Some atheists have begun to liken PZ Myers to a super-villain in a Batman story because of the damage he has done to the New Atheist movement. And I can see why. If you think about it, PZ’s destructive influence has been substantial.
It all began in 2011 when Richard Dawkins turned a small dispute about women at an atheist convention into a large scale controversy that consumed the atheist movement – Elevatorgate. And where did Dawkins set the movement on fire? On PZ Myer’s blog. And when Dawkins got himself in trouble on Myer’s blog, Myers simply stepped back and let Dawkins deep himself into a deeper hole.
Because of this incident, and its after effects, the A+ movement was eventually born in 2012 and began to target New Atheists leaders. Myers was an early supporter of A+ atheism. Furthermore, during the same year, Myers was among the first of the New Atheists to begin attacking Sam Harris for his position on racial profiling. Myers would continue to attack Harris over the years, just recently accusing Harris of being a racist who supports racial science.
Then, in 2013, Myers turned the A+ movement into an attack dog as he posted his infamous hand grenade and used his blog to air the accusation that Michael Shermer had raped another female atheist. This allegation got the attention of every internet atheist and, once again, they had to choose sides.
The allegation more deeply divided the atheist movement. But most importantly, it had the effect of solidifying and expanding the atheist “whisper network.” Myers himself was not in charge of it, but his hand grenade gave it birth as a force to be reckoned with. The Whisper Network would become the super-villain’s greatest weapon.
In 2016, the Whisper Network launched its first attack against feminist Richard Carrier. Myer’s played a lead role here as he kicked his former ally out of his blog network. The Hapless Carrier responded with a lawsuit that is ongoing to this day, although it’s not clear where Carrier is getting the money to sue Myers and his allies.
Then, in 2018, the Whisper Network was fed into Buzzfeed. Lawrence Krauss, who has long been Richard Dawkins’s faithful sidekick, was taken down. Then not many weeks later, David Silverman, President of American Atheists, and beloved by many a militant atheist, was taken down. Both leaders have been erased from the Atheist Movement.
Of course, during all this time, Myers wreaked havoc on other atheist activists – from Thunderfoot to Peter Boghossian to Michael Nugent.
It’s not clear why Myer’s became New Atheism’s greatest nemesis – The Wrecking Ball. There was a day when Myers and Dawkins had something of a bromance and his blog was once cherished by all internet atheists. What turned him into The Wrecking Ball?