Pharyngula is about to add a co-blogger

Are you ready for this? Chris Clarke now has authorship privileges on Pharyngula.

Those of you who know his work will be awestruck. Chris is a phenomenal writer, a true progressive, and a committed environmentalist. I’d been thinking about bringing in an additional contributor, because let me tell you, this semester is going to kick my butt and I am already stressing out, and when I thought about who I would just dream of partnering with, Chris was right at the top of the list…so it was a tremendous honor when he accepted.

This is going to be awesome.


  1. susan says

    Very cool! I love Chris’ writing and I’m glad he accepted. I’m looking forward to lots of photos of pretty desert sunsets.

  2. ImaginesABeach says

    Will he tell us if the jeep has been replaced? And will he have rules barring the awarding of internets?

  3. Tony •King of the Hellmouth• says

    I’m not terribly familiar with Chris. After reading your post, I had to check him out. I’m impressed. I think he’s a good fit for Pharyngula.
    I really like the following:

    It seems really stupid from our perspective, honestly. You see a scary Black man in your neighborhood. We see a tax accountant jogging before work. You see a radical lesbian determined to undermine your religion in the classroom. We see a grandmother reading books to kids. You see a jackbooted environmentalist come to take away your rights: we see some guy who just loves to study lizards. You see a soulless atheist out to Kill God: we see a person who loves tending his lawn. You see The Homosexual Agenda: we see people who want to take care of the loves of their lives.
    What we are afraid of is seeing those rights we fought for taken away, one by one. Losing our right to control when we have children, and to be able to feed and clothe them when they’re born. Losing the right to clean air, water, and intact ecosystems to walk around in. Losing the right not to be killed in a workplace accident because it’s cheaper to replace an employee than a machine. Losing the right to have actual science taught in our schools without oversight by your religious leaders. Losing the right to love who we love. Losing the right to mind our own business. Losing the right to live our own lives regardless of who we are, who our parents were, or what we believe.

    I think I’m going to check out more of his blog.

    Welcome Chris!

  4. Menyambal --- Sambal's Little Helper says

    This IS going to be awesome.

    Congratulations, PZ.

    Welcome, Chris.

    Good luck to all.

  5. says

    Thank you all!

    ImaginesABeach, I’m working on a “who the hell is Chris Clarke” post which will contain that update, but since you asked? 1) I haven’t yet replaced the Jeep, but 2) everyone’s incredibly kind donations put me a hell of a lot closer to doing so and I’m saving to make up the difference and 3) I am unforgivably late on the relevant thank you notes.

  6. reneerp says

    Chris Clarke is one of the best writers on the internets and off. It’s great to see him getting a larger venue.

  7. carlie says

    I love Chris’ writing!

    Just please, for the love of all that is good with the world, make sure that the authorship of each post is prominently displayed somehow right at the top – no more of that tiny name text in the time stamp. I hate when there are multiple authors on a blog and it’s easy to miss who said what.

  8. Dick the Damned says

    I sure do hope he’s a fully qualified & committed antitheist. But i guess we can train him up, eh.

  9. ChasCPeterson says

    *big grin*

    I guess I first got to Chris’s blog via PZ in the pre-Sb daze. I’ve said it before: best writing on the fucking Internetz. (And the defendant in the bizarre Show Trial at Berube’s (that and Chris’s Graphic Novel version of What’s Liberal About the Liberal Arts? (now, seemingly, sadly, not online) hooked me into teh blogosphere for good))
    [aside: Chris, wtf? I sent you my bio months ago.]

  10. ilex says

    This is a great idea, I look forward to his posts.

    Chris, since you’re in Joshua tree now, maybe you could take over a Botanical Wednesday or two? There really are some strange beauties out there!

  11. eddarrell says

    No, I wasn’t ready at all — until I saw it was Chris. Context is everything, isn’t it? Not sure why, but don’t care.

  12. Dick the Damned says

    PZ, we’ll give the guy a chance, but it’s too bad if the blog loses some of its anti-theist bite. It looks like your contribution will be diluted, or am i too jet-lagged to understand the situation? (We’ve just moved back to Canada from the UK.)

    The bathroom is now vacant, so i’m off to bed. (What hours do you keep? [Rhetorical question])

  13. consciousness razor says

    Your antitheist bites better be made of real baby, or I’m taking my business elsewhere.

  14. says

    I will freely admit that I was a bit unhappy when seeing the headline. All too often I have seen a great blog get diluted by adding a co-blogger. The I saw that the co-blogger is Chris Clarke, and now I am happily anticipating being able to read more of his stuff!

    For those who don’t know Chris’ writing, I just can say that you have something to look forward to. As an example of one of his most memorable pieces, I point you to life and death (if you read it, make sure to also read the comments.

  15. Tony •King of the Hellmouth• says

    Chris @25:

    Golly, what could you *possibly* be referring to here?
    I like that you have a sense of humor :)

  16. StevoR says

    @4. Tony •King of the Hellmouth :

    Good quote selection there. Must admit I hadn’t heard of Chris Clarke before but liking what I’m reading. Best wishes & raised beer salute.

  17. says

    Woot! Chris, I’m so thrilled that it’s you, old mate.

    How can I serve two poopyhead overlords?

    Nah, Chris is one of the Meanyhead tribe, not the Poopyhead tribe.

    Different coloured goats entirely.

  18. John Morales says

    Chris Clarke?

    (Never heard of this person)

    Those of you who know his work will be awestruck.

    The rest of us will have to wait and see, I guess.

    This is going to be awesome.

    I’m not easily awed, and this hyperbolic encomium ain’t helping.

  19. says

    Crikey John, allergic to a bit of enthusiasm?

    Some of us have been running into Chris Clarke in various places online for nigh on 20 years. Whenever I’ve seen his byline, I click through to read what he’s saying. There are very few other people online for whom I do the same.

    That’s why I’m glad to see him here.

  20. says

    In fact, PZ is just about the only other person I was reading regularly on USENet back then who I still read regularly today. That’s why I see this as such a natural pairing.

  21. John Morales says


    Crikey John, allergic to a bit of enthusiasm?

    Bloody oath!

    It functions very well as negative priming for me and predisposes me to be critical — over the years I have painfully learnt to lower my expectations inversely according to the degree of enthusiasm others exhibit over something I’m supposed to like.

    (Minimises disappointment, one of the saddest emotions)

    I’ve been checking out some of the provided links, and I’m thoroughly unimpressed, so far.

    (But then, the comments are where it’s at, for me)

  22. blf says

    How can I serve two poopyhead overlords?

    The mildly deranged penguin can give lessons (plural) on developing and using multiple minds. Reasonable rates, provided lots of cheese and MUSHROOMS! are involved. And it doesn’t take much time: All of the lessons will be delivered simultaneously, one or more for each mind. At the end you will be gibbering and know that having just one poopyhead is a fiendish creationista plot in league with the peas and horses — it’ll be obvious

  23. says

    Not happy. I don’t care how good Chris Clarke is, never heard of him and it doesn’t really matter. Pharyngula is PZ’s brand, and I see problems in having it diluted, because especially now we need this blog to be a blinding beacon and a fortress of reason and equality. Anyway, I’ll cope I guess.

  24. says

    I even see it as very much within the spirit of Atheism+ – Chris always has been a passionate social justice advocate, but his areas of special interest are different from yours, so this simply better displays another aspect of breadth of issues within Atheism+’s ambit.

  25. John Morales says

    Well, I always thought of this place as PZ’s personal* blog (though I know there have been guest posts before), and would have no issue with Chris getting his own blog here on FTB — but that is not what has happened.

    From the Rules:

    So, can I AM THE BOSS, and don’t you forget it. I have sole and absolute power here; I can ban you, I can destroy your comments, I can shut down whole threads. I am a being of caprice; I don’t have to justify anything I do.

    (Evidently, this is outdated — there is now another with the power of authorship)

    *Clearly, it no longer is that, now it’s a shared blog.

  26. says

    I’ve been checking out some of the provided links, and I’m thoroughly unimpressed, so far.

    Not happy. I don’t care how good Chris Clarke is, never heard of him and it doesn’t really matter.

    Has it occurred to you guys that this is impolite and unkind?

  27. says

    John, there’s a difference in blogging software between giving a user “author” privileges and giving them “admin” privileges. Given that PZ is very aware of this difference after all his years running various forms of blogging software, and his careful description of giving Chris “authorship privileges”, I’m going to presume that he means exactly what he’s written.

    Users with “author” privileges on WordPress installations can moderate their own posts only. Users with “editor” privileges can moderate the thread attached to any post, but they cannot place people into the moderation or oblivion filters. Only those with “admin” privileges can place people in moderation or bannination.

    It’s not hard to find this stuff out, you know.

  28. John Morales says

    tigtog, are you telling me that my claim that “there is now another with the power of authorship” is incorrect?

  29. says

    Has it occurred to you guys that this is impolite and unkind?

    No not really, because I don’t think it is.

    As I said, I’ll cope. But I do think that the Pharyngula brand is what it is because of PZ.

  30. says

    No, I’m pointing out that “power of authorship” has very little to do with PZ’s quote about being THE BOSS that you chose to use.

  31. says

    oops – the Horde on the other side of the planet has obviously woken up again – my #51 was in response to John Morales at #48

  32. Wowbagger, Antipodean Dervish says

    Remember what happened not that long ago when PZ got really pissed off with people expressing entitlement regarding what he did or didn’t do with his blog?

    It’s probably worth keeping in mind.

  33. consciousness razor says

    tigtog, are you telling me that my claim that “there is now another with the power of authorship” is incorrect?

    If you think that’s a problem, I hope it bothers you enough to make you leave or shut up.

  34. ChasCPeterson says

    Morales, please shut up. Please?
    Because I can assure you that not one person reading this gives even a single flying shit about what you find unimpressive.

    the Pharyngula brand is what it is because of PZ

    dude. It’s a blog.
    A blog. Not a ‘brand’.
    And not a beacon of shining light.


  35. consciousness razor says

    I forgot to add that I have filled out my consent forms.

    *hands crumpled papers*

    However, I haven’t seen any evidence that your brand of antitheist bites are an effective homeopathic remedy. I will buy ten cartons, but be warned! I will remain skeptical until I know they’re working.

  36. John Morales says


    Chas, I very much doubt that had I (as others have) claimed to be impressed by his writing, you’d have felt the need to tell me to shut up because no-one gave a shit about my opinion.

    (So little shit you give, that you give me shit over it)

    And yes, I shall now shut up since I’m posting too much too quickly and testing PZ’s patience (and that I’m responding to others is no excuse).

  37. consciousness razor says

    But you must be then, by appointment or something.

    No worries.

    Since PZ and Chris are the ones who get to make this decision, I move that we put it to a vote. Who gets to be them for a day? I nominate PZ and Chris. Are there any objections?

  38. says

    Since PZ and Chris are the ones who get to make this decision, I move that we put it to a vote. Who gets to be them for a day? I nominate PZ and Chris.

    Jebus. You want to play strawman and chief moron, knock yourself out.

  39. Antiochus Epiphanes says

    It’ll be fine. We have daily co-bloggers writing a segment called “Why I’m an Atheist” and the place hasn’t blown up.

    We’re going to be OK.

  40. consciousness razor says

    Jebus. You want to play strawman and chief moron, knock yourself out.

    When Ms. Daisy said you aren’t the best judge, were you just playing, or did you really think she was appointing herself?

  41. says

    When Ms. Daisy said you aren’t the best judge

    Why not? As opposed to who, her? Or anyone else? Who’s judging? On what authority? It’s a ridiculous argument, more of a slur really. I don’t mind, she can insult me all she likes, but I have the right to question and object. Actually, never mind, it’s not important really. Have your little token victories.

  42. says

    Dick, the line for my antitheist bites forms to the left.

    You’ve been here 2 minutes and there’s already a line for you?

    Hopefully it moves faster than Brownian’s line, we get enough complaint of how slow it is already.

    Oh, and welcome :)

  43. howardpeirce says

    I don’t care how good Chris Clarke is, never heard of him and it doesn’t really matter.

    Does it strike anyone else that this is really not the venue in which to display ignorance as a badge of valor?

  44. jymdyer says

    =v= I never heard of this person calling hirself @rorschach, but that, too, doesn’t really matter. This being the Internet, we can just project what we want onto what we see.

    Speaking of the Internet and its ad hominem bent, I do think the antitheist lobby is sufficiently loud, quite possibly at the expense of antitheism. Chris has a way of getting substantive issues across without dragging in a lot of blather. Read and learn.

  45. morgan says

    A huge warm welcome to you Chris. I’m an admirer of your writing and thinking and am overjoyed that you are joining us here.

  46. says

    You know what, people? There’s no point in arguing over it. This is my blog and I’ve made the decision.

    This will in no way change my blogging habits or make a difference in how I write (although I do have hopes that sharing the space with a better writer will engage my competitive nature and force me to up my game.) It also plays into my long-term goals: I want to drift towards a more environmental focus — not exclusively but as a part of this place — both because it’s important and because I also think it should be the next big battle for atheism to take a stand on…and Chris has impeccable credentials as an advocate for the environment.

    If having him here helps raise consciousness about the politics and perils of our ecology, I’m satisfied.

    As for other concerns, you don’t have to read me, you don’t have to read Chris. I’m going to be making some input into the site redesign, and given that lots of us have co-bloggers, I’d like to make the authorship more prominent, for instance. I would not be surprised or disappointed to see him develop a somewhat independent following…and that I would hope we’d see some cross-fertilization of ideas between our two readerships.