No. He has an important place in the ecosystem. He may not know Jack Smack what framing is, but he is a master framer for his intended audience. Just don’t let him go on FoxNews, please.
Is disagreeing with PZ good for the hit counter? Inquring minds want to know.
Or do you mean, is there any way to overcome the sphere of PZ-ian influence at the blogs?
Why is it that people always pick this “good for the counter” line when somebody else disagrees with or simply questions whatever PZ says? That really makes one wonder how inquiring such people really are.
Whatever PZ says might not be unquestionable “God-given” truth, however, “framing” an argument on ScienceBlogs under PZ-an influence might work to get most people agreeing with you. Unfortunately, that does not really add anything meaningful to the debate.
“Just don’t let him go on FoxNews, please.”
That would make for great YouTube. But it would probably just rally both bases.
That is fine. Their base is already rallied, so his net effect would be negligible. But someone has to rally our base as well and he does it masterfully.
What do we mean by “science”?
If we’re talking about the system of rational, skeptical enquiry then I’d say yes. PZ’s anti-fluff attitude is absolutely necessary as a component of reality-based thinking, and its promotion can only be a good thing. The collateral damage to moderate religion is regrettable but necessary.
If we’re talking about the scientific community then I’d say no. PZ’s idealism is extremely divisive, and puts moderate, science-friendly religion between a rock and a hard place. The added zeal that PZistic thinking brings to the table is a pyrrhic victory if it leads to funding cuts.
Take your pick as to which is more important.
I think PZ does an invaluable service in getting these ideas out there in the public discourse, but I do not think he is serving science qua science, so much as setting up room for science to move without religious interference. All credit to him for that.
Besides, he creates ecological niches for small furry philosophers to live in the undergrowth.
With scienceblogs, the idea is that any conversation about science is good for us, I take it. So maybe they should ask if that’s true, that any conversation about science is good, and so PZ’s leadership — and huge readership — are not bad.
If PZ didn’t exist it would be necessary to invent him.
Why is it that people always pick this “good for the counter” line when somebody else disagrees with or simply questions whatever PZ says?
Maybe it’s because of the presence of posts like this one, with a negative title, but absolutely no substantive content.
I’m shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!
If the success of science depends on the characters of its proponents, it isn’t science.
It could be science in media, though. But provocative individuals like PZ do well in media.
Hmm. It is sometimes hard to separate idealism and realism, and I would argue that this is such a case. When PZ attacks creationism it seems to be to support biology and education. As for atheism, it is as much idealism as other world views. A normal person picks one. Is that idealism or realism? The later, I think.
ecological niches for small furry philosophers
Now, who is a white gigantic plant eater with a propensity to beat his chest?
Is just asking the question a matter of framing?
Don’t think of an elephant, and don’t think of how deplorably damaging this PZ character is to science.
(I can’t believe nobody even asked me my answer! Oh, hold on a sec, I hear something…is that someone asking? Okay, okay: the question is too vague to allow direct response, don’t you think? But surely the answer is no. Yet, I’m intrigued by the possibilities readers might suggest.)
I’m waiting for PZ to come by and answer.
All joking aside, hell no PZ isn’t bad for science. PZ is great for science, science education, and the proliferation of rational thought.
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