30 May 2019 – No Science and Two Lies

Welcome to PZWatch! We were so excited to get the ball rolling we decided to start cranking out content a day early. Think of this as a trial post that gives us a chance to work out the format, which is shaping up to look a little like this:

Introduction

PZ Myers Lie

Facts

Analysis

Rinse. Repeat.

We’ll tally up the scores at the end of the post, including the total number of lies (you can see a running tally on the sidebar to the right) and the number of science vs. non-science related posts (Nature describes Pharyngula as a “science blog”).

Let’s get started!

Our first lie might sound like sarcasm and/or hyperbole at first, but we’ll explain why it’s actually important below.

PZ Myers Lie:

“Conservatives don’t think at all, they just assume their prejudices are true, and demand that you accept them, too.”

https://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2019/05/30/yes-tomi-lahren-i-do-think-dont-you/

 Facts:

If we wanted to be pedantic, we could say there are actually three lies in this sentence — 1. Conservatives don’t think, 2. they assume their prejudices are true, and 3. they demand you accept those prejudices — but since we’re just warming up here at PZWatch we’ve decided to score it as a single. Like many of PZ’s lies, we don’t need to spend a lot of time on a refutation. He smears an entire subset of the population, suggesting their political beliefs aren’t grounded in facts or reason. And before you argue that PZ is joking here and doesn’t really mean it when he says Conservatives don’t think, bear with us while we get into his head a little bit.

Analysis:

Conservatives, in PZ’s world, are evil. We’ll spend a lot of time documenting this moving forward. Evil people cannot have a point. Evil doesn’t think rationally. The evil that is conservatism is an unthinking, unfeeling, capitalist machine squashing people to bits in its gears. And we completely understand that, at this point, all of the above is an assertion on our part, but one we will return to time and time again as additional evidence comes in.

PZ will never, ever admit conservatives have an actual argument, much less a valid one.

 PZ Myers Lie #2:

“The boy in this ad is not a teenager, he’s a young man, capable of thinking for himself.”

https://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2019/05/30/yes-tomi-lahren-i-do-think-dont-you/

Facts:

PZ is responding to a tweet from Tomi Lahren which says:

“The new @Gillette ad features a transgender boy shaving for the first time. It’s a little much to normalize and promote high-school-aged kids undergoing hormone therapy and gender reassignment. Don’t ya think?”

https://twitter.com/TomiLahren/status/1133506356885872642

Lahren doesn’t use the word ‘teenager’ in her Tweet, so PZ’s formulation is a bit clunky. We think he equated ‘high-school-aged’ with ‘teenager’ in his head and just went with that. For our purposes it doesn’t matter, it’s the second part of the sentence we’re interested in. Lahren doesn’t assert that the transgender person featured in the ad is incapable of thinking for himself. She’s clearly concerned with normalizing and promoting high-school aged kids undergoing hormone therapy and gender reassignment [Edited, see update below]. So what’s going on here?

This is classic PZ doublespeak. In the very next paragraph, he writes, “We should normalize the decision to be a trans person. It does no one any harm and it does help some individuals.” PZ has completely shifted the goalposts. Gone is Lahren’s concern about ‘hormone therapy and gender reassignment.’ PZ now criticizes her for something she did not say.

Of note — Lahren’s tweet isn’t entirely truthful, either. The Gillette ad says nothing about hormone therapy or gender reassignment. The best one could argue is that the ad infers those things. She inserted those issues into the argument to fit her own political purposes. But, we’re not named Lahrenwatch.com and we’d need a much bigger staff to keep up with her lies as well as PZ’s, so we’ll let it slide.

Analysis:

PZ Myers will never agree with anything Tomi Lahren writes, so her appearance on Pharyngula is of no consequence except as a useful foil to give PZ a chance to voice his support for the trans agenda and shout down anyone else who voices concerns. For PZ, there is no debate about whether or not adolescents benefit from puberty suppression. He will always and everywhere claim that the evidence is clear and straightforward in favor of hormone therapy and gender reassignment, even if there is an ongoing scientific and philosophical debate. See here for a short scientific introduction to the issues:

https://www.endocrineweb.com/professional/gender-identity/transgender-youth-benefit-puberty-suppression

This was a short post, but PZ also manages to take a cheap shot at capitalism at the end, saying:

“I look forward to the day that Tomi Lahren realizes that social attitudes are being manipulated by capitalism, and tweets out her rejection of capitalist values.”

https://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2019/05/30/yes-tomi-lahren-i-do-think-dont-you/

We’ve little idea what PZ is talking about here. Capitalism isn’t doing anything; Gillette is trying to sell razors. But this is another common theme on Pharyngula: Capitalism = bad. That’s about as deep as PZ ever gets on the subject. We’d be surprised to see him actually lay out a coherent anti-capitalist argument, but we’ll be sure to share it with you here if he does.

UPDATE: An earlier version of this post used some sloppy language when describing Tomi Lahren’s tweet. The sentence originally read, “She’s clearly concerned about the effects of hormone therapy and gender reassignment on high-school-aged kids.”

Final Tally:

Today: 0 science-related posts, 4 posts on politics and 1 post on Steven Pinker (a fave PZ punching bag).

Since 30 May 19: 0 Science posts, 5 non-science posts

Today: 2 PZ Myers Lies

Since 30 May 19: 2 PZ Myers Lies

Over to you, PZ. Until tomorrow.