Thursday, November 15, 2007

The Nova reviews have started coming in. The Oregonian has this to say:

"Judgment Day" offers an admirably compact and methodical presentation of the sides in the debate. It should be highly useful in years to come. Jones, the judge, took a month to announce his decision. When he did, it was a 139-page, meticulously worded statement. He knew its historic importance and strove to leave an unequivocal record of his reasoning.

This from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

"NOVA" uses re-enactments, generally not my favorite approach, to dramatize the courtroom scenes. But in this instance, I'm not sure there would have been a better way to do it. There's a lot of science to explain, and the re-enactments use court transcripts, ensuring that viewers see at least portions of the trial as they exist in the record.

In July, "NOVA" executive producer Paula S. Aspell acknowledged that tonight's "NOVA" does not start from a blank slate, weighing the virtues of intelligent design with those of evolution.

" 'NOVA' would never do that. We're a science series, and intelligent design is not a science," she said at a PBS press conference.

This seems a tad heavy-handed, even for NOVA, who should have evaluated whether or not ID was science.

From the Cincinnati Post (whose readers probably watched the program with more interest than most):

How he reached that conclusion is what makes the film such compelling viewing, dramatized by the court re-enactments. There was even a "smoking gun" that plaintiff's attorneys uncovered during the trial that clinched their case. It makes for an ending twist as good as any scripted drama show. The piece does take some detours to revisit the theory of evolution - reminding viewers that, "it is one of the best-tested and most thoroughly confirmed theories in the history of science."

Joshua Rosenau at Thoughts from Kansas has this take:

You can see the NCSE's official stance on the NOVA documentary about the Dover trial at our website, but I want to add to that. The official stance is that it is "accurate," which skips the part about how ID got its ass handed to it in Dover. The thrill of that victory was getting a bit distant, and it's nice to remember just how badly ID (and the DI) blew it in their first big day out. The documentary does a nice job showing just how badly the IDolators screwed up, but they couldn't pack all of their stupidity into a mere two hour show.

I have made it through the first 45 minutes but with two sick kids, it has been slow going. Christianity has not come off well, so far.

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