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Washington Post Editorial Unsophisticated in its Misrepresentations

The Washington Post today publishes an editorial prepared by Anne Applebaum ("Dissing Darwin") that uses the term "intelligent creator" three times to describe the concept of intelligent design. The writer knows better, but apparently believes that if she can lodge the word "creator" (as in "creationist") in people's minds, it will reside there forever. The key to understanding such writing: the proponents of intelligent design must never be allowed to speak for themselves or define their own ideas. Instead they must only be spoken about and accept definitions of their terms that are offered by their foes.

The editorial also twice describes the film The Privileged Planet as "religious", though the writer admits it doesn't mention the word God. (It also never mentions Darwin, since Darwin's theory isn't the topic of the film, though it is in the title of the Post editorial.) It escapes her, for example, that the "fine tuning" case made in the film is not exactly a staple of Sunday School fare, but is rather a widely accepted position in the scientific community, while not the consensus view.

The editorial also knowingly hides the fact that the Smithsonian did "co-sponsor" the Discovery film event. The writer had seen a copy of the letter from the Smithsonian declaring its co-sponsorship and she knew from several sources that the co-sponsorship was not sought by Discovery, but actually was required by the Smithsonian. That the Museum withdrew a gift that was never requested fails to draw her interest at all.

And the editorial wholly ignores the fact that the Smithsonian still intends to screen the film at the National Museum of Natural History on June 23, which was all we ever did request.

I suppose we should be appreciative that Post editorials keep using the word "sophisticated" to describe proponents of intelligent design. I think that means that the only way for them to answer us is to misrepresent the content of our views. That is not very sophisticated at all.