Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Tony Snow(job) on Evolution

I've said this before, and you'll hear me say it a thousand times. If you're one of those people that thinks the Intelligent Design movement is essentially "harmless", because you're under the impression that all advocates are pushing is the "God of the Gaps" theory, then you're wrong. Flat out wrong.

I don't intend to assemble a discussion here on all the various reasons ID is fatally flawed, for there are far more proficient writers on the subject, and I won't sully their efforts with my own lame attempt at imitation. The Talk Origins Archive (as plugged here previously) is one of the best starting points for that analysis, and is hard to beat in terms of quality and quantity of topics covered.

My intent here is to point out how, yet again, politically-minded ID advocates are filthy fucking liars of the first order.

These fraudsters start from the slimiest of positions: They assume (in many cases, accurately) that you, John Q. Public, remember little to nothing about high school biology, and that you know even less about the specialty of evolutionary theory. They use your ignorance against you, by misrepresenting science in ways both subtle and grotesque. Groups like the Discovery Institute have spent years practicing their arguments and working up their snakeoil sideshows and know exactly what rhetorical buttons to push. And you, unless you've been paying attention to their political efforts or have any personal dealings with the life sciences, aren't likely to realize what they're doing. Wool, meet eyes.

It's bad enough that these advocates have been preaching loudly to the "values voters" choir and drumming up political support under the guise of "teach the controversy". What's increasingly disturbing is that the MSM is so willing to roll over and let them get away with it.

Case in point: Tony Snow, Townhall columnist and Faux Fox News talking head has decided to "weigh in" on the evolution vs. ID debate. Preening around with the requisite authoritative tone so common to these blowhards, he declares in a recent column:
"Today, evolutionary theorists find themselves at wits' end because the fossil record provides no evidence of any species ever turning into another."
Evolutionary theory, like ID, isn't verifiable or testable. It's pure hypothesis -- like ID -- although very popular in the scientific community."

Since Tony's a comfy member of the MSM, chances are Average Joe citizen will just run with those statements, because they fall from the mouth of an esteemed "Fair and Balanced" pundit, and accept both claims at face value. Trouble is, he couldn't be more wrong on both accounts. Hell, I know scientifically savvy 9th graders that could spot his bullshit a mile away.

Welcome to the occupation, ladies and gentlemen. Instead of presenting a rational defense of ID (as if there is one to begin with, of course) he jumps straight into the Lies & Propaganda pool with both feet. And he expects you to follow, no questions asked. After all, you're just some poor bum catching up on the news one night after work. What do you know?

These kinds of charlatans deserve no place in journalism, much less in network news. Long gone are the days in which reporters would, you know, FACT CHECK, what they vomit out before publication. In a long ago, rosy past, any editor worth his salt would have at least raised an eyebrow over crap like this, and demanded that Mr. Snow remove the overwhelmingly fetid passages from his column. Not anymore, though. See, if you run a publication like Townhall that is completely and totally up front about its bias, then apparently the burden of accuracy is passe and unnecessary. Trouble is, people quote from this rag like it's the fucking WSJ, and take their manure-filled heads to the voting booths at every election. After all, "responsible journalists" do their homework, right? They wouldn't publish LIES or anything, would they?

thanks to Media Matters for the catch.

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