Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Judgment Day: Intelligent Design on Trial

I just finished watching PBS' documentary on the Kitzmiller v. Dover School Board trial titled Judgment Day: Intelligent Design on Trial (visit the documentary's website here), and I must say, it was a stellar defense of rational thought.

Not only did the documentary lay out the events of the trial, but it attacked and refuted the essential arguments of ID including irreducible complexity and the "just a theory" claim. Furthermore, it featured Barbara Forrest who brought the "Wedge Document" to light, showing the undeniably religious nature of ID, which I fear few Americans know about. Even speaking with just a few of my friends, I always seem to find that no one understands that ID is the antithesis to evolution and that the two are not in any way complimentary. One is science, the other wants to us take back to a pre-Enlightenment understanding of the universe.

Anyway, a nice touch was how the documentary presented the ID arguments from the mouths of its supporters. Then after letting them have their say, it presented the best scientific opinions on the matter from real scientists. Needless to say, it wasn't terribly flattering to the ID cause since the entire ID movement is political and religious rather than scientific. In fact, it made the IDists look positively silly.

I loved the little bit at the end when the ID supporters painted themselves as the poor victims of persecution for their beliefs. Then Bill Buckingham (the former school board member who pushed for creationism in the first place) came off looking like a jackass, especially when he resorted to ad hominem attacks of Judge Jones and displayed his ignorance of the US Constitution. All I have to say to them is: if you want your kids to stay ignorant, homeschool them and stop using well-funded propaganda organizations to push your ideology on the rest of us at the same time. Scientists don't have enough funding to make your safe, comfortable lives possible while fighting your willfil ignorance.

Though I doubt many Americans will see this documentary since it's on PBS, at least it says what needs to be said.

To you PBS, I say bravo.

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