Express science reporter: “proof dinosaurs lived with HUMANS?”

“Is this proof dinosaurs lived with HUMANS? Creationist claims REAL truth COVERED UP”

The Express, an ostensibly serious right wing UK newspaper, reports under “SCIENCE”.

dinosaur

Express caption” “Did dinosaurs co-exist with humans?”

The evidence? A display at Ken Ham’s Creation Museum. Ham is quoted as saying that the standard scientific evidence is a coverup, as his own dinosaur fossils show, for some unstated but presumably non-standard reason:

“Ken Ham, founder of Creation Museum in Kentucky, United States, has put the supposed evidence on display at his centre. Standard scientific evidence shows dinosaurs died out 66 million years ago … and the anatomically modern man did not emerge until around 200,000 years ago. But Mr Ham believes this is a cover-up … the dinosaur fossils were found in Colorado about a decade ago and seem to represent a tyrannosaurus rex [sic].”

jurassic park

Express caption: Scenes might have been similar to Jurassic Park

(Fuller quotations supplied by the Sensuous Curmudgeon, here)

Ham complains that evolutionists “use dinosaurs … to promote their worldview”. How dare they! But do not accuse the Express of bias. It does refer to what it calls “the  standard scientific evidence”, and they do quote two sentences from Bill Nye, before showing the image on the right:

And compared with the image below, the paper’s front page in the runup to the Brexit referendum, the dinosaur story is factually balanced reporting reporting; fake news is not the invention of the Trump campaign.

@hendopolis: SUNDAY EXPRESS: 12m Turks say they’ll come to UK #tomorrowspaperstoday #bbcpapers https://t.co/ArvI3hlgc2

The Express group is wholly-owned by Richard Desmond, a UK billionaire and former publisher of such informative periodicals as Penthouse and Asian Babes. circulation is close to 400,000, in addition to online readership. In 2002, Desmond made a £100,000 donation to Blair’s Labour Party, but in 2004 switched allegiance to the Conservatives.

The lead story of this post would seem to be based on the February 4 2014 debate between Ken Ham and Bill Nye, which did so much to restore the former’s finances. Why it should have resurfaced now in the Express, I have no idea. But it does concern me. Desmond does not make a habit of backing longterm losers.

About Paul Braterman

Science writer, former chemistry professor; committee member British Centre for Science Education; board member and science adviser Scottish Secular Society; former member editorial board, Origins of Life, and associate, NASA Astrobiology Insitute; first popsci book, From Stars to Stalagmites 2012

Posted on April 15, 2017, in Creationism, Evolution, Fossil record, Politics, Science and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. I’ve been digging into bad science reporting recently. The Express is pretty shocking at it, perhaps even more so than the Mail – reading the online version, Ken Ham’s evidence (“proof” according to the headline) is given a mere single-sentence paragraph. It’s mostly just presenting it all as a spat between Ham and Nye. The article spends longer explaining who Ham even is than on the headline grabbing proof. So it’s hardly a surprise that various Public Attitudes to Science surveys have consistently identified a mistrust in science reporting.

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    • Indeed. And where, for the non-specialist, is the boundary between mistrust of science reporting,, and mistrust of science?

      Liked by 1 person

      • I have this idea in my head that that’s the intended outcome. If you can trick your audience into thinking that scientists are literally changing their minds all the time and are one big amorphous confused mess (I mean, we are, just not in *that* way) then you can sell global warming denial and vaccine controversies far more easily. I think public perception is being subtly warped by this, and it might be intentional.

        Of course, that’s conjecture. If anyone has data to back it up, I’d be very interested to see it.

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      • The enemies of reason do indeed present any change in the science, even when the change is confirmation of an established result (you will remember my post on Mike Spence and Sahelanthropus), to push the argument that since it is mutable, the science must be uncertain. James Delingpole, formerly Daily Mail and now Breitbart, does this a lot with climate change. In general, however, I think that well-meaning boosterist University etc press releases don’t help, by exaggerating the novelty of incremental progress, and that science-illiterate reporters are being incompetent rather than Machiavellian

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  2. So they finally found a saddle that fits a T-Rex?

    Liked by 1 person

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