Science Talkin ‘Bout Evolution
posted by September 27 at 10:55 AMon
The first time I read the following phrase in the New York Times, it warmed my little intelligent design-despising heart:
There is no credible scientific challenge to the idea that all living things evolved from common ancestors, that evolution on earth has been going on for billions of years and that evolution can be and has been tested and confirmed by the methods of science. [Cornelia Dean, “Evolution takes a back seat in US classes,” Feb 2, 2005.]
It was a landmark. Journalists had been trapped in the scientists-say/but-whackjobs-assert lockbox since intelligent design first reared its stupid head, so this adamancy was incredibly refreshing. The phrase didn’t seem quite so fresh, however, the next time it appeared:
”We were invited to debate one supposed theory against another,” Dr. Leshner said, when in fact there was no credible scientific challenge to the theory of evolution. [Cornelia Dean, “Opting Out in the Debate on Evolution,” June 21, 2005.]
Or the next:
“Darwinian evolution is the foundation of modern biology. While researchers may debate details of how the mechanism of evolution plays out, there is no credible scientific challenge to the underlying theory.” [Cornelia Dean and Laurie Goodstein, “Leading Cardinal Redefines Church’s View on Evolution,” July 9, 2005.]
Or the next:
There is no credible scientific challenge to the idea that evolution explains the diversity of life on earth, but advocates for intelligent design posit that biological life is so complex that it must have been designed by an intelligent source. [Ian Fisher and Cornelia Dean, “In ‘Design’ vs. Darwinism, Darwin Wins Point in Rome ,” Jan 19, 2006.]
Cornelia Dean! It’s good to be emphatic, but you start to sound like a robot—one of those Darwin-believin’ automatons whom the Discovery Institute takes great pleasure in deriding. Recently the statement of fact has hardened into a single immutable sentence, as in Dean’s “Science of the Soul? ‘I Think, Therefore I Am’ Is Losing Force” [June 26, 2007] and her article on the deceptive practices of the producers of that ID agitprop with Ben Stein that Dan linked to below [“Scientists Feel Miscast in Film on Life’s Origin,” today]:
There is no credible scientific challenge to the theory of evolution as an explanation for the complexity and diversity of life on earth.
It’s getting tired. Mix it up sometimes, NYT.