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The Contempt of PZ Myers


Our old friend PZ Myers holds school boards in utter contempt. In a recent blog post at his widely followed Pharyngula blog site, he takes contemptuous pot shots at the Springboro, OH School Board for having the audacity to even consider a “critical thinking” policy in the curriculum.

The Springboro Community City School District is considering a so-called “critical thinking” policy that would require teachers to explore “all sides” of controversial issues. The proposed policy change would direct teachers to discuss creation science or intelligent design when teaching about the theory of evolution. <a href=”http://www.rawstory.com/rs/201…..-proposal/ Full story here.

PZ can’t restrain his contempt:

Please. There is no controversy here. Evolution happened, teach it.

The best argument that one student provided is that “I don’t feel like the people here are educated or prepared enough to deal with it.” Yeah, that describes most school boards.

Well, lets run PZ’s reporting on this story through the UD Fact-o-meter, shall we.

Fact 1 – The actual proposed policy doesn’t mention or single out science classes. But don’t take my word for that. Here’s the actual proposal. (Note: its 1 page) PZ’s comments make it appear as if the entire policy is aimed at science classes and evolution when in fact the purpose of the policy is to encourage students to, well, think critically.

The role of the teacher in the presentation of assigned issues is vitally important. All sides of the issue should be given to the students in a dispassionate manner. The goal is for the students to be taught to think clearly on all matters of importance, and to make decisions in the light of all the material that has been presented or can be researched on the issues.

I guess PZ thinks it would be just awful for students to learn how to think logically and critically about anything.

Fact 2 – Note that the policy says “The goal is for the students to be taught to think clearly on all matters of importance [emphasis mine]. I guess PZ doesn’t think that a question like “Where did we come from?” or “How did living things including me come to be?” to be matters of importance. Or, at least he doesn’t think that students should be allowed to even consider that there may be any alternative to the particles to people story of evolution. And bear in mind, the policy doesn’t specify in which class this discussion or debate should be presented. As far as the policy is concerned, the discussion could come up in a Social Studies class or perhaps a Communications class, depending. It doesn’t have to come up in a Science class at all.

Fact 3 – None of the above keeps PZ from frothing at the mouth that: “There is no controversy!” Evolution happened…get over it. Really, PZ, “no controversy”? Guess PZ’s been too busy ranting and raving about ID and “Creationism” to keep up with what is actually happening in his own field of biology. Let’s see, can anyone name one aspect of evolution and its supposed mechanisms that isn’t hotly debated and controversial even among evolutionary biologists? Pick one – common descent, natural selection, gene transfer, phylogentics, gene duplication, genetic drift, mutation, etc etc – not one single supposed driving engine of evolution is uncontroversial within evolutionary biology itself. It continually amazes me that every single aspect of Darwinian evolution is hotly debated and controversial, yet the Darwinian faithful, like PZ pound their fists on their desks yelling “evolution is a fact, Fact, FACT!” What is telling, is how rabidly PZ and others of his ilk want to keep students in public schools from ever knowing about or even hearing about such controversies.

Fact 4 – PZ sniffs “The best argument that one student provided is that “I don’t feel like the people here are educated or prepared enough to deal with it.” Yeah, that describes most school boards.”” So let’s see, we’re right back to

“To put it bluntly but fairly, anyone today who doubts that the variety of life on this planet was produced by a process of evolution is simply ignorant—inexcusably ignorant, in a world where three out of four people have learned to read and write.”
? Daniel C. Dennett, Darwin’s Dangerous Idea: Evolution and the Meanings of Life

PZ is a living example of “if you can’t beat ‘em…try to marginalize them” and “why use argument when a good ad hominem will do!”

Other than all that, PZ’s post was magnificent!

You forgot the most annoying fallacy of his comments: Evolution happened (at all), and it's implied that ID says no evolution happened. So as long as they prove ANY type of evolution happened (show some type of common ancestry, etc), they think they've defeated ID. In reality thy haven't even acknowledged ID's core argument. uoflcard
It's quite difficult to convince the world darwin's myth is a 'fact' if you allow independent thought and critical analysis to enter the picture. I mean, everyone knows the strongest scientific theories are the ones that need protection the most from skeptical inquiry. ;-) Blue_Savannah
I really think this is a losing battle for evolutionists. If they win it and succeed in shutting down critical thought, they look like they are afraid of controversy and critical thought. They come across as having something to hide and their reputation suffers. If they lose it, then not only do they look stupid for even trying to shut down critical thought, but now the skeletons in the closet can come out in the open for all to see. Even though both end up as losses for them, I think they are better off if they can shut down critical thought to protect their power and hidden skeletons. Even if their reputation suffers, it's all their best bet. tjguy
PZ Myers appears to me like a naked guy who strives to show us his beautiful clothes. What a waste of DNA! Babamar
One reason that I find atheism so distasteful as a philosophy or a worldview is the absolute contempt and arrogance with which atheists treat others. PZ Myers and Daniel Dennett are two such examples here. However, fraud is defined as “an act of deceiving or misrepresenting.” It is the “intentional perversion of truth in order to induce another to part with something of value.”—Webster’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary. “EVOLUTION is a fact.” This is the standard confession of faith that assures the scientific community of your orthodoxy. And for public consumption, the claim is often added: ‘It has been proved so often that there is no longer a need to repeat the proof.’ Very convenient, especially since the evolutionist has no proof to repeat. Yet, for years the statement has been made again and again, like some mystical chant: “Evolution is a fact.” Molecular biologist Michael Denton referred to this glib talk about evolution’s being a fact and dismissed it with these words: “Now of course such claims are simply nonsense.” It’s much more than nonsense. It’s fraud. It deceives and misrepresents. It perverts the truth to induce another to part with something of value. Newspapers, radio, TV, nature series, science programs, schoolbooks from second grade on—all drum this evolution-is-a-fact litany into the public mind. What's deeply ironic about the atheist attitude is that they are parroting the Pharisees in Jesus' day. The atheists, who hold such contempt for anything smacking of religion, are themselves copying ancient religious leaders! When officers sent out to arrest Jesus came back without him, the Pharisees demanded: “‘Why is it you did not bring him in?’ The officers replied: ‘Never has another man spoken like this.’ In turn the Pharisees answered: ‘You have not been misled also, have you? Not one of the rulers or of the Pharisees has put faith in him, has he? But this crowd that does not know the Law are accursed people.’” (John 7:45-49) Evolutionists today use the same Pharisaic approach: ‘Believe as we do,’ they say. ‘All competent scientists believe evolution. All intelligent people believe it. Only the uneducated and the ignorant don’t believe it.’ By such intimidation and mental bullying, masses of people are herded into the evolutionists’ camp. They know nothing of the weaknesses and inadequacies of evolutionary theory or its unsound speculations and hypothesized impossibilities—such as the origin of life from inanimate chemicals. So they are swept along by the repetitious mantras recited by evolution’s propagandizers. The theory becomes dogma, its preachers become arrogant, and dissenters reap disdainful abuse. The tactics work. They did in Jesus’ day; they do today. Barb

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