PZ Myers (Paul Zachary Myers) is a biology professor at the University of Minnesota Morris (UMM) in Morris, Minnesota, and the author of the popular science blog Pharyngula. He is an outspoken defender of science and rationality, and is frequently attacked by anti-Darwinians and other anti-scientific proponents.
He appeared in the creationism movie Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed (which he had been told was to be more of an examination of the controversy than the outright propaganda piece it turned out to be), but in an amusing and unfortunate failure of public relations he was expelled from the local showing of that movie.
|PZ Myers apparently said:|
The only appropriate response should involve some form of righteous fury, much butt-kicking, and the public firing of some teachers, many school board members, and vast numbers of sleazy, far-right politicians ... I say, screw the polite words and careful rhetoric. It's time for scientists to break out the steel-toed boots and brass knuckles, and get out there and hammer on the lunatics and idiots.
[D]on't even suggest that we're being too partisan. I am on the side of reason and human rights, and my only failing is that I'm not partisan enough.
|Although the original essay does not seem to be available, PZ has re-asserted those words and stands by them, although he says they are actually "a pastiche of two completely different comments".|
This is widely interpreted by anti-science writers and activists as a call for physical violence, when it is clearly intended to be metaphorical – i.e. it is time to stop being polite and start being explicit in one's verbal attacks on anti-science. (This can include working to get people discredited or fired for teaching anti-science as science, but always through legal and ethical means.)
Sources for this quote:
- 2008-03-31 comment #79 by MYNYM, who calls Myers a charlatan and labels his conclusions "proto-Nazi"
- 2007-10-15 comment #247 on a Pharyngula post
- 2006-11-14 The Misguided Quest for 'Darwinian Conservatism': Debate Over Evolution Not Going Away by John G. West, posted at the Discovery Institute's web site
- 2005-12-09 Nature Magazine Promotes Darwinist who Favors Using Brass Knuckles on ID Proponents calls Myers an "I.D. bigot"
- 2005-08-16 Steel-Toed Boots and Brass Knuckles by Lawrence Selden, "Darwinian Fundamentalism" blog
- Conservapedia: stub article (as of 2008-06-22)
- dKosopedia site down, can't verify page (as of 2008-06-22)
SourceWatchno equivalent page (as of 2008-06-22)
- 2009-07-18 [L..T] Today's Question When do we get to stop defining smart, passionate women by the most powerful men in their circle?
- 2008-07-11 [L..T] HYSTERIA MARKS MYERS AND HIS ILK "Yesterday, Catholic League president Bill Donohue issued a news release calling attention to the plea that Paul Zachary Myers made on his blog: he solicited the Communion Host for the express purpose of desecrating it. Donohue now responds to the reaction he has received from the University of Minnesota Morris professor, as well as others:"