Joined: Oct. 2009
OK, so what I'm getting here is that we aren't talking about the same thing at all. I've been seeing this a lot on the internet with regards to this topic.
I am talking about the following.
1) There is an accusation made that a particular person raped a woman.
2) That woman is unknown to the wider audience.
3) There is no evidence for anything EXCEPT what PZ says. He says there is a woman. He says that she was raped by Shermer. He says she's not interested in going to the authorities. He says a lot of things.
4) As far as the rest of the universe is concerned, there is NO EVIDENCE that the alleged event happened. We don't know who it happened to, when, where, what other factors may or may not have been involved.
I am ONLY talking about the fact that PZ accused someone of rape with no evidence. PZ may have tons of evidence. He may truly believe the person (or the friend of the person) who was raped. But he very well may be being lied to. He wasn't there.
That is why I think PZ has done an abominably stupid thing. He can't even defend his actions without naming the claimant.
He has stuck his neck out and it very well may be chopped off.
No, you say that keeping quiet is a bad move. I can understand how you might be angry. Especially if this is your friend. But shouting out to the rest of the world (WHO DOES NOT HAVE YOUR EVIDENCE) is stupid and, very likely, libel.
I may believe that my friend was raped. I know her. I know the accused rapist. But if I do not have evidence that would stand up in a court, then I shouldn't shout it out to the world.
I can say that this guy isn't to be trusted. That I wouldn't go to a conference with him. That I think he's a slime ball. But anything beyond that WITHOUT EVIDENCE is libel.
And honestly, testimonials are the absolute worst kind of evidence. As I said before, we don't know what happened. And it's a huge problem that sexual assault may very well not be sexual assault until after the fact.
That is why I would do the things that I said and NOT TELL THE WORLD. And why I would encourage going to the authorities. Regardless of the problems that police have with sexual assault crimes, and I don't deny that these problems exist, we (non-police, non-judges, non-juries) cannot take matters into our own hands.
And that is the real issue here. Shermer cannot defend himself against an unknown accuser.
Ignored by those who can't provide evidence for their claims.