Richard Dawkins, the respected biologist and outspoken proselytizer for atheism, is no stranger to being a jerk. Now he's being a jerk to Ahmed Mohamed, the 14-year-old arrested by Irving, Texas police for bringing a clock into school, by accussing the teen of committing fraud on Twitter.
Our tale begins on Sunday, when Dawkins sent a tweet implying the 14-year-old was trying to get arrested when he brought in his homemade clock.
Other people on Twitter were upset and confused by what Dawkins was suggesting.
Attacked, Dawkins continued to claim that Mohamed had used a pre-made clock and brought it into school to deliberately cause alarm.
And then claimed Mohamed was perpetrating fraud.
He also continued to speculate about "motives," even as he said Mohamed shouldn't have been arrested.
Asked directly what he thought Mohamed was after, Dawkins refused to say, but implied that Mohamed's invitation to the White House and the money that's been raised for the 14-year-old are part of some broader, sinister aim for personal gain. Because as we all know, teenaged nerds are always trying to get arrested for personal gain.
In an ideal world it's possible that famous scientists with giant audiences wouldn't attack 14-year-olds based on speculation about motives, but hey, we don't live in an ideal world.
Meanwhile, Dawkins continues to cast aspersions on Mohamed…
…based on a 21-second YouTube video uploaded by an anonymous account that has never uploaded anything before.
Because as we're all taught in middle school, the scientific method demands skepticism (except when it comes to poorly shot anonymous videos).
Ethan Chiel is a reporter for Fusion, writing mostly about the internet and technology. You can (and should) email him at firstname.lastname@example.org