Judgment Day liveblogging

The new PBS documentary on the Dover trial, Judgment Day (optimistically reviewed by NCSE! The Discovery Institute in frantic denial!) starts here in the midwest in about a half hour. I’ve got my diet coke, I think I’ll pop some popcorn, and maybe I’ll take a stab at liveblogging the show. Let’s hope it’s lively!

Feel free to chime in with comments as we go.

7:10: The premise is clear: the creationists are trying to claim it’s about science, while the scientists like Scott and Miller and Padian are pointing out that it’s about religion. This is the “civil war” that’s going to tear up the community.

WIliam Bonsell claims this affair was all about giving something to the community — but he makes no bones about being a creationist and claims the world is only a few thousand years old.

7:20: Bill Buckingham (a retired policeman) gets asked to review the school’s textbooks by the school board … and finds the books “laced with Darwinism.” This triggers a summary of Darwin’s theory, using finches as an example, showing that species aren’t fixed.

Cool. Neil Shubin gets some air time.

Back to Buckngham, who finds evolution “personally offensive.” Tough cookies, Bill.

7:30: One of the incidents that started the conflict was that a mural portraying evolution was burned…Buckingham admits to have seen it burned. Buckingham also admits that he is looking for textbooks that combine evolution and creationism.

Lauri Lebo! She’s a reporter in Dover who was writing up the case and was also wrestling with personal concerns about creationism.

The Thomas More Law Center (which takes credit for introducing Buckingham to ID) and the Discovery Institute, via Of Pandas and People, get into the act.

Bleh. Steve Fuller explains the premise of ID with words written on a beach — life is too complex to have arisen by chance, it needed a designer. Buckingham thinks it’s god, Of Pandas and People refers to an “intelligent agent”.

Squirrely old Phillip E. Johnson claims there is no evidence for evolution, and says that an intelligent cause was required. Lebo says that the school board saw this as an intermediate position that would allow them to get the concept into the schools— but the teachers saw through it all and any purchase of “Pandas” was shelved.

Surprise! 60 copies show up anyway, the board passes a requirement that a disclaimer/ID-friendly statement be read. People resign over the mess.

7:45: Parents (including Kitzmiller) respond by filing suit. Hooray for concerned parents! Science teachers refuse to read the statement. Hooray for teachers!

We get a reenactment of the administrator reading the statement. Boy, those guys sound goofy.

A digression into the national support for ID: Santorum and Bush, and the many magazine articles on the topic. We meet Judge John Jones, who’d been appointed on the recommendation of Santorum by Bush.

The TMLC lawyer claims that all they had to do was show that ID was a credible scientific theory — the bar was set low. Ha ha, they failed.

Nick Matzke and the NCSE gets credit; the scientific team is introduced and we get a reenactment of Miller’s testimony. Judge Jones gets schooled on the basics of evolutionary theory.

‘ID teaches a history of life in which organism appear abruptly linked only by their common designer.’ This is rebutted by the discovery of transitional fossils — so Neil Shubin (this is why he’s in the show!) describes Tiktaalik, which was discovered in a timely way when the trial was in progress. Cool! Science! Show more of this!

7:50: This is the highlight of the show so far — nice discussion of why Tiktaalik is such a good example of a transitional fossil. Kevin Padian gives a summary; I really have to say that Padian’s explanation was amazingly good.

Ugh. After that good stuff, we get morons Bonsell and Buckingham saying that “evolution is just a theory”. Padian (in a reenactment) explains why that is wrong.

Hey, PBS really ought to pull out this 15 minute chunk and expand it into a full NOVA program.

8:00: OK, a little explanation of genetics. I object to the claim that it was founded on an understanding of DNA — pure genetics and genetics as originally understood as nothing to do with DNA. Otherwise, though, it’s a decent short summary of how novelties arise as mutations in a population.

Miller’s explanation of how the relationship between humans and other apes is revealed by the fusion apparent in human chromosome 2 (the story that Casey Luskin so foolishly mangled) is shown. More good stuff. I’m liking the parts in this documentary that explain the evolutionary story best. It’s making a good case for the power of evolutionary biology.

What about Intelligent Design? Does it play by the same rules, is it productive? Miller says no, so does Eugenie Scott. Now we’re just waiting for the defense to provide support for the claim that they have a scientific theory.

8:10: Tammy Kitzmiller gets hate mail, the teachers are called atheists. Buckingham can’t understand how teachers can be Christians and teach evolution — poor Bill Buckingham, he’s coming off as a contemptible cretin. He resigns, and a school board election is coming up. The bad guys have a sign that bills them as the “intelligent choice”. The Rehms (two teachers in the school) are examples of the problem: they run a sunday school, and are being accused of atheism.

The initial slate of defense witnesses changes fast: 5 of the 8 (including Dembski) bails out. They’re left with Fuller, Minnich, and Behe…and everything is resting on Behe’s testimony (we know what’s going to happen there.) We get a reenactment, since Behe refused to cooperate with the documentary.

Behe’s testimony is pretty flat after those strong examples of real science from Miller and Padian. The show has some nice animations of the bacterial flagellum and a discussion of its “irreducible complexity”… but is Steve Fuller, that clown, really the best defender of the ID the show could find?

8:20: Cool. Behe goes on about a paper by DeRosier that he says shows that the flagellum could not have evolved…and then the documentary brings on DeRosier, who says the structure shows all the signs of being a product of natural evolution. DeRosier discusses the homology between the flagellum and secretory structures. It looks like the show isn’t going to just present the IDists case — it’s going to refute them as it goes along! Oooh, that’s going to make the DI mad.

We get a discussion of the mousetrap analogy; I suppose it’s nice for people who are unfamiliar with it, but I’ve been hearing this stuff for about 15 years now.

Oooh, oooh: a recreation of Behe’s claim that there is no evidence for the evolution of the immune system, followed by the lawyers piling up the papers and books showing exactly what Behe claimed was not there.

The final day of testimony: Minnich brings out the flagellum again. He recites Behe’s claim that evolution of the flagellum could be recreated in the lab, and therefore ID is testable. The defense points out that neither Behe nor Minnich have even tried to do the experiment.

8:30: We get a personal note: Lauri Lebo’s struggle with her fundamentalist father. Ugh. Ray Mummert claims evolution is a slap in his face. Miller argues that religion and evolution are fully compatible (no, they aren’t).

So now we get a summary of the evidence that the school board’s actions were motivated by religion, in violation of the separation clause. The NCSE investigates Of Pandas and People. The link is made to Charles Thaxton in a 1981 article that discusses the planned book; they subpoena early drafts to see if there is a smoking gun of creationism.

Yay, Barbara Forrest, the real hero of the trial. She took apart the drafts, and found in the 1987 draft, that it was clearly discussing creationism. The next draft, after the Edwards court decision that slapped down creationism, simply changed the word “creation” into “design”. “Creationists” got changed to “cdesign proponentsists” — a transitional fossil in the texts. Forrest also uses Paul Nelson’s words to show that the IDists themselves knew that what they were doing was not science.

Oh, boy, another reenactment of Behe’s shining moment in which he admitted astrology would fit under his definition of science.

8:40: What? Steve Fuller claims that the genetic factors behind heredity, before the discovery of genes and DNA, were regarded as “supernatural”? Fuller is such an ignorant whackjob.

The Wedge Document is discussed. Johnson claims it is all quite innocent — he just wants to use his legal expertise as the thin edge of the wedge. Sure. Read it. He’s either delusional or lying.

Chapman summarizes: all this evidence is presented, and it’s clear that the whole intent of the DI gang is to simply deny.

Another great moment: Buckingham on local TV admitting that he thought Darwinism had to be balanced with “creationism”. It’s an outright admission that their motives were to introduce a religious idea into the school. He’s also found to have lied about the source of the Pandas book donation — he knew, he’d gotten the money from church donations, and the businessman who’d bought the books was Bonsell’s father. Both Buckingham and Bonsell are exposed as liars.

8:50: Bonsell and Buckingham try to defend themselves, but good grief, their credibility is nonexistent by this point.

Excerpts from the closing arguments; the school board election dumps the creationists; Alan Bonsell gets repudiated; Pat Robertson condemns Dover; all while Judge Jones labors to put together his decision.

People get the 139 page opinion by email — much rejoicing ensues. ID is not science, it is unconstitutional to teach ID, the proponents on the school board lied. Judge Jones himself reads part of it. Boom. Its a solid knockout.

Bill Buckingham calls Jones “disgustng” and an “ass”. Bonsell still claims he was trying to do best for the community. The TMLC is unhappy. The Discovery Institute distances itself from the case. Jones gets death threats.

9:00: Oh, go ahead and end on a sour note. Everyone agrees that the struggle will continue for a long, long time.

It was a very good program, and I can see why the DI is going to be unhappy about it. It presents the scientific case for evolution, and every mention of the design case is quickly countered in the documentary with a strong rebuttal and discussion of the science. It’s one solid smackdown of the creationists.

Still…the strengths were in the nice presentations of the science. There are pieces of ths show I’d like to extract and show in my intro class in the future — but it’s too long for a lecture supplement, and all the creationist crap, while socioculturally relevant, are distractions from the science.

I think they ought to make a new show with just Kevin Padian and Barbara Forrest discussing the science and philosophy of evolution. That would be perfect.


  1. Marc Connor says

    Did anyone catch Judge Jones being interviewed on Jim Lehrer? I only caught the last 30 seconds. That’s what I get for tuning in to Nova only an hour early…

  2. sinned34 says

    No fair! I’m not even home from work yet! Stupid time zones! I have to wait until 8 PM PST, so it’s still another 3 hours until I get to experience the joy of my favorite show Nova (well, second favorite show after Hockey Night In Canada) lay the boots to the amoral, unscientific theory hypothesis idea creationist rip-off that the Discovery Institute calls “Intelligent” Design!

  3. foxfire says

    Oh man, 3 hours to go on the west coast! I’ll be watching/taping it (I’m ancient and don’t have TiVo hooked up to DirecTV). And I am techie enough to go from super VHS to DVD recorder.

    For Jake’s sake, the PBS site will air it online on Nov 16 (plus they will have it out on DVD).

    waiting…..waiting…..waiting….(with same intonation as in Pink Floyd’s “The Wall”). Stupid DirecTV doesn’t offer an East coast feed for PBS – have to wait for local PBS affiliate (OPB)to broadcast on DirecTV.

  4. Dirk Diggler says

    I found a related video on Richard Dawkins’ website.


    It’s of Eugenie Scott talking about the trial and how creationism has morphed into intelligent design over the past two decades. There is a very funny moment when she exposes the fact that the creationists are actually still using the same textbooks. She explains how they just swapped the words creationism with intelligent design.

    And #4 Jake asked about those that might miss the show. PBS says it will be available online Nov. 16th.


  5. J Myers says

    New favorite quote: “Intelligent Design: It Makes People Stupid.” – guy on ‘Judgment Day’

  6. says

    *crying with laughter at the DI link*

    complaining about quoting other works verbatim? Leaked documents proving political aims?

    Oh, DI, if your pot was any blacker it would have an accretion disc around it.

  7. Dahan says

    Gotta say, as an artist, I couldn’t be prouder that the whole thing started with a mural. Go arts!

  8. Chris Berez says

    Only 3 minutes in and I’m already immensely pissed off at the creationists.

    So, just another day I guess.

  9. says

    PBS will have it for about $25.00, probably — they can use the cash. You’ll get a high quality DVD.

    The News Hour led in with an interview with Judge John E. Jones. Guys like him were what made me hopeful for the Republican Party back in the good old days. The Roosevelts, Muirs, Scrantons, Dirksens and Rockefellers are long gone from the GOP — Jones is just a vestige . . .

  10. foxfire says

    Marc Connor, (see post #7 above) THANK YOU!!!

    West Coasties, tune in for The Judge on Jim Lehrer – On OPB (Oregon) Lehrer is on right befor Nova!

    Thanks Marc!

  11. Boris says

    This show is pre-empted in Memphis as far as I can tell. There’s a local interest WWII show on. They could at least put it on at 2 in the morning or something. Geez.

  12. Chris Berez says

    Anybody else planing on checking under their bed for Behe tonight before drifting off to sleep clutching their copy of “From So Simple a Beginning”? (hey, it’s 4 books in one.)

  13. Ex-drone says

    Greg Laden writes:

    Jake: Who does not get PBS? What, do yoiu live in Canada or something?

    Not only do we get PBS in Canada, but for the northern states, Canadians are a significant proportion of the cross-border PBS station supporters.

  14. Chris Berez says

    As small a thing as it is, given the issue at large, the thing that’s really irritating me the most right now is the insistence of the creationists on conflating apes and monkeys.

  15. J Myers says

    “From ape to man” just doesn’t have the same ring–when their ploy is entirely rhetorical, what do you expect?

  16. Ex-drone says

    Jake writes:

    Anyone gonna tivo it and put it online for those of us who don’t get PBS?

    PBS typically broadcasts their shows on-line after they have aired. On the program’s webpage, there is a link to watch it on-line, but it is not active yet.

  17. Chris Berez says

    “From ape to man” just doesn’t have the same ring–when their ploy is entirely rhetorical, what do you expect?

    J Myers, you’re right or course; and I do expect it. I should be used to to it. But it still really irks me.

  18. The Stone says

    The bible apparently says if you dont get what you want by the law, its ok to subvert the law to implement your personal view of reality.

  19. Ex-drone says

    I wonder how the fundies would have reacted if the 60 copies of Of Pandas and People had been burned in the same way that the Ascent of Man mural had been burned?

  20. Amanda says

    When will the IDers realize that intelligent design is NOT a scientific theory?!? The logic is so very flawed.

    *head explodes*

    And, is it just me or do I detect the slightest hint of sarcasm in the narrator’s voice when he’s talking about the IDers taking themselves seriously?

  21. says

    Jake wrote

    PBS typically broadcasts their shows on-line after they have aired. On the program’s webpage, there is a link to watch it on-line, but it is not active yet.

    I’ve been told it’ll be available on the Web the 16th.

  22. The Stone says

    I loved the techno-music set with the paleontologists in a chopper over the arctic. It sorta makes that billion-year evolutionary distance progress in a more action packed manner.

  23. says

    Oh, right, then the Evilutionists “suddenly” “discover” a “transitional” “fossil” … in one of the most desolate places on the planet … Canada … right when the trial is going on. Obviously, working hand in hand with the devil on that one.

  24. says

    Oh, crap, it wasn’t true…. the transitional fossils that were discovered during the trial were not introduced as evidence. it just should have been true and the producers therefore pretended it was true, totally wasting our time for 4.5 minutes. Bad form, PBS. Bad PBS.

  25. Brian English says

    Have they got to the bit were PZ and a group of scientists burst into the courtroom weilding guns and machetes and whip so ID butt?

  26. J Myers says

    Oh, right, then the Evilutionists “suddenly” “discover” a “transitional” “fossil” … in one of the most desolate places on the planet … Canada … right when the trial is going on. Obviously, working hand in hand with the devil on that one.

    And do paleoarchaeologists typically jackhammer their way to these discoveries?

  27. The Stone says

    How could anyone not be thrilled at the prospect of being a descendant of an ape? I mean, its no octopus or cuttlefish, but hey, its pretty cool for a land animal.

  28. dcwp says

    In fact yes, paleoarchaeologists love them some jackhammer. Ok, sometimes they’re miniature jackhammers, but good old pneumatic precision calibration devices nonetheless.

  29. J Myers says

    Ooo… though I doubt the discoverers of the example in question were paleoarchaeologists… my bad. (My question regarding methods was genuine).

  30. says

    The fusion to create chromosome 2 is simply a beautiful and easy-to-understand example of our common ancestry with the great apes.

    I agree with PZ – let’s pull out all of the science stuff and create another show.

  31. dcwp says

    No you’re right, they were probably paleozoologists or some other flavor of paleontologist.

    In my line of prehistoric investigation (very recent) we seldom get to use such cool tools, but my paleontologist friends love to brag about they’re big hammers. From regular old jackhammers down to tiny little microscribes.

  32. Ex-drone says

    This program is so one-sided. They didn’t cover the hate mail that the evolutionists sent to the IDers. Oh wait. There wasn’t any.

  33. dcwp says

    Maybe after they get done making the point that one need not be an athiest to believe in evolution they’ll delve into the fact that being an athiest doesn’t necessarily deserve the minor-key music?

  34. thwaite says

    #7, #18: Judge John Jones was interviewed for about five minutes at the close of the PBS Newshour today, preceded by a few minutes excerpted from the Nova show. Newshour shows are available at that link via streaming video and transcripts within a day or so.

    Jones made the point that the judicial process was methodical as always, and free from considerations of popular majority preferences (here trumped by the Establishment clause)- and also uninfluenced by the death threats he received.

  35. foxfire says

    Oh folks…ya gotta check out the DI link P-Zed posted:


    Scroll down the page – Behe in Duck Tape! ROTFLMAA!
    As if anything could shut that loser up……

    Can anybody here draw? I can visualize an Abbie (yup, ERV Abbie) a Red Sonya of Science (not to be confused with Red Sonja of adolescent male dreams) facing the DI dark, oily, cloud of misinformation with Behe as its aging, slinking Grand Vizier…..she would carry the symbol of the cephalopod on her shoulder and on the gleaming sword of reason and knowledge as she faces her opponents, seeing the fear in their eyes.

    Oh sorry….just got carried away ;-)

  36. says

    I’m on the road, so I’m recording this on my DVR so I can watch it with my kids when I get home. Please don’t spoil the ending! ;)

    BTW, the DI page the PZ linked it hil-frikin-larious. You’d think they were denied their First Amendment rights or something.

  37. Chris Berez says

    The missing link between creationism and Intelligent Design. That is absolutely fantastic!

  38. the izz says

    I really like how this show is hitting the major intelligent design’s claims and the prosecutions rebuttals.

    But I just hate it how the film makers keep holding up theistic science supporters who say that they’re not Atheists like being an Atheist is akin to being a child eater. Argg!!

  39. says

    I love the gazelle – lion analogy – except sometimes you kind of want to root for the gazelle because they’re cute.
    NO ONE wants to root for Bonsell and Buckingham.
    And they are not cute in HDTV.

  40. Charles Soto says

    Show’s almost over, but I was… um… “satisfied” about 3 minutes into it. Does that make me any less of a man?

  41. Chris Berez says

    [creationist whining]

    Hey, does anyone hear violins? I think I here violins… but they’re really, really tiny…

  42. says

    Buckingham and Bonsell came off like absolute buffoons – and I’m pretty sure they can’t blame PBS for editing it to look that way. I’m pretty sure they’re just buffoons naturally.

  43. Kurt says

    Pity that it’s NOVA on PBS and thus preaching to the choir a bit. Need to get it over onto some of the Christian networks so that they could maybe learn something.

  44. says

    Next time on Nova: Master of the Killer Ants.
    Hmmm. I’m sure someone can come up with some clever segue between Judgment Day and Killer Ants… I’m too tired. This is more commenting than I’ve ever done. Time to go back to lurking. :)

  45. Ex-drone says

    Well that covered way more of the theory of evolution than I ever received in high school. Funny, I don’t feel unbalanced.

  46. Crudely Wrott says

    It just ended on my tube and I, ginning, was informed that I can buy a recording of the show for twenny bux. Twenny bux! Think I’ll pop for it. As an investment in my children’s and my grand children’s futures.

    Good show.

  47. N.Wells says

    I’ll give my historical geology classes the statement that the Dover School board wanted read to Dover biology classes, and we’ll discuss it, if the cdesign proponentsists will agree to show “Judgement Day” in churches.

  48. Bruce Almighty says

    What a bunch of arrogant, smarmy bastards…I had to stop myself changing the channel on several occasions.
    But I think Ms. S is right, they’re just buffoons naturally and this comes across SO well on camera.
    Buckingham, Bonsell, Behe – what is it about B surnames?
    Maybe, over several generations, most creationists/IDiots will have last names that start with B.
    Oh, wait a minute…

  49. firemancarl says

    I am sure, to quote Abbie “ERV” Smith , when Behe saw this he said “SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEE it’s not fair!”

  50. Carlie says

    For all I’ve read on it, somehow I always missed the transitional fossil “cdesign proponentsists”.
    I’m too close to it to determine if it would have been a good overview for those not already in the know, but it definitely was well-produced.

  51. says

    How about Buckingham, a liar under oath, calling Judge Jones a jackass. If you told me central casting was going to find a perfect stereotype for a bohunk fundamentalist moron, they could not have come up with a better example than this fat, smarmy ignoramus.

  52. Dahan says

    I was kinda hoping they’d bring up Mendel, ya know, to show how far back the idea of inherited traits actually goes, but all in all…very nice. I’ll probably buy it. Criminy, listening to the idiot creationists hurts though. Guess I can just skip over them.

  53. Charles Soto says

    Oh, and Chris Berez (#25), you should try reading Curious George books to your kid! The Reys had some seriously cute and enjoyable works, but I just cannot bring myself to call George a “monkey” every damn time those books say so. He’s a chimp for crying out loud!

  54. Brian Rapp says

    “Fuller is such an ignorant whackjob.”

    I wanted to throw a brick at my TV every time Fuller opened his mouth. What an idiot.

  55. Ex-drone says

    I hope everyone is going over to the PBS website to leave some positive feedback. The producers will need some sane encouragement interspersed in the flaming they will likely receive from the IDiots and fundies.

  56. says

    Well, that was fun. I was doing my own liveblogging while at the same time kind of keeping up here.

    I think the show was good. I have some criticisms regarding the description of evidence for evolution (historically). It was a bit misleading and actually makes evolutionary theory look a little tenuous.

    Wonderful graphics. I also loved the smarmy squirming of the IDers at the end.

  57. Guy says

    It looks like it backfired on the creationist in a big way. In trying to undermine evolution they only destroyed their own credibility and strengthened Darwin’s theory.

  58. J Myers says

    I keep having images of that pull-string toy that teach children about the sounds animals make:

    *pull string*
    The cdesign proponentsist says “SQUEEEEEEEEEEE!”

  59. N.Wells says

    Dembski must be having mixed feelings about this – he escaped attention, but on the other hand (unless I missed it) nobody said one word about him or anything he contributed to ID. I was rather hoping they’d include a moment of his flatulent animations when they mentioned Judge Jones’ post-trial hate mail.

  60. rrt says

    The shrieks from Seattle reached all the way across the Mississippi. They were loudest in those sections that tended to cast ID as hardcore creationism, such as the nothing-but-straight-lines graph of ID’s “tree of life.” After all, the more they protest that they don’t mean “Poof! Species!”, the more they alienate the Buckinghams and Bonsells who mean precisely that, and the more foolish they look when they later say “well, okay, we DO mean ‘Poof! Flagella!'”

  61. says

    The documentary was very good; most of it I already knew, but a nice overview. You missed Buckingham’s “clown college” remark about Jones, in addition to calling him an ass. Classy guy, ain’t he?

  62. Carlie says

    So, who’s going to Cafepress and making the “cdesign proponentsists” t-shirts to raise money for NCSE? Needs to be someone with, dare I say, some design sense.

  63. David Wilford says

    When all the defense can do is complain about the plaintiff’s theatrics with regard to Michael Behe’s testimony, you know they have a bogus case. Man, but did Judge Jones impress me as a conservative I can truly respect. I know he’s being a bit humble, but I think his decision fatally raised the legal bar on creationism in the U.S. courts and made it all but impossible for Philip Johnson to try and do any further mischief to the U.S. Constitution.

    FWIW, “cdesign proponentsists” is something we can all be thankful for as the last word on the subject of intelligent design. Bwhahahaha!

  64. Andrew says

    When the show mentioned that DI made “demands that were not journalistic” so weren’t interviewed for the show, I wasn’t surprised. But when Michael Behe turned down “repeated requests” for interviews, I was very surprised. Behe does lots of interviews even for “Flock of Dodos”.

    But all my questions were answered when I saw the reenactment of his cross-examination. Wow, publicly embarrassed is hardly the appropriate phrase. He was pwned! He even admitted Astrology was a scientific theory! Gold! No wonder he didn’t agree to an interview about the trial. He probably likes to pretend like it never happened.

    Great documentary! I don’t know if I learned a whole lot, but this show was an in-depth, well-done summary of the trial and its implications.

  65. Hank Fox says

    That was pretty good. It would have been better to be watching it in a big college town, sharing a big screen TV with the biology staff gathered on chairs and couches, and lots of nachos and beer.

    I thought the mousetrap tie clip was a fun bit.

    I think I shot the finger at the screen about half a dozen times.

  66. Sceptical Chymist says

    Someone asked who the idiot Fuller was? He’s an American on the staff at the University of Warwick in the U.K. I believe he was educated as an engineer but is now a prominent U.K. postmodernist. Moral: If you can’t build bridges, baffle ’em with BS. I picked up a book of his a few years ago on postmodern math(there’s an oxymoron for you!)which was utter nonsense. Apparently Fuller was quite frenetic when he was on the stand and when Judge Jones announced a coffee break, his honor added, “Coffee anyone? Decaff for Mr. Fuller!”. On the stand as a defense witness, Fuller did a great job for the plaintiffs, saying that science should be broadened to include the supernatural.

  67. BobC says

    “7:20: Bill Buckingham (a retired policeman) gets asked to review the school’s textbooks by the school board”

    Good choice. A retired policeman is very qualified to review a textbook about biology.

  68. B8ovin says

    Strange event/disconnect of the evening: After the show was over I took a shower, leaving the television on. When I came back there was a man talking with a Caribbean-ish accent. Under his name was the title, “friend of zombie”. It became apparent that the show was indeed about zombies. I had no idea they had friends…

  69. Charles Soto says

    Carlie (#111), my exhaustive search (googled for about 5 minutes) came up short. But I suggest the following:

    “Does this shirt make me look like a cdesign proponentsist?”

  70. Keanus says

    The reference to Santorum as the sponsor of John Jones for a judgeship was correct, but only part of the story and misleading. Jones was a long time protegé of Tom Ridge, former governor of Pennsylvania. He’s a Republican in the mold of the rational centrists, Republican like Everett Dirksen, Howard Baker, Bill Scranton and the like. He’s also a supporter of modern science (read evolution) and has long been pro-choice. In other words Santorum and Bush didn’t know they were getting in Jones a coldly rational, well educated, lawyer who would craft his decision around the facts and the law and not their perception of popular sentiment. Three cheers for Judge Jones!

    And just a comment on what the NOVA presentation demonstrated again: The ID crowd is constitutionally incapable of carrying off their pretense that ID is scientific and not religious for more than an houror two at a time. At some point they will always reveal the roots of their ideas and in that lies their achilles heel for now and forever. And they don’t have to be the ignorant poor like Bill Buckingham to do that. Dembski and Behe are just as skilled at as Buckingham.

  71. Che says

    Ah, I forgot about this show. That must be why the creationists were out in force at my university today.

    They gave me a fancy dvd from Creation Truth Outreach. On the cover they list topics they’ll cover like fossils, radiometric dating, and get this: Humanism.

  72. J Myers says

    Oooh, oooh: a recreation of Behe’s claim that there is no evidence for the evolution of the immune system, followed by the lawyers piling up the papers and books showing exactly what Behe claimed was not there.

    Now, where else has he exhibited that behavior?

    “Creationists” got changed to “cdesign proponentsists” — a transitional fossil in the texts.

    And as we all know, very few claims like this actually fossilize for us to observe later–imagine how many of them must actually exist!

  73. Elin says

    West Coastie here; it just started about 15 minutes ago.
    The history of teaching Darwinism is interesting—it answers some questions I had regarding how this ID thing could possibly be happening in 2007. I was under the impression that evolution had been the norm in U.S. education since at least the first half of the 20th century. Not so. It’s amazing how much my generation (X) and people younger than us take for granted in the area of civil rights, women’s rights, and seperation of church and state. Sort of makes you understand why members of the “Baby Boomer” generation can be so seemingly paranoid and overly adamant.

  74. Boyce Williams says

    OK, I missed something here. I knew about Behe, Nelson and Dembski and even read some of their posts that appeared in Panda’s. But who’s this “Steve Fuller” and how does he fit into the history?

  75. Olorin says

    True, Andrew; the show did not tell us Judge Jones’ full background. But this had escaped the Disco Inst as well. They rejoiced when he was named to try the case—based only upon the Bush/Santorum axis of….

    The show did mention, although not as prominently as I would have liked, that both sides wanted the judge to rule on whether ID is science. It was not, as falsely portrayed by the DI later, a stiff-arm drive by the ACLU alone.

    I thought one of the nicer touches was how the vertical bars of ID’s “abrupt appearances” morphed smoothly into Darwinian branches as actual fossils were slotted in. A slick graphic.

    It was also a masterly stroke to get DeRossier in to contradict the ID witness’s characterization of his article. The horse’s mouth, and all that.

  76. AlanWCan says

    Looks like it’s going to be up online as of the 16th here (for those of us without access to PBS…yes we do exist).

  77. phat says

    OK, this show was great. I loved it and I think I’m going to try and get some public showings of it done.

    But now I’m pissed. Nightline just did a story on the “prayers for rain” in Atlanta and all that crap. Awful, awful, awful.

    After that Terry Moran jackass announces that “there was rain in northern Georgia and a 60% chance for rain in Atlanta tomorrow ” he says, “he works in mysterious ways.”



  78. jeh says

    Don’t you just love Buckingham’s comments on Judge Jones? Kind of sums up the mindset of these sort of people-they are all: “Respect my authority!” until some actual authority crosses them and then those authorities are jackasses and graduates of clown colleges. I thought people like Buckingham literally believed the Bible-but apparently not the admonitions about respecting those that God has put in authority. And why would the statements to this effect by Jesus or Paul make any real difference to these people?-they were probably just a bunch of liberal elitists!

  79. SabrinaW says

    West Coastie here, from the home of the Discovery Institute (yeah, Seattle’s the Hellmouth). Hooray for the awesome Science evidence and education on what science actually involves! Huge BUH for the fake-Christian zealots sending hate mail and threatening the teachers and parents involved in the lawsuit – what perfect examples of their hypocrisy in claiming to be loving people worshiping an omni-benevolent deity. Not to mention the incredible use of “truthiness”.

    I am so buying the DVD when it comes out; gotta share the enlightenment.

  80. Barn Owl says

    I have a strategy for Phillip E. Johnson.

    I call it The Wedgie Strategy.

    Seriously, what a disgusting little garden gnome…how can UC Berkeley keep him on as emeritus professor? Sheesh.

    I’d also like to hear some Xians discuss Jesus’ teachings and attitudes about hate mail and death threats. Surely there’s something about that in The Good Book.

  81. --PatF says


    I thought I had never heard of Fuller either but the mention of mathematics in one of the comments above sent me off to Google to see what I could find. I came across the article whose URL is below.


    It is a delicious evisceration of Fuller and his goofy philosophies written by Norman Levitt of Rutgers. He points out that Fuller is one of the people who was involved in the Sokal hoax that showed up the postmodernist view of science for the dreck that it is.

    Fuller is also – so he, himself, claims – a leftist. To see him associating with right-wing creationists causes me no end of cognitive dissonance.

    –PatF in Madison

  82. 386sx says

    Oh man this was exciting. Next they should do a segment about algebra teachers. Mike Huckabee says he hasn’t heard of a student who hasn’t prayed before taking an algebra test. Thay need to get some atheists in there somehow because the last thing the world needs are atheists who don’t know anything about algebra. You stupid atheist people!!

  83. says

    There were only a few minor errors in the narrative that I picked up. For instance, they said “ID” people say all critters were created as they are today, abruptly. YECs are more likely to say that. Behe, for one “ID” proponent, accepts most of evolutionary theory.

    But as a writer/producer, I must say I was shocked a few times by the lack of production values in places, e.g., the strange shadow (as of a light cookie being moved while the camera was rolling) on the cheek of the PA ACLU guy. Hey, shoot that one over, okay?

    Also, why did several of the re-enactors have wigs that looked as if they came from a small-town community theater wardrobe room? Ick. How tough is it to get a white curly wig for the Padian actor, instead of a weird gray thing that looks like a dead ferret?

    But I agree with PZ about the quality of the science in the presentation. Maybe a bit pedantic, but the part with deRosier was amazing. I was amazed, that is to say, that he hasn’t been tapped for his insight into the bacterial flagellum before in this debate, since he’s spent 30 years working on it! That explanation of why “irreducible complexity” vis-a-vis the bacterial flagellum is hooey was elegant and simple enough for the average viewer to understand. If only they will…

    Here, we were treated to a one-hour follow-up on our local PBS station with a panel including Steve Case, three science teachers (one of whom was a YEC on the Kansas science standards writing committee, retired, thank the Designer), and John Calvert, top dog (maybe only dog) of the Intelligent Design Network.

    Calvert is, was, and remains a tape player whose only message is “science is based on a materialistic worldview.” Well, duh, John. I couldn’t watch him. I plugged my ears and put my head down on a hassock. I wonder if the viewers could see what a clueless ass he is… The questions called in after the panel discussion were all well-reasoned and insightful, though any answers supplied by Calvert and the retired YEC teacher were not. All in all, a good evening.

    Can’t wait to see what Casey Luskin and Rob Crowther have to say about it all. he he.

  84. Rick Schauer says

    Amazing how ID and religion crumbled under the scrutiny of science in that court…PBS rocks once in a while…great show.

  85. 386sx :P says

    There were only a few minor errors in the narrative that I picked up. For instance, they said “ID” people say all critters were created as they are today, abruptly. YECs are more likely to say that.

    That is indeed the mainstream view of most of the IDiologits. Most of them think that everything was created during the Cambrian era approximately a couple thousand years ago.

    Behe, for one “ID” proponent, accepts most of evolutionary theory.

    Nobody knows what Behe accepts or does not accept. Good luck.

  86. Doc Bill says

    I thought the NOVA presentation was just great and I appreciated how objective they tried to be dealing with the creationists.

    However, for real drama you need to read the court transcripts, especially the defense’s attempt to discredit Barbara Forrest as an expert witness. This was not portrayed in the NOVA re-enactment, but it was riveting to read. Barbara held up personal attack after personal attack, and came through to give a compelling account of the creationist movement and the evolution of the creationist textbook, Pandas and People.

    If Behe was the star witness for their side, then Forrest was the super nova star for our side. Come to think of it, Behe was the star for our side, too.

    Thank you, Mikey “these are heavy” Behe!

  87. Michael says

    I thought the show was very well done. I would have liked to see it be a bit more aggressive by ridiculing those silly IDists.

  88. Marion Delgado says

    Just now over on the Left Coast (I have nothing more to say to you effete, Eastern temporofascists).

    Good special. I didn’t quite get what was acting/reenactment and what was live interview, for quite a while (watching while chatting on another topic, tho).

  89. Viscount says

    I really enjoyed this show! The reenactments were fairly well done, except for some lackluster acting on the part of the guys playing the lawyers.

    I imagine there’ll probably be some complaints from IDers about Behe being unfairly portrayed as a befuddled, stuttering wreck – who knows what he was like in the actual trial though? The mannerisms certainly seemed to match the words, anyway.

  90. Janine says

    Oh man this was exciting. Next they should do a segment about algebra teachers. Mike Huckabee says he hasn’t heard of a student who hasn’t prayed before taking an algebra test. Thay need to get some atheists in there somehow because the last thing the world needs are atheists who don’t know anything about algebra. You stupid atheist people!!

    Posted by: 386sx | November 14, 2007 12:31 AM

    Shit! I never needed to pray before an algebra test even when I was a theist. Methinks Huckabee only knows students with very poor math skills.

  91. Mr_Christopher says

    Steve Fuller was offensive. How dumb does he think the PBS viewers are? Hey Steve, your analogies fit for a 6 year old were dumb and wrong.

    Take some science courses at your local community college. Brush up on the subject, who knows you might enjoy not being so dumb.

  92. says

    Thank you Nova. Thank you PBS. Thank FSM that there is some intelligence (so to speak) still to be found in some tiny media outposts. Thank you Dover for waking up from your lethargy. Thank you Judge Jones for making the tough but absolutely legal constitutional call.

    I can sleep happy tonight.

  93. says

    Judge Jones himself reads part of it.

    I’m guess the farty noises weren’t included, right?

    On Fuller, he seems to be a respected sociologist of science, respected by sensible sociologists. I come across his name occasionally, and can never see the connection with this guy.


  94. says

    Darn! I thought it wasn’t being shown here tonight – I had to go to a meeting anyway, got in at 10:40 p.m. but at 12:30 a.m. when I actually looked it up, I found it had started at 11:00 p.m.! Serves me right for not looking it up myself.

    That T-shirt is too subtle. It should probably read, Creationists (crossed out), Creation Scientists (crossed out), cdesign proponentsists…

    Science. It works, Finches!

  95. foxfire says

    I bought the black women’s T. Heh. I can wear it when my “Science Rocks” T (from Skeptics.com) is in the wash.

    C. proponentsists: Phenotypically, you can recognize them from their abundant belly flesh as they expound with great confidence about, or from their slender yet jerky efforts to explain, things they don’t quite understand.

    Perhaps they are about to speciate; the fat-bellied kind surviving as they have for the past 4K years with their god
    and the ID crowd becoming a dead branch on the Tree.

  96. William Gulvin says

    Very interesting indeed . . .

    Being of significant local interest, I watched the program twice on WITF, the PBS station in Harrisburg, PA, that broadcasts to the Dover area. It seemed odd that both times the program ended 10 minutes before the hour. Looking at PZ’s log of the show, I now think I know why. Apparently the local station edited out the part where “Both Buckingham and Bonsell are exposed as liars” and, who knows, possibly other parts as well.

    Guess WITF didn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. Either that or I slept through that part twice.

    For this and several other reasons I have to say that the people who run WITF SO suck . . . which is why I SO don’t donate to them. Ever. Wusses.

  97. Andrew says

    Next they should do a segment about algebra teachers. Mike Huckabee says he hasn’t heard of a student who hasn’t prayed before taking an algebra test.

    Calculus or DiffEQ, I could understand… but Algebra? My ten-year-old baby sister doesn’t study for Algebra… Mike Huckabee… you’re a dumbass…

  98. natural cynic says

    I think that the animation of ID’s version of the descent of forms didn’t do justice to all of the different things that ID could be. The version that they showed was pretty close to the YEC version, but all of the lines should have started at the same level. Dembski’s version would be a great big murky ball with some ???’s, with everything emerging from it – probably just like his noncommital stances on the age of the earth. An OEC would have something like a tree, but with substantial gaps. From what I originally thought of Behe, the version would be like the OEC one with each lineage interspersed with a few “poofs”. But from what I have seen of his view of The Edge of Evolution, there must have been a tree-like structure, since he still believes in common descent, but with thousands of “poofs” interrupting every line of descent.

    Just an observation, but would evolution be more acceptable is we used “ascent” – as in Bronowski’s The Ascent of Man – rather than descent.

    Yeah, I know, it’s called framing.

  99. Chris says

    You think that is bad? We had church 40 congregations over 40 days praying for an hour at a park in a bad part of orlando to lower the crime rate, and they had some help with the police and chaplan. It was on the news and everything, everyone saying how this would be a good thing and believing that the prayer would help. However they didnt do a follow up story on how well that praying worked. The first day they did this guess what happened….A 13 year old robbed a gas station at gunpoint. How god works in mysterious ways.

  100. molecanthro says

    Hello from Germany!!!
    It seems that my move here from Tennessee has left me without PBS.
    I would very much like to show this film at my institute…the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology…along with Flock of Dodos and have discussions about them.

    I checked the Nova (teacher’s guide)website and emailed them and they say “Taping Rights: Can be used up to one year after program is recorded off the air.”

    So…is anyone going to be posting this online? Since it seems that it is perfectly legal to play a recorded version?


  101. The Ag says

    Not only that, but Terry Pratchett already made that joke, IIRC, following a scene where the Librarian (an ape, orangutan to be specific), through the vagaries of L-space, comes face to face with Charles Darwin.

    “What manner of shade are you?” quoth Darwin.

    “Ook!” quoth the Libriarian. (“Reddish brown”).

  102. pat says

    “When will the IDers realize that intelligent design is NOT a scientific theory?!? The logic is so very flawed.”

    Creationism isn’t science and they even say it, we’re just waiting for them to realise it:

    “Whether God exists or not is not a scientific question.”

    “What science isn’t very good at is answering questions that also matter to us in a big way, such as the meaning, value, and purpose of things. Science is silent on those issues. There are a whole host of philosophical and moral questions that are important to us as human beings for which we have to make up our minds USING A METHOD OUSIDE OF SCIENCE.” (emph. mine)

    -Ken Miller

    The faithful are in the process of rediscovering religion through the scientific method: after careful review of the data, they conclude that the question of God is not a scientific one but rather one of “faith”.

  103. Lana says

    Okay, I’ve slogged through all these comments and no one voiced my complaint – those cheesy “trial reenactments”. I’m sure they were all voicing the trial transcript. Judge Jones and some of the lawyers agreed to it, of course, but was that an actor portraying Behe? I thought that was misleading and silly.

    The story itself was compelling. They could have stuck with the interviews, the news footage and perhaps reading some parts of the testimony. Did they think we’re so ADHD that they had to add dramatic courtroom action to keep our attention? Oh.

  104. says

    What I liked best was the way the documentary highlighted that, in the case of the Tiktaalik fossil discovery, this was not simply a case of paleontologists happening across a transitional form. Evolutionary theory predicted where such fossils should be found, scientists looked there, and found what evolutionary theory predicted they ought to find. As in so many other cases, evolution doesn’t merely fit the evidence (which in itself would be important); it it makes predictions which are confirmed again and again. Thank you NOVA for highlighting this – I just hope that the cdesign proponentsists were watching! :)


  105. Josh says

    Isn’t Buckingham the guy who supposedly said, in one of the board meetings after things heated up, “2000 years ago someone died on the cross. When will someone stand up for him?” and supposedly called a fellow board member an unbiblical coward?

  106. Carlie says

    Josh – yes, and I was waiting for that. I’m surprised that it wasn’t brought up in the episode at all.

  107. Na says

    Who is Steve Fuller? He’s an American from New York City who attended a Jesuit high school, did an undergrad degree in sociology and then earned a doctorate in philosophy of science at the University of Pittsburgh. He taught in several Science & Technology Studies and/or Philosophy departments in the U.S. before moving to England. His grad students loved him (at least while he was at VaTech); fellow faculty loathed the very ground he tread. His tenure battle was amazing to watch from the sidelines — he had truckloads of support from outside the university, and basically zero within his own department. He does have a definite knack for making enemies. (He won the battle, and then left.)

    Books he’s authored include Social Epistemology, Kuhn vs Popper: The Struggle for the Soul of Science, Thomas Kuhn: A Philosophical History for Our Times, The Knowledge Book: Key Concepts in Philosophy, Science, and Culture, The Intellectual, The Governance of Science, and a whole lot more. The man suffers from logorrhea and could use a good editor.

    BTW, Fuller’s Science vs Religion? Intelligent Design and the Problem of Evolution is now out in paperback. Amazon has it on sale.

  108. Carlie says

    My guess is that they might have felt they didn’t have enough “hard” evidence that he said it, compared to the other things they had on tape and in writing. I think that statement was just on the say-so of everyone at the meeting.

  109. alice says

    “cdesign proponentsists”

    For want of a decent desktop publisher, the battle was lost. Careful with that “search & replace” people.

  110. Carlie says

    alice – That’s where I get confused, because with search and replace the “c” should have been out. It almost seems like it was done manually, which makes it even more funny because a search and replace would have been faster, easier, and more accurate.

    If there were a Jesus who was having a Judgment day, I think he’d be quite pleased that we brain-small little humans managed to figure out so much of his creation. I’d be as happy as a kid turning in a good paper to the teacher to get a smiley sticker. Then I’d turn around and watch the Behes of the world get the “servant who hid the talents in a jar rather than doing something useful with the money” smackdown.

  111. Matt Penfold says

    I first posted this over at Greg Laden’s blog, but it seems pertinent for here as well.

  112. Matt Penfold says

    I will try actually adding what I said this time!

    I live in the UK and so have not seen the program. However I have read a fair bit about it, both pre and post broadcast and one things has stuck me as being rather odd and it is this: Everyone on the pro-evolution side seems to regard the case and some sort of great victory.

    I find that odd because the case did not actually change anything. It ensured that creationism could not be taught under its new guise of ID but that is all. It did nothing to actually change the numbers of Americans who are either deluding themselves that evolution does not happen or are profoundly ignorant of what the theory of evolution is actually about. The Battle of Dover is one that had to be fought, but the very fact it had to be fought suggests that the pro-evolution groups are not winning the war. If that were the case there would not have been moves to have ID taught as science and no need for the court case. All Dover did was maintain the status quo. As someone who thinks the US is generally a force for good in the world I find the dissapointing that so many pro-evolution groups seem to think that is all that is needed. Greg, I do not include you amongst those but I suspect you know several scibloggers that would apply to.

  113. alice says

    Carlie: Maybe they set up a macro or something. I can’t see manual searching getting it wrong the same way every time. But hey, they are creationists & god never said nothing about technology.

  114. Josh says

    Pole, Why would we be afraid to show this NOVA special to Jesus? There isn’t anything in it we should be ashamed of…and he is supposed to have been a fairly smart chap…I suspect he would appreciate the efforts of people to make sure that what gets taught in the public schools is consistent with the laws of the land. I think the ones who wouldn’t want it shown to him would be the Christians who lied under oath at the trial.

  115. J Myers says

    Would any of you like to play this episode of NOVA for Jesus when you stand before him on Jaudgment [sic] Day?

    Why? Did he have his head up one of his three asses when the show actually aired? Or was cable not working in heaven yesterday? And if this is actually news to him, he better get his omniscient checked out…

  116. aiabx says

    Would any of you like to play this episode of NOVA for Jesus when you stand before him on Jaudgment Day?

    You betcha! I bet He’ll say “That Behe guy is a real knob”.

  117. Hal says

    For the T-shirt, how about an evolutionary tree, originating in Stupidity, progressing to Belief, branching into Explanation and Faith, and the Faith side branching and descending into a bunch of evolutionary dead ends, the outermost of which is cdesignproponentsists…?

  118. ctenotrish, FCD says

    Great minds . . . Hal (#183), I planned out a tree, but with the cdesignproponentsists, etc. as somewhat less complex than what you wrote above. See what you think!

  119. Janine says

    Pole Greaser is either a joker or a person even worse than Bonsell and Buckingham.

    He has linked to Society for the Practical Establishment and Perpetuation of the TEN COMMANDMENTS. Here is a fine example of the content.

    The best way to understand the nature of atheism is to understand its author. satan is its author.

    It’s important to remain conscious of the fact that satan had his origin in heaven, and is thoroughly familiar with the fact of the existence of God, heaven, the angels, hell and etc. Thus despite what you have been previously deceptively taught and despite the deceptive dictionary’s meaning of atheism, atheism is properly defined as a denial of the existence of God in the midst of full knowledge that the true God does indeed exist. Atheism knows God exists; it is quite familiar with that fact, but it says “under no circumstance or situation will I admit to God’s existence.”

    Atheism clearly perceives the fingerprints of God on all of creation, but refuses to admit He is the Creator. Atheism perceives the divine authorship of the TEN COMMANDMENTS, but refuses to admit that God is their Author. Atheism perceives the decorousness and perfection of the TEN COMMANDMENTS, but refuses to admit they are superior to all other laws. Atheism clearly perceives the divinity of the Lord Jesus Christ, but refuses to admit His divinity. If an atheist could see the wounds in the body of Christ and actually feel them with his hands, he would deny that the wounds are there. Atheism is deliberate effort to never admit the existence of God.

  120. longsmith says

    I am surprised no one mentioned the book “Monkey Girl”. It was quite good, I thought. This show put faces to everyone, though, which was nice.
    Behe is even more of a moron on film…

  121. says

    I could niggle on a number of fairly trivial points about the show, but the only issue I seriously disagree with was the implication that it was only during the trial that we at last had a non-sudden fish-to-amphibian transitional, Tiktaalik. Of course it was a poignant reminder that science actually predicts and finds things, ID just denies, but just as surely, we’ve long had Ichthyostega and Acanthostega, while Hynerpeton has also been known for a while.

    Evolution-denial has had no excuse for a very long time, then, which they did point out with Archaeopteryx and other transitional forms. Too much, though, Tiktaalik has been held up as a kind of dramatic filling-in of some mythical fish to amphibian fossil gap. True, it did fill in a gap, but it was only a gap in the specifics of the evolution from fish, that is, they went looking for Tiktaalik primarily to learn how quadrupedal locomotion evolved in that line.

    On the plus side, in roughly that segment they brought up the fact that journalists didn’t know about all of this evidence because evolution teaching has been bowdlerized by “freedom fighters” like Stein, Phillip Johnson, and Behe (one should keep in mind that the lack of science interest by many students who became journalists also played a role). That is a very good point, too often lost in the constant whine about persecution that is, of course, meant to provide a smoke-screen for the IDiots’ desires to increase censorship and to curtail our freedoms.

    Glen D

  122. says

    Pole Greaser is either a joker

    (Psst, he really is an over-the-top pranking troll, who has showed up on PT with all of the cliches, but none of the earnestness, of moronic creationists. I kind of enjoy his remarks–and I’m serious that he seems to be so deliberately outrageous in order not to be mistaken for a real creationist by anyone with their eyes half open.)

    Glen D

  123. noncarborundum says


    That T-shirt is too subtle.

    That’s me, subtle to a fault.


    I bought the black women’s T.

    The proprietor thanks you for your patronage. As an added bonus, I originally forgot to add a markup, so you got yours at cost. Lucky you. Silly me.

    (Note to others: I have decided to send my further profits, small though they may be, to NCSE. So far it’s up to a princely $8.00. For your convenience, here’s that URL again: Evolution of Intelligent Design.)


    fellow faculty loathed the very ground he tread.



    Would any of you like to play this episode of NOVA for Jesus when you stand before him on Jaudgment Day?

    Assumes a fact not in evidence. But, granting that for the sake of argument, absolutely. Why not?

  124. Rey Fox says

    Ye all shalt be JAUDGED!

    Really, the misspelling of key words makes for a pretty convincing creo parody*. The handle gives it away, though.

    “Calculus or DiffEQ, I could understand… but Algebra?”

    Mike Huckabee is skeert of algebra. All those unknowns, whaaa?!

    * Reminds me of our dear friend The Physicist and his angry Hod.

  125. Carlie says

    noncarborundum, I’m really wanting the framed tile for my office. Has anyone gotten one before from cafepress? Decently made or cheesy looking?

  126. Eduardo says

    Will anyone pretty please make this downloadable??? I know it’ll be on the pbs website, but since I live in Chile they won’t let me download it! It’s IP number discrimination

  127. noncarborundum says

    Carlie, I haven’t actually seen a framed tile from CP so I can’t say for certain. I can tell you that I have an unframed tile (they call it “Tile Coaster”) I’m very happy with, and that of the 16 framed tiles I’ve sold, not one has been returned.

    If you do order a framed tile and aren’t happy with the result for any reason, I can assure you that CP customer service is excellent. I’ve received a couple of t-shirts with printing errors; in one case they refunded my money and in the other they sent a replacement (at my request). The process was quite painless both times.

  128. zer0 says

    I forgot to set my DVR to record this, but reading this will push me to search for this on torrent sites, or if pbs releases it themselves on their website I will view it there. I’d also like to thank PZ for making me aware of the transcript of Dr. Padian’s expert testimony. I read the entire 91 pages of the transcript, and thought he did an exceptional job at presenting the science of the matter at hand, sticking to his guns, admitting what science can and cannot answer, and wholly providing the best viewpoint for the plaintiff’s reasons against ID.

  129. David Marjanović, OM says

    Oh, DI, if your pot was any blacker it would have an accretion disc around it.

    ROTFL!!! I must remember this! :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D

    We meet Judge John Jones, who’d been appointed on the recommendation of Santorum by Bush.

    By Santorum? So maybe it is true after all that evil carries the seed of its own destruction, or something.

    she would carry the symbol of the cephalopod on her shoulder and on the gleaming sword of reason and knowledge


    Have you watched Django?

  130. David Marjanović, OM says

    Oh, DI, if your pot was any blacker it would have an accretion disc around it.

    ROTFL!!! I must remember this! :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D

    We meet Judge John Jones, who’d been appointed on the recommendation of Santorum by Bush.

    By Santorum? So maybe it is true after all that evil carries the seed of its own destruction, or something.

    she would carry the symbol of the cephalopod on her shoulder and on the gleaming sword of reason and knowledge


    Have you watched Django?

  131. scurl says

    I did a Google search about the time the NOVA show should have been wrapping up (was hoping I could catch some of it online). The top link was to YouTube, so I followed it and, lo and behold, it wasn’t what I was looking for but a “rebuttal” to Judgment Day, posted by the Discovery Institute! It had obviously been prepared before the NOVA show even aired, and contained the usual crap such as “80% of Jones’ opinion had been written by the ACLU! Horrors!” – complete with bloody red text.

    Sorry to post late – probably everyone has moved on to the next topic already :)

  132. scurl says

    Janine, your quote (I got that) was pretty funny.

    I liked the “If an atheist could see the wounds in the body of Christ and actually feel them with his hands, he would deny that the wounds are there.” – which is absolutely wrong; If I saw them (or felt them – ewwww) I’d be convinced on the spot. See – I’m easy, that’s all they have to do to convert me! But if anyone takes me up on it, please, seeing would be sufficient. I can pass on the feeling part.

    And with “Atheism is deliberate effort to never admit the existence of God” – my response is.. “yeah… so?” It actually doesn’t take the effort that the word “deliberate” implies, but sure I’ll go with that.

    Some people make the ridiculous assumption that “atheism” means believing there IS a God and then denying it. Now that WOULD require a lot deliberate work. But since there isn’t a God to believe in in the first place, it’s ridiculously easy!

  133. Physicalist says

    @ Matt Penfold (#177)

    It certainly *is* sad that the battle had to be fought at all — and it certainly isn’t a winning of the war. But I’ll still take it as a significant victory for a few reasons.

    1. It affirms that reason and evidence can still win out — that truth wins in a fair fight.

    2. It unmasks the ID movement. It makes it much easier for us to just point out to people that ID was proven in a court of law to be repackaged, religiously-grounded, non-science.

    3. It a serious setback for the creationists’ strategy to completely convert the U.S. into a theocracy. It obviously hasn’t stopped them, but it has slowed them down a bit. And rationality will (FSM willing) win out in the end.

  134. Elin says

    Excellent program. NOVA could hardly have roasted the ID folks more effectively than they roasted themselves, and NOVA would have lost their journalistic credibility if they had tried (objectivity and all that).
    Maybe in another 5 to 10 years the Darwinists won’t have to bend over backwards just to prove that they’re not, you know, atheists or anything.

  135. skeptigirl says

    [Re of “Pandas and People”,] “Creationists” got changed to “cdesign proponentsists” — a transitional fossil in the texts.

    That was my favorite part. Hilarious.

    The most bothersome aspect, (and sadly nothing new), death threats against the Kitzmillers. What is it with these Christians and their frequent expressions of hate and threats of violence against those people who challenge the Christian beliefs? Those ‘amoral atheists’ are rarely if ever heard threating to kill Christians.

  136. skeptigirl says

    For anyone who hasn’t read Judge Jones’ comments about the conservative backlash to his ‘traitorous’ ruling, I highly recommend it. This man restored my faith in the integrity of the legal system.


    Judge Jones: “The controversy which attended the release of my decision in December brings me, I think, to the primary point that I want to address during my remarks this morning, and this is the topic of judicial independence, and in particular how that relates to issues like the separation of church and state. … However, under the banner “Judge’s unintelligent rant against design,” Ms. Schlafly authored a January 2006 column and within her column she noted that, and I’m quoting here, that I “owed my position as a Federal Judge entirely to the evangelical Christians who pulled the lever for George W. Bush in 2002” and that I, I’m still quoting here, “stuck the knife in those who brought me to the dance in Kitzmiller versus Dover Area School District.” … Ms. Schlafly obviously enjoys the same First Amendment right of free speech that we all do as citizens of the United States, and she’s entirely free to disagree, as she most pointedly did, in my conclusions. Hers is a point of view as it involves the establishment clause and establishment clause cases that many people share.

    But the way that she conducted her analysis is instructive, and points out a problem which is pervasive and therefore threatens to, I think, tear at the fabric of our system of justice in the United States. Ms. Schlafly’s column makes it clear that she views me as an activist judge of the very worst kind. Yet in her column and within other criticisms directed at my opinion, time and again writers would omit to note the role legal precedents play as they relates how judges decide cases that come before them. That is, as a trial judge, I must follow the law as previously established by the higher courts and in particular by the Supreme Court of the United States.

    The premise of Ms. Schlafly and some others seems to be that judges can and should act in a partisan matter rather than strictly adhering to the rule of law. Now, to those who believe that judges must cast aside precedents and rule as according to an agenda, let me say that I believe that the public’s dependence upon the impartiality and the integrity of judges is absolutely essential to its confidence in our system of justice. It is especially important for our citizens to understand that judges must be impartial and that the independence of the judiciary is premised on a judge’s pledge of freedom from partisan influences.

    In the context of the Dover case, there exists over a half century of strong legal precedents which have emanated from the Supreme Court and the intermediate appellate courts. Among other things, this history verifies and validates not only the separation of church and state, but also guides us as judges with respect to the test that we must apply to the factual circumstances as we find them.”

  137. Karey says

    I know I’m rather late but I finally had a chance to catch one of the re-runs last night. What an excellent documentary. I especially loved the part where Nova tried to interview the Discovery Iinstitute but they refused to let journalistic integrity be held to them.

  138. Josh says

    Just saw this documentary rerun tonight (years afterwards, obviously).

    Religion and science are oil and water. Understanding each may inform us somewhat on the true nature of the other, but they don’t mix. Also, they don’t disprove each other…

    Religion and science are indeed compatible. There is nothing whatsoever set forward by a rational creationist that is contrary to evolutionary theory, or any scientific theory. Religion is completely outside the bounds of the scientific process beyond completely personal and subjective means (basis upon emotions, etc). Just as we must be vigilant in ensuring that religion does not encroach into the realm of science, we must be equally vigilant that our scientific understanding does not reach beyond it’s logical and self-evident boundaries. In other words, don’t let the fact that you’re an intelligent scientist drive you to rash philosophical decisions; being a scientist bears no logical weight whatsoever upon the question of religious belief.

  139. says

    That would be all well and good to say, except that ever since the dawn of science there has been a perpetual struggle between science and religion. The Greeks and Egyptians had the struggle 2400 years ago, Muslims had the struggle around 1000 years ago, and in the predominantly Christian west we’ve had this struggle for the last 400 years. It’s all well and good to say they are compatible, but the evidence shows that really they aren’t. To keep religion truly separate from science, you take away a lot of the core that is religion, and while some individuals can reconcile both; that’s only testament to the compartmentalisation that the human mind is capable of.