John G. West Political Scientist and Cultural Critic

Nightline polls Darwinists and finds (surprise!) there IS no scientific debate over Darwinism

Published at Evolution News

Nightline ran a story on intellingent design last night, and if the inane preview article is any indication, the segment was the sort of lopsided hatchet-job one used to expect from the folks at “60 Minutes”—but not nearly as intelligent. Nightline’s main point appears to be that there really isn’t any scientific controversy over Darwinism and intelligent design. How do they know this? They checked with several Darwinists, who told them so! That’s right.

According to Nightline, because Darwinists happen to believe there is no scientific controversy over evolution, there really must be no controversy.

Hmm. Nightline could apply this logic to a lot of other issues besides intelligent design:

To determine whether there is any debate about embryonic stem cell research, they could interview only the scientists who support such research. To determine whether there is any debate over partial-birth abortions, they could interview only proponents of partial-birth abortions. Back in the heyday of eugenics, if journalists had wanted to determine whether there was a debate about the validity of eugenics, they could have interviewed only the scientists advocating eugenics.

Oops. Come to think of it, isn’t this precisely how many members of the old-line newsmedia do determine whether there is a legitimate controversy over something? Now I don’t feel so bad. Nightline is simply applying the normal formula of hack-reporters from the old-line media.

Fortunately, viewers don’t need to depend on Nightline to determine whether there is a scientific controversy over Darwin. While the Nightline “journalists” simply parrot the Darwinists’ party-line, the number of peer-reviewed articles and books by intelligent design scholars continue to grow, as do the number of doctoral scientists who are skeptical of the core claim of Darwin’s theory on scientific grounds.

Rather than depend on Nightline, people can read for themselves about the scientific debate in academic books published by Cambridge University Press and Michigan State University Press. Or they can watch one of the “high-gloss video productions” dismissively alluded to by Nightline such as Unlocking the Mystery of Life. There they can see and hear for themselves scientists like University of Idaho microbiologist Scott Minnich and Lehigh University biochemist Michael Behe who support intelligent design. These are the scientists Nightline insists don’t actually exist. Hint to Nightline’s staff: Maybe you should watch one of these videos. You might learn something.

John G. West

Senior Fellow, Managing Director, and Vice President of Discovery Institute
Dr. John G. West is Vice President of the Seattle-based Discovery Institute and Managing Director of the Institute’s Center for Science and Culture. Formerly the Chair of the Department of Political Science and Geography at Seattle Pacific University, West is an award-winning author and documentary filmmaker who has written or edited 12 books, including Darwin Day in America: How Our Politics and Culture Have Been Dehumanized in the Name of Science, The Magician’s Twin: C. S. Lewis on Science, Scientism, and Society, and Walt Disney and Live Action: The Disney Studio’s Live-Action Features of the 1950s and 60s. His documentary films include Fire-Maker, Revolutionary, The War on Humans, and (most recently) Human Zoos. West holds a PhD in Government from Claremont Graduate University, and he has been interviewed by media outlets such as CNN, Fox News, Reuters, Time magazine, The New York Times, USA Today, and The Washington Post.
Discovery Institute