Uh-oh. Nick Matzke doesn’t like that recent paper by Jerry Coyne on the causes of creationism. It is telling, though, that Matzke’s reasons are terribad. He lists four.
Theodosius Dobzhansky was a Christian and a scientist, therefore he was an accommodationist, therefore…I don’t know, what? How does that refute anything Coyne wrote? No one is claiming that it is impossible for people with screwy personal beliefs to be significant contributors to science.
Darwin was an agnostic, and he would be called an accommodationist today, therefore…again, this is a meaningless argument. Neither Dobzhansky nor Darwin were infallible. Matzke seems to be trying to salvage accommodationism by arguing that people who were significant contributors to science in key domains could not possibly be wrong in others.
Coyne relies, Matzke claims, on claiming that religious people aren’t allowed to endorse natural mechanisms as a method of God’s action. That argument is false and incoherent. Of course religious people can endorse natural mechanisms: every good scientist, of which Matzke has mentioned two, endorses natural mechanisms. Where his argument falls apart is in this bizarre notion that you can simultaneously claim that a mechanism is natural and that it is driven by a supernatural entity. OK, show me such a thing. Show me evidence that mutation, for instance, is the result of a god diddling DNA.
Matzke just doesn’t like that word “accommodationist”. At the same time, though, he claims that accommodating religious beliefs to science is a good thing, so presumably the word isn’t so bad, then. What he doesn’t recognize is that accommodating religion to science means jettisoning supernatural explanations, which we flaming atheists would also say is a most excellent thing; the problem, though, is that accommodationists instead make excuses to modify science to fit their religion…for instance, claiming that quantum indeterminacy is god’s way of tinkering with life.
Then he wraps it all up by questioning whether atheist interpretations of evolutionary biology ought to be allowed to be published in good journals of evolutionary biology, because it isn’t “serious”. That’s ironic. Apparently, it is serious to promote liberal Christianity as an ally of evolution, as the NCSE does.
Those are all pathetically weak “arguments”. Matzke ought to be embarrassed to have made them.