Coyne is a biologist who likes to dabble in philosophy...a LOT. And dabbling is about as far as it gets. Coyne's remarks are dripping with disdain for Plantinga. It's difficult weeding through all the ad hominems to get to the arguments (if there are arguments to be found). Coyne is truly out of his league but one wouldn't know that unless one read Plantinga's works AND understood them. I'll just comment on what Coyne says about atheism; everything else is just as bad:
- [Plantinga]: “But lack of evidence, if indeed evidence is lacking, is no grounds for atheism. No one thinks there is good evidence for the proposition that there are an even number of stars; but also, no one thinks the right conclusion to draw is that there are an uneven number of stars. The right conclusion would instead be agnosticism.In the same way, the failure of the theistic arguments, if indeed they do fail, might conceivably be good grounds for agnosticism, but not for atheism. Atheism, like even-star-ism, would presumably be the sort of belief you can hold rationally only if you have strong arguments or evidence.”
Coyne also calls Plantinga's remarks on the Problem of Evil a "theodicy." Uh, no. Perhaps if you would actually READ some of the literature on the problem of evil (say, Plantinga's book on the topic) you would know that Plantinga is explicitly not giving a theodicy.