Well, that didn’t take long. With a swiftness made possible only in the Internet age, the president of UVM has announced that Ben Stein will not be attending the school’s May 17 graduation ceremonies or receiving an honorary degree.
Note the careful wording of Dan Fogel’s letter:
“…we have recently learned that Mr. Stein will be unable to receive the honorary degree here or to serve as Commencement speaker…”
PZ’s post is titled “Stein backs out,” but it’s not clear from Fogel’s letter if the decision was really Stein’s. With a happy resolution in place, perhaps it is going overboard to speculate as to the mechanics involved, but I have to wonder: What are the odds that Stein had a prior commitment vs. those of Fogel seeing the response from scientists and others from around the world, muttering “Oh my freakin’ Dawk,” and having a private chat with ol’ Ben?
Anyway, this one goes into the “W” column, and the mutual hectoring between David Heddle and everyone else on Science Blogs can return to its customary theaters.