Right out of NCSE talking points, lies flowed from the pen of a reporter intent on stopping academic freedom bills for public schools.
On Discovery News (no connection with the Discovery Institute), reprinted on Live Science, Larry O’Hanlon set the tone of his report from the very first word: “Anti-Science Bills Weighed in Four States.” The bills being considered in Colorado, Oklahoma, Missouri and Montana actually protect science and science teachers. Here is the text of the Colorado bill, posted on Evolution News & Views:
Public school authorities and administrators must permit teachers to help students understand, analyze, critique, and review in an objective manner the scientific strengths and scientific weaknesses of existing scientific theories covered in a given course.
Any fair-minded reader sees immediately that this bill says nothing about evolution, creation, Genesis, or “climate change” (formerly global warming), but conspiracy theorists are dead sure that creationists in the legislatures are pushing an agenda of some kind. O’Hanlon writes,
Anti-science bills are popping up like daisies after a spring shower. Five bills in four states have been introduced with the opening of state legislatures across the United States. All of the bills are aimed at undermining the teaching of biology and physical science — specifically, evolution and climate change — in public schools.
Here, O’Hanlon has combined fear-mongering with glittering generalities to protect the association of “evolution” and “climate change” with the word “science.” This is also misleading because he didn’t define his terms. As it stands, “evolution” could mean anything from an albino monkey to molecules-to-man universal common descent by a blind Darwinian process. “Climate change” could mean anything from the changing seasons to cap-and-trade.
But that’s not the worst of it. O’Hanlon ruthlessly and recklessly lied about the Discovery Institute:
“It is almost identical language in all of the bills,” said Rosenau. “It’s a package of bills that we’ve been tracking since the 2004 ‘Academic Freedom’ bill.” That bill, which was passed into law, was based on language generated by the Discovery Institute, which has long pushed for the inclusion of biblical creationism and pseudo-scientific “intelligent design” into science classes in public schools.
The Discovery Institute does not write bills, for instance, but advises legislators (when asked) on how to avoid legal challenges. More importantly, the Institute specifically and categorically denies advocating “biblical creationism” be taught in public schools. Its official position is not to promote teaching even intelligent design, but to allow teachers (who desire to) to present Darwinian evolution honestly (its strengths and weaknesses) without fear of incrimination. The Institute frequently and clearly distinguishes intelligent design – a scientific theory used in multiple sciences every day – from biblical creation or any other religious-based belief. Yet O’Hanlon called it “pseudo-scientific” with utter disregard for the facts. O’Hanlon even engaged in pseudo-scientific mindreading, pretending to know the secret motivations of his targets of hate.
It’s no wonder, when his sole source was the NCSE, an organization whose sole purpose is to protect whitewashed Darwinism (flawed “evidences” and all) in the public schools. O’Hanlon used the voice of NCSE’s Josh Rosenau to lie again, saying “No one has been expelled” by critiquing Darwinian evolution. Cases of many victims have been documented in the movie by that name and in Jerry Bergman’s book, Slaughter of the Dissidents. Despite this, O’Hanlon and Rosenau called the bills “a solution in search of a problem,” adding ignorance to to injury by posting a large graphic of the discredited “ape-to-man” icon—a picture of the outworn orthogenesis view of evolution that even evolutionary paleoanthropologists dismiss as simplistic and misleading.
To cover his bases, in case the fear-mongering doesn’t work, O’Hanlon ended with the claim that the academic freedom bills are unconstitutional, will probably die in committee anyway, and “are rarely considered of great importance or worth the very vocal opposition they engender.” Willfully or not, O’Hanlon ignored the majority of Americans who consider it fair that if the evidence for evolution is taught, the scientific evidences against it should also be taught. It may be “rarely considered of great importance” by the NCSE, but many states disagree enough to bring these bills up in multiple state legislatures. As for “vocal opposition,” one only has to witness the over-the-top vituperation at some school board meetings by Darwinists intent on prohibiting academic freedom on this issue to see where the shoe fits.
O’Hanlon’s lying is not just misinformation; it’s disinformation: intentional propaganda aimed, not at rational discourse, but at destroying a targeted group with utter disregard for the facts. It should be self-evident that any media source repeating these lies becomes an accomplice to them.
You see once again the kind of people you deal with when trying to give teachers and students the honest truth about evolution. An entrenched power structure that cannot tolerate honest inquiry will stop at nothing to propagandize, even using the Stalin-like Big Lie tactic to protect Charlie. We’ve been showing this willful, lying pattern of angry resistance by the Darwinistas for over a decade. Lie Science is just one of the repeat offenders. It’s time you stopped pretending this is merely a disagreement about a side issue. It’s time you got involved.
If you do get involved, make sure (and we cannot stress this enough) that you know the pitfalls and booby-traps the Darwinistas will use against you. Know the facts, know the law, and know the hills worth defending in this intellectual battleground, lest you make matters worse. Know their talking points cold, and the responses. Most of all, do not stoop to the lying tactics they use. Overcome lies with the truth.
Suggestion: Quote to them the words of Charles Darwin himself from the introduction of his Origin of Species: “A fair result can only be obtained by fully stating and balancing the facts and arguments on both sides of each question” (see AcademicFreedomDay.com and AcademicFreedomPetition.com).