Public television for the win!

The other day I busted on public television (just a little) for being completely disconnected from reality. It’s only fair, then, that I take a moment to give WGBH and Nova props for last night’s documentary Judgment Day: Intelligent Design on Trial. The show covered the events that took place last year in Dover, Pennsylvania, when my hero Eugenie Scott and so many others took it upon themselves to defend a school from the ignorance of creationism.

Genie(An aside about Eugenie Scott: I don’t use the word “hero” lightly. If you don’t know her, you should. Check out our interview of her on The Skeptics’ Guide here, and visit The National Center for Science Education here. My dream is to one day have half her intelligence, wit, and beauty. That’s all, gushing over!)

Anyway, if you missed last night’s showing, have no fear. Whet your appetite with this amusing clip uploaded by Norm over at OneGoodMove, plus this other shorter clip showing Genie. Then check out Nova’s web site this Friday, where you’ll be able to view the show online for free. Kudos to WGBH and Nova for using the Internet to deliver high-quality, educational content to a large audience.

Rebecca Watson

Rebecca is a writer, speaker, YouTube personality, and unrepentant science nerd. In addition to founding and continuing to run Skepchick, she hosts Quiz-o-Tron, a monthly science-themed quiz show and podcast that pits comedians against nerds. There is an asteroid named in her honor. Twitter @rebeccawatson Mastodon Instagram @actuallyrebeccawatson TikTok @actuallyrebeccawatson YouTube @rebeccawatson BlueSky

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  1. I watched the show last night, I found it pretty interesting even though I was already familiar with most of the events that took place, it was nice to see some of the interviews. While I like it over all my only complaint was that they left little time for the post decision interviews.

    Like classic 80's football playing movies the whole thing seemed to end only moments after the big touchdown with little more than notes appended over the credits to satisfy us.

    The show also reminded me that Pat Robertson is an ass, and it had been at least 24 hours since that had come to mind.

  2. I've read the trial transcripts front to back, and the entire decision. The program was great, and it sure hit the highest of the highlights, but I honestly recommend the entire shebang. There's way too much good stuff in there to condense into two hours, and the subtle humor and nuances that the claimants' attorneys so excellently conveyed to Judge Jones are not to be missed.

    NOVA was relatively easy on the defendants, actually. They could have been much more scathing had they chosen to. Behe, Buckingham, and Bonsell should be ecstatic that I wasn't running the show.

    One of the best parts was Billy "I never said Creationism" Buckingham showing what an ignorant, dishonest buffoon he really is.

  3. I just watched it this afternoon. It was wonderful to see the evolution theory explained and defended so well.

    Honestly, by the end when Buckingham, Behe, and Bonsell (hereafter referred to as the ID3Bs) were interviewed, I just felt so sorry for them. They seem to be broken. They are all so deluding themselves and grasping to hang on to everything they believed to be true. Buckingham in particular seemed totally amazed at the decision and couldn't comprehend any of it – even the fact that he lied and perjured himself. I kind of got the impression that he just didn't have the wattage to take it all in. He wasn't ready for the truth.

    I would have liked to see more of what Judge Jones thought about the trial, particularly how the evidence presented affected his own thinking, if at all.

    I now have a little more respect for PBS, now.

  4. The show made me so happy. I totally loved the show. I needed a cigarette, and I don't smoke.

    God bless PBS (heheh), and I want to have Eugenie Scott's babies. They'll have to gestate in a box, however.


  5. "In the beginning God created and that's all I need to know.", explained a local Dover resident.

    Upon hearing this argument I immediately reasoned the issue was resolved and began to wonder how the remaining 118 minutes of scheduled programing would be filled. Perhaps by appreciating the wonder of how organisms magically appear due to some unknown intelligent agent's will? What an incredibly nice intelligent agent I soon thought. Maybe we should begin praising this unknown agent to show our appreciation for their generosity.

    I sometimes wonder how much easier life would be if I were capable of reaching such destructively high levels of ignorance and apathy as the believers of ID. Thankfully I always snap out of it remembering the beauty of the natural world and allure of discovering the unknown.

    I had been waiting all week to view this program and it was well worth the wait. I loved the transitional fossil they found within one of the revisions of the ID book. That was just sweet icing on the cake.

  6. Rather than finding a dollar in your pocket I think I would characterize it more like having your most hated intellectual enemy walk up to you in front of a judge and hand you $10,000 and then suddenly realize what he's done, and not be able to take it back.

  7. I love Eugenie Scott, but the hero of the the Dover case was undoubtedly Barbara Forrest. She was the one that uncovered the IDers' real motives and exposed them for the lying hypocrites that they are.

  8. Just watched this online, and it was awesome. They explained the two sides really thoroughly…I have to admit I enjoyed watching Bonsell fall on his face.

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