Monday, August 07, 2006

Coulter's Godless has fake footnotes, too

Since Crown Publishing Group responded to the charges of plagiarism against Ann Coulter's latest book, Godless, in part by appealing to the support provided by its 35 pages of footnotes, Media Matters decided to analyze the footnotes. It turns out they provide further evidence of her irresponsibility and disregard for accuracy (as if the existing evidence isn't enough). One example:
On Page 248, Coulter wrote:

In an article in the New York Times on intelligent design, the design proponents quoted in the article keep rattling off serious, scientific arguments -- from [Michael J.] Behe's examples in molecular biology to [William] Dembski's mathematical formulas and statistical models. The Times reporter, who was clearly not trying to make the evolutionists sound retarded, was forced to keep describing the evolutionists' entire retort to these arguments as: Others disagree.2

That's it. No explanation, no specifics, just "others disagree." The high priests of evolution have not only forgotten how to do science, they've lost the ability to formulate a coherent counterargument.

The New York Times article Coulter cited -- "In Explaining Life's Complexity, Darwinists and Doubters Clash" -- appeared on August 22, 2005, as Part 2 of a three-part series on the debate over the teaching of evolution. Coulter's claim that the article's author, reporter Kenneth Chang, offered "[n]o explanations" and "no specifics" from the proponents of evolution is flat-out false. Chang offered detailed explanations of how evolutionary mechanisms gave rise to blood-clotting systems, modern whales, and speciation among birds on the Galapagos Islands ("Darwin's finches"). Chang also noted: "Darwin's theory ... has over the last century yielded so many solid findings that no mainstream biologist today doubts its basic tenets, though they may argue about particulars." Finally, and most egregiously, the phrase "others disagree" appears nowhere in the article.

Hat tip to Ed Brayton at Dispatches from the Culture Wars.

1 comment:

Kevin Carson said...

Uh, isn't Ann Coulter a rather unlikely advocate for traditionalism in religion? Unless there's a Bob Guccione, Jr. chapter of Opus Dei I haven't heard of.