The chief online editor of Nature—One of the leading evolution cheerleader periodicals in the world—is unbelievably calling for science journalists to work harder at “contextualising, investigating and, at times, challenging science.” Ananyo Bhattacharya adds that “journalists must try to stay at arm’s length from their sources” and should ask questions and deflate exaggeration.
Except, that is, when it matters.
If a scientist makes a lazy or exaggerated claim about, say, the terrible impact of crystal imperfections on manufacturing tolerances, then the journalist needs to home in and check the facts. Stay at arms length, seek third party opinions, and do not run the story past the source prior to publication. That’s just the stuff of good solid investigative journalism.
But if an evolutionist pronounces, with all the pomp and authority of the high priest, that biological intricacy X evolved spontaneously (in spite of massive scientific contradictions), then like Charlie Rose the journalist is to fawn and express deep, heartfelt amazement at the oracle of truth to which he has been granted a few precious moments of access.