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Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Social changes that may impact the intelligent design community: Media

American scholar Victor Davis Hanson recently pointed out that the university as a standard setter of any kind is coming under well-deserved scrutiny, along with its instruments, such as peer review and tenure.

But he also mentions the obvious,
Americans no longer count on their news to be filtered and shaped by the Associated Press or the New York Times. Nor do millions have it read to them in the evening by CBS, ABC or NBC anchorpersons -- not with the Internet, cable news and talk radio. Matt Drudge's website, "The Drudge Report," reaches far more Americans than does CBS anchor star Katie Couric.
That’s true, but a broader way of looking at it is, today the news audience decides what is news. When I was young, there were only a few established news sources other than rumour. Now there are hundreds. If CBS anchor star Katie Couric isn’t today’s Huntley-and-Brinkley, it’s because her audience is limited to those who agree with her interpretation of news. Those who don’t can find the basic facts, but differently interpreted, elsewhere.

There was a time when, if you wondered whether the multiverse or the Big Bazooms theory of human evolution or “you’re nothing but a pack of neurons” view of the mind make any sense, you would not have had access to the scholarly literature that provides another look. Or only with considerable effort. So it just sunk in. Now, alternative viewpoints are easy to find.

Put simply, the mere fact that pop science rags are smitten with ultra-Darwinists, cosmology cranks, and mind-is-mud zealots no longer means you can’t find an informed alternative perspective on these issues.
There was never a better time for constructive takedowns of nonsense.

But Hanson warns,
... we also are seeing the waning of an old established order. And the resulting furor suggests that the old beneficiaries are not going quietly into that good night.
No indeed. True to form, they want the government to fund and protect them. Which amounts to saying that old media want the people who pointedly don’t watch , listen, or read them to pay for the right to ignore them.

Wordle: Old mediaWordle: New media

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