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Posted by on Dec 6, 2012 in Uncategorized | 12 comments

I Hope PZ Myers Never Defends Me

So, Ed Clint torn apart Rebecca Watson‘s Skepticon talk and the Atheist blogosphere started to see Watson for who she really is, and what she’s after.

Of course, so-called Freethought Bloggers couldn’t take it. First, Stephanie Zvan jumped in and said Watson was talking exclusively about pop EvPsy and media reports, which was clearly not the case, but OK, at least she had an argument (a crappy one, a straw man, but that’s something).

On the other hand, we’ve got PZ Myers, who has written two posts so far on the subject. The first one, was an eight-paragraphs long  ad hominem fallacy (nothing new there). If I was Watson, I’d sure hate to see this white old privileged, cisgendered, middle-class, able-bodied man coming to my rescue with such an ‘answer’ (if we can call it that) – even Ken Ham could have done better.

His second post was even worse: he goes on to say you don’t need to be an expert to do science or to criticize science. D’uh! But that’s not the point. If you want to do science or criticize it, you don’t need any degree in order for your claims to be taken into account. You need evidence!! And no, cherry-picking evidence is not evidence. It’s bad science, whether you’re Andrew Wakefield, Gilles-Eric Séralini, Rebecca Watson or PZ Myers.

Funny thing -besides he being a scientist and taking this utterly unscientific stance-: he’s planning on writing more on the topic. Looks like Myers can’t get enough of being ignored or laughed at. Have at it, dude. We looooove to read your red herrings!

  • http://twitter.com/Humanisticus Humanisticus

    Yes, they have seemed to miss the point altogether. I was making this point on a post by Skeptically Left, but there was too much to say, so I decided to write a small blog post about it. That small blog post turned into 1500 words! (here if anyone would like to read: http://tinyurl.com/a273n3d)

    The only rebuttal acceptable will be a substantive posts which deals with the points Ed raised, or a post which shows that Rebecca was not misinforming the audience, however, this has been completely lacking. He can go about trashing EP all he likes and prove it is a pseudoscience, it is irrelevant. The problem isn’t Rebecca’s conclusion, it is how she went about proving it, very poorly.

    For example, if I (no science background) tried to prove evolution, I would do pretty badly. My conclusion may be correct but my knowledge and methodology would be lacking, hence sceptics would be pretty upset with my presentation, and rightly so. This is what the problem is with Rebecca’s talk.

    • http://de-avanzada.blogspot.com/ Daosorios

      I’d say they miss the point intentionally!

      Thanks for your post! I really liked it!

      • http://twitter.com/Humanisticus Humanisticus

        Agreed, I think they do not want to deal with the facts as the facts simply don’t support them.

  • ThePrussian

    That last paragraph may be true, but he seems to scuttle away from a real fight:

    My post on the pontiff:
    http://www.skepticink.com/skepticallyleft/2012/12/05/do-you-need-to-be-an-expert-to-criticize-science/

  • Zardoz

    I find this a weird trend on the internet and this is not the only instance of it. It was a speech by Rebecca Watson that was critiqued so surely it should be up to her to respond. And if she felt no need to respond, then leave it at that. Why are these other people coming in and telling us what she meant in that speech? It all feels a bit patronizing to me, like they feel that she is not capable of defending herself intellectually.

    It would have been fine to comment on the validity of evolutionary psychology but to chime in to say Rebecca Watson meant this or that or just trash talk the person making the critique seems disrespectful to her. Maybe she is OK with it but I would find it a bit annoying to have people go around and tell people what I meant to say. No matter how good a friend they were.

    • ZedZero

      No surprise really. It is just a in-group vs.out-group response to stimulus of a perceived attack. EvoPsy 101 really.

      • http://de-avanzada.blogspot.com/ Daosorios

        Hahahaha, you pwned’em again!

    • http://de-avanzada.blogspot.com/ Daosorios

      PZ Myers defends damsel in distress… who claims she can give her own fights! Ohh, the irony…

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