Anti-ID Bias in Journal of the History of Biology

David Sepkoski’s recent literature review (“Worldviews in Collision: Recent Literature on the Creation*Evolution Divide”) in Journal of the History of Biology provides another illustration of the fact that many science journals are biased against intelligent design. He uses pejorative language against ID, claiming its proponents engage in a “guerilla campaign,” calling specified complexity “Dembski’s hobby-horse,” and asserting that Stephen Meyer’s article contains a “confused interpretation of the Cambrian explosion” (though Sepkoski provides no specifics to bolster his point). Given the pejorative language, could the anti-ID bias in the scientific community be any clearer? Sepkoski’s omissions are more interesting than what he includes. He reviews no books by scientific proponents of intelligent design, such as The Privileged Planet, which was published Read More ›

From the Archives: How the New York Times Lets A Reporter Blur the Distinction between Editorials and News

Yesterday I blogged about my correspondence with New York Times reporter Cornelia Dean, who covers the evolution debate for the Times. Today I thought I would remind readers that this is not the first time we’ve reported about editorializing by Ms. Dean on the evolution issue. Last year, Dean wrote an op-ed advising evolutionists on what they should do to win the public debate over evolution. But the Times still assigns Ms. Dean to cover the evolution debate. Question: Would the Times assign a reporter to cover the abortion debate who had written an op-ed advising the pro-life movement on what it needed to do to in order to prevail? Conflicts of interest apparently don’t matter when the issue is Read More ›

Inside the Mind of the New York Times: My Exchange with Cornelia Dean, Evolution Partisan

A few days ago, I took New York Times reporter Cornelia Dean to task for putting words in the mouth of Ohio Board of Education member Deborah Owens Fink. According to an article by Dean, “Dr. Owens Fink…said the [Ohio] curriculum standards she supported did not advocate teaching intelligent design, an ideological cousin of creationism.” But as I pointed out, Dr. Owens Fink did not call intelligent design “an ideological cousin of creationism,” even though Dean’s wording makes this appear to be the case. Those words represent Dean’s own editorial evaluation (in what was supposed to be a news article, not an editorial). According to Dr. Owens Fink, “the reporter… put words in the article that may represent her view Read More ›

Who is writing anti-ID articles in the UK?

As we recently discussed here, there was a factually challenged article against intelligent design in a UK newspaper, The Independent. Given the anti-ID motive-mongering in the article, it is not surprising to find that the British Center for Science Education (BCSE) helped put the article together. The BCSE’s Roger Stanyard admits that “[s]ome of you are aware that I helped in putting it together” and gives the URL, saying the article is “based n [sic] material and advice supplied by BCSE.” (see here) So how closely is this “British Center for Science Education” tied to the “National Center for Science Education” (NCSE) based in the United States? It’s not entirely clear, but recently the NCSE’s Nick Matzke explained that “Roger Read More ›

British Press Engages in Selective Motive Mongering

We’ve recently discussed the media bias against intelligent design (ID) (see here and here). As also reported, the British Independent published a harshly anti-ID article adopting the rhetoric of ID-critics as if it were reportable fact. This same article made much ado about the alleged religious motives of proponents of intelligent design. Yet The Independent relies upon the British Humanist Association (BHA) as an authority which opposes teaching ID. This BHA has an anti-religious agenda which instructs people to live “without religious [belief]”. The BHA seeks “an end” to the “privileged position of religion — and Christianity in particular” in society. For The Independent to harp upon the alleged religious motives of ID-proponents and ignore all potential anti-religious motives of Read More ›