Wednesday, November 14, 2007

PBS Special Follow-Up

I caught the late night showing of PBS's NOVA special, Judgement Day: Intelligent Design on Trial in my hotel room last night. Both PZ and Greg Laden have "liveblogging" comments on the special that are worth looking through.

Lassen County teachers will find lots of good source material on evolution and the fallacies behind intelligent design at the PBS/NOVA website. If you haven't had a chance to see it, Judgement Day will be shown online on November 16. Lassen County school board member should watch this special as well - it's a good lesson on overstepping bounds in science education.

I thought the special provided a great perspective on the strong explanatory power that evolution has as a scientific idea, the clear weakness of intelligent design at explaining anything, and more importantly, just how fallacious both the school board and the ID "scientists" were at presenting ID as an appropriate challenge to evolution.

I was somewhat disappointed in the recreation of Scott Minnich's testimony and cross-examination. It ended with him apparently making a sound point on testing ID versus evolutionary theory that could seemed to have stumped the plaintiffs. The original transcripts of the cross examination are quite different, and suggest a man doing some serious backpeddaling when confronted with the question of whether ID is actually testable.

I found board member Buckingham's response to Judge Jones' decision infuriating. This is a man who came a breadth's hair away from being tried for perjury during the trial and yet he as the hutzpah to lay into the judge for being an "activist". Buckingham should thank his lucky stars that Judge Jones exhibited a far greater show of Christian restraint than the original Dover school board could.


James F. McGrath said...

If only George Bush appointed more conservative Republican 'activist' judges like Jones. The ID proponents were sure they would win, and they presumably would have if there had been even the slightest room for doubt that the plaintiffs were right. But there wasn't. If only Buckingham had called the judge a 'jackass' in court, then he could have been accused of both perjury and contempt...

I've got two posts of my own (so far) on my blog reflecting on the documentary.

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