And because I'm thoroughly tired of this sort of thing, I just wrote and e-emailed the following note to the editorial page of the Detroit Free Press. I made it clear that I intended to post the full exchange (if there is one) here on the blog. Stay tuned for any developments.
I'm writing to ask about your policy regarding occasional columnists and fact checking of their submissions. Specifically, I'm curious about the comment piece on intelligent design by Brian Fahling in the Oct 10 edition of the Free Press.
Ignoring the numerous howling idiocies in that piece, note carefully Fahling's closing sentence:
"Failure to provide such an explanatory note implicitly gives state approbation to evolution's creed that there is no God."
As I'm sure you're aware, evolution does not claim that there is no God. Evolution, as I'm **sure** you know, takes no position on the existence of God whatsoever, in the same way that, say, the study of number theory or orbital dynamics takes no position on that subject. And it's quite irrelevant what intelligent design's followers *think* evolution says -- their opinion is of no relevance since it is hopelessly incorrect.
Having established that, I'm curious as to the paper's policy of printing op-ed submissions that contain such stunning inaccuracies. It's not, as I hope you realize, just a matter of one person's opinion against another's.
Rather, this is a case of someone making an unambiguous claim that is blatantly, obviously incorrect and, more to the point, at least a little offensive.
Can someone explain why that sentence was allowed into print? And whether the paper has any clear standards about what is acceptable in an op-ed piece and what isn't? Thanks very much.
And now, we wait.