Today is Judgment Day

Watch Nova tonight on PBS.

Don’t forget to watch Nova tonight on PBS.

6 Responses to “Today is Judgment Day”

  1. ParrotLover77 Says:

    I missed it. How was it?

  2. Ron Britton Says:

    D’oh! After all of that warning, you still missed it?

    Go by the Nova website to see if it is going to be rerun in your area sometime in the next few days.

    You can also now watch it online. The site is intermittently giving errors right now, due to high demand.

    Overall, I thought it was pretty good. The pacing seemed a little slow. They did an excellent job of explaining evolution.

  3. tom ross Says:

    Ha Ha, thanks for the tip. GREAT show. We saw how the fundies lied, cheated, lied under oath, committed vandalism, wrote death threats to teachers, how 3/4 of the fundie experts scheduled to testify were too afraid to come out and play. We saw teachers and moms fight the anti-science crowd. A great victory. Oh did I mention that the FUNDIES LOST.

    The fundie tactics were a direct line to the old days of the inquisition.

    tomdem

  4. Brian Says:

    Wonderful show. Put it in every biology class in the country.

    Here’s what bothered me, though. Many interviewed who had opposed the school board by fighting the introduction of ID into the classroom sadly recalled how others in their fair city, upset at their stance on the matter, called them…….ATHIESTS!!!!! (gasp, cue evil music, thunder & lightning). I know the show was about how they admirably kept non-science out of the science classroom, but, come on NOVA. Throw us a bone here. The viewer is left with the unrefuted impression that atheists are somehow below dung beetles or slime molds in the great scheme of things. Oh, well, maybe I’m over-reacting.

    I was also struck by one of the plaintiffs in the case, Brian Rehm, also a biology teacher in the district. There he was, swinging with his wife on their porch, speaking elegantly about science and the need to defend it from “breath-taking inanity”, to quote Judge Jones III. But toward the end of the show, as proof that they aren’t despicable atheists (I’ve got to let it go…..) we are treated to their bible school class/sing-a-long session as proof of their piety. Did I miss something here, or did the irony bus just go whizzing by? For the life of me, I will never understand those who make warm and fuzzy claims about science and religion co-existing peacefully. How does one with a firm grasp of science compartmentalize his mind so as to allow part of his brain to accomodate nonsense? And isn’t what he and his wife are doing to those kids in their bible study session no different from the goals of the Discovery Institute? “Kids, today we’re going to learn about natural selection and how mutation can be beneficial to a species in given conditions. Eventually we will witness the majestic rise of mankind on the grand tree of life, and hopefully come to understand our place in the world. Oh, and don’t forget about this Sunday’s Bible study class when we learn how God made us all miserable wretches and that we should be grateful he even lets us into Heaven at all.” Or, something like that.

  5. Ron Britton Says:

    Brian

    For whatever reason, most people seem to want religion. The brain has an amazing ability to hold contradictory views and not feel conflicted.

    Science actually makes no statements about the supernatural except that the supernatural does not interact with the natural. There could easily be a supernatural realm that coexists with our natural realm, but there’s no evidence that one intrudes on the other. That’s why studies show that prayer doesn’t work.

    This begs the question of why somebody would want to believe in a supernatural realm if it has no ability to interact with ours, but I doubt people think that all of the way through. Maybe people think that God occasionally sticks his finger into our world in ways that aren’t measurable, such as preventing a car crash.

    Some religions are compatible with science in that they accept evolution and all scientific principles about the natural world. People who want their religion and science too gravitate to one of those religions. The ignorant, foolish, and simple-minded gravitate to fundamentalism.

  6. ParrotLover77 Says:

    Brian – Those type of “moderate” Christians believe that the bible is not necessarily a factual account of history (well, other than most of the Christ story, I suppose), but is, in fact, a series of stories told to teach us lessons about their deity and good morality. For better or worse, that’s what they believe.

    The good news is that because they don’t hold the bible to the same “word of God” standard that fundies do, they are open to accepting scientific theories of reality. In fact, there are actually many scientists in this bucket.

    The bad news is that disproving their beliefs is harder than it is for a fundie. You can logically deduce that a fundie is wrong by empirical evidence. Now, they may choose to not believe you, but you cannot come to the same solid “you are wrong” conclusion when the bible is no longer necessarily held as a factual account of history. You can’t argue “the flood didn’t happen” because they’ll say “yea, I know it didn’t actually happen, but it’s a story about blah blah blah.”

    I suppose it’s irrelevant because those folks aren’t trying to strip away the rights of the atheists and agnostics (and even other religions for that matter), but at the same time, to an atheist such as yourself, it is a frustrating matter to not be able to (so to speak) open their eyes.

    I’m reminded of Carl Sagan’s “invisible dragon” story in cases like this. You can’t convince them the invisible dragon isn’t there. The best you can do is assume they are wrong, let them believe what they may, and open the issue back up later if further scientific evidence may change either side’s position.

    As for the spinning of atheists as evil, it doesn’t surpise me. This type of bigotry exists and will exist for a long time. This is why we are likely not going to see an atheist president, for example, in our lifetime. What was the last poll I read… Something like only 20% would vote for an atheist? It’s absolutely crazy.