ABC Nightline's Brilliant Strategy to Discredit ID
Wow. Agenda-driven reporting at its strategic best. Here's the plan: Give plenty of airtime to a conspiracy theory promoter like Barbara Forrest. Give a few, quick sound bites to Stephen Meyer, but not enough that people might think he is a thoughtful and articulate scientist. And by all means keep that Behe guy out of the studio. Now here is the coup de grace: get two conservative commentators to debate the issue, and make sure that the one apparently supporting ID is closely linked to the Religious Right and knows nothing about the science involved (and promise him that he will not be asked about the science). How about George Will and . . . Cal Thomas? Perfect! How can all those red state yokels complain about media bias- we've got two conservatives on the same show, and not a single liberal!
Now for the important rules for Ted: do not ask anybody the really key questions- Should high schools students be presented with all the relevant evidence for and against macroevolutionary theory, or just the evidence that supports it? Should they be exposed to the overall fossil record, including the Cambrian Explosion, or should the related discussions in peer-reviewed scientific literature be withheld? Should they be encouraged to think critically about all the facts and analyze scientific theories on their merits, or should they just be taught to believe that the theory accepted by a majority of scientists is the right answer? Don't bring up the fact that the Discovery Institute opposes mandating teaching ID in schools, but advocates a curriculum that includes teaching the scientific evidence for and against macroevolution. Ask only about the religious and philosophical positions of ID proponents (with a suggestion of bias), and never ask about the philosophical presuppositions and worldviews of the proponents of macroevolutionary theory.
Oh, and compliment the Discovery Institute for its clever PR.
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So ABC gets Cal Thomas to argue (sort of) for ID in schools. Cal Thomas? Cal Thomas? And according to Ted Koppel, he only agreed because they promised not to ask him about science! Nothing against Cal Thomas, but he is not even close to being the best spokesman for ID or teaching the controversy in schools. He seemed to support their agenda that this issue is all about religion and politics (of only one side), and not science. Of course, that is not surprising since those are his areas of expertise.
If anyone wants to see what they could have included on the show, here is a transcript of their interview with Stephen Meyer.