Los Angeles, CA — To most people it would seem harmless enough. But not to Jerry Coyne, an evolutionary biologist and militant atheist who opposes any mention of God or Intelligent Design in scientific discussions – or anywhere else, it would appear.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the “offense” in question was a plaque posted in the new Nature Lab of the Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History. The plaque quoted the anonymous donor who had made the Nature Lab possible. The sign read:
“The Nature Lab is a gift to Los Angeles to celebrate all of God’s creatures and enable NHM to broaden our understanding of the natural world through the process of scientific discovery.” Anonymous Donor — 2013
Alerted to the plaque by a reader of his blog, Coyne fired off an email to the museum’s director accusing the museum of “polluting the nature of science, simply to get money.”
“It apparently makes no difference to Coyne that the words in question were put in quotation marks and thus attributed, not to the museum itself, but to an anonymous donor,” said Stephen Meyer, a Cambridge-educated philosopher of science, noted scientific author, and a vice president of the Discovery Institute, Seattle, WA.
“The important thing, to Coyne,” said Meyer, “is to marginalize and intimidate anyone who dares even to raise the possibility of design in nature. Anything to avoid entering into the real debate — about the origin of the biologic information that animated the first life or that infused, for example, the creatures of the Cambrian explosion. Coyne and his like-minded allies absolutely refuse to discuss these things.”
On Monday, the museum released a statement stating it would remove the sign. Coyne bragged on his blog that it was “a victory for secularism.”
“Not science,” observed Meyer, “but secularism. Which should tell you all you need to know about Coyne’s real agenda.”