Starting today, PZ Myers is no longer part of ScienceBlogs, the company that had hosted Pharyngula over the past few years. (***Edit***: My mistake. According to PZ, he’s not leaving ScienceBlogs entirely, but basically, all the fun/interesting posts about religion will be at FreethoughtBlogs:
As an outlet for self-expression, this move was necessary. National Geographic will be taking a more active role in hosting the ScienceBlogs stable, which is a good thing, since they’ll be bringing their prestige, better support, and some welcome changes to the site as a whole. They’ll also be bringing their standards & practices, which are different from the more freewheeling policies of Seed Media…and it was clear that there was going to be a culture clash in the transition.
NatGeo and I have worked out an acceptable compromise. This site on Freethoughtblogs is mine and only mine, and none of the content is in any way associated with National Geographic. Yay freedom! I can say whatever I want here! At the same time, whatever I write that I feel is compatible with the more conservative ethos of National Geographic will also appear over there — so less liberal, more religious readers can read the sciencey stuff without getting their staid world rocked. One qualifier: anti-creationism is well within the NatGeo brief, so young-earth creationists and intelligent design cretins aren’t going to like either site. There are limits, you know.
National Geographic is taking over ScienceBlogs. I’m not privy to the conversations they all had, but my guess is that the new owners probably didn’t want bloggers writing for them who spend a lot of time attacking religion. It’s bad for their business. It gives theists a reason not to subscribe to the magazine. I get it. But if you feel that’s an important thing to do, what option do you have? You have to leave.
PZ is joining Ed Brayton, The Digital Cuttlefish, Chris Rodda, and Steven “DarkSyde” Andrew in a new venture called FreethoughtBlogs. That’s just the first group. Several others well-known atheist bloggers have already committed to joining the network over the next few months…
It’s tough moving your website to a new location. The servers have to handle the traffic, the readers have to come along for the ride, you have to deal with 3298423 glitches at the outset, but if it works, the site could become a major force for secular opinion. (Not to mention a great place for publishers of atheist books/products to purchase ads…) So why bother moving? It may be the only way to guarantee no censorship of your writing. It’s not a big deal when you’re blogging on your own, but when another company’s name is in the header, that can become an issue.
I wish them the best of luck, and I hope everyone makes their site a daily destination.