Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Lassen County Educators: PBS Special Tonight

Lassen County science educators should not miss PBS's NOVA special tonight, Judgement Day: Intelligent Design on Trial, which documents (as a recent review in Nature put it) the "feebleness of the intelligent design case" during the Dover trial. The Nature review further suggests,

Judgment Day gracefully avoids ridiculing intelligent design for the pseudo-intellectual fundamentalist fig-leaf that it is, by simply showing how the protagonists shot themselves in the foot.

I only now got around to reading the review, however, that last statement was particularly telling in light of the current misinformation floating around at the pro-ID website Evolution News and Views. A recent post by Robert Crowther suggests that the PBS special is engaged in some myth-making, but as usual, when EN&V says the sun is shining, you had better glance out the window (you'll usually discover it is actually night). In reference to Crowther's Myth #2, citing Scott Minnich as having conducted tests to show the bacterial flagellum was irreducibly complex, I went to the original transcripts of Minnich's testimony and cross examination at the Dover trial via the Talkorigins.org Dover files. Needless to say, Crowther's cocky assertions about the nature of Minnich's research demonstrating intelligent design were shredded at the Dover trial when Minnich was forced to admit that no actual tests of irreducible complexity had ever been conducted by either himself or Behe. Neither is there any actual mythology behind the other supposed "myths" that EN&V accuses PBS of fronting. It's all just good old fashioned data gathering and presentation - something the ID crowd can't seem to accomplish. Crowther, in good advertising fashion, is repeating old arguments from ID advocates that have been shown to be the smoke and mirrors they are in the hopes of getting the public to be suspicious of the PBS special tonight.

Hopefully, Lassen County educators will ignore the pro-ID advertising at the EN&V and watch the PBS special. I'm sure we'll be hearing more about this issue in the area after the first of the year. In February, the pro-ID movie Expelled will hit theatres, including no doubt, our own here in Susanville. I am sure the Lassen County Times will weigh in on this issue then as well.

Never fear...Northstate Science will be prepared....


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