Atheism Science science education

Well, it’s Valentines Day, and …

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… 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.

8 Replies to “Well, it’s Valentines Day, and …

  1. 1
    NormO says:

    Denyse:
    Coyne reassures us that, were he to talk about faith in the classroom, he would intend to undermine it

    Where did he say that? From the link you provide, he specifically says:

    Our job, though, is not to foist our personal beliefs on our students, but to teach science.

    And later on:

    If a student came to me outside of class and asked for my honest opinion about faith and science, I’d tell him, in a civil fashion, that the two areas are completely incompatible, and then explain why.

    I can’t find anywhere in his OP where he states that “were he to talk about faith in the classroom, he would intend to undermine it”. Can please identify where you obtained that?

  2. 2
    bornagain77 says:

    OT;

    Though Amazon list the book as ‘not yet released’, Jerry Bergman, on FB, has announced that his book is now released.

    The Dark Side of Charles Darwin: Jerry Bergman: Books
    http://www.amazon.com/Dark-Sid.....038;sr=1-1

    Jerry Bergman is also author of;

    Slaughter of The Dissidents [Paperback]
    http://www.amazon.com/Slaughte.....038;sr=1-1

    Which goes much further in documenting the systematic abuse and persecution of anyone in academia who dares question the the neo-Darwinian orthodoxy.

  3. 3
    bornagain77 says:

    correction; ‘Which goes much further, than EXPELLED did, in documenting the systematic abuse and persecution of anyone in academia who dares question the the neo-Darwinian orthodoxy.’

    expelled no intelligence allowed (part 1of10) PL
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fj8xyMsbkO4

  4. 4
    bornagain77 says:

    Apparently Coyne is blissfully ignorant of the fact that the science, he himself puts so much ‘faith’ in by the way, would be absolutely impossible without God;

    notes;

    BRUCE GORDON: Hawking’s irrational arguments – October 2010
    Excerpt: For instance, we find multiverse cosmologists debating the “Boltzmann Brain” problem: In the most “reasonable” models for a multiverse, it is immeasurably more likely that our consciousness is associated with a brain that has spontaneously fluctuated into existence in the quantum vacuum than it is that we have parents and exist in an orderly universe with a 13.7 billion-year history. This is absurd. The multiverse hypothesis is therefore falsified because it renders false what we know to be true about ourselves. Clearly, embracing the multiverse idea entails a nihilistic irrationality that destroys the very possibility of science.
    http://www.washingtontimes.com.....arguments/

    Dr. Bruce Gordon – The Absurdity Of The Multiverse & Materialism in General – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/5318486/

    This following site is a easy to use, and understand, interactive website that takes the user through what is termed ‘Presuppositional apologetics’. The website clearly shows that our use of the laws of logic, mathematics, science and morality cannot be accounted for unless we believe in a God who guarantees our perceptions and reasoning are trustworthy in the first place.

    Proof That God Exists – easy to use interactive website
    http://www.proofthatgodexists.org/index.php

    The crushing thing for atheists like Coyne is that math itself, the very bedrock upon which science is built, cannot be held to be consistently true unless the highest infinity of God is held to be consistently true as a starting assumption:

    Gödel’s Incompleteness: The #1 Mathematical Breakthrough of the 20th Century
    Excerpt: Gödel’s Incompleteness Theorem says:
    “Anything you can draw a circle around cannot explain itself without referring to something outside the circle – something you have to assume to be true but cannot prove “mathematically” to be true.”
    http://www.cosmicfingerprints......pleteness/

    THE GOD OF THE MATHEMATICIANS – DAVID P. GOLDMAN – August 2010
    Excerpt: we cannot construct an ontology that makes God dispensable. Secularists can dismiss this as a mere exercise within predefined rules of the game of mathematical logic, but that is sour grapes, for it was the secular side that hoped to substitute logic for God in the first place. Gödel’s critique of the continuum hypothesis has the same implication as his incompleteness theorems: Mathematics never will create the sort of closed system that sorts reality into neat boxes.
    http://www.faqs.org/periodical.....27241.html

    etc.. etc.. etc..

  5. 5
    O'Leary says:

    NormO, if Coyne, given his views, were to teach religion or faith or whatever in the classroom, especially as the result of some sort of admin prod or legal or financial requirement, he could only undermine it, and I doubt very much that he would deny that or think it a bad thing.

    I suppose that is a factor in his – to me, odd – hostility to Ecklund.

    I’ve no stake in her project myself, but who, besides Coyne, is carrying on about it?

  6. 6
    NormO says:

    Denyse,
    It doesn’t matter what you think he might do given his views. The point is he doesn’t actually say that in the piece and you’re stating out-right that he does when you write:

    Coyne reassures us that, were he to talk about faith in the classroom, he would intend to undermine it

    You simply cannot say “Coyne reassures us etc …” where such a statement does not exist! C’mon, you’re better than that!

  7. 7
    Bantay says:

    NormO

    Where Coyne says “Our job, though, is not to foist our personal beliefs on our students, but to teach science.”

    …is Coynespeak for…

    “Our job, though it is not to foist our personal beliefs on our students [like “God does not exist”], but to [define science in a way that removes supernatural explanations, even if a supernatural explanation is the best explanation].

    The problem for Mr. Coyne is, most people are not willing to let him get away with it.

  8. 8
    Barb says:

    Jerry Coyne bloviates, “Or, one might add, call into question the modern theory of evolution, cast doubt on global warming, or, in the case of Francis Collins, go around lecturing that human morality is not an evolved or secular phenomenon, but ironclad proof of God’s existence.“

    Yes, and…? If that is the scientist’s point of view and he or she is explicitly asked for it and provides it, what’s the problem?

    Oh, that’s right. They don’t agree with Coyne. You’ll get over it, Jerry.

    “Some day I’m going to make a list of accommodationist code words, and what they really mean. “Nuanced” is one, and now “scientism” is another.”

    From Dictionary.com:
    sci•en•tism
    ? Show Spelled[sahy-uh n-tiz-uh m]–noun
    1. the style, assumptions, techniques, practices, etc., typifying or regarded as typifying scientists.
    2. the belief that the assumptions, methods of research, etc., of the physical and biological sciences are equally appropriate and essential to all other disciplines, including the humanities and the social sciences.
    3. scientific or pseudoscientific language.

    Note, Jerry, that this isn’t a nuanced word. The definition most often applied is the second one, the belief (based on faith?) that science is the only way to know. It’s not, and most intelligent people realize this.

    “Finally, Dr. Ecklund, is it really a slur on university science teaching that we “leave no room for meaning and morality”? “

    Actually, yes, it is. If there is no ultimate meaning to life or anything else, then why study at university? Why learn anything at all?

    “For what makes her think that those of us who follow her advice are going to promote a harmony between science and faith? “

    Because intelligent people know that promoting disharmony between science and religion is a false dichotomy, Jerry; a logical fallacy that proves nothing.

    Scientists who’ve contributed more to human knowledge and understanding than you, Sam Harris and Richard Dawkins combined believed in God and had no problem correlating their scientific discoveries with the belief that God exists.

    “If a student came to me outside of class and asked for my honest opinion about faith and science, I’d tell him, in a civil fashion, that the two areas are completely incompatible, and then explain why.”

    So, Frances Collins isn’t allowed or shouldn’t be allowed) to explain that morality is proof of God’s existence but Coyne should be able to spread the gospel of atheism to all his students. After reading Coyne’s blog, the only thing I’m convinced of is his hypocrisy.

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