Science reporter Dennis Overbye went a little overboard while describing the legacy of the late astronomer and science popularizer Carl Sagan. Critic Michael Medved dug the bias out of Tuesday's science section.
"In [Sagan's] absence, the public discourse on his favorite issues - the fate of the planet, the beauty and mystery of the cosmos - has not fared well. The teaching of evolution in public schools has become a bitter bone of contention; NASA tried to abandon the Hubble Space Telescope and censor talk of climate change; and of course, religious fanatics crashed jetliners into the World Trade Center, leading to a war in the Middle East that has awakened memories in some corners of the Crusades."
"It was [Sagan's widow, Ann] Druyan's impatience with religious fundamentalism that led her to resurrect Dr. Sagan's lectures....In the wake of Sept. 11 and attacks on the teaching of evolution in this country, she said, a tacit truce between science and religion that has existed since the time of Galileo started breaking down."
As Medved said, "By implication, The Times compares any attempt (by Christians) to question evolution in the public schools with the suicidal mass murder of thousands (by Muslims). Talk about mixing apples and hand-grenades."