Critic Says NPR's Pro-Evolution Bias Censors Opposition
June 3, 2004
(AgapePress) - National Public Radio is being accused of censoring a guest who is critical of evolution. On its Science Friday program, NPR was slated to air a "pro and con" discussion about the controversy over the Darwinist theory -- but somehow the "con" got canceled.
The Science Friday program on May 21 was supposed to feature a pro-evolution historian, a pro-evolution science teacher, and Roger DeHart, a biology teacher who has taught scientific criticisms of Darwinism. However, just a few hours before the show, NPR cancelled DeHart, effectively turning the planned debate format into a monologue.
Dr. John West is with Discovery Institute, a Seattle-based science and culture think tank. He says NPR has a history of presenting only one side of this topic.
"NPR, on the evolution issue, is even more biased -- if that's possible -- than on several other issues," West says. "They've just had repeated stories that are one-sided or inaccurate, and they refuse to correct the record or even investigate the inaccuracies."
The Institute spokesman claims the taxpayer-funded radio network is involved in "a campaign of misinformation" to discredit legitimate scientific criticism of Darwinism. He says as far as the evolution issue is concerned, liberals have an "inherit the wind" mindset, which insists that only "unthinking, right-wing bigots" could criticize the theory of evolution.
"That is the stereotype in their head," West says, "that [those who disagree with evolution] could only oppose it based on religion -- there can't be any science involved. And that's the stereotype that they have. That's how they shape the stories."
Discovery Institute has submitted complaints to both NPR and the Congressional Committee that oversees it, asking for corrections to five recent NPR reports on evolution that contain inaccuracies. One such report wrongly claimed Ohio's "Critical Analysis of Evolution" lesson plan deals with Intelligent Design.
NPR ombudsman Jeffrey Dvorkin says he has "no knowledge" of these complaints, and therefore cannot comment on the allegations.
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