Thursday, August 09, 2007


What Goes Around...

Cast your mind all the way back to May when Time published its "list of the 100 men and women whose power, talent or moral example" were said to be transforming the world. Included among those notables was scientist, author, outspoken critic of creationism, and fiery atheist, Richard Dawkins.

The author of the Time 100 profile? None other than intelligent design activist Michael Behe.

At the time, many thought Behe an unusual choice to profile Dawkins. The two were, after all, on opposite sides of a fierce debate over the nature of science and the role of religion. Some said Behe could hardly be an objective observer.

The Discovery Institute, as they so often do, took a contrary point of view. They raised no objections about the fairness of the Dawkins' profile and, in fact, published two posts defending Behe -- including one by Behe himself -- on their Evolution News and Views blog.

So, how do you suppose these principled ID scientists reacted to Richard Dawkins' recent New York Times review of Michael Behe’s new book, The Edge of Evolution?

Discovery President Bruce Chapman writes that he just threw up his hands when he learned that Dawkins had been handed the review. In an Evolution News and Views post Chapman asks, "Who Picks Reviewers at the New York Times?"

"The Times is having its problems," notes Chapman. "As a lover of print media, I hate to see it."

Like so much else that intelligent design activists say and write we may do well not take this statement at face value. After all, Evolution News and Views has had a long-running feud with the news media in general and the Times in particular. Indeed, the declared mission of Discovery's Evolution News and Views is to counter the alleged "misreporting of the evolution issue" which they characterize as "sloppy, inaccurate, and in some cases, overtly biased."

One measure of objectivity is consistency. We might ask ourselves just how objective Discovery is when they laud a profile of Dawkins by Behe and deplore a review of Behe by Dawkins.

Perhaps the media haven't got it so wrong after all.


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