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Nov 9 2007
|Intelligent Design, ID, on trial PBS Tuesday Nov 13 8 PM|
The 2005 trial of Tammy Kitzmiller, et al. v. Dover Area School District, et al. was the latest major bout in a long-standing legal battle over the teaching of evolution in U.S. public schools. The crux of the case was Dover's newly implemented policy requiring biology teachers to read to students a disclaimer purporting that "gaps" exist in Darwin's theory of evolution, and moreover, that there is an alternative scientific explanation called intelligent design (ID). The disclaimer suggested that students learn more about ID through a book called Of Pandas and People, 60 copies of which were available in the school library.
Was Dover's ID policy a covert way to introduce religion into a public school, and therefore in violation of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution? That is what Dover parent Tammy Kitzmiller and her co-plaintiffs claimed. Following six weeks of testimony from some of the country's leading biologists, as well as arguments from the nation's most ardent supporters of intelligent design, Judge John Jones issued a 139-page ruling on the case. .
Nov 16 2007
Did anyone watch this Nova special on ID? What was it like? Did you learn anything, or was it aimed at people who really don't know anything about the controversy?
Nov 18 2007
|First rate documentary|
I watched the Nova special the other night and was amazed at how well the production was put together. I've always been a big fan of Nova and known they are masters at making good documentaries that a large audience can understand. But this two-hour special was absolutely first rate.
It explored many different aspects of the case, including lots of background on "What is ID?" and "What is evolution?" It almost brought tears to an atheist's eye to see how well the ACLU team absolutely destroyed the defense team with one great point after another. Basically, they realized that the majority of Americans (including the judge, most importantly) were totally clueless about how evolution actually works. Thus, they first embarked on an "Evolution 101" crash course for the jury and the judge. They brought in the most eloquent evolutionary scientists to explain how they have easily disproved all the ID-proponents' claims about there being large gaps in the evidence of evolution. But they were very objective about the entire trial.
Although I'm not a big fan of recreations, they used quite a few of them to reenact some of the key courtroom scenes. Since cameras and recording equipment are banned from the courtroom, there was no way for them to show us what it was like. So they had actors reenact the scenes drawing the dialog verbatim from court transcripts. It made a world of difference in being able to visualize the situation.
The most interesting part of the documentary to me was the exposure of all the lies that the ID movement told throughout the case. I hadn't read all these details in the news, but the hypocrisy of these people was absolutely abhorrent. Ironic, huh! The funniest thing was when someone in the ID movement who was continuously saying that Intelligent Design was totally different from Creationism, accidentally said "creationism" instead of "intelligent design" when he was fielding questions during a press conference! When called on it, his only response was, "I misspoke." Oops. They also closely examined all the work of the Discovery Institute, the non-profit that is behind most of the pro-ID cases in public schools today. They actually found original drafts of their workbooks that were to help others in the movement push ID into schools. They found all sorts of ways that they changed their wording in discrete ways solely to match the political climate. Near the end, they interviewed one of the main numskulls of the Discovery Institute who admitted the "scientific movement" is stronger than he originally thought and that it would take significantly longer to accomplish their goal (of a theocracy, more or less).
So, in a nutshell, way to go Nova! Everyone should watch it. I think you can see it all on www.pbs.org
Nov 19 2007
You would think that after the severe trouncing the intelligent design (ID) movement received in the Dover trial that it would be finished. Not so, Dr Behe has already posted a rebuttal on the Discovery Institute web page. Further, the long range plans described in The Wedge document are still active. The Wedge is a plan designed, among other things, to obliterate Darwin in the classroom and to convert America to a conservative Christian culture. Both The Wedge and Dr. Beheís rebuttal can be found with a google search.
It appears that ID or its descendants will survive because the definition is simple to state, i.e., the universe is so complex that there must be an intelligent designer. The student is left to decide the intelligent designer. This, to me, is Godless creationism. The proponents believe that since they assert that ID is a Godless approach it will meet Constitutional muster. It didnít in the Dover case, but who knows what will happen in the future.
The simplicity of the definition causes difficulties in defending against it. Clearly it is an attack on Darwinism, but which part. Old earth vs young earth? The common descent family tree? Natural selection?
Some ID arguments support one or two of these propositions but all deny at least one.
A recent letter to the editor argued that because there are gaps in the fossil records there must be an intelligent designer. What utter nonsense. I suppose that this is an argument against common descent, but if the author of the statement was presented with conclusive evidence of common descent he would retreat and deny something else. The simplicity of the definition makes it easy to state and difficult to defend against.
The struggle is not over. I believe we will see ID or its descendants for some time and should be aware and at least react to any such allegations.
Nov 25 2007
|Dayton to Dover echoes of Rock of Ages vs ages of rocks|
There is a case before the courts now that may reach to Roe v Wade.
Creationism/id may continue to be popular with bible cultists, but too many scientists & teachers are unwilling to go back to Dayton TN & Scopes Trials of 1925. Dover was a major victory for public schools but hardly will stop the liars at Discovery Institute to call evolution a "religion" & their Pandas to People propaganda "science."
The case that may affect millions of young women at birth control clinics across the country is a bizarre estate claim of a woman who claims the "right to life" for her fertilized ovum frozen from many years past when she was married & delaying pregnancy.
Now that the "father" is dead who never consented to implanting these "in vitro" eggs when he was alive THE WOMAN IS CLAIMING TO BE PREGNANT ALL THESE YEARS & is challenging Roe v Wade defacto, if not dejure. The "grandparents" who control his estate refuse to consent to her being impregnated with her DNA & his DNA stored frozen in a laboratory that refuses to release "custody" of the "children." Such prospective progeny would have a claim upon the estate if declared "persons."
Property law lower courts are not buying these idiotic arguments, she lacks consent & could never obtain the consent because of the break up of the marriage & subsequent death of the "father."
But with some boy Bush judges eager to stop stem cell research due to the "life" of such embryonic "babies" it is not that big of a stretch to claim a mom has a right to get pregnant at age 48, though she will likely have deformed children if not miscarry at her age.
Bible thumpers call faith a rock. Scientists seek to determine the real age of real rocks & real eggs & real people. Stranger things happen when theocrats rule & Atheists are scapegoated.
Dec 7 2007
Thanks to Jonathan's post ':lol:' I viewed the Internet version of the Nova special Intelligent Design on Trial. It was time well spent. The primary negative is the horrible acting during the re-enacted trial.
After viewing it, I forwarded the link to my favorite evangelical Christian ID supporter. Naturally, we are now in deep debate about PBS/Nova vs. Discovery Institute.
Appropos of the ID debate is an Op-Ed piece entitled Science and the Candidates in the Dec. 6th The Wall Street Journal by Lawrence M. Krauss, professor of physics and astronomy at Case Western Reserve University and chair of the Physics Section of the American Assoc. for the Advancement of Science.
In the op-ed piece, Mr. Krauss writes:
|When reports began to surface warning that the avian flu might become a threat to humans, for example, everyone from the president down called for studies to determine how quickly the virus might mutate from birds to human beings. No one suggested that "intelligent design," for example, could provide answers.|
There's nothing like a real world example of "scientific theory".
Dec 8 2007
|Creationist Professor at ISU denied tenure|
Gonzalez sits on the so called Discovery Institute board of "scientists" sneer quotes.....he has been denied tenure at Iowa State University not because he fails to teach astronomy & physics but because he is standing for anti-science positions of the creationists ilk now using the "intelligent design" allegation masquerading as a theory. I wonder if PBS Nova will mention this in their expose of the religious movement to subvert science so that religion is undeservedly elevated above testing & proof of evidence politically ie: theocracy
Dec 9 2007
|Creationist Professor at ISU denied tenure|
Science is not about personalities, it's about evidence, testing & repeatable or observable rather than the gawdly pious preachings. When scientists retain loyalties to faiths, it can remain in the social & the afterlife alleged realms BUT NOT IN businesses like Discovery Institute which are declared enemies of science. An illustrative opposite would be someone like me, a lifelong American Atheist seeking a degree from Jerry Falwell's school in "theology." Just what kind of hypocrite would I be? I do know scholarly Atheists who teach religions objectively, but what kind of believer can teach astronomy & physics while attacking evolution & cosmology with mis-defining what a theory is & smearing biologists & geologists with the allegations that a "designer" created DNA & arrayed the earth & moon around the sun "just right" for life to evolve? Gonzales & the Phyllis Schlafly crowd cheering on the Dover creationists all pretend that science is the conspiracy & faith is the truthful path. Creationists/ID ilk play the personality game of godless science is not science. The days of the "luminiferous ether" being equated with "god" no longer fits measurements of light waves & energy particles. Get over it creationists. Life began as a virus or something similar to a DNA like energized chemical within "GOO" & SOMEDAY we may be able to "recreate" the situation. Insisting that Jehovah or jesus "did it" is vain & pathetic 4004 B.C. timeline fabricated by a "bishop" pretending a lunar caledar is consistently traceable in the King James Bible.