STL Science Center

STL Science Center

04 February 2014

Creating and Reporting

I have been told in the past to be very careful in reading and discussing Creationist accounts of paleontology in the past by other academics. However, I think it is very important to be able to read such accounts and discuss and refute them in a logical and scientific manner rather than by means of sarcasm and inappropriate mocking. I say that only as a preemptive warning for the fact that Yutyrannus has garnered a lot of interest in communities other than the strictly scientific kind; like the letter to Nature introducing Yutyrannus. While we have some good "mostly science" books out there that already mention Yutyrannus in reference to Tyrannosaurus' relatives, there are plenty of bits of literature that are not as science friendly. The Christian Science Monitor is a little more scientific-inquiry-friendly (I made up a phrase and I do not apologize) than some other Christian websites and news sources and actually treated the discovery and a related article pondering the relatedness of PBS' Barney and Yutyrannus fairly neutrally (as we expect a news source should). Their description of their site and service speaks to their dedication as a news source first (it is owned by the The First Church of Christ, Scientist which has a beautiful headquarters in Boston, MA but we are not here to discuss architecture):
The Christian Science Monitor is an independent international news organization that delivers thoughtful, global coverage. We want to inspire people to think about what they've read long after they've left the page. To share what they've learned with others. And to do something that makes a difference. (Emphasis taken from the original source)
 This is in strict opposition to the self blurb of the Institute for Creation Research, the largest condemner, to my knowledge, of Yutyrannus and the idea of dinosaur to bird evolution:
For over four decades, the Institute for Creation Research has equipped believers with evidence of the Bible's accuracy and authority through scientific research, educational programs, and media presentations, all conducted within a thoroughly biblical framework.
Acknowledging your bias is not in itself a condemnation of reliability. Misinterpretation of facts and citing other articles written within the same agency with the same bias and misinterpretation of papers does not help your cause though. Hardly any scientist in the world would accept the Bible as an adequate reference for a scientific article also; granted this article is only quoting the Bible, not using it as evidence per se. I recommend reading it and making one's own judgments rather than my interpretation being pushed out on everyone; however, if reading that sort of thing makes one angry or agitated, it should probably be skipped and only the scientific papers should be read.

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