The Terrifying Pharyngula Commentariat

I don know if you’ve heard, but, apparently, Ed Brayton, the founder of Freethought Blogs, has started a cult.

It includes a comment about the Pharyngula Commentariat, made by Ed himself:

I tend to bristle at the idea of judging a blog by its comment section. As Jamie Kilstein said a few months ago, the comment section at PZ’s blog is the 7th circle of hell. The one here is often scarcely better. Even I cringe at what is clearly — yes — tribalism that goes on in the comments section. It’s just the nature of the beast and it’s happened to me on both ends.

It was later noted, by a different commenter on that blog post, that PZ Myers himself (the writer of the Pharyngula blog), has been on the receiving end of his own commentariat, in what’s known as the Bunny Picture Incident (“Bunny Picture” is one link, “Incident” is another link).

So PZ Myers wrote his own post in defense of his horde.

I’d like to weigh in on this myself, so…

Here goes…

Oy! Pharyngula Horde!

I think Ed is right. y’all are the seventh circle of Hell. You’re terrifyingly angry, righteous, and sometimes even annoying. There are times when I’m reading a thread on Pharyngula where I felt like y’all are just being assholes for no other reason than to just be assholes. You can be horribly mean, rude, and worse to lurkers and others. You rarely, if ever, give someone a chance to try and explain themselves.

I would not at all be surprised if you are the main reason reason FTB has so many critics.

You are cruel, rude, and unforgiving. In fact, I’ve found nicer people on fucking YouTube. I do not comment on Pharyngula that often because of you; I’m terrified of it. The thought of wading into those shark-infested waters is an absolutely horrid thought… almost bad enough to create a phobia… a Pharyngaphobia, if you will.

So I think all of you owe me just one thing.





You have been one of the best online sources of skepticism that I have ever seen. The extreme intolerance for bullshit is refreshing and wonderful, even if my sensible, peace-loving, chicken-shit self is sometimes terrified of it.

I have a tendency to look for the best in everyone. So I tend to be more forgiving of a person than others, and I may be nice to people who don’t deserve it . And that’s where y’all come in.

You know better.

You’ve had the experience.

You’re as nasty as you are for a reason, and that reason is experience, pure and simple.

And to those haters of the Pharyngula Horde, this is what I say to you:

Get off your fucking high horses and deal with it. People who are unwilling to tolerate bullshit are not bigots; they’re realists. The Pharyngula Horde are realists. That’s why they are the way they are.

And I fucking love it.

So keep doing what you’re doing, Pharyngula Horde. Never stop.

Because we need you.


About Nathan Hevenstone

I'm an SJW, Socialist, Jewish Agnostic Atheist, Foodie, and Guitarist. Hi!
This entry was posted in Activism, Bullying, Feminism, Freethought Blogs, Misogyny, Skepticism and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to The Terrifying Pharyngula Commentariat

  1. David Marjanović says:

    You rarely, if ever, give someone a chance to try and explain themselves.

    …What would that even mean in a place where all communication is done in writing, where we can’t literally shout over you? We can’t ban you. We can’t stop you from writing comments.

    Why are there people who feel shut up when they’re insulted?

    • I think maybe you should read the whole post? None of this was meant as a condemnation of the Pharyngula Horde. Hence the whole “please don’t stop because y’all are awesome” bit.

      As for not letting people explain themselves… why let someone who’s demonstrably wrong explain themselves? That’s why y’all should keep it up.

  2. M. A. Melby says:


    Terrifying – but oddly refreshing.

    That would be them.

  3. Stacy says:

    Well said. 🙂

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