Thursday, October 16, 2014

Jerry Coyne: Scientists lie about science, because they want money from you

You think I'm kidding?

Courtesy of Mike Gene, we have this quote from Jerry Coyne himself talking about how scientists communicate with the public, particularly with regards to science's incompatibility with religion:
This disharmony is a dirty little secret in scientific circles. It is in our personal and professional interest to proclaim that science and religion are perfectly harmonious. After all, we want our grants funded by the government, and our schoolchildren exposed to real science instead of creationism. Liberal religious people have been important allies in our struggle against creationism, and it is not pleasant to alienate them by declaring how we feel. This is why, as a tactical matter, groups such as the National Academy of Sciences claim that religion and science do not conflict.
And as Mike says...
My oh my. Did you catch that? Coyne publicly accused the National Center for Science Education, the National Academies, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science of being liars. According to Coyne, they really agree with him, but for “tactical” reasons, they say otherwise. That would be lying.

So, a simple question. And I ask this as a guy who accepts common descent, evolution, old earth - the whole shebang - and always have.

If someone believed what Coyne is saying here - namely, that numerous groups of scientists are knowingly and explicitly lying about science, 'tactically', because they want money, power and influence... exactly what does that do to the credibility of scientists, scientific organizations, and 'scientific consensus'?

Of course, Coyne could well be wrong about his conspiracy theory. But then, given that he's a very public representative of the Cult of Gnu, I would have expected scientists and scientific organizations to denounce him and his conspiracy talk as anti-science and dishonest.

But the NCSE, the NAS, and others... they've been strangely silent when it comes to criticizing Coyne.

Perhaps it's for tactical reasons, eh?

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