In this post, we complete our reals to PZ Myers’ analysis of our book, Unscientific America. For those who’ve aloof arrived, we ahead laid out the advance our acknowledgment would booty here, and began to acknowledge actuality and here. This is the fourth and final post.
9. Bigotry. At the end of his review, Myers says article astonishing. He claims that our “bigotry blinds [us] to a ambit of approaches offered by the ‘New Atheists’…a accumulation that is not so bankrupt to the advanced ambit of necessarily differing approach that such a abysmal botheration requires as Mooney and Kirshenbaum are.”
This is a bottomless accusation. Chris is an atheist, and he is not biased adjoin himself, his mother (an abrupt civil humanist), or any added atheists. Sheril is Jewish an agnostic, and not biased adjoin Chris or any added atheists, either.
Myers provides no affirmation of our declared biogtry. He aloof makes an anarchic accusation, one not at all accessory to rational or calm discussion.
It is absolutely this affectionate of abode that led us to abode Myers so anon in Unscientific America.
10. The Trouble With PZ Myers. In his review, Myers doesn’t abode our criticisms of him–of his accessible writings and actions. But we will end by elaborating aloft why, in the deathwatch of the accord dent desecration, we absitively we had to allege out about Myers in a way that would absolutely be heard.
Though we accept not said so until now, Myers is amid the axial affidavit we larboard ScienceBlogs. There were abounding factors involved, of course, but one was our shock at what he calls “Crackergate.” We call the abounding adventure in the book, but let us adduce from Myers’ words back he bankrupt off comments (there had been over 2,000) afterwards announcement his account of the besmirched eucharist with a decayed attach apprenticed through it:
What accomplishment I put into [the desecration] was not in acknowledgment to the absoluteness of your asinine deity, but in acknowledgment to the absoluteness of your alarming delusions. Those are real, all right, and they charge to be belittled and weakened. But don’t abash the actuality that I acquisition you and your abbey petty, foolish, twisted, and abhorrent to be a affidavit to the actuality of your petty, foolish, twisted, abhorrent god.
Now I’m abashed I’m activity to accept to aing this thread. Its purpose has been able-bodied served: the biased Catholics and their crazy behavior accept been absolutely exposed. Over 2300 comments on this accountable in 20 hours is absolutely enough.
Watching all of this, we were appalled. We could not see what this act could possibly accept to do with announcement science and reason. It contributed annihilation to the accessible compassionate or acknowledgment of science, and aggregate to a nasty, animal ability war that hurts and divides us all.
We admit that Myers writes entertainingly and sometimes hilariously; we apperceive he’s affectionate and affable in person; and we apprehend he describes science accurately and insightfully. And we accept he’s a actual acceptable abecedary as well.
Nevertheless, in his online persona–and boilerplate added than with the dent desecration–we accept he cultivates a altitude of extremism, dness and, indeed, agitation (the adverse of calm and admiring agitation and exchange) at ScienceBlogs. And it is accomplished time that addition batten out about that, as we did in Unscientific America.
For too long, bodies in the science blogosphere accept tiptoed about Myers. Afterwards all, he can accelerate a lot of affronted commenters your way. And he, and they, are bound in their criticisms, their attacks, and so on. Aloof apprehend our accoutrement over the aftermost week–it’s all there, the all-inclusive majority from bodies who accept not apprehend our book and do not assume absorbed to do so.
But we’re not abashed of Myers or his commenters. They can leave hundreds of posts on our blog–we readily acquiesce it–but our book will be apprehend by a altered and far added advanced audience. It’s already happening. And that admirers will abundantly accede that Myers’ accord dent abuse was abhorrent and counterproductive, and that added generally, he epitomizes the accepted problems with the advice of science on the Internet.
We apperceive how abounding others accede with us, because we accept heard from them. We additionally apperceive the standards of bookish decency, fairness, and so on that we’ve abstruse from years of journalism and in academia. And if, as our book proposes, we are activity to be training adolescent science communicators, they charge apprentice at atomic two basal acquaint they will not be accepting from Myers: amenity and tolerance.
Our amount concern, though, isn’t absolutely about Myers or his blog. What worries us is what they say about the apple of American science as it appears on the Internet. For Myers is, as we all know, the best accepted blogger on the best accepted science blogging site–and has a band of loyal followers who see themselves as the aggregation of reason, and affirm by “science” (when they’re not aloof swearing).
And this is his best acclaimed performance: Desecrating a accord wafer.
That doesn’t aloof say article aspersing about Myers–it says article adverse about all of us.
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