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13 year veteran furry. Writer. Armchair soldier. Luna is the best pony.

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LTWTATRW - The Platapus, George Shaw, and RealityCheck · 5:11pm Aug 31st, 2015

It appears RealityCheck is at it once again in his quest to embarrass himself by getting science facts wrong; which he has now extended to getting science history wrong. From Chapter 47...

Luna grinned openly now. "The eldest Professor savaged the hide with a pair of scissors, trying to cut the "stitches" he swore he could see holding the duck's beak to the beaver hide."(Again, true story, from the Smithsonian.) <snip> "Strewth. The pony who found it was a simple earth pony farmer, so what could HE know that the prideful Professor could not?"

This had the wiff of another serving of nonsense so I decided to look it up. It turns out that the scientist that Luna RealityCheck is talking about slandering was George Shaw, who at the time was assistant keeper of the natural history department at the British Museum. The Smithsonian has nothing to do with it. Surprisingly enough, it turns out his attitude was NOT, "No peasant scum could discover something before me!!111!" :facehoof: because part of his job was to assess animal specimens sent back from various parts of the 'new world'; the vast majority of which were collected by non scientists. His actual attitude and opinion was (in his own words), "It naturally excites the idea of some deceptive preparation by artificial means." AKA: If it looks like a fake we should have a much closer look, which is an entirely sensible attitude to take. :twilightsmile:

He did indeed go looking for stitches. He did indeed use a pair of scissors. Those of you rolling in your eyes are now invited to step forwards and use your vast knowledge of 1890s vivisection techniques and technology to say what he should of used instead. (Anyone? No one? Really? :facehoof: ) As to the nature of the 'savaging' we still have the original holotype. It was lost and then refound, upon which its status was described as 'missing one leg barb and skull'. No mention of savaging. We even have a picture.

I can't see a lot of savaging. Maybe it's on the other side?:facehoof:

Yet again it would appear that RealityChecked has accepted someone else's nonsense story without any actual reality checking. If only he had the standards of George Shaw he might avoid such situations.

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Comments ( 35 )

You are talking about a guy who repeatedly claims MLK was a REPUBLICAN something it took me five seconds on google to debunk.

Oh I know who it is. He can be entertaining (and make good points, like in his take down of certain TNG tropes) but is incapable of admitting he even might be wrong about something.

When he writes stuff like this I choose to believe it's somehow an expression of his self-loathing, caused by the tiny voice of his inner sanity trying to make itself heard over all the nonsense he believes. :twilightsmile:

Also, the other "real life" example with the umbrellas? That was also misrepresented. The real study was a Department of Defense study of whether or not military personnel should carry umbrellas in the rain. Which is very different from a study pondering whether people in general should carry umbrellas in the rain.

3368741 ddn't you hear all goverment bureaucracies are always evil? and academics too, especially the skeptical ones who are fond of reminding reality check that the universe is not six thousand years old.

3368803 It's not really surprising that he's the only FIMFiction writer who had one of his posts end up on FSTDT.

3368813 several times actually . though the very first one you find is the one that caused him to block me, since it is the one where he whines about all humans that go to Equestria telling celestia about the crusades and not about " atheist regimes like the Nazis".

5 seconds on the google would have shown him things like the Gott Mitt Uns buckles wehrmacht soldiers wore , or film footage of Nazi soldiers swearing under god, or the text of a speech by Hitler himself claiming that the persecution of the Jews was the Conclusion of what Jesus started

When I did in fact show him those things in the comment section he does what he alwways does when someone brings evidence to his arguments: He deleted my posts and blocked me.

Of course this guy has been toxic for much longer than that, fifteen years really.
I mean he has his own encyclopedia dramatica page which predates pony and if it is FSTDT you want, here is a twelve page comment thread about the worst of Ralph " reality" check Hayes.


Looking at his past on-line (the beauty of the Internet is that nothing ever really vanishes), he actually comes across as a genuinely scary person. It's hard to believe, but he's actually relatively mellow and restrained on FIMFiction. Though that may have more to do with the site's rules than any growth on his part.

3368942 Yep as I have described him in the past " his blog on here is the LEAST political of the four or five blogs he runs" which is saying something, but is also completely accurate.

He is utterly harmless, mostly because he is in fact severely ill ( physically.. the mental illness is beyond obvious)and just leaving his home is an Odyssey for him. Which is a good thing because if he was young and healthy I would legitimately concerned he would be one of those people who snaps and goes and commits a mass shooting or something.

3368968 I wonder how many of his fans on this site agree with his views, are unaware of them, or just ignore them in favor of the stories.

3369013 if you subscribe to him and follow him you get to see his blog posts and except for the first couple of stories he wrote he now makes a point of stopping his stories to insert rants into them.

My understanding though is that a lot of his followers are following him precisely to watch the drama.

This precise argument is currently taking place in this comment thread if you want to join in.

3368813 Er, what is that? FSTDT

3368839 Earlier in the fic's comments he declared that condoms failed '18% of the time' (Roughly). I corrected him and he <I>really</I> came down on it talking about latex in transit and crap and how STDs were on the rise and named a few of them... Then I linked a source which said they were going down (Except one, but the upswing was semi-recent).

He is... Not willing to accept evidence to his contrary.

3374431 That would be Fundies Say the Darnedest Things. The blog entry that ended up on that site is...it's something you gotta read for yourself:



Speaking as a Canadian I would have to say 1) The Americans never attacked Britain in The War of 1812, just her nearest colony (IE Canada) Vietnam wasn't a necessary war (From what I recall, not a history major, Just another spat in Communism vs Capitalism that was the Cold War, with a side order of the French needing their mess cleaned up. Hell, the Korean War was basically caused by the Cold War too.

And while I'm not going to consider a man of religion to be an idiot because he thinks there's a guy in the sky that made everything, he does seem... defensive about it.

3374598 If you dig even further into internet history it gets so much worse. I know there's the whole "divorcing creator from artwork" thing, but that's nearly impossible when the creator keeps shoving their views into their works and down your throat. It's not a coincidence that the guy's better works were at least subtle about it.

It would probably be easier to take the guy a bit more seriously if it didn't take literally seconds of Googling to find mountains of evidence against the guy's views. I guess that's what happens when you hold opinions that require ignoring pretty much ALL the science.

That said, I've tried to avoid picking on the guy's beliefs TOO much. Not because I care or anything, but because it's just too darn EASY. It's like clubbing a baby seal. A hateful, bigoted, willfully ignorant baby seal. And no, that is not a crack at his weight. Speaking as a formerly obese person myself, I know all too well how hard it is to lose weight and keep it off.

3374754 Tell me about it.... I think I have to quote Sargon of Akkad, the youtuber not the historical figure, which I believe the words where along the lines of...

'The Extreme Right and the Extreme Left are both equally terrifying, but for different reasons.'

3374775 It's almost a shame that they don't react like matter and anti-matter. I guess two wrongs don't make a right after all.

3374776 I think this is why I've moved towards becoming a left-leaning centralist. I can look at the good points of both sides and isolate myself from the crazies.

3374804 Just be careful you don't succumb to the Golden Mean Fallacy.

3374828 Oh, I understand that. I do admit, sometimes one side is right, the other wrong and sometimes the answer is in between. Or there is more then one right answer.

It's why I'm generally big on free speech; if I need to judge something then let me hear all sides of the debate. Even if I have a bias, isn't it better to have it challenged then to just go with 'yeah, fits my world view.'

3374849 Free speech and open communication is absolutely essential since, even if we now know how irrational human beings can be and why, most if not all of us are still unable to recognize when we are being irrational unless someone else challenges us or presents a second opinion. Sadly, this doesn't work that well in reality since people usually surround themselves with like-minded people who echo and reinforce each other's beliefs, shutting out anyone who says something different.

I sincerely believe that all of this is due to mental shortcuts our ancestors' brains developed to cope with living in a dangerous world where they were not yet at the top of the food chain. Unfortunately, much like the fangs of a sabretooth tiger or the pandas' appetite for bamboo, the very same traits that helped us out in the past are now actively causing problems for us today.

3374867 Agreed.

I don't mind being corrected if I'm wrong. But if I ask for evidence/source then that means I'm being skeptical, not dismissive. I asked RC about his sources during that condom thing I mentioned. None came up even as I supplied my own.

3374871 It probably doesn't help that the gut reaction many people have to being presented with evidence that they are wrong is to dig in their heels even harder. Just look at the anti-vaccer movement. Or just about any conspiracy theorist. Heck, there are psychological studies that provide evidence that the two groups have a LOT of overlapping thought processes.

3374926 Sadly...

Debates are less about convincing the other guy and convincing the fence sitters.

3374955 Reminds me of the movie Thank you for Smoking:

"Because I'm not after you. I'm after them."

3374957 Yup.

Side note: Started reading the God Delusion a bit ago.

3374968 Ever read the comic miniseries Supergod by Warren Ellis? It's got one of the more...scathing commentaries on humanity's need to follow a higher power.

3375861 I mentioned anti-vaccers in a previous comment. On a whim, I went to Google, and...surprise, surprise, guess who turned out to be one?

3377205 Turns out he's not a fan of proof of vaccination being required to attend public and private schools. Though this may have more to do with the whole "everything the current administration does is bad" thing he's got going than a specific problem with vaccines.

3377256 :facehoof: Ugh. I can agree with the idea that people in government are flawed with some people either greedy and wanting to better himself/his agenda and others that really do want to the right thing but either don't know what it is, don't know how or are trying to do right and are screwing up. With competent people mixed in.

As for vaccinations, I've gotten them since I was a child I ain't r dum. :trollestia:

Are you sure that isn't 'everything every possible government does is bad, but it's all paid for by evil taxes'?

3377518 Maybe, but RC only really seems to care about America.

It was lost and then refound, upon which its status was described as 'missing one leg barb and skull'.

My mind totally went here with this line:

They wouldn't even lift a finger to save their own grandmothers from the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal without orders signed in triplicate, sent in, sent back, queried, lost, found, subjected to public inquiry, queried, lost again, and finally buried in soft peat for three months and recycled as firelighters.

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