It doesn’t, and we’d best stay far away from theologians of any stripe when debating these issues. The debate should be in the hands of biologists, physicians and secular philosophers, where it remains now. If we start dragging in Islam post facto, it doesn’t serve to advance the debate, but only to give a false authority to a religion. Does it matter if one quarter of the world’s population is Muslim? After all, there are 2.1 billion Christians compared to 1.3 billion Muslims. Does this mean we should give Christian religious ethics precedence? We can certainly ignore the voices of rabbis, though: there are only 14 million Jews on the planet.
It’s not clear who the “we” he’s referring to is. Doesn’t “we” constitute not just of atheist scientists like Coyne, but also religious scientists, patients in clinical trials, government funding agencies, lawmakers, and taxpayers who fund research?
Whether or not Coyne likes it or not, the numerical argument does hold some weight. The majority of people in the world do not rely on only secular ethics. For them, religious principles - whether from Christianity, Islam, Judaism, or others - are important to guide ethics. Without participation from different religions, not everyone will accept the results of the discussion. It might even create distrust of the scientific community, which many scientists like Coyne will also complain about. This doesn’t mean we give precedence to Christian or Islamic ethics - only that they should be part of the discussion, if they are interested.