Last week Stephen Meyer presented his groundbreaking Signature in the Cell at Mackenzie Presbyterian University in São Paulo, one of Brazil’s oldest and most prestigious colleges, as hundreds of students listened.
The Brazilian press was there, as well, giving intelligent design ample coverage. Unfortunately, instead of reporting intelligent design straight (you know, that radical idea of letting the proponents of an idea tell you what it is they actually support), ISTOÉ Independente is cribbing from the American mainstream media, repeating tropes they’ve read from their counterparts at TIME and Newsweek and inserting their bias into the article, mis-defining ID as “based on the idea that a higher entity would be responsible for the creation of all life forms,” calling Behe’s irreducible complexity a “pseudoscientific concept,” and generally painting the main thrust of ID as a program to get religion into American school (which it most emphatically is not — Discovery’s education policy has always been to teach more about Darwin, not mandating intelligent design).
However, when reporter Hélio Gomes lets his subjects speak for themselves, it’s not a bad at all:
The event held in Sao Paulo in the last days brought to Brazil two of the most well-know ID advocates in the United States. Stephen C. Meyer, Ph. D. in History and Philosophy of Science, is one of the movement founders, and one of its most vocal spokesmen. Author of three books, among which the recent “Signature in the Cell” (Assinatura na Célula, unpublished in Brazil), he affirms that his mission in Brazilian lands was simple: “We came to raise a discussion — our work is scientific, and not political or educational”, said Meyer, one of the most active Discovery Institute members, a non-profit research center connected to the conservative sectors of the American society. “As I believe in God, I believe he is the intelligent designer. But there are atheist scientists who accept the theory in other fashions”, concludes the researcher.
Of course, something may be lost in translation if they’re calling Dr. Meyer “one of the most active Discovery Institute members,” but the message throughout the article is that ID is “one of the greatest polemics to rock the United States society and scientific community in the last years.”
Despite the misreporting, it’s worth noting the attention the debate over intelligent design and evolution is having internationally.
Note the rather fun juxtaposition of these images: Charles Darwin vs. Charles Thaxton and Stephen Meyer with Richard Dawkins: from the magazine:
Many thanks to Enezio E. de Almeida Filho for providing us with a translation of the article.
For more on the international intelligent design movement, check out the links at IntelligentDesign.org.