13 June 2019 – Science and a Lie! What Is It About Jordan Peterson?

You might think a popular university professor whose lectures get millions of views on YouTube, had written a bestselling book based on his background as a clinical psychologist, and thinks the racist alt-right is wrong and tries to reach out and reform individual members would get some love on Pharyngula.

You’d be wrong.

If that same university professor also things the far left is wrong and speaks out forcefully on the subject, you can be sure PZ will have that professor in his rhetorical crosshairs.

PZ has a special dislike of Jordan Peterson, and since its hard to attack him for things he actually says, PZ almost always has to make something up.

PZ Myers Lie:

“Long-windedness won’t help, although I am not surprised that Peterson thinks rambling on and on is the same as erudition.”



PZ is referencing a story written about a podcast Peterson did with Joe Rogan in which Peterson announced the launch of a site called Thinkspot (once again, PZ won’t cite the source material he wants to criticize, he cites a friendly article about that source material). The story references an attempt by Peterson to balance the principles of free speech with the need to control trolls and quotes Peterson as saying “If minimum comment length is 50 words, you’re gonna have to put a little thought into it…Even if you’re being a troll, you’ll be a quasi-witty troll.”

Peterson does not say a long-winded comment is “the same as erudition.” Quite the opposite, actually. He suggests trolls will be forced to put some thought into any comment they try to leave on the site, so they might not be completely worthless. Far from thinking length = wisdom, Peterson predicts the rules will deter people from being stupid. Whether or not that will actually happen remains to be seen – Thinkspot is not yet open to the public – but in the meantime we can quite clearly label this another PZ Myers lie.


Yesterday, we covered two blog posts where PZ Myers lamented content control in one form or another. We said they have a word for that in Texas: cajones, and PZ has some huge ones. They’re growing bigger by the day because today we find PZ saying, “All this is going to do is reinforce the majority view. Actual dissenting voices will be swiftly downvoted into oblivion. It sounds like a formula for building the most sanctimonious and stupefyingly maundering heap of trollery ever.”

Where, you might ask, are the dissenting voices on Pharyngula? They don’t exist, because PZ deletes their comments or bans them entirely.

PZ doesn’t care about free speech (often mocked on the site as ‘freeze peach’). But he does care that Peterson cares about free speech, and wants to use this as an opportunity to mock him. The interesting thing about this particular lie is he didn’t have to do it. He could have mocked Peterson without lying about what he said, but once PZ finds a theme he hits it over and over again, and one of the themes he brings up constantly about Peterson is his supposed ability to be long winded.

The thing is, PZ himself can be fairly long winded when he’s writing about science – as he did today in a wonderful post. But while we’ve never found PZ to be particularly self-aware, we have found him to lie incessantly.

Final Tally:

Today: 1 science-related posts and 3 posts on other stuff.

Since 30 May 19: 15 science-related posts, 49 non-science posts.

23% of PZ’s posts on a “science blog” have been about science. 

Note: Most of PZ’s posts on science since 30 May have been dedicated to a spider data gathering initiative he’s running. There have been precious few posts on anything else having to do with science. When the spider data gathering is complete, we’ll take a look at the numbers and parse out how much other science content he provides.

Today: 1 PZ Myers Lie

Since 30 May 19: 20 PZ Myers Lies

Over to you, PZ. Until tomorrow.