PZ whines about Expelled

Not even a woman scorned is as upset as the would-be scientific expert who is ignored as irrelevant:

If the producers of Expelled are so confident that they can make a strong case of conspiracy against scientists, then before they start showing this to uninformed politicians, they ought to screen it before scientists and historians and philosophers of science, who will be able to judge it on its merits.

Because, PZ, as we’ve already seen with TIA, whenever someone does make a strong case against secular scientists or atheists, these self-proclaimed champions of intellectual discourse suddenly go silent and try to pretend they’ve never heard of it. Dawkins was happy to write posts about TIA being “a flea” before it was published, Harris was perfectly happy to answer questions via email before it was published, a number of richarddawkins.net atheists were announcing their intention of doing chapter by chapter rebuttals of this little flea book… some of them even started on them.

And then, upon discovering that they were confronted by a strong case that they didn’t have the means to credibly answer, they all fell silent. You yourself, PZ, were offered a copy of TIA for review, but you weren’t interested, you’d rather just complain about the Creation Museum, the employment practices of fourth-rate colleges, and not being offered pre-release screenings of documentaries than address a substantive and detailed refutation of your atheist icons. So, how in the name of St. Darwin of the Galapagos are the producers of Expelled not justified in doing likewise and ignoring you and your fellow scientists?

Furthermore, it’s generally not left to the condemned to judge the case against him on its merits.

UPDATE – Since he’s not busy watching movies, it seems PZ has the time to weigh in on the matter of dark matter.

A tribute to the dungeon master

At least someone appreciates them

The amusing thing about some of the atheist potshots at TIA is the way it shows that they’re afraid to quote the very bits they’re complaining about. I’ve seen several complaints that I call Christopher Hitchens a drunk, but they never provide the quote because that would demonstrate that it’s not Hitchens’s drinking that is the relevant aspect of the quote, but rather his reliable, verifiable and factual wrongness.

In the The Irrational Atheist, Day employs some truly beautiful insults along with scathing rhetoric and his usual razor-sharp logic, factual analysis, and wit, to disarm, mock, and bludgeon his “Unholy Trinity” of Dawkins, Hitchens, and Dennett, as well as others. Read Joe Carter’s 60 second review at the Evangelical Outpost, where he quotes what is quite possibly the best insult I’ve ever heard:

On a totally trivial note, it might interest you to know that TIA is now paired by Amazon with the very book for which Crown Forum rejected it. I’m pleased with how it all worked out, but I can’t help but wonder if a bigger publisher would have made it more difficult for the Unholy Trinity to maintain the pretense that it doesn’t exist. Probably not.

But as I’ve said before, while they can avoid the book, they won’t be able to ignore the arguments it contains much longer. It’s been interesting to note that while the downloads have continued at about the same rate, the percentage of LIT and PDB downloads have increased in the last week. To me, that appears to indicate that those outside the blogosphere are beginning to hear about the book.

The despair of a rationalist

One of the few coherent commenters at Bad Astronomy shows genuine insight:

“American Religious Right == another Taliban” is the most apt and precise way of describing the situation. They sound sooooooooooooo similar. How I wish some of the fence-sitters listened to that line of reason.

No, it’s an utterly retarded way to put it, and does much harm to the cause of reason and skepticism. Not to mention it demonstrates a near complete ignorance of what the Taliban was really about. Will you people ever [bleeping] learn that the name calling and hyperbolic comparisons do nothing more than cause the other side (and many of the fence sitters) to circle the wagons? Will you EVER learn this? It happens every time.

You claim to be scientific, but you keep making the same error over and over.

He sounds exactly like an Alliance battleground leader cursing at the idiots who keep trying to burn Tower Point before Iceblood turns. This is a very good example of an influence that was a factor in causing my thinking to adjust significantly over the years. When I was young, I was a dinosaur-enthusiast, I was totally convinced that science was the only means of establishing truth, I was certain that scientists were objective seekers after the truth, and I was ruthlessly committed to the use of reason uber alles. While I was skeptical about evolution, this was more the result of my fifth-grade teachers inability to provide reasonable answers to some of the obvious questions that arose from our textbook than any religious influences. My Dad had a few Young Earth Creationist books that I recall but I didn’t subscribe to it as a kid and I don’t subscribe to it now. To this day, I remain utterly agnostic on the precise mechanisms and timing utilized by the Creator God in constructing this particular creation.

College changed everything for me, although not in the usual manner. The great benefit of studying economics was the dawning realization that not even the world’s greatest experts knew what the hell they were talking about. The beauty and the challenge of economics is that it is both incredibly complex and astoundingly fast-moving. Economists don’t have the luxury of building a crude theoretical model, then sitting around admiring it for fifty years while arrogantly demanding to know if you’ve got anything better because events will usually destroy their latest and greatest within weeks no matter how painstakingly it has been designed, tested and backtested. It’s a fascinating field, and one either has to be a committed ideologue (Karl Marx, Paul Krugman, Larry Kudlow) or have a puckish sense of humor (Josef Schumpeter, John Maynard Keynes, Milton Friedman, the Freakonomics guy), to make any useful sense of it. Indeed, had I stuck with economics, I would have pursued a career in econometrics, as in economics and game design alike, the primary factor is probability.

I am not anti-science, I am pro-science reform. But the haughty language and baseless arrogance of the would-be secular priesthood has caused me to conclude that not only is there a massive difference between scientody and scientistry, but that science would be very well served by a significant culling of a scientific community that has gotten well above itself. The absurd figure of the secular scientist evangelist pontificating on matters having little or nothing to do with science proper, and making no use of either reason or scientody to do so, should be as egregiously offensive to scientists truly devoted to the scientific method as the behavior of the Borgia Pope is to devout Catholic Christians today.

So, if I am considered an enemy of science today, it is only because scientists and science fetishists have chosen to view me that way. But when you elect to create an enemy ex nihilo, you should not be terribly surprised when that newly fabricated enemy responds by behaving in a manner very similar to that of a self-declared enemy.