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PZ Myers, Mind Your Manners

The Intersection
By Sheril Kirshenbaum
Mar 24, 2008 9:32 PMNov 5, 2019 10:21 AM


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Dear PZ,

[It's worth pointing out, my problem is not with profanity. Regular readers know that long before I entered the blogosphere, I've vocally celebrated the right to free speech and independent thinking. However, when influential and well respected professors argue like children in a very public online forum, substantive points decompose to nonsense blows, which puts a poor lens on a field that already has an image problem. As visible teachers and bloggers in the sciences, it's within our power to make strides to improve that, and a well argued rebuttal, over a dismissive profane nonresponse, achieves far more.]

I know you are a very popular writer, professor, atheist, and so on. I understand you are also likely frustrated over all the nonsense with that religious movie. If I were in your situation, I too would be terribly upset, angry, and so forth. However, your blogpost from yesterday, is entirely out of line:

Fuck you very much, Matt. You know where you can stick your advice.

That kind of language and reaction is simply unacceptable on and off the blogosphere. It seems to me, that although you two argue constantly, Matt has always treated you with decorum and respect. Regardless of how you felt regarding what he posted, it was cogent and seriously argued. Whether he is right or wrong, you are an adult, a teacher, and a respected and admired professional. Shame on you. This kind of adolescent knee jerk reaction is absolutely ridiculous and you ought to apologize. Sincerely, Sheril

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