, WA:

    [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OgSL1k1bEzs?rel=0&w=420&h=315%5D

    I have been reading P.Z. Meyer’s blog for awhile now and am basically on the same page.

    Gayle Myrna

  389. says

    Hi everyone! My name is Li, I’m a musician and filmaker (or videomaker, actually) from Argentina. I began blogging very recently, so I’m kind of a rookie. This is my blog, http://tierra-de-antilopes.blogspot.com, mostly about music but also about other things I love (ie.: science, movies, atheism, skepticism, books, weirdness, non-lolcatz related stuff, etc…)

    But I confess, I have a cat. Shame on me.

  390. gragra, something clever after the comma says

    Piegasm, I hear you on the immigration to Australia thing, I’m sure it’s very difficult.

    We have a member in Rome, she doesn’t get over here very often but she’s great, very funny and outgoing (unlike me). Maybe you could carpool next time she comes over.

  391. earwig says

    Hello. I live in England and enjoy many other privileges I’m learning to recognise. My background is in law. In UK English an earwig is an eavesdropper, as well as one of those scuttling insects that everyone but entomologists find annoying or worse. I haven’t been commenting long but I’ve been following PZ since Crackergate – can’t remember how I got here, perhaps via New Humanist. I come here for the science and the robust discussion. I appreciate the well-argued slapdowns which can be so instructive. The number of people commenting here is a tiny proportion of the readership, but there must be a lot out there like me who learn things and have shifted their point of view.

  392. sundiver says

    Late to the party here, but thought I’d put my deadpan face in the thread. Been mostly lurking here, interjecting a wisecrack or two, on occasion maybe adding a little insight. I’m far from the most formally educated one in the Horde, my schooling past high school was from the local 13th Grade, AKA Milwaukee Area Tech College, mostly science stuff and math. Just enough to show me how cool this universe of ours is. And how much there is and always will be to learn. Did have the advantage of working a night-shift job where I could read a lot and so absorbed an education almost by osmosis. Technically, I’m not an “Atheist”, I’m probably more of an epistimelogical agnostic, and anyway wouldn’t want anything to do with that asshole described in the bronze-age myths so many humans are so fond of. Not much more to add, just welcome to all the FNGs and don’t be too shy about posting. And if you do say something stupid/sexist/ableist and get called on it, own it, apologise and move on. The horde here is pretty cool about first and sometimes second offenses but beware, persistent assholery is met with a forty-million ton shit-hammer (with apologies to Hunter Thompson). And, if really obtuse, a banhammer from PZ.

  393. Mary Lynne says

    I’m Mary Lynne, and I’m a unitarian universalist humanist skeptical atheist. I’ve been mostly lurking for years, but wanted to take the opportunity to introduce myself that way.

  394. Zamza says

    @ David Marjanović

    Haha! Clearly I am going to have to be more careful with my metaphors if I don’t want to risk churlishly dissing any passing orangutans. You people have high standards. I like it here already.

  395. jojo says

    Hi, I’m Joanna, but I’ve ended up going by Jojo because people think the “a” on the end of my name is silent and I hate that. I’ve been lurking for several years, and I occasionally comment.

    I have a BA in Human Ecology and I love biology, but I somehow ended up working in aerospace, and enjoy it quite a bit. I get my science fix here and on other sites on the internet, and spend a lot of time teaching my 6 year old about science, nature, and that it’s OK for boys to like pink. I also love the fiber arts, and am currently obsessed with quilting.

    Even though I was brought up in a Methodist family, I don’t think I ever beleived. I remember sitting in Sunday school listening to some bizarre old testament story when it hit me that the teacher actually beleived what she was reading to us and expected me to believe as well. That was when I realized religion was ridiculous. I also remember getting a tax form from the church when I was 9 years old letting me know that I hadn’t donated any money to the church that year. That was when I realized religion was a racket.

    Anyway, I just want to say that I come here everyday and spend way more time reading than I should. This place feels like home to me at this point.

  396. ogremeister says


    I am ogremeister (longtime online gaming nym), computer programmer/other, agnostic, and skeptic. Mostly lurking and occasionally commenting for about three years or so (posted on SciBlogs a handful of times as Y[ahoo]M[ess] Wild Jack). Interested in most fields of science and in refutations of religious apologetics, and I get a fair amount of each here, since they really go hand-in-hand.

  397. UnknownEric says

    Greetings and salutations. I don’t post much, as I tend to not trust my ability to express complex thoughts in a wholly original way without a lot of really bad jokes and/or salty language. I’m an aging straight middle-class white man who is aware of his privilege (it was like a sudden blast of insight when I was in college, laying in bed, thinking the usual “oh, how hard life is” thoughts, when I suddenly realized, “Well, damn… to be completely honest, I have it really, really well in comparison to most.”) My life was changed by my first R.E.M. record, after which I took a sharp left turn away from the cultural zeitgeist (until I found myself in a ditch filled with Jandek CDs and I learned to accept Hall & Oates and Prince back into my heart). I wanted to be Greil Marcus growing up, but I ended up a librarian instead, which has its challenges (mediocre pay being one), but all in all, isn’t a half-bad job to have as an anti-corporate progressive atheist. I was raised Roman Catholic, but found myself pushed away by church orthodoxy at such a young age that questioning faith and becoming atheist was a fairly simple process (being made fun of by a priest in front of an entire class of kids tends to make one much less likely to continue in the Catholic church…). I was born and raised in Buffalo, NY, which I still love and consider my home in spite of the falling-apart mess it has become (oh, but the food!). After years of having my historian wife try to get me interested in history, I’ve become fascinated with seemingly the one area of history she could not possibly care less about, ancient Rome. I have to admit to being a sports fan (not a crazy one, but my moods intertwine with the record of the Orioles and the Sabres much more than I’d like to admit). I also haven’t matured much since childhood and still find fart jokes absolutely hilarious.

    That’s probably more than anybody really wanted to know, I’m sure.

  398. says

    You now speak to Andrew.

    I found this site and browsed it on and off around the start of college. I had been making propaganda difficult for creationists starting somewhere around the age of 14, though I’d always been asking a lot of questions the Mormons didn’t like when I attended local churches. Unlike apparently all of my peers I picked up the philosophy that went into the English curriculum and in genuinely evaluating those, the Biblical morality (even just the vocal part- no need to read the verses they don’t want you to think about,) just didn’t stay standing.

    But shooting fish in a barrel doesn’t seem like a full time kind of job so I’ve been trying to wrap my head around feminism (starting around elevatorgate.) It’s a little rough knowing that my intuition almost never gives me the right answers for that but I’ve already changed the most important parts of my thinking (I hope.)

    Having had some experience as a member of a marginalized group it always seemed obvious to me that there should be at least this minimum of sympathy where we don’t tell other groups that they’re not really experiencing any problems. I can’t imagine so many of us are so unfamiliar with microaggression yet here we are struggling to with all the skeptic groups that don’t want to go beyond the safe confines of Bigfoot and UFOs.

  399. didgen says

    let me know what you are looking for, not really indexed but sorted by my own system. You could message me at facebook if you like.

  400. madknitter says

    I am the madknitter. I live in Boston, and majored in history and religious studies as an undergraduate. I hold a master’s in religion, and one in library science. When I was in college (a Catholic one), my devout roommate used to scream down the hall at me, “How can you major in religion when you’re a fucking atheist?” Because, dear boy, religion is just another academic subject, like history, literature, or psychology.

    I became an atheist at university. Reading the bible will do that to you. I confirmed my atheism in grad school. Reading the bible in the original will do that for you, too. Being able to tell fundies and evangelicals that the bible doesn’t say what they think it does is one of my little pleasures. Also telling them that they haven’t read the bible, but only a translation of the bible is another.

    I like to knit, collect yarn, read more than is good for my eyes, and dance with swords. I am on the only all-queer rapper sword side in the world (we think).

    I like dark beer, spanakopita, and ice cream. I am a yarn snob and have achieved SABLE. I write a knitting blog.

  401. kverulantinnen says

    Hmm, can there really be much point in posting this late in an introduction thread that’s already been demoted to “older posts” purgatory?

    I’ve been lurking here since some time in 2009, but I don’t think I’ve ever posted. I came here by way of Ravelry, where I’m pretty active in the atheist/agnostic and academic forums. Here is my standard list of keywords to describe myself:

    expat Pacific Northwesterner (located in Norway)
    atheist (born and raised, working on bringing up one wild boy as the third generation)

    I’m a literary scholar who spends a lot of time thinking about the intersection between the physical world, identity construction, and prose narratives. My “Why I am an atheist” showed up on Pharyngula back in January to my terror and delight: http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2012/01/16/why-i-am-an-atheist-ellen-rees/

    I’m not sure that I feel entirely at home here, which is weird given that I’m a pretty hard-core atheist who doesn’t usually shy away from a rhetorical brawl. Reading posts from the many other lurkers here on this intro thread has me wondering if maybe things will become slightly less cliquish than they have appeared to be from the outside looking in. We’ll see, but for now I’ve thoroughly enjoyed reading and learning from many of you over the years.

  402. KDoug says

    Howdy! I usually go by KDoug on the internets, which is a slight variation on my real name. Although, I’m usually more of a lurker than an active participant on those same internets.

    I’m a 35-year-old male graphic designer somewhere in USA-land. I was raised as a believer, but I grew up as more of a liberal believer (as in, “it’s probably not ALL true”) and have long had an interest in science. I’m a long-time Star Trek fan and was somewhat of a comic book fan back in the day. But, it’s been many years since I’ve read any comics regularly.

    Around 2004, I started to fall out of belief into agnosticism and I finally deconverted to atheism a couple of years ago. In 2008, I started trying out some new podcasts and, through them, stumbled onto skepticism. I started reading skeptic & atheist blogs just after Elevatorgate began.

    That was some timing, all right! My reactions to what I was reading were sort of like, “Wait, what? WHAT?! What happened? Oh. OH! WHAT!!” But, I learned a lot and even started re-examining my own behavior. And, I’ve learned plenty about other stuff, too. Which is a great part of skepticism. :)

  403. BeyondUnderstanding says

    Typical east-coast liberal nerd. I have a strong passion for science and logical thought, even though professionally I’m an artist (multimedia developer & designer). Long time atheist/free-thinker.

    The years of reading Pharyngula have strengthened my debating and reasoning skills. The no-nonsense approach of PZ and his readers have provided me with a safe-haven for rational thought.

    Don’t believe the nay-sayers. Pharyngula is one of the most unbiased places on the net. It’s simple, really. Evidence or STFU.

  404. Guest Speaker says

    The intro threat was a great idea – so many cool people with witty posts.

    Guest Speaker because I only occasionally comment and couldn’t think of anything better, now too late to change it. I was always skeptical but was able to find like-minded people during my PhD and thanks to the Internet, and thus my skeptical thoughts could blossom and become more coherent and concrete.

    I came across PZ’s blog a few years ago when I was in the mode of reading everything and anything I could get my hands on re atheism; I stayed for the blood-letting: I love it when creationists visit the threads and try to ‘reason’ *rubs hands greedily together*

    Still, I personally take more of the approach of a Michael Shermer to “true believers” – I know they became that way through the human condition and socialization, but still I love having rational arguments with them because stupid ideas that influence policy and people’s lives should be torn down; because there is so much power and truth in humor and ridicule; and because there is a strong need in society to knock those particularly influential, bigoted and irrational propagators of irrationality and closed, superstitious thinking down off their heavenly pedestals. Keep fightin’ the good fight.

  405. koliedrus says

    Hi. I’m Kol and I’m an alcoholic.

    Wrong venue…

    Hi. I’m Kol and I’m one of the people who helped you get addicted to communicating with people you’ve never met.

    Granted, I only played a small part but enthusiasm is contagious. When I found out that I could call my own phone number on my rotary telephone, wait for the recorded message to pause and hear others talking to anyone who would listen/respond, I was hooked.

    In the mid ’80s, I gathered the equipment and software needed to run one of the two fastest BBSs in this part of my state (2400 baud!). It was single-serve (one person at a time) and highly popular. Since the BBS software allowed for sub-sections and sysops for each, I began to recruit people to assist with topics in which they considered themselves to be specialists.

    My most memorable part of that era was a particular individual who would use the “Chat With SysAdmin” function like clockwork after I got home from work. He typed so goddam sssslllllooooowwww….

    We chatted daily and I always did my best to be nice to him. One day, he was typing fast and I immediately knew that someone else was punching the keys.

    I was right. It was his mother.

    She started with explanations. Her son had been recovering from self immolation, was in a wheelchair, was typing slowly because he was using a prosthetic and looked forward to our daily conversations. She told me that she appreciated the patience that I had given without knowledge of his condition.

    I was emotionally changed by that revelation. I went on later to help as an admin on a message board only to find myself encouraging others to share lessons that they’d experienced and encourage them to publish their experiences so that others might not have to encounter obstacles.

    I ended up being the administrator of that message board. I’ve experienced the flame wars, the back channel discussions being published, passwords being shared with lovers, relationships failing and passwords being used to erase everything.

    So, I got here just before “Expelled” because someone pointed me to a protein (as I recall) shaped like a cross. At the time, I felt like I was outgunned so I told one of the individuals that I would look at it in greater detail and, perhaps, email someone more knowledgeable in the matter.

    In short, I wrote to PZ detailing the situation and told him that I didn’t have something to back me up, I’d be sleeping on the couch for the rest of my life (or something). He responded with something like, “We already did that one”, and supplied me with the relevant link.

    What struck me was that he said, “WE”. He implied that I was in the company of a group of people who had already fleshed out my argument for me and had provided me with enough information to stand my ground.

    So, I have a lot of empathy, I stand my ground but only when I’ve convinced myself that my reasoning is valid.

    I post when something seems important to me. I tend to turn away from an exchange when “gangs” form to crack knuckles and tear my thoughts to shreds based on punctuation.

    I’m here because I’ve learned a lot. I’d like to share it without some “dipshit getting all butthurt” and forcing me to look up the definition of “Tone Troll”.

    Also, I’ve been through the “Get to Know Me” stuff.

    Turns out that some hook up and have awesome kids.

    I’m “Kol”.


  406. rockatte says

    @aleph squared

    Thank you for the reply. Of course, classical music IS math, so you are already way ahead of me. :) But thank you for the encouragement. I do live in the US.

    And my nym is a combo of “Rockette” and my nickname IRL, “Cat”…hence, “rockAtte”. :o)


    Thanks to you as well. I sent you a FB request so we can discuss – hope you don’t mind.

  407. lesofa says

    Hi. I’ve been reading this blog daily since the Expelled incident, but I never comment* because I’m not very confident in my English skills (they’re not BAD, I can read the posts and comments easily, but it takes some time and effort to write my opinion without embarrassing myself).

    I’m an atheist struggling to survive in the ultra-religious Brazil. It’s frustrating to see public Christian figures routinely trying to infect the legislation with their beliefs (and sometimes succeeding), promoting hate speech against gays, being given special treatment on the media, etc. and then be seen as intolerant by your friends when you respond publicly to this madness. (Though, from what I read here, Americans are in a similar position).

    The skeptic/atheist movement is much weaker here, but we have some great organizations like ATEA (“Brazilian Association of Atheists and Agnostics”) and LiHS (“Secular Humanist League of Brazil”) that sometimes makes us visible. Actually, next month we’ll have our first secular humanist conference, thanks to LiHS.

    I do not keep my atheism a secret, but I’m not an activist either. I participate in the rare atheist events in my city and I speak out against religion/pseudoscience when necessary, but I promote atheism/skepticism mainly in a passive way, by being the best person I can and hoping I could be seen as a good example. I don’t think everyone should be like this though, I’m really thankful for people like PZ, Zinnia Jones and Rebecca Watson for being loud and speaking so eloquently about this issues. I just wish I was talented enough to do the same.

    I probably won’t comment much after this, but it’s always nice to say hello. :)

    *I actually commented a couple of times years ago, when it wasn’t required to sign in, but I can’t remember the name I used (sorry, no intentional sockpuppeting).

  408. says

    @ piegasm – TVS = The Violet Sector (a free multiplayer space-based 4 way battle). Someone with the nym PIE has been playing for about 10 years, on and off (and used to play WOW too). I stopped playing some years ago.
    So it’s not you, but Hi! anyway :)

  409. The Science Pundit says

    Hi! My name is Javier. I am a long time reader of this blog. I was once a regular commenter, but due to current time and financial constraints (I don’t have internet at home anymore), I rarely ever comment now. I am currently on track to get a Masters Degree in Applied Mathematics and also work as a bartender. Hopefully I’ll be able to one again be more actively involved with the freethought community sometime soon, but in the meantime, you can find me lurking in the shadows.

  410. Wild old rancid caveman says

    Hi, Caveman here,

    My Nym is an anagram so I’m stuck with the rancid bit but I like the wild old caveman part enough to put up with that.
    I don’t recall how I found Pharyngula but I’ve been lurking here for several years and occasionally posting. As Audley (I think) said above it’s a great place to sit back and learn stuff. I log on nearly every day on my phone but it’s not much good for posting (particularly if you want to use block quotes – too much typing). I would post more frequently but due to the timezone most of what needs to be said has already been said by the time I see it and I’m also not very eloquent so others can usually say things better than I could anyway.
    I was forced to go to church for many years and tried really hard to believe but I’d have to be an electric monk to believe that stuff without your my head exploding. I did enjoy my time playing trombone in a Salvation army band though.
    I live on a small property in New South Wales with my wife, the love of my life*, and a couple of awesome foster children who have been with us for 4 years and regularly beat me in show jumping competitions. We also have a few horses and a continuously variable number of dogs (we provide free** kennel services for most of our friends and occasionally rescue dogs that are destined for the pound).
    40ish, mostly white, male, straight, IT professional. I have always loved anything to do with science. Enjoy reading, animals (including cats although we don’t have any because I also like to have birds and (most) reptiles around the house), shooting (targets) and working with my hands in metal or wood. Any other time I have is spent waging total war using various WMDs against the blackberries, serrated tussock and gorse in my paddocks, it’s too early to tell who’s winning.
    Born in New Zealand but have lived in various Australian states for the last 30 years, both great countries to live in.
    It’s good to see so many other lurkers coming out of the closet, even if it’s just for this post.

    * In case there’s any misunderstanding my wife and the love of my life are the same person.

    ** will accept beer

  411. slowdjinn says

    Slowdjinn here.

    I’m usually late to the party, mostly because I live in the UK (a converted Methodist chapel in Cornwall, to be ‘zact). All the good arguing has usually been had by the time I arrive, so I mostly just lurk.

    I became resistant to religion after childhood inocculation with a weakened strain of christianity (CofE) and finally realized, after reading the bible again in my teens, that I’d never really believed a word of it. I spent a few years on alt.atheism & talk.origins, before tearing myself away for a few years to detox from major SIWOTI addiction.

    I started reading Pharyngula around Expelled/Crackergate. I came for the Creationist-poking and Evo-Devo, and stayed because you buggers keep making me look hard at myself, and change my attitudes. I think I’m beginning to grow up.

  412. jmst says

    I’m jmst, which is, sort of, my initials.

    I live in the northeastern peninsula of an island which I share with 3/4 of the world’s population, by The River, in a city that, unlike most major cities along The River, doesn’t start with a ‘B’ in the local majority language, although it does in the most common minority language. I was born and raised hillside, but have been living riverside for 8 years.

    I think I’ve come across pharyngula for the first time around 2008, and been an irregular visitor ever since, probably most intensely around this time in 2010 when I was spending an unhealthy amount of time shouting at creationists around the ‘nets (if I recall correctly, that’s also when the SIWOTI comic came out on xkcd; I only really got the impression that this guy was stalking me when he gave us this one just in time, though), mostly for the science as you may have guessed*. I’ve recovered from that particular blend of SIWOTI but not from the syndrome as such, and got my most recent fit when someone in a skeptic/atheist forum I frequent** started a thread accusing Rebecca Watson and our host of ruining The Movement, at which point I read up on the debacle that had really passed over my head for most part and found Pharyngula to be an even better place than I had remembered.


    * Being from a discipline that is frequently (mis)classified as part of the humanities but which I think really should ally itself with cognitive biology, maybe all those debates with creationists weren’t all that futile – reading up on stuff may have helped to get enough self-confidence to apply, and be shortlisted, to a biology position without being a biologist by formal training.

    ** It’s somewhat ironic that I should be part of such a board even, since being an atheist is for me pretty “well, duh”. Due to privilege of geography and social circles, if ever the topic of religion even comes up, the religious ones are almost universally the ones who have to justify themselves. In my leftwing activist group, religion really only comes up in third person, as when we attack religiously motivated pro-lifers, or islamophobia dressing up as “criticism of religion”. In my academic contexts, I’ve more than once found myself almost defending religion when I’ve argued that religion is, rather than being “the source of all evil”, more often a convenient (often post-hoc) rationalisation for evil the roots of which lie mostly elsewhere, and even at my non-academic job, openly religious people are a minority.

  413. ks says

    I’ve been a very long time reader, for I don’t even know how many years, but I’ve only commented once or twice in that time.

    I teach intro physics and astronomy classes at the local state U, and will be just starting my first semester as a full time lecturer in the physics department next week, although I’ve been adjunct there for about 9 years now. I’m also working on my PhD in Science Ed, hopefully finished next summer, if the dissertation gods smile on me. In my *very* limited spare time, I read blogs and all sorts of books, although my favorites are trashy romance novels, chase my kids around, and cook.

    I was raised Catholic, but it was never something I took too seriously. I started having serious issues with the Church around high school, once I started paying attention to doctrine on women and reproductive rights, but I’ve always kind of thought the Christian god was a bit of an asshole, since I grew up in southern WV surrounded with your more extreme brands of fundamentalist assholes. By the time I finished college, I was a wishy washy agnostic and it only took a few years after that to become a full on atheist.

  414. twincats says

    Wow, I meant to get this in earlier. Better late than never, though.

    Hi, Twincats here. I’m mostly a lurker, used to comment infrequently at SB as Dwarf Zebu and switched back to Twincats after the FTB move because I didn’t need yet another log-in. I found this group through Dispatches which I found around 2005 through another atheist’s blog that is defunct now.

    I am 52, female, white, cis, atheist, fat, married, childless* and a closeted liberal in a very conservative part of SoCal.

    I was raised in the San Fernando Valley (the Valley Girl Valley) as a Lutheran in a pretty liberal congregation. I enjoyed my time there, between the people, choir, the ceremony and youth group. I even learned about the scientific method in the parochial jr. high. My disenchantment began after I came back home after going to school in VA for a couple of years (after temping a couple of years after 8 years in the USAF after high school) and finding a new, very conservative pastor had been installed. Forgot about church for a while, went back to school and dabbled in paganism a bit. Met my dh at ren faire, moved to the Inland Empire, started selling his extensive collection of 80’s games and stuff on eBay (with a dial-up connection!) started doing a bunch of reading on the internets waiting for listings to load, found aforementioned atheist blog above and bingo! Here I am.

    I am a cashier at a nationwide (US nation, that is) craft chain when I’m not online. When I’m not online or at work, I read, knit, crochet, make jewelry and sew a bit (but only to make ren faire costumes.) I have more yarn, beads and fabric than I can realistically use, but it’s an occupational hazard, I’m afraid.

    I wouldn’t mind some ghey seks with Brownian, but I’ve seen the line. Whoa!

    *I do have a fuzzy son; an adopted basement cat.

  415. stephenmurphy says

    Occasionally and usually nym-d as a variant on my nickname smurph or something like it (I don’t really try to hide and with this post I am clearly not), I am a Canadian university professor (biologist by training; wider field of restoration ecology and environment by avocation). I mostly lurk because like some others above I also fear thread-bloat and find the regulars more articulate than me – as opposed to intimidating – though appreciate the kind encouragement above to post more. I’ve read PZ’s blog for many years and arrived there via occasional posts some of the old less-prominent science boards.

  416. semaphore says

    Hi! I’ve been reading Pharyngula since about 2007 or so, when PZ spoke at my undergrad school and I was curious enough about what a “pharyngula” was to Google it. I had always been an atheist (my parents met in a first-year geology class, so I didn’t have much of a chance to be anything else!) but I was never conscious or political about it until I started reading Pharyngula and learned more about how religion is poisoning public policy in the States. We don’t have as much to worry about here in Canada!
    I’ve been very lucky to always be in safe spaces for atheism- religion wasn’t an issue in my science undergrad, and I can count on one hand the number of people that I went to law school with who I know were religious. I can’t imagine what it must be like to hide who you are every day because of other people’s prejudice, and I can credit Pharyngula and the commenters here for making me more conscious of my identity as an atheist, a feminist, and a liberal, and for making me more likely to speak up when something is wrong.

  417. PatrickG says


    Is it permissible to violate the New Rule against old threads/new threads to use this thread as evidence for someone not being a complete waste of oxygen?

    This thread might prove useful in determining whether someone is a regular commenter (or at least claims to be), as opposed to something summoned from the nether depths of the Internet. As someone who only removes his foot from his mouth to gasp for air, I dunno, maybe it’d be nice to have this as a reference. :D


  418. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    RickR–Oh my goodness, how did I miss you up there? Good to see you!

    AlephSquared–I know I owe you an email. . my schedule got nuts and I became a bad correspondent; I’m sorry. We need to have that beer!

  419. ryangerber says

    Hi, I’m Ryan. I’ve been reading this blog since before it was on ScienceBlogs, I think sometime around 2003, following a link from Phil Plait. I don’t normally comment because I’m a day behind and would end up at the bottom of a 474-comment page.

  420. McC2lhu saw what you did there. says

    Kol @460:

    My wife and I are a couple of those poor geeks that met online and have awesome kid(s). We met on the Multi User Dungeon (MUD – the template that WoW used to build their engine) called Apocalypse back in 1995. Back in those days we had wood-burning modems and had to trudge through lag-drifts almost 15 minutes long. These young whippersnappers with their HD graphics and iPads need to slow down before they kill somebody!

  421. liebore says

    Hi, I’m liebore. Daily reader since shortly after cracker-gate. Occasional commenter when I have the time to craft something coherent and feel my views might offer a different perspective from the mainstream school of squiddies.

    I inspire instant disgust from close-minded liberals for spending years of my life obtaining an MBA and deploying many of those acquired skills in the world of corporate finance. I inspire lifelong hate from conservatives for spending years of my life obtaining an MBA and serving in corporate finance while simultaneously supporting higher taxes and more social programs. A loving wife, two fantastic kids and a very silly boxer make me immune to the vitriol I receive from either extremist group.

    I have been Athiest for the past 25+ years (early teens). I’m open about that to all my friends and family, but remain very closeted about it in my professional life.

  422. Jamie says

    Hi everybody, I’m Jamie, a 26 year old female from the SF Bay Area. I live with my significant other, my mom, and an awesomely sweet labrador-pitbull mixed female dog (though breed could be misidentified from shelter). I’m mostly a lurker and a once-in-a-while commenter, though it seems I tend to comment when the threads have gone a bit cold. Like many lurkers, I feel that the regulars have already said what I was thinking in much more articulate ways that there’s not much more that I could add.

    I tend to read this blog while I’m at work, and since I’m actually on vacation for half this week (yay!), I haven’t had a chance to read through all the comments (maybe I’ll come back to read it all at a later time).

    I’ve been reading Pharyngula since 2009, and I’ve learned so much: not to let language/tone get in the way of the content of a message, how to debate, logical fallacies, and more about feminism. I feel that reading the posts and subsequent comments have sharpened my critical thinking skills. It’s been pretty fun.

    I’m already pretty interested in biology and physics, and part of the draw to Pharyngula is that I love cephalopods too. I love to read and learn new things. If it were possible, I’d just go to school and read novels forever. (Btw thanks to the Pharyngula horde for introducing me to Discworld. I’m nearly done reading all the books in the series.) I also love puzzle games like Professor Layton and used to play WoW, though I no longer have the time. I also just started a teaching program, so that’s exciting (and tiring because I have to work full time as well).

    I was never much interested in religion*, but my time spent exploring the internet after graduating college has put me firmly in the Gnu atheist camp. I guess before this I would have classified myself as agnostic, but as religion was not influential in my life, I didn’t give it much thought. Religion/atheism would have continued to be nothing in my life if it weren’t for the creationists’ vocal blathering online (like on youtube video comments).

    Anyway, I really should be finishing my (*ahem*late) assignments instead of cocmmenting on a blog post. I hope everyone else is well. Goodnight from my time zone.

    *Though it may be more accurate to say that I didn’t have time to get interested in religion since I was under academic pressure and had more pertinent things to focus on. I am pretty interested in religion now.

  423. says

    I’m pinkboi. I’ve lurked here and also at Dispaches from Culture Wars since I don’t know how long ago. I comment here every once in a while though I like in-person arguments more. Especially when beer is involved. Especially homebrew..

    I’m a software engineer who studies bioinformatics by night. I like making things – making bread, making beer or mead, writing software (yes, I sometimes come home from coding and do yet more coding), recording music (drummer and synth nerd here) and so on. I’m also by all accounts something of a vegan tree-hugger weirdo. I don’t feel right if I’ve gone too long without backpacking or something involving wild places. After all, I’m an atheist and nature is my church. I also have a blog.

    Also.. I’m going to be a father soon! So if anyone here doesn’t like me, they can rest easy knowing that I’m going to be stuck cleaning another human’s waste soon enough (my wife will punch me if I make her do it all the time).

  424. Charlie Foxtrot says

    G’day! Despite not really having anything to hide, I still enjoy going by a ‘handle’ (a legacy of IRC and gaming from 20 yrs ago), so I’m Charlie Foxtrot wherever I comment on the ‘toobs these days.
    Found Pharyngula sometime before Expelled!, I think following something about the inner-cell video that had been ripped off. Was reading daily when PZ was expelled and then when Crackergate started, and was irrevocably hooked after that.
    I live in Melbourne, Australia and work in IT – which is great for unfettered access to the Internet. Still never enough time to read all the comments here though :(
    Was educated in the Catholic school system by fairly nonreligious parents. ‘Cosmos’ and a general love of science kept me skeptical of the bulk of it, but I still took a while to shake off vague deism and agnosticism. PZ helped me realise that I was clearly an atheist. Buying PZ beers at the GAC 2010 and 2012 have been my way of saying “Thank-you!”
    I don’t comment a lot, but I do like to chip in occasionally. Especially if the topic features Australian church/state issues, or Vegemite, or beer. Or all three.
    I’m trying to work out my niche as part of the commentariat here – currently I’m specialising in non-sequiturs and being the last to comment on a thread (damn you, timezones!)

  425. says

    Especially if the topic features Australian church/state issues, or Vegemite, or beer. Or all three.

    Ar the risk of creating a Thunderdome-level flame thread: everyone knows that Vegemite is evil and Marmite is the one true spread.

    FX: Man running for cover.

  426. Marcus Hill (mysterious and nefarious) says

    Especially if the topic features Australian church/state issues, or Vegemite, or beer. Or all three.

    Surely Vegemite and beer are part of religion in Australia?

  427. says

    And my nym is a combo of “Rockette” and my nickname IRL, “Cat”…hence, “rockAtte”. :o)

    Whoops. My apologies! So sorry — that’ll teach me to skim! (My only excuse is that I was posting with a 103 degree fever :()

  428. Gnumann, quisling of the MRA nation says

    Hi – I’m Gnumann and I’m a periodic poster, hence my lateness to the party.

    I’m generally just a collection of bad habits, but at least I’ve managed to outgrow liberalism, theism and MRA-ness during the last 15 years. I’m a frequent sufferer of white-male-knowitall-syndrome though, and therefore frequently need at wack in the head. Don’t worry about wacking, I’ll recover.

    I live somewhere In Scandinavia, where is infrequently mentioned. I work as a civil servant and pseudoanonymity is a good thing (makes it less likely that some idiot confuses my blathering for policy).

    Interests: policy-making, feminism, animals (including humans), far too much gaming

    Politically I’m pretty far left, but also democratic, hence a bit disillusioned in the short term. Also anti-growth, but not good t cutting my own spending (yes, I’m a teensy bit hypocritical)

  429. says

    Howdy folks. I’m myeck. I’ve been trying to think up a cool ‘nym but I guess I’m stuck with that one.

    I grew up in Wisconsin and currently live in New Jersey. My sweetie and I have two adult offspring who are interesting and caring people, and our first modem was good for 300 baud and couldn’t dial, answer or hang up by itself.

    I started lurking here (OK, the SB version of here) a couple of years ago. An online buddy got me reading the Slacktivist blog’s demolitions of the Left Behind books. That blog sometimes linked to Pharyngula posts and that led me here.

    I mostly lurk. Generally, by the time I reach the end of a thread, one of the regulars has already said what I wanted to say, only better. So I mostly lurk.

  430. machintelligence says

    I’m a frequent sufferer of white-male-knowitall-syndrome

    Those of you who think you know it all are a real pain in the ass for those of us who really do!
    *ducks and runs*

  431. Waffler, of the Waffler Institute says

    Hi, I’m Waffler. Long time lurker, very occasional commenter. I’ve been lurking since before PZ was on Scienceblogs, and came to Pharyngula via Talk Origins.

    [In those early days I used a different nym … that I’ve since discovered I wasn’t the only one using.]

    My pseudonym is practically meaningless (I make extraordinarily delicious Belgian Waffles).

    I’m a medium-old Mitt Romney look-a-like who shares none of his politics or religion.

    I was a campus radical at my middle school, but have been much quieter since then.

  432. usagichan says

    Hello, usagichan here… nym originally from my wife (日本人)re dietary preference (long since discarded) but it stuck. Living and working in Tokyo *waves at any other Pharyngulites living here in Japan*

    Been known to comment occasionally (SB and very occasionally here), but usually too slow for the frenetic pace. Pet peeve is the insistance of some to tell everyone else “How to do it” (mostly the ‘Let’s not be beastly to believers’ kind – stopped reading another FTB for this very reason). Oh, and I like partaking in the occasional Pharyngulation.

    Have two offspring (youngest brought up here – having a real job getting her to speak English (still, eldest is fluent in both thanks to my wife’s efforts – although she is much cleverer than me possessing a PhD (from an English university therefore in her second language too))). Tend to over-parenthesise (teaching myself Lisp (wanted to see what all the fuss over closures was about) so that might influencing me). Also have one cat uses me as a bipedal can opener (Devon Rex – more alien than feline, but adorable none-the-less).

    I love reading most of the regulars – My wife started raising my consciousness of priveledge (Race and Sex) but have learned so much reading here… if only some people would listen to what is being said rather than shooting stawmen from the hip. Still, the regulars here do an awesome job (and have amazing stamina and patience).

  433. thunk, erythematic says

    I’m thunk. That’s my name… well it should be.

    A relative young’un, started lurking Oct. 2010, and actively commentating April 2012.

    Yes, and I’m timid. *slips away*.

  434. alkaloid says

    I’m alkaloid. I am an African American man living in the SF Bay Area with strong leftist leanings who has also been an atheist for twenty years next year. I have always been interested in science and chemistry in particular (hence the pseudonym I chose for myself) but I’ll probably be going back to school in botany soon in order to get my career started again, which I’ve cared about my whole life but never really tried to act upon before all that much.

    I mostly don’t comment all that often, but I think I found Pharyngula searching around on the internet for criticism of Chris Hedges a couple of years ago, and I stuck around based on what I saw.

  435. What a Maroon, el papa ateo says

    I have to confess that I haven’t read all the comments here, so my apologies if this has already been said.

    I’m What a Maroon. I’m saddled with pretty much every privilege this culture offers, so I try to keep my mouth shut and learn. I discovered this place a few years ago thanks to Jerry Coyne’s blog, which I discovered via Language Log (I think Sili linked to it). I chose my ‘nym based on my connection with Coyne, but I find this place easier to follow and comment on.

    I’ve got an AB in Linguistics, an MAT in TESOL and Spanish, and a PhD. in Applied Linguistics, and I work in language testing. I’ve spent most of my life in the US, with a few years in Eurasia. I’m married with two kids; currently we live in northern VA, but spend a few weeks each year with my wife’s family in Spain.

    I grew up in a vaguely Christian household, with spotty attendance at a Sunday school in a very liberal church. I first realized I was an atheist in 9th grade, when we were studying Inherit the Wind in English class and one of my classmates asked me if I was an atheist. I’m not sure why he asked, because I don’t recall ever talking about religion, but he did clarify my lack of belief for me.

    A few years ago, my daughter (who was 12 or 13 at the time) asked me at dinner if we were atheist. I asked her if she was; she thought about it for a few seconds, and I’ll never forget the smile on her face when she said she was. Since then she’s been a proud and open atheist, and hasn’t suffered from it (even though most of her friends are liberal theists).

    Still working on our 9 y.o. son, though; he still believes in god (and goes back and forth on Santa).

  436. opus says

    I’m Opus, based on either the Latin word for ‘work’ or the cartoon character. Since I retired eight years ago the latter has become more appropriate.

    Grew up in the southeastern US, worked in the southeastern US for 30 years, retired and hit the road and have wandered ever since. We’ve been to all the lower 48, plus a couple of dozen other countries. What I’ve learned: The USA is an OK place to live, and be from, but it ain’t god’s gift to the world.

    I rarely comment, and when I do it’s usually the last comment in the thread. Only time will tell if I’ve achieved that dubious status again.

  437. chigau (違う) says


    Late people, don’t worry.
    Many of us will bookmark this thread for future reference.

  438. magista says

    magista here. Yes, lowercase m. Clearly I have self-esteem issues (hell, probably the whole subscription). magista because my Latin sucks.

    B.Sc. astrophysics and physics, then a B.Ed., currently teaching the first science (physics, of course) in a Calgary high school. Trying very hard to inculcate skepticism and the scientific method in the masses.

    Very much a thrice-daily lurker for the most part, since around 2005 or so; found my way here from the original Respectful Insolence long, long ago, perhaps about 2004.

    Out (but not to my older generation Saskatchewan relatives) and relatively outspoken atheist; it’s mostly thanks to posts and comments here that I solidified my views and moved away from a wishy-washy deist position when forced to confront the dissonance between believing and logical arguments. Thanks! Recovering Catholic. It’s an ongoing process…

  439. Oenotrian says

    Late to the party, as usual.

    I’ve been a regular here (though I don’t post as often as I used to) since the summer of 2006, when I was living overseas and trying to put together a proper home-school science curriculum for my eldest.

    Before that, I was, I suppose, a Pagan who felt that one religion was pretty much as good as another and had actually spent a lot of time trying to explain that to a good friend who had become a Fundy. It’s as if the notion of being Atheist had never crossed my mind. Once I was exposed to other sensible people who had pointed out that religion and mythology were the same thing I realized that I’d known that for years.

    My family and I have lived in four U.S. states and three countries. I’m former Navy and my husband is a Navy doc. My two youngest (twins) were born in Japan. We now live in the great Pacific Northwest and are hoping not to have to move anymore.

    Until recently, I posted under my real name, but discovered that my meatspace associations and my Pharyngula associations were getting too close to comfort.

    Oh, and I’m one of the administrators for the Facebook Pharyngula group.

  440. Shplane says

    Hello. My name is Shplane, and I am addicted to atheism.

    I enjoy excessively complicated music, vidyagames and ironic hipster horseshit. My favorite movie is Spirited Away. My favorite sport is Bear Wrestling.

    I am an American college student of average college student age, currently studying political science so that maybe I can do something to make this shithole we call a world a little better. When I first started reading Pharyngula, I was a high school student trying to figure out why this world was so shitty and hopefully not kill himself. I’m less dumb/suicidal now, though, so that’s good.

    Pharyngula changed me a lot. It taught me that not all feminists are the shitty people I’d read about on Encyclopedia Dramatica, for example. I can’t even really describe all of what I’ve learned here and at other sites I found through here, but finding Pharyngula has shaped me as much as anything else in my life, if not quite a bit more than any other influence. It’s kind of strange to look back and see how many of my opinions formed because of this place.

    That’s it, I guess. Hopefully someone is actually still reading this thread to see it.

  441. hackerguitar says

    My -nym is hackerguitar, which is what I do…..Make Stuff Work for a living, and play guitar for fun and very occasional profit (there are tens and tens of dollars in folk music!!). I also cook (be afraid….be very afraid) and build stuff of wood for people who can’t afford what they need. You might be surprised at how nice furniture made of construction-grade wood can be – and that’s serious, no snark there for a change.

    I’m in the SF Bay Area, living with a wife and two furry feline predators who double as winter bedwarmers and pointy-eared toe-knawers. Both my wife & myself are originally from the East Coast, where we both received excellent educations at very good schools in the era before conservatives started demanding equal time for their horseshit different views in the academy.

    Dad was Roman Catholic, Mom Lutheran (Batshit synod, IIRC), and the tension between the belief systems (let alone the internicine squabbles in the family over which was right) pretty much ensured that I had a jaundiced view of any theology from the start. DW’s parents were Baptist Crazy and High Church Episcopal; her takeaway from that was chiefly that Episcopalians were preferable because they’d at least let you drink, and they generally had liquor cabinets stocked with top-shelf booze.

    DW is a librarian (an Exalted Profession which is one of the preservers of culture; hopefully we’ll grown up as a nation and stop cutting their funding!!) , and says that even if she was craxxy religious, being in a library would probably cure that disease because, you know, evidence, all day, all the time, kind of undermines nonrational beliefs.

    We are childless by choice – neither of us have any interest in passing on our genes, as the only good trait we’ve both got is reasonable intelligence; the assorted plumbing issues and genetic chronic conditions collectively suggest that we should help kids with better genes do well (and we have done and do now). Now that we’re nearing fifty, we’ve finally stopped incurring the ire of breeders who seem to think that having Healthy White Baybeez is a moral and religious duty (and knuckleheads like that exist even in the relatively liberal and liveable Bay Area!!).

    We don’t vote rethuglican, we don’t vote conservative, we are outspoken in our anti-religiosity, and we relentlessly mock and ridicule those who hold those beliefs or political affiliations. We are fortunate to have a great circle of friends who provide a bastion of sanity who largely share the way we think.

    And even as we are enraged at the utter craziness which constitutes the background radiation of much of American political and social discourse, we also laugh at it – and at anything else that’s funny, because the alternative is madness.

    Hope this has given readers a laugh, and thanks to any who dealt with the TL;DR nature of this post.

  442. callitrichid says

    Callitrichid here.

    I’m a PhD student in Neurobiology and graduating this Fall. Also waiting to hear if my post-doc interview from last week is going to result in a job offer. So in other words, I’m a great big ball of anxiety and exhaustion and fully encompassed by the typical loneliness of dissertation-writing.

    I’m an atheist and love the blog. My ridiculous schedule keeps me from coming around very often (hence the late post), but I’m a bit of a binge-lurker.

    Nice to meet y’all!

  443. Charlie Foxtrot says

    everyone knows that Vegemite is evil and Marmite is the one true spread.

    RAAR! Vegemite rage! Hulk SMASH!

  444. Amblebury says

    So, I amble back in here to see how things are going, and it’s Spread Wars.

    So that’s how it’s going to be. So be it.


  445. Marcus Hill (mysterious and nefarious) says

    chigau (違う)#492: No need to bookmark it really, the poopyhead has stuck a permalink along those to the latest Lounge and Thunderdome iterations on the front page.