I found this on The Panda's Thumb.
It isn't really nice to hear.
At this point in time it is rather late here so I won't say too much at the moment in regards to facts, my opinions however can and most likely will make me late for my Marine Science lecture tomorrow.
PZ Myers, the excellent author of scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/>Pharyngula has come under attack because he decided to be honest when he wrote a review on a book written by some creationist.
So now he and Seed magazine are under attack by this guy who is claiming, supposedly that PZ Myers (Who has nothing to say on the matter) used the review to ridicule the guy who wrote the book that he was reviewing.
If I write a really bad book should I honestly expect that the reviewer to be really nice and not hurt my feelings?
If I do then I am thinking like a complete idiot.
Now here in Australia we all know that we have some rights, although technically not enshrined anywhere (the Constitution lists two fully if I remember correctly and touches on a third one) but we know that there is a point where you can't do a thing when it comes to words.
There are some problems, like a fencing company having to take down a sign for a supposed rude word even though it is a rather clever play on the word 'erection'. If you have thought of anything except building fences, then, shame on you.
In the US from what I hear there seems to be a very weird way of doing things. It seems that you have a right to say whatever the hell you want, but you can't insult someone?
I love how there are blatant contradictions of freedoms like this.
I don't know what was written because I haven't looked yet, but I do know that as long as PZ was within the law, and I feel confident in saying from what I have read of his blog, he has, he can say whatever he wants.
If he gave the book a poor review then he gave it a poor review.
No need to sue someone over it.
Or supposedly claim "considerable mental and emotional distress" and demand financial damages.
Having your name run into the ground by the media for something you didn't do, that causes "considerable mental and emotional distress, getting a bad review doesn't. Most authors get bad reviews once in a while, they don't sue people over it.
It's like asking for US$15 million for financial compensation...
oh, yeah that is the amount he is being sued for...
Now US$15 million is a ridiculous amount to ask for after being given one bad review. It's quite like asking for $7 million because your $2 clothes peg broke. The amount wouldn't even fit a proper slander crime in this case.
There is one good thing though. If the media start going on about it there would be a lot of free publicity for PZ Myers, and they say that any publicity is good publicity.
Unless you happen to be that US Gridiron player who pleaded guilty to the dog fighting ring...