Sunday, November 11, 2007

Discovery Institute's anti-PBS Propoganda

Desperate to avoid another dose of egg on the face from their horrible beating at the Dover trial, the ID crew is out in force in an attempt to discredit the PBS documentary on that historic event. Robert Crowther works hard to yet again rationalize why whenever the IDers are invited to participate on a level playing field, they run like scared rabbits:

”PBS has a track record of bias against ID, dating back to their poorly-received "Evolution" miniseries in 2001. Then, as now, we negotiated but ultimately were kept from participating by PBS’ unwillingness to fairly represent our scientists and views on intelligent design.”

In the true fashion of zealot, any environment that does not let the IDers control the content and basically lie their way through the process is dubbed as “biased”. Crowther presents no actual evidence that PBS is biased against ID. He simply asserts it as such because they do not let the IDers play their games, and because, apparently, they hold the IDers to what they actually say. He recounts a conversation for PBS done by Stephen Meyer, who, after tap dancing madly around the question of the nature of the designer for several minutes, finally admits that the designer he has in mind is the Christian God (shocker). This was what PBS chose to include in their program. Crowther’s reaction is a bit baffling:

”What was shown on Nightline? You guessed it: “I think the designer is God.” But not even the full sentence, and certainly none of the context of the discussion in which Dr. Meyer made it quite clear that science cannot identify the designer, that is a philosophical question and not what the scientific theory of intelligent design is proposing. “

Yes Robert, but you see, we all know that is a load of BS, as the near uniform criticisms from philosophers of science of that line of reasoning attests. Archaeologists and forensic scientists have no trouble identifying, in a scientific way, the designers in their line of work. For the IDers to claim that somehow the design they infer is inherently different is unsupported at best, and laughable at worst. It is a con to disguise that they are trying to smuggle creationism into the science classrooms, and thanks to the publication of the Wedge Document, and the ruling in the Dover trial, more and more people are onto that fact. You guys are either lying or kidding yourselves.

”So I was well aware of how interviews with PBS could be manipulated to say just about anything they want them to say. And because we published the Nightline incident, and the New York Times wrote a lengthy article about it, you can bet that Paula Apsell and others at PBS were well aware of the incident too. “

What incident? What manipulation? Meyer said he believed the designer is the Christian God, and that is what was depicted. It was not manipulated in any way. That his baseless claim that this belief doesn’t effect the so-called science of ID was removed is irrelevant. But to Crowther, if the IDers can’t control the content and manipulate it for their ends, that somehow makes the process unfair. PBS offered to provide the DI folks with a transcript of the interviews and a tape as well, with the following reasonable limitations:

”DI agrees that any use of such recordings will be limited to DI's commenting upon or reviewing the NOVA program or other related internal DI uses, and shall not be used for purposes unrelated to commenting upon the specific NOVA program, such as but not limited to, fundraising, lobbying, general advocacy, or in any publicly exhibited media.”

Given the creationist/IDers’ well-documented habit of quote mining (taking quotes out of context and presenting them as if they mean the opposite of what the author intended) , it is obvious why PBS chose to require this agreement. They essentially called the IDers bluff: worried that we are going to manipulate what you say? Fine, you can see it all, but you aren’t allowed to manipulate it yourself and use it in your anti-science propaganda campaign. Crowther however, would somehow have us believe that PBS’s refusal to allow the IDers to manipulate the material is unfair.

”Clearly, NOVA didn’t want to be held accountable. If they weren’t planning to slice and dice the interviews, then why not let us record them? If you've nothing to hide, why refuse to allow complete transcripts to be made available?”

Robert, thy name is projection. They know if they let you make your own recordings, or take their’s away without limitation, you will do exactly what you accuse them of planning. If you had taken them up on their offer, you could have held them accountable for any manipulation, but you could have done none yourselves. It is the latter that is the real problem for you, not the former. Crowther finishes with much sound and fury, signifying nothing:

”We will be watching and we will be posting corrections to all of the mistakes and misleading pieces of information about intelligent design that PBS produces in the program, and in its plethora of propaganda materials, again aimed at censoring science education policy so as to present a one-sided Darwin-only approach to biological evolution. “

Right now science is evolution-only Robert. The only censoring that is being done is the censoring of nonscientific material from the science curriculum. If you want that to change, you guys over there at the DI need to start doing, you know, some science. Running away from all the fair public fights (courtrooms and scientific journals) and then whining that you could have won had you showed up doesn’t impress anyone. It only reveals you for the intellectually dishonest losers you are.

No comments: