Monday, February 17, 2014

In which New Atheist P.Z. Myers criticizes me for an article I didn't even write

And it just goes downhill from there.

Well, after having just gotten finished correcting New Atheist P.Z. Myers for his last set of mistakes in responding to one of my posts, here we are again to do the same thing. I wouldn't mind correcting Myers so often if I didn't not have to correct the very same mistakes over and over.

And over.

Can't the atheists come up with someone who can at least get his facts straight? Do they have no quality control at all? Where is the Bureau for Better Atheists?

Today Myers once again repeats the same mistake he's made, what? At least twice already? He's got it in his teeny little scientific brain that I am a creationist. An "Intelligent Design creationism." And he is undaunted in his belief that I am an "Intelligent Design creationist" by the fact that I am neither a) a creationist nor b) an advocate of Intelligent Design.

I have never advocated either of these things.

In fact, we had a back and forth a couple of years ago about the fact that I take no position on how life developed. He was upset because I had said that I don't take a position on scientific issues because I have no expertise in science. It would be like a New Atheists taking a position on philosophical issues despite having no philosophical expertise, which they do all the time and look pretty silly doing.

What particularly upset him was my unwillingness to accept on mere authority everything said by people in white coats just because they said it.

So now he accuses me for taking a position on an issue he previously criticized me for not taking a position on. If you're going to be a "New" Atheist, you ought to at least be an improvement over the old ones. Unfortunately, we have here proof that they just don't make atheists the way they used to.

Myers, who is unwilling to accept on mere authority anything said by people in cassocks just because they said it (and criticizes anyone who does) thought it the height of wisdom to take positions on issues about which you are singularly uninformed and in which you aren't terribly interested.

Not only did Myers get his facts wrong about what I believe about such things, he criticized me for what I said in an article I didn't even write. The article he criticized was written, not by me, but by my son Thomas, a fact Myers would have known had he, I don't know, read the byline.

If survival of the fittest operates in the world of atheists, I'm afraid we may not have Myers around much longer.

But now that we're on the subject, I did find it amusing that in his attack on what I didn't say about Jerry Coyne in the article I did not write about him, Myers defends Coyne for criticizing a book he did not read. You gotta admire these New Atheists: When it come to low intellectual standards they stick together.

In fact, I take back what I just said about P.Z. Myers not being fit to survive. I may have just discovered the atheist mechanism for surviving despite their inability to carefully read and understand their opponents positions: They form a tight defensive ring when threatened by the truth.

Myers proceeds to criticize the arguments I didn't make in the article I didn't write by creating some imaginary fictional dialogue between him and me that goes on and on about various other arguments that have little or nothing to do with Thomas' article.

In addition to being incoherent, it isn't even very imaginative. If I were him, I wouldn't quite my day job for this reason. He should quit his day job (being a not very convincing atheist) for entirely different reasons.

I just noticed that Myers blogs at Freethoughtsblog. I guess you get what you pay for.


Billy Henderson said...

Zing! :)

Singring said...

'I have never advocated either of these things.'

But you have approvingly linked to the sites and blogs of young-earth creationists and intelligent design advocates, teach at a school that uses creationist material in science classes and are the 'political analyst' for an organisation that agitates against science in churches using young earth creationist arguments.

If it quacks like a duck...

'In fact, we had a back and forth a couple of years ago about the fact that I take no position on how life developed.'

Where the Bureau for Better Catholics when you need it? Your argument with Myers was about the age of the earth - an argument in which you hilariously argued that, because scientists are debating whether the earth is 4.567 or 4.566 billion year old, you are intelectually justified in assuming it could be any age at all, really.

'He was upset because I had said that I don't take a position on scientific issues because I have no expertise in science.'

And yet you constantly try to tell us who to trust and who not to trust on issues like climate change.

It's either one or the other, Martin. Make up your mind!

Motheral said...

Messrs. Cothran, if you really read books as much as you want us to think, you’d know that the authorship of an article can be clearly established by a single line at the TOP of an article that says “GUEST POST BY [name].” The FTB crew do it all the time; in fact, Ed Brayton (another FTBully who has been seeing through your BS longer than I have) did that very thing today, so I knew the article wasn’t really written by Ed even before I started reading it. It’s a standard practice of REAL professional authors, and you two have no excuse to whine at PZ for not expecting you to use it.

If you want us to know who wrote what, put the names at the top of your posts, not at the bottom, after the endnotes.