Pharyngula (blog)

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PZ Myers

(photo obtained from Flickr, see license agreement)

Pharyngula is a blog by atheist and evolutionist PZ Myers, who is a biologist and associate professor at the University of Minnesota, Morris.[1] Pharyngula was hosted 2005-2011 at Scienceblogs in full, and 2011-present, in part. Since 2011, Pharyngula has been hosted at Freethoughtblogs.

The atheist biologist Massimo Pigliucci said of Myers and his blog audience, "one cannot conclude this parade without mentioning P.Z. Myers, who has risen to fame because of a blog where the level of nastiness (both by the host and by his readers) is rarely matched anywhere else on the Internet...".[2]

Scienceblogs appears to have a problem keeping and attracting talented writers. According to PZ Myers, Scienceblogs has "been facing a steady erosion of talent".[3] In 2010, the Christian apologetic website True Free Thinker wrote a quite pointed and accurate criticism of PZ Myers Pharyngula blog indicating that PZ Myers' blog posts often lack substance. Pharyngula is widely acclaimed in the liberal media due to its embrace of evolutionary pseudoscience which liberals irrationally embrace (see: Evolution, Liberalism, Atheism, and Irrationality). Myers' blog is also listed by the science journal Nature, which also embraces evolutionary pseudoscience, as the best blog by a scientist. Pharyngula is known for its sarcastic and often specious criticism of creation science and intelligent design theory,[4][5] as well as regular postings of photos of cephalopods (often with vulgarly sexual connotations both subtle and blatant).

PZ Myers' blog audience

See also: Atheism and the internet

In 2010, the Christian apologetics website True Free Thinker wrote:

Scienceblogger Chad Orzel described the commentators on PZ Myers ' site Pharyngula, and other commentators, as "screechy monkeys."[6]

A somewhat similar report was made concerning the audience of Richard Dawkins's web community. In February of 2010, the news organization The Telegraph reported that the atheist and evolutionist Richard Dawkins was embroiled "in a bitter online battle over plans to rid his popular internet forum for atheists of foul language, insults and 'frivolous gossip'."[7] In addition, Richard Dawkins has a reputation for being abrasive.

Atheist PZ Myers' blog audience and their reported Asperger's quotient test results

PZ Myers

See also: Atheism and autism

Vox Day has written about atheists being "socially autistic".[8][9][10]

Asperger's syndrome (sometimes referred to as "High-Functioning Autism" or "HFA") is an umbrella term used to classify problematic behaviours similar to, but less severe than, those within the lower reaches of the autistic spectrum.

Day wrote concerning atheist PZ Myers' blog audience:

It's by no means a scientific test, but it is interesting to note the coincidence that 59 of the virulent atheists over at Dr. PZ Myers place report an average score on the Asperger's Quotient test of 27.8. And this does not include the two individuals who actually have Asperger's but did not report any test results."

As PZ himself said: "I took the test and scored a 24, an “average math contest winner.” You need a 32 to suggest Asperger’s, and a 15 is the average. So there. I don’t have Asperger’s, I’m just cruel and insensitive."[11]

Below is some information that gives concerning interpreting their Asperger's quiz results:

Basically the range for possible answers is 0 to 50. The information below shows you the different ranges as recorded from others sitting this same AQ quiz over the years.

0-11 low result – indicating no tendency at all towards autistic traits.

11-21 is the average result that people get (many women average around 15 and men around 17)

22-25 shows autistic tendencies slightly above the population average

26-31 gives a borderline indication of an autism spectrum disorder. It is also possible to have aspergers or mild autism within this range.

32-50 indicates a strong likelihood of Asperger syndrome or autism.

In fact, scores of 32 or above are one of strong indicators of having as ASD.[12]

However, there is evidence which suggests that a large portion of PZ Myers' blog audience are narcissists rather than individuals who have Asperger's Syndrome (see: PZ Myers' antitheist blog audience and the issue of narcissism vs. Asperger's Syndrome).

Blog post featuring a photograph with a high percentage of overweight PZ Myers fans

In 2011, Christian apologist Vox Day had an individual complain about the notion that the atheist community has a problem with obesity (Please see: Atheism and obesity). As a result, on May 19, 2011, Vox Day released a blog post entitled Mailvox: now, who said atheists are fat? where 80% of the people taking a picture with PZ Myers were overweight and PZ Myers was overweight in the picture as well as can be seen HERE. The picture was originally posted on PZ Myer's blog Pharyngula by Myers on May 16, 2011 and an online argument quickly ensued concerning the appearance of the photograph's participants.[13]

See also

External links


  1. Pharyngula[1]
  2. Reflections on the skeptic and atheist movements By Massimo Pigliucci Scientia Salon, Posted: May 13, 2015
  8. The socially autistic atheist by Vox Day, August 02, 2007
  9. A lesson in atheist social autism by Vox Day, August 13, 2014
  10. Atheists and Daddy issues by Vox Day, August 23, 2012
  11. PZ admits he's wrong by Theodore Beale, Friday, August 29, 2014
  12. Interpreting Asperger's Test Results