Astronomers eat Kittens, Scientists are Assholes

My friend, Dr. Phil “Cranial” Plaitt, is a really bad astronomer. He’s so bad, he’s been writing about things not related to astronomy:

This may sound crass, but it’s true: it’s my blog, and I’ll write what I want to. If you don’t like it, there are lots of other sites about astronomy on the web. Spare me the lectures, the drama, and the grandstanding in the comments… In a recent post, I was accused of bashing Christians, bashing religion, saying that all global warming deniers are also young-Earth creationists, and I’m sure if I look more carefully there’s something in the comments about me eating kittens, too. I never said any of that. People are reading their own issues into what I wrote, and and not reading what I actually wrote.

I can’t believe he’s admitting to eating kittens – or, that he’s putting down people who do happen to eat kittens (which I do, on occasion, in a white wine sauce). Seems that this “thought freedom” virus is spreading to other well-known science blogs, like Pharyngula:

…the single most common epithet people were flinging around was ‘asshole.’ Even people who were defending me would often say things like, “You’re an asshole, but…” / There are people who read Pharyngula just for one of those topics, and I get email all the time telling me that one or the other of those is “boring” (except the cephalopods, everyone loves those). I’m not surprised that many people are utterly uninterested in some part of what I write — probably the only person on the planet with exactly my constellation of interests is me, and that’s who I write for. So telling me that some aspect of this blog is “boring” will never have any impact at all, especially not when it is apparently exciting enough to stimulate you to write.

So, why do I write about whatever it is that’s on my mind…? Because, I write about whatever it is that’s on my mind. My audience isn’t just you, it’s anybody who cares to read – and, more importantly, respond. The world has been flooded with tech blogs and tech bloggers, and that makes me more of a commodity if I don’t clearly illustrate that I believe I have a modicum of understanding of the world beyond this stupid (and yet wonderful) keyboard.

9 thoughts on “Astronomers eat Kittens, Scientists are Assholes”

  1. I’m in absolute agreement with you, Chris – there seems to be a meme spreading throughout the blogosphere that whatever one post in their own blog must either be in lock-step with what the “regulars” who read said blog expect to be there or must be relevant to what you posted yesterday or the last/week/month/season/year. What’s even more disturbing is the trend of blog-readers expecting thought-provoking topics with every post….and then complaining about what’s being posted.

    BTW – Kittens go great with a little hollandaise sauce.

  2. Criticizing religion is very OK as far as i am concerned, as long as the sceptic is not overzealous (becoming similar in many respects to religious zealots).
    Dr. Sagan could be treated as a great example of a critic, who can talk about religion with respect. A cool headed scepticism – that’s what i like. On Pharyngula i often find a hothead on some kind of crusade…

    I come from a every religious country (supposedly), and yet every old granny and little child knows, that “we come from the monkeys” :) Being religious does not have to mean being completely silly.

    And speaking of criticizing – as far as the whole “creationist” movement in the states goes – what a load of bullshit it is, cannot be take seriously. There are stupid people everywhere, no matter if it is religion, a certain profession or politics. Lets criticize stupidity, not being religious. Because creationists are first and foremost stupid, not religious.

  3. One more thing – lets be fair in criticizing religion. Why always stick to Christianity? Because Christians do not blow up themselves nowadays?
    For e.g. Islam (significant parts of it) is much further back in the middle ages than other big religions (hundreds of years back…), criticize them also.

  4. Please tell me that you aren’t using -white- wine. Gosh. Some people have no respect for -actual- feline cuisine.

  5. I disagree. If kitty tasted like chicken a white wine sauce would be approrpriate, but the gaminess requires a bourguignon. A white wine sauce is acceptable, however, should you serve the kittiens in a vol au vent style. Don’t forget the peas.

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