Friday, October 29, 2010
Okay, I seem to have set off a mini-contretemps.
Massimo Pigliucci noticed my snide and more than a little tongue-in-cheek comment about Jerry Coyne:
I also have to point out that the mere fact that some "serious philosophers" happen to converge on something similar to one of Coyne's opinions doesn't mean his philosophy isn't still primitive.
Then, Ophelia Benson chided Pigliucci:
Nice, Massimo - and you wonder why anyone thinks you have a vendetta against Coyne.
Ophelia, one more time: I have no "vendetta." I just think Jerry speaks about thing that he doesn't understand, and apparently I'm not the only one to hold that opinion.
Massimo, one more time, if you keep harping on Jerry in this arbitrary and obsessive way, it looks exactly like a vendetta.
Why the emotionally-charged word "vendetta"?
Surely, within a community of "rationalists," even serial disagreements are nothing more than the give-and-take of people who are honestly engaging in a rational manner ... right?
If not, then what are we to make about Coyne's multiple posts about "Uncle Karl" Giberson? Is he engaged in a "vendetta" that we can ignore (because of a label that can be thrown around so easily)? If Pigliucci's criticism of Coyne can be dismissed because he criticizes Coyne often, then so can Coyne's criticism of Giberson.
If that's not Benson's point, then maybe she should get her ox to the vet, since it has been so badly gored.
He’s also an excellent communicator of science, when he sticks to science. WEIT is a brilliant book and, ironically, much less confrontational than some, such as Donald Prothero’s excellent ‘Evolution: What the Fossils Say and Why It Matters’.
“I really hope that people pointing out his errors will have an effect.”
I doubt it can at this point. His echo chamber at WEIT and the evident contempt with which he views anyone who differs from him should provide sufficient armour that contrary views can’t penetrate.