Say What? The Dallas Morning News

Last week, the Dallas Morning News wrote a report on the continuing efforts of the Institute of Creation Research (ICR) to demonstrate the scientific accuracy of the Bible, as the ICR understands it. But surprisingly, it wasn’t the description of ICR’s work to push a completely unscientific and religiously motivated agenda that got my hackles up, it was the reporter’s description of evolution.

It went like this:

Pianopianissimo via Wikimedia Commons

Most scientists believe Darwin got it right: Single-celled creatures evolved into complex ones, a process of natural selection and genetic adaptation that over eons turned a primordial swamp into shape-shifting cells, into ape-like primates, into people.

While trying to draw a contrast between the (totally bogus and nonscientific) work of ICR and the (totally evidence-based and scientific) work of Charles Darwin, this writer used several questionable turns of phrase. Heck, it may have set a record for solecisms about evolution contained in the space of a single sentence. Had I been the editor of this piece, my red pen would have run out of ink. 

Do you see what I see? How would you improve the description of evolution?


Have you seen an example of good and bad science communication lately? Send them my way! The best ones will be featured here.

Oh! And before I go, a quick plea to commenters. We want an open community on this blog. We take no joy in deleting posts. So please, keep it civil. I want school kids and grandmothers to be able to read our comments—and to add comments themselves. Make them feel welcome.

h/t to Glenn Branch