… it turns out that Jerry “whyevolutionistrue” Coyne doesn’t like Elaine Ecklund, a Templeton author on faith and science*:
Elaine Ecklund is making more hay out of her Templeton-funded research than I would have thought possible. Author of the book Science vs. Religion: What Scientists Really Think, she has spent her post-publication time distorting her findings as loudly and as often as possible, and spinning them to claim that they show the need for a consilience of science and faith. Templeton could not have gotten more bang for their bucks.
Her latest piece, “Science on Faith“, is in The Chronicle of Higher Education. (It’s behind a paywall but I got it from the library.) Once again Ecklund emphasizes the many scientists who “identify with a religious label,” (these, of course, include atheists like Jason Rosenhouse and me!), and who “see themselves as spiritual.” After cannily making her readers think that many atheist-scientists are actually “spiritual” folk, only a hairsbreadth from accepting Jebus, she reaches her familiar point: university scientists need to talk more about religion in and out of the classroom:
Coyne reassures us that, were he to talk about faith in the classroom, he would intend to undermine it, a fact that will come as a great shcok to those who have read his other comments on the subject.
He thinks that Ecklund does not realize that fact:
When you read stuff like this, you begin to suspect that Ecklund is either blinded by the infusion of Templeton cash or is completely disingenuous. For what makes her think that those of us who follow her advice are going to promote a harmony between science and faith?
My sense is that she realizes it quite well, and thinks people should quit pretending that they are coming merely from an objective point of view (which no one really has or can have).
But surely Uncommon Descent readers will agree with me that if science teachers do get around to teaching religion as part of the course, Coyne would be a shoo-in for the section on the evils of rushing to judgment about the motives of others.
* It’s far from clear that Jason Rosenhouse will be his Valentine either. But maybe Jason will get a kind word today from his boss at the Darwin lobby (NCSE), Eugenie Scott.