13 Oct – Where is PZ’s List of Things He Got Wrong?

He doesn’t have one. We’ve had to create it for him.

PZ rips off multiple lies today about Neil deGrasse Tyson and Ben Shapiro in a blog post bemoaning the fact that celebrities don’t have principles. This left us wondering, what are Myers’s principles?

Social justice (however he defines that term today): Check.

And…what else?

Definitely not truth.

In a bonus irony moment, it turns out that Shapiro, a man PZ has called a liar on multiple occasions (pot, meet kettle) keeps a list of things he’s gotten wrong over the years. Who does that?? Definitely not one Paul Zachary Myers.

PZ Myers Lie [in bold]:

I don’t expect much of a Kardashian, at least they’re just in the business of marketing themselves for money. I didn’t even expect much of Ellen Degeneres — she’s always just been a happy clappy talk show host, so I’m not surprised when she admits to her friendliness with corrupt mass-murderer George W. Bush.

https://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2019/10/13/if-we-must-have-celebrities-can-they-at-least-have-some-principles/

Facts:

PZ offers no evidence to support his claim that the former President is a “mass-murderer,” but we assume he’s referencing the decision to invade Iraq and the subsequent counterinsurgency campaign waged in the country for years following the overthrow of Saddam Hussein.

Reasonable people can disagree about the invasion decision itself. We don’t personally think Saddam’s actions warranted the overthrow of his brutal, totalitarian regime, but we certainly understand those who look at the same facts and come to a different conclusion. PZ Myers, somehow, looks at those facts and sees “mass-murderer” when there is no evidence pointing to that conclusion. George W. Bush, to our knowledge, did not give any special instructions to the military to kill unarmed men, women, or children. He did not, to our knowledge, authorize unusual Rules of Engagement instructing the military to execute a disproportionately violent response to hostile acts on the part of Iraqi soldiers. He did not, to our knowledge, authorize the summary execution of prisoners or non-combatants. As far as we can tell, the former President ordered a military operation to be conducted against another organized and armed military force, and when that force was defeated and replaced with various plain-clothed insurgent groups, he authorized the military to respond.

Bush’s initial order was authorized by a large, bi-partisan margin in Congress and every subsequent request for supplemental funds to pay for the ongoing Operation Iraqi Freedom was also approved. Congress could have exercised its power at any time to withdraw authorization or funding from the Executive Branch, but chose not to do so. Additionally, allies from around the globe voluntarily participated in military and peacekeeping actions in Iraq in various forms. All of this constitutes a proper, legal military action.

None of it constitutes “mass-murder,” but it does constitute a great big lie from PZ Myers.

Analysis:

PZ’s son is a United States Army officer. We wonder sometimes what they talk about over the Thanksgiving dinner table. Do the words “baby killer” ever escape PZ’s lips? Or is that different because…well, we don’t know why that would be different.

PZ Myers Lie #2 [in bold]:

I never watched [Ellen’s] show anyway, and I will just continue to do the same. But jesus fuck, Neil deGrasse Tyson, I expected more of you than that you’d laughingly share a microphone with climate-change-denying, gay- and trans-hating, apologist-for-racists Ben Shapiro.

https://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2019/10/13/if-we-must-have-celebrities-can-they-at-least-have-some-principles/

Facts:

PZ makes four claims here, all of which are lies. Let’s tackle them in order:

1. Climate change denier. Nope. Shapiro believes the climate is changing, he just disagrees with PZ Myers on what to do about it. Here’s Shapiro [some punctuation added to the Google transcript]:

So my perspective on climate change is: number one I’m not a climatologist, but accepting the IPCC reports, you have to take into account the fact that modelling has been wrong for 20 to 30 years. It’s always been overestimating the amount of climate change that’s actually taking place. But, virtually every reputable scientist including folks who are who are called Skeptics believe that the climate is warming. There’s an argument about as to how much. And that over 50 percent of that warming is probably attributable to human activity.  Now, that raises other questions, which is OK…so let’s say the Earth is warming. What kind of damage is that actually going do? And this is a serious question. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wRk1p8Lzwvo

2. Gay Hater. Swing and a miss. Find evidence of gay hatred in this interview with Dave Rubin (a gay man) and we’ll change our minds.

3. Trans Hater. PZ is in the ballpark here, but we don’t think anything he’s said could reasonably seen as “hatred” towards trans people. Here’s Shapiro again:

I haven’t been unclear about this. Transgenderism is a mental condition. It is not about societal construction of gender identity or social disapproval of those who don’t “act like us.” If you are a biological man and you believe you are a woman, you suffer from a mental disorder. What I said in this video is factually correct. None of this is an argument for mistreatment of people who suffer from this mental disorder. Far from it. But pretending that male and female are completely malleable categories is a total and absolute, anti-scientific lie.

https://www.dailywire.com/news/so-heres-giant-list-all-dumb-stuff-ive-ever-done-ben-shapiro

4. Apologist for racists. No idea what PZ is talking about here, and he offers no evidence for the claim.

Analysis:

Take a look at the title of this piece up on Shapiro’s website: “So, Here’s A Giant List Of All The Dumb Stuff I’ve Ever Done (Don’t Worry, I’ll Keep Updating It).” He goes out of his way to point out the things he’s gotten wrong in the past.

We don’t ask that much of PZ Myers, but it would be nice if occasionally acknowledged an error or two.

PZ Myers Lie #3 [in bold]:

Furthermore, Tyson is touring accompanied by his own shadow, the harassment (and worse) accusations against him, which have been quietly buried.

https://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2019/10/13/if-we-must-have-celebrities-can-they-at-least-have-some-principles/

Facts:

The quite public accusations against Tyson, which surfaced last November, were investigated not once but twice by his employers.

Fox Broadcasting and National Geographic investigated the allegations in early 2019 and subsequently cleared Tyson to return to his previous position.

New York’s American Museum of Natural History did the same in July of this year.

Analysis:

By “buried,” PZ means the investigators didn’t find what PZ wanted them to find. Like most of the people PZ Myers targets at Pharyngula, Tyson is much more accomplished and popular than him. That brings out the envy in PZ.

Also interesting is this – PZ has a sexual assault allegation of his own that may or may not have been “quietly buried.” We wonder if PZ sees his own shadow every time he talks about this subject.

Final Tally:

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

Since 30 May 19: 117 science-related posts, 465 non-science posts

20% of the posts on a “science blog” are about science

Today: 3 PZ Myers Lies

Since 30 May 19: 144 PZ Myers Lies

Over to you, PZ. Until tomorrow.

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