A Death in the Family: Skip Evans

| 18 Comments

Late last night, I got word from Ed Brayton that Panda’s Thumb blogger Skip Evans was found dead at his Madison, Wisconsin home. Skip had been having problems with his cardiovascular system, and so far as we know now those problems appear to have been the cause of his death.

Skip should be well known to most of our readers, either by his posts here or by some of the contributions that he made to advancing science education and countering the socio-political machinations of the creationism movement. A couple of the high-profile things Skip did included much of the concept of NCSE’s “Project Steve” and its naming, plus taking on (now convicted felon) “Dr.” Kent Hovind concerning his “doctoral disssertation”. Skip personally requested a copy of Hovind’s dissertation from “Patriot University”, and they shipped Skip the original, including taped-in graphics Hovind had scissored out of science magazines.

I’ll plan to add some photos later, but I wanted this news to go out soonest to our community. Skip was a friend of mine, and I appreciated his good humor. I already miss him.

His colleague posted this comment on Facebook:

To ease the pain of Skip’s dear friends, please know that he has so many people who loved him here. He was only with our company a year, but brought more life and energy to us in that short time than most people do in a lifetime. I went to a presentation on the fallacies of creationism a few weeks ago, where Skip gave an irreverent and poignant and funny talk. Over 150 people were in stitches. We were lucky to know him.

This may be among the most recent photos I have of Skip. This is Skip in 2004 visiting and lending a hand in feeding Rusty, my Harris’ hawk. (Actually, the picture comes from the day after the launch of Panda’s Thumb, now that I’ve taken a closer look at my archive of photos.)

dscf7301_ws.jpg

18 Comments

Hovind’s “dissertation” is indeed a cultural treasure. Any chance the National Center for Science Education (NCSE) could get custody of it, so it can get the wider publicity it so richly deserves?

Hovind’s “dissertation” is indeed a cultural treasure. Any chance the National Center for Science Education (NCSE) could get custody of it, so it can get the wider publicity it so richly deserves?

Condolences. I remember him well from talk.origins days.

Is there link for where to send cards?

I am very sorry to hear this. Condolences to us all.

Skip’s dedication to ensuring the quality of education for our students is something that touched a lot of people’s lives, whether they knew it or not.

Aw, damn. Skip was one of the genuine good guys. We’ll all miss him.

Well, this is very sad. Skip will be missed, indeed.

Sorry to hear this. Rest in peace, Skip.

I found this photo of Skip in the NMSR archives: Wes, please add it to the OP if you’d like. Regards, Dave

So long, Skip.

Skip was one of the writers I enjoyed reading. When I saw his name at the top of a post, I’d settle in for what was inevitably an educational and well-written read. Good-bye, Skip, and thank you.

Nobody, but nobody enjoyed debating creationists more than Skip. Though I didn’t share his enthusiasm for the sport, I admired Skip’s commitment to science advocacy and the joy he took in dismantling the tired old arguments put forth by the young earthers who frequent Madison’s Farmers Market. Skip’s love for sharing science with the public was best embodied in the science pub tradition he started here about two years ago. I hope the tradition carries on now the Skip himself his gone. We’ll miss you Skip!

“Skip’s commitment to science advocacy and the joy he took in dismantling the tired old arguments put forth by the young earthers who frequent Madison’s Farmers Market.”

He wrote some really fun blogs about that.

My condolences to Skip’s family and close friends. He will certainly be missed by all of us who were dedicated in fighting pseudoscientific nonsense stemming from creationists and other evolution denialists.

Ave atque Vale

Through many countries and over many seas I have come, Brother, to these melancholy rites, to show this final honour to the dead, and speak (to what purpose?) to your silent ashes, since now fate takes you, even you, from me. Oh, Brother, ripped away from me so cruelly, now at least take these last offerings, blessed by the tradition of our parents, gifts to the dead. Accept, by custom, what a brother’s tears drown, and, for eternity, Brother, ‘Hail and Farewell’.

Gaius Valerius Catullus

Gosh, very sorry to hear about that Wesley.

He’ll be very sorely missed.

“Skip’s commitment to science advocacy and the joy he took in dismantling the tired old arguments put forth by the young earthers who frequent Madison’s Farmers Market.”

He wrote some really fun blogs about that.

Yep, Kevin and Larry were the creationist duo that he encountered every Sunday afternoon:

http://pandasthumb.org/archives/201[…]ists-on.html

Skip was incredibly supportive and engaged with those of us in Ohio especially during the years 2004-2006. He looked for ways that the NCSE systems could support us, often without recognition and very much behind the scenes. Even after he left NCSE he continued to provide support and advice, both publicly and privately.

As noted by others, his humor and patience with Creationist blather was a model for those of us learning to deal with their mendacity for the first time.

Thank you Skip. You are remembered as an inspiration.

Deep condolences to Skip’s family & friends.

Ted Scharf Cincinnati, Ohio

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Wesley R. Elsberry published on July 27, 2012 5:08 AM.

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