Coyne on the “Tom Johnson” Sock Puppet

From Jerry Coyne, author of the book Why Evolution Is True, comes this interesting (if you’re into high-profile falsehood, at least) account of an apparent act of sock puppetry aimed at questioning the “New Atheist” approach to confronting religious believers: On the uncivility of atheists: “Tom Johnson” and Exhibit A .

17 Responses to “Coyne on the “Tom Johnson” Sock Puppet”

  1. shcb Says:

    here are some folks that are not only being rude to a young lady because of her religion they are actually causing her harm

  2. enkidu Says:

    I’m with you on this one dear ol wwnj! Why should this mooselman sharia law fanatic be allowed to sue an accreditation board and university? Her graduate program does not tolerate intolerance. You can’t be a bigot and an certified counselor. To be a licensed counselor, she shouldn’t let her medieval moon-god get in the way of helping anyone regardless of race, creed, color, gender or sexual orientation. Go to a mooslman madrassa and get your koran kreditation there if you want a religious degree. Kudos to the U for trying to get this whackjob to stop shrieking about her nonsensical religious beliefs. (btw, that burqua makes you look fat)

    You can’t be a doctor and believe in spirits, angels and humors rather than the germ theory of disease.

    You can’t be a physicist and believe the world is flat.

    You can’t be a bigot and counsel people on tolerance and acceptance. If you can’t stop yammering about satanism or whatever, you can’t be an accredited counselor. End of story.

    Aw hell, just blame on the mud-hut people an call it a day.

    (end snark)

    The comments over at fauxnewz are a wonder, but a few brave souls attempt to use reason rather than teh stupid:

    While it is true, you may express your beliefs in and out of a classroom, the fact remains, if your beliefs are incompatible with the demonstrated evidence, you are not capable of performing the duties to which you are ascribing. For example, a person seeking a post-grad degree in Cosmology would likely be kicked from the course if they were to cling (especially outspokenly) to a geocentrist belief, simply because a geocentric belief system shows a demonstrated lack of acceptance, and truly a lack of proficiency, of current scientific principles, and would therefore be a hindrance to the entire field. Similarly, one might even say more seriously, a counselor that holds deep personal beliefs that are in direct contradiction with observation can cause untold harm to children during formative years. It amounts to the question, will she tell little Timmy that the fact that he likes other boys that he is an abomination, or will she be able to maintain a professional demeanor whilst dealing with such sensitive subjects? And if she can’t, she should stick to being a church counselor, where her views will be supported by the majority of her congregation.

    If she starts speaking in tongues while counseling, do you think that would be a plus or a minus? If she can’t keep her superstition to a reasonable level, then she shouldn’t get a degree. Or stick to being a church counselor, miss.

    jbc, good link, I’d been following some of the YNH tempest.
    I do find Dawkins a bit too aggressive, even if he is mostly right.
    Religious whackdoodles are right, there is a war on (insert name of religion here)__________________. It is called reality.

  3. shcb Says:

    There are currently two cases making their way through the court system involving two female students, both psychology majors, both of these psychology majors are very religious and also very anti-homosexual. While both of these cases are similar in that both of the women are religious anti-homosexual psychology majors, they are also quite different.

    The first case involves a young woman in Minnesota, she has actually refused to treat homosexuals, while in the second case in Georgia (the one I linked to) the young woman has not refused to treat homosexuals she has just voiced her opinions regarding homosexuality in the classroom. In both cases however, both women have been ordered by the school to take sensitivity training or not graduate.

    Part of the problem, of course, is that we are talking about a school, a public institution, and not a business, but of course the school is training these young skulls full of mush to someday operate in a business atmosphere. In the Minnesota case it would seem as though the school would have the right to tell her who she must and must not treat in as much as that is part of her training, however let’s take an example of a woman who was brutally raped and left for dead when she was 12 years old, should she be forced to treat pedophiles? In the real world it would seem as though she would have the opportunity to not treat pedophiles since there are so many others she could treat, homosexuals for instance. So should this student in Minnesota be forced to treat homosexuals when she could be treating, oh say, pedophiles?

    The case in Georgia seems to be a little more clear cut, it would seem her opinions as far as I’ve read, are not out of line with discussions that will take place in the classroom. For instance it seems as though her opinion of homosexuality is that it is more societal and less what we are born with. Now this may not be current conventional thought, but it does seem to be in the realm of academic discussion. The school has not asked her to take sensitivity training so that she might change her mind, it has made her changing her mind a prerequisite for graduation, this seems to me the university grossly overstepping its bounds.

    Of course the prudent thing to do is just lie to the goons, get the degree and retain her beliefs. I’m not sure which way I fall on this one.

  4. shcb Says:

    Sorry Enky, I wish I could respond to your post but like a typical redneck I only speak broken English, a little Dutch and Spanish and just enough Chinese to get me from the airport to the hotel. I just don’t recognize the language you are speaking, Mudhut is it?

  5. enkidu Says:

    If the shoe were on the other foot, say a muslim girl wanting to spout nonsense in class and out, intolerant, abusive, suing to get her sharia law bs rammed down a secular institution’s throat, well I know you would feel differently.

    You would be threatening to impale her at the stake or worse.

    Both Katie Q Christian and Islama Q Jihadinutjobi do not deserve to have the credentialed degree. If you can’t stop obsessing about skyfaeries, spirits, demons and hogwash, you shouldn’t be counseling anyone on anything. Unless of course you want to be a Church/Madrassa Counselor.

  6. shcb Says:

    If a Muslim girl were in a situation of similar scope and severity and I were to have a contradictory opinion of the situation that would be hypocritical and bad. Now of course we don’t have all the particulars and for the most part are only hearing one side of the story but the disturbing part of this situation is the school telling this young woman she must change her belief system, not just trying to teach her, but forcing their beliefs on her. Albert Einstein was religious and he seemed to do rather well in the scientific fields.

  7. Smith Says:

    Einstein’s religiosity is questionable at best.

    E=God did it^2.

    FW:FW:FW:FW:FW:FW:FW:FW:FW:FW:FW:FW:FW:FW:FW:Einsteins pwns Atheist professor.

    Perhaps chain letters and Fox News are not the best sources for information. For someone who keeps claiming jbc is too quick to jump to conclusions about climate change, you seem to be entirely too happy to decide that the school is forcing someone to change their beliefs based solely on a poorly written, one-sided article.

    “the disturbing part of this situation is the school telling this young woman she must change her belief system, not just trying to teach her, but forcing their beliefs on her.”

    You did some hand waving at the beginning, but you seem pretty damn convinced here.

    Counselor’s office:
    Timmy: Miss Keeton, people keep calling me a fag.
    Miss Keeton: Fags burn in hell, Timmy. Do you want to burn?

  8. shcb Says:

    I always reserve the right to change my mind based on new information, I mean, what else do we have to go on, this is just entertainment. JBC has that right too, he just doesn’t seem to want to exercise that right when it comes to Global warming, and that’s fine. And to be clear, I don’t think JBC was too quick to come to judgment on Global Warming, I think he has been too slow in modifying his position that it may all be a hoax.

    I think I have been fair in this matter. If her religious beliefs are getting in the way of her objectivity as a fledgling counselor, then fail her, I just think this whole reeducation business if you don’t toe the party line is a little to much especially when you are talking about religion.

    I’m talking about the Girl in Georgia here, the other case, which the school won by the way, seems a bit more extreme, the girl has refused to even talk to homosexuals, again, from the little I read I think the school was within their rights to fail her, but I still have a problem with the arm twisting. I know it is kind of a difference without distinction but it is just the way I feel.

  9. knarlyknight Says:

    “Fail her”? How does that work? It’s not like she’s defending a doctoral dissertation; I bet all she needs to do is get passing grades on a bunch of tests involving multiple choice, short answer and essays, not a big deal to get passing grades even if you do fail the questions about whether fags burn in hell or not.

  10. knarlyknight Says:

    “based on new information…”

  11. shcb Says:

    But you see that is my point, if her religious views are not standing in the way of her getting good grades then how can the University fail her just because she has an opposing view to theirs, I’m sure that some of the atheist kids are offensive to her, should they be sent to Sunday school class? Now if her preaching is disruptive in the classroom some kind of punitive measures may be in order, but if all she is doing is voicing her opinion in a constructive manner I don’t think she should be punished. Now we are all surmising a lot here and filling in a few blanks with our own biases, but stories of this kind of intolerance by the liberal education establishment are legion.

  12. Smith Says:

    The point is not that she has problems with the material, it is that her beliefs suggest that she cannot uphold the Code of Ethics outlined by the ACA. If she was an Atheist who suggested that Christian “lifestyles” are cases of identity confusion, I’d expect she would get the same treatment from the school, and you and Fox would applaud the University’s effort to change her views.

    “if her religious views are not standing in the way of her getting good grades then how can the University fail her”

    Most school counseling programs require graduate students to complete clinic hours. You cannot meet with clients if you cannot meet the ethic requirements of the certification board. Her grades are irrelevant if she cannot complete her clinic hours.

    I suppose we should give practitioners of Christian Science MDs, if they can memorize text books, even if they make it clear they will only treat patients through the use of prayer?

  13. shcb Says:

    From the article I linked to: “”Augusta State University] faculty have promised to expel Miss Keeton from the graduate Counselor Education Program not because of poor academic showing or demonstrated deficiencies in clinical performance…””

    Granted, this is her lawyer saying this, but it would seem from that statement she hasn’t let her views affect her performance in the clinic.

  14. shcb Says:

    I think your point is more valid with the other girl from Minnesota or Michigan in as much as she has refused to treat homosexual individuals.

  15. Smith Says:

    Insofar as the article stated that her views are potentially at odds with the ACA’s Code of Ethics, I would question the extent of her “clinical performance”. Depending on the structure of her program, it is possible that she has yet to do any real clinical work. If she has no clinical work to evaluate, then it could be said that she has not “demonstrated deficiencies in clinical performance…”. Given the clearly biased nature of the article, I would not be surprised if that is the case.

    If her homophobia is so strong that she cannot endure sensitivity classes, then I suspect she may have more in common with the Minnesota girl than you or Fox care to admit.

  16. enkidu Says:

    Haven’t you heard Smith? Relativity is a liberal plot.
    E=mc2 is debunked by the Bible (Duh!)

    or mb you heard Mr Rogers is evil now? word up from teh peeps at fox

    enjoy debating insanity

  17. enkidu Says:

    Ronnie Raygun’s Director of the OMB: “How my G.O.P. destroyed the U.S. economy.”

    Clinton left a surplus and the tail end of a huge technological achievement commonly referred to as the Information Superhighway (thx Al!) err, uh, I mean Intertubes. bush left a doubling of total US debt and the country in economic free fall. While bungling two un-paid-for wars. Not thrilled with the Obministration, but overall? so much better than the wwnj alternative.

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