I’ve been covering the ID controversy for about seven years now, as one of only a handful of journalists to make a specialty of it.
Along the way, I have encountered several j’s who were scared off by threats of career ruin. I thought that too bad.
If your stories are consistently about stuff that’s in the news, it’s actually hard to ruin your career covering them.
When people ask me whether ID is making an impact, I usually focus on three criteria I developed back then and monitor routinely:
1. Google hits. Seven years ago, I had to wade through tons of (allegedly) intelligently designed windows, washrooms, and software. Today, in the top slots, Darwinsludge predominates, but the ID guys have obviously captured the term “intelligent design” as such, because the sludge is principally heaved against them.
Example: Right now, a politician would hardly describe her proposed programs as “intelligently designed” when canvassing voters unless she knew they were sympathetic to design in nature. Score one for the ID guys, for capturing a term.
2. Alarmbots. For example, persons proclaiming the crash of civilization whenever – for example – students are allowed to know in school that nature shows lots of evidence of intelligent design.
For millennia people have observed design in nature, yet civilization did not (particularly) crash. Quite the opposite.
But today, everyone is either a selfish gene-driven robot (saving civilization) or a mind, courtesy of the cosmic Mind (destroying civilization).
So selfish-gene driven robots (most Darwinbots?) are the guardians of our current civilization?
Very well. That sounds right – in the age of reality TV and wardrobe malfunction, the guardians should all be Darwnbots.
The increase in alarmism among upper Darwinbots in recent years is then further evidence that the ID guys are making their case.
3. The need of legacy media to “refute” intelligent design is taking precedence over normal story values. For example, reviewer Sara Lippincott in the Los Angeles Times, looking at ‘When Science Goes Wrong’ by Simon LeVay s that the book, “despite its provocative title, will not give particular comfort to proponents of intelligent design.”
Huh? So that’s what’s on her mind? Wasn’t on mine, and yet this is my key beat and she probably knows nothing whatever about it.
Similarly, Anne Minard writes in National Geographic News (July 9, 2008), “The discovery of a missing link in the evolution of bizarre flatfishes-each of which has both eyes on the same side of its head-could give intelligent design advocates a sinking feeling.” I know for a fact that it didn’t give the key ID guys that I keep track of a sinking feeling. Their interest is the vast information bulge in nature and the new find doesn’t really address that*.
But Minard herself needs to believe that it does give them a sinking feeling. More to the point, her job is to communicate that idea to her faithful and grateful Geographics. Yet even now, the Altenberg 16 meet to decide how they can save their exploded idea, reminding me of Glasnost.
With that kind of opposition, the ID guys will lose only if they lose heart. But who knows?
Suggestion: ID or not, oppose any effort to institute thought control where you live. Read up on where it has led in Canada. I dare to hope that we will win against the thought controllers, whether dogmatic Darwinians or (in Canada far more often) unstructured professional busybodies.
Also, just up at Colliding Universes
Water? On the moon? And what else?
Political correctness stumbles on science: “Black hole” to be a banned word now? (This is truly amazing.)
Earth to Mercury: We love you, don’t quit. Read the note, smell the flowers …. please forgive us
Outlaw journalist David Warren disparages Extraterrestrials- and WHERE, I ask you, is the Canadian Human Rights Commission?
*A missing link does not explain a huge information bulge. It is like finding intermediate drafts of a historic novel. One would hardly be surprised to discover such drafts. (Recently, I went through five drafts of a 1500 word story, for heaven’s sakes … ) The idea that intermediates show that there is no design in nature is inherently ridiculous to anyone who does not need to claim it as support for materialist ideology.