Jerry Coyne, in the throatclearing before an otherwise reasonable dissection of wankery on the Huffington Post, brings the ahistorical and gratuitous FAIL:
I?m coyneing the term ?New Creationism? to describe the body of thought that accepts Darwinian evolution but with the additional caveats that 1) it was all started by God, 2) had God-worshipping humans as its goal, and 3) that the evidence for all this is that life is complex, humans evolved, and the the ?fine tuning? of physical constants of the universe testify to the great improbability of our being here?ergo God.
Two main thoughts occur. First, this is the creationism that preceded the Enlightenment. It’s not, in any sense, new. And there’s already a term for it: Theistic Evolution.
Second, the term “New Creationism” is not new. Creationist Henry Morris used the term “neo-creationism” to describe his strategy in 1997. A chapter in Scott’s sourcebook on the controversy has a chapter titled “Neo-creationism.” Barbara Ehrenreich and Janet McIntosh used the term “New Creationism” in 1997 to describe a particular front in the Science Wars then waging, in which certain social scientists rejected biological explanations for human behaviors. Creationist Paul Garner titled his work of young earth creationism The New Creationism. It was published last year. Philosopher/a-life researcher Robert Pennock described intelligent design as “the new creationism” in the subtitle to his 2000 book Tower of Babel: The Evidence Against the New Creationism. Robert Wright used the same term to describe ID in a 2001 article in Slate. A 2005 article by Marshall Berman in APS News described intelligent design as “the New Creationism.”
Which is all by way of saying, “the New Creationism” is not different from ID because it is ID in the common usage of the community of evolution-defenders to which Coyne belongs.
So I propose my own coinage:
coyne: (v) To invent a new pejorative which adds heat, not light, and which tends to collide with established usage.
Or, to borrow a phrase, You’re Not Helping. “New Creationism” is a term already widely used to refer to enemies of honest science education. Applying that term to proponents of honest science education promotes confusion and divides his own ranks, to no obviously helpful end.
I see two plausible defenses for Coyne. He could claim to have been unaware that the term was in wide use already. This would indicate a) he can’t operate the Great Gizoogle and b) he isn’t aware of some of the major works in this field (one in which he considers himself a leading light). Alternatively, he could claim to have known that and been indifferent to the confusion he’d cause. But neither ignorance nor douchebaggery are generally-accepted defenses.