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Jerry Coyne begins dimly to perceive something…

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Darwinian evolutionary biologist Jerry Coyne is discovering that progressivism is antithetical to any concept of free expression:

Last September, a surprising article in the New York Times reported on how the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) seemed to be losing its mission of defending civil liberties, moving more and more towards “progressive” politics. Part of this transformation involved suddenly prioritizing what speech to defend based on its perceived “harm.” More harmful speech (e.g., speech offending minorities or other oppressed groups) was to be given lower legal priority.

This was a complete reversal of the history of the ACLU, an organization that was one of my favorites. (They gave me pro bono legal help when I took the government to court over being illegally called up for alternative service as a conscientious objector.) Now, it seems, they think that some people deserve more civil rights than others. This was all documented in one of my posts and in an article on Tablet that quoted secret ACLU documents.

Jerry Coyne, “The ACLU reverses course once again in the interest of wokeness” at Why Evolution Is True (January 30, 2022)

It’s hard to figure out why Coyne thinks the ACLU’s move to crack down on freedom of speech is a surprise. All progressive organizations consider any claims for human dignity a tactical manoeuver until they are in a position to start dictating their agenda.

You may also wish to read: Darwinian evolutionary biologist Jerry Coyne is getting mugged by reality Again, it would seem. All: Unplug the TV. Those people can no longer afford to be friends of truth in any meaningful sense. That includes anything to do with evolution controversies.

12 Replies to “Jerry Coyne begins dimly to perceive something…

  1. 1
    polistra says:

    Not a reversal, not new. ACLU has always been strictly “progressive” or more precisely Democrat. Once in every decade, they halfheartedly stick up for a non-Democrat to create a false impression of fairness.

    In 1972 when they defended Coyne, they were fighting against Nixon’s war, not against a war.

  2. 2
    bornagain77 says:

    Jerry Coyne, as a self-confessed ‘meat robot’ with the ‘illusion of free will’, and with the ‘illusion of consciousness’, and therefore with no capacity for ‘free speech’ in the first place, (and especially as a former ‘censor of the year’ himself), methinks Coyne ‘doth protest too much” about the ‘denial of free speech’.

    “You are robots made out of meat. Which is what I am going to try to convince you of today”
    Jerry Coyne –
    No, You’re Not a Robot Made Out of Meat (Science Uprising 02) – video
    https://youtu.be/rQo6SWjwQIk?list=PLR8eQzfCOiS1OmYcqv_yQSpje4p7rAE7-&t=20

    THE ILLUSION OF FREE WILL – Sam Harris – 2012
    Excerpt: “Free will is an illusion so convincing that people simply refuse to believe that we don’t have it.,,,”
    – Jerry Coyne
    https://samharris.org/the-illusion-of-free-will/
    (Of note: That statement by Coyne should literally be the number one example of a self-refuting argument that is given in philosophy 101 classes.)

    The Confidence of Jerry Coyne – Ross Douthat – January 6, 2014
    Excerpt: But then halfway through this peroration, we have as an aside the confession (by Coyne) that yes, okay, it’s quite possible given materialist premises that “our sense of self is a neuronal illusion.” At which point the entire edifice suddenly looks terribly wobbly — because who, exactly, is doing all of this forging and shaping and purpose-creating if Jerry Coyne, as I understand him (and I assume he understands himself) quite possibly does not actually exist at all? The theme of his argument is the crucial importance of human agency under eliminative materialism, but if under materialist premises the actual agent is quite possibly a fiction, then who exactly is this I who “reads” and “learns” and “teaches,” and why in the universe’s name should my illusory self believe Coyne’s bold proclamation that his illusory self’s purposes are somehow “real” and worthy of devotion and pursuit? (Let alone that they’re morally significant: But more on that below.) Prometheus cannot be at once unbound and unreal; the human will cannot be simultaneously triumphant and imaginary.
    http://douthat.blogs.nytimes.c.....oyne/?_r=0

    “I think the idea of (materialists) saying that consciousness is an illusion doesn’t really work because the very notion of an illusion presupposes consciousness. There are no illusions unless there is a conscious experience or (a conscious person) for whom there is an illusion.”
    Evan Thompson, Philosopher – author of Waking, Dreaming, Being

    Doublethink: Censor of the Year Calls for Free Speech – David Klinghoffer – October 21, 2021
    Excerpt: Wrap Your Mind Around This
    Coyne, who punched down, canceled Eric Hedin, and never apologized, deplores what he calls the “denial-of-free-speech movement.” Try to wrap your mind around that one. George Orwell had the perfect word. In 1984, he called it “doublethink”:,,,
    https://evolutionnews.org/2021/10/doublethink-censor-of-the-year-calls-for-free-speech/

    Moreover, even though Coyne, (via his supposed advocacy of free speech), apparently believes that his words must mean something important, and that his words should therefore be allowed to be heard in public, his belief that his words mean something important, like his belief in free will and consciousness, is also just another illusion. i.e. if Coyne’s Darwinian materialism is actually true, then, in reality, his words mean absolutely NOTHING, but they are just random noise floating around in a completely meaningless, pitilessly indifferent, universe, (R. Dawkins).

    2.) The argument from meaning
    1. If naturalism is true, no sentence has any meaning.
    2. Premise (1) has meaning.
    3. Therefore naturalism is not true.
    – Is Metaphysical Naturalism Viable? – William Lane Craig – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HzS_CQnmoLQ

    Coyne really needs to get in touch with just how completely meaningless his life actually is, (i.e. in touch with the abject ‘nihilism’ that is inherent in his atheistic worldview). According to Coyne’s Darwinian atheism, his life, and therefore every word that he ever utters is his entire life, is completely, and utterly, meaningless noise coming from some totally inconsequential ‘chemical scum’.

    You Chemical Scum, You
    Significant Insignificances
    Voltaire got things off to a jolly secular start quite a while back, by instructing the eponymous hero of his novel Zadig (1747) to visualise “men as they really are, insects devouring one another on a little atom of mud.”,,,
    The philosopher and professional misanthrope John Gray has argued that Darwin has cured us of the delusions we might have had about our place in the order of things – we are beasts, metaphysically on all fours with the other beasts. “Man” Gray asserts in Straw Dogs (2003), “is only one of many species, and not obviously worth preserving.” And in case you’re still feeling a bit cocky, he adds: “human life has no more meaning than that of slime mould.” Slime mould? Yikes! Can it get any worse?
    Yes it can. For physics has again been recruited to the great project of disproving our greatness. Stephen Hawking’s declaration in 1995 on a TV show, Reality on the Rocks: Beyond Our Ken, that “the human race is just a chemical scum on a moderate size planet, orbiting round a very average star in the outer suburb of one among a billion galaxies” is much quoted. If we beg to differ, perhaps is it only because we are like the mosquito who, according to Nietzsche, “floats through the air… feeling within himself the flying centre of the universe”? (‘On Truth and Lies in a Nonmoral Sense’, 1873.)
    There is something repugnant about this nihilistic grandstanding. For a start, it’s insincere. Voltaire did not consider himself merely an insect, any more than Gray considers slime mould his peer, or Hawking regards Hawking as a quantum of chemical scum.
    https://philosophynow.org/issues/89/You_Chemical_Scum_You

    Existential nihilism is the philosophical theory that life has no intrinsic meaning or value.[1] With respect to the universe, existential nihilism suggests that a single human or even the entire human species is (totally) insignificant, (and) without purpose,,
    – per wikipedia

    Frankly I don’t see how anyone could tolerate such a completely hopeless worldview. Thank God that Coyne’s worldview is a patently false worldview.

    Verse:

    Jeremiah 29:11
    For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

    1 Corinthians 2:9
    However, as it is written: “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived” — the things God has prepared for those who love him—

  3. 3
    KRock says:

    I agree. This type of censorship is hardly new. Christians viewpoints, for example, have been at the forefront of leftist suppression and attack for decades. Welcome to the club, Jerry. Enjoy your free censorship.

  4. 4
    AaronS1978 says:

    Good God the meat robot is learning at an exponentially slow rate

  5. 5
    TAMMIE LEE HAYNES says:

    Although we need to show the greatest respect to a highly revered peer reviwed Scientist such as Dr Coyne, one must nevertheless note that he is hopelessly daft.

    He wrote this::
    “This was the noblest organization of them all. All the rest of the organizations acted out of political self interest. Only the ACLU acted from honesty and for the general good. Its existence was gentle, and…….blah blah blah”

    The ACLU, in its bigotry and depravity, has consistently promoted the denial of equal protection of the laws against murder to an entire group of people, (unborn people). This denial has resulted in premeditated murder being the largest cause of death in America for 50 years.

    Dr Coyne claims that promoting mass murder is “honest” and is acting for “the general good” and “gentle”, and that an organization that does so is the “noblest organization of them all”
    Us Creationists, we disgaree.

    However, we must not lump all Atheists with Dr Coyne . Myself, I believe that there are probably some who are arent depraved.

  6. 6
    chuckdarwin says:

    BA77 @ 2

    Thank God that Coyne’s worldview is a patently false worldview.

    BA77, do you speak only to Coyne’s “worldview” or, in your mind, is anyone’s “worldview” that is not an evangelical Christian a “patently false worldview”?

  7. 7
    bornagain77 says:

    ChuckyD, (also known as ‘the Black Knight’ 🙂 ), asks, “BA77, do you speak only to Coyne’s “worldview” or, in your mind, is anyone’s “worldview” that is not an evangelical Christian a “patently false worldview”?”

    Well, as is obvious in my post at 2, at this specific time I was speaking directly to Coyne’s atheism which is based upon Darwinian materialism.

    Do you wish to defend Coyne’s atheistic claims which are based on Darwinian materialism? i.e. That he is a ‘meat robot”? That free will is an ‘illusion”? That consciousness is also an ‘illusion’?

    Or do you agree with me that those claims of Coyne’s are patently false, even egregiously self refuting, claims?

    Of course besides holding that atheistic materialism to be a patently false worldview, I also hold that the other worldviews, (i.e. Deism, Pantheism, and other mono-Theistic religions), when compared to Christianity, also fail to measure up to Christianity. But, (epistemologically speaking), their specific failures as worldviews, when compared to Christianity, are no where near as ‘catastrophic’ as is the catastrophic failure that is inherent in Coyne’s atheism, which is, again, based upon Darwinian materialism.

    Basically, because of reductive materialism (and/or methodological naturalism), the atheistic materialist (who believes Darwinian evolution to be true) is forced to claim that he is merely a ‘neuronal illusion’ (Coyne, Dennett, etc..), who has the illusion of free will (Harris, Coyne), who has unreliable, (i.e. illusory), beliefs about reality (Plantinga), who has illusory perceptions of reality (Hoffman), who, since he has no real time empirical evidence substantiating his grandiose claims, must make up illusory “just so stories” with the illusory, and impotent, ‘designer substitute’ of natural selection (Behe, Gould, Sternberg), so as to ‘explain away’ the appearance (i.e. the illusion) of design (Crick, Dawkins), and who also must make up illusory meanings and purposes for his life since the hopelessness of the nihilism inherent in his atheistic worldview is simply too much for him to bear (Weikart), and who must also hold morality to be subjective and illusory since he has rejected God (Craig, Kreeft). Who, since beauty cannot be grounded within his materialistic worldview, must also hold beauty itself to be illusory (Darwin).
    Bottom line, nothing is truly real in the atheist’s worldview, least of all, beauty, morality, meaning and purposes for life.,,,
    April 18, 2021 – Defense of each claim
    https://uncommondescent.com/philosophy/philosopher-mary-midgeley-1919-2018-on-scientism/#comment-728595

    Thus, although the Darwinian Atheist and/or Methodological Naturalist may firmly, and falsely, believe that he is on the terra firma of science (in his appeal, even demand, for naturalistic explanations over and above God as a viable explanation), the fact of the matter is that, when examining the details of his materialistic/naturalistic worldview, it is found that Darwinists/Atheists themselves are adrift in an ocean of fantasy and imagination with no discernible anchor for reality to grab on to.

    It would be hard to fathom a worldview more antagonistic to modern science, indeed more antagonistic to reality itself, than Atheistic materialism and/or methodological naturalism have turned out to be.

    2 Corinthians 10:5
    Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

  8. 8
    JVL says:

    Who cares what Dr Coyne says anyway? I only hear about his statements when someone here decides to parade them in front of the peanut gallery so everyone can point out how stupid they are. I don’t read his books or his blogs or listen to his podcast. I bet that’s true for a lot of non-theists. He’s just a guy with an opinion; granted he is pretty intelligent and well educated but that’s no reason to elevate him.

    How would you feel if I reported everything that came from the Westboro Baptist Church and said: see how stupid Christianity is? Can you believe the idiocy? You’d rightly say: hey, their views are not the same as the rest of us. So, why do you assume all non-theists think the same? Is it just to make it easier to demonise us and rally the troops to the good cause? Or is it because you can’t be bothered to get to know people as individuals preferring to keep things black vs white, us vs them?

  9. 9
    bornagain77 says:

    JVL asks: “Who cares what Dr Coyne says anyway?”

    Jerry Allen Coyne (born December 30, 1949)[5][6] is an American biologist known for his work on speciation and his commentary on intelligent design. A prolific scientist and author, he has published numerous papers elucidating the theory of evolution. He is currently a professor emeritus at the University of Chicago in the Department of Ecology and Evolution. His concentration is speciation and ecological and evolutionary genetics, particularly as they involve the fruit fly, Drosophila.[7]
    He is the author of the text Speciation and the bestselling non-fiction book Why Evolution Is True.[8] Coyne maintains a website and writes for his blog, also called Why Evolution Is True.[9] He is a hard determinist.[10]
    Coyne gained attention outside of the scientific community when he publicly criticized religion and is often cited with atheists such as Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris. He is the author of the book Faith Versus Fact. Coyne officially retired in 2015.[11]
    – per wikipedia

    So should we ignore what Professor Coyne says about Darwinian evolution and Intelligent Design, or just ignore what he is currently saying about free speech?

  10. 10
    JVL says:

    Bornagain77: So should we ignore what Professor Coyne says about Darwinian evolution and Intelligent Design

    I read what he has to say about those topics with a bit of reserve. In other words, I do not accept his statements without consideration. All voiced opinions should be critically examined don’t you think?

    or just ignore what he is currently saying about free speech?

    I don’t consider him any kind of authority or expert on that. Why attack him for what is clearly just his opinion? Who cares?

  11. 11
    bornagain77 says:

    “I do not accept his statements without consideration?”

    So, after ‘consideration’, exactly which parts of Coyne’s atheistic Darwinian worldview do you reject?

  12. 12
    asauber says:

    Oh no. JVL is “contributing” again. 😉

    Andrew

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