|Feature Article - January 2007|
|by Do-While Jones|
Evolutionists base their arguments on trust; but Americans no longer believe everything “scientists say.”
One of the reasons the theory of evolution is in such trouble today is because the American public does not have the same level of trust in scientists, lawyers, and journalists as it has in the past. When scientists, lawyers, or journalists tell the public to believe “evolution is a fact” simply because they say so, the public is less likely to accept it.
In the 1950’s and 1960’s, scientists were held in high esteem by the public. The public believed scientists were going to get man to the moon, and then they were going to solve all the world’s problems through technology. By the twenty-first century we were all going to be living like the Jetsons, with robots doing all our work for us while we just enjoyed life. Well, scientists got us to the moon, but we have since learned that technology can’t solve all our problems. It just substitutes new problems for old ones. Some people think that technology has created far worse problems than it has solved.
You can see a shift in public perception of scientists in Michael Crichton novels. Yes, we know fiction is just fiction; but it does reflect society’s views and values. In Jurassic Park, scientists were technically smart, but ignorant of the “law of unintended consequences.” The fictional scientists weren’t evil, they were just overconfident in their ability to control the dinosaurs they were creating. We didn’t hate the scientists in Jurassic Park.
In Crichton’s last two novels, the scientists are much less likeable. In State of Fear, scientists are intentionally misrepresenting scientific data to cause a global warming panic that will advance a political agenda. In Next, scientists (even pure-as-the-wind-driven-snow academic scientists) try to use the legal system to patent genetic technology just to make a buck. Scientists are credibly cast as villains in Crichton’s novels because that’s how society views scientists these days.
Yes, James Bond battled evil scientists in the 1950’s and 1960’s; but the evil scientist was a silly caricature. The villain was just one man, who was obsessed with the idea of ruling the world (in order to make it better, of course). He wasn’t typical of all scientists. But in Crichton’s fiction, evil scientists are believable. Scientists are manipulating the media to cause panic for political gain. They are in cahoots with crooked lawyers, trying to get the courts to legislate from the bench on the basis of junk science. It is plausible fiction because many people feel the courts have overstepped their bounds to advance a political agenda.
There is an interesting parallel between the fictional court case in Next and the real-life Dover court case. Theoretically, both sides in a court case present their arguments, and then the judge writes a decision. The judge’s decision is generally a blending of the two arguments because there is generally some truth to both sides of the issue. Yes, the judge decides in favor of one side or the other, but his decision shows clear understanding of the issues, and the underlying principles that led to his decision. His decision is supposed to express keen insight into the problem, and logical reasoning that is to guide future decisions.
In the fictional Next court case, the judge clearly does not understand the genetic engineering technology involved, nor does he understand the financial ramifications, but makes a decision, anyway. One of the characters observes, “I think this judge had help,” 1 implying that the judge’s decision was written for him by someone who had an interest in the case.
This is a disturbingly close parallel to U.S. District Judge John E. Jones' 139-page ruling in Kitzmiller v. Dover regarding the teaching of intelligent design in public schools.
But an analysis by the Discovery Institute, the leading promoter of intelligent design, concludes about 90.9 percent – 5,458 words of his 6,004-word section on intelligent design as science – was taken virtually verbatim from the ACLU's proposed "Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law" submitted to Jones nearly a month before his ruling.
"Judge Jones' decision wasn't a masterpiece of scholarship. It was a masterpiece of cut-and-paste," said the Discovery Institute's John West in a phone conference with reporters yesterday [December 11, 2006].
Bruce Green, director of Louis Stein Center for Law and Ethics at Fordham Law School, told the Associated Press it is not typical for judges to adopt one side's proposed findings verbatim, although there's "not a rule that categorically forbids it."
"Courts have sometimes criticized the practice, especially when it looks like the judge didn't do any independent thinking," Green said.
"The revelation that Judge Jones in effect 'dragged and dropped' large sections of the ACLU's 'Findings of Fact' into his opinion, errors and all, calls into serious question whether Jones exercised the kind of independent analysis that would make his 'broad, stinging rebuke' of intelligent design appropriate." 2
When we read the court’s decision 3, we recognized that it was remarkably similar to the standard evolutionists’ propaganda. We failed to compare it word-for-word as the Discovery Institute did, but it was clear to us that “the judge didn’t do any independent thinking.” As Crichton puts it, “I think this judge had help.” Judge Jones didn’t actually write the decision because he didn’t understand the science. For whatever reason, he just bought the bogus ACLU’s argument hook, line, and sinker.
The public is supposed to reject intelligent design and accept evolution because they trust Judge Jones’ intelligence and fairness. But the public has trust issues with liberal judges. Liberal judges have made so many unpopular decisions regarding things like same sex marriage, eminent domain, and environmental issues, that many people see judges as tools of a vast, left-wing conspiracy. The theory of evolution is not elevated in public esteem just because a liberal judge rules in favor of it. Instead, the obvious bias of Judge Jones simply makes the public trust the courts even less.
If the public can’t trust judges, and can’t trust scientists, who can the public trust? Journalists? If you read it in a newspaper or magazine, or see it on TV, it must be true, right?
Chances are that, at some time in your life, you were interviewed by your local newspaper. You might have been part of a group that did some community volunteer work, or you were involved in something at school. Whatever it was that you said or did was reported in the newspaper. Did they report it accurately? Did they even spell your name correctly? You might have witnessed an auto accident that was reported on TV or in the newspaper. How accurate was the report? If they did such a bad job reporting things you know about, how can you trust what they tell you regarding things you don’t know about?
We aren’t even talking about those stories where the reporter might have a political axe to grind. No matter what political party you belong to, you can cite numerous examples of journalists who lied about your favorite candidate.
Let’s face it. The job of a journalist is to increase market share. A few months ago CBS made a big deal about making Katie Couric the evening news anchor. Was that because she can read a teleprompter better than anyone else? We doubt it.
Viewers are sick of being teased with statements like, “Famous Hollywood star fights serious illness—film at 11!” only to discover at the end of the 11 o’clock news that the star isn’t that famous, and the illness isn’t that serious. TV news has nearly sunk to the level of supermarket tabloids, with their misleading headlines.
News is sensationalized in order to attract an audience. It is all about ratings. “If it bleeds—it leads,” is allegedly the newsman’s motto. Since “proof” of evolution sells magazines, they print it at every opportunity.
Our favorite example is the popular news coverage of eosimias. 4 A paleontologist found two tiny pieces of bone, about the size of rice grains, and reconstructed a previously unknown creature called eosimias from them. From these two bones he “knew” it had saucer-shaped eyes, was shy, nocturnal, and lived in trees. Furthermore, this imaginary creature he invented was supposed to be the common ancestor of apes and man. Time, Newsweek, and U.S. News and World Report all reported it as fact! They had pictures of it! The term “investigative journalist” is a joke. They didn’t investigate at all. All three magazines just ran the paleontologist’s press release with minor modifications to make it more sensational, and sell more magazines.
Evolutionary “breakthroughs” are routinely exaggerated in the popular press, and we routinely debunk them. Last month we showed how possible discovery of water on Mars was sensationalized (partly to sell magazines, and partly to increase support for Mars exploration). 5 Two months earlier we told you how the discovery of “Lucy’s daughter” was spun in the mainstream media. 6
The problem for evolutionists is that they depend upon credibility of respected authorities as the foundation for belief in the theory of evolution. Those authorities no longer have the respect of the public. The public won’t believe something is true just because “scientists say” it is true. The public doesn’t trust judges to make honest, impartial decisions on matters of law (which judges presumably understand); and certainly doesn’t trust judges to make honest, impartial decisions on matters of science (which the judge may not understand). The public doesn’t believe TV news anchors or print-journalists as much as they once did. So, evolutionists are having trouble getting the public to accept evolution on the basis of their personal credibility.
The public has become smarter and more skeptical. People want to see proof. The evolutionists simply don’t have proof. If they did, there would not be any controversy. Honest examination of the scientific data leads people to reject the theory of evolution as unscientific. The more we learn about biology and microbiology, the less plausible the theory of evolution becomes. Science is against evolution.
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Crichton, 2006, NEXT, Page 195
4 Disclosure, September 2000, "Eosimias"
5 Disclosure, December 2006, "Mars Water"
6 Disclosure, October 2006, "Little Lucy"