Intelligent Design

The intelligent design community and the media revolution – an old hack’s thoughts

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When assessing media coverage of the intelligent design controversy, the first thing you should do is forget what defenders of legacy mainstream media say about their media. You’ve already heard it all anyway: “We’re objective.” “We’re not biased.” “We only report the facts.” Et cetera.

Not only isn’t that true, but it couldn’t possibly be true, as I will explain below. And it wouldn’t be a good thing if it were true.

Modern media grew up self-consciously aware of their key role in promoting materialist ideas. You know the sort of thing: “Science has shown/research has demonstrated/studies have shown” .. what? The Big Bazooms theory of evolution?

Due to the rise of citizen-directed, Internet-based, new media, they currently face a crisis of sinking readership and advertising revenues.

They may respond by trying to keep control over who defines what is news and who reports it. In that case, citizen-directed media – the sort that most of the intelligent design community uses now – might have to fight for their existence.

Having given some thought to these matters, I offer some reflections and recommendations:

Part: 1: Here is what happened up to about 2000: Believing that materialism is the truth, many journalists assume that their role is to promote materialism at the expense of traditional, spiritually oriented ideas about human nature.

Part 2: Now, what changed after 2000? New findings that don’t support materialism became common, and so did new media that bypass old media. Old media contemplate restrictions on new media.

Part 3: What forms could restrictions on new media take? (Basically, any form that could possibly slow them down, but some are discussed here.)

Part 4: Recommendations for the next decade. For example, “Start new media now, before you need a licence. (Start new media now. When new laws are introduced, people who are already key players on the scene are usually “grandfathered.”)

16 Replies to “The intelligent design community and the media revolution – an old hack’s thoughts

  1. 1
    GilDodgen says:

    The mainstream media are an abysmal source of information, especially about any technical subject. Almost every time I hear or read something in the MSM concerning a subject about which I am technically knowledgeable – whether it be hang gliding, artificial intelligence, computer simulations, ID, and more – I cringe at the ignorance, misrepresentation, and outright idiocy displayed. Knowing that so many people take this trash seriously and uncritically is indescribably painful.

  2. 2
    O'Leary says:

    The thing is, Gil, the trad media are usually out of their depth.

    That is why the blogosphere became so powerful so suddenly. For example, recently, a freelancer in the Middle East was found to have been doctoring photos for Reuters. The editor, not a photo expert, probably didn’t notice.

    But the bloggers who were photoshop experts DID notice. It was their job to notice stuff like that. So they started writing about it.

    And the rest is history, with Reuters withdrawing the photos and no longer using the freelancer.

    In traditional media environments, those photoshopping experts would never have been consulted. But the Internet subverts the question of whether Reuters consults them.

    Instead of Reuters conferring importance on the photoshop experts by deigning to notice them, the photoshop experts confer importance on Reuters by drawing attention to its library of faked photos.

    The experts are free to make their point whether or not Reuters deigns to notice them. Anyone who wanted to know why the photos are considered fakes went to their blog. No one waited for the august, almighty New York Times to condescend to print a story on it.

    There is no turning back technologically. But don’t be surprised if the august and almighty condescenders try to turn the clock back legally and socially.

  3. 3
    DonaldM says:

    One of the tactics the MSM employs against the new media and blogosphere is to marginalize it. A good current example is the controversy surrounding the citizenship status of Barak Obama. (I use this as an example only–not looking to start a discussion on this issue here) The MSM has continued to all but ignore the story, while the new media reports on a wide range of issues and actions taking place around the country. WHen the MSM does mention the story, they attempt to make it appear as if this is just some fringe conspiracy theory types who have nothing better to do.

    What the MSM hasn’t done is attempt to investigate the story. But, many have lamented since the election how little we seem to know about Obama. This, I think, is fairly representative of how the MSM operates. If something challenges their prevailing worldview, then it is presented as “fringe” and non-mainstream. This is true for science subjects, religion subjects as well as social and political subjects.

    The problem for the MSM is that the “fringe” is growing daily. Users of the new media are in the millions.

  4. 4
    RoyK says:


    For example, recently, a freelancer in the Middle East was found to have been doctoring photos for Reuters. The editor, not a photo expert, probably didn’t notice.

    Recently a writer at UD was discovered to have falsely attributed a quote. Of course the critics at UD were the ones who discovered that. What New Media giveth, New Media taketh away.

    A little while earlier, a whole bunch of so-called Photoshop experts were sure that Barack Obama’s birth certificate wasn’t real, though it’s been affirmed by every legitimate authority. New Media sleuths went all the way down the rabbit hole on that one.

  5. 5
    sparc says:

    I am aware that off topic comments are not too welcome. However, your site seems to have technical problems: The comments feed doesn’t work (at least not on my computer). I hope it will be restored soon because it is really helpful for the interested reader.

  6. 6
    O'Leary says:

    Roy K at 4: Your point (presumably?) is that the incorrect information was corrected.

    That is precisely what so seldom happened in legacy media. The people who decided what was news were a tiny little funnel that tended to band together and protect each other.

    Thus, Walter Duranty suppressed the starvation of millions of people while glorifying Josef Stalin, and Duranty got a Pulitzer Prize in the bargain – forever sullying the Pulitzer Prize.

    I don’t think anyone here misses the legacy mainstream media.

  7. 7
    tribune7 says:

    RoyK–Recently a writer at UD was discovered to have falsely attributed a quote.

    “Falsely” means intentionally untrue. I don’t believe that was the case in you example.

  8. 8
    RoyK says:

    tribune7, if not intentional, it was remarkably incompetent. I can’t imagine what the intention of the original post was.

    Denyse, that was not my point, or not most of it. My point was that the vaunted “new media” is the best place ever to distribute rumor, falsehood, and claptrap — better than old media ever was. The Obama “false birth certificate rumor” will never be disproven because the fools who believe it are led by fools who proclaim themselves experts.

    I could provide other examples.

  9. 9
    tribune7 says:

    RoyK –if not intentional, it was remarkably incompetent.

    There is a world of difference between them.

  10. 10
    Granville Sewell says:

    One thing which should always raise a red flag is when there are obviously two sides of an issue, but a media outlet simply ignores all news stories which might cast doubt on the majority view. I can think of so many examples of this it is really discouraging. So many of our “journalists” are not interested in getting to the bottom of issues, just in persuading people to support their side.

  11. 11
    MikeKratch says:

    In the United Kingdom there is a policy of equal time for political partys at election time. If a channel allows the Labour party 30 minutes to give their side of the case 30 minutes must also go to the opposing side(s).
    Do you think legislation is the way forwards here or should the market be king?

  12. 12
    DonaldM says:

    Granville: I agree. that’s sort of what my point was, too!

  13. 13
    notedscholar says:

    I don’t think one or two self-referential links can prove your point.

    Anyway, it would be weird to have a media that assumed supernaturalism.


  14. 14
    Granville Sewell says:

    Mike Kratch,

    I wasn’t thinking of political ads, I’m talking about what makes the “news” broadcasts, and (especially) what doesn’t make it because it doesn’t support the broadcaster’s view.

  15. 15
    DonaldM says:


    Anyway, it would be weird to have a media that assumed supernaturalism.

    As opposed to one that assumes Naturalism? How about one that sought after Truth? Now that would be different!

  16. 16
    Platonist says:

    I am confused by Casey Luskin’s news report about the Cambrian Explosion on ID the Future.

    If this is true, why doesn’t he link to the New Scientist story?

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