But here's a whopper from Coyne:
Francis Collins is ticked off at atheists
Speaking at an editorial board meeting at USA Today, National Insitutes of Health director Francis Collins, an evangelical Christian, has struck out at atheists. He’s particularly upset at some critical comments made by Steven Pinker that were first reported on this website. Collins now argues that the conflicts between religion and science are “overstated.”There is no conflict between science (the empirical study of nature) and belief in God (the belief that nature has an intelligent Personal Cause). There is obviously no logical contradiction, and there is no historical contradiction. Most great scientists have been Christians. Few were, or are, atheists.
If there is a logical contradiction to be found between science and theology, it would be between the search for rationality in nature and the belief that nature has no rational cause.
The atheist explanation for ultimate reality-- 'shit happens'-- is no impetus to science.
Asked about complaints from researchers such as Harvard’s Steven Pinker, over an avowed Christian heading a scientific agency, Collins said, “angry atheists are out there using science as a club to to hit believers over the head.”Yep.
He expressed concern that prominent researchers suggesting that one can’t believe in evolution and believe in God, may be “causing a lot of people not familiar with science to change their assessments of it.”Yep. My guess is that a lot of ordinary folks, taking a close look at Coyne, Myers, and Dawkins, are saying "as*holes". What should bother scientists is that these people are:
“A person’s private beliefs should not keep him from a public position,” Pinker wrote in 2009. “But Collins is an advocate of profoundly anti-scientific beliefs, and it is reasonable for the scientific community to ask him how these beliefs will affect his administration,” he added...'Have you now or have you ever been a Christian...?'
None of Collin's beliefs are 'anti-scientific'. That's particularly funny coming from Pinker, a pseudoscientist p.r.-obsessed psychologist who wouldn't know what the inside of a laboratory looked like, who is criticizing the science cred of one of the best molecular geneticists of the century.
And Collins is still an advocate of profoundly anti-scientific beliefs, including the notion that the laws of physics indicate fine-tuning by a deity (the same one who freezes waterfalls in three parts), and that human morality—which he calls “The Moral Law”—can’t be explained by evolution, ergo Jesus. (I’m publishing a response to the latter idea within the next few days.)Debates about the origins of natural laws and constants are philosophical debates, not scientific debates. Pinker, a man who believes that the laws of nature 'just happened' is calling the belief that they have an intelligent Source ' anti-science'. What a jerk.
I’m still awaiting evidence for Collins’s accommodationist claim that those who argue for an incompatibility between science and faith have turned many people away from science. What we do know is that those arguments have turned many people away from faith, which is of course a good thing.Don't worry, Jerry. The insistent public assertion that science is only compatible with the fringe ideology held by 4% of the population who have a propensity to totalitarianism won't affect the public's view of science. Rest easy, fool.
Collins has, of course, again overstepped his boundaries as NIH director. To see this, imagine if he was an atheist instead of a Christian, and “struck out at angry religious people” for trying to blur the boundaries between science and superstition.Coyne 'strikes out' at "angry religious people" all of the time. He's a tenured professor at a major university and is the recipient of lavish public funding. Many of his coprolalic colleagues (e.g. P.Z. Myers) are employees of public universities.
Atheists suckling at the public teat should be careful about advocating religious litmus tests.
Imagine if he said that religious people were using Jesus as a club to hit the scientifically-minded over the head. Collins would be fired in a millisecond, and religious people would come down on him like a ton of bricks.Atheist scientists say that all of the time. That's about all they say. They keep their jobs, and sell tons of books.
Would Coyne like to list the atheist scientists who have been fired for their view? I can name quite a few Christian scientists who have bee fired for their beliefs-- Richard Sternberg, Guillermo Gonzalez, David Coppedge, the list goes on.
His ability to get away with this as America’s most famous government scientist shows the profound asymmetry between theists and atheists in America.
The asymmetry, Coyne, is this: Christians believe in freedom of speech and unfettered public discussion. Atheists' views on the matter are becoming more clear each passing day.