Teaching Evolution

A blog devoted to teaching evolution, both in our schools and in our communities.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Evolution vs. Religion - Quit Pretending they're Compatible

In Slate, Jacob Weisberg writes that "this is not a disagreement with two reasonable points of view, let alone two equally valid ones." He's exactly right.

There are two types of arguments that we see in the media, and one of the things I really hate is that the arguments are completely different, but the media's presentation of them is exactly the same. Arguments over tax policy don't really have a right and wrong answer. Both sides can present their evidence, of course (and politicians who say they'll dramatically cut taxes, raise spending on every popular program, and eliminate the national debt all at once deserve to be scorned), but by and large it's OK for reporters to cover those arguments by simply repeating both sides' claims.

But the other type of argument clearly has a right side and a wrong side. A good example of this, I think, would be the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth and their ads against John Kerry. They were saying one thing, Kerry was saying something else, and there was no question that one side was simply wrong. The media should have investigated Kerry's claims, investigated his critics' claims, and then reported on who was more believable. Instead, they just repeated both sides' claims and left it to the audience to decide. That's a mistake.

And they make the same mistake when it comes to evolution. It might play well in the polls when President Bush says he thinks both sides in the intelligent design/evolution "controversy" should be taught, but it's nonsense. Read Weisberg's whole column.

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