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Put Jerry Coyne through the bunk detector

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From the January AITSE newsletter:

Quote of the Month 

 nautilusBunk Science

“The debate about free will, long the purview of philosophers alone, has been given new life by scientists, especially neuroscientists studying how the brain works. And what they’re finding supports the idea that free will is a complete illusion.”

This scientific bunk was written by Jerry Coyne and published in USA Today. According to the article, “everything that you say, or do, must come down to molecules and physics.” Sez who? So, because we understand a little about molecules and physics and we learn science by discovering the laws that govern the behavior of matter and energy, that is all there is?

This conclusion is premature at best. After all, physicists are still speculating about the nature of the atom and subatomic particles, biologists are still trying to figure out how emergent properties work, and neurologists are still discussing what consciousness is.

Beware of those who make grandiose claims. Check the AITSE bunk detecting principles.

See also: Jerry Coyne won’t meet Moshe Averick to discuss the origin of life puzzle – but turns out he’s just as puzzled … .

One especially valuable point from the AITSE page is that when one or more of these warning flags is raised, everything should be called into question. Once we recognize a distorted fact or misrepresentation, we need not charitably conclude that that everything else is valid just because we don't recognize more of them. The standard is not perfection. But we should be able to trust that 'scientific' statements or even broad arguments regarding science are at least made in good faith. Those that are not should be held suspect in their entirety. A simple example of this is the misrepresentation of ID as "Intelligent Design Creationism." The use of such an expression by someone who cannot justifiably claim ignorance indicates that their emotions and desire to win override their reason. The conclusion is more important than how it is reached. Perhaps they make other accurate statements, but their bunk ferments the whole lump. ScottAndrews2
It's amazing how the religion of materialism is allowed to be promoted as 'science' especially when it means anything the person says is irrelevant if said religion were true. Blue_Savannah

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