30 Sep – 2 Oct – No, We Haven’t Quit, And Neither Has PZ

The good part about taking a few days off is getting away from it all and relaxing. The bad part is the work still manages to pile up while you’re away. This is one of several project we’re working on currently, and because it is volunteer, unpaid work, it gets pushed to the back burner when there are more important – paid! – things to be done.

We don’t think we can stress this enough to our readers, few though you may be. We fact-check PZ Myers on our free time. It’s not hard, and it’s certainly not a full time job. Finding and documenting his lies is relatively easy. It’s also a little sad, but that just means we should probably re-evaluate our life choices at some point.

Not today, however. We have 3 lies to cover. Onward!

PZ Myers Lie [in bold]:

O’Fallon has obsessions about Marxism, about the Holy Mother Church, about George Soros (call that what it is: anti-semitism), about post-modernism, about retaining the privileges of class and race.

https://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2019/09/30/oh-richard-dawkins-no/

Facts:

PZ is writing here about Michael O’Fallon, who founded an organization PZ doesn’t like. O’Fallon is clearly a conservative, and has views that are clearly at odds with those of George Soros, but is O’Fallon or his organization anti-semetic?

No.

As evidenced by the stories posted to the Sovereign Nations website PZ references, neither O’Fallon nor his organization are at all anti-semetic. To the contrary, with titles like, ” It is Not Surprising to See an Increase in Jew-Hatred in Western Europe,” and ” Why Postmodern Intersectionality Imperils Israel & Jews,” they appear to be allied with Jewish interests.

Analysis:

It must be so freeing to be PZ Myers. You can throw around claims like this without any evidence whatsoever, knowing that no one who reads your website will say word one about it.

PZ Myers Lie #2 [in bold]:

Furthermore, this is a “conference” with just 3 speakers, Boghossian, Lindsay, and Pluckrose, who have a deplorable reputation as bad scholars who make up shit in their crusade against post-modernism, just like Peterson, while not having the vaguest notion of what it is.

https://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2019/09/30/oh-richard-dawkins-no/

Facts:

Boghossian, Lindsay and Pluckrose are the people behind the “Sokal Squared Hoax.” Their purpose was to “make up shit” and submit it to respected, peer-reviewed journals for publication. Here are their results:

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

PZ infers that “making shit up” contributed to the perception that the three were bad scholars, but in fact it was integral to the execution of the hoax. How else to expose a faulty peer-review process than to submit made-up papers? What was their alternative, to submit real research? What point would that have proven?

Additionally, PZ intimates that the trio has no knowledge of post-modernism, but that is belied by the success of their hoax. They were able to fully integrate the language of post-modernism into their papers, enabling them to not only be published but to win an award!

Analysis:

This may be our favorite PZ Myers lie of all time. We literally fell off our chair when we read what he had written. Before this, we would have thought a lie this brazen, this comically bad, would never have made it through whatever malfunctioning lie-detector circuits he has in his brain.

We resolve to never again be surprised by anything this man writes. It’s a truly stunning sight to behold.

PZ Myers Lie #3 [in bold]:

Jeffrey Epstein loved evolutionary psychology because it was used to justify rapey behavior and abuse of women — it’s good for the species, don’t you know, rich abusers wouldn’t exist if they didn’t have an adaptive advantage. So Epstein threw money at helpful apologists like Robert Trivers and Martin Nowak (boy, did he throw a lot of money at him), and they obliged by rationalizing the worst activities of men. Meanwhile, other hangers-on [Steven Pinker] who did not even like, let alone get paid by him, were still well-pleased by the chauvinism of EP [evolutionary psychology], and heaped praise upon it without even requiring any quid pro quo. I don’t know which is worse.

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

Facts:

There are two lies in this snippet. First, the idea that Steven Pinker was a “hanger-on” of Jeffrey Epstein is simply untrue, and PZ knows it. After the most recent allegations against Epstein came to light, Pinker offered a defense/explanation of his relationship with Epstein in light of pictures that were circulating around social media. The short version is, there was no relationship. Their paths intersected on occasion, but he never took any money from Epstein and certainly never tried to cultivate a relationship with him.

Second, the idea that Pinker is “well pleased by the chauvinism of EP” is absurd. PZ offers no support for that claim, and we highly doubt he could produce any quotations from Pinker’s published works or speeches or podcasts supporting it. Here is a more likely explanation for PZ’s dislike of EP, and a more thoughtful and nuanced explanation of Pinker’s thoughts on it.

Analysis:

At the Why Evolution Is True website, Jerry Coyne has this to say about opponents of EP: “Second, it’s pretty clear that the opposition to evolutionary psychology from these quarters is ideologically rather than scientifically motivated. “

That is PZ Myers in a nutshell. Anything he writes about, apart from the science of his particular field (and we’re not even sure about that, to be completely honest) is more ideologically than scientifically motivated. That is why PZWatch exists. And it’s why we find it fascinating that a man so seemingly devoted to rationality and the truth lies with such regularity.

Final Tally:

30 Sep – 2 Oct: 1 science-related posts, 18 posts on other stuff

Since 30 May 19: 113 science-related posts, 424 non-science posts.

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

30 Sep – 2 Oct: 3 PZ Myers Lies

Since 30 May 19: 130 PZ Myers Lies

Over to you, PZ. Until tomorrow.

26 July – Two Lies! And PZ Myers Targets an Academic Who Stood Up For Science

A good bit of the time, PZ Myers determines whether or not he’s going to like something based on the opinions of his perceived political enemies. For example, if Michael Shermer said he liked Rocky Road ice cream on Twitter, we can fairly certain PZ would, in the near future, say that if Shermer likes this kind of ice cream it can’t be any good.

He does a version of this today with his second lie, but first he does some lying about HBO and the creators of Game of Thrones.

PZ Myers Lie [in bold]:

Two white guys, Benioff and Weiss, were the show-runners for Game of Thrones, and they made a total botch of the last season because they were in such a rush to move on to brand new exciting projects…Unfortunately, the HBO show they were eager to do was Confederate, an alternate-history series in which they postulate a victorious Confederacy and the aftermath. The alt-right good ol’ boys were salivating over that, the rest of us were cringing, and everyone was wondering if the two guys who recklessly crashed HBO’s biggest cash cow had adequate sensitivity and nuance to handle that kind of story.
The answer is “no”.
 HBO has killed the project. Good.

https://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2019/07/26/hbo-chose-wisely/

Facts:

The link PZ uses to substantiate his claim goes to a piece analyzing a Deadline report that David Benioff and D.B. Weiss are trying to land a huge contract and will ultimately end up somewhere other than HBO. If that happens, HBO’s President of Programming said when asked about Confederate, ““I think anything they have with us would likely not go forward.”  In other words, HBO hasn’t yet officially killed the project. And they didn’t kill the project because Benioff and Weiss didn’t display “adequate sensitivity and nuance.” In fact, the opposite is likely true. HBO greenlit the project initially and, although we weren’t privy to internal HBO discussions about the project (and neither was PZ), most likely would not have done so were Benioff and Weiss not sufficiently nuanced in their writing.

Analysis:

PZ has been on this Confederate crusade since the show was announced, but we have absolutely no idea why. He says the alt-right good ol’ boys were salivating, but there is no universe in which Benioff and Weiss deliver a series that does not resoundingly reject the alt-right worldview. Just today PZ derided The Handmaid’s Tale as  feminist torture porn. Why wouldn’t those same alt-right good ol’ boys be salivating over the depiction of women in that show?

The other lie here is the idea that Benioff and Weiss botched the last season of Game of Thrones because they were in such a rush to move on to other things like Confederate. A few days ago PZ Myers was trying to tell billionaires how best to invest their money, here he suggests two television producers/writers at the top of their game, having just finished what might have been the most successful show in history, were worried about other things during the last season.

Again, PZ used to laugh at people who tried to make fantastic claims without any evidence at all to back them up. He’s one of them now.

PZ Myers Lie #2 [in bold]:

That’s some letter [Boghossian is] proudly waving around. It’s a gigantic black mark on his record that he’s advertising — if some person I didn’t know applied for a job at my university that included a university condemnation of their propriety and ethics, and prohibited them from applying for grant funding, that application would be round-filed so fast it would leave scorch marks as it exited the filing cabinet. That’s a kiss of death.

https://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2019/07/26/our-own-little-basket-of-atheist-deplorables/

Facts:

Peter Boghossian was one of three people involved in what’s been called the Grievance Studies affair. They wrote fake academic papers and submitted them to various academic journals. When their hoax was revealed,

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

The trio made international news, and Boghossian and James Lindsay went on various shows and podcasts – including Joe Rogan’s – to advertise their results. They became famous – and attracted the attention of PZ Myers – because of these hoaxes. Boghossian was the only one of the three hoaxers employed by an academic institution, and therefore the only one who potentially faced disciplinary proceedings of this kind. For him to not share the results of those proceedings would have been strange.

You can read his tweets about the decision here. He does not gloat or take any pleasure in it. He simply states it as fact, then thanks the many people who wrote letters in support, making this yet another PZ Myers lie.

Analysis:

PZ Myers, one would think, as a champion of science, would welcome and praise an academic who risked his entire career to expose serious problems in academia. And were PZ Myers not an evangelical progressive, that’s how he might have reacted to the entire affair. But, politics defines PZ and Boghossian made the mistake of targeting academic journals which are allied with PZ politically. So Boghossian – who is on the left – must be destroyed, regardless of what he did for science.

PZ excommunicates him, along with those already excommunicated, like Richard Dawkins and Bret Weinstein and Dave Rubin, none of whom are conservative. But, all of them wrote blurbs for Boghossian’s book and if they did that, well, that’s not a book he’s going to read.

Scientists don’t do things like this. Rational, reasonable people don’t say to themselves, “I hate those people so if they like something, I must hate it.”

Children say things like that. And so do evangelical political ideologues like PZ Myers.

Final Tally:

Today: 3 science-related posts, 4 posts on other stuff

Since 30 May 19: 68 science-related posts, 167 non-science posts.

29% of the posts on a “science blog” are about science. 

Today: 2 PZ Myers Lies

Since 30 May 19: 71 PZ Myers Lies

Over to you, PZ. Until tomorrow.