Tuesday, January 26, 2010


Perhaps I'm becoming as obsessed with Professor Dendy as he is with Pharyngula.  I should probably take my own advice and walk away.  Besides, it's not as much fun any more, now that he's refusing to publish any of my comments.

I have to share this, however. In his latest post, Professor Dendy childishly crows that a Pharyngulite he criticised in this post on his other blog (why does he bewilderingly have two blogs with very similar content anyway?) hasn't responded to those criticisms.  He concludes that....well...what, exactly?  As usual, he doesn't really say.  He seems to think his point is obvious.  Well, it isn't to me.

Anyway, there are a few things to say about this episode:
  • Professor Dendy's original criticism of Loris is that the paper cited used somewhat speculative language.  Professor Dendy seemed to think that this was not appropriate in a scientific paper.  This just revealed that Dendy doesn't have the slightest idea of what science is or how it works.  I pointed this out to him, but he didn't publish my comment.
  • In his second post on the topic, Dendy's criticism seems to have changed (possibly in the light of his reading - but not publishing - my comment?)  Now he's saying that the problem was that Loris was stating something as a fact, but the paper contains speculative language so is no basis for calling something a fact.  I can't see where Loris states anything as a fact.  Dendy provides an incomplete quote from Loris, without any context, which still doesn't seem to me to be claiming what Dendy claims it does.  Dendy clearly seems to think he has achieved some kind of victory here, but it looks to me as though he's wallowing in a shallow, grimy puddle of fail.
  • At no point does Dendy properly criticise the evidence presented in the paper.  He just attacks the author (I'm assuming the author Loris and the Pharyngulite Loris are one and the same, although Dendy doesn't make this clear).  This shows an even poorer grasp of science on Professor Dendy's part even than has been revealed so far.
  • It's rich of Dendy to criticise others for not responding when he himself has failed to answer criticisms on his own blog (made before he stopped publishing my comments).  My comments were actually relevant to what Dendy wrote, unlike his spurious, unprovoked and batshit insane criticisms of Loris.  It would seem that he has far more of an obligation to respond than does Loris, but he seems conveniently to have forgotten this.
  • Dendy writes that "Loris has yet to respond, nor have any of the other Pharyngulites".  This is an out-and-out lie, since I responded.  Dendy just chose not to publish it, then to lie about it afterwards.
  • It's not at all clear whether Loris even knows about either of Dendy's blog posts.  Even if he or she does, there no obligation to respond.  Even if there is no response, it has no bearing whatsoever on the quality of the evidence contained in the paper.  Professor Dendy seems to think otherwise, for reasons he hasn't explained.
I'll try to wean myself off Professor Dendy now.  He didn't exactly start from a position of intellectual gianthood, but he's becoming a more pitiable figure every day. I don't know why he's become so fixated on Pharyngulites, but I don't think his obsession is doing him any good.  I should probably stop feeding oxygen to his already spluttering insanity and hope he starts to get better.

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