Over here, PZ Myers describes the flamefest going on in a local(?) paper, in which his name is apparently being taken in vain (as well as being misspelled). Watch closely as the letters editor turns out to be a complete scumbag in allowing a hopeless misrepresentation of PZ's position into print.
Writes PZ (emphasis added):
If a science teacher cannot grasp basic concepts of biology, he or she has no place teaching our children in the classroom.
Note carefully PZ's position -- that teachers who are incompetent at basic biology should not be teaching biology. That seems pretty straightforward, no? And yet, note an excerpt from a letter that was submitted in reply that was actually selected for publication:
In his letter ("Creationists weaken science teaching, Herald, Jan. 10) associate professor P.Z. Myers of Morris, Minn., suggested that anyone believing God created the universe "has no place teaching science in our classrooms."
Which is, of course, not at all what PZ said. Note how the respondent carefully lifted and quoted just the part he wanted (and not even accurately for that matter), then simply grafted on total fiction. And notice how the letters editor had no problem promoting this wretched dishonesty to that paper's readers.
I'm wondering if I can pull the same stunt and artificially construct someone else's position. I know -- if Stephen Harper opposes same-sex marriage by saying something like, "We all know that the only true definition of marriage is between a man and a woman," I can write to my local paper saying something like:
Regarding Stephen Harper's position on same-sex marriage, I think it's appalling that he would say that "the only true definition of marriage is between a man and a" gerbil.
I think this has potential. I can't wait to try it.