Earth still in orbit, last we heard.
Recently, I (O’Leary for News) have had skeptical things to say about D. S. Wilson’s Evolution Institute’s anticipated triumphal march for “evolutionary theory” throughout all disciplines in the21st century.*
That said, I came across an interesting post on the site by science writer Dan Jones (The Philosopher In The Mirror) standing up to Jerry “Why Evolution Is True” Coyne.
Coyne wishes to claim that religious belief in general leads to terrorism and that those who offer a more focused inquiry are stooges.
In fact, it’s easy to show that Coyne is attacking a strawman. He would have you believe that radicalisation researchers are a bunch of “self-flagellating liberals” who ignore the role of religion and the ideologies it informs, and instead want to pin the blame on colonialism, or contemporary foreign policy more generally.
Coyne is talking total bullshit, bullshit he’s simply made up. It wouldn’t be worth responding to except it serves as a useful teachable moment.
What radicalisation researchers actually think
Take these quotes from the recently published “We Love Death As You Love Life”: Britain’s Suburban Terrorists, by Raffaello Pantucci, Director of International Security Studies at the Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies. In writing about the terrorist cell that carried out the London 2005 bombings, Pantucci says:
The question that has since plagued Britain is what drove this group of young men to such extreme action. Given the volume of people in the country also angry at the government’s foreign policy who chose other forms of protest to express themselves, anger at foreign policy alone is clearly not a sufficient explanation.
Pantucci is clearly not a West-blaming, self-flagellating liberal. More.
No, probably not; the fellow is probably looking for answers to some serious questions. That said, West-blaming, self-flagellating liberals often do interpose their whiny agenda between readers and critical information.
But then readers who, living in a free society, esteem the publications that carry such deadly misinformation, read and piously quote it have only themselves to blame.
By the way, Coyne is retiring.
This is serious, folks. Who’s going to replace him, saying uninformed things to a broad public on behalf of Darwin? Like, for example, his uninformed blithering on the Columbine massacre, sparked perhaps by citizens drawing correct but threatening conclusions about the later Aurora massacre.
*Note: This at a time when the overwhelming modern evolutionary theory, named for Darwin and forced on school systems, is in disarray.
It’s not much good claiming a victory for “evolution” when we haven’t established what the theory/mechanism is supposed to be, beyond “stuff changes.” In that case, “evolution” can mean anything from Lucretius through quantum principles theorized to promote evolution, or even evolutionary psychology.
Evolutionary psychology explains that things don’t change. If valid, it would be called human evolutionary “stasis” The social scientists promoting it have perhaps been too busy pursuing recognition as some kind of science to grasp the implications of any success they might enjoy outside the pop media. Unless, of course, they care far more about supporting the view that humans are just animals than about providing evidence of evolution. Reader, you judge.
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