... almost like I too have been pre-emptively Expelled - being the only biology faculty member (as far as I know) not to receive a personal invitation to the lecture series by "Don Patton, Ph.D." in my campus mail today!! Where have I gone wrong (or right?) to not get on their mailing list? (And how can I keep it that way?). I'm putting the text of the invitation letters below the fold (and hope the organizers don't mind that because they are encouraging recipients to spread the word), so read on if you are interested. Note that these letters, addressed individually to tenured and tenure-track faculty alike, all of whom have a well-earned Ph.D., invariably address the recipient as "Mr." or Ms." even as they tout "Dr. Don Patton, Ph.D."! Now why would someone do that?
Perhaps the answer lies in the email response my colleague Paul Crosbie received from an elder of the Sun Garden CoC (a different elder from the one who signed those invitation letters) upon asking, politely, why they were associating themselves with someone with dubious academic credentials. I won't quote the whole arrogant email response here, although I can't help but note something. Here's the gist: the elder first invites Paul to challenge Patton with his "obvious vast knowledge of truth", and bring his class along, before predicting that Paul will do neither because "aren't closed academic elitist minds convenient and wonderful?". He then berates Paul for questioning Patton's credentials because "it is a way not to have to listen to anything different than you already believe".
Huh-whaaaa?? Seriously?! Do these people ever read their own writing or look in the mirror? Who is the party claiming to have the "truth" on their side? Who has the closed minds? And who, above all, relies on a single ancient text as a way to not to have to listen to anything different? Really now!! Pot-kettle-black?
As for that invitation letter which came via campus mail (possibly in violation of campus regulations about use of official intra-campus mail channels for promoting private religious functions) read for yourself:
Dear Mr. [or Ms.] not-Madhu-Katti,
Please consider this letter your personal invitation to attend a free series of lectures with question and answer sessions on the broad subject of "Does Planet Earth Reveal a Creator?" The dates for these lectures are April 21-22, 2008, in the Satellite Student Union on the Fresno State University campus, and April 22-25, 2008, in the Rotary Theater on the Bullard High School campus. Each evening's program will begin at 7:00 p.m., include two 30 minute presentations with 15 minute question and answer periods following each, and conclude by 9:00 p.m.
As a person of both science and academe, we believe you will be vitally interested in what the speaker, Dr. Don Patton, of Dallas, Tx, has to say. Dr. Patton has devoted his life to finding and evaluating geologic and archaeological evidences of human history and finds the evidence to present a compelling argument for special creation in contrast to the popular hypothesis that we are a result of evolutionary forces.
We believe you will find this program to be extremely interesting, informative, and conforming to rigorous scientific scrutiny. So, please mark your calendar to join us for as many evenings of this program as you can and add to the program by addressing your comments and questions to Dr. Patton during the question and answer periods.
P.S. Feel free to bring other colleagues and your students to these presentations. All are Welcome.
Now how can one turn down an invitation like that? Even if one is not on the list of people getting this official invitation letter? So I'll show up, and ask my class to show up - and hope I don't get Expelled like a more illustrious evilutionist