David Mills is Out of This World

Oh boy… David Mills, the author of Atheist Universe, is going into outer space.

In a press release on his website, he writes:

… a new-generation atheist author will, in his own words, “float like an angel in heaven” on Sunday, December 9, 2007 to draw attention to his unholy cause. David Mills, author of the divisive yet briskly-selling book Atheist Universe, is scheduled to become history’s first avowed atheist author to fly into zero gravity.

Did he just refer to himself as an “avowed atheist”…? Don’t atheists not like that sort of thing?

Mills is self-financing the trip aboard G-Force One. (Total cost: $3,675.00)

What does Mills hope to achieve?

“Religious believers think they’re going to float like an angel in heaven after they die. Atheists, by contrast, believe that the only life we’re ever going to experience is right here and right now. So I’m floating like an angel on December 9th.

I hope this flight boosts public visibility of the atheist movement for non-believers and believers alike and underscores that, together, we must work now on earth to resolve our conflicts, rather than storing our treasures in a nonexistent heaven.”

If Mills put out the press release himself, I’m curious why he included this quotation from an anonymous Baptist minister:

“This is yet another sorry illustration of Mills’ juvenile behavior and immature intellect. He uses cheap stunts and theatrics as a substitute for intellectual substance in his writings. Even if he were the first man on Mars, it wouldn’t prove that one word of his book was true. We already knew that Mills’ brain was weightless, so now the rest of him will be weightless too. This proves only that he’s a lightweight. But the Word of God will stand forever on a solid foundation.”

How did he get that quotation, anyway…?

He might get the PZ Myers vote of approval, though, in case of his demise:

“To me, Zero G means zero gods. In the highly unlikely event that the aircraft disintegrates before landing safely back at Kennedy, I’ll be at peace. I know in my heart where I’m going . . . to the bottom of the ocean to be pilfered by squid.”

For those who don’t remember Mills’ Blasphemy Challenge video, I’m not a huge fan of it…

That said, here’s to a safe flight on the “Vomit Comet.”


[tags]atheist, atheism[/tags]

  • http://blog.dmcleish.id.au Shishberg

    Nitpick: he’s not “going into outer space”. Zero G doesn’t go any higher than commercial flights.

  • http://paxnortona.notfrisco2.com Joel Sax

    Another expensive thing I’m never getting to do….

  • http://emergingpensees.com MikeClawson

    Religious believers think they’re going to float like an angel in heaven after they die.

    Really? Except for some cartoon versions that you see in comic strips or on the Simpsons, I don’t know any Christians who actually think this is what heaven is like. It’s certainly not orthodox theology anyway, just a silly image from pop-culture.

  • Mark Browne

    “…first avowed atheist author to fly into zero gravity”. Surely not – What about Stephen Hawking?

  • http://religiouscomics.net Jeff

    I did like his book, though…

  • Vincent

    Kind of misleading about “outer space.”
    I thought he was going to ride the Russian space craft like a few other rich people have.
    Thing is, both are possible, and only actually going into space is really an exclusive club anymore.
    It would raise the question: how many atheists have been in space. But this guy won’t be one of them.

  • http://www.cogspace.com/ Katie Molnar

    Okay, um… Hemant, I don’t know how you missed it, but David Mills did not author this. He did of course the quote, but the rest of it is written in the third person… did you even notice that?

    Anyway, it all sort of fits with Mills’ love of symbolism. Maybe he’s “writing too much into it” as it might be said. Most likely he just had the opportunity and the connection to atheism occurred to him as a last-minute thought.

    Hey, any publicity is good publicity, right? =)

    -k8

    P.S. You’ll notice no author is attributed to this press release, but at the bottom David Mills is named the “interview contact” i.e., the person interviewed. The author probably wishes to remain anonymous for one reason or another… most likely to avoid the slaves of the Baptist moron (redundant) named in the article.

  • http://emergingpensees.com MikeClawson

    It would raise the question: how many atheists have been in space.

    In theory wouldn’t most of the Russian Cosmonauts have been atheists, at least nominally?

  • Karen

    Uh, guys, I think the wording of the press release, with the floating business and the Baptist quote and the “avowed atheist” thing is supposed to be taken as tongue-in-cheek silliness, right? ;-) It’s good to see the conversation lighten up once in a while.

    And that’s all it costs to take one of those vomit comet rides?! Wow. I had no idea.

  • http://http:/myspace.com/jamieguinn Jamie G.

    @Mark Brown,

    I agree with the whole first ”avowed atheist” thing. In Hawking’s latest biography by Kristine Larsen, he is mentioned as an unabashed atheist at least twice in the book.

    Sorry David, you’re not the first.

  • Tom

    Mills is a creep. Oh boy, and good for him. He gets to fly. Why not do something helpful with all the money we gave you for books and donate to Ayann’s security fund…

  • http://www.sunandsmoke.com Robert Nevin

    I actually agree with the quote from the Baptist minister (only as it pertains to Mills-not that other nonsense).
    David Mills strikes me as a self-serving jerk who takes himself way too seriously.

  • http://http:/myspace.com/jamieguinn Jamie G.

    I disagree about Mills. I rather enjoyed his book a great deal. Maybe it wasn’t the most scholarly in the world and didn’t add anything new to the discussion, but for an average joe like me who had just deconverted I appreciated it a great deal. It was my first ”atheist” book and still happens to be my favorite out of all the recent writings by the New Atheists.

    Mills, in my opinion, comes across as very personal and likable. I have exchanged a few emails with him and have appreciated his prompt and enlightening replies. If anything, maybe his methods might seem campy, but at least he is doing something to get out there and promote atheism, be it a book, or a cheesy stunt. I think his personality shows that atheists come from all walks of life, and I certainly appreciate his efforts.

  • http://www.acosmopolitan.blogspot.com Anatoly

    Wasn’t Yuri Gagarin the first atheist in space?

  • David G. Mills

    Yes, this is a “look at me, see what I’m doing” kind of stunt.
    Maybe this will get some TV time, and sell more books.