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Wednesday, August 03, 2005

ID controversy grows in Muslim world

Turkish journalist Mustafa Akyol, who now has his own site, The White Path, has been writing about the intelligent design controversy from a Muslim (and generally favorable) perspective.

By contrast, Ahmed K. Sultan Salem, a PhD student at Stanford,"sort of" attacks ID at Islam On Line, eventually concluding,
Two arguments can be made. The first is that ID is an impediment to science as it moves from the deficiency of the current hypotheses to a statement that we will never succeed in explaining the phenomenon scientifically. This can be countered by another argument that ID, by showing the inadequateness of current explanations, may help awaken the scientists from their intellectual slumber, something that often takes place given the inertia of the scientific culture (and other cultures). ID can be a motivator for scientists to think outside the box and try to propose alternative hypotheses. It is extremely unlikely that all the scientists will take an ID result and stop hunting for naturalistic explanations. The point is that ID may harm science, but ignoring it may also harm science. After all, everything has its share of merits and demerits.

Um, yeah, but on a scale of one to ten, Ahmed, ... ?

Bill Dembski comments that Salem's piece "is probably the most ambivalent article about ID that I’ve ever read." Maybe a conflict of loyalties?

Meanwhile, Muslim anti-evolutionist Harun Yahya has also attacked the ID advocates, for unrelated reasons. Who said the world was a simple, straightforward place?

By the way, Akyol crossed swords recently with Robert McHenry at Tech Central Station, on the ID controversy.

(Note: In the interests of disclosure: I have written written for Islam on Line.)

If you like this blog, check out my book on the intelligent design controversy, By Design or by Chance?. You can read excerpts as well.

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The spin cycle: New York Times changes “biological” to “biblical”

As reported over at Evolution News & Views, a Discovery Institute blog,
a New York Times story, "Bush Remarks Roil Debate Over Teaching of Evolution",
mangled a quote from Steve Meyer, who said,
We interpret this as the president using his bully pulpit to support freedom of inquiry and free speech about the issue of biological origins.

and was reported as saying,
We interpret this as the president using his bully pulpit to support freedom of inquiry and free speech about the issue of biblical origins.

The Times has indicated that it would post a correction, but the site is rejecting my password so I can't get into it to find out just now. I'll update this when I can.

Some have asked whether these errors are accidental. Well, yes and no.

Every newspaper is governed by a mind set, and there are certain stories that it "wants." Liberal papers want different stories from conservative papers and religious papers want different stories from secular ones.

In any event, journalists know when they are writing a story the editor really wants - and when they aren't. I've written plenty of both types, and have sometimes been dumped for writing the second kind when no facts I reported were disputed. So it is quite possible that Bumiller thought that she heard "Biblical" for "biological." Her bosses' voices are ever humming in her ears, and she knows that they desperately want Meyer to have said "biblical".

We can guess as much from the headline of the news article itself: "Bush Remarks Roil Debate Over Teaching of Evolution." The assumption is that Bush is only causing trouble by expressing the view that students should hear both sides and learn to think for themselves.

It tells you everything you need to know about the Times and the Darwinists that Bush's opinion would be controversial. Like most good card players, Bush allows people to snooker themselves.

Incidentally, Meyer is the author of the paper discussing the Cambrian explosion in the Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington that caused the Darwin lobby to launch a persecution of both author Meyer and editor Sternberg.

(Note: If this is not the story you were looking for, see the stories listed in the sidebar. )

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