Oh, no…not again

The 2008 Weblog Awards

Deja vu — I’m up for one of those Weblog Awards again, and once again, there’s Phil Plait, and once again, there’s the awful faux science blog, Climate Audit. I think we’ve been here before.

One strange thing: in the list of nominees, all of them are listed by the blog name alone, except mine: it’s “Pharyngula (PZ Myers)”, but not Bad Astronomy (Phil Plait) or Neurologica (Steven Novella) or Greg Laden (Greg Laden). What’s with that? Is there some other Pharyngula blog out there, run by someone with a different name, so they wanted to dispel the confusion?

Voting begins at midnight, and this is the weird one where you get to vote every day.


  1. says

    I wonder what this means:
    [i]All polls are subject to correction for overvoting, or other identified cheating, prior to the finalization of the results. Polls that hava vote totals adjusted will be listed here.[/i]

    Well, it is a web poll, so you can’t really correct it, since it wasn’t even correct in the first place.

  2. says

    All polls are subject to correction for overvoting, or other identified cheating, prior to the finalization of the results. Polls that hava vote totals adjusted will be listed here.

    We’ll see about that.

  3. says

    So this isn’t a request for a poll crash?

    BTW, I think it is Pharyngula(PZ Myers) just so you know you’re voting for the anti-christ (or not). :-)

  4. ao9news says

    Of course they meant PZ Myers, “that cracker f*cker”, but they probably thought that’d make some conservative white christians a little too excited the wrong way…

  5. says

    I understand the whole popularity contest thing, but it would make sense to disqualify previous award-winners. Since last year was declared a tie, there would be an added benefit of eliminating Climate Audit from contention.

  6. mo says

    Maybe they also named you because you are more famous than your blog’s name?
    Which non-biologist knows what a “Pharyngula” is anyway?

  7. MH says

    Of course they meant PZ Myers, “that cracker f*cker”

    That almost caused me to eject mashed potato out of my nostrils.

    And WTF is a pseudoscience blog doing in the list?

  8. says


    I learned about the pharyngula stage of fetus development in 8th grade. Most of it was discussion on the slits, but still…

  9. Burning Umbrella says

    What’s Climate Audit?

    From a quick glimpse I can say that they have strong views about climate change, but I didn’t quite gather what those views actually were.

  10. DLC says

    I realize that Pharyngula is immensely popular, but I insist that, in the interests of Academic Freedom™ we Teach the Controversy™ and mention Phil Plait’s Bad Astronomy Blog.

  11. says

    One strange thing: in the list of nominees, all of them are listed by the blog name alone, except mine: it’s “Pharyngula (PZ Myers)

    You may be underestimating your notoriety. Maybe none of the others have the same level of name recognition……

  12. says

    It appears this poll doesn’t “open” for vote-taking for another 12 hours and some minutes (right now it is 11:55-ish AM EST on Monday JAN 5, 2009), for the site plainly says (with seconds counting down) that there’s that much time before the poll opens, and my clicking on “Pharyngula” right now simply takes my browser to Pharyngula.

    So I (for one) will check back to that poll in 13 hours, see if I can then cast my vote for the Cracker Whacker’s blog — y’all do the same, or burn forever in shame!

  13. Patricia, OM says

    Frank – Me too.
    What do you push to vote?

    Hey how come no trophy for winning the Moore Award?

    OK, I’m a bit grumpy this morning. More damned snow. grrr!

  14. says

    Well, yes. There are dozen of Pharyngula blogs out there. For instance, there’s mine, “Pharyngula (Gawd’s Postman” and, as I say, dozens of others which humility keeps me from listing here.

  15. SC, OM says

    It would be even funnier if the only name listed after the blog name were Greg Laden’s.

    Frank and Patricia – See the last sentence of the post.

  16. says

    There is still time to nominate PZ for the 2009 Bloggies, if you are so inclined:


    The only catch is that you have to nominate in at least three seperate categories.

    Of course, I am EXCELLENT (not to mention modest) and would be a shoe-in for the humo(u)r category, so that leaves you just one more to find.

    For the greater good – get in there!

  17. Chris says

    As a daily reader of both this blog and Climate Audit, I think you’re being a little unfair to CA. You might not agree with their biases or McIntyre’s politics, but unlike every single creationist loon who’s ever bothered to post anything on the internet, I’ve never seen any problem with their science. Furthermore, with the amount of pseudo-religious quack science that is accepted in the environmental movement, I find it refreshing that Climate Audit doesn’t spend half its time saving “the planet” (The Earth Mother?) and talking about “policy” (the Liturgy?).

  18. Brian D says

    Burning Umbrella @ #11:

    What’s Climate Audit?

    Basically Steve MacIntyre insinuates that climate scientists are frauds every post. He obsessively attacks a decade-old paper and ignores developments in the field since, implies that data analysts have no clue what they’re doing, and insists that climate change is just an artifact of data. Shamelessly promotes other anti-science blogs, like the similarly-nominated Watts Up With That (in which the owner is perhaps the most inept analyst I’ve ever seen, i.e. correlating time with time and flipping the graph upside down to ‘falsify’ AGW. This needs to be seen to be believed; search for “Anthony” on Open Mind and gape.) Essentially, anti-science conspiracy nuts.

    For a dissection of a sample post, consider The Anatomy of a ClimateAudit Post by Atmoz.

    I could go on, but it’d drift further and further from the focus of Pharyngula. Link around the climate anti-denialosphere (RealClimate, Deltoid, Rabbet Run, Atmoz, Open Mind, A Few Things Ill Considered, etc.) and see what you can find. It’s really quite insane.

  19. says

    I find it refreshing that Climate Audit doesn’t spend half its time saving “the planet”

    Well, yeah. That’s to be expected from a denialist site. I wouldn’t expect anti-vaxxers to remind parents to get their kids’ shots on schedule, either.

  20. says

    I assume they used your name because they know people like me will injure ourselves trying to say “Pharyngula”.

    Actually, that brings up something which has been bugging me for a long time. How do you pronouce “Pharyngula”? (I’m not a biologist and rather doubt I’ve ever heard it.)

    Er, not true… I just found this interview with Pee Zed himself. Having now heard it, count me as another person who will injure myself if I ever even try.

  21. Sili says

    Well, they didn’t want people to get you confused with “Pharyngulb (Greg Laden)”.

    Your bidding, master?

    I’m partial to RealClimate, but Improbable Research, NASA Watch and Watt’s Up with That have catchy names. Prolly should give them a look.

  22. Rey Fox says

    Listing explained:


    Pha…ruhhhh…buh? Me brain hurt!

    “(PZ Myers)”


  23. Brian D says

    Sli @ #26:

    If you’re partial to RealClimate, fetch an airsickness bag before visiting Watts Up With That. He’s the guy behind the surface stations project (that attempts to say that climate’s all an artifact of the urban heat island effect), while analyzing data without understanding the first thing about what it represents. (He compares anomalies as if they were raw values, claims a correlation between time and time is significant, would argue that a straight line is curved, and doesn’t understand statistical significance.) He does all this and then claims persecution as soon as anyone points it out, acting “gentlemanly” and claiming that all criticism is an ad-hom.

    This is all just based off of what he decides to leave on his blog rather than censor, delete, and coverup, by the way.

    Since his nomination, and ClimateAudit’s, essentially shows that the “science blog” category can be full of anti-science rhetoric so long as it looks scientific, this basically nulls the validity of the awards as far as I’m concerned. I can only hope that these two sites split the denialist vote.

  24. SC, OM says

    Ooh! Another one of those polls with the little lines that roll out to show the percentages! Yay for that!

    Pharyngula still in the lead with 39 votes (35.8%).

  25. chris says

    You can only vote once every 12 hours. That makes poll crashing not as fun or fast. I am using firefox (take that ie) and cleared my private data. It didn’t work.
    Next I will use crap cleaner and see if that works. If anyone has workaround please post.

  26. chris says

    Oh yeah I forgot to post. My bad
    Yes the free program cc cleaner cleaned whatever cookie or thing the site uses and i can vote again

    Oh another thing this is my 2nd post. Often lurking not posting.

  27. eyeswideopen says

    Gee Chris, you just confirm that the ecofreak scum that hang out at phelgmgula are cheats and frauds just like all the warministas. That’s okay. God will make sure you rot in hell for the rest of your existence after you’re done here on earth!

  28. TigerHunter says

    Chris, no cheating.

    Pharyngula is in the lead over Watt’s Up by a mere seven votes! Get to it, people!

  29. SC, OM says

    Oh, no! Watt’s Up With That has moved into first!

    (I can’t imagine why anyone would want to try to cheat this. Why do that?)

  30. chris says

    WTH do you mean man. Speak engish or spanish or at least not moron. I have no idea what your talking about. You dont know me at all. Making asumptions like that is moronic.

  31. Paguroidea says

    I just voted for Pharyngula! It is in second (303 votes) right now. TigerHunter is right. “Get to it, people!

  32. smilingface says

    Voted for Pharyngula. Right now in second. What’s up with that is leading and difference is around 100 votes.

  33. denelian says

    i can never spell the name correctly, and i look up the website when i am on campus by googling “P.Z. Myers”, so i guess that is why your name is included.
    i just voted… yours is the ONLY science blog i read that made the list. strange…
    i believe this is my first post, and was mostly made so i can tell you i voted for you 8-)

  34. says

    Yeah, don’t cheat. The webhosts review the votes, and throw out any that look suspicious. Remember last year? There were some major revisions at the last minute as the dups were tossed out.

  35. «bønez_brigade» says

    Actually, I don’t think they tossed out many (if any) duplicates last year, as it became such a clusterfuck at the end, so they just awarded they tie. And they appear to be using the same lame system as last time. Some pollsters just never learn, jeez. I’ll (try my hardest to) play nice this year.

  36. says

    I would like to point out that the current leader, What’s Up with That is very similar to Climate Audit. Many of its commenters claim that they will split their votes between the two. So, this year, it’s looking like a race between Pharyngula and a new denialist, and the denialist is winning.

  37. Luis Dias says

    …there’s the awful faux science blog, Climate Audit

    Why is it “faux”, mr Myers?

    I agree that WUWT is not that a good science blog, although there still is a lot more scientific discussion in it than in here, where atheism, not science, is the main theme. But Climate Audit is impeccable. To call it “faux” is a shame. You should have known better. Perhaps try to learn more about the subject before shooting yourself in the foot?

  38. Tom Gray says

    In regard to the claim here that Climate Audit is not a science blog Steve McIntyre recently announced there that the Proceedings of the National Accdemy of Science has accepted a letter from him for publication. This letter is a critical commentary on the recent surface temperature paper published there by Mann et al. This should dispose of any doubt as to the quality of the science presented on Cliamte Audit.

  39. «bønez_brigade» says

    @ Tom [#49],
    “This should dispose of any doubt as to the quality of the science presented on Cliamte Audit.”

    _One_ (as-yet-unpublished) paper? Umm, no.
    However, “Sokal” and “Worda/Han” come to mind, FWIW.
    Just sayin’…

  40. Tom Gray says

    In regard to the letter to be published in PNAS by Steve McIntyre of Climate Audit, «bønez_brigade» writes in 50

    However, “Sokal” and “Worda/Han” come to mind, FWIW

    PNAS is on a par with Nature and Science as one of the most prestigious of scientific journals.

  41. Nerd of Redhead says

    Letters to the editors reflect only opinions, and are often accepted to stimulate debate. It is not a paper, there it is not peer reviewed. Lesser status.

  42. says

    The anti-woo crowd needs to rally around one pro-science blog rather than split the vote, as the climate troofers seem to be swarming to Watts Up With That.

  43. says

    @50 & 52

    “Letters” are published in science journals all the time and are peer-reviewed. PNAS is an incredibly well-respected journal.

    The point is that McIntyre isn’t a scientist and isn’t pro-science, he’s a concern troll who happens to have a decent handle of stats. While it only benefits the field to have errors pointed out, using criticisms of a particular facet of climate science (paleo recons of surface temps) to imply widespread scientific misconduct and allowing posts by idiots like Watts put him squarely in the faux-science camp.

  44. Brian D says

    Luis Das: Of course it is.

    Tony Gray: A letter isn’t a peer-reviewed paper. To my knowledge, McIntyre has only one of those relating to climate — McIntyre & McKitrick 2003 (Yes, that is co-author Ross “there is no such thing as global average temperature” McKitrick), which was published in Energy & Environment (a social sciences journal, not a scientific one). It protests a 1998 paper by Mann (McIntyre’s obsession) while ignoring any of the other studies done since 1998 that corroborate it (summarized in the AR4 with this chart; note several of those predate M&M2003). If he has more publications than this, please correct me, as I only have access to Google Scholar from this computer and not the full ISI database.

    While I wouldn’t classify Pharyngula as a science blog first (since most of the postings have to deal with atheism), there is still more science content here than there ever has been on ClimateAudit. Although it wouldn’t have been my first choice, ThingsBreak raises a good point: Pharyngula will receive my votes (one a day) as a rally for science.

  45. «bønez_brigade» says

    @Tom [#51],
    “PNAS is on a par with Nature and Science as one of the most prestigious of scientific journals.”

    Agreed. I shall await the publication of his paper. The “Sokal|Worda/Han” references still stand, though, as a single paper being published isn’t equivalent to his studies being vindicated or validated.

  46. «bønez_brigade» says

    @Brian [#56],
    One caveat — a science blog must defend science in this Age of Woo/Creation/Anti-science Assaults on Science, and that is something PZ does very well. I consider Pharyngula a science blog first, and a defense of secularism/reason/inquiry/etc. a close second.

  47. Brian D says

    Thingsbreak: Thank you, again. I had a sneaking suspicion I’d forgotten something. (To others reading: Check out TB’s blog, if you don’t already. He’s got a penchant for being thorough and critically honest, with that rare blend of both competence and eloquence.)

    «bønez_brigade» @ #56: Agreed as well — although technically, defense of science is communication rather than science. (If we include “defense of science in this age of woo” as a mandate for science, then Matt Nisbet of all people might be considered, since he ostensibly focuses on presentation of science communication to aid public understanding of scientific issues. The problem with that (well, one of them) is, he can be just as much of a crank as the kooks, which would reflect almost as badly on that list as including the kooks in the first place.)

  48. says

    I disagree that Pharyngula is not mainly a science blog simply because a large amount (or majority, I haven’t counted every post) of his posts deal with atheism. The fact is that theists are constantly criticizing science as being biased towards atheism simply because findings consistently dispute their religious beliefs. In that way atheism is very much a scientific issue.

  49. Julius says

    Shit, the amount of climate change denial and other nuttery in that contest is a bit scary. As people have been pointing out, WUWT is well ahead of Pharyngula in the Science category (and there are several other anti-science climate blogs in there). Currently leading in “Best UK Blog” is Melanie Philips, an anti-science, anti-vaccine, creationist, climate change denialist, racist, conservative nutbag (IIRC). Leading in “Best European Blog” is a Czech climate change denier, and the blog in second place (by a large margin) also seems a bit climate-change-denial-y (I can’t work out exactly what their position is, but there’s a few entries on there that seem to have a dismissive, mocking tone about environmentalists).
    It goes on: The current top Aussie one also seems to be a … “skeptic”, to be polite (throwing around terms such as “warmoid”, how charming).

    Meh. All the climate “skeptics” (hah hah) are going to jump on this post as evidence that us followers of the warmist cult can’t tolerate alternative opinions etc etc… arguably the scariest of these is the Melanie Philips one, anyway.

  50. cogito says

    Where is the science in Pharyngula? Has Pharyngula published any peer-reviewed paper proving that God doesn’t exist?
    Pharyngula is skeptical of religion and hence denialistic without providing evidence.
    Other than that, I subscribe to most of the articles about religion and creationism. I’m an agnostic atheist myself. But I didn’t need to call on science to get my ideas straight.

  51. spurge says

    “Where is the science in Pharyngula?”

    You obviously have never read this blog before. There are plenty of science posts.

    “Has Pharyngula published any peer-reviewed paper proving that God doesn’t exist? ”

    How is a blog title supposed to do anything?

    “Pharyngula is skeptical of religion and hence denialistic without providing evidence.”

    It is up to the claimant to provide evidence for their claim. So far the theists who come here have done a poor job of it.

  52. Phil Howerton says

    Steve McIntyre is not a “denialist” and neither is Anthony Watts. Steve, along with many of the posters on Climateaudit, is an expert auditor of the mostly incompentent statistical renderings of many climate scientists. McIntyre, far from being stuck on one “ten year old” paper, is constantly auditing current papers from the proxy group of climate scientists. Watts is a careful monitor of the accuracy/inaccuracy of weather stations in this country. To refer to these gentlemen in the terms I have seen here is reprehensible. It is, however, all too typical of the type of invective I have seen all over the internet from AGW proponents.