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Intelligent Design maligned by press pulp fiction

There was a time in the distant past when integrity, fairness and truth were synonymous with journalism. Those days are long gone. And like super villains caught monologuing, there’s a new breed of journalist no longer content to print the truth because the truth doesn’t fit their agenda.
What am I getting at here? Well, better buckle your seat belt because there isn’t a barge of gopher wood big enough to save us from the coming deluge. I’m talking, of course, about the current broo-ha-ha coming out of Kansas.
This past week in Topeka the state school board held a quorum in which they wanted to determine if ‘Intelligent Design’ should be taught as part of their curriculum alongside Darwinism. They decided to invite advocates from both sides to present their arguments. And as part of the guidelines governing the hearing, proponents representing each view would be allowed to field questions from the board as well as cross-examine their colleagues. This was the essence of how the hearings were supposed to be conducted.
I say, ‘supposed to be’ because the heavy hitters from the National Academy of Science refused to show up and present their views, claiming the outcome of the hearings was determined in advance, and that for them to show up would only validate them. They did have an attorney in attendance, but he, too, was only interested in lambasting the board and, like his pals at the NAS, refused to answer any questions regarding evolutionary theory.
Instead, the NAS has decided to wage their war through the many various media outlets sympathetic to their cause. What’s interesting is not that they used the media to get their message out, but it was what they said through it. In column after column the rhetoric was the same: Scientists who endorse the teaching of Intelligent Design are not really scientists; the general public are pig-ignorant clods unable to decide for themselves what the facts are; Intelligent Design is Bible-based; and to teach Intelligent Design is a violation of the First Amendment. Oh, and I almost forgot to mention the wonderfully creative editorial cartoons depicting anyone who would believe in this kind of ”hubris’ as stupid, not evolved, etc.
Conspicuously absent from these columns were the arguments for evolution; also missing in action was virtually anything resembling a fact. The net of it is this; it appears that those who are critical of ID are either patently ignorant or deliberately deceptive when it comes to presenting ID in their articles and editorials. Intelligent Design is caricatured in these columns and Darwinism is held up like some ‘sacred dogma’ that cannot be questioned.
What we have here, clearly, is the reversal of fortune in that when the Scopes monkey trial was held, the opposite was true. Now the shoe is on the other hand. Darwinism cannot be questioned, indeed it must not be, and for good reason. Darwinists know that as long as they keep the tough questions off the table and reframe the argument as ‘religion vs. science,’ they can win the argument. It is the only way they can win. They’re smart enough to know that if you bait and switch or simply don’t show up to engage the debate, you can’t lose.
But why are they so sensitive to criticism? Why, if you’re standing on a mountain of empiricism, wouldn’t you be willing to defend it? I think the reason this is so is because deep down they know that if the tough questions are asked, their philosophy falls under the weight of its own dogmatic assertions.
Now, to be fair, I’m generalizing. There are Darwinists who are all for the kind of healthy open debate I’m advocating. They abhor the smear tactics that many in their camp resort to, and they are willing to debate the issues strictly on their own merits ‘ without appealing to emotionalism or intellectual sleight of hand to achieve their goals. Sadly, (pardon the pun) they are a species on the verge of extinction.
That being said, my beef is that when average folks like you and I question what is ‘accepted’ in the realms of academia (or, for that matter, if we simply have a view that runs counter to the liberal ‘intellectual’ elites), we don’t get answers, we get ‘the rake.’ Columnists the likes of Clarence Page, Ellen Goodman and Frank Rich have seen to that.
Not content with printing the truth, they have cornered the market on propaganda. And like their counterparts at the NAS, if the facts don’t fit their preconceived notions about the world, they simply lie, emote or pick up the nearest handful of mud ‘ anything but engage the debate. And you can be sure that when the mudslinging starts, they’ll be at some distance. That way they won’t hear your cogent and well-reasoned arguments. But, hey, it’s their paper and they can be just as ‘creative’ as they want to be (after all, they’re not accountants). They’re pulp fiction writers in the guise of journalists; they’re too emotive to think through the ramifications of their worldview, and too obsessed with the sensational for truth telling.
Chad Phillips, 38, Corydon, is an industrial maintenance technician at Tyson Foods in Corydon and leads worship at First Capital Christian Church.