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Friday, January 01, 2010

Happy New Year: Top ten Darwin and design stories I

From Dennis Wagner at Access Research Network:

We just released our annual review of the top Darwin and Design science news stories for 2009:


Its fun to reflect back on all that has happened this year.

We plan to release our top 10 ranking of these stories tomorrow with a press release.

We are also working on a top 10 cultural/public policy list and a top ten ID resource list to be released in the next week or two.

Interesting list. To me, the biggest story is the huge increase in ID-related news, requiring two separate lists, apart from their resources list - for a total of three lists now.

The problem is, so few journalists really want to cover this news. You can see why if you Google Denyse O’Leary + images. If you are not as scandalized as my family was, a number of lawyers must have advised their clients to expunge that stuff.

In an odd way, it mirrors the stories I often cover at the Post-Darwinist on intellectual freedom in Canada. (I hadn't wanted to get drawn into this, but friends were under assault.)

We are making headway but unfortunately, legacy mainstream media (where the money and advancement are) have largely morphed into public relations agencies for government and its approved causes. I belong to a journalists’ list where complaints about the lack of serious investigative journalism are the day’s fishwrap.* That role has passed to the blogosphere, for better or worse. The blogo is our new fourth estate.

It's easy to see why.

The original reason that media were given special privileges by governments in the West hundreds of years ago – and NOT usually willingly – was precisely that readers demanded the right to hear alternative viewpoints.

So, predictably, there is slow leakage of public attention away from legacy media to less fettered on-line media.

Just as predictably, there are now calls to “control” the Internet, in favour of “localism” = you should get your news from your Local Big Hair Pundit – which keeps him in hairstylists and you in debt.

If you want it, you can have it. The lineup for that stuff has shortened significantly in recent years.

* Note: The difficulty is, investigative journalism starts with the assumption that the establishment, the powers that be, the government, the experts, the pundits might actually be mistaken. In fact, some could be corrupt, even criminal. People who cannot deal with stuff like that should content themselves with romances about how Miss Nice Girl meets Mr. Right Guy.

The journalist may not be a Nice girl, and the guy whose nefarious activities she is tracking may be Mr. Wrong in Spades.

Anyway, the decline in the investigative tradition, as witnessed here in Canada, impacts the ID controversy in this way: People don't know what they don't know. If Pundits A, B, and C tell you that Darwinism is proven beyond reasonable doubt, you must go to sites like this Post-Darwinist to find out what no one else will tell you.

It's worth it. Tell your friends. And Happy New Year

Find out why there is an intelligent design controversy:

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