Legacy mainstream media: The ID guys’ best friends?
|October 24, 2006||Posted by O'Leary under Intelligent Design|
Courtesy of the McLaurin Institute, I gave a talk last Thursday night at the Murphy Building of the University of Minnesota’s journalism school, on how North American media cover the intelligent design controversy and why the media are really the ID guys’ most useful unintentional ally – second only to Richard Dawkins, in my view. (Yes, yes, I know, this is a controversial viewpoint, but the Internet is a free country.)
Anyway, I wrote up my notes, and posted them, in case others were interested.
On “bottom up” materialism:
“Atheists who insist that the evidence for bottom up is “overwhelming” are overwhelmed by the force of their own convictions. They mistake rock-like conviction for rock-solid evidence.”
“One way that journalists save time is to develop a template to fit stories into so as to turn them out quickly – the good guys, the bad guys, the implicit assumptions and the predictions about how it will all turn out.”
“But now, back to the legacy media for a moment: One outcome of the good-guys/bad-guys template, based on the situation described above, is that legacy media figures are often astonishingly naive about developments in the ID controversy.”
“Journalists are extraordinarily deferential to science boffins, in a way that is quite different from the way we usually treat subjects. Whatever science boffins say tends to be treated as true, no matter that it may fly in the face of evidence. You don’t need to venture into the intelligent design controversy to discover that. The latest craze about broccoli or salmon is treated with the utmost seriousness, even though most of it will be disowned a decade from now. Maybe half a decade. We know that, but we seldom act as if we do.”
“Another skew that develops is a curious obsession with the motives and intentions of those who promote top down ideas accompanied by a complete disinterest in the motives and intentions of those who promote bottom up ideas.”
“The intelligent design controversy is already being exported to many venues where it did not previously exist. You can see this by looking at theÃ‚Â blogrollÃ‚Â of the Post-Darwinist (“Never a dull moment”), featuring blogs in a variety of languages.”