Peregrinations: The Great Southern BBQ, Evolution, and Atheism Tour

January 26, 2013 • 9:39 am

Just a note for readers in Georgia and South Carolina: I’m giving a series of lectures in those states beginning on Saturday, Feb. 2, and continuing through the 7th. I’m putting this up in advance for those who want to make plans.

Saturday, Feb. 2: Talk on WEIT and other stuff spondored by the Fayette Freethought Society, Peachtree City Humanists and the Spalding Freethought Society, in Peachtree City, right outside Atlanta. There are two Facebook pages set up by these groups; you can get registration info and directions here or see who’s coming here. Note: although there’s a charge of $15 (which includes a drink), I am not being paid for this; the money goes to rent the venue.  I think there’s a book-signing afterwards, and if you say the secret word (“Henri”, with the French pronunciation), I’ll sketch a cat with my autograph.

Monday, Feb. 4: Talk in Augusta, Georgia sponsored by the Central Savannah River Atheists and Agnostics: “Science and religion are incompatible” at the Jabez Sanford Performing Arts Center at 6:30 pm.  Information is here; admission is free, and there may be a book signing, but I’m not sure. If there is, the secret word applies here, too.

Tuesday, Feb. 5: Book talk at Clemson University, Clemson, South Carolina. No information available yet.

Wednesday, Feb. 6:  Book talk at The University of South Carolina at Columbia.  No information available yet. (Clearly, skeptic organizations are more efficient than universities!)

Thursday, Feb. 7:  two events on Feb. 7 during Darwin Week at the College of Charleston (link takes you to all information)

4:00 p.m. Book talk (I don’t know if there’s a signing; if so, secret word applies)

7:30 p.m. A debate and then discussion on “Are science and faith incompatible?” with Dr. Lea Sweitz of the Lutheran School of Theology here in Chicago (only two blocks from my office!). I’m looking forward to this one, though I just found, by going to the link, that it’s being held in a church.

This grueling schedule makes me the Hardest Working Man in the Evolution Business (where’s my cape?).

If anybody can recommend BBQ joints or other Southern restaurants in these places, please weigh in below. Remember, I’m serious about Southern food, so the BBQ must be outstanding.

I've always wanted to do this at the end of a talk
I’ve always wanted to do this at the end of a talk

27 thoughts on “Peregrinations: The Great Southern BBQ, Evolution, and Atheism Tour

  1. Wonderful to know you’ll be coming down to Atlanta. I look forward to meeting you and have a stimulating time.

  2. I spent a week outside Charleston a few years ago: here are my favorites from that visit:

    A bit pricy: Magnolias had great modern Southern cooking, and 82 Queen was also very good and more traditional and atmospheric.

    Very reasonable: Jestine’s Kitchen, a simple coffee shop were queues form at lunch. The shrimp grits and pecan pie were tops. We also liked Melvyn’s, which was recommended to us by a local. It looks like any fast food joint but the BBQ was very good, and the mustard-based sauces were revelatory to this Californian. You must try the onion ring (singular), golden brown like fried fish but the size of a tricycle’s rear tire!

  3. Down at Bell’s Market in Braddock, outside Pittsburgh, mustard-based Cattlemen’s Gold is by far the top-selling BBQ sauce. Mostly it goes out the door in gallon jugs. It’s originally a Carolina thing, but it has clearly migrated. If you find mustard BBQ on the trip, give it a try.

  4. Jerry – If you’re in Augusta, GA, then about 20 miles away, across the river in SC, in the town of New Ellenton, just south of Aiken, is “The Carolina BBQ”. Perhaps, in my mind, the best BBQ in the state. Only open Th, F and Sat, and has been in the same family for over 35 yrs. Plain (checkered table cloths, picnic table seating, low red brick building), they have home-made fried pork skins, pulled pork, great sauces (vinegar-based but mustard available also), and the usual cooked to death vegies. You can also get BBQ chicken if you don’t want the pork.
    New Ellenton is the town that replaced Ellenton when they built the Savannah River Nuclear Plant, which is just two miles south of the BBQ. The hushpuppies are to die for.

  5. While you’re in SC you have to get some mustard BBQ, I recommend Bessinger’s just south of downtown on Rt. 17 (Savannah Highway). If you don’t get the onion rings you will miss out on something special.

      1. for BBQ in Columbia, i recommend either Big T’s on Garners Ferry (just outside of downtown) or Palmetto Pig, which is right near campus/the Carolina Coliseum.

        if interested, Delhi Palace on St. Andrews Rd. is a great place. amazing food.

  6. OK, here’s my problem. I would dearly love you to autograph my copy of WEIT, but…it is an e-book from Barnes & Noble. So, perhaps you could explore a way for B&N to offer up just a title page with your personalized autograph (and of course a drawing of a kitty). It could be offered for sale and the proceeds go to the charity of your choice. Being retired I’m in for $15-20, wish it could be more, don’t take it personally, you are worth a lot more than that!!. Regards, Jim

    1. I’ve recommended about a thousand times (could be just that one time, though) that Jerry autograph bookmarks, sell ’em for $25, and use the proceeds for Doctors Without Borders or whatever. He’d only have to sell one to pay for printing, and postage is less than .50.

  7. Lol

    Thats soulbrother number one, the hardest working man in show business!

    Are you saying ur up for being soulbrother number 2? The hardest working man in militant atheism?


  8. Be sure to take notes on the BBQ you have, and make inquiries about the ingredients. BBQ varies widely and you never know what makes one version so much more tasty to one’s own taste buds than another.

    It won’t surprise me to read that your inquiries are not answered, as some of these recipes are closely held family secrets, but persist.

  9. Come a little further south and we’ll throw a prawn (not shrimp!) on the barbie for ya.

    And a lamb chop, takatala sausage, rib-eye, corn cob, red snapper, 8″ field mushroom, sauteed scallops plus Turkish bread, smoked paprika & couscous salad, the world’s finest sparkling ale and the best damn homemade guacamole, ratatouille pickle and onion jam in the universe.

  10. Those sound like great events! I’m not familiar with those regions, so I have no suggestions. Perhaps we can get you down to southern Louisiana sometime in the not-too-distant future for even more amazing cuisine. Safe travels, and do enjoy your stay down in my neck of the woods. Looking forward to some foodie (and science, religion) posts!

  11. Dang, Jerry, all that time in South Carolina, and you weren’t invited to give a talk at Bob Jones University? But, if you do, I’ve got a great title: “Why Evolution is True.”

  12. Dr. Coyne, I am organizing your talk in Augusta, GA and yes there will be a book signing and also we’ve taught everyone how to pronounce Henri in the proper French accent!


    Sconyers BBQ that you requested is not open on Monday (Feb. 4th), but you are not at a loss, most of the membership regard Sconyers as not one of the best in our community. We’ve got a poll for a fan-favorite Southern BBQ place to take you before your speech.

    But please make sure to hang out with us after the lecture for a second “dinner” and drinks with our group.

    I promise we will have you back to the hotel and in bed by no later than 10:45 PM, if that is okay.

    We are so looking forward to having you come and speak in our little hamlet.

    But do realize, you are entering the heart of the beast, the ground-zero of stupidity. The Southern Baptist Convention was started in our little town in 1845 over the issue of slave ownership.

  13. Jerry, it would have been great to host you at UGA in Athens! After all we are the home of Paul “Evolution is a lie from the pit of hell” Broun, and where Charles Darwin was a write in for his seat in Congress and received >4000 votes. Next time let me know and I’ll organize a talk, or if you can stop though en route to Augusta I’ll treat you to our local BBQ, which is excellent.

  14. Absolutely thrilled that you’re coming to Charleston…but so last minute! MUST REARRANGE SCHEDULE! I brought it to the attention of the book club of Secular Humanists of the Lowcountry (SHL). You are now our March book.

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