There is much speculation and hand-wringing over these accusations, but should there be? Really? Is Shermer's usual behavior so above reproach that we should scorn PZ for casting such aspersions? First, why would PZ do it? He has no known beef with Shermer. It seems to me that PZ is opening himself up to a whole lot of flak for no objective gain.
No, I do trust PZ more than Shermer and I'll tell you exactly and precisely why. When I attended TAM4 with my wife we spoke to Shermer and had him sign a book, before we departed he took my wife aside and briefly spoke in her ear. Only later, when we were in our room, did she tell me what Shermer said, that she was sexy and then suggested that the two of them slip away for drinks. He did that right in front of me...the husband he had just met... which to me suggests a narcissist for whom the usual rules of society just don't really matter.
To suggest that such a man might eventually do rape...? Not really such an extraordinary claim. We're not talking about Bigfoot here.
And no, there's no rape in my little tale...no crime...just a privileged turd using his position as a notable person in order to get laid, and from many years back. The reason I take such a dim view of him is obvious, but the victim accounts also have an unmistakable ring of truth to them IMHO. Shermer is a creep...I have no evidence that he's also a rapist...but I do know he's a creep firsthand.
I believe the victims.