Heroes of Dover

By Phil Plait | November 12, 2007 9:18 pm

We are currently in the middle of the second anniversary of the Kitzmiller vs. Dover Area School District case, wherein the lying liars of the procreationism Discovery Institute were handed their collective heads in a humiliating defeat for them, but a major triumph for science and reality.

To honor this wonderful event, Tuesday night PBS Nova will be airing their episode "Judgment Day", about the trial. I am still in DC, so I’m not sure I can get home in time to see it, but it’ll be available online as well. I hear it’s excellent. If you’re a science teacher, maybe there is some use you can make of this video.

Several of the folks involved with defending reality at Dover are traveling there for a reunion of sorts and to watch the show together. Eugenie Scott and Barbara Forrest were expert witnesses at Dover, and Richard Katskee was a lawyer with Americans United for Separation of Church and State who worked for the good guys and wrote up a lot of the case. All three of these incredible people are here at the meeting I’m at in DC:

I’ve known Genie for some years, but met Barbara and Richard at this meeting. These are three tremendous people, fighting for your rights, and defending reality against the lying horde that would legislate brainwashing children. These are the Good Guys, but they’re far more than that: they are heroes, in every sense of the word. They are good folks fighting for what’s right, and devoting their lives to it.

Take a cyberwalk over to the National Center for Science Education and show them your love, on this anniversary of the triumph of reality over lies.

Comments (66)

  1. TW

    Something tells me you’re gonna enjoy John Scalzi’s field report on the Creation Museum. He agreed to the trip as part of a fund raising for literacy project a while back.
    http://scalzi.com/whatever/?p=121

  2. SU

    Don’t count out the “creative” ID folks. One prominent characteristic of theirs is that they can just blot out any fact that doesn’t fit in with their world view, so the Dover defeat never happened. It just never did; they’ll keep coming back like the Black Knight in the Monty Python Holy Grail movie..

  3. I don’t know why you say Tuesday is the anniversary, since the case was from September 26, 2005 to November 4, 2005 and the judgment was December 20, 2005. What happened Nov 13 2006 pertaining to Kitzmiller vs Dover?

  4. anony

    Is ‘procreationism’ really want you meant? I know Catholics aren’t supposed to use birth control, but…

  5. Steve Huntwork

    What you are doing is all fine and good, but what law did Congress pass that you are all upset about?

    “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

  6. k9_kaos

    “God created time. So He was here before it began. Duh!”
    - Actual quote from a creationist

  7. davidlpf

    @stuart the parents filed the papers on december 14.

  8. Greg

    “God created time. So He was here before it began. Duh!”
    - Actual quote from a creationist

    Heh. Actually, He was. 13.7+ billion years ago God was walking the infinite field of endless possibility, saw a point that was right, poked it, and the universe came to be. We call it the Big Bang. Ok, maybe it was a ‘brane thing, but still…:)

    Which has the interesting corollary of being 100% compatible with scientific investigation into how the universe works. It also allows for a myriad of other universes, which may or may not follow exactly the same physical laws of this one. It puts an interesting light on some of the things that Hawkings said.

    Anyway, my biggest problem with Intelligent Design, aka Creationism, is that it complicates the issue greatly. Not only do we have to figure out the workings of God’s Machine (the natural laws of the universe) but we have to figure out who the designers are, where they came from, what their physical reality is, and so on.

    Physics is weird enough without adding all of that into it.

  9. cce

    The 14th Amendment extended the rights of the Constitution to protect individuals from state and local governments. As a result, school board policy cannot infringe on those rights any more than a law passed by Congress.

  10. scienceteacherinexile

    I know I have linked this before, but everytime the Dover trial comes up I like to invite people to read The “Vise Strategy” Undone: Kitzmiller et al. v. Dover Area School District .
    Let’s you see how nasty and dishonest people can be.
    I really like Barbara Forrest.

  11. Jim Hammond

    I’m sure BA meant the two year anniversary of the case. For those who aren’t aware of it, the Discovery Institute just went on line with a new website devoted to Intelligent Design: http://www.intelligentdesign.org/

    As one might expect, most of the articles on it now are about the PBS program.

    They do not consider themselves beaten by any means.

  12. @Jim Hammond

    Not surprised, denialism seems to be a requirement of ID/Creationism. Now what I want to know is if they’ll put up various video clips which take everything way out of context in order to celebrate their victory; you know, like quote-mining?

  13. Darth Robo

    “They do not consider themselves beaten by any means.”

    Doesn’t matter, they’ve lost every court case they’ve been involved with. They’re like one of those doll thingees that you can knock over again and again and they always roll back upright. Not much use for much else though, much less science. At least not until they learn how not to be knocked over all the time. ;)

  14. J. D. Mack

    Interestingly, Michael Behe was the guest on last week’s podcast of CFI’s Point of Inquiry ( http://www.pointofinquiry.org ). He said that he thinks he did an excellent job with his testimony in the Dover trial and doesn’t understand why it is reported otherwise. He also said that 90% of Judge Jones’ opinion was written by the plaintiff’s lawyers, and that Judge Jones merely signed off on a document he didn’t really understand.

    (I’m not defending Michael Behe, just mentioning the podcast.)

    J. D.

  15. J. D. Mack

    Oh, and lest we forget what’s coming down the pike:

    http://www.expelledthemovie.com/

    J. D.

  16. Sigh. That’s what I get for posting late when I’m tired. I fixed the errors.

  17. Myeh, I guarantee that my Kitzmiller movie is a better and more accurate synopsis of the KvD case than Ben Stein’s piece of delusional propaganda. Plus it’s only a little over a minute long.

    Kisses

  18. Andy C

    Being in the UK, without access to PBS, I was pleased to note that the whole program will apparently be available online from the 16th at http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/id/program.html

  19. Andy C

    Oops, seems Phil had already noted that it would be online. Oh well, at least adding the date and link was new.

  20. OtherRob

    Hey, Phil, if you don’t get home in time, it will probably be shown again in your area. My Tivo is set to “tape” it at midnight on Thursday.

  21. >> They’re like one of those doll thingees that you can knock over again and again and they always roll back upright.

    Weebles wobble but they don’t fall down. Anyway, the IDers aren’t beaten, and that’s the scary thing; like any ideologues, they’ll just keep coming until they get what they want. Now is not a time to take the men with keyboards, lawbooks, and… sciency… stuff… like microscopes and particle accelerators and whatnot off the walls.

    Vigilance is the key to Airpower.

  22. Quiet_Desperation

    It’s pointless. You want to know the future as it has been derived here at the Desperation compound? A world sewn up tight and rigid up by all the different theologies and ideologies, lobbing the occasional nuke at one another. It ends with lots of whimpers *and* bangs.

    Either that or giant bees.

    It’s a little unclear. We used some of the IPCC’s models in the simulation. :)

  23. TheBlackCat

    I agree with Phil, this was a major defeat. The creationists are by no means gone, but they suffered a major blow. Intelligent Design as a movement is all but dead. First they tried to ban evolution, but that was stopped by the supreme court. Then they required the teaching of creationism, but that was stopped out by the supreme court. Then they required the teaching of “creation science”, but that too was stopped by the supreme court. The modern “intelligent design” movement was a response to that decision, an attempt to exploit a loophole. But after the Dover trial, which wasn’t even a supreme court case, it appears that most if not all efforts have shifted to the “teach the controversy” idea. People had been expecting that would happen for a long time, but I for one didn’t expect it until after the supreme court stopped the teaching of ID.

    No matter what the Discovery Institute claims, this case got the point across that intelligent design would never stand up to a supreme court hearing, forcing them to once again change their strategy. Attempts to sneak creationism into public schools is far from dead, but the creationist have been forced to abandon the latest incarnation and move onto the next. That is all we can really hope for. Creationism will never be dead, but we can continue to chip away at it, continue to weaken their message, continue to reduce the amount of religion they can get away with sneaking into science classrooms. And the defenders of science education are already hard at work taking down the “teach the controversy” incarnation. The fellow at the DI as well as a number of politicians have already poisoned “teach the controversy”, they have irreparably linked it to creationism which is akin to the kiss of death. Expelled looks like it will similarly harm the movement.

  24. > lobbing the occasional nuke at one another.

    Does the atomic winter offset global warming? ;)

  25. Lance

    cce,

    While I agree with your interpretation of the 14th amendment, I know of at least one Supreme Court judge that does not, Clarence Thomas.

    Much as infinite regression is the bane of arguments that appeal to cause, the flaw in out constitutional republic is that all it takes is five knuckle heads to say that day is night to tip the apple cart.

    Much as people that wish to ban guns claim that the 2nd amendment gives the military the right to bear arms in clear contradiction to its wording “the right of the people to keep and bear arms”, folks that wish to impose theocracy on the rest of us harp on the words “congress shall make no law” in the 1st amendment.

    As I said I agee with you that the intent of the 14th amendment was to insure that rights granted under the US constitution could not be usurped by state and local governemnts. The right to religion free schools however is not stated explicitly as a right in the constitution. This is where “interpretation” can be a dicey and highly political temptation.

    The selective interpretation of the actual words of the constitution is a dangerous, but popular, game. That is why I agree with conservatives when they decry “advocate” justices. The problem is they have no problem when judges “advocate” policies with which they agree.

  26. Black Cat, I would disagree strongly that ID is dead, or even close. These guys are virus; they will pop up and infect some other place. I have been hearing horror stories about it for the past few days. Expect to hear more, not less.

  27. Daffy

    Lance, as with most people who oppose any sort of gun regulation, you conveniently left out the first part of the Second Amendment:

    “A well-regulated Militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

    Well regulated.

  28. Celtic_Evolution

    I had never actually taken the time to read the full court’s findings until now. That writing alone was an eye-opener and a history lesson in the evolution (pardon the totally intended pun) of the creationist’s tactics in continually trying to sneak ID into public school curriculum. Frankly, it made me shiver. The tactics are sneaky and underhanded and frankly go against what I believe are the basic tenets of Christian teachings. Do as I say, not as I do, I guess…

    But also, in reading the findings, it clearly disputes Behe’s claims that Judge Jones’ remarks were just regurgitation of the Plaintiff’s lawyers statments, and CERTAINLY neagtes any thought that Judge Jones didn’t understand the topic.

    If you haven’t read it already, I highly recommend it…

  29. “I would disagree strongly that ID is dead, or even close. These guys are virus; they will pop up and infect some other place. I have been hearing horror stories about it for the past few days. Expect to hear more, not less.”

    We here in Florida know that ID is not dead. School board members and some parents are not happy that evolution is proposed to be included in a new draft state science standards (the word is not in the current standards). Including ID was brought up by one such school board member. See the Florida Citizens for Science blog for more about this insanity: http://www.flascience.org/wp/

    No, ID is not dead.

  30. Lance

    Daffy,

    If you would take a little time to investigate what the framers meant by “well regulated” you would quickly learn that they only meant well equipped.

    In any event if you disagree with the idea that citizen’s rights to own fire arms should not be ‘”infringed” you need only have your congressman, or woman as may be the case, propose an amendment to the constitution, have it passed by a two thrids majority in both chambers and then ratified by thirty eight states.

    Oh, by the way, I own no firearms, but I can read and value all of the rights afforded to me by the US constitution. The threat of extra-legal means to usurp my constitutional rights is the main reason I vigorously defend the 2nd amendment. It isn’t there to facilitate duck hunting.

    To quote Thomas Jefferson “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.” Perhaps you disagree with him, but that isn’t salient to the discussion of the true purpose of the 2nd amendment.

  31. Michael

    Part of the issue is the fact that there is no school choice. If people could send their children to the school of their choice without having to pay double in order to do it, you wouldn’t see this kind of attack on the curriculum.

    People are always going to fight over a monopoly, and that’s what we have at the moment. Personally, people concerned about factual presentation of science should be as concerned about the poor and inaccurate presentation it gets in public schools as they are with groups pushing ID.

  32. Daffy

    Lance,

    I have not stated my views on gun control (which would probably surprise you), but merely my observation that those most opposed to any control often misquote the amendment, while at the same time criticizing the other side for doing the exact same thing.

    As you did.

  33. Lance

    Daffy,

    Here is my quote from the 2nd amendment “the right of the people to keep and bear arms”. Unless you have unearthed a new copy I believe I quoted it verbatim, and did not “misquote” it as you claim.

    While you dispute the meaning of the words “well regulated” this is hardly evidence that I am guilty of “misquoting”, and would represent an entirely separate issue.

  34. Quiet_Desperation

    >”but we have to figure out who the designers are, where they came from, what their physical reality is, and so on. Physics is weird enough without adding all of that into it.”

    That hasn’t stopped science fiction authors from trying. :) A good one that comes to mind is Jack Chalker’s Well World series.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Well_World

    Can’t think of another off the top of my head. The Matrix or other localized simulations don’t count.

    >”John Scalzi’s field report”

    Yeah, repeating “horsesh*t” a hundred times is really the way to win the hearts and minds of the ignorant. Will the skeptical community ever learn? EVER? Try talking too people with sincerity instead of at them with derision. I’ve made many a convert that way.

  35. Impium Orexis

    So I decided to play devil’s advocate (har har) and see if I could mount an arguement in favor or creationism that hasn’t been used and subsequently defeated before. I believe I’ve done it.

    Using the Pythagorean method of numerology, the value of the name Adam is 1. Eve works out to 5. Added together that’s 6. Six is the total number of ear bones (ossicles) in a normal human’s head. Bones are made of calcium. The value of the word calcium is 8, and so is the value of the word god. Coincidence?

    In closing, ladies and gentlemen, if Chewbacca lives on Endor, you must acquit! Here, look at the monkey. Look at the silly monkey!

    I rest my case.

  36. Bah. Everyone knows that you should perform numerological twists in Hebrew, not Greek.

    Or, let’s throw everyone for a loop and assign numerical values to Arabic characters (because, everyone knows, Arabic is the true language of God and the Qu’ran and thus the Holy Book must never be translated from Arabic to some inferior language) and work it out that way.

    Again, as we all know, evolution is a Christian plot to destroy Islam.

  37. >> Will the skeptical community ever learn? EVER? Try talking too people with sincerity instead of at them with derision.

    ‘Fraid not, Brother. At least with the evidence currently provided, I am loathe to predict with any certainty any change in attitude or tactics in the near future.

  38. Quiet_Desperation said:

    A good one that comes to mind is Jack Chalker’s Well World series.

    Oh, I so have the hots for Mavra Chang. Nate’s OK, but Mavra rocks.

    I had been beginning to think I was the only person in the universe that had read those books.

    Seriously though, those books really enchanted me.

  39. Daffy

    Lance, had you quoted correctly, you would have written:

    “…the right of the people to keep and bear arms…”

    My only point is you can hardly criticize your opposition’s tactic when you do the same thing yourself.

  40. Guns, when translated into ancient Aramaic and transcribed into voweless Hebrew, comes up with the numeric value of 7, the number of ‘churches’ in the ancient world what Paul kept writing letters to.

    Gun legislation, translated into Bushman language, transliterated into Japanese Han characters, then spoken by a modern Mandarin speaker then translated again into Hebrew results in a numeric value of 666, a number requiring no translation.

    It’s obvious what Jesus would do, and it involves lots of personal defense ordnance.

    Oh, and I made all that stuff up, because right now the “who can quote the 2nd Amendment best” snarking is inherently silly.

  41. Stark

    Ha! You’re both wrong. The correct quote would be “…the right of the people to keep and bear Arms…”

    Note the capitalization of “Arms” which is indeed present in the constitution. “Militia” and “State” are also capitalized. Oddly enough “people” is not capitalized though it often is in other sections of the constitution.

    You wanna get pedantic? I can get pedantic.

    @Centipede – hilarious! :)

  42. Daffy

    “Oh, and I made all that stuff up, because right now the “who can quote the 2nd Amendment best” snarking is inherently silly.”

    As opposed to all the other windmill tilting around here? ;-)

  43. Daffy

    Stark,

    Which constitution were you referring to? Are you implying that the US us the only country with a constitution? Of course, if you were specifying a particular constitution, you should have used a modifier and capitalized the word itself.

    I got yer pedantry right here…
    :)

  44. Republitard McDumbass

    Science 1
    Christards 0

  45. Parsing the Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America would seem to require only a working knowledge of the english language.

    “A well-regulated Militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

    The key thing to realise here is that the two comma-seperated clauses are actually independent.

    “A well-regulated Militia being necessary to the security of a free state,”

    This has no legislative import, as it mandates nothing. It only states the premise upon which the rule is based. This being, of course, that in order to preserve a free state, it is necessary for private citizens acting in concert to be able to mount effective armed resistence against their government.

    It is the second clause that mandates a policy:
    “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

    What right the people might have to keep and bear arms is not specifically mentioned, but given the enhancement of the previous reasoning, it may be presumed that the people must have the right to keep and bear military arms – swords, muskets, and cannons at the time that the amendment was written, or machine-guns, rocket-launchers, and tanks in this time.

    Clearly, this is not how modern jurisprudence interprets the Second Amendment, but it seems clear that this was in fact its intent, taking into account only the actual language of the amendment and the historical conditions that lead to its drafting and enactment.

  46. BigBadSis

    Thanks for the heads-up, Phil. We tuned in just in time to catch it on the East Coast. I sent an email to my kids’ science teachers with the information about the online version. I hope she’ll even play the video to the class.

  47. Quiet Desperation

    >”I had been beginning to think I was the only person in the universe that had read those books.”

    Not really. It was Chalker’s signature series. He was another SF author to die too young, like Roger Zelazny.

  48. Mike R.

    Some Christians are fed up with the ID movement too (I’m one of them). David Heddle’s (excellent) blog has a post about the Uncommon Descent site, which is, apparently, an ID site. Here’s how he starts:

    “Uncommon Descent is again proving to be a major embarrassment. Or, more accurately, it has not yet ceased its never ending pursuit of making a fool of itself. The state of affairs is so bad that I really don’t know how other members of the ID community refrain from publicly distancing themselves from the site’s absurdity. It would be amusing if it were not for the fact that, by extension and association, Christianity is impugned in the process.

    Let’s review the recent travesties.” …..

    You can read the full entry here:

    http://helives.blogspot.com/2007/06/shame-on-uncommon-descent.html

  49. suso

    Very good show. I think is based on this lecture by Ken Miller on Intelligent Design:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JVRsWAjvQSg

    which I think is even better than the PBS show! Only problem is that the lecture is 117 minutes long!!!

  50. Jim Hammond

    I discovered the Ken Miller lecture early this year and was able to record it and show it to a group of folks in a “Learning in Retirement” group. It was very well received. I have not seen the Nova program yet but I will vouch for the Ken Miller lecture (at Case Western Reserve U). It is excellent. There is a link to it at Panda’s Thumb : http://www.pandasthumb.org/archives/2006/01/ken-miller-webc.html

    The quality may be better than Youtube.

    I am recording the HD version of the Nova program on Thursday. It is available on our local (Oregon) digital public broadcast station. It is probably available in other places, too.

  51. SirJonah

    I too was able to record the 720P HD version of the NOVA program and have it on my networked media player’s external hard drive and I’m re-watching it right now on my HD front projector.

    Hey, I’m a science geek.

    “Judgment Day” is excellent… one of the very best NOVA’s ever produced… and I’ve been watching NOVA since I was a little kid. I noticed that Joseph McMaster directed it, and I believe he directed the Emmy and Peabody award winning “The Elegant Universe” NOVA that was based on Brian Greene’s book of the same name.

    Very insightful, very clearly presented to the audience… gripping and intelligent… unlike creationism.

    To quote Darwin himself:

    “There is grandeur in this view of life… from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved.”

  52. SirJonah

    Oh, and one more thing…

    WGBH Boston should get some money together and have this program transfered to 35mm and get it out in theaters to counter “Expelled.”

    A 100 theaters around the country would be acceptable.

  53. Tom

    Saw the show. Thought it was great. I grew up near Dover, and my wife was unimpressed when I drove her through it.

    Thanks for the link to Expelled. I hadn’t heard about it.

    Check out the extras section for the NOVA show. The judge is very thoughtful in his interview: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/id/extras.html

  54. Zeke Silva

    Thanks Phil, The Show was great! Kudos to the Dover heros!

  55. TheBlackCat

    I should probably clarify what I meant when I said the intelligent design movement was “dead”. I was not saying the people that form the intelligent design movement are giving up. I also was not saying that all attempts to promote intelligent design would end. To give an example, look at creation science, for instance. It is alive and well. There are still large groups that promotes it, still a large number of people who believe it, and still occasional attempts to push it on schools. However, after the Edwards decision the large-scale attempts to require it in schools became far less common. You heard less and less about it from politicians and the press. It simply ceased to have the same importance it did before that ruling. Efforts were shifted towards promoting intelligent design. Not completely, but to a large extent. Of Pandas and People was rewritten to remove explicit references to “creationism” and “God” and replace them with “intelligent design” and “an intelligent designer”. The focus of creationist efforts changed. It seems a similar thing is happening now with intelligent design. Sure there are still attempts to promote intelligent design in public schools, but most effort major efforts seems to have be redirected to promoting this “teach the controversy” thing. Intelligent design proponents are still around, and still support intelligent design, but their rhetoric seems to have shifted considerably. Instead of focusing on how intelligent design is being suppressed, they are focusing on how evidence that casts doubt on evolution is being suppressed. The most publicized efforts and counter-efforts seem to be regarding attempts to promote “teach the controversy” as opposed to “teach intelligent design”. Of Pandas and People has been re-written to focus on supposed “controversies” in evolution as opposed to focusing on promoting “intelligent design”. The same goals are there, the same players remain, many of the same arguments are being used, it is simply that the focus of the rhetoric and legal efforts have been changed in an attempt to once again work around the latest legal setback. It isn’t a total shift, and it doesn’t look like the shift is complete yet, but there has definitely been a shift.

  56. Lance

    Daffy,

    OK I guess your point, that I missed twice, was that I failed to put “…” before and after the quotation. Certainly the ”…” at the end is incorrect since this phrase concludes the amendment.

    Stark,

    Enjoyed your pedantry. Someone has to pick nits or everything gets lousy.

    Jedi Bear

    A very cogent analysis of the meaning, context and modern interpretation of the 2nd amendment. As I said I have never owned a fire arm but “interpreting” the constitution in direct contradiction of the original meaning is something to which I vigorously object.

    If the original meaning doesn’t suit the modern world then the framers laid out a clear way to change it. The rule of law is all that separates us from the rest of the apes. Oh, that and cable TV of course.

  57. > To give an example, look at creation science, for instance. It is alive and well.

    Y’know, I think we should start a group experiment to scientifically test the efficacy of houdou…

    *coworker points at houdou doll on my desk* “What’s that?”

    “A houdou doll.”

    “I could sort of tell from the pins. Um, who is it supposed to be?”

    “A randomly selected ‘Creation Scientist.’”

    “…Why? Or should I even ask…”

    “You should. You see, I’m performing an experiment in the name of science.”

    “In the name of science?”

    “Yes. In more ways than one.”

  58. Sergeant Zim

    The problem, as I see it, is that the ‘teach the controversy’ approach is almost a no-lose approach for the creos.

    If we claim (correctly) that there is no real controversy, the creos pop up with their list of scientists, and say, “See? there are a BUNCH of scientists who say differently”. Even if we show the total disparity of numbers, the creos will trot out examples of scientists who were ridiculed, yet whose theories eventually became accepted (Einstein, Galileo, etc.).

    If we actually agree to present both sides, even showing creationism (in all its illigitimate offspring forms) as fraudulent, flawed, and a disservice to both religion and science, they still win, by default, since they will have ‘converted’ enough of the students to make the next school board election a disaster.

    The average American voter is not educated enough about the finer points of science to understand the red herrings the creos toss with abandon every chance they get. Some say that is the fault of Government Schools, but that begs the question, who destroyed Government Schools in the first place? Was it the teachers, or was it the politicians, who somehow just can’t keep from meddling?

  59. oldamateurastronomer

    I wished I could have seen the program. My local PBS station did not broadcast it on their analog channel and at the moment I do not have cable or satellite access to their digital and/or HD services. Instead they rebroadcast a locally produced programs on the local veterans in WWII and for the second hour, again, a locally produced program on music from that era.

    I wrote the station as to why they did not broadcast it on their analog station and I received this as part of the answer – ‘While accurate in its depiction of the results of the trial featured in the NOVA episode, we felt that it might look particularly one-sided to most of our audience.’ Unfortunately, the area where I live has been called the buckle of the Bible Belt. I also live in the state on the ‘Dayton Trial’!

    So to avoid ‘controversy’ they decided to put the NOVA program on only their access available to those with cable or satellite service for which I cannot justify the expense at the moment (I live on Social Security Disability only).

    I replied that I was disappointed in their decision in depriving those who cannot afford the non-off-air services of an important event in legal history.

  60. Sergeant Zim said,

    The average American voter is not educated enough…

    I think you could just stop right there. Herein lies the crux of the matter, and the only viable long-term solution to it as well, as far as I can tell.

    Kisses Sergeant Zim,

    JanieBelle

  61. TheBlackCat

    Fear not, old guy. Nova is saying the whole thing will be available online Friday.

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/id/program.html

    It is pretty sad that they think they have to censor their broadcasts just so they don’t offend some people who don’t want to hear the truth. Of course it will look one-sided, the trial itself was on-sided. The IDers screwed it up big-time. The Nova episode apparently just told it as it was. The only thing the DI could come up with in the way of criticism were a few meaningless nit-picks.

  62. oldamateurastronomer

    Thanks, Black Cat, I’ve bookmarked the site and I’ll be watching.

    I downloaded the PDF of the judge’s decision when it was available, but haven’t read it yet(!). I’ve been interested in the subject of evolution for most of my life, but, unfortunately most of my family were and still are very religious folks, not to the edge of fundamentalism, but enough to make the occasional remark that evolution is only a theory. As if that were some sort of put-down.

    I love ‘em, but I don’t discuss such when in their presence. Lately the father of my brother-in-law has taken to reading books and watching videos on how astronomically ‘privileged we are, unfortunately from a ‘God did this for us’ perspective.

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