Making Friends and Influencing People

Biologist PZ Myers has followed through on his threat to acquire a consecrated communion wafer and deface it–for good measure, he also decided to desecrate an English translation of the Koran (which, according to my understanding of Islam, doesn’t actually count as a copy of the Koran) and a copy of Richard Dawkins’ The God Delusion apparently just to ensure he angered as many people as possible in a single act.

While I’m generally in agreement with Myers’ sentiment that people should “question everything,” it’s not obvious to me that public, petty iconoclasty is the most productive means of doing so. Amber Taylor, from whom I got the link, predicts this situation will not end well, and I fear she is right.

FILED UNDER: Religion, , ,
Chris Lawrence
About Chris Lawrence
Chris teaches political science at Middle Georgia State University in Macon, Georgia. He has a Ph.D. in political science (with concentrations in American politics and political methodology) from the University of Mississippi. He began writing for OTB in June 2006. Follow him on Twitter @lordsutch.


  1. Question the questioning of authority.

  2. Floyd says:

    So this is what it means to be well educated….proficiency at acting like a three year old child with no manners or parenting.[lol]

  3. LaurenceB says:

    Not to defend Myers, who acts badly in my opinion, but I think you’ve missed the point completely as to why The God Delusion was desecrated.

    The point Myers was trying to make I think was that Richard Dawkins will not be at all “angered” over the desecration of his book. To Dawkins, his book is “just a book”. Indeed, the concept of desecrating a book is silly to Dawkins. As long as you’ve paid for it, Dawkins doesn’t really care what you do with it.

    And its hard to argue he doesn’t have a point.

  4. If true, Dawkins would probably be the first author in recorded history not to be ticked off if he found out someone deliberately defaced his book. Academics and egos and all that…

  5. Does anybody else remember Ben Elton emceeing a local cable access show on an episode of The Young Ones saying, “Shock! Yeah, cause that’s what this show is all about.”

  6. DL says:

    It’s far more serious than bad manners, but also exposes the fact that this types viscerely hate what they say doesn’t exist. Even Satan had brains enough to try to tempt Him – not not deny His existence.

    Imaging – being dumb enough to blaspheme God.

  7. Grewgills says:

    Would you dare to blaspheme Isis or Zeus?

  8. RW Rogers says:

    The man accused of a mass church shooting this morning was described by his Powell neighbors as a helpful and kind man, but one who had issues with Christianity.