Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Regular readers may not be aware that, as a result of a mention by Andrew Sullivan, my For PZ Myers post has attracted many comments from the US Bile Belt. (Thanks, incidentally, to Peter Burnett whose analysis of Myers' debating style caught Andrew's eye.) Many of the bileists points out that I resorted to cheap abuse rather than engaging with Myers' points. This is true and has evidently freed those who loathe me so much to resort to the same tactics. I didn't take Myers on in detail because I don't have the time and I honestly don't believe he is capable of understanding a certain nuance of my position, which is, in truth, all of my position. As I said, I took part in the filming of a Dinner with Portillo last night - BBC4, probably in January. The subject was science and its place in the world. Though half the people at the table seemed to be on my side - this never normally happens - I did notice that there was one argument I could not get across. At one point I snapped at Portillo for being 'deliberately perverse' in not getting it, but, in fairness, he had to get a lot of other material into the recording. Finally, there was one glorious moment when Sir Mark Walport seemed to get it and, having been highly suspicious of my presence, suddenly realised he also agreed with me. The point is not especially difficult, but, somehow, I can never quite put it across persuasively. I will not try to do so here and now as I am working on a project that is, in effect, a new way of saying it. Anyway, go and check out the bile, it's all good.
Posted by Bryan Appleyard at 7:36 am