Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Courtier’s Reply virus alert

In his piece The Courtier’s Reply, P.Z. Myers has confected what on the surface seems an entertainingly droll, even devilishly clever, rebuttal of a widespread criticism of Richard Dawkins’s book, The God Delusion — namely, that Dawkins has been terribly remiss in not sufficiently researching the breadth and depth of theological literature.

After detailed examination, I have tentatively concluded that Myers’ piece may be a Trojan Horse-type of viral construct. I have almost certainly detected at least one, and possibly two, Straw Men and perhaps one or two stray, mutant memes.

I’ve reproduced Myers’ piece here for study purposes, but have taken the precaution of isolating it within a meme-resistant protective layer, to circumvent the possibility of escape.

Approach with caution...

P.Z. Myers: The Courtier’s Reply

I have considered the impudent accusations of Mr Dawkins with exasperation at his lack of serious scholarship. He has apparently not read the detailed discourses of Count Roderigo of Seville on the exquisite and exotic leathers of the Emperor’s boots, nor does he give a moment’s consideration to Bellini’s masterwork, On the Luminescence of the Emperor’s Feathered Hat.

We have entire schools dedicated to writing learned treatises on the beauty of the Emperor’s raiment, and every major newspaper runs a section dedicated to imperial fashion; Dawkins cavalierly dismisses them all. He even laughs at the highly popular and most persuasive arguments of his fellow countryman, Lord D. T. Mawkscribbler, who famously pointed out that the Emperor would not wear common cotton, nor uncomfortable polyester, but must, I say must, wear undergarments of the finest silk.

Dawkins arrogantly ignores all these deep philosophical ponderings to crudely accuse the Emperor of nudity.

Personally, I suspect that perhaps the Emperor might not be fully clothed — how else to explain the apparent sloth of the staff at the palace laundry — but, well, everyone else does seem to go on about his clothes, and this Dawkins fellow is such a rude upstart who lacks the wit of my elegant circumlocutions, that, while unable to deal with the substance of his accusations, I should at least chide him for his very bad form.

Until Dawkins has trained in the shops of Paris and Milan, until he has learned to tell the difference between a ruffled flounce and a puffy pantaloon, we should all pretend he has not spoken out against the Emperor’s taste. His training in biology may give him the ability to recognize dangling genitalia when he sees it, but it has not taught him the proper appreciation of Imaginary Fabrics.


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