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Wednesday, July 06, 2005

New York Times assigns team of reporters to cover ID issues

A generally reliable source informs me, "ID has apparently become the issue du jour with the mainstream media. ... the New York Times is so interested--or rather, concerned--with national debate over Darwinism and ID, ... they've organized a team of reporters to cover the issue. They currently have at least two of them working on in-depth, perhaps even multi-part stories ...

The source worries, "As you can imagine, the Times is likely to downplay the science and turn this into purely a cultural and political issue."

He complains, for example, about sitting for a two-hour interview in which almost the whole focus was the details of his religious beliefs and practices, not the science that he and a colleague have pursued.

So, remember this when you read the New York Times on the subject of ID theory. If the U.S. Paper of Record does not even ask much about the science (apart from offering inveterate enemies of ID an opportunity to condemn it), don't make the mistake of running around claiming that there is no science behind ID. Change your paper of record instead. As the issues become more important and more controversial, you can't afford to just not know what is really going on.

Here are two books to get you started: Uncommon Dissent, essays by intellectuals who find Darwinism unconvincing, and By Design or by Chance?, my own book, which introduces the controversy to the average reader. You can read excerpts as well.

By the way, Web logs are a great, free source of clarification in situations where legacy media simply refuse to cover an issue by listening to all sides. In this one, John West of the Discovery Institute points out that the New York Times covered the Kansas hearings on Darwinism in the school system by focusing on those who did not testify, not those who did. "That's a novel way to cover an event," he writes, "only talk about the people who did not participate in it." Yes, it's novel, all right, and it explains why these news outfits increasingly risk being seen as "legacy media."

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