Jerry Coyne Promotes His Fringe Notions

Atheist activist Jerry Coyne has a new book coming out entitled, “Faith Versus Fact: Why Science and Religion Are Incompatible.” Coyne has thus officially embraced a fringe view among scientists. The extreme, fringe nature of this view can easily be seen from the simple fact that it is rejected by various mainstream scientific organizations, including the National Center for Science Education, the National Academies, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. And this poses a serious problem for Coyne -if his argument that Science and Religion Are Incompatible is so powerful, why is it that the mainstream scientific community doesn’t buy it? Why is it that the majority of those who do buy into the Incompatibility Argument just happen to be the usual extremist anti-religionists who make up the New Atheist Movement?

Coyne has an explanation for the fringe status of his views.

Several years ago, he defended his views by attacking the scientific community:

This disharmony is a dirty little secret in scientific circles. It is in our personal and professional interest to proclaim that science and religion are perfectly harmonious. After all, we want our grants funded by the government, and our schoolchildren exposed to real science instead of creationism. Liberal religious people have been important allies in our struggle against creationism, and it is not pleasant to alienate them by declaring how we feel. This is why, as a tactical matter, groups such as the National Academy of Sciences claim that religion and science do not conflict.

My oh my. Did you catch that? Coyne publicly accused the National Center for Science Education, the National Academies, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science of being liars. According to Coyne, they really agree with him, but for “tactical” reasons, they say otherwise. That would be lying.

What’s more, not only does Coyne accuse the mainstream scientific community of being deceptive, but he even implies they are lying for money – “we want our grants funded by the government.”

Look, when you have to prop up your fringe views by accusing the scientific community of greed and lies, you ought to consider there are probably better explanations for the fringe status of your views.

I wonder if Coyne thinks his book will cause scientists everywhere to “come out” and join him and his New Atheist activists in their War on Religion. If so, he might want to consider another more likely outcome – it will increasingly isolate him from the mainstream and further blur the boundaries between New Atheism and crackpottery.

Advertisements
This entry was posted in atheism, Jerry Coyne, New Atheism, Religion, Science and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Jerry Coyne Promotes His Fringe Notions

  1. Crude says:

    I have to admit, you frame it in an interesting way. So according to Coyne there is a vast dishonest conspiracy afoot among scientists.

  2. GM says:

    So if a scientist will lie for grant money, imagine the bullshit they’ll sell for a book deal. (Coyne’s premise, not mine)

  3. Wow…I mean just Wow, I cant even… I am really curios how more absurd it can get with these radicals.

  4. Peter says:

    If so, he might want to consider another more likely outcome – it will increasingly isolate him from the mainstream and further blur the boundaries between New Atheism and crackpottery.

    If they do, he can claim that secretly they all agree with him and they are just treating him as a crank for “tactical reasons”.

  5. Crude says:

    Hey, is Nick Matzke going to show up and talk about this one?

    What’s the situation, Nick? Is the NCSE and the rest all a bunch of liars trying to dupe Christians?

    By the by – if it did turn out that the NCSE and others lied about science for ‘tactical’ reasons, exactly how much should we trust you guys when it comes to evolution and such?

  6. TFBW says:

    I suspect that Nick Matzke will refrain from commenting — for tactical reasons.

    Then again, he’s a practised propagandist, so maybe he’ll find some suitable way to spin it.

  7. Michael says:

    More significant than Matzke is Eugenie Scott. Given her history of sharing the stage with Gnu atheists, her silence only adds credibility to Richard Carrier’s claim that they are playing “good cop, bad cop.”

    And what of Ken Miller? Coyne made that accusation in a review of Miller’s book and we know Miller read it. Why does he remain silent?

  8. Dhay says:

    Jerry Coyne > “After all, we want our grants funded by the government…”

    There’s an interesting echo in Nature’s recent article, “Does evolutionary theory need a rethink?”

    Yet the mere mention of the [extended evolutionary synthesis (approach)] often evokes an emotional, even hostile, reaction among evolutionary biologists. Too often, vital discussions descend into acrimony, with accusations of muddle or misrepresentation. Perhaps haunted by the spectre of intelligent design, evolutionary biologists wish to show a united front to those hostile to science. Some might fear that they will receive less funding and recognition if outsiders — such as physiologists or developmental biologists — flood into their field.
    http://www.nature.com/news/does-evolutionary-theory-need-a-rethink-1.16080

    That might be a concern of Coyne’s, who one of the commenters identifies as one of the aforementioned “prominent evolutionary biologists (e.g., Lynch, Charlesworth, Coyne) who believe that alternatives to the gene-centric view are bunk, and have said so in print.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s