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Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Comments on Mirecki Post

A commenter left a rather long winded comment to one of my recent posts about Paul Mirecki, the Religious Studies Professor who has been under fire by the religious right. Robert Richardson, a member of SOMA - the Society of Open Minded Atheists and Agnostics - the group that Mirecki advised, stopped by and responded:

I'm a member of SOMA and a personal friend of Dr.M, and I just wanted to say thank you.

When the people who oppose him are known to utter sentences like,

"Secular Atheists are using science to try and discredit theology but I suspect the only thing that is being dicredited is science itself since you have to break all the established laws of physics and chemistry in order to support the big bang and spontaneous life and evolution."

the real motivation becomes clear. They contend in the same breath that it is wrong to criticize the most radical fringest of religious thought, but that science is discrediting itself when it contends that the Big Bang (etc) is in accordance with all known laws of physics, chemistry, and biology.

Yeah. It's all just a big conspiracy between 99% of Chinese, Russian, Australian, British, Italian, German, Japanese, and American scientists to stop competing with one another and start pushing the "secular atheist agenda" of universal acceptance of evolution. Good grief.

Robert gave some more background on this story in response to this post:

Eva - I'm a member of SOMA. We've seen many of the more radical posters on this subject, at the LJWorld and elsewhere, post that in fact it was members of our group who beat him up, just to get publicity, or more commonly they make references to the scenes in "Liar Liar" and "Fight Club" where the protagonist beats himself up. Frankly, I find that image hilarious-- Dr. Mirecki must be one of the most peaceful individuals I've ever had the good fortune to know. He'd have trouble, no doubt, smashing an insect. Imagining him punching himself or anyone else is hilarious enough to make me snort coffee out my nose, if I do it at the wrong time.

As you pointed out, the photo shows his wounds several days later, and they are very clearly not self-inflicted, even to a layperson. Had the doctor or the nurses, who see wounds like that all the time, even suspected self-injury, he's mandated by law to tell the police.

Of course, asking people like Malkin or Adams to think things through rationally is far too much, I know.

This student has a blog.

I asked Mitch Berg over at Whine in the Dark what he thought about John Altevogt - Mirecki's critic - wanting the SOMA group booted off the KU campus. Here was his response.

"I'm wondering if you agree with kicking the campus atheist group off campus?"

Assuming they're following the rules (and the rules don't discriminate against deist groups) of course not.

If I were on campus (thank goodness, I'm not), an atheist group would be comedy gold on the hoof. Losing them would be like losing "guy walked into a bar" jokes.
Posted by: mitch at December 18, 2005 08:34 PM

Blogger Berg has got another self-serving whiny post about the poor persecuted fundementalist christians. Cleversponge - who goaded him into it, has already responded.