Please, O Mighty Press, heed our prayer

Revere and Tara make fun of a silly guest commentary from a very silly man who thinks them evilutionists are cheating by using the term “mutation”—that changes in the virulence of a disease are examples of a “population shift,” which has nothing to do with evolution.

Just a note to any journalists or newspaper editors who might read this: the Panda’s Thumb has a useful list of scientists and other defenders of evolution who are willing—no, overjoyed—to vet these kinds of strange anti-scientific tirades. We’re also willing to help with any pro-science articles you might be moved to write. It’s kind of sad that this list is sitting there, and we rarely hear from any responsible journalists; I think I’ve had 3 calls in a year and a half. What’s the problem, is it just easier to take the press releases the Discovery Institute pushes at you, without bothering with that difficult job of actually questioning any of it?


  1. Mandolin says

    I did a couple articles for a children’s science mag at one point. I never successfully pitched an article on a controversial topic, which might have been a reflection of the kinds of skills I brought to the table, or which might have been a reflection of an attitude that wants to avoid rather than engage controversial issues like young earth creationism or intelligent design.

  2. Oran_Taran says

    PZM- “and we rarely here from any responsible journalists; I think I’ve had 3 calls in a year and a half”

    No wonder nobody calls, lol.
    but seriously, that’s crazy. Maybe you should take things into your own hands and e-mail them instead of hoping for them to stumble across this entry or the list.

  3. windy says

    A creationist commenting on Tara’s post has in turn an interesting comment at his blog regarding giant squid.

    I haven’t met anyone that wouldn’t be terrified of a squid the size of several school buses lined up end-to-end. That doesn’t mean he doesn’t exist. He is, of course, either blind or crazy.

    There you go, PZ is blind or crazy! You heard it there first! :)

  4. _Arthur says

    Don’t you get it? There was NO natural selection effect at all in the Peppered Moth study (which was completely bogus anyway, Ann Coulter sayz so).

    And DDT resistance in mosquitoes is entirely explainable by a population shift towards, lets say, PRE-EXISTING genes, that’s the ticket !

    Those Evilutionists are so obtuse and narrow-minded !

  5. Kagehi says

    [quote]What’s the problem, is it just easier to take the press releases the Discovery Institute pushes at you, without bothering with that difficult job of actually questioning any of it?[/quote]

    Yes. It has taken you this long to figure that out? Next question please…

  6. Tim says

    I have gone ahead and passed this information along to some friends in the UK. In some respects, the situation which they are experiencing is a bit more difficult than our own. There is no institutional Separation of Church and State, so for example, you can’t really have anything quite like Dover over there. Moreover, for them it is less Intelligent Design than Young Earth Creationism. Incidentally, they are also experiencing problems in South Africa and Australia, and from what I understand, it is more along the lines of Great Britain (YEC) than the United States (ID).

  7. William O. Romine Jr. says

    I have proof that evolution does not exist [sic]. Ann
    Coulter’s book is on the New York Times best seller list.

  8. G. Tingey says

    Tim, two posts up, isn’t quite correct.

    Yes, we are having creationist-loonie problems in Britain.

    But they are uniformly ridiculed in the press and other media, and we have quite a few media scientists and presenters, starting with Dawkins and Attenborough, who regularly trash these ID-iots.
    That doesn’t shut them up, of course, but there is no real sign that they are gainiong, except in the more under-educated and IQ<100 sectors, where their preaching in US-led “churches” is a menace.
    But that, as they say, is another story.

  9. Cris says

    Journalists aren’t calling the Panda’s Thumb to get scientific rebuttals to creationists? Maybe it’s because PT isn’t on their proverbial radar. I don’t know how serious PT’s outreach is, but I bet it’s nowhere near as aggressive as the Discovery Institute’s. Surely you don’t think the journalists are actively seeking out Discovery’s press releases? I expect they get flooded with them.

  10. says

    NCSE or the Panda’s Thumb or whoever should actively send press releases, not just rely on journalists to think to use them. (Maybe NCSE does this, I dunno.) This might not work as well as one would hope, but it at least is likely more effective than passivity or the like.

  11. Tim says

    G. Tingey, two posts up…

    I certainly don’t mind the correction.

    Likewise, I certainly don’t think that they are making any headway among the educated or for that matter the majority of British and Scots – although of course they are claiming that they are making headway in the academia – but that is simply a form of propaganda which is the exact opposite of the truth. North Ireland may be a different story, but at this point I regard it as far too early to say.

    However, the creationists in England and Scotland appear to be a well-funded lot, there were the 27 signatories to the 2002 letter to Estelle Morris who claimed to be an ad hoc committee and claimed that they were acting as individuals when in fact they appear to belong to a well-organized set of Fundamentalist organizations, the Pentecostals have been expanding for some time and many of their churches appear to be supporting this sort of nonsense.

    Would you agree with this description of the situation? If not, why not? Additionally, I would be quite interested in anything else you might have to say in this regard as I would like to know what is going on across the pond.

  12. Steve_C says

    I think the press is reluctant to go to scientists to rebutt the creationist/ID argument because a.) they don’t really see the subterfuge b.) they figure the science is established and doesn’t neet to be defended.

    Either way they’re lazy.