Among his other distinctions, our colleague Michael Egnor is Professor of Neurological Surgery and Pediatrics and Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Stony Brook University’s School of Medicine. Now he’s got another title. University of Chicago evolutionary biologist Jerry Coyne has promoted Dr. Egnor to the status of “Archenemy.”
Denyse O’Leary at Mind Matters spotted this in a post by Coyne at Why Evolution Is True. Philosopher Massimo Pigliucci had declared Coyne his own “alter ego or archenemy.” But Coyne demurs, noting, “I’d reserve that term for creationists like Michael Egnor.”
Archenemy sounds a little…obsessive. It’s also ironic considering that Coyne has repeatedly noted what he thinks is our “obsession” with him. He’s written, “Klinghoffer is absolutely obsessed with me”; “Discovery Institute has a bit of an obsession with me”; Egnor, “who’s obsessed with me, blames my views on ‘materialism and Darwinism’”; Egnor’s “obsession with me is regularly on parade at the Discovery Institute website Evolution News.” Obsessions on parade, I like that image. We’re not alone, either. Coyne believes Karl Giberson has a “weird obsession with me,” as does Robert Wright, who “is literally obsessed with me.”
Archenemy? No. Grand obsession? Not really. The truth is that the highly prolific Dr. Coyne provides comic relief with equal parts of real instruction about the inane conclusions that follow from his atheism, materialism, and Darwinism. He’s a teachable moment unto himself, a useful and entertaining one.