Friday, February 13, 2009

Junk News Loves Junk Science

NPR do have a thing for "controversial" non-science:
So I guess it's no surprise that this afternoon on ATC Larry Abramson provides almost no background and context for the Louisiana "Science Education Act" - ( another Trojan Horse of creationism lovingly crafted by the theocratic Louisiana Family Forum).

Abramson introduces the piece claiming that the Science Education Act "protects teachers who engage in what's known as critical thinking about all controversial science - about climate change, cloning, and - of course - evolution." He also tells us that a school administrator and proponent of the law "never brought up God or creation...he and others appear confident that they can use the idea of critical thinking to poke holes in the theory of evolution without bringing God into the equation. That may be why Darwin defenders are so worried."

Abramson simply adopts the Orwellian "critical thinking" language of the law. He also calls sound science "controversial" (which it is if you are in favor of reactionary ignorance). It is also odd that Abramson labels those who want to base the teaching of science on - well - science, as "Darwin defenders" (earlier he described them as "supporters of evolution"). Once again NPR pretends that there are two equally valid sides on this issue. I don't want to waste my time rehashing the mountains of scientific consensus against these anti-science efforts (much of what I posted on the Ben Stein story applies to this piece as well). What I will note is some of what Abramson could have done:

He could be sloppy and lazy and spend most of the report talking to an administrator and a science teacher who want to challenge that wild-eyed, seat-of-the-pants, riddled-with-errors theory of evolution.


Hubertg said...

Here we go again...emperical science against 2 & 3000 year old fairy tales.

Anonymous said...

Following your link I listened to the segment. Abramson actually compared his creationist apologist to Darwin! A man who sits in a windowless room is put up as a modern-day version of one who traveled to all sorts of exotic places observing, collecting, characterizing, and comparing everything he saw, with the intent of trying to understand things. And he's demeaned to the level of some puny bureaucrat who only wants to come up with some cosmic 'gotcha!' so he can rest assured and smug in his english mistranslation of ancient hebrew, greek, and latin texts.

Anonymous said...

This is the perfect example of how NPR has jettisoned reality in favor of balance -- on EVERY topic, including science.

With science, there are NOT two equal sides to every issue. In fact, in most cases, there is simply one side -- that of the scientific consensus.

Unfortunately, under former NPR president Kevin Klose, NPR was reduced largely to a "balance beam". Balance became the be all and end all of "news". The operating principle seems to be that as long as one presents two sides of every issue, one is doing one's duty as an "unbiased" journalist. Truth and reality do not even enter into the equation.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Klose seems to have absolutely NO clue what real journalism is about.

The man cut his teeth on propaganda (in charge of VOA and other such garbage ), which pretty much says it all.

Woody (Tokin Librul/Rogue Scholar/ Helluvafella!) said...

And then there was that colloquy on "love" from Little Lord Lodenpantz.

The only reason I didn't throw the whole tuner out the window was that i'da hadda replace the window and its cold...

Gawd-FUUKING-damn! Once I heard it was he, I just went directly to the CD player...