Tuesday, March 25, 2008

PZ, Did You RSVP To an Event To Which You Were Not Invited?

PZ Myers has now responded to the press release issued by Premise Media. He fails to repond to one key point in the press release:
EXPELLED was screened for a select Minneapolis grass roots audience on Thursday night. Dr. Myers and noted atheist Dr. Richard Dawkins were not sent invitations to the screening from the producers. Nevertheless, they acquired access to a proprietary online RSVP site, along with a group of other atheists. The producers were notified that Myers and others who were not invited had signed up for the screening.

If he did not get an invitation and improperly got access to the RSVP system, that makes him incredibly dishonest for not disclosing that. He claims that he signed up just like everybody else and "if I was a gate crasher, just about everybody else there was a gate crasher." Oh really? If the others responded to invitations that they had received and Myers did not, is he really just like everyone else? Another great lesson in honesty and morality from a noted expert.

So PZ, did you get an invitation? If not, how exactly did you get access to the RSVP system? Did you know that the RSVP system was for people who were actually invited?


At March 27, 2008 5:43 AM, Anonymous gopi said...

"Did you know that the RSVP system was for people who were actually invited?"

Did the RSVP system actually say anything that indicated that it was intended for people with invites?

With all the allegations and counter allegations, I haven't seen that really addressed.

Personally, when I see a web page that asks for my name, I assume that my name is going to be used for appropriate access control, unless the page actually says it's only for people who got an email or something. I register for conferences all the time with e-mail registration pages; I forward the URLs to others. If something is only for me alone, it usually includes login or something.

(On the subject of partisan behaviour, I had never heard of PZ Meyers before this; I had heard of Expelled, but all I knew was that Ben Stein looked silly in the posters)

At March 27, 2008 6:17 AM, Anonymous lawrence said...


You ask good questions, but what the system said is not the most important questions. They are whether Myers had an invitation, whether he knew that the RSVP system was for people who had invitations and how he got access to the RSVP system.

Why won't he answer these obvious questions?

He claimed that he got in just like everybody else, but is that really true?

At March 27, 2008 7:04 AM, Anonymous gopi said...


"whether he knew that the RSVP system was for people who had invitations and how he got access to the RSVP system."

I'm quite confused. Isn't what the system said *extremely* relevant if you're discussing whether he knew who the system was for?

How else would he have known who the RSVP page was for? What information should he trust, the RSVP page itself or what some other blog said or what some guy sending him an email said?

If Dr. Myers does respond, I would use my knowledge of what he saw in front of him to decide whether I thought his answer was honest and forthright or not. "Thanks for responding to our email" at the start of the web page would make me think he should've known better; "We'd love to see you at Expelled!" would make me think, that sounds so inviting, I wouldn't read that and think that I'd better make sure I'm not in the wrong place.

I suspect he's not answering questions about invitations because, honestly, it sounds like a "when did you stop beating your wife?" question. If Dr. Myers thought that he didn't need an invite, it would be difficult to give a simple answer to Mr. Wallace's "where's your invite demand?"

If Dr. Myers responded with, "I didn't have one, the web page didn't say anything about invitations" you know as well as I do that the spin doctors involved in this would try to say he admitted he was a gate crasher.

The lack of comment from Dr. Myers is a bit frustrating, but I find the vagueness of his detractors quite frustrating as well, probably more so because they are writing about the matter but strangely choosing to not mention how Dr. Myers was expected to know the rules regarding these invitations.

Trying to merge the stories coming from all directions, it sounds to me like the producers forgot to consider that emails will always get forwarded far and wide; URLs will always be visited by way more people than you expect to visit them. They likely wrote some bad copy for the web page, trying to make it sound friendly and inviting - forgetting that many visitors to the web page would be people following links rather than being invitees.

At March 28, 2008 6:19 AM, Anonymous Lawrence said...


I acknowledged that your question is relevant to the ultimate question. But it is not the only question or the most important question. I think I made that clear.

I find it humorous how you are bending over backwards to defend Myers, who could help settle this by explaining how he got access to the RSVP site. Instead, he is banning people for raising this issue, and insulting them in the process. (Your faith in Myers strikes me as akin to religious devotion, by the way.)

The press release says he was not invited, and suggests that he improperly got access to the RSVP site. He does not contest this, as far as I can tell. Why not?

At April 20, 2008 7:01 PM, Blogger Vincent Truman said...

If Myers and his party obtained the invitations by illegal means, then charges should be filed. Otherwise, the debate is moot.


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