Dumbing Down Science

Surprise! Jerry Coyne becomes Steven Pinker’s cheerleader:

I implore my readers to go through this four-page piece. In fact, I’ll say it’s required reading for this website……Read it now! I am not often a fanboy, but really, I find nothing to critique in this piece, though I’m sure some readers will. I see it as the definitive refutation of the scientism canard, converting it into a pressed duck.

Nothing like the wishful thinking of an activist. Of course Coyne sees it “as the definitive refutation of the scientism canard.” Did anyone seriously expect Coyne to disagree with his fellow activist? But just because someone named Jerry Coyne sees it as the definitive refutation of the scientism canard, we must ask is it the definitive refutation of the scientism canard? Of course not.

But I will give Coyne credit in that he at least makes a faint attempt to define “science.” Unfortunately for him, he lets the cat out of the bag, showing that I have been right all along about the way Gnu atheists try to sneakily dumb-down science.

The problem is that these accusations always exceed the crimes, and that’s evidenced by the failure of “scientism” critics to give examples of the sin. My responses would be that few scientists now misuse the field to support racism or other odious views, that in many ways humanities can truly benefit from using the methods of science—with science conceived broadly as “the use of evidence and reason (and often statistics) to support its claims”—and that almost no scientist thinks that our endeavors will engulf art, music, and literature.

I see. So science = “the use of evidence and reason (and often statistics) to support its claims.”

Professor Jerry Coyne has just defined science such that it equates with confirmation bias.

And when you turn science into confirmation bias, or turn confirmation bias into science, you are dumbing-down science.

Look, every practitioner of just about every form of pseudoscience will use evidence and reason (and often statistics) to support their claims.

And many politicians will use evidence and reason (and sometimes statistics) to support their claims.

In his attempt to lash out at those who criticize scientism, Coyne has just thrown science under the bus to cohabit with just about everything from UFology to conspiracy theories about President Obama.

Oh, BTW, you might be interested to know that PZ Myers and others (see the link at the end of his page) agree with me on something I was the first to notice.

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This entry was posted in New Atheism, Science, Scientism and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Dumbing Down Science

  1. Crude says:

    Professor Jerry Coyne has just defined science such that it equates with confirmation bias.

    He’s also defined metaphysics, theology and philosophy as science.

    I’d love to see him debate a theistic philosopher. I think he’s just smart enough to know he’s getting destroyed.

  2. Dhay says:

    Pinker — “And in combination with a few unexceptionable convictions— that all of us value our own welfare and that we are social beings who impinge on each other and can negotiate codes of conduct—the scientific facts militate toward a defensible morality, namely adhering to principles that maximize the flourishing of humans and other sentient beings.”
    Looks like Pinker is yet another New Atheist who is promoting the philosophy of Utilitarianism.

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