Liveblogging Judgment Day

| 22 Comments

Several of us (Pharyngula and The Atheist Experience and Greg Laden) have live-blogged the PBS documentary on the Dover trial…if you are in some other time zone or missed the show, you can find out what happened!

I will spoil the ending for you a little bit: the good guys win, and the documentary clearly shows us why.

22 Comments

Sweet! Prof. Steve Steve made and appearance. Thank you PBS.

Don’t you just love Buckingham’s comments on Judge Jones? Kind of sums up the mindset of these sort of people–they are all: “Respect my authority!” until some actual authority crosses them and then those authorities are jackasses and graduates of clown colleges. I thought people like Buckingham literally believed the Bible–but apparently not the admonitions about respecting those that God has put in authority. And why would the statements to this effect by Jesus or Paul make any real difference to these people?–they were probably just a bunch of liberal elitists!

I also enjoyed the fresh Buckinghamisms. On Jones: “I think he should be on a bench, but in the center ring of a circus”.

jeh Wrote:

Don’t you just love Buckingham’s comments on Judge Jones? Kind of sums up the mindset of these sort of people–they are all: “Respect my authority!” until some actual authority crosses them and then those authorities are jackasses and graduates of clown colleges.

As Eugenie Scott pointed out at the beginning of the program, it’s about religion, politics, and power. Any pretense about attempting to improve the school, as Buckingham and Bonsell claimed, is complete BS.

The NOVA program was actually fairly kind to the board members. Much of the acrimony and name calling were actually worse that it appeared in the documentary, as were the apparent motives of the board.

The documentary also didn’t mention the board members who revealed in their testimony that they had no clue what intelligent design was about. From reading the transcripts one gets a more damning picture of the board’s motives. “Breathless inanity” (a Judge Jones said) captures it pretty well.

But over all, the documentary covered the main points as well as could be done in two hours. I personally would have liked to see more of the science, but that would probably have driven away many viewers.

Soon (16th) a replay will be available on the website http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/id/program.html

Well, they left out the most important part of Mike Behe’s corss examination, but otherwise it was a great job.

The personal stories added a lot. And I can hardly believe what assholes the creationists are. I should know better, I know I should. But I can hope for better.

I loved what the judge said about these so called religious people who lied repeatedly under oath. These people are really the height of hypocrisy!

I was expecting to be rivited to my chair watching this, and yes, I was. No disappointments, the only sad part was my VCR broke down, luckily I can tape tommorrow morning

Gary Hurd Wrote:

The personal stories added a lot. And I can hardly believe what assholes the creationists are. I should know better, I know I should. But I can hope for better.

And a number of death threats to the Judge no less.

I have noticed the flashing hatred in eyes of the nodding heads I see on some of the religion channels where the preachers are going on about the evils of “Darwinism” (I think the Coral Ridge Hours is one such program that plays regularly on cable here).

Some of the fundamentalist trolls who post here on PT are obviously pretty full of rage. Scary.

Gary Hurd Wrote:

Well, they left out the most important part of Mike Behe’s corss examination, but otherwise it was a great job.

Is that where he admits that the designer could be deceased, or where he admits that, to accommodate ID, the rules of science would have to be stretched to accommodate astrology too?

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They got the astrology part. Also the part about Behe’s complete ignorance about the origin and evolution of human immune system. They spent considerable time and graphics on the flagellum. Much better graphics, with animation. They got the part about irreducible complexity being reduced by a reduced mouse trap serving as a tie pin too. They did not get the other parts like the Designer could be dead.

Very good show. I loved the way they showed the how the second human chromosome has two chimp chromosome, scotch-taped end to end. Nice graphic, clear logic could be easily understood.

Interesting to me that the first three weeks of the trial were dedicated to laying out what science is and how it works. What the difference is between theory and fact. What tentative means, and how scientific evidence works. Then moving into what the theory of evolution says, and how essentially simple it is, what fitness means, and how variation relates to selection.

And while all of this was necessary if the court was to rule on whether ID is science, it was also necessary to give both the judge and the journalists some clue what science is and what evolution is. The show made the point very carefully that very few people in the community knew either one. Most everyone, religious or not, had been exposed to evolution only as far as the claim that evolution says your grandparents were monkeys, and that even *knowing* what evolution is probably represents a ticket straight to hell without passing Jesus or collecting any grace.

So I think these constant battles against the creationists are much like racing around popping bubbles as the water boils. So long as this vast ignorance is enforced by local schools fearing to irritate parents and cause themselves aggravation, creationism will thrive. So long as it thrives, the sort of stunning ignorance we saw about science and evolution is perpetuated, and the water just keeps boiling. Watching this program, I could see the genuine fear many people had, that teaching evolution to their kids would keep their kids out of heaven.

The long-term cure for this pathology, unfortunately, needs to be started and monitored at the level where the US suffers a born-again President who fully endorses the “either evolution or god, can’t have both” mentality. And such people are elected by people just like the Dover folks, who didn’t know what evolution was and were terrified to support anyone who wanted to teach them. Slamming doors in their faces, sending them death threats. Creationism rests on fear.

This has been said before, but tough cookies – Thanks to those of you who played a part in this. You know who you are, and we like you, we really, really like you. Cheers! Now get off the stage, you knuckleheads, you…Except Prof. Steve Steve; I think he’s marked that as his territory. Several times. Good googly, he’s been drinking again.

Ravilyn Sanders Wrote:

Very good show. I loved the way they showed the how the second human chromosome has two chimp chromosome, scotch-taped end to end. Nice graphic, clear logic could be easily understood.

I taped it, and hope to watch it tonight. Speaking of the chromosome fusion, my guess is the show did not emphasize, as I would, how Behe explicitly concedes common descent, and how most other major IDers either play dumb about it or conflate it with evolution to encourage denial of it. Yet they refuse to challenge Behe directly, as anyone who truly believed the alternative would.

Maybe that well-kept secret will finally be told in the next trial.

my guess is the show did not emphasize, as I would, how Behe explicitly concedes common descent, and how most other major IDers either play dumb about it or conflate it with evolution to encourage denial of it.

Yes, but it seems like the new creationist card may be to concede common descent (Johnson’s increased emphasis, Behe’s open admittance, IDC trolls here) while keeping hammering on the false alternative/evolution impossible canard.

So it will be interesting times ahead. What happens if and when the YEC bubble passes out of IDC’s inflated tent? I expect a flatulence of epic proportions, even surpassing “Divine Wind” Dembski argumentation.

Watching this program, I could see the genuine fear many people had, that teaching evolution to their kids would keep their kids out of heaven.

I had no idea that the fire-and-brimstone advocates still had a grip on US society, I thought they were rounded up and hounded out of the western town by the fair and decent citizens.

More seriously, it is really okay to let such advocacy run around unchallenged? “Terrorism in the modern sense is violence or other harmful acts committed (or threatened) against civilians for political or other ideological goals.” Freedom of religion shouldn’t mean freedom of implicit terrorism.

Nope. It where they talk about ME. me me me

Hahahh

Actually, they covered the astrology point very well. Behe was set up for that in his deposition.

I remember think when I read the deposition transcripts that the IDC side was in deep trouble in addition to losing so many witnesses. It would have added greatly to the complexity and effort of the trial if Demski got to pile his brand of manure in the witness box.

Frank J:

Gary Hurd Wrote:

Well, they left out the most important part of Mike Behe’s corss examination, but otherwise it was a great job.

Is that where he admits that the designer could be deceased, or where he admits that, to accommodate ID, the rules of science would have to be stretched to accommodate astrology too?

One very important point that I thought NOVA failed to make is to show just how dishonest and error-ridden Pandas is. In the documentary, creationists repeatedly whined about how modest their goals were: that they just wanted to point out that evolution is only a theory, and that there is this book out there which the kids can go read in order to familiarize themselves with both sides of the story and keep an open mind blah blah blah. From a PR perspective, I think it is a very effective strategy, and the creationists were essentially allowed to drive this point home unchallenged. It was crucial to make the viewers understand that Pandas lies to its readers about the evidence we have in favor of evolution. This would negate the PR effect of their message: sure, you just want the kids to read this book; the problem is that the book you want them to read contains a whole bunch of lies about biology. I feel as though this was not done at all.

DeniedAntecedent Wrote:

One very important point that I thought NOVA failed to make is to show just how dishonest and error-ridden Pandas is.

Frank Sonleitner wrote a very detailed critical analysis of “Pandas” (scroll down to 5.0). Yet strangely, for all their demands for “critical analysis” of evolution and/or “equal time” for “Panda’s,” I never once heard an IDer demand that students be taught Sonleitner’s critical analysis.

Frank J Wrote:

Frank Sonleitner wrote a very detailed critical analysis of “Pandas” (scroll down to 5.0). Yet strangely, for all their demands for “critical analysis” of evolution and/or “equal time” for “Panda’s,” I never once heard an IDer demand that students be taught Sonleitner’s critical analysis.

Good point. If the defendants won Kitzmiller, Dover science teachers should perhaps demand that each copy of Pandas be supplemented with Sonleitner’s book. As a warning sticker, one might say.

Talking about stickers, after the Ohio fiasco where the Ohio creationist rubes took junk directly out of Wells’ bogus Icons book without checking it out and verifying how bogus the junk was. This pretty much killed any reasonable notion that the Ohio rubes were not running a creationist scam. Not only was the material dishonest, but it linked the new scam to the ID scam and the known creationist scam artists at the Discovery Institute. If Ohio had gone to trial it would have been Icons of Evolution on the witness stand instead of Pandas and People.

The Discovery Institute should get Wells to put a sticker in every copy of Icons stating that “This book is a work of fiction, and is not intended to be used as a supplement to current public school biology course work.” Or, at least, “Buyer beware, look before you leap. The author is only responsible for writing the bogus material found in this book, he is not responsible for use of the material for public school educational purposes without independent verification.”

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by PZ Myers published on November 13, 2007 9:12 PM.

An Open Letter to Dr. Michael Behe (Part 4) was the previous entry in this blog.

Missing link: “cdesign proponentsists” is the next entry in this blog.

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