Here, in “Alvin Plantinga and Intelligent Design” (Chronicle of Higher Education , December 14, 2011):
Not only does he spend pages engaged in intellectual fawning all over Behe – whose claims have been refuted again and again, perhaps most effectively by Kenneth Miller, biologist and practicing Roman Catholic (whose arguments against go unmentioned) – but he dismisses without argument the objections to a later Behe book promoting ID made by Richard Dawkins and Chicago biologist Jerry Coyne. Plantinga says: “the high proportion of vitriol, inventive, mockery, ridicule and name calling makes it hard to trust these reviews.”
Behe was not refuted. It was just that – as in so many situations – top people’s positions depend on ignoring the facts he presents.
Now let me say that these days neither Dawkins nor Coyne are friends of mine. In The God Delusion, Dawkins likened me to Neville Chamberlain, the pusillanimous appeaser of Munich, and Coyne’s last remark about me in his blog, Why Evolution Is True, was to say that a dog returns to his vomit. And let me also say that I can live with this and I write not to curry favor with them. I think Dawkins is crude beyond belief when it comes to philosophy and theology. And frankly, Coyne’s obsessions are nigh psychoanalytic.
Apart from occasional, exemplary offenses against decency – as in, for example, the matter of uncouth reactions to Lynn Margulis’ obituary -, most of us haven’t the least interest in their crudity, except to note that no crudeness harms those people’s exalted status, as long as they exalt Darwin, as Ruse himself does. A fact that Ruse underlines, when he goes on to say,
However, Dawkins is simply the most brilliant science writer of his generation, a person whose writings are so good that they infiltrate right up to the highest levels of professional thought. The selfish gene metaphor changed our way of thinking about natural selection. Coyne is arguably the best evolutionary biologist in America today. His work on speciation is ground-breaking; his demolishing of Sewall Wright’s shifting balance theory is definitive; and he can write brilliantly for the general reader. Why Evolution Is True was probably the best book published celebrating the 200th anniversary of the birth of Darwin (in 2009).
Which is all garbage. These people’s successes have come, demonstrably, from promoting the new atheism that tenure bores, media hairpieces,and Christian Darwinists eagerly front, and Darwin underlies.
Real science is work, and has many fewer bores, hairpieces, and Christian Darwinists.
The interesting thing is that Ruse can go on fronting these scams for decades, and no top people ever call him on them.