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If you’re offended, send your angry emails to, um, PZ Myers.
Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.
Sorry, but to me, Mr. Myers is the Fred Phelps of atheism, and the type of atheist that always embarrassed me. I don’t know what it is about this modern incarnation of atheism that seems to think it can criticize religion for the horrible things and terrible attitudes that religious people display…then turn around and do the exact same things. Add hypocrisy to the list at 6:00. For me, Easter is a wonderful time of renewal, the spring, the wonderful weather, the feeling of rebirth, even if my team’s out of the running for the final four. And I take the time to with Good Passover and Happy Easter to those I know who are of the respective faiths. It works better than a middle finger in the eye. The notion that religion is bad because of all those bad religious people who do nasty things, that is so frequently stated by atheists who then turn around and act twice as bad in their own way, is something I still haven’t gotten over after all these years. The irony is enough to choke on.
Yes, PZ Myers totally does the equivalent of picketing the funerals of soldiers and other high-profile deceased to decry the fact that America allows gay people to live. Entirely the same thing.
Odd, I used to think there were many bad things a person could do that didn’t involve picketing funerals. I guess as long as people don’t do that, there is nothing really bad? Lame answer, and an excuse to celebrate hypocrisy.
Who has PZ hurt? Not offended, hurt.
you really do have a gift of reductivism absurdo and being deliberately obtuse in your reading comprehension. i salute you. you’ve got to try hard to create as many strawmen and ignore as many relevant points as you seem able to.
as much as TSeeker is guilty of reducto ad absurdum, so are you with statements like this.
How so? He claimed PZ was the atheist equivalent of WBC. I’d really, really like to know what TSeeker thinks he’s done that rises to the level of WBC’s tactics. No, seriously, tell me. I’m not saying PZ can’t be a dick, but he’s orders of magnitude away from WBC.
Religion is bad not because of the bad things religious people do but because it encourage the unquestioning acceptance of bullsh*t as if it’s a virtue. The fact that some people than go around bombing abortion clinics or fly jets into building in the name of said bullsh*t is only a symptom of the overall disease that is faith.
That is not an argument. That is an excuse.
Can you be so kind and enlighten me as to an excuse of what it’s supposedly is?
An excuse to justify crappy attitudes and crappier behavior.
You appear to have confused cause and effect. Religion is used to justify many evil things. Therefore we should call out religion for that.
PZ Myers is Dr. Myers. I’m Mr. Myers
Dr. is given to those who have earned the right to receive such respect. Myers may have earned it, but has lost it IMHO for teaching too many impressionable young atheists the glories of hatred and bigotry.
No. Even if that were true, which reading PZ’s atheism-related work over the past few years will show you it is not, PZ would still be Doctor or Professor Myers depending on context. His PhD is in developmental biology, and his scientific work stands on its own merits.
PZ is a firebrand, and does not hesitate to call out any and all forms of nonsense in blunt terms. That’s his style. You may think of him as the bad cop. Hemant would be the good cop.
His “scientific work”!?! Really? What would that be? Without going to the University of Google or Wiki State, quick, give us a few of his projects, studies or results.
He regurgitates and copies work already done. He is a second rate scientist at a second tier school, so please, this “his scientific work stands on its own merits” is pure bullshit.
Do you really want to hear about the details of the development of zebrafish brains, or are you simply trolling? If the former, then I will direct you to Google Scholar because it indexes things well. If the latter: cut the nonsense.
It is true that PZ’s publication rate of scientific papers is lower than that of many professors. That’s because Morris is more of a teaching school than the main U. Minnesota campus in the Twin Cities, and PZ spends a lot of time educating people. And PZ got his PhD at Oregon, and Morris made him a professor. So he is Doctor or Professor regardless.
I just said, no cheating at the Uni of Google!
Wow, get out of town….Zebrafish brains! Wow. Zazow, he is on the fast track to academic stardom!
And all you have done is make excuses for his less than stellar track record. His publication rate is in the bottom 14-percent of North American academics, how is THAT something you want on a CV?
Sure, he went through a PhD program, and that is no small feat and I have respect for ANYONE who goes through it and gets one – yes that would include Pee Wee – but trying to defend this clown’s actions and lack of academic gravitas just makes you a feeble sycophant.
Look, you seem like you have a brain, and to be fair, I really like the research you are involved with, and find it fascinating. I happen to work in the entertainment industry but my academic background is in the sciences (BoS from Syracuse, Masters in Marine Mammology from Memorial University of Newfoundland and another Masters in Medical Ethics from the University of Utah) but Pee Wee is a miserable stain to the atheist movement, and from hearing tories of him (anecdotal, but at least 12 of them) from people who know him, he sounds like a grade A jackass.
And Greta’s begging is a horrific thing to have done.
I wish you good success with your Sonoran project and continued fortune with new discoveries, but to keep your reputation intact, it seems you would be wise to disassociate with people like Pee Wee and Greta.
I didn’t need to look any of that up on Google – I had looked up a couple of PZ’s papers and his CV some time ago, and merely repeated what I remembered. Re. zebrafish: they are an important model organism for understanding vertebrate development. You might as well mock people who work with fruit flies or mice.
Also, you appear to have confused me for someone else. I am a planetary astronomer with a side interest in public outreach. I haven’t done anything in Sonora, and my only involvement with the various members of FreeThoughtBlogs is as an occasional commenter and buyer of books.
I meant Soccoron.. You work in New Mexico is what I was referring to.
And the zebrafish model has been outdated since I went through my first Masters in 1996 – which was in marine sciences. And this is now…..2013! SO he is burning up the track with new and relevant studies *snark*
And I don’t want to use any set name, nor do I have to. It appears to make you uncomfortable as it does not fit your worldview, but that is no reason to tell me to conform now is it?
And still, no better defense for Pee Wee and Greta?
The town I work in much of the time right now is called Socorro. I am there because New Mexico is a good place to put radio telescopes.
The zebrafish is still extensively used as a model organism. It has its own peculiarities and limitations as to how conclusions derived from it can be extrapolated to other animals, but that does not prevent it from being a powerful case study. That would be why papers based on zebrafish work show up in Nature and Science every month or so (which is where I am likely to read them).
In any: case PZ did his PhD working with zebrafish in the 1980s. He is therefore Dr. Myers. He has been employed as a primarily teaching professor at Morris for the last decade. He is therefore Professor Myers. He has earned those titles. You do not get to revoke them.
Your using multiple handles does two things: 1. It makes it difficult to link your posts together as being from the same person. 2. It gives the impression that you are trying to give the impression of multiple people all agreeing with you – effectively, you are running sock puppet accounts. In some venues, e.g. Wikipedia, that is grounds for banning. But this is Hemant’s blog and therefore Hemant’s rules.
I’m not trying to revoke them, merely pointing out he is a lightweight in the academic world, much to his chagrin and wishes. He tries to pass himself off as an intellectual elite, yet is far from it.
And still, no defense on Greta’s egregious begging and horrible behavior?
Even your own words give away Pee Wee’s shortcomings. You use weasel words like”peculiarities and limitations “, ” employed as a primarily teaching professor” – (which is code in academia for a lesser or sub professor), “It is true that PZ’s publication rate of scientific papers is lower than that of many professors ” and more. All of this is just feeble defense of a lesser academic – you know it and I know it.
Yes, he has a PhD and yes he has a Professorship, no disagreement there, the facts show it. The issue is the QUALITY of his work and his character, and that is failing. Sure, he is Dr. PZ Myers, but by no means is he in the same league as those he dreams of being.
Good luck with your project, sincerely. It seems like a very cool thing you are involved with that will have some incredible repercussions should it all pan out, so I mean it when I wish you good luck on the project.
But, you need to stop being such a drone and little Johnny By-The-Book. Push the limits, grow and make things better, don’t just regurgitate stupid rules and idiotic cyber mores.
Um, I’m not a PZ fan (understatement) but there is nothing negative about his publican record. His job on that campus is mostly a teaching job and some research on the side. He does that. period full stop. perfectly a-ok.
Regardless, even if he was a terrible scientist, that is independant of his other flaws. In my opinion, his other flaws make him more than derisible and if you’re going to attack someone, attack them with where they are failing and not where they are doing just fine.
also, cf. wikipedia for ad hominem fallacy.
No, it isn’t independant of his other flaws because his backup and go to defense is his alleged scientific studies.
I was trying to think your response through and give a proper response as well, and the more I thought about it and mulled it over, the more I concluded they were interconnected.
I dug around to find some of his “science stuff” and found the peer responses to be less than flattering. It all ties into his appalling hypocrisy and smoke and mirrors shitshow.
Add in his defense of his daughter’s advocacy for bestiality and this gem of a quote:
“The way I see it, every other system of morality is based on unjustifiable claims too, so why follow someone else’s invented ideas of right and wrong?[”
He and his daughter give this quote and the have the stones to tell people how to behave vis-a-vis A+ and well, you already know PZ is an asshat of the highest order.
Obviously, you lack some scientific literacy, so much so that you remind me of Bill O’Rielly. The structure of the vertebrate brain is homologous across the subphylum, and the function of neurons in general is homologous across the animal kingdom: therefore, short of cutting up the brains of people like you, or even more valuable non-human primates, zebra fish provide an ideal subject to study. They are easy to keep and raise, are fast reproducing, and don’t get the PITA folks all bent…yet. Perhaps you should look into the work of Morgan with fruit flies, OMG, flies?! Most of the ground work in genetics (including yours) was figured out using fruit flies. He won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1933 for discoveries relating the role the chromosomes plays in heredity. In my book that is academic stardom….with fruit flies! Think before you write.
I didn’t know you had the power to revoke his PhD. Kudos to you.
Thanks for the hyperbole. PZ does seem to attract an awful lot of opprobrium from cranks.
Ahhhhhh . . . Happy Motherfucking Easter to you.
Said a fan of Phelps style atheism. The type of person Phelps, Myers, and others of their ilk appeal to.
Ahhhhhhhhh . . . suck my sweaty balls.
sticks and stones…..used by religious zealots to harm heretics (those with common sense), words…. used by atheists are just that, words; if someone feels offended for being shown that they believe in bullshit that’s they’re problem. When we start burning people at the stake, or start denying people rights based on bronze-age phobias, come talk to me and I’ll be glad to listen, until then, zip it….zip it!
Oh well, what do you expect from the guy that offers nothing but vomit on this site.
Oh no, ambiguity and bad grammar!
Oh well, what do you expect from Lester Ballard, who offers nothing but vomit on this site.
There, fixed it.
Claude, I have two . . . ;-).
Somebody got his fee fees hurt at Pharyngula.
Religion is bad. Religion at its core teaches people that unreason is a virtue. To take something “on faith” because “religion”, and defend it against any argument, any fact to the contrary.
That some people manage to separate this from the rest of their life and go on to do good things in spite of their religion does not change this. Religion inherently sets up the framework for zealotry and fundamentalism. Extremists are a feature, not a bug, of religion.
The fact that you do not feel like fighting against this unreason, and the damage it does to our people (just look at America’s academic standing and how we are regarded in education) does not make PZ’s approach inappropriate. Dr. Myers has a front-line view of the damage indoctrination has done to the students arriving at his school.
If you’re not going to be part of the solution, kindly step out of the way.
I won’t step out of the way if atheists simply want to don all the worst apparel of religious practices and behaviors. Using the idea that religion is bad simply by virtue of not being atheism is no different than religious people who say any other belief is bad on the basis of not being their belief It is treating atheism like another religion, then using that idea to justify all the despicable behavior and attitudes we condemn when demonstrated by religious people. Sorry. The modern approach to atheism seems to be nothing more than how to turn atheism in the worst that religion has to offer, then pat each other on the back for being intellectually and morally superior. A toxic combination, and one that suggest little actual concern about reason or rational thought. And I see no reason to stand out of the way of such dribble, if not outright evil.
Can I get a witness!
Scathing attitudes of ideas that have failed to justify their claims is not the same thing as dismissal of them a priori. We’ve given religion a chance to show it isn’t a load of nonsense and it hasn’t. The only reasonable thing to do now is treat it like a load of nonsense.
>> [...]then using that idea to justify all the despicable behavior and attitudes we condemn when demonstrated by religious people.
Because, you know. Mockery is just as bad as discrimination. Criticism is just as bad as outright suppression of ideas. Discussion is just as bad as indoctrination.
Sorry, i don’t buy it.
Using the idea that religion is bad simply by virtue of not being atheism
You either have a problem with reading comprehension or you’re being deliberately obtuse. (I hope the “T” in your ‘nym doesn’t stand for “truth”).
Religion is bad. Religion at its core teaches people that unreason is a virtue. To take something “on faith” because “religion”, and defend it against any argument, any fact to the contrary.
Religion isn’t bad because it “isn’t atheism”. Religion is bad because it counters reason.
There is no good that religion has done that secular groups have not done better. The peace corps has accomplished more good overseas than all the missionary groups ever combined, without the strings attached. Bill and Melinda Gates have done more good in Africa in ten years than the Catholic Church has done in two hundred. Religious charities are almost universally bloated and underfunded. Global church leaders sit on golden thrones and preach in castles while spending more on lobbying than on actually helping people. The greatest obstacle to any civil rights movement has not been religious extremists, but religious moderates.
“if atheists simply want to don all the worst apparel of religious practices and behaviors.”
Let me know when people start flying planes into buildings in the name of atheism.
I agree. PZ Mysers (or as I like to call him, Pee Pee Myers) is a fucking asswipe.
I would classify myself as an “angry atheist”, but PZ just embarrasses all of us. He wears his insecurities and desires for fame on his sleeve, is a shameless attention and media whore and is just, quite simply, a lousy human being let alone an atheist.
Add in the fact he thinks himself quite the intellectual giant, even though he works at a second tier state college in Minnesota and you get mega-fail where he is concerned.
Pee Pee, Adam Lee and Greta “I have troubles so please give me some money” Christina are stains to humanity, let alone atheism.
I forgot – my feelings toward the Three Stooges of Atheism (PZ as the Moe, Adam and Curly, and Greta and Larry) in no way means I happen to like TSeeker or his/her (don’t know your gender) form of limp wrested meekness to atheism. It just means I don’t like ANY of you.
You like to call him that because you think second grade urological humor is inherently funny and mature or because you’re in second grade?
A little of both actually….
Cut the nonsense. And you don’t get to object when a freelance writer who won’t be able to work for several months asks her readers for help and they do it. Greta Christina’s story is a wonderful display of community, and entirely independent from your peculiar assessments of PZ’s motivations.
No, I DO get to object. DO not ever tell me what I can and cannot do or object to.
And second, her story is not some warm-fuzzy lovey-dovey tale, it is a tale of selfishness, personal decisions and detracting from better and more valid philanthropic causes.
Greta (or as is better suited “Larry”) made a CHOICE to give up her health insurance when she went into her chosen field of public speaking and writing. SHE MADE THE CHOICE. Then, when her back is against the wall, she begs AFTER she gave up something that would have helped her.
For every dollar that went to her, someone with more pressing troubles and true poverty could have been helped.
She is a selfish and self-entitled hypocrite. Sorry you don’t like to look through the microscope in the proper direction, but she is harmful and takes away from those with true need.
And you do not EVER get to tell me to hat I can and cannot object to. You would be wise to remember that when you speak.
You’re right – I left out a few words: -You have no grounds to object-. You can say whatever you want, but you are wrong he.
Greta -has- health insurance, through her wife’s employer’s plan. She asked her readers for contributions because she wasn’t going to be able to work for several months, and health insurance only covers the direct medical expenses, so their household budget was in rough shape. And I did not consider
And that makes it better how exactly?
We all have tight budgets, but she is still eating and watching TV and having Internet. How does that preclude making sure kids in Damascus are safe or starving kids in Eritria are helped?
If anything, that just makes her cash grab all the worse!
And yes little desert-man, I do have many many grounds to object.
Any credibility she had prior to her begging, which was slight at best, went to the showers when she asked for money. That is low on so many levels it boggles the mind.
But, enjoy that Kool-Aid….yumm yummy
Or better put….
>> SHE MADE THE CHOICE. Then, when her back is against the wall, she begs AFTER she gave up something that would have helped her.
And the people who read her writings made the CHOICE to either donate or not, depending on their personal feelings towards the matter. I see no problem with this.
>> For every dollar that went to her, someone with more pressing troubles and true poverty could have been helped.
Because at any particular point in time all our efforts should go towards aiding the single most wretched person on the planet at that moment and nobody else. Good luck with that.
>> And you do not EVER get to tell me to hat I can and cannot object to.
Sure I do. You do get to not listen to me, though, if you want.
No, PZ Myers doesn’t wear anything on his sleeve, he wears it on his website. Stay off of it if you don’t like what he’s saying there. He doesn’t come chasing you down at home, forcing you to hear what he has to say. I’ve never seen this alleged “media whore” in the media, unless you want to count Pharyngula as a channel, in which case change the channel. A person is allowed to be a “media whore” on their own blog. Feel free to restrict all your input to only come from Harvard and Yale, if you’re so convinced that nothing intellectual could ever come from all the “second tier” schools in the nation.
Riiiggghhhttttt….you are the Champion of runner-ups, second rates and mediocrity. Well done sir, well done.
Yes, Pee Pee is a media whore. He had his bout of trying to waggle up to the true bastions of erudition (Dawkins, Hitchens et al) where he was summarily overshadowed and shut down. He wears his bitterness over his second rate stature on his sleeve for sure.
As for the second tier facilities, yes, I do agree it is possible to get some good stuff from them, but on the whole, you get what is put in….second rate research. Of course there are exceptions, but Pee Pee is not one of them. When it comes to science and putting something of value to the world, PZ is better named “Pee Wee” because he is strictly in the JV squad.
Well, let me know when you’ve settled on a juvenile nickname. I’m sure I’ll find your position that much more convincing when you get to Poo Poo and Kaa Kaa. You don’t sound like you’re projecting your own bitterness at ALL. Nope, not a bit.
PZ hurt your feelings poor puppet?
The difference is, Phelps has no reasonable basis for his hate. Theism and religion, on the other hand, are demonstrably damaging things, justifiably condemned. And religion does encourage people to do bad things (unlike the lack of religion).
Feel free to celebrate Easter however you want. But the day itself celebrates a patent bit of religious batshit, so don’t get upset when rational people mock it (and sometimes, perhaps, the silly people who buy into such rubbish).
I object! “Batshit” is an adjective.
Feel free to use “bullshit”, horseshit”, “cow caca”, etc.
“Batshit” is one of those wonderful words that can serve as a noun, adjective, adverb, and probably more. Of course, “batshittery” has a nice ring to it when a noun is required, as well.
I think the point is that religion is bad because it makes people do bad things.
I’m not a PZ fan, but that comparison is just bullshit
That cartoon was 238,000x shades of pure fucking AWESOME!!!!!
I simply cannot help laughing. Here I am, having the first cup of the morning, with the dog, I’m gigglin’ like an idiot and I peed myself!
That fucking ROCKED!!!
You are easily amused.
something wrong with that? Or do I need to calculate “pi” to the 238,000 degree before I am allowed to giggle and laugh?
You are right…Substitutionary atonement is a grotesque and IMMORAL preachment that is used to terrify impressionable children and small rodents…A Dead-Guy-On-A-Stick is NO laughing matter…Anyone with an ounce of moral courage should be REPULSED, thoroughly REPULSED, at the Bronze Age notion of tacking middle-aged virgin carpenters to sticks…This is what happens when you undergird your morality with rascal Yahweh’s genius plan instead of trudging down the difficult road that leads to the development of moral REASONING…No one should EVER giggle at this…Hell, it should trigger the gag reflex, like watching flies feed…
Yeah, I grew up Catholic, too. And I agree: the Christian notion of substitutionary atonement is grotesque.
As a fun fact – the above picture is from Mel Gibson’s Rumpus Room!
A puppet. How fitting.
Ya, but don’t forget the collection plate. The church needs your money.
So it was all an elaborate practical joke by the Roman soldiers? Interesting theory.
And thus began 2000 years of madness, violence and terror.
Have you ever had deja vu?
And thus began 2000 years of madness, violence, and terror.
Huh, that’s happened to me several times now. Sorry about that, if I could delete one I would
I don’t think it’s on your end. Whenever I accidentally submit twice, Disqus responds with something telling me I submitted that comment.
I am curious: was the low ratio of comments about the cartoon to marginally-related comments by PZ’s hatedom predictable?
So, I am trying to find out if the quotes from PZ’s daughter are correct, and that his defense of those comments were as vociferous.
Apparently, Skatje Myers made claims that bestiality was acceptable. When she was called out on it, PZ (in typical fashion) instead of recognizing the idiocy of the statements doubled down and gave some of his trademark asshattery.
I am trying to find a second source. If true, this really does shine the light on PZ and his whackpot daughter’s true colours.
Also, here is a gem of a statement from both father and daughter:
“The way I see it, every other system of morality is based on unjustifiable claims too, so why follow someone else’s invented ideas of right and wrong?”
PZ and Skatje say this then expect people to fall in line with their A+ bullshit!
Hypocrites and freaks!
She did not claim that bestiality was necessarily acceptable, she argued that laws against bestiality are not rationally based. PZ defended that viewpoint, stating that there is no objective reason that bestiality should automatically be seen as immoral, but that in practice most cases would be seen as such because of issues of consent or causing harm, and that laws proscribing animal cruelty are adequate to cover those cases.
Both his and his daughter’s reasoning seem perfectly fine. If an animal clearly enjoys some sort of sex play with humans (and such instances are known), there is no rational reason to see that behavior as immoral. It’s just a subjective cultural bias.
You are out there dude, I mean fucking Beutelguise out there…..You give the image of a scraggly, partially emaciated older man with a crusty beard, sitting at a table made from a sun faded piece of plywood set on several cinder blocks….an old MacBook 2300c, furiously typing away angry missives to the government under a single bare light-bulb. Your yellowing and untrimmed toe-nails clacking on the wood floor as you get up for another snort of weak tea, passing by your faded manifesto sent out to various literary agents, publishers and news sources and sitting next to a stack of 750 rejection letters.
You are OUT there!
In other words, you are incapable of any rational response?
Your statements do not instill me with confidence in your abilities to read what PZ or Skatje have written. e.g., from fifteen seconds on Google: http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2012/05/22/the-objective-morality-gotcha/
But it would seem that RobMcCune is correct.
Yes, because there are obsessive unhinged loons who lose their shit at the mention of his name.
Ya, that’s about the intellectual level of PZ thesauros-store.blogspot.com
One lesson that I’ve learned at FA is who the truly intolerant and close-minded are.
You’ve seen yourself in a mirror then?
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