This will be a quick one, just felt the need to comment on something.
After making my "people don't understand probability" post I was scanning the intertubes looking for relevant examples and found someone had written a letter to the editor all about how evolution was so unlikely, therefore we should be teaching creationism in schools.
I signed up to comment and... disagreed. In some moderate level of detail.
The response was for the letter writer to declare that I was an imposter. That "Grant" was not my real name. And to imply that I was there serving some shadowy agenda.
I am still unclear on who I was supposed to be if not myself... why this person I was supposed to be would disguise themselves as "Grant" (Does my name carry some kind of attached prestige which would lend weight to my arguments I'm not aware of)... what cause was supposed to have "sent" me... and why they would care to do such a thing. So I asked, employing levels of sarcasm that were perhaps excessive but really, really obvious.
The response was for the person in question to declare that I had admitted that I was not posting under my real identity (because I had asked why I, Richard Dawkins... or perhaps the ghost of Steven J Gould, would care to disguise myself as this "Grant" person) and they began basking in an apparent sense of validation that they were right about their conspiracy theory.
Now, my point here is that I could just dismiss this as an isolated incident of a crazy person on the Internet, except that this is the kind of mindset one needs to have in order to deny evolution in the first place. The belief that the entire world's scientific community is somehow engaged in some vast plot to make you believe evolution happened, for mysterious unexplained reasons. Which is... well... crazy.
For anyone interested, the exchange in question can be found here: (click me!) and the conspiracy theorist in question is the letter writer, Lance.