In January, it seemed that newly elected U.S. president Barack Obama was the star of every magazine cover and newspaper headline. But move over, Mr. Obama: February is the month of Charles Darwin, whose birth 200 years ago is now the talk of every media outlet.
As such, the number of articles on every facet of Darwin is downright overwhelming, and fresh articles are pouring in even as we write. The New York Times alone, for instance, offered a six-article series in tribute this week in its Science Times section. And Forbes magazine offered a whole bevy more from various perspectives—including an article from our own Ken Ham.
Sadly, the Catholic Church used Darwin’s birthday as an opportunity to distance itself even from intelligent design.
The hubbub surrounding this evolutionary “holiday” even includes Darwinian vacations and reports on Darwin’s house, and National Public Radio used the occasion to reprint an essay not by Darwin, but by his eugenicist grandson Charles Galton Darwin. Meanwhile, Darwin’s birthday is an opportunity for yet another nasty review of the Creation Museum by an evolutionist, complete with the requisite low blows and half-truths.
Media outlets are reporting on both old and new polls about evolution as well (we covered the latest of them last week). The Associated Press reports the unsurprising news that a controversy still exists. The reporter quoted AiG–UK’s Paul Taylor under the notice that “[e]ven Darwin’s ideological adversaries concede that he was a towering figure.” Paul said, “He was clearly extremely important, his thinking changed the world. We disagree with his conclusions, with the way he made extrapolations, but he was a very careful observer and we've got a lot to be grateful for.” Of course, that’s far more generous than how many evolutionists would describe creation scientists!
However, Paul was misquoted in the last portion, telling us:
I did not say this. I acknowledged that Darwin had been a careful observer. I did not say that we had anything to be grateful for. I said I was grateful about the opinion poll that shows that 51% of the British public are, at the very least, skeptical about evolution. I also said a great deal about the negative effects that Darwinism has had on Western society, and none of that has been quoted.
Sadly, the Catholic Church used Darwin’s birthday as an opportunity to distance itself even from intelligent design, and thus essentially confirm the church’s view that God had nothing to do with the origin of life. To Catholic Church honchos, the idea of God having anything to do with origins is “poor theology and poor science.” (In addition, the Church of England officially “made up” with Darwin last year.)
Due to this deluge of Darwin articles, there’s no way we could read—let alone respond to—all of them. So instead, we decided to offer a good framework to encapsulate our response to virtually any article on Darwin:
- Darwin is a celebrity. That means that articles cover not only his scientific views, but also are examining nearly every other known aspect of his life. Should we be surprised in today’s celebrity-focused culture?
- Darwin’s ideas have stood the test of time—a century and a half, anyway (Darwin’s Origin of Species was published 150 years ago). That doesn’t make them any more correct than they were then, but clearly the Darwinian model has an appeal for those who would rather not see divine creation.
- Darwin is still quite controversial. No shock there; there’s even a controversy over whether his name is overused. Of course, when it comes to creation vs. evolution, the media eagerly reports that there is a controversy but rarely bothers to include the creationist case except to refute it. For example, a LiveScience article (syndicated on Fox News) claims “Creationists claim there are no transitional fossils, aka missing links. Biologists and paleontologists, among others, know this claim is false.” Meanwhile, National Geographic News has artists’ impressions of all the “trendy” transitional forms.
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Remember, if you see a news story that might merit some attention, let us know about it! (Note: if the story originates from the Associated Press, Fox News, MSNBC, the New York Times, or another major national media outlet, we will most likely have already heard about it.) And thanks to all of our readers who have submitted great news tips to us.