I also don’t read the Daily Stormer. Wonder why?

I once looked at Quillette. I immediately broke out in hives and started retching. It was obvious from the get-go that this was a haven alt-right hacks, racists, genetic determinists, and apologists for the status quo, so I stopped reading it and haven’t gone back since.

Now Slate has published a review of sorts of the site. I don’t read Slate all that much either, but at least it isn’t all aggrieved white people complaining about the Left. It’s not a great review — the author seems more concerned about comparing Quillette to Slate than actually discussing the flaws in Quillette — but it does make a few good points.

In November, Politico Magazine published what was billed as “the first serious profile” of Quillette.com, and of the website’s founder, Claire Lehmann. The crowdfunded online journal, which Lehmann launched from her home in Sydney in 2015, has gained a major following among aggrieved rationalists, oppressed contrarians, and sundry other stifled surfers of the Intellectual Dark Web. As of this year, 1 million unique visitors are said to visit the site each month, and its output of politically incorrect, freethinker-y essays on identity politics, campus protests, and evolutionary psychology has been cheered by IDW celebrities such as Jordan Peterson, Steven Pinker, and Sam Harris.

You can just stop there. That’s enough. Now you know why I don’t read it — it’s more conservative garbage and unscientific bullshit. But I thought this next paragraph was amusing.

Lehmann describes her online magazine as “a space for unusual viewpoints” that is free of “puritanical partisan hysteria” and protects “the freedom of expression and conscience that allows imagination and fearless creativity to thrive.” Here’s another slogan for the site, which Lehmann shares with pride: Back in 2016, before Quillette attained its present notoriety, the A-list atheist Jerry Coyne instructed his readers to “think of it as Slate, but more serious, more intellectual, and without any Regressive Leftism.”

Apparently, freedom from “partisan hysteria” means that you call the Left “regressive” and don’t allow their views to be expressed. Allrighty then. No irony here, no sir.

Also, “A-list atheist” has long since stopped being a term of praise. I think I might have been a B-list atheist once upon a time, I’m still trying to live it down.


  1. Steve Bruce says

    You know, everyone talks about Harris, Pinker and Peterson. But I have watched Coyne grow more and more stupid over the past few years. His hypocrisy, stupidity regarding politics, reflexive Israel worship and anti Muslim bigotry and his complete intolerance of any contrary views on his blog while calling everyone else snowflakes is astounding. He is a truly underrated member of the IDW.

  2. microraptor says

    Has he ever figured out how anti-Semitic the Alt-Right is? Or is he excusing that because they’re also anti-woman and anti-Muslim?

  3. anxionnat says

    Several years ago I used to read Coyne’s site because his site was supposedly about evolution. So, when he mentioned Qullette, I thought it was the same sort of content. (I loved the cat pics. His Zionist stuff, I just deleted.) Anyway, I found out what Quillette really was after reading some posts, and deleted the sucker. Coyne is too aggravating now, and his site is a waste of time, air, and energy.

  4. Steve Bruce says

    I know that he doesn’t like his website being called a blog. I used to find it amusing, even a little adorable how some silly things would trigger him so badly until he started whining about those snowflakes in colleges. I pretty much gave up on him after his idiotic response to the events in Charleston in 2017. His lack of self awareness is breathtaking.

  5. pick says

    I learned early on that Jerry Coyne, (like Sam Harris), just uses his atheism and his free speech fetish as a cover for his rather transparent fundamentalist Zionist Muslim bashing. He often expresses what can only be called hatred and fear of the Palestinan people. Other than that, I like the biology presented on his site.

  6. zenlike says

    Yep, someone who wrote for far-right The Rebel Media starts up a “centrist site” to forge a “saner left”, because that is what far-right “race realists” apparently invest their time in.

  7. Steve Bruce says

    I have a feeling that Coyne doesn’t really read much of Quilette or anything, at least not carefully. He just supports whoever is pro Israel or anti Muslim. Just like Harris. I remember that Coyne was one of the earliest supporters of Dave Rubin and Milo just because they spent most of their time attacking the “regressive left”. When someone would point out the incredibly stupid and bigoted views they held, Coyne would simply say oh I haven’t read in depth about them, I just like this thing they said. Feigning ignorance has become a convinient tactic for the IDW.

  8. Scientismist says

    PZ — I presume you being ironic when you say:

    It’s not a “blog”, and he doesn’t mention it when he bans contrary views, so he doesn’t ban them, I guess.

    I recall that he always insisted that it wasn’t a blog. But he definitely does ban contrary views (it’s his playpen, he can do what he wants). I’ve been somewhat grateful that he banned me (removed my post, blocked further posts), when I criticized some views of his favorite philosopher. It’s been 7 or 8 years, and I suspect my blood pressure has probably benefited from my non-reading of his non-blog.

  9. says

    Free of “puritanical partisan hysteria.” Does that mean there aren’t a bunch of “Waaah, the Muslims are gonna outbreed us!!” posts? Or “MeToo will make it impossible for any guy to get laid ever again!!” posts?

  10. =8)-DX says

    decrying the excesses of Leftism in an attempt to forge a saner Left.

    Ah, the same tactic of that other noted leftist Carl of Swindon, always criticising the left in hopes of improving it. On a completely unrelated note he recently joined UKIP and made a clip of him cutting his Tory membership card in half on receipt of the new UKIP one. Where would the left be without these amazing leftists and centrist who only want the best for the left.

  11. microraptor says

    I’m pretty sure he banned me after I pointed out the irony of him so aggressively criticizing safe spaces from his own aggressively enforced safe space. I don’t know for certain, because I stopped reading his blog after I posted that.

  12. says

    microraptor @ 9:

    I’m pretty sure he banned me after I pointed out the irony of him so aggressively criticizing safe spaces from his own aggressively enforced safe space. I don’t know for certain, because I stopped reading his blog after I posted that.

    It takes a certain kind of hypocrisy to rant about the death of FREEZE PEACH at the hands of the “regressive Left” one the one hand while keeping the banhammer on a hair-trigger with the other the way Jerry Coyne does. What a peevish bellend. A man so far up his own hole at this point, his alimentary canal must resemble a Klein bottle…

  13. Pablo Campos says

    I gotta agree with Steve. I have read Coyne’s books and blog before. Coyne has gotten very wacky recently. He’s one of the main reasons I left the Atheist movement and found out I was more agnostic than atheist. His Charlotteville post was infuriating. While he ignored the Alt-Right he was complaining how a minority of counter protesters arrived armed. He also cherry picks or quote mines individuals to prove whatever points he makes. In a post he cherrypicked small toxic twitters users about the movie Black Panther to make it seem like most intersectional feminist and LGBT groups are loony. He also claims feminists are just SJWs who don’t care about international women’s rights and defend Islam because SJW. I personally know many feminist Muslim women from Morocco to China and they care a lot about women’s rights and are proudly part of a progressive Islamic movement. But even if religious people are feminist, humanist or whatever Coyne and his ilk still claim they can’t be both. Sure. As if he cares about secular ones. Since he considers himself a “classical liberal” more often than not he attracts the Trump supporting and Right-Wing atheists. Who we all know are just as repulsive as the religious ones. I could go on and on. Like his anti-intellectual attitude towards psychiatry or history but that’s a whole story in itself.

  14. hemidactylus says

    I was in some sort of ban state or purgatory on Coyne’s blog, but now I’m on a short leash as posts await moderation. There is a certain degree of irony in that.

    I do wonder how Coyne would square his position on BDS with his position on free speech given:


    I am critical of Israeli treatment of Palestinians and the occupation of and settlements in the West Bank. I’m also not a fan of Hamas and other extreme Islamist groups. I’m for a fair two state solution whatever that means. Don’t really care about Golan Heights since that’s a strategic holding vs. Assad’s Syria. Israel quit Gaza but it’s in a horrible situation. If there were more reasonable secular actors (eg- Hanan Ashrawi) on Palestinian side I’d be happier. But OTOH there’s Bibi (sarcastic vomit). Sad that Arik’s stroke cut his foray into Kadima moderation short. Yeah he was a terrible person (Beirut), but he was a bullheaded pragmatist unlike ideological Netanyahu. Weird that I would prefer Sharon still alive and competent over certain Likud alternatives. Strange world.

    Anyway from what cursory reading I’ve done on BDS it seems a one state solution coupled with right of return are stressed. That seems unworkable, but regardless, people should be allowed to hold, express and act on BDS views without having to take what amounts to be a loyalty oath to Israel. That’s just odd that Israel’s interests are being specifically addressed in various states over free speech and preferences of citizens. Even if I might disagree with the perspectives of BDS proponents on specifics, the fact some lawmaking asshats would impose such restrictions on me as a condition of contracting pisses me off purely on principle. Does that make me a true freeze peacher?

  15. hemidactylus says

    …And as a bizarro aside, doesn’t Israel have some strange strategic connections with the House of Saud?

    I recall game plans being bandied for IAF refuels in Saudi desert to and from Iran quite a few years ago. Strange bedfellows.

  16. joep says

    The thin skinned, irascible, staggeringly hypocritical Jerry Coyne may be a minor ‘public intellectual’ but he is surely one of the very silliest.

  17. jblackfyre says

    =8)-DX @12

    On a completely unrelated note he recently joined UKIP

    He did what now?
    I know I shouldn’t be surprised but I still am. Silly me.

  18. William George says

    Coyne… So many heroes of the mid 2000s atheist movement have exposed themselves (some literally) as irredeemable shitbags over the years.

    ~sigh~ Someone please tell me Arron Ra is still on Team Good.

  19. microraptor says

    William George @20: As far as I know, Aron hasn’t done anything objectionable and he and his wife are both firmly pro-social justice.