Saturday, November 05, 2005

A wee bit of progress

This morning I was trolling for stories about the last day of the Dover trial and I ran across one on a Columbia, SC, NBC affiliate news site with the aggravating title "Court case examines theories of origins of life." The first sentence read, "A federal court case is looking at how schools teach the origins of life."

When I see the term "origin of life" I expect to see an attack on science, but the article was pretty straightforward reporting without any overt or subtle editorializing. So I decided to respond. I sent the following to the writer, whose email was at the bottom of the page:

No. No. No.
Evolutionary biology is not about the origin of life. The theory of evolution explains how the diversity of life forms we see around us occurred over time. Here's my theory: any news article about the evolution vs intelligentdesign/creationism debate that includes the term "origins of life" in the first paragraph was written by someone who has not researched the subject.

By the end of the day, I had a this response:

I see your point. I've rewritten that section to take out the phrase. Thanks for the catch.

Chantelle Janelle
WIS Web Producer

I went back to the article on the WIS-TV site and saw that the title had been changed to "Court case examines theories of evolution, intelligent design"

And the first sentence now reads "A federal court case is looking at how schools teach two hotly debated theories."

Okay. It's not perfect. It still implies that evolution and ID are equivalent "theories." But hey, it's progress.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have to say I'm really impressed with Chantelle Janelle -- her response showed a lot of class.

11/7/05, 5:07 AM  

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