Intelligent Design 'flunked': Crowther and "Judgment Day"

The date is nearing when the PBS/NOVA program “Judgment Day: Intelligent Design on trial” will air and not surprisingly the Discovery Institute is not pleased. On EvolutionNews, Robert Crowther, director of media and public relations, complains that:

Robert Crowther wrote:

The trailer for the program shows that PBS has turned to the usual suspects to advance their agenda.

Yes, such people as “Father of Intelligent Design” Philip Johnson or Steve Fuller did participate and what is even more ironic is that many more Discovery Institute people were asked to participate but they declined.

Yes, they declined!!!

Q: Of the three expert witnesses who testified on behalf of Dover—Michael Behe, Scott Minich, and Steve Fuller—only Steve Fuller appears in the program. Why did you not interview the other two, who are among the country’s leading proponents of ID?

Apsell: Michael Behe and Scott Minich, as well as other proponents of ID, were invited to participate in the program. We were committed to presenting the views of the major participants in the trial as fairly as possible. And our preference would have been to have their views presented directly, through firsthand interviews.

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.

In some sense, though, we do hear from both Behe and Minich in the program through our recreated trial scenes; the words that our actors speak are taken verbatim from the trial transcripts. And of course we hear directly in the program from lawyers for the defense—Richard Thompson, Patrick Gillen, and Robert Muise—as well as from Phillip Johnson, who is often credited as “the father of intelligent design.”

Crowther, not deterred by these facts, continues

Kids in Dover are still wishing they could get a full and complete education, without scientific ideas such as intelligent design censored as too dangerous for them to hear about.

But Intelligent Design is not really ready to be taught in science classes, just ask Philip Johnson

Philip Johnson wrote:

I also don’t think that there is really a theory of intelligent design at the present time to propose as a comparable alternative to the Darwinian theory, which is, whatever errors it might contain, a fully worked out scheme. There is no intelligent design theory that’s comparable.

or George Gilder

George Gilder wrote:

“I’m not pushing to have [ID] taught as an ‘alternative’ to Darwin, and neither are they,” he says in response to one question about Discovery’s agenda. “What’s being pushed is to have Darwinism critiqued, to teach there’s a controversy. Intelligent design itself does not have any content.”)

So is or is not the Discovery Institute pushing ID as an alternative to evolutionary/Darwinian theory? The Discovery Institute really needs to get its talking points straightened out.

Finally, Crowther makes much of a leaked PBS Nova Memo, need he not be more worried about the leaked “Wedge Memo”? Just read the leaked memo and compare it to the Wedge Memo


Wedge: To replace materialistic explanations with the theistic understanding that nature and hurnan beings are created by God.

PBS: • Raise awareness of and visibility for Evolution
• Present Evolution in ways that make the topic accessible and relevant
• Use Evolution to create an understanding of the importance of evolution
• Create opportunities for audiences to participate in Evolution and be part of a national dialogue

Once again, ID has no relevant content especially when compared to the PBS Nova production.