Friday, February 11, 2005

It must be "biology month" at the NY Times

I guess "Black History Month" wasn't keeping them busy enough ;-)

1. Last week they had an op-ed piece by a supporter of the "Intelligent Design" school of thought [I use the term "thought" advisedly -- "propaganda" might be a more accurate term]. Supporters of this theory hold that living things were "designed" [by who/what, they cannily refuse to say] and couldn't have evolved, and that hence evolution shouldn't be taught in schools, or, at most presented as "just a theory", as if there were no actual facts and experiments backing it up. There are a couple of rebuttals to this particular piece of nonsense, here and here, in addition to a website dedicated solely to critiquing ID.

*Update: Bruce Alberts, one of the scientists who Behe misquotes in his article, fires back.

2. They report on an attempt to do "open source" Biotech by a couple of Australian researchers who have come up with a system for genetically modifying plants without infringing on any of the patents held by companies like Monsanto.

3. Today, there's an op-ed piece
talking about the perils and promises of synthetic biology in this op-ed piece.

At least the last two pieces feature actual science, not religion dressed up as pseudo-science, like the first one. How and why the NY Times actually lowered itself to printing that kind of babble is beyond me. I guess occasionally you have to let the voice of the wingnuts be heard, just to keep the conversation lively ...

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