UPDATED: New York Times Credits Discovery Institute with Transforming the Debate over Evolution

The New York Times has run two major front page stories on Discovery Institute and intelligent design.  

The Sunday edition (Aug. 21) features a major profile of Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture (CSC) that credits the Institute with transforming the public debate over evolution in America. By advocating “a ‘teach-the-controversy’ approach to evolution,” reports the Times, “the institute has… transformed the debate into an issue of academic freedom rather than a confrontation between biology and religion.”

The Monday edition has a story focusing on the science of intelligent design and highlighting the debate between scientists about whether scientific evidence points to purely material causes for the diversity of life or whether the evidence is the hallmark of an intelligent agency.

“The proponents of intelligent design, … say that the complexity and diversity of life go beyond what evolution can explain.”

“Biological marvels like the optical precision of an eye, the little spinning motors that propel bacteria and the cascade of proteins that cause blood to clot,” are essentially the hallmarks of an intelligent agent, according to intelligent design proponents.  

“Such all-or-none systems, Dr. Behe and other design proponents say, could not have arisen through the incremental changes that evolution says allowed life to progress … ”

“We thank the Times for recognizing the importance of the evolution debate, but it’s too bad that the ‘paper of record’ didn’t report more about the substance of the debate,” said Discovery Institute president Bruce Chapman. “Unfortunately most of the Sunday article focuses on fundraising and the politics of the ‘culture wars.’ So here you have a story that politicizes important scientific research, and distracts from the real issue which is whether or not students should learn all about Darwin’s theory, including the evidence that supports it as well as that which challenges it. We think they should. Regardless we are making progress with the mainstream media.”

Discovery Institute

Discovery Institute promotes thoughtful analysis and effective action on local, regional, national and international issues. The Institute is home to an inter-disciplinary community of scholars and policy advocates dedicated to the reinvigoration of traditional Western principles and institutions and the worldview from which they issued.