In addition to yesterday’s post, I also sent the following email to PZ Myers:
My dear Dr. Myers, since you were previously afraid of a radio debate with me on the evidence for the existence of gods, perhaps you’ll be more willing to engage in a written debate on the scientific evidence for evolution. After all, if the issue is so comprehensively settled in evolution’s favor, it should be no trouble whatsoever to make your case to everyone’s satisfaction, however initially dubious they may have been. And since you have now asserted that there are no Worthy Opponents to be found on this issue, you no longer have any need to hide behind your stated belief in my supposed crackpottery to avoid debate.
If you don’t mind, I suggest that you may wish to explain to some of your more reading-challenged fans that the context in which you were posting about engaging Worthy and Non-worthy Opponents tends to preclude peer-reviewed publication in scientific journals. In any case, I look forward to hearing from you anon.
He responded via email, curt but civil. I did not obtain permission to post his missive, so to summarize, it simply stated that I am not a Worthy Opponent as he errantly believed I assume myself to be, and informed me that I am not merely a crackpot, but a superlative example of the species. I replied thusly:
Yes, I understood that is your contention. It was rather obvious, especially considering that you stated outright: “There is no one in the green box.” Unlike many of your readers, my reading comprehension is in good working order. Of course, the entire point of your post was that because there are no Worthy Opponents, it is therefore necessary to engage Unworthy Opponents lest you lose the public. Which is quite true, and is also why it makes sense for you to engage in debate with various Opponents you deem Unworthy, such as myself. Even so, there’s nothing preventing you from running away again… and that’s clearly what most of the readers at both Vox Popoli and Pharyngula expect. I must confess that my favorite of the various excuses your readers prepared for you was the one related to peer-reviewed science. Great stuff!
Last time, your excuse was the potentially hostile environment and fears of a Gish Gallop. I’m sure we’re all interested in knowing what it will be this time.
It’s too soon to say for certain, but I’m afraid it appears as if the intrepid cracker-killer is on the verge of once more beating a very brave retreat. But, let’s not forget that Myers has surprised us before. I, for one, never dreamed he’d have the steel to carry through with the threatened cracker-killing.