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The New York Times’ Bowdlerized Version of the Kansas Evolution Hearings

John G. West

Yesterday’s New York Times carried an article about the Kansas evolution hearings. Well, sort of. While the article discoursed at length about the pro-Darwin scientists who did NOT participate in the Kansas hearings, it never actually got around to mentioning any of the people who DID testify.

That’s a novel way to cover an event—only talk about the people who did not participate in it.

I was interviewed for the article, and I’d like to commend the reporter for (on the whole) quoting me accurately. In particular, she made clear that Discovery Institute does not oppose the teaching evolution, and it does not favor requiring the teaching of intelligent design.
However, I can’t commend the bowlderized version of the Kansas hearings presented in the article, which clearly leaves the impression that no “scientists” testified in Kansas.

What does that make the biology professor from the University of Wisconsin who testified? Or the biochemistry professor at the University of Georgia who testified? Or the Italian geneticist who edits one of the world’s oldest still-published biology journals who testified? As I pointed out to the Times reporter, the Darwinian fundamentalists can claim all they want that there are no scientists who criticize modern Darwinian theory, but the biology professors from state universities who showed up in Kansas proved otherwise.

This New York Times article essentially imposes a news blackout on these courageous scientists and on their scientific criticisms of Darwinsm. While I talked at length with the Times reporter about the specific scientific criticisms being raised in Kansas and elsewhere, none of that made it into the article. Perhaps the Times’ needs a new motto: “All the News that Fits.”

John G. West

Senior Fellow, Managing Director, and Vice President of Discovery Institute
Dr. John G. West is Vice President of the Seattle-based Discovery Institute and Managing Director of the Institute’s Center for Science and Culture. Formerly the Chair of the Department of Political Science and Geography at Seattle Pacific University, West is an award-winning author and documentary filmmaker who has written or edited 12 books, including Darwin Day in America: How Our Politics and Culture Have Been Dehumanized in the Name of Science, The Magician’s Twin: C. S. Lewis on Science, Scientism, and Society, and Walt Disney and Live Action: The Disney Studio’s Live-Action Features of the 1950s and 60s. His documentary films include Fire-Maker, Revolutionary, The War on Humans, and (most recently) Human Zoos. West holds a PhD in Government from Claremont Graduate University, and he has been interviewed by media outlets such as CNN, Fox News, Reuters, Time magazine, The New York Times, USA Today, and The Washington Post.