Some people have wondered what happened to Ian Plimer. Before his current anti-science book, didn’t he take it to the creationists in Telling Lies for God? Trouble is, Plimer’s methods have not changed — Telling Lies for God has the same cavalier approach to evidence as Heaven and Earth. Jeffrey Shallit reviewed it and concluded:
Unfortunately, to paraphrase Samuel Johnson, what is good about Plimer’s book is not original, and what is original is not good. … We cannot successfully fight the pseudoscience of creationism by adopting gutter tactics. After all, the creationists have much of the public on their side: polls show strong support for “equal time”, where creationist “theory” and evolution are taught side-by-side. Joe and Mary Average are not going to be convinced of the truth of evolution by rude, squabbling scientists. If science and its conclusions are to remain credible in the eyes of the public, scientists must behave with decorum, be very careful about acknowledging the work of others, avoid ad hominem attacks, and be quick to admit error when proved wrong. Ian Plimer, regrettably, does not seem to understand this.
Jim Lippard shows how the part of Telling Lies for God that is about Lippard is a “dishonest hatchet job”.
Lippard comments on Heaven and Earth:
Some Christians who found Plimer to be worthless as a source on creationism as a result of my critique have nonetheless found him to be a worthwhile source on anthropogenic climate change, such as Bill Muehlenberg and some of the commenters at his CultureWatch blog. This strikes me as an inconsistent position–Plimer has demonstrated unreliability in both debates, and shouldn’t be relied upon as a source for either. That doesn’t mean to ignore what he says, or that everything he says is wrong–it’s just that everything he says needs to be thoroughly checked for accuracy. If it checks out, then it’s better to cite the original source, not Plimer.