September 06, 2007

Michael Korn: Why Is He Still Loose?

Over at Pharyngula, science blogger PZ Myers reports that he has again received an email from Christian fundamentalist terrorist Michael Korn. In the context of Korn's previous activities, I view this latest bilious epistle as more than an infantile challenge to combat. It seems to me to be a threat. Here's what Korn wrote, per Dr. Myers:

survival of the fittest

i wonder if, since you are a proponent of darwinism and its creed of "survival of the fittest", you would accept my challenge to a fight, at a place of your choosing, using just our God-given or, in your case, randomly evolved, hands and feet (i.e., no weapons of any kind, as in a duel).

it would be interesting to see finally who really is fitter: an Evolutionist believer in Darwin or a Creationist believer in God.

our exhibition could render a real service to the community and help resolve this vexing issue.

for your information, i am 5' 6", 120 lbs, and have no military experience or training in martial arts or any other form of self-defense or combat.

it will be a very fair battle i think.

please respond soon.


Leaving aside the demonstration this provides of Korn's immaturity (do grown men engage in this kind of 'I call you out after school' nonsense?), it certainly speaks to Korn's willingness to use violence as a means of proving his point. It also shows us the twisted view that he has of the notion of what fitness means in evolutionary terms. Fitness as defined in evolutionary biology is simply the capability to leave behind offspring before death. While it is true that this property can equate to superior physical strength or dexterity in some organisms, it's certainly not the case for all of them. For instance, are roses more capable of winning a fist fight than are cabbages? It is unlikely even that physical prowess was the key to surviving to sexual maturity and insuring viable offspring in the course of human evolution. It seems far more likely from what we know that the ability to solve problems rationally and to cooperate socially are the keys to humanity's not having become an evolutionary casualty. In Korn's mind, "survival of the fittest" equates to "might makes right," putting him in a class of abusers of evolutionary theory that includes military strongmen and totalitarians throughout the history of the last 200 years or so or, as a certain band of happy-go-lucky men with a penchant for brown shirts inscribed on the belt buckles of their cannon fodder, "Got mitt uns."

The question I come back to, though, is why a man who has threatened so many people with lethal violence is still walking around free. It is only a matter of time before Korn's pathology becomes someone else's tragedy. What is law enforcement doing about this lunatic? Is he not still wanted for questioning in Colorado? Does he actually have to carry out one of his threats before anything will be done?

I would never do it in a million years, but I can guarantee you that if I were slipping notes under the doors of churches proclaiming that Christians should be killed to protect society and sending emails to priests and ministers warning them that I knew where they lived and challenging them to one-on-one combat, I would not have my freedom today. Why is what Korn is doing being treated differently?

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