David DeWolf, professor of law at Gonzaga University and a senior fellow of the Discovery Institute, explains in today’s Boston Globe why questions about teaching evolution can either be silly and tendentious (“Okay, who doesn’t believe in evolution?” — duh) or thoughtful. Alas, not many media types — let’s be honest — want to do the thoughtful thing. Doesn’t play in the headlines the way the silly questions do: “Senator Mockworthy Sez Earth is Flat, His Constituents Agree.” (‘Flat’ Left Undefined To Allow for Maximum Hilarity; Mockworthy Answers the Question Anyway.) Nor is thoughtful readily used for short clips on the Daily Show or Colbert Report.
Still, one can hope. If most people know that the question was dumb, they’ll ignore the answers and wait for the sensible questions, which won’t go away any time soon.