Sunday, November 11, 2007


Torchlight Don't Make It a Parade

The New York Times has a nice review of the upcoming NOVA program "Judgment Day: Intelligent Design on Trial."

What interested me was the initial reaction of Paula Apsell, the producer of NOVA, to the possibility of doing a program on the Kitzmiller case:

"Nova" had already run an eight-part series on evolution, in 2001. And in the making of it, she recalled, she and her colleagues had felt "really assaulted" by criticism from creationists and their ideological allies, including advocates of intelligent design.
Those of us who have been at this debate for a while can forget how intimidating it can be to the uninitiated to have a horde of angry people, yammering furiously about supposed errors of fact, misunderstandings of science, bias against religion, constitutional violations and so forth, descend upon you. It's all blather, of course, but, if you haven't heard it all before, it can seem daunting and take much time to work through before you can regain confidence in your understanding of science.

Fortunately, Ms. Apsell worked through it and has provided a good object lesson for people who aren't regular combatants as to the nature of the opposition to evolutionary science and education: a religious coterie that holds its beliefs to be above the Constitution of the United States and more important than the rights of their fellow citizens. And it's not going away. As the review reminds us, the likes of Richard Thompson, president and chief counsel of the Thomas More Law Center, that represented the school board at Dover, are not going to stop. As he said:

A thousand opinions by a court that a particular scientific theory is invalid will not make that scientific theory invalid. It is going to be up to the scientists who are going to continue to do research in their labs that will ultimately determine that.
And being shown a thousand times that there is no research and no labs and no science involved in Intelligent Design Creationism is not going to change their mind a bit.

Isn't the Discovery Institute supposed to be publishing the results of their secret research in a sciencey magazine next month? Or has that been forgotten.
It is possible that I have forgotten or ignored such an announcement ... having failed to see any such research in the past 20 years. But, hey, the umpteenth time might just be the charm!
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