John G. West Political Scientist and Cultural Critic

Smoking Gun: Kansas Darwinists Outline Plan to Manipulate the Media

Published at Evolution News

Earlier this week, the website disclosed an incredible internet post from an official with Kansas Citizens for Science, the group trying to prevent the inclusion of scientific criticisms of Darwin’s theory in the Kansas Science Standards. On February 10, Liz Craig (identified in this article as “a spokeswoman for Kansas Citizens for Science”) outlined her group’s outrageous disinformation plan for the newsmedia covering the Kansas science standards debate. Rather than talk about science, Ms. Craig described how she plans to use the newsmedia to smear and demonize anyone who opposes her group’s agenda:

My strategy at this point is the same as it was in 1999: notify the national and local media about what’s going on and portray them [the critics of evolution] in the harshest light possible, as political opportunists, evangelical activists, ignoramuses, breakers of rules, unprincipled bullies, etc.

There may no way to head off another science standards debacle, but we can sure make them look like asses…

This is the Darwinists’ idea of reasoned debate? Avoid at all costs any genuine discussion of science, and portray one’s opponents “in the harshest light possible, as… opportunists… ignoramuses… unprincipled bullies, etc.” In sum, don’t bother the public with facts or rational arguments. Engage in a cynical smear campaign instead.

Later in her post, Ms. Craig also revealed her contempt for potential supporters, saying that her group’s “target is the moderates who are not that well educated about the issues….” The implication seemed to be that such supposedly less-educated people could be more influenced by the planned smear campaign.

Now we know the script that will be followed by Kansas Citizens for Science going into this week’s science standard hearings. What remains to be seen is whether journalists in the national newsmedia will be credulous enough to allow themselves to be manipulated by Ms. Craig and her colleagues.

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