Another Atheist Caught in Case of Serial Plagiarism

***Update 2*** (12:11p): Avicenna has been removed from Freethought Blogs. Ed Brayton explains:

It is with great sadness that I announce that Avicenna Last of the A Million Gods blog has been removed from Freethought Blogs as a result of a long track record of plagiarism that we just became aware of…

Facts are facts, yes, but ethics are also ethics. I have strongly condemned such behavior on the part of Mark Driscoll, Chuck Missler and others and I have refused to accept the excuse that they were merely careless about attribution. And if it is wrong for others, it’s wrong here too. And with all the criticism I aim at those in the atheist community who behave tribally, applying different standards to those we consider our enemies than we do to our friends, I would be a highly unethical hypocrite if I did anything other than what we’ve done.

As I said, I am very sad about this. Despite all of this, I will continue to believe that Avicenna is a good and decent man who does more than his fair share to help other people. And I will continue to read what he has to say. But he cannot say it here any longer. Ethical consistency demands that much.

***Update 1*** (10:00a): Avicenna has issued an apology:

I am sorry. There is not much else I can say. I know I am a good writer. I would not be here if I wasn’t and while my technique is flawed, my writing still is liked by many. I have made a terrible mistake and adopted a very laissez-faire attitude to attribution and writing.

This is the only accusation that is true. In this way both Hemant Mehta and PZ Myers are both right and wrong. Hemant is unaware of the quantity of weird mail I get and how its silly to check them for attribution. Here PZ Myers is right. I however have had a problem with poor attribution and lazy writing. In that Hemant is right.

I know the reasons this happened but they don’t matter. What matters is the issue and for this I am sorry. I am a much better writer than this. And there are no excuses.

And if you will let me continue writing, I believe I can still write the way that has captivated the people who do read this blog as I endeavour to not repeat this mistake.

If that isn’t good enough then I am perfectly content to step away from Freethoughtblogs.com and go back to being the small angry blogger who got the chance to write here.

PZ Myers adds:

The examples cited above are seriously problematic. The executive committee at FtB is currently reviewing them. Avicenna will have an opportunity to respond, so don’t expect an instant reaction.

Avicenna Last is the pseudonym for a doctor living in India who writes for Freethought Blogs at a site called “A Million Gods.” For the most part, his site has gone under my radar, though I’ve always been aware of it because, you know, there just aren’t that many brown atheist bloggers out there.

But last night, it was brought to my attention that there are numerous examples of plagiarism on his site. I could forgive someone — especially someone who lives in a foreign country — for making that mistake once or twice.

There are possible, plausible explanations, too: Maybe you intended to “blockquote” something and forgot to do it. Maybe you copied something into your notes as you were writing a post and then forgot to delete it (or later assumed it was your own writing).

But when it happens repeatedly, to the extent that I’ve now seen it happening, it’s not an accident. It’s a serious problem. It’s a problem we dealt with just a couple of months ago with CJ Werleman.

Brace yourself.

Stephen Jay Gould, Speak Out Against the New Right, 1982 (reprinted here):

Facts do not go away when scientists debate rival theories to explain them. Einstein’s theory of gravitation replaced Newton’s, but apples did not suspend themselves in mid-air pending the outcome. And human beings evolved from apelike ancestors whether they did so by Darwin’s proposed mechanism or by some other, yet to be discovered.

Avicenna, 15 Answers for Creationists, 10/20/2013:

Facts do not go away when scientists debate rival theories to explain them. Einstein’s theory of gravitation replaced Newton’s, but apples did not suspend themselves in mid-air, pending the outcome. And humans evolved from ape-like ancestors whether they did so by Darwin’s proposed mechanism or by some other yet to be discovered.

AFP, The Straits Times, 4/2/2013

Bangladesh police have arrested three atheist bloggers for defaming Islam and the prophet Mohammed, police said on Tuesday, amid demands from religious fundamentalists for an Internet crackdown.

“They have hurt religious feelings of the people by writing against different religions and their prophets and founders including the Prophet Mohammed,” deputy commissioner of Dhaka police Molla Nazrul Islam said.

Avicenna, Bangladesh – Death of Freedom, 4/5/2013:

Bangladesh has arrested three atheist bloggers for defaming on Tuesday amid calls from religious fundies for a crackdown on bloggers.

“They have hurt religious feelings of the people by writing against different religions and their prophets and founders including the Prophet Mohammed,” deputy commissioner of Dhaka police Molla Nazrul Islam said.

Anuragh Kumar, Christian Post, 7/27/2014:

A scientist has filed a lawsuit against the California State University, Northridge saying he was terminated from his job due to his religious views after he discovered soft tissue on a triceratops fossil which supported his creationist view.

The scientist’s findings, which indicate that dinosaurs roamed the earth only thousands of years in the past rather than going extinct 60 million years ago, were published in July 2013 in a peer-reviewed scientific journal.

Avicenna, Mark Armitage – Creationism and Bad Science, 7/28/2014:

A scientist has filed a lawsuit against the California State University, Northridge saying he was terminated from his job due to his religious views after he discovered soft tissue on a triceratops fossil which supported his creationist view.

Creationism is not a religious world view any more than believing in a flat earth is a religious world view. NASA is unlikely to hire a flat earther or a geocentricist. Mark was hired specifically to operate an electron microscope and do science and to make the 4000 year old claim on this soft tissue is frankly astoundingly bad science.

Armitage believes that these bones are 4000 years old at the most and allegedly give credence to the notion that these dinosaurs were around humans until relatively recently. The scientist’s findings, which indicate that dinosaurs roamed the earth only thousands of years in the past rather than going extinct 60 million years ago, were published in July 2013 in a peer-reviewed scientific journal but don’t mention his personal views.

Kyle Odegard, Albany Democrat-Herald, 4/18/2014:

The Rossiters are members of the Church of the First Born, a fundamentalist sect that believes traditional medical treatment is sinful, and instead trust in God to heal them through faith, according to police and court documents.

The prosecution intends to show that Syble Rossiter, 12, was deprived of life-saving medical care, and her parents instead resorted to faith-healing rites.

Avicenna, Faith Killing, 4/26/2014:

Travis and Wenona Rossiter, an Albany couple are members of the Church of the First Born, a fundamentalist sect that believes traditional medical treatment is sinful, and instead trust in God to heal them through faith, [Hemant’s note: The previous sentence just ended in a comma.]

Syble Rossiter, 12, was deprived of life-saving medical care, and her parents instead resorted to faith-healing rites. Sybie Rossiter died. They knowingly denied her access to basic medicine because their religion said so.

The Telegraph & Argus, 4/30/2014:

The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) said the nation needs to get to grips with the growing gap between rich and poor to have any impact on high mortality rates.

Meanwhile public health policies to reduce child deaths are “piecemeal”, according to the RCPCH’s latest report.

Youngsters in the UK are at a higher risk of premature death than their peers in western Europe, the Why Children Die report says.

Avicenna, Even in the UK, 5/1/2014:

The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) said the nation needs deal with the growing gap between rich and poor to have any impact on high mortality rates since with the current economic crisis, the poorest are affected the most. With plans to cut child support, this is a critical issue.

Meanwhile public health policies to reduce child deaths are “piecemeal”, [Hemant’s note: The previous sentence just ended in a comma.]

Youngsters in the UK are at a higher risk of premature death than their peers in western Europe according to the Why Children Die report says.

Imma Ande and Isaac Abrak, Reuters, 10/23/2014:

The attack cast further doubt on government reports that it has secretly reached a temporary ceasefire with the rebels in order to secure the release of more than 200 schoolgirls they are holding hostage.

In a separate attack, a bomb exploded late on Wednesday at a bus station in the town of Azare in northern Nigeria’s Bauchi state, killing at least five people and wounding 12, police said. They did not comment on who was behind the attack, although Boko Haram is likely to be the prime suspect.

Avicenna, More Kidnapped in Nigeria, 10/25/2014:

This attack casts doubts on a government report that it has reached a temporary ceasefire with Boko Haram to implement the release of the 200 hostages.

In a separate attack, a bomb exploded late on Wednesday at a bus station in the town of Azare in northern Nigeria’s Bauchi state, killing at least five people and wounding 12, police said. They did not comment on who was behind the attack, although Boko Haram is likely to be the prime suspect. These public bombings have killed hundreds this year alone.

Asia Bibi blasphemy case, Wikipedia:

Aasiya Noreen… better known as Asia Bibi… is a Pakistani Christian woman who was convicted of blasphemy by a Pakistani court, receiving a sentence of death by hanging. In June 2009, Noreen was involved in an argument with a group of Muslim women with whom she had been harvesting berries after the other women became angry at her for drinking the same water as them. She was subsequently accused of insulting the Islamic prophet Muhammad, a charge she denies, and was arrested and imprisoned. In November 2010, a Sheikhupura judge sentenced her to death. If executed, Noreen would be the first woman in Pakistan to be lawfully killed for blasphemy.

Avicenna, Can’t Take A Joke – Veena Malik and Islamic Fundamentalism, 11/28/2014:

Atheists have followed the story of Asia Bibi.

For those who don’t know who she is? Asia Bibi is a Pakistani Christian woman who was convicted of blasphemy by a Pakistani court, receiving a sentence of death by hanging. In June 2009, she got involved in an argument with a group of Muslim women with whom she had been harvesting berries after the other women became angry at her for drinking the same water as them

She was subsequently accused of insulting the Islamic prophet Muhammad, a charge she denies, and was arrested and imprisoned. In November 2010, a judge sentenced her to death. If executed, Noreen would be the first woman in Pakistan to be executed for the thought crime of blasphemy. As I have often said, in a Theocracy, the Fundamentalist is king and in order to satiate fundamentalists, common sense has to take a back seat to reality. A woman is going to die because she may have insulted a dead historical figure. And she won’t be the first person to die for that in Pakistan.

MangaloreToday.com, 11/30/2014:

A young man belonging to the Scheduled Castes and his Muslim wife were hacked to death in broad daylight in a village of Hapur, Uttar Pradesh, on Saturday — allegedly by the woman’s brother — for defying the diktat of the panchayat and staying married.

Sonu, a 22-year-old craftsman, and Danishta Begum, 21, had got married four months ago. The couple was staying together at his house in Fatehpur village, approximately 75 km from Delhi.

The two families had been neighbours for 13 years. And the village is just 70 km from Muzaffarnagar, which witnessed communal riots last year.

Avicenna, The Thug in Velvet – Not Your Dress, 12/2/2014:

A young man belonging to the Scheduled Caste and his Muslim wife were hacked to death in broad daylight in a village of Hapur, Uttar Pradesh, on Saturday – allegedly by the woman’s brother – for defying the diktat of the village headmen and staying married.

Sonu and Danishta Begum got married four months ago and lived in his house in Fatehpur Village around 75 Km from Delhi. In a story that would have made our hearts swell? They were neighbours for 13 years and childhood sweethearts.

Henry McDonald, The Guardian, 9/30/2014:

Secular activists state that such a law is incompatible with any modern country and has held Ireland back and harmed human rights within the nation. In particular the pro-life laws that cost Savita Halappanavar her life.

Henry McDonald, The Guardian, 12/30/2014:

Irish atheists and secularists have accused their government of breaking a promise to call a referendum over the Republic’s controversial blasphemy laws in the lifetime of the current coalition.

Atheist Ireland expressed disappointment that the government had quietly dropped plans for a plebiscite to rid the country of the legislation, which secularists have argued are incompatible with modern Ireland.

Last year, the Fine Gael-Labour coalition had promised a referendum on the blasphemy law to coincide with two other votes on gay marriage equality and lowering the age for when a citizen can become president of the state.

The law defines blasphemy as “publishing or uttering matter that is grossly abusive or insulting in relation to matters sacred by any religion, thereby intentionally causing outrage among a substantial number of adherents of that religion, with some defences permitted”.

The former Fianna Fáil justice minister Dermot Ahern has defended the law, claiming it is necessary because the 1936 Irish constitution extends the protection of belief only to Christians.

Avicenna, Breaking the (Irish) Law, 1/1/2015:

Ireland’s law is similar. But it was set to change. Atheists and secularists have accused their government of breaking a promise to call a referendum over the Republic’s controversial blasphemy laws in the lifetime of the current coalition. These laws were set to be subject to a public vote to allow the public to decide. Secular activists state that such a law is incompatible with any modern country and has held Ireland back and harmed human rights within the nation. In particular the pro-life laws that cost Savita Halappanavar her life.

Last year, the Fine Gael-Labour coalition had promised a referendum on the blasphemy law to coincide with two other votes on gay marriage equality and lowering the age for when a citizen can become president of the Republic of Ireland. The other issues are still being voted on, the blasphemy vote however has been pulled.

And this isn’t a new law. This was a law introduced in 2009, with a fine of €25,000 for breaking it. Why? Who does this help? If the gods exist do they really require us to fine people for insulting their archaic beliefs? No. Then why are we fining people for something that amounts to harmless literary criticism. We aren’t jailing people for suggesting Twilight is an inferior story filled with vapid characters and has effectively jumped the Vampire Shark. Yet we do so when it is another imaginary being?

The law defines blasphemy as “publishing or uttering matter that is grossly abusive or insulting in relation to matters sacred by any religion, thereby intentionally causing outrage among a substantial number of adherents of that religion, with some defences permitted”.

The former Fianna Fáil justice minister Dermot Ahern has defended the law, claiming it is necessary because the 1936 Irish constitution extends the protection of belief only to Christians.

National Secular Society, 10/10/2013:

The Oxford, Cambridge and RSA Exam board (OCR) launched an investigation into exam malpractice at the Yesodey Hatorah Jewish Voluntary Aided girls’ secondary school after the National Secular Society formally asked it to follow up unconfirmed reports that teachers had redacted questions in this year’s GSCE science exam.

The precise questions that were blacked out has not been revealed by OCR, but earlier this year a Jewish education consultant warned that evolution in the new GCSE science curriculum could pose problems for strictly Orthodox schools.

The investigation confirmed pupils were left disadvantaged by being unable to access 3 marks out of 75 for a unit in a higher GCSE science exam, and 1 mark out of 75 for a unit on a lower paper.

Avicenna, Ostrich, 10/11/2013:

Yesodey Hatorah Jewish Voluntary Aided girls’ secondary school is being investigated formally after students asked it to follow up unconfirmed reports that teachers had redacted questions in this year’s GSCE science exam.

The precise questions that were blacked out has not been revealed by OCR, but it is believed to be questions on evolution that would sit uneasily with Orthodox Jewish Creationists.

The investigation confirmed pupils were left disadvantaged by being unable to access 3 marks out of 75 for a unit in a higher GCSE science exam, and 1 mark out of 75 for a unit on a lower paper.

Nick Squires, The Telegraph, 5/8/14:

The decline of religious belief in the West and the growth of secularism has “opened the window” to black magic, Satanism and belief in the occult, the organisers of a conference on exorcism have said.

Giuseppe Ferrari, from GRIS, a Catholic research group that organised the conference, said there was an ever growing need for priests to be trained to perform exorcisms because of the increasing number of lay people tempted to dabble in black magic, paganism and the occult.

Avicenna, Irony Is Dead – Catholics Demand Exorcism Because of Fears of Superstition, 5/11/2014:

Apparently there has been a 6 day long meeting in Rome about the need for exorcists.

Because of an increased need to bust ghosts.

The claim is that the decline of religious belief in the West and the growth of secularism has “opened the window” to black magic, Satanism and belief in the occult, the organisers of a conference on exorcism have said.

Sponsored by GRIS, a Catholic Research Group (Irony Meter At over 9000)…. the event was designed to satiate an evergrowing need for priests to perform exorcisms because of an increased number of lay people tempted to dabble in black magic, paganism and the occult.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

Central nervous system (CNS) conditions, including encephalitis and encephalopathy, have been reported with a frequency of less than one per million doses administered. The incidence of encephalitis or encephalopathy after measles vaccination of healthy children is lower than the observed incidence of encephalitis of unknown etiology. This finding suggests that the reported severe neurologic disorders temporally associated with measles vaccination were not caused by the vaccine. These adverse events should be anticipated only in susceptible vaccinees and do not appear to be age-related. After revaccination, most reactions should be expected to occur only among the small proportion of persons who failed to respond to the first dose. Personal and Family History of Convulsions

As with the administration of any agent that can produce fever, some children may have a febrile seizure. Although children with a personal or family history of seizures are at increased risk for developing idiopathic epilepsy, febrile seizures following vaccinations do not in themselves increase the probability of subsequent epilepsy or other neurologic disorders. Most convulsions following measles vaccination are simple febrile seizures, and they affect children without known risk factors.

Avicenna, Jenny McCarthy – It’s not the Playboy, it’s the statements, 10/27/2014:

Incidentally? CNS involvement have been reported with a frequency of less than 1 per million doses. The incidence of encephalitis after measles vaccination is lower than the natural observed incidence of encephalitis of unknown origin. Any severe neurological disorders temporally associated with the vaccine are not caused by the vaccine.

As with the administration of any agent that can produce fever, some children may have a febrile seizure. Although children with a personal or family history of seizures are at increased risk for developing idiopathic epilepsy, febrile seizures following vaccinations do not in themselves increase the probability of subsequent epilepsy or other neurologic disorders. Most convulsions following measles vaccination are simple febrile seizures, and they affect children without known risk factors.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: The Management of PTSD in Adults and Children in Primary and Secondary Care (2005):

When establishing the diagnosis of PTSD it is important to bear in mind that people with this disorder find talking about the traumatic experience very upsetting. They may find it hard to disclose the exact nature of the event and the associated re-experiencing symptoms and feelings, and may initially not be able to talk about the most distressing aspects of their experience. This may particularly be the case for people who experienced the trauma many years ago or have a delayed onset of their symptoms.

Avicenna, Pitchguest – Sling your Hook Mate, You are Barred, 4/22/2014:

A small educational break. PTSD is found frequently in soldiers who experience combat. It is also found in anyone who experiences a traumatic incident or a series of them. Not JUST soldiers.

When establishing the diagnosis of PTSD it is important to bear in mind that people with this disorder find talking about the traumatic experience very upsetting. They may find it hard to disclose the exact nature of the event and the associated re-experiencing symptoms and feelings, In children this is complicated by the lack of understanding of what is being asked or being experienced. [Hemant’s note: The boldfaced section just ended in a comma.]

Read more: http://admin.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2015/01/03/another-atheist-caught-in-case-of-serial-plagiarism/#ixzz3Nkg7go3i

Maddy Crowell, GlobalPost, 11/20/14:

In India, to kiss openly is considered a public disgrace that can mean jail time.

This appeared to be the message conveyed on Oct. 23 by Jai Hind News, a popular local news channel in India’s southern state of Kerala, when it broadcast footage of a couple kissing in an upscale terrace cafe in Calicut.

Within an hour of the broadcast, a group of right-wing Hindu fundamentalists entered the cafe with iron rods, smashing windows and upturning furniture. They claimed the cafe endorsed “un-Indian” behavior.

In Hyderabad, 21-year-old Arundhati Naluketi, a Kiss of Life organizer, received so many threatening calls she had to change her phone number. Photos of her kissing at the protest were Photoshopped onto nude bodies and spread on WhatsApp.

Avicenna, A Kiss is Just a Kiss (Except in India where it is A Political Protest for Secularism), 11/20/2014:

A little back story.

To kiss openly is considered a public disgrace that can mean jail time. This appeared to be the message conveyed on Oct. 23 by Jai Hind News, a popular local news channel in India’s southern state of Kerala, when it broadcast footage of a couple kissing in an upscale terrace cafe in Calicut. I mean to kiss outside of a movie. That’s okay. India’s hypocrisy is that it can show people kissing on movies but when people’s kids fall in love and do the same it is considered a terrible lack of morals rather than a gesture of love.

Within an hour of the broadcast, a group of right-wing Hindu fundamentalists entered the cafe with iron rods, smashing windows and upturning furniture. They claimed the cafe endorsed “un-Indian” behaviour. I missed the point where spying on a couple’s private moment is considered acceptable Indian behaviour. I also missed the part of my Indian upbringing where violence was considered acceptable. But then again? These are Hindutva, Gandhi is not the man they admire, his assassin is.

But some things never change no matter where we are. The Hindutva’s response to a simple Kiss has been nothing new. I say nothing new because we have seen the same strategies among our own misogynists. The so called “trolls” if you will.

In Hyderabad, 21-year-old Arundhati Naluketi, a Kiss of Life organizer, received so many threatening calls she had to change her phone number. Photos of her kissing at the protest were Photoshopped onto nude bodies and spread online. Sound familiar? It should. We have seen such behaviour among the so called “Trolls” in a variety of online media.

Associated Press, 10/18/2014:

Catholic bishops scrapped their landmark welcome to gays Saturday, showing deep divisions at the end of a two-week meeting sought by Pope Francis to chart a more merciful approach to ministering to Catholic families.

Conservatives had harshly criticized the draft and proposed extensive revisions to restate church doctrine, which holds that gay sex is “intrinsically disordered,” but that gays themselves are to be respected, and that marriage is only between a man and a woman.

Avicenna, The Catholic Church Takes a Step Back, 10/19/2014:

Catholic bishops have scrapped their welcome to gays, demonstrating the deep divisions within Catholicism with regards to the institutionalised and overt homophobia that runs through the Church.

Conservatives had harshly criticized the draft and proposed extensive revisions to restate church doctrine, which holds that gay sex is “intrinsically disordered,” but that gays themselves are to be respected, and that marriage is only between a man and woman. Because who cares about progressive values when you can dogmatically adhere to a discriminatory ideology masquerading under the banner of divine will.

I’ll stop there for now. (The denizens of the Slymepit forum — normally people I’d prefer to ignore — have uncovered these examples and then some and they’re showing no signs of stopping.)

All of that, by the way, is a sampling of what I suspect is out there. If you go through the rest of his archives, there are undoubtedly more examples of this sort of literary theft. In all these examples, there’s simply no indication in Avicenna’s posts that he’s taking passages from another source. The citations aren’t there and neither are links. We’re led to believe they’re his own thoughts.

Last night, I emailed Avicenna and asked him if there was a reason for all this, or if it was honestly an accident, or what. He responded, in part, with this:

I have some problems with quotes markers going up and updates not going through. Also? I kind of have no reason to do this. I mean I link to even the most simple posts that I quote.

Oh and I have power cuts, the internet cuts out then and the post doesn’t update. Sometimes it reverts to older versions. Some errors may be due to that.

I wish I could believe it was just a quote marker problem, but I don’t. First of all, I just don’t understand how your post could be written in full, with all the rest of the formatting in place, but then the blockquotes magically disappear. And, more importantly, some of his passages which were remarkably similar to the source material were slightly altered — so they weren’t just straight copy/paste jobs. It was a matter of passing off someone else’s writing as his own, deliberately or not.

What about power cuts and bad Internet? Once again, that doesn’t explain the slightly altered passages, or the fact that these problems took place over the course of a few years and not just on one particularly shitty-weather day, or the fact that the full posts were much longer than the sections in question and you’d think a reversion back to an earlier draft would’ve removed the later parts of the post, or the fact that Avicenna produces a stunning number of posts for someone whose Internet seems to cut out this much…

Want a best-case scenario excuse? Here it is: Avicenna just doesn’t understand what plagiarism is.

While I find that hard to believe for someone who managed to get through medical school, there’s no shortage of otherwise-smart people who plagiarize because they mistakenly believe that excerpting a portion of someone else’s work is okay as long as you don’t swipe the whole thing. (It’s not.)

But if that’s the case, then you shouldn’t be writing for a website like Freethought Blogs that pays writers, however much, for their work. It makes the whole site look shady and puts the other writers there on the defensive, which is completely unfair to them.

By the way, all this comes a week after another writer pointed out that many of the hate-emails that Avicenna receives and responds to… are actually copy/pasted letters from other places. For example, this letter that Avicenna received from an anti-gay commenter turns out to be lifted wholesale from this site.

Again, if it happens once, maybe I could understand. When it happens many, many, many times, it’s just not an accident anymore.

PZ Myers, apparently ignoring the mountain of evidence in this case, just blamed the people who generally criticize his site and defended Avicenna:

There’s a small squad of vicious trolls waiting to make up stories about you, and the latest target of their venom is Avicenna. It’s gotten ridiculous: the myth they repeat over and over again is that he’s constantly lying on his blog. The latest “evidence” is that some of the email from haters that he has posted can also be found on public sites.

I hate to be the one to break the terrible news to you, but trolls are the most uncreative, tedious people you’ll ever encounter. I get lots of hate mail, too, and one thing you’ll discover is that they typically aren’t bright enough to write something on their own, so they’ll just copy and paste some other rant they find, or they’ll write one grand essay they’re very proud of and they’ll spam it everywhere.

So to announce that because they found duplicate copies of some incoherent angry rage-mail means pretty much nothing. It definitely is not evidence that Avi is making stuff up.

That’s the quality of their arguments, and to further reinforce my argument that trolls or uncreative, it’s getting repetitively spammed all over the place. They’ve got a lie and they’ll stick with it, in hopes that dishonesty will be overcome by volume.

Well, I’m not one of those trolls. And the “volume” discrediting both his hate mail and his purportedly original work is overwhelming.

The question now is whether this will spur any changes from the folks at Freethought Blogs. PZ was quick to disavow CJ Werleman when he was caught doing this. PZ’s colleague acted similarly in another case of plagiarism.

It’d be shameful for them to do nothing now.

(Image via Shutterstock)

About Hemant Mehta

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.


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