Darwinism Intelligent Design Naturalism

Jerry Coyne is distressed by National Geographic going all “woo”

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A special edition of National Geographic, National Geographic Science of the Supernatural (September 27, 2019) elicited this reaction from Darwinian evolutionary biologist Jerry Coyne:

We’ve all observed National Geographic magazine going down the tubes and going soft on religion (e.g., investigating and affirming the historicity of scripture), and on woo. Apparently this issue, highlighted by fellow skeptic Phil Ferguson on his Facebook page, is about trying to validate woo, or at least about implying that there might be something to it. (Until recently National Geographic was owned by Fox, but as of this year it’s a Walt Disney property.)

Yes, it is sad, and I wasn’t pleased by the prospect of trying to find out what was between the covers (it’s not easy to find that!). I did notice the subtitle, which hearkens to the woo-ey X-Files. But I was saved from having to read this tripe by Hayley Stevens, who wrote an analysis and critique of the issue’s contents on her website, Hayley is a Ghost (click on screenshot below). Stevens researches claims of the paranormal, trying to find out what’s behind them (she says she isn’t committed to debunking these claims, but to understanding them).

Jerry Coyne, “Once more, National Geographic goes for the woo” at Why Evolution Is True

So he hasn’t read it.

He says that National Geographic has “lost half its subscription base” in the last few decades, a claim we were not immediately able to source. However, it’s not clear how that loss, if true, relates to the woo issue—unless the mag is simply trying new formulas to see what works for the new boss, Disney. Some people are angry with NG over errors and inaccuracies on contentious issues (in the linked case, the oil sands).

But in general, National Geographic dances to Jerry Coyne’s tune where evolution is concerned and the decline, if real, has continued during that same period. The only thing we really know is that the internet has drop kicked almost all magazines.

More generally, while we certainly don’t have much use for sprites and frites around here, one significant change over the last few years has been a general recognition that the atheistic naturalism (nature is all there is), often called “materialism,” that Coyne espouses, which underlies the Darwinism he professes, has some serious problems accounting for what we know about the universe.

See, for example,

Why some scientists believe the universe is conscious

and

Why materialism fails as a science-based philosophy. There is no doubt that consciousness is a fundamental property of animal and human existence. As philosopher Philip Goff notes, a philosophy that cannot plausibly account for it cannot be correct.

The problem is, when people can’t discuss this stuff straightforwardly due to the din created by people like Jerry Coyne, it has a way of reappearing as nonsense. Ironically, he had a hand in creating the stuff he can’t bear to read.

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9 Replies to “Jerry Coyne is distressed by National Geographic going all “woo”

  1. 1
    Fasteddious says:

    So he hasn’t read it, but doesn’t like it. This says more about Coyne than about the National Geographic. The NG, like so many other “sciency” magazines has hitched itself to the Climate Crisis and the Darwinist faith, both of which are becoming less credible to a growing segment of the population. That may partly explain any drop in readership.
    “He who marries the spirit of the age is soon a widower.” Dean Inge.

  2. 2
    Seversky says:

    More generally, while we certainly don’t have much use for sprites and frites around here, one significant change over the last few years has been a general recognition that the atheistic naturalism (nature is all there is), often called “materialism,” that Coyne espouses, which underlies the Darwinism he professes, has some serious problems accounting for what we know about the universe.

    Only those who don’t know much about science believe science claims to know everything there is to know about the universe. Besides, don’t Christians believe that everything that is worth knowing is to be found in the Bible? That’s why no Christian children die of deadly diseases, because their devout parents pray to God and He cures them every time, as in the case of the 11 year-old girl who suffered from diabetes I’ve mentioned elsewhere. Oh no, she died. Obviously, her parents were not devout enough.

  3. 3
    bornagain77 says:

    Seversky once again attacked Christianity for a father praying for his daughter and allowing her to die instead of seeking medical treatment for her. What Seversky will NEVER tell you are the millions of lives that have been saved by medicines that were developed by devout Christians:

    smallpox: Edward Jenner was an English physician and scientist who was the pioneer of smallpox vaccine,,,, His father was the Reverend Stephen Jenner,,,
    “The most famous champion of vaccination was a Christian doctor, *Edward Jenner* who did his work against fierce opposition and in the teeth of threats against himself. In effect he wiped out smallpox from among the diseases that terrify mankind. He died from a cold caught carrying firewood to an impoverished woman.”
    http://www.rae.org/pdf/influsci.pdf

    Ernst Chain, who was awarded the 1945 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine, and is considered to be one of the founders of the field of antibiotics, spoke strongly against Darwin’s theory. He said the theory of evolution was a “very feeble attempt to explain the origin of species based on assumptions so flimsy that it can hardly be called a theory.” He referred to evolution as a “hypothesis based on no evidence and irreconcilable with the facts.” He also said, “These classic evolutionary theories are a gross oversimplification of an immensely complex and intricate mass of facts, and it amazes me that they were swallowed so uncritically and readily, and for such a long time, by so many scientists without a murmur of protest.” Chain concluded that he “would rather believe in fairies than to ever believe in such wild speculation of Darwin.”
    https://biblicalsignsintheheadlines.com/2016/03/21/debunking-evolution-challenging-the-lie-that-challenges-god/

    etc.. etc..

    Nor will Seversky ever mention documented miracles

    Derren Brown wants to see objective evidence for miracles? Challenge accepted – Oct. 10, 2016
    Excerpt: a listener challenged Christian physicians to come forward with miracle stories and objective evidence of them.
    Well, challenge accepted.
    I am a physician and have been treating patients for 23 years. Brown said he would want to verify a miracle healing with objective evidence such as vastly different x-rays. I have seen a number of cases that could be considered miraculous based on this criteria where patients have behaved in ways completely inexplicable with current medical knowledge. ,,,
    http://www.premierchristianity.....e-accepted

    -Documented Medical Miracle Healings – cancer
    http://documentedhealings.com/.....e-healing/

    Miracles: Can a Scientist Believe in Miracles
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g9G8o7JXlbE
    at the 24:00 minute mark of the preceding video the speaker gives testimony of his son being miraculously healed of an incurable disease

    Medical Miracles Really Do Happen
    Excerpt: No one knows exactly how often such cases occur. Approximately 3,500 medically documented cases of seeming miracles — based on reports from doctors in America and around the world dating to 1967 — have appeared in 800 peer-reviewed medical journals and cover all major illnesses, including cancer, heart disease, diabetes and arthritis.*
    http://www.care2.com/news/member/818150751/443473

    Craig Keener – Miracle Reports in the Gospels and Today – lecture video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LYBnJF2P_WQ

  4. 4
    EDTA says:

    Sev,
    >”Besides, don’t Christians believe that everything that is worth knowing is to be found in the Bible?”

    Not sure I’ve heard it put that way before. (Maybe by fundamentalists?) The most important things are there, but as a finite book, it cannot contain all possible knowledge. And I’d like to know as many true things as possible.

  5. 5
    News says:

    Seversky at 2: ”Besides, don’t Christians believe that everything that is worth knowing is to be found in the Bible?”

    No, actually. Christians believe that the message by which one might attain eternal salvation is to be found in the Bible. That is not identical with “everything that is worth knowing.” The best available treatment for an illness like diabetes is very much worth knowing. But all who benefit from such knowledge are still mortal and their deaths are merely postponed. The Bible speaks of eternity, of that which cannot just die.

  6. 6
    News says:

    Also, Seversky at 2: You write, “That’s why no Christian children die of deadly diseases, because their devout parents pray to God and He cures them every time, as in the case of the 11 year-old girl who suffered from diabetes I’ve mentioned elsewhere. Oh no, she died. Obviously, her parents were not devout enough.”

    People who believe that, by prayer, they can force the hand of the Almighty believe an impossibility. It amounts to magic, which is not the Christian tradition.

    Prayer for healing in the Christian tradition must always be provisional. We think that the survival of our loved one is the best possible solution. So we ask for that.

    As a show of our good faith in the matter, we avail ourselves of all known earthly helps. That is one reason that Christians have done so much medical research and outreach.

    But if a greater wisdom says no, we must accept it.

  7. 7
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Seversky

    Only those who don’t know much about science believe science claims to know everything there is to know about the universe.

    Only those who don’t know much about reality believe that science knows everything that is known about the universe.

  8. 8
    Silver Asiatic says:

    News

    The problem is, when people can’t discuss this stuff straightforwardly due to the din created by people like Jerry Coyne, it has a way of reappearing as nonsense. Ironically, he had a hand in creating the stuff he can’t bear to read.

    Fascinating point. Ironic and true.
    People are ridiculed for trying to discuss aspects of reality that do not fit neatly into the materialist framework.
    The fear of discussion causes many to accept evolution blindly, never permitting criticism.
    In other cases, people just cannot live with the artificial constraints and they just start taking about ghosts and wizards.
    Yes, exactly. That’s the world that Jerry and his friends helped create. He doesn’t have any solutions to fix it except raising more din, condescension, hostility, confusion, contempt — and then proclaiming that he’s above it all and won’t even read or investigate the article in question.

  9. 9
    bornagain77 says:

    further to Seversky bashing Christianity at 2:

    The Plausibility of Miracles in a Materialistic Age – Prof Craig S Keener – Dec 13, 2019 – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uTWlCkA0NLg

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