Stranger In An Even Stranger Land - blog by Gurdur


A blog of random jottings on events, science, renfairs, travel, reading, music, humanism, religion, atheism, and even the odd spot of gardening.


The bizarre smears used against Michael Nugent by PZ Myers & co.

Posted 11-Oct-2014 at 05:03 AM (05:03) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)
Updated 13-Oct-2014 at 09:13 PM (21:13) by Gurdur

PZ Myers, an associate professor at a small college, and a minor albeit populist and influential figure in the world of atheism, bravely stood up to Mick Nugent, and broadcast that commentators on Nugent's blog included a whole lot of rapists. PZ Myers wasn't able to name one single rapist, not one single one, which made it all a bit of a mystery. But if PZ Myers claims there are rapists running rampant among the commentators on a blog, he must be right, or? It's just not possible PZ Myers could...
Posted in Uncategorized
Views 6936 Comments 6 Gurdur is offline
Rating: 8 votes, 4.50 average.

Fear and loathing in the atheism movement, but not in Las Vegas?

Posted 14-Aug-2013 at 04:01 PM (16:01) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)
Updated 07-Sep-2013 at 07:04 AM (07:04) by Gurdur

The clock is ticking. A cease-and-desist letter, with implied legal action for defamation if the defamation persists, has been served on someone long known for a flame-based attack-blogging approach. Fear and loathing run rampant throughout the American atheist movement at this time. There are competing views on exactly why. One view is that there has been much sexual harrassment and rape covered up by the "establishment", the rape and other sexual assualt being committed by some of those often...
Posted in Uncategorized
Views 10015 Comments 6 Gurdur is offline
Rating: 41 votes, 4.98 average.

An open letter to Michael Nugent and Atheist Ireland

Posted 31-May-2013 at 05:58 AM (05:58) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)
Updated 10-Oct-2014 at 06:18 AM (06:18) by Gurdur

To Michael Nugent, Atheist Ireland (@atheistie) and all atheist conference organizers:
The recent initiative started and sponsored by Michael Nugent, aimed at promoting dialogue within the atheist movement despite differences, is a praiseworthy endeavor. I have now added a new effort of my own to that overall general attempt at ending the defamation, harrassment and bullying going on in the atheist movement. However, very recently important questions have come up.

These concerns...
Posted in Uncategorized
Views 71652 Comments 60 Gurdur is offline
Rating: 3 votes, 5.00 average.

Yes, there is a moderate, middle ground for the atheist movement. Join in!

Posted 29-May-2013 at 06:08 PM (18:08) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)
Updated 29-May-2013 at 09:54 PM (21:54) by Gurdur

As many know, and as I have blogged about previously, there is a long, bitter, all-out war of all against all within the atheism movement. Some have claimed there is no middle ground to all of this conflict, but those who have expressly claimed that are too obviously only pushing their personal agendas and a "You are either with us or against us" line.

There have been various initiatives aimed at trying to reconcile differences; one of those initiatives was the dialogue process started by Michael Nugent....
Posted in Uncategorized
Views 11157 Comments 5 Gurdur is offline
Rating: 3 votes, 5.00 average.

Secular community-leaders' calls for moderate tone cause all hell to break loose among secular community

Posted 03-Apr-2013 at 01:04 PM (13:04) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)
Updated 17-Apr-2013 at 08:23 AM (08:23) by Gurdur

There has been an all-out civil war raging inside the atheist movement for quite a while. PZ Myers announced in May last year that he would refuse to talk at any conference where Abbie Smith is a speaker. Paula Kirby, a noted figure in the atheism movement, tweeted about Femistasi, then wrote about "Hysterical, bullying overreaction to dissent? Attempting to make it so unpleasant for anyone who dares to oppose them that others are deterred from trying it?" So FreeThoughtBlogs (FTB) blogger Ed Brayton...
Posted in Uncategorized
Views 26809 Comments 1 Gurdur is offline

The dialogue process sponsored by Michael Nugent within the secular movement

Posted 03-Apr-2013 at 01:03 PM (13:03) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)
Updated 03-Apr-2013 at 01:33 PM (13:33) by Gurdur

Now Michael Nugent (@MickNugent), chair of the advocacy group Atheist Ireland, has undertaken an intense effort at a dialogue process, owing to the all-out Hobbesian war in the secular movement. He made several blog posts, culminating in a call for volunteers for dialogue, and the creation of a new website dedicated to the dialogue process, "Atheist/Skeptic Dialogue".

Michael Nugent asked who would be willing to volunteer for such a dialogue; I and others, including Stephanie Zvan,...
Posted in Uncategorized
Views 1952 Comments 0 Gurdur is offline

Resigning from the team in the dialogue-process sponsored by Michael Nugent

Posted 01-Apr-2013 at 05:14 PM (17:14) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)
Updated 03-Apr-2013 at 01:16 PM (13:16) by Gurdur

Given the deep schisms obvious in the atheist movement, Michael Nugent of Atheist Ireland kindly started a dialogue process, which went in to many unexpected directions. Michael Nugent then started a formal talks process after asking for volunteers, and he set up a dedicated site for this on

There is a great deal to say about this all, and I shall soon start saying it.

Posted in Uncategorized
Views 6470 Comments 3 Gurdur is offline
Rating: 10 votes, 5.00 average.

Atheism news: Hobbesian civil war among atheists

Posted 02-Jul-2012 at 10:45 PM (22:45) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)
Updated 02-Jul-2012 at 11:35 PM (23:35) by Gurdur

Sunday, 01 July 2012, was a very dramatic day for atheists. This all will demand much explanation, so first to the events. A lot of explaining the background, people and motives will have to wait for my next blog posts. Onto the most important events:

Paula Kirby, a writer and project manager who lives in Scotland, and who is a noted and famous figure in the atheist movement, and who has worked for the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science (RDFRS), has now on Monday made...
Posted in Uncategorized
Views 16205 Comments 10 Gurdur is offline
Rating: 18 votes, 5.00 average.

Preliminary report on the Cologne (Koeln) 2012 European Atheist Convention, Germany

Posted 26-May-2012 at 04:01 PM (16:01) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)
Updated 27-May-2012 at 02:20 AM (02:20) by Gurdur

I went to the 2012 European Atheist Convention in Cologne (Köln, a.k.a. Koeln), Germany, yesterday, and will go again today (if I can; other jobs are pressing too) and tomorrow. It's a bit of a mixed bag, and this is only a preliminary report; I'll blog more in depth on aspects later. You can find the convention schedule here. Embedded here are two audio clips I made, of the speeches by Dan Parker and PZ Myers. I didn't get to do more recordings, but there was a video team at the convention, and...
Posted in Uncategorized
Views 9932 Comments 9 Gurdur is offline

Society, Ethics And Science Weekly blogs round-up - 17 August 2011

Posted 17-Aug-2011 at 06:08 PM (18:08) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)
Updated 17-Aug-2011 at 09:11 PM (21:11) by Gurdur

So much to do, so much to write about. But first, let's see what everyone else is writing about, in another Society, Ethics And Science Weekly (SEAS) blogs round-up.

Religion, society, ethics, atheism, politics: The blog "Bartholomew’s Notes on Religion" takes a look at a spat between Maryam Namazie and Adam Barnett on the one side against Robert Spencer, Pamela Geller and the English Defence League (EDL) on the other side. Maryam Namazie and Adam Barnett wrote a report titled, "Enemies...
Posted in Uncategorized
Views 3154 Comments 3 Gurdur is offline

Richard Dawkins providing childcare: A look at the upcoming 4th Annual Texas Freethought Convention on October 7-9th in Houston

Posted 15-Aug-2011 at 06:20 AM (06:20) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)
Updated 15-Aug-2011 at 06:39 AM (06:39) by Gurdur

Apropos of my critique on the planned CFI "Women In Secularism" conference in May next year, and apropos of my reporting on #ElevatorGate, I've been made aware of the upcoming 4th Annual Texas Freethought Convention, co-hosted by Atheist Alliance of America, to be held in Houston, October 07-09. One feature of this convention is that it will have the first actual implementation of child-care largely paid for by the RDFRS (the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science), an initiative for...
Posted in Uncategorized
Views 4485 Comments 3 Gurdur is offline

Another update on the Richard Dawkins RDFRS suit against Josh Timonen etc.

Posted 15-Aug-2011 at 05:29 AM (05:29) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)
Updated 15-Aug-2011 at 05:47 AM (05:47) by Gurdur

You may remember I blogged on the legal suit of Richard Dawkins together with the RDFRS against Josh Timonen, Maureen Norton, and the company Upper Branch Productions, and did an update on that fairly recently.

Well, the lawyer representing Richard Dawkins and the RDFRS (as plaintiffs) against Timonen et al has now applied for the entire suit to be dropped without prejudice (meaning, I guess, they don't want to pay for Timonen's legal fees etc., or they want to keep open an option...
Posted in Uncategorized
Views 5269 Comments 3 Gurdur is offline
Rating: 4 votes, 5.00 average.

Women & feminism in atheism, humanism & skepticism: a critique of the upcoming CFI "Women In Secularism" conference

Posted 13-Aug-2011 at 01:00 AM (01:00) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)
Updated 15-Aug-2011 at 07:57 AM (07:57) by Gurdur

The Center For Inquiry (CFI) has organized a conference, "Women In Secularism", to be held on 18-20 May, next year in 2012, in Washington, DC, USA. It was initially organized by Melody Hensley, CFI-DC Executive Director, and taken up by Ronald A. Lindsay, president and CEO of the CFI. You can find out all the details here. The speakers for that convention have already been announced, and they are Ophelia Benson, Jamila Bey, Greta Christina, Elisabeth Cornwell, Margaret Downey, Annie Laurie Gaylor,...
Posted in Uncategorized
Views 10200 Comments 10 Gurdur is offline

More diversity contacts and blogs relevant to atheism, religion & feminism

Posted 08-Aug-2011 at 05:49 PM (17:49) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)
Updated 08-Aug-2011 at 06:09 PM (18:09) by Gurdur

I recently did a post in which I mentioned low down in the post some diversity blogs. I'm going to repeat that here and add to that, with special emphasis on women atheist bloggers, in relation to bottom-up rather than top-down planning of atheist conferences, and in relation to interaction with other aspects such as feminism, sexism, science-blogging, interfaith dialogue, etc.. Please bear in mind the following are mainly restricted to those in the USA who have been ignored by others. These are...
Posted in Uncategorized
Views 4390 Comments 9 Gurdur is offline
Rating: 2 votes, 5.00 average.

Do we really need PZ Myers and Richard Dawkins working together? A reply to Lee Myers and to all

Posted 02-Aug-2011 at 06:08 PM (18:08) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)
Updated 02-Aug-2011 at 07:44 PM (19:44) by Gurdur

I'm jumping the gun a bit here, since I am still working on a very long ElevatorGate post that should have been up on Sunday, and wasn't; yesterday turned into a very stressful day. I always prefer to start from the facts of a situation before tackling prescriptives, but I'm going to do this now, and I will have my other new ElevatorGate post(s) up very soon.

Lee Myers commented on a previous blog post of mine: "... I live in Texas, a state where people want to teach my daughter...
Posted in Uncategorized
Views 18531 Comments 11 Gurdur is offline
Rating: 5 votes, 5.00 average.

ElevatorGate, Jennifer Ouellette, PZ Myers, Jennifer Keane (@ZenBuffy)

Posted 31-Jul-2011 at 04:48 AM (04:48) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)
Updated 16-Nov-2012 at 06:09 AM (06:09) by Gurdur

Jennifer Keane, a full time web development professional and martial-arts expert, of the blog "And another thing…", did an interesting blog post, "Much ado about… wait, what?", on the mess that is #ElevatorGate: Keane's points included:
  1. That in the #ElevatorGate strife, there is a false dichotomy being pushed by some that divides the atheist & skeptic world into “feminist, and therefore supportive and helpful ...", and on the other side, "anti-skepchick and therefore pro-rape, sleazy,
Posted in Uncategorized
Views 24989 Comments 38 Gurdur is offline

The legal suit from Richard Dawkins Foundation against Josh Timonen & Maureen Norton etc. failing?

Posted 20-Jul-2011 at 05:24 PM (17:24) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)
Updated 21-Jul-2011 at 01:31 AM (01:31) by Gurdur

The Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science (RDFRS, RDF) and Richard Dawkins himself seem to be failing in their suing of Josh Timonen and Maureen Norton (described as Timonen's girlfriend), as well as against Upper Branch Productions (Josh Timonen's company), whereby it was alleged that $375,000 had been embezzled from the Foundation. I blogged on this matter in full back on 24 October 2010, and since then there have been some updates to the progress of the legal suit. Josh Timonen himself...
Posted in Uncategorized
Views 7263 Comments 1 Gurdur is offline

Funny ironies 2: Atheism versus skepticism, part 3: Russell Blackford fretfully wibbles about the humanities

Posted 26-Nov-2010 at 06:07 PM (18:07) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)
Updated 26-Nov-2010 at 06:16 PM (18:16) by Gurdur

This is simply too good and too ridiculous not to give it a whole blog post all of its own. Russell Blackford committed a hilarious howler, in the midst of trying to construct an argument to the effect that naughty Jeff Wagg, in Wagg's criticisms of the conflation between atheism and skepticism, is actually dissing the humanities. All terribly exaggerated on Russell Blackford's part, but hey. That can wait, and if you're wondering what the context is all about, please see my blog post here and then...
Posted in Laughter
Views 3281 Comments 1 Gurdur is offline

Atheism versus skepticism, part 2: the Skepticon 3 controversy, Jeff Wagg, JT Eberhard, PZ Myers, Russell Blackford, Reed Esau, Jim Lippard and all

Posted 26-Nov-2010 at 04:33 PM (16:33) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)
Updated 27-Nov-2010 at 08:21 AM (08:21) by Gurdur

Please go look at my previous blog post, "Atheism versus skepticism, part 1: the program, judge for yourself", if you have not read it yet, before reading this one. It's important to one point to be made here.

Now, having read the program shown in that post, it really does look like an atheist convention, doesn't it? With a few off-topica talks here and there. And while they do give proper importance to the pub, there are all those odd little spaces where they still don't give any...
Posted in Uncategorized
Views 5267 Comments 4 Gurdur is offline

Atheism versus skepticism, part 1: the program, judge for yourself

Posted 26-Nov-2010 at 02:16 PM (14:16) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)
Updated 26-Nov-2010 at 06:12 PM (18:12) by Gurdur

It's atheism versus skepticism. Now, before we go any further into anything at all, please indulge me and look carefully at the program below, and then form conclusions as to what the planned convention is all about, solely from the information given below in its program:

Speaker, subject, Nov 19th
Speaker, subject, Nov 20th
Speaker, subject, Nov 21st
8:30 am Doors Open, Check In 8:30am Doors Open, Check In 8:30am Doors Open,
Posted in Uncategorized
Views 3019 Comments 5 Gurdur is offline

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