Friday, October 31, 2008

Favorite magazine stoops to intelligent design

In my mailbox this morning, I received a nasty trick, stuck away in the cobwebs of the back pages of the latest issue of Scientific American.

I'm referring to an unexpected article about a Dominican priest who happens to deplore the conflict between Darwinism and Christian faith. It's not a habit of mine to behave like an offended reader and send letters to the press... except, maybe, in the case of a pretentious Fascist female journalist who works for The Australian, who regularly drives me up the wall. [The Aussie newspaper usually succeeds in "mislaying" my emails from France, so they don't get published.] But I was so shocked by the presence of religious rubbish in my favorite US science magazine that I immediately sent off a letter to the editors:

There is no place in your excellent time-honored magazine for an article such as "The Christian Man's Evolution" by Sally Lehrman. I would imagine that readers come to your magazine today for a broad and in-depth perspective of scientific achievements and goals, not for journalistic stuff about a fine fellow such as Francisco Ayala, whose religious beliefs cannot possibly concern us. I am afraid that the presence of this article is a promise of worse to come, next year, when the scientific world will be celebrating the 150th anniversary of the publication of Darwin's masterpiece. If Scientific American intends to give fair, if not equal, coverage to Darwinian evolution, creationism and so-called intelligent design, then I am dismayed to realize that I have subscribed to the wrong reading. Between science and all the rest, there is no such thing as fair coverage.

I see this article (which even evokes the beliefs of Sarah Palin) as a breach in the great traditions of Scientific American, and I shall no doubt refrain from renewing my subscription to the magazine.

Incidentally, I've thought it well to add a final seven-word explanation to my simplistic blog profile, which now reads as follows:

After working in various computing jobs, I retired to an old farm property on the edge of the French Alps, where I spend my time writing, playing with the Internet and wandering around on the mountain slopes with my dog Sophia, admiring the beauties of Creation... in the scientific sense of this concept.

It scares shit out of me, in a Halloween spirit, to imagine that any of my friends, acquaintances and anonymous readers of Antipodes might imagine for an instant that my vision of Creation (with a capital C) could be anything other than Darwinian, Dawkinsian, poetic and artistically fuzzy, but purely scientific...

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