PZ Myers updates his story about the threatened false rape allegation made against him

by Michael Nugent on November 24, 2014

PZ Myers has responded to part of my recent post about what would happen if he judged others’ sexism as he judges himself.

He responded in a comment on his blog, complete with his now familiar personal abuse (he calls me a fuckhead, an asshole and a demented fuckwit) and misrepresentations of what I have written (he mistakenly says that my report of his own words on his own blog were “straight from the slymepit”, and he mistakenly says that I claimed what he did was sexist).

In his response, PZ ignored five of the six examples that I gave of behaviour by him that other people might consider sexist if they used PZ’s own standards — telling a conference host to do her belly dance and to get off his stage as he has work to do, linking to pornography involving women and octopuses, writing about a dream in which he turned his students into mermaids, publicly joking about rape, and endorsing a pornographic book that includes rape fantasies.

Instead he has focused only on my report of his own story about a student threatening to make a false rape allegation against him. He has written several times about this since 2010, and I am assuming that everything that he has written about it is true. He has now made two new assertions about the incident.

In my opinion, PZ’s various descriptions of this story do not reflect poorly on PZ’s behaviour during the incident. I do not expect anyone to be impartial when defending themselves against a serious false allegation.

But they do reflect poorly on PZ’s reluctance to judge other people’s behaviour equally charitably, and they do raise questions about the procedures that the University (whichever University it was) used to investigate the allegation when it was brought to their attention.

Before I address the implications of these two new assertions by PZ, I will clarify his misrepresentations of what I wrote about this issue.

1. PZ’s most recent misrepresentations

Firstly, PZ describes my report of this incident as being “straight from the slymepit,” and said that it “has no relation to reality.” Actually, my report was based solely on what PZ himself wrote, and I linked to the source pages.

Here is what PZ says I took “straight from the slymepit” and “has no relationship to reality.”

“6. PZ has written three times about how he prevented an investigation into a threatened false allegation of rape against himself. He says that when a student threatened to make the allegation, he asked someone else to sit with her while he (zoom) went straight to the chair of the department to explain the situation before it could get dragged out into an investigation that he said could destroy his career, no matter that she was lying.”

And here is where I actually took it from, a quote by PZ himself on his own blog.

“Zoom, I was right out the door at that instant; asked a female grad student in the lab next door to sit with the student for a bit, and went straight to the chair of the department to explain the situation. I had to work fast, because I knew that if it turned into a he-said-she-said story, it wouldn’t matter that she was lying, it could get dragged out into an investigation that would easily destroy my career, no matter that I was innocent.”

Secondly, PZ says that I described what he did as sexist, adding that I have become a demented fuckwit. Actually, the very first sentence in my post was:

“I don’t believe that PZ Myers is sexist.”

And I concluded:

“I am not condemning PZ for any of this behaviour. I am asking him and his colleagues to act ethically consistently when judging others.”

PZ has missed the whole point of my post, which was to point out what would happen if his own behaviour was judged as uncharitably as he judges the behaviour of others. Or, from the reverse perspective, what would happen if PZ judged others’ behaviour as charitably as he would like others to judge his own behaviour.

Well, we now know how PZ reacts when he (mistakenly) thinks that someone is judging his own behaviour uncharitably. He seems aggrieved and angry, calling me a fuckhead, an asshole and a demented fuckwit. Why would he expect others to react differently when he (actually and unambiguously) judges their behaviour uncharitably?

2. What PZ now says about the incident and his response

In his latest response, PZ says that:

“In that incident, I went straight to the chair to invite an open investigation — that’s what you do when there’s an accusation. If I’d not gone to university officials immediately, and had instead tried to cover it up, there would be an appearance of guilt. Suddenly, in the minds of these fuckheads, reporting an incident becomes preventing an investigation.”

2(a) What was the false allegation about?

PZ has described the false allegation in three ways: as sexual harassment, a sexual encounter, and rape.

In 2010 he wrote:

“I was also subject to accusations of harassment, once upon a time. A female student came into my lab when I was alone, unhappy about an exam grade, and openly threatened me — by going public with a story about a completely nonexistent sexual encounter right there.”

In 2013 he wrote:

“I’ve been threatened with a false rape accusation, one that could have totally destroyed my career.”

It is not clear why PZ has used these different descriptions. By coincidence, he described it as sexual harassment when he was commenting on a post about somebody else being accused of sexual harassment, and he described it as rape when he was commenting on a post about somebody else being accused of rape.

It is also not clear whether the threatened false allegation was about an incident that was alleged to have happened “in my lab, when I was alone… right there”, or whether it was alleged to have happened elsewhere and the student threatened to go public “right there”.

2(b) Why did PZ go to the chair of the department?

PZ now seems to be suggesting that, when he originally wrote in 2010:

“Zoom, I was right out the door at that instant; asked a female grad student in the lab next door to sit with the student for a bit, and went straight to the chair of the department to explain the situation. I had to work fast, because I knew that if it turned into a he-said-she-said story, it wouldn’t matter that she was lying, it could get dragged out into an investigation that would easily destroy my career, no matter that I was innocent.”

And when he later wrote in 2013:

“and if that woman had gone to the authorities (she didn’t, because I immediately brought in witnesses to make her effort futile) I would sure as hell hope they’d treat both of our positions with equal seriousness.”

That he actually meant to convey, as written in 2014:

“In that incident, I went straight to the chair to invite an open investigation — that’s what you do when there’s an accusation. If I’d not gone to university officials immediately, and had instead tried to cover it up, there would be an appearance of guilt. Suddenly, in the minds of these fuckheads, reporting an incident becomes preventing an investigation.”

Now, I doubt that I am alone in seeing a difference between these three accounts.

In his 2010 description, PZ says that his response was designed to prevent the possibility that the allegation “could get dragged out into an investigation,” and in 2013 he adds that he had successfully made futile the student’s efforts to go to the authorities herself. But in his most recent description, PZ says that he “went straight to the chair to invite an open investigation.”

How could these three accounts be consistent? Here is one possibility.

PZ might have gone to the chair to invite one type of investigation (into the student for making the allegation), but in a way that it could not be dragged out into a different type of investigation (into his own behaviour as alleged by the student).

This interpretation is consistent with another post by PZ about the incident, in which he wrote:

“One thing not mentioned in the story: when I went to immediately report this incident, I was not questioned. No one asked me if I’d led her on; no one thought I was making up a story to hurt a young woman; I was taken seriously and the complaint was addressed seriously. In part it was because I acted promptly and got witnesses, but let’s have no illusions — as a man, my word counts for more.”

It is hard to see how his own combined descriptions tally with inviting an open investigation into whether the original allegation itself was true or false (which PZ and the student both knew, but the University didn’t know, and which the University should have been concerned about investigating).

3. What PZ has said about the investigation itself

In his latest response, PZ says that:

“As it was, the chair, a woman faculty person, and a woman grad student met with her, she recanted and apologized, and I declined to pursue further official action. I followed proper procedure, was completely open about the incident to all involved, and now asshole Nugent is happily embracing slymepit lies and distortions to claim that what I did was sexist? Disgusting. He’s become a demented fuckwit.”

We can know something of the nature of the investigation by combining various things that PZ has written about it in various posts and comments.

3(a) Only the student was questioned for only ten minutes

We know that the student was questioned in the office of the Department chair.

“She was immediately taken to the office of the department chair, with women faculty present, to discuss the severity of her accusation. She apologized. It was over.”

There is no reference to the student being asked about the truthfulness of her accusation, only its severity.

We know that PZ was not questioned about the possibility that he himself might have done anything inappropriate:

“One thing not mentioned in the story: when I went to immediately report this incident, I was not questioned. No one asked me if I’d led her on; no one thought I was making up a story to hurt a young woman; I was taken seriously and the complaint was addressed seriously. In part it was because I acted promptly and got witnesses, but let’s have no illusions — as a man, my word counts for more.”

We know that the questioning lasted only ten minutes:

“It is the only time that has happened in 25 years of teaching. And it didn’t go far at all: ten minutes of worry, and then the student recanted and apologised. She wasn’t punished, except for the fact that she did fail the course…but that was going to happen anyway.”

3(b) The role of witnesses

It is not clear whether the threatened false allegation was about an incident that was alleged to have happened “in his lab… right there”, or whether it was alleged to have happened elsewhere and the student threatened to go public “right there”.

For example, PZ says:

“Fortunately, I’d done the right thing by blowing it all wide open at the first hint of a threat, and getting witnesses on the spot.”

But in the same comment, PZ says:

“A female student came into my lab when I was alone, unhappy about an exam grade, and openly threatened me — by going public with a story about a completely nonexistent sexual encounter right there. Zoom, I was right out the door at that instant; asked a female grad student in the lab next door to sit with the student for a bit, and went straight to the chair of the department to explain the situation.”

If the allegation was about sexual harassment or a sexual encounter or a rape that happened in the lab while PZ was alone with the student, then there were no witnesses. At best, one person was a witness to part of what happened after the allegation had been made.

If the allegation was about sexual harassment or a sexual encounter or a rape that happened elsewhere, where there were witnesses present, then it seems unclear how these witnesses could have been interviewed within the ten minutes that it took to conduct the investigation.

3(c) Long term consequences

PZ also describes two long-term outcomes of the incident that seem to conflict. He recently wrote:

“I did not come away from this unpleasant occasion with the idea that all women are conniving “bitches”. I was able to recognize that this was an unusual circumstance with a desperate young woman who was not plotting against me, but on the spur of the moment tried an unlikely ploy to save her grade.”

Yet we also know that PZ now insists on having witnesses present whenever he meets with students:

“I won’t meet privately with students either — I always keep my office door wide open, and when I’m working with students in the lab, I find excuses to move out and let them work on their own if it turns into a one-on-one event. I just can’t afford the risk.”

On the face of it, that seems a disproportionate response to the possibility of such an unlikely event happening again. I wonder how PZ weighed up the disadvantages of his students not being able to benefit from the one-to-one teaching that they might get from other professors, against the advantages of PZ feeling safe from possible future false allegations of rape?

4. PZ’s University’s procedures for addressing allegations

Would the investigation have been conducted differently if it had been the student, rather than PZ, who had gone to the chair with her original allegation? We cannot know, because PZ — as he says himself — acted quickly to prevent that possibility from happening, and to make futile the student’s efforts to do so.

We also don’t know at what University the incident took place. However, if it took place at PZ’s current place of employment, the University of Minnesota, we can compare what happened with the University’s published policies for addressing allegations of sexual harassment and rape.

For context, PZ and the student both knew whether the allegation was true or false, but the University did not know this. Therefore the University’s procedures have to take into account the possibility that the allegation might be true or might be false.

This right to due process, to a fair and unbiased hearing for everyone involved, is a critical aspect of justice. PZ sometimes seems reluctant to recognise this when allegations are made about people other than himself or his colleagues.

Title IX

There is a legal requirement (called Title IX) for Colleges that are supported by the US federal government, to follow strict procedures when an allegation is made.

This article outlines some of these requirements, including:

  • Title IX a landmark federal civil right that prohibits sex discrimination in education. It also addresses sexual harassment, gender-based discrimination, and sexual violence.
  • Schools must be proactive in ensuring that your campus is free of sex discrimination.
  • The school should conclude its own investigation within a semester’s time (the 2011 Title IX Guidance proposes 60 days as an appropriate timeframe).
  • The final decision should be provided to you and the accused in writing and both of you have the right to appeal the decision.
  • Schools may not retaliate against someone filing a complaint and must keep a complainant-victim safe from other retaliatory harassment or behavior.
  • In cases of sexual violence, schools are prohibited from encouraging or allowing mediation (rather than a formal hearing) of the complaint.

University of Minnesota

This is from the administrative procedure for responding to incidents of sexual assault at the University of Minnesota:

Any University of Minnesota student or employee who has been sexually assaulted or physically harmed is strongly encouraged to contact the police department for the location where the assault occurred.

Victims/survivors are also encouraged to contact the campus or local victim/survivor service office and/or counseling and health care services.¹ These services are strictly confidential.

The University strongly encourages individuals to report sexual assault and relationship violence to appropriate officials because it is the only way that action can be taken against an alleged violator of the policy.

Victims/survivors are also encouraged to contact University officials for appropriate action. Specific contact information is contained the Contact section above, but in general…If an employee is accused, report it to the campus’s Equal Opportunity officer.

University Employees, when informed of an incident of assault, will (among other things):

Encourage Prompt Reporting to Police. If the assault was against an adult, encourage the victim/survivor to report the incident to the police.

Make Appropriate University Reports. If you are a University employee with supervisory or advising responsibilities, contact your campus student conduct office, or Equal Opportunity office, to inform them of the reported assault and to obtain guidance on next steps. You may also contact your campus’s program against sexual violence for guidance on responding to the report. Once informed, appropriate University offices will work to assist the victim/survivor, including by providing guidance in reporting to law enforcement, obtaining counseling or other health or academic services, and filing a complaint with University conduct offices.

The Equal Opportunity Office will (among other things):

Encourage the victim/survivor to report the incident to the police, and assist in making the report if requested by the victim/survivor.

If the person accused is an employee, promptly investigate, and make recommendations for action, as appropriate (in many cases the police may conduct the investigation).

Allow the victim/survivor and the person accused to have a non-participating/non-witness support person present for interviews.

This is from the administrative procedure for students reporting incidents of sexual harassment by a staff member at the University of Minnesota:

Report to Office for Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action (EOAA) on the Twin Cities campus or the campus in which you are enrolled… or via UReport (Anonymous on-line reporting system).

Action taken:
• Interview the target of the sexual harassment, the alleged perpetrator and any other relevant witnesses.
• Analyze the facts and review any relevant documents.
• Provide coaching and/or informal problem-solving
• When informal processes do not resolve the situation investigate and issue a findings letter as to whether or not there has been a violation of the University policy against sexual harassment and make recommendations to the responsible administrator or in situations involving students make recommendations to OSCAI for addressing the potential sexual harassment including, reassignment, organizational change, education and discipline (up to and including termination or in the case of a student: suspension, expulsion, probation, class reassignment or counseling.)

Summary

PZ has written several times about this incident since 2010, and I am assuming that everything that he has written about it is true.

In my opinion, PZ’s various descriptions of this story do not reflect poorly on PZ’s behaviour during the incident. I do not expect anyone to be impartial when defending themselves against a serious false allegation.

But they do reflect poorly on PZ’s reluctance to judge other people’s behaviour equally charitably, and they do raise questions about the procedures that the University (whichever University it was) used to investigate the allegation when it was brought to their attention.

Finally, PZ’s arguments are not helped by his misrepresentations of what I have written about this, or by him calling me a fuckhead, an asshole and a demented fuckwit.

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{ 529 comments… read them below or add one }

1 MosesZD November 24, 2014 at 1:22 am

Sometimes I think he spent so much time fighting creationists on the Internet and Usenet prior that he picked up all their behaviors. He really does conduct himself like some of the more disreputable American creationists.

Other times I remember how he’s described his father and grandfather and how behaves very much the same. Different core values. But the behavior is extremely similar to the behavior of those two role-models he has castigated in the past.

In any case, I washed my hands of him and his blog years ago. I’m not interested in being part of a toxic ‘in-group’ that has abandoned skepticism, rationality, manners and the ability to think for oneself.

2 Crackity Jones November 24, 2014 at 1:35 am

You have got under his skin, Michael. You have exposed his seedy interior. Well done. All he can do is try and dance around your responses and fire off his own typical brand of personal abuse. Funny thing is, PZ was a speaker at the recent Skepticon, where a number of the FTBullies were talking about how important it is to resist bullying and harassment. You know, Stephanie Zvan and Surly Amy, etc. Yet, these same people have ALWAYS remained stony silent on the personal abuse emanating from the mouth of PZ Myers. One of the above named even defended and justified the threats of violence by one of their friends, aimed at a fellow blogger. PZ Myers victim-blamed the target of these violent threats, as he attempted to defend the abuser.

The funny thing is, it has ALWAYS been the case that when you apply their standards and claims to themselves, they hopelessly fail.

For example, one of the FTBullies provides a drunken rape definition that would make herself one! Another, no need to name him, provides a definition of providing a “safe haven” for rapists and rape apologists, at the same time he provides a “safe haven” for a self-confessed child rapist. Another constantly moans about harassment on Twitter, while falsely trying to suspend Twitter accounts, and bullying and harassing people she doesn’t like. A group of so-called Block Bot admins are horrified at examples of “ableism”, among other things, but fail to act when it is “one of their own”. The list is endless…

PS – Keep up the pressure on PZ Myers, and everybody else – keep on mentioning his own definition and refer to Ogvorbis.

3 Shermertron November 24, 2014 at 2:02 am

Thank you so much for doing the work to lay all of this out in black and white. I am guessing that most people who argue against PZ think him innocent with respect to engaging in sex with the accuser. PZ does, however, deserve to have his feet held to the fire over the hypocritical manner in which he treats accusations against himself/members of the in-group and those who don’t like his rhetoric or tactics.

It’s completely disingenuous to talk about how false accusations are “vanishingly rare” while ignoring that his fellow FTB blogger discussed his own false accusation. It’s unreasonable to shout “LISTEN AND BELIEVE” from the hills while repeatedly discussing an incident in which the alleged victim hasn’t shared her story. (And in which it seems as though the alleged victim wasn’t invited to share her story with the police.)

If PZ reads this comment, we’re not asking for anything crazy…we just want him to know that fake jewelry is not okay. And that you can’t accuse people of incredibly serious crimes without real evidence. And that due process is a good thing. And that extremist rhetoric is not only unbecoming, but is bad for those remaining in the movement that he literally disowned.

4 Aneris ✻ November 24, 2014 at 2:09 am

PZ Myers had me wonder a moment if Slymepit registered members really have reported on the incident in a false way, and could have given you the wrong impression. I’m glad that it turns out as reported correctly. However, since The Flock doesn’t really read or participate elsewhere, at least its frowned upon to admit to it and nobody does, they will now continue to believe you (and SP) are spreading myths. Curiously, since previous instances were similar they wind up in a situation where an entire pattern of confirmation and a bias is informed by consistent, yet consistently false information. Thereby we see how they craft and maintain what is not far from their own alternate reality.

5 Blueshift Rhino November 24, 2014 at 2:11 am

Michael –

If the latter portion of this post was not intended to be an incitement to a form of “doxxing” – namely, contacting employers – then you may want to say so explicitly. Otherwise, I foresee you being blamed for any near-future emails, etc, to UMinn-Morris.

I, personally, did not read this post as an incitement to doxx, but that’s almost irrelevant. I’m suggesting that you, MN, be clear about how you feel about this issue.

cheers

6 Brive1987 November 24, 2014 at 2:14 am

It’s a refreshing angle seeing PZ swinging about, hoist on the petard of his own words.

Normally this step is bypassed as self evident and it’s considered safe to immediately point and laugh.

7 Shermertron November 24, 2014 at 2:18 am

@Blueshift Rhino 5

I don’t see any invitation to contact UM-Morris at all. Mr. Nugent is simply using the UM-Morris documentation to point out that PZ didn’t even come close to following UM-Morris procedure.

8 Shatterface November 24, 2014 at 2:26 am

For the record, I have never seen even Myers worst critics argue there was any truth to the rape allegation.

On the face of it, that seems a disproportionate response to the possibility of such an unlikely event happening again. I wonder how PZ weighed up the disadvantages of his students not being able to benefit from the one-to-one teaching that they might get from other professors, against the advantages of PZ feeling safe from possible future false allegations of rape?

This is a concern. If a teacher refused to be alone with a black student on the grounds they might accuse him of ‘racism’ we’d be equally concerned; ditto gay students and accusations of ‘homophobia’.

Has anyone ever heard of anyone else practicing this?

9 Justme November 24, 2014 at 2:39 am

So he knows as a man his word counts for more, and zooms to get his word in first.

Guess there’s no point in having privilege if you don’t use it. But sometimes ya gotta work fast!

10 Blueshift Rhino November 24, 2014 at 3:17 am

@Shermertron –

And here I was, thinking that you’d been around long enough to know better than infer that nothing needs to be said when a reasonable person sees no incitement.

11 Brive1987 November 24, 2014 at 3:48 am

Michael didn’t state the event took place at a specific university – and therefore isn’t suggesting that anything specific should now occur.

On another note, it will be said that the student never actually reported abuse and therefore protocols that have such a complaint as a starting point were irrelevant.

However the undeniable point remains stark – a white male person of authority used his privilege to seize control of the agenda and ensure no such complaint would ever arise.

Not that I blame PZ for acting in his own interests of course ……

12 Skep tickle November 24, 2014 at 4:17 am

From Myers’ post from 2010, quoted by Michael above:

…I knew that if it turned into a he-said-she-said story, it wouldn’t matter that she was lying, it could get dragged out into an investigation that would easily destroy my career, no matter that I was innocent.”

(“You” below is Prof. Myers)

Yes, that would be a problem, wouldn’t it? Horribly unjust and with serious lifelong ramifications, would you agree? That’s the point. That’s why people criticize you & others for urging that the claimants’ versions of events be interpreted as Truth that should not be questioned, and for serving as judge, jury, & executioner against the accused.

Your exemption of yourself and your buddies from similar charges, expressing outrage & saying it’s ridiculous (unjust, etc) that anyone should take those claimants seriously, is what makes your position hypocritical. And that’s another reason people criticize you for your “take no prisoners” approach to claims you believe are true but are still “he said, she said” (or “he said, they said”, which is the same level of evidence).

Prof. Myers, you have tweeted today (in response to someone) that false claims are rare, pointing to the fact that it’s only happened to you once in all of your years of teaching. But if it had gone as you feared in the quote above, all it would have taken is once to end or seriously damage your career.

And if more than one claim had arisen in your career to date, can you not see that someone – some blogger, say – might have felt they had solid grounding to start referring to you as a serial [whatever the claim was]-ist and warning students not to get near you?

Ah, well. I don’t hold out hope that any of this will spark insight.

13 Jack Rawlinson November 24, 2014 at 4:55 am

Highly amusing to see him twisting his own words trying to make himself look better just as he twists other people’s words to make them look worse. He’s squirming. Oh, he’s squirming. Feet well and truly to the fire.

14 theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物) November 24, 2014 at 5:29 am

@ Michael Nugent

demented fuckwit

Why the double standards?

I called PZ out on this. But when your new-found groupies throw out similar slurs, on your blog, you just let it slide.

Not cool, Michael, not cool.

15 theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物) November 24, 2014 at 5:52 am

@ Michael Nugent

Some more about your double standards:

Where you wearing your red shirt when you were running with the blue shirts?

I am not particularly surprised to see you are providing a home-away-from-home to right wing reactionaries on your blog.

16 Douglas G. November 24, 2014 at 5:58 am

Michael, this is a wonderful series of posts that you are making.

As a former reader of FTB who drifted away a few years ago, I was saddened to see the direction they were headed in, (and have now arrived at, apparently).

This current silliness is beneath anyone holding the title of professor, and certainly doesn’t belong to any atheist/skeptic community that I would partake of; it is pathetic.

Whatever political or philosophical differences people may have, there is never a need to resort to the dogmatically driven mendacity that you have been smeared with. PZ should deal with your words and actions and stop trying to paint you as the satanic leader of the slymepit.

Thank you for your calm, reasoned, and well documented approach to all this garbage.

17 theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物) November 24, 2014 at 6:02 am

Where —-> Were

haiL Tpyos!

18 Skep tickle November 24, 2014 at 6:24 am

theophontes @14

@ Michael Nugent

demented fuckwit

Why the double standards?

I called PZ out on this. But when your new-found groupies throw out similar slurs, on your blog, you just let it slide.

Not cool, Michael, not cool.

You’ve claimed that Michael has let stand “similar slurs” by commenters you call his “new found groupies” and that that’s a double standard. But Michael isn’t saying that PZ’s use of that term is the issue he’s focusing on. Michael specifically says, in the last section, that:

PZ’s arguments are not helped by his misrepresentations of what I have written about this, or by him calling me a fuckhead, an asshole and a demented fuckwit.

Like PZ, Michael mostly lets his commenters forge ahead with their discussion, using even colorful language & rude terms. Unlike PZ, Michael does moderate for some specific content, which a poster can know ahead of time & which Michael announces in-thread to alert commenters he’s been doing it (at least when it comes up repeatedly). As you probably know, the main issues are (my paraphrase & terminology) alleging non-legal behavior or purposeful lapses in truth against specific named persons.

And unlike PZ, Michael doesn’t ban people for disagreeing with him or going against the majority opinion in the comment thread. While I do think there have been examples of uncivil posts and some rude terminology in some of the past posts in this topic here, I give credit to Michael for allowing the conversation to proceed with minimal constraints.

19 Skep tickle November 24, 2014 at 6:43 am

Gah, I meant examples of uncivil interactions in some of the past comment threads, not in Michael’s posts.

________

theophontes in #15

I don’t know the ins & outs of current & past Irish politics, but are you calling Michael Nugent a fascist? It looks that way, and it looks like you intend to insult him.

Not only him, but his commenters, in calling at least some of them/us (besides yourself of course) “right wing reactionaries”.

While there may be people here who consider themselves conservatives, I’ll wager most don’t, and it seems likely actual “right wing reactionaries” are sighted only rarely. I would caution that in trying to plaster some negatively-viewed term onto your opponents, you (the generic you, at least) appear be resorting to smear tactics because you (the generic you, at least) lack solid arguments & evidence to competently counter those in the opening post or in those comments with which you disagree.

20 Skep tickle November 24, 2014 at 7:11 am

I’d removed a paragraph in my reply to theophontes’ on “double standard” in #18 above before submitting & and thus lost the main point. Brief re-try, then I’m turning in for the night.

theophontes, double standard suggests Michael has chastised PZ for allowing PZ’s commenters to say “X” about Michael, even while Michael has allowed his own commenters to say “X” about PZ. But that’s not the case. Instead, Michael has pointed out that he has asked that PZ be more charitable about others (among other examples) in a situation like the one PZ was in; since PZ hasn’t replied to that, Michael has pointed out that PZ wrote “A”, “B”, and “C” about PZ’s own situation, and Michael has done some analysis of “A”, “B”, and “C”. He then closed by commenting that PZ’s dismissive reply to Michael’s comments is not helped by PZ calling Michael “X”.

I hope that’s clearer. Whether or not commenters on either person’s blog have called anyone “X” is not part of Michael’s evaluation of the situation & his request to PZ.

21 Steven Carr November 24, 2014 at 8:39 am

Myers claimed I was telling untruths when I said that his words revealed that he had prevented an investigation that was in line with official university policy.

Myers never provided a link to what official university policy is.

That was so suspicious.

And, of course, Michael has painstakingly compiled a list of how Myers actions deliberately sabotaged any chance of any investigation being conducted in line with official university policy.

Myers sabotaged any possibility of a person accusing him of harassment or rape having her complaint investigated in line with university policy.

In fact, Myers (in his own words) acted fast to sabotage the chance him being investigated properly.

22 Jan Steen November 24, 2014 at 8:50 am

It’s good to have a commenter like theophontes around to show us how the FTB smear tactics work. So now Michael is apparently a fascist and at least some of his commenters are right wing reactionaries. When did you stop beating your wife, theo?

Perhaps theo has been living in China for too long, perhaps he believes that the Maoist way of pursuing justice (an accusation is in itself evidence enough to find you guilty) is preferable to the reactionary western way of requiring real evidence. There’s another parallel: to a Maoist the Party is never wrong.

23 Steven Carr November 24, 2014 at 8:55 am

It appears Myers literally can’t find anything to say to lessen the force of the 5 (five) other examples Michael gave of Myers behaving in a way that Myers would lambast in the strongest possible terms if anybody else had behaved similarly.

24 Skepsheik November 24, 2014 at 8:58 am

Very good post Michael.
I think you highlight an important issue in the response to any accusation of criminal action, namely the currently fashionable call, in social justice circles, to “believe the victim”.
What is usually missing in that discussion is the possibility that more than one person can be “the victim”.
Was Myers student a victim of rape in this case?
Or was PZ Myers himself the victim of a false accusation?

Of course we should believe the victim.
But which one is the victim?

For all it’s faults and drawbacks, the use of due process and evidence is the best system we have come up with to date that allows us to address this issue.
If PZ and his erstwhile allies have come up with a better alternative I would certainly like to hear it.

By the way, Theophontes, you do realize that the blueshirts were a small faction of one Irish political party, a faction, incidentally, that have not been active since the 1930’s, don’t you?
To try to link Michael to a group that were consigned to the dustbin of history three decades before his was born is probably a bit of a stretch, don’t you think?

25 Harrison November 24, 2014 at 9:01 am

As far as I can tell claiming someone is a fascist for being a member of Fine Gael in the 1990’s is not much different from claiming a modern Democrat is a member of the party that was historically pro-slavery and thus they must be against rights for black people.

That is, it’s extremely disingenuous and without substance, and no one takes it or the people who purport it seriously.

26 Shatterface November 24, 2014 at 9:08 am

Theo, you took part in a thread on Pharyngula where a poster made a rape threat against Prof. Dawkins but failed to comment .

40: Usernames!
19 November 2014 at 8:45 am
OMG, I am SOOOO going to grab that asshole in the crotch, look him in the eyes and say, “hey, sweetie! Let’s go get some coffee and you can unzip this toy.”
If he pulls away, I will say, “Oh, dear Muslima, don’t play hard to get! You know that only turns me on more!”
And then I’ll excuse myself, walk around the corner and puke my guts out for having sunk to his level.

https://archive.today/N0srI

Another poster called for Dawkins to either be tied up in tape and shipped to ISIS or burned. We know you read that because you objected to the use of tape, though not to shipping Dawkins to ISIS or burning him.

Even by the standards of FTB this is sickening stuff.

Care to comment?

27 Jack Rawlinson November 24, 2014 at 9:14 am

So theophontes thinks that a blog owner using offensive insults in response to ongoing civil criticism is equivalent to a random blog commenter using offensive insults. These people really are pretty thoroughly out there, aren’t they?

When we criticise the insult-hurling louts who comprise a significant portion of Myers’ commentariat we are criticisng them . When we criticise Myers for hurling insults we are criticising him. We know Myers can no more be expected to assiduously police every single comment made on his blog than Michael can be expected to police every single comment made on his. But he sure as hell can be expected to police every single one of his own comments, now can’t he?

See the difference, theophontes? Good. Now you may return to ignoring the substance of Michael’s post and try another round of “We know you are but what are we?” instead of facing up to the fact that your hero is having his feet of clay thoroughly fired.

28 Derek Walsh November 24, 2014 at 9:29 am

By calling Michael “demented”, Dr. Myers falls short of his own standards on ableism.
http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2013/02/19/actually-i-hate-the-word-moron-used-as-an-insult-thank-you-very-much/

To be fair, he admits that he often has trouble with the rather onerous task of finding a way to hurl an abusive insult at someone without accidentally insulting someone else. My suggestion to the distinguished professor would be to find a way of disagreeing with people that doesn’t involve hurling insults at all, although this series of posts demonstrates that similar suggestions in the past have not been well met.

29 Hunt November 24, 2014 at 10:15 am

Skep tickle said,

And if more than one claim had arisen in your career to date, can you not see that someone – some blogger, say – might have felt they had solid grounding to start referring to you as a serial [whatever the claim was]-ist and warning students not to get near you?

Ah, well. I don’t hold out hope that any of this will spark insight.

I wouldn’t hold my breath on that one. PZ approaches the world from a first person perspective and has great difficulty seeing things third person. It must be obvious to the world that PZ is innocent because PZ knows that he is. I refuse to believe that PZ isn’t smart enough to see that had his harassment story been presented to Pharyngula (privileged white male in position of power getting the jump on student’s report to authority) he would already be tried and executed in effigy. And, as you say, had this happened more than once, which PZ assures us is only remotely possible, (yet guards himself against one-on-one interaction) his guilt, in the eyes of Pharyngula, would be beyond question.

30 Shatterface November 24, 2014 at 10:29 am

By calling Michael “demented”, Dr. Myers falls short of his own standards on ableism.

Myers has a long history of ableist slurs: it’s not new:

And please, I hope somebody gets Lambertsen the help he needs. He isn’t an evil man or a stupid man — he’s got something organically wrong with his brain, I fear, and needs psychiatric intervention.

http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2008/06/24/word-salad-with-math/

31 Andy November 24, 2014 at 10:49 am

“Firstly, PZ describes my report of this incident as being “straight from the slymepit,” and said that it “has no relation to reality.” Actually, my report was based solely on what PZ himself wrote, and I linked to the source pages.”
– There are then two possibilities. You have spent virtually every wake moment of your last years obsessively documenting PZ´s every move – i.e. doing exactly what the slymepit crowdsources all by yourself – and creating a handy file of links indexed by subject like “PZ being a sexist”, or you relied on the material provided to you by your commenters (aka the slymepit).
Which one is it?

“PZ Myers has responded to part of my recent post about what would happen if he judged others’ sexism as he judges himself.”
– You actually didn´t do that at all. This would have looked like this:
“PZ Myers has previously said [insert link] that men must never use the word “sex” or make a sexually explicit joke in front of women, else they are sexist [insert expletive here]. But here we can see PZ himself using the word “sex” while women are around, making him a hypocrite.”

32 Shatterface November 24, 2014 at 10:54 am

As far as I can tell claiming someone is a fascist for being a member of Fine Gael in the 1990’s is not much different from claiming a modern Democrat is a member of the party that was historically pro-slavery and thus they must be against rights for black people.

I think even people happy to throw around accusations of fascism would think twice against using it against a German or Italian.

Smearing a person with the historic actions of his fellow countrymen is simply racist.

33 Skepsheik November 24, 2014 at 10:58 am

Wouldn’t a refusal to work in situations where he may be alone with a female student seriously impact PZ’s ability to get any research done?
How does he manage to do it?
As for the actual details behind any rape allegation, with only one side of the story being told we can do little but speculate. Yet the fact that PZs story seems to change on each retelling does little to assure us that the one side we do get to hear is informing us of the entire truth.
The only way we are going to get a clearer picture of the disputed event is if the victim comes forward with her side of the story.
Wait a second…
Did I say “victim”?
Sorry about that, I meant erstwhile accuser – (I’ve been reading a lot of social justice blogposts recently and it’s becoming almost second nature to describe accusers as “victims”.)
If you are the woman in question and want to put your side of the story forward I can offer to act as a neutral unbiased intermediary.
You can contact me on the email linked to my handle and I can assure you that your details will remain private.

34 Shatterface November 24, 2014 at 10:59 am

Andy: There are then two possibilities. You have spent virtually every wake moment of your last years obsessively documenting PZ´s every move – i.e. doing exactly what the slymepit crowdsources all by yourself – and creating a handy file of links indexed by subject like “PZ being a sexist”, or you relied on the material provided to you by your commenters (aka the slymepit).

Are you going to address any of Michael’s points or just dismiss them as Fruit of the Poison Tree?

35 Dave Allen November 24, 2014 at 11:10 am

There are then two possibilities. You have spent virtually every wake moment of your last years obsessively documenting PZ´s every move – i.e. doing exactly what the slymepit crowdsources all by yourself – and creating a handy file of links indexed by subject like “PZ being a sexist”, or you relied on the material provided to you by your commenters (aka the slymepit).
Which one is it?

Or he could have noted the rumour, and then checked the veracity of it for himself.

36 Andy November 24, 2014 at 11:12 am

“Are you going to address any of Michael’s points or just dismiss them as Fruit of the Poison Tree?”

Michael has a) listed six points about PZ´s behaviour and b) claim that people who largely agree with PZ on the wider issue at hand, would need to either judge PZ himself more harshly based on those six points or would need to judge others more charitably.
What is missing, completely and absolutely missing, is anything even remotely resembling an argument that demonstrates how b follows from a. Something like “here is PZ doing x, but previously, he has judged someone very harshly for doing x (or something very similar to x), which makes him a hypocrite”. Without that, there is nothing to address.

37 Jack Rawlinson November 24, 2014 at 11:32 am

Andy @31:

– There are then two possibilities. You have spent virtually every wake moment of your last years obsessively documenting PZ´s every move – i.e. doing exactly what the slymepit crowdsources all by yourself – and creating a handy file of links indexed by subject like “PZ being a sexist”, or you relied on the material provided to you by your commenters (aka the slymepit).
Which one is it?

Ah, false dichotomies now, is it? You people basically live by insults and fallacies, don’t you? And the hilarious thing is you think we don’t see it. You think we’ll fall for the same bullshit that works on creationists. You need to wise up about that if you’re going to keep trying to engage.

Firstly, thanks to the absolute wealth of material provided by Myers and his pack, it really isn’t a particularly arduous task to collate a few relevant examples of insults, slurs, hypocritical application of double standards. It really, really doesn’t take much work. I’ve done it myself, posted about it here and there, and called Myers out on it at Pharyngula (until I was very swiftly declared a “scumbag” and banned, of course).

Secondly, once you decide to go after someone like Myers, all you need to do is simply read what he posts and take references as you go. Myers, prolific as he is, doesn’t usually manage to produce more than 2 or 3 posts a day, and incredibly, not all of those involve abuse, hypocrisy, misrepresentation of others etc. But to track the ones that do is really not a challenge, or very time-consuming. We have wonderful search tools today, don’t we? And to do what Michael is (to a large extent) doing it would only need him to scan Pharyngula for mentions of his own name in order to hit quotes such as the ones he’s dealing with here.

Thirdly, astonishing as it seems to be to you people, many of the folks posting here and elsewhere who are thoroughly disgusted by and heartily sick of Myers and co.’s reprehensible antics, are not Slymepitters and never have been Slymepitters. The disgust extends far, far wider than that little site and if you and Myers really can’t see that then you really are not paying attention.

Fourthly, dismissing people because of the fact that they post on a particular forum is asinine, childish stupidity, and simply a piece of lazy cowardice designed both to damn a whole group of people by association rather than tackle what they actually say and to avoid answering difficult charges against you and/or those you defend. If you have any reasonable claim to value fairness and rationality you judge what people post based on the contents of what they post, not where else they post. If you don’t do that you are just saying that you are unable or unwilling to address what they say, and, it may surprise you to hear, this looks incredibly weak, and impresses no one but the gutless type who would rather slur and denigrate a whole group of people than deal with what they have to say fairly.

38 Steven Carr November 24, 2014 at 11:36 am

Myers still has produced no evidence for his malicious smear that Nugent was providing ‘a haven for rapists’

Nor has he apologised for it.

Michael has shown that the time line leading up to that outrageous smear proved that Myers simply threw it out as a malicious smear, designed to damage the reputation of Michael.

It was a dirty bomb of Myers – calculated just to damage.

It is typical of Myers that he thinks so lightly of rape that he will just throw rape accusations around casually, simply to damage people.

39 Andy November 24, 2014 at 11:45 am

Jack, your ramblings can be reduced to “people I like are always right, people I don´t like are always wrong”.
When you have something like an argument, let us know.

40 Phil Giordana FCD November 24, 2014 at 11:48 am

Andy @39:

You owe me a new irony meter.

41 Kirbmarc November 24, 2014 at 11:51 am

What is missing, completely and absolutely missing, is anything even remotely resembling an argument that demonstrates how b follows from a. Something like “here is PZ doing x, but previously, he has judged someone very harshly for doing x (or something very similar to x), which makes him a hypocrite”. Without that, there is nothing to address.

Have you ever even read Pharyngula in the last few years?

PZ has accused people of being sexist for jokes similar to the ones he has made, he has pontificated about the evils of rape jokes while making a few himself, he has told people to “believe the victim” even when the alleged “victim” has no evidence to back up their story while he was quick to shut down an investigation about a student of his who accused him of rape, and in general he has interpreted other people’s actions in an incredibly uncharitable way (see the recent brouhaha about Matt Taylor’s “offensive” T shirt) while he demands that others interpret his own actions in the best possible light.

He also approved the doxxing of a woman who made a joking allegation of possible sexual misconduct about him while he’s quick to back up and report any allegation of sexual misconduct against others, no matter how flimsy or without evidence they are.

42 Jack Rawlinson November 24, 2014 at 11:52 am

Good to drag this back to the original point, Steven @38. Myers made a vile and inexcusable slur against Michael and those who comment on his blog, and the Gish Gallop which has followed is at least partly an attempt to distract from that.

Myers claimed that rapists post here, and that Michael is okay with that. Both are foul, unsupported and basically libellous claims, and were he not posting his libel from the US he could very probably be taken to court for it. The fact that he refuses to either recognise the seriousness of his words or apologise for it is why Michael and others are not willing to let this go.

An accusation of rape, or of protecting rapists in any way is an accusation of very serious crime/i>. It is not at all in the same category as calling someone a fuckwit or an idiot, or any other mere insult. It is an allegation of illegal activity. No one should be allowed to get away with that with impunity. I really hope Michael continues to highlight the fact that Myers and some of his defenders have gone beyond the pale this time.

43 Jack Rawlinson November 24, 2014 at 11:54 am

Andy @39

Jack, your ramblings can be reduced to “people I like are always right, people I don´t like are always wrong”.

I won’t bother to rise to this lazy taunt since I believe it to be demonstrably untrue to an almost comical extent.

44 Jack Rawlinson November 24, 2014 at 11:56 am

I will, however, admit that my use of the italic tag in my previous comment was rather rambling.

45 jimthepleb November 24, 2014 at 12:00 pm

Andy, your ramblings can be reduced to “people I like are always right, people I don´t like are always wrong”.
When you have something like an argument, let us know.

46 Paul Holland November 24, 2014 at 12:15 pm

Michael – I see you’re still tweeting to PZ about the “haven for rapists” statement, and although this blog post might not be the most appropriate place to ask you a couple of questions, as it’s the most current I thought I’d use it.

So question 1 …

If a named Irish individual who had a rape conviction (and let’s assume they’d served their sentence) attempted to post on your blog about issues unconnected to rape but to do with atheism in Ireland, would they be allowed? I supposed a followup to that question would be would they be allowed to join Atheist Ireland?

And question 2 …

Suppose AI ran an event/seminar/conference and an individual came to you with an allegation of sexual assault, naming their attacker, in a public space after the event (say a bar). Apart from advising the victim to report the crime to the police and allow our criminal justice system to work, do you believe that AI have any other responsibility to the victim? If the person refuses to report to the police but expects AI to “do something” would this change anything?

From my perspective, AI (or indeed any civil body) has no real investigative powers, you can’t interview witnesses, demand video from bars nor produce medical reports. So I’m curious at to your thoughts on this as many non-judicial bodies are currently caught up in either not investigating such claims (Catholic church/NFL etc) or indeed on the other end of the judicial process not “punishing” the offender enough as is the case with a current PL footballer who basically cannot return to work after serving his sentence.

47 Andy November 24, 2014 at 12:26 pm

Kirbmarc #41
Alright, lets start with this:
“Have you ever even read Pharyngula in the last few years?
PZ has accused people of being sexist for jokes similar to the ones he has made”
– Then go ahead please: “Here is a joke PZ has made […] in context […]. And if we compare this joke to this other joke here […] made in this other context […], and for which PZ has accused the guy telling the joke of being a sexist [expletive], we see that there are no differences that would destroy the analogy because […], meaning that PZ is a hypocrite.” If you fill in the blanks or write something along that line, then it could be addressed because you, unlike Michael, would have actually presented an argument.

48 milesnagopaleen November 24, 2014 at 12:27 pm

Paul Holland
Suppose you were publicly accused of defending rapists or subjected to some other equally vile defamation of character, would you stand up for yourself or not?

49 jimthepleb November 24, 2014 at 12:34 pm

@milesnagopaleen #48 I didn’t read Paul’s comment as accusatory, it seemed a genuine interest. I could be wrong (and have been in the past when dealing with pharyngulites) but without knowing PH and reading charitably, it seemed a fair question as to what Michael and AI would do in similar situations. As always ymmv.

50 milesnagopaleen November 24, 2014 at 12:37 pm

Andy
Are rape jokes acceptable on FtB? Please give us a few examples of acceptable rape jokes that aren’t sexist and try to make them funnier than PZ’s soap joke.

51 piero November 24, 2014 at 12:40 pm

@Andy:

I hope somebody gets you the help you need. You aren’t an evil man or a stupid man — you’ve got something organically wrong with your brain, I fear, and need psychiatric intervention.

52 milesnagopaleen November 24, 2014 at 12:57 pm

@ jimthepleb

His initial sentence is what prompted my question:

Michael – I see you’re still tweeting to PZ about the “haven for rapists” statement

I am not presupposing anything about his questions, although they are not exactly on-topic. My question is a very straightforward one that any reasonable person should be able to answer.

53 Shatterface November 24, 2014 at 1:05 pm

Wouldn’t a refusal to work in situations where he may be alone with a female student seriously impact PZ’s ability to get any research done?

It would mean any woman co-authoring a paper with Myers would be relegated to one of three (at least) named authors rather than two.

There’s a good chance she’d just end up as part of the et al in Myers, et al.

54 Shatterface November 24, 2014 at 1:14 pm

Andy What is missing, completely and absolutely missing, is anything even remotely resembling an argument that demonstrates how b follows from a. Something like “here is PZ doing x, but previously, he has judged someone very harshly for doing x (or something very similar to x), which makes him a hypocrite”. Without that, there is nothing to address.

This isn’t Michael’s first post on the subject – why not do your homework before responding further?

55 Andy November 24, 2014 at 1:25 pm

Shatterface,
“This isn’t Michael’s first post on the subject”
I know.

“why not do your homework before responding further?”
Hey, why not rely on the people who did their homework and spend their every wake moment obsessively documenting everything that every FTBlogger ever did? Since you have done your homework, you could just give me the link to the alleged post or comment where Michael presents an actual argument that connects the six points listed to the claim that PZ is being a hypocrite about this, something along the line of:
“Here is a joke PZ has made […] in context […]. And if we compare this joke to this other joke here […] made in this other context […], and for which PZ has accused the guy telling the joke of being a sexist [expletive], we see that there are no differences that would destroy the analogy because […], meaning that PZ is a hypocrite.”

56 Jan Steen November 24, 2014 at 1:33 pm

It is strange that PZ Myers claims that he only had one accusation (or threat of an accusation — he is not very clear) against him, but he writes in a way that suggests it is something that happened more frequently. Consider his ‘protocol’ for dealing with such situation:

How I responded to that instance is just part of a protocol for how people should work together. Here’s what I do:

• I don’t harass women, or anyone for that matter.
• I maintain complete transparency. Not only do I not harass women, but any accusation that I do founders on the implausibility of the circumstance.
• I deal with any potential situation by defusing it immediately. Not arguing, not protesting my innocence, not begging the person to refrain from hurting my reputation, but going straight to departmental authorities and explaining the situation. Again, transparency: the slander isn’t going to stick.
• I bring in witnesses, preferably women too, who can testify to my innocence. And I don’t just mean people who will say I’m a nice guy, but witnesses to the incident who can describe all the details of the event.
• I keep myself protected against false claims, which also means that I’m keeping my students protected from any harm. We all work just fine together, with nothing to hide.
• I don’t sexually harass my students or colleagues. Period.

Not only is my reputation spotless, and honestly so, but there’s no way to even realistically bring such a charge against me. And of course the great majority of my interactions with students bear no risk of any such problems — we can trust each other.

http://web.archive.org/web/20140923203718/http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2014/03/03/oh-lord-the-stupid/

Basically, it all boils down to: “Trust me, I would never do anything untoward. I’m not that kind of guy.”

Which may well be true, but it’s something a sociopath would say as well.

And how is this even possible: “I bring in witnesses, preferably women too, who can testify to my innocence. And I don’t just mean people who will say I’m a nice guy, but witnesses to the incident who can describe all the details of the event.” ?

This doesn’t make sense. If someone were intent on framing Myers with a false accusation, then that person would avoid doing so when there were witnesses around who would be able to testify in Myers’s favour. Conversely, if Myers were a sexual harasser, he would also make sure there were no witnesses. In either case, there simply would not be any witnesses to the incident.

In the only incident that we know about, Myers was alone in his lab with the student. There were no witnesses, women or not (why would the gender of the witnesses matter anyway?), who could have described all the details of the event.

It’s disingenuous of him to suggest, and repeatedly so, that there were witnesses at hand, when there were no witnesses. This tells me that perhaps he is not being as honest about the incident as he wants us to believe.

It’s also more than a bit ironic that Myers wrote the things cited here in a post in which he attacks B—– in his usual vicious manner. B—–, whom he accuses of “obtuse sexism”, an accusation ‘supported’ by a link to an earlier post by Myers, in which Mr. Spotless writes:

It’s a mystery. B—– has been a pimple on the butt of CFI for quite some time. Remember the time he picked a fight with a four year old, and made a series of bogus arguments about pink? How about his denial of the influence of media, in which he misrepresented a science paper? It’s been a pretty poor run for a skeptic.

That’s just a commentary on the quality of his output. More damning is that he is guilty of sexually harassing K—– for years (a fact that led to CFI temporarily suspending him). Despite all that, he still has a job at CFI. Totally mysterious.

We see how Myers automatically assumes the guilt of someone who has been accused of something (and who was not suspended for that reason, although Myers of course makes you believe that he was), abuses him in a vile way (the person is “a pimple on the butt of CFI”), and suggests that he shouldn’t keep his job.

No, sorry. I don’t think Myers is entitled to a charitable reading. Here is someone who is almost pathologically judgemental, someone who is as smugly self-righteous as the worst televangelist, someone who claims that he is always open and honest and then is demonstrably disingenuous. Someone like that shouldn’t be believed on his word. No benefit of the doubt for Myers.

57 Hunt November 24, 2014 at 1:46 pm

@Jan Steen,
It also doesn’t sound like someone who’s only had it happen once. More like an experienced general contractor:

Ok, this is what I do for the foundation jobs… I bring in the excavation tech. We clear the foundation, seal it, put in the drainage rock, backfill it, cover it. Done. Bada bing bada bong.

Would you buy a house from this guy?

58 Jan Steen November 24, 2014 at 1:50 pm

@Andy,

Your demand is silly. You pretend that there can only be hypocrisy when Myers has denounced something that is exactly the same as something he has done himself. So, for example, if we can’t find a case where Myers has denounced somebody who treated a woman on a stage in the way Myers has done, then we cannot call him a hypocrite.

But a charge of hypocrisy does not require such an exact correspondence.

It is more then enough to show that Myers believes that sexism is bad*, and then to point out words and deeds by Myers that can be considered sexist, in order to make a claim of hypocrisy.

Which is what Michael has done.

* See my previous post, where Myers accuses B—- of “obtuse sexism” for a useful example of this belief.

59 milesnagopaleen November 24, 2014 at 1:52 pm

Andy,
Do we need to compare PZ’s rape joke with some other rape joke to decide whether or not it was sexist? I’m still waiting for you to enlighten me on what constitutes a non-sexist rape joke. Your claim is merely that because Michael has not made an argument to your liking, he has not made an argument. P.S. could you please link me to where Michael calls PZ a hyprocite?

60 Jan Steen November 24, 2014 at 1:52 pm

@Hunt,

Would you buy a house from this guy?

I wouldn’t buy a rusty nail from this guy.

61 Andy November 24, 2014 at 1:58 pm

Jan Steen #58
“Your demand is silly. You pretend that there can only be hypocrisy when Myers has denounced something that is exactly the same as something…”
Let me interrupt you right there because this is absolutely not what I said. What I said was that you need to show how he either somthing that is pretty much the same or very similar to it – you need to show that the differences in what was said and the context in which it was said, do not destroy the analogy. When you can show that, you would have an argument that could be addressed, unlike Michael.

62 Jan Steen November 24, 2014 at 2:01 pm

No, Andy, you have to show that none of the examples that Michael gave can be considered sexist by someone who is as uncharitable as PZ Myers is.

Your criterion of analogy is only an excuse for you of not having to consider the evidence provided.

63 Blueshift Rhino November 24, 2014 at 2:10 pm

@Jan –

The value of post-hoc “witnesses” is something to which Myers has already committed, so he cannot change now without adding at least one more items to the list of PZ Hypocrisies. If you recall, things that Jeff Wagg saw hours after a certain critical period were taken as clear “proof” of what had occurred earlier. If Myers were to admit that this was circumstantial at best and completely consistent with an opposite interpretation, then he’d not only lose one of the few pieces of independent “evidence” in support of the accusation that got us to where we are this very minute, but he’d also be admitting that he uses terrible evidence when personally invested in the conclusion.

64 Andy November 24, 2014 at 2:12 pm

Jan Steen #62.

If you rephrase it like that – “…can be considered sexist by someone who is as uncharitable as PZ Myers is” – then Michael still has no evidence and no argument. By all means, be as “uncharitable as PZ Myers is” for the sake of the argument and argue how that would make the “we´ll do the sex thing later” comment, for example, sexist. Michael didn´t do that, he didn´t do anything like that, he listed six examples of PZ´s behaviour and concluded that people who largely agree with PZ should either judge him more harshly or judge others more charitably. There is nothing, absolutely nothing, that would demonstrate how this conclusion logically follows from the list of observations about PZs behavior. At least not so far – that´s why I´m asking, if you can provide an actual argument, then by all means go ahead.

65 Jan Steen November 24, 2014 at 2:19 pm

@ Blueshift Rhino,

I agree. But Myers is not even claiming they were ‘post-hoc witnesses’. He clearly suggests that they were “witnesses to the incident who can describe all the details of the event,” which is a stronger claim.

66 Blueshift Rhino November 24, 2014 at 2:35 pm

@Andy –

Pro-tip: do not first say that there is nothing that anyone can say to convince you and then invite them to try; it looks rather silly and the folks with whom you are arguing a slightly more sophisticated than those on which you have been practicing.

@Jan –

I suppose that I have to agree. But I still wanted to make the general point that after-the-fact witnesses are only witnesses to things that occurred later; they cannot be used as strong witnesses as to what occurred before and, therefore, only provide weak, circumstantial evidence. The inferences that were made from Jeff Wagg’s posts were quite ridiculous – as in: worthy of ridicule. That any attempt to point this out on FTB was not allowed is also quite telling.

67 Andy November 24, 2014 at 2:39 pm

Blueshift Rhino

“Pro-tip: do not first say that there is nothing that anyone can say to convince you…”
– And I said that or something to that effect where exactly? Quote and link please (you could of course instead just apologize for deliberately misrepresenting what I said).

68 Minnow November 24, 2014 at 2:41 pm

Andy, it is obvious that you don’t accept Michael’s argument, which is fair enough, but you need to know that ‘logic’ doesn’t mean what you think it means. And you might benefit from looking up what ‘paragraphs’ are too.

69 Andy November 24, 2014 at 2:50 pm

Minnow,
“… it is obvious that you don’t accept Michael’s argument…”
He had one? Then I must have missed it, could you please quote the argument that demonstrates how Michael´s conclusion logically follows from his list of observations about PZ´s behavior?

“…but you need to know that ‘logic’ doesn’t mean what you think it means…”
What I said was, that Michael failed to present anything even remotely resembling an argument that would demonstrate how his conclusion follows from his list of observations about PZ´s behavior. If Michael had such an argument and I missed it, feel free to quote the argument that Michael used. If there is no such argument however, then you seem to think that “logic” means you can merely assert a conclusion instead of providing an argument for it (in which case I´d recommend you to read up on what “logic” means because it most emphatically does not mean that).

70 Gerhard November 24, 2014 at 2:54 pm

Andy:
?

There are then two possibilities. You have spent virtually every wake moment of your last years obsessively documenting PZ´s every move – i.e. doing exactly what the slymepit crowdsources all by yourself – and creating a handy file of links indexed by subject like “PZ being a sexist”, or you relied on the material provided to you by your commenters (aka the slymepit).

Let me get this straight. It is now a crime to thoroughly research an issue before writing about it? If you posit this as an either or then surely you are acknowledging that Slymepit-sourced material is as accurate as Michael’s obsessive documentation? Is there a meaningful point you are trying to make? So now we know why Myers and friends are so prone to slinging around poorly aimed accusations of serious crimes. They are too cool for Nerdy pursuits like fact-checking to get the story straight. That would be “obsessive”.

71 Blueshift Rhino November 24, 2014 at 2:54 pm

Oh, my. I’m starting to have a clear guess as to your last name, Andy, given the way that this is going. Can you truly not remember what you wrote half-an-hour ago? – the bit about there being “absolutely nothing” that would demonstrate the logic of some conclusion.

Too bad that someone from the windward side of the Island of FTB Logic isn’t available. Being downwind of those folks doesn’t seem to be helping.

72 Minnow November 24, 2014 at 3:00 pm

“He had one? Then I must have missed it, could you please quote the argument that demonstrates how Michael´s conclusion logically follows from his list of observations about PZ´s behavior?”

The argument is very clearly stated and I don’t think I could simplify it to the level that you need. If you can’t grasp it I think you would do better to move on rather than pretending the fault is in the argument or that there is some failure of logic.

I think what you are trying to say is that you don’t accept Michael’s premises. Again, fair enough, but that has nothing to do with the logic of the position.

73 Andy November 24, 2014 at 3:03 pm

Blueshift Rhino,

“Oh, my. I’m starting to have a clear guess as to your last name, Andy, given the way that this is going.”
Really? That is very interesting, what would your guess be if I may ask?

“Can you truly not remember what you wrote half-an-hour ago? – the bit about there being “absolutely nothing” that would demonstrate the logic of some conclusion.”
Why didn´t you just quote what I said? I remember it very well, here it is:
“Michael didn´t do that, he didn´t do anything like that, he listed six examples of PZ´s behaviour and concluded that people who largely agree with PZ should either judge him more harshly or judge others more charitably. There is nothing, absolutely nothing, that would demonstrate how this conclusion logically follows from the list of observations about PZs behavior. At least not so far – that´s why I´m asking, if you can provide an actual argument, then by all means go ahead.”
http://www.michaelnugent.com/2014/11/24/pz-myers-updates-story-threatened-false-rape-allegation/comment-page-1/#comment-1328766

I´d be curious to know how you could possibly parse this to mean “first say that there is nothing that anyone can say to convince you…” – could you please enlighten us?
Again, you can of course also just apologize for deliberately misrepresenting me.

74 Minnow November 24, 2014 at 3:07 pm

“There is nothing, absolutely nothing, that would demonstrate how this conclusion logically follows from the list of observations about PZs behavior. ”

Andy, that sentence means what Blueshift Rhino claimed it meant: that you will accept no argument that the conclusion follows logically, even though you then demand that people provide the arguments you have started out by saying you will not accept. If you misspoke justsay so, but as it stands you are in the wrong with this one.

75 milesnagopaleen November 24, 2014 at 3:09 pm

@ Jan Steen #56

I had to read that “protocol” of PZ’s a few times to fully comprehend the vacuity, not to say, vileness of it.

It boils down to this:
Make sure everyone knows that you don’t sexually harass women (he says this three times)
Make sure any accusations look implausible (of course they are: everyone knows that I don’t sexually harass women)
Defuse the situation by “explaining it”, that way the slander won’t stick
Bring in witnesses, there are always witnesses, right?
Protect yourself against false claims (presumably by doing the above)
Make sure everyone knows that you don’t sexually harass women

PZ’s own “protocol” for dodging accusations of responding to incidents of sexual assault doesn’t bear much resemblance to that of his employers, a situation that they would undoubtedly take a dim view of . Perhaps PZ could explain why his account of the alleged incident was not something along the lines of, “The University of Minnesota has very strict guidelines with regard to incidents of sexual assault and I followed them to the letter” instead of the various, conflicting accounts given.

76 Andy November 24, 2014 at 3:10 pm

Minnow,

“The argument is very clearly stated and I don’t think I could simplify it to the level that you need.”
Then don´t simplify it. Just quote this alleged argument. You insist that Michael had one, so go back to his post:
http://www.michaelnugent.com/2014/11/17/belly-dance-pz-myers-judge-others-sexism/
Read what Michael concludes in the end:
“I am asking him and his colleagues to act ethically consistently when judging others.
If you judge PZ charitably for his behaviour, then please judge other people equally charitably for theirs.
If you judge other people harshly for their behaviour, then please judge PZ equally harshly for his.”
And then look for the alleged argument that shows how Michael´s conclusion – that PZ and people who agree with him are being ethically inconsistent at the moment – follows from the list of six observations. When you have found it, just quote it verbatim – no need to simplify anything, just copy-paste the argument.

77 Crackity Jones November 24, 2014 at 3:11 pm

Shatterface: Myers has a long history of ableist slurs: it’s not new

So does Rebecca Watson, and when I point this out to the BlockBot admins, they ignore it, even though ableism is apparently something they are concerned about.

That was the reason for my taunting of Oolon with the “chopchop” meme. Hurrying him up to “add” Watson the BB. Naturally, we both knew that wasn’t going to happen, but it irritated the hell out of him. Can you imagine the UPROAR if Queen Bee herself was added to the BB? Popcorn at the ready for that one.

78 Jan Steen November 24, 2014 at 3:12 pm

@Andy,

Ok, I’ll put on my SJW hat and watch that performance with my witchfinder goggles on.

“So here’s this biology professor, one PZ Myers, who wants to demonstrate some principle of evolution, or whatever. He asks for a volunteer from the audience. It’s a woman. So of course, it has to be about sex. It’s all women are good for, apparently. Wait, what? He says he will give her his hotel room number afterwards and tells her they’ll do the sex thing later. That’s not suggestive at all. So he later asks her back and suggests they will have sex on stage. Tells her not to be disappointed, because it will be simulated sex only. Disappointed? What’s he taking her for? Outrageous! Harassment! Sexism!”

Can you imagine this response? Maybe it will help if you substitute Richard Dawkins for PZ Myers. :)

79 Crackity Jones November 24, 2014 at 3:14 pm

Steven Carr: Myers still has produced no evidence for his malicious smear that Nugent was providing ‘a haven for rapists

That’s because he can’t. Because it is a massive fib.

There are only two blogs that I know for certain that provide a safe haven for a known rapist (a child rapist at that). Those blogs are Pharyngula and Butterflies and Wheels.

This is the reason I have contacted Skepticon to query whether inviting PZ Myers as a speaker was wise.

80 Minnow November 24, 2014 at 3:14 pm

“Then don´t simplify it. Just quote this alleged argument. ”

The argument is made at length above. Reject it if you like, but it is there and there is no point in pretending it isn’t. Demanding that others explain it to you or precis it into a form you find easier to understand is a waste of everybody’s time. Just read it through a few times. If you still don’t follow it, give up.

81 Andy November 24, 2014 at 3:17 pm

Minnow,

“Andy, that sentence means what Blueshift Rhino claimed it meant: that you will accept no argument that the conclusion follows logically…”
Here is the full context out of which you cherry picked that sentence again:
“Michael didn´t do that, he didn´t do anything like that, he listed six examples of PZ´s behaviour and concluded that people who largely agree with PZ should either judge him more harshly or judge others more charitably. There is nothing, absolutely nothing, that would demonstrate how this conclusion logically follows from the list of observations about PZs behavior. At least not so far – that´s why I´m asking, if you can provide an actual argument, then by all means go ahead.”
http://www.michaelnugent.com/2014/11/24/pz-myers-updates-story-threatened-false-rape-allegation/comment-page-1/#comment-1328766

Feel free to explain how this could possibly be read to mean “you will accept no argument that the conclusion follows logically” – without deliberately ignoring what came directly before it (“Michael didn´t do that, he didn´t do anything like that” (hint: that doesn´t mean that it cannot be done, only that it in fact has not been done)) and what came directly after it (“At least not so far – that´s why I´m asking, if you can provide an actual argument, then by all means go ahead”).

82 Andy November 24, 2014 at 3:21 pm

Minnow,

“The argument is made at length above.”
Where? In Michael´s post? In some comment by someone else? And why is it impossible to quote it, or quote key elements of it? (that is very curious if it does in fact exist)

83 Minnow November 24, 2014 at 3:21 pm

“Feel free to explain how this could possibly be read to mean “you will accept no argument that the conclusion follows logically” ”

Because you say “There is nothing, absolutely nothing, that would demonstrate how this conclusion logically follows from the list of observations about PZs behavior”. Having said that absolutely nothing will make the grade, you then invite people to change your mind. You can see why they might not bother. Like I said, if you misspoke, just say so, but don’t try to wish away your own words.

84 Blueshift Rhino November 24, 2014 at 3:22 pm

@Andy –

I sincerely apologize for misrepresenting you. I will never again suggest that you should be engaged in an honest discussion involving logic or requiring short-term memory.

– Blueshift Sealion

85 Minnow November 24, 2014 at 3:24 pm

“Where? In Michael´s post? In some comment by someone else? And why is it impossible to quote it,”

It is redundant to quote it, it is the article that we are commenting on. You can read the whole thing by scrolling up to the top. If you think there is a logical failure it is beholden on you to point that out, quote the part that you think fails, but nobody has any responsibility to help you understand something.

86 Kirbmarc November 24, 2014 at 3:31 pm

Here is a joke PZ has made […] in context […]. And if we compare this joke to this other joke here […] made in this other context […], and for which PZ has accused the guy telling the joke of being a sexist [expletive], we see that there are no differences that would destroy the analogy because […], meaning that PZ is a hypocrite.

Let’s take one of the specific examples reported by Michael:

“In June 2013, in one of his Google Hangouts, PZ publicly joked about rape. The context was a discussion about a campaign to get advertisers to protest to Facebook about sexist and harassing and violent content.”

A part of the transcript of the Hangout reads:

Jade Hawk – It was an amazingly effective campaign to show advertisers their advertisement right next to ‘ha ha, rape women’ pictures, just screenshots of that combination. I don’t think they liked that very much.

Ginger Pierce – It’s like ‘Dove – we’re pro-rape!’ (laughter from others)

Ibis3 – Exactly.

PZ – You know, after a rape, you want to wash yourself up, and clean up…

Let’s compare the lack of backslash for Myers’ joke to what happened this time:

PZ Myers, in a post titled “Adria Richards did everything exactly right,” casts the issue as one of a woman ‘responding to sexism’ and wonders what level of response (in the case of Richards) is acceptable – “apparently no response other than silence and submission is acceptable.” Myers says the men cracking jokes “were clearly in the wrong” and that Richards’ response to the joke-cracking was “a measured response.”

This happened after Adria Richards complained at length after making a “big dongle” joke. Not even a rape joke, a “big dongle” joke. Straight from PZ’s mouth:

The guys were clearly in the wrong. They were being rude, distracting, and trying to assert their dudely privilege in one of the few moments granted women during a conference dominated by men.

Adria Richards (which was supported completely by Myers) said in a very dramatic fashion that the “big dongle” jokes harmed the chances of women getting into programming (she doesn’t explain how):

I saw a photo on main stage of a little girl who had been in the Young Coders workshop.

I realized I had to do something or she would never have the chance to learn and love programming because the ass clowns behind me would make it impossible for her to do so.

How is that Myers’ joke about Dove being “pro-rape” because “after being raped, you need to get washed up” gets a pass while other people making “dongle” jokes are condemned as “displaying their dudely privilege” and potentially harming women? Why doesn’t Myers’ rape joke “make it impossible for women to join the atheist movement”?

Are “big dongle” joke worse than rape jokes?

Or let’s see another specific instance of PZ’s hypocrisy. He accused a person who cannot be named on this blog of being a rapist. He did so in a very explicit fashion, which left no room for doubts. He didn’t say “Person X has been accused of being a rapist” he said “Person X is a rapist”. PZ assumes that the accusation made against Person X cannot be doubted, since, in his own words, we should “believe the victims”, meaning the accusers. There’s no room for reasonable doubt.

On the other hand, when reporting a fake rape accusation made against him, Myers says the woman who accused him lied. He gives us no evidence that she lied other than his own words. According to his story he was alone when the accusation happened. Using his “believe the victims” standard, and since there is no evidence of his innocence other than his words (no one knows what happened when he and the student were alone), we should say that he’s a self-admitted rapist.

PZ also supports Greta Christina’s “non-consensual” pornography book while he agrees with David Futrelle that the subreddit “HotRapeStories” is “vile”. (http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2014/10/02/reddit-its-like-a-delicious-bowl-of-ice-cream-with-only-a-few-flecks-of-shit-poison-in-it/).

Are these examples enough or do you need more, Andy?

87 Andy November 24, 2014 at 3:37 pm

Jan Steen
“Ok, I’ll put on my SJW hat and watch that performance with my witchfinder goggles on…”
Alright, then I would ask you what this is based on – just quote or link (or both) the single best example you can think of where a joke was made about which the “SJWs” then complained that it was totally sexist. “Best example” meaning the one for which you are the most certain that there are no relevant differences about what was said and the context in which it was said, which would destroy the analogy.

88 Andy November 24, 2014 at 3:44 pm

Since Blueshift Rhino and Minnow now turn it into a sport to deliberately misrepresent what I said, I will just copy the original context and Blueshift Rhino´s + Minnow´s deliberate misrepresentations until they apologize for this.

My original comment:
“By all means, be as “uncharitable as PZ Myers is” for the sake of the argument and argue how that would make the “we´ll do the sex thing later” comment, for example, sexist. Michael didn´t do that, he didn´t do anything like that, he listed six examples of PZ´s behaviour and concluded that people who largely agree with PZ should either judge him more harshly or judge others more charitably. There is nothing, absolutely nothing, that would demonstrate how this conclusion logically follows from the list of observations about PZs behavior. At least not so far – that´s why I´m asking, if you can provide an actual argument, then by all means go ahead.”
http://www.michaelnugent.com/2014/11/24/pz-myers-updates-story-threatened-false-rape-allegation/comment-page-1/#comment-1328766

Blueshift Rhino´s deliberate misrepresentation of this comment:
“Pro-tip: do not first say that there is nothing that anyone can say to convince you and then invite them to try”
http://www.michaelnugent.com/2014/11/24/pz-myers-updates-story-threatened-false-rape-allegation/comment-page-1/#comment-1328813

And Minnow´s deliberate misrepresentation of this comment:
“Andy, that sentence means what Blueshift Rhino claimed it meant: that you will accept no argument that the conclusion follows logically, even though you then demand that people provide the arguments you have started out by saying you will not accept.”
http://www.michaelnugent.com/2014/11/24/pz-myers-updates-story-threatened-false-rape-allegation/comment-page-1/#comment-1328884

89 Shatterface November 24, 2014 at 3:48 pm

I suspect the whole ‘I was accused of rape’ story was part of FTB’s usual dismissal of the harm false rape allegations cause because it’s better innocent people are accused than a single rapist get away.

It’s really ‘I was accused once and it was no big deal. I just went to the dean and he shrugged it off and now I just insist on a chaperone whenever there’s a woman present and if you are ever in the same situation just suck it up and don’t be a wuss’.

90 Andy November 24, 2014 at 3:52 pm

Kirbmarc

Ok, lets focus on your first example:
“Jade Hawk – It was an amazingly effective campaign to show advertisers their advertisement right next to ‘ha ha, rape women’ pictures, just screenshots of that combination. I don’t think they liked that very much.
Ginger Pierce – It’s like ‘Dove – we’re pro-rape!’ (laughter from others)
Ibis3 – Exactly.
PZ – You know, after a rape, you want to wash yourself up, and clean up…”

And compare it to a rape joke that PZ has criticized:
“Would it be immoral to rape a Skepchick?
Not for sexual gratification or power or anything like that, just because they’re so annoying.
I’m really torn on this one. :dunno:”
http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2012/07/22/rationalia-isnt/

Two questions before we proceed with this:
1. Do you think that the example of a rape joke that PZ found unacceptable is appropriate or would you pick a different one?
2. Would you be willing to defend the claim “if you think the first joke was ok, then you must think that the second joke was ok as well”? (if you wouldn´t, then we could trash the rape joke part and move on to the next alleged double standard)

91 lvlln November 24, 2014 at 3:54 pm

@Andy
You’re arguing against a straw man. To be fair, the people responding to you have acted as if the straw man you’ve constructed is the actual argument, so I can see why you’d be confused. The straw man you’ve constructed is that Michael Nugent, through that 6-point post, asserted that PZ Myers was acting hypocritically. This is false. Nugent did not assert that PZ Myers was acting hypocritically (in fact, the word hypocrite or variants of it or even synonyms of it, AFAICT, doesn’t even show up in the post – though it does in the comments). Nugent was not making the argument that PZ Myers was a hypocrite or acting like one.

The post is actually extremely simple. He was merely asking anyone who read the post to judge PZ Myers’s actions exactly as charitably as they would judge the actions of anyone else. That is, IF they would consider any of those 6 actions done by PZ Myers as not sexist, THEN they should consider same or similar actions done by anyone else as not sexist. And similarly, IF they would consider same or similar actions by anyone else to be sexist, THEN they should consider those actions by PZ Myers as being sexist. That is the only assertion that he was making with that post: one should remain consistent in how much charity one grants to someone REGARDLESS of the identity of that person.

Now, it’s clear many readers of the post, including many of the commenters here, have taken the facts provided by Nugent, combined it with facts they know about PZ Myers from elsewhere, and through rational analysis of those facts, come to the conclusion that PZ Myers and possibly some others who interact with him are hypocrites. This is entirely separate from Nugent’s argument, and there is absolutely zero reason for Nugent to have to support such an argument.

92 Shatterface November 24, 2014 at 3:58 pm

Andy, I’ve given an example above of a rape threat published on Myers blog.

Not a joke, a threat.

A gleeful threat about raping Richard Dawkins and then blaming Dawkins for making the rapist sink to his level.

That’s sick beyond belief.

93 Darth Cynic November 24, 2014 at 4:00 pm

@Andy 64

You are being obtuse.

Mr Nugent has not indicated that anyone should judge Myers more harshly or else others more charitably, his entire point is that were anyone to judge Myers as harshly as Myers’ routinely judges others, then Myers would be treated as though he were actually guilty. That were we to judge Myers by the standards he employs then on this one issue Myers himself singled out from amongst the other five, we would conclude he had acted inappropriately, then acted solely to save his hide, and therefore has serious questions to answer. It is, to me, quite clearly an instructive example of Nugent’s entire point which sparked this whole brouhaha, that Myers’ modus operandi in discourse is unhelpful at best – downright hostile at worst – to any intelligent communication / discussion. That is to say, it is antagonistic, divisive, and largely useless.

Like Theophontes before you, you seem utterly incapable of dealing with the main theme so you dissemble on tangential triviality* and arguments never made so that you may keep telling yourselves that this makes Nugent’s entire position magically go away, that Myers remains pure and right. Reminds me of certain Christians who sometimes appear on atheist forums with pre-scripted arguments they just run through, not to sway / convert the atheists but merely to bolster their faith by in their minds “besting” the atheists. Thus your hero is still a good person walking the righteous path, they’re a good person… yes, a good person.

* – Seriously, starting out (comment 31) with a false dichotomy that Nugent must be either obsessive or using information from suppressive persons and asking to know which it is. Thus either way he has sinned and presumably may then be summarily dismissed; I certainly don’t see any other purpose in that line of inquiry. Most disingenuous.

94 Andy November 24, 2014 at 4:03 pm

lvlln #91

You are correct that the word “hypocrite” does not occur in Michael´s original post. However, this is the definition of hypocrite:
“hypocrite noun
1. a person who pretends to have virtues, moral or religious beliefs, principles, etc., that he or she does not actually possess, especially a person whose actions belie stated beliefs.”
And it fits exactly what you say later in your comment:
“He was merely asking anyone who read the post to judge PZ Myers’s actions exactly as charitably as they would judge the actions of anyone else. That is, IF they would consider any of those 6 actions done by PZ Myers as not sexist, THEN they should consider same or similar actions done by anyone else as not sexist.”
Michael says this is what people should be doing (meaning that there are some who don´t do this, else his statement would be completely superfluous) and not doing it would be by definition “hypocrisy”.
I also quoted Michael´s conclusion verbatim in some comments (e.g. #76) instead of paraphrasing or interpreting it.

95 jimthepleb November 24, 2014 at 4:06 pm

Andy why would you feel uncomfortable when you feel you are being misrepresented? It’s not like anyone called you a rapist or a rape-enabler or suggested you provide a ‘haven for rapists.’
Surely you should be ‘shutting up and listening to the women.’ Or is that only when they are saying something you agree with?

96 Andy November 24, 2014 at 4:08 pm

Darth Cynic

You say:
“Mr Nugent has not indicated that anyone should judge Myers more harshly or else others more charitably”

And this is what Michael said:
“I am asking him and his colleagues to act ethically consistently when judging others.
If you judge PZ charitably for his behaviour, then please judge other people equally charitably for theirs.
If you judge other people harshly for their behaviour, then please judge PZ equally harshly for his.”

Unless you assume that Michael believes that “him and his colleagues…” actually are being ethically consistent and Michael is just talking about some hypothetical scenario that has nothing to do with the real world, Michael is actually asking “him and his colleagues…” to either judge others more charitably or PZ more harshly.

97 milesnagopaleen November 24, 2014 at 4:17 pm

@ANDY
I agree with lvlln #91

Read what Michael concludes in the end:
“I am asking him and his colleagues to act ethically consistently when judging others.
If you judge PZ charitably for his behaviour, then please judge other people equally charitably for theirs.
If you judge other people harshly for their behaviour, then please judge PZ equally harshly for his.”

It seems to me that “I am asking…” is a reasonable request and not the logical conclusion of a set of logical premises as you are claiming. I have already asked you to provide a link to where Michael Nugent has referred to PZ as a hypocrite. You haven’t, presumably because you can’t.
Really. you have done a great job of derailing this thread. You’re comments belong in the previous thread. Do try to keep up. This thread is about how Myers dealt with the allegations of sexual abuse made against him. I’m sure you would like to tell us which of the varying accounts of the incident we should believe and whether you think it’s a good idea for a Professor at a University to have his own (frankly ludicrous) “protocol” for dealing with reports of sexual harrassment, rather than using the procedures established by the University. I think that the University would be justified in considering disciplinary action against him.
P.S. Where are the acceptable non-sexist rape jokes I asked for? Or does it depend on context. e.g. a “discussion about a campaign to get advertisers to protest to Facebook about sexist and harassing and violent content”

98 Minnow November 24, 2014 at 4:19 pm

“Since Blueshift Rhino and Minnow now turn it into a sport to deliberately misrepresent what I said”

Andy, I quoted you verbatim. Your objection is with your own words.

99 Minnow November 24, 2014 at 4:23 pm

“Michael says this is what people should be doing (meaning that there are some who don´t do this, else his statement would be completely superfluous) and not doing it would be by definition “hypocrisy”.”

Andy, a suggestion of inconsistency is not the same thing as a suggestion of hypocrisy. You need a firmer grasp of words and their meanings. Your weakness here is causing you all sorts of grief.

100 Andy November 24, 2014 at 4:27 pm

milesnagopaleen #97

You say:
“It seems to me that “I am asking…” is a reasonable request and not the logical conclusion of a set of logical premises as you are claiming.”
It absolutely is a reasonable request. However, he now says:
“PZ Myers has responded to part of my recent post about what would happen if he judged others’ sexism as he judges himself.”
Meaning that he thinks that this “reasonable request” is currently not being followed by PZ himself and by many (or most or all) of the people that largely agree with PZ on the issue of sexism. But this is something that he has not provided any argument for – he just asserts it instead of presenting an argument that shows how this follows from something (like his list of six observations about PZ´s behavior).

Re rape jokes, see my comment #90.

101 Andy November 24, 2014 at 4:28 pm

Since Minnow insists on deliberately misrepresenting what I said, I will again copy the original context and Minnow´s deliberate misrepresentations of it until he apologizes for it.

My original comment:
“By all means, be as “uncharitable as PZ Myers is” for the sake of the argument and argue how that would make the “we´ll do the sex thing later” comment, for example, sexist. Michael didn´t do that, he didn´t do anything like that, he listed six examples of PZ´s behaviour and concluded that people who largely agree with PZ should either judge him more harshly or judge others more charitably. There is nothing, absolutely nothing, that would demonstrate how this conclusion logically follows from the list of observations about PZs behavior. At least not so far – that´s why I´m asking, if you can provide an actual argument, then by all means go ahead.”
http://www.michaelnugent.com/2014/11/24/pz-myers-updates-story-threatened-false-rape-allegation/comment-page-1/#comment-1328766

And Minnow´s deliberate misrepresentation of this comment:
“Andy, that sentence means what Blueshift Rhino claimed it meant: that you will accept no argument that the conclusion follows logically, even though you then demand that people provide the arguments you have started out by saying you will not accept.”
http://www.michaelnugent.com/2014/11/24/pz-myers-updates-story-threatened-false-rape-allegation/comment-page-1/#comment-1328884

102 Minnow November 24, 2014 at 4:31 pm

“he just asserts it instead of presenting an argument that shows how this follows from something”

He does not simply assert, he gives detailed instances that support his claim. If you disagree that the instances are examples of the kind of behaviour that Myers would excoriate in other people, you disagree and there is not much that can be done about that. But it is not a failure of logic or argument.

103 Jan Steen November 24, 2014 at 4:31 pm

@Andy,

Alright, then I would ask you what this is based on – just quote or link (or both) the single best example you can think of where a joke was made about which the “SJWs” then complained that it was totally sexist. “Best example” meaning the one for which you are the most certain that there are no relevant differences about what was said and the context in which it was said, which would destroy the analogy.

Be honest, Andy. Even if I were to take the time to try to find something ‘analogous’, you would always find some detail that would not be closeley analogous enough to your taste, so you could and would dismiss it. Why would I waste my time on your games any longer?

You act like a Peezus apologist in exactly the same way a guy like William Lane Craig acts like a Jesus apologist. Nothing is going to convince you that your guru is not the righteous, spotless SJW you take him for.

104 Darby November 24, 2014 at 4:34 pm

Once again a Hordian derails the conversation with their usual crap-bag of straw-persons and Gish Gallops. We really should be smarter than this.

105 Andy November 24, 2014 at 4:36 pm

Jan Steen #103

See my comment in #90 – that is an example of what needs to be discussed if you think that there is a double standard going on here where people judge PZ differently than they would judge someone else in comparable situations.

106 lvlln November 24, 2014 at 4:38 pm

@Andy #94
You wrote:
“Michael says this is what people should be doing (meaning that there are some who don´t do this, else his statement would be completely superfluous) and not doing it would be by definition “hypocrisy”.”

Where by “this,” you refer to what I wrote:
“He was merely asking anyone who read the post to judge PZ Myers’s actions exactly as charitably as they would judge the actions of anyone else. That is, IF they would consider any of those 6 actions done by PZ Myers as not sexist, THEN they should consider same or similar actions done by anyone else as not sexist.”

Perhaps Nugent’s post WAS completely superfluous. That would be a reasonable argument you could make. Some might argue back that there is value to documenting things like this, because it allows others reading it can come to their own conclusions even if the post makes no conclusions or arguments itself. That would be an honest debate about the contents and value of this post.

What most certainly be an honest debate would be one that starts with the idea that because the post appears superfluous, one should ascribe some meaning to the post in order not to make it superfluous, and then argue against that meaning one ascribed to that post. That would be extremely dishonest and quite obviously be a straw man argument. I’m not claiming that you are doing this; however, what my analysis of your comments is that they are consistent with you doing this.

107 milesnagopaleen November 24, 2014 at 4:39 pm

I think that Michael is being far too charitable when he says:

In my opinion, PZ’s various descriptions of this story do not reflect poorly on PZ’s behaviour during the incident.

The whole episode (whichever version you credit) is tawdry and unprofessional – the apparent disregard of University procedures, the publication of a PZ guide to avoiding allegations of harrassment, the refusal to conduct one-to-one sessions with women on the off-chance that they might make false rape allegations. Some folk would cite this as evidence of rape culture.

108 Andy November 24, 2014 at 4:40 pm

Millow,

you say:
“If you disagree that the instances are examples of the kind of behaviour that Myers would excoriate in other people, you disagree and there is not much that can be done about that.”
Of course there is something that could be done about that. Using an argument for example instead of merely asserting that those are instances of behavior that PZ would excoriate in other people.

109 lvlln November 24, 2014 at 4:40 pm

Bah, in my previous post, the last paragraph should start with:

What most certainly would not be an honest debate…

110 Darby November 24, 2014 at 4:44 pm

Andy, sweetheart, you can put your fingers in your ears and chant “LALALALA NOT AN ARGUMENT” all the livelong day, but that ain’t gonna’ make it so.

111 Minnow November 24, 2014 at 4:45 pm

“Of course there is something that could be done about that. Using an argument for example instead of merely asserting that those are instances of behavior that PZ would excoriate in other people.”

But you have said that you will not accept as valid any examples that contradict your view. So there is nowhere to go. But at least you seem finally to accepted that there is not failure of logic, which is where I came in.

112 Andy November 24, 2014 at 4:48 pm

Minnow deliberately misrepresents what I said again in #111, so I will again copy the original context and Minnow´s deliberate misrepresentations of it until he apologizes.

My original comment (#64):
“By all means, be as “uncharitable as PZ Myers is” for the sake of the argument and argue how that would make the “we´ll do the sex thing later” comment, for example, sexist. Michael didn´t do that, he didn´t do anything like that, he listed six examples of PZ´s behaviour and concluded that people who largely agree with PZ should either judge him more harshly or judge others more charitably. There is nothing, absolutely nothing, that would demonstrate how this conclusion logically follows from the list of observations about PZs behavior. At least not so far – that´s why I´m asking, if you can provide an actual argument, then by all means go ahead.”

And Minnow´s deliberate misrepresentation of this comment (in #74):
“Andy, that sentence means what Blueshift Rhino claimed it meant: that you will accept no argument that the conclusion follows logically, even though you then demand that people provide the arguments you have started out by saying you will not accept.”

And his most recent deliberate misrepresentation of it in 111:
“But you have said that you will not accept as valid any examples that contradict your view. So there is nowhere to go”

113 Jan Steen November 24, 2014 at 4:50 pm

@Andy,

See my comment in #90 – that is an example of what needs to be discussed if you think that there is a double standard going on here where people judge PZ differently than they would judge someone else in comparable situations.

It seems to me that all you are saying is that rape jokes are ok if PZ Myers makes them. Or if not, maybe you care to explain why Myers’s rape joke is okay and the other one you cite is not.

114 Minnow November 24, 2014 at 4:52 pm

Andy, when you write “There is nothing, absolutely nothing, that would demonstrate how this conclusion logically follows from the list of observations about PZs behavior” it is perfectly reasonable to assume that that is what you meant. I did suggest that it might have been a misspeaking, but you seem not to think so. If ‘absolutely nothing’ can, in your words, demonstrate the logic of the conclusion, then what point is there in attempting to offer you demonstrations? You have not been misrepresented, and repeating your wordswords just throws a spotlight on your confusion.

115 Andy November 24, 2014 at 4:55 pm

Jan Steen #113

Alright, so regarding my two questions in #90, you think that the example I selected was appropriate and you would be willing to defend the claim “if you think the first joke was ok, then you must think that the second joke was ok as well”, correct?

Here are the two “jokes” again:
1.
“Jade Hawk – It was an amazingly effective campaign to show advertisers their advertisement right next to ‘ha ha, rape women’ pictures, just screenshots of that combination. I don’t think they liked that very much.
Ginger Pierce – It’s like ‘Dove – we’re pro-rape!’ (laughter from others)
Ibis3 – Exactly.
PZ – You know, after a rape, you want to wash yourself up, and clean up…”

2.
“Would it be immoral to rape a Skepchick?
Not for sexual gratification or power or anything like that, just because they’re so annoying.
I’m really torn on this one. :dunno:”

116 milesnagopaleen November 24, 2014 at 4:58 pm

@Andy #100
I take this to mean that you find PZ’s soap joke acceptable and non-sexist because the other example certainly wasn’t. You have dodged this question before and you are dodging it again by comparing PZ’s lame joke with a very personal and offensive “joke”.
Do we need to compare PZ’s rape joke with some other rape joke to decide whether or not it was sexist? I’m still waiting for you to enlighten me on what constitutes a non-sexist rape joke. To suggest that there are degrees of rape is considered highly objectionable. Does the same apply, as you seem to be suggesting, to rape jokes? i.e some rape jokes are acceptable and non-sexist? What about rape “jokes” involving dead porcupines?

117 Andy November 24, 2014 at 4:58 pm

And Minnow steadfastly repeats his deliberate misrepresentations.

My original comment (#64):
“By all means, be as “uncharitable as PZ Myers is” for the sake of the argument and argue how that would make the “we´ll do the sex thing later” comment, for example, sexist. Michael didn´t do that, he didn´t do anything like that, he listed six examples of PZ´s behaviour and concluded that people who largely agree with PZ should either judge him more harshly or judge others more charitably. There is nothing, absolutely nothing, that would demonstrate how this conclusion logically follows from the list of observations about PZs behavior. At least not so far – that´s why I´m asking, if you can provide an actual argument, then by all means go ahead.”

And Minnow´s deliberate misrepresentation of this comment (in #74):
“Andy, that sentence means what Blueshift Rhino claimed it meant: that you will accept no argument that the conclusion follows logically, even though you then demand that people provide the arguments you have started out by saying you will not accept.”

And another deliberate misrepresentation by Minnow in #111:
“But you have said that you will not accept as valid any examples that contradict your view. So there is nowhere to go”

And yet another deliberate misrepresentation by Minnow in #114:
“Andy, when you write “There is nothing, absolutely nothing, that would demonstrate how this conclusion logically follows from the list of observations about PZs behavior” it is perfectly reasonable to assume that that is what you meant. I did suggest that it might have been a misspeaking, but you seem not to think so. If ‘absolutely nothing’ can, in your words, demonstrate the logic of the conclusion, then what point is there in attempting to offer you demonstrations?”

118 Minnow November 24, 2014 at 4:58 pm

Andy

Are you suggesting that some of those rape jokes are funny and/or acceptable to you? If not, it is hard to see what point you are making. Would you like to explain when you think it is funny and/or acceptable to joke about rape? Do you have a criterion or is it just instinctive?

119 Minnow November 24, 2014 at 5:01 pm

“And Minnow steadfastly repeats his deliberate misrepresentations.”

Andy, this really shouldn’t need repeating, but it is not a misrepresentation when I quote your words. They do not have an alternative meaning to the one I read in them as far as I can see and you seem to claim that they are what you meant to say. Do you now want to say that it is not true that “There is nothing, absolutely nothing, that would demonstrate how this conclusion logically follows from the list of observations about PZs behavior ” as your earlier claimed?

120 milesnagopaleen November 24, 2014 at 5:02 pm

@Andy
Are you ever intending to address the actual topic of the thread, viz. how Myers dealt with the allegations of sexual abuse made against him?
see #97

121 Andy November 24, 2014 at 5:08 pm

milesnagopaleen #116

You say:
“I take this to mean that you find PZ’s soap joke acceptable and non-sexist because the other example certainly wasn’t. You have dodged this question before and you are dodging it again by comparing PZ’s lame joke with a very personal and offensive “joke”.
Do we need to compare PZ’s rape joke with some other rape joke to decide whether or not it was sexist?”

If you are making the claim that PZ (and people who largely agree with him on the wider issue of sexism) is applying a double standard here where he excoriates others for behavior that he himself engages in, then yes, in that case, you´d need to show that PZ actually did excoriate someone for making a joke comparable to the Dove-rape stuff. If you think that the example of a rape joke that PZ criticized (the raping skepchicks because they are so annoying stuff) is in fact not comparable (I am not sure that everyone else here would agree with you), and you cannot think of a better example that WOULD be comparable, then you also cannot accuse him of applying a double standard wrt rape jokes and we could move on to the next alleged double standard.

122 Andy November 24, 2014 at 5:11 pm

And Minnow continues deliberately misrepresenting what I said:

My original comment (#64):
“By all means, be as “uncharitable as PZ Myers is” for the sake of the argument and argue how that would make the “we´ll do the sex thing later” comment, for example, sexist. Michael didn´t do that, he didn´t do anything like that, he listed six examples of PZ´s behaviour and concluded that people who largely agree with PZ should either judge him more harshly or judge others more charitably. There is nothing, absolutely nothing, that would demonstrate how this conclusion logically follows from the list of observations about PZs behavior. At least not so far – that´s why I´m asking, if you can provide an actual argument, then by all means go ahead.”

And Minnow´s deliberate misrepresentation of this comment (in #74):
“Andy, that sentence means what Blueshift Rhino claimed it meant: that you will accept no argument that the conclusion follows logically, even though you then demand that people provide the arguments you have started out by saying you will not accept.”

And another deliberate misrepresentation by Minnow in #111:
“But you have said that you will not accept as valid any examples that contradict your view. So there is nowhere to go”

And yet another deliberate misrepresentation by Minnow in #114:
“Andy, when you write “There is nothing, absolutely nothing, that would demonstrate how this conclusion logically follows from the list of observations about PZs behavior” it is perfectly reasonable to assume that that is what you meant. I did suggest that it might have been a misspeaking, but you seem not to think so. If ‘absolutely nothing’ can, in your words, demonstrate the logic of the conclusion, then what point is there in attempting to offer you demonstrations?”

And yet another deliberate misrepresentation by Minnow (#119)
“Andy, this really shouldn’t need repeating, but it is not a misrepresentation when I quote your words [As he did in #74]. They do not have an alternative meaning to the one I read in them as far as I can see and you seem to claim that they are what you meant to say.”

123 Concerned November 24, 2014 at 5:20 pm

Andy, you are disgustingly disingenuous.

It’s clear you aren’t here to debate the content of the article but to instead obfuscate the comments section by posting unrelated tangents and spamming it with quotes by other users so a real conversation regarding the subject is harder to have.

You seem to think that since you feel your on the side of the Angels any reasonable argument presented to you is automatically invalid. I would strongly urge you to reconsider this position as it is undoubtedly contributing to your mental instability.

124 Paul Holland November 24, 2014 at 5:23 pm

@milesnagopaleen

Suppose you were publicly accused of defending rapists or subjected to some other equally vile defamation of character, would you stand up for yourself or not?

You see I can’t answer that because to me the “defending rapists” is not necessarily a “vile defamation of character”. I guess I’m separating the defense of the act of rape (which I believe is indefensible) with “defending rapists” which in many circumstances is a entirely acceptable, from the defense lawyer to a prison reform advocate who fights for the rights for prisoners etc.

I feel that a common assumption made by both sides of this argument is your assumption above that defending rapists is wrong. I’d defend their human rights, their rights to life, to be free from persecution, mob justice, summary execution etc.

Michael obviously has every right to defend himself from anything he considers defamatory and ask for an apology, I’m merely wondering if Michael really would, in some cases, “defend rapists”, ie not in any way condone the act of rape itself, but as I asked in my question defend their right say to contribute to a debate on his blog or be a member of AI.

Now that answer may very well be “No, if I knew you had at one stage been convicted of rape by a court then I would not allow you post on my blog.” Which would be fair enough, and to be honest the answer I would expect given that he find the fact that someone accused him of allowing that to be defamatory.

Or perhaps the answer is “Yes”, they could post here, and when some SJW demanded he remove their posting rights, then maybe he genuinely would be “defending rapists” in that context, but this would surprise me.

I appreciate I’m unlikely to get a yes or no answer from MN, but I thought I’d try.

125 Andy November 24, 2014 at 5:24 pm

Concerned #123

“You seem to think that since you feel your on the side of the Angels any reasonable argument presented to you is automatically invalid.”
It´s “you´re”, also, could you please point out the specific argument that I have declared to be invalid because it didn´t come from the “side of the Angels” (just call them SJWs, it´s shorter)? As far as I can tell, I have not declared ANY argument to be invalid, what I do is challenge people to come up with an actual argument instead of merely asserting things, but feel free to prove me wrong and point to the argument that I declared to be invalid.

126 Fishcakes November 24, 2014 at 5:26 pm

Andy,
Michael was asking people to act ethically consistently, and your response is to ask for Michael to provide a logical argument to support his “conclusions”. Which makes no sense at all.

First, I think you are confused as to what the term “conclusion” actually means. Saying “you should act ethically” is not something that demands a logical argument; it’s just a suggestion or request that you can choose to ignore or not.

Second, that you are putting up such a fight over this, as opposed to just agreeing that we all ought to act ethically consistently, makes you look ethically bankrupt. On what possible basis could you disagree that we all ought to act ethically consistently?

127 Andy November 24, 2014 at 5:29 pm

@Michael Nugent:
I am a little confused about your commenting policy – it seems that some of my comments are being posted directly while others make it into the moderation queue. I had a hunch that comments with hyperlinks need to first be approved by you, but then I wrote a reply that did not contain any links to milesnagopaleen in #116 and this one still says “Your comment is awaiting moderation”.

128 Jan Steen November 24, 2014 at 5:30 pm

@Andy,

Alright, so regarding my two questions in #90, you think that the example I selected was appropriate and you would be willing to defend the claim “if you think the first joke was ok, then you must think that the second joke was ok as well”, correct?

Why would I defend that claim? I think both jokes are not ok. Myers shows himself (again) to be a creep. But as he can do no wrong in your eyes, I suppose that you are happy with his rape joke.

Maybe you should try to stay on topic, and comment on the OP. Do you believe that Myers acted appropriately? Would it be ok if all university professors were to adopt his ‘protocol’? Should male professors never be alone in a room with a female student?

129 Dave Allen November 24, 2014 at 5:32 pm

Paul

You see I can’t answer that because to me the “defending rapists” is not necessarily a “vile defamation of character”. I guess I’m separating the defense of the act of rape (which I believe is indefensible) with “defending rapists” which in many circumstances is a entirely acceptable, from the defense lawyer to a prison reform advocate who fights for the rights for prisoners etc.

On the other hand even if someone would admit that there might be circumstances in which they’d defend rapists, or see them defended, I still don’t think it’d impact that person on whether or not they had been accused of defending rapists outside such circumstances.

So is this line of inquiry relevant to the context of Mike’s objections to PZ about what was said?

130 Andy November 24, 2014 at 5:33 pm

Fishcakes #126

You say:
“Michael was asking people to act ethically consistently, and your response is to ask for Michael to provide a logical argument to support his “conclusions”. Which makes no sense at all.”
Do you agree that Michael claims that PZ (and people who largely agree with PZ on the wider issue of sexism) are being ethically inconsistent here? If you do agree, this is the claim I would like to see substantiated (and that would require an actual argument).
If you disagree, what do you think was Michael´s post with the six examples of PZ´s behaviour about then?

131 Andy November 24, 2014 at 5:39 pm

Jan Steen #128

You say:
“Why would I defend that claim? I think both jokes are not ok.”
Alright, but PZ apparently thinks that one of them (his one) was ok, if you want to demonstrate that there is a double standard going on here where PZ himself gets away with behavior that he would excoriate others for, then this could be done by showing that if you consider THAT joke to be acceptable, you would also need to accept the other one (the one that PZ criticized).

“Maybe you should try to stay on topic…”
That is what I would ask you and others to do – this joke in question has been brought up by several people in this thread, but no one seems to be willing to defend the claim that it is ethically comparable to the jokes that PZ previously has excoriated people for. If no one is willing to defend that position, then I would ask why people bring this example up at all.

132 jimthepleb November 24, 2014 at 5:48 pm

Andy I still can’t see what your problem with being misrepresented is. This is the modus operandi of the FtB crowd and is used to try to get people dismissed from jobs, to besmirch their reputations and condemn them publicly. What’s wrong with that?

133 Andy November 24, 2014 at 5:48 pm

@Everyone who follows this thread but doesn´t follow the Slymepit:

I just thought I´ll share with you a comment that was just posted in the Slymepit and that I found to be rather amusing:
“That Andy character at MN’s is so fucking annoying to read, but I swear he is one of the best advertising for the stupidity of Pharyngulites. I think everyone should just ignore him and let him talk to himself until he gets bored or frustrated. Both of which would be equally funny.”
– Phil_Giordana_FCD
http://slymepit.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?p=238076#p238076

134 Concerned November 24, 2014 at 5:53 pm

Andy you are clearly only here to clutter up the comments section with as many off-topic comments as possible in order to derail the conversation, but that will not work here no matter hard you try. You are alone.

135 Jan Steen November 24, 2014 at 5:55 pm

Andy, maybe you should have the courtesy to actually read the OP, and focus on that, for a change?

Anyway, let’s see what you have here:

Alright, but PZ apparently thinks that one of them (his one) was ok, if you want to demonstrate that there is a double standard going on here where PZ himself gets away with behavior that he would excoriate others for, then this could be done by showing that if you consider THAT joke to be acceptable, you would also need to accept the other one (the one that PZ criticized).

Can you prove that PZ would not have criticised his own ‘joke’ if someone like Richard Dawkins had made it first? (Although I very much doubt that Dawkins would stoop to this level.) “It’s ok when we do it.” That’s Peezus’s standard for you.

136 milesnagopaleen November 24, 2014 at 5:59 pm

@ Minnow. To be fair, Andy did follow “There is nothing, absolutely nothing…” with ” At least not so far ” However, he could have made himself clearer in the first instance by saying, “There is nothing, so far that demonstrates how this conclusion logically follows from the list of observations about PZs behavior.”
@Andy
You are really having a laugh and a good old troll if you imagine that anyone here is going to plough through everything that Myers has ever criticized as sexist and find equivalents to the examples that MN has cited.

If you think that any of the behaviour cited is this thread http://www.michaelnugent.com/2014/11/17/belly-dance-pz-myers-judge-others-sexism/
is perfectly acceptable and not sexist, then feel free to defend it. After all, if you are not prepared to defend PZ Myers’s honour, what are you here for other than to waste everyone’s time and to deflect attention from the actual subject of the blog?

I can’t see that happening though, as PZ is unable to defend his own behaviour and is digging a bigger hole for himself. Moreover, you seem to think that comparing Myers’s behaviour with something worse that someone else has done or said, somehow gets Myers off the hook. It doesn’t. So you are pissing into the wind with that approach. Myers has set himself up as the head honcho of the SJW tribe and for that reason must be held to a higher standard of behaviour than the average Joe or Jane.

BTW rape jokes is NOT the topic of this thread. Only one person mentioned rape joked before you decided that was a good opportunity for a derail.

137 jimthepleb November 24, 2014 at 6:04 pm

Andy says: Hurble burble, derpy doop woodle, misrepresentation, flrrrrp wibble wibble bing bong whappy ning-nong!’

That was my comment on the slymepit.
Just to save you some spoons.
See we are lovely people really Andy.

138 Darby November 24, 2014 at 6:05 pm

The best thing about trolls like our darling Andy is just how bad they are at playing the game.

Witness Andy dropping the ball at post 133. Proof that s/h/it has absolutely no interest in actually discussing Michael’s post and is just shit-posting to demolish the comments thread.

Chump move Andy, chump move.

139 Matt Cavanaugh November 24, 2014 at 6:06 pm

Andy Andy wrote: There are then two possibilities. You have spent virtually every wake moment of your last years obsessively documenting PZ´s every move – i.e. doing exactly what the slymepit crowdsources all by yourself – and creating a handy file of links indexed by subject like “PZ being a sexist”, or you relied on the material provided to you by your commenters (aka the slymepit).
Which one is it

Third possibility: this thing called “Google”.

Besides, what’s it matter? Those are Myers’ own exact words, his own version(s) of the incident, and Myers can’t run from them.

140 Andy November 24, 2014 at 6:07 pm

Concerned #134
You say:
“Andy you are clearly only here to clutter up the comments section with as many off-topic comments as possible in order to derail the conversation”
My first comment here (#31) included the claim that Michael has not actually demonstrated that there is a double standard going on where PZ gets away with behavior that he excoriates others for. Many disagreed with this in the comments that followed and provided examples for stuff that PZ himself said which is allegedly ethically comparable to the stuff that he criticizes others for. I picked out the first of those examples (the rape joke thingy) that was provided, and asked (and keep asking) if anyone here would actually be willing to defend the claim that PZs joke is ethically comparable to the rape jokes that he excoriated others for.
But so far, no one seems to be willing to do that. If people here would agree that PZs joke was in fact not ethically comparable to the jokes that he excoriated others for then it can also not be established that there is a double standard going on here and we could move on to the next example of alleged double standards.

“You are alone.”
That seems to be true. So?

141 Lancelot Gobbo November 24, 2014 at 6:11 pm

Andy @129:

You really are being deliberately obtuse when you ask

Do you agree that Michael claims that PZ (and people who largely agree with PZ on the wider issue of sexism) are being ethically inconsistent here? If you do agree, this is the claim I would like to see substantiated (and that would require an actual argument).

What ‘substantiation’ would satisfy you here? We have six examples of questionable behaviour, each of which if committed by a non-FTB-aligned skeptic would result in criticism and witch-of-the-week status. But they are all tolerated when performed by PZ as he’s a good guy and thus each and every one must be harmless. Michael simply asks for equal treatment for all when adjudging such matters, and invokes the concept of charity, which in this case means assuming the best interpretation rather than the worst. He repeatedly extends that charity to PZ and states clearly that he doesn’t believe PZ to be a sexist, he doesn’t believe him to have misbehaved with his accuser etc. I would go a bit further and point out that I’m a grown up and I like interacting with grown-ups. In consequence the odd off-colour joke or innuendo isn’t very troubling to me and is part of normal human interaction. The point is that it is consensual; we tolerate each others jokes and feel no personal threat. Of course there is a line that can be crossed where too much becomes ‘creepy’ and this is extremely subjective and so sensible people make some effort to stay clearly on the right side of that line. Nuanced behaviour like this is how adult humans interact. To try to legislate such nuances, or even provide guidelines soon becomes awkward and stilted, however well-intentioned, and is soon resented.
To return to your question, do you really require an “actual argument” to justify treating and judging others equally? Wouldn’t that be a rather basic ethical stance—one which most of us would feel some embarrassment about when caught asking for it to be justified?

142 Lancelot Gobbo November 24, 2014 at 6:12 pm

Sorry that was to Andy @130, not 129.

143 Andy November 24, 2014 at 6:15 pm

Interesting. Until now, people here seemed to be rather convinced that it can be shown (many even argued that it HAS in fact been shown) that Michael´s six examples of PZ´s behaviour are ethically equivalent to behaviour that he has excoriated others for.
But after this has been challenged for a while, we are now at a point (based on Jan Steen´s comment in #135 and milesnagopaleen´s comment in #136) where people no longer claim this but rather shift to the position that PZ (and people who largely agree with him on the issue of sexism) have an obligation to show how PZ´s behavious was NOT ethically comparable to the behaviour that he criticized others for.
If everyone else here agrees with this new sentiment, then I rest my case and point out that you merely assert that a double standard is going on but neither demonstrate this nor have any intentions to demonstrate it.

144 Concerned November 24, 2014 at 6:18 pm

Andy you may think that you’re(spelled it right this time so you can’t straw man again) doing a good thing by trolling this article, but I assure you all you’re doing is attempting to prevent meaningful dialogue concerning academic sexism and failing quite badly as others have pointed out. Purposefully disruptive attitudes like yours are annoying at best and harmful at worst, again I strongly urge you to consider your own mental health.

145 Andy November 24, 2014 at 6:20 pm

@Michael Nugent,
Could you please have a look at comment #138 by Darby (and Minnow´s deliberate misrepresentations of what I said, last summarized in #122) and tell me if that is acceptable behaviour on your blog? I´m not criticizing anything, just making sure if this is or isn´t the decorum that you want to foster here.

146 Darth Cynic November 24, 2014 at 6:21 pm

@ Andy 96

You forgot:

‘My preference would be for everybody to judge everybody else equally charitably for their behaviour.’

This has been Nugent’s main point from the very beginning of this contretemps and not just the last post, that Myers’ excessively toxic style of discourse is unhelpful. Whilst I acknowledge that Nugent provided that either / or scenario the context of his following words clearly demonstrated his intent, to quit vindictive character assassination for mere point scoring like ‘X defends and provides a haven to rapists;’ however, I should have used the term ‘intended’ rather than ‘indicated.’

Apart from that you are still being wilfully obtuse, missing the forest for the trees for the apparent purposes of pretending to yourself that those atheists… sorry, critics of Myers simply could not refute you* and therefore it is right to carry on believing that Myers commits no fault in this matter, he really ‘is’ a good person.

Myers’ repeated lashing out at well known atheists prompted Nugent to politely suggest Myers tone it down some. Myers then lashed out at Nugent making an accusation he has thus far neither substantiated nor retracted that Nugent defended and provided a haven for rapists. Further to Nugent’s main point of reining in needless abuse, he illustrates how were Myers treated as he treats others then it is trivial to find incidents which any could uncharitably interpret and malign Myers’ character on foot of them; one of which clearly struck a nerve with he who so easily condemns others with serious charges. The main point again being that this carry on profits discourse none.

Your response to all this? Protect the faith, proffer a false dichotomy as though either of your given options negates what information Nugent gathered. Then entirely miss the point as though dissembling over minutiae – even if you were right – somehow makes Nugent’s central point just up and vanish. You are so bereft of any cogent defense you’re even stooping to petty correction of other poster’s grammar, asserting victory and bleating that folks on some other forum said something mean about you. You only fool yourself and other devoted Myers fans with this misdirection shtick, but then that’s all you’re here for, buoying a faith so weak that the mere presence of non-belief discomfits you so.

* – A likely impossible task anyway what with your declaration not to be swayed on certain things and couching your call for examples with ‘context;’ essentially telegraphing how any example will inevitably be subject to your subjective interpretation of that context.

147 Fishcakes November 24, 2014 at 6:27 pm

Andy,
Thank you for taking the time to reply, especially given how many other respondents you are dealing with here.

Do you agree that Michael claims that PZ (and people who largely agree with PZ on the wider issue of sexism) are being ethically inconsistent here?

No, I don’t agree – not exactly at least. I believe this is your interpretation of what he has written, but (unless I missed it) Nugent himself has never stated this himself. I think your interpretation is a reasonable one, but I don’t think it precisely captures what Nugent was really going for here. I may be mistaken, however, and I would be open to changing my view on this if you can point to any direct quotes that support your interpretation more explicitly.

If you disagree, what do you think was Michael´s post with the six examples of PZ´s behaviour about then?

This is just the way I see it so I may be wrong, but I believe he is trying to convey the idea that PZ Myers’ behavior could reasonably be seen as hypocritical by someone choosing not to give him the benefit of a charitable interpretation or choosing not to give him the benefit of the doubt. Michael Nugent, on the other hand, does take a chartable interpretation and does give people the benefit of the doubt, and so he personally is not saying that Myers is a hypocrite. He’s saying that without that deliberate choice to take a charitable interpretation and without that deliberate choice to give people the benefit of the doubt, then one could reasonably decide that Myers is a hypocrite. There is a subtle but critical distinction here, which I believe your interpretation misses.

What I see is a request or a suggestion as to how we should all act (i.e., ethically consistently). Seems rather analogous to the Watson “guys don’t do that” video in some ways. Watson was not making a logical argument and “guys don’t do that” was not a conclusion that followed logically from stated premises. Nor was it an insinuation that all guys had been acting improperly either. Rather, her video was merely a request or a suggestion as to how people should behave in the future. Same difference here, as I see it. Nugent is not trying to make some logical argument and get you to agree with the conclusions – he is trying to make a suggestion or recommendation as to how people should behave in the future.

148 Andy November 24, 2014 at 6:29 pm

Darth Cynic #146

You say:
“Then entirely miss the point as though dissembling over minutiae – even if you were right – somehow makes Nugent’s central point just up and vanish.”
Could you please summarize what you think Michael Nugent´s “central point” in the last post of which he now says:
“PZ Myers has responded to part of my recent post about what would happen if he judged others’ sexism as he judges himself.”
It was my impression that Michael´s point was, that there is a double standard going on where PZ gets away with behaviour that he would excoriate others for. If you agree with that, then what I do is not an instance of “dissembling minutiae” but rather the discussion that needs to be had to actually establish this point instead of merely asserting it.
If you disagree with that, then what do you think WAS Michael´s “central point” in the post where he listed the six examples of PZ´s behaviour?

149 Fishcakes November 24, 2014 at 6:29 pm

Sorry for messed up blockquotes in #147. Everything from “This is just the way I see it so…” was written by me and should not have been included in the blockquote.

150 Darby November 24, 2014 at 6:33 pm

Oh Andy, bless your heart. Pointing out your* behavior for what it so obviously is isn’t “misrepresentation” (was that your word of the day calendar entry for today?).

I know this technique of constantly repeating your tired claims then feigning incomprehension when people point out how wrong they are using actual logic and not the bizarre parallel logic you’re** used to works a treat over at FTB, the people posting here are somewhat more astute.

*”your” assiduously spelled correctly since resorting to spelling nitpicking seems to be the biggest gun in your arsenal.

**still spelled correctly.

151 Aheydis Vaakenjab November 24, 2014 at 6:34 pm

It has become abundantly clear that PZ Myers is someone who embodies the “do as I say, not as I do” mantra. MN has repeatedly asked for a simple retraction, but yet PZ doubles down on his smears. This shows a complete lack of character on PZ’s part. Writing off MN’s posts with ableist language and the grand old nugget of ultra skeptic-fail in thought and follow crime. PZ would have redeemed himself in so many people’s eyes in being able to back away from a stated position. Instead he’s gone in to full victim mode, ignoring each and every bullet item and focusing on one for which his story has now changed. How convenient.

Since PZ and the horde are reading this stuff, let me be clear:

1. I am not a “pitter”. It is quite sad that those at FtB, who make themselves out to be such high and mighty advocates in the atheism world can somehow become impotent due to an obscure site where, from what I can tell, nobody there is on a conference circuit or makes a dime off of the greater atheist community. Yet FtB folks who receive criticism immediately insist on those who disagree with them are “pitters”. Right… ’cause we see the likes of real leaders in the community going on the constant offensive battle against obscure web sites…. yeah, we don’t. We don’t see Dawkins typing out blog after blog attacking Ophelia Benson or PZ Myers. But we do see PZ and Ophelia doxxing a woman on the internet for no other reason than to gain credibility and points amongst their circle of followers.

2. Interesting that the trolls on this comment thread are unable to parse the fact that PZ’s words are hypocritical and that his story has morphed over time to suit his current privileged status. That’s right, it’s better to come to this thread and cover it with doublespeak and innuendo rather than just say “yes, PZ’s story has morphed and yes, it would appear that some of his action are hypocritical”, which one could say in the same breath as “and I still enjoy his contributions to the community”.

Listen, I’m no fan of PZ and I think he is a liability to the greater cause of atheism. But in the past, PZ did make a mark for atheism. PZ’s inept social abilities and his inability to create an environment that is welcoming and educational is what has kept him typing furiously behind a keyboard attacking those who are making a difference rather than being a difference maker himself.

MN should keep up the documentation of PZ ‘s inability to apologize as it is becoming a loud beacon to those entering in to the atheist/skeptic community that those who have self-anointed themselves as leaders in this community are just not the sort of leaders we need.

152 Darby November 24, 2014 at 6:36 pm

And Andy, for the love of Satan figure out how to use the bloody blockquote tag. Trying to parse your quotes hurts my eyes as much as trying to parse your “arguments” hurts the brain.

153 Andy November 24, 2014 at 6:50 pm

Fishcakes #147

You say:
“No, I don’t agree – not exactly at least. I believe this is your interpretation of what he has written, but (unless I missed it) Nugent himself has never stated this himself. I think your interpretation is a reasonable one, but I don’t think it precisely captures what Nugent was really going for here. I may be mistaken, however, and I would be open to changing my view on this if you can point to any direct quotes that support your interpretation more explicitly.”

Well, the easiest way to clarify this would of course be if Michael himself would comment on this. My understanding of this:
“I am asking him and his colleagues to act ethically consistently when judging others.
If you judge PZ charitably for his behaviour, then please judge other people equally charitably for theirs.
If you judge other people harshly for their behaviour, then please judge PZ equally harshly for his.
My preference would be for everybody to judge everybody else equally charitably for their behaviour.”
– which Michael wrote in his last post with the six examples, and this:
“PZ Myers has responded to part of my recent post about what would happen if he judged others’ sexism as he judges himself.”
– which he wrote in his current post here, means that Michael believes that there is a double standard going on.
A double standard where PZ gets away (or “is not being excoriated for” if you prefer) with behaviour that PZ does harshly criticize when others do it. I cannot think of an alternative interpretation that makes sense of what he wrote, if there is one, I´d ask Michael to comment on this and clarify.
If this IS what Michael meant, then it seems reasonable to me to go through the examples one by one and discuss whether there is in fact a double standard going on or not. That is what I tried to do with the first example that was given to me here in this thread (by kirbmarc in #86). And this first example seems to be one where the double standard is only asserted, but no one seems to be interested in actually defending the claim that it IS one. Some rather seem to believe that PZ has an obligation to demonstrate that it is NOT a double standard (see #143).

154 Phil Giordana FCD November 24, 2014 at 6:57 pm

Andy @133:

Nobody likes a tattletale. And if I post those sorts of comments at the Pit and not here, it’s only as a courtesy to Michael and his blog. What’s the point if you’re going to repost them here?

Kids these days…

155 Andy November 24, 2014 at 7:01 pm

Darby #150

I know this technique of constantly repeating your tired claims then feigning incomprehension when people point out how wrong they are using actual logic

Interesting! That means that someone here who disagreed with me used “actual logic” to point out how I am wrong. I must have missed that. Could you please quote the “actual logic” that proved me wrong?

*”your” assiduously spelled correctly since resorting to spelling nitpicking seems to be the biggest gun in your arsenal.

1. “assiduously” is one example of the words on the Pompous Ass website ( http://www.pompousasswords.com/www/index.htm ), just pointing that out. I actually like the word.
2. You say that this is the “biggest gun in my arsenal”. IIRC, I did this exactly once in this thread in #125. But surely I must have forgotten all the other times where I did use this “biggest gun in my arsenal” – care to point out one or two additional examples?

Hope the blockquotes work (I didn´t see a summary of the tags that work on this website and was reluctant to try out some due to the lack of an edit function for comments, I´m very sorry for hurting your eyes).

156 Andy November 24, 2014 at 7:03 pm

Phil Giordana FCD #154

Nobody likes a tattletale. And if I post those sorts of comments at the Pit and not here, it’s only as a courtesy to Michael and his blog. What’s the point if you’re going to repost them here?

I found your comment rather amusing and felt like sharing! Was it really supposed to be a secret? If so, it´s never a good idea to post secrets in a publicly accessible forum 😉

157 Aneris ✻ November 24, 2014 at 7:05 pm

Andy wrote: What is missing, completely and absolutely missing, is anything even remotely resembling an argument that demonstrates how b follows from a. Something like “here is PZ doing x, but previously, he has judged someone very harshly for doing x (or something very similar to x), which makes him a hypocrite”. Without that, there is nothing to address.

That’s hardly necessary. The readers of these articles know pretty much the overall situation. Michael Nugent better does not follow your demands. Even if Mr Nugent provided the perfect article the social justice warriors would invent some other new demand Michael would have to meet before they are willing to engage with the substance. And so on. It just never happens.

As Michael would jump through all the hoops as the social justice warrior demands, they’ll apply their poison. Because in the process they invariably accuse people of being right-wingers, fascist, stormfront, KKK, rapists, rape-haven-providers and will dole out more charming labels for the flimsiest of reasons. Or they redefine, shift goal posts and obscure.

What social justice warriors (SJW) do isn’t intended for an ordinary audience, they “ring true” for likeminded onlookers and are about painting the windmill so it looks like a credible dragon. For them, fighting the dragon indicates membership in the progressive authoritarian camp.

Say, Michael Nugent has finally made everything airtight (or the social justice warrior has painted themselves into a corner), the SJW will flounce, block or then claim the article is now too verbose and boring and they won’t read it. They’ll find some other pretence to not engage with anything. Or they pretend to engage and pick out a tiny part and hope by micro-nitpickery they can give the impression the whole thing isn’t working, then flounce.

What you will never see: honest discussion with the aim to understand where someone is coming from. Not even that.

The bailey-and-motte doctrine is another common method. The negotiation of the discussion itself could be seen as a part of the larger tactics (they claim an easy set of rules for themselves, and a hard one with extra high bars for the opponent, just as they switch definitions around to make it easier or harder as required). Where does nuance or terminology or good examples and all these things matter when PZ Myers produces his outrage material? Sure, we should try to adhere to higher standards, but that’s abused by social justice warriors anyway who already exploit the goodwill of other people to argue with them in good faith (they don’t, giving them some advantage for their aims).

We’ve had the Ariels, Gunboat Diplomats, Latsots, Theophontes come and go and it’s basically always the same pattern. It’s best to ignore their demands entirely and don’t even argue with them directly. They want a “show discussion”. You can go for it, but argue for another audience knowing that the social justice warrior has no desire in clearing anything up, and has no interest that anyone gets away smarter. Document their characteristic “meta sidestep” where they attempt to redefine the rules of the discussion and repositioning the frame, and keep track of their fallacies. Promote that to the top of the stack and always give this priority. Deal with their accusations, their smearing, and their trickery first. Michael does this perfectly, but I am afraid lowly commenters currently have no good way to deal with social justice warriors in a reliable way. Their smears are always a problem until the internet learns “oh, it’s just a social justice warriors who thinks someone is a rape apologists – it’s just made up then”.

When you deal with their trickery first, they whine, squirm and cry foul and will then show their characteristic histrionics of anger, disappointment and hatred and eventually storm off. By not playing their games you invariably become the “Other” which is whatever they hate. Don’t be too shocked when they paint you an arch conservative sexist republican KKK fascist rapist who hates women and is the sole reason we don’t have peace in the world.

Social justice warriors come from an environment (social media) with millions of users. They don’t care about you. You are disposable rubbish, a useful idiot, a foil they can use to farm social justice points by “engaging” with you (fighting the good fight, the dragon, which is you). The social justice warrior wants to be the good person but to their dismay has found that everyone around them can share Upworthy clips challenging beauty standards just as well as they can. They must be holier-than-thou. They know the copy-paste culture of “good people” positions is cheap signalling and hence they must go to war and fight someone “real” and prove that they are the real thing so that their snivelling cry-baby peers accept them as someone to look up to.

Bottom line, at the first sign of social justice warrior affliction, quickly shift gears. They had their chance. Ignore them, or document what they do. Treat them otherwise like trolls and ridicule them.

158 Matt Cavanaugh November 24, 2014 at 7:13 pm

Skepsheik wrote: Wouldn’t a refusal to work in situations where he may be alone with a female student seriously impact PZ’s ability to get any research done? How does he manage to do it?

Myers doesn’t do real research and hasn’t published in ages. (For years, Myers had been working on a magnum opus, Natural Revolution “about evolution and developmental biology, atheism and creationism”, but this never saw the light of day.)

Myers teaches intro biology to undergrads at a small, rural adjunct campus (1,900 student body.) He does play around with zebrafish, looking for non-darwinian evolution in behavior.

Myers’ views on evolution are decidedly unorthodox, neo-lamarkian, and diverge even from the “Extended Thesis” school of thought. Myers claims to believe in the individual as the unit of selection, a thoroughly bankrupt hypothesis. Yet in his blogging, Myers advocates group selection, a position held by only a small minority of evolutionary biologists, as opposed to the orthodox, robust model of gene as unit of selection. Myers, for example, incorrectly frames Population Genetics as populations competing against each other, when it in fact deals with competition among alleles within a given population. Further, Myers seems to believe that cultures are the unit of selection for human evolution.

Myers has written about how he regularly confuses his students by first teaching the curriculum about Darwin, Fisher, et al., then telling the class how Darwin, Fisher, et al. can’t account for most of evolution. When explaining basic principles of genetics, he frequently makes gross errors that even informed lay persons can spot, and which professionals shred in detail.

Myers simply has no clear understanding of genetics or evolution; rather switches from one contradictory position to the next (or just makes stuff up on the fly) to suit the context, audience, or socio-political polemic.

I pity his confused students, and lament the many occasions when Myers has been called upon to combat ID and creationism by explaining Darwinism, a theory he barely understands and largely rejects.

159 Andy November 24, 2014 at 7:23 pm

Aneris #157

That’s hardly necessary. The readers of these articles know pretty much the overall situation. Michael Nugent better does not follow your demands.

Alright. So you say that for posts like Michael´s with the six examples of PZ´s behaviour, there is no need to substantiate them with an argument instead of merely asserting them. There is no need to do that because “the readers of these articles know pretty much the overall situation” and trying to substantiate the claims with an argument (what I ask for) should better not be done.
This is ironic because you later say:

What social justice warriors (SJW) do isn’t intended for an ordinary audience, they “ring true” for likeminded onlookers

But what you said earlier amounts to Michael doing the exact same thing here. He just claims something and he doesn´t need to substantiate it with an argument because it will “ring true” for his target audience anyway. He shouldn´t(!) even try to argue for his case (because trying to actually argue for his case might not “ring as true” anymore maybe?).

What you will never see: honest discussion with the aim to understand where someone is coming from.

I´ve invited people to honestly discuss whether the double standard that Michael asserts is going on (at least as far as I can tell, see #153) here, can be substantiated based on what PZ himself has said and based on what he has criticized others for. The responses so far can be summarized as:
a) calling me willfully obtuse for trying to discuss this instead of accepting it without argument.
b) presenting examples of PZ´s behaviour without anything even remotely resembling an argument for how it is ethically comparable to stuff he has criticized
c) saying that people here do not need to provide an argument at all, PZ rather needs to provide an argument for how those mere assertions are wrong.

I found it especially amusing that some people shifted from b to c (see #143), is that what you would call “honest discussion”?

160 Andy November 24, 2014 at 7:32 pm

@Everyone who doesn´t follow the slymepit:

Another amusing comment that I found worth sharing:

Wow. Andy Andy’s off his meds.

– Matt Cavanaugh
http://slymepit.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?p=238090#p238090

I like my new name: “Andy Andy” 😀

161 piero November 24, 2014 at 7:43 pm

I think Andy has just about said all s/he wanted to say, and none of it makes any sense. I am at a loss to tell whether this is a deliberate strategy or a synptom of intellectual deficiency. In either case, further engagement is futile: he has no arguments to offer, and won’t accept arguments presented to him/her. The end.

162 milesnagopaleen November 24, 2014 at 7:44 pm

@ Andy #143
You are simply misrepresenting what I said in comment #136.
Michael, Michael, come quick! Someone’s misrepresenting me! Boo hoo!

Plus, I must admit I am bored almost to a catatonic state but I haven’t failed to notice that you have failed to address the points I made in #136 and other comments that I couldn’t be arsed to scrol back to.
Troll away, my good man, lady or thingy! It must be refreshing to be able to troll without fear of getting banned. Don’t forget to drop a comment or two back on FtB to let the troops know what a great fight you are putting on and chalk up some brownie points, virtual hugs or whatever the currency of concurrence is current there.
The link to the Slymepit was entirely superfluous, BTW. I’m sure we were all well aware, without Phil to tell us, that you were trolling. It shows how forbearing and charitable we are here at Slympit Ireland. But not a word of that to the troops back a base camp. We would not want you to get into trouble for fraternizing with the enemy or to get mistaken for a harrasser, mysoginist or rapist for simply hanging out at the olde rape haven.

163 Andy November 24, 2014 at 7:45 pm

And maybe a third quote from the slymepit:

Phil_Giordana_FCD wrote:
That Andy character at MN’s is so fucking annoying to read, but I swear he is one of the best advertising for the stupidity of Pharyngulites. I think everyone should just ignore him and let him talk to himself until he gets bored or frustrated. Both of which would be equally funny.

I do think he is amusing though. He seems to be under the sad delusion that the vacuous drivel that works at FtB still works when it faces reality. I also wonder if people such as Benson, Svan, Myers etc actually realize those outside their sycophantic echo chambers see their arguments as full of logical fallacies and factual errors.

– JackSkeptic
http://slymepit.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?p=238092#p238092

This one is particularly amusing given how most people here steadfastly refuse to debate arguments, but rather insist that they do not need to provide arguments for their claims in the first place (see especially Aneris, Jan Steen and milesnagopaleen for that, addressed in my comments #143 and #159)

164 Tigzy November 24, 2014 at 7:47 pm

Michael wrote:

‘PZ has described the false allegation in three ways: as sexual harassment, a sexual encounter, and rape…

…It is not clear why PZ has used these different descriptions. By coincidence, he described it as sexual harassment when he was commenting on a post about somebody else being accused of sexual harassment, and he described it as rape when he was commenting on a post about somebody else being accused of rape.

It is also not clear whether the threatened false allegation was about an incident that was alleged to have happened “in my lab, when I was alone… right there”, or whether it was alleged to have happened elsewhere and the student threatened to go public “right there”.’

Now this is interesting. I recall when PZ Myers was once again blogging about a certain big-name skeptic who has been accused of rape: Myers was poring over a statement on the matter by the big-name skeptic, and was taking pains to note how this version of events didn’t quite tally (in his estimation) with a previous version of events as stated by the big-name skeptic. Myers’ first sentence in the article was this:

‘It’s always the changing story that gives the liar away.’

Of course, I’m not saying Myers is lying as regards his own rape accusation. But again, if we apply Myers’ own standard to his own accusation as he has variously described it – well…make of that what ye will. Ok, you can make of that prof. Myers once again failing to live up to the standards he expects of others. It’s only fair. 😀

165 Andy November 24, 2014 at 7:49 pm

Piero #161

In either case, further engagement is futile: he has no arguments to offer, and won’t accept arguments presented to him/her.

Someone has used an actual argument that I didn´t accept? Interesting, and which one was that? (it´s funny how people here keep insisting that I ignore arguments but are completely unable to say which arguments I allegedly did ignore – it´s almost as if those alleged arguments never existed in the first place).

166 Fishcakes November 24, 2014 at 7:50 pm

Andy,

If this IS what Michael meant, then it seems reasonable to me to go through the examples one by one and discuss whether there is in fact a double standard going on or not.

To what end? Are you ultimately trying to convince Nugent (or others) that there really is no need to act ethically consistently – which, I would suggest, is the entire point of his post? Or would you agree and acknowledge that such is a reasonable and fair request to make (regardless of context)?

If you are here in an attempt to convince others that the six examples Nugent presented don’t actually demonstrate any hypocrisy or double-standard in any way, I would suggest that your chosen approach is not likely to be successful. That you are unconvinced doesn’t mean that anyone else has any obligation to enact further labor to change your mind. If you believe the six examples do not actually demonstrate hypocrisy or double-standard (which runs contrary to the consensus opinion here), then you should try making a positive case to support that view as opposed to trying to demand that others provide some logical argumentation in an attempt to change your mind.

It seems that most folks here see it as fairly self-evident that the six examples do illustrate, to varying degrees, Myers’ hypocrisy and double-standard. That you disagree doesn’t make it any less self-evident, nor does it give anyone else reason to re-think their position.

For example, while I would certainly prefer if you were able to at least see it from the other’s point of view (even if you disagree with that point of view), but at the end of the day, I am content knowing and accepting that you will remain firmly convinced that no hypocrisy or double-standard was demonstrated. Agreeing to disagree is fine by me.

If, on the other hand, you have any real interest in changing minds, then you ought to consider making a positive case rather than relying on a “burden of proof” kind of approach.

167 milesnagopaleen November 24, 2014 at 7:53 pm

@ Paul Holland

I think you are being a more than a little disingenuous here, Paul.

I feel that a common assumption made by both sides of this argument is your assumption above that defending rapists is wrong. I’d defend their human rights, their rights to life, to be free from persecution, mob justice, summary execution etc.

I think you know you full well that what is meant here by defending rapists here is not “their human rights” etc. Michael has been accused of “defending & providing a haven for harassers, misogynists, and rapists”. Please do not insult my intelligence by attempting to conflate this with some totally innocuous interpretation of “defending rapists”. Several people have already tried every form of equivocation and sophistry to reinterpret Myers’s remark as something other than the egregious and defamatory slur that it is. It is notable that Myers himself has not made any such attempt, leading to the inevitable conclusion that he fully meant what he said to be defamatory.

It’s very magnanimous of you to grant Michael “every right to defend himself from anything he considers defamatory and ask for an apology” Why, then, did you open with “Michael – I see you’re still tweeting to PZ about the “haven for rapists” statement”. The implication is that you view his tweets on the matter are somehow unwarranted.
You go on to say,


I’m merely wondering if Michael really would, in some cases, “defend rapists”, ie not in any way condone the act of rape itself, but as I asked in my question defend their right say to contribute to a debate on his blog or be a member of AI.
Now that answer may very well be “No, if I knew you had at one stage been convicted of rape by a court then I would not allow you post on my blog.” Which would be fair enough, and to be honest the answer I would expect given that he find the fact that someone accused him of allowing that to be defamatory.”

No. I cannot speak for Michael, although you seem able to read his mind. I think that “defending & providing a haven for harassers, misogynists, and rapists” goes a lot further than simply allowing a known rapist to comment on his blog. The choice of the word “haven “implies that Michael has sympathy for harassers, misogynists, and rapists and provides a refuge and place of safety for them where they can no doubt discuss their fiendish plans for harassment, misogyny and rape with impunity. The further and even more insidious implication is that Michael is of a mind with these harassers, misogynists, and rapists and is guilty by association.

I may be wrong and you may be “just asking questions” in good faith. From what I have seen, you will not suffer a torrent of abuse, followed by a ban for “just asking questions” on this blog as you would on FtB. However, you are already aware that your questions are off-topic. This does not engender confidence in your good faith.
I would hate to think that you were planning to execute some clever “gotcha” on Michael Nugent. You would be foolishly underestimating his intelligence.

168 piero November 24, 2014 at 8:06 pm

@Paul Holland:

Michael obviously has every right to defend himself from anything he considers defamatory and ask for an apology, I’m merely wondering if Michael really would, in some cases, “defend rapists”, ie not in any way condone the act of rape itself, but as I asked in my question defend their right say to contribute to a debate on his blog or be a member of AI.

Now that answer may very well be “No, if I knew you had at one stage been convicted of rape by a court then I would not allow you post on my blog.” Which would be fair enough, and to be honest the answer I would expect given that he find the fact that someone accused him of allowing that to be defamatory.

Allow me to cast doubts on your good faith. “He finds” that to be defamatory? I’m sorry, could you please explain why you felt the need to put it thus, instead of merely saying “given that he’s been smeared with accusations of defending rapists?”

Must try harder, Paul. You are far less clever than you think.

169 Aneris ✻ November 24, 2014 at 8:12 pm

Andy wrote: This is ironic because you later say: […] But what you said earlier amounts to Michael doing the exact same thing here. He just claims something and he doesn´t need to substantiate it with an argument because it will “ring true” for his target audience anyway.

Ironic? I plainly suggested to not cater to social justice warriors for the reasons outlined above. There is nothing ironic about it. There is not much point when only one side wants to have good discussion. It is ineviatable that SJWs will try to get at the goodwill of people which they then exploit, i.e. plead to treat them seriously. Show some goodwill that you understand where Michael Nugent is coming from and what he could have possibly meant and only then you can request some additional information.

Also, you have no idea just how ridiculous your demand is (I guess you do, and it’s just obfuscation). How many years since Elevatorgate? All the Deep Rifts™, all the Witches of the Weeks, the whole Rogue Gallery, all the “problematic” tweets that fueled the drama week after week you somehow plead you have never heard of it? If you are genuinely curious and have no idea, but somehow made it into this special thread, then I suggest you make yourself familiar with the situation first.

Andy wrote: I´ve invited people to honestly discuss whether the double standard that Michael asserts is going on

I guess everyone sees what you’re doing. First, you want the exact same situation (right?) and only then you maybe, perhaps, consider that there is something to what Michael Nugent asserts.

We’ve seen the deliberately obtuse game from many others before you. Even as clearcut examples as “sex in media” never convinced anyone of your persustion (okay when done by Greta Christina even in a rape fantasy variety and recommended by PZ Myers, but in games with scantly clad women done by game developers its horriblst misogyny, see point 5 of the previous entry, then look for Sarkeesian at Pharyngula, he posted many videos of her, it’s easy really).

Second, by providing examples of other sexual harassment or rape accusations you want to enter into the game of whataboutery which was attempted many times throughout the series. In essence, as soon as someone presents other case, you and your types will make it all about that, and thereby ignoring the point we actually discuss: the double standards.

170 milesnagopaleen November 24, 2014 at 8:22 pm

@ Andy
Please reply to my previous points. You seem to think that just citing the number of a comment, whilst repeating your same off-topic argument is a sufficient reply.
See #50, #59, #75, #97, #116, #120, #121, #136 (which you grossly misrepresented in your comments #143 and #163)

Also do you think that Myer’s behaviour as described in the actual OP is evidence of rape culture. See #107

Also your comment at #127 implies that you had answered my comment at #116. You certainly have not.

171 BlueShift Rhino November 24, 2014 at 8:22 pm

@’Pitters –
I know that you (plural) won’t listen to me – after all, I can’t even keep the names ‘Andy’ and ‘Adam’ separate in my addled brain – but please listen to Aneris and cease feeding the troll.

With that said…
@Paul –
I believe that Michael and others have been pretty clear about the issue of “defending rapists.” No-one here would defend an actual, proven rapist, nor provide them with a “haven,” but many of us require that they be proven to be such before applying the label.
I challenge you to find a case where Michael (or I) have been inconsistent on this point.

172 Carrie November 24, 2014 at 8:33 pm

I see that another FtB person has come to try and derail the discussions here. Michael’s point is very simple really; PZ and co should hold themselves to the same standard that they demand of others, or hold others to the same standards as they hold for themselves. He provides copious examples of the double standards shown by PZ. No amount of semantic twaddle will change those facts.

In fact though, PZ is drawing disturbingly close to the cognitive dissonance of the religious “scientist”. When PZ and co triumphantly use a religionnews article as an endorsement of their views on RD, and as fresh ammunition with which to attack him, it shows clearly that they are using the tactics of religious people themselves. Apparently they are unable to see that this is what they are doing. And they don’t spend two seconds to realise that of course an article on a religious site would deliberately misunderstand and misrepresent a famous atheist.

Ophelia for her part has gone bonkers over a Dawkins tweet regarding Shirtgate. He made two tweets, regarding the radical feminist reaction which he felt was extreme, bullying and pompous. Carolyn Porco replied to him shortly after, and out of respect for her he withdrew one of the tweets but not the other. Maybe Ophelia is going crazy about it because he didn’t remove a tweet out of respect for her? But on a more serious note, she has made multiple posts saying roughly “pompous is it? Dawkins, do you consider[insert name of person or organisation she agrees with here]” pompous? In particular she cites the AAS and the RAS. So she is treating them as authority figures, which is not what an atheist is supposed to do. Dawkins should not be considered an authority figure, nor should the AAS or RAS, and nor should Ophelia and her A+ allies. Once again, the mindset is disturbingly religious in effect.

I cannot of course reply for Dawkins but to me yes, Ophelia, they look very pompous. In particular, where does the American AS get off with making a statement on a European issue that looks both insular and gubernorial in tone? Neither the AAS nor the RAS have any right to make an influential statement on this issue, the shirt has nothing to do with astronomy. If they feel that there is sexism in astronomy, they should be addressing the issues within their own organisations.

It is not the place of any scientific organisation to make a knee-jerk public reaction to a twitter storm; rather, they should be (in this case) applying scientific method to analyse data on whether certain behaviours discourage women from taking an interest in astronomy. I would suspect that there would be a large number of women who, like myself, found the event so fascinating that they did not even notice the pictures on the shirt. There may be some who were encouraged by the fact that the scientists were allowed to be themselves in the work environment, but really if they were already excited by astronomy that would only be a wee extra. Any who found the shirt so off-putting that they have decided not to pursue a STEM career were, perhaps, not really so interested in the science.

Everyone who talks about that shirt seems to miss that the women are gun-toting, strong-faced women who can obviously look after themselves. All anyone seems able to focus on is that they are curvaceous and wearing lycra or leather. So the message that radical feminists want to send out is that it’s not okay to be strong and self-reliant if you are female and pretty? That it is sexist and objectifying to wear a colourful shirt depicting strong, self-reliant women unless they are also ugly?

Matt is obviously a colourful character who likes to decorate himself, so he has tattoos and loud shirts which he is used to wearing anywhere he goes. If you look at an interview that he did a few days before Comet Day (on Sky at Night), he wore a different flowery shirt. It’s what he does, part of what he is. This does not make him sexist, it makes him a bit loud and individual. The FtB types don’t seem to like that in a heterosexual white male.

Another thing that people don’t think of is that boys are often jeered at and bullied by their peers at school if they are “geeks” or interested in maths. I wonder if Matt Taylor suffered that kind of abuse through his school years, and if so whether the storm directed at him for wearing a shirt depicting strong women might have brought all that bullying back to his mind. Does it not matter if boys are bullied at school, is that considered part of what “makes them men” and determined to get on in their chosen field? If so, why is the same kind of standard not applied to girls — are they so terribly precious and tender?

One last point. It is said by some that Matt’s comment is sexist when he refers to the ship as “she” and says that that she / the mission is sexy. All I can say to that is: boats / ships are always referred to as female (from coracles to warships), that Philae is much the size and shape of a washing machine (so if you take it as sexist that is a weird kind of pin-up to object to), and since when has it been bad for one’s gender to be associated with such an awesome mission?

173 Citizen Wolf November 24, 2014 at 8:44 pm

@FTBers
Just FYI, I’ve never been over to the Slymepit and never read anything there.

MN has listed a number of examples of PZ’s behavior. MN, who has met PZ, says that he doesn’t believe that PZ is sexist. To my eyes his behavior does look sexist, and indeed, a lot more sexist than some of the things that people at FTB seem to criticize others for.

I recently saw a video of a presentation given by Rebecca Watson about an ex-mormon guitar seller. I was gobsmacked and truely shocked at the level of sexism, bullying, selfishness, lack of selfawareness and empathy shown by RW. She, like PZ, claims the moral high ground when it comes to sexual equality, and yet both fail to see their own (very large) failings.

We’re all human. We all make mistakes. But that’s a reason to be charitable to others and not throw them under the bus.

PZ has accused MN of providing a haven for rapists. He has also called him a fuckhead, an asshole and a demented fuckwit. This is truely horrible behavior and PZ should apologise.

174 Andy November 24, 2014 at 8:45 pm

milesnagopaleen #167

Please reply to my previous points. You seem to think that just citing the number of a comment, whilst repeating your same off-topic argument is a sufficient reply.
See #50, #59, #75, #97, #116, #120, #121, #136 (which you grossly misrepresented in your comments #143 and #163)

This is hilarious. Here is your comment #50:

Andy
Are rape jokes acceptable on FtB? Please give us a few examples of acceptable rape jokes that aren’t sexist and try to make them funnier than PZ’s soap joke.

This is your entire comment #50, I did not omit anything.
Now, I have tried to start a discussion on that very issue many, many times. In fact, ever since kirbmarc´s comment #86, where the rape joke stuff was the first example he provided, almost all of my comments after that were about trying to start a discussion on that very issue.
I kept asking for the same clarification – whether people here would accept the second rape joke I quoted (the one that PZ did harshly criticize) as an appropriate example and whether people would be willing to defend the claim that if PZ´s joke is deemed acceptable, then this other joke (the one that PZ harshly criticized) must be deemed acceptable as well (which would establish the claim that there is in fact a double standard wrt rape jokes).

Two points about that:
1. It is incredibly dishonest of you to refer to my comments as being “off-topic” while you refer to your comments (that I allegedly didn´t address) about the exact same issue.
2. You keep insisting that I misrepresented your #136. I have not done so at all. I asked if anyone would be willing to defend the claim that PZ is himself engaging in the very behaviour he criticizes. And your response in #136 was:

You are really having a laugh and a good old troll if you imagine that anyone here is going to plough through everything that Myers has ever criticized as sexist and find equivalents to the examples that MN has cited.
If you think that any of the behaviour cited is this thread http://www.michaelnugent.com/2014/11/17/belly-dance-pz-myers-judge-others-sexism/
is perfectly acceptable and not sexist, then feel free to defend it.

Which amounts to you saying that you yourself do not have to actually demonstrate that PZ is engaging himself in the very behaviour that he criticizes others for engaging in, it is rather my job to demonstrate that the mere assertion that those six examples of PZ´s behaviour are NOT something that PZ would criticize in others. My summary of your comment in #143 and #163 was thus completely accurate and I did not misrepresent you at all.

You also say:

Also your comment at #127 implies that you had answered my comment at #116. You certainly have not.

This is your #116:

I take this to mean that you find PZ’s soap joke acceptable and non-sexist because the other example certainly wasn’t. You have dodged this question before and you are dodging it again by comparing PZ’s lame joke with a very personal and offensive “joke”.
Do we need to compare PZ’s rape joke with some other rape joke to decide whether or not it was sexist? I’m still waiting for you to enlighten me on what constitutes a non-sexist rape joke. To suggest that there are degrees of rape is considered highly objectionable. Does the same apply, as you seem to be suggesting, to rape jokes? i.e some rape jokes are acceptable and non-sexist? What about rape “jokes” involving dead porcupines?

And this was my response in #121:

If you are making the claim that PZ (and people who largely agree with him on the wider issue of sexism) is applying a double standard here where he excoriates others for behavior that he himself engages in, then yes, in that case, you´d need to show that PZ actually did excoriate someone for making a joke comparable to the Dove-rape stuff. If you think that the example of a rape joke that PZ criticized (the raping skepchicks because they are so annoying stuff) is in fact not comparable (I am not sure that everyone else here would agree with you), and you cannot think of a better example that WOULD be comparable, then you also cannot accuse him of applying a double standard wrt rape jokes and we could move on to the next alleged double standard.

I absolutely have answered your comment – if you assert that there is a double standard where PZ gets away with making offensive jokes that he himself (and his supporters) would criticize very harshly, then YES, you absolutely do need to find an instance of PZ making an ethically comparable joke for which he didn´t apologize and for which he was NOT criticized by his supporters. If you cannot do that, then your assertion is based on nothing but thin air and can be just as easily dismissed as it can be asserted.
You could have also just said that the rape joke stuff was a bad example because you cannot substantiate the claim that there is a double standard going on there and we could then move on to the next alleged double standard. But if all you can provide are mere assertions, then I rest my case and will simply point out that you have no arguments to support your claims and are also have no intentions to come up with arguments.

175 John Greg November 24, 2014 at 8:48 pm

I must say, I wholeheartedly agree with GreenShiftHippo that, despite s/h/it’s inability to keep s/h/it’s nyms straight, s/h/it’s advice to avoid and ignore the mendacious, malicious, and wholly moronic troll known as AndyAndy is, in my opinion, excellent advice.

Aside from that moron — the contemptable troll, not PurpleShiftO’Possum — the conversation is engaging and interesting.

Carry on; carry on.

176 BlueShift Rhino November 24, 2014 at 8:50 pm

One point to add to Carrie’s #172 –

Not only do I agree that skeptics should not be appealing to authority by citing the view of various organizations, such as the RAS or AAS, but I would go farther and say that one should actively avoid citing their views when discussing some touchy, political issue, because members of organizations that depend on public funding are quite likely to mimic and toe the prevailing opinion – regardless of evidence – when they stick their nose into some hot-button issue. In these cases, I’m more interested in hearing the views of folks who have true (academic) freedom, as it’s much more likely to be honest. Of those mentioned (by Carrie and others), Dawkins is the one who is least dependent on public funding and, therefore, the least constrained by this issue.

Amusingly enough, another person who is unconstrained by the political whims of funding agencies is PZ Myers. However, in contrast to Dawkins, this is because PZ’s work has little or no chance of being funded in the first place.

177 Shatterface November 24, 2014 at 8:52 pm

Ophelia for her part has gone bonkers over a Dawkins tweet regarding Shirtgate. He made two tweets, regarding the radical feminist reaction which he felt was extreme, bullying and pompous. Carolyn Porco replied to him shortly after, and out of respect for her he withdrew one of the tweets but not the other. Maybe Ophelia is going crazy about it because he didn’t remove a tweet out of respect for her? But on a more serious note, she has made multiple posts saying roughly “pompous is it? Dawkins, do you consider[insert name of person or organisation she agrees with here]” pompous? In particular she cites the AAS and the RAS. So she is treating them as authority figures, which is not what an atheist is supposed to do. Dawkins should not be considered an authority figure, nor should the AAS or RAS, and nor should Ophelia and her A+ allies. Once again, the mindset is disturbingly religious in effect.

Yet Benson remains silent when the Secular Woman site wants to cut Dawkins up for his organs….

178 Andy November 24, 2014 at 8:53 pm

Carrie #172

Michael’s point is very simple really; PZ and co should hold themselves to the same standard that they demand of others, or hold others to the same standards as they hold for themselves.

You don´t say… That is precisely the point I keep addressing (although not everyone is certain that this is what Michael meant, see #153).

He provides copious examples of the double standards shown by PZ. No amount of semantic twaddle will change those facts.

So you think that by merely saying “this is something that PZ did [insert example here]”, the conclusion that this example would be something that PZ would harshly criticize if others did it, is self-evident? No argument is needed, it is entirely sufficient to say something along the line of “because we say so, that´s why”? In that case I could offer the counter “argument”: “the examples are not analogous because I say so”, which would have exactly as much merit (none whatsoever).
I tried many times to start a discussion on whether for one of the specific examples provided, there is in fact a double standard going on, and no one was interested in arguing for this, see #159).

179 BlueShift Rhino November 24, 2014 at 8:54 pm

(A blue or red shift occurs as one object’s velocity, relative to an emitter, approaches the speed of light. The two types of shift cannot happen simultaneously, making a purple shift oxymoronic. But I’m still intrigued by the concept of a green shift. Please don’t ruin my day by saying that it’s the dress worn by an elf to a cosplay convention.)

180 Andy November 24, 2014 at 8:56 pm

@Michael Nugent:
Please have a look at #175:

I must say, I wholeheartedly agree with GreenShiftHippo that, despite s/h/it’s inability to keep s/h/it’s nyms straight, s/h/it’s advice to avoid and ignore the mendacious, malicious, and wholly moronic troll known as AndyAndy is, in my opinion, excellent advice.

Aside from that moron — the contemptable troll, not PurpleShiftO’Possum — the conversation is engaging and interesting.

Again, I am not criticizing you for anything and I do not mind comments like that at all – I´m just wondering if you really think it is appropriate to criticize the personal abuse you see at FTB while simultaneously allowing such comments on your own blog.

181 BlueShift Rhino November 24, 2014 at 9:04 pm

(Must resist the temptation to point out that personal abuse is not in the same time-zone as libelous smear, such that one can different policies for the two and not be inconsistent.)

182 Jan Steen November 24, 2014 at 9:05 pm

Andy (paraphrased): PZ Myers did X, he condemned Y. There can only be double standards if when you think X is ok, then you must think Y is ok.

That is the level of Andy’s ‘logic’. Spot the error.

Kurt Gödel he isn’t.

If he had paid attention, he would have seen that my rebuttal is perfectly valid:

PZ Myers did X. He would have condemned person R if he had done X. Therefore Myers has double standards.

183 Kirbmarc November 24, 2014 at 9:08 pm

you´d need to show that PZ actually did excoriate someone for making a joke comparable to the Dove-rape stuff.

I DID show you . In my post, I quoted PZ’s harsh criticism of the infamous “dongle joke”. You instead picked a different “rape joke” criticized in a different situation and acted as if I compared those two jokes when I said nothing about the second joke.

I’ll rewrite the part of my comment that you seem to have missed:

PZ Myers, in a post titled “Adria Richards did everything exactly right,” casts the issue as one of a woman ‘responding to sexism’ and wonders what level of response (in the case of Richards) is acceptable – “apparently no response other than silence and submission is acceptable.” Myers says the men cracking jokes “were clearly in the wrong” and that Richards’ response to the joke-cracking was “a measured response.”

This happened after Adria Richards complained at length after making a “big dongle” joke. Not even a rape joke, a “big dongle” joke. Straight from PZ’s mouth:

The guys were clearly in the wrong. They were being rude, distracting, and trying to assert their dudely privilege in one of the few moments granted women during a conference dominated by men.

Adria Richards (who was supported completely by Myers) said in a very dramatic fashion that the “big dongle” jokes harmed the chances of women getting into programming (she doesn’t explain how):

I saw a photo on main stage of a little girl who had been in the Young Coders workshop.

I realized I had to do something or she would never have the chance to learn and love programming because the ass clowns behind me would make it impossible for her to do so.

How is that Myers’ joke about Dove being “pro-rape” because “after being raped, you need to get washed up” gets a pass while other people making “dongle” jokes are condemned as “displaying their dudely privilege” and potentially harming women? Why doesn’t Myers’ rape joke “make it impossible for women to join the atheist movement”?

Are “big dongle” joke worse than rape jokes?

184 Kirbmarc November 24, 2014 at 9:10 pm

And don’t forget all the other evidence I provided in my post. Do you want more?

Here’s what I wrote before:

Or let’s see another specific instance of PZ’s hypocrisy. He accused a person who cannot be named on this blog of being a rapist. He did so in a very explicit fashion, which left no room for doubts. He didn’t say “Person X has been accused of being a rapist” he said “Person X is a rapist”. PZ assumes that the accusation made against Person X cannot be doubted, since, in his own words, we should “believe the victims”, meaning the accusers. There’s no room for reasonable doubt.

On the other hand, when reporting a fake rape accusation made against him, Myers says the woman who accused him lied. He gives us no evidence that she lied other than his own words. According to his story he was alone when the accusation happened. Using his “believe the victims” standard, and since there is no evidence of his innocence other than his words (no one knows what happened when he and the student were alone), we should say that he’s a self-admitted rapist.

PZ also supports Greta Christina’s “non-consensual” pornography book while he agrees with David Futrelle that the subreddit “HotRapeStories” is “vile”. (http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2014/10/02/reddit-its-like-a-delicious-bowl-of-ice-cream-with-only-a-few-flecks-of-shit-poison-in-it/).

185 Andy November 24, 2014 at 9:15 pm

Jan Steen #181:
You say:

Andy (paraphrased): PZ Myers did X, he condemned Y. There can only be double standards if when you think X is ok, then you must think Y is ok.
That is the level of Andy’s ‘logic’. Spot the error.
Kurt Gödel he isn’t.

Erm… maybe you should have first looked up what “double standard” means. It means “a rule or principle which is unfairly applied in different ways to different people or groups.” And yes, if your entire case for someone applying a double standard is that he himself did X while criticizing others for doing Y, then you do actually need to demonstrate that X and Y are comparable.
It is shocking that this needs to be pointed out, but you not being aware of this explains a lot.

If he had paid attention, he would have seen that my rebuttal is perfectly valid:
PZ Myers did X. He would have condemned person R if he had done X. Therefore Myers has double standards.

And if you could explain how X and Y mentioned above are comparable, then you would have an actual argument for your claim that “he would have condemned person R if he had done X”. But you cannot. Your entire case amounts to “PZ would do this, therefore PZ applies a double standard, and this is true because I say so, no argument is needed to establish this, me saying that this is true is sufficient.”

186 john welch November 24, 2014 at 9:17 pm

Andy @31

So going back to your first comment, (as in C, fix the first bug, then recompile), you say:

“Firstly, PZ describes my report of this incident as being “straight from the slymepit,” and said that it “has no relation to reality.” Actually, my report was based solely on what PZ himself wrote, and I linked to the source pages.”
– There are then two possibilities. You have spent virtually every wake moment of your last years obsessively documenting PZ´s every move – i.e. doing exactly what the slymepit crowdsources all by yourself – and creating a handy file of links indexed by subject like “PZ being a sexist”, or you relied on the material provided to you by your commenters (aka the slymepit).
Which one is it?

So you’ve now asserted that only two things are possible:

1) Michael is obsessive about PZ, just waiting for the perfect moment, across the last several years to use certain info to attack him, obsessively monitoring everything he writes or says.

2) That his source for this information is the slymepit, (oh, and nice secondary bit in implying all commenters that disagree with PZ are from the ‘pit. Subtle, nicely done. You don’t even feel the blade going in.)

It’s not quite “are you still beating your wife”, but close. However you can prove #1 easily by giving us a list of anti-PZ posts or posts attacking PZ over and over before PZ’s “haven for rapists” comment. I mean, we’re talking years, surely there’s a huge body of evidence, right?

2) You can’t really prove, but that’s why it’s a great accusation.

However, there are other options. Like Michael being a reader of PZ’s blog(s), and knowing about this story, since he’s brought it up multiple times, and such stories tend to stick out. You know, that sort of thing.

But clearly, that’s not possible. Nope, the ONLY possibilities are Michael is in a sense, stalking PZ, or his only source of information is the slymepit.

(cue Andy saying he didn’t really say that. Cue me re-quoting his comment over and over.)

“PZ Myers has responded to part of my recent post about what would happen if he judged others’ sexism as he judges himself.”
– You actually didn´t do that at all. This would have looked like this:
“PZ Myers has previously said [insert link] that men must never use the word “sex” or make a sexually explicit joke in front of women, else they are sexist [insert expletive here]. But here we can see PZ himself using the word “sex” while women are around, making him a hypocrite.”

It is so very convenient that Andy knows the ONLY CORRECT WAY TO DO A THING.

I think, given the presence of such an amazing and seemingly endless font of knowledge, that we should take better advantage of it.

Andy, what is the ONLY CORRECT WAY to bait a hook when fishing for marlin?

187 tina November 24, 2014 at 9:19 pm

I think he’s working up to a carefully crafted apology on behalf of PZ Myers.

188 John Greg November 24, 2014 at 9:20 pm

“… it’s the dress worn by an elf to a cosplay convention.”

Precisely.

8}

189 Aneris ✻ November 24, 2014 at 9:34 pm

PZ Myers wrote, in “Fake Rape?”: Isn’t it fascinating how many men are absolutely certain that most rape accusations are completely false, that it’s just wicked women conspiring to bring men down? Yet when you look at the numbers, you know that data that skeptics are supposed to care about, the frequency of false rape accusations is low, about 6-8%.

And then you hear the stories about how rape is handled by the police and by society at large, and you realize that even those numbers are grossly inflated (warning about that link: detailed description of how police treat a rape victim. Very unsettling).

From the date you can tell that the context is Voldemort, and the implict argument is that since women made the accusation, it is most likely true because false accusations are very rare.

_freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2013/08/24/fake-rape/

190 Kirbmarc November 24, 2014 at 9:38 pm

More evidence of PZ’s double standard. PZ approved the “doxxing” of Skep Tickle

I think the UW hospital should know what one of their doctors does in her spare time, so I’m not going to shy away from mentioning her name.

and defend his actions as “not real doxxing” on Twitter because the information about Skept Tickle’s identity was available to the public.

However, when Justicar doxxed Jen McCreight, sending her information that was avaliable to the public, Myers called him a “wretched skeevy piece of internet offal”: http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2013/05/12/justicarintegralmath-wretched-skeevy-piece-of-internet-offal/

191 BlueShift Rhino November 24, 2014 at 9:39 pm

Anyone who could read #185 without self-injury is a better person than I.

Anyone who continues to engage after reading #185 is … well … the opposite.

With that said, I can actually sympathize with Andy for failing to keep the X vs Y and X vs X stuff straight from one paragraph to the next. Believing that many things boil down to XY vs XX is one of my more serious problems.

192 Kirbmarc November 24, 2014 at 9:46 pm

And if you could explain how X and Y mentioned above are comparable,

Are “big dongle” jokes worse than rape jokes? If so, why?

Are we supposed to believe the accusation against the person who cannot be named, and to disbelieve the accusation against Myers? If so, why?

Are we supposed to think that the subreddit “HotRapeStories” is wrose than Greta Christina’s “non-consensual sex” pornography? If so, why?

Are we supposed to believe to believe that it is OK for PZ to dox someone else using publicly available information, and it si not OK for someone else to dox a friend of PZ using publicly available information? If so, why?

Are we supposed to choose the most uncharitable explanation for Matt Taylot’s shirt (“it’s sexist!”) while choosing the most chartitable explanation for PZ’s “belly dance” comments (“they’re jokes!”)? If so, why?

193 Jan Steen November 24, 2014 at 9:48 pm

You’re clueless, Andy. You arbitarily chose X and Y and demanded of others to show that they were equivalent, even when they obviously were not.

As for inferring that PZ would have criticised his own rape joke if somebody else had made it, we only have to look at the petty things that PZ has attacked others for, to be able to say with confidence that Myers would gleefully have raked Dawkins over the coals (again) if he had made the dubious rape joke Myers made. Only the wilfully ignorant, such as certain Peezus apologists, could claim otherwise.

194 tina November 24, 2014 at 9:50 pm

In his latest piece, PZ celebrates an article by Glenn Greenwald, (he of the Snowden leaks and Miranda detention and trial), attacking and misrepresenting Sam Harris again. Just another example of Myers blowing the dog whistle on his chosen enemies for The Horde to respond to.

He ends with…I’m hoping Harris retires to doing nothing but touting New Agey pseudo-spiritualism. There’s good money there, I’m sure.

Shhhh…don’t tell PZ that with the mind-reading prowess he demonstrates online he could be a millionaire several times over already!

195 Darth Cynic November 24, 2014 at 9:56 pm

@ Andy 148

‘Could you please summarize what you think Michael Nugent´s “central point” in the last post…’

Andy, you full well know I’m not talking about that post in isolation because I said, ‘this has been Nugent’s main point from the very beginning of this contretemps and not just the last post.’

‘Myers’ repeated lashing out at well known atheists prompted Nugent to politely suggest Myers tone it down some. Myers then lashed out at Nugent making an accusation he has thus far neither substantiated nor retracted that Nugent defended and provided a haven for rapists. Further to Nugent’s main point of reining in needless abuse, he illustrates how were Myers treated as he treats others then it is trivial to find incidents which any could uncharitably interpret and malign Myers’ character on foot of them; one of which clearly struck a nerve with he who so easily condemns others with serious charges. The main point again being that this carry on profits discourse none.’

It is my impression that you wish to ignore the whole as perhaps you think finding one blemish can invalidate the whole, thus rescuing Myers’ reputation in your eyes. Your repeated avoidance of anything but the narrow element you fixate on suggests this impression is correct.

Besides, if the last post alone is what troubles you, well you’re in the wrong thread for a start.

However, you only fool yourself and other devoted Myers fans with this misdirection shtick, but then that’s all you’re here for, buoying a faith so weak that the mere presence of criticism of Myers discomfits you terribly. Basically I find you disingenuous like those Christians I mentioned and I won’t follow your apologia script, especially when all I can expect is more evasiveness, potential grammar correction and invitations to see what some random person or another on some other forum said about you. As in I’m done conversing, I think there’s been enough for onlookers to see where the merit lies.

196 Andy November 24, 2014 at 9:56 pm

Kirbmarc #190
You say:

More evidence of PZ’s double standard. PZ approved the “doxxing” of Skep Tickle
….
and defend his actions as “not real doxxing” on Twitter because the information about Skept Tickle’s identity was available to the public.

However, when Justicar doxxed Jen McCreight, sending her information that was avaliable to the public, Myers called him a “wretched skeevy piece of internet offal”:

I agree, that is a great example! And I think people like you or Michael should explain why they think that what PZ does here:
http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2014/10/07/turning-over-a-rock-and-exposing-slime-to-the-light/
is ethically totally comparable to what he condemns here:
http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2013/05/12/justicarintegralmath-wretched-skeevy-piece-of-internet-offal/
(@Michael Nugent, seriously, if you are not aware of this particular accusation of hypocrisy against PZ, then by all means check it out)
I have pretty much given up all hope that any of the commenters here will try to do this (yeah yeah, I know, you don´t need to show that it is ethically comparable, all you have to do is merely assert it and then it is PZ´s job to prove that your assertion is wrong, because reasons), but maybe Michael is going to try it with this example or one of the many others available.

197 Andy November 24, 2014 at 10:10 pm

@Jan Steen:

You’re clueless, Andy. You arbitarily chose X and Y and demanded of others to show that they were equivalent, even when they obviously were not.

Nope, that is not what happened at all. I rather picked out the first example that was provided (which was a rape joke), then picked out a rape joke that PZ condemned (so much for the “arbitrarily”) and then specifically asked these two questions:

Two questions before we proceed with this:
1. Do you think that the example of a rape joke that PZ found unacceptable is appropriate or would you pick a different one?
2. Would you be willing to defend the claim “if you think the first joke was ok, then you must think that the second joke was ok as well”? (if you wouldn´t, then we could trash the rape joke part and move on to the next alleged double standard)

instead of, as you falsely claim, demanding that people address them. And the responses I received to that were extremely telling. For latecomers, I again refer to #174, #159 and #143.

And with that, I´ll drop out of this thread because this has gotten boring and my claim – that none of you is interested in providing an actual argument but rather just rely on stuff that is merely asserted but, to channel Aneris, still “rings true” to you due to your prejudices – is now supported by so many comments from your side that nothing needs to be added.

198 Kirbmarc November 24, 2014 at 10:14 pm

And I think people like you or Michael should explain why they think that what PZ does here:
http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2014/10/07/turning-over-a-rock-and-exposing-slime-to-the-light/
is ethically totally comparable to what he condemns here:
http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2013/05/12/justicarintegralmath-wretched-skeevy-piece-of-internet-offal/

In this first link, Myers says it is perfectly ethical to publish on his blog the name of a person who made a joke about a possible condition he has that could have possible been caused by a STD.

This reason (protesting against a joke) can be rejected as insufficient for threatening someone else in real life.

He also implies that his followers should contact this person’s employers and possibly try to get her fired.

He threatens her source of income and possibly her safety if one of his more “extreme” followers were to act based on his post.

In the second link, Myers is complaining that Justicar revealed clues about Jen McCreight’s location that could lead someone else to possibly threaten her.

According to Myers, the reason that Justicar gives (that McCreight should be more concerned with her security on the Internet) is a petty excuse and he’s actually harassing her.

So we have two instances of people publishing information that could harm other people’s income or safety because of reasons that can be easily rejected as insufficient to justify a threat to their income or safety (“teaching this person Internet safety” vs. “avenging the outrage of being the target of a joke”).

Why is Justicar a “wretched skeevy piece of Internet offal” but PZ Myers isn’t?

199 Zeisty142857 November 24, 2014 at 10:16 pm

“And I think people like you or Michael should explain why they think that what PZ does here:
http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2014/10/07/turning-over-a-rock-and-exposing-slime-to-the-light/
is ethically totally comparable to what he condemns here:
http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2013/05/12/justicarintegralmath-wretched-skeevy-piece-of-internet-offal/

Because they ‘re both doxxing, + Myers’ defense of his actions is one that also applies to the action he condemned.

200 Kirbmarc November 24, 2014 at 10:16 pm

1. Do you think that the example of a rape joke that PZ found unacceptable is appropriate or would you pick a different one?
2. Would you be willing to defend the claim “if you think the first joke was ok, then you must think that the second joke was ok as well”? (if you wouldn´t, then we could trash the rape joke part and move on to the next alleged double standard)

When is a rape joke “unacceptable”? When is it “acceptable”? Who decides which ones are good or bad? PZ Myers?

201 Kirbmarc November 24, 2014 at 10:18 pm

And with that, I´ll drop out of this thread because this has gotten boring and my claim – that none of you is interested in providing an actual argument but rather just rely on stuff that is merely asserted but, to channel Aneris, still “rings true” to you due to your prejudices – is now supported by so many comments from your side that nothing needs to be added.

So you’ll go back to FTB and say that you’ve “won”, while ignoring pretty much everything that other people have said because they don’t “ring true” to you because of of your pro-Myers bias.

202 Jeff D'Arillo November 24, 2014 at 10:19 pm

I am new to this whole argument. Not even sure how I got here. I find it fascinating.

At first, I was rather neutral. Then I read the comments. Wow. This ‘Andy’ character convinced me how absurd his own position is, simply by arguing it.

Andy makes no sense in his better comments. Andy’s worst comments are coherent, but they oscillate between stupid and annoying.

203 Andy November 24, 2014 at 10:29 pm

Maybe one last comment @Kirbmarc #199 and Jeff D’Arillo #200

Kirbmarc, you say:

So you’ll go back to FTB and say that you’ve “won”, while ignoring pretty much everything that other people have said because they don’t “ring true” to you because of of your pro-Myers bias.

Nope, I haven´t actually commented at any FTBlog in ages (and I´m also banned at one of the blogs of the FTBloggers that you most likely despise the most), I also have no intentions to brag about having “won” either at FTB or anywhere else. Regarding the “ignoring pretty much everything” stuff – I repeatedly tried to focus on one particular accusation of a double standard going on and discuss that, no one was interested in doing it, people rather claimed ad nauseam that they do not have to substantiate their mere assertions with an argument or pretended that more mere assertions are an adequate substitute for an actual argument.

Jeff D’Arillo #200, you say:

I am new to this whole argument. Not even sure how I got here. I find it fascinating.
At first, I was rather neutral. Then I read the comments. Wow. This ‘Andy’ character convinced me how absurd his own position is, simply by arguing it.
Andy makes no sense in his better comments. Andy’s worst comments are coherent, but they oscillate between stupid and annoying.

Excellent! No one who reads up on this issue stays “neutral” for long, you have clearly picked the right side for you and I consider that to be a very good thing.

204 Aneris ✻ November 24, 2014 at 10:31 pm

And here is another double standard on the Robin Williams topic:

Death as a Distraction / Lack of Humanity

PZ Myers wrote: I’m sorry to report that comedian Robin Williams has committed suicide, an event of great import and grief to his family. But his sacrifice has been a great boon to the the news cycle and the electoral machinery — thank God that we have a tragedy involving a wealthy white man to drag us away from the depressing news about brown people.

_freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2014/08/12/robin-williams-brings-joy-to-the-hearts-of-journalists-and-politicians-once-again/

When someone else did it he found that this is “lack of humanity”, which itself also counts as dehumanizing language…

PZ Myers wrote: I’m sure you’ve all heard the tragic story of Amanda Todd, the teenage girl who killed herself after prolonged bullying. Normal human beings will read about her and be near tears; she was broken by callous sexual predators, her life made miserable, and she finally gave up on it. The Amazing Atheist is not a normal human being. Instead, The Amazing Atheist raged at the fact that this young woman was getting attention when other people have died, too.

_ freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2012/10/13/the-amazing-atheist-reveals-his-lack-of-humanity-again/

Sex in Media / Objectification / Pornography

PZ Myers is a supporter of Anita Sarkeesian:

_freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2012/12/06/there-aint-no-misogyny-on-the-internets/

_ freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2013/11/18/new-feminist-frequency-video/

_freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2014/06/17/new-feministfrequency-video/

_freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2014/08/25/i-guess-i-havent-missed-much-by-not-playing-these-games/

_freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2014/10/08/anita-sarkeesian-on-forms-of-harassment/

Anita Sarkeesian’s position is against “pornographic” depiction of women in video games. For example she is an ardent critic of the game character Bayonetta (created by Hideki Kamiya. Designed by Mari Shimazak, a woman).

Here is the Feminist Frequency video (reuploaded).
_youtube.com/watch?v=XbihPTgAql4

A tweet for additional context (there are more)
https://twitter.com/femfreq/status/521781974017388544

More:
_twitter.com/search?q=from%3A%40femfreq%20bayonetta&src=typd

You can also watch her other videos. These views aren’t unusual for her at all. And here is point 2 & 5 of Michael Nugent previous post, linked to in the starting article:

2. PZ has several times written about and linked to pornography involving women and octopuses described as ‘hentai tentacle rape’. In one post, PZ wrote: “I know some people will be aghast at the exposed mammalian flesh and weird exploitation of women… but it’s got tentacles everywhere, and molluscs…” In another post, he wrote: “Although nothing beats a sea slug for that vulval feel, I’m afraid. Mmmm, Aplysia, if you weren’t so cold, I’d… ahem.”

[…]

5. PZ has endorsed a pornographic book that includes rape fantasies. Bending, by Greta Christina, “is written to get you hard and wet — and to change the ways you think about sex. Be forewarned — stuff happens here that’s borderline consensual. Or not at all consensual.” PZ gave the book a five star review on Amazon, describing it as quality arousal. His only reservation was that that the word “tentacle” only appears once in the book.

PZ Myers is a hypocrite when he has issues with video games containing sexualized imagery (since he promotes Anita Sarkeesian, also see the comment sections there), while at the same time he promoted not just sex, but rape imagery in media himself.

I’m confident we can play this all week.

205 Jeff D'Arillo November 24, 2014 at 10:31 pm

Thank you?

(this was one of your ‘better’ comments).

206 Shatterface November 24, 2014 at 10:34 pm

Meanwhile, over on Pharyngula, one of the horde drops his mask:

Mark
24 November 2014 at 11:02 am
Yeah. It’s amazing how American Jews can get away with murdering thousands of their own countrymen (9/11 terror attacks) and then blame it on some dying Muslim living in caves in Afghanistan with no wifi access… Yet we aren’t allowed to criticize Jews like we can of Christians or Muslims. And ironically, Afghanistan up until the Soviet invasion had been a quite liberalizing and pleasant country. That all changed that year and after the Soviets pulled out the Americans moved in. An atrocious display of what Western occupation of other countries can do to turn on religious fanaticism.

http://www.freezepage.com/1416868098LHZWQLKUFU

207 piero November 24, 2014 at 10:38 pm

@Tina:

He ends with…I’m hoping Harris retires to doing nothing but touting New Agey pseudo-spiritualism. There’s good money there, I’m sure.

I’m sure Myers is right, because Harris is a white cis hetero kyriarch with… wait, so is Myers! Whom to believe, whom to believe…!

208 piero November 24, 2014 at 10:38 pm

I got it! Harris has not been accused of rape, so I’ll believe him.

209 Steve Vanden-Eykel November 24, 2014 at 10:39 pm

I find it strange that Myers is insisting that false rape accusations are rare, based on the fact that it’s only happened to him once in 30 years. Rare compared to what? If false accusations are rarer than true ones, and Myers has been falsely accused once, doesn’t it follow that Myers has raped more than once?

Or if Myers has never raped, but has been falsely accused once, doesn’t it follow that false accusations are much more common than true ones?

Which is it, Myers?

210 Zeisty142857 November 24, 2014 at 10:40 pm

” 15 theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物) November 24, 2014 at 5:52 am
@ Michael Nugent

Some more about your double standards:

Where you wearing your red shirt when you were running with the blue shirts?

I am not particularly surprised to see you are providing a home-away-from-home to right wing reactionaries on your blog.”

The actual blue shirts went extinct in 1934. Michael is not that old. Modern Fine Gael is pretty close to the modern USA democrats (ie centre right in Ireland, the dems also have pro slavery roots which is irrelevant to modern supporters), have a strong social democrat streak, pro EU, gay marriage etc, and always govern in coalition with the leftist labour party, with whom they share broadly similar economic, socal + constitutional policies. Still gobshites.

211 piero November 24, 2014 at 10:41 pm

@Shatterface:

Fortunately, Mark was not one of the horde. S/he was just trolling, and has already been banned.

212 milesnagopaleen November 24, 2014 at 10:41 pm

Andy @ #174

This is hilarious!
Here is your comment #174 – well part of it. When I realised it was the same old shit, I couldn’t read any further for laughing.

Please reply to my previous points. You seem to think that just citing the number of a comment, whilst repeating your same off-topic argument is a sufficient reply.
See #50, #59, #75, #97, #116, #120, #121, #136 (which you grossly misrepresented in your comments #143 and #163)

This is hilarious. Here is your comment #50:

Andy
Are rape jokes acceptable on FtB? Please give us a few examples of acceptable rape jokes that aren’t sexist and try to make them funnier than PZ’s soap joke

This is your entire comment #50, I did not omit anything.
Now, I have tried to start a discussion on that very issue many, many times. In fact, ever since kirbmarc´s comment #86, where the rape joke stuff was the first example he provided, almost all of my comments after that were about trying to start a discussion on that very issue.
I kept asking for the same clarification – whether people here would accept the second rape joke I quoted (the one that PZ did harshly criticize) as an appropriate example and whether people would be willing to defend the claim that if PZ´s joke is deemed acceptable, then this other joke (the one that PZ harshly criticized) must be deemed acceptable as well (which would establish the claim that there is in fact a double standard wrt rape jokes).

Here is my comment # 50 again, I try to explain what’s required..

Andy
Are rape jokes acceptable on FtB? Please give us a few examples of acceptable rape jokes that aren’t sexist and try to make them funnier than PZ’s soap joke

Let me break down comment #50 for you into three easily comprehensible chunks.

It consists of a salutation.
That’s this bit:
question namely

Andy

That’s just a matter of courtesy when addressing someone.
The second bit is a question:

Are rape jokes acceptable on FtB?

A question requires an answer except when it’s a rhetorical question. A rhetorical question is a question is one that is posed purely for rhetorical effect and does not require an answer. This is not a rhetorical question and does require an answer. In this case, the answer can be YES, NO or I don’t know. Any other answer is not a proper answer. That would be silly. For example if I asked you if you liked ice cream and you said “The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog”, that would not really fulfil the requirements of a YES/NO/I don’t know question. With me so far?

The third part of the comment was a request for information:

Please give us a few examples of acceptable rape jokes that aren’t sexist and try to make them funnier than PZ’s soap joke

This was not meant to invite you to discuss a specific rape joke made by PZ Myers nor was it meant to illicit comparisons of PZ’s joke with other rape jokes. It’s simply a request for examples of rape jokes that would be acceptable on FtB. Possibly only PZ knows the criteria for which rape jokes are acceptable on FtB, in which case I’ll settle for rape jokes that you personally find acceptable and not sexist. I did stipulate that such examples should be funnier than PZ’s soap joke. If this is a problem, I’ll happily drop this requirement. Any old rape joke, however unfunny, will satisfy this request. In fact, if you can’t think of an acceptable, non sexist rape joke, I’ll settle for PZ’s soap joke, if you think it’s acceptable and not sexist. I can’t say fairer than that, can I?

So to summarize;
Answer 1: select from Yes/no/I don’t know
Answer 2: An example of a rape joke as discussed above.
Easy-peasy! I know you can do it!

213 milesnagopaleen November 24, 2014 at 10:43 pm

Dagnabit! nested block quotes fouled up! Still I’m sure that you’ll work it out.

214 Andy November 24, 2014 at 10:44 pm

Damn, you guys make it really hard to quit…
Shatterface #203
You say:

Meanwhile, over on Pharyngula, one of the horde drops his mask:
….

If by “one of the horde” you mean “anyone that ever commented at Pharyngula, including those that were banned and those that not a single one of the regulars agreed with (while plenty of the regulars disagreed with them)”, then yes – this guy is “one of the horde”. If however you meant by “one of the horde” someone who represents an opinion shared by most of the horde, or an opinion deemed acceptable by the horde, then it might have been wise to check how people respond to this comment.
The first comment by a regular directed at this “Mark” is this one:

Ah, Mark the Christianist idiot strikes again.

Are you really a fucking 9/11 troofer too? And one of the antisemitic conspiracy nutjobs at that? Holy fucking shit.
Fuck off. Even if this was some half-assed attempt at humor, you are still odious as shit.

– anteprepro
Followed almost immediately by PZ swinging the banhammer:

Mark: stupid and bigoted is no way to go through life, son.
Bye.

Seriously, in your quest to obsessively document everything that PZ (or “one of the horde”) does anywhere, you might want to consider focussing a little more on quality instead of quantity, else you are absolutely indistinguishable from someone trying to satirize the average Slymer (seriously, if I wanted to do that, I would have done something almost exactly like what you just did).

215 Zeisty142857 November 24, 2014 at 10:45 pm

FG swung to the social left in the 80s.

Oh I have a reply to you Andy around post 198 awaiting moderation.

216 Jeff D'Arillo November 24, 2014 at 10:50 pm

@Andy

You wrote this ‘sentence’.

“Seriously, in your quest to obsessively document everything that PZ (or “one of the horde”) does anywhere, you might want to consider focussing a little more on quality instead of quantity, else you are absolutely indistinguishable from someone trying to satirize the average Slymer (seriously, if I wanted to do that, I would have done something almost exactly like what you just did).”

Are you aware that run-on sentences make you sound unintelligible? Try focusing more on quality in your writing, rather than quantity.

217 Andy November 24, 2014 at 10:55 pm

Jeff D’Arillo #213
Again, you have chosen wisely! Always remember, PZ is one of THEM. And if you have to lie in order to make PZ look bad – no problem, he´s one of THEM. So it´s alright. And if someone calls you out on this, just reply along the line of “well, you, liek, totally suck… and stuff!11!”. You know, exactly what you did just now. By all means, never consider switching sides or going back on the fence. You are exactly where you belong.

218 Jeff D'Arillo November 24, 2014 at 11:14 pm

@Andy 214

What are you blathering about? “THEM”? You are unhinged.

I was wrong earlier when I said that run-on sentences make you sound unintelligible. It’s your ideas.

I’m not dismissing your arguments. You just don’t make sense most of the time. It’s like arguing with Time Cube.

219 Andy November 24, 2014 at 11:23 pm

Jeff D’Arillo #215
It is easy. Shatterface talked about how “one of the horde drops his mask” in #203 – a guy called “Mark” who posted some anti-semitic conspiracy nonsense. Problem is that “Mark” wasn´t “one of the horde” but rather someone who was immediately banned for posting this anti-semitic conspiracy BS. Which was immediately pointed out by me (and also piero in #208). But you don´t like that obviously, anything that can be used as ammunition against people you hate is fine – who cares if it´s true, amirite?
And so you respond to me demonstrating that “Mark” was in fact not “one of the horde” by writing something that amounts to “well, ur dum!11!”. And yet again, please never consider switching sides or going back on the fence, you are exactly where you belong.

220 Jan Steen November 24, 2014 at 11:29 pm

Andy, please don’t go. You’re doing such a great job making the Peezus apologists look bad. Maybe you’re not quite as good at it as theophontes, but you’re close. (Luckily I didn’t write “your close”, eh?) You two are doing for Peezus what the Westboro Baptist Church is doing for Christianity.

221 Carrie November 24, 2014 at 11:29 pm

Andy 178 I really don’t care to help you play games with semantics. Michael has shown, very clearly and with examples, that PZ and co apply standards for their own actions which are different from those which they apply to others’ actions. If you truly are confused about his examples and about what he means, why not ask him directly, making it clear what confuses you. I am sure that he would respond.

BlueShift Rhino 176 Yes, spot on! :-)

Shatterface 177 Oh lord yes, she definitely applies double standards too. I am sure that people like Andy, Theo and Ariel can see this but prefer to derail the conversations we have here by picking at a phrase here or there and trying to fudge the issues.

222 Andy November 24, 2014 at 11:37 pm

Jan Steen #217

Andy, please don’t go.

Only if you put some effort into it! You know, like Shatterface did in #203. It´s not that hard, just keep obsessively screencapping and freezepaging everything that everyone who has anything to do with PZ (sorry, Peezus) writes anywhere, and post some random links.
Extra points for posting links that backfire as hilariously as Shatterface´s link in #203! 😉

223 piero November 24, 2014 at 11:41 pm

@Everybody but Andy:

Seriously, people: Andy is well past his/her sell-by date. You can see his/her posts are getting increasingly mouldy; why you’re still willing to bite them is a mystery to me…

224 Jeff D'Arillo November 24, 2014 at 11:53 pm

Andy,

I responded to you without understanding your point about ‘Mark’. I illustrated your 5-sentence long sentence as a point of confusion. You are terrible at communicating. You have gotten yourself elected this comment section’s pinata. You’ve also single-handedly convinced a fence-sitter that your ‘side’ is delusional.

I’m guessing that people on your ‘side’ would prefer you not stand up for them.

225 Andy November 24, 2014 at 11:59 pm

Jeff D’Arillo #221

You’ve also single-handedly convinced a fence-sitter that your ‘side’ is delusional.

And that is great! It would bother me very much if someone like you would react any other way. 😉

226 Jeff D'Arillo November 25, 2014 at 12:05 am

@Andy #222

You argue, hoping to convince neutral people that you are wrong?

lolwut

227 Andy November 25, 2014 at 12:07 am

Jeff D’Arillo #223
Only neutral people with your level of intelligence and integrity 😉

228 Jeff D'Arillo November 25, 2014 at 12:14 am

@Andy

Coming from the guy who would fail a middle school grammar class…

If this comment section is an indicator of your prowess, it begs the question. How do you dress yourself? How do you even go outside?

229 Andy November 25, 2014 at 12:27 am

Jeff D’Arillo #225

Coming from the guy who would fail a middle school grammar class…

If this comment section is an indicator of your prowess, it begs the question. How do you dress yourself?

😀
If you try to play grammar police, it is a good idea to make sure that your comment doesn´t include incredibly obvious grammar fails. Incredibly obviously grammar fails like this incomplete sentence: “If this comment section is an indicator of your prowess, it begs the question.”
And you truly wonder why I am glad that you didn´t pick my “side”? 😉

230 Jeff D'Arillo November 25, 2014 at 12:30 am

*Incredibly obvious*

(not ‘obviously’)

231 Tigzy November 25, 2014 at 12:32 am

Andy wrote:

‘Incredibly obviously grammar fails like this incomplete sentence:’

Mmm. Yes.

232 FishCakes November 25, 2014 at 12:39 am

Just tossing out this friendly reminder.

Michael’s whole point here revolves around charity, civility, maturity, etc. so the least we can do is make an effort to avoid descending into insults and snarkfests ourselves.

233 Blueshift Rhino November 25, 2014 at 12:41 am

If we all get anything from this discussion, let it be the correct use of “begs the question,” which is NOT the same as “raises the question.”

234 Jeff D'Arillo November 25, 2014 at 12:42 am

All apologies. I’m new here.

Andy, you’re a gentleman and a scholar.

235 Matt Cavanaugh November 25, 2014 at 12:43 am

So far, to defend PZ Myers have come:

* Theophontes, who just lectures us on what words are forbidden;

* Ariel, who goes full derrida, deconstructs Myers’ words and informs us no one can know their true meaning;

* Andy Andy, whose words truly have no meaning.

Meanwhile, PZ hunkers behind the walls of the FTB compound, calling Michael childish names, while his Horde fantasize about raping Richard Dawkins.

In sports, this would be known as a “forfeit”.

236 Andy November 25, 2014 at 12:47 am

Fishcakes #229

Just tossing out this friendly reminder.

Michael’s whole point here revolves around charity, civility, maturity, etc. so the least we can do is make an effort to avoid descending into insults and snarkfests ourselves.

Yeah, I think the slymepit faction (i.e. pretty much everyone that comments here) would completely agree with that! Just a few minutes ago, Blueshiftwhatshisface wrote this in the slymepit:

Idiots are useful when their idiocy is very clear. The problem with the comments on MN’s blog is that there are too many of them. It’s easy for Andy “not Adan” Andy to dance and dodge, because so many people are engaging at once. Imagine, instead, that only one sensible person was replying, such that the conversation remained focused and Andy “not Adam” Andy’s replied were more clearly bullshit. Then he’d be useful.

As of now, pretty much everyone looks pretty silly.

Also, @Jeff D’Arillo, you made Blueshiftwhatshisface very sad. Right after the comment quoted above, he wrote:

Great. I go back and what do I find? A misuse of “begs the question” – a serious pet peeve of mine. People who use “begs” for “raises” should not be allowed to beg children.

Oh, wait….

But don´t let that discourage you and by all means, do not, I repeat, do NOT, consider switching sides or going back on the fence.

237 A Bear November 25, 2014 at 12:52 am

Jeff @221:

I’m guessing that people on your ‘side’ would prefer you not stand up for them.

Andy may be a confused sounding, incompetent sophist but none of the others on his side have cogent arguments either.
As pathetic as he is, that’s about as good as PZ’s crowd gets.

238 King of Spain November 25, 2014 at 12:56 am

A Bear@233

[QUOTE] As pathetic as he is, that’s about as good as PZ’s crowd gets.[/QUOTE]

At least Andy never well full porcupine on anyone. Give him credit for that.

239 King of Spain November 25, 2014 at 12:57 am

So much for my feeble grasp of quoting another poster.

240 Andy November 25, 2014 at 12:58 am

Jeff @221:
Listen to A Bear in #234. Do not ever consider going back on the fence or switching sides. Your current side includes people like Blueshiftwhatshisface who do not think very highly of you:
http://slymepit.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?p=238165#p238165
– but please do not let that discourage you.

Btw, I just tried to write a comment with some more recent quotes from Blueshiftwhatshisface and other slymers, but it is almost impossible to do that without landing in the moderation queue. Can´t you guys keep it a little more family friendly so that we can share your best comments here? :-)

241 Andy November 25, 2014 at 1:03 am

King of Spain #235

[QUOTE] As pathetic as he is, that’s about as good as PZ’s crowd gets.[/QUOTE]

At least Andy never well full porcupine on anyone. Give him credit for that.

Please don´t. I´d even consider to “well full porcupine” as long as you don´t give me credit for anything.

242 Blueshift Rhino November 25, 2014 at 1:06 am

@Matt –

PZ does not just hunker down in the safety of FtB. He usually lashes out at some third party when you or MN call him out on his behavior. This time, it seems to be Sam Harris, although PZ only managed to do this by taking a page from Ophelia “ctrl-C, ctrl-V” Benson’s play-book.

To save you the trip over there, let me paraphrase his post*: “They wouldn’t let me be the Fifth Horseman. They wouldn’t even let me be the new Fourth, when the job opened up. So I will take them all down! I’ve crushed The Scientist and I’m close to finishing off The Scholar, with a mild assist from Glenn. If anyone has anything on Dennett, let me know by PMs. Please send it direct, not via Poppy this time.”

* I may have gotten a few things slightly wrong

243 Jeff D'Arillo November 25, 2014 at 1:15 am

Andy

You’ve taught me so much. I can’t believe that somebody would have the audacity to correct me when I was wrong about using the phrase ‘begs the question’!

/sarc

FYI – If I have a booger on my nose, I would want to know. I’m grateful that Blueshitrhino corrected me.

Every time I look over the fence you keep mentioning, I have to admire your pretty white coats.

244 Andy November 25, 2014 at 1:24 am

Jeff D’Arillo #240

You’ve taught me so much. I can’t believe that somebody would have the audacity to correct me when I was wrong about using the phrase ‘begs the question’!

That was actually blueshiftwhatshisface (he is on your side, remember to never ever criticize for anything and accept everything he says as gospel truth). What I did was pointing out that it is hilarious that you use sentence fragments like – “If this comment section is an indicator of your prowess, it begs the question.” – in a comment where you are trying to play grammar police.

245 Thunderf00t November 25, 2014 at 1:25 am

This is all bloody heroic stuff Mikey! but ultimately you are asking a leopard to change its spots.

This sort of behaviour isnt what myers does…. its who he is.

You think this screaming harpy behavior is bad, you should have seen their back-channel on ‘freethoughtblogs’. So much petty bitching about the most minor issues.

It took me less than 24 hours for my opinions to change from ‘group of bloggers that seem to be held in high regard… but I didnt know that much about’ to ‘petty bunch of shallow losers all trying to promote their in group and exclude everyone else’.

I did not start my ‘why feminism is poisoning atheism’ video series on a whim. It was based on what I had seen with my own eyes.

They are toxic parasites. That is all.

246 Shatterface November 25, 2014 at 1:46 am

To save you the trip over there, let me paraphrase his post*: “They wouldn’t let me be the Fifth Horseman. They wouldn’t even let me be the new Fourth, when the job opened up. So I will take them all down! I’ve crushed The Scientist and I’m close to finishing off The Scholar, with a mild assist from Glenn. If anyone has anything on Dennett, let me know by PMs. Please send it direct, not via Poppy this time.”

Myers isn’t even the stable boy because nobody trusts him not to hurt himself with the shovel.

247 Blueshift Rhino November 25, 2014 at 1:48 am

Andy –

Jeff is decidedly not on my side. When we chose teams at the start of this thread, I selected Nerd of Readhead, instead (albeit mostly to annoy Jeff and Brive). However, I am now seriously thinking about swapping him for T-foot, right after I explain to the latter that not all leopards have spots. If you want Jeff, he’s yours.

248 Linda November 25, 2014 at 1:54 am

This is sad in that PZ will just keep digging in deeper. It has been too long and he has said too much to back down now.

If he had only admitted he misspoke, said he was joking and apologized, anything similar, this could have been settled long ago.

Michael was accused of something horrible…supporting rapists and supplying a pace for them to feel safe.

There has been back and forth as to what that meant. But in context, it is obvious it refers to people that post in the SlymePit, as several have posted here.
(A major reason is people are blocked on various FTB blogs just for also posting at the SlymePit, not for harassing talk. Michael’s blog provides a place for people to defend themselves rather than being blocked. )
PZ and his backers provide NO PROOF that his claim is correct, even though this is a serious claim to make about anyone.

I support you Michael, even though the result you originally wanted won’t happen (a simple apology), but the greater result of people seeing what kind of person PZ is also important.

Thank you

249 Andy November 25, 2014 at 1:58 am

Blueshift Rhino #247

If you want Jeff, he’s yours.

Nope, he´s useless. I pick Shatterface.

250 Blueshift Rhino November 25, 2014 at 2:07 am

Deal…

…just as soon as you list all of the uses that you considered for Jeff before declaring him “useless.” I’ve read your comments and I won’t fall for another of your rather transparent false dichotomies, trichotomies, tetrachotomies, pentachotomies, etc.

251 Matt Cavanaugh November 25, 2014 at 2:17 am

@ BSR 242 —

Just five years ago, Myers aspired to join the Horsemen — he’d handle promoting A/S on the internet. That didn’t work out too good, and now, all of Myers’ energies seem directed at tearing down those more successful at promoting A/S than he.

It’s really a sad spectacle.

252 Blueshift Rhino November 25, 2014 at 2:30 am

Matt –

When I think of promoting A/S on the internet, I think of T-foot first and DarkMatter second. [Now that I got your attention with honest flattery, T-foot, please let me repeat that I wish that you’d stop allowing yourself to be distracted by the BS.]

253 Pogsurf November 25, 2014 at 2:32 am

Having just read the entire thread, I don’t have a logical argument to make, or anything as sinister as that, just a simple plea:

If I ever show any signs of being as bonkers as Andy please feel free to shoot me.

254 milesnagopaleen November 25, 2014 at 2:49 am

@ Pogsurf,
If you’vou’ve just read
the entire thread,
it may be too late,
mate.

Remind me, what was it all about?

255 Blueshift Rhino November 25, 2014 at 2:57 am

Here we are … the fifth thread about Myers
Defenses offered but not many buyers
This time Andy stood tall
‘Gainst the Pit in the brawl
Earning *hugs* from the FtB … er, prevaricators*

*darned filter

256 aleprechaunist November 25, 2014 at 6:10 am

Shatterface #53
>> Wouldn’t a refusal to work in situations where he may be alone with a female student seriously impact PZ’s ability to get any research done?

> It would mean any woman co-authoring a paper with Myers would be relegated to one of three (at least) named authors rather than two.

> There’s a good chance she’d just end up as part of the et al in Myers, et al.

Not much chance of that happening. Myers hasn’t published since 1993.

257 Jack Rawlinson November 25, 2014 at 7:45 am

Bloody hell… you go to bed for a few hours…!

Way back in this thread I responded to one of Andy’s early comments with a four-point rebuttal, each of which was directly relevant to specific elements of his comment. This was dismissed by him as “rambling”. Also, Michael’s admirably thorough, cross-referenced detailing of the issues with Myers are dismissed as obsessive, and so on.

And here we see Andy on a runaway Gish gallop, moving goalposts with gleeful abandon so that he might better hurl his numerous red herrings through them, demanding to see arguments when they have already been clearly made (or dismissing them as “ramblings”)… and all to defend a vile, abusive individual who has libellously called people rapists and defenders of rapists.

He’s playing the distraction game, because he knows the core problem with Myers is beyond defence. There is no reasoning with people like Andy. They are zealots, True Believers, and fervent Defenders of the Faith. I honestly think they’re best treated either by ignoring them or ridiculing them, just as with the more out-there sort of religious believer.

258 Pogsurf November 25, 2014 at 10:24 am

I took a pop at Andy above, by calling him ‘bonkers’, but I feel I should try and expand upon my point, to leave a few pointers to explain why I feel as I do.

In using the word bonkers I am implying that I believe Andy is in the grip of a delusion. I believe I take a far more charitable view of the deluded than most because my opinion is underpinned by two underlying assumptions. 1. Delusions are actually quite common, and 2. Once in the grip of a delusion the subject is overwhelmed by the reality of the delusion; they simply cannot see the problem as others see it. Thus the deluded will act through motives which they fully understand as beneficial and benevolent.

So why do I think Andy is deluded? I am relying on Andy’s opening comment #31. To me there are three points where it departs from reality, as I see it. The first is a rather glaring false dichotomy, as others have already pointed out. I don’t see any comment from Andy where he acknowledges this logical fallacy he employed, nor that there could be more than just the two alternatives which he has suggested. Andy’s reality differs from mine here.

The second is his use of the phrase ‘the slymepit’ as a way of tainting the target of his argument. Tainting is often used in a religious context as a way getting people to refrain from doing something; pork or shellfish are tainted so we mustn’t eat them etc. Taint is an irrational way for someone to argue in public discourse, because what you see as tainted may not be the same as what I see as tainted. We all taint to a limited extent when we use insults. Most of us come to regret insulting others, because it represents a loss of control on our part, except those who revel in their own skill at levelling insults, such as PZ Myers. Andy’s use of taint in #31 indicates to me that he cannot make his point in a rational manner, which is what any sane person would try to do.

Thirdly Andy uses the most bizarre definition of sexism I have ever seen. He says:

This would have looked like this:
“PZ Myers has previously said [insert link] that men must never use the word “sex” or make a sexually explicit joke in front of women, else they are sexist [insert expletive here]. But here we can see PZ himself using the word “sex” while women are around, making him a hypocrite.”

PZ Myers is a biologist, I expect he quite often uses the word ‘sex’ in front of women. In Andy’s bizarre bubble just the mention of the word ‘sex’ in front of women seems to count as sexist.

If Andy can acknowledge he made a logical fallacy, explain why he needed to use an irrational strategy such as as taint, and explain where his obscure to the point of being ridiculous definition of sexism come from in comment #31, then I’d suggest it might be worthwhile looking at the next of his sixty-odd other comments to this thread, to see if he makes a valid point. Until that time I shall hold that Andy is bonkers.

259 Andy November 25, 2014 at 11:17 am

Jack #257
You seem to be one of those people who think that if you are extremely verbose about saying “I hate this guy and I also hate everyone who doesn´t hate this guy”, this will turn your ramblings into an argument. It won´t.
Also, just name-dropping informal fallacies without any attempt to show that those fallacies were actually used, is again not something that will turn your ramblings into an argument.

260 Andy November 25, 2014 at 11:18 am

Pogsurf #253

If I ever show any signs of being as bonkers as Andy please feel free to shoot me.

Your choice, but why wait?

261 Jan Steen November 25, 2014 at 11:48 am

“Right-wing atheism dismantled”

This is the title of one of Myers latest rants (going after Harris again, yawn). Let that sink in. “Right-wing atheism”. Apparently, there is now a right-wing way not to believe in gods.

The man is bonkers, completely bonkers. He should be locked up in a padded cell inside the Atheism Plus asylum for failed cult leaders.

262 Jan Steen November 25, 2014 at 11:49 am

@Andy,

Your choice, but why wait?

A death wish? How nice. Keep up the FTB tradition, old chap.

263 Kirbmarc November 25, 2014 at 12:18 pm

@Andy:

you repeatedly asked for me to provide answers to your demands. I have, in comment #198 on the previous page. For some reason the comment was moderated, but it’s available for everyone to see now. Please read it.

264 Andy November 25, 2014 at 12:22 pm

And another quote from a real charmer over at the sewage pit:

That [expletive] at Michael Nugent’s… Adam Sandler… Andy Andy Andy… or something. I can’t remember. [expletive] me, what a prevaricating, mendacious piece of work that thing is. Quote me Andy.

By a commenter called “dog puke” (you´re welcome!) – it is impossible to make this stuff up. If you guys wouldn´t exist, we would have to invent you 😉
Btw, thanks for writing in a pretentious and (mostly) family friendly manner! We don´t want to clog up the moderation queue after all.

265 Andy November 25, 2014 at 12:29 pm

Blueshiftguy #250

Deal…
…just as soon as you list all of the uses that you considered for Jeff before declaring him “useless.”

Jeff´s fails are not funny enough. Fails are funny if the guy who fails first puts some real effort into it (you know, like frantically reading and screencapping everything that the people you hate write anywhere, basically what you guys do 24/7) and then fails. Like Shatterface in #203. That´s why you can keep Jeff if I can therefore pick Shatterface – good deal!

266 Andy November 25, 2014 at 12:42 pm

Jan Steen #262

A death wish? How nice. Keep up the FTB tradition, old chap.

Like Blueshiftguy and apparently everyone else here, you seem to believe that it is impossible to despise slymers without simultaneously being associated with FTB in some way. It is not impossible at all. Just like it is possible that someone who is not a slymer himself (say, Michael) still thinks that it is cool to let you guys vomit all over his comment threads.

267 Blueshift Rhino November 25, 2014 at 1:43 pm

@Andy –

In response to your claim that at least one other person is merely dropping the informal names of logical fallacies….

Way back in Comment #31, you wrote (aimed at our host): “There are then two possibilities. You have spent virtually every wake moment of your last years obsessively documenting PZ´s every move – i.e. doing exactly what the slymepit crowdsources all by yourself – and creating a handy file of links indexed by subject like “PZ being a sexist”, or you relied on the material provided to you by your commenters (aka the slymepit).
Which one is it?”

Are there really no other possibilities besides these two?

@Everyone else –

I’d appreciate it if you all held off for a while, to allow Andy to focus on this one, simple question. Thanks.

268 GenerallyFading November 25, 2014 at 1:45 pm

Andy Andy, Michael has had the courtesy to allow us to post. He is not afraid of any truths anyone would come out with, unlike the FTB lot. He is not afraid of open discourse. I’m sure he does not think in childish terms of whether it is “cool” or not.

And for what it’s worth, I don’t think that you belong to the FTB group. I think that you are on your own, having as much fun as we are. Seriously, folks, let’s not get irritated by Andy Andy, he has provoked some postings which have been a joy to read, even if he has been unable to post anything half as interesting himself. I would love to see people engage with him in hilarity or polite discourse, but as I understand it, it would be impossible to satisfy his questions unless one went through every post that Michael has made, line by line, and even then there would be a short pause at the end before he said, “Nope….still not getting it”.

269 GenerallyFading November 25, 2014 at 1:45 pm

Sorry, BSR, didn’t see your post until I had posted. Backing off now.

270 Andy November 25, 2014 at 2:01 pm

Does anyone understand how the moderation queue works here? (as in, which comments are posted immediately and which ones have to be approved by a mod first?) I had a hunch that posts with hyperlinks and / or profanity need to be approved first – but I had comments that included both being posted immediately, while another comment that includes neither is in the moderation queue.

Anyway… @blueshi..whatever:
A reply to your comment will probably appear soon.

271 Blueshift Rhino November 25, 2014 at 2:11 pm

I, for one, will both opt to believe you and patiently wait. (Next time, however, try posting without any potentially libelous words or expletives.)

272 Blueshift Rhino November 25, 2014 at 2:12 pm

And, yes, hyperlinks will send the post to moderation. Just add an underscore at the beginning, as you’ve undoubtedly seen others do. But don’t abuse this option; make sure that the link is safe, first.

273 Jan Steen November 25, 2014 at 2:13 pm

@Andy (sorry BSR),

Like Blueshiftguy and apparently everyone else here, you seem to believe that it is impossible to despise slymers without simultaneously being associated with FTB in some way. It is not impossible at all. Just like it is possible that someone who is not a slymer himself (say, Michael) still thinks that it is cool to let you guys vomit all over his comment threads.

Apparently your dislike of us evil Slympitters goes so far that you think a death wish is ok. I suppose it is something of an improvement that you do not wish us to die in a fire or require us to insert a rotten porcupine in a certain orifice, like in the good old days of Pharyngula (those people had class!).

It is good to know anyway that I don’t have to bother responding to you anymore.

But does your mother know that you are posting comments on the internet?

274 Andy November 25, 2014 at 2:17 pm

@bluesomething

I, for one, will both opt to believe you…

And I, for one, couldn´t care less.

Next time, however, try posting without any potentially libelous words or expletives.

That´s easy to say, but how am I supposed to share all the slimy goodness from the sewage pit? I already tried replacing profanity by generic placeholders (see for example me quoting a slymer by the name of “dog [naughty word]” in #264), but that also went straight to the moderation queue. Maybe you guys should try to tone it down a little (you could be a little more pretentious instead!) so that we can share the slimy goodness here 😉

275 Andy November 25, 2014 at 2:19 pm

bluewhatever

And, yes, hyperlinks will send the post to moderation.

Nope, unless Michael has been approving some comments in real time (literally within 1-2 seconds of me posting it), it´s not as simple as that.

276 Blueshift Rhino November 25, 2014 at 2:27 pm

@Andy –

In the time that you have spent on invectives, you could have rewritten your answer to the question of whether there are any other possibilities besides the two that you gave in Comment #31 at least once, this time in calm words and without any links.

277 Andy November 25, 2014 at 2:28 pm

Jan Steen #274

It is good to know anyway that I don’t have to bother responding to you anymore.

Aww. Come on, you know you want to. And I´d love to see more of this:

Apparently your dislike of us evil Slympitters goes so far that you think a death wish is ok.

How offensive! How outrageous! How dare I say something mean about cute little slymers! And now you´ll try again – how about it? (And don´t forget to finish with some infantile taunt 😉 ).

278 Andy November 25, 2014 at 2:35 pm

@Azure ungulate:
Your wish is my command! Here the comment that is currently in the moderation queue with naughty words substituted by “[naughty word]”:

I totally agree, you should all listen to blueshiftwhatshisface in #267:

I’d appreciate it if you all held off for a while, to allow Andy to focus on this one, simple question. Thanks.

You see, he figured out why this thread is so silly – as he wrote yesterday in the sewage pit:

[Naughty word] are useful when their [naughty word] is very clear. The problem with the comments on MN’s blog is that there are too many of them. It’s easy for Andy “not Adan” Andy to dance and dodge, because so many people are engaging at once. Imagine, instead, that only one sensible person was replying, such that the conversation remained focused and Andy “not Adam” Andy’s replied were more clearly [naughty word]. Then he’d be useful.

As of now, pretty much everyone looks pretty silly.

(link omitted (there are plenty of links to the slymepit in earlier comments anyway))

How about we briefly vote whether everyone is fine with selecting a “sensible person” like Blueshiftguy as your champion, and be quiet until Blueshiftguy and I am finished with the totally sincere “discussion” that he has in mind? (Boy, I so hope people pick Shatterface as a champion instead of you… 😉 )

279 Andy November 25, 2014 at 2:37 pm

@bluesomething

Nope, not possible – I substituted all naughty words by generic placeholders (btw, all those naughty words were from one of your comments in the cesspool that I quoted 😉 ) and didn´t use any links, but it still goes to the moderation queue.
Might be due to length or number of blockquotes used – I don´t know what triggers the moderation queue, but it is certainly not as simple as whether it includes links or not.

280 Jan Steen November 25, 2014 at 2:45 pm

The Flock have of course swallowed the PZ Myers fable hook, line and sinker. Consider this recent comment on the ‘unmoderated’ Thunderdome thread on Pharyngula:

Jacob Schmidt

24 November 2014 at 3:59 pm

Michael Nugent is still Nugenting strong.

God that post is adorable.

I think I officially stopped talking Nugent at all seriously when he conflates “offering witnesses” with “shutting down investigations.”

The witnesses who were magically able to offer a detailed account of what happened when Myers and the student were alone in his lab? Those witnesses? Hahaha.

Gullible fools, all of them.

281 Blueshift Rhino November 25, 2014 at 2:53 pm

@Andy –

If you’re not going to answer the question, just say so.

282 Andy November 25, 2014 at 2:55 pm

@Azure ungulate:
I don´t control the moderation queue, you´ll have to be patient.

283 Blueshift Rhino November 25, 2014 at 3:27 pm

@Andy –

So, you can’t just (re-)type “yes, I stand by the claim that there are no other possibilities” or “no, I’ve changed my mind and there might be other possibilities”?

ps. forgive me for creating what might be a false dichotomy of my own

284 Andy November 25, 2014 at 3:42 pm

@Azure ungulate

So, you can’t just (re-)type…

Already happened – see #279. Care to address this?
If I can assume that you are this “sensible person” and everyone else stays quiet until we are finished – then we can proceed. Although I must admit that it would be nice to see a gesture of good faith first. For example an explanation of where I allegedly “danced and dodged” or a retraction of this statement. If I remember correctly, I picked out the first item in the first gish gallop that was given to me as a response and tried to focus on this item over and over again – but no one was interested in focussing on this one issue and discussing it.

285 Blueshift Rhino November 25, 2014 at 3:53 pm

@Andy –

I’d be delighted to discuss anything you wish … right after you tell me whether you still believe your claim (in Comment #31) that there are only two possible explanations for Michael’s behavior or whether you now believe that there is at least one other possibility.

286 Andy November 25, 2014 at 3:57 pm

Blueshiftguy,
so that is a “no” on the gesture of goodwill then. And we can assume that you are not interested in an honest discussion but rather stand by your intentions of using me as a “useful [expletive]” to advance your agenda, as you clearly stated here:

[Naughty word] are useful when their [naughty word] is very clear. The problem with the comments on MN’s blog is that there are too many of them. It’s easy for Andy “not Adan” Andy to dance and dodge, because so many people are engaging at once. Imagine, instead, that only one sensible person was replying, such that the conversation remained focused and Andy “not Adam” Andy’s replied were more clearly [naughty word]. Then he’d be useful.

As of now, pretty much everyone looks pretty silly.

If you can answer that with a “Yes, that is what I want to do”, then we can proceed immediately and I will answer your question.

287 Andy November 25, 2014 at 4:00 pm

This is the most obscure moderation policy that I have seen in my entire life… My last comment had 160 words (not exactly epic length), just one blockquote, no links at all, and no naughty word unless “silly” (not said by me but rather included in the blockquote) counts as a naughty word – and it still lands in the moderation queue.
@Michael: could you PLEASE explain briefly which conditions let a comment be posted immediately instead of first needing your approval?

288 Blueshift Rhino November 25, 2014 at 4:17 pm

@Andy –

I have it on excellent authority – namely, the experience of having done it several times – that one can post “yes, I still believe that there are only two possibilities” or “no, I now believe that there is at least one other possibility” without any fear of losing the post to moderation. Rather than provide folks with additional reasons to doubt your sincerity or honesty, I urge you to choose one and post it, yourself. But I’m also willing to be patient. I’m sure that Michael will be along soon and he has access to everything, including the time and date stamps on your submitted comments.

289 piero November 25, 2014 at 4:21 pm

Twelve hours later Andy is still here, still avoiding the same questions, still clinging to the same fallacies, and still being fed by the same commenters who should know better.

On the plus side, s/he cannot do too much damage in the real world while s/he’s busy here trying to work out the moderation policy. :)

290 Blueshift Rhino November 25, 2014 at 4:24 pm

@piero –

I’d be delighted to discuss your claim that I am one of the “commenters who should know better” … right after I finish my discussion with Andy about his claim (in Comment #31) that there are only two possible explanations for Michael’s behavior.

291 Andy November 25, 2014 at 4:25 pm

Blueshiftguy:
1. The comment has now been approved.
2. I´m afraid that your fellow slymers, like piero, do not agree with your suggestion and refuse to let you be their champion.

292 Blueshift Rhino November 25, 2014 at 4:37 pm

@Andy –

It’s a confusing reply – at least, to me – so let me make sure that I understand it. You wrote “no” (in what is now Comment #286), from which I take that you no longer believe that the two possibilities that you listed in Comment #31 are the only possibilities. Is that correct? And, if so, then do you agree that this implies that the claim in Comment #31 that there are only two possibilities was not correct; that the two possibilities that you listed were not an exhaustive list?

293 HH November 25, 2014 at 4:43 pm

Andy,

While I can’t comment on what BSR was referring to in his initial claim of dodging and dancing, I think it is safe to say you are dodging and dancing around answering his question re the two possibilities.

One those two possibilities; I was aware of the six incidents that Micheal delineates with regard to behaviour by Myers that Myers himself would castigate a third party for but gives himself a pass on.
I don’t read pharyngula, I haven’t read the site in years. I have never been to the slymepit (you are more of a slymepitter than I am, having gone there yourself), I don’t have any contact with any slymepitters that I am aware of and have spent exactly 0 hours researching Myers. Simply by virtue of him and his cohorts being as contentious as they are, it is difficult not to hear of these things just by being in the A/S online space. MN has had many personal contacts with Myers and it seems very likely that he reads Pharyngula (given the context of the entire set of posts re Myers).
Where you unaware of MN’s contact with Myers? On what basis did you determine that stalkerish following of Myers would be required to be aware of the facts presented by MN?

It is my interpretation of your farcical dichotomy that you are trying some pretty pathetic well poisoning. I am aware that Myers has officially extracated himself from the skeptic movement (belated in my opinion, as he seemed to have repudiated skepticism itself long before that); perhaps you are still willing to employ some. When you attack the messenger rather than the message, do you believe this will be convincing or influencing to anyone here?

Finally, do you have any dispute with the facts as Micheal presents them?

Please answer as many or as few of these questions as takes your fancy but I would be most keenly interested in your response to the last question.

294 Andy November 25, 2014 at 4:48 pm

Blueshiftguy,
what´s confusing about it?
You say that you´d like everyone except the two of us to “hold off for a while” so that we can “focus on this one, simple question”. And before we do “focus on that one, simple question”, I´d merely like to know what exactly you mean by that.
You clearly stated yesterday what you intend to do:
“Id***s are useful when their id**cy is very clear. The problem with the comments on MN’s blog is that there are too many of them. It’s easy for Andy “not Adan” Andy to dance and dodge, because so many people are engaging at once. Imagine, instead, that only one sensible person was replying, such that the conversation remained focused and Andy “not Adam” Andy’s replied were more clearly bul****t. Then he’d be useful.
As of now, pretty much everyone looks pretty silly.”
– and all I´m asking is if this is what you actually meant by “focus on this one question”. The reason why I am asking is, that people could misunderstand what you mean by “focus on this one, simple question”. I´d read it to mean that you want to honestly discuss this question, but you very clearly stated yesterday that this is NOT what you want to do. So I´m just making clear that you stand by that. If you say something along the line of “yes, I stand by that, I do not want to honestly discuss this question with Andy, I rather see him as a useful Id**t and want to use him to expose his id**cy”, then we can proceed and I will answer your question immediately.

295 Andy November 25, 2014 at 4:52 pm

And moderation queue again…. This is ridiculous, it really seems to be almost completely arbitrary. There is some pattern in that longer than average comments go into the moderation queue (e.g. Pogsurf´s comment in #258), but I also have seen comments as long or even longer than that posted immediately. It also seems to have nothing to do with the presence of links, or blockquotes, or profanity or anything else I could think of (I have seen comments including all of the three being posted immediately).

296 Blueshift Rhino November 25, 2014 at 4:58 pm

@Andy –

I’d be delighted to explain why I found your post (which was time and date stamped quite a bit later than expected) somewhat confusing, as well what I have posted on other websites … right after you make it clear whether you are now saying that your original claim (in Comment #31) was incorrect and that more than just those possibilities existed.

297 Andy November 25, 2014 at 5:07 pm

Azure ungulate,
I´m not asking you to explain anything. You clearly said that you want to a) “focus on one, simple question” with me and you also clearly said b) that you are not interested in honestly discussing this at all but rather merely consider me to be a “useful id**t” and want to expose my “id**cy” and my “bu*****t”. All I´m asking is if you mean that, both of that, or not.
I´m happy to answer your question, all you have to do is answer “Yes, I do not want to honestly discuss this, I rather want to do what I said in the slymepit yesterday” (see #279). That is of course assuming that this is in fact what you mean. As soon as you do that, we can proceed immediately and I´ll answer your question without delay.

298 Blueshift Rhino November 25, 2014 at 5:23 pm

@Andy –

So, you will not say whether you still believe what you claimed in Comment #31 … at least, not until I meet some (unclear to me) conditions?

299 Blueshift Rhino November 25, 2014 at 5:33 pm

@Andy –

You appear to be referring to something that I wrote elsewhere. If that is the case, let me assure you that I am asking an honest question: I want to know if you still believe what you wrote in Comment #31.

300 Blueshift Rhino November 25, 2014 at 6:11 pm

@Andy –

If you are worried about the implications of your reply – e.g., if you say that you still believe your claim, I might go on to demonstrate that you’re wrong, or if you say that you no longer believe your claim, I might criticize you for being either fallible or wishy-washy – please try to avoid over-thinking and rest assured that I promise to do neither of these things.

301 Andy November 25, 2014 at 6:34 pm

Azure ungulate,
There is nothing unclear about it, you stated in completely unambiguous terms that you are not interested in discussing this issue honestly, and I keep asking you something that could not be more simple – do you or do you not still mean that? You have made it abundantly clear that you do not want to answer this, so what do I have to gain from “focussing on one question” with you, given that you already made clear that you have no interest whatsoever to honestly discuss it?
If I´d discuss your question with someone, I´d do it with HH (see #294) because HH has, unlike you, not explicitly said that he is not interested in an honest discussion anyway.

302 Blueshift Rhino November 25, 2014 at 6:59 pm

@Andy –

Thanks for the reply. It was subtle, but I understand. You are incapable of understanding that I feel differently now from how I felt before, because you are incapable of changing your own mind. By the defense mechanism known as “projection,” you attributed your rigid inability to change and learn to me, which is why you cannot accept my answer to your question (which is that I have changed my mind). And by doing all this, you answered my question – albeit in a rather round-about manner.

If those are the only two possible explanations that you can see for Michael’s behavior – as stated in Comment #31 – then there is nothing more for me to say. You lack the imagination necessary to be of any use to anyone who wishes to alter the status quo, given that the best you can do is rage helplessly against it. Your only function is to throw yourself upon the spears that were pointed at your master … to die for a tyrant … a cause that is circular, only existing to justify its own existence.

I feel somewhat sorry for you. You will probably receive no *hugs* back at FtB Central, as you haven’t done a very good job. (Somewhere between Theo and Arial, I’d say.) Most of all, Michael’s next post – assuming nothing from PZ – will still appear sometime around next weekend. It will all start again; bring your A game next time.

303 JetLagg November 25, 2014 at 7:10 pm

I’m reminded of a time my father got on my case for being too cruel (in his opinion) to a friend of his from church. I explained that I felt if Christians really believed their faith was as important as they professed it to be, they had damn well better bring their A game to debates.

My father laughed (a bit sadly it sounded), “I think that was his A game.”

304 Andy November 25, 2014 at 7:12 pm

Azure ungulate

You are incapable of understanding that I feel differently now from…

I´ll need to interrupt you right there. Whether this actually is the case, that you in fact meant what you wrote in the slymepit yesterday (and which I abundantly quoted in recent comments), is precisely what I asked you ad nauseam and which you, until now, steadfastly refused to answer. And now you [say] that I would not accept the answer that you did change your mind about what you wrote in the Slymepit (an answer that you have not given until this last comment, so I could not possibly have accepted or reject it before because it didn´t even exist yet).
Nice try. Certainly better than Shatterface but still only about average performance for a slymer.

305 Blueshift Rhino November 25, 2014 at 7:21 pm

@Andy –

You know, if you were here with me right now, I would … well, first I would probably scream and then demand to know who you were and how you got into my office … but, after we’d dealt with those preliminaries, I would pat you on the head, because you’re totes adorable. If I buy a Zebrafish at the pet-store this week (which I shall feed to my turtles if it fails to get me honorary tenure at Temple by demonstrating non-Darwinian evolution), I’m going to name it Andy in your honor. I assume you don’t mind.

306 Andy November 25, 2014 at 7:37 pm

Azure ungulate #306
Most people would have just left silently, but you go that extra mile and quit with a meltdown, and thank you for that very much! 😉

Also, “demonstrating non-Darwinian evolution” is a breathtakingly ignorant thing to say. Whether there is such a thing as “non-Darwinian evolution” or not is not the question and has not been the question for decades. The question is rather the relative strength of natural selection vs genetic drift (hint: it depends mostly on the effective population size). See Michael Lynch´s “The Origins of Genome Architecture” for a slightly biased and outdated but still excellent overview over the questions that actually are discussed in that context. Although you might want to start with “Molecular Biology for Dummies” first.

307 Blueshift Rhino November 25, 2014 at 7:42 pm

@Andy –

There’s adorable and then there’s obtusely adorable.

Pro-tip: You need to be telling someone else that demonstrating or disproving non-Darwinian evolution is not a current topic in biology. Please do it soon. You already missed the deadline for the Temple job by more than a decade. And the local pet-store in Morris, Minn, is running low on Zebrafish.

308 MosesZD November 25, 2014 at 7:53 pm

@ Andy November 24, 2014 at 10:49 am

You quoted:

“Firstly, PZ describes my report of this incident as being “straight from the slymepit,” and said that it “has no relation to reality.” Actually, my report was based solely on what PZ himself wrote, and I linked to the source pages.”

You wrote:

– There are then two possibilities. You have spent virtually every wake moment of your last years obsessively documenting PZ´s every move – i.e. doing exactly what the slymepit crowdsources all by yourself – and creating a handy file of links indexed by subject like “PZ being a sexist”, or you relied on the material provided to you by your commenters (aka the slymepit).

Which one is it?

So people have helpfully pointed directly to Mr. Myers’ words. So Mr. Nugent used those words. And Mr. Nugent was very careful to not take any ‘SlymePit’ or ‘anti-Myers’ (they’re not synonyms even if there is some minor over-lap) narratives and pass them off as gospel.

Rather, he did his due diligence and checked the veracity of the claims against the SOURCE. Those that were TRUE on their face, he used . Those that were FALSE, or even problematic, he did not.

Like any good skeptic should. Therefore, nothing that Mr. Nugent used was a false report or used out-of-context. Hence the source pointing him to that information is irrelevant. Your feelings and desire to protect the in-group to the contrary.

Also, for the record, your train of logic is a logical fallacy. I suggest you familiarize yourself with them if you’re going to try to make points outside the FTB echo chamber.

309 Andy November 25, 2014 at 7:55 pm

Azure ungulate

Pro-tip: You need to be telling someone else that demonstrating or disproving non-Darwinian evolution is not a current topic in biology

Oh boy, it´s like talking to one of the particularly ignorant creationists. “Demonstrating non-Darwinian evolution” has been done hundreds of times over the last four decades. Try to find even a single peer-reviewed paper or textbook published in this century that claims that “non-darwinian evolution” (more widely known as “genetic drift” or “neutral drift” or “random genetic drift”) does not exist at all.
Most modern textbooks have an entire chapter devoted to it, filled with examples (see for example pages 413-438 in “Evolution” by Barton et al. (2007) or pages 225-246 in Futuyma´s “Evolution” (2005)) . There are plenty of researchers who believe that the impact of genetic drift is not as significant as the scientific mainstream believes it to be, but only a complete ignoramus would say that it doesn´t exist at all. Again, feel free to quote scientific papers or textbooks that say something different.

310 Blueshift Rhino November 25, 2014 at 8:01 pm

@Andy –

(Man, you’re good at this. I retract and apologize for placing you below either Theo or Ariel. Nobody could be this obtuse; it must be intentional. Now back to the game.)

Instead of using the references that you provided, I went to PZ’s CV, instead. I found almost nothing. Not just nothing on the topic that we’re discussing right now. I mean that I found almost nothing. Ergo, you must be wrong.

311 Andy November 25, 2014 at 8:09 pm

Azure ungulate,

Instead of using the references that you provided, I went to PZ’s CV, instead

That is how you “research” an issue? So if you are interested in whether a particular issue in physics is controversial or not, you pick out some random guy (well, not completely random, some random guy who focusses exclusively or almost exclusively on teaching and public outreach) with a degree in physics and CHECK HIS CV??
WOW. Seriously, I have heard plenty of weird things wrt science coming from creationists but this here tops all of that. No contest at all….

312 Blueshift Rhino November 25, 2014 at 8:38 pm

@Andy –

Excellent job! You detected my appeal to authority. That’s two logical fallacies in two days (since I’m giving you full credit for the false dichotomy). But let’s not stop now. You SJWs too often rest on your laurels instead of pushing on through. Just look at Rebecca Watson, tweeting about not getting her pizza in her hotel room on a free trip to Australia while Ferguson burns; it’s just a sad echo of what earned her the love of the White Knights of the Order of Dear Muslima. She’s living in the past. We all need to move forward.

Try this one. Here’s a statement by PZ: “I had to work fast, because I knew that if it turned into a he-said-she-said story, it wouldn’t matter that she was lying, it could get dragged out into an investigation that would easily destroy my career, no matter that I was innocent.” Can you spot the fallacy known as the false premise? It’s a tough one, so I’ll give you a hint: it’s one of the words that starts with the letter “c”

313 MosesZD November 25, 2014 at 9:03 pm

And, Andy, the logical fallacy is called a false dilemma:

A false dilemma is a type of informal fallacy that involves a situation in which only limited alternatives are considered, when in fact there is at least one additional option

A famous false-dilemma is the trilemma known as Lewis’ trilemma of — liar, lord or lunatic. Lewis, of course, ignores another viable alternative — legend or myth.

In this case there were other options. The most obvious being that people, tired of Myers the bully, were more than happy to point Mr. Nugent to Myer’s clay-feet and let Mr. Nugent honestly and fairly evaluate Mr. Myers written word and how he (Myers) applies different standards of acceptable behavior to himself and his in-group.

Yet you could only conceive/argue a false-dilemma of ‘obsessive stalking’ (an homineum argument implying Mr. Nugent has a mental illness) or propaganda mouth-piece for the SlymePit (essentially robbing Nugent of agency and the ability to review the material and draw his own correct conclusions). This fallacious argument showed us, at the very beginning of your participation, that you were not interested in anything but white-knighting Myers. The white-knighting of Myers also lead you to engage in tearing down Nugent through character assassination and gratuitous insulting.

And, despite your implicit insults, unlike Myers, Mr. Nugent as not called you a fuckwit, or any other gratuitous insult, or banned you in order to protect his turf/ego and, by brute force, ‘win’ an argument. But, instead, has allowed you to (incompetently as it may) make your arguments.

I find it amazing that considering the vast differences in behaviors, you defend the bully Myers over the victim Nugent. It just baffles me. Nugent is innocent of everything but wanting an appology for being slandered. Something (apologizing) that any decent person should be willing to do when he, or she, has stepped over the line.

It’s really the adult thing to do. And yet it’s not happening and to the extent Myers addresses it, he digs in deeper. Like a child doubling-down on his temper tantrum.

314 ChasCPeterson November 25, 2014 at 9:42 pm

demonstrating or disproving non-Darwinian evolution

I have to ask. Where in the hell did this particular meme come from–that the objective of PZ Myers’s research program is to “demonstrate non-Darwinian evolution”?

Because it’s bullshit. And so every time you repeat it, it proves that you’re a victim of confirmation bias. You care more about repeating mean things you’ve heard about your Avowed Foe than you do about their veracity. In other words, you’re intellectually dishonest.

Now, I do not claim that Myers is a world-class scientist. (Neither does he.) He has a teaching gig. UM Morris is a public liberal-arts college (no, that’s not the same thing as a rural cow-campus, nor one step up from a community college; it’s actually a well-regarded school in its niche). The faculty there are not employed to run high-powered cutting-edge research programs. The job is to teach–a lot, and without the aid of graduate teaching assistants–and also to do some research involving undergraduates (but without grad students, post-docs, and technicians). It’s very, very difficult to teach a full liberal-arts-college schedule and still get any research done at all.

Finally, there is nothing whatsoever wrong with studying zebrafish, nor about obtaining them from a petstore.

I have certain problems with PZ Myers as well, but these are not among them.

315 Blueshift Rhino November 25, 2014 at 10:15 pm

@Chas –

Consider, for the moment, the possibility that I already knew most of what you wrote (with the exception of being under the impression that serious researchers get their Zebrafish from ZFIN or ZIRC, instead of PetLand, because knowing the genome is rather important). What could of been my goal in posting the comments that I wrote to Andy? Note, also, the completely gratuitous side-swipe of Ms Watson, as well. Up to what might I have been?

316 Crackity Jones November 25, 2014 at 11:27 pm

I do laugh at Andy, a member of the horde, moaning about “moderation queues”. Here, have a frozen peach, you silly little boy!

Also, all that talk on Pharyngula about how “is Nugent still going?”, fools nobody. They are rattled that somebody is blaspheming their prophet. They are rattled that his reputation is sinking further into the sludge. They are rattled that his provision of a safe haven to a child rapist is becoming more widely known. They are rattled about the unravelling and ongoing questioning of the serious allegation against their Dear Leader. They are rattled and they want us to shut up. We won’t ever shut up until Dear Leader is drummed out of the movement or offers profuse and grovelling apologies.

317 Crackity Jones November 25, 2014 at 11:30 pm

To repeat MosesZD, Andy……stop defending the bully PZ Myers and blaming the victim Michael Nugent.

Don’t be that person.

318 Crackity Jones November 25, 2014 at 11:33 pm

Anyone notice how Greta Christina got herself into trouble today, when she silenced a black man and told him to “go fuk himself”, because his opinion irritated her white, privileged, middle class whitesplaining lifestyle?

She follows in the footsteps of Rebecca Watson who resorted to racist comments towards minorities with her generalisations about #NotYourShield. These white, middle class AMERICAN women shut just keep their mouths shut when trying to whitesplain to black people and other minorities.

319 JetLagg November 26, 2014 at 12:30 am

Also, my standard thank you to Michael for putting all of this information in one place. Myers’ story is indeed baffling, but (and this seems par for the course among certain personalities), it’s sufficiently vague that you can’t point toward any slam dunk inconsistencies.

I tend to exaggerate when I recount events, or mix up chronologies and details. It’s perfectly believable to me that Myers just misspoke when he initially said he did act quickly to make sure an investigation didn’t happen. Given Myers’ track record though, the chance he’d ever take that olive branch is approaching zero.

320 Matt Cavanaugh November 26, 2014 at 12:55 am

ChasCPeterson wrote:
I have to ask. Where in the hell did this particular meme come from–that the objective of PZ Myers’s research program is to “demonstrate non-Darwinian evolution”?

As you seem to be familiar with what PZ Myers is doing with those tanks of Petsmart zebrafish, perhaps you could fill us in on the hypothesis behind, & methodology of, his “research program” (sic.)

321 JetLagg November 26, 2014 at 1:35 am

I’m curious myself. I hear (from very critical sources), that Myers doesn’t understand evolution very well, but assumed it was just some sniping from those who take issue with him being a wretched, miserable, loathsome human being. But now, hearing that he doesn’t accept the gene as the unit of selection, or that he buys his zebrafish from Petsmart, I’m wondering if there isn’t something to the accusation.

322 Blueshift Rhino November 26, 2014 at 2:50 am

Start with what made Dawkins famous. Then add in a little John Lennon (even if I happen to prefer the cover by Bryan Ferry). What do you get?

Jealous [of] The Self Gene Guy

‘nuf said

323 Jeff D'Arillo November 26, 2014 at 3:44 am

Unforgivable. Brian Ferry is hella lame. Brian Eno, I can rock out to. But Roxy Music / Ferry?

I blame the 80’s on them.

You are worse than Andy.

324 Blueshift Rhino November 26, 2014 at 3:57 am

I should never have traded Jeff for T-foot.

325 GerardO November 26, 2014 at 5:37 am

The issue of PZ Myers’ views on evolution have been raised again, and I have to say that from my angle his beliefs seem fairly orthodox, which is why I cut him too much slack as far as his other behaviour was concerned for far too long.
As an example, I find his statements on genetics far more sensible than those of Steven Pinker (as they should be, as Pinker is a psychologist).

326 Andy November 26, 2014 at 5:39 am

Azure ungulate

Excellent job! You detected my appeal to authority.

Erm, nope – “I want to research x, so I´ll check some random guy´s CV” is not an appeal to authority. It is really just incredibly dumb.

That’s two logical fallacies in two days

Ah, you are one of those guys who don´t anything about logical fallacies beyond the ultra-short summary on the wikipedia list of fallacies. Even if you had appealed to authority (which you did not) this would not have necessarily been fallacious. An appeal to authority is made fallacious by appealing to either a) false authority (e.g. a creationist who has a degree and work experience in mechanical engineering whose “expert opinion” is quoted in a question about population genetics) and / or b) appealing to authority that is not representative (e.g. James Shapiro´s opinion on “natural genetic engineering”, which is based on actual expertise in the relevant fields but is also an opinion that is shared by virtually no one else in the field).

But let’s not stop now. You SJWs too often rest on your laurels instead of pushing on through. Just look at Rebecca Watson, tweeting…

I´m not going to look at anyone tweeting because I´d rather stab my eye with a rusty fork than use twitter.

about not getting her pizza in her hotel room on a free trip to Australia while Ferguson burns; it’s just a sad echo of what earned her the love of the White Knights of the Order of Dear Muslima.

Wow, coherent thoughts for the win, eh?

327 John Greg November 26, 2014 at 5:45 am

Whoosh (or should that be Floosh!); right over s/h/it’s head.

—–>>>> ZOOOOM

328 Andy November 26, 2014 at 5:53 am

Crackerboy #316
“I do laugh at Andy, a member of the horde…”
Why does everybody think that it is the horde and only the horde that considers you to be pond scum?

329 Andy November 26, 2014 at 6:11 am

Azure ungulate

Ah, so the “non-Darwinian evolution” stuff is another attempt to get some dirt on PZ? You should have said so! I really almost never browse your “conversations” at the sewage pit because you are boring as hell, so I missed that.
Well, that does mean though that you (and this Matt Cav…whatever guy) fail as badly as Shatterface (see #206 and #214) in the only thing that gives your life a sense of purpose – frantically reading and screencapping everything that anyone associated with PZ Myers in any way ever said anywhere, and looking for dirt on PZ.
Protip: focus a little more on quality instead of quantity when you look for dirt and if said dirt includes words that you don´t understand at all, like “non-darwinian evolution” for example, maybe read up on what that stuff means first.

330 MadMike November 26, 2014 at 6:23 am

@Andy
Why do you consider him pond scum?

331 Gunboat Diplomat November 26, 2014 at 7:43 am

@Gerardo

PZ Myers scientific credibility is being attacked in this comments section in a way that makes the attackers look like fools. There is a growing debate within evolutionary biology over the centrality of the selfish gene paradigm. Regardless of ones position in this debate, it is a real scientific debate and has been going on for a few years now. As a developmental biologist PZ Myers unsurprisiginly takes a minority but mainstream viewpoint.

The dogmatism displayed by some commenters here who claim to be “skeptics” is dismaying. Questioning the selfish gene paradigm? You must be clueless about evolution. Criticise evolutionary psychology as a field? You must be a post-modernist dualist AND be clueless about evolution. Ugh.

332 Jan Steen November 26, 2014 at 11:41 am

Paul Myers, an obscure assistant professor of biology from Morris, Minnesota, had a dream. He envisaged a New Theory of Evolution. He was going to write a book, a real book, about it, with the working title Natural Revelation. It was going to make him famous. About seven years ago he was invited to accompany Larry Moran on a trip to England, where he discussed his theory with the eminent evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins. Unfortunately, we do not know how Dawkins responded to Myers’s castle in the sky, or if there was any coherent theory in the first place. We do know that the book never materialised. Instead, The Happy Atheist materialised.

Paul Z. “PZ” Myers, assistant professor of biology at the University of Minnesota, Morris, has a theory of evolution that he recently took right to the source – the birthplace and home of Charles Darwin. Myers’ long-time colleague, Larry Moran of the University of Toronto, arranged for Myers to accompany him on a trip to England. While in England they talked with Richard Dawkins, who currently holds an endowed chair as the Charles Simonyi Professor of the Public Understanding of Science at Oxford University.

(…)

A developmental biologist (one who studies embryos), Myers discussed with Dawkins the latter’s book, titled The God Delusion. Dawkins takes a strong atheistic view with which Myers essentially agrees. “We disagree on the scientific issues, however,” added Myers, “such as on the relative importance of selection in evolutionary history.” Although Myers views Dawkins as a well-spoken, quiet person, he also noted that Dawkins is the biggest “popularizer…a big man for communicating science to the public.”

(…)

Myers is also in the process of writing his own book about evolution and developmental biology, atheism and creationism, with the working title Natural Revelation.

http://www.morris.umn.edu/newsevents/view.php?itemID=2341

We don’t know what Myers’s theory entailed, but we can get some clues from what he has written on his blog, and from what he said in the article quoted above.

“We disagree (…) on the relative importance of selection in evolutionary history.”

Earlier this year, Myers wrote:

First thing you have to know: the revolution is over. Neutral and nearly neutral theory won. The neutral theory states that most of the variation found in evolutionary lineages is a product of random genetic drift. Nearly neutral theory is an expansion of that idea that basically says that even slightly advantageous or deleterious mutations will escape selection — they’ll be overwhelmed by effects dependent on population size. This does not in any way imply that selection is unimportant, but only that most molecular differences will not be a product of adaptive, selective changes.

To Myers this is apparently evidence that the importance of selection has been overstated by prominent figures in evolutionary biology such as Dawkins, Joe Felsenstein and Jerry Coyne. Presumably, then, his theory would have downplayed the importance of natural selection. But what Myers writes is at least bordering on the disingenuous. Certainly, if you merely count the number of genetic changes, then most of the variation in terms of number of changes is random and neutral, not subject to selection. That is because most of these changes make very little if any difference to the organism. But as soon as there is a change that does make a significant difference, selection will kick in. All major changes in the history of life on earth, such as the evolution of photosynthesis, the evolution of sight, the evolution of wings, the evolution of intelligence, can only be rationally explained by natural selection, not by random, neutral drift. If you claim otherwise, creationists would be justified in accusing you of believing the equivalent of thinking that a tornado in a junkyard could produce a functioning airplane. Random drift with or without Neutral Theory (Neutral Theory and random drift are separate things, something which is apparently lost on Myers) may in some cases explain why there are birds with a blue bill and others with a green bill that are for the rest quite similar, but it is hardly the major driving force behind evolution, otherwise there would still only be organisms as simple as (or even simpler than) bacteria around.

With his unjustified belittling of the role of natural selection Myers is, ironically, playing straight into the hands of the creationists. The man is certainly doing his best to leave a pernicious legacy all round.

333 Jan Steen November 26, 2014 at 11:44 am

It may be helpful to point out that the first quote is from 2007, the second from 2014.

334 Andy November 26, 2014 at 1:28 pm

Jan Steen #331

But what Myers writes is at least bordering on the disingenuous. Certainly, if you merely count the number of genetic changes, then most of the variation in terms of number of changes is random and neutral, not subject to selection. That is because most of these changes make very little if any difference to the organism. But as soon as there is a change that does make a significant difference, selection will kick in.

The “significant” in “significant difference” is not subjective, you can calculate the threshold for fitness deltas that are “invisible” to selection, and it is not the same for all populations – selection is very strong in very large populations (bacteria, marine invertebrates, some fungi) and very weak in small populations. This is not new, people (this includes Felsenstein btw) have worked out most of the math behind this several decades ago. Mutations that cause quite noticeable fitness differences can become fixated through genetic drift – what is controversial is how many traits were affected by this, particularly in humans. Some people go as far as saying that genetic drift is the main underlying reason for why eukaryotes have introns (and not based on pure speculation, Michael Lynch´s research on this hypothesis includes plenty of experimental results, and has been published in top tier journals including Nature, Science and PNAS).

All major changes in the history of life on earth, such as the evolution of photosynthesis, the evolution of sight, the evolution of wings, the evolution of intelligence, can only be rationally explained by natural selection, not by random, neutral drift.

And no one says that they could be explained without selection. All complex traits are based on many mutations and affected by selection AND drift.

With his unjustified belittling of the role of natural selection Myers is, ironically, playing straight into the hands of the creationists.

No, ironically, it is people like you who both act like creationists and play into the hand of creationists here. You act like creationists because you ignore the scientific literature completely and argue based on prejudice instead of reason. And you play into the hands of creationists because you trying to wish genetic drift away against all facts simultaneously destroys the best theoretical and experimental reasons we have for why there have been no evolutionary pathways that would have at one moment strictly required 3 (or 4, or 5 or 10) *specific* mutations *simultaneously*. Check out the research of people like Joe Thornton who try to reconstruct such pathways and who have shown that complex changes that required several mutations, did not require that all of those mutations happen *at once* because the evolutionary pathways went through neutral intermediates. Google “The Blind Locksmith Continued: An Update from Joe Thornton” for an easily digestible explanation.

335 Aneris ✻ November 26, 2014 at 2:32 pm

PZ Myers views seem to be closer to Richard Lewontin or J. J. Gould at least on the question of genetic determinism. I didn’t get the impression his views are as eccentric as portrayed here and if they were, his reputation would have plummeted long ago. His job as a teacher is fine, too. What’s wrong with that?

There is a danger of confusing a satirically infused, sitcom character Peezus with the living person PZ Myers. One is an angry demagogue who never has anything nice to say and knows no nuance, the other is the caricature who leers at blue-haired mermaids trapped in elevators.

The failed scientist who does his “studies” with half-dead zebra fish from petsmart and whose genius is always thwarted by some unforeseen circumstance, and more often his own short temper, belongs more to the caricature, too. It may be grounded in reality to some degree, but once you have the narrative in place – that goes for all sides – you tend to notice whatever confirms this view more than what would alleviate it.

336 Skepsheik November 26, 2014 at 2:49 pm

I’ve not seen any evidence to suggest that PZ Myers views on evolution are out of the ordinary. As suggested previously, his views seem closer to those of Gould rather than selectionists like Dawkins or Coyne but I’ve not see him seriously claim anything that is particularly unusual in biological terms. True, his recent opposition to Evo Psych was rather pitiful, but I always put that down to him trying to stick up for his non scientific friend, Rebecca Watson, who had dismissed the entire field out of hand. He had little recourse but to follow her line, otherwise he would have demonstrated her seemingly complete ignorance of the field.
I think it’s fair to criticise his current research – especially when he claims on his conference bios that he ‘works with zebrafish’, but to claim he doesn’t understand evolution is just silly.

337 JetLagg November 26, 2014 at 3:05 pm

Hmm. Thanks everyone for clearing that up for me. It’s obvious now that Myers doesn’t understand the first thing about evolution.

338 Crackity Jones November 26, 2014 at 3:16 pm

Andy: Why does everybody think that it is the horde and only the horde that considers you to be pond scum?

Why does The Horde think we class them as rape apologists? What The Horde thinks and considers is irrelevant. What intelligent people consider is important. You, PZ, Ophelia and many others at FTB and beyond are rape apologists, providing a safe haven for a self-confessed child rapist. Even PZ and Stephanie Zvan have admitted this.

So, in summary, don’t ever lecture me old boy, when it is ME who holds the moral high ground.

339 Crackity Jones November 26, 2014 at 3:19 pm

Andy: Ah, so the “non-Darwinian evolution” stuff is another attempt to get some dirt on PZ?

We have more than enough dirt on PZ (some of which is going to be updated on Wikipedia, especially the rape apology stuff) without including his views on evolution.

340 Jan Steen November 26, 2014 at 3:34 pm

Amusing to see Andy the clueless trying to lecture me. None of his ‘objections’ actually contradict what I had written. A graduate of Google University, I presume?

341 Jan Steen November 26, 2014 at 3:42 pm

Let me quote Joe Felsenstein:

I am not sure what has been proven:

1. That genetic drift is responsible for more changes of gene frequency than other evolutionary forces? True, but since these are zillions of little jiggles of gene frequency and some of the them cancel each other out, it is open to question as to whether this make genetic drift the major force in evolution. Whatever “major force” means.

2. That the many adaptations that we see are not the result of natural selection? Gould and Lewontin made the point in their “Spandrels of San Marco” paper that we could not assume that any adaptation we saw was itself directly brought about by natural selection for that purpose. But the high level of adaptation of living systems (a level they have to have, else they could not survive and reproduce) must have been the result of natural selection. Mutational processes alone and/or genetic drift alone just could not have made a bird that flies or a fish that swims, not ever.

3. That if we conclude that, in addition to natural selection, neutral mutation has caused a lot of molecular differences within and between species, then we have rejected the Modern Synthesis? That is just semantics, but it has consequences, and unfortunate ones. Are readers to infer that the lessons they learned in school, telling them that the adaptations of living organisms are the result of natural selection, are now to be discarded?

I think that it would be a tragedy if the promotion of a series of newer and newer evolutionary theories causes people to forget the one important point — that if there is no natural selection you will not get (or maintain) adaptations.

342 Jan Steen November 26, 2014 at 3:43 pm
343 Andy November 26, 2014 at 3:49 pm

Jan Steen #340

None of his ‘objections’ actually contradict what I had written.

Oh really?
Lets see…
1. Jan Steen says that “as soon as there is a change that does make a significant difference, selection will kick in”. I correct him and point out that particularly in small populations, this is not necessarily true.
2. Jan Steen implies that it can be only 100% selection or 100% drift and says that complex traits “can only be rationally explained by natural selection, not by random, neutral drift”. I correct him and point out that all complex traits are based on many mutations and are affected by both selection AND drift. I could also add that there are complex traits for which there is very good evidence (published in top tier journals including Nature, Science and PNAS) that drift was in fact more important than selection was (see Michael Lynch´s “The Origins of Genome Architecture” for a slightly outdated and technical but still great overview)
3. Jan Steen says that PZ “plays into the hands of creationists” with his “unjustified belittling of the role of natural selection”. I correct him and point out that PZ´s opinions are completely orthodox and that it is actually Jan Steen who plays into the hands of creationists by wishing aways the best theoretical and experimental reasons we have for showing that evolution never required *many* *specific* mutations simultaneously.

Yeah, looks like I totally didn´t contradict Jan Steen! No wait, my bad – Jan Steen is an ignoramus and I contradicted pretty much everything he said.

344 Jan Steen November 26, 2014 at 3:51 pm

Anyway, the main point of this digression is that Myers is, as usual, disingenuous in the way he tries to downplay the importance of selection. The guy is just fractally disingenuous.

345 JetLagg November 26, 2014 at 3:52 pm

You still haven’t shown Myers has any knowledge of evolution whatsoever though. That’s what you need to accomplish here.

346 Andy November 26, 2014 at 3:53 pm

Jan Steen #341
Oh FFS, you are addressing a strawman – no one says that selection is completely unimportant in general and there is also no one who says that there are complex traits for which selection didn´t play any role at all. PZ doesn´t do this and I have seen no one else doing it either.
You are still wrong about the three points listed in my last comment.

347 Andy November 26, 2014 at 3:56 pm

JetLagg #337

Hmm. Thanks everyone for clearing that up for me. It’s obvious now that Myers doesn’t understand the first thing about evolution.

Thanks! This is a particularly interesting example of the Dunning-Kruger effect. JetLagg ignores members of his ingroup (Aneris and SkepSheik) who do not confirm his preconceived ideas that PZ must be 100% evil and 100% stupid about everything , but immediately and unquestioningly accepts as gospel truth what other members of his ingroup (Blueshift Rhino and Jan Steen) tell him because this DOES confirm his preconceived ideas.
Fascinating.

348 Jan Steen November 26, 2014 at 3:57 pm

Does Andy think that genetic variation is the same thing as drift, or what?

349 JetLagg November 26, 2014 at 4:00 pm

JetLagg ignores members of his ingroup (Aneris and SkepSheik) who do not confirm his preconceived ideas that PZ must be 100% evil and 100% stupid about everything

Where did this happen? I don’t remember reading anything like that. Quote the relevant text please.

350 Andy November 26, 2014 at 4:03 pm

Jan Steen #348

Does Andy think that genetic variation is the same thing as drift, or what?

What the…? And what gives you that idea if I may ask?

351 Jan Steen November 26, 2014 at 4:08 pm

Just as a reminder, this is what PZ Myers wrote:

First thing you have to know: the revolution is over. Neutral and nearly neutral theory won. The neutral theory states that most of the variation found in evolutionary lineages is a product of random genetic drift. Nearly neutral theory is an expansion of that idea that basically says that even slightly advantageous or deleterious mutations will escape selection — they’ll be overwhelmed by effects dependent on population size. This does not in any way imply that selection is unimportant, but only that most molecular differences will not be a product of adaptive, selective changes.

Is PZ here not hyping Neutral Theory (while conflating it with genetic drift) and downplaying the role of selection? Is he not providing fuel to creationists who pretend that evolution is just random change, and therefore cannot explain adaptations?

This is New Scientist style “Darwin Was Wrong” rhetoric.

352 Andy November 26, 2014 at 4:23 pm

@Everyone who is interested in this tangent about selection and drift.

1. *Every* college level introductory textbook on evolutionary biology published in this century – Futuyma, Barton et al., Ridley, Strickberger, Stearns and Hoekstra, all of them – contains a chapter on genetic drift. It might be wise to read one of those chapters before you form any strong conclusions.
2. There is no debate about whether genetic drift exists or not, it does exist, that is completely uncontroversial. What is controversial is how important it was, particularly in the human lineage and particularly for complex traits. There are some people (that does include Dawkins) who believe that pretty much every “interesting” trait can be almost completely explained in terms of natural selection (although even Dawkins no longer claims that selection is completely sufficient to explain all interesting traits).
This view gets harder and harder to defend with every passing year and the number of publications that explicitly contradict it is growing. Michael Lynch is the most popular (not the only one, only the most popular) advocate for the position that genetic drift did play a very significant role, and he is by no means a nobody – he is a member of the NAS with a huge publication record including many publications in top tier journals on this very issue. Particularly the subcommunities within biological research that work with genomics data and / or on issues related to population genetics largely agree with Lynch on this.
Check out Larry Moran´s opinion (I assume he still has some street cred among atheists / skeptics?):
http://sandwalk.blogspot.de/2012/02/michael-lynch-on-adaptationism.html
Or check out Lynch´s book:
http://www.amazon.com/Origins-Genome-Architecture-Michael-Lynch/dp/0878934847

353 piero November 26, 2014 at 4:32 pm

I believe this discussion is drifting away from the topic and becoming unnecessarily offensive.

I don’t see how Myers’s views on evolution could have any relevance. It is up to biologists to determine how well any given theory fits the data, and that’s all I, as a layman, can say. I presume most people don’t understand the finer aspects of evolutionary theory and are not considering becoming an expert in order to make sense of the diatribe.

I agree with Aneris: it’s too easy to merge Peezus with Myers and lose sight of what is acceptable irony and what is unwarranted abuse. I really don’t see the point of bringing what Myers does for a living into a discussion arising from blog posts and tweets.

Concerning the accusation that the phlock, aka the horde, harbour a rapist, it should be clarified for consistency. The prevalent opinion amongst slymepitters seems to be that the self-confessed rapist has been less than fully sincere; hence, the accusation really concerns a belief rather than an established fact.

354 Andy November 26, 2014 at 4:32 pm

Jan Steen

Is PZ here not hyping Neutral Theory (while conflating it with genetic drift)[1] and downplaying the role of selection?[2] Is he not providing fuel to creationists who pretend that evolution is just random change[3], and therefore cannot explain adaptations?

1. No. It doesn´t need to be “hyped” because this is what the textbooks say anyway – on the molecular level, most changes are selectively neutral or nearly so – this is completely uncontroversial.
2. No. Because (nearly) neutral theory PER SE does in no way, shape or form imply that these “most changes” mentioned above actually do anything interesting or noticeable. It would be (again, per se) compatible with the view that those (nearly) neutral changes have in sum a huge impact on the evolutionary trajectory of a complex trait, and it would also be compatible with the view that those (nearly) neutral changes didn´t have any noticeable impact on the evolutionary trajectory of a complex trait.
3. No. Because this is not an either / or situation – it is always about selection AND drift. Situations are possible where drift is almost negligible (especially due to huge population sizes) or where selection is much weaker than drift is (a population bottleneck for example) – but it will always be both. This is not (and never was) about denying that selection exists, it is also not about denying that selection is very important, this is about facing the reality that drift is real and cannot be ignored. Even panselectionists like Dawkins were forced to admit that. The questions left are how important were drift and selection relatively for a particular trait in a particular lineage.

355 Jan Steen November 26, 2014 at 4:50 pm

And this is simply wrong:

The neutral theory states that most of the variation found in evolutionary lineages is a product of random genetic drift.

Neutral Theory says that most of the genetic variation does not influence fitness and is not subject to selection. It doesn’t say that the variation is caused by random genetic drift.

One would expect a scientist like Myers to be more accurate in he writes, especially if it is the subject he is supposed to teach.

Cue Andy white-knighting Myers.

356 Matt Cavanaugh November 26, 2014 at 4:50 pm

Gunboat links to Pigliucci’s 2007 call for the need to create an “extended evolutionary thesis” that includes certain non-darwinian processes. Whether the number calling for this is indeed “growing”, the young turks have so far only demanded a new synthesis, not produced one.

Gunboat’s also links to a point-counterpoint in Nature. I recommend reading the counterpoint as an anecdote to Gunboat’s strawmanning @ 331 of adherents to darwinism.

Myers’ positions go well beyond the EES school, and even EES advocates like Larry Moran @ Sandwalk have taken PZ to task for getting things terribly wrong. Coyne effectively exposed Myers’ misunderstanding of Assimilation as lamarckism. As I mentioned above, Myers can’t decide between the completely wrong (individual selection) and the only slightly less wrong (group selection.) He’s described the decidedly gene-centric Hamilton’s Kin Selection as group selection. His views on the adaptive fitness of homosexuality are unique, bizarre, and imply “striving”.

In any case, as a college instructor, Myers should be teaching orthodox evolution, not telling his students Darwin, Fisher (& insert Hamilton via Dawkins) got it mostly wrong. Also, I for one, want my advocates of evolution, who go up against IDers and creationists, to believe in evolution by natural selection.

Perhaps another schism is forming, to give birth to Atheism + Methylation.

357 Jan Steen November 26, 2014 at 4:51 pm

*more accurate in what he writes*

358 Aneris ✻ November 26, 2014 at 4:52 pm

We can acknowledge that Andy is eager to discuss any digression (which he caused, in part, himself) yet refuses to address any substance on the actual subject. Have you been convinced of some double standards yet, Andy. And if not, why not? You’ve got some more exaples in the meantime, unless you overlooked them.

359 tina November 26, 2014 at 4:53 pm

Come off the Kool Aid Myers. You’ll feel better.

http://www.mcgilldaily.com/2014/11/everything-problematic/

360 JetLagg November 26, 2014 at 5:00 pm

The digression was far more interesting than the original conversation, and Andy displays more competence in it than he did anywhere else (though he still seems incapable of seeing the forest for the trees, not recognizing when his arguments don’t actually contradict Jan Steen’s for example, or when he’s clearly being trolled).

361 Andy November 26, 2014 at 5:05 pm

Jan Steen #355

And this is simply wrong:

The neutral theory states that most of the variation found in evolutionary lineages is a product of random genetic drift.

Neutral Theory says that most of the genetic variation does not influence fitness and is not subject to selection. It doesn’t say that the variation is caused by random genetic drift.

*sigh* Well then feel free to edit the wiki page on the neutral theory because it starts with:
“The neutral theory of molecular evolution holds that at the molecular level most evolutionary changes and most of the variation within and between species is not caused by natural selection but by random drift of mutant alleles that are neutral.”
Or let it be, because people more knowledgeable than you will revert the change anyway. It is NOT wrong, it is not even misleading to phrase it like this. I don´t even know what you don´t get about this – I have a hunch but it is not my job to explain this to you, feel free to start an edit war on the wiki page for the neutral theory to get a free lecture on why you are wrong here.

362 Matt Cavanaugh November 26, 2014 at 5:05 pm

Aneris wrote: PZ Myers views seem to be closer to Richard Lewontin or J. J. Gould at least on the question of genetic determinism. I didn’t get the impression his views are as eccentric as portrayed here and if they were, his reputation would have plummeted long ago.

IIRC, Myers is a big fan of Gould. And, while Gould did ask annoying questions that forced darwinians to tighten up their models (esp. re. punctuated equilibrium), pretty much every view of Gould’s has been debunked. I recommend Kim Sterelny’s even-handed and well-written _Dawkins vs. Gould: Survival of the Fittest_

Piero wrote: believe this discussion is drifting away from the topic and becoming unnecessarily offensive. I don’t see how Myers’s views on evolution could have any relevance.

The conversation itself seems to be ‘evolving’, a common event in blog comment streams. The question of Myers’ competency in science is germane to the broader question of whether Myers is a suitable public advocate for A/S.

If we are accurately representing Myers’ views on evolution — currently disputed by Gunboat and Andy — then how is it that “offensive”?

363 Matt Cavanaugh November 26, 2014 at 5:09 pm

For 330-odd comments, Andy indulged in nothing but word salad, evasion, and toying with nyms. Then, all of a sudden, he can lucidly explain PZ Myers’ views on non-darwinian evolution to a T. Anybody else find this, I dunno, kinda fishy?

364 piero November 26, 2014 at 5:26 pm

@Matt:

The conversation itself seems to be ‘evolving’, a common event in blog comment streams. The question of Myers’ competency in science is germane to the broader question of whether Myers is a suitable public advocate for A/S.

I think his behaviour towards Michael is proof enough of his unsuitability.

If we are accurately representing Myers’ views on evolution — currently disputed by Gunboat and Andy — then how is it that “offensive”?

Well, there was this, for instance:

Instead of using the references that you provided, I went to PZ’s CV, instead. I found almost nothing. Not just nothing on the topic that we’re discussing right now. I mean that I found almost nothing.

And this:

As you seem to be familiar with what PZ Myers is doing with those tanks of Petsmart zebrafish[…]

And this:

It’s obvious now that Myers doesn’t understand the first thing about evolution.

And this:

You still haven’t shown Myers has any knowledge of evolution whatsoever though.

365 Jan Steen November 26, 2014 at 5:38 pm

If wiki is the fount of your wisdom that explains a lot. :)

366 JetLagg November 26, 2014 at 5:46 pm

If you’re saying Andy is actually Myers. I got there ages before you :p

367 Andy November 26, 2014 at 5:51 pm

Jan Steen #364

If wiki is the fount of your wisdom that explains a lot.

Cute. So if I´d look up the introduction of the genetic drift chapter in one of the introductory textbooks that I have available here (seven in total, including the most widely used one: Futuyma´s “Evolution”), and post it, you´d then presumably start talking about the huge conspiracy that is responsible for spreading this false view, correct?
Please say “yes” :-)

PS: Do you know this feeling when you talk to creationists and they first reject wiki as source that is in any way credible, and then start also rejecting textbooks and peer-reviewed papers, while simultaneously accepting as gospel truth whatever random hearsay they picked up in their community of like-minded people?

368 Andy November 26, 2014 at 5:55 pm

JetLagg #365

If you’re saying Andy is actually Myers. I got there ages before you :p

Boy do I love this thread… JetLagg, it would be very nice if you could post some more – you seem to be at least as hilariously incompetent as Shatterface and Blueshift Rhino 😉

369 JetLagg November 26, 2014 at 5:56 pm

Andy, you still haven’t quoted where the in-group disagreed with me. Or explained how me ignoring it demonstrates the Dunning-Kruger effect.

370 JetLagg November 26, 2014 at 6:29 pm

Bah… Piero you’ve ruined it for me. I was yanking Andy’s chain (as I’m convinced by now that he’s incapable of, or unwilling to argue in good faith), but I don’t want to yank yours as well. I don’t think Myers is ignorant of evolution, and even if I did, I’d not really be qualified to make the proclamation.

I also, for the record, don’t think Andy is actually Myers. The cowardice of using a sock puppet fits, as does the background knowledge of what goes on in the field, but at the end of the day it just seems to crazy.

371 piero November 26, 2014 at 6:47 pm

Ooops. Sorry about that, JetLagg.
I’ll make myself scarce.
Flooosh!

372 Matt Cavanaugh November 26, 2014 at 7:14 pm

Piero, I suspect that many people have put up with Myers’ rude & caustic behavior because they viewed him as an invaluable asset in the fight against anti-evolutionists. So a discussion of his actual value as such seems a reasonable tangent.

If my understanding of Myers’ views on evolution is accurate, then my assessment that he “doesn’t understand the first thing about evolution” is at worst, only slight hyperbole — especially if “the first thing” can be dated back to 1859.

373 Matt Cavanaugh November 26, 2014 at 7:55 pm

Based on his collection of textbooks, can we safely assume that Andy is some sort of academic? But Andy’s argument from personal expertise against Jan Steen is misdirected. For Jan is merely presenting the orthodox position of Darwin, Fisher, Haldane, Wright, Hamilton, Williams, Maynard Smith et al. Like Myers, Andy’s rejection of their work is, by definition, unorthodox. Andy & Gunboat’s observation that a minority of scientists want to augment or replace that orthodox view, is not sufficient cause to dismiss the orthodoxy. There’s more to pulling off a scientific revolution than simply declaring the revolution over & won.

And so we’re still left with the question, do we want representing secularists on the topic of evolution someone who rejects the orthodox, majority-held theory of evolution; someone debating creationists who doesn’t think natural selection does very much?

374 Andy November 26, 2014 at 8:25 pm

Matt Cavanaugh,

For Jan is merely presenting the orthodox position of Darwin, Fisher, Haldane, Wright, Hamilton, Williams, Maynard Smith et al. Like Myers, Andy’s rejection of their work is, by definition, unorthodox.

Actually, it was Jan who rejected the “orthodox” position and me who represented it. Be specific, which “orthodox position of Darwin, Fisher, Haldane, Wright, Hamilton, Williams, Maynard Smith et al.” is it that I have rejected here in your opinion?

375 Andy November 26, 2014 at 8:30 pm

Also, @Matt Cavanaugh:

And so we’re still left with the question, do we want representing secularists on the topic of evolution someone who rejects the orthodox, majority-held theory of evolution; someone debating creationists who doesn’t think natural selection does very much?

And who exactly believes that? I certainly do not and neither does Myers. There are situations where genetic drift can be stronger than natural selection – population bottlenecks for example. And that is a completely “orthodox” opinion, you can look it up in “Evolutionary Genetics” by Maynard-Smith (that seems to be one of the authorities you trust). And that also doesn´t mean or imply that “natural selection doesn´t do very much”.

376 Jan Steen November 26, 2014 at 9:53 pm

The problem with Andy is that he can only think in false dichotomies. So when I say that selection* is far more important than genetic drift in explaining adaptations, he jumps to the conclusion that I am saying that there is no such thing as genetic drift. Or that I deny that there are neutral changes. Nonsense. I am merely of the opinion, like most ‘orthodox’ evolutionary biologists, that the Neutral Theory is not at all a revolution in evolutionary theory, as Myers wants you to believe, but at best an interesting addition to the Modern Synthesis.

I forgot to address one of the silliest ‘points’ Andy made. He wrote:

Jan Steen says that PZ “plays into the hands of creationists” with his “unjustified belittling of the role of natural selection”. I correct him and point out that PZ´s opinions are completely orthodox and that it is actually Jan Steen who plays into the hands of creationists by wishing aways the best theoretical and experimental reasons we have for showing that evolution never required *many* *specific* mutations simultaneously.

What on earth are you babbling about here? I haven’t the faintest idea. What am I wishing away?

*given a background of random mutations

377 Andy November 26, 2014 at 10:27 pm

Jan Steen,

The problem with Andy is that he can only think in false dichotomies. So when I say that selection* is far more important than genetic drift in explaining adaptations, he jumps to the conclusion that I am saying that there is no such thing as genetic drift.

You have just changed your position, because previously you wrote:
“All major changes in the history of life on earth, such as the evolution of photosynthesis, the evolution of sight, the evolution of wings, the evolution of intelligence, can only be rationally explained by natural selection, not by random, neutral drift.”
– You explicitly say “can only be rationally explained by natural selection, not by random, neutral drift”, and if you reconstruct the evolutionary trajectories of adaptions (e.g. the work that Joe Thornton or Richard Lenski do) you see that selection AND drift are required to explain them (to variying degrees – there are situations where drift is negligible and there are situations where drift is hugely important). An “adaptation” by definition involves selection, but that doesn´t mean that the evolutionary trajectory that led to this adaptation ONLY went through steps that were in itself adaptive – it doesn´t have to be like that and for the scenarios that are known in detail, it is NOT like that, they involve selection AND drift.

I am merely of the opinion, like most ‘orthodox’ evolutionary biologists, that the Neutral Theory is not at all a revolution in evolutionary theory, as Myers wants you to believe, but at best an interesting addition to the Modern Synthesis.

Cool. That is exactly what I believe as well. Feel free to point out where Myers argues that neutral theory completely overturns the field. Hint: he didn´t.

I forgot to address one of the silliest ‘points’ Andy made. He wrote:

Jan Steen says that PZ “plays into the hands of creationists” with his “unjustified belittling of the role of natural selection”. I correct him and point out that PZ´s opinions are completely orthodox and that it is actually Jan Steen who plays into the hands of creationists by wishing aways the best theoretical and experimental reasons we have for showing that evolution never required *many* *specific* mutations simultaneously.

What on earth are you babbling about here? I haven’t the faintest idea. What am I wishing away?

Your personal ignorance doesn´t make something silly. What I pointed out is that your previous statements – like “…can only be rationally explained by natural selection, not by random, neutral drift” – would invalidate research like that of Thornton and Lenski in their reconstructions of evolutionary trajectories that led to a particular adaptive change. And these reconstructions show that the mutations involved in a particular complex adaptive change never had to occur all at once (at least for no example that is known (and there are good theoretical reasons for why we´ll never find one)) – and that does involve the fact that you can break these trajectories down into steps that involve neutral intermediates. Look up a review on “epistasis” and look up one of the detailed studies of e.g. Lenski and Thornton if you are interested in understanding this. Your earlier claim that this “can only be rationally explained by natural selection, not by random, neutral drift” would invalidate their research because their findings point to selection AND drift. So it is actually you who is playing into the hands of creationists.

378 Andy November 26, 2014 at 10:41 pm

Jan Steen,
regarding the last point in my previous comment – maybe this is easier to understand:
Imagine that a particular adaptation requires three mutations A, B and C. Now imagine further that A and B would be (nearly) neutral in itself while C would be deleterious in itself (without A and B already being present). All three mutations happening simultaneously is extremely unlikely (and if you make the example more complex, this turns into “astronomically unlikely”). But since A and B are (nearly) neutral, this means that some members of the population most likely already have one of those mutations or both of them anyway thanks to genetic drift – which means that they can can get A+B+C with just ONE mutation.
This is not an unlikely scenario – this happens all the time (again, look a a review on “epistasis”), and this is the single best counterargument against these silly creationist calculations that we have because biological reality *demonstrably* is like that.

379 Jan Steen November 26, 2014 at 10:53 pm

You have just changed your position, because previously you wrote:
“All major changes in the history of life on earth, such as the evolution of photosynthesis, the evolution of sight, the evolution of wings, the evolution of intelligence, can only be rationally explained by natural selection, not by random, neutral drift.”

Look again Andy. In particular, look at the second word, and read it slowly. “Major.” Get it? Look it up in a dictionary.

Feel free to point out where Myers argues that neutral theory completely overturns the field. Hint: he didn´t.

I actually used the word “revolution.” Like Myers did here:

First thing you have to know: the revolution is over. Neutral and nearly neutral theory won.

The revolution is over. The. Revolution. Should I spell it for you? R.e.v.o.l.u.t.i.o.n.

Your earlier claim that this “can only be rationally explained by natural selection, not by random, neutral drift” would invalidate their research because their findings point to selection AND drift.

You’re quote mining here. I said “All major changes in the history of life on earth, such as the evolution of photosynthesis, the evolution of sight, the evolution of wings, the evolution of intelligence, can only be rationally explained by natural selection, not by random, neutral drift.”

With all due respect to the experimenters you mention, they haven’t shown one of those major changes to occur. It would be extremely unlikely that a long sequence of neutral changes would directly lead to a major adaptive innovation. It is far more likely that a sequence of mainly non-neutral changes, with perhaps a few neutral steps in between, is responsible. There is no requirement for all those steps to happen simultaneously. I don’t see what gave you that idea.

380 Andy November 26, 2014 at 11:06 pm

Jan Steen,

Look again Andy. In particular, look at the second word, and read it slowly. “Major.” Get it? Look it up in a dictionary.

This sentence: “…can only be rationally explained by natural selection, not by random, neutral drift” – cannot be parsed to mean selection AND drift. And that means that you are wrong. It is not either selection OR drift, it is usually both, and your earlier claim does not allow for that interpretation.

The revolution is over. The. Revolution. Should I spell it for you? R.e.v.o.l.u.t.i.o.n.

What constitutes a “revolution” is subjective (is it a “revolution” when it turned out that the earth is not exactly “spherical” but rather has an equatorial bulge and one pole slightly closer to the center than the other? Yes and no, that depends on what constitutes a “revolution” for you.) If by “revolution” you mean a change in opinion that overturns the field – then neutral theory is not that. If by “revolution” you mean a significant extension of the field, then it absolutely is that.

With all due respect to the experimenters you mention, they haven’t shown one of those major changes to occur.

Actually, they did show “major” changes. What Lenski showed wrt Cit+ E.coli for example is as “major” as it gets for this kind of resolution (where every single mutational step is reconstructed).

It would be extremely unlikely that a long sequence of neutral changes would directly lead to a major adaptive innovation.

And NO ONE says that this happens – what people say, and what is an completely orthodox opinion, is that neutral changes are PART OF the respective evolutionary trajectories.

There is no requirement for all those steps to happen simultaneously. I don’t see what gave you that idea.

Again, imagine an adaptive change that requires three mutations A,B and C. Now imagine that only the combination of all of them leads to a selectable difference, while two of the three mutations by themselves are (nearly) neutral and one of them is deleterious by itself (that means that it CANNOT be selected for). Without genetic drift creating neutral variation, that would mean that you need all three mutations *simultaneously* – and creationists would be completely justified in saying that this is unlikely (or astronomically unlikely in a more complex example). With genetic drift, it is not unlikely at all. And such scenarios are not wild speculations, there are good theoretical reasons for why this is the normal way of how adaptive changes come to be and for the scenarios that have been reconstructed in this detail, evolution DOES work like that.

381 Andy November 26, 2014 at 11:26 pm

Maybe, and this is just a hunch, your problem with neutral theory is that you think this is framed along the line of the New Scientist “Darwin was wrong” cover. *If* someone would frame it in such a way (and PZ certainly has not done THAT), that would have been very misleading and an extremely stupid PR move. That is absolutely not the point however – neutral theory is a very significant extension but it does fit into the bigger framework of evolutionary theory perfectly. People were “wrong” in the sense that most did not anticipate that most changes on the molecular level are (nearly) neutral (with hindsight, they should have anticipated this though for reasons that Kimura articulated well in the late sixties), and in the sense that they did not account for a significant and necessary extension of evolutionary theory. They were decidedly not wrong however about selection being central to evolutionary theory (and the mathematical framework that was developed within the modern synthesis was also not overturned but rather merely extended).
And again, neutral theory is not an unorthodox opinion, it is today a completely orthodox opinion. What remains controversial in this respect is the *relative* importance of drift for particular changes (including adaptive ones) in particular lineages. No relevant expert that I am aware of, including ultra-conservative panselectionists like Dawkins (it doesn´t get any more hardcore panselectionist than Dawkins – this is as extreme a position in this respect as I can think of) denies that genetic drift needs to be included within the overall explanatory framework of evolutionary theory.

382 Jan Steen November 27, 2014 at 12:02 am

Peezus Christ. Andy, Andy. Like Peezus you can never admit that you are wrong, can you?

I mention major evolutionary changes, and give some examples of such, and you suggest that two or three point mutations are equivalent.

I point out that Peezus used the word “revolution” with respect to the Neutral Theory, and you start equivocating, as if the word doesn’t mean what we all know it means. Just because you can’t admit that Peezus was engaging in hype.

Finally, selection can only occur when there is genetic variation to act on. That’s a given. Darwin already knew that. I said that major changes can not be attributed to drift alone. You seem to agree. To what extent drift plays any significant role in major adapative changes, such as for example the evolution of an eye, is an open question. What we can be sure of is that selection is the prime factor. A background of random mutations is a given in this process. Some of these mutations will be neutral, yes. And?

383 Andy November 27, 2014 at 12:17 am

Jan Steen,

I mention major evolutionary changes, and give some examples of such, and you suggest that two or three point mutations are equivalent.

No, I didn´t do that at all. I pointed out an observation about evolutionary changes that have been reconstructed in maximal detail (where each individual mutation is known), and you seem to assert that what is invariably observed here (and what is absolutely expected for theoretical reasons, due to what is known about the phenomenon of “epistasis”) magically will not happen for examples that are more complex.

I point out that Peezus used the word “revolution” with respect to the Neutral Theory, and you start equivocating, as if the word doesn’t mean what we all know it means. Just because you can’t admit that Peezus was engaging in hype.

Right, the way Peezus used that word in a scientific context was completely dishonest hyping of an issue, it is not at all the case that scientists frequently speak of “revolutions” although it is most emphatically not the case that the entire field has been overturned. No, wait… my bad, that actually happens frequently, like the non-coding RNA “revolution” for example ( http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0092867414003389 (hint: that is a peer-reviewed paper in the journal with an impact factor higher than Nature or Science, and another hint: genetics textbooks will be partly rewritten and partly extended due to this “revolution”, but >>95% of those textbooks will stay exactly as they are))
But of course, when Peezus uses the word like that, different rules apply.

I said that major changes can not be attributed to drift alone.

You can try to rewrite history as often as you want. What you actually did say and for which you now seem to realizes that it was ignorant was:
“…can only be rationally explained by natural selection, NOT by random, neutral drift” [emphasis mine] You neither said, nor implied, that drift was part of this explanation. Which means that you were wrong and are now too much of a coward to admit that.

What we can be sure of is that selection is the prime factor.

No. We cannot be sure of that at all. We actually know cases where it was not the prime factor (e.g. experimentally observed intronization events in Daphnia pulex). And the case that can currently be made for genetic drift being more important than selection for most biological factors that are about gene splicing in general, is an absolutely excellent one – this is not an obscure position at all but rather one that is argued for in top tier publications by eminent researchers in the field. That´s just one example – we could talk about roughly a dozen more.

384 Jan Steen November 27, 2014 at 12:41 am

Right, the way Peezus used that word in a scientific context was completely dishonest hyping of an issue, it is not at all the case that scientists frequently speak of “revolutions” although it is most emphatically not the case that the entire field has been overturned.

Yes, if you are not tone deaf you will recognize that it was dishonest hyping, to impress his lay audience.

To conclude, I cite Felsenstein again:

But the high level of adaptation of living systems (a level they have to have, else they could not survive and reproduce) must have been the result of natural selection. Mutational processes alone and/or genetic drift alone just could not have made a bird that flies or a fish that swims, not ever.

385 Andy November 27, 2014 at 12:51 am

Jan Steen,

Yes, if you are not tone deaf you will recognize that it was dishonest hyping, to impress his lay audience.

The example I have given you about the non-coding RNA “revolution”:
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0092867414003389
– has much less of an impact on the field of genetics, than neutral theory had on the field of evolutionary biology (in terms of how much of the relevant textbooks has to be extended and rewritten). And again, eminent researchers still call new findings about non-coding RNA a “revolution”. They do so prominently in title and abstract of publications aimed at experts, not aimed at a lay audience. In technical publications published in the most exclusive journal (higher impact factor than Nature or Science) there is for this kind of research. This is just one example – I could add many more to this list. So, do you say that those researchers were engaged in “dishonest hyping, to impress their lay audience” when they used the word “revolution” prominently in title, abstract and introduction of their technical publication aimed at experts in the most exclusive scientific journal there is for biologists? Yes or no? If your answer is “yes” – this would say something rather unflattering about your intelligence. If your answer is “no” this would say something rather unflattering about your integrity (because you apply a ridiculous double standard to Peezus simply because you hate the guy).

To conclude, I cite Felsenstein again:

But the high level of adaptation of living systems (a level they have to have, else they could not survive and reproduce) must have been the result of natural selection. Mutational processes alone and/or genetic drift alone just could not have made a bird that flies or a fish that swims, not ever.

Doesn´t contradict anything I said in any way, shape or form. I neither said nor implied that this could be done without selection – I explicitly said the exact opposite. What I also said was that genetic drift is a necessary explanatory factor for evolutionary changes, including adaptive ones, and that there are major adaptive changes for which an excellent case can be made that genetic drift was more important than selection was (in the sense that selection absolutely did play a very significant role in the evolution of (alternative) splicing, but there is extremely good evidence that without genetic drift, our genes wouldn´t have introns (and thus wouldn´t be spliced) AT ALL – to name just one example).

386 Jan Steen November 27, 2014 at 1:14 am

Andy:

If by “revolution” you mean a change in opinion that overturns the field – then neutral theory is not that.

Peezus:

First thing you have to know: the revolution is over. Neutral and nearly neutral theory won.

The new theory “won”. How can you read this in any other way than as: “Neutral and nonneutral theory have taken over from a previous theory. The field was overturned.” ?

Yep. Pure hype, by your own standards.

But by all means, keep white-knighting Peezus.

What I also said was that genetic drift is a necessary explanatory factor for evolutionary changes

Without proof. A few examples do not demonstrate that it is a necessary explanatory factor.

387 Jan Steen November 27, 2014 at 1:16 am

nonneutral -> nearly neutral

Night.

388 Andy November 27, 2014 at 1:32 am

Jan Steen,

The new theory “won”. How can you read this in any other way than as: “Neutral and nonneutral theory have taken over from a previous theory. The field was overturned.” ?

By not being an id**t. If you believe that this was intended to mean by Peezus (and in fact can be reasonably read to mean) that neutral theory replaced all that is known about evolutionary biology instead of having been integrated within evolutionary theory, then again, do you read this:

The Noncoding RNA Revolution—Trashing Old Rules to Forge New Ones
Thomas R. Cech & Joan A. Steitz
Noncoding RNAs (ncRNAs) accomplish a remarkable variety of biological functions. They regulate gene expression at the levels of transcription, RNA processing, and translation. They protect genomes from foreign nucleic acids. They can guide DNA synthesis or genome rearrangement. For ribozymes and riboswitches, the RNA structure itself provides the biological function, but most ncRNAs operate as RNA-protein complexes, including ribosomes, snRNPs, snoRNPs, telomerase, microRNAs, and long ncRNAs. Many, though not all, ncRNAs exploit the power of base pairing to selectively bind and act on other nucleic acids. Here, we describe the pathway of ncRNA research, where every established “rule” seems destined to be overturned.

– as meaning that the entire field of genetics has been overturned (instead of significant new findings being integrated within a MUCH bigger framework of genetics) and that those researchers were thus engaged in dishonest hyping to impress a lay audience?
Yes or no?

Without proof.

This “without proof” refers to genetic drift being a necessary explanatory factor – and given that every single introductory textbook on evolutionary biology published in this century devotes at least one entire chapter on this issue only (more advanced textbooks devoted to molecular evolution specifically use even more space for it), your “without proof” claim is breathtakingly ignorant.

A few examples do not demonstrate that it is a necessary explanatory factor.

The examples are actually sufficient to fill books and have been used to fill books, here´s one such book:
http://www.amazon.com/Origins-Genome-Architecture-Michael-Lynch/dp/0878934847 (this discusses dozens of examples published in hundreds of peer-reviewed publications)
Not too mention that there are excellent theoretical reasons for why this has to be so, see every review published on the issue of “epistasis” in scientific journals.

What you are doing is denialism at its finest.

389 Blueshift Rhino November 27, 2014 at 3:04 am

Well, at least this thread is back on topic: PZ said something very clear and very wrong, but here we have a member of the FtB Defense Corps trying to tell us that the words PZ used don’t mean what they mean, so PZ wasn’t wrong after all.

Wouldn’t it save time and energy if someone could just walk us through the mental gymnastics of how one or more of PZ’s most recent smears of our host were actually retractions and apologies, instead of more smears, so that we could all go back to our regularly scheduled lives?

390 MacGruberKnows November 27, 2014 at 4:04 am

Want evidence that Pharyngula is a closed jerk circle?” Fourth comment on the “Utterly unsurprising” thread at Pharyngula regarding the grand jury decision on the Michael Brown shooting:

*****
mamba24

Wasn’t enough evidence to convict/send to jury trial. Don’t assault police officers and try n take their guns. They’re still human beings and WILL respond aggressively. Black, white, brown, or blue. Doesn’t matter what your skin color is.

****

Sound somewhat reasonable?, I think so, maybe something for people to argue about but this response from PZ Meyers?:

*****

[Nope. Not going to let you motherfucking racists babble here. You’re gone. –pzm]

****

And the rest of the thread looks like something from a Stalin or North Korea newspaper; the commentariat fall all over themselves to see who can toe the line the closest.

And Greta Christina on her blog site at FTB bans a black man when he posts that he has changed his mind about the shooting after reading the Grand Juries decision and decided the officer had justifiable grounds for the shooting.

Her response to his reasonable post was: “Go fuck yourself. Blocked.”

The poster writes about it at: http://barrierbreaker.hubpages.com/hub/On-Getting-Blocked-By-Greta-Christina-Concerning-Last-Nights-Ferguson-Development

And her thread on the shooting carries on like a clone from Pharyngula’s thread.

Now go to the Slymepit site. Look at “Periodic Table of Swearing – The Undead Thread”, starting at about page 989. The pitters almost from the start begin arguing between themselves about the same grand jury decision. Some disagreements are polite. some are out and out flame wars.

And then a huge dispute between the pitter breaks out over the Zimmerman case with everyone giving their mish-mashed opinions of that case. And it spins off into its own thread. Where the various wars between the various pitters carries on. It’s a huge mumble jumble of opinion, some polite, some not. The pitters sound like, uh, what is that word, yeah, they sound like a democracy, where all voices are heard.

Read the comments from the two sites yourself. Tell me which is the monotone drone of mindless idealogues and which is the cantankerous and jarring noises of democracy at work.

Regardless of your choice, I promise not to ban you. Because I am not PZ Meyers or any of the aholes at FTB. Besides, it’s not my site.

391 Kirbmarc November 27, 2014 at 9:47 am

I have to agree with Andy on neutral theory. The only people who say that it contradicts Darwinian evolution are the Creationists. PZ, as far as I know, never expressed this idea.

The relative importance of drift is still a matter of debate, but to say that neutral theory is “non-Darwinian evolution” is disingenuous and frankly even moronic.

PZ is also justified is using the word “revolution” since neutral theory was a major extension of evolutionary theory and it changed many major assumptions about evolution.

I have issues with many of PZ’s positions, but you can’t argue that the man is a crank when it comes to genetic drift. He may be painting the issue of evolutionary psychology with a broad brush, and he may give the status of a confirmed theory to some very controversial social science hypothesis. He may be also give too much credit to anecdotal evidence that supports his ideologies, and the foundation of his “secular ethics” are not entirely philosophically sound.

I still think that many of his positions are hypocritical, and I am ready to debate why with Andy or others. I also dislike his authoritarian mindset and his “with us or against us” stance, which reeks of anti-intellectualism, especially since it presents some very controversial conclusions as not open to debate.

He’s also alienating far too many people to effect major changes in his community, and the “Atheism Plus” project to which he made a significant contribute is pretty much dead in the water.

But he’s not the caricature of a bumbling fool that satirical portrayals use to mock him. Give to Peezus what is Peezus’, and to Myers what is Myers’. He’s not going to win the Nobel prize any time soon but the man is still a scientist. He hasn’t turned into Kent Hovind.

392 GerardO November 27, 2014 at 10:29 am

Gunboat Diplomat @331

It’s the fact that Myers’ scientific worldview is fairly orthodox that makes his other shenanigans seem so unusual. On politics, he may be classed as an SJW, but what is an SJW but a big “L” liberal with an attitude problem?

All criticism of Myers should focus on what appears to be an attempt to sabotage the global atheist movement from within, as evidenced by his fawning over Glenn Greenwald, perhaps the worst appeaser of Islamism in America.

393 citizen_wolf November 27, 2014 at 10:52 am

As mentioned above Andy has blathered on and on about nothing in particular and has done his best to derail the essence of MN’s post.

Myers said MN provides a haven for rapists and by doing so supports their behavior. This has had consequences and has resulted in others such as Latsot repeating these claims. Myers owes MN an apology for this.

Myers has also called MN names such as fuckhead, asshole and demented fuckwit. In what sort of world does Myers live where such language is acceptable?

Myers owes MN a large number of apologies.

394 Jan Steen November 27, 2014 at 12:42 pm

@ Blueshift Rhino,

Well, at least this thread is back on topic: PZ said something very clear and very wrong, but here we have a member of the FtB Defense Corps trying to tell us that the words PZ used don’t mean what they mean, so PZ wasn’t wrong after all.

Wouldn’t it save time and energy if someone could just walk us through the mental gymnastics of how one or more of PZ’s most recent smears of our host were actually retractions and apologies, instead of more smears, so that we could all go back to our regularly scheduled lives?

You know, when Myers said that Michael was providing a haven for rapists he actually meant that Michael was giving everybody an opportunity to express their opinion.

395 Jan Steen November 27, 2014 at 12:49 pm

@Kirbmarc,

I have to agree with Andy on neutral theory. The only people who say that it contradicts Darwinian evolution are the Creationists. PZ, as far as I know, never expressed this idea.

and

The relative importance of drift is still a matter of debate, but to say that neutral theory is “non-Darwinian evolution” is disingenuous and frankly even moronic.

Tell that to the inventor of Neutral Theory, M. Kimura, who presented his Neutral Theory explicitly as a departure from Darwinian Evolution.

PZ is also justified is using the word “revolution” since neutral theory was a major extension of evolutionary theory and it changed many major assumptions about evolution.

Since you evidently don’t know what you are talking about (see previous point), I think we can safely say FLOOSH to your opinion here.

396 Andy November 27, 2014 at 1:46 pm

Jan Steen,

Tell that to the inventor of Neutral Theory, M. Kimura, who presented his Neutral Theory explicitly as a departure from Darwinian Evolution.

Great idea! Lets look up Kimura´s 1968 paper that started this “revolution” and see whether Kirbmarc and I are right about this always having been about an *extension* of evolutionary theory or whether you are right and this is an “explicit departure from darwinian evolution” (*gosh*).
I quote from the conclusion of:
Kimura M. (1968). Evolutionary Rate at the Molecular Level. Nature 217:624-6. (this is the paper that started this “revolution”)

Finally, if my chief conclusion is correct, and if the
neutral or nearly neutral mutation is being produced in
each generation at a much higher rate than has been considered
before, then we must recognize the great importance
of random genetic drift due to finite population
numbers in forming the genetic structure of biological
populations. The significance of random genetic drift has
been deprecated during the past decade. This attitude
has been influenced by the opinion at almost no mutaions
are neutral, and also that the number of individuals
forming a species is usually so Iarge that random sampling
of gametes should be negligible in deetermining the course of
evolution, except possibly through the “founder principle”[24].
To emphasize the founder principle but deny the importance of
random genetic drift due to finite population number is, in my
opinion, rather similar to assuming a great flood to explain the
formation of deep valleys but rejecting a gradual but long
lasting process of erosion by water as insufficient to produce such
a result.

Kimura neither said, nor implied, that neutral mutations are all that matters (this would be an incredibly stupid thing to say and, believe it or not, he was not an idiot), he argued that genetic drift is more important than has been previously assumed and that it needs to be considered. And he was right, he was absolutely 100% right (he was wrong about many other things but he was completely right about this).

Since you evidently don’t know what you are talking about (see previous point), I think we can safely say FLOOSH to your opinion here.

And another instance of the Dunning-Kruger effect in action.

397 Jan Steen November 27, 2014 at 2:23 pm

Kimura writing in 1991:

In sharp contrast to the Darwinian theory of evolution by natural selection, the neutral theory claims that the overwhelming majority of evolutionary changes at the molecular level are caused by random fixation (due to random sampling drift in finite populations) of selectively neutral (i.e., selectively equivalent) mutants under continued inputs of mutations. (…) I conclude that since the origin of life on Earth, neutral evolutionary changes have predominated over Darwinian evolutionary changes, at least in number.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1954033

398 Andy November 27, 2014 at 2:28 pm

I conclude that since the origin of life on Earth, neutral evolutionary changes have predominated over Darwinian evolutionary changes, at least in number.

And he was right in concluding this back then and it is still right to conclude this today – what do you not get about this?

399 Andy November 27, 2014 at 2:31 pm

I conclude that since the origin of life on Earth, neutral evolutionary changes have predominated over Darwinian evolutionary changes, at least in number.

Alternatively, since you seem incapable of understanding what that means – why don´t you consult an authority you trust to tell you whether this conclusion was warranted back then and is still warranted today. Check out any contemporary textbook, or write an email to Jerry Coyne or whatever other expert you consider to be trustworthy but for fucks sake – stop embarrassing yourself by pretending that you know better than every single textbook on evolutionary biology written in this century.

400 Jan Steen November 27, 2014 at 2:38 pm

I was merely refuting Kirnmarc who claimed that “The relative importance of drift is still a matter of debate, but to say that neutral theory is “non-Darwinian evolution” is disingenuous and frankly even moronic.”

Maybe Kimura also didn’t mean what he wrote, when he wrote “In sharp contrast to the Darwinian theory of evolution by natural selection, the neutral theory claims etc.”

If only people would write what they meant to say.

For the record, I’m not at all saying that Kimura was wrong about neutral changes being predominant in number. That’s just Andy strawmanning, as usual.

If only people would write what they actually meant to say.

401 Jan Steen November 27, 2014 at 2:42 pm

Of course, Andy didn’t cite that first sentence. That would interfere with the strawmanning.

402 Andy November 27, 2014 at 2:46 pm

Maybe Kimura also didn’t mean what he wrote, when he wrote “In sharp contrast to the Darwinian theory of evolution by natural selection, the neutral theory claims etc.”

No, he did mean that, and he was completely right. *Strict* panselectionism – the view that ALL or virtually ALL intra and interspecies variation is caused by natural selection, is FALSE, refuted, dead, overturned.
Maybe you don´t realize that but every mature scientific theory is a pretty large framework with many aspects, and modifying some of those aspects or refuting and replacing them with new ones, does NOT mean that the whole theory collapses. Darwin was almost completely wrong on how heredity actually works, and Darwin was also not 100% right about evolution proceeding in a tree-like fashion but rather only about 70% right – deal with it, that is science. If you want binary truth claims where everything is 100% true or 100% false without any chance of revising your views, you might want to check out fundagelical christianity.

403 Jan Steen November 27, 2014 at 2:49 pm

Stop strawmanning, you moron. There is no need to show off that you have read some introductory textbooks. Just say yes or no. Was Kirbmarc right or wrong?

404 Andy November 27, 2014 at 2:52 pm

Am I the only one who finds Jan Steen´s combination of arrogance and ignorance to be hilarious?
Btw, is this guy a slymer? (if so, he is even dumber than Shatterface – congratulations).

405 Jan Steen November 27, 2014 at 2:55 pm

So I can take it that you agree with Kibmarc that “to say that neutral theory is “non-Darwinian evolution” is disingenuous and frankly even moronic.” Right?

406 Kirbmarc November 27, 2014 at 2:58 pm

Tell that to the inventor of Neutral Theory, M. Kimura, who presented his Neutral Theory explicitly as a departure from Darwinian Evolution

Where? Kimura never rejected any of the core ideas of Darwinian evolution. He never said that organisms do not exhibit phenotype variations, they do not inherit the traits of the ancestors, that species d do not change over time, or that individual possessing traits that allow them to survive until reproduction do not contribute more offspring to the next generation. He never denied that many individuals die before they can reproduce, and therefore their traits aren’t passed to the next generation.

He simply argued that random genetic drift is more important than what was previously assumed. Neutral theory is as much as a “departure” from Darwinian Evolution as the differential rates of evolutionary changes are.

The degree of the importance of genetic drift is hotly debated, as it is hotly debated how fast does evolution work (personally I’m more with Dawkins on this one, in that there is no fixed speed and bursts of rapid change alternate with periods of more gradual evolution at different paces). But the idea that genetic drift is a significant force behind evolution is an orthodox one.

Ignorant journalists and creationists call neutral theory “random, non-Darwinian evolution”, just as they characterized punctuated equilibrium as “saltactionism” (not helped, in this case, by the fact that Gould was at times a pompous dick and was pals with “eccentrics” such as Richard Goldschmidt).

I’m more on the Dawkins camp myself, in that genetic drift isn’t as important as some people think it is, but you can’t deny that there is a non-negligible effect of drift since the number of individual in a species, no matter how large is always finite.

The effects of drift on evolution are probably much more easy to detect in some situations than in others, and I think that some early writings of Kimura were overly enthusiastic. But neutral theory was a revolution when it came out, because it challenged the underlying assumption that most mutations that are not deleterious are beneficial.

It’s also important to remember than Kimura’s theory applies only for evolution at a molecular level. Phenotypic evolution, the only one that Darwin could observe, is mostly controlled by natural selection.

Even evolutionary genetics is, at least in part, a departure from Darwin’s theory, and where’s justified to call it a “revolution”. But no one would argue that evolutionary genetics is “non-Darwinian” or that it openly contradicts Darwin’s theory instead of being an extension of Darwin’s thoughts to genetics.

PZ Myers may be rejecting some findings of evolutionary psychology for ideological reasons, but he isn’t a crank who believes in crocoducks or in sudden, random, “non-Darwinian” evolution.

Myers’ understanding of evolution is mostly sound, and all the problems he has come from his dogmatic denial of some conclusions of evolutionary psychology.

407 Andy November 27, 2014 at 2:59 pm

Jan Steen,

So I can take it that…

…you are a ridiculously stupid pos?
Yup.

408 Jan Steen November 27, 2014 at 3:08 pm

Maybe you should go back to reviewing research papers for the leading journals in your field. I also tend to postpone these things. Apologies for interrupting you.

409 Kirbmarc November 27, 2014 at 3:09 pm

In sharp contrast to the Darwinian theory of evolution by natural selection, the neutral theory claims that the overwhelming majority of evolutionary changes at the molecular level are caused by random fixation

Contrast doesn’t mean contradiction. Also note that Kimura is talking about evolutionary changes at a molecular level, not about natural selections of phenotype (which he never denied; he’s not a moron).

It’s a SPECIFIC contrast on a SPECIFIC point (the fact that all or virtually all variations within a species at a molecular level are a product of natural selection).

Kimura never explicitly called neutral theory “non-Darwinian evolution”, as far as I know . The basis of neutral theory are still the same of all other theories within the large spectrum of Darwinian evolution.

It’s even possible to accommodate some claims of neutral theory within a neo-Darwinian position.

410 Andy November 27, 2014 at 3:13 pm

Kirbmarc,

Kimura never explicitly called neutral theory “non-Darwinian evolution”, as far as I know

He did occasionally and others as well – it was never a very popular term for genetic drift and virtually no one uses it today, but the phrase “non-darwinian evolution” has been used.

You are right about everything else though, particularly about this: “It’s a SPECIFIC contrast on a SPECIFIC point”

411 Jan Steen November 27, 2014 at 3:17 pm

Kirbmarc, the point is that it is not moronic to say that the neutral part of the Neutral Theory is non-Darwinian.

The moronic thing is to do as Peezus, and to suggest that the Neutral Theory, rather than being a moderately interesting extension to the Modern Synthesis, presents some kind of revolution. It really isn’t.

412 Jan Steen November 27, 2014 at 3:22 pm

Compare Andy #396 and 409. I wonder what made him change his mind. Hmm.

413 Andy November 27, 2014 at 3:23 pm

Jan Steen,

The moronic thing is to do as Peezus, and to suggest that the Neutral Theory, rather than being a moderately interesting extension to the Modern Synthesis, presents some kind of revolution. It really isn’t.

You can repeat that until you are blue in the face, it won´t make it true. It was not “moderately interesting”, it was actually a very big deal – the key publications have been cited thousands of times, textbooks had to be significantly rewritten and expanded, and genetic drift has been explicitly considered due to this in thousands of research projects ranging from tiny ones to huge international collaborations like genome sequencing projects for example. It was a very big deal and it is completely fine to call it a “revolution” – researchers have called far less influential findings a “revolution” and you do not criticize them for it because you are a fucking hypocrite.

414 citizen_wolf November 27, 2014 at 3:33 pm

Hey PZ, how about a retraction and apology?

415 Jan Steen November 27, 2014 at 3:38 pm

Genetic drift and the Neutral Theory are two different things, FYI.

416 Crackity Jones November 27, 2014 at 3:42 pm

Andy, you do realise you would have been ban-hammered at PZ’s ages ago with your off topic asshattery?

Just goes to show how superior Michael is to PZ. In every way.

417 Andy November 27, 2014 at 3:46 pm

Jan Steen,

Genetic drift and the Neutral Theory are two different things, FYI.

And no on has said that they were. Neutral theory has “won” (and strict panselectionism has “lost”), this was a “revolution”, this has led to genetic drift being explicitly considered in thousands of research projects, scientists have called far less significant findings a “revolution” – and you are a fucking hypocrite. There is absolutely nothing wrong with calling this a “revolution”, it is not wrong to call it that, it is not even misleading to call it a “revolution”. You are applying a completely ridiculous double standard to Peezus because you hate the guy.

418 Crackity Jones November 27, 2014 at 3:51 pm

citizen_wolf: Myers said MN provides a haven for rapists and by doing so supports their behavior. This has had consequences and has resulted in others such as Latsot repeating these claims. Myers owes MN an apology for this.

Absolutely spot on. Of course, what has ACTUALLY being demonstrated is that according to the (very poor and incoherent) arguments laid out by PZ Myers, Ophelia Benson and Stephanie Zvan, the ONLY people to have provided a safe haven for a rapist (Ogvorbis) is PZ, Ophelia, and Stephanie. Amongst a couple of others. The claim that providing a safe haven for a rapist can lead to people supporting their behaviour is a strong one, and I agree with it. Since Ogvorbis is not only justified and supported by commentators at Pharyngula, Almost Diamonds, and Butterflies and Wheels, all of those websites class as centres of rape apology. There is no escaping it.

Whether Myers does come out with an apology or not (he won’t!), this affair is going to be documented. I am currently writing up an amendment for PZ’s wiki page detailing the issues raised regarding his account over the sexual assault allegation he received from a student, and the implication that he is now a rape apologist by his own definition. Any citations and links are welcome! I obviously have all the links to PZ’s “discussions” on the matter.

419 piero November 27, 2014 at 4:13 pm

Andy said:

Again, I am not criticizing you for anything and I do not mind comments like that at all – I´m just wondering if you really think it is appropriate to criticize the personal abuse you see at FTB while simultaneously allowing such comments on your own blog.

Btw, I just tried to write a comment with some more recent quotes from Blueshiftwhatshisface and other slymers, but it is almost impossible to do that without landing in the moderation queue. Can´t you guys keep it a little more family friendly so that we can share your best comments here?

Just like it is possible that someone who is not a slymer himself (say, Michael) still thinks that it is cool to let you guys vomit all over his comment threads.

It was a very big deal and it is completely fine to call it a “revolution” – researchers have called far less influential findings a “revolution” and you do not criticize them for it because you are a fucking hypocrite.

420 Andy November 27, 2014 at 4:17 pm

piero,
I´m sure that there is something like a point to all of that in your confused mind, but I´m afraid you´ll have to spell it out.

421 piero November 27, 2014 at 4:23 pm

😆

422 Minnow November 27, 2014 at 4:25 pm

” I´m afraid you´ll have to spell it out.”

I have a feeling that Andy finds himself making that request quite a lot, poor boy.

423 Andy November 27, 2014 at 4:28 pm

Minnow is back! Awesome – maybe Shatterface will come back as well and we can finally find out who the dumbest guy in this thread is (so far, my money would still be on Shatterface, but Minnow could give him a run for his money).

424 Minnow November 27, 2014 at 4:31 pm

If you want to take time off from the tantrums and need anything else spelled out Andy, just ask.

425 Andy November 27, 2014 at 4:37 pm

That´s it? You´ll never beat Shatterface in a dumb off like that – you have to put some effort into it!

426 Minnow November 27, 2014 at 4:38 pm

That’s hard, Andy, very hurtful, especially when you manage it so effortlessly.

427 Carrie November 27, 2014 at 4:54 pm

Andy says (amidst a ton of de-railing verbiage):

Jan Steen … is this guy a slymer? (if so, he is even dumber than Shatterface – congratulations).

Wait, what — he is dumber than Shatterface if he turns out to be a slymer, but not if he doesn’t? This is a very strange way in which to judge his level of dumbness or otherwise.

As others have noted, Theo, Andy, Ariel and co appear to want to distract from the main thrust of MN’s postings. Other posters here seem to enjoy following them down those semantic rabbit holes *grin*. But — MN has shown that PZ has incorrectly accused him of defending and providing a haven for rapists, using the fact that ‘pitters post here as “evidence”. He has also shown that PZ and other FtB posters apply a double standard between their “in-group” words / behaviour and those of others.

So PZ, you really are long overdue on giving Michael a retraction and apology. It would be graceful of you to apologise to the Slymepitters too, acknowledging that they are human beings and not awful anti-humane demons. Let us see that you are in fact a real skeptic and a scientist, not someone who has replaced religion with unthinking ideology.

428 Ariel November 27, 2014 at 5:07 pm

Piero #419 and Andy #420

The content of the quoted fragments:

1. Andy doesn’t mind comments “like that” at all.
2. Andy suggests that allowing comments “like that”, while criticizing the same type of comments elsewhere, is inappropriate.
3. Andy encourages other people to write more comments “like that” (a tongue-in-cheek remark, I would say, but see 1).
4. Sometimes Andy produces comments “like that” himself. Again, see 1.

Piero’s point? Hmm, I guess it’s that all of this is somehow inconsistent. Probably hypocritical as well. How exactly, one might ask? Sorry, I do not know … but obviously there must be some flaw. There must be!

(Don’t worry, Carrie, there will be no ‘distractions’ from me, I don’t have the energy for this at the moment. What I really wanted to say is just: hello, Andy, a lot of what you wrote here is spot on. Good luck … and I’m going offline again.)

429 piero November 27, 2014 at 5:17 pm

a lot of what you wrote here is spot on

Are you implying that some of what Andy wrote is not spot on? Shame on you!

Oh, and good night, Ariel.

430 Andy November 27, 2014 at 5:34 pm

Hey Carrie!

Andy says (amidst a ton of de-railing verbiage)

Fuck you very much, Carrie!

431 HH November 27, 2014 at 5:37 pm

Hi Jan, Andy…

Any chance you folks would give the whole genetic drift thing a rest? It really is far off-topic.

432 Andy November 27, 2014 at 5:39 pm

Hey Ariel,

Piero’s point? Hmm, I guess it’s that all of this is somehow inconsistent. Probably hypocritical as well. How exactly, one might ask? Sorry, I do not know … but obviously there must be some flaw. There must be!

Yup, there must be one!

What I really wanted to say is just: hello, Andy, a lot of what you wrote here is spot on. Good luck … and I’m going offline again.

Thanks mate.

433 Gunboat Diplomat November 27, 2014 at 5:52 pm

@HH

Personally I’m glad andy showed the time and patience to deal with the science abuse displayed in these comments. Jan steen et al have no one to blame but themselves for being publicly demolished like that. Perhaps now commenters will focus on the actual reprehensible activities of pz myers instead of making up rubbish like he doesn’t understand evolution.

434 Carrie November 27, 2014 at 6:19 pm

Ariel says:

Don’t worry, Carrie, there will be no ‘distractions’ from me, I don’t have the energy for this at the moment.

Good, I am glad. Andy seems to have enough distractive energy and verbiage for all three of you.

As Crackity Jones says above, the fact that none of the distracting team has been ban hammered by MN nor even chastised by him shows how much more open he is to dissenting views. PZ occasionally throws a dissenter to his pack of vultures before banning it, usually he just bans it, but he never actually listens to any of them. He never seems to allow any nuanced arguments against his stance. It would do his (and his blog’s) reputation some good amongst lurkers if he were to be more open to opposing views; it would show more of a skeptical and less of a religious mentality.

As I have said before, there is no way that I would ever feel safe posting over on FtB; I don’t even much like reading those blogs and comments. I am a woman who has been abused and cares deeply about other people and animals, so you might think that I would be welcome there, but I know that my ideas on solutions to problems are far too nuanced and I would be ripped to shreds there. No thank you. The ‘pit is my go-to reading for breakfast because the people there really think things through. I don’t post there though, as the thread goes way to fast for me 8-}

As regards piero’s point, I understood it to mean that Andy, complaining about the terrible language of the ‘pit and suggesting that it lands quoted messages in moderation, himself uses bad language here. Actually, I don’t think that rude words are the problem; as I understand it, the automatic temporary-moderation trigger here is caused by certain pejorative words which are not generally “bad language” and by certain names which the FtB crowd tend to libel.

435 Andy November 27, 2014 at 6:24 pm

Carrie,

As I have said before, there is no way that I would ever feel safe…

No one gives a fuck, go cry somewhere else.

436 Carrie November 27, 2014 at 6:26 pm

Andy at 429, it is interesting that your response to my reasonable post is to swear at me. Thank you for illustrating my points about FtB fans so clearly.

437 Andy November 27, 2014 at 6:27 pm

Carrie,

….your response to my reasonable post….

😀

438 Gunboat Diplomat November 27, 2014 at 6:38 pm

@ andy #434

Wow, this is how you respond to a woman who has been the victim of abuse? We can all see how much you truly, truly care…

439 Patrick November 27, 2014 at 6:43 pm

Ariel @428,

I see that you are still following this thread, despite the best efforts of Andy to derail it. Since your attention is here, I’d like to remind you of our discussion that has now spanned at least four threads here, with my most recent response here.

To save you a click, here is the question you have yet to answer (please see the full comment for additional context):

Given that Myers made a claim about Michael Nugent that uses the clearly defined and well-understood word “rapist” and

Given that Myers failed to modify that claim despite repeated opportunities to do so and

Given that anyone reading Myers’ claim without access to Myers’ innermost thoughts could reasonably be expected to take his words at face value and

Given that Myers either cannot or will not support his claim with objective evidence

Then is it not reasonable to conclude that PZ Myers owes Michael Nugent a retraction and an apology?

If not, why not?

440 John Greg November 27, 2014 at 6:44 pm

Carrie says:

As I have said before, there is no way that I would ever feel safe posting over on FtB….

Andy replies:

No one gives a fuck, go cry somewhere else.

True colours, Andy, true colours. Disgusting, offensive, and toxic.

I too am mighty sick and tired of this derailing bullshit. Andy, Jan, Rhino, please, please, please, just drop it.

441 Carrie November 27, 2014 at 6:46 pm

Yes, Andy is showing clearly the kind of mentality that makes FtB such an unpleasant place to watch.

PZ makes unsubstantiated allegations and smears, and his followers / commentariat feel encouraged to be unpleasant and attack anyone not kowtowing to the Dear Leader.

The bottom line is still: PZ owes Michael and the Slymepitters that apology.

442 Andy November 27, 2014 at 6:49 pm

John Greg,

True colours, Andy, true colours. Disgusting, offensive, and toxic.

Yeah, I know – just give her a biiiig hug over at the sewage pit, dry those tears and everything will be alright again.

443 Andy November 27, 2014 at 6:50 pm

Carrie,

Yes, Andy is showing clearly the kind of mentality that makes FtB…

I haven´t commented at any FTBlog in four yers – and I´ve said so several times before, work on your reading comprehension of stfu.

444 Carrie November 27, 2014 at 6:56 pm

— But you did once, and you defend their position.

I really find you and your tactics too unpleasant to bother with, Andy.

445 Andy November 27, 2014 at 7:02 pm

Carrie,

But you did once

So have about 2/3 of the people who comment in this thread.

you defend their position

I would ask you now which “position” that would be exactly in your opinion, but given that you proceed with

I really find you and your tactics too unpleasant to bother with, Andy.

– I will rather say: Good! Then stfu.

446 FishCakes November 27, 2014 at 7:09 pm

Andy,
For someone who went out of his way to copy/paste comments from another forum in an apparent attempt to show how mean or rude (or whatever) they are, comments 429 and 434 seem to put you right in line with those vile pitters you seem to despise. To an outside observer, you are no different from those you rail against, in this respect.

447 Carrie November 27, 2014 at 7:14 pm

It is interesting to see how people with FtB attitudes are keen to silence people on other blogs too. The tactic is being constantly used against MN; I am glad that he is not allowing them to stop him from calling those who smear him to account.

Keep up the good work, Michael — both as regards the matter of smears and in your work in Ireland against religious bigotry.

448 King of Spain November 27, 2014 at 7:14 pm

I suspect Andy is now trying to get banned. He clearly can’t leave on his own, seeing how this blog actually allows open debate – a luxury not afforded at FtB. (oh, that’s right, Andy has posted there in 4 years, what was I thinking!).
So, the final feather in his cap, for undoubtably he thinks he delivered an ass whooping in here, would be to get banned.

Though you’ll probably have to amp it up a bit more Andy. This ain’t FtB and MG ain’t PZ.

449 Aneris ✻ November 27, 2014 at 7:28 pm

Andy wrote: Thanks! This is a particularly interesting example of the Dunning-Kruger effect. JetLagg ignores members of his ingroup (Aneris and SkepSheik) who do not confirm his preconceived ideas that PZ must be 100% evil and 100% stupid about everything , but immediately and unquestioningly accepts as gospel truth what other members of his ingroup (Blueshift Rhino and Jan Steen) tell him because this DOES confirm his preconceived ideas. Fascinating.

There is no ingroup and there is neither the pressure nor the expectation that JetLagg or any other person echoes SkepSheik’s or my views on anything. You tend to forget that the situation isn’t symmetrical. There is no callout culture and we aren’t authoritarians.

Of course “we” as a group exist by virtue of having an account in a forum which doubles as a Scarlet Letter “S” almost everywhere we show up. The rotten egg invariably ends up on our name anyway: kafkatrapping, guilty by association, guilty for not having denounced comment 9235157 on page 731 posted on 5:23 am Monday morning, that sort of thing.

I often come away thinking people talk cross purposes or have Wittgenstein style disagreements where one person insists that the sun indeed rises and sets (you can observe that every day and measure it), and the other insists that – in fact – the sun doesn’t go anywhere and you are a fool to believe the sun moves around, after all you can observe that.

450 Andy November 27, 2014 at 7:29 pm

FishCakes,
I was very patient in trying to make sure that this is the decorum that Michael wants to foster – he wants this, so he gets this.
Also, since Carrie loves the sewage pit so much, what´s wrong with trying to make her feel at home? 😉

451 FishCakes November 27, 2014 at 7:44 pm

Andy,
I find it telling that you try to blame Nugent for your own decision to engage in the kind of unnecessarily rude and insulting dialogue for which you previously tried to call out others. That is on you, and you really ought to own it rather than trying to minimize, justify, or deflect. To do otherwise, as you are attempting to do now, makes you seem no different (and in some respects, perhaps, worse) than those you seem to despise.

Finally, if you honestly need someone else to explain why it’s wrong to respond that way, then I’d suggest that lack of empathy is at the root of your problem. Basic empathy would dissuade most people from stooping to the level you have, especially in response to someone’s prior abuse.

452 Jan Steen November 27, 2014 at 8:09 pm

@Gunboat Diplomat,

Personally I’m glad andy showed the time and patience to deal with the science abuse displayed in these comments. Jan steen et al have no one to blame but themselves for being publicly demolished like that.

It clearly went way over your head. Lay people like you often mistakenly believe they understand evolutionary theory.

453 Jan Steen November 27, 2014 at 8:12 pm

PZ Myers will sooner make an apology to Michael Nugent than write a real book.

454 piero November 27, 2014 at 8:35 pm

@Andy @Ariel:

Ariel said:

Piero’s point? Hmm, I guess it’s that all of this is somehow inconsistent. Probably hypocritical as well. How exactly, one might ask? Sorry, I do not know … but obviously there must be some flaw. There must be!

Andy said:

Yup, there must be one!

No one gives a fuck, go cry somewhere else.

Yeah, I know – just give her a biiiig hug over at the sewage pit, dry those tears and everything will be alright again

[…]and I´ve said so several times before, work on your reading comprehension of stfu.

I will rather say: Good! Then stfu.

So it appears that there was indeeed a point, wasn’t there?

455 Gunboat Diplomat November 27, 2014 at 8:51 pm

@jan steen

You’re likely no biologist yourself sonny-jim, as you appear to lack the kind of nuanced critical thinking learned in tutorials and journal clubs. Difficult to get that in a non academic environment. Sorry :-(

456 Jan Steen November 27, 2014 at 8:52 pm

@piero,

Remember, it’s ok when they do it.

457 Jan Steen November 27, 2014 at 9:01 pm

@GD,

You guessed wrong, Grasshopper.

458 piero November 27, 2014 at 9:02 pm

Remember, it’s ok when they do it.

Oooops! My bad. I apologise, Andy and Ariel: I recklessly interpreted Andy’s words to mean what they usually mean. I hope you can produce the correct exegesis for the benefit of us lesser mortals.

459 Gunboat Diplomat November 27, 2014 at 9:06 pm

@Jan aka anonymous internet guy

Conveniently, I guess we’ll never know for sure…

460 Andy November 27, 2014 at 9:15 pm

Jan Steen a biologist?
Sounds legit! 😀

461 Jan Steen November 27, 2014 at 9:15 pm

Doesn’t bother me.

462 Andy November 27, 2014 at 9:17 pm

There was apparently some “revolution” in academia that allowed even guys like Jan Steen to earn a degree 😉

463 Gunboat Diplomat November 27, 2014 at 9:22 pm

I’m actually michael gazzaniga. Interwebz is awesome

464 Citizen Wolf November 27, 2014 at 9:33 pm

De-railing is still in progress by Andy I see.

Lots of blather. Then lots of off-topic posts on what PZ Myers thinks about evolution. Then abusive name-calling. Then blaming his own offensive name-calling behavior on MN.

So, back to the purpose of MN’s piece – PZ claimed that MN provides a safe haven for rapists and in doing so condones their behavior. PZ uses abusive language (fuckhead, asshole, demented fuckwit) against MN, because MN had the temerity to challenge PZ’s slurs.

How about owning up to your actions PZ. How about starting with an apology.

465 Jan Steen November 27, 2014 at 9:58 pm

It explains a lot when you know that Peezus had the ambition to write a groundbreaking book on evolution, developmental biology, atheism and creationism. He toiled for six years on it, then had to give up, probably on advice of his publisher. Since he had already promised his Flock a real book, he had to come up with something. Anything. So he copy-pasted a bunch of his blog posts, put them between two covers, and behold: a book.

But in his heart he must feel like a failure. His new theory of evolution came to nothing, his big book remained a mirage. These things must fuel his envy of people such as Dawkins, who almost routinely write bestsellers.

A frustrated, resentful, once ambitious man, nearing the end of his career, writing a blog designed as fodder for assorted losers, misfits and fools. Ranting at the world. The cranky kind of guy who would call Michael Nugent a “demented fuckwit.”

466 Gunboat Diplomat November 27, 2014 at 9:58 pm

@citizen wolf

Agreed. This whole thread has been full of off-topic posts

PZ should apologize for his smears of Michael Nugent and treat other people as he expects to be treated himself. Holy crap, you know its bad when a you’re appealing to an atheist to show the same consideration to his fellow man as an honest Christian…

Also, Andy, you’re right on the science but you’re a bully but I think you’re going to have to up the ante to get banned. Although how can you up the ante further after telling a female commenter mentioning abuse to stfu and go cry somewhere else? Its a tricky one alright.

467 Gunboat Diplomat November 27, 2014 at 10:01 pm

@Jan steen #464

I’d be delighted to take seriously your criticisms of PZ’s lack of scientific and literary prowess when you provide examples of your published work…

468 Gunboat Diplomat November 27, 2014 at 10:02 pm

@ Jan Steen

Also, knock off the pop psychology, you’ve no idea what makes PZ tick and your “analysis” would embarrass a first year psych undergrad.

469 Jan Steen November 27, 2014 at 10:06 pm

Andy and Gunboat Diplomat. My guess is that they are students heading for unemployment, or at least a job in anything but scientific research. They clearly lack the critical thinking skills, creativity and originality.

Have fun while you still can guys. The rest of your life will be an anticlimax. :)

470 jimthepleb November 27, 2014 at 10:22 pm

Once you stop reading any posts that start with either Andy’s nym or anything ‘@Andy’ this becomes quite a pleasant discussion..

471 FishCakes November 27, 2014 at 10:32 pm

Jan,
Feel free to floosh my opinion, but comments like 469 are unhelpful and they can make you seem more than a bit angry and irrational.

I fully admit and acknowledge that I don’t have the background or expertise needed to weigh in on the evolution discussion but even if you are 100% correct and they are 100% wrong, resorting to these kinds of petty insults does not reflect well on you or the positions you are espousing. That’s just my free advice, so please take it (or leave it) for whatever its worth.

472 Andy November 27, 2014 at 10:33 pm

Fishcakes

I find it telling that you try to blame Nugent for your own decision to engage in the kind of unnecessarily rude and insulting dialogue…

I find it telling that unnecessary rudeness didn´t bother you for most of the thread and that the only one you confront about this issue directly is me.

Finally, if you honestly need someone else to explain why it’s wrong to respond that way, then I’d suggest that lack of empathy…

I don´t care about your “suggestions” because you are a hypocrite – it is not the rudeness that bothers you per se, because you tolerate it just fine as long as it is directed at someone who disagrees with you. So much for your empathy.

473 piero November 27, 2014 at 10:40 pm

@Gunboat Diplomat:

Also, Andy, you’re right on the science but you’re a bully but I think you’re going to have to up the ante to get banned. Although how can you up the ante further after telling a female commenter mentioning abuse to stfu and go cry somewhere else? Its a tricky one alright.

Haha. Yes, Andy faces a dilemma: either flounce and lose face, or go with a bang and a badge of honour by being outrageously offensive, but in the process he’d provide a memorable quote to the rest of the world.

Decisions, decisions…

474 Andy November 27, 2014 at 10:43 pm

Gunboat Diplomat,

Also, Andy, you’re right on the science but you’re a bully but I think you’re going to have to up the ante to get banned. Although how can you up the ante further after telling a female commenter mentioning abuse to stfu and go cry somewhere else? Its a tricky one alright.

How about cyberstalking her 24/7 for a few years, bombarding her with messages on all social media she uses (and creating new accounts to keep bombarding her with messages after she bans me) and harming her reputation in every way I can everywhere I can – you know, basically devoting my entire life to make hers as miserable as I can. Would that up the ante?

475 King of Spain November 27, 2014 at 10:44 pm

One thing I’m curious about, shouldn’t the SJW community be announcing loudly that PZ Meyers is possibly a dangerous man considering his story about the student who threatened to report a sexual assault against him. Isn’t this the protocol FtB has adopted in the past? In the absence of solid evidence, believe the victim and report the alleged crime, even if it’s possible (maybe even likely) that it never happened.

I’m certainly not advocating that approach of course. Call me crazy, but I’m one of those innocent until proven guilty kind of guys.

476 piero November 27, 2014 at 11:06 pm

@King of Spain:

One thing I’m curious about, shouldn’t the SJW community be announcing loudly that PZ Meyers is possibly a dangerous man considering his story about the student who threatened to report a sexual assault against him. Isn’t this the protocol FtB has adopted in the past? In the absence of solid evidence, believe the victim and report the alleged crime, even if it’s possible (maybe even likely) that it never happened.

As Skepsheik concisely put it in comment #29:

Of course we should believe the victim.
But which one is the victim?

In the real world, the victim can either be the accuser, if the accusation is true, or the accused, if it’s false. In FtB land, things are a bit more complex, and hinge on whether the Infallible Leader (actually a trinity: Myers, Benson and Zvan) has anointed one of the persons involved.

The anointed are all-virtuous and always tell the truth. Women are always anointed, with one exception: the one exception occurs when the man in question is Myers. Any accusation of rape, harassment or generic sexual misconduct against Myers automatically brands the accuser as non-kosher.

In practice, the FtB Justice Department is guided by one, and only one, overriding principle: It’s OK whe we do it.

477 Jan Steen November 27, 2014 at 11:15 pm

@King of Spain,

One thing I’m curious about, shouldn’t the SJW community be announcing loudly that PZ Meyers is possibly a dangerous man considering his story about the student who threatened to report a sexual assault against him. Isn’t this the protocol FtB has adopted in the past?

It’s what you often see in cults: that the leader gets away with things that would cause the lowlier members to become outcasts. In his way, Myers is a kind of cult leader. Via his blog he tells the insecure, mentally unstable people who make up the majority of the SJWs what to think, what to get outraged about, whom to shun, whom to admire. He gives them a fixed point on their mental compass. In addition, he provides a safe space for these people, which they would lose if they turned against him.

Still, as a privileged white man, Myers is vulnerable. Therefore his rhetoric has to be extreme, his invective rabid, his acceptance of SJW dogma total. He knows that too great a misstep could be fatal.

478 FishCakes November 28, 2014 at 12:06 am

Andy,
So first, you try to blame Nugent and then you try to deflect by calling into question when in chose to jump into the fray. You are digging yourself in deeper and deeper now.

As for me being a hypocrite, it’s no surprise to me that you either didn’t bother to read comment 471, or if you did, you choose to ignore it in an attemopt to justify your spurious charge of hypocrisy. Anything to deflect from your abusive and vile comments, it seems.

Everyone looses their temper at times, it’s not that big of a deal unless you dig your heels in instead of just owning up like and adult.

479 Andy November 28, 2014 at 12:27 am

Fishcakes,

So first, you try to blame Nugent

“Blame” for what? As far as I can tell based on almost 500 comments now, some comments land in a moderation queue, but pretty much everything gets posted and pretty much anything goes – no mod (or mods) tries to make sure that people play nice and fair. And I´m not criticizing that, it´s his choice. But given the community that comments here and the anything goes approach of the host, that means that the gloves are off.

As for me being a hypocrite, it’s no surprise to me that you either didn’t bother to read comment 471, or if you did, you choose to ignore it

Check out the timestamps on 471 and 472 – our comments were posted simultaneously.
Also, that still doesn´t change the fact that unnecessary rudeness (which for the first 50% of this thread was pretty much exclusively directed at me) didn´t bother you at all for most of this thread.

Anything to deflect from your abusive and vile comments, it seems.

Deflect? Talk about my abusive and vile comments as much as you want – I couldn´t care less about the opinions of hypocrites.

480 Pogsurf November 28, 2014 at 12:31 am

Everyone looses their temper at times, it’s not that big of a deal unless you dig your heels in instead of just owning up like and adult.

I think there are two classes of adults who through their actions deny this statement. The first are bullies who believe any loss of face will expose a weakness to their detractors. Bullies are too cowardly to admit they are wrong. Their power has been built up by bullying others, and they inwardly know their power base is a house of cards. They must continue to escalate their bullying behaviour in order to reap its rewards.

The second class is that of the bully-enabler. They mistakenly understand that the bully’s anger as a righteous anger, and so believe that when the bully directs his or her fury at someone or something the bully is doing some public good. Bully-enablers are weak minded because they are willing to overlook shortcomings in a bully’s behaviour; they believe some greater good is being achieved which justifies otherwise unacceptable behaviour. I suspect bully-enablers lack the will to confront difficult situations themselves, so they receive a vicarious feeling of goodwill when they see the bully acting upon what they perceive as their behalf.

481 piero November 28, 2014 at 12:41 am

Ooooh! Andy is taking his gloves off! Run for your lives, hypocrites!
😆

482 Andy November 28, 2014 at 12:49 am

Be nice piero or else FishCakes might gently scold you!

483 FishCakes November 28, 2014 at 12:53 am

Andy,
You were giving as good as you were getting for most of the thread, so nobody is buying your victimhood routine. Further, noting that was said to you comes close to the level of vileness you displayed in 429 and 434. As someone else already mentioned, you have shown your true colors and thereby have destroyed any moral credibility you may have had.

But by all means, keep digging. You are providing an excellent record for future readers as to how little people like you actually care about the issues you claim to be fighting for. You provide a wonderful contrast to people like Michael Nugent, and for that, at least, you ought to be thanked.

484 Andy November 28, 2014 at 1:19 am

FishCakes,

Further, noting that was said to you comes close to the level of vileness you displayed in 429 and 434

Based on your subjective evaluation – which I don´t give a damn about.

As someone else already mentioned, you have shown your true colors and thereby have destroyed any moral credibility you may have had.

And if I´d be lecturing you on how to behave, I might give a damn about how much “moral credibility” I have in your eyes, but since I don´t, you can believe that I´m worse than Hitler for all I care.

You are providing an excellent record for future readers as to how little people like you actually care about the issues you claim to be fighting for.

Interesting, what exactly did I claim to be fighting for? Quote please.

485 FishCakes November 28, 2014 at 1:34 am

Andy,
For someone who supposedly doesn’t give a damn, you certainly are taking the time to read and respond to my comments. You have also repeated complained about other people being mean to you, including going so far as copying/pasting comments from another forum to make your case. Those are not the actions of a person who doesn’t give a damn, and your insistence to the contrary is not fooling anyone,

As to you not caring whether you have any moral credibility, it’s you who will have to live with the consequences of such a short-sighted and self-defeating attitude. At the same time, it makes it easier for everyone else to decide whether or not to take you seriously.

If you really need a citation about what you claim to be fighting for, I’d suggest re-reading your first 30 or so comments in this thread and perhaps that will refresh your memory a bit.

486 piero November 28, 2014 at 1:35 am

Drop it, Andy. You’ve lost. You could do the right thing: apologise to Carrie and exit hurriedly. But you won’t, so you’ve lost. Bye.

487 FishCakes November 28, 2014 at 1:43 am

It’s really sad to see supposed adults who are utterly unable or unwilling to admit and acknowledge their mistakes, but it does at least make it so much easier to tell whether or not there is any point in engaging with them in any meaningful way.

Those who repeatedly dig their heels in, rather than just owning up, cast themselves into the trash heap of public discourse. This kind of behavior might be expected when dealing with children, but it’s really sad to see in adults.

488 JetLagg November 28, 2014 at 2:32 am

It’s a real kick to watch Andy resort to the “stfu” tactic. People of his ilk appear to genuinely get confused when you’re not allowed to just shout down your opponents.

It was interesting to watch him actually beat Jan in a debate of substance though. Just demonstrates that even crazy people can be intelligent in their own respect.

489 Jan Steen November 28, 2014 at 7:04 am

@Jetlagg,

It was interesting to watch him actually beat Jan in a debate of substance though.

As if you could tell. From our interactions on the ‘Pit I have learned that you’re not exactly an intellectual heavyweight. :)

490 Jan Steen November 28, 2014 at 7:21 am

Compare comments 395, 396, and 410 and then tell me who’s got egg on his face. But you’ll need a modicum of intelligence to be able to tell. So JetLagg doesn’t need to bother.

491 HH November 28, 2014 at 10:46 am

Andy,

You said: “Deflect? Talk about my abusive and vile comments as much as you want – I couldn´t care less about the opinions of hypocrites.”

Is there such as thing as recursive irony?

If there wasn’t before, there is now.

492 Dave Allen November 28, 2014 at 10:51 am

Andy – you seem to be projecting your notion of the archetypal Slyme Pit member onto Carrie and attacking her in lieu.

Two problems with this:

a) I don’t think Carrie is a Pitter (is she?).

b) The archetypal Pitter has long since flounced from the Pit.

493 Andy November 28, 2014 at 11:09 am

JetLagg,

It was interesting to watch him actually beat Jan in a debate of substance though.

Not really, that was like winning a race against a one-legged person – a guaranteed win, potentially funny, but nothing to be proud of.

494 Andy November 28, 2014 at 11:23 am

FishCakes,

For someone who supposedly doesn’t give a damn, you certainly are taking the time to read and respond to my comments.

And that means I must give a damn about what you think wrt my moral credibility because…?

You have also repeated complained about other people being mean to you, including going so far as copying/pasting comments from another forum to make your case.

I didn´t complain at all, and I´m still not complaining – what I point out is that this is the decorum and the community that Michael fosters and as far as I am concerned, he can have it.

If you really need a citation about what you claim to be fighting for, I’d suggest re-reading your first 30 or so comments in this thread and perhaps that will refresh your memory a bit.

So you were making shit up and now you are too much of a coward to admit that.

495 Minnow November 28, 2014 at 12:51 pm

“hat I point out is that this is the decorum and the community that Michael fosters and as far as I am concerned, he can have it.”

No, that is silly. It like suggesting that Myers ‘fosters’ child rape just because some of his commentators are child rapists. Nobody can be held responsible for everyone who follows them, agrees or disagrees with them or comments on their blogs. Michael Nugent doesn’t hold Myers to that standard, he simply asks that Myers drags himself out of the gutter.

496 JetLagg November 28, 2014 at 1:45 pm

@Jan

From our interactions at the pit, I’ve learned you’ll say pretty much anything to discredit an FTB blogger. Andy is, for once, spot on when he assumes this about you.

Amusingly enough, the first (and for obvious reasons the last) time I bothered debating you, you were insisting (with about the same transparent bias you’ve displayed here) that you knew more about math subject than the writer of peer reviewed literature on math. I suppose next you’ll tell us you’re a biologist who moonlights as a mathematician…

497 FishCakes November 28, 2014 at 1:48 pm

Andy,
You can repeat your claim that you don’t give a damn, or that you didn’t complain about people being mean to you, until you are blue in the face, but your previous comments will not disappear and they tell the true story. At least half a dozen comments on that point alone, including you doing multiple vanity-searches at other forums to see what mean things people said about you. It’s clear to me, and I suspect to everyone else who read your comments, that you care deeply, otherwise you wouldn’t have bothered with any of that.

As to your claim that you were merely making a point about the level of decorum Nugent fosters, that too is demonstrably false. Your vanity-searches and copying/pasting comments from a different forum cannot possibly be used as evidence of the decorum on this site, precisely because you sourced them from a different site. So no, Andy, that excuse will not fly.

As to your absurd claim that I am making things up [in regards to you fighting for a cause] the only way that would be the case is if you have merely been trolling this entire time, as opposed to genuinely arguing for a reason. If that is what you are admitting to [trolling] then you are correct that I mischaracterized your purpose here and for that I apologize.

However, if you have not merely been trolling, then clearly it would be correct to say that you have been arguing for a reason or cause, and therefore your claim that I made that up is patently ridiculous and untrue.

So which is it? Have you been merely trolling, or was I correct that you are here arguing with people for actual reasons?

498 Jan Steen November 28, 2014 at 1:50 pm

Andy, the graduate from Google University, didn’t know that Kimura himself had characterised his Neutral Theory as being in contrast to Darwinian Evolution (see Andy scoffing at this notion in his comment 396). Then, after (in my comment 397) I pointed out with a citation by Kimura that Andy was an ignoramus, he (in his comment 410) suddenly pretended that he knew all along that Kimura had characterised his theory as non-Darwinian. Accompanied by his usual strawmanning (no, not by Kimura, by Andy.)

Yeah, you can fool fellow ignoramuses into believing that you have ‘won’ our little dispute, and I happily grant you the warm feeling that gives you. But you don’t fool me, buddy.

Joking aside, I find it pretty disgusting how you responded to Carrie. Are you out of your mind, or what?

Carrie #434:

I am a woman who has been abused and cares deeply about other people and animals, so you might think that I would be welcome there, but I know that my ideas on solutions to problems are far too nuanced and I would be ripped to shreds there.

Andy #435:

No one gives a fuck, go cry somewhere else.

Do you think this is normal behaviour? If so, get help.

499 Jan Steen November 28, 2014 at 1:56 pm

@ JetLagg,

I am not going to derail this thread with another sideline, but let me just point out that the “writer of peer reviewed literature on math” you mention was Dr. Richard Carrier PhD :)

I’ll let others draw a conclusion from that, if they care to do so.

500 JetLagg November 28, 2014 at 2:03 pm

You don’t need to go into detail. Your intent is clear enough. “A blogger from FTB wrote this, therefore, based on literally no other information, you should dismiss it. Thank you for so neatly proving my point.

501 Jan Steen November 28, 2014 at 2:13 pm

“Peer reviewed literature on math” made my laugh, though. Those who have followed Dr. Carrier PhD will be aware that he always goes on about this or that publication of his being ‘peer reviewed’. He will show you a shopping list of his and tell you that it has been peer reviewed. :)

502 JetLagg November 28, 2014 at 2:20 pm

Right. So, we’re switching from “a blogger from FTB wrote this, therefore it is wrong” to “the person who wrote this has a massive ego, therefore it is wrong.”

503 Jan Steen November 28, 2014 at 2:21 pm

That’s your inference, not mine.

504 FishCakes November 28, 2014 at 2:31 pm

Jan,
What was the point of your last two comments [the ones noting the author of the paper as Carrier and your suggestion that he embellishes or exaggerates his peer reviewed status in some way] if not for the purpose of insinuating that these are valid reasons to suspect that he was wrong and/or that you were correct?

I don’t want to draw the wrong inference, which is why I am asking.

505 Jan Steen November 28, 2014 at 2:31 pm

More pertinent to this thread, perhaps, is the fact that Carrier has been happily taking part in the various FTB witch hunts. I remember a post in which he in all seriousness proposed that Thunderf00t was a sociopath.

I guess that Carrier in his capacity of Universal Genius is also an accomplished psychiatrist.

A nasty little man, really. Just like Peezus.

506 Jan Steen November 28, 2014 at 2:36 pm

FishCakes, I’m just ridiculing Dr. Carrier PhD because I think he is ridiculous. Make of that what you will.

507 Andy November 28, 2014 at 2:38 pm

Jan Steen,

Yeah, you can fool fellow ignoramuses into believing that you have ‘won’ our little dispute, and I happily grant you the warm feeling that gives you.

Outwitting you is nothing to be proud of, it´s like winning a fistfight against a man with no arms.

But you don’t fool me, buddy.

I know: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wvVPdyYeaQU

Joking aside, I find it pretty disgusting

And I don´t give a fuck.

508 FishCakes November 28, 2014 at 2:46 pm

Jan,
Thanks for the clairifcation.

509 FishCakes November 28, 2014 at 2:53 pm

For someone who claims to give zero fucks, Andy, you sure have spent an awful lot of time writing comment after comment after comment in this thread. I sure would be interested to know what motivated all of that, if not you caring about what other people have had to say.

510 Andy November 28, 2014 at 2:57 pm

FishCakes,

You can repeat your claim that you don’t give a damn, or that you didn’t complain about people being mean to you, until you are blue in the face, but your previous comments will not disappear and they tell the true story.

Indeed. They do – and I said multiple times that I don´t mind this at all and that I am not criticizing Michael for this, it´s his choice.

It’s clear to me, and I suspect to everyone else who read your comments, that you care…

…about what exactly? About making it a little more clear what kind of atmosphere and community Michael fosters at the moment?

Your vanity-searches and copying/pasting comments from a different forum cannot possibly be used as evidence of the decorum on this site…

And I did not say that it could. I said decorum and community – and since this blog has effectively become slymepit ireland, this “different forum” is absolutely relevant if you want to give an impression of the community that gathers here.

As to your absurd claim that I am making things up [in regards to you fighting for a cause] the only way that would be the case is if you have merely been trolling this entire time, as opposed to genuinely arguing for a reason.

And you claimed to know what that reason is, but you in fact didn´t – so you were making shit up.

511 Jan Steen November 28, 2014 at 2:58 pm

Carrier’s post was called “Is Thunderf00t a sociopath?”

In that article, Carrier hilariously shot himself in the foot by inviting his readers to upvote a video of his (Carrier’s). The downvote to upvote ratio soon rose to something like 10:1. No, it doesn’t prove anything. But it gave me a good laugh. The Schadenfreude of seeing a bully fall on his face can’t be bettered.

http://web.archive.org/web/20141026011047/http://freethoughtblogs.com/carrier/archives/3364

Come to think of it, Stephanie Zvan also once had a post titled “Is X– a psychopath?” (X– being the then current Witch of the Week).

Charming people, those FTBers. So completely unlike Scientologists.

512 Jan Steen November 28, 2014 at 3:12 pm

Andy’s supersecret plan has been to demonstrate that Michael’s blog has become Slymepit Ireland by behaving like he thinks a Slymepitter would behave, so that casual readers who read Andy’s posts might think that they have landed on the ‘Pit. He is, in his own sadly deluded mind, something like a cunning agent provocateur.

Nice try, Andy, but you’ll have to add some ‘shoops and tasteless GIFs to make me really feel at home here. :)

513 FishCakes November 28, 2014 at 3:30 pm

Andy,
Yes, my apologies for giving you the benefit of the doubt and assuming that you were here arguing in good faith, for actual reasons. But now that you have all but admitted this is not the case, I realize and admit that I was wrong about your motivations.

Please accept my sincere apologies for this, and rest assured that I won’t make the same mistake again.

514 FishCakes November 28, 2014 at 3:38 pm

By the way, this business about comments from another forum representing anything about Nugent’s site – that is so absurd that I suspect that even Andy himself doesn’t believe it; on the other hand, if he does genuinely believe it, well that certainly reveals some incredibly muddled thinking and bizarre reasoning on his part.

Either way, it tells us quite a bit about what’s motivating Andy’s behavior here.

515 Andy November 28, 2014 at 3:46 pm

FishCakes,

By the way, this business about comments from another forum representing anything about Nugent’s site

Are you being deliberately obtuse or just a little slow? If more than 2/3 of the comments on this blog are written by slymepitters, than a statement or an observation about slymepitters says a lot about the community that gathers here. This is really not hard to understand.

516 Minnow November 28, 2014 at 4:07 pm

“If more than 2/3 of the comments on this blog are written by slymepitters”

I think more than 2/3 of the comments on this blog are written by you Andy

What you don’t seem to understand, Andy, is that ‘slymepitter’ is not a meaningful category to anybody not involved in a particular sectarian squabble. It is just a boring ideological epithet that gets thrown about. Sound and fury signifying nothing. It doesn’t refer to anything real, and just sounds like adolescent foot-stamping to anybody who isn’t interested in the minutiae of your various feuds and theological disputes. We don’t care where other people write comments, or what they read, or what they ‘secretly’ think. We just care about what they write and how they write it here and now.

517 Matt Cavanaugh November 28, 2014 at 4:08 pm

From Andy:
“Minnow is back! Awesome – maybe Shatterface will come back as well and we can finally find out who the dumbest guy in this thread is (so far, my money would still be on Shatterface, but Minnow could give him a run for his money).

Jan Steen … is this guy a slymer? (if so, he is even dumber than Shatterface – congratulations)

… azure ungulate …

… since Carrie loves the sewage pit so much … . No one gives a fuck, go cry somewhere else.”

Not only does Andy share PZ’s disdain for neo-darwinism, he also has PZ’s talent for insult, callousness, name-calling & vulgarity, as well as PZ’s need to belittle the intelligence of his interlocutors.

Is this just an SJW/Neutral Theory thing, or am I missing something here?

518 Matt Cavanaugh November 28, 2014 at 4:14 pm

Anyway, 500+ comments and all we’ve learned: be it “rapist”, “haven”, “fuckwit”, or “revolution”, PZ Myers’ words mean whatever they need to mean in the moment to exonerate him of any wrongdoing evah. Silly dictionary atheists!

I’m done.

519 FishCakes November 28, 2014 at 5:02 pm

Andy,
The fact that you had to pull comments from another site to make your point should be a clue that your complaint should be leveled at the other site, as opposed to at Nugent’s. If you had a legitimate point about Nugent’s site, you would have been able to pull comments from here to make your point, which quite obviously you were unable to do.

But, by all means, please keep digging yourself deeper and deeper. You are certainly putting on a good show.

520 FishCakes November 28, 2014 at 5:23 pm

By the way, Andy, it’s more than a bit irnoic for you to suggest that I am slow because I don’t see how comments from another site (which Nugent has no control of) serve as evidence as to the atmosphere that Nugent is fostering here.

You are certainly welcome to your opinion, but you are really fooling yourself if you think that anyone else in the world is likely to agree with you.

521 jimthepleb November 28, 2014 at 6:32 pm

I agree with Andy!

522 Andy November 28, 2014 at 6:38 pm

FishCakes,

By the way, Andy, it’s more than a bit irnoic for you to suggest that I am slow because I don’t see how comments from another site (which Nugent has no control of)

He also has no control over a forum like chimpout and stormfront, but if there comes a time when regulars from such a forum make up the lion´s share of your comments, it might be wise to ask yourself what went wrong.

523 piero November 28, 2014 at 6:52 pm

Well, the FtB blogs are populated largely by people like you, Andy. But I don’t see you asking what went wrong. I wonder why…

524 Dave Allen November 28, 2014 at 7:13 pm

He also has no control over a forum like chimpout and stormfront, but if there comes a time when regulars from such a forum make up the lion´s share of your comments, it might be wise to ask yourself what went wrong.

Well I suppose the next time I want to show someone up for posting on Stormfront I’ll find someone who doesn’t post on Stormfront, tell them I don’t care about them not liking FtB and that they should STFU.

Sounds like a plan.

525 Aneris ✻ November 28, 2014 at 7:29 pm

Spinning a tale: Why aren’t women flocking to movement atheism?

In “Why aren’t women flocking to movement atheism?”{1} PZ Myers makes a few keen observations to support the thesis.

However, when Atheism is growing, and the percent of women remains about the same, then his thesis is already wrong.

PZ Myers wrote: The reason women aren’t flocking to atheism is simply that they know what they are doing, and are wise to avoid groups that don’t appreciate them.

Simply put, if 7 people on your party are male and 3 are female (30% women) and your next party has 30 women and 70 men (still 30% women), you got more women than before – even if more men joined than women in the same interval. This still holds true when only 29 women “flock” to your party and 71 men do in the same time. That’s still almost ten times more women coming than to the previous party. PZ Myers would need to show that women are actually leaving, and that more women are leaving than men. Of course, he does nothing of the sort. He doesn’t even bother to explain what is meant by “movement atheism”.

I did some cursory checking of the facts and found this…

Pew Forum{2} (late 2012): Atheists and agnostics are much more likely to be male (64%) than female (36%). Americans who identify their religion as “nothing in particular” are more evenly divided: 53% are men, and 47% are women.

Those who are affiliated with a religion, by contrast, are somewhat more likely to be women (53%) than men (47%).

In 2012 (i.e. before all the alleged scary sexist tweeting of Richard Dawkins) you had the situation outlined above. That also tells you that in order to make more women come to atheism, you have to convert them, whereas there is a bit larger reservoir of men that are without religion already, suggesting that affiliation to one religion is stronger with women overall.

PZ Myers lists a few plausible reasons why fewer women join in the same interval as men do, yet when you want to make the argument that some communication of atheist-leaders are off-putting, I find accommodationist-war arguments more plausible in this instance. If more women are likely to be part of religious communities, they’ll more likely find a strident and ridiculing tone off-putting (after all, it is directed at their family, friends and acqaintances). Ridicule and making the internet hostile for religious superstition is a good way but may have to do with the uneven distribution of converts.

However, PZ Myers is interested in continuing the narrative as if women stayed away and then that they stay away for reasons he sees as faults in others (sexism, misogyny etc).

Mirror, Mirror on the wall

According to Alexa{3}, FreeThoughtBlogs still attracts more male visitors above internet average. It does a better job than RichardDawkins.net in that regard. Though, the more plausible explanation is different content. Jerry Coyne’s website has a similar gender distribution as RDFRS (still according to Alexa) yet he isn’t known for tweeting “problematic” messages or anything they accuse Richard Dawkins of. And despite PZ Myers purer than pure feminism (I guess that’s how he sees it), he still has more guys reading. Curious, isn’t it?

For a longer time, FreeThoughtBlogs has little to do with atheism and reaches presumably an audience of social justice interested readers, with a different demographic footprint. Like this person…

theoreticalgrrrl (50) wrote: I have been through probably every belief system out there when trying to “find myself”, or just trying to figure out life and what is truth. […] The one place I never experienced men talking over women or any sexism was in the metaphysical groups I would occasionally take part in. Everyone was treated like an individual, like a unique soul of equal worth and importance. I know the idea of a “soul” is not popular with atheists, but I still believe in it in a way. Even if we don’t literally have a soul in the religious sense, I think it’s important to treat people like they do.

What’s more interesting here is though…

A Core Belief

No surprise, they firmly believe Richard Dawkins responded to Rebecca Watson’s video and not to the internet flamewar that erupted especially after Rebecca Watson criticized Stef McGraw from her podium and placed her into the same camp as harassers and worse (the basic trick of social justice warriors ever since){4}. Here are two examples how the story is told by regulars…

2kittehs (65) wrote: Bea, “quietly urging” does. Not. Work. It’s like asking racists politely to stop being racist. Dawkins in particular has been asked, told, had things explained to him countless times, and he gets more misogynistic every day. He’s still whining and harbouring a grudge because Rebecca Watson dared use that terrible and vitriolic phrase, “Guys, don’t do that.”

Maureen Brian (89) wrote: Years ago, Bea, a prominent woman atheist told a story on video, calmly and with great care – the odd raised eyebrow but no malice, no naming of names, just a true story. One of these gentlemen – I use the term loosely – took exception to the final sentence of her exposition, just four words, and has been using it as an excuse for his bad behaviour ever since..

On my suggestion to note the original context, FreeThoughtBlog people as usual show how incredibly obtuse they are if they need to be…

Tom Foss wrote: I didn’t look at many of the links directly to Aneris comments, but I noticed him complaining about people linking to “The Privilege Delusion” instead of the original Dear Muslima comment, neatly eliding that Dear Muslima happened on ScienceBlogs, where the comments have been broken for years now, and linking directly to them is all but impossible. I just checked again, and the comments don’t even appear on the original post.

The irony of saying that when accusing people of being misleading because they link to tertiary sources and trust others won’t bother to check the facts? Simply unbelievable.

The point has been that the context is told consistently false and an intelligent person can link to the original context to prevent that from happening (the article where the comment was made). If I send someone to get groceries the reply can’t be that they didn’t manage to get there, since the instruction didn’t specifically point out how to open doors.

Even if you do the work and corner them from every angle (see how long it took for them to acknowledge the second half of the Ogvorbis story), they then simply pay lipservice, invent some new BS, stall the consequences and don’t update their views accordingly anyway. They are a sort of bizarre dogmatist who refuses to accept the facts even if they are plainly observable.

Metaphors are True. Written Feelings are Real. Do you Support the People In Iowa?

As usual, they can’t formulate in concrete terms what they want. It’s the language of the propagandist{5}. Less support here, more support there. But curiously PZ Myers follows Richard Dawkins and Dan Dennett on twitter, the hypocrite he is.

Metaphors are treated as if real. Here they play around with imagining Richard Dawkins was a dog. This is what Internet Tough Guy Rowan’s would do…

Rowan vet-tech wrote: Also, see the words after my name? When I’m around an aggressive dog I don’t act extra nice to it (that doesn’t work at all, by the by unless the dog is FEAR-aggressive) I get a leash, a muzzle, and sedatives and I wrangle it to the ground, pop it in the butt with the drugs and get on with my day. And that’s what we’re doing when we don’t let these sexist men and women get away with the shit they’re saying.

I’m sure you’ve seen how they use the term “literally” to promote their theatre-play as if it was real. You’ll find the usual histrionics, a surefire indicator of social justice warriors, too, i.e. angered speech patterns by adding points between words, like in the first quote “does. Not. Work.” and so on. There is something strange with these people and their relationship to the empirical world outside.

PZ Myers concrete ideas boil down to promoting his ingroup gang to have more influence and have their views blatant propaganda be promoted in mainstream media. He complains that the wrong men are famous YouTubers, yet he promotes Rebecca Watson again, who isn’t notable by any standard. Her puny 18,000 subscribers are nothing against Jaclyn Glenn who has more than ten times the number, 268,000+.

PZ Myers wrote: When women get on Youtube and discover that two of the most popular atheist vloggers are misogynists like The Amazing Atheist and Thunderf00t, while women like Laci Green distance themselves from atheism because of all the hate that flows from the atheist groups there, is it any surprise that they don’t find atheism appealing? Enlightened self-interest again.

While Laci Green is even larger (more than 1m), her channel has virtually nothing to do with atheism. In the sea of videos{6} there is a whopping one video that reads “was Mary a virgin” which could count somewhat.

Once more we see how the narrative gets made and propagated. Interestingly, these distortions aren’t honest mistakes or what could be seen as in the realm of opinion. They are deliberate falsehoods and misreprepresentations or indicators of throughoutly corrupt minds.

I posted that here, since it underscores a couple of points Michael Nugent has made (“movement” atheism, falsehoods, misrepresentations, smearing of Richard Dawkins, propaganda seeping into mainstream media etc)

Sources _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

1_ freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2014/11/26/why-arent-women-flocking-to-movement-atheism/

2_pewforum.org/2012/10/09/nones-on-the-rise-demographics/

3_ alexa.com/siteinfo/freethoughtblogs.com

4_scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2011/07/02/always-name-names/
4_freethoughtkampala.wordpress.com/2011/09/11/elevatorgate/

5_chomsky.info/interviews/199201–.htm

6_youtube.com/user/lacigreen/videos

526 Carrie November 28, 2014 at 7:42 pm

Dave Allen @492

a) I don’t think Carrie is a Pitter (is she?).

No, she isn’t. I do like the informal structure there and the way in which people show genuine passion on various issues, from sleeping-bags and ovens to real social injustices. The squabbles can be silly and fun but disagreements usually end kindly. But I do not have an account or post there; I am slow and things go too fast.

On the other hand, I have watched FtB (Pharyngula in particular) tearing people to shreds, simply for asking questions. I would never wish to post there. They do apply double standards and it is good to see Michael highlighting this.

527 FishCakes November 29, 2014 at 1:03 am

Andy,
A person’s arguments stand or fall on their own merits, regardless of which other websites the person happens to frequent. If their argument is sound, pointing out that they post on some other website is not going to magically make it unsound. If their arguments are unsound, then they can be refuted without recourse to this silly guilt-by-association nonsense.

To sane and rational people, the fact that you were forced to resort to this guilt-by-association tactic is a clear signal that you are completely and utterly incapable of dealing with the arguments on their own merit. It’s more or less an admission from you that you have lost the argument; it’s also just plain childish and lazy.

528 Jan Steen November 30, 2014 at 2:55 pm

Like all SJWs, Myers has an atrocious sense of humour (or rather, an utter lack thereof).

Like when he plays the creepy uncle who will never miss an opportunity to make a double entendre. Yesterday he tweeted:

Having children as a public performance? Kinky. RT @PaulFidalgo: I have not performed publicly since having children.

https://twitter.com/pzmyers/status/538872196857200640

This self-righteous fraud often reminds me of a televangelist. The kind of smooth-talking hypocrite who presents himself to his flock as the spotless family man, but who unwittingly drops enough hints for you to realise that he is anything but.

529 Brigitte September 2, 2015 at 8:21 am

It’s enormous that you are getting ideas from this article
as well as from our dialogue made here.

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