Theory Protectionismpiece from this weekend presented a one-sided view of the on-going Texas textbook controversy, but not for lack of material. Rich’s piece, which was decidedly in favor of the belief that the species spontaneously arose, did not give voice to those who doubt that idea. The article quoted several participants in the debate, but none were evolution skeptics. That’s probably because when interviewed, the skeptics didn’t provide the right kind of material—they didn’t fit the template.
Instead they had some reasonable and thoughtful things to say. So instead, the Times cast them as deceptive:
By questioning the science — often getting down to very technical details — the evolution challengers in Texas are following a strategy increasingly deployed by others around the country.
After all, this ploy has been used before:
Four years ago, a conservative bloc on the state school board pushed through amendments to science standards that call for students to “analyze and evaluate” some of the basic principles of evolution. Science educators and advocates worry that this language can be used as a back door for teaching creationism.
And according to Kathy Miller, president of the Texas Freedom Network, appealing to science is a dirty trick:
It is like lipstick on a Trojan horse,” said Ms. Miller of the Texas Freedom Network.
Philosophers call this theory protectionism. If analyzing and evaluating “basic principles,” exploring technical details, and questioning the science are not allowed, then evolution is fully protected.