MSNBC's Natalie Morales framed a judge's decision regarding the teaching of intelligent design in a Pennsylvania school district as "a major clash between faith and evolution," despite the judge's explicit statement that such an assumption "is utterly false."
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On the December 21 broadcast of NBC's Today, MSNBC anchor and correspondent Natalie Morales framed a federal judge's December 20 ruling striking down a policy instituted by the Dover Area School District in Pennsylvania to teach intelligent design (ID) -- which maintains that life on earth is far too complex to have arisen solely as a function of random genetic mutation and was instead designed by a supernatural "intelligence" -- alongside evolutionary theory as "a major clash between faith and evolution."
Morales's characterization was directly refuted by the judge in the case, John E. Jones III, who declared "utterly false" a "bedrock assumption" by the proponents of ID of a clash between faith and evolutionary theory. From Jones's ruling:
Both Defendants and many of the leading proponents of ID make a bedrock assumption which is utterly false. Their presupposition is that evolutionary theory is antithetical to a belief in the existence of a supreme being and to religion in general. Repeatedly in this trial, Plaintiffs' scientific experts testified that the theory of evolution represents good science, is overwhelmingly accepted by the scientific community, and that it in no way conflicts with, nor does it deny, the existence of a divine creator.
Morales was substituting for regular Today news anchor Ann Curry.
From the December 21 broadcast of NBC's Today:
MORALES: In a major clash between faith and evolution, a federal judge in Pennsylvania ruled against intelligent design Tuesday, saying it should not be taught in the classroom. Details now from NBC's chief science correspondent Robert Bazell.