Oh gee, the things you find when you glance at the site stats, which show links from other sites. Like this time a bunch from the JREF forum, which surprised me enough that I went to see why. The why? It’s Damion Reinhardt gloating over the fact that Michael Shermer is still popular in skepto-atheo land.
I know that we mostly talk about the accusations levelled against Radford (so much publicly available data to comb through!) but I’d like to pause to consider a hypothesis about the accusations levelled at Shermer.
Ho: Anonymously accusing someone of serious sex crimes (at a rageblog website) will make it difficult for the accused to continue as a major public face of the secular movement, in the company of high profile luminaries such as Dawkins, Tavris, Harris, Goldstein, Pinker, etc.
Ha: Such accusations, in the absence of some corroboration and investigation, carry little weight outside of the social justice wing of the secularist movement.
I’m going to say that there seems to be some preliminary evidence in favour of rejecting the null hypothesis: http://www.secularcouncil.org/team/
Naturally, some of the folks over at FtB are rage vomiting about their collective inability to take Michael Shermer down for good.
It’s strange, isn’t it, that he doesn’t seem to consider the possibility that it’s actually true that Shermer is a dedicated serial harasser, and the related possibility that that could eventually start to make skepto-atheo land look bad. He doesn’t seem to consider the possibility that it’s actually a bad idea to keep making a point of inviting Shermer to things despite the several allegations, including one that cites sworn testimony in court.
He’s right of course that we’ve clearly failed to convince the Secular Coalition of America and its offspring the Global Secular Council that they shouldn’t make Michael Shermer one of their poster guys. He’s right that we think that’s a bad thing. But is he right that the SCA and skepto-atheism in general will permanently be better off as Team Harassment than it would be as Team No Harassment?
I don’t know. He might be. Smug assholism is very popular, there’s no getting around it. But at the same time it’s also very unpopular. So I don’t know.