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Thursday, September 27, 2007

Talkin ‘Bout Evolution

posted by on September 27 at 10:55 AM

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.

RSS icon Comments


why mix it up? it's an economical sound bite, one that needs to be heard again and again by people until it sinks in. i know you're sick of it because you read frequently and widely, but that is not the case with most americans.

Posted by ellarosa | September 27, 2007 11:00 AM

people did not evolve from monkies. people are STILL monkies.

Posted by adrian! | September 27, 2007 11:11 AM

Seconded, ellarosa.

I'd suggest that the "Discovery" Institute mix it up a little bit with the "teach the controversy" line, but it seems to be working well for them....

Posted by A Non Imus | September 27, 2007 11:14 AM

I agree 1 & 3 (and 2 ... oook!). Americans want their debates as simplistic as possible and in this case we can oblige. This is a perfect one-liner. Maybe you're just confused because most issues are complicated and we have to fight to keep the gray areas intact. But not this time.

Posted by Raindog | September 27, 2007 11:28 AM

Wrong! Keep repeating it. It has to be reinforced that intelligent design is religion and not science, over and over again, until everyone can repeat that line by heart.

Posted by Gitai | September 27, 2007 11:36 AM

No. The message must be repeated again and again until it sinks in. There is no credible scientific challenge to the theory of evolution. Otherwise people become vulnerable to the Discovery Institute's pseudo-scientific bullshit.

Posted by Greg | September 27, 2007 12:20 PM

The other day, in the comments about the anorexic model, I used the phrase: "There are no credible studies" so if the NYT are guilty so am I. It seems to have become common usage.

Posted by inkweary | September 27, 2007 1:22 PM

Evolution might imply that since all humans came from a common ancestor there are no Jews or Gentiles, we are all one people.

However as an atheist I still believe that God created Jews and that in America Jews are different from other people, they have suffered more and have their own brilliant culture.

Posted by Issur | September 27, 2007 5:27 PM
Posted by Regina Hackett | September 27, 2007 10:44 PM

Many people, when they can't provide evidence for their theory, adopt the strategy of falsehood. Such is the case with many of those who have fallen victim to the propaganda of renowned evolutionists.
If evolutionists want to end the arguments all they have to do is, get their brilliant heads together and assemble a 'simple' living cell. 'Surely they have a very great amount of knowledge about what is inside the 'simple' cell.

And after all, shouldn't all the combined Intelligence of all the worlds scientist be able the do what chance encounters with random chemical collisions, without an instruction manual, accomplished about 4 billion years ago,according to the evolutionists estimation. Without any intelligence at all available to help them these 'simple ' cells miraculously created themselves into a living entity. Surely then today's evolutionists scientists should be able to make us a 'simple' cell.

If it weren't so pitiful it would be humorous, that intelligent people have swallowed the evolution mythology.

Beyond doubt, the main reason people believe in evolution is that sources they admire, say it is so. It would pay for these people to do a thorough examination of the flood of evidence CONTRARY to evolution which is readily available: Try The evolutionists should honestly examine the SUPPOSED evidence 'FOR' evolution for THEMSELVES.

Build us a cell, from scratch, with the required raw material, that is with NO cell material, just the 'raw' stuff, and the argument is over. But if the scientists are unsuccessful, perhaps they should try Mother Earth's recipe, you know, the one they claim worked the first time about 4 billion years ago, so they say. All they need to do is to gather all the chemicals that we know are essential for life, pour them into a large clay pot and stir vigorously for a few billion years, and EUREKA, LIFE!

Oh, you don't believe the 'original' Mother Earth recipe will work? You are NOT alone, Neither do I, and MILLIONS of others!
Please don't swallow the lies they tell about the 'first life' problem, scientists are falling all over themselves to make a living cell. Many have admitted publicly that it is a monumental problem. And, is many years away from happening, if ever. Logical people understand this problem and have rightly concluded that an Intelligent Designer was absolutely necessary. Think of it this way, if all the brilliant scientists on earth can't do it, how on earth can anyone believe that it happened by accident?????

Posted by James Collins | September 28, 2007 2:18 PM

Now that the Discovery Institute has cited you with approval, do you want to reconsider your advice to mix it up a bit?

Posted by sealawr | September 29, 2007 10:24 AM

I agree with ellarosa. If you repeat a lie often enough, people will begin to believe it. With evo sinking in the polls a little propaganda will do some good. :-)

Posted by Brian | September 29, 2007 1:48 PM

"There is no credible scientific challenge to the theory of evolution"

This statement only proves that Dean, like many others, are "incredulous" towards the evidence that is actually mounting in the case for the re-evaluation of Darwinian Theory.

Posted by Tina | September 29, 2007 10:42 PM

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