Home » Darwinism, Evolution, Intelligent Design » P. Z. Myers — does he have a clue how bad this looks?

P. Z. Myers — does he have a clue how bad this looks?

It’s hard to find a Darwinist more extreme than P. Z. Myers (though they do exist). Darwinian extremists like Myers are the reason these people are so hard to parody (see http://cedros.globat.com/~thebrites.org/index.htm, The Brites, which has temporarily closed its doors).

Have a look at Myers’s most recent escapades: http://www.townhall.com/Columnists/MikeSAdams/2006/10/30/philippians_413. I want to encourage discussion not so much of Myers’s escapades as Mike Adams’s handling of a very hostile situation (exacerbated above all by Myers, who then, apparently, wussed out). I especially want to encourage someone to upload the video and provide a link here.

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19 Responses to P. Z. Myers — does he have a clue how bad this looks?

  1. Great column!

    God bless Mike Adams!

  2. “And I’ll bet the audience would have liked to hear him explain how an evolutionist who deems the universe to be accidental can be so full of moral superiority. Or perhaps how the accidental moralist can be an atheist and yet so angry at God.”

    Hahaha! There’s that pesky “logic and reason” rearing its ugly head again. What a terrific read that was – made my day. Guys like P.Z. are great for ID.

  3. LOL! What a great conclusion.

    But it is a shame that Dr. Myer lacked the courage to ask me a single question. I certainly had a couple to ask of him. And I’ll bet the audience would have liked to hear him explain how an evolutionist who deems the universe to be accidental can be so full of moral superiority. Or perhaps how the accidental moralist can be an atheist and yet so angry at God.

    I love this phrase, “the accidental moralist.” Man, that is funny!

    Not so funny is Myers’ methodical dishonesty. I am not sure how to explain it. I suspect his years as a Darwinist have made it difficult for him to distinguish between a just-so story and the truth. Luckily, the meeting was videotaped so we can call him on it.

  4. 4

    Mike S. Adams charged that Sleazy PZ Myers ‘ following account of the Q&A session is false:

    “…a fellow with a darker complexion and a long ponytail raised his hand to ask a good question, one that was actually very close to what I was going to ask as I was working my way up towards the room. He pointed out the fundamental inconsistency in Adams’ conversion story—it didn’t make sense that a good liberal would, in anger at feminism, abandon all liberal principles to so whole-heartedly embrace all of the completely contrary principles of conservative extremism (his answer: it was complicated, and there was more to the story than he’d been able to tell—I bet). The questions were just starting to warm up and drill down into Adams’ hypocrisy, when one of our local ringleaders, who had jumped up out of his seat when Mr. Radical Ponytail had raised his hand, abruptly cut off the questions.”

    The problem for Professor Myer is that – perhaps unbeknownst to him – the speech was videotaped. The videotape – taken by the school newspaper – will clearly show two things:

    1. The man who asked the question about my conversion was white.
    2. After I answered the white man’s question, the darker man in the ponytail asked a question about civil liberties, which I answered. He was not prevented from asking a question by a “local ringleader.”

    In subsequent posts on Pharyngula, Sleazy PZ never denied the charge that his above account of the Q&A session is false, probably because he realized that the videotape proved that his account is false. PZ’s replies are at

    http://scienceblogs.com/pharyn.....ced_me.php

    – and –

    http://scienceblogs.com/pharyn....._adams.php

    IMO Adams was unfair in thinking that Sleazy PZ was obligated to ask him a question. However, Sleazy PZ had boasted that he was going to ask Adams some tough questions and even asked his blog’s readers to suggest questions to ask Adams — see
    http://scienceblogs.com/pharyn.....s_here.php

    Sleazy PZ’s blog Pharyngula is unfortunately a very popular blog, averaging about 20,000 visits per day, which I believe is about three times the traffic that Panda’s Thumb and Uncommon Descent, which are popular multiblogger blogs, get (to see the site meter statistics on his blog, just click on the little rainbow-colored square near the bottom of the left-hand sidebar) . Sleazy PZ even has his own webpage on Wikipedia.

    I am glad to see Sleazy PZ finally get his comeuppance.

  5. So, how did we ever get to this sad state of affairs in academia? We started with Plato’s Academy, where free and open discussion of ideas and inquiry was encouraged, and each person could contribute or ask questions.

    And now, as evidenced by the article, we have come to a situation more akin to Socrates’ final days, where the thought and idea police were continously on the lookout for dangerous and incorrect ideas that may upset the sensitivities of the elite and powerful.

  6. Honestly, there is about as much smoke as there is fire, here. But, the real issue for the science community to grapple with is that Prof. Myer’s blog is heralded as a major science blog. A newcomer can go there and find some good science but then be exposed to rabid anti-religious bigotry and good old-fashioned vulgarity. You have to ask the question, “is this good for science, and why haven’t others in the science community called him on it?” Why hasn’t peer pressure from colleagues caused him to moderate. Maybe because there hasn’t been any. I wonder, why not?

  7. From everything I’ve ever read of PZ, I think the OP question ought to be shortened to “does he have a clue?”.

    period.

  8. bj, PZ Myer’s blog is his own to do with what he likes, just as Uncommon Descent is is Bill Dembski’s. The fact that it is classified as a “science blog” doesn’t change that fact.

    In any case, you are wrong to say that there has been no pressure for him to moderate. Pharyngula regularly gets comments from people (including other scientists) who don’t like PZ’s militant brand of atheism. He simply refuses to listen, as is his right.

    I have seen complaints on this board about the overtly religious content that appears here from time to time. Does that stop Bill Dembski from posting more? Nope, as it shouldn’t.

  9. Larry, nice to see you engaging in the same infantile name-calling you accuse PZ of doing. When the mud-slinging starts it gets really hard to see which side anyone is supposed to be on.

  10. Austinite,

    Apply more pressure

  11. Mike Adams handled everything very well by all accounts. That is a good model to follow when dealing with those who choose the “rant and rave” approach, such as PZ. The more he does that, the easier it is to see how impoverished his arguments actually are.

  12. @ austine and bj

    Standing up and acting like an immature fool like Dr. Myers is a little different than pointing that out as bad behavior.

    Apparently you missed that…

  13. Huh? Since when is calling Myers “Sleazy PZ” anything but puerile name-calling? Fine, criticize him on his words and actions, but when Larry calls him that, he’s no better than the one he is attacking.

    I guess you think it’s okay to engage in such tactics if you agree with the person doing it.

  14. Austinite,

    Huh? I thought the same thing when jpark320 addressed both of us. I thought were on different sides of the fence on this one. Anyway, apologies if my previous post was too strident. Actually, my main point regarding Prof. Myers and any like him is not so much that he does damage to religion. I think religion can take care of itself. It has for centuries. It’s durable, able and has a sound apologetic structure.

    And though I am really disgusted at times by his manner, my concern is that he is bad for science. If a young person goes to his site, they can easily conflate science with atheism and religious bigotry. In that a significant amount of scientific research and salaries of professors are paid by taxpayers,many of whom are religious, what is the point of antagonizing and insulting these people? Honestly this is like a DUH for me. You just don’t do this if you have any sense.

    In that religious people can’t stop this, it seems to me that scientists as a group need to address this internally for the sake of science. This age old suspicion between science and religion is ridiculous.

    Some might respond that it’s free speech. Indeed, it is. It’s also free speech for the scientific community to soundly and loudly come out and oppose this kind of thing. I don’t see enough of it and I wonder why.

  15. @austine and bj

    Errr… hehe

    I thought you were talking about the linked article and this post – not Larry Fafarman’s reply- my apologies.

    My fault – should have read it clearer.

    I don’t condone the name calling, but I am very disappointed in Prof. Meyer handling of the situation.

  16. Myers is the standard Darwinist: big mouth, lil “substance” (just like his religious creation account).

  17. Myers is the standard Darwinist: big mouth, lil “substance” (just like his religious creation account).

    PZ certainly does fit into the “All blog, no research” category very well.

  18. Larry

    UD got an average of 4500 visits per day in October.

  19. Where’s the video?

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