Judgement Day: Intelligent Design on Trial

Thought I’d bring to your attention a documentary which recently aired in the US on PBS (title above). It is a documentary about the legal battle which was recently (couple of years ago) brought to the world’s attention the requirement that Intelligent Design be taught in biology classes in Dover county, Pennsylvania. The case of Kitzmiller et al versus The Dover Area School District boiled-down to whether ID is a science or not. The documentary follows the case from the events prior to the international media attention until the verdict delivered earlier this year by Judge Jones (a conservative, Bush-appointed judge). Now by pointing that out, am I arguing via Ad Hominem the reason why his decision was wrong or am I pointing-out that the truth goes beyond politics? I guess you’ll have to see.

It has interviews with all the major players in the case and reenactments from court transcripts of the key evidence and testimonies from the trial.

You can watch the entire 2-hour streamed video online at PBS. There will be a later release on DVD format (for NTSC players - darn) or if you’re enterprising you can downoad a copy that some anonymous person may have recorded from TV on the night and converted to high-quality AVI files (700MB times two) via a peer-to-peer sharing network. I’m of course only claiming that I’ve heard of such peer-to-peer networks existing somewhere which are probably accessible via micro-torrent. But then again, if a TV program is presented in its entirety for free on the original network’s and producers’ websites, what’s the difference downloading it?

Anyway, you decide; online tiny videos or offline HiDef AVIs.

P.S. Am I the only one who noticed Mr. Gillen’s funny clip-on tie (Chapter 4 about 5:50) ??

Thanks for the links. The clips from PBS’s site worked fine. Luckily, fashion sense had no bearings on the final verdict :wink:

I found an entry on Richard Dawkins’ blog about the documentaryand naturally it attracted a lot of discussion … What I found interesting was a comment from “bpabbott” who pointed-out that this is starting all over again in Florida.

I see that public comment on the new draft standards for science is open until 14 December. Somehow, in the light of Kitzmiller et al versus Dover Area School Board I don’t think that the standards put forward to the state education board will recommend including Intelligent Design. If it is included it will be headline news again (which the ID-crowd would love) but wouldn’t last long because of the federal decision that ID is not science. I wonder what the ID reply will be when it is again denied as a science? Perhaps …

  • We are being silenced by the atheist (coven/overloards/illuminati/puppet-masters) who run this country (the conspiracy).
  • It is being linked to Christianity and thus was stifled, if it was Islam it would be allowed (the persecution complex).
  • The theory of evolution is so ingraned into godless society that the truth cannot be seen (the “no I’M the open-minded one” argument).
  • Why is the religion of evolution allowed but ours? (the tu cock-eyed argument).

… and so on, and so on.

Well, it almost certainly won’t be, “Hmm, maybe we’re wrong…” Massimo Pigliucci relates a story in his book Denying Evolution about Michael Behe (if my memory serves me correctly – though it might have been some other prominent IDist). The label “Irreducibly Complex” was attached to the bacterial flagellum by said IDist as a showcase item for the ID camp. Pigliucci publicly challenged the IDist to renounce ID if a plausible evolutionary account of the bacterial flagellum could be given. The IDist accepted Pigliucci’s terms. Some short time later, evidence came to light that went a long way towards showing that a naturalistic explanation of the flagellum was perfectly possible, at least in principle, although much of the detail still needed working out. As is typical, the intrepid IDist merely carried on beating the same drum regardlessly.


Ok, everyone I will start a new thread about different happenings in the US regarding ID.
I keep up with them (being American and planning to vote next year).
I have just been extremely busy with work. :’(

That is a mammoth task you’re taking-on! Perhaps the more headline items?

I’m also interested to see what is continuing to happen in Florida. I see that the resolution to include evolution in Biology class as part of the Science standards for the state was postponed due to the huge public response to the draft version. There is another public meeting before the vote - the vote was originally reported to happen on 19 Jan. Even still, many individual counties have resorted to trying to force amendments for their county which say “it’s only a theory and not a fact” - much like the infamous Cobb county disclaimer stickers in their textbooks.

Vociferous activity is ongoing in these counties (the ones I found):

I wouldn’t be able to point-out these places on a map, from the description of what goes on there it seems like another world. There are daily updates at the Florida Citizens for Science blog.

I’m glad to see that the Pastafarians have chimed-in to highlight the ridiculous nature of an “ID vs. Evolution” vote when it is so clear that they are both wrong and FSM Creation is the only true science (see vote entitled “What should the Pastafarian response be?”). All I can say is “RAmen brothers”.

It is like a different world these people live in. I grew up in one of those other worlds, nay, other universes in rural Texas.
I will try to get out a thread on some of the more concerning (to me) happenings in the US this weekend. I will also add some more positive aspects of these places, the Presidential race, etc…
I will get to it… really.

Michael Behe recently claimed that the findings of an investigation into chloroquine resistance of malaria vindicated his earlier claims of irreducible complexity (multiple simultaneous mutations & fixings) in his book, The Edge of Evolution.

The truth is a bit different.

Remember that Behe’s claim that ID is science was eviscerated at the Kitzmiller v Dover trial in 2005, and now this which demonstrates the state of denial in which ID proponents traffic. It’s also interesting to note that the author, Ken Miller, is a devout Roman Catholic.