31 May 2019 – Two More Lies and Still No Science

When we saw Michael Shermer’s name pop up on Pharyngula today, we knew there had to be at least one lie somewhere in the post.

We were right.

PZ Myers Lie #1:

“So this is what skepticism has become, Michael Shermer interviewing racist bigot and cult leader Stefan Molyneux.”

https://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2019/05/31/as-long-as-shermer-is-a-respected-skeptic-movement-skepticism-will-be-an-embarrassment/

 Facts:

We had no idea who Stefan Molyneux was, and given PZ’s propensity to lie about his political opponents we thought there was a good chance Molyneux was neither a racist nor a cult leader, so we looked him up. His Wikipedia page describes him as someone “who promotes scientific racism and white supremacist views,” but after a cursory look at the footnotes to those claims, about the only thing we can see for certain is that Molyneux argues in favor of a link between race and IQ. In any event, this isn’t the part of PZ’s claim that interests us. We’ll stipulate Molyneux holds, at the very least, racist views, while being open to having our minds changed if more evidence comes to light or if we’re ever actually interested enough to take a closer look. That aside, the part of PZ’s claim that interests us is the “cult leader” charge.

Molyneux’s Wikipedia page goes into the ‘cult accusations’ made against him in some detail. Basically, the charge goes something like this: Molyneux encouraged some people to disconnect from their families, which is one sign of cult behavior. Molyneux has responded to the charge, saying “If I advised a wife to leave an abusive husband, there would not be articles about how I am a cult leader.”

Without endorsing Molyneux or any of his beliefs, we’re going to side with him here and say PZ does not have enough evidence to call him a cult leader.

Analysis:

PZ will argue until he’s blue in the face that IQ tests are less than worthless, so it’s not surprising to see him take issue with someone like Molyneux, who appears to rely on them to buttress a number of his arguments. We take no position on the issue, but will note that if someone is already a murderer, there’s no need to falsely call him a rapist. But, we also don’t think sliming Molyneux was PZ’s goal. He wanted to slime Shermer by association. PZ doesn’t care whether or not Molyneux leads a cult, the point is to make Shermer look as bad as possible.

Which leads us to our second lie of the day.

 PZ Myers Lie #2:

I’ve done a few interviews in my time, and I always look into the other person ahead of time, if, for nothing else, to have some idea of what topics would provide a good discussion. No, not Shermer! He knew nothing and did zero prep. I don’t believe him, but if I did, that would tell me his podcast has to be total crap…I trust him to do that about as much as I trust him to honestly vet the people he interviews on his podcast.

https://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2019/05/31/as-long-as-shermer-is-a-respected-skeptic-movement-skepticism-will-be-an-embarrassment/

Facts:

PZ is responding to a tweet from Michael Shermer which says:

“My publicist booked me on this show I’d never heard of @StefanMolyneux and did zero prep for the interview. He was perfectly cordial to me and came across totally reasonable. I knew nothing about his. Opinions on race/IQ, white supremacy, disconnecting from parents, etc.”

https://i2.wp.com/freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/files/2019/05/shermerexcuse.png?ssl=1

It’s clear from Shermer’s tweet that he went on Molyneux’s show, not the other way around. A quick look at Shermer’s YouTube page shows no interview with Molyneux, and neither does his Podcast page. In fact, the interview doesn’t show up immediately on Molyneux’s YouTube page, either, we had to go looking for it.

You want to know why?

Because the Molyneux interview of Shermer is over two years old.

So why, two years later, is PZ claiming Shermer’s podcast must be total crap because he didn’t do any preparation before going on someone else’s YouTube show? We’ll discuss in the analysis section below, but first, let us clearly label this as PZ’s second lie of the day. The whole point of PZ’s commentary was that he didn’t believe Shermer failed to prep for his own show, a point which doesn’t make sense if Shermer had actually gone on someone else’s show, which he appears to have done.

Analysis:

We suspect the one word Shermer used in his tweet that really ticked PZ off was “publicist.” Shermer has one.

PZ doesn’t.

PZ has long claimed to not mind that he’s not more well-known and respected, but we don’t really buy it. He often talks about others — Shermer, Sam Harris, and Jordan Peterson are three of his favorite targets, and he mentions two of them in this post — who are ‘rich and famous’ in a way that makes us suspect he’s jealous. Earlier today, in fact, PZ posted a story about a map showing a city’s most Wikipedia’ed residents. We think he probably went looking for his own name hovering over the small town of Morris, Minnesota, and came up empty (Morris isn’t on the map). But, it turned out to be a good opportunity to bash a couple Republican politicians, which is one of PZ’s favorite pastimes.

We’re not clinical psychologists and can’t diagnose PZ in any meaningful way, but we suspect this is a theme we’ll return to often here at PZWatch. PZ doesn’t like other atheists, particularly ones who disagree with him on political issues, who are more popular and respected than he.

Final Tally:

Today: 0 science-related, 2 posts on politics and 1 post on the new Godzilla movie.

Since 30 May 19: 0 Science-related posts, 8 Non-science posts

Today: 2 PZ Myers Lies

Since 30 May 19: 4 PZ Myers Lies

Over to you, PZ. Until tomorrow.