I imagine most readers of this blog are familiar with Jerry Coyne. If not, he’s a prominent biologist and atheist who maintains the blog Why Evolution is True. And apparently, he has taken to blocking commenters who disagree with him, even over substantive scientific issues.
First, some background: A conflict has been brewing over how to model the evolution of social behavior. At issue is a method called inclusive fitness theory, which emphasizes the role of genetic relatedness between interacting organisms. In 2011, Martin Nowak, Corina Tarnita, and EO Wilson (hereafter, NTW) published an article arguing that inclusive fitness is a mathematically limited method, and that the role of relatedness has been overemphasized in the evolution of worker castes in social insects.
NTW’s article generated a strong response—most famously, a letter signed by 137 prominent researchers (also some talking bears). I happen to agree with Nowak, and have collaborated with him and Wilson on follow-up work. However, intelligent people can disagree on this issue, and I trust that science will sort it out.