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NOVA's Judgment Day: Intelligent Design on Trial

  1. Oct 11, 2007 #1

    This should be interesting. Intelligent Design Creationism finally fulfilled a goals in the Wedge Strategy: To have IDC portrait on a PBS show such as Nova treating design 'theory' fairly. To bad for the proponents of IDC that this means complete annihilation. :rolleyes:


    I'll so be watching this.
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 11, 2007 #2


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    Thanks for the heads up, sounds interesting!
  4. Oct 12, 2007 #3


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    I just marked my calendar. Thanks.
  5. Oct 12, 2007 #4
    Me too. Thanks Moridin.
  6. Oct 12, 2007 #5

    "Indoctrination Disinformation Conditioning"
  7. Oct 13, 2007 #6


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    The intelligient design conjecture is logically irrefutable. The universe would not otherwise exist. NOVA has proven nothing but a willingness to argue the obvious.
  8. Oct 13, 2007 #7
    It is also not scientific. It should not be taught in schools alongside evolution for this reason, not for how refutable it is.
  9. Oct 13, 2007 #8
    personally, I don't mind......but if they do--I think that this other theory should be taught too:

    "In the beginning, the universe was a black egg where heaven and earth were mixed together, and in this egg was contained Pangu. He felt suffocated, so he cracked the egg with a broadax, and the light, clear part of the egg floated up to form Heaven while the cold, heavy part stayed down and formed Earth. Pangu stood in the middle, and he and the egg's two parts grew and grew until he was nine million li in height."

  10. Oct 13, 2007 #9
    I have no problem teaching against intelligent design creationism, but it should obviously not be taught as a credible alternative to evolution.

    Unfortunately, the IDC movement is divided into plenty of sub-conjectures, some of which are indeed logically, experimentally (and for some, theologically) refutable.

    Take the case of the now refuted irreducible complexity (IC) of certain biological structures:

    "Biological entity X is too complex to have evolved, therefore it was designed by an intelligent designer".

    Even this is composed of three conjectures. The last part is not falsifiable and thus not science. The false dichotomy between evolution / IDC has been attacked by plenty of people (Scott, Miller, Dawkins, Pennock, Forrest/Gross, Roughgarden, Myers, Shermer etc.) and the first conjecture that no biological precursor exists has been falsified by hypotetico-deductive method.

    Although you might be referring to their cosmological arguments? If so, Michael Shermer has written a thorough dissection of it in Why Darwin Matters - The Case Against Intelligent Design.

    As for NOVA, the public understanding of science should be one of the most vital goals of the scientific community (or at least science journalists).
  11. Oct 13, 2007 #10

    Haha! I guess the old saying "be careful what you wish for" holds in this day and age....

    Its about time that a major media outlet treats it like the total trash it is. I'm am most certainly going to watch it :smile:
  12. Nov 13, 2007 #11
    Q: Then why are you smiling?
    A: Because tonight's the night.
  13. Nov 13, 2007 #12
    Indeed. NOVA has made a generous website as well. Ken Miller is right on, as usual:


    There is also a briefing packet for educators. Furthermore, the world will be able to watch it online on 16 November on their website.

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/id/ (The part on the right where it says "Watch Online".

    You can also watch a trailer there, or if you prefer, here is a version of it on Youtube:

    Some extras include watching the evolution of salamanders in California and som interesting personal reflections by Judge Jones.

    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2014
  14. Nov 13, 2007 #13


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    Thanks for the reminder!
  15. Nov 13, 2007 #14


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    Excellent show!!! Thanks Moridin!!
  16. Nov 13, 2007 #15

    Chi Meson

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    Indeed, excellent show. Stick it right up their flagellum.
  17. Nov 14, 2007 #16
  18. Nov 14, 2007 #17
    The show was quite good. It bought out some rebuttals to parts of the anti-evolution stance. In particular, it showed how the flagellum is not irreducibly complex after all. Also, it showed the discovery of an animal that bridged the gap between fish and amphibian, something that the anti-evolution crowd said was necessary to find.

    Apparently, the decision at the trial was rather narrow. They did not find that ID is not science, but rather found that the defendants had tried to introduce religion into the classroom. This is as much as would have expected since I don't think it's against the law to teach subjects other than science in a science classroom, but it is against the law to teach religion anywhere in a public school. The defendants claimed that they were pushing ID as science, not creationism. However there were two pieces of evidence against them. One was a document that was supposed to express their guiding principles. Indeed it mentioned ID, but not creationism. However, it turns out that the document was an exact copy of an earlier document and everywhere the word creationism had been, it was replaced with ID. In at least one instance, the replacement was bungled and both words appeared mixed together. The other was the fact that books of a religious nature had been bought by the defendants to be placed in the school library. Since the objective of the defendants was to have the teachers guide the students to those books, it was evidence of intent to teach religion.

    Spoiler warning: The defendents lost.
  19. Nov 14, 2007 #18

    Technically, the conclusion of the court was that:

    - Board's ID Policy violated the Establishment Clause (Conclusion p. 136 ->)
    - That ID was not science / accepted in the scientific community (which was necessary in order to apply the Lemon test) p. 64
    - That ID cannot uncouple itself from its creationist, and therefore religious antecedents (p. 136 ->)

    What the Court did not take a position on was whether ID was true or not.

    More details on the highlights posted by jimmysnyder:

    The morphing of the Creationism / ID 'textbooks' can be found in the Barbra Forrest's supplemental report (p. 6 ->)


    All trial documents (deposits, trial transcripts, slides etc.) can be found on the website for the National Center for Science Education.


    Something funny happened in 1987 that made them replace creationism with ID (Edwards v. Aguillard; Supreme Court decision banning creationism as unconstitutional). I think this was the definitive piece of evidence for their creationist past.


    I can't wait until Nov 16 =)
  20. Nov 14, 2007 #19

    Chi Meson

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    What was that word? The "missing link" that proved that "creationism" evolved into "intelligent design" ? Something like cintelligentsm, but that's not it.

    It's so funny that they found a "transitional word" that proved that creationism had been renamed and repackaged.
  21. Nov 14, 2007 #20
    The term was 'cdesign proponentists'.

    Barbara Forrest: Inside Creationism's Trojan Horse (36:04)

    Indeed. The plaintiffs (pro-science) noticed that the entire book (of pandas and people) had gone through a search-and-replace job in the 80's, so they subpoenaed The Foundation for Thought and Ethics for all of the available drafts and then plotted the graphs showing how the words had changed (but not the definitions).

    FTE even had drafts that where intended for the next edition of the book, 'The Design of Life', where 'intelligent design' had been replaced with 'sudden emergence'.


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