Steve Matheson has published an open letter to Stephen Meyer here. It is remarkable for the number of hateful insults and name-calling contained in it. Is this the kind of role model for civil discourse that Calvin College provides its students?
It would be one thing if Matheson gave specific and significant examples of where Meyer got his science wrong and why design is not the best explanation for the origin of life. However, as far as I can see, Matheson has largely nit-picked secondary issues in Meyer’s book and spent most of his time hurling general insults. All this is directed at a book that the highly regarded philosopher Thomas Nagel selected as one of his books of the year in the Times Literary Supplement. Matheson may understand biology, but he seems quite limited in his understanding of the larger issues, including the philosophy of science and the methodology for the historical sciences.
With all the insults, Matheson has the arrogance to offer this advice:
Get out more. And find some new friends. It is without sarcasm or guile that I say that you are welcome to contact me anytime to ask questions or discuss ideas.
In another post, Matheson misrepresented Owen Gingerich in order to make one of his many ad hominem attacks on Meyer. I plan to discuss this in another post. [Update: My post on this is here.]
The bottom line is that Matheson has not shown why design is not the best explanation for the origin of life. He has put forward no better explanation. He has not even put forward a plausible alternative. Given this, it seems that he should spend more time working on substantive evidence and arguments, and less time on mean-spirited personal insults.