As I said before, it’s like listening to a deaf man musing on the intricacies of melody:
Dan Wolter, a spokesman for the University of Minnesota system, said of Mr. Myers’s site that while “there is no question that those views do not reflect the views of the University of Minnesota, Morris, or the system,… they were made on a personal blog and everyone has a right to free speech.”
Mr. Wolter said the Web link was taken off the biology’s department’s page because “it was a violation of university Web policy” to link to personal sites without a “this does not represent university views” disclaimer. He said the content of Mr. Myers’s speech was not at issue….
As a tenured associate professor, Mr. Myers would be difficult to fire, but could more easily be denied promotion to a full professorship. Mr. Myers said such efforts from Catholics would be “thoroughly contemptible.”
Mr. Wolter said he could not say whether the university’s response would be different if Mr. Myers went through with his threat, nor could he say whether acts outside the classroom can, in principle, provide a basis to revoke tenure.
It would be fascinating to know what grounds PZ would provide for supporting his assertion that it would be “thoroughly contemptible” for Minnesota Catholics to lobby for his firing or against his future promotion. They’ve certainly got far more cause for going after his job than he ever had for going after their beliefs. And shouldn’t he expect them to behave in a contemptible manner, given the total contempt he has always demonstrated for them?
While it would be highly unusual for PZ to get fired over what was nothing more than a silly statement of intent, when one considers the hostile attention he has brought to his university backwater, I expect he has been warned that he will be disciplined if he is stupid enough to carry on with the announced cracker abuse. The delinking of Pharyngula is an obvious shot across the bow, as is the statement by the university spokesman distancing the university from PZ’s views. At this point, only an utter idiot would proceed with flouting the university’s authority and its distaste for bad press; proceeding as planned would offer clear justification for a firing on the basis of blatant insubordination.
We already know that PZ is a coward at heart – he is “the Fowl Atheist” after all – so he’ll be warned to leave the crackers alone, the stolen crackers will go unmolested, and the tempest in the teapot will come to an end… until the next socially autistic miscalculation. Afraid to abuse a cracker! What a sadly ironic fate for such a brave little atheist militant.