Peter Boghossian’s Hilarious Hoax

As readers may know, I have been very critical of Peter Boghossian in the past.  Nevertheless, when the man pulls off a stunt that is both enlightening and entertaining, I have to acknowledge it.

Boghossian, and his sidekick James Lindsay, were able to get a paper published in a social science journal.  The problem?  It was all a hoax.  Boghossian and Lindsay, using fake names and fake affiliations, actually published a paper that not only argues penises are social constructs, but blames climate change on them.

Here’s the abstract:

Anatomical penises may exist, but as pre-operative transgendered women also have anatomical penises, the penis vis-à-vis maleness is an incoherent construct. We argue that the conceptual penis is better understood not as an anatomical organ but as a social construct isomorphic to performative toxic masculinity. Through detailed poststructuralist discursive criticism and the example of climate change, this paper will challenge the prevailing and damaging social trope that penises are best understood as the male sexual organ and reassign it a more fitting role as a type of masculine performance.

This easily passed peer review.  Do we need any further evidence of just how much postmodernism intellectually corrupts academia?

Anyway, I love the humor they snuck into the article:

ABOUT THE AUTHORS Jamie Lindsay, PhD, and Peter Boyle, EdD, represent a dynamic team of independent researchers working for the Southeast Independent Social Research Group, whose mission is obvious in its name. While neither uses Twitter, both finding the platform overly reductive, they incorporate careful reading of the relevant academic literature with observations made by searching trending hashtags to derive important social truths with high impact. In this case, their particular fascination with penises and the ways in which penises are socially problematic, especially as a social construct known as a conceptual penis, have opened an avenue to a new frontier in gender and masculinities research that can transform our cultural geographies, mitigate climate change, and achieve social justice.

LOL!

And then this:

PUBLIC INTEREST STATEMENT Penises are problematic, and we don’t just mean medical issues like erectile dysfunction and crimes like sexual assault. As a result of our research into the essential concept of the penis and its exchanges with the social and material world, we conclude that penises are not best understood as the male sexual organ, or as a male reproductive organ, but instead as an enacted social construct that is both damaging and problematic for society and future generations. The conceptual penis presents significant problems for gender identity and reproductive identity within social and family dynamics, is exclusionary to disenfranchised communities based upon gender or reproductive identity, is an enduring source of abuse for women and other gender-marginalized groups and individuals, is the universal performative source of rape, and is the conceptual driver behind much of climate change.

Newsflash to the social scientists.  When your peers can’t tell the difference between a joke and science, it’s probably because your science is a joke.

Here is their account of the hoax.

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26 Responses to Peter Boghossian’s Hilarious Hoax

  1. TFBW says:

    (Note to Michael: that last link is wrong. Perhaps you meant this.)

    Based on the excerpts you’ve shown here, they seem to have done a good job imitating the genre. Maybe I’m a tough audience, but I didn’t find any of it laugh-out-loud funny, though. This is probably just a side-effect of the fact that the whole field is so self-parodying in the first place: there’s nothing sufficiently outlandish about this paper (relative to the field) which stands out as comedy.

    I wouldn’t have picked it as a hoax from the abstract. I did a quick scan through some of the text, and none of what I saw was conspicuously out of character for the field. On the contrary, I think this article will attract a larger than usual number of citations (i.e. more than zero). In fact, the only suspicious thing about it was the quality of citations to other articles. Yes, some of those are themselves fabrications consisting of algorithmically-generated gibberish, and even the real ones are bluffs, but this is only obvious if you already know that the paper is a hoax. The authors have tried to make the paper exceedingly bad, but they have failed, because they don’t appreciate how bad the field really is. This paper was actually fairly readable, after all. It would be interesting to look at the paper in the context of the journal in which it was published: does it stand out among its neighbours as being any better or worse?

    I’m not sure what the authors hope to achieve with this hoax, though. Like-minded folks will certainly shake their heads at how easily the field fell for this hoax, but the field itself has no apparent shame about such matters. If this is an attempt to shame, it’s going to fall flat. I expect that the paper won’t even be retracted (although I consider that a risky bet, and I’d want good odds on it). On the contrary, it might be held up as a good example of that which it purports to describe: exhibit A for the toxic conceptual penis — the paper itself, which is an outpouring of toxic masculinity directed at the conceptual vagina of gender studies and feminism in an act of conceptual rape. The very existence of the paper proves its own thesis.

    Of their own aims, Boghossian and Lindsay say:

    We intended to test the hypothesis that flattery of the academic Left’s moral architecture in general, and of the moral orthodoxy in gender studies in particular, is the overwhelming determiner of publication in an academic journal in the field. That is, we sought to demonstrate that a desire for a certain moral view of the world to be validated could overcome the critical assessment required for legitimate scholarship. Particularly, we suspected that gender studies is crippled academically by an overriding almost-religious belief that maleness is the root of all evil. On the evidence, our suspicion was justified.

    So it was an exercise in proving the obvious? They still miss the point that “the critical assessment required for legitimate scholarship” really is a social construct, however, and it’s constructed differently in the Postmodernist schools. Part of the problem with Modernism in general, and New Atheism in particular, is that they don’t recognise anything of their platform as being a social construction. Postmodernists have a point in regards to the existence of social constructs — they just take it way, way, way too far.

    What gets me most, though, is that Boghossian and Lindsay probably still consider the Christian religion in general to be a greater threat to Reason than the acid bath of Postmodernism in which half the academy is immersed (and still sinking).

  2. Kevin says:

    To be fair, Boghossian did admit that Christians might vigorously disagree with him but they never go after his job or family, so he at least suspects who the problem is.

  3. TFBW says:

    @Kevin: citation? I can’t find the source and I want to check it out.

  4. stcordova says:

    Kudos to Bhogho! Excellent hoax.

  5. Regual Llegna says:

    The most important point is that THIS pass the peer review process, a thing that the believers of scientism find as one of the most important aspects of SCIENCE ((tm)) that make their science “pure and not dogmatic”.

  6. unclesporkums says:

    When they began to adopt these ridiculous concepts, for the sake of “not hurting feelings” (a lie) Which has NOTHING to do with actual biology, they completely exposed themselves as nothing more than a Marxist political group.

  7. Kevin says:

    TFBW

    https://areomagazine.com/2016/12/08/peter-boghossian-on-critical-thinking-the-atheos-app-and-the-post-modern-influence-on-universities/

    Fifth question down.

    “Here’s what is surprising: with very few exceptions, and there are exceptions, Christians are very kind decent people all over the world. I do talks and we go out afterwards for drinks etc., and we talk with civility.

    The far Left in contemporary academia is not like this. These are viciously ideological and nasty people whose goal it is to shut down discourse and indoctrinate students. I think we’ve spent too much time on Creationism. The problem is less with Creationism and more with radical Leftism. For example, if you’re a professor who teaches in the biological sciences, Creationists have substantive disagreements with your work and they’ll try to demean it. But they’re not going to harass you or your family. They’re not going to try and get you fired. They’re not going to call you a racist, a sexist, a bigot, a homophobe.

    The far Left have successfully managed to infiltrate our universities. A consequence: radical incivility and students who hold preposterous views of reality and think they’re better people as a result. One reason is because people go into ideological bunkers where they protect themselves from ideas. And this is a type of ideological convergence which strengthens and exemplifies their convictions. They’ve created “safe spaces” for themselves and anyone who persistently questions those becomes the target of a smear campaign.”

  8. TFBW says:

    @Kevin: Ah, yes, I recall that one now. I eagerly await his upcoming book, “A Manual for Curing Postmodernists”. Seriously, though, granted that the article in question is not quite six months old at this time, has he actually done anything against Postmodernism which is at all comparable to his anti-religion crusade? It’s nice that he’s verbally acknowledging the issue, but actions speak louder.

  9. Dhay says:

    Peter Boghossian is currently on a year’s sabbatical writing a book on the “Regressive Left”, to be provisionally titled — publishers often have the last word — Letters to a Young Liberal.

    He borrowed the book’s central idea and format from Sam Harris, who had decided he wouldn’t write the book himself, there would be too much kick-back. Newsish has more details in its article “Sam Harris’s book Letters to a Young Liberal picked up by Peter Boghossian”.

    Boghossian can’t be sure who the email hoaxer was, but suspects someone on the left rather than the right. “Christians almost never want to shut me down – they want to argue or complain or debate,” he explains, “it’s only the left that wants to shut me down.”

    https://www.allthink.com/1302408

    It sticks in my mind that I have read Boghossian saying something similar to Kevin’s quote in the PSU Vanguard</em back in 2012, at the time of the 'Easter Bunny' lecture controversy.

    *

    While I was looking for that quote, I found another article, "Recent controversial lecture on faith sparks rebuttal", in which another PSU professor, Vern Bissell, reframed Christianity in terms of what I now recognise as identity-politics:

    The issue of spiritual faith at Portland State has seen strong verbiage from both sides of the aisle, and of those who believe in a higher power have taken deep offense at the controversial Boghossian and his remarks.

    According to Bissell, attacking someone’s faith is an attack on the very core of who they are. “I see that really as a form of abuse; I consider that just as serious or more serious as the abuse by Jerry Sandusky on the kids [at Penn State],” Bissell said.

    http://psuvanguard.com/controversial-lecture-faith-sparks-rebuttal/

    I hadn’t really thought of Christianity as an identity, as like being Black, Trans, etc. Looks like the YEC Bissell does think in those Postmodern terms.

  10. Dhay says:

    TFBW > Seriously, though, granted that the article in question is not quite six months old at this time, has he actually done anything against Postmodernism which is at all comparable to his anti-religion crusade?

    My response above was meant to be to this (but I got absent-minded and omitted the reference.)

    Yes, Peter Boghossian is doing something comparable via his coming book — and, of course, this hoax which will no doubt feature prominently in the book.

    *

    This isn’t the first hilarious hoax article by the Peter Boghossian / James Lindsay duo; here’s one incoherently badly written hoax article of theirs obviously aimed at what I would call ‘scientistic fedeism’; it didn’t pass peer review, so only made it to the RDF website:

    To survive [the threat of nuclear armageddon, global warming, etc] we have exactly one option. We must trust science. We must listen to experts.

    https://shadowtolight.wordpress.com/2016/09/28/peter-boghossians-silly-article/#comment-15860/

    Or there’s “Peter Boghossian’s Silly Article”, (ie “How to Fight Extremism with Atheism”) written with Lindsay and Phil Torres and dissected in the OP and thread; could easily be a hoax:

    https://shadowtolight.wordpress.com/2016/09/28/peter-boghossians-silly-article/

    Or there’s the duo’s article against Donald Trump, rejected by 45 publishers before finding a home at Quillette.

    https://shadowtolight.wordpress.com/2016/05/09/is-atheism-no-different-than-atoothfairyism/#comment-12656

    Newsflash to Boghossian and Lindsay. When your readers can’t tell the difference between a joke and your article, it’s probably because your article is a joke.

  11. TFBW says:

    Or there’s the duo’s article against Donald Trump, rejected by 45 publishers before finding a home at Quillette.

    Well at least they didn’t have to pay to get it published, despite the fact that it lacked any of the pseudo-intellectual gloss of the “conceptual penis” paper.

  12. Zachary says:

    Hey Mike, I have commented here before, but I have encountered something very offensive to me. I don’t know if you have heard about the accident in New York, but I knew the victim who got killed. As for why it offends me, I’ll explain now. The person driving said “God made him do it.” And, this may shock you, but Hement Mehta wrote a blog about it on Patheos. It just really offends me that he is carelessly using her death as propaganda for his atheist blog, it sickens me greatly. I hope you respond, thanks.

  13. Michael says:

    Zachary,

    I’m sorry about your friend. I read that blog post earlier and it wasn’t written by Mehta, although as owner of the blog, he can’t completely divorce himself from what is on his blog. In this case, the article did have a click-bait title, but the author admits the cause was drugs and tried to make the weak case that if the driver was a Muslim, people would instead be blaming his religion.

    I think it clear that Social Justice atheists are more anti-Christian than anti-religion. While their standard approach is to use and propagate negative stereotypes about Christians, they condemn such behavior when it comes to Islam as Islamophobia. None of this is surprising coming from a blog that helped coordinate a smear campaign against an orphanage.

  14. Dhay says:

    The article links to a “pastor” who — if you check out the links — wasn’t a pastor:

    But the fact is that Anderson, who murdered his wife and a child, was a strong Christian, an ardent believer, and perhaps even a local pastor.

    The first two, yes, undoubtedly; pastor, no, he wasn’t, as the links tell us, hence presumably that nod to honesty, that “perhaps”.

    Looks like the article’s author, David McAfee, is an outspoken platform-seeking nutter with a bee in his bonnet about Christianity. Rather like his “pastor”.

  15. Dhay says:

    I took a look at that Skeptic article by Peter Boghossian and James Lindsay exposing and publicising their hoax, and found this paragraph jumped out at me:

    Our hoax was similar, of course, but it aimed to expose a more troubling bias. The most potent among the human susceptibilities to corruption by fashionable nonsense is the temptation to uncritically endorse morally fashionable nonsense. That is, we assumed we could publish outright nonsense provided it looked the part and portrayed a moralizing attitude that comported with the editors’ moral convictions. Like any impostor, ours had to dress the part, though we made our disguise as ridiculous and caricatured as possible—not so much affixing an obviously fake mustache to mask its true identity as donning two of them as false eyebrows.

    http://www.skeptic.com/reading_room/conceptual-penis-social-contruct-sokal-style-hoax-on-gender-studies/

    What jumped out at me was that Boghossian has done this before.

    If you look back to Boghossian’s book A Manual for Creating Atheists you find Boghossian publishing and promoting a redefinition of faith which is fashionable nonsense — fashionable for atheists, anyway.

    Our hoax was similar [to Sokal’s], of course, but it aimed to expose a more troubling bias. The most potent among the human susceptibilities to corruption by fashionable [to his atheist readers] nonsense is the temptation [for his atheist readers] to uncritically endorse morally fashionable [to his atheist readers] nonsense. That is, we assumed we could publish outright nonsense provided it looked the [anti-Christian] part and portrayed a moralizing attitude that comported with the [atheist readers’] moral convictions. Like any impostor, ours had to dress the part, though we made our disguise as ridiculous and caricatured as possible—not so much affixing an obviously fake mustache to mask its true identity as donning two of them as false eyebrows.

    Yep, that looks right, fixed it for him. Yep, he’s done this sort of thing before.

    *

    (The attempted redefinition of faith failed peer review by aRemonstrant and by Tom Gilson, each of whom have written extensively and in depth on the matter:
    https://aremonstrantsramblings.wordpress.com/tag/peter-boghossian/
    https://www.thinkingchristian.net/?s=Boghossian)

  16. Dhay says:

    In his follow-up blog post on the hoax, Jerry Coyne tells of Helen Pluckrose defending the hoax against criticisms, and he tells us:

    You can find those criticisms everywhere simply by Googling “Boghossian Lindsay hoax”

    https://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com/2017/05/21/a-humanities-scholar-rebuts-criticisms-of-the-conceptual-penis-paper/

    For interest, I did so, and the first entry was a The Chronicle of Higher Education article by Andrew Mytelka, which includes:

    Support for the hoax and applause for the hoax artists came from the website Why Evolution Is True, where an anonymous writer observes that, 21 years after the Sokal hoax, “social sciences remain rife with obscurantist nonsense — an academic miasma.”
    [My emboldening.]
    http://www.chronicle.com/blogs/ticker/hoax-article-in-social-science-journal-gets-a-rise-out-of-some-scholars/118526

    It sounded very familiar, so I looked and confirmed that the “anonymous writer” of that quote is Coyne himself, it’s from Coyne’s blog post announcing the hoax.

    Hmmm, when I look at the post I find that there’s an obvious “About Jerry Coyne” section at top right with links to “Author Website” and “Research Interests”; there’s an obvious section underneath headed “Books by Jerry Coyne”, underneath which are two book covers with “Jerry A. Coyne” prominent on each. Go figure how Mytelka could possibly miss who that “anonymous writer” was.

    One has to wonder about the perspicacity and basic intelligence of someone so blind to what is obvious on a casual perusal. Which raises an interesting question: was this writer for the Chronicle of Higher Education — not Kindergarten Education — one of the hoax paper’s peer reviewers?

  17. Dhay says:

    The Street Epistemologists now have (in alpha-stage development) a chatbot: SEBOT.

    On the Street Epistemology website, in Resources, there’s a link to a Religion Refuted blog article entitled “Street Epistemology Critique”. It’s obviously a critique which the SE’s like, they link to it; and they are listening to it and acting on it.

    Although the Atheos app is not well suited for simulating a Socratic dialog[vii], …

    [vii] Actually, the Atheos app would be suited for Socratic dialogs if the user were playing the role of the believer rather than the Street Epistemologist. As a retired computer programmer, however, I recognize that this would require some fairly significant changes in the application’s algorithm.

    http://religionrefuted.com/street-epistemology-critique/

    Consider it done … OK, in progress: SEBOT.

    Here’s from the Projects section:

    SEBot
    Status: In Progress

    This project attempts to make an automated system that performs Street Epistemology. The system takes the role of the interviewer (SE) and the user of the system is the interlocutor (IL). The short-term goal is a proof-of-concept that can explore whether or not it is possible/practical to map out conversations in terms of the types of socratic questions asked, and the types of answers typically given to them and what is then the most productive “next” socratic question to subsequently ask. The long term goal is to hopefully use what we learn in a more sophisticated systems that can actually parse written or spoken language and then choose or construct written or machine-spoken responses. Current working prototype can be found by clicking →HERE←.

    So I clicked →HERE←:

    What belief are you interested in exploring today? Ideally, it should be something that is very important to you and has a big influence in your life.
    [Current Choices:
    God
    Nothing
    Feminism
    Ghosts
    Determinism
    Free Will
    Truth]

    http://streetepistemology.com:12347/?qid=1

    Presumably this is not just a short list to be expanded, but a shortlist of what’s important to SEs.

    I was intrigued by “Feminism” — is this a swerve in direction from a heavy focus on religion towards SJA and SJW topics? So I clicked on that topic … and received the response:

    Thank you very much for your time. The interview is now finished.

    Unintentionally hilarious, I think.

    *

    The designers expect users to propose questions/responses which — if they pass moderation — subsequent users will pick from a list. No doubt I have discovered a mere stub — no list choice currently goes far — a stub to be fleshed out in coming months by user interaction.

    In principle, this stub could be the root of widespread branches of interlocutor choice/reply and SEBOT leading suggestions. But don’t expect anything very intellectual from it — The Complete Street Epistemology Guide tells the SEs to channel the dialogue relentlessly in one direction, don’t get distracted or sidelined with facts, politics or apologetics (which last I read as philosophical and intellectual arguments) — to me it looks like all roads lead to SE Rome.

    *

    I wonder how long SEBOT will be publicly viewable, and whether it will disappear into the private SE-only areas of the site. I suspect the latter, though it will be interesting to watch and see.

  18. Dhay says:

    It will be interesting to see what SEBOT does with Feminism, whether it chooses one side or another, finds yet another angle, or comes to that characteristic Socratic ‘no ways forward to a conclusion’ stalemate called ‘elenchus’.

    Free Will will be very interesting given the vigour of discussion in Jerry Coyne’s blog’s Comments whenever the subject comes up, and the vigorous disagreement between Sam Harris and Daniel Dennett. But, like Feminism, Free Will goes nowhere at present.

    The only listed choice which has been at all fleshed out is God. After a ‘confidence level’ question there’s “Okay. So which god do you believe in?”; it’s a very incomplete list, there’s no Other choice, so evidently worshippers of other gods, including most of the Hindu pantheon, are not expected to chat to SE’s.

    What I find fascinating and revealing is that the first two choices for “… which god do you believe in?” are:
    Jesus Christ
    The God of the Bible
    http://streetepistemology.com:12347/?qid=479

    Yes, it really is that bad.

  19. Dhay says:

    Above > … that characteristic Socratic ‘no ways forward to a conclusion’ stalemate called ‘elenchus’.

    A slip of the mind: it is of course ‘aporeia’.

  20. Dhay says:

    As regards the SEBOT ‘Free Will’ choice of main topic and the multiple, contradictory lines it can branch on to, Jerry Coyne tells us in his 25 May 2017 blog post entitled “On the way home: discussion with Dawkins” that he’d asked Richard Dawkins, on stage, about free will:

    … in his upcoming book of essays, Science in the Soul (recommended), he’d written this:

    “After my public speeches I have come to dread the inevitable ‘do you believe in free will’ question and sometimes resort to quoting Christopher Hitchens’s characteristically witty answer, “I have no choice”.

    Well, that’s glib, but also a non-answer, so I wanted to ask him if he accepted that all our actions are predetermined except for possible quantum events in the brain. And he did admit that, but added that he doesn’t really understand compatibilism and other attempts to give us free will.
    [My emboldening.]
    https://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com/2017/05/25/on-the-way-home/

    Free Will is a topic Dawkins declares he dreads coming up, he doesn’t really understand — this is very different from being able to refute — some of the positions and arguments.

    Will SEBOT also give a glib answer — disguised as a leading question, of course, such as “What if you have no choice?” Or will it channel the dialogue towards Sam Harris’ extreme view (throwing in the illusory nature of the self on the way) or Daniel Dennett’s view, or … … and will it all end up like one of those user-choice stories where you get different plot lines and endings dependent on whether you fired or didn’t fire … and does it all end up in an inability to progress, no way forwards, aporeia?

    *

    … we briefly discussed the implications of pure determinism for society and the justice system.

    When will Coyne realise that “The murderer [or insert crime of choice] had no choice” (because of genes and environment) is … “Well, that’s glib, but also a non-answer”.

    “I had no choice” is glib, but also a non-answer, a non-defence.

    *

    Then Coyne asked Dawkins a series of questions, one of which, with answer, was:

    What one misunderstanding about evolution you would like to correct?
    (A: It’s all accidental)

    “I won’t recount all the other questions and answers; there were many”, blogs Coyne; so this question (like six others) was singled out by Coyne for special mention, and possibly or probably Coyne agrees with that answer.

  21. Dhay says:

    Hilarious hoax it might have been, and squarely targeting SJWs, that “conceptual penis” paper, but it is a mistake to assume that the preparation of Letters to a Young Liberal means that Peter Boghossian has body-swerved away from targeting Christians. Ditto the Boghossianites (or Boghossian-Lites).

    In theory, Street Epistemology can be used for dialogues on all sorts of topics, the sky’s the limit. But is it? How about politics.

    And in theory, Street Epistemology is a technique which should be as applicable to getting SJWs to question their beliefs and change their minds as it is to getting people in any other group to do so. If Boghossian and his acolytes had changed target, one would really expect to see evidence of it on the StreetEpistemology FaceBook page; but no. Or on the Street Epistemology website; but no again.

    I did find this:

    “My wife found ‘A Manual for Creating Atheists’, thinks I’m proselytizing for atheism.” Join the Private SE Facebook Group for discussion.

    https://www.facebook.com/StreetEpistemology/posts/1314994968569317

    Looks to me like some SEs’ wives are far more intelligent than their husbands are; for a start those wives can read and understand book titles, which the husbands seem unable or unwilling to do; I think those SE husbands will have a hard time arguing that the book isn’t what it says on the cover, and an equally hard time arguing that Street Epistemology, which the Manual is the manual for, was not both when published and right now aimed primarily towards — let’s quote the book title — “Creating Atheists“..

    *

    Let’s look at SE as applied to politics.

    The Complete Street Epistemology Guide tells the SEs to channel the dialogue relentlessly in one direction and not to get distracted or sidelined with “facts, politics [or] apologetics”. So it was with a measure of surprise that I spotted on the Street Epistemology website some months ago a Blog section post about how SE could be widened to other subjects, even to politics.

    The blog post was entitled “STREET EPISTEMOLOGY FOR POLITICAL BELIEFS, HOW THE SE METHOD CAN APPLY TO POLITICAL DISCUSSIONS” and sub-titled “Is Street Epistemology Only for Religious Beliefs? Street Epistemologists, myself inc…”. I cannot complete the sub-title or quote the post text because the post has disappeared from both the SE website and the post author’s blog, each before archiving.

    I know it was there, and covered that topic, because I read it; and although the link through is now dead, there’s still a post about it, dated 16 November 2016, on the FaceBook page at:

    In my mind’s ear I can hear it: don’t advocate applying SE to politics; take the post down.

    That ‘you can also try targeting political views’ post sort of got replaced, replaced by Mateusz Marzec’s rather watered down version, “Taking SE Beyond Religious Claims”:

    Although questioning the god belief is one of the most popular applications of SE, it isn’t the only one. There are plenty of other unjustified claims to question: “vaccines cause autism”, “gluten is toxic for humans”, “9/11 was an inside job”, “the cure for cancer has already been discovered” and many more.

    https://streetepistemology.com/publications/taking_se_beyond_religious_claims

    Ah yes, Street Epistemology can be applied to what most would regard as cranks and holders of weird views.

    (Actually, I know a couple of people with gluten intolerance, who would become rather ill if they ate it; that gluten making some people ill is an “unjustified claim” only makes sense to me if the Polish populace is free of gluten intolerance – I’ll bet that’s not the case, and as a physician he should know that. Is Marzec’s gluten claim rational?)

    As regards using SE politics for that original post’s “HOW THE SE METHOD CAN APPLY TO POLITICAL DISCUSSIONS”, Marzec’s post is conspicuously silent.

    No, they’ve quietly dropped political dialogues.

    *

    How about SJWs?

    In practice, Street Epistemology is going to fail with SJWs, even one-on-one, as illustrated by this recent brief exchange of the Vice Grand Master himself, Anthony Magnabosco, with SJW ‘AllOutOfBubblegum‏’:

    Prometheus ?‏ @PrometheusAM May 24
    Replying to @EricRWeinstein @BretWeinstein
    I’m sorry to hear! Is there any way we can use Street Epistemology on the mob mentality of these people? cc: @peterboghossian @magnabosco

    Anthony Magnabosco‏ @magnabosco May 24
    One on one, absolutely, but first make sure they confirm truth is objective.

    AllOutOfBubblegum‏ @j86753091 May 24
    Objective truth is a construct of colonialism and racism. Disavow racism. #NoToRacists

    Canadian Apistevist‏ @CDN_Apistevist May 25
    Are you stating something that is objectively true?

    AllOutOfBubblegum‏ @j86753091 20h20 hours ago
    Please disavow racism and colonialism.

    Anthony Magnabosco‏ @magnabosco 19h19 hours ago
    That didn’t answer their question.

    AllOutOfBubblegum‏ @j86753091 19h19 hours ago
    The question is racist and colonialist.

    Anthony Magnabosco‏ @magnabosco 19h19 hours ago
    If you’re not going to be honest with us and yourself, I don’t think we can have a conversation. Goodbye.

    https://twitter.com/EricRWeinstein/status/867432790588923905

    The bottom line here is, a SE dialogue with this particular SJW, and probably also with anyone of the type, is impossible, end of dialogue.

    Anyone think AllOutOfBubblegum is unrepresentative of SJWs?

  22. TFBW says:

    I wonder if Dr Olivia Doll would have accepted Boghossian’s paper. Search for exact phrase “Dr Olivia Doll” for further coverage.

  23. TFBW says:

    Perth Now also has good coverage of Dr Olivia Doll.

  24. Dhay says:

    I see that Peter Boghossian is busily re-tweeting a small flood of ‘New Real Peer Review’ tweets of the pattern:

    A hoax paper on [how having food preferences is sexist]. Oh wait…
    [Link]

    — with the contents of the square brackets being the only change between tweets.

    It is perhaps ironical that he does this: as I have pointed out above, Boghossian and James Lindsay (with the help of Phil Torres on at least one occasion) have pumped out a number of articles which could be lampooned in the same way:

    A hoax article on “The Article About Trump Nobody Will Publish”. Oh, wait…

    A hoax article on “How to Fight Extremism with Atheism”. Oh, wait…

    *

    I thought for a moment that I had found an exception to the succession of trash articles co-authored by these two when I found “Is the Unthinkable the New Acceptable?”; it seems so much more sensible than the others; but if you follow their link you find the key ideas they present are those of David French, their article is a derivative re-hash of French’s 2015 article in the National Review> with little original thought added.

    http://www.nationalreview.com/article/428200/donald-trump-resetting-boundaries-american-political-debate-david-french

    *

    Towards the end of that Boghossian / Lindsay article there’s:

    The difficult question that remains is how we should deal with those who refuse to embrace these core civic virtues, whatever their political orientations. We certainly cannot continue to cheat the Right by branding them yesterday’s trash, too deplorable to sit down at the Adult Table.

    http://www.secularhumanism.org/index.php/articles/8947

    That’s nice of Boghossian, to so graciously allow to “the Right” what he will not allow to the religious:

    Being published in the philosophy of religion should disqualify one from sitting at the adult table.

    — Peter Boghossian (@peterboghossian) June 15, 2014

    Or is it hypocritical.

  25. TFBW says:

    I’m pleased to say that someone eminently more qualified than I am agrees that The Conceptual Penis is a good imitation of the genre, as per my first comment.

  26. Dhay says:

    I quoted Jerry Coyne a few responses up from here >

    … [Dawkins and I] briefly discussed the implications of pure determinism for society and the justice system.

    https://shadowtolight.wordpress.com/2017/05/19/peter-boghossians-hilarious-hoax/#comment-18093

    In his blog post dated 05 July 2017 and entitled “Nineteen year old boy kills and tortures at least 15 Laysan albatrosses in Hawaii, wrecks a conservation study. Put him in jail? Yes, please!” Coyne emphasises:

    My answer is “YES!”

    https://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com/2017/07/05/nineteen-year-old-boy-kills-and-tortures-19-laysian-albatrosses-in-hawaii-wrecks-a-study-put-him-in-jail-yes-please/

    Coyne is a guy who wants the criminal justice system to be radically overhauled because you can say, of any and every criminal and crime, that: he had no choice, he had no free will, his genes and environment caused him to do it; and having no free will to choose to do or not to do an action (crime), how can the person be held morally responsible for it.

    Odd, then, that Coyne should write:

    Guitterz has pleaded “no contest”, which shows that his professed remorse is bogus. He should have pleaded guilty.

    No, no, there’s no guiltiness if we adopt Coyne’s usual thinking, guiltiness is a moral term, Guitterz cannot be morally responsible because his genes and environment made him do it.

    But Coyne wants his cake and to eat it: the (guilty but not responsible morally) boy SHOULD get jail as a ‘deterrent’ to others. (That’s to say, to manipulate the environment of potential others, presumably.)

    Actually, as I understand it, cruelty to animals is a predictor of an arsonist and serial killer (and an adult arsonist is very dangerous indeed); perhaps Guitterz should be incarcerated for life, for the common good, to prevent future murders?

    Funny how Liberals and Conservatives think so alike when crimes press their buttons.

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