Media Distortion of Scientific Evidence?

Really, the media might feed us distorted information?  Really?


Let's pull our heads out of the sand for a moment and consider: 
Americans depend upon the media to present an accurate picture of current events and how they relate to each other -- but this "accurate" picture has been blurred when it comes to scientific news about origins. In fact, most major media outlets are completely misrepresenting facts: claiming that evolution is unquestionable and that intelligent design is just "repackaged religion" with no scientific support.


The truth is that both evolution and intelligent design are "religious" theories (in that both are faith-based presuppositions about the origin of life). Evolution has not been proven to be fact; on the contrary, much evidence has been uncovered that flatly contradicts its most basic tenets. As for intelligent design, it is not just repackaged religion, but rather an honest theory based on the research of many leading scientists who say that life is too complex to have occurred by chance.


The media's bias in favor of evolution is nothing new.


Many local papers regularly carry articles touting claims of evolutionists, offering "proof" for the age of the earth, new monkey skeletons, etc., all without challenge or opportunity for rebuttal. In virtually every other area of the news, the "other side" is given a chance to comment -- but not regarding origin science. People are left with the impression that every scientist is an evolutionist, and that no thinking mind would ever challenge it. News broadcasts, science-oriented television programs, journals, and magazines present evolution as fact -- the theory is their gospel truth.


Rarely if ever do these same media outlets report on the truckloads of evidence that may disprove evolution or offer support for intelligent design. They ignore and censor the findings of geologists, zoologists, chemists, physicists, mathematicians, doctors, archaeologists -- people all across the scientific spectrum -- who are uncovering the fingerprints of an Intelligent Designer.


Let's examine some snapshots of this bias:


The Washington Post
"An international team of scientists has discovered the remains of a previously unknown dinosaur that they say strengthens the case for a link between dinosaurs and modern birds. The team of researchers from China, Canada, and the United States discovered the 130 million-year-old fossilized remains of the small, carnivorous dinosaur…"


--Washington Post (reprinted in the Medina County Gazette, early 2002)


Response: Certainly this is an exciting news piece -- the discovery of a new dinosaur. The problem comes when the report assumes as fact the "age" of this reptile. It is impossible, even with advanced methods of carbon-dating, to produce an affirmative age on anything that far back in the past. Such "age" assumptions are really estimates and guesses based on the presuppositions of the scientists doing the testing. It would be more appropriate for the 2nd sentence of the article to read: "Since the team of international team of researchers was comprised of believers in the theory of evolution, they are operating under the assumption that this fossilized dinosaur is 130 million years old."


The Los Angeles Times
"The discovery (of ice on Mars) is a coup for NASA, whose leaders are using a 'follow the water' strategy to understand the evolution of Mars and look for signs of past and present life there...The wider the distribution of water, the more chance there may have been for life to develop on the planet, scientists believe."


--Usha Lee McFarling, LA Times (republished in Akron Beacon Journal on March 3, 2002)


Response: Amazing -- water on Mars! But notice how the report weaves evolution into the article, almost seamlessly, and leaves the reader with the impression that evolution is absolute fact. And why?  It has nothing to do with the find itself.  The media has been so indoctrinated by evolutionary theory that it presents evolution as truth when reporting on unrelated subjects.


The Akron Beacon Journal
"What we do know is that the scientific method, which requires the rigorous exclusion of ideas that can't be supported by observation and testing, has so far come up with one theory for the development of life on Earth, and that theory is evolution...It's just the best explanation for how we got from the primordial soup to where we are...So, whatever intelligent design is, it isn't science."
--ABJ Feb 14, 2002, "It's Creative, yes. Science it isn't.", by Steve Hoffman


Response: Not much of a surprise argument here. It is the same, worn out tactic of shouting "evolution is science" and offering no real evidence to prove it.  Since the writer above mentioned the scientific method, perhaps we should park on that. He correctly inferred that this method involves observation and testing. Did anyone observe the big bang? Was anyone there to observe the day a T-Rex sprouted feathers and started flapping his arms? Was anyone there to report when the sludge got hit by lightning and crawled out of a puddle as a highly-complex cell? How about testing? Can the past be tested? The answers are obvious -- we weren't there, so we can't know about the past without putting our faith in either an eyewitness account or a historical theory. We can study fossils, examine rocks, and take educated guesses -- but the truth is plain. Evolution cannot be subjected to the scientific method, therefore evolution is not science. (Note also the author's inference that because ID is different from evolution, it therefore cannot be scientific. What kind of reasoning is that?)


The Cleveland Plain Dealer
"Creationism can't pass the Constitution's ban on state-endorsed religion...The Constitution and the courts kept blatantly religious creationism out of the drivers seat. Intelligent design, however, might have a shot."


--Plain Dealer, May 12, 2002, Ohio's Intelligent Design crusader


Response: Although in this post I'm addressing intelligent design, not creationism per se, it is interesting to note the tinge of misinformation contained in the above quote. The assumption is made that belief in God (Intelligent Designer) has never been allowed in public schools, because it is against the Constitution to teach such things. Perhaps the authors of the article were unaware that it used to be illegal in America to teach evolution, and that "blatantly religious creationism" was endorsed, taught, and even supported with the Bible in public schools for the first 200 years of American education. Only in the past century has creationism or design been censored out of the public curriculum. Perhaps they are also unaware of our own Declaration of Independence, which touts the Creator as the basis of American rights to "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." If creationism wasn't in the driver's seat of education, it certainly was in the driver's seat of our early government!


National Geographic
"...Clusters, groups, and isolated individual galaxies are all flying away from each other, a continuing aftermath of the big bang, an explosion of space itself which astronomers believe formed the universe 11 to 15 billion years ago."


--The Universe Millennium in Maps, 1999 National Geographic Society


Response: Notice that although these statements come across as fact, every phrase is based on presupposition except the first. It is true that the galaxies are flying away from each other; this is observable science. To say this spreading effect is a result of the big bang is an assumption -- a belief that cannot be tested by empirical scientific means. It says here that "space itself" exploded (what is space? Nothing!) and that "astronomers believe" it. There are many astronomers who don't believe in the explosion of nothing, and many who do not even believe evolution at all. But, reading this statement, the average person would never know that evolution/big bang theory is in question -- they would assume it is total fact.


The New York Times
"Intelligent design makes assertions that cannot be tested by experiment. Those assertions that can be tested, say about blood clotting or the claimed irreducible complexity of various components of cells, seem to have thus far failed those tests. So intelligent design does not belong in a science class. End of story."


--NYT Essay by Dr. Lawrence Krauss April 30, 2002 Odds Are Stacked When Science Tries to Debate Pseudoscience


Response: "Evolution makes assertions that cannot be tested by experiment. Those assertions that can be tested, say about radiocarbon dating or fossil evidence, seem to have thus far failed those tests. So evolution does not belong in a science class. End of story."


*******


Can we ever trust what we read to be free from bias? No. If you read enough of the Absolute Truth site, you'll find my bias. (Pretty easy to spot, actually.) The hope is that we can each learn to think for ourselves, and critically evaluate what we read. The next time you read or see and science-related article or program, ask the following questions:


What is the author's ultimate assumption about where life came from?
Is he/she taking leaps of faith in their logic?
Is he/she making any broad generalizations that may not be true? (Example: "Scientists believe that this primate is related to…")
Are theories being presented as facts? (Example: "14 billion years ago, redshift had not yet…")
Could there be another way to interpret the evidence?
What are his/her facts based on? Are they basing it on evidence, or assumptions?


Why the bias?


Faith in random chance is just as important to the atheist as intelligent design is to a believer in God. Evolution is the foundation of their faith -- the bedrock belief which supports their views on virtually every moral, spiritual, political, and social issue. Those who have faith in naturalism must defend it at all costs or be forced to change their philosophy of life. Sadly, many of our friends in the media have becoming willing accomplices to the naturalist agenda.


Whether these reporters, news anchors, and writers have embraced the agenda themselves or are have just been sorely misled as to what true science says, we may never know. But we can insist on fair, balanced, accurate reporting.

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