Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Is it censorship season or something?

Hard on the heels of the Turkish blocking of all Wordpress accounts, because one Adnan Oktar didn't like what bloggers had written about him, (see my post for links), comes this: a crackpot so-(self)-called scientist, Stuart Pivar, sues PZ Myers for libel.

Because he didn't like PZ's book review. Because PZ called him a "classic crackpot".

That's it. He didn't like the assessment, so he goes ahead and proves that it is appropriate; he acts like a "classic crackpot."

Blake Stacey has the story, updated as new comments come in from other blogs.

PZ, in one of his two book reviews (first edition, second edition of the book), shows a sample of his "research": an illustration of the development of a spider.

Here it is; you be the judge.

I had never seen before a spider with 10 legs. Here's a real spider, with all those legs clearly visible:

8 (eight) (4 per side) legs

Pivar's spider is not as accurate as this one (from an IIDB post):

At least they got the number of legs right. And, by the way, the number of legs is the first piece of information in any definition of the word, "spider".

From Encarta, for example:
spi·der plural spi·ders
Definition: 1. eight-legged animal that spins webs:
Stuart Pivar is a crackpot.


  1. In a spirit of charity, I think the foremost pair of 'legs' might be meant to be the pedipalps, leg-like appendages on either side of the mouth. I'm basing that interpretation on the fact that I can't see any definite pedipalps. I'm not aware if any spider has pedipalps that large, though.

    This does not detract from the "world's smallest violin" moment Pivar is begging for.

  2. If you look closely, you can see the pedipalps in front, one not very visible, but the other quite defined. They are also seen on the previous diagram, #10, and a hint on #9.

    Pivar wasn't paying attention.


I'm having to moderate all comments because Blogger seems to have a problem notifying me. Sorry about that. I will review them several times daily, though, until this issue is fixed.

Also, I have word verification on, because I found out that not only do I get spam without it, but it gets passed on to anyone commenting in that thread. Not cool!

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