P2: Objects can affect other objects at a distanceThis is clearly wrong. No objects ever affect other objects at a distance. Newton had a theory that gravity worked that way, but even he was not happy about it.
Others are also questionable. Matter is made of quantum fields, not particles.
One says "human processes ... shape the Earth's surface ..." I guess that can be true if humans build a dam, but the effect on the shape of the Earth's surface is extremely tiny.
Coyne doesn't like evolution being called a "theory".
“What we know is true and what we believe might be true but is not proven and that’s the reality,” Diane Douglas, state superintendent of public instruction, tells 3TV/CBS 5. “Evolution has been an ongoing debate for almost 100 years now. There is science to back up parts of it, but not all of it.”Coyne wrote a pretty good book on this subject, but he needs better examples of scientific facts.
“Not proven”!!!?? She fails to clarify, of course, that nothing is “proven” in science: we just get better and better explanations. But if you use “proven” in the vernacular sense, as something on whose truth you’d bet your house and life savings, then yes, evolution is as “proven” as is the fact that the Earth goes around the Sun and that benzene has six carbon atoms arranged in a ring.
Earth only goes around the Sun if you take the Sun as a frame of reference. So I would not call that a proven fact.
I guess it is okay to say benzene is a ring, but the wave function is more complicated than that.
Update: A comment quotes from the full document:
All objects have an effect on other objects without being in contact with them. In some cases, the effect travels out from the source to the receiver in the form of radiation such as visible light. In other cases, action at a distance is explained in terms of the existence of a field of influence between objects, such as a magnetic, electric, or gravitational field. Gravity is a universal force of attraction between all objects, however large or small, keeping the planets in orbit around the Sun and causing terrestrial objects to fall towards the center of the Earth.This reads as if it were written 150 years ago. Since about 1880 we have known that visible light is a pulsing electromagnetic field. Since about 1915, gravity has been understood as curved spacetime, and not a force acting at a distance.