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PZ Myer’s ‘Reviews’ “Richard Dawkins Goes to Heaven”

So, Mr. Myer’s review of my short story is in.  Enjoy.

As this is probably the last time for awhile that PZ is going to grace my blog with his presence, I’d like to make a request of him.  He is best buds with Dawkins, after all.  I’ve been hoping Dawkins would at some point own up to a piece of academic sloppiness on his part, but haven’t cared enough about it to put it in front of his eyes personally.  PZ and he are bosom buddies, though, both of whom no doubt are “lovers of truth and reason” and care about academic integrity.  Dawkins would no doubt like to be on record admitting he overstepped and set the record straight.  He’s a reasonable chap, after all.

I detail the matter here.



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    • Crazed on February 23, 2011 at 3:28 pm


    Dawkins will fall asleep, or perhaps burn a heretic, before he finishes reading your tiresome bit of well-poisoning wankery. This is your serious response to a book review, wherein you most-imaginatively condemn a person (the reviewer’s “best bud”) to hell? The best you can do is scrounge up a musty old blog post about Augustine? Seriously?

    • Anthony on February 23, 2011 at 3:32 pm

    Actually, it isn’t the best I can do. It’s the best I will do. See the difference?

    What? You thought I was going to respond here and now? This post is just like the previous two pointing back to Myer’s post. That is, it is just an alert to my other readers that his post exists. Note that in neither of the two cases did I ‘scrounge’ up any response at all. I have clearly said: I might respond when it is all said and done.

    If you hadn’t noticed, that only just now happened. Capiche, kemosabe?

    • Mike on February 23, 2011 at 7:19 pm

    Judging by your other writings, what you have done is certainly the best you can do. You would do well to heed Mr. Lincoln, “It is better to be silent and thought a fool then to speak up and remove all doubt.”

    • Best Bay 4 You on February 23, 2011 at 10:12 pm

    lot of laugh Anthony,I’m not sure these guys can read! I hate to criticize for this, but crazed and mike are a bit. I won’t go there, just saying you wasted time responding to them!

    • Joe on February 24, 2011 at 7:20 am

    Wow, Anthony. Your stories sure are (*lame criticism showing that I haven’t read the stories*). Dawkins and/or P.Z. would never waste their time with you in person because (*slobbering, fanboy worship*).

    (*Personal attack including speculation on the lack of intelligence in your general blog audience. Even though I just became a member of your general blog audience*)

    (*cliched faux wisdom that I think makes me look comedically intelligent. Maybe like Jon Stewart. Yeah. I’m the Internet version of Jon Stewart!*).

    (*random PZ Myers blog follower who still hasn’t read your stories but feels justified in criticizing them…and you*)

  1. Well, here are my thoughts following PZ’s reviews.


    • End Bringer on February 24, 2011 at 11:36 am

    My hats off to you EnglishAtheist for taking time to write a response and personal story in a far more respectable manner than PZ is probably capable. Though it’s a little disappointing that it only boils down to ‘the evidence supports athiesm’ that one would expect an atheist to say. Which obviously any non-atheist is going to simply disagree with.

    • nbfzman on February 24, 2011 at 2:47 pm

    Well, at least I won’t have to buy your book, seeing as how PZ apparently posted the entire ending. But it’s all under fair use, right? I mean, it is surrounded by his thoughtful critique.

    • Anthony on February 24, 2011 at 3:04 pm

    Setting aside the specious assessment that it was a ‘thoughtful critique’ I’m not actually sure that it is under ‘fair use.’ Short stories, poetry, and lyrics do not have exactly the same treatment under fair use doctrine. For example, imagine that it was a piece of poetry only fifty words long. Now imagine that someone quotes it entirely on a website or in a book (without permission). This would likely be ruled as copyright infringement. The copied bit of text is compared in proportion to the total length of the work. For shorter works, this comes into play.

    See this link for a discussion: http://home.earthlink.net/~cnew/research.htm

    Note that in the chart, it says that for short stories:

    Multiple copies of complete work of less than 2,500 words and excerpts up to 1,000 words or 10% of work, whichever is less.

    For works of 2,500-4,999 words, 500 words may be copied.

    My work is about 2,100 words long. Thus, he could only quote 10% of the text, or 210 words. In fact, he quoted 1,059 words. This is still twice as much as for works allowed for stories up to 4,999 words in length.

    In short, PZ Myers is guilty of copyright infringement.

    Also, note that this is for education settings. The chart indicates that for settings outside of educational settings, especially if the goal is to “avoid purchase” significant quoting is illegal use. You see that it doesn’t matter if it is surrounded by ‘thoughtful critique’ or not.

    I suppose a judge would also not be too sympathetic to someone doing what PZ did, as it appears he quoted it at such a length for the precise purpose of spoiling the market for the item. I would like to thank you for providing the prima facie evidence of exactly that effect. That was very kind of you, and I really appreciate it.

    • nbfzman on February 24, 2011 at 3:32 pm

    For the record, I am a supporter of yours. I was using sarcasm to suggest that PZ is guilty of copyright infringement.

    • Anthony on February 24, 2011 at 3:37 pm

    lol, sorry nb. I actually didn’t know if you were or not. I couldn’t tell. I think your testimony still holds, though, because it isn’t something that I raised. Independent, corroborating testimony, right? Well, I do thank you for giving me an opportunity to state some facts regarding that. Now we watch.

    • Stathei on February 24, 2011 at 5:15 pm

    “In short, PZ Myers is guilty of copyright infringement.”

    Only if the work in question has been copyrighted.

    • Anthony on February 24, 2011 at 5:36 pm

    Uh, yea. And what makes you think the work in question hasn’t been copyrighted? According to US copyright law, the minute any creative piece is committed to discernible form, it is copyrighted. There isn’t even a need to register it anymore. Strictly speaking, your comment above is copyrighted. Seriously.

    • Stathei on February 24, 2011 at 6:08 pm

    There is a need to register it if you are to be able to take the action that you imply above. I doubt you’d get enough to retire to a desert island somehow…

    • Anthony on February 24, 2011 at 6:49 pm

    That’s a technicality. One can register even after a violation is committed. It isn’t NOT copyrighted before it is registered.

    I’m not so interested in an award. I’m more interested in a little decency and courtesy and a little something called integrity. As an academic, Myers certainly knows about these sorts of things. It wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest that he did what he did intentionally. Intentional or not, I think an apology is forthcoming. Given this, I’m keeping my options only.

    I am well within the three months necessary to receive a monetary award and attorney costs covered if that’s the way I decide to go.

    Kudos on the fast googling, btw, to check your facts. 😉

    • Stathei on February 24, 2011 at 7:38 pm

    ..and kudos on yours. As a matter of interest, did sales of your tome decrease after the review?

    • Anthony on February 24, 2011 at 7:50 pm

    not really.

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