The Ultimate Question

Bob Wright usefully and civilly lays out the misrepresentations in Jerry Coyne's attack on The Evolution of God:

Here is a partial list of false or misleading things Jerry Coyne says about my book The Evolution of God in his review of it in The New Republic. I want to emphasize that I think these are innocent mistakes. I have no reason to believe he intentionally misrepresented my argument. Indeed, his errors are of a kind that most of us have committed under deadline pressure or under the influence of deep intellectual passions. Nonetheless, his misrepresentations are collectively significant, because together they form the foundation of most of his criticism of my book. Once you correct them, his critique basically collapses. If Coyne wants to write a devastating review of my bookand there can be little doubt that he wants tohe’s going to have to start over.

Coyne responds to Bob's defense:

[A]t the end of his book, Wright finally grapples with the crucial question of whether God, or a god-like force, really exists.  He admits that he’s not sure whether it does, because he’s “not qualified” to answer that question. (He doesn’t tell us who is.)  But his retreat doesn’t square with all the “evidence” that he’s given to buttress the faith of believers. I described Wright’s bizarre admission at the end of my review precisely because he avoids it until the end of his book. Going through The Evolution of God, the reader continually gets the impression that Wright really believes what he’s saying.  But then we discover that, on the most crucial question of all, Wright ultimately punts.  Rather than hiding Wright’s equivocation about God: I singled it out as the culmination of my review, precisely to underscore that The Evolution of God ultimately appears as an exercise in cynicism.