None Dare Call it Journalism
This past week The New York Times ran a new article on the Vast Intelligent Design Conspiracy. The article was titled, "Opponents of Evolution are Adopting a New Strategy" and attempts to expose the creationist plot to take over America's schools.
The Times article documents the efforts of opponents of intelligent design in Texas. One of these groups, of course, is the National Center for Science Education (NCSE), always vigilant in its efforts to stamp out the dangerous cultural virus of academic freedom before it spreads.
"Very often over the last 10 years," says Glenn Branch, "we've seen antievolution policies in sheep's clothing." Branch is part of the NCSE pack and he takes great care to bleat his remarks convincingly. Groups like NCSE are concerned about Texas because of the sway the state has over the textbook industry. Texas, like California, is a big market for publishers. They are worried that if objectivity in textbooks takes hold in Texas, it could spread to the rest of the nation.
So far, the full extent of this plan has been known only to a few, but the intrepid staff of the New York Times is now beginning to unravel the plot. Times reporter Laura Beil, using valuable time that could have been spent doing further investigation into the dangers of fluoride in the city's water, has carefully researched the Protocols of the Elders of ID and is hot on the scent of the meaning of its secret code:
Starting this summer, the state education board will determine the curriculum for the next decade and decide whether the "strengths and weaknesses" of evolution should be taught. The benign-sounding phrase, some argue, is a reasonable effort at balance. But critics say it is a new strategy taking shape across the nation to undermine the teaching of evolution, a way for students to hear religious objections under the heading of scientific discourse.
... "'Strengths and weaknesses' are regular words that have now been drafted into the rhetorical arsenal of creationists," said Kathy Miller, director of the Texas Freedom Network, a group that promotes religious freedom.
What the reporter (and Miller) didn't notice is that the letters of this expression--"strengths and weaknesses"--when rearranged using the decoder ring issued to every card-carrying member of the Discovery Institute, spells, Death gets new sneakers (more or less).
You'll have to admit, it's clever.
I will probably get in trouble for revealing it, but when an ID advocate thinks someone else might be a creationist agent, he simply says, "Strengths." And if the other person, looking to the right and left to make sure no one else can hear, says, "and weaknesses," at the same time giving the secret handshake, he knows he has identified his creationist contact, and can pass along any secret messages from headquarters.
I'm sure there are some who would say that it may be time for the ID movement to fess up to its nefarious plan to clandestinely impose creationism on the nation--sort of like what the liberals did years ago in taking over major newspapers like the Times. But why should they blow their cover when the conspiracy is having so much success?
For example, the movement gained gained valuable exposure with the movie "Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed." As part of a plan hatched by ID leaders at secret creationist meetings (which, unfortunately, have to be squeezed in between meetings of the Illuminati, since they share a conference room), the movie put Darwinists in the position of having to oppose academic freedom.
Then, in an equally crafty move, the Council on ID Relations quietly launched its effort to undermine science instruction in schools by requiring that it be balanced. The Darwinists, initially unaware of the plans that had been put into motion, played right into creationist hands by ceding expressions like "strengths and weaknesses" to the enemy. Outside of Darwinist circles, after all, most people actually think objectivity is a good thing.
Whether the Times will discover the full scope of the threat is uncertain. No one at the Times has yet noticed, for example, that if you play the movie's interview with Richard Dawkins backward, you can hear Ben Stein saying, "Bill Dembski is dead"--or that there is a missing 18 1/2 minutes of interview footage.
And when will the Mulders and Scullies at the Times realize that Philip Johnson's book Darwin on Trial was not written by Philip Johnson, but by another man with the same name?
Obviously the Times has more work to do, yet it may be well on its way to a Pulitzer for blowing the lid off this conspiracy. Yes, there are creationists under the bed, and the Times seems well on its way to discovering them.