Journalists are beginning to get it

The Disco Institute’s Media Complaints Division (aka “Evolution News and Views”, a misnomer if I ever saw one) regularly rants about what they deem to be misrepresentations of Intelligent Design “theory”. In spite of Luskin’s and Crowther’s efforts, though, a growing number (!) of journalists are catching on to the Disco Institute’s scam. The most recent example is an editorial in today’s Akron Beacon Journal. The editorial writer, Steve Hoffman, clearly gets it. He writes

What might a judge eventually say about the state school board in Ohio, which this week refused by a narrow margin to revise its guidelines for teaching biology? Those guidelines create false controversy over Darwinian evolution, singling it out from all other scientific theories for critical analysis, indirectly but quite deliberately guiding students toward the conclusion that an intelligent designer (God) must have shaped each amazing, complex organism. Would the judge conclude that in the wake of the Dover decision, the state board in Ohio acted with breathtaking stupidity?

My answer, of course, would be no: the Board, or at least the thought leaders on it, Michael Cochran and Deborah Owens Fink, did not act in ignorance or breathtaking stupidity. In my opinion, they acted knowing full well what they were doing: perverting science education in Ohio schools in service of a religiously grounded socio-cultural movement. Robert Lattimer, a leader of ID troops in Ohio, told an ID conference in late 2003 that science would have very little to do with the development of science standards and education would have very little to do with it. Just so.

Hoffman went on

The Ohio board’s fundamental mistake was that a majority of its members were unable (or unwilling) to differentiate between scientific and political controversy. That mistake has now been compounded.

Again, I vote for “unwilling”. I do not believe this is the honest mistake of unwitting people, but is the intentional perversion of both science and education to further a sectarian agenda.

Catherine Candinsky of the Columbus Dispatch also “gets it”, as do others in Ohio. It remains to be seen whether the middle-of-the-road members of the Ohio Board of Education will get it. Will they realize that they’re allowing Cochran and Owens Fink to lead Ohio public education down an indefensible educational, scientific, and legal path? They still have a chance. The one parallel between Dover and Ohio that hasn’t occurred is that no member of the Ohio Board has lied to a federal judge under oath. Yet.