Special Sunday felid

As John McLaughlin says, “Bye bye!”


  1. Wowbagger
    Posted June 28, 2010 at 7:36 am | Permalink

    Now for the really fun part – watching how the other oleaginous accomodationists who fawned over YNH and praised them (sorry, him) for his brave stance and honest (ha!) intentions are going to do to try and turn this back around and blame it all on people like Jerry, PZ, Ophelia and Greg Laden.

    Yes, that’d be profoundly intellectually dishonest – but that’s just par for the course for the new militant faitheists, isn’t it?

    Oh, and I expect at least one sinister conspiracy theory…

    • Zach Voch
      Posted June 28, 2010 at 8:06 am | Permalink

      My thoughts exactly. It isn’t amazing that a garbage blog popped up. It’s never surprising on the internet that somebody, somewhere was on side X and told lie Y.

      What is more interesting is when a community wholeheartedly swallows the story they are told for no other reason than that it follows the party line. Examples of this are legion, and it is safe to say that this is a natural tendency.

      The skeptical community, however, is specially suited to catch rumors and debunk them. I discovered You’re Not Helping only very recently, but I instantly noted that I was reading conflation and lies (I learned about the sockpuppetry elsewhere) and that my comments were going to receive a “helpful” (oh this pun is soooo useful) selection.

      And so, I was tremendously pleased by seeing the work already done for me (and better than I could have) by Oedipus Maximus, Laden, commentators and others.

      The important story here is the credulous swallowing of agreeable material on many accommodationist blogs.

    • Torbjörn Larsson, OM
      Posted June 28, 2010 at 8:43 am | Permalink

      Yes; but while I’m not up to speed, I think it already happened, by YNH him/themselves. He is putting his decision to stop blogging at the feet of Laden et al (YNH blaming others) for their outing students. Laden claims it’s false allegations… (YNH touting conspiracy theories?!)

      It is hard to keep up with accommodationist’s accommodation of beliefs vs facts!

      • Zach Voch
        Posted June 28, 2010 at 9:05 am | Permalink

        Oh of course, the YNH confession (which is on Oedipus Maximus’s brilliant documentary post, as is the affair generally) is a self-serving bit of false martyrdom (claims he is confessing out of concern for those falsely accused of being him) and no apology for the lying, slander, and misrepresentation done in the posts themselves.

        What is interesting is whether or not other blogs which credulously linked and repeated him with little or no qualification will issue any sort of mea culpa for intellectual complacency, or at least issuing a warning (which again, applies to everyone) about acceptance on the basis of agreement in absence or in spite of substantive/novel argument. The personal attacks and the lazy generalizations and conflations should have been a giveaway. Sockpuppetry aside, this blog should have been assigned to obscurity.

        See Rosenau’s recent post for a (soft) example of what I mean:


        He at least qualified that You’re Not Helping has “become less helpful lately,” take a look at Ophelia’s comment at #12:

        To be fair (which is slightly hard for me at the moment, given Josh’s endorsement of a set of posts that repeatedly called me a liar while claiming I said things I didn’t say), …

        It’s thoughtless and hurtful to endorse what had become a catalog of personal attacks.

        Even those who agreed with YNH had as more or more genuine reason to fact-check and correct as those who he attacked. With Oedipus Maximus, it was a case of initial hope followed by actual disappointment. Oedipus wasn’t taken, yet others evidently were (unless it’s more sockpuppetry).

        That’s the moral of the story. Valuing skepticism means valuing skepticism as regards all claims from whatever source, independently of “side” or authority.

        • Torbjörn Larsson, OM
          Posted June 28, 2010 at 9:38 am | Permalink

          Valuing skepticism means valuing skepticism as regards all claims from whatever source, independently of “side” or authority.

          Too true. My immediate reaction while reading the previous comment was to ask if Josh Rosenau was the guy who pushes accomodationism at all times while Chad Orzel was the guy who [like Ed Brayton IIRC] gets angry if someone criticizes belief in any form, or vice versa. Since sadly it was a while since I read them.

          But then I became skeptic towards my own lazy generalization, and by the time I finished reading, I happily was on board with the conclusion.

          [Damn! Now I have to read those guys again. If they say something worthwhile, that is.]

          • Zach Voch
            Posted June 28, 2010 at 10:15 am | Permalink

            I do not read Orzel regularly, so I can’t recommend or caution against him.

            As for Rosenau, more of his recent postings are relevant to politics than to accommodationism/atheism. However, where he has posted, he has made some sloppy mistakes and partaken in some hasty generalizations. But overall, I would say he’s worth reading.

            Jason Rosenhouse has regular exchanges with Rosenau, so you might as him, but here’s a sample of the sort of accommodationist exchange that will show up on Rosenau’s blog, as responded to by Rosenhouse here.

            Here is Josh’s original post, his followup, and his partial (and to his credit, honest) concessions.

            The comments on these posts are worth following as well. Some of the commentators at his blog (J.J. Ramsey, who I go after pretty hard in the comments) have doubtable intellectual integrity, but I think Rosenau is honest, if a little hasty. He seems to have responded to my requests for proactive concession in his “a fair point” post.

            So, fact check Rosenau, but he’s still worth reading.

            • Zach Voch
              Posted June 28, 2010 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

              I decided to take a look at Orzel. See my comment on this post for my initial impression:


              So far, it’s not looking too good, but I’d be interested in the feedback of those who have read him more frequently.

            • Zach Voch
              Posted June 28, 2010 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

              And I’ll modify about J.J. Ramsey: While I feel that he was dishonest in that particular exchange, he has shown honesty and a capacity for self-correction on other topics. I don’t feel it fair to give an unqualified doubt-raising about him in his absence.

  2. Preston
    Posted June 28, 2010 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    I had YNH in the RSS feed for a few weeks. I thought it was pretty damn uninteresting and deleted it.

    The Buddha Is Not Serious has screen shots of the self-serving apology. So I got the lulz without putting up with the dreck. That’s a rare happening in my life and I’m going to go buy a powerball ticket in case my luck holds for the whole day.

  3. Zach Voch
    Posted June 28, 2010 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    Oh, and why was the blog locked after the confession?

    This is from =^skeptic cat^= in the comments of

    Unfortunately, the blog became protected while I was reading the final posting but judging from some of the comments it appears to have been locked due to more revelations of dishonesty by Will including modifying comments and creating dummy comments from users which were then attributed to readers of Greg’s blog.

    I’m hoping to find the final round of comments in Oedipus’ download because the list of accusations is apaulling, to say the least.

    So according to this (which is hearsay, admittedly), Will (who we can be fairly sure is not actually named Will) engaged in a bit more dishonesty in order to make Greg Laden and the New Atheists look bad.

    So, it’s reasonable to believe that the commiserations were actually just more sock puppetry.

  4. Posted June 28, 2010 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    I got directed to one post over at YNH, and I wish I could remember clearly what it was about, but I seem to remember he almost had half a point about whatever it was… Although I almost certainly wouldn’t have agreed with this guy, I do recognize the need to have a diversity of voices on the godless side of things. So I don’t revel in this… but damn, what the hell was he thinking??? What kind of sad sad person feels the need to “Right on!” their own blog? Sheesh…

    • stuartvo
      Posted June 28, 2010 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

      Ah yes, “diversity of voices” is good, but this is exactly what the faitheists are campaigning against.

      Instead of joining their “softly-softly” approach to the strident approach of the less-accommodating, they spend all of their time telling the New Atheists to shut up, and don’t actually do any science-promoting of their own.

      Their whole approach is hypocritical and counter-productive and dishonest and generally reprehensible.

      • Posted June 28, 2010 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

        I basically agree with you, though it’s worth pointing out there are two types of accomodationists. One type — the type that I think is helping, even though I am not one of them and could not imagine myself playing this game — thinks it is desirable to hold back from saying certain truths in an attempt to build a bridge to theists. This category would be typified by folks like Eugenie Scott, who is indubitably an accomodationist, but who doesn’t waste much (if any) breath talking about what fundamentalist jerks her non-accomodationist friends are.

        Then you have the Mooney- or YNH-type accomodationist who have decided this is so tactically important that they spend scads of time trying to convince those who disagree. These folks, indeed, are not helping, and I have no sympathy for them. As Ophelia said about the recent AAAS talk, that’s called “throwing under the bus”, and it’s not cool.

        • Janet Holmes
          Posted June 28, 2010 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

          So the accomodationists are keeping up the good work of lying to theists on the grounds that this is what they’re used to and they can’t cope with reality. How can you convince someone of the truth by telling them yet more lies?

  5. Posted June 28, 2010 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

    Bye bye!

  6. llewelly
    Posted July 6, 2010 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

    Even less helping. (Via Paul at pharyngula) William admits to still more sock puppetry in the “value of scienceblogs” debacle over at the Intersection.

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