Home » Humor » PZ Myers Goes On Strike

PZ Myers Goes On Strike

The major headlines from today’s news at Foxnews.com:
Bailout Watchdog Calls Mortgage Programs a Bust, Obama Signs Wall Street Overhaul, Senate Poised to OK Jobless Benefits Bill, and Professor P.Z. Myers Goes On Strike With His Blog. Okay, that last one wasn’t one of the major, or even minor news stories at the Foxnews website (nor anywhere else, for that matter.) Never the less, P.Z. Myers, Assoc. Professor of Biology at the University of Minnesota, Morris, and frequent anti-ID, pro- Darwinism blogger has announced he is going ON STRIKE. He made this announcement, ironically, on the very website, ScienceBlogs, he is striking against, where he has his own blog, Pharyngula.

Laying aside for the moment why Myers is striking, the entire incident reminds of an old joke from the late George Carlin. In a satire on newscasts Carlin had one part where he said something like: A Minnesota man barricaded himself in house today. He wasn’t armed, wasn’t dangerous, didn’t make any threats, and nobody paid any attention…” Why would Myers think anyone cares if he goes on strike? For that matter, will anyone really notice the absence of the rantings on his blog. Maybe Myers will remain permanently on strike. One can only hope.

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30 Responses to PZ Myers Goes On Strike

  1. Coturnix

    is also leaving, but he had an interesting observation:

    Sb[science blog]-haters promulgated that “there is no science on scienceblogs.com”

    That complaint by Sb-haters has some grain of truth.

    Consider the “science” blog exemplified by Ed Brayton’s blog:

    Visit it
    http://scienceblogs.com/dispatches/

    [sarcasm] Boy, that blog is just rich with “science”[/sarcasm]

    But none of this helped dispel the nefarious myths about Sb being an atheism network

    Nefarious myth? Some of the myth is rooted in reality! Brayton is an example of the non-Science content of science blogs, and PZ Myers is an example of atheistic promotion.

  2. PZ crossed his own pickett line in less than 24 hours. :-)

    Working Towards Some Resolution

  3. Why would Myers think anyone cares if he goes on strike?

    The prestigious journal Nature has taken notice, so they must care.

  4. You may not care for some of the subject matter PZ covers on his personal blog, but his science writing is second to none. His rather substantial readership is a reflection of that.

    Whatever happens with ScienceBlogs, you can bet he will continue to be one of the most popular science bloggers out there.

  5. I once went over to read his blog. His hate-filled rants along with those of his minions were so repulsive that I never went back there again.

    The guy is laughable just like his idol dawkins.

    Let’s be serious please.

  6. I am serious. If you don’t like his opinions, don’t read them.

    His science articles, as I said, are very well written and content rich. He also has a very open policy regarding comments, which I rather like.

    I don’t think many people find him laughable.

  7. PZ crossed his own pickett line in less than 24 hours.

    *gasp* He’s a “scab”? *gasp*

  8. Sorry, but I don’t think this post really advances the ID cause. It comes across more like ad-hominem… poking fun at one’s opponent for things that are not relevant to the subject of debate.

    From what I read of Myers’ complaint, he and others have some legitimate beefs about the blog hosting service, he is trying to address them in a positive way. He crossed his picket line because the management was responding to his concerns. Wouldn’t it be wrong to stay on strike?

    There are plenty of thing Myers says and does, that are relevant to the evolution debate and are worth countering with substance. Let’s stick to the topic and address those.

  9. What’s the reason behind this post? Does the author hope that PZ will link to UD in return – as this will generate a couple of thousand hits?

  10. It seems like the science journal Nature cares, even if Fox News doesn’t.

  11. Trent,

    One thing is for sure – those 150K+ hits on PZ’s blog are not in search of his ‘second-to-none- science articles’.

    Heck, I see plenty more serious, in depth science related postings right here every week. Way more than Pharyngula and Panda’s Thumb put together.

    So at least I know where the good science blog really is.

  12. Oramus,
    You are certainly entitled to your opinion. Here’s an example of what I’m talking about that PZ just posted on PT: http://pandasthumb.org/archive.....an-is.html

    It takes time to write a blog post of this quality, so you won’t see them as frequently as other types of posts. They are worth the wait though. It is very clear and concise, with good graphics, and a light-hearted style that I enjoy reading. I learn more from one of PZ’s science posts than most other science blogs.

  13. ppb, I grant that PZ Meyers is a excellent writer, but he is not a excellent science writer, he is in fact a excellent science fiction writer.

  14. lars

    Sorry, but I don’t think this post really advances the ID cause. It comes across more like ad-hominem… poking fun at one’s opponent for things that are not relevant to the subject of debate.

    Please note I filed this under only 1 category: humor.

  15. 15

    Personal bias affects one’s appreciation or criticism of blogs. If one’s personal views are enhanced by what one reads on a blog then there is tendency to praise such blogs. It’s human nature. We all like to think we on the “correct” (true) side of any argument.

  16. ppb-

    Whatever happens with ScienceBlogs, you can bet he will continue to be one of the most popular science bloggers out there.

    Does he have another blog I’m not aware of? One that is actually about science? 70-75% of his posts are hatred of religion and the religious (although he is religious, himself, if you ask me and many others), 20% conflate young Earth creationism with ID and the other 5-10% are examples of incredible design in nature that he *puff* attributes unquestionably to natural evolution.

    Just ease up on the “science” blogger title. I’m not saying he isn’t a scientist, just that his blog is incredibly unscientific.

  17. ppb

    He also has a very open policy regarding comments, which I rather like.

    I’ll challenge that.

    First of all, he doesn’t have to worry about dissent because if anyone disagrees with anything he says, they are met with dozens and dozens of hate-filled rants, all demanding rebuttals. You could post 24 hours a day on there and not answer all of the people attacking you.

    But a few months ago, when the study of “Italian wall lizards” with their newly formed cecal valves (and by “new”, I mean in the last 30 years) came out, he posted about it. He stood on the materialist mountaintop and screamed across the valley for all to hear: DARWIN’S GREATEST VICTORY EVER. “Where was God?”, he asked. He spouted about these “novel” features (cecal valves in the throat and a new jaw structure) and how natural selection had achieved its most conspicuous evolution ever witnessed. There were hundreds of comments when I found the post but I didn’t understand why they were so confident that natural evolution did this starting from 10 lizards in a 30 year span. Finally, somewhere after post #300, a Darwinist basically said, “Aren’t we being a little presumptuous here? How could all of this have formed in 30 years? Isn’t it more likely they were evolved in the distant past and have now somehow been reactivated by the new environment?” I followed up his post with a comment of my own, highlighting the number of times PZ said they features were “novel”. A few weeks later, I went back to that thread and I could find neither comment. Ctl+F couldn’t find my username or words that I knew that he or I said. They had been deleted!

    I have abandoned Pharyngula. It is pointless to try to have a debate on there; you will just be bombarded with hate, insults and cussing. And since I am not interested in cheering the deaths of religious figures and mocking young Earth creationism, it has lost any appeal to me, aside from the occasional post highlighting a beautiful “apparent” design.

  18. In short, precisely what the Weak Argument correctives at UD have to address.

  19. uoflcard,
    I can’t speak to what happened to your posts, but I just read the article and there is nothing like “DARWIN’S GREATEST VICTORY EVER” or “Where was God?” in the article itself, or any of PZ’s own comments.
    Just inflammatory stuff like this:

    “There are herbivorous lacertid, agamid, and iguanid lizards that have cecal valves.

    The question of whether this is a consequence of a new genetic change or developmental plasticity is a good one, and the authors ask it, too. The plasticity argument would be that if you take any of the original lizards and force them to subsist on a diet heavy in plant material, their guts would respond by developing more muscular ridges. More experiments! It’s always more experiments!”

  20. ppb, if you think it is all just unbiased gentlemanly science over in PZ land, where reasoned discourse is held in high regard, why don’t you just try a little experiment and just go over there and suggest in a comment to a post that the complexity of, and in, the DNA code just might be the product of intelligence since no one has ever seen random material processes generate any coded information whatsoever whereas we routinely witness intelligence generating information. In fact you can post this 10 minute audio:

    DNA, Cactus, and Von Neumann Machines – John MacArthur – audio
    http://www.vimeo.com/11341080

    Or perhaps one of these videos or articles:

    The DNA Code – Solid Scientific Proof Of Intelligent Design – Perry Marshall – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4060532

    Biophysicist Hubert Yockey determined that natural selection would have to explore 1.40 x 10^70 different genetic codes to discover the optimal universal genetic code that is found in nature. The maximum amount of time available for it to originate is 6.3 x 10^15 seconds. Natural selection would have to evaluate roughly 10^55 codes per second to find the one that is optimal. Put simply, natural selection lacks the time necessary to find the optimal universal genetic code we find in nature. (Fazale Rana, -The Cell’s Design – 2008 – page 177)

    “A code system is always the result of a mental process (it requires an intelligent origin or inventor). It should be emphasized that matter as such is unable to generate any code. All experiences indicate that a thinking being voluntarily exercising his own free will, cognition, and creativity, is required. ,,,there is no known law of nature and no known sequence of events which can cause information to originate by itself in matter. Werner Gitt 1997 In The Beginning Was Information pp. 64-67, 79, 107.”
    (The retired Dr Gitt was a director and professor at the German Federal Institute of Physics and Technology (Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt, Braunschweig), the Head of the Department of Information Technology.)

    The Digital Code of DNA – 2003 – Leroy Hood & David Galas
    Excerpt: The discovery of the structure of DNA transformed biology profoundly, catalysing the sequencing of the human genome and engendering a new view of biology as an information science.
    http://www.nature.com/nature/j.....01410.html

    Stephen Meyer – DNA – Complexity Of The Cell – Layered Information – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4798685

    A New Design Argument – Charles Thaxton
    Excerpt: “There is an identity of structure between DNA (and protein) and written linguistic messages. Since we know by experience that intelligence produces written messages, and no other cause is known, the implication, according to the abductive method, is that intelligent cause produced DNA and protein. The significance of this result lies in the security of it, for it is much stronger than if the structures were merely similar. We are not dealing with anything like a superficial resemblance between DNA and a written text. We are not saying DNA is like a message. Rather, DNA is a message. True design thus returns to biology.”
    http://www.arn.org/docs/thaxto.....gn3198.htm

    Information Theory, Evolution, and the Origin of Life – Hubert P. Yockey, 2005
    Excerpt: “Information, transcription, translation, code, redundancy, synonymous, messenger, editing, and proofreading are all appropriate terms in biology. They take their meaning from information theory (Shannon, 1948) and are not synonyms, metaphors, or analogies.”
    http://www.cambridge.org/catal.....038;ss=exc

    Information Theory, Evolution, and the Origin of Life – Hubert P. Yockey, 2005
    “The belief of mechanist-reductionists that the chemical processes in living matter do not differ in principle from those in dead matter is incorrect. There is no trace of messages determining the results of chemical reactions in inanimate matter. If genetical processes were just complicated biochemistry, the laws of mass action and thermodynamics would govern the placement of amino acids in the protein sequences.” Let me provide the unstated conclusion: But they don’t.
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-353336

    Stephen Meyer – Functional Proteins And Information For Body Plans – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4050681

    The Origin of Biological Information and the Higher Taxonomic Categories – Stephen Meyer”Neo-Darwinism seeks to explain the origin of new information, form, and structure as a result of selection acting on randomly arising variation at a very low level within the biological hierarchy, mainly, within the genetic text. Yet the major morphological innovations depend on a specificity of arrangement at a much higher level of the organizational hierarchy, a level that DNA alone does not determine. Yet if DNA is not wholly responsible for body plan morphogenesis, then DNA sequences can mutate indefinitely, without regard to realistic probabilistic limits, and still not produce a new body plan. Thus, the mechanism of natural selection acting on random mutations in DNA cannot in principle generate novel body plans, including those that first arose in the Cambrian explosion.”
    http://eyedesignbook.com/ch6/eyech6-append-d.html

    etc.. etc…

    ppb if you do choose to post any pro-ID links on PZ’s blog, please do come back and tell us the exact response you get, minus the cussing of course.

  21. ppb,

    You’re right. I did not intentionally put words in his mouth; I hadn’t read the post in months. I think I was getting his post mixed up with the hundreds of flaming comments below it (which usually are indistinguishable from Myers’ post, with maybe a few extra cuss words).

    You still can’t deny that he jumps to conclusions. It is clear that he believes natural evolution did this, not some type of pre-designed, errr, pre-evolved response mechanism. Basically he tears down those who believe in static species. But for someone like me, who believes this novel, functional, complex adaption happens due to a response by the organism’s biology to a change in environment, this adaption makes way more sense than the theory that it came about due to changing selection pressures that can only create a new widespread biological pattern by selecting one that has just accidentally popped up. The belief that RM+NS produced these features (especially the cecal valves) from 10 lizards in 36 years is absurd (unless it can be shown that the cecal valves are producible via a relatively probable mutation). Yet this is the position Myers dogmatically assumes.

    Most of the post was excellent. He can lay out scientific facts very succinctly and clearly. His description of the finding was the clearest that I could find. But his insertion of natural evolution as the cause is supported by, as usual, two things: A materialist philosophical starting point and dogma.

    Upon even surface-deep inspection, it’s clear that not all (if any) of these features are due to typical neo-Darwinian production. But let’s be honest, that blog is not about science or serious inquiry, it is about atheist chest bumping and theist mockery, and that is exactly what he got with approximately comments #1-300. By the time honest inquiry entered the discussion, the hoard had carried their pitchforks and torches to the next post, probably about a priest that died, or something.

    I’m glad the authors of the study are actually asking those questions. Does anyone know if they are actually performing another experiment?

  22. Why would Myers think anyone cares if he goes on strike?

    You may have filed this post under humor, but you sure do seem to have missed the point of his action.

    The only people he wants to take notice are the people at Seed Magazine who own the Science Blog site. Given that his blog alone is responsible for about 40% of the traffic to the site, one would tend to think that Seed Magazine cares greatly when he says he will be no longer posting there until they listen to him.

    And as Sal has already reported, they do care enough to begin talking to him about the issues he is concerned about, and I expect that they will soon accede to his demands, not that they are terribly onerous anyway.

  23. ppb,

    Great example! Let’s have a look.

    Can PZ’s comment below be substantiated, expirically tested? Nah, I just have to take PZ’s word for it cuz he has tenure and he’s an evolutionary biologist, danggummit.

    One is the principle of it; the mechanisms that animal cells use to build complex arrangements of tissues were all first pioneered in single-celled organisms.

    How about this one? How does he know this? Wait, wait, dun tell me, i know. Bucket loads of evidence. Nutin empirical mind you but hey loads of circumstantial evidence trumps a single piece of hard evidence anyday.

    All the cool stuff was worked out by evolution in the 3-4billion years before the Cambrian, a potential that simply blossomed in the past half-billion years into big conglomerations of cells.

    But wait. It’s gets even better. Check out this whopper of a religious (sorry, er i meant scientific) comment:

    It is our conceit to regard ourselves as individuals of Homo sapiens, a body of cells clonally derived from a single human cell. It’s not true. It turns out that each one of us is actually a whole population of species, linked by our evolutionary history and lumbering through the world as a team.

    On we go.

    If something affects development and physiology, it affects evolution, so evolutionary importance is simply rather unavoidable.

    And.

    Again, these are coevolved populations that recognize molecular properties of the host and symbiont.

    Now simple take all these comments out of PZ’s post, and viola, now you have what can reasonably be called a scientific article.

    but we know, PZ just can’t help himself. No gods is at the top of his grocery list.

    How do I know this? I have mountains and mountains of evidence.

  24. PZ declares:

    The Strike is Over

    One of my favorite memories of PZ Myers

    Sal Cordova is a slimy little sewer goblin

    Without hesitation, I can tell you who the most contemptible, repulsive creationist I know is: he tops even Ray Comfort and Ken Ham in the pantheon of creationist liars for Jesus. It’s the otherwise negligible Sal Cordova

    PZ Myers

  25. tyke

    You may have filed this post under humor, but you sure do seem to have missed the point of his action.

    No, I understood his point from the get go. I was just being cheeky to make the point that the world will go on spinning even if PZ stops posting on the blog.

  26. Sal

    Sal Cordova is a slimy little sewer goblin

    Geez, Sal…you’re not slimy! lol

    Anyone who think PZ is about “just science” is sadly misinformed. He has a huge agenda to discredit anyone who challenges the Darwinian mantras and marginalize anyone who has a religious or theistic worldview. He is a master of the ad hominem form of “argument”. Sadly, he can offer little to no logic or reason to support his own presuppositions about the world.

    The small sampling of quotes from Oramus (#23 above) is but a drop in the ocean of unsubstantiated claims that PZ claims are “facts”.

    I will give him props on one point: he is quite good at explaining how biological systems work…the interactions of the various structures and biochemical reactions and so forth. But he loses credibility every time he rants against ID or theists or Darwin critics because he is so obnoxious about it.

  27. Another PZ Moment. His daughter, Skatje, defended the practice of bestiality (zoophilism). I highlighted parts of Skatje’s essay. Merely quoting his daughter’s essay in defense of such icky practices and commenting on the humor of her essay infuriated Daddy PZ:

    Just When You Think Slimey Sal Couldn’t Sink Any Lower

    Quote-mining (badly) my daughter isn’t just ugly, it’s vile and loathsome and despicable…but that’s typical Cordova, now declared As–ole of the Year.

    PZ Myers

  28. The one public service that I commend PZ Myers for was pointing out a certain PandasThumb regular and critic of Michael Behe by the name of John Kwak is also a Kook:

    John Kwok Sends Email

  29. 29

    I am a biblical creationist. I don’t want to see this guy in any reduced from his influence or contributions to origin issues. its always to the gain of creationism(s) to have endless and more discussion on origin issues.
    We believe we are right and so the great errors will be corrected by intelligence by way of attention to the subjects.
    Its the evolution thumpers who want or should silence on these issues and everyone just accepts what is told in school books.
    He exists because of the rebellion by creationists to teach the world evolution etc is wrong. I.D folks got big attention and my folks a steady drip.
    i got put in a permanent dungeon actually on his blog for, ah, well, I’m innocent of any wrongdoing but am not a liberal.
    Anyways PZ now you are a prisoner without trial.
    I hope to see him back in full rant.

  30. “He also has a very open policy regarding comments, which I rather like.”

    Lol…that statement is ludicrous. He bans dissenters frequently. I was banned, and I rarely posted over there. I kept my cool and stuck to the facts, but was kicked out.

    He’s no threat to ID at all. 99.9% of his followers are much more interested in his views on atheism than any actual science he may share w/his readers.

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