Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Jerry Coyne finally admits that his attack on professor at Ball State was a publicity stunt for movie Expelled

Ben Stein: "We needed an atheist jerk to make a really stupid futile obnoxious gesture
that vindicates the core thesis of Expelled. Coyne was the answer to our prayers."


[Dissociated Press] Darwinist fundamentalist Jerry Coyne, a professor of evolutionary biology at the University of Chicago, has finally admitted that his bizarre effort to silence Ball State professor Eric Hedin for teaching a course that contains content with which Coyne disagrees is actually a publicity stunt for the pro-academic freedom film Expelled.

Coyne spoke with a DP reporter yesterday in his office at the University of Chicago.

Coyne:
Actually, a couple of months ago I was just sitting in my office perusing magazines on fruit fly evolution when I got a call from Ben Stein, who starred in the ID film Expelled
Of course I don't like Stein. He asks questions about evolution. I thought to myself "why would this guy be calling me? 
But actually Stein was very polite to me. He said: "Jerry, we know you don't like our movie, but we're really in a financial bind. We've sold quite a few DVD's, but lately the market's been slumping, and we figured we have to do something to get Expelled back in the public eye." 
So I asked him what that has to do with me. 
"What we need, Jerry, is some atheist loon to prove that everything we said in Expelled about Darwinist supression and thuggery is true. We couldn't find an atheist asshole who was crazy enough-- stupid enough actually-- to publicly vindicate the movie. Then one of our producers said he had the solution to our marketing problem-- two words: 'Jerry Coyne'.

Keep talking, I said.

"So here's the deal, Jerry. We need you to pick some modest little university-- perhaps a public university in which students and faculty actually have constitutionally guaranteed free speech rights. Find a little course, preferably in a science department, that discusses the philosophical implications of science in a way that Darwinists hate. It has to be an elective course-- not required-- that critiques some aspect of Darwinism and maybe even mentions God. It has to be a course that adult students choose voluntarily, out of a desire to broaden their understanding of the philosophy of science. It has to be a course that no one in their right mind would say was illegal or unconstitutional. What we need, Jerry, is for you to embark on a crusade that is so stupid and so offensive that it completely validates the core thesis of Expelled-- that scientists who dare question atheism and Darwinism are subject to horrendous personal, professional and even legal attacks. It would be great for sales of our DVD."

I was hesitant. What's in it for me, I asked. 
"Here's the part you'll like, Jerry. We'll give you a special package we've put together just for you. A copy of Origin of Species, with Darwin's words in red. Autographed first editions of each of Richard Dawkins' best sellers, and an adorable Richard Dawkins bobble-head doll that when you put it on a shelf it always looks down on you, and an inflatable life-sized Madalyn Murray-O'Hair doll that says "I'll take you to court" when you tickle it in a special spot. It's all yours, just for doing us this one little marketing favor."

I don't normally consort with creationists, and I already had a Dawkins bobble-head. But they were offering me an inflatable Madalyn Murray-O'Hair doll... 
This was irresistable.

So Coyne searched the catalogues of hundreds of public universities until he found the perfect course-- Hedin's course in the astronomy department at Ball State.

In just a month, Expelled sales have skyrocketed. People see that the core thesis of the movie is true: any professor who dares to challenge Darwinian atheist dogma gets attacked relentlessly. Threats of professional destruction, denial of tenure, letters from atheist legal groups threatening lawsuits in federal court, letters to the chairman and to university administration.

Straight out of Expelled. It's like they scripted it.

Stein and the Expelled producers have expressed gratitude to Coyne. Stein gave Coyne a special gift-- a gold-plated Expelled DVD-- with the inscription:

To Dr. Coyne: With deepest gratitude from the producers and cast of Expelled
Thank you for vindicating our message.

30 comments:

  1. I was very troubled to learn that Hedin required his students to wear crosses, write sermons, and make public proclamations in support of their faith in Christ. Whoops! Seems that I'm confusing Hedin with a recent episode at Columbia State Community College in Tennessee about an instructor compelling students to espress their support of LGBT rights.

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  2. The syllabus for Hedin’s “science class” includes C.S Lewis “Miracles”, and multiple books by young earth creationist Hugh Ross including “The Creator and the Cosmos”. Hedin is a Christian apologist masquerading as a science teacher. I have no doubt that many of his students leave his course with a poorer understanding of science than when they started.

    -KW

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    1. Adm. G Boggs, Glenbeckistan NavyJune 26, 2013 at 8:44 AM

      Popeye: " I have no doubt that many of his students [blah, blah, blah...]"

      You have no doubt about many things, Popeye. Which is the root and source of your profound ignorance.

      Delete
    2. Adm. G Boggs, Glenbeckistan NavyJune 26, 2013 at 9:19 AM

      Speaking of Popeye's "no doubt" blatterings, I decided to check his current level of ignorance. Consider this:

      "...young earth creationist Hugh Ross..."

      Unsurprisingly, I found this in about 10 seconds at Wiki:

      Ross believes in progressive creationism, which posits that while the earth is billions of years old, life did not appear by natural forces alone but that a supernatural agent formed different lifeforms in incremental (progressive) stages, and day-age creationism which reconciles a literal Genesis account of Creation with modern scientific theories on the age of the Universe, the Earth, life, and humans. He rejects the Young Earth Creationist (YEC) position that the earth is younger than 10,000 years, or that the creation "days" of Genesis 1 represent literal 24-hour periods.

      Popeye, you are so pathetic.

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  3. As I mentioned before, I think the class is in the wrong department. It sounds more like philosophy than science. Yet I doubt Coyne would be okay with it if it were transferred to another department.

    Then again, there are other subjects in science departments that are more mushy than hard.

    JQ

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  4. "There are other subjects in science departments that are more mushy..."

    Yes, evolutionism is very very mushy!

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  5. Hedin might as well be teaching alchemy in chemistry class or holocaust denial in history class.

    I’m all for an honest rational examination of creationist and ID claims in science class because they can’t stand up to scrutiny. Examining ID claims would be a wonderful way to teach students critical thinking skills and how to recognize pseudo-science and apologetics masquerading as science. Unfortunately science teachers who insist and dragging their faith into the classroom make rational examination of any issue in conflict with their faith virtually impossible.

    -KW

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    1. Adm. G Boggs, Glenbeckistan NavyJune 26, 2013 at 9:57 AM

      Popeye, a little feedback...

      You're trying to appear intelligent and informed.

      It's not working.

      Delete
    2. I think we should start by removing the homosexual activists masquerading as teachers, then the abortion activists masquerading as teachers, then the "diversity"-driven racial grievance mongers masquerading as teachers. When you're done with all of them, I wouldn't mind if you went after the Christians. They should keep their faith out of the classroom as well.

      Joey

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    3. If homosexual activists and abortion activists are in classrooms intentionally feeding their students a curriculum of false debunked information in order to influence their student’s politics, then I agree they should be removed. Religious apologetics in a science classroom is even more egregious because it not only misinforms the students in order to advance an agenda; it runs afoul of the establishment clause.

      -KW

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    4. I should have said “public” science classroom. Do whatever you want in your private Christian schools, but don’t expect to turn out anything other than mediocre scientists.

      -KW

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    5. Yeah, well, they are. So put a stop to it.

      Joey

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    6. @KW:

      [Do whatever you want in your private Christian schools, but don’t expect to turn out anything other than mediocre scientists.]


      America is the most Christian/creationist nation in the West. It is also the undisputed leader in science. Our Christian culture is obviously doing something right.

      Can you name an atheist/secular utopia that does better science?

      I never cease to be amazed by your disconnect from reality.

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    7. The best science in the US is done at universities and government labs. I haven't seen too many creationists among science faculty or lab personnel.

      Hoo

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    8. “Can you name an atheist/secular utopia that does better science?”

      There has never been an atheist/secular utopia, but the science departments of secular universities operating in our secularly governed country may be as close to that ideal as has ever been achieved.

      -KW

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    9. A few simple points.

      Re Mike's comments:
      America was once one of the most Christian and creationist nations in the west. Certainly the most powerful for the last half of the 20th century.
      It still has a strong element of that deep faith within the populace, but the government no longer works to such aims.
      From military to civilian, God is being removed from the American sphere at pace that is grossly effecting it's direction in all fields.
      I wish it were as you say, Mike. But it's not. Not any longer at any rate.
      Spain, Italy, Portugal, Brazil & many south American nations surpass the US in this area. Even my own country - once (recently) very secular by comparison, at least in public - comes off like the Vatican by comparison to modern American policy.
      Could this decline be tied to the decline in US competitiveness in these fields and also be what is behind the need to import (increasingly) so many bright minds? I would think it does.
      I would suggest it has to do with motivation. People who feel they have a calling work harder, more effectively, and to a purpose. People who are merely interested and trained in a field want a decent salary. Money is not the best motivator in science, and that is what Corporatist America offers.

      Re Hoo's comments:
      The 'best science' is done by real scientists, not technicians with degree. By scientist I mean well rounded and EDUCATED, not trained in a specific field. That education requires a background in humanities as well as any technical training. Most people defined as 'scientists' today are researchers and technicians. Most of the work they do is compartmentalized and corporate.

      Finally, I see the 'best science' (ie most advanced) is actually being worked on in the Defence Industry or in service of that industry by contractors with a military mandate. Obviously by 'best' I do not mean 'good'. Not much of that anymore - at least outside of some fields of medicine.

      The Vatican also funds some really interesting stuff (like CERN), as do the Royal Houses of Europe.

      I should also note that in my own experience most of the scientists (actual) I have met over the years have been very well rounded and culturally quite interesting. There have been many 'creationists' among them. That is not to say they are all YEC types, but that they are educated enough to do the maths and come up with an understanding of the cosmos that actually both inspires and is functional. This is especially true of the theoretical physicists and advanced/reverse engineers.

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    10. “Finally, I see the 'best science' (ie most advanced) is actually being worked on in the Defence Industry or in service of that industry by contractors with a military mandate”

      You are confusing science and engineering. Sure, defense contractors do research to support their engineering, but virtually none of it is for the sake of discovery or basic understanding of the natural world.

      As advanced as defense industry engineering is, I know some very senior engineers at Raytheon who marvel at the technology packed into a smart phone. If you want an example of some the most advanced engineering on the planet look in your pocket.

      -KW

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    11. @Hoo:

      [The best science in the US is done at universities and government labs. I haven't seen too many creationists among science faculty or lab personnel]

      Universities and government labs are full of creationists, IDers, Thomists, Protestants, Catholics, etc.

      We're everywhere in this beautiful country. You just don't notice us for who we are.

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    12. @KW:

      [There has never been an atheist/secular utopia, but the science departments of secular universities operating in our secularly governed country may be as close to that ideal as has ever been achieved.]

      Science departments close to utopia?

      Heh. Actually some of the nastiest shabbiest politics I've encountered has been in science.

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    13. Adm. G Boggs, Glenbeckistan NavyJune 26, 2013 at 3:54 PM

      Egnor: "[S]ome of the nastiest shabbiest politics I've encountered has been in science."

      Absolutely. It's often the reason the people who leave academia behind do so. Quoting Sayre's Law

      Academic politics is the most vicious and bitter form of politics, because the stakes are so low.

      Science as a process does fairly well in primarily secular atmospheres like academia and the national labs because it's based on methodological naturalism.

      However, academic and government jobs are not notably well-paid, and greed leads to some bitter jealousies, angry rants to cop a few bucks on book sales (cf., Coyne), and downright fraud (retractionwatch.wordpress.com is one of the more interesting sites around). The whole enterprise might function a bit better if it were more Golden Rule and less Dawkinsian.

      It's fun to watch, though. The slightest whiff of theism is like poking a fire ant mound.

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    14. Universities and government labs are full of creationists, IDers, Thomists, Protestants, Catholics, etc.

      Protestants and Catholics, maybe. Although I would quibble even with that: university faculty, esp. in hard sciences, tend to be much less religious than the general population.

      Creationists and IDers, no. Behe, Minnich, Gonzalez. Anyone else?

      Thomists, that's completely orthogonal to creationism.

      Hoo

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    15. I know a number of creationists (old earth creationists) and IDers in science, including one very senior basic scientist with whom I have spoken often about ID. These folks know that their career is in serious trouble if they make any public statements about their beliefs. So they keep quiet.

      You encounter serious Christians (and Jews) of all stripes all the time in science, just like everywhere else. You just don't know it.

      As my friend who is a senior basic scientist told me: "I'd speak out (for ID), but my wife is ill, I've got kids, and I'd never get another grant if I came out for ID. I've got to take care of my family."

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    16. Hoo:

      [Thomists, that's completely orthogonal to creationism.]

      You're right. I didn't think you were that perceptive.

      Thomists have been historically among the most fervent and cogent critics of YEC.

      I count myself in the Thomist camp. I don't speak ill of YEC's because every YEC I've met has been a good honest person, and they're my brothers in Christ, and I don't attack my family of Christians. But I do think that YEC's are not correct in their cosmology, and overall I think that YEC is a help to the bad guys, because it gives the bad guys a big target.

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    17. Egnor: Heh. Actually some of the nastiest shabbiest politics I've encountered has been in science.

      So your department sucks. My sympathies.

      Hoo

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    18. I know a number of creationists (old earth creationists) and IDers in science, including one very senior basic scientist with whom I have spoken often about ID. These folks know that their career is in serious trouble if they make any public statements about their beliefs. So they keep quiet.

      It's not that their careers are in danger, Egnor, particularly if they are tenured. It's much more mundane and less conspiratorial than you imagine.

      It's just that creationism is useless in science. It doesn't help make any discoveries. It's good apologetics and bad metaphysics.

      Hoo

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  6. KW,
    "You are confusing science and engineering."
    No, I am connecting the two. Both are done 'in house'. It used to be called R&D for a reason. R is the science, D is the engineering.

    "Sure, defense contractors do research to support their engineering, but virtually none of it is for the sake of discovery or basic understanding of the natural world. "
    One leads to the other. Designing complex systems for defence - from advanced physics to the drawing board - requires research and experimentation. That work often leads to new understanding of our world and the cosmos in general.

    "If you want an example of some the most advanced engineering on the planet look in your pocket."
    A) We had it all years ago. Your friends either know that and have great PR skills, or are impressed by something outside of their own compartment.
    B) I do not/would not/am not permitted to carry a smart phone of my own. The reasons for this should be obvious.



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    1. It used to be called R&D for a reason. R is the science, D is the engineering.

      No, crus, both R&D done in the military are engineering, or applied science. There is very little basic (fundamental) research done outside of academia. A few industry places (Bell Labs, IBM) used to support basic research, but now even they have dropped it. Basic science is done almost exclusively in academia and government labs.

      That has nothing to do with credentials. Someone has got to pay for it. Federal government is about the only source supporting basic research, whether in Europe, the US, or Canada.

      Hoo

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    2. Hoo,

      If by your objection you mean that 'science' is confined to 'out of the blue' research - It is not. What you describe as 'applied science' (note the word 'science' - accurate in most cases) is actually what is often called 'proximate research' or directed science. It is science with a mission.
      Therefor it is both 'science' and the 'best science', IMHO. The R stands for science (applied or proximate) and the D stands for engineering (the application and utilization of that science).

      My point is not to state that academia serves no scientific function or that the 'basic research' is not primarily done in an academic setting.
      My point is to illustrate two things:
      1)The term 'best science' is subjective and not confined to the opinion of scientists, but rather results
      2) Proximate science is just as valuable to any sort of future discoveries as enquiry merely for the sake of enquiry. Both have a role. IMO, the better role is the more useful one.
      At any rate: We do have capacity for some very far out research. I must grudgingly admit, some of it has borne fruit, if only after decades of work.
      Details? Sorry. Not trying to be coy, but that's how it is.
      If you have level 2 (secret) clearance, or even a good level 1 RS, and are in the area of concern or may somehow contribute, am sure you can examine your own end of things enough to get an idea of what the lab coats are up to.
      And you bet the funding comes from the various federal/national governments (including Royal Commissions, for us of course.) The budgets are a whole other topic, but I will state that is amazes me how some groups can do well with next to nothing, while others seem to need fantastic amounts just scratch their heads. But that is bureaucracy, and more akin to sorcery than science.

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  7. I know this HAS to be a gag. Jerry Coyne needs no special incentive to be the rabid face of Darwinism.

    Good stuff!

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