Friday, October 28, 2005

New Issue of Skeptical Inquirer

Speaking of fine coverage of the Evolution/ID issue, check out the November/December issue of Skeptical Inquirer, now at newsstands. Mark Perakh offers an interesting variation on the imperfection argument. He points out that a complex system that loses its function when a single part is removed or damaged is not well designed. Consequently, the very feature that tells us (according to ID proponents) that a system must have been designed immediately implies that it was badly designed. Not too sensible. David Morrison offers some wise words about the proper way to frame the debate, such as it is. My own article about William Dembski's blatant misues of a quotation from paleontologist Peter Ward appears next, followed by some remarks from Lawrence Krauss about the Catholic Church and evolution. Then there's an excerpt from Sean Carroll's excellent book Endless Forms Most Beautiful: The New Science of Evo-Devo. Lawrence Lerner wraps things up with an analysis of the polling data on evolution and creationism. Good stuff.

Brayton Nails Behe

At the big ID trial in Dover, Michael Behe claimed that his popular book Darwin's Black Box, went through a peer review process that was even more rgiorous than that of a paper in a journal. Now it turns out, this is untrue. Surprise!

Ed Brayton has the full story here. See also this previous post on the same subject.

Kudos to Ed for this and all his other excellent coverage of the Dover trial.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Meeting Mooney and Paulos in Charlottesville

Wow! What a great night! Not only did I meet two of my personal heroes, but I also finally managed to track down the UVA Visitor's Parking Lot. What more could one ask for?

First up was Chris Mooney, who spoke to the College Democrats about his magnificent, if hugely depressing, book The Republican War on Science. I got to speak to him briefly after the talk, and he was kind enough to autograph my copy of his book. Very cool.

Mooney's presentation concluded at around 7:00. Happily, I happened to notice a flier hanging up announcing that John Allen Paulos was speaking. That night. At 7:30!

Golly! What are the chances that both talks would be on the same night, scheduled in a way that made it possible to attend both, with very little dead time in between? Must have been intelligently designed just for me!

Who's John Allen Paulos? Well, he's a professor of mathematics at Temple University, but he's better known as the author of Innumeracy, and many other books. Most recently he is the author of A Mathematician Reads the Newspaper. He gave an excellent talk about common mathematical fallacies that routinely arise in the news media.

Two points that arose were especially relevant to this blog. During his talk he mentioned that all of the fancy mathematics in the world can not salvage a bad model. If the assumptions that go into your model are false, then any inferences you draw from them will be worthless. I had to laugh, since that is exactly what William Dembski has been doing in his preposterous series of articles allegedly on the mathematical foundations of ID.

The other point came during the Q&A. Someone in the audience, I swear it wasn't me, asked what he thought of people who argue that life is too complex to have evolved by natural means. The questioner specifically mentioned ID. Paulos was withering in his contempt for that attitude. Sadly, I did not record his exact words, but as I recall he described it as scary that so many people buy into such arguments.

I had the chance to exchange a few words with him after the talk, and I mentioned that creationist probability arguments are a classic example of fancy mathematics being employed in the service of bad assumptions. He agreed.

I'll definitely have to go buy his book.

All in all, a very successful evening.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

More on Gould

Recall that in yesterday's post I discussed claims, made by someone named Stuart Pivar and posted at Denyse O'Leary's pro-ID blog, that Stephen Jay Gould rejected the idea that natural selection could craft complex adaptations. There was the further claim that Gould believed that natural selection was a weak force in evolution and that consequently he would not have signed the “Steves List” maintained by the NCSE.

I debunked that claim in the most direct way I could think of: By finding several quotes in Gould's writing where he unambiguously rejected the claims being attributed to him.

Well, now William Dembski has gotten into the act with this post, under the provactive title “Stephen Jay Gould - Master of Equivocation.&rdquo (Yes, I do see the irony in William Dembski having the nerve to accuse others of equivocation.) After a paragraph in which he introduces the subject, Dembski writes:


In particular, O’Leary cites a friend of Stephen Jay’s, Stuart Pivar, who is urging the NCSE to remove from its Project Steve statement an overemphasis on the role of natural selection in biological evolution. Pivar writes: “A main point in Goulds message to us regarding how evolution works is that natural selection is not responsible for form, playing only a minor, eliminative role in the selection among a choice of forms produced by other means. You might consider installing the words ‘or that natural structural processes and heterochony are the major mechanisms in its occurence.’”

Compare this to Stephen Jay Gould’s claim in his 1999 Rocks of Ages (pp. 56-57): “My colleagues in evolutionary theory are presently engaged in a healthy debate about whether a limited amount of Lamarckian evolution may be occurring for restricted phenomena in bacteria. Yet the fascination and intensity of this question does not change the well-documented conclusion that Darwinian processes dominate in the general run of evolutionary matters.” Does it need to be added that natural selection is the central mechanism in any Darwinian process?


Having read this far and ignoring the title, I was all set to praise Dembski for stating the obvious. He described the charge levelled at Gould, and then produced a quote in which Gould explicitly rejects the view being attributed to him. Well done!

Sadly, then I read the comments. The first comment says, “So, you disagree with O’Leary and Pivar, then?”

Yes, obviously Dembski does. But then Dembski replied with, “I’m saying Gould played the staunch Darwinian when it suited him.”

What? How is that conclusion justified by anything Dembski wrote previously? For that matter, how does anything Dembski wrote show that Gould equivocated on this point?

I had temporarily forgotten, you see, that this was William Dembski's blog. That means all its posts come straight from Neptune. That means he feels free to hurl what ever smears he wants without having to justify them with anything. The fact is that Gould was clear, consistent, and unambiguous on this point through several decades of published writing.

We will return to Dembski's commenters in a moment, but first let's pause to take a look at Red State Rabble's take on the subject. See also this post.

In reply to Pat Hayes' (RSR's author) sage words on this matter, RSR was actually favored with a response from Ms. O'Leary:


Well, Pat, Gould's friend is making the noise. Right? Wrong? Either way, it's a story. But my money's on the friend. I don't make this up. I couldn't. Incidentally, the peppered moth example you cited is just the sort of minor change that Pivar said Gould WOULD allow to natural selection, but he denied that it could do the huge things that, for example, Dawkins would credit it with.


Indeed, it is a story. But the story is that Gould's friend is making statements that are easily shown to be false. But O'Leary can't be troubled to actually let any facts enter in to her reporting. Right? Wrong? Not for her decide, though her money is on the friend.

Let's review. Pivar attributed to Gould the view that natural selection is a minor force in evolution, and can not account for complex adaptations. Gould explicitly rejected this idea over and over again in his writing. It was easily shown that Pivar was wrong merely by picking up almost any of Gould's books and looking for references to natural selection in the index. O'Leary did not bother to do this. Instead, she repeated the claims, pretended there's some genuine mystery about Gould's views on the matter, and now is putting her money on the friend.

Everything clear?

Why do scientists get so angry with ID proponents? Because they are, vritually without exception, entirely devoid of conscience.

O'Leary added more spice to the brew with this comment to Dembski's post:


For the record, I am not personally disputing it. My source Pivar is disputing it.

Pivar told me - and gave me permission to publish it - that Gould did not admit what he really thought because he did not want to acknowledge how weak the evidence for Darwinism is, in from [sic] of creatinists and ID people.

Is Pivar right? Wrong? He knew the guy, so I can’t discount it. I figured, run it up the flagpole and see who salutes.

My preferred outcome would be a conference examining structuralism vs. Darwinism vs. ID.


You will search O'Leary's post in vain for any ghost of skepticism about what Pivar is telling her. And we know she has put her money on him.

And now we have Pivar claiming that Gould, who had one consistent message through more than thirty years of writing on this subject, was actualy lying through his teeth because he was worried about creationist response. So when Gould stated over and over again that natural selection was a major force in evolution and was responsible for complex adaptations, that was all a subterfuge. When he allowed himself to be filmed for high-profile documentaries happily discussing the conventional scenario of how vertebrate eyes evolved gradually via natural selection, that was all just a cover for his real beliefs.

For heaven's sake, the very idea that Gould would shy away from making provocative charges out of fear of what a handful of creationists would do is just too ridiculous to be contemplated.

What's really going on here is simple. Pivar is a pathetic little charlatan who was lucky enough to be friends with one of the twentieth century's greatest scientists. He is now betraying that friendship out of a cynical desire to call attention to himself. He found a useful idiot in Denyse O'Leary to parrot his obviously false charges. And since people like O'Leary and Dembski have precisely zero shame, they are perfectly happy to ignore the evidence presnted here and at other blogs that shows how laughably false Pivar's claims really are.

Any questions?

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Would Gould Have Signed the Steves List?

For several years now The National Center for Science Education has maintained Project Steve. This is a list of scientists who signed their name in support of a statement defending evolution and opposing creationism and ID. The catch is that only scientists named Steve are eligbile to sign it.

The list was intended as a parody of the standard creationist tactic of producing lists of scientists said to oppose evolution. You see, NCSE's list has, at last count, 649 signatories. That is far higher than any pathetic list the creos could produce. And, obviously, scientists named Steve represent a tiny fraction of the scientific community generally.

Here is the statement the signatories endorse:


Evolution is a vital, well-supported, unifying principle of the biological sciences, and the scientific evidence is overwhelmingly in favor of the idea that all living things share a common ancestry. Although there are legitimate debates about the patterns and processes of evolution, there is no serious scientific doubt that evolution occurred or that natural selection is a major mechanism in its occurrence. It is scientifically inappropriate and pedagogically irresponsible for creationist pseudoscience, including but not limited to “intelligent design,” to be introduced into the science curricula of our nation's public schools.


The list was named after the late Stephen Jay Gould. Gould was an ardent supporter of the NCSE during his life and an equally ardent foe of creationism in all its forms.

Now here comes someone named Stuart Pivar, who describes himself as a friend of Gould's, claiming that Gould would not have signed that list. Pivar maintains this website, which coopts Gould's name in an attempt to promote a theory of non-Darwinian evolution.

Now, there's no question about Gould's anti-creationist credentials. And there is also no question that Gould was a big fan of evolutionary theory. So why wouldn't he have signed the list?

At her pro-ID blog, Denyse O'Leary reports on a conversation she had with Pivar. She quotes Pivar saying the following:


steve and ronda would spend weekends at my beach house. we were close friends for years. i officiated at his funeral service.

steve lifes work was to understand evolution. His message was that natural selection was merely an eliminative force with no creative role, capable of choosing for survival among preexisting forms which are produced by other natural structural processes.

(Note: I have reproduced this quote precisely as it appears at O'Leary's blog. The capitalization and punctuation errors are from the original.)


And later:


Steve Gould (the Ursteve of the famous Steve list of the NCSE) clearly did not believe in natural selection as the primary cause of evolutionary change.

The 600 listed scientists named Steve claim the belief that evolution happened, and that natural selection is the mechanical process which causes it. Stephen Jay Gould would not have signed this list.


In this post O'Leary presents a further quote from Pivar:


Steve Goulds life work featured the debunking of natural selection as the cause of anything more important than the differences in the beaks of finches, in his investigation of the causes of evolution. The Steve List is the appropriation of his name in the propagation of a theory which he opposed his entire life long. Every statement SJG ever made rejects natural selection, and none can be found in its support. Is this colossal misunderstanding innocent incompetence, or a soviet style paradigm takeover?


The excessively strong lnaguage, the gratuitous reference to the old Soviet Union, and the reduction of Gould's complex views of evolution to a few simple sentences are all standard crank devices. Anyone who knows anything about Gould's work is laughing at this point. Every statement SJG ever made rejects natural selection? We'll see.

We might begin our analysis of these statements by pointing out the obvious: No signatory of the Steves list said that natural selection is the mechanical process which causes evolution. They agreed simply that natural selection is a major mechanism of evolutionary change. That's an important difference. (Incidentally, O'Leary herself points this out. But she gets it wrong as well. She writes: “...the list says that natural selection is a major mechanical process, not the mechanical process.” Actually, the statement makes no reference at all to mechanical processes. Get the details right.)

So is Pivar right? Of course not. Consider this statement from Gould's famous essay “Darwinian Fundamentalism”:


Darwin clearly loved his distinctive theory of natural selection—the powerful idea that he often identified in letters as his dear “child.” But, like any good parent, he understood limits and imposed discipline. He knew that the complex and comprehensive phenomena of evolution could not be fully rendered by any single cause, even one so ubiquitous and powerful as his own brainchild.


Ubiquitous and powerful. Case closed, right? Well, let's keep going anyway.


Charles Darwin often remarked that his revolutionary work had two distinct aims: first, to demonstrate the fact of evolution (the genealogical connection of all organisms and a history of life regulated by “descent with modification”); second, to advance the theory of natural selection as the most important mechanism of evolution. Darwin triumphed in his first aim (American creationism of the Christian far right notwithstanding). Virtually all thinking people accept the factuality of evolution, and no conclusion in science enjoys better documentation. Darwin also succeeded substantially in his second aim. Natural selection, an immensely powerful idea with radical philosophical implications, is surely a major cause of evolution, as validated in theory and demonstrated by countless experiments. But is natural selection as ubiquitous and effectively exclusive as the ultras propose? (Emphasis Added)


So there's Gould endorsing natural selection as a major mechanism of evolution. Exactly as the NCSE statement says.

Gould believed that natural selection did nothing more than regulate the size of finch beaks? Hardly. Consider this:


Modern evolutionists cite the same plays and players; only the rules have changed. We are now told, with equal wonder and admiration, that natural selection is the agent of exquisite design. As an intellectual descendant of Darwin, I do not doubt this attribution. (Ever Since Darwin, Essay 12.)


Or this:


In fact, each of Darwin's books played its part in the grand and coherent scheme of his life's work - demonstrating the fact of evolution and defending natural selection as its primary mechanism. ...Thus, the paradox, and the common theme of this trilogy of essays: Our textbooks like to illustrate evolution with examples of optimal design - nearly perfect mimicry of a dead leaf by a butterfly or of a poisonous species by a palatable relative. But ideal design is a lousy argument for evolution, for it mimics the postulated action of an omnipotent creator. Odd arrangements and funny solutions are the proof of evolution - paths that a sensible God would never tread but that a natural process, constrained by history, follows perforce. (The Pandas Thumb, Essay 1)


Please note that the ellipsis in the middle represents several paragraphs in which Gould describes Darwin's work on orchids as a specific example of the general principle he describes at the end of the quote above.


In the domain of organisms and their good designs, we have litle reason to doubt the strong, probably dominant influence of deterministic forces like natural selection. The intricate, highly adapted forms of organisms - the wing of a bird or the mimicry of a dead twig by an insect - are too complex to arise as long sequences of sheer good fortune under the simplest random models. (Eight Little Piggies, Essay 28)


Finally, after a brief discussion of Darwin's logic in defending the importance of natural selection, Gould writes:


The impeccable logic of this formulation can help critics by clarifying how any potential argument against this hegemony of natural selection must proceed. At the functional vertex, one would have to identify other important mecahnisms in addition to natural selection - and none have been proposed, at least to the satisfaction of this author (although the argument for “a little bit of bacterial Lamrackism” - as I like to characterize the controversial claims of Cairns et al. - may have some merit in a limited domain. (The Structure of Evoluitionary Theory, pp. 1053)


These are just a few quotes that I found by the ingenious device of pulling random Gould volumes off my bookshelf and looking up “natural selection” in their indices. It has taken me longer to transcribe them then it did to find them. The fact is the creative power of natural selection was a major theme of Gould's essays. In Ever Since Darwin he describes the role of natural selection in crafting the complex “decoy fish” of a certain fresh water mussel (Essay 12). In The Panda's Thumb he discusses selection's role in crafting - surprise! - the panda's thumb (Essay 1). In Eight Little Piggies he describes selection's role in the evolution of the mammalian inner ear from jaw bones found in reptiles. And let's not forget that in PBS's recent Evolution documentary, Gould is shown discussing the intermediate stages in the evolution of the vertebrate eye. On and on it goes.

So it is clear that Gould had no trouble at all with the idea that complex adaptations evolve gradually under the aegis of natural selection. He certainly had no trouble describing natural selection as a major mechanism of evolution, which is what is at issue here.

There were many issues where Gould's view of evolution differed from the mainstream.

Gould believed that adaptation, while important, was less pervasive in evolution than many biologists believed. He thought that functional constraints and accidents of history played a greater role in evolution than they were given credit for. He believed that natural selection acted hierarchically (at the level of the gene, the organism, the local population, the species and so forth) and that the long term result of all this action were the evolutionary trends described in the theory of punctuated equilibrium. He believed that macroevolution was more than just accumulated microevolution, and that certain evolutionary mechanisms made themselves felt over the course of geologic time in ways that were not noticeable over shorter time spans. And all of these make for interesting discussions, and all of them represent small alterations in standard evolutionary thinking.

But none of them have to do with rejecting natural selection. Gould would have happily signed the NCSE list, a fact that becomes obvious by opening virtually any of his books to a random page.

Actually, there's one more aspect of this to comment on. After breathlessly reproducing Pivar's statements about how Gould did not believe that natural selection was a creative force, O'Leary writes the following:


If so, this is a major upset in the current intelligent design wars that will surely damage NCSE's case for teaching Darwinism only in American schools. (Emphasis in Original)


If so? She acts like Gould's theories about evolution are a great mystery, something we can only learn about via the testimony of those who knew him well.

But the fact is that Gould was one of the most prolific writers in the history of science. If you want to know what Gould thought, the solution is to go to the library, retrieve one of his books, and read it.

O'Leary did not do that because she does not care one way or the other what Gould actually thought about anything. She only cares about having a regular supply of chum to present to the ID sharks who read her blog. Pivar was singing the song she wanted to hear, so she mindlessly repeated it at her blog. I suspect it never occurred to her to check out for herself what Gould believed.

As for Pivar himself, it seems that in this case Gould did not pick his friends wisely (I'll assume that Pivar is not inventing the story about officiating at Gould's funeral). If Pivar was as friendly with Gould as he suggests, he would surely have been aware of Gould's support for the NCSE. Consequently, if he sincerely thought the NCSE was using Gould's name in ways he would not have approved, he would simply have contacted the NCSE privately. But he did not do that.

Instead he spoke to a prominent ID hack and made blatantly false and exaggerated statements, stated in incendiary language. He was clearly motivated in part by a desire to promote his website. A site, incidentally, at which he coopts Gould's name for unsavory purposes of his own. What a lovely fellow.

Let me close with this. As I mentioned, I found these quotes after just a little bit of searching. I have no doubt there are many other quotes I might have used in this essay. If anyone reading this would like to leave further quotes, either in the comments or in personal e-mails to me, I would certainly appreciate it. Just make sure to leave enough bibliographic information so I can check out the quotes myself. Thanks!

Monday, October 24, 2005

Oh, The Irony!

No sooner do I finish my response to John Calvert's “Are We Liars?” essay, then I come across this post from Jack Krebs over at The Panda's Thumb. Here's the opening of the post:


I don’t use the word “lie” loosely. I know it means deliberately saying something that one knows not to be true.

But in this case, I am willing to claim that John Calvert lied to the audience at his presentation at a conference hosted by the conservative American Enterprise Institute in Washington D.C. this past week. I hope to write more about Calvert’s presentation there, which was in conjunction with a speech by Barbara Forrest, but here I want to concentrate on one comment made by Calvert concerning Kansas Citizens for Science.


Go read the rest!

Calvert on Lying

By way of William Dembski's blog, I've come across this amusing document (PDF format) by ID proponent John Calvert. It is entitled, “Are We Liars?” thereby showing a level of introspection I thought was beyond most ID proponents.

There are a few nuggets here that merit a response:


Our real motivation is relevant, because, we may actually have motive X but be asking for Y, when we expect eventually to get X by first getting Y. To advance this kind of cause we must manipulate and misinform.

It seems that adversaries of ID are particularly guilty of this. They claim to want to do good science but they actually want to promote the ideology of materialism. We know this to be the case because the EFFECT of their behavior is to allow only a materialistic explanation at the expense of doing bad historical science (science that does not allow objective consideration of the principle competing possibility).


The insanity of this argument becomes obvious if you imagine making it with regard to any other scientific theory. Are we promoting the ideology of materialism when we teach students the germ theory of disease? Or the heliocentric model of the universe? Of course not.

The fact is that materialism is a philosophy that holds that material forces are all there are, and that there is nothing that is outside nature. Evolution is a theory that explains how complex organisms can arise, via well-understood natural mechanisms, from a population of relatively simple organisms billions of years ago. These are plainly not the same. In fact, they have little to do with one another.

Before moving on, we should also note Calvert's blatant logical error in this paragraph. The effects of an action do not necessarily tell us anything about the motives of the people taking that action. Duh.


Now when we claim that we have no religious motive and just want to do good science, I think we appear to be like those we criticize. Even though we may have no intention to replace materialism with theism, it looks like that is what we really want to do. Now we genuinely do not want to do that, in science. Maybe in the culture through honest competitions, but not in science. I think we all agree that science must always remain tentative and objective. What we want to do is to replace an ideology that is damaging credible science with objectivity that will restore its respect as an effective investigative institution. We do not want to replace an ideology with another ideology.


A more accurate statement would be to say that they don't really care about scientific investigation one way or the other. Instead they care about coopting some of science's prestige as a tool for promoting their own religious views in the culture.

I invite Calvert to explain how ID can be used to promote effective investigations into scientific questions. As I have pointed out many times in this blog, scientists are among the most pragmatic people in the world. They believe in whatever works. Contrary to the bloviations of hacks like Calvert, evolution survives only because it consistently leads to results in the field and the lab. It has this in common with every other scientific theory used by professionals in their work. ID, by contrast, has never enlightened anyone about anything.

From here Calvert launches in to the usual blather about institutional discrimination and the like. Nothing new here, just the usual nonsense about how oppressed Christians are in this country.

Then we come to this:


When we say that the data does not identify the designer that is a true statement when your focus is only on the science. DNA dose not bear a signature or copyright notice. Furthermore, because all scientific claims are tentative and because the singular events in question are remote unobserved and unobservable events that are not amenable to experimental testing one can not even be certain that the system is designed, from a scientific standpoint. To say that we know who the designer is, in my mind, a purely religious and not scientific claim. So, we should not be quarreling among ourselves about who the designer is when we are asking science to get rid of an irrefutable materialistic prejudice.


Did Calvert just give away the store here? We can't be certain, from a scientific standpoint, that a system really was designed? That's certainly not what people like Michael Behe and William Dembski have been telling us all these years. Their line is that the identity of the designer and the existence of the designer are two separate questions, the former being unanswerable, the latter having been answered with a definitive yes.

Perhaps Calvert is making the general point that “scientific certainty” is simply not something you can reasonably have about events from the past. If that is his point, then he is simply wrong. After all, we routinely send people to jail based entirely on circumstantial evidence. I'm sure Calvert believes that we can have so much evidence about what happened in the past that it is reasonable to talk about certainty.

Concerning the identity of the designer, we should remind Calvert that the designer of ID is said to be responsible for jiggering with the fundamental constants of the universe. He is therefore not bound by natural laws, and can change them at his will. So ID does tell us something about the designer, specifically that he is supernatural. That may not be the God of Christianity, but it is certainly God in some sense. The unwillingness of ID folks to be forthright on this point (as shown by their embarrassing insistence that space aliens are a viable option for the role of designer) does indeed amount to dishonesty.

Finally, we come to this:


My guess is that some believe that once the playing field is level, that scientific theories based on religious claims will not be given an opportunity to be heard. That could be the case. However, the opportunity for a careful, competitive and truly scientific examination of radiometric dating, common ancestry and similar issues will then never be greater. If the playing field is truly level, then we should want all legitimate scientific views represented on the field so that those views can be rigorously tested per a scientific method not laden with preconceptions.


Back here on planet Earth, ideas like radiometric dating and common ancestry have, indeed, been put through the ringer and they have emerged victorious. Creationist arguments and theories have not been ignored, and they have not bee refuted by appeal to some materialist preconception. The fact is that if it were discovered that evolution as we know it is totally and irretrievably wrong, it wouldn't change the fact that creationists are raving scientific ignoramuses.

It's interesting, though, that radiometric dating is put alongside common ancestry as something that is currently not being given a truly scientific examination. I trust this will put to rest the idea that ID folks accept the ancient Earth, in contradistinction with their more ignorant creationist forebears.

There's a bit more to the article than I have quoted here, so go have a look. Calvert is merely repeating standard ID talking points. As with most of ID's mindless parrots, his criticisms of modern science reside not upon a foundation of actual experience in professional scientific work, but rather in a handful of media-tested buzzwords and catchphrases. Typical ID shamelessness.

Mooney in Charlottesville

Chris Mooney, author of the magnificent The Republican War on Science will be speaking in Charolttesville, VA, at the University of Virginia, this Wednesday. According to his website, he will be speaking in Clark Hall, Room 108, starting at 6:00 pm. Charlottesville! That's just down the road from Harrisonburg. Looks like I have plans Wednesday night...