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From The Best Schools: Jerry Coyne, Holy Warrior, Part II

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(Part I is here.)

Part II, here:

No discussion of the place of the teaching of evolution in society can hope to make much headway against confusion unless evolution-the-historical-process is carefully distinguished from the neo-Darwinian theory of natural selection as an explanation of that process.

Coyne nowhere makes this distinction clear, but rather everywhere assumes that to question the all-sufficiency of Darwinism is to question the reality of evolution itself, which is simply a logical mistake.

Not only is it logically possible to deny that the Darwinian mechanism is an adequate explanation of the phenomenon of evolution, increasing evidence is streaming in from many quarters that natural selection, as Darwinists typically understand it, is in fact woefully inadequate as an explanation of the facts the living world presents us with.

The important assumption underlying Coyne’s article—which he nowhere articulates, much less defends—is that it is the business of a professional evolutionary biologist to see to it that Darwinism is accepted by society as a whole. This is a bizarre conception of the calling of a scientist, but Coyne appears oblivious to its strangeness.


Don’t forget about the Uncommon Descent contest (closes April 28, 2012), based on Part I, to come up with a special name for a new atheist attack, because “crusade” and “jihad” have been, it seems, monopolized. Maybe Part II will inspire some contestants …

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