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US: Banned in Chicago!

March 10, 2013

I have been banned from commenting on Jerry Coyne’s site, Why Evolution is True, apparently because I have said some rude things about Anthropogenic Global Warming theory. My last contribution was, I thought, a fairly mild comment to the effect that if you were passing on news articles about ‘catastrophic’ ice loss, it was important to include details about the amount of ice remaining. But that was apparently considered too inflammatory, and I have lost my commenting privileges.

I normally try and stay out of the petty ‘you-banned-me-so-I-banned-you’ kind of sniping that invariably goes on in a diverse community, but I do think it’s revealing that Dr Coyne — a champion of the atheist community and a vigorous defender of free speech in the area of religion — should have been so captured by the AGW narrative as to deny the principles that he so vigorously fights for elsewhere, and suppress a dissenting voice — or maybe many voices: I have no way of knowing that I’m the only one. It demonstrates how deeply the worm of catastrophism can burrow into even a well-defended mind.

Personally I’m annoyed; but overall it’s a good sign. If prominent bloggers like Coyne and PZ Myers — who has threatened to auto-ban all anti-AGW comments — are acting this way, it means two things: they’re getting lots of AGW-sceptical comments, and they’re scared to let their subscribers read them.

I’m going to count that as a win.

  1. Jon permalink

    Thank you. I support what appear to me to make logical sense. If someone thinks they can convince me otherwise, they’re entitled to have a go, as long as they do it politely. And if they succeed, I’ll change my mind.

  2. Jon, some atheists hope to establish sacred cows: climate change, LGBT lifestyle equivalence (not to be confused with LGBT equality at law), feminist social theory, and socialist politics. While you appear to support some of these, I am glad you recognize all are subject to debate.

  3. Carole best permalink

    I thought free speech was important whether or not you are an ignorant asshole.

  4. Jon permalink

    Well, all things are possible, but since Jerry’s removed the comment and I haven’t kept a copy, we’ll never know, will we? And I care about commenting on the site because when Jerry is talking about something he knows — i.e. not global warming — it’s witty, erudite, amusing and generally accurate.

  5. You shouldn’t count it as a win. It’s quite possible that if you were actually banned it’s because you were acting like an ignorant asshole. Of course, that’s just one possibility. There are others. What do you care if you are not able to comment on that blog site? <– obligatory devil's advocate question.

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