An article over at PZ Mwahaha's details his disappointment with another bout of one-dimensional reportage (featuring Ken Miller) allegedly at the expense of the godless.

I can't blame him for feeling that way, after being gulled by the makers of 'Expelled.' When are we science communicators going to learn to insist upon complete copies of all the raw footage and binding agreements not to misrepresent their views with creative editing before signing up for these affairs?

Anyway, I think this mess is overblown, with the perception of intellectual dishonesty such articles promote being more odious than the very real differences in worldviews between Dr. Myers and Dr. Miller.

Look. Based on several years of observation, Ken Miller is hands down the best pro-evolution debater in North America. It really isn't even close.

At the same time, based on several years of observation, PZ is for my money the most entertaining and trenchant critic of creationists in North America.*

Both are invaluable resources for me personally, and I value them for different reasons. It's a shame that we keep having this tactical debate with respect to how atheists should comport themselves.

I personally think that Ken Miller has no business complaining about the godless's desire not to be marginalized, ignored or pilloried unfairly. I'm a theist, but it is no sweat off my back if some atheists happen to be vocal in their non-belief. I don't see how it helps the scientific enterprise one bit to discourage constitutionally-protected speech.

On the flip side, I also think that many of of the commenters at Pharyngula are clueless when they attempt to argue that Miller is intellectually dishonest simply because he doesn't share some of their premises. Guys and gals, seriously. The Ken Miller I know is not your enemy, because he would never attempt to put his version of 'Darwin's God' into the public schools.

By the way, it is likely every year more people read what Miller and his colleague Joe Levine have written about evolution than any other author, living or dead---and there is nothing in their texts at all about religion one way or the other.


Jerry Coyne was similarly a casualty of the same one-dimensional reportage. He writes thoughtfully about the whole affair here. I find myself pretty much in agreement with him the whole way, including his criticism of an argument Miller makes regarding amputees included in the original article. While I am not an atheist, I don't think a concern for 'free will' trumps human suffering. The problem of evil (theodicy) is dicier than that, and I think Miller's views as presented in the article are wanting. They are certainly going to provide more fodder for Miller's critics.

*(Sorry, Abby, but you finish a close second with your version of bitter LOLspeak)


The good Republican folk of Texas have spoken. By a slim majority, they have expressed their lack of confidence in the tactics of dentist Don McElroy, the most vocal supporter of creationism on the Texas State Board of Education.

McElroy actually chaired the Board for awhile, but stirred up so much needless controversy that his confirmation was denied. Here's a video of McElroy in action, and why he is thankfully going to be part of the Lone Star's past where education is concerned: