24 Oct – Three Classic PZ Lies

We’ve been accused of being weirdly “obsessed” with PZ Myers. We usually say three things in response:

a) Guilty as charged

b) Dedicated is another word for obsessed

c) The only thing we’re really obsessed with is the truth, and we just happened to pick perhaps the least truthful person on the planet (aside from Donald Trump) as our subject.

Besides, if you want to witness a weird obsession, look no further than PZ’s infatuation with Mikhaila Peterson, the daughter of Jordan Peterson, and what the father and daughter eat.

We’ve heard Jordan Peterson tell the story of how he and his daughter came to find this diet, and it’s an amazing tale. Mikhaila was very, very sick for most of her life and doctor’s couldn’t figure out what was wrong with her. She, through a system of trial and error, figured out her troubles were diet-related and essentially cured herself, then passed the diet along to her father who also saw benefits from it.

That this specific diet has worked spectacularly well for these two people is not disputed by anyone except for PZ. He is so weirdly obsessed with the father-daughter pair, he has to lie about them.

PZ Myers Lie [in bold]:

A diet of nothing but meat is something that no human society has ever tried, so you know that it’s not something we’re well-adapted to…but lots of individuals have tried all kinds of wacky combinations.



In his zeal to proclaim Peterson’s diet an aberration, PZ completely passes over the Inuit diet, which was almost entirely meat.

Traditional Inuit diets derive approximately 50% of their calories from fat, 30–35% from protein and 15–20% of their calories from carbohydrates, largely in the form of glycogen from the raw meat they consumed.


If that wasn’t enough, in one of our favourite PZ Myers lies of all time, he denigrated the Paleo Diet without having the first clue how the diet actually came into existence:

I keep hearing about this imaginary paleolithic diet, and I wonder how they know, and also find it strange that there was apparently one people a [sic] 100,000 years ago, and they all ate the same things. Everything about it seems wrong.


The answer, of course, was everything PZ said about the diet was wrong:

After studying the diets of living hunter-gatherers and concluding that 73 percent of these societies derived more than half their calories from meat, [Loren] Cordain came up with his own Paleo prescription: Eat plenty of lean meat and fish but not dairy products, beans, or cereal grains—foods introduced into our diet after the invention of cooking and agriculture.


In other words, if PZ is actually interested in a diet our bodies are “well-adapted to,” he should be looking at something like the Paleo – or Peterson’s – diet.


The only problem is PZ isn’t interested in finding a diet the human body is “well adapted to.” He’s only interested in poking his finger in Peterson’s eye.

PZ Myers Lie #2 [in bold]:

What’s really horrible about it are her exaggerated medical claims. It seems to cure just about everything. She hasn’t yet gone on to claim that it cures cancer, too, but give her time.



Mikhaila Peterson doesn’t make any generalised medical claims about the diet. In fact, in a disclaimer at the bottom of her website, she says this:

The information on this site is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content, including text, graphics, images and information, contained on or available through this web site is for general information purposes only.


The medical claims Peterson makes are specific and anecdotal: as a result of her diet, she went into complete remission from severe autoimmune arthritis and depression. She does claim the diet will help other people, but what she never does is make specific health claims for anyone but herself and her father – something we’ll cover in the next lie.


Wait for it – there’s one more lie to go.

PZ Myers Lie #3 [in bold]:

She claims to have “cured” him of all kinds of problems… Sure. His emotional problems are all gone now.



Following this snippet, PZ inserts a video snippet of Jordan Peterson having an emotional reaction to the way some people have responded to him on social media. He uses that video as “evidence” Peterson has “emotional problems.”

In between the three sentences in this snippet, PZ inserts this quote from Mikhaila Peterson:

My dad suffered from a number of health problems too. Not like me, but the same depression and similar fatigue and weight gain. Gum disease and skin problems and GERD. He’s fixed too. He lost 50 pounds in the first year on this diet. For anyone who watches his videos, you can see the difference from December 2015 to now.


Note that she never says all her father’s emotional problems are gone, nor does she ever claim her diet has or will stop him from having an emotional response ever again. PZ simply makes this up.


There are plenty of good reasons to criticise the Petersons, but how their bodies react to food is not one of them. PZ wants them to be quacks, but he comes off like the deranged quack instead.

We’re often left wondering this about PZ – if the people he criticises are so bad and so wrong, then why can’t he counter their arguments without lying?

Could it be that they are more right than he wants to admit?

Final Tally:

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

Since 30 May 19: 122 science-related posts, 511 non-science posts.

19% of the posts on a “science blog” are about science. 

Today: 3 PZ Myers Lies

Since 30 May 19: 166 PZ Myers Lies

Over to you, PZ. Until tomorrow.

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