Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

If and when The New York Times finally tanks … what will it mean for intelligent design?


Here’s my MercatorNet column about the decline of traditional media (known to bloggers as “legacy mainstream media”). Anyone interested in the intelligent design controversy should think carefully about how the media are changing.

Hint: Imagine a world in which media went to someone other than the Darwin lobby to find out what might be wrong with Darwinism …

I don’t accept the thesis that the old media declined because they were partisan. Rather they became more ridiculously partisan as they were declining.

Single-minded partisanship is – in a free society – usually an outcome of consumer choice. People can get their news from lots of sources. So if they choose your source, you can develop the story as you like.

But – by contrast – how many air traffic controllers are permitted to bug pilots with their opinions about politics and religion? How many weather forecasters would last long if they likewise bugged farmers seeking data on the tornado watch?

So the tsunami of consumer choices in media fuels partisanship – but also opportunity.

The decline of big legacy media means the decline of the Big Controlling Story. You know – four legs good, two legs bad – as George Orwell put it, immortally, in Animal Farm. The story that writes itself for the 12:00 pm deadline, and no one gives a moment’s thought to possibilities like:

1. It’s not as simple as that.
2. Things may have changed.
3. The old guys might be wrong.
4. We may need to add to our panel of reliable experts (and maybe drop some).

The decline of the tired old Darwin lobby sources in favour of broader ones can certainly help the intelligent design theorists get a fairer hearing.

For more, go here.

Also just up at The Post-Darwinist:

The overthrow of Darwinism – in real life, forget the pop science media

How can you lose playing tic tac toe with a pigeon? Don’t watch the board. (You can be sure he will.)

Okay, I did it again … Blew my stack …

off-topic: My first post! --- I rarely turn the TV on anymore, especially news, even FOX. I watch it at the gym, since I can't turn it off. I record a few shows, so I can zip thru the commercials. I am a psychiatrist (and Christian) by trade, amongst other things. The impact that the (very biased) media (inclusive of NYT) has on our society is overwhelmingly BAD. Is there some good stuff? Sure. And even watching an hour of CNN won't kill you. Problem is, the average American family watches over 8 (eight) hours of television a day (Nielsen), and over 30% are using more than one form of media at once, such as reading NYT and watching CNN (shudders). EIGHT hours a day. So let's see. 24 hours in a day...we work for eight hours, sleep for seven hours or so. And pretty much if someone is in their house, the TV is on. But what's ON the mainstream TV channels (and most of the others too) is like what's in the NYT...no one is hearing the truth. James
Hi Denyse, This is slightly off-topic, but there's a very interesting interview with Roger Penrose in the September edition of Discover magazine. Penrose makes some priceless comments about the tyranny of fashions and fads in science, and about the absurdity of the multiverse. vjtorley
I think it would be a glorious thing if the media tanked- or continues to do so- as I consider the mainstream media to be the unique example of unintelligent design. I would like to point out again that i make it a religious commitment to stay away from the media- especially TV news- at all costs. I don't want to give them one second of advertisement circulation- and I would give you a million reasons why- from the climate swindle to swinging elections- and of course refusing to accurately report on the theory of ID. And ever since I stopped watching I have lost weight- developed a healthier lifestyle- get more exercise- save more money etc. The media is caustic. Frost122585
As I was reading I couldn't help but chuckle because the advertisement right beside the text was for a National Geographic special called, "The Human Family Tree". (Insert Sarcasm here) And we all know that "Nat Geo" isn't biased toward evolution right? Oh the irony. wagenweg

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