First, an important message from Randy Olson:
Second, another important message from Randy Olson: one of the DVD extras for the movie has been released to YouTube! It’s got my picture in it, but skip that, watch for…
Jack Cashill’s little falsehood about Haeckel’s embryos. He accuses SJ Gould of sitting on the problems of Haeckelian recapitulation for 25 years, only mentioning it in 1995. Of course, Gould published a whole book in 1977, Ontogeny and Phylogeny, that laid out the failures of Haeckelian recapitulation in pedantic detail. Cashill also claims “…the Haeckel embryos which are being reproduced in every single significant textbook1 in America as the single best proof2 of Darwinism3…”; how many errors can you count in that short sentence? I get at least 3.
And most importantly, catch the cynical quote from Michael Behe at the end of the clip. It’s worth watching for that alone.
“My kids don’t go to public schools, what do I care?”
The Science Pundit says
Dale Basler says
Behe Yikes! Thanks to Randy and all the others that do care.
Science teachers like myself appreciate your work.
Can’t wait to see the movie!
Dan Harlow says
Excellent clip, plus now I know how to pronounce the name of your blog, PZ! :)
I think you missed some falsehoods in that sentence. (1) “reproduced”: not all textbooks that talk about Haeckel and show pictures of embryos in that context use Haeckel’s own pictures. (2) “every single significant textbook”: duh, no, nothing like. (3,4) “single best proof”: no, not offered as a proof at all, and even when embryology is deployed as evidence for evolution it’s not claimed to be the *best* evidence. (5) “Darwinism”: the tendentiousness of that term is too familiar to need rehearsing here.
Those YouTube extras were certainly gems!
It’s great to hear Flock of Dodos will be broadcast. I’m looking forward to watching it.
I’m glad to see that Flock of Dodos is getting more exposure. Has it been shown around the world or just the U.S. so far?
Dean Morrison says
I doubt very much that this will get shown around the world – even a British ‘Dover Geek’ like me finds it hard to follow the backstory of the key players here – let alone the significance of the debate itself…
So I don;t think it will harm international sales of the DVD if this was given a wider airing on ‘youtube’ for example??
.. or that a naughty thing to suggest?
Mike Haubrich says
I found one! I found an error. Haeckel’s embryos aren’t being reproduced in every single significant textbook. I would be shocked to find that any of his embryos are being reproduced at all, let alone in a textbook.
Mike eats, shoots and leaves.
Behe’s comment is mind-numbingly nasty. Had he not been captured on video saying it, I wouldn’t have believed it. He apparently doesn’t care a whit about the health of the society in which he lives. Whether one’s kid attend public, a secular private, or a parochial school, we all have a major stake in what the public schools teach. When they fail, we all pay a price. What a dolt. It’s a wonder Lehigh hasn’t found some way to marginalize the guy, if not fire him outright, academic freedom and his tenure aside.
Randy Olson, Head Dodo says
DEAN MORRISON – to answer your question, yes, it would be a pretty lousy thing to post the entire movie on a website, not to mention a copyright violation. Sorry that we’re forced to make people pay for copies of the film and showings, but this wasn’t a film paid for by grants or foundations. It was funded by individuals who hope some day to at least recoup the investment, though they aren’t bitter about the cost as it has been very gratifying to play a part in helping the public understand this issue. But the crummy truth is it costs a great deal to make a film like this, and the financial return is slow and not necessarily worth it. What has been really great, though, has been the supportive spirit of universities and museums in paying for public screenings. And its that spirit that has created all the victories the evolution crowd can look back on now for the past few years. And lastly, if you can wait until August 28 you’ll be able to purchase the home DVD with 80 minutes of extras from New Video for $26.95 (which you can advance order on Amazon right now). Thanks.
Jason Spaceman says
Any chance of Flock of Dodos airing on Canadian TV anytime soon? We don’t get Showtime up here, thanks to the CRTC.
About Behe’s children, they are delightfully naive as expected. (click username for link)
Is there any way we keen and interested Brits could get our greasy chip fat slicked paws on the movie without having to invent an educational establishment and pay $345 for it BEFORE August?
Basically, I am horribly impatient and willing to pay (reasonably, $345, I understand why [showing rights etc] but dude I am not *quite* that keen!). Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad you Yanks have the majority of the religious loons and creationists (we have a few though. Grrrr) but it’s monumentally unfair of you to keep us Rest-Of-Worldians waiting for juicy ID-debunking movie goodness.
Condensed version: Waaaaaaaaah want it NOW, will send cash, Help!
Randy Olson, Head Dodo says
DODOS SCREENING RULES: we have very firm rules about public screenings of Dodos which can only be bent by your sending us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org and pleading some silly case (like the idea that the movie will provide you with valuable insight on how you have evolved greasy chip fat slicked paws). If you make us laugh, you may score a good deal.
Again, it’s: email@example.com
David Wilford says
Hey, Behe was laughing when he said it so I think it was more than fair game for Randy to use on the DVD as an extra incentive to buyers… :-)
I took Behe’s remark as a mere throwaway, along the lines that he is not predisposed to consider the effects on public teaching. I have not seen the film but I think a wise editing decision was made to not include that clip. I am hoping for better from Behe. Perhaps more along the lines of his Dover testimony and the power of arithmetic.
I’ve sometimes thought that it would be cool to have a contest where scientists (what the hell, let’s include grad students) to complete the sentence “My discipline provides the best evidence for evolution because…” in, say, 20 pages or less, written for a general audience.
The creationists want to “teach the controversy”? Okay, let’s give ’em one. Paleontologists think they have ironclad evidence for evolution, and geneticists are merely confirming paleontologists’ results. Geneticists think the best evidence comes from genetics, and cell biologists are just filling in the blanks. I say, teach all sides and let the students decide.
Heck, I’d even be willing to set aside a margin to let the IDists describe the experiments that support ID. Not that they need that much space, but I’m feeling generous.
John Danley says
I’d love to see Behe in a white nightgown kneeling and praying like those submissive decals on the back of pickup trucks. Phyolotypic morphology of a moron.
Behe’s statement was an off-the-cuff remark that’s hardly damning. It seems clear that he was simply saying that he doesn’t have a personal stake in the matter. Since he went to bat for ID-in-the-schools, (his Dover testimony) he obviously does care. Can’t he make a joke without people jumping all over him? Sheesh.
As for the criticism of Dr. Harris’ study…is Olson really complaining that the patients weren’t informed that they were being prayed for? What exactly is wrong with that? If the patients are informed, you’re not longer testing intercessory prayer, you’re testing the placebo effect. Has Olson never heard of a blind study? Aargh!
The rest of the clip was interesting, though, and I’m looking forward to seeing the film.
Randy Olson, Head Dodo says
um … I think you missed the point. It’s titled “Pulled Punches” because it’s material that ISN’T in the movie. For precisely the reasons you say, at least for Behe. A lot of people wanted me to use that comment from him, but it’s both logical and not meant in a cynical way — i.e. it was just a meaningless side joke. But still, its such a great moment that it has to be in the DVD extras.
As for the Harris study, it doesn’t matter what the text of it was, the tone is as silly as hunting for ghosts, and equally unscientific. All I was saying in this clip is that it would have been very easy to have made fun of it, had I been going for that type of film. But I wasn’t.
Sorry, I should have been more more clear in my post. I’m mainly surprised at the people here at Pharyngula who are saying Behe’s comment is, for example, “mind numbingly nasty.” I do understand that it was not included in the film.