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Would you please help me bombard the NYT with letters reminding them that so-called "intelligent design" is not a theory?

Yet another NYT article refers to ID as a theory, three times:

Frist Urges 2 Teachings on Life Origin

he said that the theory of intelligent design as well as evolution should be taught in public schools

The theory of intelligent design holds that life is too complicated to have developed through...

Critics say intelligent design theorists are trying to supplant science with religious beliefs.


Please join me in writing to them at

Those bastards consistently repeat Republican talking points. A recent article about intact dilation and extraction referred to the procedure by this term only once, to mention that it's the medical term, but as "partial birth abortion" eight times, title included. Coincidence?


Please, please write to them. If enough of us take action, hopefully they'll start to notice.

Originally posted to DrReason on Fri Aug 19, 2005 at 09:07 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Please contribute to science education (4.00)
    Help me channel my anger:
    •  You got it! (none)
      ID, meeting a recepetive audience with the fundametalist, a population that is ignorant of  basic science, and a lazy press, has made inroads that I would never have believed just 5 years ago.

      Fear is the main source of superstition, and one of the main sources of cruelty. To conquer fear is the begining of wisdom. ---Bertand Russell

      by leeroy on Fri Aug 19, 2005 at 10:20:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  What on earth is wrong with NYT? (none)
    Are they just nuts?  I cannot imagine how low they have fallen.  There are a couple of good Op Ed writers but other than that they are just worthless unless you are in to propaganda.  Thanks for bringing this to my attention.  My next stop is email.

    Judicial nominee stonewallers deserve a NO-vote.

    by macmcd on Fri Aug 19, 2005 at 09:15:13 PM PDT

  •  Best recent resource for understanding ID (4.00)
    Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist has a serious problem:  how does he recover the ground he lost among religious conservatives for a his recent support of stem cell research? Answer: support the teaching of intelligent design.

    It's one thing to say that different perspectives must be taught in schools (that's part of education and goes without saying).  It's quite another to support the teaching of sly, under-the-table religious doctrine.

    If you want a very good discussion of this most recent incarnation of religious creationism to buttress your letters, check out University of Chicago paleontologist Jerry Coyne's recent (subscription only) article in The New Republic online.

    He makes the following points:

    • Neo-Darwinism is a solid theory, but even before that, evolution is a fact.
    • ID has produced no cracks in evolutionary or neo-darwinian theory.
    • ID has no real research program of its own.
    • ID is solidly rooted in a "creation science" or even overtly religious past, but modified for today's legal landscape.

    Hope this helps.
  •  Fuck the NY Times (none)
    They love pretending to be liberal when they're really some right-wing bastards.
  •  Frist lacks faith (none)
    At least faith in getting elected President; so he's pandering now.

    Support the troops: enlist.

    by strack on Fri Aug 19, 2005 at 09:54:49 PM PDT

  •  People on KOS like to bitch about the South (4.00)
    And Southern Kossacks get all up in arms.  Southern Kossacks continually tell us to 'respect the Evangelicals and the importance they attach to their faiths.'

    Well, let me tell you: this is precisely the reason why I am ready to leave the Bible Belt.

    It's not good enough for them so that I can be left alone.  It's not good enough for them to tell me that my Buddhist wife and relatives are hell-bound.  It's not good enough to stop an American Muslim Cemetary.  It's not good enough to have 'voluntary' Bible study classes in public schools.  


    Religious tolerance is not a term the ID folks are familiar with.

    Sigh.  They just don't give up.  Ever.  They just cannot leave non-Christians alone.  Cannot.  They must pry, they must preach, they must proselytize.  
    They have to disrespect non-Christian faiths are idolatrous, hate-filled exercises in devil worship - or else their not 'truly Christian Evangelizers.'

    They MUST NOT listen to me - lest they become one with the devil.

    For once, can't these Dominionists leave others alone?  Can't they just stop and leave people alone on matters of faith?

    They truly are dominionists within their own country.

    If I ever have children, I cannot in good conscience send them to a public school.  Not for fear of a poor education. But for fear of the coercive effects of their 'love of Jesus Christ.'

    The not-so-dirty secret of the South and the IDer's is the hostility towards non-Christians.

    There's a reason why ID catches on in small towns, heartland areas and the Bible Belt: it's where the faith in Jesus is so strong that it OVERWHELMS any need to be considerate of others.  

    In contrast, on the coasts and in bigger cities, where there is ethnic diversity, there is religious diversity.  Religious diversity breeds religious respect and religious pluralism.  

    These folks truly are 'Christian Soldiers' in a never-ending war against the unsaved or - in other words - anyone not like them.

    •  soldiers they are (none)
      As a former believer, I understand faith in God and respect it. However, I DETEST proselytism, and sadly, it is the duty of many religious folks. It is the duty of Muslims and of Evangelical Christians. Their zeal is incompatible with the purported Americans ideals of privacy and "live and let live".  

      These folks truly are 'Christian Soldiers' in a never-ending war against the unsaved or - in other words - anyone not like them.

      They scare the, um, hell out of me.

      If you do leave, be sure to write letters to the editor of your local papers, but I'm sorry to hear how much proselytism is affecting your life. I don't know what the solution is. Civil war?

  •  Yes, this drives me nuts. (4.00)
    And, sad to say, even Michael Shermer makes this idiotic msitake of calling this tomfoolery a "Theory",

    Here's my missive:
    Dear NYT Editor:
    It is most exceedingly annoying to have journalists use sloppy language to describe things they obviously know nothing about, i.e., science.  Science has very precise terminology that must not be confused with that of the lay person.  Your journalists need to get a bit more education on the scientific method before writing about it.

    "Intelligent Design" is NOT A THEORY!  In science, a Theory is an overarching explanation for an enormous body of observed facts on the ground, confirmed and reconfirmed many times over by independent review by peers who put it through the rigors of trying to find any weaknesses in it.  It is the highest level of certainty short of a Law (which is rarely conferred anymore, and generally in physics) but beyond a Hypothesis, which "Intelligent Design" does not even ascend to.  A hypothesis must be testable and falsifiable.  In many millennia of religions, no one has yet figured out a way to demonstrate or falsify deity.  Don't get sucked into the deceptive marketing ploy of these people.  Their goal is apparently to make the United States an intellectual backwater and second rate power.

    "Force always attracts those of low morality." -- Albert Einstein

    by eyeswideopen on Sat Aug 20, 2005 at 02:06:47 AM PDT

    •  Great, thanks. (none)
      I like your last sentence in combination with the quote from Einstein, but this sentence is a killer blow:

      A hypothesis must be testable and falsifiable.  In many millennia of religions, no one has yet figured out a way to demonstrate or falsify deity.

      Nice. Thanks.

  •  I'd be happy to teach ID in public school (none)
    as a science teacher.  I'd use it as an object lesson in how violating the principles of the scientific method and ignoring those hard facts that  tend to disprove a hypothesis can lead one to false and ridiculous conclusions.  And then I'd demonstrate the similarities between ID's "method" and Big Pharma "studies" that overstate the effectiveness of profitable drugs while understating the negative side effects; and then include the consequences of the oil industry "research" that "disproves" Global Warming and the MSM's unquestioning publication of those conclusions for years; and then demonstrate how this same unquestioned distortion of logic, fact and proper procedure led us to invade Iraq.

    You wanted me to "teach the controversy"?  I got your controversy right here, thanks.

    Beware those who claim to be "The Chosen", for they have already led themselves astray and seek to lead you down the same path. There are no "Chosen."

    by sxwarren on Sat Aug 20, 2005 at 05:11:20 AM PDT

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