CHRIS MOONEY: Hey guys, I’ve written this really cool book called “The Republican War on Science.”
P.Z. DITCHKENS: That’s great. We need more people talking about the way powerful conservative groups have undermined science for their own ends.
MOONEY: You should shut up!
PZD: What? Why?
MOONEY: You’re one of them Newfangled Atheists.
PZD: What’s wrong with that?
MOONEY: All you do is create confrontation by challenging religious views.
PZD: Some religious views have to be challenged. Creationism, for instance.
MOONEY: Don’t be idiotic. You can’t challenge religious views. People get upset. You’re only helping the creationists.
PZD: How am I supposed to support evolution without challenging creationism?
MOONEY: You need to learn how to communicate properly. Like me.
PZD: And how many hardcore Republicans do you think read “The Republican War on Science”?
MOONEY: Shut up.
PZD: My books have sold millions of copies and been highly influential.
MOONEY: That’s beside the point. You’re too aggressive.
PZD: I’m just presenting the evidence as plainly and directly as I can.
MOONEY: And that makes people upset. You should stop it.
PZD: I don’t think I can argue the case for evolution without upsetting some people.
MOONEY: Then you shouldn’t be writing books.
PZD: Oh come on! Don’t you try to silence me!
MOONEY: I didn’t try to silence you.
PZD: You did. Several times already.
MOONEY: Did not.
PZD: You told me to be quiet and that I’m only helping the creationists and that I shouldn’t be writing books.
MOONEY: Did not.
PZD: And you called me an idiot. Look at the transcript. There and there and there and there.
PZD: There and there and there and there.
MOONEY: Uh, all right. I’ll concede that I said those things. But you’ve misinterpreted me.
PZD: How could your words possibly be misinterpreted?
MOONEY: Firstly, “idiotic” is an adjective whereas “idiot” is a noun, so it’s not the same thing. Secondly, I use the word “should” a lot. That’s not in the imperative tense. Grammatically speaking, I wasn’t exactly ordering you to be quiet.
PZD: You’re splitting hairs now, Captain Syntax!
MOONEY: Whatever. The point is you misrepresented my position.
PZD: Which is?
MOONEY: That you shouldn’t write books.
PZD: Oh shut up!
MOONEY (à la Jack Benny): Well, really!