Jerry Coyne’s book has not received many reviews yet, but two recent reviews have been quite negative. First, John Horgan reviews the book for the Wall Street Journal and skewers Coyne with some rather humorous insights:
Mr. Coyne castigates not only religious believers but even non-believers less hostile to religion than he is. He reviles “accommodationism,” the notion that science and religion can find common ground. This view, he claims, “gives unwarranted credibility to faith, a credibility that, at its extremes, is responsible for many human deaths and might ultimately contribute to the demise of our own species and much other life on Earth.” If we don’t all agree with Mr. Coyne, in other words, we’re doomed.
Than one made me laugh out loud when I read it. But it would make sense that someone who thinks it should be illegal to raise a child in a faith tradition would also try to blame religion for the extinction of humanity.
Another good one from Horgan:
Mr. Coyne overlooks any positive consequences of religion, such as its role in anti-slavery, civil-rights and anti-war movements. He inflates religion’s contribution to public resistance toward vaccines, genetically modified food and human-induced global warming. Conversely, he absolves science of responsibility for any adverse consequences, such as weapons and ideologies of mass destruction. “The compelling force that produced nuclear weapons, gunpowder, and eugenics was not science but people.” Right. Science doesn’t kill people; people kill people.
If science does something good, it is science. If science does something bad, it is people. Got it.