Monday, August 29, 2005


Post Turdles

We all know about post turtles. You find a turtle on top of a post, you know it didn't get there by itself. So... what about smelly little items that appear in the premier newspaper in the nation's capital? Following on PW's post below, the WaPo has just published a pathbreakingly idiotic defense of so-called "Intelligent Design," such that Atrios has suggested that this could be the most stupid thing he has ever read. While I am glad to hear that he has never read, for example, the Wall Street Journal Editorial Page, I have to admit this is not the stupidest thing that I have ever read. But it certainly would get into the semi-finals. It says, for example, "The sports section would not seem to be a place to discuss intelligent design, the notion that nature shows signs of an intrinsic intelligence too highly organized to be solely the product of evolution." If one were looking to narrowcast to rubes, the sports section might be exactly the place that someone who was genuinely stupid would try. "Intelligent design," of course, is a hoax. While a variety of people get attracted to it, it's repackaged creationism. Science involves testable hypotheses. How would the proponents of ID test their hypothesis? Create one world with God and another without God to do parallel longitudinal surveys? ID claims that the level of complexity in living things is too great to be explained by evolution. As anyone who has tried will tell you, proving negatives is almost impossible. No way? Way! How did this article happen to be placed in The Post? The writing is awful. It skips incoherently from anecdote to anecdote. It makes monumental assertions (notably, "ID is unfairly confused with the movement to teach creationism in public schools") based entirely on bluff and not on understanding the dynamics of the ID movement. Jenkins is a sports columnist, but this column is fundamentally political. On a quick glimpse, I can't find any connections between author Sally Jenkins and the far right. She defended Soros's attempt to buy the Nationals baseball team, and even remembered some history (about Fred Malek) that a lot of Republicans would like to forget? She certainly doesn't seem to be on the GOP team. But she also seems to be about the last person to be writing about "Intelligent Design." So, who put this article on The Post?
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