Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Judgement Day

I finally got around to watching the Nova documentary Judgement Day, investigating the attempt to introduce Intelligent Design to the classroom. There was a lot of hype about the program. While Intelligent Design advocates claimed that the show contained errors and was biased, the anti-ID camp reveled in how stupid it made the creationists look.

In fact, I thought it was a refreshingly balanced piece of journalism. Several members from each side of the case, including individuals from the Dover School District, members of each council, expert witnesses and the judge himself were given opportunities to express their point of view. The narration never ridiculed or belittled any contributor, expect perhaps towards the end when it was clear that the ID proponents had lied, held misguided opinions of science and were motivated by religious zeal, despite continuing to claim that their aim was the improved scientific education of American children.

Really this whole debate highlights the scientific community's failure to educate the general public about our understanding of genetics. Unfortunately, some of the best explanations for the lay person were penned by Richard Dawkins, who has unhelpfully assumed the role of self-proclaimed anti-Christ.

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