28 July – So What You’re Saying Is…

We first took notice of Jordan Peterson following his extraordinary interview/debate with Cathy Newman. Probably the most astonishing part of that interview/debate was the way Newman tried to re-frame Peterson’s arguments in a dishonest way to make him sound like a nut. She did this by repeatedly using the words “you’re saying,” followed by Peterson generally saying, “no, I’m not saying that.”

PZ Myers’s intellectual dishonesty works in much the same way. He rarely, if ever, treats an opposing argument in good faith. He almost always uses a variant of the “you’re saying” tactic, framing the argument in such a way that it’s easy for him to refute.

This is exactly what happens in today’s lie.

PZ Myers Lie [in bold]:

It’s funny how Big Tent Atheism only wants to share the tent with cis het privileged white people who only want to talk about the Constitution as holy writ.



PZ is responding to an email he received discussing the priorities of American Atheists. He reproduces only the following snippet:

To use American Atheist (AA) resources to continue pressing issues that are predominantly LGTB is, in my opinion, a dereliction of duty, unwise
and possibly actionable…Please remember that AA members are, primarily and traditionally, interested in separation of church and state issues.


The argument here is fairly straightforward: AA resources should be uses primarily to further the stated goals of the organization, primary among them being the separation of church and state. PZ’s interlocutor does not argue for the exclusion of anyone except “cis het privileged white people.” PZ puts those words in their mouth with no evidence, making this yet another PZ Myers lie.


We suspect there is much more context to the story, and the email PZ posted, than he lets on. But what strikes us most is PZ’s display of soft bigotry. He wants to put LGBTQ people into a neat box and say they can only be represented by an organization that focuses exclusively on issues important to them.

Do LGBTQ people care about religion in the public sphere? Do they care about the separation of church and state? Or is their activism only limited to LGBTQ issues? We’re confused. We assume LGBTQ people are, well, people, like everyone else with a diverse range of opinions and interests. PZ appears to want to put them off to one side and say, “you can only be concerned about this and that.”

That’s what we think he’s saying, anyway. It’s the only logical way for him to conclude that the American Atheists want to exclude everyone except “cis het privileged white people,” when in reality they say nothing of the sort.

Final Tally:

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

Since 30 May 19: 69 science-related posts, 174 non-science posts.

28% of the posts on a “science blog” are about science. 

Today: 1 PZ Myers Lie

Since 30 May 19: 73 PZ Myers Lies

Over to you, PZ. Until tomorrow.

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