Texas Newspaper Favors Creationists

The Texas Newspaper Star-Telegram has published a series of barely articulate rants regarding evolution (hat tip IIDB).


Write a Letter to the Star-Telegram. More details on letter writing rules here.

Comments

  1. #1 Tex
    December 27, 2007

    As a biology professor here in the Lone Star Republic, I am as upset about the possibility of the ICR gaining accreditation for training science teachers as anyone. However, it is not accurate to state that the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram, a respected newspaper and one-time home base for the great Molly Ivins, ‘favors creationists.’ All they have done is publish a couple of letters from a few of their idiot readers. While I strongly disagree with the content of the letters, I would disagree more strongly if the newspaper censored them.

  2. #2 Greg Laden
    December 27, 2007

    Hey Tex,

    I don’t believe for a second that the newspaper had only creationist letters in its mail bag, but that is all they published.

    When anyone .. you, me, a politician, does something amidst a lifetime otherwise perfected, the press does not refrain from taking note. The Star-Telegram did what it did.

    Now, if the next day’s paper has a bunch of evolutionist letters, and I find out about it (and I will, I have my sources) I’ll praise them for restoring balance.

    They have an old saying down in texas …

  3. #3 Phil
    December 27, 2007

    Don’t mess with Texas…because Texas is already a mess?

  4. #4 Tegumai Bopsulai, FCD
    December 28, 2007

    Or maybe it was in Tennessee…

  5. #5 mark
    December 28, 2007

    The York, PA, papers have often carried anti-evolution letters to the editors, but it seems that longer opinion pieces are more often anti-evolution. There was one just the other day by a former Bush speechwriter that started off “I don’t have any expertise in this subject, but…” followed by some of the usual Creationist assertions.

    I don’t respond to the letters-to-the-editors, but I do occasionally respond to the opinion pieces. There are far too many of the former, but the latter are not hampered by a 300-word limitation.

  6. #6 rpenner
    December 28, 2007

    Some related URLs

    http://www.star-telegram.com/245/story/353869.html
    “Don’t mess with science standards” Dec 17
    By ALAN I. LESHNER (CEO of AAAS and Executive Publisher of the Science)
    Special to the Star-Telegram

    http://www.star-telegram.com/244/story/366953.html
    Slightly more coherent anti-evolution letters from Dec 18
    They seem somewhat logical if based on an incomplete understanding of the topics they raise.

    http://www.star-telegram.com/244/story/370491.html
    Dec 20’s letter page with pro-evolution letters. It starts strong.

    http://www.star-telegram.com/244/story/372863.html
    A letter by Douglas Page printed on Dec 21 refers to anti-evolution “bovine letters” as part of a “gross deterioration of Texas[.]”

    http://www.star-telegram.com/448/story/376812.html
    Reprinted editorial from Dec. 23 The Statesman calling on governor to reign in rogue TEA officials from their anti-evolution agenda

    So I think that the Star-Telegram is not strongly biased one way or the other, but merely see opportunity to raise readership. They inflame debate by grouping letters with similar views.

    But I could be wrong.

  7. #7 Greg Laden
    December 28, 2007

    Isn’t it true that most newspaper editors are conservative fuddy-duddies?

  8. #8 JamesLS
    December 28, 2007

    What a tempest in a teapot!

    Of course Texas newspapers publish comments regarding creationism from readers whose scientific training and knowledge is highly suspect. These individuals comprise a significant percentage of the newspaper’s readership. Most newspapers believe they are ethically bound to publish the (non offensive) views of their readership. Yet, Texas newspapers also publish comments from respected scientists, philosophers, and knowledgeable laymen. By way of example, I refer readers to the Austin newspaper (Statesman.com), which has repeatedly lambasted the TX Board Of Education regarding the intelligent design in textbooks issue.

    Having lived all over our great nation, North and South, I have infrequently seen point-counterpoint in the reader comment section on the same day. The many scientifically inclined persons who happen to live in Texas have and will respond appropriately, though possibly not in a timeline which is acceptable to all (me included).

    Lastly, rude statements by blog commenters about where a person lives is not only crude and rude, it is more than a little ironic for it to come from persons proclaiming science as their standard of conduct.

  9. #9 Barn Owl
    December 28, 2007

    Isn’t it true that most newspaper editors are conservative fuddy-duddies?

    Yes, I certainly have that impression; the conservativism, plus the apparent determination, in a city that is predominantly Hispanic, to portray Hispanics as thieves, murderers, child abusers, and/or uneducated religious sheep, led me to cancel my subscription to the local newspaper years ago. I couldn’t care less about the salaries of Valero executives, or the high school football and professional sports scores, so why give my money to a newspaper that I’d be inclined to tear up in righteous indignation just about every other day anyway?

    I don’t understand the impulse to spend money willingly on things that you despise, whether it’s the local newspaper with conservative editors and moronic letter-writers, or cheap plastic Walmart crap to decorate a tree for a holiday that you profess to disdain or reject.

  10. #10 Tex
    December 28, 2007

    Newspaper editors are first and foremost capitalists. They are in the business of selling newspapers and will therefore print anything that sells, including inflamatory editorials.

    Having said that, I think it is important for all to read the pro-science editorial in today’s Houston Chronicle. Do they really believ this or are they just trying to stir up their potential readership? I don’t know, but here is the link:

    http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/editorial/5407699.html

    I do disagree with them that the problem here is religion. Although I am militant agnostic (“I don’t know, and neither do you”), the real problem with the ICR granting science degrees is not the fact that they are a religious institution. Indeed, many other religous institutions in Texas including Baylor, Notre Dame, Texas Christian University, and Southern Methodist University offre quite respectible science curricula. The problem with the ICR curriculum is the content. It is demonstrably wrong in nearly every aspect. Content matters in science courses. It is that simple.

  11. #11 Greg Laden
    December 28, 2007

    Tex,

    You are absolutely right. The truth is, creationism is wrong, but the fact of life is that public schools are often protected from it for reasons that do not rest squarely on its wrongness.

    I’ve put up a blog post pointing to this editorial.

  12. #12 Tex
    December 29, 2007

    Greg,

    Thanks for highlighting the editorial. I apologize to everyone for moving Notre Dame to Texas in my previous message.

Current ye@r *