You may have noticed a recent influx of whining wackaloons, whose enchanting cries have consisted mostly of “You’re all so uncivil” and “This is not a science blog”. This is fallout from the Weblog Awards, where a couple of climate change denialist blogs have effectively turned out the disgruntled conspiracy theorist vote. One of those blogs will almost certainly win the ‘award’ — which tells you the value of these contests — so don’t worry about that. However, I do want to reply to the mindless, repetitive complaints of our new visitors, even though they will almost certainly evaporate when the award voting closes later today.
I want my commenters to be uncivil. There is no virtue in politeness when confronted with ignorance, dishonesty, and delusion. I want them to charge in to the heart of the issue and shred the frauds, without hesitation and without faltering over manners. These demands for a false front of civility are one of the strategies used by charlatans who want to mask their lack of substance — oh, yes, it would be so goddamned rude to point out that a huckster is lying to you. I am quite happy that we have a culture of being rude to frauds here.
The other claim is also a stupid distraction. This is a blog by an educator and scientist. We are not one-dimensional caricatures — I write about whatever interests me, whenever I feel like it. To claim that because I sometimes laugh and sometimes get angry and am a concerned citizen of a screwed-up country and have interests outside of journals and academia and am a father and husband and am willing to express myself on any topic that strikes my fancy means that there can’t possibly be any science here implies that you are a freaking idiot with a bizarrely narrow view of who scientists are, and a peculiarly close-minded vision of how this medium actually works.
Keep this in mind, O Regular Readers of the blog, and please do feel free to be uncivil to these fresh fools from the pseudoscientific fringe of the blogosphere.