Coyne: Poor Beleaguered Melanie Phillips!

University of Chicago geneticist Jerry Coyne has a good post on Melanie Phillips’ latest 2,000-word attempt to burnish her credentials with the anti-evolution crowd (by attacking me). Phillips tries to earn some martyr points by claiming she’s the victim of a “secular Inquisition:” Poor beleaguered Melanie Phillips!

Just call me Torquemada.

Thanks to an alert reader, I’ve learned that Melanie Phillips has responded to the spate of criticism she got for her recent Spectator article claiming that intelligent design grew out of science, not religion.  She got it in the neck from bloggers and readers for that, most especially for her moronic claim that ID is not a form of creationism.  Now she has posted a long response to her critics, distancing herself somewhat from ID but still claiming that it’s not creationism.  She mentions Michael Behe as one of the scientific IDers, asserting that “He is not a Creationist.” Does she know that he once said that new species were “poofed” into being by the designer? If that ain’t creationism, I don’t know what is.

Ms. Phillips claims she’s the victim of a “secular inquisition.”

I hold no particular brief for ID, but am intrigued by the ideas it raises and want it to be given a fair crack of the whip to see where the argument will lead. What I have also seen, however, is an attempt to shut down that argument by distorting and misrepresenting ID and defaming and intimidating its proponents.

One way of doing so is to conflate ID with Creationism. I wrote below that this is wrong, since ID comes out of science and creationism comes out of Biblical literalism. This provoked Charles Johnson on LGF to accuse me of being either duped or dishonest. Johnson – who has become unhealthily obsessed with ID and Creationism in recent months — says I am wrong to say that ID is based on science rather than on religion, and wrong to say that it is different from Creationism…

Dogma is certainly what is on the other side of ID in this fight – a materialist dogma which, posing as the standard-bearer of reason against obscurantism, actually embodies irrationality and a kind of intellectual fascism. It is a secular inquisition – as the reaction to my post makes all too plain.

On the other head, maybe she’s just ignorant and biased, like the Inquisitors themselves.

Meanwhile, Phillips is still wrong when she insists “intelligent design” is based on science and unrelated to creationism. Claims of persecution mixed with long-debunked talking points from the Discovery Institute are a pretty pitiful way to make an argument.

As for Michael Behe, cited by Melanie Phillips as an authority, he has the distinction of being the only tenured professor currently working at an American university whose own department has distanced itself from his views: Lehigh University Department of Biological Sciences.

The faculty in the Department of Biological Sciences is committed to the highest standards of scientific integrity and academic function. This commitment carries with it unwavering support for academic freedom and the free exchange of ideas. It also demands the utmost respect for the scientific method, integrity in the conduct of research, and recognition that the validity of any scientific model comes only as a result of rational hypothesis testing, sound experimentation, and findings that can be replicated by others.

The department faculty, then, are unequivocal in their support of evolutionary theory, which has its roots in the seminal work of Charles Darwin and has been supported by findings accumulated over 140 years. The sole dissenter from this position, Prof. Michael Behe, is a well-known proponent of “intelligent design.” While we respect Prof. Behe’s right to express his views, they are his alone and are in no way endorsed by the department. It is our collective position that intelligent design has no basis in science, has not been tested experimentally, and should not be regarded as scientific.

Jump to top

Create a PageThis is the LGF Pages posting bookmarklet. To use it, drag this button to your browser's bookmark bar, and title it 'LGF Pages' (or whatever you like). Then browse to a site you want to post, select some text on the page to use for a quote, click the bookmarklet, and the Pages posting window will appear with the title, text, and any embedded video or audio files already filled in, ready to go.
Or... you can just click this button to open the Pages posting window right away.
Last updated: 2016-01-01 10:29 am PST
LGF User's Guide RSS Feeds Tweet

Help support Little Green Footballs!

Subscribe now for ad-free access!Register and sign in to a free LGF account before subscribing, and your ad-free access will be automatically enabled.

Donate with
PayPal
Square Cash Shop at amazon
as an LGF Associate!
Recent PagesClick to refresh
Church of the Donald-How Christian Churches Sold Their Souls To the GOP I found this to be the most threatening alliance since Fox and the GOP.politico.com When “Huckabee” made its debut on TBN last fall, it immediately became the network’s highest-rated show, with more than a million viewers for a typical ...
Unshaken Defiance
3 hours, 11 minutes ago
Views: 80 • Comments: 2 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 0 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Breathing New Life Into a Murdered Journalist’s Work In October 2017, the Maltese blogger and investigative reporter Daphne Caruana Galizia needed to go to the bank. Her account had been blocked after a government minister filed a defamation charge against her. She left her house, got into ...
Thanos
1 day, 5 hours ago
Views: 141 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 1
Tweets: 1 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Who Is, or Was, the Greatest Martial Artist in History?I only got to the rank of 2nd degree black belt in Chinese & American Kenpo, so I am certainly no expert. I earned all my higher belts at American Karate Studios in Northeastern Ohio, and was a competitor on ...
Samuel Vargo
1 week, 2 days ago
Views: 486 • Comments: 4 • Rating: 2
Tweets: 0 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
The Way We Regulate Self-Driving Cars Is Broken—here’s How to Fix It The key issue is this: the current system is built around an assumption that cars will be purchased and owned by customers. But the pioneers of the driverless world—including Waymo, Cruise, and Uber—are not planning to sell cars to ...
Thanos
1 week, 2 days ago
Views: 542 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 1
Tweets: 0 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Android’s Trust Problem Isn’t Getting Better Android security is largely failing due to a smorgasbord of issues and lies. Published today, a two-year study of Android security updates has revealed a distressing gap between the software patches Android companies claim to have on their devices ...
Thanos
1 week, 3 days ago
Views: 813 • Comments: 3 • Rating: 2
Tweets: 1 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Tour of the Moon in 4K Take a virtual tour of the Moon in all-new 4K resolution, thanks to data provided by NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecraft. As the visualization moves around the near side, far side, north and south poles, we highlight interesting features, ...
Thanos
1 week, 3 days ago
Views: 807 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 2
Tweets: 0 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Vermont Governor Signs Sweeping Gun Control Measures Vermont Gov. Phil Scott on Wednesday signed sweeping gun control measures -- including limits on the size of magazines -- that the Legislature passed last month after contentious debate. The measures:-- Raise the minimum age for gun buyers to ...
Thanos
1 week, 4 days ago
Views: 874 • Comments: 1 • Rating: 1
Tweets: 1 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0