Saturday, November 17, 2007

More thoughts on the Dover NOVA special:
1. I don't think that it was the slam dunk for evolution that Josh Rosenau of "Thoughts from Kansas" said it was. There was so much more that could have been shown in support of the theory that would have been more "in your face" than Tiktaalik, although that particular fossil is pretty cool. The human fossil record has an amazing array of transitional fossils. That probably would have been a bit controversial for their purposes, though.
2. After having read the trial transcripts for the testimony of Michael Behe, it seems to me that NOVA was very selective in what they showed. While I could quibble with Behe's acceptance of ID, he is a much better scientist than was painted.
3. Behe takes great pains to describe ID in non-religious terms. That is missed entirely in the special.
4. Nowhere is theistic evolution mentioned, which would have put a somewhat less antagonistic air about the proceedings. It is implied that some of the participants held this view but never expanded upon.
5. The NOVA special did a good job of expounding on Barbara Forrest's testimony about the "missing link" between "creation" and "Intelligent Design" in the two drafts of the book Of Pandas and People that straddled the Edwards Vs. Aguilard decision in 1987. The trial transcripts don't mention the changes from "Creation" to "cdesign proponentsists" to "design proponents."
6. It was a combination of point 5 and the Wedge Document that did them in. I remember thinking that the Wedge document was pretty critical to the plaintiff's case.

It was not a completely unbiased special, but it did show the gaps in ID pretty clearly.

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