On May 5, 2011 the following article was published at Pharyngula on ScienceBlogs -

I guess fish don't countEdit

Great fish massacre
Category: Stupidity Posted on: May 5, 2011 3:43 PM, by PZ Myers

I do experiments on fish. I've killed tens of thousands of embryos, but, you know, I take care to minimize pain, and do it for a purpose that can't be achieved any other way; I also have to answer to committees that enforce ethical conduct in animal care and use.

No such rules apply if you are a Christian priest.

The “evidence” amounted to a link to an unreferenced, descriptionless .jpg at – which apparently is evidence of sufficient standard for discriminating scholars at Pharyngula. What followed a good ~500 comments before anyone even bothered to try and do some fact checking – which pointed to a Facebook page that had been deleted. One commenter had the temerity to point this out – and of course was immediately shouted down. The remainder of the thread proceeds in a confirmation bias orgy.

This piece of gospel truth about theist evil, with the gravitas conferred by having Pharyngula as a source, then proceeded, in a grand exercise of monkey-see-monkey-do, to bespatter virtually every piece of godless social media real estate on the greater web – again, without a single person stopping to try and verify anything. Whether this story is real or not is irrelevant. What is relevant, is that nobody bothered to check.

What is evident here is that Pharyngulites are quite prepared to swallow any kind of nonsense, providing it confirms the right biases, and are quite happy to launch themselves into self-congratulatory orgies of their bleeding obvious intellectual and moral superiority at the drop of a hat without so much as firing up Google. Perish the thought. If it sounds true and tells you what you want to hear, it therefore is true. The lead dancer of this merry troop of baboons was PZ Myers himself, in fact playing the role of piper.

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