Tag Archives: Jerry Coyne


Great message about why we shouldn’t modify worship services to meet the alleged desires of the unsaved.

God was exposing a lie that had held us captive for years.  He was proving that his Word is fully sufficient, and that true converts thirst for it like a desert thirsts for rain.  Many who had grown up in the faith had hearts that were calloused toward the Truth.  Years of comfortable church had led them to hear the Word but excuse themselves from practicing it, steadily becoming self-deceived.  They projected this hard-heartedness onto newcomers, like the kids in the old Life Cereal commercials:  “Try teaching that to Mikey the Seeker – he HATES everything… Heyyyy…  Mikey LIKES it!”  Unfortunately, some never noticed or accepted that new believers were craving pure spiritual milk and even graduating to meat ahead of them.

The Sunday School class at the church we joined last year spent 3 years going verse by verse through 1 Peter.  A recipe for boredom and a shrinking class, right?  Hardly.  It grew like crazy, attracting high school kids (including my daughters) up to retired people.  Real believers want real Bible teaching.  You can tell how much confidence people have in the word of God and its power by how they treat it in sermons and lessons.


The one-size-fits-all response to Obama and his supporters when they complain about the Republican House preventing them from doing something: “You had two years of a Congress with sizable Democratic majorities, plus the momentum from your election win.  If raising taxes [or whatever else they are complaining about] was so important, why didn’t you do it then?”


Atheist Jerry Coyne was so quick to dismiss the fact that Darwinian philosophy was at the root of the Columbine shootings that he said this in light of the latest events in Colorado.

Of course there was no evidence at all that Darwinism or evolution had motivated the shooters. They were disaffected and troubled boys who, thanks to America’s lax gun laws, were able to acquire an arsenal of firearms.

But as the facts show, Coyne was completely wrong.  But he is totally accurate on all of his science and never lets his ideology get in the way, right?

It was amusing to read the anti-gun rhetoric of his followers.  The survival-of-the-fittest types can’t go three sentences without contradicting themselves.


Does it bother any of Obama’s supporters that he has an enemies list and that at least one person on it is now under audit from the IRS and the Labor Department?


Did the mainstream media tell you about the woman killed during an abortion at Planned Parenthood, along with her child?  “Safe and legal” only applies to the leaders of PP and their protection from accountability for countless acts of hiding statutory rape.


I’ve yet to find one of the anti-gun politicians or false teachers who isn’t pro-legalized abortion.  And I’m pretty sure they are all pro-taxpayer-funded abortion, meaning that they think our country would be better if only more unwanted human beings were destroyed in the womb.

My question for them: Would they switch to opposing abortion if the “doctors” used guns instead of knives?


The #1 thing to remember in the gun control debate: Criminals don’t obey gun control laws.


Methodists in Northeast Approve Pro-Gay Resolution — The Methodist Church in the U.S. is doomed. The non-Christians outnumber the Christians in this conference. Worse yet, even in a conservative area like the Texas Conference the non-Christians are able to keep Bible-believing and Book of Disciple-following pastors from becoming Bishop — and solely because they hold a biblical view of homosexuality.

While I’d love to blame the non-Christians in the denomination for this, it is really the fault of the squishy Bible-believing leaders and members who didn’t have the faith and courage to exercise church discipline and remove false teachers. Appeasement is deadly, not loving.  Sadly, some Bible-believers have learned that the hard way.  Appeasing doesn’t increase your odds of getting promoted, it just makes it 100% likely that you’ve sacrificed your principles and stopped preaching the whole counsel of God.


Leonard Pitts is a racist.  He thinks blacks and Hispanics are too helpless to obtain voter ID, even though they must provide identification for countless other daily activities.  And my guess is that he is pro-legalized abortion, which currently kills blacks at a rate 3x that of whites and Hispanics at a rate 2x that of whites. And those rates will increase as the Liberal dream of taxpayer-funded abortions increases.  Seems kinda racist to me.

From John — The Occupiers vs. the TEA Party movement — save this list for when someone tries to tell you how radical those TEA Partiers are.

Sex assault at Zuccotti http://blogs.wsj.com/metropolis/2011/11/02/man-arrested-in-sex-assaults-at-occupy-wall-street/

Drugs and vandalism in Boston http://www.bostonherald.com/news/regional/view/2011_1023drug_vandalism_arrests_at_occupy_boston

Flier circulated giving guidelines on when it’s ok to shoot the police http://hotair.com/archives/2011/10/28/flier-at-occupy-phoenix-asks-when-should-you-shoot-a-cop/

Occupy protesters arrested for possession of explosives http://www.oregonlive.com/pacific-northwest-news/index.ssf/2011/11/3_men_claiming_to_be_occupy_po.html

Vandalism and disorderly conduct http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2011/10/in_downtown_portland_police_re.html

public masturbation http://host.madison.com/daily-cardinal/news/article_3ae02a56-042d-11e1-aafa-001cc4c03286.html

defecating on residential doorsteps http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2051718/Occupy-Wall-Street-Manhattan-residents-fury-protesters-defecating-doorsteps.html

assaulting news reporter http://www.myfoxny.com/dpp/news/fox-5-news-reporter-assaulted-at-ows-20111028-KC

police shoved http://www.katu.com/news/local/133121368.html

prostitution, drugs, and alcohol abuse at KC http://www.kshb.com/dpp/news/local_news/Man-said-he-witnessed-prostitution,-drug,-alcohol-abuse-at-Occupy-KC-protest

protester pimping teenager http://www.unionleader.com/article/20111028/NEWS03/710289961

assaulting police, disorderly conduct http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/01/01/68-occupy-wall-street-protesters-arrested-in-new-york-city/?test=latestnews

vandalism of businesses and cars http://missionlocal.org/2012/04/windows-and-cars-damaged-on-valencia-st-following-early-may-day-strike/

woman rapen at new haven occupy http://www.nbcconnecticut.com/news/local/Woman-Raped-at-Occupy-New-Haven-Cops-142627056.html

woman raped at occupy philly http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2011/11/woman-raped-at-occupy-philadelphia/

woman stabbed in baltimore http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/crime/blog/bal-woman-stabbed-at-occupy-baltimore-20111205,0,1089654.story

women forced to erect women only tent to prevent rapehttp://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/manhattan/zuccotti_park_big_top_ilBy4VfYIwDGt2I1rM33vL

weapons cashe found at clean up Zuccotti http://www.foxnews.com/us/2011/11/23/weapons-cache-found-during-zuccotti-park-clean-up-sources/?test=latestnews#ixzz1eZYLxETV

Occupiers splatter blood and urine on street vendors http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2011/11/07/socal-street-cart-vendors-hurting-after-occupy-group-splatters-blood-urine/

transgender occupier exposes genitals to 10 year-old http://www.alligator.org/news/local/article_c8469b94-7fae-11e1-ba5f-001a4bcf887a.html

throws urine bombs on Denver police http://kdvr.com/2012/02/26/5-arrested-in-anti-police-protest-downtown/

SFPD officer slashed at protest http://kdvr.com/2012/02/26/5-arrested-in-anti-police-protest-downtown/

sex assault Hartford http://www.wtnh.com/dpp/news/crime/police-investigate-occupy-hartford-sex-assault

assaults police with frying pan http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chi-protesters-arrested-on-michigan-avenue-20120606,0,2576311.story

occupier dumps feces and urine on police http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/Occupy-Wall-Street-Human-Waste-Urine-Feces-Public-Stairs-Chase-ATM-Vestibule-Arrest-143723706.html

urinating on police vehicle http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/manhattan/occupy_bum_busted_for_peeing_on_0yHGf6v1Sye9rAWwCaWu2O?CMP=OTC-rss&FEEDNAME=

2 occupiers attempt to pull officer from cruiser and threaten to kill him http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_20168105/occupy-protester-accused-assaulting-denver-officer

occupiers arrested for sex in front of child and exposing himself to the child http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2011/11/occupy-la-five-charged-with-crimes.html

stabbing at occupy SF http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2012/03/26/man-stabbed-near-san-francisco-occupy-encampment/

shooting at occupy Oakland http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Man-shot-to-death-near-Occupy-Oakland-camp-2323585.php

occupier arrested for child porn http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2011/11/16/man-arrested-for-child-porn-no-longer-welcome-at-occupy-chicago/

An atheist who writes consistently with his worldview. Sort of.

contradiction.jpgWhy you don’t really have free will is an article by Jerry Coyne, an evolutionary science professor, who not only admits that there can be no such thing as true morality but seems to rejoice in it. (Hat tip: Edgar).

The link is a must-read for Christians and atheists alike.   The Christians can see the flaws in Coyne’s worldview, and the atheists should at least see how inconsistent they are when they deny Coyne’s conclusions.

Here’s why: Coyne is wildly flawed, but at least he writes somewhat consistently with his worldview (I’ll get to the “sort of” part at the end). The atheists insisting they can be “good without God” are doubly wrong: They are as flawed as Coyne in their knowledge and they don’t live consistently with their worldview.

My guess is that Coyne just writes things that are consistent with his naturalism. When it comes to practice he is probably like most hypocritical moral relativists: If you stole his car he wouldn’t just attribute it to molecules obeying the laws of physics.

‘Meat computers’

And that’s what neurobiology is telling us: Our brains are simply meat computers that, like real computers, are programmed by our genes and experiences to convert an array of inputs into a predetermined output. Recent experiments involving brain scans show that when a subject “decides” to push a button on the left or right side of a computer, the choice can be predicted by brain activity at least seven seconds before the subject is consciously aware of having made it. (These studies use crude imaging techniques based on blood flow, and I suspect that future understanding of the brain will allow us to predict many of our decisions far earlier than seven seconds in advance.) “Decisions” made like that aren’t conscious ones. And if our choices are unconscious, with some determined well before the moment we think we’ve made them, then we don’t have free will in any meaningful sense.

I wonder how well that strategy would work for a defense attorney?  Time to clear out the prisons!

More practically, it should make atheists stop using sound bites such as “science gets you to the moon, religion flies you into a burning building.”  After all, in Coyne’s assessment there is nothing morally superior about going to the moon versus killing in the name of religion.  Both are 100% deterministic, that is, they are determined by the laws of science.

Psychologists and neuroscientists are also showing that the experience of will itself could be an illusion that evolution has given us to connect our thoughts, which stem from unconscious processes, and our actions, which also stem from unconscious process. We think this because our sense of “willing” an act can be changed, created, or even eliminated through brain stimulation, mental illness, or psychological experiments. The ineluctable scientific conclusion is that although we feel that we’re characters in the play of our lives, rewriting our parts as we go along, in reality we’re puppets performing scripted parts written by the laws of physics.

So anyone subscribing to this theory should realize that any notions of “good” or “evil” are meaningless.

Most people find that idea intolerable, so powerful is our illusion that we really do make choices. But then where do these illusions of both will and “free” will come from? We’re not sure. I suspect that they’re the products of natural selection, perhaps because our ancestors wouldn’t thrive in small, harmonious groups — the conditions under which we evolved — if they didn’t feel responsible for their actions. Sociological studies show that if people’s belief in free will is undermined, they perform fewer prosocial behaviors and more antisocial behaviors.

Note how Coyne slips up here and implies that “prosocial behaviors” are somehow better than “antiscocial behaviors.”  Wouldn’t one have to have true standard of good to make that claim?

Many scientists and philosophers now accept that our actions and thoughts are indeed determined by physical laws, and in that sense we don’t really choose freely, but philosophers have concocted ingenious rationalizations for why we nevertheless have free will of a sort.

There is a simple and logical answer to Coyne: We have a body and a soul.

. . . But the most important issue is that of moral responsibility. If we can’t really choose how we behave, how can we judge people as moral or immoral? Why punish criminals or reward do-gooders? Why hold anyone responsible for their actions if those actions aren’t freely chosen?

We should recognize that we already make some allowances for this problem by treating criminals differently if we think their crimes resulted from a reduction in their “choice” by factors like mental illness, diminished capacity, or brain tumors that cause aggression. But in truth those people don’t differ in responsibility from the “regular” criminal who shoots someone in a drug war; it’s just that the physical events behind their actions are less obvious.

But we should continue to mete out punishments because those are environmental factors that can influence the brains of not only the criminal himself, but of other people as well. Seeing someone put in jail, or being put in jail yourself, can change you in a way that makes it less likely you’ll behave badly in the future. Even without free will then, we can still use punishment to deter bad behavior, protect society from criminals, and figure out better ways to rehabilitate them.

So you punish people for things they couldn’t control?  Lovely.  Using that logic, societies that cut off hands for stealing are doing a good thing.  Why not kill people for every infraction?  Wouldn’t that really improve things?

And note how Coyne says we can choose whether and how to punish.  But isn’t his primary message that we have no free will to choose?

Oh, wait, Coyne used the term “bad behavior.”  He cheated again.  And he thinks it is a moral good to protect society.  Note how he snuck morality in the back door.  And he thinks it is good to rehabilitate people.  I may have to take back my “sort of” notation and just chalk up Coyne as another wildly inconsistent atheist.

What is not justified is revenge or retribution — the idea of punishing criminals for making the “wrong choice.”

Why not?  Where does he get off saying revenge and retribution are bad?

And we should continue to reward good behavior, for that changes brains in a way that promotes more good behavior.

Whoa!  How does he decide what “good behavior” is?!  Wouldn’t all his calculations be based on these laws of physics?

There’s not much downside to abandoning the notion of free will. It’s impossible, anyway, to act as though we don’t have it: you’ll pretend to choose your New Year’s resolutions, and the laws of physics will determine whether you keep them. And there are two upsides. The first is realizing the great wonder and mystery of our evolved brains, and contemplating the notion that things like consciousness, free choice, and even the idea of “me” are but convincing illusions fashioned by natural selection.

How can there be such a thing as a “downside” or and “upside” in Coyne’s world?  Why would pretending be bad?  How could allegedly evolved brains be “wonderful” if they are just meat?

Further, by losing free will we gain empathy, for we realize that in the end all of us, whether Bernie Madoffs or Nelson Mandelas, are victims of circumstance — of the genes we’re bequeathed and the environments we encounter. With that under our belts, we can go about building a kinder world.

He goes off the rails completely in his closing comments.  Why is it good to build a kinder world?  And how can we have a choice if the universe is as deterministic as he insists?

I should have titled this, “An atheist who writes consistently with his worldview.  For three sentences.”  After you read the entire piece you’ll realize that Coyne just goes about one sentence farther than most atheists.

My conversion to Christianity and my trust in the evidence for the life, death and resurrection are 100.00% due to his beloved determinism, so for that I thank him.


Follow up: The comment thread at the original piece was priceless.  I have encountered many hostile atheists but nothing like the ad hominem-fest offered by a guy who was 10x more inconsistent than Coyne.  It was tiring and repetitive to interact with him but illuminating as well. It is almost too easy to refute what they say. They are well educated, so it can lull people into not thinking critically — especially when it absolves them of guilt!

Watching the personal attacks fly was interesting. I know the “professional atheists” won’t be swayed by pointing out these obvious inconsistencies, as they are apparently wired by the laws of physics and chemistry to be irrational. But I hope that the nominal atheists will see how ridiculous that worldview is and reconsider their position.