The Times speaks: “No miracles allowed”

“The Cosmos is all that is or ever was or ever will be.”

This is, of course, the famous credo used time and time again by the late Dr. Carl Sagan. What has always fascinated me about this statement is its open use of religious — even creedal — form and its willingness to launch beyond the rules of science and into a kind of anti-theology.

How, in a lab, can one prove under the rules of science that the material world is all there is? How does one run scientific experiments in the past? And how in the world does one claim to be able to test the future?

Sagan knew what he was doing, of course. I had a chance to ask him about it. He knew his famous Cosmos series was making an argument that the scientific evidence backed up these sweeping truth claims that carried him far outside the rules of research. He believed he had the facts on his side and, thus, he was willing to make a leap of faith from facts to a larger philosophy. Then he became an evangelist for this philosophical point of view.

I was reminded of Sagan while reading the massive New York Times series on how the priesthood of modern science is responding to the rebels gathered under the banner of Intelligent Design. Click here to go to a clearinghouse page for all of the Gray Lady’s efforts on this issue in the recent past.

Clearly we are in the midst of a blitz. Cages have been rattled.

As I have stated before, I try to stay on the fringes of this issue because I have so many close friends who are at the heart of it. So take what I say here with a grain of salt. It should also be noted that the scope of this Times series is so large that it would take days to respond to it point by point.

On the whole, I think it is a rather mixed bag. There is some give and take by the most intelligent voices on each side of the debate and that is a good thing. I am sure the powers that be in the newsroom believe it is a totally balanced package. For example, the reports do stress that the ID leaders are, if anything, trying to increase the amount of attention evolution is given in the classroom, not ban the theory. They simply want students exposed to the debates that are already taking place within the scientific community. They also do not think the religious implications of these debates — on either side of the table — should be included in public classrooms. The ID leaders want this to be a scientific discussion. However, this would apply to Darwinian philosophy as well as to deism or theism.

I digress. There are times in the Times, however, when it is clear that the scientific arguments at the heart of the story simply cannot be covered in depth in a newspaper series. When this happens, the Times uses this formula: The controversial religious people make this claim. The real scientists make this response, based on facts. That’s that. There is no need to let the critics respond to their critics.

At one key moment, reporter Jodi Wilgoren even slips into the old “fundamentalist” trap, violating logic, the facts and The Associated Press Stylebook all at the same time. Here is the context, speaking of the ID leaders:

Their credentials — advanced degrees from Stanford, Columbia, Yale, the University of Texas, the University of California — are impressive, but their ideas are often ridiculed in the academic world.

“They’re interested in the same things I’m interested in — no one else is,” Guillermo Gonzalez, 41, an astronomer at the University of Iowa, said of his colleagues at Discovery. “What I’m doing, frankly, is frowned upon by most of my colleagues. It’s not something a ‘scientist’ is supposed to do.” Other than Dr. Berlinski, most fellows, like their financiers, are fundamentalist Christians, though they insist their work is serious science, not closet creationism.

What does the word “fundamentalist” mean in this context, when speaking of a group that includes Presbyterians, Episcopalians, Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox and a dozen other faith traditions? Why use this word? Is the goal to underline a basic assumption that one side uses faith and the other intellect?

Let me conclude by returning to Sagan. The various Times writers seem to glimpse, every now and then, the larger fact that Darwinian orthodoxy makes truth claims that are based on claims of logic as well as laboratory results. What they seem to miss is that the Intelligent Design people want to use the same sequence as Sagan. They believe that laboratory evidence and logic point to an unknown designer — something that cannot be tested in a lab by science. But what they also want people to note is that the ultimate claim made by many in the Darwinian priesthood also cannot be tested.

In academic circles, evolution has been defined as an “unsupervised, impersonal, unpredictable, and natural process . . . that is affected by natural selection, chance, historical contingencies and changing environments.”

The controversy centers on the words “unsupervised” and “impersonal.” That is the heart of this story. These are the words that Sagan and others cannot test in a laboratory, yet many still believe they are at the heart of all legitimate science. For, you see, any involvement whatsoever by a Divine Person — any meaningful role for a Creator — is called a miracle. That is bad. Millions and millions of taxpayers, representing (cue: Sagan voice) billions and billions of tax dollars, must be shown the light.

Thus, the Times notes:

. . . (M)ainstream scientists say that the claims of intelligent design run counter to a century of research supporting the explanatory and predictive power of Darwinian evolution, and that the design approach suffers from fundamental problems that place it outside the realm of science. For one thing, these scientists say, invoking a higher being as an explanation is unscientific.

“One of the rules of science is, no miracles allowed,” said Douglas H. Erwin, a paleobiologist at the Smithsonian Institution. “That’s a fundamental presumption of what we do.”

That does not mean that scientists do not believe in God. Many do. But they see science as an effort to find out how the material world works, with nothing to say about why we are here or how we should live. And in that quest, they say, there is no need to resort to otherworldly explanations.

Thus, one side gets to use the equation — science, logic, philosophy — but the other side does not. One side gets to make leaps of faith in the public square, but the other side does not. Rules are rules.

Dr. Sagan would be proud.

P.S. For a lively discussion of the terms that journalists are tossing about in this coverage, click here for a visit with William Safire.

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About tmatt

Terry Mattingly directs the Washington Journalism Center at the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities. He writes a weekly column for the Universal Syndicate.

  • bob koch

    If you have time, it’s fun to look at very old issues of Scientific American to see when the “Amateur Scientist” column was usually the “Amateur Astronomer”. It’s striking to see how frequently the enthusiasts making their own telescopes and doing backyard astronomy were Anglican clergy. Nowadays Anglican clergy are more likely to be *from* Mars rather than observing it, but it was an interesting time.

  • http://qandablog.typepad.com Wayne M

    Logic and wisdom are not required in the mainstream press. They are all about agenda, and that agenda is to expunge God.

  • tmatt

    Ah come on Wayne. That’s a straw man.

    Yes, the press struggles with religion for many reasons you can read about here and at other sites. But there are journalists who do a fabulous job. I know great, fair, accurate religion reporters who are believers and so who are not. I know lousy reporters who are believers and lousy reporters who are total secularists.

    The goal is quality and diversity. Don’t write journalism off. That’s bad theology.

  • Sotek

    Yeah, how dare the Times call 99.85% of scientists “mainstream”.

    How dare it! We should let that .15%, who can’t even agree among themselves about anything except that they don’t like evolution, dictate what should be taught in classrooms!

    Sarcasm aside, can *anyone* name a single positive, testable claim made by ID?

    I know I’ve never seen one. I’ve never seen an attempt by ID to explain anything it claims Darwinism can’t (except by resorting to the “God of the Gaps” which is BEGGING to make Christianity become a laughingstock among people who might look at the evidence).

    I have seen the ID books, which make easily-disproven claims about the science, and claim to be giving a “fair look” to both sides… while only making grossly misleading quotes from the non-ID scientists.

    ID will fail, either directly when the simple observable facts disprove it enough, or when the only country that’s adopting it loses our scientific edge as a result.

    Evolution doesn’t disprove God! It can’t, despite what Sagan and Dawkins and their like say! The most science could EVER do would be to show that God is not required for the universe to exist. And it hasn’t even done that, yet.

    It’s perfectly possible to be a Christian and think ID a bunch of lies; after all, it *is*.

  • http://www.mrklingon.org Joel

    Uh – wait a minute; didn’t we just have some pieces that pointed out pretty clearly that the most most central people in the ID movement DON’T want or expect it to be taught in classes. Saying ID is a bunch of lies… not kind and not true. [Which is not to say there aren't opportunists (lying opportunists, even) *using* ID as a political tool]

  • http://agrumer.livejournal.com/ Avram

    Hey, I’m all in favor of teaching about controversies in evolutionary science, as long as they’re honest controversies. The ID debate isn’t an honest controversy. It’s a political fight, in which the ID supporters intend to give lazy non-scientists (who won’t bother to actually follow all the arguemnts) the vague impression that evolution and creationism exist on equal intellectual footing, at which point most people will just believe whatever seems the most emotionally fulfilling.

    Terry, what’s going on in this sentence here: “But what they also want people to note is that the ultimate claim made by many in the Darwinian priesthood also cannot be tested”? Not only are you continuing with your scientists-as-priests metaphor (implying an equivalence — one that I consider false — between religion and science), but you’re smoothing over the differences between claims made by an astronomer (not a biologist) writing in a work of science popularization and claims made by scientists in the course of their work.

  • Micah Weedman

    The “Darwinian priesthood” is a good phrase, I think. Proponents of what the MSM consider Darwinianism are rarely questioned on the issue of theology. To say that one is *merely* a scientist and not interested in a politico-theological agenda seems dishonest, if Milbank and co. are to be believed.

    On the flip side, I’ve not seen anything that questions the ID’ers on their own theology, either. And, I suspect that as is the case with “mainstream” Darwinians theology will be the downfall of the ID’ers rather than science.

  • Sotek

    The central people in the ID movement SAY they don’t want it taught in classes.

    They just want the criticisms against evolution! … but they fabricated those criticisms out of whole cloth.

    They don’t have *anything* they want taught in schools instead of evolution.

    They just want evolution out. To this end, they are lying about what evolution says, and are lying about the strength of the facts supporting evolution.

    Joel, can you identify anything that WOULD be teaching ID, other than saying evolution has problems?

  • webwalker

    Sotek,

    Pax, amigo. If you are well acquainted with the Discovery Institute, you’ll know that they are as frustrated with the press as they are with the militant wing of evolutionary theorists. I don’t see how it is a bad thing to acknowledge that there are non-trivial debates among the adherents of evolutionary theory.

    Whether you believe that this is what the Discovery Institute is really up, how would do what they claim to be doing differently? How would you suggest that honest debate within a scientific community be exposed to the public?

    For myself, I find the hard core evolutionary theorists marching in lock step and declaring that their perspective is akin to Holy Writ to be disengenous. Why can’t evolutionary theory be ‘the best we understand, at present’ rather than being treated like a litmus test for entree to the club of scientific doctrine law givers?

    I think tmatt’s use of the priesthood metaphor is quite apt: When someone questions the unanimity of opinion of the lawgivers and the cohesiveness of their public edicts and is tarred and feathered for their efforts…what else would you call it but the reactions of an entrenched priesthood?

  • http://god-of-small-things.blogspot.com Bob Smietana

    Bill Bryson’s science book “A Shory History of Nearly Everything” paints a much different picture of evolutionary biologists, and scientists in general. Rather than being part of a Darwinian priesthood, Bryson repeatedly quotes scientists who say they don’t know all the details of how evolution work or how human beings came to be, and who express a sense of wonder at the miracle that life exists at all.

    The whole “Evolution War” framework does all of us a disservice.

  • http://agrumer.livejournal.com/ Avram

    The whole “Evolution War” framework is an artifact of the assault by creationists on evolution. Biologists would mellow out a whole lot more if they didn’t have to worry that every time they had a debate about, say, punctuated equilibrium, some creationist would take that debate as an opportunity to try to smuggle the Book of Genesis into science classes.

    One of the classic creationist arguments against evolution is to present any disagreement about evolutionary biology within the scientific community as evidence that evolutionary theory is fatally flawed. Now we’re getting the opposite: On the issues where biologists agree, they’re being portrayed as a dogmatic priesthood. Is there any honest way evolutionary biologists could reasonably act that wouldn’t get them smeared by creationists?

  • Erik Nelson

    There is enough fault to go around.

    Creationists tend to be very aggressive, true, but evolutionists tend to see any discussion of the problems of evolutionary theory as a creationist attempt to subvert science (demonstrated pretty well in this discussion, here).

    There are indeed problems with evolutionary theory, and it is good for students to learn evolutionary theory with those faults in mind. That doesn’t mean smuggling in the book of Genesis. It simply means recognizing that evolutionary theory, as it stands today, is incomplete. The unwillingness of many scientists to acknowledge this is a problem that needs to be overcome. Scientists also need to recognize the significant differences between ID and creationism. Part of the problem is an unwillingness by scientists to address the two camps separately. ID proponents are not making the same claims creationists do.

    There are mixed motives everywhere. It would be best if we dealt with the arguments themselves, rather than what we percieve to be the motivations of our opponents.

  • http://agrumer.livejournal.com/ Avram

    Erik, could you maybe provide some specifics?

    Sure, evolutionary theory is incomplete. Pretty much every scientific theory is incomplete, since we don’t know everything in the universe that there is to know. Why is evolution being singled out for special treatment? Why isn’t the Discovery Institute asking schools to “teach the controversy” about reconciling quantum mechanics with general relativity? Or asking for more attention to be paid to resolving the quantum measurement problem?

    Tell me, what problems of evolutionary theory do you think need discussing, that aren’t getting discussion? Before you answer, you might want to skim through the Talk.Origins FAQ to make sure you aren’t just recycling some old creationist argument that’s been rebutted a hundred times over.

    And as far as perceptions and motivations go, the Discovery Institute admitted in one of their own fundraising documents that they want to subvert science. This isn’t me making something up.

  • http://www.physicsgeekjesusfreak.blogspot.com Matthew M.

    Avram, if you want to know why (macro)evolution is singled out for special treatment, read the first sentence of tmatt’s post again. There it is, in a nutshell. Simply allowing that evolution “can’t” disprove God in a forum like this doesn’t do anything to change the public’s perception (reinforced by the likes of Sagan and Dawkins) that evolution specifically excludes the supernatural. I’m curious to know how current public high-school textbooks actually read, since I didn’t attend one.

  • http://www.physicsgeekjesusfreak.blogspot.com Matthew M.

    BTW, does anyone know of a source (www or print) that alleges to debunk bad creationist arguments *without* constant snide ad hominem asides?

  • http://agrumer.livejournal.com/ Avram

    Matthew, the first sentence of Terry’s post quotes an astronomer, not a biologist. If that’s the cause, then why isn’t the dispute over cosmology rather than evolution? Why aren’t Georgia school boards attaching stickers to textbooks warning that material on stellar formation should be “approached with an open mind, studied carefully and critically considered”? Why isn’t the Discovery Institute asking people to “teach the controversy” between big bang and steady state theories?

    Of course, in many people’s eyes, they’re the same thing. I’ve lost count of the number of creationists I’ve seen who think the Big Bang is part of the theory of evolution.

    Incidentally, that widespread belief that evolution excludes the supernatural? The Discovery Institute is pushing that belief. If you’d read that Wikipedia article on the Wedge strategy, you’d have seen some quotes by Phillip Johnson (one of the founders of the intelligent design movement). Here’s one of them: “The objective [of the wedge strategy] is to convince people that Darwinism is inherently atheistic, thus shifting the debate from creationism vs. evolution to the existence of God vs. the non-existence of God. From there people are introduced to ‘the truth’ of the Bible and then ‘the question of sin’ and finally ‘introduced to Jesus.’”

  • Rich

    To your question: “What does the word “fundamentalist” mean in this context?”

    I’ve seen a number of proponents of ID not settle simply for promoting the idea that God is behind evolutionary changes, but that the timeframe must coincide with OT writings. Thus the world is only 50,000 years old or whatever.

    Whether you accept that the premise of ID is valid or not, to ask teachers and students to buy into the timeframe argument is asking a bit much when there is overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

    That’s where I think the “fundamentalism” comes into play.

    Let’s all remember that the OT was compiled by humans. And the ones that could write (and read) were the ones with money and power. And we all know how that works. Take the lessons, not the details.

  • http://www.physicsgeekjesusfreak.blogspot.com Matthew M.

    Rich – that’s not ID, that’s young-earth creationism, and the timeframe for that has to be closer to 6,000 years by anything approaching a literal reading of the OT. The blanket inclusion of Episcopalians as “fundamentalists” is absurd and journalistically irresponsible; that’s tmatt’s objection.

    Avram – I could just as easily have quoted from Dawkins, or the National Association of Biology Teachers’ 1995 statement, or Sagan’s Demon-Haunted World in which he bashes people for not accepting “the central finding of modern biology” (that being that life evolved from nonlife through purely natural means). The fact that Sagan happens to be an astronomer is irrelevant; the fact that his viewpoint is commonly accepted and taught by macroevolutionists is the issue. (I refer you to the Discovery Institute’s fact sheet about the “wedge” paranoia.) Cosmology would be at issue if this were about the young-earth hypothesis. It isn’t; it is about the contention that life evolved from nonlife (so we’re talking about biology) and the extrapolation that the supernatural is an unnecessary and possibly damaging construct of our collective imagination.

  • http://www.physicsgeekjesusfreak.blogspot.com Matthew M.

    Aaagh! Split infinitive! Mea maxima culpa, everyone. :)

  • http://www.crashgroundzero.com Glenn A

    First off, I think we are way off base as far as having much to do with journalism here.

    Secondly, I think every side would do better without the straw man and ad hominem attacks all around. Believe it or not, it is possible to be an intelligent person and not agree with the philosophical position of evolution. It is also possible to be an evolutionist and not be “evil” or trying to push God out of every corner.

    Are there people on either side who would seem to refute this? Sure…

    But I think tmatt’s point is, as we’ve seen in other cases, that there are somewhat loaded words used in the MSM here. This is true for other issues as well. I think that is a valid point to argue here at getreligion, rather than the actual validity of evolutionary theory.

  • tmatt

    RICH:

    More info please. I have followed this since ’91 and have never seen anyone connected with the ID leadership back a young earth position. Who are you quoting and have you seen them quoted in the MSM?

    GLENN A:

    The point that the last two popes have made is that there are multiple theories of evolution and that some are truly materialistic. They say — and the ID leaders agree — that there is no way to prove that evolution is a random, impersonal process. Of course, it is also impossible to prove that the process is not random, in the lab sense of the word prove.

    This whole debate involves three steps — science, logic and then philosophy. My central point is that the MSM seems to be blind to the religious implications of Darwinian orthodoxy, as defined in academia and in LAW. Read the coverage of the debates about words such as “random” and “impersonal.” That is the key issue.

  • http://myroblyte.blogspot.com NBR

    Thus, one side gets to use the equation — science, logic, philosophy — but the other side does not. One side gets to make leaps of faith in the public square, but the other side does not. Rules are rules.
    Isn’t this more or less equivalent to saying, “Scientists decide what counts as science”? Since the Enlightenment, scientists have tried to explain observable phenomena in terms of other observable phenomena, which means without reference to teleology. For this reason, unless I’ve completely missed the point, the notion of “design” or a “designer” is effectively meaningless in scientific discourse. What is “design”? How can you talk about “design” without going outside the frame of scientific language? (Yes, Sagan and Dawkins are guilty of thew same thing, but that doesn’t invalidate the question.)
    If ID proponents aren’t making a religious argument — which is to say, if their position is genuinely different from creationism — then all they are really saying, it seems to me, is that the theory of evolution is imperfect and has gaps. As we all know, almost every scientific theory is imperfect or incomplete in one way or another (take, for example, gravity). That’s simply how science works. So why the focus on this particular incomplete, imperfect theory? Personally, I have a hard time coming up with any explanation other than this: it’s because the theory of evolution offends the sensibilities of religious people (and some non-religious people, too) in a way that disagreements over the nature of gravity don’t. Americans find evolution unpopular and threatening; the polls say so. People reacted similarly during Darwin’s lifetime. Here’s Disraeli, in a great quotation (1864): “The question is this — is man an ape or an angel? … I am on the side of the angels. I repudiate with indignation and abhorrence these newfangled theories.” To me it strains belief that the current flap over ID and evolution has everything to do with “scientific objectivity” and nothing to do with such sentiments.

  • http://agrumer.livejournal.com/ Avram

    Terry, Phillip Johnson has specifically advised the ID people not to take a position on the age of the earth: “No, I don’t take a position on that. That’s a separate issue and we should not discuss that now. It’s not an issue that’s ripe to be discussed. We should discuss that only after we’ve made the breakthrough on the Darwinian mechanism.” So yeah, even if some ID people do believe in a young earth, they’re not going to admit it in public unless they slip up.

    BTW, what do you think of this Seattle Times article about a scientist who’s also a devout Christian, who joined the Discovery Institute and then left?

    Matthew, I’d already seen the Discovery Institue’s “So What?” article about the Wedge Strategy. I noticed that they magnify the claims of their critics so as to make it seem as if they’ve been accused of something worse than they’re actually doing.

  • http://www.crashgroundzero.com Glenn A

    I’m with you Terry, and I agree that there is more than one brand of evolutionary thought out there.

    And yes, there are definite religious implications in a lot of it…

  • http://agrumer.livejournal.com/ Avram

    Terry, Glenn, could you be more specific about “multiple theories of evolution”? I mean, I know about arguments over punctuated equilibrium and group selection and epigenetics — is that the kind of thing you mean? Legitimate disputes among scientists and new evidence bringing refinements of evolutionary theory? Or is this something else?

  • http://tachyphrenia.blogspot.com/ Mark Fournier

    Sagan wasn’t claiming that science proves there is no God. He was simply pointing out that the assumption that God exists adds nothing whatsoever to our understanding of the world. And he was right. There isn’t a single jot of science that presumes or requires the existence of God.

    In fact, any attempt to put God into science results in a black hole of ignorance. The explanation then becomes “because God made it happen.” This is not an explanation at all, but an unfalsifiable assertion that blocks all further enquiry. This is not science, but anti-science.

    ID has not made any explanatory or predictive contributions whatsoever to the field of biology. That makes it a dismal failure by all scientific standards. The practice of science requires more than a degree; it requires the willingness to question your own assumptions in the light of new evidence. If someone goes through his doctorate program with the intent of using his degree as a credential to back a pre-existing ideology (which is precisely what those pushing the creationist agenda are encouraging Christian students to do,) that does not make them a scientist, only a fraud.

    All of the arguments made by ID and other branches of creationism have been refuted. You can look them up at http://www.talkorigins.org. This is very old news. There is no debate about ID in the scientific community, only a public relations campaign masquerading as one. You can believe what you like, and call it religion, or faith, or whatever you like. But don’t call it science, because it isn’t.

  • tmatt

    VARIOUS:

    Phil has taken a personal position and it is clearly stated in his books. He is saying that he does not demand that people change their beliefs in order to take part in public discourse. The same goes for him.

    In terms of the Wedge banning science, this is the same straw man. Read the POPES on this. What Phil and others mean is the same thing as Sagan. They believe that the lab facts point to their interpretation and philosophy.

    They want to use the same sequence as the world that does its interpretations based on its own PHILOSOPHY.

    So, NBR, this is basically about the definition of doctrine, not what happens in labs and digs in Chinese rock.

  • tmatt

    Oh, it’s early and I forgot my final point.

    All of this is secondary, on this blog, to the basic point that the MSM is supposed to be covering this in some way that refuses to create straw men on either side. The MSM should also be describing — see the Smithsonian stories — who is locking who out of employment and public debates. That is why I keep insisting — the Times did get this part — that the emerging story is essentially about free speech.

    Does the name Dean H. Kenyon meaning anything to people on this list? Do you know the story of his book and his lectures?

  • http://www.wrandomwramblings.blogspot.com Scott Roche

    “Biologists would mellow out a whole lot more if they didn’t have to worry that every time they had a debate about, say, punctuated equilibrium, some creationist would take that debate as an opportunity to try to smuggle the Book of Genesis into science classes.”

    Okay, first thing, you don’t have to smuggle the book of Genesis into a science class. You can teach creationism in a HS science class, it’s not illegal. You just can’t make it mandatory. Secondly, if biologists are freaking out over someone raising questions which the scientists don’t believe has any basis in science then may I recommend Paxil?

    “One of the classic creationist arguments against evolution is to present any disagreement about evolutionary biology within the scientific community as evidence that evolutionary theory is fatally flawed.”

    Simply flawed

    “Now we’re getting the opposite: On the issues where biologists agree, they’re being portrayed as a dogmatic priesthood.”

    Only on issues where they agree and there seems to be no real scientific evidence using the scientific method for what they purport to be true.

    “Is there any honest way evolutionary biologists could reasonably act that wouldn’t get them smeared by creationists? ”

    Some creationists are always going to try and smear some evolutionists and vice versa, so in essence no. But they could start by being less smug and so certain in their science (btw this extends to creationsits too). We are humans and our understanding of the universe will always be limited. Too much arrogance on both sides of this issue.

  • http://agrumer.livejournal.com/ Avram

    Terry, why should I read what the Popes say on the Wedge document? They didn’t write it; they’ve got nothing to do with it.

    I never claimed that the Wedge was “banning science”. What I see the Wedge documents as revealing is a dishonest motivation on the parts of Johnson and the Discovery Institute. They’ve decided on their result, and they’re going to try and cherry-pick scientific results to “prove” that result. Why do you think they’re trying to bypass the normal scientific process and go straight to the schools? What kind of honest scientist says “I haven’t proven my theory, but teach it in the schools anyway”? That’s not science.

    From where I’m sitting, the real story here is about how the false objectivity stance of the media opens them up to being exploited when one side in a dispute is being dishonest, something I initially noticed following political news over the past decade or so.

  • tmatt

    Avram:

    Did you read the NYTs series? They do not want their theory taught in public schools. They want the science stage debates in public schools and the logic-philosophy stages — on both sides — pulled into other forums where there can be discussion, debate and publications.

    So in journalism terms, you have gone European. There are people whose views do not deserve accurate representation in public debates and in coverage. You are in favor of advocacy journalism?

  • http://agrumer.livejournal.com/ Avram

    Terry, I do favor the accurate representation of IDers views in coverage. I just disagree with you about what that constitutes.

    And you’re wrong about them not wanting ID taught in schools. Item #6 in the Five-Year Objectives section of the Wedge Strategy aims at states including design theory in their science curricula. They’d also like two universities where design theory is the dominant view. Yet another case of the Discovery Institute saying one thing in public and another in private. See why I don’t take their official public statements at face value?


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