Did the New York Times suppress the results of its own investigation into Darwin’s scientific critics in order to promote a stereotype?

New questions are being raised about the accuracy of the New York Times’ article on scientific critics of neo-Darwinism last week, spurred by an amazing admission by Times’ reporter Ken Chang that only a small minority of the scientists he interviewed actually fit his story’s stereotyped description of Darwin’s critics. While Chang’s story conveys the clear impression that scientists who support Discovery’s Dissent from Darwin statement are motivated by religion rather than science, Chang has now admitted in an interview that 75% or more of the scientists he interviewed did not fit this description. In other words, Chang and his editors selectively reported the results of their own investigation to convey the exact opposite of what they found. It turns Read More ›

UPDATE: Sun Sentinel Suppresses Accurate Definition of Intelligent Design

Editor’s Note: In the original post we mistakenly identified the newspaper in question as the Orlando Sentinel. It was in fact the Sun Sentinel in Fort Lauderdale. While the identification was incorrect, the links all went to the right articles. In what was supposed to be a news article, the Sun Sentinel yesterday substituted its own inaccurate definition of intelligent design for the definition actually used by proponents of the theory. In so doing, its editors apparently suppressed a more accurate definition of ID written by the reporter with whom I spoke. In addition to misdefining intelligent design, the Sentinel article engages in blatant editorializing by pejoratively labeling efforts to correct textbook errors as “watering down” the teaching of evolution. Read More ›

Fair Story or Cheap Shot? NYT to Look at Discovery’s Dissent from Darwin Statement on Tuesday

We’ve learned that Tuesday’s New York Times will carry an article by science writer Ken Chang about Discovery Institute’s Dissent from Darwin statement, which this week is being updated with more than 500 doctoral scientists who doubt the Darwinian claim that natural selection and random mutation can account for the complexity of life. The statement was first released in 2001 to rebut the contention that all scientists embrace Darwinian evolution. In fact, there are quite a number of Darwin skeptics among scientists, including many who aren’t religious and many who don’t support intelligent design. The big question is whether Mr. Chang’s article will be a fair-minded examination of the scientific views of these scientists or a cheap shot focusing on Read More ›

Dover in Review, pt. 4: Are the newsmedia reinventing Judge Jones as a conservative Republican? (updated)

Note: This is the fourth part of a multi-part series. You can read the first three installments here and here and here. Some in the newsmedia have been attempting to portray Judge Jones as a conservative Republican who is devoutly religious. Frankly, I don’t care whether Judge Jones is either conservative or religious. My concern is whether he is fair and accurate as a judge. But I do object to the media’s attempt to reinvent Judge Jones in order to insulate his decision from criticism. The media are cultivating the impression that Judge Jones must have been fair and impartial (his sloppy and biased opinion notwithstanding) because he is a deeply-religious conservative who should have been initially sympathetic to the Read More ›

Dover in Review, pt. 3: Did Judge Jones accurately describe the content and early versions of the ID textbook Of Pandas and People?

Note: This is the third part of a multi-part series. You can read the first two installments here and here. In his decision in the Dover intelligent design case, Judge Jones places great weight on the early intelligent design textbook Of Pandas and People published by the Foundation for Thought and Ethics (FTE). According to Judge Jones, early drafts of this textbook supposedly show that intelligent design is merely repackaged creationism. However, Judge Jones seriously misrepresents the facts about Of Pandas and People, and he also misapplies the relevant legal standards. Before addressing the merits of Judge Jones’ assertions regarding Pandas, something needs to be said about the legal and ethical propriety of Judge Jones placing so much weight on Read More ›