PZ Myers, the Ann Coulter of Darwinism
Ann Coulter has a bad reputation for being caustic, but she doesn't hold a candle to Darwinist PZ Myers.
PZ Myers, a biologist and associate professor at the University of Minnesota, is a blogger on Panda's Thumb and also runs his own blog, "Pharyngula." His review of the 3rd chapter of Jonathan Wells' new book, "The Politically Incorrect Guide to Darwinism and Intelligent Design," has been posted on both blogs, here and here. The review of the 3rd chapter is part of a group review of the book by the bloggers on Panda's Thumb. PZ charges Wells with quote mining a scientific paper, and I agree with the charge (I have some major objections to the scientific paper that Wells quote-mined, but that is another matter). PZ also charges that the 3rd chapter's claim that Darwin relied upon Ernst Haeckel's embryology is false. PZ gets very abusive in the review:
I could stop here. With that one example, Wells is exposed as a disreputable scoundrel, a sloppy ideologue whose “scholarship” is untrustworthy and willfully distorted. You simply cannot believe one word he says. I will go on a little further, though, and try to explain some of the ideas he has treated so shabbily.
-- and --
I keep looking for a word to summarize this book, and I keep coming back to “dishonest”; devious, unethical, deceitful, underhanded, shifty, false, and untrustworthy would also fit. I predict that in the coming reviews of other chapters in "The Politically Incorrect Guide to Darwinism and Intelligent Design" by my colleagues at the Panda’s Thumb, they’re all going to be using permutations of that concept of contemptible fraudulence to express their feelings about Wells.
PZ could have made his points without being so abusive -- additionally, his last sentence above shows a lack of an open mind about the other chapters of the book. This kind of invective is not out of character for PZ -- he once said in a comment on Panda's Thumb,
Please don’t try to tell me that you object to the tone of our complaints. Our only problem is that we aren’t martial enough, or vigorous enough, or loud enough, or angry enough. The only appropriate responses should involve some form of righteous fury, much butt-kicking, and the public firing and humiliation of some teachers, many schoolboard members, and vast numbers of sleazy far-right politicians.
I admit to using abusive language myself, but usually only in response to personal attacks against me. PZ's apparent confidence that such excesses will not hurt his career as a college faculty member speaks volumes about the clout that Darwinists have on college campuses. One of these days, however, PZ might find that, like Kansas University religious studies professor Paul Mirecki, he has gone too far. Mirecki wrote in a semi-public Internet forum that his new for-credit course whose title labeled creationism and intelligent design as "mythologies" was a "nice slap in the big fat face of the fundies." As a result of that remark, Mirecki was forced to cancel the course and resign as department chairman. Lawrence Journal-World's "Evolution in Kansas" series has a good collection of articles about Mirecki's adventures.
Labels: PZ Myers