13 Oct – Where is PZ’s List of Things He Got Wrong?

He doesn’t have one. We’ve had to create it for him.

PZ rips off multiple lies today about Neil deGrasse Tyson and Ben Shapiro in a blog post bemoaning the fact that celebrities don’t have principles. This left us wondering, what are Myers’s principles?

Social justice (however he defines that term today): Check.

And…what else?

Definitely not truth.

In a bonus irony moment, it turns out that Shapiro, a man PZ has called a liar on multiple occasions (pot, meet kettle) keeps a list of things he’s gotten wrong over the years. Who does that?? Definitely not one Paul Zachary Myers.

PZ Myers Lie [in bold]:

I don’t expect much of a Kardashian, at least they’re just in the business of marketing themselves for money. I didn’t even expect much of Ellen Degeneres — she’s always just been a happy clappy talk show host, so I’m not surprised when she admits to her friendliness with corrupt mass-murderer George W. Bush.

https://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2019/10/13/if-we-must-have-celebrities-can-they-at-least-have-some-principles/

Facts:

PZ offers no evidence to support his claim that the former President is a “mass-murderer,” but we assume he’s referencing the decision to invade Iraq and the subsequent counterinsurgency campaign waged in the country for years following the overthrow of Saddam Hussein.

Reasonable people can disagree about the invasion decision itself. We don’t personally think Saddam’s actions warranted the overthrow of his brutal, totalitarian regime, but we certainly understand those who look at the same facts and come to a different conclusion. PZ Myers, somehow, looks at those facts and sees “mass-murderer” when there is no evidence pointing to that conclusion. George W. Bush, to our knowledge, did not give any special instructions to the military to kill unarmed men, women, or children. He did not, to our knowledge, authorize unusual Rules of Engagement instructing the military to execute a disproportionately violent response to hostile acts on the part of Iraqi soldiers. He did not, to our knowledge, authorize the summary execution of prisoners or non-combatants. As far as we can tell, the former President ordered a military operation to be conducted against another organized and armed military force, and when that force was defeated and replaced with various plain-clothed insurgent groups, he authorized the military to respond.

Bush’s initial order was authorized by a large, bi-partisan margin in Congress and every subsequent request for supplemental funds to pay for the ongoing Operation Iraqi Freedom was also approved. Congress could have exercised its power at any time to withdraw authorization or funding from the Executive Branch, but chose not to do so. Additionally, allies from around the globe voluntarily participated in military and peacekeeping actions in Iraq in various forms. All of this constitutes a proper, legal military action.

None of it constitutes “mass-murder,” but it does constitute a great big lie from PZ Myers.

Analysis:

PZ’s son is a United States Army officer. We wonder sometimes what they talk about over the Thanksgiving dinner table. Do the words “baby killer” ever escape PZ’s lips? Or is that different because…well, we don’t know why that would be different.

PZ Myers Lie #2 [in bold]:

I never watched [Ellen’s] show anyway, and I will just continue to do the same. But jesus fuck, Neil deGrasse Tyson, I expected more of you than that you’d laughingly share a microphone with climate-change-denying, gay- and trans-hating, apologist-for-racists Ben Shapiro.

https://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2019/10/13/if-we-must-have-celebrities-can-they-at-least-have-some-principles/

Facts:

PZ makes four claims here, all of which are lies. Let’s tackle them in order:

1. Climate change denier. Nope. Shapiro believes the climate is changing, he just disagrees with PZ Myers on what to do about it. Here’s Shapiro [some punctuation added to the Google transcript]:

So my perspective on climate change is: number one I’m not a climatologist, but accepting the IPCC reports, you have to take into account the fact that modelling has been wrong for 20 to 30 years. It’s always been overestimating the amount of climate change that’s actually taking place. But, virtually every reputable scientist including folks who are who are called Skeptics believe that the climate is warming. There’s an argument about as to how much. And that over 50 percent of that warming is probably attributable to human activity.  Now, that raises other questions, which is OK…so let’s say the Earth is warming. What kind of damage is that actually going do? And this is a serious question. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wRk1p8Lzwvo

2. Gay Hater. Swing and a miss. Find evidence of gay hatred in this interview with Dave Rubin (a gay man) and we’ll change our minds.

3. Trans Hater. PZ is in the ballpark here, but we don’t think anything he’s said could reasonably seen as “hatred” towards trans people. Here’s Shapiro again:

I haven’t been unclear about this. Transgenderism is a mental condition. It is not about societal construction of gender identity or social disapproval of those who don’t “act like us.” If you are a biological man and you believe you are a woman, you suffer from a mental disorder. What I said in this video is factually correct. None of this is an argument for mistreatment of people who suffer from this mental disorder. Far from it. But pretending that male and female are completely malleable categories is a total and absolute, anti-scientific lie.

https://www.dailywire.com/news/so-heres-giant-list-all-dumb-stuff-ive-ever-done-ben-shapiro

4. Apologist for racists. No idea what PZ is talking about here, and he offers no evidence for the claim.

Analysis:

Take a look at the title of this piece up on Shapiro’s website: “So, Here’s A Giant List Of All The Dumb Stuff I’ve Ever Done (Don’t Worry, I’ll Keep Updating It).” He goes out of his way to point out the things he’s gotten wrong in the past.

We don’t ask that much of PZ Myers, but it would be nice if occasionally acknowledged an error or two.

PZ Myers Lie #3 [in bold]:

Furthermore, Tyson is touring accompanied by his own shadow, the harassment (and worse) accusations against him, which have been quietly buried.

https://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2019/10/13/if-we-must-have-celebrities-can-they-at-least-have-some-principles/

Facts:

The quite public accusations against Tyson, which surfaced last November, were investigated not once but twice by his employers.

Fox Broadcasting and National Geographic investigated the allegations in early 2019 and subsequently cleared Tyson to return to his previous position.

New York’s American Museum of Natural History did the same in July of this year.

Analysis:

By “buried,” PZ means the investigators didn’t find what PZ wanted them to find. Like most of the people PZ Myers targets at Pharyngula, Tyson is much more accomplished and popular than him. That brings out the envy in PZ.

Also interesting is this – PZ has a sexual assault allegation of his own that may or may not have been “quietly buried.” We wonder if PZ sees his own shadow every time he talks about this subject.

Final Tally:

Today: 0 science-related posts, 4 posts on other stuff

Since 30 May 19: 117 science-related posts, 465 non-science posts.

20% of the posts on a “science blog” are about science. 

Today: 3 PZ Myers Lies

Since 30 May 19: 144 PZ Myers Lies

Over to you, PZ. Until tomorrow.

12 Oct – No Lies!

There’s an old saying that goes something like this: even on a day where there is no news, the media will still report it in the same breathless fashion.

Do you know of another website that promises you no content when there is nothing to report?

But, then again, for PZ Myers, a day without lying may actually be newsworthy.

Final Tally:

Today: 0 science-related posts, 2 posts on other stuff

Since 30 May 19: 117 science-related posts, 461 non-science posts.

20% of the posts on a “science blog” are about science. 

Today: 0 PZ Myers Lies

Since 30 May 19: 141 PZ Myers Lies

Over to you, PZ. Until tomorrow.

11 Oct – The UMM College Republicans Are Really Getting to PZ

We knew it was coming. President Trump held a rally last night in Minneapolis, Minnesota, roughly 3 hours away from Morris. PZ couldn’t not comment – and lie – about it.

Stick around after the lie – we cover a Bonus PZ Myers Hypocrisy Moment. He continued his crusade against college-aged Republicans again today and urged his readers (and presumably those students looking to get a better grade from him) to throw their flyers in the trash.

Quite the mature reaction from a 60-something year old tenured professor!

PZ Myers Lie [in bold]:

It’s chilling how the audience boos when he mentions Somalia. Then they cheer when he claims to have stopped the flow of refugees, and is going to insist on more local control of who is allowed to settle here.

https://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2019/10/11/how-awful-was-last-nights-trump-rally/

Facts:

PZ makes two claims here, both of which are a lie. First, he claims that Trump claimed to have stopped the flow of refugees. As the transcript from Trump’s speech below shows, he did nothing of the sort.

The second lie is when PZ claims Trump “is going go” – future tense – insist on more local control of who is allowed to settle in Minnesota. Once again, Trump did not say that.

Let’s go to the speech:

As you know, for many years, leaders in Washington brought large numbers of refugees to your state from Somalia without considering the impact on schools and communities and taxpayers. I promised you that as president, I would give local communities a greater say in refugee policy, and put in place enhanced vetting and responsible immigration controls. And I’ve done that. Since coming into office, I have reduced refugee resettlement by 85%, and as you know, maybe especially in Minnesota, I kept another promise. I issued an executive action, making clear that no refugees will be resettled in any city or any state without the express written consent of that city or that state. So speak to your mayor. You should be able to decide what is best for your own cities and for your own neighborhoods, and that’s what you have the right to do right now. And believe me, no other president would be doing that.

https://www.rev.com/blog/donald-trump-minnesota-rally-speech-transcript-minneapolis-mn-rally-october-10-2019

The words are quite plain and clear. PZ cannot have misunderstood the message Trump was trying to get across. Unless he wanted to lie about that message.

Analysis:

As lies about Trump go, these two are relatively anodyne. But it is amazing how the simplest sentiments uttered by Trump are completely and willfully misunderstood by those who hate him.

BONUS PZ Myers Hypocrisy Moment:

Lie #6 on our Top Ten Lies of PZ Myers was this:

We had Ben Shapiro give a talk at UMM, and if that dishonest twerp can get a platform here, you’ve got no grounds to claim that conservatives are censored.

https://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2019/06/28/free-speech-is-the-new-religious-excuse/

He insisted at the time – way back in June – that in no way were conservatives censored at US universities, his own included. We noted that The College Fix had quoted PZ as telling people to dispose of copies of the University of Minnesota, Morris’s alternative newspaper, The North Star.

He did it again today, but this time he encouraged his readers – including, presumably, his own biology students – to throw out lawful, legal signs posted by the College Republicans announcing an upcoming meeting.

I walked through that tunnel this morning, and everyone of those signs was gone. Torn down and not replaced. Instead, there were a lot of signs affirming gender identity. The only one I could find is the one above, which has a red date stamp, as is required for any flyers posted in the student union. Other places on campus are more of a free-for-all, but apparently whoever was taking out the trash was careful to obey the informal regulations on signage.


Good. Throw ’em all out.

https://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2019/10/11/we-are-making-some-progress-locally/

Interesting.

So, which is it, PZ? Are conservatives censored on campus, as they should be? Or are they free to debate their political ideas?

We think we know where you stand.

Final Tally:

Today: 0 science-related posts, 6 posts on other stuff

Since 30 May 19: 117 science-related posts, 459 non-science posts.

20% of the posts on a “science blog” are about science. 

Today: 1 PZ Myers Lies

Since 30 May 19: 141 PZ Myers Lies

Over to you, PZ. Until tomorrow.

10 Oct – Ho Hum, Just Another PZ Myers Lie

We’re breaking an internal rule today, something we feel is warranted by particularly egregious circumstances.

We promised ourselves to give PZ a pass on pretty much everything he says about Trump. The words he’s used to describe the current occupant of the White House are usually reserved – by more sober analysts – for genocidal maniacs. There’s essentially nothing PZ could say about Trump that would shock us – he’s the professor who cried outrage so often nobody can hear it anymore.

But, today he didn’t just compare Trump to Hitler, he compared a campaign rally to a Nazi rally, disparaging everyone in attendance and trivializing what the actual Nazis did. Quite a feat for a two-sentence post!

PZ Myers Lie [in bold]:

All these people I know are hanging out around the Target Center in Minneapolis, which seems to be the happening scene tonight.
It goes without saying that everyone I know is there to protest the Nazi rally going on, not attend it.

https://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2019/10/10/envy/

Facts:

PZ uses the word fascist as a general term to describe someone he disagrees with, politically. He’s called Trump a Nazi before, of course, and he’s also used the same word to describe popular YouTuber Pewdiepie.

But, he’s never used that word – as far as we can tell – to describe people who freely attend a Trump campaign event. It’s disgusting. And it’s a lie.

The actual Nazi Party Rallies, held in Nuremberg on a parade field that still exists (we’ve visited many times, we used to live in Nuremberg), had the following purpose:

Held annually in September from the early 1920s until 1938, the Nazi Party’s Nuremberg Party Day rallies were intended to show the world a German State in lockstep with its leader and his ideology.  The Nuremberg Party Day rallies thus represented an example of the “mobilization” of German society by National Socialism.  As such, the rallies provide scholars with an excellent vantage point for studying the Third Reich as a totalitarian political system.

http://www.worldfuturefund.org/wffmaster/Reading/Party%20Day/Nurembergdoc.htm

Outside of people like PZ Myers and other fringe progressives, does anyone really think the United States currently has a totalitarian political system? Has the Constitution been upended? Has the rule of law been suspended? Trump is the leader of one of three co-equal US Government branches, and the other two have checked his power continually in the years since he’s been elected. Did we miss the executive order Trump issued dissolving Congress and the Supreme Court?

Also, in what way is the US in lockstep with Trump and his ideology? Half the country wants to see him impeached and removed from office!

Most of the other half, by the way, is convinced the Democratic Party and progressives like PZ are trying to overturn the results of the last election, first with the Russia probe and now the Ukraine. They’re convinced socialists, like PZ, are much closer to the National Socialists of the Nazi Party than Trump will ever be. And if the conservative right in this country has any unifying principle, it is a return to the limited form of government found in the US Constitution. In no way can that principle be compared to anything the Nazis stood for.

PZ offers no evidence – he never does – for his claim that Trump and/or the Republican Party has any Nazi-like qualities whatseover. To suggest the two are so similar as to be indistinguishable is a bald-faced lie.

Analysis:

This would be humorous if there wasn’t a deadly serious side to this equation. The actual Nazi Party, the one that ignited World War II and exterminated millions of innocent people, was perhaps the greatest evil the world has ever known. To suggest that Trump – someone who wants to curb illegal immigration, pull out of Afghanistan and Syria and engage in talks with rouge regimes like North Korea – can be realistically compared to genocidal, militaristic and aggressive Adolf Hitler is insane and unserious. To insist that his supporters and/or the people who voted for him as the lesser of two evils are the equivalent of Nazi Party supporters is simply beyond the pale.

And worse still – PZ doesn’t believe it.

If he did believe the Nazi Party was alive and well in America, he would be arming himself in preparation for the coming revolution. If he believed that, he’d be advocating for insurrection and rebellion. If he sincerely believed the United States was about to turn into pre-WWII Germany, he’d derelict in his duty to his family not to move them to Canada.

No, he stays – and probably feels quite good about it – because he knows what he says isn’t true.

We know it, too.

Final Tally:

Today: 0 science-related posts, 4 posts on other stuff

Since 30 May 19: 117 science-related posts, 453 non-science posts.

21% of the posts on a “science blog” are about science. 

Today: 1 PZ Myers Lies

Since 30 May 19: 140 PZ Myers Lies

Over to you, PZ. Until tomorrow.

9 Oct – Forget It, PZ Is Rolling

Some days it feels like PZ Myers is struggling to hold on to a tenuous grasp on the truth. He’ll dance atop the fence separating fact from fiction, never straying too far into one side or the other.

And then there are days like yesterday and today, where it feels like he’s so far gone he can’t even see the fence. Yesterday, his target was a bunch of college kids at UMM. Today, it’s two frequent punching bags – Richard Carrier and Donald Trump – and one who is relatively new – Andrew Doyle.

Lots to get through today, so let’s jump straight in.

PZ Myers Lie [in bold]:

By the way, while we wait for a decision on the Minnesota case, the next step is a hearing in the Arizona case, in which Carrier, acting as his own lawyer, gets to depose the woman he harassed, which is all kinds of fucked up. Isn’t it nice how the legal system enables his ongoing harassment?

https://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2019/10/09/were-still-looking-for-ways-to-raise-money/

Facts:

PZ is shilling for money in this post, asking his readers to help pay for the high-priced lawyer he hired (at a discount, apparently) to defend himself against a different Carrier’s lawsuit. Here, he’s talking about a lawsuit Carrier filed against a woman named Amy Frank.

PZ is convinced Carrier harassed Frank, but if you’re interested in Carrier’s side of the story, go here. We’re not in a position to judge the truth of any statements made by either Frank or Carrier, so we won’t do that.

We are in a position, however, to judge whether or not PZ Myers is being truthful, and in this case (heh) he is most certainly not being truthful.

Civil lawsuits, like the one filed by Carrier, can sometimes be purely motivated by the desire to harass. There are rules in some states – including Arizona, where this suit was filed – that try to limit this effect in circumstances similar to those in this case, called Anti-SLAPP laws. Carrier would be, therefore, disincentivized to file a frivolous lawsuit to harass which could get in him trouble. But that’s not the whole story here.

What makes this claim from PZ a lie is the fact that Frank is both counter-suing Carrier and demanding a jury trial.

Frank had several options on the table both before and immediately after Carrier filed his lawsuit. She could have: a) acquiesced to his demands, b) cut a deal that would likely not have involved her paying Carrier any money (we think Carrier probably would have settled for an apology, deserved or not), c) defend herself or hire a lawyer to help defend her in court, or d) what she did, both play defense and offense by counter-suing Carrier.

She chose option (d) knowing full well Carrier was representing himself and that she would have to face him, at some point, in a deposition. But it will not be harassment. There’s no way it could be considered harassment. I cannot imagine a scenario in which Frank’s lawyer – the same high-priced lawyer representing PZ Myers – will allow Carrier to harass Frank in any way. We have no doubt it will be an uncomfortable situation for her, but our legal system – thankfully! – requires evidence and testimony from all parties concerned to help encourage the truth to emerge.

PZ knows that. He just doesn’t like it.

Analysis:

If you’d like to donate to PZ’s legal defense fund, here is the link. They’ve raised $65K to date, which is impressive. We wonder just how much of a discount their lawyer is giving them.

PZ Myers Lie #2 [in bold]:

There’s going to be some kind of ridiculous Trump rally in Minneapolis tomorrow — I reserved two seats, but somehow, I don’t think my butt is going to be filling them. The Minneapolis mayor has the right idea, though: he is billing the Trump campaign in advance for security and the venue. Smart move. Trump has a reputation for stiffing the cities he visits… Of course, Trump’s countermove is to threaten to sue the city, claiming the bill is inflated. I suspect it’s a conservative estimate

https://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2019/10/09/bills-must-be-paid-in-advance-a-good-policy-for-this-administration/

Facts:

Two separate lies here. First, the idea that the mayor of Minneapolis can bill anyone for the use of the Target Center, a privately-owned facility, is farcical. The Trump campaign and AEG had previously – before the Minneapolis Mayor entered the fray – signed a contract to host the event. The only thing that changed between the signing of that contract and now is the Mayor’s insistence that it will cost well over half a million dollars to provide security for the event.

There’s only one problem with that. Here is Trump’s response to AEG’s demand:

Your position is clearly wrong under the plain wording of the contract. Neither the Campaign nor AEG is responsible for arranging or paying for rally-related security. Rather, the U.S. Secret Service – and the U.S. Secret Service alone – is “solely and directly” responsible for coordinating law enforcement services in connection with the rally. “As such, no law enforcement costs shall be coordinated by [AEG], charged through [AEG] to [the Campaign], or shall otherwise be reimbursable expenses in connection with the [contract].” 

https://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2019/10/city-of-minneapolis-tries-to-derail-trump-rally.php

The second lie is PZ’s claim that $530,000 is a “conservative estimate.” We wondered if any other Presidents had visited Minneapolis in the recent past and, lo and behold, we found that Obama had visited the very same venue just ten years ago in 2009. The cost? A mere $20,000, or 4% of what the Minneapolis Mayor wants to charge.

What’s more, the Mayor has been quite open about his hatred of the current President, going so far as to suggest that while there is no legal means of preventing Trump from appearing in Minneapolis, he could take actions to make the visit painful.

Analysis:

This is another one of those PZ Myers lies we just don’t get. He’s no doubt thrilled the fact that the Minneapolis Mayor is trying to stick it to Trump – why be all coy and pretend like it was a valid request? PZ presents it as if it’s some ordinary, unbiased bill for services rendered when it’s clearly a rabidly political act. Laugh about it and move on, we say, but don’t treat your audience like children and pretend like all this is on the up and up.

Who, exactly is he trying to fool?

PZ Myers Lie #3 [in bold]:

[Andrew] Doyle is the living embodiment of Mr. Gotcha, that smug know-nothing who pops up to declare that criticisms of society by people who benefit from society are invalid because they live in a society, and who thinks that you can’t decry the abuse of privilege if you have any hint of privilege yourself. It’s a cunning ploy to universally reject the voices of everyone on the planet who finds the status quo intolerable.

https://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2019/10/09/new-speakers-added-to-sovereign-nations-conference/

Facts:

This is another PZ Myers lie that is exposed by the very source material he cites. Immediately above this paragraph he posts a paragraph written by Doyle to explain why he set up the fictional Twitter account in question:

Last April, I decided to set up a satirical account on Twitter under the guise of radical intersectionalist poet Titania McGrath. She’s a po-faced young activist who, in spite of her immense privilege, is convinced that she is oppressed. She’s not a direct parody of an existing individual, but anyone who regularly reads opinion columns in the Guardian will be familiar with the type. Given that such individuals are seemingly impervious to reason, and would rather cry ‘bigot’ than engage in serious debate, satire seemed to be the only option.

https://www.spiked-online.com/2019/03/12/why-i-invented-titania-mcgrath/

You can read the rest of Doyle’s reasoning here, and it’s a shot directly across the bow of people like PZ Myers, so it’s no wonder PZ’s up in arms. But there’s no good reason for PZ to lie about Doyle’s claims as he does here, given that they’re fairly straightforward.

First of all, Doyle never claims “criticisms of society by people who benefit from society are invalid.” PZ, as he so often does, just made that up. Doyle also never claims people “can’t decry the abuse of privilege if you have any hint of privilege yourself.” What he did say, in sum, is that it’s ironic to be a person of immense privilege, yet be convinced you are oppressed.

And if that wasn’t enough, the suggestion that Doyle wants to “universally reject the voices of everyone on the planet who finds the status quo intolerable” is a baseless lie. Again, a simple reading Doyle’s own words that PZ himself posted belie this claim. Doyle wants to engage in “serious debate” with those who find the status quo intolerable. He resorted to satire when he discovered that those people, like PZ Myers, don’t really want to debate.

Analysis:

Doyle has PZ’s number. We read the Spiked-online piece and thought virtually every sentence could apply to Myers and the horde at Pharyngula. It’s no wonder PZ is antagonistic towards Doyle, but it is interesting that PZ allowed Doyle’s words to appear on his blog. Normally, if he refers to those types of arguments at all, he will link to a friendly analysis of them, not to the actual arguments themselves. PZ must be slipping, or he must think his readers are too indoctrinated to be swayed by satire emanating from the right. Either way, good on him. We wish he would engage more with conservative ideas. We also wish he’d stop lying about them, but that doesn’t look like it’s going to happen anytime soon.

Final Tally:

Today: 0 science-related posts, 4 posts on other stuff

Since 30 May 19: 117 science-related posts, 449 non-science posts.

21% of the posts on a “science blog” are about science. 

Today: 3 PZ Myers Lies

Since 30 May 19: 139 PZ Myers Lies

Over to you, PZ. Until tomorrow.

8 Oct – PZ Lies About a Bunch of College Kids

Yesterday, we noted that PZ Myers continued an annual tradition of sorts by verbally abusing a group of college-aged kids because they hold different political opinions than he does.

He kept on that same theme today, but it’s unclear the campus College Republicans were actually responsible for the posters he goes on an incoherent rant about.

Once again, we’ve reached out to the College Republicans at the University of Minnesota, Morris, who haven’t responded in time for this post to go live.

PZ Myers Lie [in bold]:

It’s happening again. Our local [SATIRE!] campus troglodytes and assholes, the College Republicans, are splattering corkboards with their messages of resentment. They really don’t like the fact that we’ve got students who don’t think like they do and expect to be tolerated, so they’ve been putting up argumentative, emotional posters in reaction to statements of fact. Like these two in the science building.

https://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2019/10/08/poster-wars/

The “messages” PZ refers to above are here:

Campus Republican Fliers?

There are any number of things wrong with PZ’s statement. First, it’s not clear that these “posters” were produced by the College Republicans. Except for the letters “CR” in small font at the bottom right of the “poster” in the top left-hand portion of the pic, absolutely nothing identifies these as being affiliated with the Morris College Republicans.

We’ve reached out to them for comment, and will update this post when it happens.

Even if we assume, however, that these two messages were posted by the College Republicans, they are at best respectful and at worst incoherent. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with the one on the right – which echoes sentiments PZ has stated many times – and the only thing that could be construed as “resentful” on the left is this sentence: “Your Gender Identity and Pronouns are not real & not Valid.”

But, immediately following that sentence is this tolerant, respectful statement: “Freedom of Speech applies to both genders equally Stand up for your fellow Students Even if they have differences.”

This is simply incoherent and in no way can be construed as a sentiment of “resentment.” And both “posters” offer entreaties to “stand up for your fellow students.” It’s hard for us to square what PZ wrote about this “posters” with what’s actually on them, they differ so much we started to wonder if PZ didn’t accidentally put up the wrong picture in this post, but he not only put up the picture, he reproduced the words in each “poster” below the picture itself. So we know he read it.

And lied about it, from start to finish.

Analysis:

This looks to us like a troll – a student deliberately trying to provoke a reaction by posting two diametrically opposed statements, one of which sounds like a caricature of something a College Republican might say in jest. We wouldn’t be surprised to find out that a progressive group on campus put these fliers up to make the College Republicans look bad.

But let’s assume they didn’t, and these are actual Morris College Republican fliers. So what? It’s a group of college kids acting out to try to get a reaction. Why does PZ feel the need to continually berate them instead of – oh we don’t know – teaching them? It’s been a while since we were in college but that’s what professors used to do…

PZ Myers Lie #2 [in bold]:

It’s almost amusing how pissed off the CR’s are at people who affirm their own identities, that they then have to print up posters insisting that “NO, WE KNOW YOUR IDENTITY BETTER THAN YOU DO. SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UP.” Except of course that these conservative clowns want to pass legislation to restrict everyone’s freedoms, and some of them are likely to express their hate with violence.

Facts:

Three lies here.

Again, assuming both of these are authentic fliers produced by the Morris College Republicans, nowhere do they tell anyone to shut up. In fact, both fliers advocate for freedom of speech for everyone. That’s the first lie.

The second is PZ’s claim that the College Republicans “want to pass legislation to restrict everyone’s freedoms.” He does not back up that claim with evidence, but restricting the freedom of “everyone” cannot be seen anywhere on the Republican platform.

The third lie in this snippet is the idea that some of these College Republicans (once again, assuming that’s who made the posters) will become violent. We’ve seen no data to suggest that college students who identify as Republican will become politically violent at a greater or lesser rate than college students who identify as Liberal or Progressive, and PZ doesn’t offer any. Anecdotally, we’d say the opposite is true given the violence we’ve seen reported involving antifa in Portland and elsewhere.

Analysis:

We thought we’d seen PZ at his despicable worst back in July when he was excusing antifa violence against journalists, but this might be worse. These are college kids with what we assume are immature ideas about political philosophy. We certainly had some screwy ideas when we were that age, and we’re glad we didn’t have a tenured professor verbally abusing us while we worked them out.

PZ could use an opportunity like this to start a dialogue. He could use an opportunity like this to educate, to share ideas, and to bring people together. But that’s not what he’s all about, even when it involves young adults he’s paid to teach.

Final Tally:

Today: 0 science-related posts, 3 posts on other stuff

Since 30 May 19: 117 science-related posts, 445 non-science posts.

21% of the posts on a “science blog” are about science. 

Today: 2 PZ Myers Lies

Since 30 May 19: 136 PZ Myers Lies

Over to you, PZ. Until tomorrow.

7 Oct – No Lies…For Now

Your intrepid fact-checkers didn’t find a lie in any of PZ’s posts today, but we haven’t given up.

PZ continued his annual Fall tradition of bashing and berating college-aged kids who have the gall to hold conservative ideas and the desire to debate and spread them. He offered a critique of the latest issue of UMM’s alternative student newspaper, The North Star.

But, here’s the curious bit – he didn’t reproduce any of the articles in the paper, nor did he link to anywhere his readers could find it. That, friends and neighbors, is what’s called a warning sign. Our spidey-senses went into overdrive when we saw it, something which highly correlates with a PZ Myers lie.

We’ve reached out to The North Star via email and Twitter, and we’ll update this post if or when they get back to us.

In the meantime, if you’d like to witness a sixty-year-old tenured biology professor verbally abuse a group of teen aged college kids for holding political opinions with which he doesn’t agree, go here.

Final Tally:

Today: 1 science-related post, 4 posts on other stuff

Since 30 May 19: 117 science-related posts, 442 non-science posts.

21% of the posts on a “science blog” are about science. 

Today: 0 PZ Myers Lies

Since 30 May 19: 134 PZ Myers Lies

Over to you, PZ. Until tomorrow.

6 Oct – No Lies!

Shake it off.

Final Tally:

Today: 1 science-related post, 2 posts on other stuff

Since 30 May 19: 116 science-related posts, 438 non-science posts.

21% of the posts on a “science blog” are about science. 

Today: 0 PZ Myers Lies

Since 30 May 19: 134 PZ Myers Lies

Over to you, PZ. Until tomorrow.

5 Oct – PZ Lies About Sam Harris, Again

Sam Harris is a successful atheist, firmly on the political left, and a hater of all things Trumpian. In other words, you’d think he be someone with whom PZ Myers could find a lot in common. And maybe he does, but mostly what appears on the pages of Pharyngula are baseless smears and lies.

You see, like Bill Maher and Peter Boghossian and many, many others who have run afoul of PZ, Harris makes the mistake of holding insufficiently doctrinaire opinions on certain subjects, which has resulted in being kicked off PZ Island.

One of those opinions certain to draw the attention – and lies – of PZ Myers is believing IQ is a thing that’s measurable, predictive, and heritable. If you think that, watch out!

PZ Myers Lie [in bold]:

I often get brought up short when someone tells me that intelligence, for instance, is 80% determined by your genetics. I’m held up because that someone clearly doesn’t understand the magic word “heritability”, which every geneticist understands but every layman seems to consciously misunderstand, preferring to play games with folk etymology than actually understand the math, or the concept. So here’s a nice video that explains the background clearly, and as a bonus, show that Sam Harris doesn’t know diddly squat about the science behind the racism he endorses.

https://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2019/10/05/what-heritability-actually-means/

Facts:

The video PZ cites is here, and it quotes Harris at length, saying the following:

People don’t want to hear the intelligence is a real thing, and that some people have more of it than others. They don’t want to hear that IQ tests really measure it. They don’t want to hear that differences in IQ matter because they’re highly predictive of differential success in life, and not just for things like educational attainment and wealth but for things like out of wedlock birth and mortality. People don’t want to hear that a person’s intelligence is in large measure due to his or her genes, and that there seems to be very little we can do environmentally to increase a person’s intelligence (even in childhood). It’s not that environment doesn’t matter, but genes appear to be 50-80% of the story. People don’t want to hear this. And they certainly don’t want to hear that average IQ differs across races and ethnic groups.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2FcpNZ2BEgY

We’re not going to wade into the IQ debate here. We’re not claiming PZ lied when he said Harris “doesn’t know diddly squat about the science.” The lie here is claiming Harris endorses racism, which is nowhere to be found in the quote above, or quite frankly anything else we’ve ever heard Sam Harris say. For PZ, simply believing IQ is a thing which differs across races and ethnic groups is racist.

There are certainly race hustlers who use this argument to buttress their despicable claims – although those arguments, as well as PZ’s arguments, by the way, tend to ignore the relatively high IQ of ethnic Asians, something Harvard has recently run into with respect to its admissions policies. But Sam Harris is not a race hustler. He’s driven by facts and science, meaning that calling him a racist is another patented PZ Myers lie.

Analysis:

We often see PZ Myers complain about people he deems to be “unqualified” to speak in a certain area because they lack the requisite degrees or training. Yet, he seems perfectly comfortable opining on the subject of IQ even though it’s not his field. He accuses Harris of not knowing the science, but outsources the job of criticizing Harris to someone else. PZ doesn’t demonstrate in this post that he has any understanding of the science. The only thing he demonstrates is that he can lie about Sam Harris being a racist with the best of them.

Final Tally:

Today: 1 science-related post, 3 posts on other stuff

Since 30 May 19: 115 science-related posts, 436 non-science posts.

21% of the posts on a “science blog” are about science. 

Today: 1 PZ Myers Lie

Since 30 May 19: 134 PZ Myers Lies

Over to you, PZ. Until tomorrow.

4 Oct – PZ Lies About Bill Maher

As we observed yesterday in the lie about Peter Boghassion, James Lindsay and Helen Pluckrose (PZ always seems to forget she was an integral part of the team), if you stray at all from PZ Myers’s evangelical progressive dogma, you’re branded a right-winger.

Bill Maher – a comedian – has in the past said some contrarian things that violate the sacred dogmas of PZ’s tightly held ideology. Most people on the left, we think, would find him generally amenable to their worldview. Few, if any, on the right would think the same. But, for PZ, it doesn’t matter if Maher is on the left, what matters is where he is on the left. And if he’s not saying the things PZ wants him to say all the time, well, there’s a problem. A big one.

And if we’ve learned nothing else about PZ, we know that when he senses an ideological enemy, that gives him free reign to lie with impunity.

PZ Myers Lie [in bold]:

When did “liberal” become a slur? It wasn’t when the Republicans started sneering at the word. That was a mark of honor. I was happy to call myself a liberal during Reagan’s term.
It really started going rancid when Bill Maher adopted the label. “Liberal” now meant sexist hack and apologist for war and racism.

https://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2019/10/04/when-did-liberal-become-a-slur/

Facts:

In this snippet, PZ claims Maher is a “sexist hack and apologist for war and racism.” On it’s face, it sounds like a fantastic claim. Maher is employed by a relatively progressive company – HBO – and makes at least eight figures a year hosting a popular comedic news and analysis program. Why would HBO employ a sexist and an apologist for racism? That would be something, one would think, in which the network would be interested.

If it were true. But it’s not.

PZ could, if asked, produce plenty of evidence supporting his claim that Maher is sexist. We’ve heard him tell jokes that could be construed as sexist and, regardless of whether or not the interpretation would be valid, we’re not going to call that claim a lie.

We will, however, slap the label on the other two claims.

Maher can in no way be seen as an “apologist for war” writ large. PZ cites an ironically named “Truthdig” post as evidence of his claims about Maher, but the most they could produce on this front is a clip of him arguing, years ago, that Vietnam was necessary to demonstrate American resolve in the face of Communist aggression. They also cite another video from 2013 where Maher claims Iraq, by nature of its continued existence, is doing better than he thought it would.

That’s it.

Does that sound like someone who is an “apologist for war”?

The evidence for the claim of “apologist for racism” is even more flimsy. PZ, via Truthdig, offers the following evidence:

“I would be a Republican if they would. Which means that I like the Barry Goldwater Republican Party, even the Reagan Republican Party.” His choice in naming the two figures whose mission was to upend the liberal order, often through appeals to racism and white nationalism, is telling.

https://www.truthdig.com/articles/the-phony-liberalism-of-bill-maher/

We don’t fact-check Truthdig – although it looks like someone should start – but the idea that either Goldwater or Reagan appealed to racism and white nationalism is also a lie. The evidence Truthdig cites links to a Salon.com piece that is similarly confused and untruthful, and in the end offers up no evidence.

Analysis:

A skeptic, or just someone interested in the truth, would do a bit of deep, unbiased research before slinging slurs around the interwebs. PZ Myers has exposed himself in recent years to be neither a skeptic nor a truth seeker.

For him, it’s all about the ideology. Is it a biased source who says what he wants to hear? It must be the truth! No further inquiries needed.

He used to make fun of people who did this. He used to expose them as frauds.

He’s now become one.

Final Tally:

Today: 1 science-related post, 3 posts on other stuff

Since 30 May 19: 114 science-related posts, 433 non-science posts.

21% of the posts on a “science blog” are about science. 

Today: 1 PZ Myers Lie

Since 30 May 19: 133 PZ Myers Lies

Over to you, PZ. Until tomorrow.