Monday, February 06, 2006

Psst! Wanna hear an Aggie joke?

George Deutsch is a 2003 journalism graduate from Texas A&M. During my time there, I saw a numer of his ilk pass through the Battalion newsroom, wholly contemptuous of such trivialities as libel or journalistic ethics (yeah, I'm looking at you, Ty Clevenger), intent only on championing right-wing, conservative interests--truth be damned. In all honesty, these folks were, by and large, business and political science majors merely slumming with us journalistic dregs of society because it'd look good on their resume. They certainly never actually considered earning a journalism degree, and even if they did debase themselves so, they never found their way into anything resembling a position of power. Until now, that is:
In October 2005, Mr. Deutsch sent an e-mail message to Flint Wild, a NASA contractor working on a set of Web presentations about Einstein for middle-school students. The message said the word "theory" needed to be added after every mention of the Big Bang.

The Big Bang is "not proven fact; it is opinion," Mr. Deutsch wrote, adding, "It is not NASA's place, nor should it be to make a declaration such as this about the existence of the universe that discounts intelligent design by a creator."

It continued: "This is more than a science issue, it is a religious issue. And I would hate to think that young people would only be getting one-half of this debate from NASA. That would mean we had failed to properly educate the very people who rely on us for factual information the most."

The whole sad, sorry affair is laid out over at Bad Astronomy. With all the fundamentalist assaults on evolution and biology in recent years, my only surprise is that attacks on physics, astronomy and cosmology took as long to come to light as they did. Personally, I'd like for A&M to revoke Deutsch's degree, but as I understand it, he earned it through a quota program: Somebody has to validate all those Aggie jokes.

Speaking as a A&M journalism graduate, if Deutsch is the type of graduate they were turning out, then the disbanding of the journalism program wasn't merely justified--it was long overdue.

Now Playing: R.E.M. Document

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