It’s Just Fodder for the Other Side… November 26, 2010

It’s Just Fodder for the Other Side…

So true. A pastor I know once used that Darwin cover to show people that scientists were “questioning evolution.”

(via Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal)

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  • Andi

    Thank you for posting this! This annoys me to no end. I wanted to burn my National Geographic when they did this.

  • JD

    Provocative cover leads are very irritating, I see it as a journalistic equivalent of trolling. All the cover needs to do is to get people to pick up the issue, but resorting to a bludgeon is poor form. I wonder if this kind of tactic accounts for some of shrinking magazine circulation.

  • Disconverted

    If a pastor said used the Darwin one in a service like that, I would stand up, yell at him about it and probably have to be dragged out of the church..

  • Claudia

    Is it wrong that I wanted to shout “amen!”?

    Pet peeve: The Cure for Cancer.

    This phrase should be banned and offenders should be fined. Cancer isn’t A disease, it’s a whole bunch of diseases. “The Cure for Cancer” makes about as much sense as “The Cure for Infection”. At the very least, people should say cures for cancer.

  • sven

    If the title ends with a question mark, the magazines KNOW it isn’t true. Just like in the tabloids..

  • Ben

    Otherwise known as Betteridge’s Law of Headlines: if a headline is written as a question, the answer is (almost certainly) “no”.

  • MH

    I used to subscribe to Sky and Telescope, but a few years back they rebooted the magazine. Afterwards they did that way too much, so I let the subscription lapse.

  • Yes, that is annoying and its always the crackpots who seem to latch onto the perception of dissent in science as if that makes the science wrong. Disagreement is a good thing in science. Really a good thing.

  • I respectfully disagree. If the question should be answered with a “no”, esp. on the cover of a popular magazine, there’s a safe bet that many readers NEED TO READ it to find out WHY the answer is “no”. That is, if the article is written accurately.

  • When I see headlines like that, I can’t take anything inside seriously.

  • Bob

    Testable. Repeatable. Independently verifiable.

    So if you didn’t test it multiple times, and no one else can reproduce your results, it’s not a valid headline.

  • JD

    Raytheist, I like think there are better ways to get people to read the article.

  • For some reason, it seems so complicated to explain to people that scientists always question Darwin (and everything else), but not at the basic level that creationists want them to (and without any basis other than superstitious devotion to ancient religious writings). And then there’s the word “theory”, which has been explained ad nauseam to the benighted, but they prefer to lurk in intellectual darkness.

  • Richard Wade

    Thank you, Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal!

    I first noticed this infuriating manipulation in 1968 when Erich Von Daniken published Chariots of the Gods? and his other idiotic “ancient astronauts” books. Even the title is a yes/no question, and it was filled with RHETORICAL questions like “Could it be that ancient astronauts visited Earth long ago and blah blah blah…?” The TV versions of his nonsense were endless versions of the same question.

    I kept wanting to scream, “COULD IT BE THAT YOU HAVE ANY EVIDENCE?!”

    “Just asking the question” is a transparent way of sneaking in any unfounded claim with which you want to infest a discussion.

    Could it be that atheists want to destroy America?”

    Does Hemant secretly play with Aquaman and Veterinarian Barbie figures?

    Are aliens manipulating the outcome of Dancing with the Stars because they think we’re talking about stars in space?

    Is it true that there are 2,500 clones of Obama hiding in Brooklyn posing as short order cooks?

    What if monkeys flew out of your butt?

  • JimG

    I’m not so opposed. Like Raytheist, I think it can be useful in getting people to pick it up. And not just any people, or not already-rational and science-based thinkers. This is stuff we already know, so the question falls flat for us. I suspect the target audience is people expecting a “Yes!” There’s probably quite a few people who grabbed that NatGeo in gleeful hope that “even them liberal atheist scientists” were now retreating. Most would throw it down in disgust after searching a few pages for confirmation, but they might have absorbed some information in the process. And a few, just a few, might have kept reading.

  • Isabel

    I have to agree with Raytheist and JimG. The average IQ is still 100. The multitudes still need to be taken by the hand and shown the video where it’s mom that removed the fallen tooth from under the pillow and replaced it with a lollipop, not the tooth fairy.

    Those fortunate to be better endowed don’t need to see that video and it’s not intended for them.

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