Home » Humor, Intelligent Design » With enemies like Coyne, who needs friends?

With enemies like Coyne, who needs friends?

The attempted refutation of Behe’s work by the Darwinists has been so anemic that even the prominent names in the Darwinist blogsphere are beginning to lament the lackluster performance of their All-Stars against Michael Behe.

For example, Jason Rosenhouse, one of the most brilliant authors at PandasThumb, has decided to break ranks and openly criticize world-renowned Darwinist Jerry Coyne.

In Coyne Lays an Egg, Rosenhouse writes:

[Coyne's] review of [Behe's Edge of Evolution] EoE is a terrible piece of work. It’s all snideness and ridicule with very little in the way of good arguments. It really infuriates me when someone like Coyne is given such a terrific platform, several thousand words in a classy magazine like The New Republic, and then writes as if the whole project is beneath him.
….
Behe will have a good time lambasting Coyne for not reading very carefully.


In contrast, the NCSE is naively promoting Coyne’s terrible review here. Because Coyne’s review is so bad, can we be certain Coyne wasn’t the victim of copying one of the Sokal-type hoaxes which Bill Dembski is offering $200 prizes for? And has world-renowned Darwinist Sean Carroll already fallen prey to such a hoax (well, I not so seriously speculate on the possibility here anyway)?

But let’s not scold Rosenhouse for being too critical of his own Darwinist establishment. Recall Coyne himself has said here:

In science’s pecking order, evolutionary biology lurks somewhere near the bottom, far closer to phrenology than to physics

and here

if truth be told, evolution hasn’t yielded many practical or commercial benefits

and last but not least, when Coyne offered criticism of the evolutionary icon of peppered moths, he lamented here:

My own reaction [to the myth of the peppered moth icon] resembles the dismay attending my discovery, at the age of six, that it was my father and not Santa who brought the presents on Christmas Eve.

With enemies like Coyne, who needs friends?

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17 Responses to With enemies like Coyne, who needs friends?

  1. Rosenhouse complains of Coyne:

    It’s all snideness and ridicule with very little in the way of good arguments.

    Yet here is Rosenhouse’s commentary here and here:

    Behe is a snake
    ….
    ID folks are shameless cranks, willing to stoop to any level of dishonesty and distortion in making their case
    ….
    [Dembski is] a classless, no-talent buffoon…..at bottom, the ID folks are such total worthless frauds

    I think Coyne’s fault is he’s been reading too much from the gang at PandasThumb lately…..

  2. Coyne is clearly one of our agents. It’s a shame he’s now exposed.

  3. The comments section there is a hoot. I especially love “Behe has insulted every scientist on the planet” – and the general calls to be as obnoxious and insulting as possible when dealing with ID proponents. In the name of reason and science, I’m sure.

  4. Rosenhouse is a funny guy. He’s still trotting out the TTSS as a functional precursor for the flagellum long after it was pointed out that most scientists believe the TTSS appeared AFTER the flagellum, not before it. I wonder if Rosenhouse believes his grandmother descended from his mother? Maybe he watched “Terminator” too many times and believes living things can travel back in time to before they were born… good stuff!

  5. Ironically,

    Behe uses a Coyne quote in The Edge of Evolution in building his case against evo-devo, specifically against Sean Carroll’s book. Here is the quote Behe uses:

    The evidence for the adaptive divergence of gene switches is still thin. The best case involves the loss of protective armour and spines in sticklebacks, both due to changes in regulatory elements. But these examples represent the loss of traits, rather than the origin of evolutionary novelties. Carroll also gives many cases of different expression patterns of Hox gense associated with the acquisition of new structures (such as limbs, insect wings and butterfly eyespots), but these observations are only correlations. One could even argue that they are trivial. … We now know that Hox genes and other transcription factors have many roles besides inducing body pattern, and their overall function in development – let alone in evolution – remains murky.”

  6. #4 DaveScott

    Rosenhouse is a funny guy. He’s still trotting out the TTSS as a functional precursor for the flagellum long after it was pointed out that most scientists believe the TTSS appeared AFTER the flagellum, not before it.

    Dave, and what about Rosenhouse’s articles against probabily arguments in ID?

    http://www.csicop.org/intellig.....y-one.html
    http://www.csicop.org/intellig.....y-one.html

    It’s a long sequence of repetitions of the same flawed objections that every ID supporter has heard, and easily falsified, more and more times.

  7. I have always been restrained in my criticisms of Rosenhouse because of his kindness and civility toward the IDEA club at JMU and his kind words of me (sometimes).

    He attendended an joint IDEA/Campus Crusade event which I organized in 2004. He wrote of me:

    Having gotten to know him [Salvador] over the last few weeks, I don’t think that Salvador would knowingly say something that is false.

    Recently he gave a couple of talks on ID to a small Christian student group on campus. He specifcally invited me to come, and when I did so he allowed me to comment at will and made no attempt to shut me down. He did not have to do that. He also encouraged the students who were there to learn about both sides and specifically criticized certain ID writings. This was far more honorable behavior than I’ve come to expect from creationists.

    ….

    Salvador’s talk that I mentioned before was not a large public debate with local media coverage or anything like that. It was a small gathering of about 10-15 students, and we met in a classroom. As far as I know, no one outside the room even knew it was going on. I know most (if not all) of the students in the audience were members of the Campus Crusade for Christ, which is an evangelical organization. As I understand it, they are felxible on the age of the Earth but will not tolerate evolution in any form.

    That is why I went.

    In a small group like that in which everyone there was already a creationist of one sort or other, I don’t think Salvador had anything to gain by having me present. That is why I have some modicum of resepct for him. There was also the fact that he made it very clear during his talk that what he was presenting was accepted by only a tiny minority of scientists, and he did not make any of the usual slanderous or scurrilous attacks against scientists so typical of creationism.

    From Is Evolution the Cornerstone of Biology

  8. Rosenhouse is a funny guy.

    He does make humorous comments. I recall onetime at his school when I was appraising him of my activities, he said, “Well, good luck”. But then, upon realizing his mistake in wishing me well he corrected himself and said, “but not too much luck.” We both laughed.

  9. I think what you are seeing is the different way people behave in the blogosphere from the way they behave face-to-face. Something similar happens with mobile phones. You must have heard people in the street screaming things down their phone they would never say to someone in front of them.

    This effect appears to happen whatever the beliefs or prestige of the protagonists. It is by now means confined to the ID debate. On the pro-ID side I note:

    * Drawing funny faces of your opponents to make them look like comic book characters
    * Adding fart noises to pictures of your opponents
    * Publishing and promoting unsourced e-mails implying that a senior academic is a racist

    I am sure I don’t need to help you find the examples on the anti-ID side.

  10. #7

    That is why I have some modicum of resepct for him.

    Let us remember this passage Salvador … “some modicum of respect”. Your arguments, your attitude to discuss fairly; all this would be nothing. Very instructive indeed.

    and he did not make any of the usual slanderous or scurrilous attacks against scientists so typical of creationism.

    It’s very laughable that such a statement come from one of the PT crew.

  11. I don’t think Rosenhouse matters one way or the other; I would rather like to see this forum respond to the criticism of Behe we find at some of the links given at PT. It seems to me the case is not as clear cut as Bill or Sal are saying. Personally, I do not think Behe’s idea about ‘front loading’ holds water, a little thought on the subject ought to show that it just could not work. Behe has not shown any mechanism for preserving unused, useless DNA for untold millions of years.

  12. Dizzy

    Behe has not shown any mechanism for preserving unused, useless DNA for untold millions of years.

    Maybe we’d know the mechanism if someone would look for it. We know now that that such a mechanism exists because we found thousands of sequences with no detectable biologic activity in non-coding DNA that were so well conserved for a hundred million years they can’t be told apart from functional sequences by any method other than deleting the sequences and seeing if the GM animal suffers any ill effects from the deletion.

    I refer to the knockout experiment in mice which I blogged just yesterday here and six months ago here. Maybe if you kept up with the articles we post here you’d know about this.

  13. 13
    christopheratlee

    Dizzy what if J Brown heard you talking like that?

  14. Kairos said: “It’s very laughable that such a statement come from one of the PT crew.”

    Such a statement is laughable coming from either the Pandas Thumb crew or the Uncommon Descent crew. Both sides (although definitely not all individuals on either sides) are frequently guilty of juvenile behavior.

  15. #14

    Both sides (although definitely not all individuals on either sides) are frequently guilty of juvenile behavior.

    It’s a matter of % and PT scores are more and more higher …

  16. For future searchers who come across this page while out Googling, here is Behe’s response to Coyne (Ruse and Carroll as well):

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/blog/.....TP938HTSPI

  17. [...] in the schools” lobby, National Center for Science Education and Catholic Darwinist Ken Miller (see here and [...]

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