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  Topic: Jerry Coyne blasts NCSE, TYez "accommodationist"< Next Oldest | Next Newest >  
Dr.GH



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Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: April 22 2009,16:05   

Truckling to the Faithful: A Spoonful of Jesus Helps Darwin Go Down

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"Science is the horse that pulls the cart of philosophy."

L. Susskind, 2004 "SMOLIN VS. SUSSKIND: THE ANTHROPIC PRINCIPLE"

   
Lowell



Posts: 101
Joined: Mar. 2008

(Permalink) Posted: April 22 2009,16:46   

I agree with almost everything Coyne wrote here. I have to say, though, I think phrases like the following are not helpful or necessary:
 
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First, it dilutes their mission of spreading Darwinism, by giving credibility to the views of scientists and theologians who are de facto creationists, whether they admit it or not.

(emphasis mine)

Spreading Darwinism? Come on. That's just playing right into their hands for no good reason. I can't fathom why he would do that.

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The resurrection of Jesus Christ is one of the most well documented events of antiquity. Barry Arrington, Jan 17, 2012.

  
Jasper



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(Permalink) Posted: April 22 2009,17:48   

Professor Coyne forgot to acknowledge his natural allies in his fight against "accommodationism."

Fundamentalist Christians.

Interesting bedfellows, huh?

  
Wesley R. Elsberry



Posts: 4807
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: April 22 2009,20:25   

IIRC, it was Coyne's incautious review article of Mike Majerus' work on peppered moths that propelled Jonathan Wells on his anti-peppered moth crusade, a veritable review that launched a bunch of antievolutionist books.

Don Frack:

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If you're waiting for the punch line, here it is. There is essentially no
resemblance between Majerus's book and Coyne's review of it. If you pick through the book, you might be able to argue for Coyne's accuracy - but only at the expense of completely ignoring the majority of the text and all of Majerus's intent. If I hadn't known differently, I would have thought the review was of some other book. I would recommend here a comparison with the other review I found of Majerus's book by Lawrence Cook, another researcher on peppered moths (Cook, 1998). Cook seems oblivious to the doom of the peppered moth example of natural selection.


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"You can't teach an old dogma new tricks." - Dorothy Parker

    
Dr.GH



Posts: 2113
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(Permalink) Posted: April 22 2009,21:11   

Yeah. Coyne is rather full of hyperbolic rage.

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"Science is the horse that pulls the cart of philosophy."

L. Susskind, 2004 "SMOLIN VS. SUSSKIND: THE ANTHROPIC PRINCIPLE"

   
Peter Henderson



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Joined: Aug. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: April 23 2009,05:09   

Ken Miller sums it up nicely in a response to Coyne's earlier outburst:

http://www.edge.org/3rd_culture/coyne09/coyne09_index.html#miller

 
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The genuine tragedy of Coyne's argument is the way in which it seeks to enlist science in a frankly ideological crusade—a campaign to purge science of religionists in the name of doctrinal purity. That campaign will surely fail, but in so doing it may divert those of us who cherish science from a far more urgent task, especially in America today. That is the task of defending scientific rationalism from those who, in the name of religion would subvert it beyond all recognition. In that critical struggle, Jerry, scientists who are also people of faith are critical allies, and you would do well not to turn them away.


I think after this latest attack on the TEs I think I'll throw in the towel and become a YEC. I'm gonna' contact the NCSE for some sound advice on the matter !

Still, I don't know if I can be bothered arguing with Wesley about evolution Sunday and the CLP which I both think are now dead in the water and a complete farce (well, at least in the eyes of both the Evangelical Atheists and the fundamentalist Christians they are).:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=teMlv3ripSM

  
Wesley R. Elsberry



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(Permalink) Posted: April 23 2009,07:07   

Opinions are like noses...

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"You can't teach an old dogma new tricks." - Dorothy Parker

    
Peter Henderson



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(Permalink) Posted: April 23 2009,09:08   

I wish Jerry Coyne and the others could grasp that Wesley.

  
Richardthughes



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(Permalink) Posted: April 23 2009,09:25   

Science is what science is. It's not for me to say if it's compatible with people's faith. Certainly it is at odds with some interpretations of origins accounts, though.

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"Richardthughes, you magnificent bastard, I stand in awe of you..." : Arden Chatfield
"You magnificent bastard! " : Louis
"ATBC poster child", "I have to agree with Rich.." : DaveTard
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dheddle



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(Permalink) Posted: April 23 2009,10:35   

Quote (Jasper @ April 22 2009,17:48)
Professor Coyne forgot to acknowledge his natural allies in his fight against "accommodationism."

Fundamentalist Christians.

Interesting bedfellows, huh?

Indeed.

If this had happened five or six years ago I might have sat back and enjoyed the internecine warfare. But since my tiny little niche of ministry is to show Christians that science isn't our enemy, what I'd really like to do is to kick Jerry Coyne, who must surely be on Ken Ham's and Bill Dembski's Christmas card list, in the shin.

I view him as a serial liar--or at least as a man who cannot construct an honest argument. He speaks repeatedly of an incompatibility between science and faith--but like others who make the claim--necessarily disregarding hefty circumstantial evidence to the contrary-- he never demonstrates it. If Ken Miller's faith is incompatible with his science then--if that has any meaning whatsoever--show me the adverse effect. Don't tell me. I'm not interested (well, maybe a bit) in Jerry Coyne's philosophical masturbation.

As a scientist he should know--but he apparently misses the boat-- the basic rule: if you have no means of measuring a claim, the claim is worthless.

He simply asserts an incompatibility--and that assertion, without any proof, is no better than if I were to assert a hyper-compatibility-- perhaps to claim that Dawkins would be a better scientist if he embraced Christianity. Why? Because I just know it. Christianity will give him a peace that passes understanding, and that peace will allow him to focus on his research.

Actually, as awful as that is, I think it is more of an argument than Coyne (or PZ or Dawkins or Harris) ever give as to why there is an incompatibility.

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Mysticism is a rational enterprise. Religion is not. The mystic has recognized something about the nature of consciousness prior to thought, and this recognition is susceptible to rational discussion. The mystic has reason for what he believes, and these reasons are empirical. --Sam Harris

   
Peter Henderson



Posts: 298
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(Permalink) Posted: May 12 2009,08:06   

Quote
what I'd really like to do is to kick Jerry Coyne, who must surely be on Ken Ham's and Bill Dembski's Christmas card list, in the shin.


Indeed:

http://blogs.answersingenesis.org/aroundt....rprised

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AiG stands unapologetically on the authority of the Word of God. How we need to pray that Collins and his group will repent of their compromise and return to biblical authority. They honor man’s fallible ideas instead of God’s infallible Word.


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As we have often said over the years, the compromising Christians are much more of a problem in the culture than the atheists. No wonder the church is in big trouble in this nation.

  
Marion Delgado



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(Permalink) Posted: May 13 2009,11:49   

Wes:

I have to add the quibble that, while I agree about Coyne re the pepper moths example, and I don't like the spirit of his attack on the NCSE, he could still be right about the particulars this time - even if in one case he was careless or hasty and either misunderstood the thrust of the book he was reviewing or represented it poorly.

  
Wesley R. Elsberry



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(Permalink) Posted: May 13 2009,14:08   

Quote (Marion Delgado @ May 13 2009,11:49)
Wes:

I have to add the quibble that, while I agree about Coyne re the pepper moths example, and I don't like the spirit of his attack on the NCSE, he could still be right about the particulars this time - even if in one case he was careless or hasty and either misunderstood the thrust of the book he was reviewing or represented it poorly.

Yes, he could be right for any particular argument that he makes. But if one is simply relying on Coyne's authority as the basis for accepting the argument of the instant, then one may legitimately consider the prior probability -- what's his track record on other such arguments?

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"You can't teach an old dogma new tricks." - Dorothy Parker

    
Kristine



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(Permalink) Posted: May 13 2009,16:27   

Well… let me say that as an atheist I am wary of any appeal to purity, or warnings of “corruption.” I don’t like that kind of talk, and Coyne engages in it. Big red flag for me.
         
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In the rest of this post I’d like to explore the ways that, I think, the NCSE has made accommodationism not only its philosophy, but its official philosophy. This, along with their endorsement and affiliation with supernaturalist scientists, philosophers, and theologians, inevitably corrupts their mission.


To which I am tempted to say (so I shall): yeah, so flipping what? There’s more than a hint of puritanicism in Coyne’s approach. Ultimately, he deigns to tell atheists what to do and how to act, and what the NCSE’s mission is. He wants to herd cats and forbid them to do tricks. And of course, he wants to accuse religious believers of thoughtcrime. Well, I am pretty staunch about my antireligion, but that means that I therefore cannot write a letter as part of the Clergy Letter Project, but I wouldn't stop it, either.

We don't know, really, why we're religious or not. My atheism came at age nine and may not be a choice. Does that make my atheism rational, or irrational? As I once said at my blog, Dawkins, at least, is a 6 trying to be a 7; I'm a 7 who knows that the "feeling of knowing" is BS and out of principle I'm trying to be a 6. Dawkins is the more tolerant person, a better person, than I am. So who is Coyne to finger-wave at religious supporters of Darwin? If religion has a genetic component (and I suspect that it does), what then? Coyne may as well be yelling at evolution, then.

It’s not science education’s job, after all, to resolve the question of whether science is or not compatible with religion, or religion with it. It's not even science's job to resolve this - maybe this is a question for the philosophy of science area, but the NCSE is taking an advocacy role that is educational, not "representative." Therefore when Coyne argues that the NCSE isn’t “representing all biologists,” he’s the one who is advocating that the NCSE take a stance on religion. He is asking the NCSE to take a stand that is compatible with his, and my, personal stance—and then calling that “neutrality.” I am hardly neutral.

If I have a problem with the NCSE, it’s that the voices for compatibility are all Christian (Miller, the Pope, etc.). Otherwise, leave it, and the people the NCSE are accommodating, alone. It is in another arena that the "science vs. religion" battle is fought. NCSE is fighting the science vs. pseudoscience (which overlaps with religion) battle. For pity's sake, help them win!

I’m so fracking tired of paying attention to other people’s business. Geez, sex is more interesting to me than religion, and I don’t pay attention to other people’s sex lives! (Or at least, not everyone's.) In fact, I’ll pull an O.J. here and state that sometimes I’m so sick of “being an atheist,” because I’m just me, and that should be enough, but I must be called an "atheist" because of the fact of religion’s existence. It’s like being known as “not bald.” Maybe I'd like to redeem my image a bit and become known as "really not a bitch." ;)

Let’s win the science fight, people. I am beyond caring what else people think inside their heads. The debate between religion and atheism is a tennis game, to be enjoyed with biscuits and sherry; the fight for science is about the right to not be scared out of one’s mind every time lightning flashes. It's the right not to give one's $$ to every god-spewing con-artist that comes along with a "dinosaurs on the ark" crap book. Science vs. religion may never be resolved, but science vs. creationism will, because it's about data, methods, and people's real lives.

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Marion Delgado



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Joined: Nov. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: May 13 2009,19:50   

Quibble 2:

Jerry jumping on the NCSE (And PZ et al. joining in) is probably a good thing in the long run. Purely from a strategic and PR POV*.

Also, Steve Fuller shouldn't be the only person considering the Sociology/Philosophy of Science aspects of the various evolution fights. This kind of dispute and discussion can make it clearer where the boundaries of science and meta-science are.

*It takes some of the wind out of the sails of people claiming Kevin Padian, Glenn Branch, Genie Scott etc. are evangelizing for atheism in the schools on a pretense of separating church from science class.

  
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