Monday, August 08, 2005

Which Scientists?

Elisabeth Bumiller's article cited in my last post did not repeat Cornelia's Creed in reporting on the President's comments, but she opens with:

A sharp debate between scientists and religious conservatives escalated Tuesday over comments by President Bush that the theory of intelligent design should be taught with evolution in the nation's public schools.
She later had this summary:

On Tuesday, the president's conservative Christian supporters and the leading institute advancing intelligent design embraced Mr. Bush's comments while scientists and advocates of the separation of church and state disparaged them.

Note that she states that the debate is between scientists and religious conservatives, and that "scientists" disparaged the comments. All scientists? Some? Most? Good scientists? Blue state scientists? Materialist scientists? New York Times Approved scientists? Enough scientists to justify ridiculing the other side? The Times just cannot bear to report the fact that many scientists at mainstream universities agreed with the President's remarks. Which scientists? Minority scientists? Radical scientists? Revolutionary scientists? Thoughtful scientists? Open-minded scientists? Persecuted scientists? Courageous scientists? It all depends on your point of view, which is exactly the point. The fact that a small but growing number of scientists from leading universities question Darwinian orthodoxy doesn't fit with the mainstream media's Inherit the Wind mythology, so they just leave it out.

To her credit, she included the following:

The Discovery Institute in Seattle, a leader in developing intelligent design, applauded the president's words on Tuesday as a defense of scientists who have been ostracized for advancing the theory.

"We interpret this as the president using his bully pulpit to support freedom of inquiry and free speech about the issue of biological origins," said Stephen Meyer, the director of the institute's Center for Science and Culture. "It's extremely timely and welcome because so many scientists are experiencing recriminations for breaking with Darwinist orthodoxy."

Of course, the original article misquoted Meyer by subsituting "biblical origins" instead of "biological origins." Oops. When I first read this quote, my jaw dropped. I am glad to see they fixed it. The Discovery Institute blog discusses the misquote here and Denyse O'Leary's comments are here.


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