Left Behinds

The anti-andrewsullivan.com. Or, the Robin Hood (Maid Marian?) of bright pink Blogger blogs.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

NYT: Still in the tank

Apparently the Times finds it boring to report on major scientific discoveries. Discovery isn't enough for them. They need bullshit controversy.

Of the three major stories about "missing links" this week, only this one managed to make it all the way through without invoking the ridiculous specter of intelligent design. The others, linked above, give major quotes to people from the Institute for Creation Research and Michael Behe, the dim bulb who counts as one of ID's major lights. I'm not going to reproduce those quotes--they're not worth dissecting in themselves. But they do reveal that the Times's science journalists now automatically pick up the phone for a reaction quote from creationists whenever they do a story about evolution, paleontology, or cladistics.

Since I know that roughly 30% of the Times editorial board reads Left Behinds every morning, I am going to say this all in caps, so they know it's important:

CREATIONISM IS NOT A VALID "OTHER SIDE" IN STORIES ABOUT SCIENCE.


I mean, do you feel the need to include in every story about medicine the fact that Christian Scientists don't believe in it? No? I didn't think so. All you're doing by publishing quotes by people like Behe is writing the equivalent of a line saying, "Of course, some critics don't believe in the scientific method," which is neither informative nor interesting. Oh, and you're also validating Behe as a scientific critic, which gives him far greater intellectual heft than an obscure crackpot biochemist deserves. But I don't think you care about that.

Tags: intelligent design, evolution, New York Times, tiktaalik, Michael Behe

1 Comments:

  • At 12:45 PM, Blogger Solomon Grundy said…

    The Kenneth Chang article gave half its space to vapidities from Behe, even ending with a stupid-ass quote from him.

    Part of me thinks that since the vast majority of NY Times readers misunderstand evolution, maybe it's good for Chang to directly quote Darwin as he rehashes the argument. As long as the IDers are portrayed as non-scientists promoting widely held yet ignorant beliefs, it might be in the public interest to include them sometimes.

    But the NYT covers them way too much, yes, and portrays them as equivalent scientific opinions.

     

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