PZ Gets Demoted

You should make a major issue
Of incinerating tissue
If you don’t, we’ll make you wissue
Had a different point of view!
Cos abortion can’t be easy
And the doctors must be sleazy
So the comments made by PZ
Are a special sort of woo!

If his scientific training
Contradicts what we’re maintaining
Does it really need explaining?
Why, the scientist is wrong!
When the issue is abortion
Then we must preserve proportion—
Give his title some distortion
Just a “blogger” all along

That’s right–PZ Myers got demoted from “Atheist scientist” to “blogger”. By a bunch of people who disagree with him but can’t actually argue with what he says.

Demoted? Yes! See, my aggregator alerted me to this post, but when I clicked, it told me there was no such file! This is what it used to look like…
Screen shot 2014-03-31 at 5.55.48 PM

See? “Atheist Scientist”. But if you look at the comments (protip: NEVER READ THE COMMENTS!!!), you’ll see that they quickly start with ad hom attacks on PZ. And at some point, the post itself changes. Now, if you look, PZ’s description has changed:

~ Blogger P.Z. Myers at Pharyngula, March 26, responding to news that the bodies of thousands of aborted and miscarried babies were incinerated at UK hospitals, some to provide heat –

Now, I’m not saying the description changed to minimize PZ’s credentials and to hype the actual story (despite the actual information in PZ’s post that exposed the hype as a lie)… ok, actually, I *am* saying that. Because, intentionally or not, that’s exactly what happened.

Now… just a thought… I’ve seen a handful of different numbers cited as the “average times a journal article is read”. I honestly have no idea which is correct (which is why I’m linking to none, rather than to a dozen that differ). I do know that every single one of them is shockingly smaller than I would have hoped (not smaller than I realize after thinking about it–many of these articles are of such hair-splitting particularity that I really can’t expect more than a handful or two of people to really care–but those are the people who should and do read them!). PZ’s blog gets more hits daily than the vast majority of academic journal articles. If we limit PZ only to the times he blogs on scientific topics, I suspect his blog is at least an order of magnitude greater exposure than the average paper he writes about. Different audience, certainly–different function. Still terribly important. (and yeah, thus far none of the commenters on that piece seem remotely willing to put their own publication records up against his.)

So, yeah, the commenters are wrong on that… and still, it doesn’t matter. They don’t address what he actually says. Their comments make that clear. But when you don’t have a good argument… rule of thumb… attack the presenter. That is, Atheist Scientist blogger PZ Myers.


  1. moarscienceplz says

    I’m sure that soon PZ will get another demotion to Cranky Old Man on the Internets. (But, is it really a demotion if it is true?)

  2. Subtract Hominem, a product of Nauseam says

    Look at the first screencap again. The atheist scientist in the pre-edit story isn’t PZ Myers, but his nefarious and ubiquitous doppelganger, PZ Meyers.

  3. says

    Oh, no. Is there a salary cut as well? Will there be a ceremony in which they tear off my epaulets and medals and send me marching off into the desert?

  4. says

    My comment on their blog:

    Ok, so all of those above criticising PZ, are you happy to hold a full, formal funeral for every sanitary towel?

    Because if you aren’t then you are just as guilty as PZ for disrespecting the death of a “Baby”.

    After all, how can you know that it doesn’t contain an aborted foetus?

    40-60% of fertilised eggs don’t make it to term. Where do you draw the line?
    At least with incineration to heat a hospital, we get some benefit.
    – See more at: http://www.jillstanek.com/2014/03/incinerated-babies-no-different-than-incinerated-tonsils-body-fluids/#comment-482115

  5. Pierce R. Butler says

    Consider this not a demotion, but the beginnings of a metamorphosis.

    Once Dr. Myers has marched trudged epauletless through the desert long enough, he shall return as a mad scientist – and then they’ll be sorry, ha ha HAHHH!

  6. says

    @ PZ Myers

    Yes, they are also going to take your sword from you, snap it in half, and toss it back at your feet.


    And this is all about incinerating fetal tissue? What, exactly, do these people imagine should be done with medical waste? Everything should be given ridiculous funerary considerations as birthed humans? What about amputated legs? Shall we live in containment suits and store all of our sloughed cellular materials to be interred with us upon our demise?

  7. Aran says

    Apparently they just had him confused. There must be an Atheist Scientist out there called PZ Meyers.

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