Judgement Day: Intelligent Design on Trial November 13, 2007

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Nova PBS has announced the special “Judgement Day: Intelligent Design on Trial” to be aired on November 13, 2007. Nova and Paul Allen’s “Vulcan productions” of PBS Evolution fame, bring us

One of the latest battles in the war over evolution took place in a tiny town in eastern Pennsylvania called Dover. In 2004, the local school board ordered science teachers to read a statement to their high school biology students. The statement suggested that there is an alternative to Darwin’s theory of evolution called intelligent design, the idea that life is too complex to have evolved naturally and therefore had to have been designed by an intelligent agent. The science teachers refused to comply with the order, and parents opposed to intelligent design filed a lawsuit in federal court accusing the school board of violating the separation of church and state. Suddenly, the small town of Dover was torn apart by controversy, pitting neighbor against neighbor. NOVA captures the emotional conflict in interviews with the townspeople, scientists, and lawyers who participated in the historic six-week trial, Kitzmiller, et. al. v. Dover School District, et. al., which was closely watched by the world’s media. With recreations based on court transcripts, NOVA presents the arguments by lawyers and expert witnesses in riveting detail and provides an eye-opening crash course on questions such as “What is evolution?” and “Does intelligent design qualify as science?” For years to come, the lessons from Dover will continue to have a profound impact on how science is viewed in our society and how to teach it in the classroom.

“Judgment Day: Intelligent Design on Trial” is produced by NOVA and Vulcan Productions, in association with The Big Table Film Company. © 2007 WGBH Educational Foundation and Vulcan Productions, Inc. Funding for NOVA is provided by David H. Koch, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and public television viewers.

NewsBlze: Nova Chronicles The Legal Battle to Settle The Status of a New Assault on Evolution in A Two-Hour Special

Judgment Day: Intelligent Design on Trial November 13, 2007 at 8pm ET/PT on PBS www.pbs.org/nova/id

NOVA captures the turmoil that tore apart the community of Dover, Pennsylvania in one of the latest battles over teaching evolution in public schools in Judgment Day: Intelligent Design on Trial. Co-produced with Paul G. Allen’s Vulcan Productions, Inc., the film will air as a two- hour special on Tuesday, November 13, 2007 at 8pm ET/PT on PBS (check local listings).

Featuring trial reenactments based on court transcripts and interviews with key participants, including expert scientists and Dover parents, teachers, and town officials, the program follows the celebrated federal case of Kitzmiller v. Dover School District.

In 2004, the Dover school board ordered science teachers to read a statement to high school biology students suggesting that there is an alternative to Darwin’s theory of evolution called intelligent design-the idea that life is too complex to have evolved naturally and therefore must have been designed by an intelligent agent.

The teachers refused to comply, and parents opposed to intelligent design filed a lawsuit in federal court accusing the school board of violating the constitutional separation of church and state.

“There was a blow-up like you couldn’t believe,” Bill Buckingham, head of the school board’s curriculum committee, tells NOVA. Buckingham helped formulate the intelligent design policy when he noticed that the biology textbook chosen by teachers for classroom use “was laced with Darwinism,” in his words.

NOVA presents the arguments by lawyers and expert witnesses in riveting detail and provides an eye-opening crash course on questions such as “What is evolution?” and “Is intelligent design a scientifically valid alternative?”

Kitzmiller was the first legal test of intelligent design as a scientific theory, with the plaintiffs arguing that it is a thinly veiled form of creationism, the view that a literal interpretation of the Bible accounts for all observed facts about nature.

During the trial, lawyers for the plaintiffs showed that evolution is one of the best-tested and most thoroughly confirmed theories in the history of science, and that its unresolved questions are normal research problems-the type that arise in any flourishing scientific field.

U.S. District Court Judge John E. Jones III ultimately decided for the plaintiffs, writing in his decision that intelligent design “cannot uncouple itself from its creationist, and thus religious, antecedents.” As part of his decision, Judge Jones ordered the Dover school board to pay legal fees and damages, which were eventually set at $1 million.

“Judgment Day captures on film a landmark court case with a powerful scientific message at its core,” said Paula S. Apsell, NOVA Senior Executive Producer. “Evolution is one of the most essential and least understood of all scientific theories, the foundation of biological science. We felt it was important for NOVA to do this program to heighten the public understanding of what constitutes science and what does not, and therefore, what is acceptable for inclusion in the science curriculum in our public schools.”

“Vulcan Productions has long been committed to the subject of evolution and its teaching,” remarked Vulcan Productions Executive Producer, Richard Hutton. “When we co-produced the Evolution series with the WGBH Science Unit in 2001, we set out to bring the richness of Darwin’s theory to life. The story of the Dover trial gives us another opportunity to reaffirm our commitment to helping audiences understand the nature of science through elegant and compelling storytelling.”

For years to come, the lessons from Dover will continue to have a profound impact on how science is viewed in our society and how it is taught in the classroom.

Founded by investor and philanthropist Paul G. Allen in 1997, Vulcan Productions devotes itself exclusively to producing independent films of unique vision and artistic quality. With feature film projects such as Hard Candy, Far From Heaven, The Safety of Objects, and documentaries such as Rx For Survival, The Blues, Evolution, Black Sky: The Race for Space, and Black Sky: Winning the X Prize, the company commits its talent and resources to creating films of substance and enduring significance. Through collaborative partnerships with established and emerging filmmakers, Vulcan Productions explores creative opportunities that result in engaging and inspirational storytelling.

Now in its 34th year of broadcasting, NOVA is produced for PBS by the WGBH Science Unit at WGBH Boston. The director of the WGBH Science Unit and senior executive producer of NOVA is Paula S. Apsell. Funding for NOVA is provided by David H. Koch, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and public television viewers.

NOVA is closed captioned for deaf and hard-of-hearing viewers and described for people who are blind or visually impaired by the Media Access Group at WGBH. The descriptive narration is available on the SAP channel or stereo TVs and VCRs. Judgment Day: Intelligent Design on Trial will be available on DVD wherever videos are sold. To order direct from WGBH Boston Video, visit shop.wgbh.org or call 800.949.8670.

34 Comments

It looks like they’ve met yet another of the Wedge Document’s Five Year Objectives, albeit a little late:

PBS show such as Nova treating design theory fairly

I don’t think they’re going to be too thrilled though.

My family unplugged our TV in 1997 and have not regretted it until now. Each of my children has a copy of the Origin of Species along side the Feynman Lectures on Physics. We will visit a neighbors house to watch and celebrate.

rog

Thanks for the “heads up” on this.

I can’t wait to hear the howls from the frauds at the DI.

Did they not ask for ‘teaching the controversy’ :-)

5 bonus points fo finding Nick’s picture on the PBS website for the show.

I thought ID had been totally defeated by Judge Jones?!.…

hmm, did anybody else check out the preliminaries for the show on epigenetics that’s airing on the 16th?

should be a must watch for anybody interested in evolution who doesn’t already know about epigenetic effects on genome expression.

it relates directly to things like the results of twin studies, for example.

In fact, the interactive even utilizes a twin study to prove the point (click on the “tale of two mice” link.

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/genes/index.html

mats…

you’re a complete moron, you know?

I thought ID had been totally defeated by Judge Jones

ID defeats itself by virtue of its inability and/or refusal to formulate a scientific hypothesis, do any actual research, or follow any of the usual processes of science in forwarding its dishonest ideas. ID is poorly- and dishonestly-repackaged creationism which consists solely of failed criticisms of MET, poorly-executed PR campaigns, and thinly-veiled religious apologetics.

You defeat your own advocacy of ID by your refusal to ever answer any of the questions posed to you, instead employing mindless repetition of the same tired creationist PRATTs, plus random mindless drive-by comments like yours here.

Mats, what’s the scientific definition of ID?

How does ID qualify as science?

(insert sound of crickets chirping here)

Ichthyic:

mats…

you’re a complete moron, you know?

No, that would be, a “fully evolved moron”.

Stevarino Wrote:

No, that would be, a “fully evolved moron”.

I disagree. I think he’s a throwback.

I thought ID had been totally defeated by Judge Jones?!….

It’s a rare talent who can pack so much wrongheadedness into so few words. The closest I can get is a neo-Nazi hearing that Ken Jones’ “The War” was going to be on TV and saying “I thought Nazism had been totally defeated by Eisenhower?!”, but that still doesn’t capture all the fallacious elements. Even if Eisenhower had been a judge and WWII had been a court trial, it still wouldn’t touch all the points. Perhaps if Nazism were a religion masquerading as science and the trial had been about teachers being required to direct students to a book that presented the religion as science and made false charges against real science …

Do any of you know if NOVA or PBS plan to develop a teacher’s guide for this program?

There are decent plans available for their other programs here: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/teache[…]/alph_i.html

Mats wrote:

“I thought ID had been totally defeated by Judge Jones?!….”

Yes Mats, Judge Jones totally defeated the lying creationists who tried to get their religious views taught as science at tax-payers expense in Dover. Now, anyone who hasn’t heard about that resounding defeat already will know about it. It would be nice if the case were a legal precedent that would be upheld in every court in the land, but unfortunately we will probably have to go through many more rounds of this nonsense before the IDiots finially get the message.

And of course it really doesn’t matter to the truly committed religious fanatics. They can always come up with another name for their scam and hope that everyone is too stupid to see that it is just the same old crap with a new name. Since they refuse to develop any hypotheses, perform any experiments or draw any conclusions, what they do will never be considered science by any reasonable person. They best they can ever hope for is entirely political victories that will remove the very freedom they depend on in order to perpatrate thier scam.

I thought ID had been totally defeated by Judge Jones?!….

Actually, Jones’s decision was sufficiently informed, comprehensive, and conclusive, that to any sane and unprejudiced person it can be reasonably called a ‘total defeat for ID’. But since ID never even had a case to begin with, and is only fed by prejudice and distortions of science by the ignorant and the intellectually dishonest, it just so happens that these ignorant and the dishonest ones don’t recognize the defeats they suffer in the intellectual sense.

Thus cretins drone on, not even recognizing that main point of the program is, of course, to recapitulate for its viewers the totality of ID’s intellectual and legal defeat in the venue where evidence is required to prevail, and where IDists aren’t allowed to avoid every question for which they lack an answer (therefore, nearly all questions). We’ll watch because it shows how handily ID is defeated under the proper rules of evidence, while Mats will drool on in his incomprehension of what the show is about, and in his inability to understand the implications of evidence.

Glen D http://tinyurl.com/2kxyc7

I’m definitely going to have to watch this, and I too look forward to DI’s spin.

If they have Bill Buckingham on the show, I wonder if they asked him to explain ID. Perhaps he’s picked up a bit since, but it was amazing the he and the other ID proponents in Dover didn’t even know what ID is when they were shoving it down science teachers’ throats.

If they have Bill Buckingham on the show

I believe he’s in the trailer. See the blurb above:

”There was a blow-up like you couldn’t believe,” Bill Buckingham, head of the school board’s curriculum committee, tells NOVA. Buckingham helped formulate the intelligent design policy when he noticed that the biology textbook chosen by teachers for classroom use “was laced with Darwinism,” in his words.

Thus cretins drone on, not even recognizing that main point of the program is, of course, to recapitulate for its viewers the totality of ID’s intellectual and legal defeat in the venue where evidence is required to prevail, and where IDists aren’t allowed to avoid every question for which they lack an answer (therefore, nearly all questions). We’ll watch because it shows how handily ID is defeated under the proper rules of evidence, while Mats will drool on in his incomprehension of what the show is about, and in his inability to understand the implications of evidence.

meh, that’s just a more wordy way of saying he’s a moron.

:P

There is a trailer on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UiEP-XSApgY

David Stanton anounces:

”I thought ID had been totally defeated by Judge Jones?!….”

Yes Mats, Judge Jones totally defeated the lying creationists who tried to get their religious views taught as science at tax-payers expense in Dover.

The “lying creationists” did not try to get their religious view taught as science at public expenses. We already have one religious view being taught as science today.

Secondly, why still all the fuss about ID ? I thought that the Judge Jones/ACLU document pretty much defeated ID, and we could all go home now. Seems like the ID demon keeps tormenting Darwinian religionists.

Mats you must be a friend of Bill Dumbski’s he talks rubbish as well. Uncommonly Dumb web master himself Bill Dumbski has post on his site about this. The same old same old he stuff isn’t worth reading. However his sick-o-farts are posting that they must be in the top 1% in the US for understanding evil Evolution and yet they don’t believe the Lies, Oh I laughed until I stopped. How do these people dress themselves in the morning?

You have to wonder what type of IDiot would support Dembski on any pro ID drivel that he had to drool about Dover. Dembski was one of the jerks that used to claim that ID was going to pass the constitution test, but what happened when he had the opportunity to put up or shut up? He ran. Not only that, but he demanded to be paid for the embarassing episode. Most people would think that you can’t get any lower than that, but we keep getting surprised every day.

Mats said: “The “lying creationists” did not try to get their religious view taught as science at public expenses.”

Judge Jones said: “It is ironic that several of these individuals (sworn witnesses), who so staunchly and proudly touted their religious convictions in public, would time and again lie to cover their tracks and disguise the real purpose behind the ID Policy.”

Who are you going to believe? A federal judge appointed by the President, or a proven troll?

Who are you going to believe? A federal judge appointed by the President, or a proven troll?

A Republican, conservative Christan Judge, appointed by a President who can barely spell ID? I’ll have to go with the troll.

(just kidding)

The “lying creationists” did not try to get their religious view taught as science at public expenses.

Another blatant lie, and more proof that Mats doesn’t even care what he’s blithering about.

Secondly, why still all the fuss about ID ?

You tell us, little boy – you’re the one doing all the fussing while the rest of us just get on with learning more about the world around us.

It’s driving me crazy: “judgment” is misspelled several times in this post. Please fix it!

Well I watched it, and I am very disappointed as to what passes as science these days.

They completely misrepresented the current state of the evolutionary single phylogenetic tree.

Their presentation implied this evolutionary tree of life consists of lineages of ancestor - descendant relationships from species to species. Such relationships are scientifically known as ‘Phylogeny’s’.

In reality, all that exists are the very nodes (Leaves) of that evolutionary tree. Present are all the known extinct and extant life forms. Absent from that proposed evolutionary tree are all the ancestors.

Darwin was embarrassed by the fossil record of his day as it clearly did not support his theory of evolution. The science facts uncovered by paleontologists ever since Darwin has made the the situation worse; today there are less example of major evolutionary transitions than in Derwin’s day.

The geologic record of the Fossils was clearly that of abrupt appearance followed by stasis. This had long been the trade secret of the paleontologist, and was long suppressed by the evolutionary biologists who dominated that evolutionary thinking and controlled the money. Evolutionists Stephen Gould and Niles Eldredge broke that silence in 1972 by exposing the fallacies of Darwinism and of the Modern Synthesis (Neo-Darwinism) of the 1940’s.

Gould and Eldredge outright rejected these Darwinian gradualism theories because they knew they were falsified by the Fossil record. These two young scientists hoped to save the materialistic Theory of Evolution via their proposed Punctuated Equilibrium. Their voices sent a wave shock through the entire field of paleontology,and paleontologists were coming out of the closet shouting that species appeared abruptly and fully formed in the fossil record, with no trace or connection to any ancestors. During their stay in the fossil record they remain basically unchanged (Stasis). This result is a prediction of Creation science, and certainly not evolution.

The abrupt appearance of species followed by stasis has to do with the fact that fossil record is one of discontinuity. Species appear abruptly, disconnected from any direct ancestor. This discontinuity is obvious to anyone who ever studied Romer’s or Carrol’s “Vertebrate Paleontology”.

And it’s even more pronounced for the plant kingdom. As evolutionist Gordon Rattray Taylor once pointed out, even if the fossil record were very imperfect, you would think they would have found at least one or two phylogeny’s by now. Evolution predicts the existence of phylogeny’s, the fossil record does not provide them.

Thus evolutionists who testified in the Dover, Pa. court case deceived the court (and now the watching public) with their very deceptive presentation of the phylogenetic tree as shown on the program. And also with their one example of an intermediate fossil between. I though they called it a Tilaak,but a google search turned up nothing. It looked like the acanthostega, the one that was found in Greenland in the mid to late 1980’s. It appears to be a Mosaic of Fish (8 characteristics and Amphibian (29 Characteristics). There is no way of scientifically verifying these enormous claim. It can’t be tested. They would need to find quite a few more similar fossils and established over time a phylogeny of a major transition.

Furthermore, it is absolutely absurd that the evolutionist on the program called it an intermediate transition from fish to amphibians; comparing the characteristics of a very large paraphyletic group (Fish) with those of another very large paraphyletic group (amphibians) then taking the characteristics of Archaeopteryx and comparing it to the plethora of characteristics of the two paraphyletic groups. There is no known ancestral species for acanthostega, nor any known specific descendant of acanthostega.

Commenting on such examples, Dr Colin Patterson, at the time he was the Senior Paleontologist of the British Museum of Natural History in London, England:

‘As a palaeontologist myself, I am much occupied with the philosophical problems of identifying ancestral forms in the fossil record. … It is easy enough to make up stories of how one form gave rise to another, and to find reasons why the stages should be favored by natural selection. But such stories are not part of science, for there is no way of putting them to the test.’

‘If you ask, “What is the evidence for continuity?” you would have to say, “There isn’t any in the fossils of animals and man. The connection between them is in the mind.”’

I would have liked to hear the evolutionists explained how they arrive at a date of 375 millions years ago for those strata of sedimentary rock they found that fossil. Sedimentary layers can not be radioactive dated. they usually date the rocks based upon the fossils they find in the rock based upon the assumption of evolution. If this is how it was dated, then they used circular logic in claiming they found their intermediate at just the right geologic time in the fossil record to qualify as an intermediate.

I’m shocked the evolutionists used the archaeopteryx as an example of an intermediate between Birds and Dinosaurs (again, its absurd to label a species as an intermediate between two paraphyletic groups).

The evolutionist mentioned that Archaeopteryx had dinosaur teeth. This simply is not true, the teeth, similar to other fossil birds with teeth, were unserrated teeth with constricted bases and expanded roots. Theropod dinosaurs had serrated teeth with straight roots.

Archi’s brain case was that of a flying bird, with a large cerebellum and visual cortex. The quadrate is double headed, thus similar to modern birds, and not single headed as found in reptiles. Like birds, the maxilla (upper jaw) moves. The ear regions of “Archi” is similar to that of modern birds. There is also some evidence that the head was covered with feathers.

In addition to these bird characteristics of Archaeopteryx, Archaeopteryx also had feathers w/ attachments identical to modern flying birds (as compared to those of modern non-flying birds), as well as feather follicles, barb and barbules. Archaeopteryx also had lots of small feathers on its arms and legs, and a grasping hallux (hind toe) and curved claws for perching. Archaeopteryx had a bony sternum. The hips and pubis of Archaeopteryx is like that of modern birds and unlike reptiles.

Evolutionist Alan feducia writes (science, 1993, 259:790-793) “Archaeopteryx probably can’t tell us much about the early origins of feathers and flight in true protobirds because Archaeopteryx was, in a modern sense, a bird.”

Other experts on bird origins have since agreed that archaeopteryx is a true bird that dwelt on top of trees and flew.

I wonder what the audience would have done had they known that Darwin’s Theory has utterly failed.

Darwin’s Theory of Evolution: Darwin’s sole alleged contribution to evolution theory was a non-theistic mechanism by which common ancestry, descent with modification, occurs, which is namely his use of natural selection (very small beneficial changes (physical mutations) in a species, + struggle for survival in which natural selection selects the fitter species and eliminates the weaker species, + lots of time = macro-evolution.

Natural Selection was a creationists idea which Darwin borrowed for his Theory without acknowledging where it came from. Science knows today that Natural Selection, in tune with Mendelian Genetics, works to conserve the species. It can not be a cause for evolution since it can only select existing genetic information.

On the program, the evolutionists stated that Darwinian Evolution threw out the creationists fixity of the species. Totally ignorant of genetics, Darwin saw with his eyes that there was variation in offspring from their parents. His mistake was to believe that these minor variations could accumulate over time and, for example, transform a species with no visual system into one that has an visual system. Mendelian Genetics restored the cocnept of the fixity of the species by demonstration how living creatures are capable of a tremendous amount of variation in their genes, but within limits of existing encoded genetic information. thus accounting for all the variation Darwin ever saw, plus how all dogs descended from from wolves, and can look so physically different, and yet no knew genetic information was necessary.

The program gave Darwin’s Galapagos finches as examples of Darwinian evolution in action, but we now know that what once was though to be 13 species finches that evolved from one ancestral species over a long period time, actually is still just one species (Finches and all interbreed) and that the radiation of expressing of different existing traits in different ecology’s that all occur ed in just the last thousand years.

Overall, I’m very disappointed that The evolutionists testimony, as presented on the PBS program, and they did sounded very credible, persuasive and knowledgeable, and certainly their demeanor was pleasing, but the science they presented in defense of the materialistic evolution they insist on being the only theory that can be taught in schools, was so pitiful.

Arthur Biele, what you’ve said is all well and good, but in reference to the show, the plaintiffs were not on trial to prove that evolution is 100% correct. They just had to show that ID was not science. Which it is not. Case closed.

If you or someone else has an alternative scientific theory to explain how we got to our current state, then it is certainly worth examining. But dressing up creationism as “intellgent design” does not suddely make it a scientifically viable theory.

A google search turned-up This article about the Tiktaalik roseae. Excellent transitional fossil.

Arthur Biele, please provide a citation that states that the Galapagos Finches are all one species.

This is the only crap in Arthur’s pile I’ll respond to:

“Their presentation implied this evolutionary tree of life consists of lineages of ancestor - descendant relationships from species to species. Such relationships are scientifically known as ‘Phylogeny’s’.

In reality, all that exists are the very nodes (Leaves) of that evolutionary tree. Present are all the known extinct and extant life forms. Absent from that proposed evolutionary tree are all the ancestors.

Darwin was embarrassed by the fossil record of his day as it clearly did not support his theory of evolution. The science facts uncovered by paleontologists ever since Darwin has made the the situation worse; today there are less example of major evolutionary transitions than in Derwin’s day.”

A total load of crap. Fossils of extinct organisms ARE the ancestors. And the number of transitional fossils continues to grow. This was clearly explained on the program, but inconvenient facts are consistently ignored by the IDiots.

“Other experts on bird origins have since agreed that archaeopteryx is a true bird that dwelt on top of trees and flew.”

More crap. Archaeopteryx had many characteristics shared with reptiles but not shared with ANY modern bird, such as a bony tail, teeth set in sockets, claws on the wingtips, and a non-keeled sternum. It was incapable of true flight and was in fact a glider.

“I would have liked to hear the evolutionists explained how they arrive at a date of 375 millions years ago for those strata of sedimentary rock they found that fossil. Sedimentary layers can not be radioactive dated. they usually date the rocks based upon the fossils they find in the rock based upon the assumption of evolution. If this is how it was dated, then they used circular logic in claiming they found their intermediate at just the right geologic time in the fossil record to qualify as an intermediate.”

It is true that sedementary layers cannot be radioactive dated, But igneous layers above and below those layers on the geological column sure as hell can!

The rest of his post is bull as well, but I ain’t got all day. It betrays his abysmal ignorance of biology and geology.

The hardcore creationists obviously won’t accept any sort of criticism, because to do so would be tantamount to ideological suicide. They admit to base their opinions on a radically silly interpretation of the Bible (I read the Bible more than most Christians do as someone vested in interpreting “Western” culture, literature, etc); the Right Wing has obviously never read it seriously, or if they have, they are pissing on it. So this kind of show, on PBS, basically ends up being as effective as, say, “The Holocaust: Did it Really Happen?” - it just ends up enraging idiots and leaving reasonable people to find something else to do with their time. Unless, of course, you can’t get to sleep and find yourself wasting time on internet message boards :)

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by PvM published on October 10, 2007 8:00 PM.

Science v Intelligent Design: Wolf and Koonin on the origin of the translation system was the previous entry in this blog.

Science v Intelligent Design: The reducible bacterial flagella is the next entry in this blog.

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