Evolution on Television. Help!

| 19 Comments

I am gathering up transcripts of television segments that deal with evolution, and I need some help. I watch a truly ludicrous amount of television, and follow the cable news chat shows pretty closely, but I'm sure there are many segments out there that I have missed. I'd appreciate it greatly if people could provide links to television segments they might have seen in the last few months.

I already have the following in my file:


  1. Nightline, January 19, 2005. Does anyone know if there was a panel discussion to go along with this news report? I didn't notice any obvious way of obtaining transcripts over at the Nightline web site.


  2. Scarborough Country, January 14, 2005.


  3. Scarborough Country, December 15, 2004.


  4. CNN Segment on Dover Controversy, January 19, 2005


  5. The O'Reilly Factor, January 18, 2005.

Have any of the morning shows done evolution segments? How about Hardball? Or the now defunct Crossfire? Help!

19 Comments

Jason, o f the few that I’ve seen (or heard on radio), I’ve never made note of the channel, network, or date & time. For the future, though I’ll make a note to myself to note all and email you or post it as a comment to this thread.

Here’s a Crossfire transcript from May 29, 2002 (look at second half of the program).

http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRI[…]9/cf.00.html

Be warned, the quality of the arguments presented there is astoundingly poor nad may cause permanent brain injury.

Answers in Genesis has a transcript of the Nightline session that can be searched for on their web site (subject to the same cautions provided by Dave S. above.)

Richard-

I’m afraid I was unable to find the Nightline transcript you mentioned. Happily, AiG did lead me to the transcript of a segment from the CNN show Paula Zahn Now, from last November. Do you think you could provide the link? Thanks!

Bill Moyers interviews Richard Dawkins on PBS

http://www.pbs.org/now/transcript/t[…]49_full.html

MOYERS: Is evolution a theory, not a fact?

DAWKINS: Evolution has been observed. It’s just that it hasn’t been observed while it’s happening.

Here’s an old transcript from the Newshour (PBS) from April 21, 1998:

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/educ[…]on_4-21.html

DAWKINS: Evolution has been observed. It’s just that it hasn’t been observed while it’s happening

If I can squeeze myself into the creationist mind, I might characterize Dawkins’ quote as “Clinton-esque.”

A better way to respond to Dawkins question is to state that the statement that evolution is a fact is at least as accurate as the statement that erosion is a fact.

We understand in great detail and can observe the principles that cause small changes in living and in non-living matter. But we do not know with certainty every event that occurred during the history of the planet which led to formation of the Grand Canyon or the present biome. But that lack of complete knowledge – which science can never fill as long as humans are capable of asking scientific questions – does not affect the irrefutable conclusion that life, like geological formations, evolves over time.

Google is beta-testing a new video search feature that uses show transcripts. A quick search on “evolution” looks promising: http://video.google.com/videosearch?q=evolution

Be warned, the quality of the arguments presented there is astoundingly poor nad may cause permanent brain injury.

That’s OK. We’re all used to Panda’s Thumb by now, but seriously though let’s see..

But next in the “Crossfire” we’ll have proof that the flat earth (UNITELLIGIBLE) some support it, at least on the right.

Poor argument #1. The Earth is a sphere, therefore evolution is a fact.

“To claim equal time for creation science in biology classes is about as sensible as to claim equal time for the flat earth theory in astronomy classes or as someone has pointed out, you might as well claim equal time in sex education classes for the stork theory.”

Poor argument #2: Babies don’t come by storks and the Earth is a sphere, therefore evolution is true.

that the DNA of chimpanzees is 98 percent like our own, suggesting that we have a common ancestor

Poor argument #3: similarity proves evolution.

You know that every time that there is some kind of information about how we got here, it’s always documenting more support for the theory of evolution. None of it is running counter to the doctrine of evolution.

Poor argument #4: No, We just always see the word ‘evolution’ used over and over again ad nauseum. Does simply using a word a lot provide support for the word?

What’s inappropriate is to try to act as if intelligent design, so-called creation science, is anything but religion with the veneer of science.

Poor argument #5: Living organisms can’t be designed because that would be unscientific.

Jeff,

I’m not exactly sure what you think your examples represent, but none of them come even close to your assessments of them. I don’t see how you could have constructed your various conditionals or conclusions from your excerpts.

For example, how do you derive:

“the Earth is a sphere, therefore evolution is a fact”

from:

“But next in the “Crossfire” we’ll have proof that the flat earth (UNITELLIGIBLE) some support it, at least on the right.”

I’m guessing you’re attempting to make some sort of reductio out of these excerpts, or not - it’s difficult to tell. A friendly suggestion: Reread (an assumption) your introductory logic text and give it another try.

Buridan

Jeff, it’s more like this -

CONNOR: Well, I think my position is that all theories of origins ought to have equal access to the marketplace of ideas.

All origins theories? If so, I want to start with the Lakota creation story and go from there. Clearly he can’t just be refering to scientific theories, cause there’s only one of those. And he can’t be referring to ID, since ID is not a theory of origins (assuming it were a ‘theory’ at all).

It was Clarence Darrow (ph) in the Scopes’ trial who said it is bigotry to teach only one theory of origins in the public school.

A classic creationist non-existant quote, and recognized as such even by some creationists. Rob Zuber does a good job ferreting out the source (or lack therof).

BEGALA: Which one you subscribe to Mr. Connor?

CONNOR: Well what…

BEGALA: Which do you believe?

CONNOR: What I believe… BEGALA: I believe in evolution. Which do you believe?

CONNOR: … is that – is that evolutionary theory is supported by very weak scientific foundation…

I just like the way he avoided answering the question rather than reveal his purely religious intent, which he knows is a non-starter. Obviously he read the creationist playbook on this. Above all else, hide your religious intent from the mainstreamers.

CONNOR: Is it really so far-fetched when one sees a watch lying on the sidewalk to infer from that that there must have been a watchmaker because this is a precision instrument, orderly, systematic and the like? All people who believe in intelligent design say is the order of the universe implies that there was a designer behind it.

Let’s play “Name the Logical Fallacy!”

Let me use this logic. “Is it really so far-fetched when one sees a watch lying on the sidewalk to infer from that that there must have been a human watchmaker because this is a precision instrument, orderly, systematic and the like? All people who believe in intelligent design say is the order of the universe implies that there was a human designer behind it.”

What’s logically wrong with my statement that’s not wrong with the original?

CONNOR: … to evaluate for themselves whether or not it’s supported by sound science. I would suggest to you that the absence of transitional fossils from the fossil record in any number of gaps in the evolutionary history…

Look out! It’s the “no transitional fossils” argument which is about as false as false gets. The “gaps” argument is even better, as every new discovery simply makes more gaps.

… require more faith to believe in Darwin’s view than to believe that a watchmaker made a watch…

Who doesn’t believe that watchmakers make watches? If only the universe were a watch he’d have us.

And to show it’s not just Conner who can uncork those creationist doozies.

CARLSON: OK Barry Lynn, if you ask any responsible scientist where did people come from, he’ll give you a pretty straightforward answer. We don’t know. So why not tell school children that, the truth that Darwin’s theory of evolution is just that. It’s a theory.

I suspect Tucker Carlson has never actually asked a responsible scientist that question. People come from Africa, Tucker, and they come from the same common ancestor as do apes.

He ends with the old ‘it’s just a theory, not a fact’ routine. Does it get any cheesier than that?

I think Barry Lynn could have done much better than he did overall in answering these limp statements. Perhaps he was paralyzed by the sheer stupidity.

I think it’s time to call a lie a lie. We are too gentle in these encounters.

Another thought on these talk show events. Shows like Crossfire and all of Fox’s “news” programs are extremely poor venues to present reasoned, scientific positions. I’ve always wonder why anyone would agree to appear. They’re designed for purely entertainment and the more ridiculous they come off, the more attention they get. Unless you’re Jon Stewart, it’s almost a sure bet you’ll be misrepresented at best. And, as Stewart pointed out in his infamous appearance on Crossfire, they are not real journalists, they don’t care about real debate, and they add to the already prevalent anti-intellectualism that this country wears so proudly. These venues were “designed” for crackpots like ID et al. Why do we continue to fall into these traps?

was i the only one to (mistakinly?) get jeff’s as pure sarcasm? he was bashing bad logic- any team can have befuddeled rah-rahs but let the blonds (proceed) and turn left to id-ysfuntion disneyland

His or the Crossfire participants?

For example, how do you derive: “the Earth is a sphere, therefore evolution is a fact” from: “But next in the “Crossfire” we’ll have proof that the flat earth (UNITELLIGIBLE) some support it, at least on the right.”

Easy. The implication is that the earth would have to be flat in order for living organisms to be designed. Therefore, evolution must be true because the earth is a sphere.

Or, how about: there’s just as much evidence for the earth being flat as their is for creationism. Let’s teach the controversy.

I think you’re right Steve.

Jason – Great idea!

I would have been happy to send you an AVI file of the Nightline show via TiVoToGo from my own TiVo recording, but sadly, it had already been deleted.

I think that it’s an excellent idea to collect these manuscripts.

I suggest two things:

(1) Have people like me collect TiVoToGo AVI’s for you.

(2) Take a page from Karl Rove’s playbook and make sure that we have a record of the TV shows where evolution is certainly invoked the most frequently: televangelists!

Does anyone have an idea what the best 1 or 2 shows to observe are in this context?

Dobson? That Coral Ridge guy?

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This page contains a single entry by Jason Rosenhouse published on February 4, 2005 11:36 AM.

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