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Jerry Coyne must need the ink, attacks Suzan Mazur

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Origin of Life Circus And Mae-Wan Ho:

Ho’s lucubrations on evolutionary biology, as revealed in an interview she gave to Suzan Mazur at PuffHo, are just as bad. The piece, “Mae-Wan Ho: No boundary really between epigenetic and genetic”, is replete with misstatements, errors, and distortions on the part of both interviewer and subject. Mazur, as you may recall, is a gonzo journalist driven by one Big Obsession: modern evolutionary biology is wrong and she’s going to show how rotten it really is. Mazur tried to win renown by reporting on the infamous “Altenburg 16,” a group of biologists who convened a meeting in Austria, originally intending to debunk the Modern Synthesis, but later retracted their claws and claimed only to “extend” the synthesis. The result of that meeting was an eminently forgettable symposium volume that sunk without a trace, leaving no perceptible influence on the field. As I wrote about Mazur’s reporting at the time:

Her thesis has been not only that modern evolutionary biology is rotten to the core, but that we evolutionists all know it and are desperately trying to cover up a crumbling paradigm. Her interviews with people like Stuart Pivar and my old boss, Dick Lewontin, are really funny: Mazur desperately wants them all to admit that evolutionary biology is bankrupt, no matter what they think. Instead of finding out what they think, she presses and presses them to agree with her. It seems that most of these hilarious interviews have disappeared from the internet, but you can get a taste of them here and here.

And that, more or less, is what she does with Mae-Wan Ho, pressing her to admit the intellectual vacuity of modern evolutionary theory. Ho, for her part, is more than glad to comply. More.

Mazur is the author of The Origin of Life Circus and Altenberg 16, both valuable insights into fact (vs. anger).

From the files: Coyne was also mad at the New York Times for giving Lynn Margulis a respectful obit. (We told him to stuff a sock in it at the time.)

See also: Another non-Darwinian biologist we need to know about: Mae-Wan Ho

File under: Coyne past sellby date. Refuses to acknowledge difficulties. Dumps on colleagues. Tenure.

5 Replies to “Jerry Coyne must need the ink, attacks Suzan Mazur

  1. 1
    bornagain77 says:

    We need to give Coyne some pity. The poor guy thinks he is just an illusion having the illusion that what he thinks and says is important.

    The Confidence of Jerry Coyne – Ross Douthat – January 6, 2014
    Excerpt: One of the problems with belonging to a faction that’s convinced it’s on the winning side of intellectual history is that it becomes easy to persuade oneself that one’s own worldview has no weak points whatsoever, no internal contradictions or ragged edges, no cracks through which a critic’s wedge could end up driven. This kind of overconfidence has been displayed, at various points in the human story, by everyone from millenarians to Marxists, inquisitors to eugenicists. But right now its vices are often found in a certain type of atheistic polemicist, and in a style of anti-religious argument that’s characterized by a peculiar, almost-willed ignorance of why reasonable people might doubt the scientific-materialist worldview.,,,
    Well and good. But then halfway through this peroration, we have as an aside the confession 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.,,,

    Of related note: a recent Ross Douthat speech was uploaded a few days ago on Veritas Forum videos:

    Faith Is Not a Sideshow – Ross Douthat at the University of Michigan – video

  2. 2
    bornagain77 says:

    OT: DRTV Above the Paygrade – Casey Luskin: Bill Nye, Undeniable, and Intelligent Design – video

  3. 3
    Robert Byers says:

    The important thing is that evolutionary biology is so easily questionable. including this Coyne guy desperate to debunk the organized new criticism.
    YEC, ID, independents, this group and those documenting, and evo critics. WOW. It seems there is something wrong about this scientific THEORY called evolution.
    Its like on the edge of crash.
    It is!!!
    Make sure your on the right side when it crashes. Don’t be the dumb guys like the liberals who opposed the Reagan revolution in world affairs, economics, patrioticism, and socila conservative stuff a little.
    The guys who are wrong about big things probably are the dumber guys.
    Be wary folks.

  4. 4
    beau says:

    I’m impressed by the stockpile of reading you have concerning these issues. How do you keep up with it all?

  5. 5
    bornagain77 says:

    beau, I have lots of notes. Semi-organized. And a God who realizes how dumb I am compared to others on UD and is thus extremely helpful at times helping me remember certain things and recalling them.

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