3 Oct – Another Lie, And One We Missed

One of the perks of being non-ideological is we can go where the truth leads us. We’re not wedded to a narrative and don’t have to skew facts to fit that narrative. If PZ Myers were struck by lightning and suddenly started telling the truth, we’d shut down and be happy to do so.

It also means that we admit we’re fallible. We make mistakes from time to time and when those are pointed out to us, we fix them.

Yesterday, on Twitter, we were advised that we missed a lie PZ told about Steven Pinker, and boy is it a doozy.

And in our second lie of the day, we dig into yet another lie about the Grievance Studies Hoaxers, Peter Boghossian and James Lindsay.

PZ Myers Lie [in bold]:

Heh, yeah — The Blank Slate is the terrible piece of crap that totally soured me on Pinker. It’s a dishonest polemic contrived to advance a dead perspective by pretending it was obviously true while taking malicious swipes at everyone who had a more nuanced, sophisticated view of the interplay between genes and behavior. I am not surprised that he became a proponent of evolutionary psychology, which was just more of the same old ignorant adaptationist [sic] garbage. When I compare the careers of two Harvard professors, Gould and Pinker, one of whom wrote two great books, The Mismeasure of Man and Ontogeny and Phylogeny, and a multitude of essays revealing his fundamental humanism, and the other of whom is a darling of modern racists and rapists, I have to think that the wrong one died early.

https://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2019/10/02/evolutionary-psychology-the-favorite-discipline-of-old-white-men-everywhere/

Facts:

Aside from wishing Steven Pinker were dead, PZ claims in this snippet that he is “a darling of modern racists and rapists.”

The ‘racist’ claim has at least a tenuous relationship with the truth. Pinker believes – we’re paraphrasing here – IQ tests have some predictive ability and are at least in part the result of heredity. PZ does not. Some racists will point to disparities in average IQ scores between races as proof of superiority/inferiority, but if you simply dismiss IQ scores altogether, as PZ appears to do, then you sidestep all of this. It’s still not a fair representation of Pinker’s beliefs, but it’s not an out-and-out lie.

The rapist claim, however, is. Pinker’s views on rape are public, and there is nothing to suggest that he promotes rape or apologizes for rapists. We think PZ might be trying to insinuate a connection with Jeffrey Epstein, but there’s nothing there. This is just another PZ Myers lie about someone he hates.

Analysis:

Not only does he appear to hate Steven Pinker, he wishes Pinker were dead! As we wrote on Twitter, that’s unusually deplorable, even for PZ. He’s never been one to hide his disdain for ideological enemies, but he normally stops short of wishing them dead.

PZ Myers Lie #2 [in bold]:

Now [Peter Boghossian’s] come out with this book, How to Have Impossible Conversations: A Very Practical Guide, which is just nuts. What next? Trump writing a book on modern physics, Deepak Chopra writing about mathematical rigor, PZ Myers becoming an Instagram model, Uwe Boll producing a movie classic? Boghossian and his coauthor, James Lindsay, are temperamentally and intellectually incapable of writing a guide to handling challenging conversations. They’ve always relied on simply pandering to the biases of their right-wing friends.

https://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2019/10/03/there-clearly-is-big-money-in-self-help-books-and-pick-up-artistry-though/

Facts:

In case you missed yesterday’s lies, Boghossian, Lindsay and co-author Helen Pluckrose are the people behind the “Sokal Squared Hoax.” They wrote and submitted fake academic papers to peer reviewed journals in an effort to expose shoddy scholarship. The results of their hoax?

By the time of the reveal, four of their 20 papers had been published, three had been accepted but not yet published, six had been rejected, and seven were still under review. One of the published papers had won special recognition.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grievance_Studies_affair

Pluckrose is the editor-in-chief of Areo Magazine, and describes herself as:

Helen Pluckrose is an exile from the humanities with research interests in late medieval/early modern religious writing by and about women. She is currently writing a book about postmodernism and critical theory and their impact on epistemology and ethics in the academy and more widely. She is editor-in-chief of Areo.

https://areomagazine.com/author/hpluckrose/

Boghossian and Lindsay have the following bios on their Amazon author page:

Peter Boghossian is a full time faculty member in the philosophy department at Portland State University and an affiliated faculty member at Oregon Health Science University in the Division of General Internal Medicine. He is a national speaker for the Center of Inquiry and an international speaker for the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science. He is the author of A Manual for Creating Atheists. He lives in Portland, Oregon.

James Lindsay holds degrees in physics and mathematics, with a doctorate in the latter. He has authored two previous books: Everybody is Wrong about God and Dot, Dot, Dot: Infinity Plus God Equals Folly. He lives in Knoxville, Tennessee.

https://www.amazon.com/How-Have-Impossible-Conversations-Practical/dp/0738285323

Nowhere in any of these bios, nor in the Sokal Squared Hoax itself, is there any evidence that any of these three are at all right-wing, but not only that, there is also no evidence that they’ve ever relied on “pandering to their right-wing friends.”

PZ just makes this up out of thin air.

Analysis:

If you question PZ Myers’s evangelical progressive ideology, you automatically become a right-winger. It doesn’t matter if it’s the truth or not. Boghossian and Lindsay self-identify as liberals, and there’s no reason to doubt their claim, but it doesn’t matter to PZ. He’ll continue to lie about them because they lack the ideological purity he desires.

Final Tally:

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

Since 30 May 19: 113 science-related posts, 430 non-science posts.

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

Today: 2 PZ Myers Lies

Since 30 May 19: 132 PZ Myers Lies

Over to you, PZ. Until tomorrow.

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