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Fairness and Creationism

Eugenie C. Scott, Ph.D.
Eugenie C. Scott

June 27, 2011
World Conference of Science Writers
Exdan Hotel and Suites
Doha, Qatar

In the United States, one of the pillars of creationism is to promote equal time for creationism (or denigration of evolution) in the name of “fairness” to all views, or freedom of speech. But the US also has constitutional provisions against the advocacy of religion in public institutions such as state-supported schools, so teaching creationism – an inherently religious concept – is unlawful. Journalists consciously or unconsciously reflect their nation’s culture, and American journalistic traditions also include the concept of balance, in which both or various sides of an issue are presented as part of the story. In the coverage of the creationism and evolution controversy, too frequently journalists have fallen into the fairness and balance frames, and presented evolution as a more tentative scientific theory than warranted. Science journalists have been less prone to the practice, but are not immune.

A presentation in the session
Evolution in the Evolving World of Journalism

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