In “’Belief’ in evolution? It may be the wrong word” (06/27/2011), Faye Flam, Philadelphia Inquirer staff writer, allows us to know that we really shouldn’t say we “believe in” evolution because, as Larry Krauss puts it,
“I have attempted, largely through spurring on from several colleagues . . . to never use the word belief in talks,” said Arizona State University physicist and writer Lawrence Krauss.
“One is asked: Does one believe in global warming, or evolution, and the temptation is to answer yes,” he said, “but it’s like saying you believe in gravity or general relativity.”
“Science is not like religion, in that it doesn’t merely tell a story . . . one that one can choose to believe or not.”
Ms. Flam typefies the legacy media in decline because she cannot or dare not grasp what is being said here: You should not say you believe in Darwin’s theory because that would imply that you could disbelieve it, and that you could disbelieve it on evidence.
On the facts Krauss so confidently cites: People have questioned gravity and general relativity, and may yet again. In fact, gravity has been the odd man out among the four fundamental forces. As a cosmologist, he would of course know that. But he is counting on Flam not to. And certainly not to ask anyone who did. Or even to wonder.
The thing is, people who do ask questions are finding less and less help from legacy media, in proportion to increasingly insistent demands for belief in their rapidly shattering worldview.
Take, for example, the avoidance strategy of a recent paper on the trilobite eye. Legacy mass media take it up? Never. Except to help with evasion and obfuscation. It’s the only role they can envision and – for their phase of large public media.
It is their epitaph: We evade the news.
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Denyse O’Leary is co-author of The Spiritual Brain.