My first security

I bow before the awesomeness of the man assigned to guard me in Georgia. He was a tough dude, and I cowered before him as he towered over me.

On to Clemson!

539805_10151311705332979_2026700515_n

h/t: Pradeep Satyaprakash

61 Comments

  1. chriskg
    Posted February 5, 2013 at 5:26 am | Permalink

    Before you know it you’ll have a posse with badges.

    • starskeptic
      Posted February 5, 2013 at 6:25 am | Permalink

      They don’t need no stinkin’ badges!….

  2. Stackpole
    Posted February 5, 2013 at 5:33 am | Permalink

    They wouldn’t let you go to the bathroom?!?

    • starskeptic
      Posted February 5, 2013 at 8:46 am | Permalink

      lol – all your bladder are belong to us -

    • Posted February 5, 2013 at 10:01 am | Permalink

      +1

      (I can’t stop laughing, oh my!)

  3. Posted February 5, 2013 at 5:35 am | Permalink

    Why are you trying to do an impression of King Richard 111? :)

    • starskeptic
      Posted February 5, 2013 at 6:27 am | Permalink

      I thought the King Richard 111 was a fighter jet.

      • gbjames
        Posted February 5, 2013 at 6:33 am | Permalink

        I’d go with aircraft carrier.

        • starskeptic
          Posted February 5, 2013 at 8:52 am | Permalink

          the KR-111 – which unfortunately for Richard III, didn’t go into service until after the battle of Bosworth; in other news – Spartacus really did have a Piper Cub.

  4. gbjames
    Posted February 5, 2013 at 5:39 am | Permalink

    What? No assault rifle? How do you expect to protect yourself?

    • Dominic
      Posted February 5, 2013 at 6:20 am | Permalink

      With rational argument & evidence! (In fact Jerry has a test tube full of specially trained Drosophila that he will release when under attack, crying “fly my pretties”!)

      • gbjames
        Posted February 5, 2013 at 6:31 am | Permalink

        Wouldn’t he say “Flies, my pretties!”? ;)

        • Dominic
          Posted February 5, 2013 at 6:57 am | Permalink

          of course!!! :)

        • starskeptic
          Posted February 5, 2013 at 9:05 am | Permalink

          If Jerry didn’t spend so much time out of the lab, we could even have gone with “Flies, my precious…”.

  5. Howard Kornstein
    Posted February 5, 2013 at 5:42 am | Permalink

    It’s bad enough that you’re an atheist Jerry, just don’t also tell them that you voted for Obama.

  6. NewEnglandBob
    Posted February 5, 2013 at 5:49 am | Permalink

    Too bad you had to leave the US to go to that foreign country… Oh wait… Never mind.

  7. John Danley
    Posted February 5, 2013 at 6:08 am | Permalink

    Looks like the autodidact version of Jason Statham escorting a gentle, meek, and mild infidel to the Fernbank Museum.

  8. Posted February 5, 2013 at 6:22 am | Permalink

    You didn’t need security when you came to Alabama. What does Georgia have that we don’t? Come on! :D

    • pradeepsp123
      Posted February 6, 2013 at 11:50 pm | Permalink

      Our town is the ground-zero of stupidity.

      We are where the Southern Baptist Convention started in 1845.

      http://bit.ly/9XLlxM

      Yeah, we are extra special, so we provided some security for Dr. Coyne.

  9. Tim Harris
    Posted February 5, 2013 at 6:43 am | Permalink

    How unutterably sad.

    • Posted February 5, 2013 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

      Yup.

      “You want to argue for atheism? Let me show you my rebuttal: it’s a Glock 30.”

  10. gravityfly
    Posted February 5, 2013 at 7:19 am | Permalink

    Hahaha! That’s a great cower, Jerry!

  11. Bruce S. Springsteen
    Posted February 5, 2013 at 7:29 am | Permalink

    Don’t be fooled. The short guy is the dangerous one.

    • Diane G.
      Posted February 5, 2013 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

      + 1

  12. Hempenstein
    Posted February 5, 2013 at 7:32 am | Permalink

    Did he have anything to say about your talk?

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted February 6, 2013 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

      If he’d been doing his job properly, he’d have been watching the audience and listening to the earpiece from the auditorium staff. No time or attention to the one person you can be sure won’t shoot the speaker (repeatedly).

      • pradeepsp123
        Posted February 6, 2013 at 11:44 pm | Permalink

        Yes, he did this. He was up front and watching the audience while our plain clothes security was in the back watching lecture attendees.

  13. Gordon Hill
    Posted February 5, 2013 at 7:44 am | Permalink

    The price of well considered views opposing the unthinking.

  14. Posted February 5, 2013 at 8:11 am | Permalink

    Are you going to start learning Brazilian jui-jitsu like Sam Harris? And packing heat?

  15. MAUCH
    Posted February 5, 2013 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    I feel sorry for the security guard. He doesn’t understand who he is dealing with.

    • pradeepsp123
      Posted February 5, 2013 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

      He knows perfectly well who Dr. Coyne is.

  16. Gerard52
    Posted February 5, 2013 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    Whoever thought an academic would need security for a public lecture oops I forgot you are in that region of the country where john Scopes came from and evolution is the topic.

  17. steve oberski
    Posted February 5, 2013 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    Reminds me of an apocryphal Einstein story.

    There’s a story about how Dr. Albert Einstein was travelling to Universities in his car , delivering lectures on his theory of relativity. During one journey, the driver remarked ” Dr. Einstein, I have heard you deliver that lecture about 30 times. I know it by heart and bet I could give it myself.”

    “Well, I’ll give you the chance”, said the Dr. “They don’t know me at the next University, so when we get there, I’ll put on your cap, and you introduce yourself as Dr. Einstein and give the lecture.”

    The driver delivered Einstein’s lecture without any mistakes. When he finished, he started to leave, but one of the professor stopped him and asked a complex question filled with mathematical equations and formulas. The driver thought fast. “The answer to that problem is so simple,” he said, ” I’m surprised you have to ask me. In fact, to show you just how simple it is, I’m going to ask my driver to come up here and answer your question”.

    • HaggisForBrains
      Posted February 5, 2013 at 10:22 am | Permalink

      I love this story, and hope it’s true. BTW, Dermot C posted it yesterday in Simon’s Cat :-).

      • steve oberski
        Posted February 5, 2013 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

        I thought it seemed familiar.

      • Posted February 6, 2013 at 6:57 am | Permalink

        Surely you know that this is made up.

        • HaggisForBrains
          Posted February 6, 2013 at 8:51 am | Permalink

          Well no, I didn’t, and don’t call me Shirley!

          • Posted February 6, 2013 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

            Come on Haggis! Does it seem likely to you that, even if Al did go on some big barnstorming relativity tour (US or Europe) with his own personal driver, that no one at a particular University that booked him, including the learned audience members, would not have known what he looks like? Wouldn’t his notoriety have been the reason that he could have embarked on such a tour in the first place?

            Also, did his driver do the lectures in a thick accent as well?

            Finally, even if the driver heard the lectures 30 times, what is the likelihood that such a person could give a flawless lecture on something like relativity? Was the driver also physics professor who drove people around as a second job?

            Are interested in some bridge real estate? : )

            • HaggisForBrains
              Posted February 7, 2013 at 3:31 am | Permalink

              Are you telling me that my title deeds for the Brooklyn Bridge are worthless? At least I didn’t fall for that London Bridge scam, although I nearly exchanged my genuine solid gold brick for it.

              Naïve? Me?

              • Posted February 7, 2013 at 7:56 am | Permalink

                I’ll give you a cold fusion machine in exchange for that gold brick.

  18. pradeepsp123
    Posted February 5, 2013 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    Actually the security guard is a fellow heathen and a friend of our group. We hired him specifically because he was amenable to hearing what Dr. Coyne had to say last night.

    And yeah, we did have a few nut-jobs present at the lecture who we were concerned about.

    • moarscienceplz
      Posted February 5, 2013 at 10:18 am | Permalink

      Hey Pradeep,
      Any chance the lecture was recorded so we can see it?

      • Larry Gay
        Posted February 5, 2013 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

        Thank you Atlanta — for taking real dangers seriously and for refusing to be intimidated. BTW Mr. Security, security doesn’t smile. Check out the Secret Service sometime.

        • pradeepsp123
          Posted February 5, 2013 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

          This is in Augusta, GA not Atlanta.

          • Larry Gay
            Posted February 6, 2013 at 3:43 am | Permalink

            Sorry. My mistake.

      • pradeepsp123
        Posted February 5, 2013 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

        Unfortunately, our videographer got stuck at work and arrive at the lecture almost 15-20 minutes in, so no video.

  19. Sastra
    Posted February 5, 2013 at 9:39 am | Permalink

    I have been to three atheist conventions which had to have armed guards. At 2 of them, everyone who walked into the room had to go through a metal detector and pass a couple of bomb-sniffing dogs who had already gone over the area.

    The speakers whose lives were threatened were Ayan Hirsi Ali and Mikey Weinstein. And their lives (and possibly our own) were in danger from the violent “retribution” of fundamentalists. In Ayan’s case they were Muslim, in Mikey’s they were Christian. Same damn thing: they can’t handle dissent.

    My understanding is that the death threats these activists received beforehand were very specific — and very credible. I’m curious as to whether Jerry’s security detail was just on general principles … or what?

    • moarscienceplz
      Posted February 5, 2013 at 10:12 am | Permalink

      And yet it’s us militant atheists who lack morality. Go figure.

    • Bruce S. Springsteen
      Posted February 5, 2013 at 10:50 am | Permalink

      Cat haters, probably.

    • pradeepsp123
      Posted February 5, 2013 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

      We hired him since Dr. Coyne was giving his most inflammatory speech, “Why Religion and Science are Incompatible”, and not his book speech in this area. The event was well publicized in the community and we had a good many religious types in attendance. It was just a safety precaution.

      • whyevolutionistrue
        Posted February 5, 2013 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

        Yes, I’m grateful to Pradeep for having security there, and equally grateful that they weren’t needed.

        I myself am not afraid of being hurt; I’m a small fish and if somebody wanted to damage atheism, they’d go after a big gun. I don’t take death threats seriously.

      • neil
        Posted February 5, 2013 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

        Thank goodness he did not give his “Religion Poisons Everything” speech.

    • SLC
      Posted February 5, 2013 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

      According to Ed Brayton, Mikey Weinstein’s bodyguard is about the size of Shaquille O’Neal.

  20. Posted February 5, 2013 at 11:26 am | Permalink

    OMG. For quite a while my plans have been not to visit the south, maybe forever. You’ve solidified those plans.

    • pradeepsp123
      Posted February 5, 2013 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

      Well the South is just fine to visit!

      • Diane G.
        Posted February 5, 2013 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

        I concur. And since we’re speaking in gross generalities, I’ll add that for the most part Southerners are very nice people.

  21. Posted February 5, 2013 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

    Stonyground Says:
    It would be really cool if the big guy was a fan of Douglas Adams and was just waiting for the right moment to say, “I’m Prof Coyne’s body guard, I’m responsible for Prof Coyne’s body, I’m not responsible for yours, so take it away before it gets damaged”.

  22. guilherme21msa
    Posted February 5, 2013 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

    Religions that preach that human morality consists of obeying divine commands undermine morality by teaching people that they should not make moral decisions but simply obey orders perceived to be divine in origin. Because the followers of divine commands do not make moral decisions, they don’t feel guilty for their actions – since they are simply obeying orders – and without guilt, they do not care about the consequences of their actions. Such a preachment allows people to feel that they are not responsible for the consequences that their actions have on others and that all responsability for making moral decisions falls on religious authority.

    It’s the ultimate excuse for leaving moral responsibility behind.

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted February 5, 2013 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

      Oddly enough, I’ve seen that exact argument made against Prof Coyne’s position that everything we do is predetermined by outside causes acting on our brain (I hope I haven’t misrepresented that too badly!).

      (Personally I take the view that I *seem* to be making decisions for myself so I’m responsible for them. Or at least, as a methodology for living it seems to work, probably because most people implicitly assume the same thing).

  23. Pray Hard
    Posted February 6, 2013 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

    Actually, he looks pretty wimpy.

    • pradeepsp123
      Posted February 7, 2013 at 12:04 am | Permalink

      Yeah, he may look “wimpy” to you, but I am sure he could take down and neutralize any threat to Dr. Coyne at this event. And do realize that we had one other plain clothes security person on hand to manage the back of the crowd. Most of our audience were not us atheists. They were mostly curious Christians. The back ranks were filled with the crazy folks. We had our plain clothes man stationed behind them even before Dr. Coyne took the stage.


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 30,272 other followers

%d bloggers like this: