© Glendon Mellow, The Flying Trilobite

Harvard honors the Sarah Palin of humanism

It’s always interesting when someone unexpectedly breaks from the backfield and grabs a high-profile plum from more worthy contenders. Dan Quayle, Harriet Miers, and Clarence Thomas leap to mind. Shakespeare in Love beating Saving Private Ryan for Best Picture, or Art Carney (!) beating Dustin Hoffmann, Jack Nicholson, and Al Pacino for Best Actor.

Sarah Palin recently joined the ranks of those unexpectedly thrust to the front of the line, to be met with a collective shout of “WHO??”

Now Harvard has given us another one.

Among many other fine programs and services, the Humanist Chaplaincy at Harvard University selects one person each year as Harvard Humanist of the Year — someone who has made a significant contribution to the promotion and understanding of humanism. The list of past recipients is impressive, including

Sociobiologist E.O. Wilson, author of Consilience, The Ants, and On Human Nature, winner of two Pulitzers, the Crafoord Prize, and the National Medal of Science;

Courageous Bengali human rights activist and feminist Taslima Nasreen, poet and essayist, winner of the Sakharov Prize and multiple international human rights awards;

UN Lieutenant-General Roméo Dallaire, a Canadian senator and humanitarian best-known for his attempts to halt the Rwandan genocide in 1993-94;

Rice University’s Agnes Cullen Arnold Professor of Humanities Anthony Pinn, author and Humanist liberation theologian;

Representative Pete Stark, the first openly-nontheistic member of the U.S. Congress.

This year, the good folks at Harvard chose someone so obscure that he doesn’t even have a Wikipedia page. Just think of that. Even Numa Numa Guy has a Wikipedia page.

Click here to see this year’s choice for Harvard Humanist of the Year.



This was written on Tuesday, 09. September 2008 at 05:52 and was filed under Parenting, PBB. You can keep up with the comments to this article by using the RSS-Feed.

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Comments »

  1. A great choice!

    Comment: sphagnum – 09. September 2008 @ 6:32 am

  2. I think the comparison of the recipient of this award with Sarah Palin pays her a far greater compliment than she deserves.

    Anyway, congratulations to the winner – it is a well-deserved award. Perhaps it will catapult this obscure individual into the sort of fame that merits a Wikipedia page.

    Comment: TimMills – 09. September 2008 @ 7:06 am

  3. You = Sarah Palin??? I think not.
    Congratulations! It’s well deserved.

    Comment: spineless-one – 09. September 2008 @ 7:19 am

  4. Why doesn’t Dale have a Wikipedia Page? Doesn’t he have minions for stuff like that?

    Comment: blotzphoto – 09. September 2008 @ 7:28 am

  5. Congratulations! Very well-deserved.

    Comment: John – 09. September 2008 @ 8:33 am

  6. Yay!

    I’m so excited about this! I’ll come to Boston to hear your lecture. 🙂

    Comment: CampQuestAmanda – 09. September 2008 @ 9:17 am

  7. Fantastic!

    And richly deserved! Well done, sir.
    As the primary male role model in my 7 year old nephew’s life, I find myself thinking about various chapters of PBB a lot. It is so rewarding to watch a younger mind work through issues of injustice, equality, and the origins of everything. Parenting Beyond Belief is essential reading.

    Comment: Glendon Mellow – 09. September 2008 @ 9:35 am

  8. Congratulations Dale! I can’t imagine anyone more deserving.

    Comment: amwheeler – 09. September 2008 @ 10:11 am

  9. Holy crap! I’m going to be in Boston for a conference Dec 1-5. If there is any way, I am going to stay another day for that lecture!


    Comment: Ryan – 09. September 2008 @ 10:44 am

  10. Woot! Glad to see you’re making an appearance a scant hour away. Hopefully all the stars will align properly to allow me to attend (oops, I mean, I hope I can plan things such that I will be able to attend)

    Comment: Jim Lemire – 09. September 2008 @ 11:53 am

  11. Congratulations! and you really should get yourself some minions – not having a Wikipedia page? That is absurd!

    Comment: jcornelius – 09. September 2008 @ 12:03 pm

  12. Y’all are too kind. Applications are now being accepted for the positions of Minion, Toady, and Lickspittle.

    Comment: Dale – 09. September 2008 @ 12:06 pm

  13. Congratulations! Always great to see another Cal Bear receive the recognition of the Eastern Elite! 😉

    Comment: Blake – 09. September 2008 @ 12:23 pm

  14. So, at the RNC people were wearing buttons that said “Hottest VP from the Coolest State.” I think we need something like that for Dale. I Propose:

    “Coolest Writer on the Hottest New Humanist Issues”

    Anyone have other suggestions?

    Comment: CampQuestAmanda – 09. September 2008 @ 2:02 pm

  15. Congratulations, Dale. You’re a fine awardee.


    Comment: RBH – 09. September 2008 @ 2:13 pm

  16. Found you on youtube doing the happy dance!

    Comment: leslie – 09. September 2008 @ 2:55 pm

  17. Hooray!!!

    And ditto all those who fussed about your equating yourself to Palin. Iew. Just…iew. You’re honest with us and honest with yourself. Not even close.

    Comment: meanderwithme – 09. September 2008 @ 5:42 pm

  18. Wuwu and CONGRATULATIONS!!!

    Who’s noteworthy now, eh? Let’s get to work on that Wiki page.

    Comment: spark – 10. September 2008 @ 11:32 am

  19. Oh my gosh/God/Cheetoes!!! That is so cool, congrats to you!

    Comment: matsonwaggs – 10. September 2008 @ 3:32 pm

  20. Heck Ya!! You totally deserve it. I love your blog and can’t wait to get the new book! We miss you in Minnesota. 🙂

    Comment: KristenMary – 11. September 2008 @ 8:34 am

  21. congratulations man!

    Comment: eric perkins – 11. September 2008 @ 6:36 pm

  22. I just realised your acronym for this award is HHOTY.

    So there you go.

    Comment: Glendon Mellow – 12. September 2008 @ 10:46 pm

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