We heard P Z Meyers speak last night at the Mark Twain house in Hartford, CT. It's funny because I didn't know he was speaking. I went because a friend wanted to go to a lecture. When we got there they had his book for sale in the lobby, but it still didn't sink in. Finally when he took the stage and they announced him I understood who we were seeing. I guess I'll do almost anything for a friend.
Now, I'm no great fan of Mr. Meyers. I find his blog a tiresome mix of cynicism, god-baiting, rabble rousing and self worship. During his lecture he was much toned down from his blog persona, a persona which adequately obscures his lack of depth. So I was a bit relieved, and a bit disappointed. When I saw who it was I expected to not enjoy myself very much, but as it was, it was far better than sitting at home and watching TV.
The title of his new book, by the way, is "The Happy Atheist", which I take to be carefully crafted in direct conflict with his opponents who call him one of the Angry Atheists. There was very little anger last night. No fire and brimstone. Some amusing stories.
He explained himself well in one respect, that is how be came to be the Pharyngula Blog author and what one might reasonably call an Angry Atheist. It was only he came to teach Biology at UM that he started to run into Christians who opposed his teachings, siting utter rubbish based on no scientific facts. They made his life difficult, and apparently Pharyngula was in response to those people. It grew from there.
He's mellowed, or so he says, from the times when he desecrated crackers and led students on a field trip to the Creation Museum.