20 August 2007

Dispatch from the so-called science wars, sort of

SciAm Observations:
PZ Myers, ScienceBlogs.com's lead blogger, is being sued for libel

Does anyone happen to know how often this happens, and how often the cases are thrown out and forgotten about? I don't know whether to fear a bad precedent or chuckle at a worn-out technique.

Update: Phil Plait the Bad Astronomer caught this; there's an interesting discussion brewing at his place. Seems like people are starting to get a tad bit nervous given some of the circumstances (Myers doesn't host his own blog, Pivar has the means to mean business, etc.). Any bets that this will make mainstream news of the "Evolution-related Controversy!" variety? I bet no; it's complicated and there's no religion involved.

Updated update: Gosh, I just love going off-topic... Anyhow, via Bad Astronomer's comment thread I found this post by yet another blogger that's doing a fine job of tracing the developments both past and current, which have been mostly in the blogosphere but also occasionally in real life (to the extent that anything going on in the legal system counts as "real life").

Meta-updated update: Not only has the lawsuit been withdrawn (nuts, my catchy title was already taken? honestly, I didn't know), but the news finally made Daily Kos. Score one for teh interweb! Maybe.


At 20 August, 2007 15:13, Blogger Jim Lippard said...

Wired Science speculates that this suit is a publicity stunt.

I don't think online libel cases happen that often, because the plaintiff almost always loses--I cite a few such cases in my discussion of this one.


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