Bored With Science

As well all know, the New Atheists like to promote themselves as being lovers of science. They want to be perceived as people whose atheism stems from a deep love of science and therefore anyone who opposes their agenda must also be opposing science. Of course, the data don’t exactly support this narrative. Sam Harris, for example, quickly abandoned any career in science immediately upon receiving his PhD so he could make money by writing atheist books. Richard Dawkins spends almost all of his time giving anti-religious speeches or making anti-religious tweets. So what about Jerry Coyne? Even though he has a blog entitled “Why Evolution is True,” I have noticed very few blog entries about evolution over the years. In fact, there have been very blog entries about science, such that we could not honestly describe his blog as a “science blog.”

To get beyond the level of impression, I decided to list the titles of his blog entries from March 30 – April 3 (M-F), along with the tags. These results are shown below the fold.

What you will find is this. First, Coyne posted 44 blog entries over the five weekdays. That’s almost nine blog entries per day! Of the 44 blog entries, how many were about science? None. Not one. Coyne blogged about cats, religion, so-called “atheist bashing,” cats, pictures of animals, his boots, his food, music, politics, his book, etc. But no science. Nine blog entries a day about…..anything other than science.

April 3
The sanest city in the U.S. Posted in freedom from religion
Cat, noms, and and a chinwag with Uncle Dan. Posted in felids, food, food and drink, incompatibility between science and religion, philosophy
April Fool’s joke. Posted in Uncategorized
Bad news: “nones” projected to fall as percentage of worldwide population. Posted in religion
Readers’ wildlife photos. Posted in Accommodationism, birds, photography
One more for the floor, barkeep. . .Posted in cartoon, felids
Friday: Hili dialogue. Posted in Hili Dialogue

April 2
Speaking of chipmunks. . .Posted in Uncategorized
“Death” is not a metaphor: Brian Dalton debunks the myth of the “fundamentalist atheist”Posted in atheist-bashing, Mr. Deity
Southampton university cancels conference questioning Israel’s right to exist. Posted in anti-semitism, universities behaving badly
Booklist gives Faith Versus Fact a starred review. Posted in book reviews, books
Nick Kristof osculates the rump of conservative Christianity. Posted in atheist-bashing, osculating the rump of faith
Boston noms. Posted in food and wine, travel
Readers’ wildlife photographs. Posted in mammals, photography, reptiles
Thursday: Hili dialogue. Posted in Hili Dialogue

April 1
Here Be Dragons. Tags: dragons, Global warming
Observer interrupts mating giant tortoises, gets chased away at 1 kph. Posted in animal behavior
C. J. Werleman jumps a gazillion sharks, accuses New Atheists of being white supremacists. Posted in atheist-baiting
The True Meaning of Ēostre. Posted in Jesus and Mo
National Geographic allows Francis Collins to spout theology in its pages. Posted in Accommodationism
Readers’ wildlife photographs. Posted in birds, photography
TSA blues Posted in travel
San Diego Zoo shows off its new jaguar cub. Posted in Uncategorized
Wednesday: Hili Dialogue. Posted in Hili Dialogue

March 31
The Rolling Stones back on tour. Posted in music
Many-legged cat (again). Posted in felids
The Daily Show: A change is gonna come. Posted in atheist-bashing, comedy
“Prager University” teaches pure libertarian free will. Posted in free will, philosophy
Indiana realizes it screwed up. Posted in bigotry, politicians behaving badly, politics
More universities in favor of pro-ISIS clubs. Posted in Colleges acting badly
Another atheist blogger hacked to death in Bangladesh. Posted in atheist-bashing
RIP Thomasina, a beloved cat. Posted in felids, obituary
Google Doodle celebrates opening of the Eiffel Tower. Posted in Google doodles
Tuesday: Hili dialogue. Posted in Hili Dialogue, Uncategorized

March 30
Catematics. Posted in felids, mathematics
Following right along. . . . Posted in bigotry, Christians behaving badly
Bill Maher calls out the weaknesses of liberalism. Posted in political correctness
Who lobbied Indiana’s governor Pence to sign the pro-discrimination bill? He ain’t saying. Posted in bigotry, civil rights, discrimination
A motivation for the Germanwings suicide/murder? Posted in tragedies
Ayaan Hirsi Ali: Why is a role model reviled? Posted in Uncategorized
Readers’ wildlife photographs. Posted in arthropods, birds, photography, plants
Incompatibilism makes The New Yorker. Posted in free will
Warming-up boots. Warming-up boots
Monday: Hili dialogue. Posted in Hili Dialogue

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11 Responses to Bored With Science

  1. “They want to be perceived as people whose atheism stems from a deep love of science”

    No, sorry, that’s a misunderstanding. Most of us simple don’t see any reason to believe in your god or any other god. That’s all. The fact that most of us accept science has nothing to do with it. Many christians do so, too. Just the stupid ones don’t. But there can also be stupid atheists who don’t accept science, so who cares?

  2. Michael says:

    No, sorry, that’s a misunderstanding. Most of us simple don’t see any reason to believe in your god or any other god. That’s all. The fact that most of us accept science has nothing to do with it.

    But those are only your personal opinions/sentiments. Those of us who keep an eye on the New Atheist movement know it is simply not true that “science has nothing to do with it.”

  3. paranoid much? Clearly you have neither asked an atheist what atheism means nor read a dictionary entry for it. If you have you learned nothing or so it would seem from this post. One does not need to know anything of science to be an atheist. Your entire post is silly.

  4. Ilíon says:

    Nine blog entries a day about…..anything other than science.

    I frequently go nine days without posting a blog entry … how do people like Coyne find the time to do their jobs?

    Am I the only one who has noticed that the most prolific bloggers seem frequently to be firmly attached to the public teat?

  5. John says:

    ” Clearly you have neither asked an atheist what atheism means nor read a dictionary entry for it.”

    That is simply wrong.His blog entry was about criticising New Atheism and specifically it’s leaders for claiming their atheism stems from science which it clearly doesn’t.

    There was no attempt at defining atheism.Also,the claim atheists use there is also used to try to make agnostics and people who simply have no religion fit into the atheism label.

    ”One does not need to know anything of science to be an atheist”

    But the New Atheists claim science is on of the reasons they are atheists.

  6. Billy Squibs says:

    “paranoid much? Clearly you have neither asked an atheist what atheism means nor read a dictionary entry for it. If you have you learned nothing or so it would seem from this post. One does not need to know anything of science to be an atheist. Your entire post is silly.”

    Speaking of dictionary definitions – what is the justification for the charge of paranoia on Michael’s part? Or are you playing fast and loose with the meaning of words?

    Also, who said anything about atheists or atheism simpliciter? Michael uses this blog to criticise the so called New Atheists and all the baggage that they bring. Please bear in mind that not all atheists are New Atheists and no one here has claimed otherwise.

  7. Allallt says:

    Irony alert: your post here would count as science. I like it.

  8. Kevin says:

    No, sorry, that’s a misunderstanding. Most of us simple don’t see any reason to believe in your god or any other god.

    New Atheists – in other words, the modern-day anti-theistic movement – are the only atheists being talked about here. They are usually the first to say how they love science and how science defines their beliefs, and they are usually the first to abandon science when it comes time to bash religion. That’s a recurring theme with New Atheists that Michael points out frequently – it is not science that drives their movement, it is hatred of religion. They are nothing more than a hate movement.

    Clearly you have neither asked an atheist what atheism means nor read a dictionary entry for it. If you have you learned nothing or so it would seem from this post. One does not need to know anything of science to be an atheist. Your entire post is silly.

    If you don’t know the difference between atheism and New Atheism – one being the lack of belief in gods, the other being synonymous with anti-theism – then I’m assuming you are extremely new to this subject. Not believing in God is not even remotely the same as hating religion and wanting it removed from society.

  9. Billy Squibs says:

    “Irony alert: your post here would count as science. I like it.”
    By a given definition of science, I guess. But why is it ironic, Allallt? (BTW, I’m assuming you are addressing Michael’s original blog post.)

  10. Allallt says:

    It’s ironic because the post is called Bored with Science. It’s not meant as a criticism. I genuinely do like a lot of Michael’s work.

  11. Dhay says:

    I’d like to put in a good word for Jerry Coyne, by reporting that during that period his April 3 “… chinwag with Uncle Dan [Dennett]” blog post was not entirely without scientific merit. In that blog post Coyne used his detailed knowledge of the science of genetic evolution to pour cold water on the idea – so loved by New Atheists such as Dan Dennett, its creator Richard Dawkins, and especially loved by Susan Blackmore – that there is or can be a science of memetic evolution. Looks like Coyne considers memetics to be a pseudo-science.

    He [Dennett] said the main advantage of “memetics” was that one could adopt a Darwinian point of view when studying culture. I asked him why that was superior to just studying why things spread culturally, since the reasons for that spread are so varied, involving compulsion, mere imitation, usefulness, and the psychological propensities of humans. The reasons for spread of memetic traits, I think, are so varied that they differ profoundly and incompatibly with the spread of “genetic” traits via natural selection, which has only one pathway: a trait spreads when it enhances the number of copies of the genes that produce it. In other words, you can reverse-engineer a Darwinian trait by studying how it affects reproduction, but you could never do that with “memetic” traits like music, words, the use of forks, and so on. Each one spreads by a unique pathway, compelled by unique forces.

    I proffered the recent adoption of the word “like” in American language… I argued that saying “like” spread because it was a meme is just a tautology, and didn’t explain why it was so infectious. Dan responded that words like “like” used in that way are equivalent to viruses that are infectious, and that is a quasi-Darwinian process. But to me that explains little: what we want to know is why people so quickly started peppering their sentences with the meaningless spacer “like.” What does saying it’s a “meme”, even an infectious one, add to our knowledge?

    It’s nice to see one Gnu Atheist use his specialist competency to deftly remove the bludgeon of memetics, and the accusation, “It’s just a meme”, from the hands of other Gnus. We can re-cast Coyne’s last sentence as, “What does saying religion is a meme, even an infectious one, add to our knowledge?”

    Looks like Peter Boghossian’s , “Believers are infected with a faith virus” says nothing, certainly nothing scientific. We have that on Coyne’s authority.

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