November 13 2007: Countdown to “Judgment Day: Intelligent Design on Trial”

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nova_JudgeJones_1678_7_sm.jpgNOVA has released a Press Release outlining the exciting new program. For more information visit NOVA Judgement Day Companion site or the Pressrooms at pbs.org/pressroom or Pressroom.wgbh.org The show will air on November 13, 2007 at 8pm ET/PT on PBS.

Check your local listings and spread the news

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 twohour special on Tuesday, November 13, 2007 at 8pm ET/PT on PBS (check local listings).

“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.

139 Comments

I can only hope that Ben “Hot Pants” Stein will be watching.

So, who plays Nick or Eric?

My colleagues and I have instructed our students in our “Faith and Reason” seminar to watch this program in preparation for a lecture the next day by Ken Miller. Most of our students are fairly conservative Christians, so it will be interesting to see their reactions.

I doubt Ben Stein is going to watch it or has even heard of it. Based on what he’s said to the media and his website, he knows nothing about evolution and even less about intelligent design.

I doubt Ben watches Judgment Day and if for some odd reason he’s made aware of it I doubt he’d be interested. He already knows the answers and has no use for things like evidence. He’s too busy fleecing the fundies to care.

Mr_Christopher Wrote:

Based on what he’s said to the media and his website, he knows nothing about evolution and even less about intelligent design.

You’re half right. Stein “knows everything” about ID. Listen carefully to the ID leaders. Everyone who criticizes ID has been (or will be sooner or later) accused of not understanding it. Yet no one who approves of it - even if they unabashedly equate it with creationism - is so accused. So (using ID “logic”) they must understand it better.

This program probably does worry the IDiot scam artists. The program is 2 hours long. It is either going to be really boring or it will be able to go into some pretty interesting detail for the whole fiasco.

If I were a high school science teacher I’d teach the controversy by having my students watch and report on this show for extra credit.

Chris

This should be fun:

A “Briefing Packet for Educators” just issued by PBS in conjunction with the NOVA program Judgment Day: Intelligent Design on Trial inserts religion into the classroom and encourages teaching practices that are likely unconstitutional, says Discovery Institute.

“The NOVA/PBS teaching guide encourages the injection of religion into classroom teaching about evolution in a way that likely would violate current Supreme Court precedents about the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause,” says Dr. John West, vice president for public policy and legal affairs with Discovery Institute.

“The teaching guide is riddled with factual errors that misrepresent both the standard definition of intelligent design and the beliefs of those scientists and scholars who support the theory,” adds West.

The Institute has sent the PBS teaching guide out to 16 attorneys and legal scholars for review and analysis of its constitutionality.

www.swnebr.net/newspaper/cgi-bin/articles/articlearchiver.pl?162418

The DI is having a press conference tomorrow to announce the results of its “legal review” of the teaching guide.

Disco Institute spokesman says “The NOVA/PBS teaching guide encourages the injection of religion into classroom teaching about evolution…” Is this going to get into their Big Lie that Darwinism is a Religion?

The Institute has sent the PBS teaching guide out to 16 attorneys and legal scholars for review and analysis of its constitutionality.

I wonder if Karl Rove is now advising the DI. The tactics are so similar to what Karl would do.

Or did Karl get his tactics from DI?

Perhaps they all come from the same batch.

How rude, I hope it’s not true that DI is going to try to define Darwinism / Evolution as religion. But why stop there? How about every other scientific, philosophical, sociological, psychological… you get the idea, principle? Where might the madness stop… Atheism?

I’m looking forward to watching NOVA’s Judgement Day: ID on Trial.

While the importance and seriousness of the Dover Panda Trial was obvious, I must confess that I checked my computer daily for the wonderfully written and extremely biased articles by Mike Argento at ydr.com.

After the trial had concluded, and before Judge Jones delivered his ruling, I don’t think I breathed once. I’m not one to exaggerate, and I wouldn’t say it if it weren’t true.

Not wanting to jinx the trial outcome with unbridled exuberance, I purposefully avoided making any blindly optimistic statements about the outcome. I’ve had too many experiences cheering at baseball games, and… well. Furthermore, Judge Jones had been appointed by the Captain of the opposing team, if that helps to put things into perspective.

Well, you can imagine my unbridled joy… and surprise to some extent. My team actually won! I actually copied court transcripts onto 3 1/2 floppies (Ok, so I’m still evolving), along with numerous articles, especially one by Mike Argento like this one titled Behe’s 15th Century Science. http://www.ydr.com/mike/ci_3219285

And of course I’m gonna watch NOVA’s Judgement Day: ID on Trial on 13Nov07.

And I’m gonna tell other people to watch it too.

I think this is an event that calls for breaking out bags of chips, bowls of dip, and a giant foam hand with outstretched finger. Although it’s kind of cheating.. I know which team will win.

I blame Befuddled Theorist.. he got me thinking of analogies to watching sports games.

Anyone have access to the briefing packet for educators?

About the last thing that you’d want is some writer to screw up and state something like the science demonstrates unguided purposeless existence or something. If they don’t have someone that can, at least read the Nation Academy’s statements on the creationist controversy they should get a law suit dropped in their laps.

The ID perps at the Discovery Institute bend the facts so many ways that you’d be better off believing exactly the opposite of what they say and be correct most of the time. They have a lot of wierd notions about “Darwinism” that they never get around to defining, and in their various propaganda pieces it just sounds like whatever they don’t like about science. Heck, some of them claim not to have any qualms about accepting common descent, so if that isn’t biological evolution what is?

I found the packet, and I can see why the ID perps are worried about it. The only religion that it interjects into the classroom are the various creationist scams to demonstrate why they do not measure up.

What does science say about religious beliefs?

By definition science cannot address supernatural causes because its methodology is confined to the natural world. Therefore science has nothing to say about the nature of God or about people’s spiritual beliefs. This does not mean science is anti-religious; rather, it means science simply cannot engage in this level of explanation.

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/id/med[…]briefing.pdf

They have references to past court cases, and answers to the most abused creationist cretinist arguments. It could serve as a lesson plan to teach this controversy as it should honestly be taught. Honesty and integrity are so far removed from the current creationist scams that you don’t have to wonder why the Discovery Institute ID creationist scam artists are worried about this packet.

Scientists learn various principles, theories, etc, and use them. But nobody is emotionally attached, as in a religion. If a test of a scientific principle doesn’t work, we eliminate it, at least for specific conditions. Even our Theory of Evolution is willing to be held up to scrutiny as new scientific evidence is found. But we have come to have confidence in our premise, and merely call it Evolution because of massive amounts of complementary scientific evidence.

Creationists take Darwinism/Evolution as a personal attack upon their religion. But no such attack is being made. Ok, maybe Science contradicts fundie dogma, but whose fault is that. In response to a Supreme Court ruling, Intelligent Design (ID) was chosen from a list of previously debunked hair-brained ideas, to be used as a duplicitous means of avoiding the “religion” argument. This ID argument cannot be seriously entertained as a Scientific theory because it is subjective… by Definition. Looking at the world around us, ID assumes that everything was “intelligently” “designed” and created “as-is”. If we politely ignore that ID results from religious teachings, ID appears to have all the qualities of Anthropomorphism (attribution of human characteristics / qualities to nonhuman, inanimate, natural, or supernatural phenomena), with no proof or basis in facts.

Here’s a Great comment by Richard Feynman, that may explain why Science can accept the Theory of Evolution, and not the Theory of Creationism/Intelligent Design.

Ok, here goes.…

“It is necessary and true that all of the things we say in science, all of the conclusions, are uncertain, because they are only conclusions. They are guesses as to what is going to happen, and you cannot know what will happen, because you have not made the most complete experiments… Scientists, therefore, are used to dealing with doubt and uncertainty. All scientific knowledge is uncertain. This experience with doubt and uncertainty is important. I believe that it is of very great value, and one that extends beyond the sciences. I believe that to solve any problem that has never been solved before, you leave the door to the unknown ajar. You have to permit the possibility that you do not have it exactly right. Otherwise, if you have made up your mind already, you might not solve it…

If we were not able or did not desire to look in any new direction, if we did not have a doubt or recognize ignorance, we would not get any new ideas. There would be nothing worth checking, because we would know what is true. So what we call scientific knowledge today is a body of statements of varying degrees of certainty. Some of them are most unsure; some of them are nearly sure; but none is absolutely certain. Scientists are used to this. We know that it is consistent to be able to live and not know. Some people say, ‘How can you live without knowing?’ I do not know what they mean. I always live not knowing. That is easy. How do you get to know is what I want to know”.

[Nobel laureate Richard P Feynman, 1963 lecture at the University of Washington]

On ID the Future, Crowther is ‘explaining’ why the DI chickened out. According to Crowther, the Dover version of ID was a strawman, the DI wanted to present the true version of ID but Nova refuse to let them record the interviews.

According to Paula Apsell, the producer, the story is ‘slightly’ different

However, Michael Behe, Scott Minich, and other ID proponents affiliated with the Discovery Institute declined to be interviewed under the normal journalistic conditions that NOVA uses for all programs. In the midst of our discussions, we even offered to provide them with complete footage of the interviews, so that they could be reassured that nothing would be taken out of context. But they declined nonetheless.

Crowther: An agenda? The producer Paula Apsell was compelled to make this program. If the decision at Dover had gone the other way, it could have had dire consequences. That’s her agenda. She clearly has an anti ID point of view.

Talking about desperate arguments. Of course, Paula is biased, she is in favor of science education, a place where ID has nothing much to offer.

Crowther: Teaching guide: Misrepresents intelligent design

Yes, it does not specify that design is the set theoretic complement of regularity and chance or in other words, ignorance. More on the continued equivocation on terms like design and complexity will be provided here and at the Nova PBS discussion site.

I’m going to see if the coordinator for the Intro Biology labs at my university will allow us to give students extra credit on their next lab quiz if they attach a brief synopsis of the program. At least half of them are likely to tune in if there are points involved.

Southwest Nebraska News yesterday contained an article titled “Discovery Institute: PBS Teacher’s Guide Injects Religion into the Classroom”. http://www.swnebr.net/newspaper/cgi[…]er.pl?162418

John West claims that the guide advocates “classroom teaching about evolution in a way that likely would violate current Supreme Court precedents about the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause.”

The DI warns darkly that it “has sent the PBS teaching guide out to 16 attorneys and legal scholars for review and analysis of its constitutionality.”

Might we guess who those attorneys are, and the content of their opinions?

There is a great line in the Nature review of the PBS show, “Judge Jones’s damning verdict neutered the intelligent-design movement.”

That’s right! Cut ‘em off and hung them out to dry!

Sorry for the duplication, John P. The SWNEBR article has no reference to any other article–only the John West quotations.

So where did it come from?? Why southwest Nebraska??

Re Crowther’s “ID the Future” Podcast: Crowther said in the podcast that the DI has been requiring “recordings” of interviews to rebut possible out-of-context quotations, and strongly implied that PBS would not allow such recordings. Yet Paula Apsell did offer recordings—video recordings even. Not quite a lie on Crowther’s part, but very close.

This parallels the withdrawal of Dembski and John Angus Campbell as expert witnesses in the Dover trial. I hope the broadcast will mention that aspect of the trial.

Gary Hurd said:

There is a great line in the Nature review of the PBS show, “Judge Jones’s damning verdict neutered the intelligent-design movement.”

That’s right! Cut ‘em off and hung them out to dry!

Doesn’t have anything to do with the reality of chemicals to living ecosystems. but go ahead and enjoy your pseudo-victorious experience. You are just one of countless who are are riding the dying wave of vast irrationalities. Human convention doesn’t mean anything when it comes to the vast realities associated with making the claims you do.

Norm and al thinking,

“Doesn’t have anything to do with the Reality of chemicals to living ecosystems.”

Huh?

“You are just one of countless who are are riding the dying wave of vast irrationalities.”

Huh?

“Human convention doesn’t mean anything when it comes to the vast realities associated with making the claims you do.”

Huh? And…WHAT the HECK are you babbling about?

“If you stew apples like prunes, they taste more like strawberries than bananas”

Now, that makes sense. (Apologies to Marx.…, Groucho that is)

I looked up the actual Groucho quote. I was close in spirit, but got the particulars incorrect.

“if you take cranberries and stew them like applesauce they taste much more like prunes than rhubarb does.” (Groucho Marx)

Makes even MORE sense, yes?

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Norm and al thinking said:

Doesn’t have anything to do with the reality of chemicals to living ecosystems. but go ahead and enjoy your pseudo-victorious experience. You are just one of countless who are are riding the dying wave of vast irrationalities. Human convention doesn’t mean anything when it comes to the vast realities associated with making the claims you do.

As a wise man once said, “Dude, lay off the crack.”

Of course the legal decision has nothing to do with chemicals and ecosystems. It has everything to with Intelligent Design being recognized legally for what it is — Creationism with a thin veneer of shiny new gibberish. In this instance, I can at least see why you’d find that appealing.

As far as “dying waves” go, all of modern biology continues to be firmly founded upon evolutionary theory. There hasn’t been so much as a single research paper published based on any other theory, and too many to keep track of based on evolutionary theory. Oddly enough, they don’t turn out to be a mutually-contradictory heap of nothingness. They’re useful and vetted material, unlike this “dying wave” nonsense.

So what happened to the press release that was supposed to happen Nov. 7th? What did West have to say? Did they hand out a list of “factual errors?”

It would be funny if the religious content that they were claiming to be unconstitutional was the past creationist attempts at getting their religious beliefs into the school classroom. They obviously do not want their beliefs critically analyzed in public schools, and if they are brought up as negative examples of what science is not, that is just how it will play. Claiming that you can’t mention the creationist dishonest propaganda because of its religious content so that it could not be discussed in a negative way in the classroom would be about as hypocritical as they have ever gotten, but it wouldn’t surprise me.

Looks like the South West Nebraska jumped the gun. No one else announced it and DI is very quiet about it. DI probably gives advance notice of upcoming “bombshells” to its friendly reporters and there was some miscommunication and the SWNebraska guy announced it prematurely. The typical DI strategy is to get a strong headline even if it is not supported well in the story. Like get “The NOVA documentary is porn!” as the headline. And the story might waffle into some unknown legal expert who is also an etymologist has found a definition of porn as the word was used in late 17th century in around Cornwall that matches what is implied in the documentary. But given the short attention span and 30 second sound bite culture pervasive in America, the headline will linger in the minds of the people.

Looks like the headline they are going after is “the NOVA packet is unconstitutional and school districts will swamped with lawsuits if you touch/teach it”. They still have not found a semi-coherent stretched argument to support that headline. They eventually will. So use the premature disclosure of the line of attack by the SWNebraska to have a proper answer ready.

DI should realize that it can fool ALL the people with sensational headlines for SOME time, and SOME people ALL the time, but not ALL the people ALL the time.

Going through Panda’s Thumb archives, I followed a LINK to this article at Talk Origins and read about a 1977 Indiana court case that was ruled in the same manner as Kitzmiller v DASB.

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/hen[…]ampbell.html

I guess I don’t understand our legal system. How many times is this same ol’ Creationism / ID stuff going to foisted upon the American public. Thirty years from now, is some unsuspecting community going to have to bear the expense of another fundie led attack on people’s intelligence.

It would be interesting how many beatings Creationism / ID has taken, in Europe and America. And this kind of information would be a Great into to this NOVA Judgement Day special.

Befuddled wrote:

“I guess I don’t understand our legal system. How many times is this same ol’ Creationism / ID stuff going to foisted upon the American public. Thirty years from now, is some unsuspecting community going to have to bear the expense of another fundie led attack on people’s intelligence.”

No one understands our legal system. But two things to remember.

First, the Dover decision was a local one, so yes more such court cases will follow. As I understand it, the Supreme Court will not rule on such issues at the federal level until local decisions become equivocal. And of course by the time that happens, who knows what the composition of the Supreme Court will be?

Second, besides the bad publicity, the creationists did not really lose anything at Dover. The taxpayers paid the bill and even those who committed perjury under oath were not prosecuted. As long as our legal system allows charlatans to assault the educational system with illegal and unconstitutional actions without paying any penalty, nonsense like this will continue. These people need to be held accountable for their actions, both legally and financially.

FL sed: “there’s yet a good chance that your grandchildren (or thereabouts) may yet evolve an opportunity to explore some sort of alternative within the biology classroom!”

No, not a “good chance.” At this point, it would take a helluva lot to knock down or even significantly whittle away TOE. Slim chance… sure. If someone comes up with a scientifically testable alternative to evolutionary theory that shows some successes and potential, it could happen. No one has yet, though.

And it won’t be the crop of anti-evolutionists on display in this case that do it, either, if anyone ever does. After 20 years, they don’t seem likely to start proposing testable hypotheses and doing research now.

realpc sed: “They’re pretending it’s the same old evolution vs. creationism case.”

Who, the fundamentalist schoolboard members? Um… I don’t think they’re pretending, rpc. Sorry to break it to you.

Watched NOVA’s Judgment Day: ID on Trial… and enjoyed it very much. It was “clear”, “concise”, and wasn’t at all boring like I thought legal stuff might.

Even though I followed the Dover Panda Trial on my computer, I had no idea that it was being reported on TV and I was a little surprised about the hatred, destruction of property, and threats that were mentioned on NOVA. Yup, and those are the “good” christians…

But you have to love their enthusiasm.

All the articles I read didn’t do justice to the import of Kenneth R. Miller, and Barbara Forrest. But this NOVA special helped visualize their contributions better… not to minimize those of all the other people like Eric Rothschild (Pepper Hamilton LLP), and the ACLU.

I’m glad this program was made, it “brought things to life”.

In spite of being very engrossed in the program, my butt started getting tired about 9:25 pm. My dog was comfortably lying on the floor, in no apparent discomfort… and this re-ignited a running dispute I have with her. Just who / whom is the best suited for survival? Well, during walks in cold, snowy, and icy conditions.… I have to admit that she has displays some mighty fine characteristics that would help in the “survival of the fittest”. Of course, she wasn’t able to enjoy the NOVA special like I was, but then.… if humans didn’t have the capacity to be egotistical and dogmatic, this NOVA special wouldn’t have been made.

Not sure who’s winning.

I must express my admiration to those people that stood up to the duplicitous and back-handed shenanigans of people like William Buckingham and Allen Bonsel. I’ve tried to imagine if I would have had the strength to do such a thing myself, in my community. The whole experience had to be emotionally draining and require inner strength that not many people possess.

Maybe we shouldn’t be surprised to see the Discovery Institute’s reaction to Judge Jone’s ruling, to them it’s a Power thingy. But I was unprepared to hear William Buckingham’s hateful reaction. He didn’t learn a thing… and that’s not a good trait.

Wow. Just… wow.

I love that they re-enacted Behe’s Tower of Denial.

Bill “Homunculus” Buckingham apparently knows more about law than Judge Jones. Oh, sorry did I say “homunculus”? That was unfair. I meant “purgerer”.

pwn^100!

Oh, yeah, and the TMLC closing argument… were they even at the same trial????

Perjurer. Sorry.

I was able to record the 720P HD version of the NOVA program and have it on my networked media player’s external hard drive and I’m re-watching it right now on my HD front projector.

Hey, I’m a science geek.

“Judgment Day” is excellent… one of the very best NOVA’s ever produced… and I’ve been watching NOVA since I was a little kid. I noticed that Joseph McMaster directed it, and I believe he directed the Emmy and Peabody award winning “The Elegant Universe” NOVA that was based on Brian Greene’s book of the same name.

Very insightful, very clearly presented to the audience… gripping and intelligent… unlike creationism.

WGBH Boston should get some money together and have this program transfered to 35mm and get it out in theaters to counter “Expelled.”

A 100 theaters around the country would be acceptable.

realpc:

I’m watching it! What rot! They’re pretending it’s the same old evolution vs. creationism case.

Yeah so, that part where they found a draft of Pandas and People that contained the word Creation and the poorly edited “cdesign proponentist” doesn’t speak to and prove their dishonesty?

realpc your are a moron or intellectually dishonest.

fnxtr wrote:

“Oh, yeah, and the TMLC closing argument… were they even at the same trial????”

Yes they were. They just obviously wrote the closing arguments before the trial started and never revised it. So of course they completely ignored all of the evidence that refuted their claims. Gee, now where have we seen that tactic before? Ignoring evidence isn’t just a hobby for these people, it’s a way of life.

Fortunately the judge was intelligent and paying attention. I imagine that even if he was desperately looking for a way to not rule against the defendants but he was too intellectually honest to even pretend that he had found one. Of course, even if he had inexplicably ruled in favor of the defendants, the case would be appealed. Then there could have been no reason to protect those who had lied under oath. i wonder if they would have told the same lies again the second time around.

I watched last night and loved the program. But I almost fell out of my chair when I saw the next program on my local PBS channel.

Wait for it…

“Supernatural Science”

ARRRRGH

When Judge Jones recommended that Buckingham and Bosnell be charged w/ perjury, why wasn’t the case persued? (other than policital reasons) or are political reasons enough? - kinda irritating that the DA can selectively enforce the law and all that.

also - what a breathtaking display of ignorance/ umwillingness to learn displayed by Buckingham - “hey the word ‘theory’ doesn’t mean what you think it does in this context” I’m sure was expalined to him - but he still stated that evolution is “only a therory”, not “Darwin’s law” or “fact” - and I never guessed how smarmy these guys were until I heard it from their own mouths- to SWEAR on a Bible that you never asked for the money for the books, didn’t know where the money came from, and didn’t now who purchased the books, claim that he wasn’t motivated by his religious beliefs to inject the material into the curriculum. (when the opposite was true) - his excuse? (paraphrasing) ‘well you see, I got up infront of my CHURCH and said - I’m not saying that anyone here should give me money to buy these books - but if you all want to, you know, kinda leave some money laying around that I might find, I would use that money to get someone to get these books to save our childrens’ souls, thank you in Jesus’s name , amen’

and Bonsell - when caught Lying for Jebus - “sorry, I mispoke”

what a pair of turds

I stumbled across the showing last night and thoroughly enjoyed the presentation. I did follow the trial in the news as it was ongoing, rooting for science and baffled by ID, and the threats against the judge and his family for his ruling in the case. Enjoyable to watch, must see for everyone.

I seem to recall a post on another thread to the effect that it is the purview of the District Attorney or some such to bring charges, and in this case the job was held by a theocratic socially conservative Republican up for re-election, or something like that.

Mike O’Risal:

I’m going to see if the coordinator for the Intro Biology labs at my university will allow us to give students extra credit on their next lab quiz if they attach a brief synopsis of the program. At least half of them are likely to tune in if there are points involved.

Sounds like a ploy to get children to memorize bible verses at Vacation Bible School. The more I learn about Evolutionists, the more I believe they have created a religion.

HOG said “Sounds like a ploy to get children to memorize bible verses at Vacation Bible School. The more I learn about Evolutionists, the more I believe they have created a religion.”

almost made the stupidist statement grand prize, 3rd place, but keep on trying, you can make 1st place, give it a shot.

jasonmitchell:

what a breathtaking display of ignorance/ umwillingness to learn displayed by Buckingham - “hey the word ‘theory’ doesn’t mean what you think it does in this context” I’m sure was expalined to him - but he still stated that evolution is “only a therory”, not “Darwin’s law” or “fact”

Creationists over at the PBS discussion board for this show are doing a lot of sputtering over this - they seem to think it’s one of the weakest spots of the program. Can you believe these liberals trying to redefine the word “theory” to make their nonsense true? How dumb do they think people are? If it was proved, it would be “Darwin’s Law,” and they can go on about their special definitions all they want…, etc., etc. Point out that virtually all scientists have been using the word this way for centuries, and you may as well just be saying “rutabaga, rutabaga, rutabaga, CREAMED CORN!” over and over for all that it gets through. You’re just a liberal liar and anything you say can be dismissed out of hand.

From a PR point of view, unfortunately, they may be right about the weakness of that segment. I’m sure that for a lot of Americans, even well-intentioned ones who aren’t aggressively stupid and dishonest like hardcore creationists, this talk of different definitions of “theory” just sounds like hairsplitting goobledygook from people who can’t or won’t simply say what they mean in plain language. Not sure what you can do about that - it’s an important truth, the explanation of it couldn’t get much simpler and clearer than the one in Judgment Day, and I guess you just have to keep repeating it and hoping it sinks into some skulls.

HeartOfGold: Sounds like a ploy to get children to memorize bible verses at Vacation Bible School. The more I learn about Evolutionists, the more I believe they have created a religion.

You people are like a broken record.* Any attempt to teach students anything about evolution gets followed by “Indoctrination! You guys are just a religion.” Do you have a string in your back that you reach behind and pull to start the recording?

Would giving Intro Physics students a little extra credit for watching and summarizing a PBS show about Einstein be evidence that Einsteinian physics is a religion?

That’s what’s called a rhetorical question, FYI.

*(And totally off-topic, how long before nobody understands this analogy anymore? Makes me a little sad to contemplate.)

a perpective: years ago while a Marine stationed in the South, I was volunteered to spend Xmas with a local family. It was a difficult assignment as the the family was “fundies”. They took me to church on Sunday where I witnessed them edging a 5 year old child to roll on the floor and beg god’s forgiveness. I walked out in disgust and hitched a ride back to my base. I have this feeling that HOG is that 5 yr old child now grown.

Do you have a string in your back that you reach behind and pull to start the recording?

As many fundists are cult members, they do have a programming that guides most or all of their behavior. But the more general mechanism is that denialism is a common behavior and share common strategies and arguments, and so do the individual members.

HOG however is lying - he starts out with the assumption that big letter evolutionists, whatever that means, are members of an imaginary religion. Ordinarily a fleeting orientation in science reveals that scientists do assess facts.

However, I don’t think HOG is necessarily lying when he says that his beliefs are shored up by meeting individuals who knows science. The common trait of denialists is incompetence, and HOG is probably isolated from recognizing solid knowledge.

This is why denialists have no trouble to assume that results from other sciences touching the topic, here biology, is false while accepting that say physics is a science. For the denialist it is “just” models of radioactivity and radioactive dating that must be fabricated, as is cosmology and other bothersome theories.

So the more HOG sees of science facts, the more he has to deny, and the more ‘the religious conspiracy’ grows in his mind. This is denialism 101.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by PvM published on November 13, 2007 2:03 PM.

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