Intelligent Design

The Media’s Attention to ID

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Here’s an illuminating comment from journalist friend on the media’s increasing attention to ID:

This is actually a major moment. Media people are beginning to ask the right questions.

It takes a while, but some eventually tumble to it.

For example, not “Why would anyone doubt Darwin?” but “Are there legitimate reasons for doubting Darwin, even if the establishment totally support him?”

Not “What would motivate anyone to doubt Darwin?” but “What is the strength of their evidence?”

Above all, NOT “Please, oh please, establishment boffins, convince me that there is no story here, so I can go back to my usual circuit!” but “Hmmm. This is still around, and it was supposed to have died, like, 27 times. Let’s get in there and scan the horizon in detail. There’s a story there, and it can’t be the one the establishment is telling us.”

Remember that media originally gained the title “the fourth estate” because they were not supposed to be part of the other three estates (elite, church, peasants).

They were not supposed to have a vested interest in merely trumpeting the interests/claims of any of those groups.

Media’s major use in society is still to fulfill that “fourth estate” role, which can only be done via constructive skepticism of the establishment, in the context of a free press.

Where media fell down, with respect to the ID controversy, is that they did not maintain skepticism, but acted as a PUBLIC RELATIONS AGENCY for the current science establishment, which is heavily conflicted in this area.

6 Replies to “The Media’s Attention to ID

  1. 1

    Intelligent Design Round-Up

    It’s been awhile since I’ve written about ID; I think the last was my series on the book Privileged Planet… William Dembski, author of the book The Design Inference, passes along on his blog a comment from a journalist friend that the media is star…

  2. 2
    zonetripper says:

    > but acted as a PUBLIC RELATIONS AGENCY for the current science establishment, which is heavily conflicted in this > area.

    Yes, this is a correct observation. One that could be taken even further by saying that virtually all of the major media have been acting as public relations agencies and as apologists for the secular/atheistic Left. This would of course follow with unquestioning support of darwinism, as it is the pseudo-religious mythological foundation of the said Leftist world-view.

    Why is it like this? I am not sure that this blog is the proper place to ponder what unifies the major media, the militant secular atheistic left, the darwinian scientific establishment, but there are common threads and central tenets which they share, to say the least.

    My feeling is that the high level leadership of the majority of the major media are left-leaning or sympathetic to the materialist world-view, and therefore their agencies reflect and support this sentiment.

    Darwinism is a lynch pin to this false and destructive world-view.

  3. 3
    Econman says:

    There are at least two reasons to think a few pioneering journalists may strike out on their own and discover (and then report) what the ID movement and controversy is all about. If that happens, the story could take on a new life, and be much more thoroughly reported.

    First, there are the competitive effects of non-traditional media (Bloggers Conservative Talk Radio, etc.) A few years ago I would have been much less optimistic that any part of the Media would move past its current PR Agency role. But, competition can be very powerful, even when it starts from a non-traditional part of the market.

    Second, Media have been reporting the same old, cartoon-like story line (Scopes Trial redux, Fact vs. Faith, Scientists vs. Creationists) for so many decades, that when some entreprenuerial journalists discover that the current debate involves a much more subtle, and potentially entertaining story (Establishment Hacks vs. Enterprising Young Scientists, etc.), it could draw a lot of reades and take on a life of its own.

  4. 4
    Dan S. says:

    “Darwinism is a lynch pin to this false and destructive world-view.”

    The Soviet Union had similar ideas, oddly (obviously atheism wasn’t a problem for them), and so many scientists were purged and Lysenkoism – which was seen as more compatible with the official ideology – became official science, Soviet agriculture suffered an enormous setback, and many went hungry or even starved. Most likely you folks will read this as with evolutionary bio standing in for Lysenkoism. Note that the U.S. isn’t the USSR; while federal grants matter, science isn’t really a grand conspiracy, and if you pick wrong, future historians may be arguing over what influence ID had on America’s eventual failure to compete.

    But we’ll be very moral. Hungry and poor, maybe, but that does build character . . .

  5. 5
    nostrowski says:

    Note that the U.S. isn’t the USSR

    Note, Chicken Little, that strawmen aren’t an effective debating device.

    Please narrate the doom we shall suffer. When you get to the part where ID causes mass famine, slow down a bit, I want to enjoy it.

  6. 6

    More Intelligent Design Stuff

    It seems Intelligent Design is newsworthy right now.  Some interpret the increasing number of attacks on ID as the panicked response of the establishment as their monopoly on discourse about origins begins to crumble.  Increased media coverage may not be

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