15 Sep – PZ Lies About Richard Stallman

PZ Myers is being sued by at least one person we know of – he regularly asks his readers to donate to his legal defense fund – but, we’re sometimes surprised he’s not sued by more of the people he defames.

Richard Stallman is a case in point.

PZ Myers Lie [in bold]:

You know, Richard Stallman has always been an egotistical jerk, so he had to poke his head up and demonstrate it once again. His latest is to claim that Epstein’s “harem” — I guess that’s his word for “victims” — were “mostly willing”. Ugh. You aren’t helping, rms. Crawl back into your hole.

https://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2019/09/15/hows-mit-doing-lately/

Facts:

That’s an astounding claim, if true. You’d have to wonder about the sanity of someone who would say the underage victims of Jeffrey Epstein were “mostly willing.” The question then becomes, did Richard Stallman say that?

No.

Our first clue was when we clicked on the link PZ provided as evidence and searched for the phrase, “mostly willing.” Those two words never appear next to each other in the text. The only time the word “mostly” appears is when it directly precedes the word “nice.”

Okay. So what about the word “willing”? That word appears three times, and all three are direct quotes from Stallman. So we’ll let him take it from here:

The announcement of the Friday event does an injustice to Marvin Minsky: “deceased AI ‘pioneer’ Marvin Minsky (who is accused of assaulting one of Epstein’s victims)”
The injustice is in the word “assaulting”. The term “sexual assault” is so vague and slippery that it facilitates accusation inflation: taking claims that someone did X and leading people to think of it as Y, which is much worse than X.
The accusation quoted is a clear example of inflation. The reference reports the claim that Minsky had sex with one of Epstein’s harem.
(See https://www.theverge.com/2019/8/9/20798900/marvin-minsky-jeffrey-epstein-sex-trafficking-island-court-records-unsealed.)
Let’s presume that was true (I see no reason to disbelieve it).
The word “assaulting” presumes that he applied force or violence, in some unspecified way, but the article itself says no such thing. Only that they had sex.
We can imagine many scenarios, but the most plausible scenario is that she presented herself to him as entirely willing. Assuming she was being coerced by Epstein, he would have had every reason to tell her to conceal that from most of his associates.
I’ve concluded from various examples of accusation inflation that it is absolutely wrong to use the term “sexual assault” in an accusation. Whatever conduct you want to criticize, you should describe it with a specific term that avoids moral vagueness about the nature of the criticism.

https://medium.com/@selamie/remove-richard-stallman-fec6ec210794

Stallman does not, in fact, claim that Epstein’s harem were “mostly willing.” His claim is the exact opposite, that the women were being coerced and were not willing participants.

Stallman’s point is that it’s wrong to claim Marvin Minsky “assaulted” any of these women without further evidence since the women themselves would most likely have presented themselves as consenting adults. In other words, from Minsky’s perspective, he may not have known the women were being coerced, and as such the term “sexual assault” isn’t one that should be used in his case.

His point is absolutely clear, and probably true. PZ chose to not only willfully misunderstand it, but to completely invert what Stallman said and lie about it.

Analysis:

To be fair to PZ, Selam G., the person who wrote the original Medium post, also lied about what Stallman said. But PZ can read and should have checked Selam’s work before publishing this smear.

Envy is a hell of a drug, and PZ Myers, it seems, gets high on trying to tear down those people who are more successful than him. And if he has to do that by lying, so be it.

Final Tally:

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

Since 30 May 19: 104 science-related posts, 357 non-science posts.

23% of the posts on a “science blog” are about science. 

Today: 1 PZ Myers Lie

Since 30 May 19: 121 PZ Myers Lies

Over to you, PZ. Until tomorrow.

14 Sep – PZ Lies About Himself, Again

We can’t follow PZ Myers on Twitter. He blocked us even though we have never intentionally tweeted or tagged him in any social media platform. But, Twitter is open and anyone can see what anyone else is doing at any time, so we know what he’s up to.

And we knew PZ lied about himself today without having to do any research.

We’ve seen this before. PZ lied about publicly criticizing Jeffrey Epstein in 2011, and no one, besides us, called him on it because he’s carefully conditioned his audience not to question his lies.

They won’t call him out on today’s lie, either. Which is sad.

PZ Myers Lie [in bold]:

What should greet my eyes upon looking into the abyss of Twitter this morning but a chittering mob of angry defenders of Pewdiepie, the no-talent vacuous King of YouTube. I’d made some dismissive comment about him, and now the people who love him are all making dismissive comments back. I guess when your hero is a whiny Nazi-friendly twit who does nothing but play video games, you are especially sensitive to criticisms — after all, that calls into question all of your life choices. But the reality is that he is alt-right. He’s Nazi-adjacent.

https://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2019/09/14/oh-no-i-have-roused-a-lesser-swarm-of-pewdiepie-fanlings/

Facts:

PZ roused the ire of Pewdiepie fans three weeks ago, on August 25th, when he responded to a short YouTube retrospective about the internet star to celebrate reaching 100 million subscribers. Complaining about the video, PZ said this: “What? You failed to highlight his racist episodes? Mediocre.”

There were over 1800 responses to PZ, many of which were “dismissive,” calling him a “boomer,” something he also highlights in his post.

But, PZ can’t be talking about this tweet, because it’s three weeks old. He said he looked “into the abyss of Twitter this morning.” So, did PZ say anything about Pewdiepie in the last day or so?

Turns out he did: On the 12th, writing about Pewdiepie, he said this, ” You mean a Nazi *lied*? Shock horror.”

On the 13th, he doubled down with this: ” He’s a Nazi, dumbass.”

Far from being “dismissive,” PZ Myers claimed – twice – on Twitter that Pewdiepie is a Nazi. On Pharyngula, he changed his tune a bit, saying in reality Pewdiepie is “alt-right” and “Nazi-adjacent.”

Are any of these characterizations true? Here is the evidence PZ posted for those claims:

In 2017, Disney cut ties with PewDiePie after he posted several videos featuring anti-Semitic images.
These include swastikas drawn by a fan and footage of two Indians he paid to hold up a sign which read “death to all Jews.”
In the wake of the controversy, he said he was simply trying to “show how crazy the modern world is” and that people “would say anything for five dollars” but added that he understood that “these jokes were ultimately offensive”.
He has since distanced himself from the far-right.

https://www.bbc.com/news/newsbeat-49686018

Would an actual Nazi distance themselves from the far-right (assuming Nazis were right-wing)? No.

Would an actual Nazi admit a joke he told about Jewish people – the premise of which was not anti-Semetic – was “ultimately offensive?” No.

And if that’s all the evidence you have, you can’t claim Pewdiepie is a Nazi.

Back to PZ’s tweets. He said a “chittering mob” greeted him on Twitter this morning, which means thousands of people must have responded to him calling Pewdiepie a Nazi, right?

No.

Thirty-four people, as of this writing, have responded to his Tweet on the 12th and a whopping two people responded to the Tweet on the 13th. For comparison’s sake, that’s roughly 1800 less than those who continue to respond to his ‘mediocre’ tweet of three weeks ago.

To sum up: PZ didn’t say something ‘dismissive’ yesterday or the day before, he called Pewdiepie a Nazi. No mob greeted this claim with disdain, the mob actually descended three weeks ago when he called YouTube ‘mediocre’ for not repeating derogatory claims about Pewdiepie in a celebration video. And Pewdiepie is not a Nazi, or even alt-right, and the premise of the joke he made was not anti-Semetic. Almost any way you slice it, this is a classic PZ Myers lie that might just end up on a top-ten list at some point in the future.

Analysis:

Once again, we see the target of PZ’s venom is someone orders of magnitude more popular and successful than he. We don’t know, and can’t prove, that envy plays a role in who he writes, and lies, about, but it’s becoming a noticeable trend.

We mention this only because we can’t think of another reason PZ would care about Pewdiepie. It’s obvious PZ hasn’t watched many of the YouTube star’s videos, he doesn’t really fit the demo. And, as far as we know (we don’t watch him, either), Pewdiepie doesn’t talk much about politics or science or pedophiles or anything else about which PZ blogs alot.

We think this might be the beginning of an Epstein-like run of Pewdiepie posts on Pharyngula (say that five times fast). We hope it isn’t, but our spidey-senses tell us we’ll be researching a few more lies about him in the days and weeks ahead.

Final Tally:

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

Since 30 May 19: 103 science-related posts, 353 non-science posts.

23% of the posts on a “science blog” are about science. 

Today: 1 PZ Myers Lie

Since 30 May 19: 120 PZ Myers Lies

Over to you, PZ. Until tomorrow.

13 Sep – Two Unfortunate Lies

This is one of those days when it sucks to be a fact-checker.

We agree with much of the thrust of PZ Myers’s criticism of Ken Ham today. But he was angry, and angry people sometimes say things that aren’t true.

We can’t chalk all 119 of his lies up to anger, of course. His reasons for lying are varied and complex. Being mad at Ken Ham is a sentiment with which we can sympathize, but it’s our (volunteer, unpaid) job to sniff out the falsehoods.

PZ Myers Lie [in bold]:

Ken Ham is a man who lies to children about the simplest concepts in science, and he was handed hundreds of millions of dollars to build a stupid fake boat in the middle of Kentucky. He’s a liar and a con artist, and he is economically rewarded to a degree most of you are not (definitely more than I am).

https://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2019/09/13/ken-ham-and-the-spiders/

Facts:

The city of Williamstown, Kentucky did issue bonds to subsidize the building of the Noah’s Ark park, but only in the amount of $62 million. Even assuming the most generous interpretation of all government actions taken in relation to the park – including highway improvements which may or may not have been done otherwise – the number still comes in at well below $100 million, and is nowhere close to the multiple hundreds of millions of dollars PZ claims.

Analysis:

His heart was in the right place, but he got the magnitude of the subsidies wrong. If PZ had any humility whatsoever, he could make a simple correction and move on. But he won’t.

It’s also interesting to note the tinge of envy here. This has become a common theme with PZ – he will reliably take note of, and compare himself to, people with either more notoriety or more money. Almost every mention of Jeffrey Epstein contains a reference to how PZ Myers doesn’t get donations from billionaires. Almost every mention of Sam Harris notes how much more popular Sam is.

This is another reason we think PZ will never publicly acknowledge either our existence or our critique of his writing – we’re nobody, with almost no scholarly credentials and a small, but growing, audience. We have no power, in other words. It doesn’t matter whether or not what we’re saying is true. Truth has no currency for PZ Myers unless it can be used in furtherance of his evangelical political preferences.

PZ Myers Lie #2 [in bold]:

After stumbling through some transparently stupid evolution denial, he moves on to equally stupid arguments against climate change…”Some scientists” and “sunspots.”Goddamn you to hell, Ken Ham. You’re a liar for Christ, you contemptible, shallow little man.

https://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2019/09/13/ken-ham-and-the-spiders/

Facts:

Someone unfamiliar with the PZ Myers Method of Lying might skip over these two sentences and never click on the link he provides. But, we are very familiar with him, so we did.

We’re going to compare what PZ quotes Ken Ham as saying with what the Scientific American article PZ cites as evidence says.

First, Ken Ham:

Are these storms (such as Hurricane Dorian, the storm that devastated the Bahamas and parts of the United States in recent weeks) really the result of man-made climate change? Well, climates do change—that is observational science. But the cause of climate change isn’t straightforward. Some scientists have suggested that it may be dependent on the sun and cycles of the sun (such as sunspots), with humans only playing a very minor role.

https://answersingenesis.org/environmental-science/climate-change/angry-spiders-climate-change/

And here is a snippet from the article PZ cites:

Many climate scientists agree that sunspots and solar wind could be playing a role in climate change, but the vast majority view it as very minimal and attribute Earth’s warming primarily to emissions from industrial activity—and they have thousands of peer-reviewed studies available to back up that claim.
Peter Foukal of the Massachusetts-based firm Heliophysics, Inc., who has tracked sunspot intensities from different spots around the globe dating back four centuries, also concludes that such solar disturbances have little or no impact on global warming. Nevertheless, he adds, most up-to-date climate models—including those used by the United Nations’ prestigious Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)—incorporate the effects of the sun’s variable degree of brightness in their overall calculations.

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/sun-spots-and-climate-change/

Two things make this another PZ Myers lie: Ham is not arguing against climate change. He explicitly says climates do change. He is suggesting the effect of human activity on climate change may be relatively minor. And what Ham says about solar activity turns out to be correct. The Scientific American article PZ cites says almost the same thing word for word. Ham isn’t lying, as PZ claims, according to the very evidence he uses to back up that claim.

Analysis:

PZ could have made a scientifically accurate, nuanced argument outlining why solar activity likely plays an overall minor role in climate change, but he was angry with Ham and decided to lash out instead.

We do think it’s interesting that PZ called Ham a liar multiple times throughout the post – it shows he does care, at least superficially, about the truth. If he cares about it that means he can – perhaps! – be shamed into actually telling the truth himself.

We’d like to live to see that day.

Final Tally:

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

Since 30 May 19: 103 science-related posts, 347 non-science posts.

23% of the posts on a “science blog” are about science. 

Today: 2 PZ Myers Lies

Since 30 May 19: 119 PZ Myers Lies

Over to you, PZ. Until tomorrow.

12 Sep – Almost a Lie

PZ Myers wants everyone to think he’s not intrigued by Jeffrey Epstein. And that may quite possibly be true, but Epstein does occupy quite a bit of space on Pharyngula. PZ has blogged about the late pedophile 28 times since July, far more than any other person.

So while he may not be intrigued, he is definitely…what? Hooked? Haunted? Hung up on? Any other synonym starting with H?

Epstein definitely has a hold on PZ, but we can’t quite call his claim not to be intrigued a lie. Which means he didn’t tell a single one today.

New readers: we are a fact-checking operation. We endeavor to get things right the first time, but we’re human and realize that may get it wrong from time to time. If you see something, let us know. You can email us at admin@pzwatch.com or DM us on Twitter: @pzwatch.

Final Tally:

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

Since 30 May 19: 103 science-related posts, 343 non-science posts.

23% of the posts on a “science blog” are about science. 

Today: 0 PZ Myers Lies

Since 30 May 19: 117 PZ Myers Lies

Over to you, PZ. Until tomorrow.

11 Sep – Three Lies, Two About Sam Harris

There are some days that cause us to wonder if PZ Myers is actually starting to get it. He’s been good the past three days, posting about science and spiders and pictures of his family. His political posts have been relatively subdued, and his criticism has generally been of the value judgement variety. Even his incoherent sentences, like this:

Sure, it’s an easy target to reveal that the manifestation of evil in Republican politics is pure evil.

https://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2019/09/10/concentrated-comeuppance/

haven’t been outright lies (we stared at this sentence for much longer than we should have trying to figure it out).

One of the conditions we set for ourselves when we started this site was that there would be a way for it to end. IF PZ Myers tells the truth, and nothing but the truth, for 30 days straight, we’re done. We’ll quit our (volunteer, unpaid) job and move on to something else.

But, even though we know he reads our site, and we’re pretty sure he’s aware of the conditions of our experiment, we’re confident he won’t be able to do it, so central are these lies to his worldview.

We have three great examples of this today. PZ lies about a Republican and twice about Sam Harris, constituting two subjects about which he is constitutionally unable to tell the truth.

PZ Myers Lie [in bold]:

The kind of conservativism he thinks would “save America” can only thrive in ignorance, so getting rid of education would lead to fewer liberals and progressives, fewer ideas, less progress, more stupidity. If that’s what you want, his formula would actually work!

https://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2019/09/11/cheese-it-theyre-on-to-us/

Facts:

PZ is writing about a story which quotes a Tennessee state GOP lawmaker saying some nasty things about higher education. It’s always fascinating to see what stories PZ links to, because they don’t always tell the whole story. In this case, we found another story from The Hill, which says this:

State Sen. Kerry Roberts made the remarks while speaking on his conservative talk radio show last week…Roberts argued that an activist’s public testimony in favor of abortion rights was a “product of higher education,” adding that abolishing the system would “save America.”
“If there’s one thing that we can do to save America today, it’s to get rid of our institutions of higher education right now and cut the liberal breeding ground off,” he said, before questioning why public colleges were funded by tax dollars…Roberts dismissed the backlash his comments engendered, saying in a Facebook post that his “listeners clearly understood the humor and hyperbole.”
“Hyperbole: exaggerated statements or claims not meant to be taken literally. Especially common on talk radio shows,” he said in a separate statement shared on Twitter.

https://thehill.com/homenews/state-watch/460632-tennessee-state-gop-lawmaker-says-getting-rid-of-higher-education-would

The hyperbole Roberts engaged in is fairly common on the right and has roots in a conservative critique of higher education we’ve talked about before. Some conservatives believe progressive college professors are indoctrinating their students in their leftist worldview (PZ Myers is doing all he can to help them make that case).

PZ’s lie here is twofold. First, he knowingly mistakes Roberts’s hyperbole as an actual, substantive argument, and then he proceeds to make a claim that conservatism as a whole “can only thrive in ignorance.” As conservatism has a long history with deep intellectual roots, it’s quite easy for us to call this the first lie of the day.

Analysis:

This is standard fare for PZ Myers. Republicans are stoopid and anti-science and Christian fundamentalist kooks, even though survey data shows Democrats have their own conspiracy theories and anti-science views and are only a few points behind Republicans when asked if they believe in God. Again, it doesn’t matter what the actual data shows. Data isn’t relevant to PZ’s views on politics. It is all about his tribe – progressives – gaining and maintaining power.

PZ Myers Lie #2 and #3 [in bold]:

[Sam] Harris, on the other hand, is still in there, obstinately slugging away, sinking deeper and deeper into the quicksand of the alt right, and representing the failure of his ideology loudly and persistently… Don’t be so quick to excuse his racism! This is like the argument that you can’t be a racist unless you join the KKK and participate in a lynching — nope, we white people have a lot of easy ways to be racist, and Harris is happy to exercise all of them.

https://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2019/09/11/so-what-is-or-rather-who-is-the-problem-with-new-atheism/

Facts:

We would normally give PZ the benefit of the doubt in and count both these lies as one, but each is so egregious we feel compelled to separate them.

The idea that Sam Harris is in any way enamored by, or attracted to, the political philosophy of the alt-right (however that is defined) is perhaps as big of a lie as PZ Myers has ever told. We can’t say we’ve listened to or read everything Harris has ever done, but one thing is perfectly clear – he is not alt-right. We’ve seen no one try to argue in favor of that claim, and PZ certainly cites no evidence to support it.

Additionally, the idea that Harris is racist in way is ludicrous. The idea that he is racist in every way possible short of lynching someone is pure slander. We think PZ is referencing Harris’s views on Islam (a religion which does not constitute a race, by the way), except we’ve heard him speak with Maajid Nawaz about the book they wrote together, and nothing either of them says could be interpreted as even mildly racist. Indeed, the stated purpose of the book is to have “difficult conversations about Islam without ‘devolving into bigotry or caricature.'”

Analysis:

Bigotry and caricature are PZ’s go-to moves. We wonder sometimes what he would do if he was somehow forced to talk about his political enemies honestly. We imagine his face would scrunch up like a kid whose parents tried to force-feed them peas.

The only thing PZ has going for him here is Sam Harris has probably long since forgotten about him. Otherwise, we imagine Harris would be contemplating legal action. There is no defense for what PZ writes about him.

PZ quite often addresses the charge that he is envious of people like Harris who are more popular in atheist circles. He claims that it’s hogwash and that he never had any desire to be one of the “four horsemen.” But, he does seem at times obsessed with their status and fame and the amount of money they make, so we think there is something there.

Perhaps – and we’re just spitballing here – if he stopped lying and started to think deeply about these issues and maybe ask questions of people with which he disagrees, maybe more people would start to read his work.

Like the Vikings winning the Super Bowl, there’s no chance of that.

Final Tally:

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

Since 30 May 19: 102 science-related posts, 340 non-science posts.

23% of the posts on a “science blog” are about science. 

Today: 3 PZ Myers Lies

Since 30 May 19: 117 PZ Myers Lies

Over to you, PZ. Until tomorrow.

10 Sep – A Little Science and No Lies!

It’s been three days since PZ Myers’s last lie.

That is all.

Final Tally:

Today: 2 science-related posts, 4 posts on other stuff

Since 30 May 19: 102 science-related posts, 337 non-science posts.

23% of the posts on a “science blog” are about science. 

Today: 0 PZ Myers Lies

Since 30 May 19: 114 PZ Myers Lies

Over to you, PZ. Until tomorrow.

9 Sep – No Lies!

Could this be day two of a thirty-day lie-free streak that puts us out of a (volunteer, non-paying) job?

Maybe.

The Vikings are 1-0. There’s still time to put money on them to win the Super Bowl.

Final Tally:

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

Since 30 May 19: 100 science-related posts, 333 non-science posts.

23% of the posts on a “science blog” are about science. 

Today: 0 PZ Myers Lies

Since 30 May 19: 114 PZ Myers Lies

Over to you, PZ. Until tomorrow.

8 Sep – A Day Off, Finally!

It’s about time.

Final Tally:

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

Since 30 May 19: 100 science-related posts, 329 non-science posts.

23% of the posts on a “science blog” are about science. 

Today: 0 PZ Myers Lies

Since 30 May 19: 114 PZ Myers Lies

Over to you, PZ. Until tomorrow.

7 Sep – PZ Refuses To Give Us A Day Off

We were hoping for a day off yesterday, but PZ Myers squashed that idea with a silly lie about Elon Musk. He does the same thing today, trying to beat up on Michael Shermer for exposing someone’s fraudulent credentials.

If that last sentence doesn’t make sense, then welcome to PZ’s world. Don’t stay very long, you’ll likely go batty.

PZ Myers Lie [in bold]:

 But I would have sailed right over [Glynn’s writing], because his work was all bumblingly ideological and built on evolutionary psychology BS…To his slight credit, Shermer exposed the guy as a fraud. He became suspicious, not when Glynn submitted glib garbage to his magazine, but when Glynn asked for a loan. You can lie about science all you want, but when you start eyeballing a right-winger’s wallet, their ultra-sensitive sensors start pinging.

https://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2019/09/07/a-remarkably-delicious-expose/

Facts:

PZ is commenting on an expose written by Michael Shermer about a writer named John Anthony Glynn. According to Shermer, Glynn:

had four articles published in Skeptic and eSkeptic (the online edition of print Skeptic). While we edited and fact-checked his articles, we did not verify his biographical claims and we were duped.

https://www.skeptic.com/reading_room/john-glynn-journalist-academic-fraud-exposed/

Shermer published four articles by Glynn in total:

  • “Guns and Games: The Relationship Between Violent Video Games and Gun Crimes in America” (print Skeptic, Vol. 21, No. 1)
  • “1984 in 2019: The New Privacy Threat from China’s Social Credit Surveillance System” (print Skeptic, Vol. 24, No. 2)
  • “Concept Creep and the Policing of Words” (online only, removed)
  • “Why People Die by Suicide” (online only, removed)

PZ lies twice in the snippet above. In the first, he claims that Gynn’s writing was all “built on evolutionary psychology.” This appears to be a lie. None of the four articles published by Skeptic Magazine appear to have their origins in evolutionary psychology, however we will admit that we have not read the articles and likely never will, given that Shermer has pulled them from his website.

Again, we haven’t read the articles so we can’t directly fact-check them, but here’s the thing: neither has PZ Myers. He admits in the snippet above that even if he’d seen Glynn’s work, he would have “sailed right over it.” PZ has no idea whether Glynn “lied about science” in his articles, he just makes that up out of thin air.

Analysis:

PZ loves to criticize Michael Shermer, mostly because he has the temerity to disagree with PZ’s evangelical progressive political positions. That’s what this is all about. If the Huffington Post (for whom Glynn also wrote) or Skepchick or someone else on the far left had ferreted out his fraud, PZ would have treated the matter quite differently. But, Shermer figured it out instead and did the right thing by exposing Glynn’s fraud.

PZ gives Shermer “slight credit” for doing so, and we wonder how hard it was for him to force his fingers to type that sentence. We know, given his track record, how easy it is for him to lie.

We also found the end of Shermer’s expose quite interesting:

In addition to its threat to pollute the credence of Skeptic — and intellectual discourse more broadly — such acts undercut the integrity of journalism and academia in general because falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus — false in one thing, false in everything

https://www.skeptic.com/reading_room/john-glynn-journalist-academic-fraud-exposed/

Do you think PZ Myers believes in this principle?

We don’t.

Final Tally:

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

Since 30 May 19: 100 science-related posts, 326 non-science posts.

23% of the posts on a “science blog” are about science. 

Today: 1 PZ Myers Lie

Since 30 May 19: 114 PZ Myers Lies

Over to you, PZ. Until tomorrow.

6 Sep – One Lie, Dammit

We really wanted a day off. It’s a beautiful night, we’re full of hope and optimism, and the last thing we wanted to do is wade into yet another thing PZ Myers gets wrong on the reg. But, here we are.

It is our (volunteer, unpaid) job, but that doesn’t mean we always like coming in to work.

PZ Myers Lie [in bold]:

One other thing: I’ve already seen people complaining about the title of the Mother Jones article. Why can’t we do both? We can plant trees and explore Mars, but I think it’s a dig at the billionaires who are aspiring to escape Earth’s problems and build imaginary colonies on Mars. That’s not going to work, and it’s an excuse to shirk responsibilities to this planet.

https://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2019/09/06/plant-trees/

Facts:

In a post about the benefits of planting trees to combat climate change, PZ rips off this little ditty near the end. His claim is simple: billionaires are planning colonies on Mars to “escape Earth’s problems” and “shirk responsibilities on this planet.” Is it true?

No.

Elon Musk, one of the billionaires investing money in this area, laid out his reasoning fairly simply when he announced the project three years ago.

I really think there are two fundamental paths [for humans]: One path is we stay on Earth forever, and some eventual extinction event wipes us out….I don’t have a doomsday prophesy…But history suggests some doomsday event will happen…The alternative is, become a spacefaring and multi-planetary species.”

https://www.wired.com/2016/09/elon-musk-colonize-mars/

We’ve heard Musk talk about this before, the Wired article was just the first one we found on the internet. The underlying logic is simple: at some point in the future, humans will be at risk of becoming extinct if we choose to remain only on planet earth. An asteroid could do it quickly, climate change could do it slowly, or something else we haven’t thought about could happen. If it does, that’s it. There is no backup plan for the human race if we’re all wiped out on this planet. So Musk wants to invest his own – and his investor’s – money to try to create that backup plan. He’s not trying to shirk whatever responsibilities PZ Myers thinks he has, he’s trying to fulfill them.

Analysis:

The juxtaposition of Musk and Myers’s words serve to illustrate how small PZ’s thinking really is. Musk is talking about big ideas, and PZ’s criticisms seem inconsequential in comparison.

All, while it’s impossible for a prediction to lie, for some reason Myers is convinced the idea of a Mars colony won’t work. Once again, he suggests that a biology professor at a small college in the Minnesota state system knows more about the feasibility and economics of space travel than one of the few people on the planet actually doing it.

We wonder if Elon Musk is reading PZ’s post and rethinking his life choices.

Probably not.

Final Tally:

Today: 1 science-related post, 5 posts on other stuff

Since 30 May 19: 100 science-related posts, 322 non-science posts.

24% of the posts on a “science blog” are about science. 

Today: 1 PZ Myers Lie

Since 30 May 19: 113 PZ Myers Lies

Over to you, PZ. Until tomorrow.