Following editorial consultation, the post is up again:
In my piece on the pontiff of FtB, I wrote that his ultimate, irrefutable corruption is his willingness to subordinate science to politics. I now notice he’s at it again, courtesy of my lovely colleague bluharmony. I will get into the broader subject of expertise and its importance, but for the moment, let me quote the following from his dismissal of peer review:
when you’ve got some deeply ingrown subfield where all the “peers” buy into the same bullshit, and approve and publish each others’ papers, the garbage can reach toxic levels.
This is the exact, same stuff that climate denialists peddle about global warming and creationists peddle about evolution. In point of fact, ED is fiercely debate in the journals, so if Watson – who was, contra to her and Myers’ latest lies, attacking the science of ED – knew anything, she should write a critique and get it published. Good luck with that. Of course, Myers and Watson will yell the same thing that the creationists and climate denialists do: that the journals are under the control of a clique with its own agenda.
However, thanks again to my colleague, I can demonstrate why this man is what he is. It’s from the following post, where Myers cites, and heaps effusive praise on a column that says the following:
[Paul Ryan] looks at the country and sees its government as something alien that is holding down the individual entrepreneurial genius of 200 million people, and not as their creation, and the vehicle through which that genius can be channelled for the general welfare.
Nietzsche in his genius foresaw this, that in the place vacated by the old gods, a New God would raise his throne:
“’State’ is the name of the coldest of all cold monstrosities. It coldly lies to you, and this lie crawls from its mouth; “I, the State, am the People […] On earth there is nothing greater than I: the ordering finger of God!”
The bloody history of the next century proved Nietzsche right.
Myers is what he is because he is in no absolute sense a skeptic or anti-religious; he is simply a votary of the New God, the god called State. Or, if you will, “the People” an ethereal super-entity embodied in no one in particular, who licenses all the vast cruelties of its self-appointed priesthood.
Think about it: all the manifold contradictions in Myers’ many positions are not contradictions at all if you make the basic assumption that he is not a skeptic trying to uncover truth but a believer defending orthodoxy. Why is expertise suddenly unimportant in Watson’s case? Because she is orthodox. Why is suddenly relevant in Ryan’s case? Because he is unorthodox.
Why have you never heard a single word or peep from this man about the bible-thumpers Bill & Hillary Clinton, Al Gore, Al Sharpton…?
Because they are Orthodox. The point for Myers is that another god is fine, as long as he is subservient to his god. He is against the religious right in America not because they are religious but because they are right, i.e. a competing religion.
This is not a left/right thing, this cannot be stressed enough. Despite my manifold differences with both Nick Cohen and Francis Wheen, both well to the left of Myers on many issues, neither of them are of this kidney. I could also list the late great Hitch. Further, both Ayn Rand and Karl Marx looked forward to a time when there was no State.
Or consider the following:
And there are many, many rightist worshippers of the state; in fact, the very idea comes from the hideous Old Right with its idea of divine right.
Again, in arguing against this position, I deliberately choose people with whom I have considerable differences with, but with whom I agree on the fundamental point: the State is an unfortunate compromise, perhaps necessary, but only grudgingly. It is not a divine vessel “through which 200 million people can be channelled”, and disagreements about this compromise should not be treated as heresy. This seems to be understood by US President Obama; shortly after Ryan’s selection, Obama mentioned him in a speech, causing some boos. Obama waved them down saying that he thought that Ryan was a fine and principled person, they just disagreed fundamentally on several issues.
I see no value in trying to liberate mankind from one god just to shackle it to another.