NY Times’ “Unlikely Ally”: Intelligent Design

Original Article

The New York Times absolutely hates intelligent design. If they don’t have a written policy about the need to trash the idea, they might as well have. As a result, they feel obliged to take a swipe at it every chance they get. One result is that they give prominence to developments that others in the Darwinian camp would like to kill with media silence. This article about Thomas Nagel’s Mind and Cosmos does a fine job of describing the controversy that his book has evoked–and adds to the controversy by bringing it to a bigger audience.

The thought behind the article is to punish someone like Nagel with guilt by association. His book is attacked precisely because it has been praised by “creationists” (the Times’ invidious way of describing ID proponents at Discovery Institute), therefore he is to be sent to Coventry. Trouble is, Nagel apparently is distinguished enough in his field not to care. You can’t intimidate him the way you can some young biologist at a cow college.

In any case, Nagel doesn’t support ID, but he thinks the ID scientists have been misrepresented. Well, misrepresented by whom if not the New York Times?

Meanwhile, the article in the Times does not really try to answer Nagel, let alone Steve Meyer, so much as to pile up negative testimonials from opponents–people who haven’t read Nagel or Meyer, of course. This resort to authority as a way to crush dissent is getting less and less efficacious. More readers will go to the trouble now to buy Nagel’s book and see for themselves his case that Darwinism is a lost cause. Some may buy Steve Meyer’s Signature in the Cell, and if they do, they will be introduced to the transformational debate of our time.

Bruce Chapman

Cofounder and Chairman of the Board of Discovery Institute
Bruce Chapman has had a long career in American politics and public policy at the city, state, national, and international levels. Elected to the Seattle City Council and as Washington State's Secretary of State, he also served in several leadership posts in the Reagan administration, including ambassador. In 1991, he founded the public policy think tank Discovery Institute, where he currently serves as Chairman of the Board and director of the Chapman Center on Citizen Leadership.