A philosopher warns Jerry Coyne against presumption in philosophy:
Last month, The Conversation published biologist Jerry Coyne’s article, lovingly served up for audiences at Christmastime, “Yes, There is a War Between Science and Religion.” Coyne fancies himself a participant in a perceived war between faith and reason, science and religion. His mission: To show people they can’t believe the account of Christ’s birth—as depicted, for example, in the Book of Luke, Chapter 2—while simultaneously believing there’s crackers in the pantry. You use your eyeballs for the latter, but not the former, and it’s simply irrational to go through life with a bifurcated mind!
However, notice that Coyne’s notion of right evidence is insufficient to serve as evidence for all the things we believe are true. First, the concept of evidence is quite a bit more complicated than Coyne supposes. Second, on Coyne’s conception of evidence, it’s hard to see how he can adjudicate the very debate about faith and reason he’s engaged in. What empirical evidence does he use to decide between his view on the one hand, and Richard Swinburne’s or Paul Helm’s on the other? Third, above I listed a few things which we don’t believe on empirical evidence, such as the uniformity of nature, the existence of a past, and the existence of other minds. We could add the truths of mathematics, moral truths, the nature of the laws of logic, and philosophical claims, like the nature of causation, to the list. Fourth, what empirical evidence does Coyne have for his claim that only empirical evidence matters? Paul Manata, “Is There A War Between Science And Religion?” at Arc
A naturalist atheist’s problems are not just with religion but also with philosophy. we can’t believe that our brain is shaped for fitness, not truth, and still expect to have a chance at discovering truth.
See also: Michael Keas: Stephen Hawking Among Worst Offenders For Science Vs. Religion Myths
Bill Nye’s “Christianity Vs. The Big Universe” Myth
Neil deGrasse Tyson and “the artistic license to lie”
Darwinian Jerry Coyne muses on hashtag hate and the media
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