Talk:PZ Myers

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I reverted NBeale's addition stating that Myers has 11 scientific pubs since it was credited to his online CV, which was last updated in July 2003. That's far too out of date to be a reliable source. Guettarda (talk) 11:55, 21 July 2009 (UTC)

The idea that documents published more than 3 years ago are not reliable sources is pretty novel! If there are more scientific publications we can always add them (if that isn't OR :-)). Actually Google Scholar shows nothing since 2004 (a book review in Nature is not a scientific publication) which may explain why he has not updated it. NBeale (talk) 14:53, 21 July 2009 (UTC)
A six-year-old CV is not a reliable source. For example, it says that he's an assistant professor. Which he isn't. You are using it to source the statement that he has published 11 papers. It doesn't support that statement. It doesn't include his main achievements (tenure, teaching-related achievements, outreach; all things that are valued at least as much as research at a liberal arts college). The internet is littered with web pages that are badly out of date. If I had to guess at the reason, it may be related to the fact that he isn't job-hunting. As for search engines - it's pretty well established that Google scholar doesn't capture everything, nor does pubmed, nor does Web of Science. So the absence of a paper on any single database isn't reliable evidence that such a paper doesn't exist. Aside from the issue of OR (which it is), you simply cannot use a search engine to demonstrate the non-existence of something. (You're also making an artificial distinction between research publications and review articles, but that's another issue.)
In addition, we don't usually list how many papers an academic has published. It's not encyclopaedic, it's not terribly interesting. More to the point, Myers doesn't have an article here because of his achievements in research. He's notable in the world of outreach and science education. But some people see his lack of pubs as a stick to beat him over the head, or as a way to make snide, belittling remarks like yours. Since the primary reason to include this information is to disparage the subject (ooh, look, he isn't a productive scientist!), it's reasonable to expect that information like this be (a) reliably sourced, and (b) be supported by a secondary source to demonstrate its salience. Find a better source, and find a source that demonstrates salience. To make matters worse, you have a COI on this subject - Myers has mentioned you[1] and Polkinghorne in, if not negative, then at least a less-than-favourable, light. Someone with a COI should not be adding poorly sourced, negative material. Guettarda (talk) 18:55, 21 July 2009 (UTC)
Ah, is this a question of Truth? Good point about the need for a reliable secondary source to establish notability, and the question of listings of papers which doesn't seem to be standard, even for the most eminent of scientists. So, good call deleting a very dubious paragraph with implied WP:BLP issues. . dave souza, talk 19:31, 21 July 2009 (UTC)
I agree with the removal of the paragraph that attempts to establish the subject's academic credentials using WP:OR. The article makes no claims about the subject's academic standing, so using the obviously broken CV from 2003 plus some Googling is not required. This article would still exist, pretty much as it is now, even if Myers were a janitor at the university since his blog is notable and well-known for criticism of intelligent design. Johnuniq (talk) 02:33, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
We often mention people's publications record which is one of the first things many people want to know about a scientist. See eg Martin Nowak. NBeale (talk) 14:20, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
Yes, it's worth mentioning if that's why the person is notable. Guettarda (talk) 14:32, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
It borders on the hilarious that you are so desperate to defend your "hero" that you want to suppress his publication record. What is it about atheists that makes them so anxious to hide facts that they find inconvenient? NBeale (talk) 18:58, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
This talk page is for discussion of the Wikipedia article PZ Myers. If you want to goad or prod atheists on their personal failings, please go elsewhere. WhyDoIKeepForgetting (talk) 19:08, 22 July 2009 (UTC)

<ri> This is amusing. A chappie who N. Beale appently considers "one of the greatest living writers and thinkers on science and religion"[2] doesn't have that sort of total given on his Wikipedia page, as far as I can see, but does have an external link to a "* Google Scholar List of Papers" which gives an impressive number of Ghits. The same search gives about 60 for PZ. However, as his notability arises from his work as an educator I remain of the opinion that it's not a significant aspect of his notability, and see no reason to add that search to the external links here. . . dave souza, talk 19:55, 22 July 2009 (UTC)

For the record, the publications information which for some reason these editors want to hide is "Myers has 11 published scientific papers to his credit, including one in Nature in 1986 and 3 in the Journal of Neuroscience (1986 and two in 1993)[1]." WP articles are not confined to the things that make someone notable, but is your point that Myers is not a working scientist anymore? NBeale (talk) 21:09, 22 July 2009 (UTC)

Hmmm...let's see. Given how Beale threaded his comment, it seems like it's directed at me. For what it's worth, my opinion of Myers has little bearing on this matter, as do my religious beliefs. Of course, my religious beliefs and my opinion of are irrelevant. What matters is our content guidelines and policies. Myers is notable as a blogger and an advocate. One's impact in these fields isn't closely tied to one's scientific output. In fact, it would be reasonable to expect a negative correlation. Myers' main job is a professor of biology at a liberal arts school. Again, this is an environment that stresses teaching and service far more than does an R-1 institution. So being notable in that context (which he isn't, really) doesn't really hinge on one's publication record. So again, his research output doesn't appear to be terribly relevant. Finally, in my experience, the only people who make an issue of this are people who are trying to disparage him.

So, we have material which is meant to cast Myers in a negative light. Obviously that doesn't mean that it should be left out of the article. But it does mean that we need a reliable source. An out-of-date web page isn't a reliable source. It's also important to establish that the information is salient. So far, no secondary source has been provided that indicates anything of the sort. All we have is the advocacy of someone who appears to have a conflict of interest on the matter, who seems intent on assuming bad faith on the part of his fellow editors. And, not that it matters in the least, I do not consider Myers to be a "hero", and I'm not an atheist. Bit more of a know, one of those liberal, wishy-washy accommodationists that everyone hates? Guettarda (talk) 21:45, 22 July 2009 (UTC)

I think an old CV is a reliable source for a lower bound on Myers's publications. Also, Natalie Portman's article lists her scientific publications, and they certainly are not relevant to what she is mainly notable for. WhyDoIKeepForgetting (talk) 02:34, 12 August 2009 (UTC)
Now why can't I see you making those exact same arguments in regards to negative material about someone of an opposite religious persuasion from Myers, Guettarda? (talk) 16:26, 15 August 2009 (UTC)

Where precisely is Myers published in Nature (journal)? There does not appear to be anything. This is a claim that needs evidence.Anocide (talk) 01:41, 20 March 2012 (UTC)

There's a supporting footnote after the statement. It's not ideal - a secondary source would be much better - but click the link and you'll come across this. Guettarda (talk) 02:31, 20 March 2012 (UTC)

An allegetion[edit]

PZ Myers have climbed the back of a saddled Triceratops intended as a photo op for children under twelve during his visit to Creation Museum. There is a photo here and Answers in Genesis noting the same here. I added the allegation twice in the article and they got reverted twice by USer:Aunt Entropy and User:Mark Shaw on the accounts of Ken Ham's blog not being a reliable source which I do think is on this matter. Should the allegation be added back or should the articke be left as it is? --12:15, 21 April 2010 (UTC)EvilFlyingMonkey (talk)

It's not a reliable source, and it's non-notable trivia. So no, it should not be in the article. Guettarda (talk) 12:47, 21 April 2010 (UTC)
In this case, the blogs are limited reliable sources as primary sources; they may be used as reference for their content. Establishment of relevance and analysis must come from a secondary (or less preferably tertiary) source, and I don't know of any that have picked up on this. The crux of the matter is that an argument between two bloggers is not a controversy, for purposes of Wikipedia, unless an outside reliable source has noted it (establishing notability) and defined it (no original research) as a controversy. I was aware of the event when I wrote the description of the visit, but did not include it for the reasons stated above: I limited the content to what was in news sources. Novangelis (talk) 14:35, 21 April 2010 (UTC)

Desecration of the Koran[edit]

why a controversies section?[edit]

wikipedia:criticism: "Sections and articles dedicated to controversies about a topic are generally discouraged, for many of the same reasons discussed above for criticism-related material" and "Rather than create a section dedicated to criticisms, instead try to incorporate negative material into the appropriate topical or thematic section that the negative material relates to (such as a particular event, policy, or product)."

My proposal: separate section for the Expelled appearance/screening, the Eucharist controversy under Internet involvement, and Creation Museum visit under education & activism.

Andrewlp1991 (talk) 02:51, 9 January 2012 (UTC)

Sounds good. I agree that "Controversies" sections are not a good idea. An article is for encyclopedic material, not what some describe as a controversy. Johnuniq (talk) 03:56, 9 January 2012 (UTC)

Fix the many incorrect references to ""[edit]

The Pharyngula blog URL is

Dr. I. Needtob Athe —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:13, 21 February 2011 (UTC)

It has been changed to with the scienceblogs still there, but not regularly updated. JHobson2 (talk) 14:24, 26 August 2012 (UTC)

I don't believe the information that is linked to via has been moved to is still active, the latest post is dated 24 Aug 12. "Controverial" topics are only posted on freethoughtblogs, I believe. If you can find the same material on, you can change it yourself, or put the changes here and someone else will edit the article. Thank you Jim1138 (talk) 18:53, 26 August 2012 (UTC)

PZ Meyers officially leaving Skeptical Movement[edit]

As per his post here:

In there he says, "So don’t call me a “skeptic”. I’ll consider it an insult, like calling a writer a stenographer, a comedian a mime, a doctor a faith healer, a scientist a technician."

So how should his article reflect this new stance? Should we remove those categories that include him in the Skeptical Movement? Should we reword anything? Rjmail (talk) 22:13, 5 May 2013 (UTC)

I think it would be appropriate to remove the category "American Skeptics" but I don't really see a lot of skepticism (separate of his more pure scientific work) in this article.
I am pretty strongly against mentioning this "divorce" in the article itself. I do not think it is encyclopedic nor important enough to his entire biography.

Allecher (talk) 22:35, 5 May 2013 (UTC)

American sceptics is about the only category of relevance here. Since he appears to find the term offensive (although I still think it is accurate), I'd suggest replacing it with the Freethought Cat. IRWolfie- (talk) 22:42, 5 May 2013 (UTC)
I did the switch, any thoughts? IRWolfie- (talk) 23:48, 5 May 2013 (UTC)
Works for me. Also he is referred to as a 'skeptic' in the article. While that could just mean the simple meaning, it is linked to Scientific Skepticism. Do you think we should unlink it, or is that pretty benign? Rjmail (talk) 01:08, 7 May 2013 (UTC)
I think changing the category is sufficient: I don't see anything in the article itself. TechBear | Talk | Contributions 01:45, 7 May 2013 (UTC)
He still analyses things sceptically, so I think it's a little bit over the top to remove all mentions of the word. It's an accurate descriptor. IRWolfie- (talk) 15:56, 7 May 2013 (UTC)

2005 Koufax award[edit]

The article lists PZ Myers as awarded a 2005 Koufax award. The only references to a Washington Montly, but it shows the award given to Informed Comment. Was Myers awarded this? Did I find the wrong citation? Jim1138 (talk) 05:58, 8 June 2013 (UTC)

And what the hell is a "Koufax Award", anyway? Some poll on the internet seven years ago? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:40, 16 July 2013 (UTC)

it seems to have been some sort of popularity contest type thing that disappeared (the domain appears to have been taken over), rather than an actual award. I've removed it as such, IRWolfie- (talk) 22:00, 17 July 2013 (UTC)