Wednesday, April 13, 2005
In an April 8 story about Kansas science standards, The Associated Press reported erroneously that public hearings next month will feature witnesses who advocate teaching intelligent design alongside evolution in public school classrooms. Instead, the witnesses are expected to advocate exposing students to more criticism of evolution, not teaching alternatives to it.
This correction is almost certainly a result of pressure from the Discovery Institute in Seattle which maintains it doesn't want to teach intelligent design, it just wants to "teach the controversy."
Here's what Discovery Institute fellow Jonathan Witt says on Discovery's Evolution News and Views blog:
AP Story Gets it Wrong: The Kansas Hearings are About the Weaknesses in Neo-Darwinism
An AP story on the upcoming hearings on Kansas science standards contains a crucial error.
According to the lead, the hearings “will have as many as 23 witnesses speaking in support of teaching public school children intelligent design alongside the theory of volution.”
In fact, few if any of the featured scientists are pushing for design theory in the curriculum. That’s not even on the table in the science standards. Indeed, some of those speaking, like Italian geneticist Giuseppe Sermonti, aren’t even design theorists. They’re simply calling for students to learn the strengths and weaknesses in Darwin’s theory of evolution, rather than the air-brushed presentation of evolutionary theory they currently get.
Why are some Darwinists so keen to obscure this fact? Why won’t they attend the hearings and explain why students shouldn’t learn about those weaknesses? Perhaps because such a position is indefensible.
The only correct statement in Witt's post is that "few if any of the featured scientists are pushing for design theory in the curriculum." As documented here and elsewhere, almost all the featured "scientists" are biblical literalists whose ultimate goal is the inclusion of the Biblical story of Genesis in science classes. A number of these so-called scientists have come under fire at their own universities for proselytizing their students.
Intelligent design isn't something they believe in, it's just an intellectually dishonest legal and political strategy they're willing to employ.
It is unfortunate that the Associated Press has given in to Discovery's pressure. It's another example of the mainstream media being bent to the will of right-wing ideologues in this country.