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Sunday, September 21, 2014
PBS Ombudsman

'Judgment Day,' Intelligently Designed

The e-mail from viewers was immediate and heavy, and the opinions intense. The subject was the two-hour documentary titled "Judgment Day: Intelligent Design on Trial" that aired Tuesday night, Nov. 13, as part of the long-running and widely acclaimed PBS science series, NOVA, produced by WGBH in Boston.

The program dealt with a six-week courtroom drama that focused national, and international, attention on the small, eastern Pennsylvania town of Dover in 2005. The case was Kitzmiller, et. al. v. Dover Area School District, et. al. But the case name hardly describes the issue, which grew out of an attempt by the local school board to order science teachers to read a statement to their high school biology students that said there is an alternative to Charles Darwin's theory of evolution, and that alternative is called intelligent design. ID, as it is called, is based on the notion that certain life forms are too complex to be explained by Darwin's theory of natural evolution and therefore had to have been designed by an intelligent agent. That agent is not stated but is understood to be God, and that process is not stated but understood to be creationism.

Science teachers and many parents strongly objected. The dispute severely split the community and several parents filed suit against the district. The case wound up on the front pages and in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania in Harrisburg, with Judge John E. Jones III, a Republican appointed by President George W. Bush, presiding.

The trial, which would become an important moment in the long running battle between scientists, parents — those who are religious but feel science is not incompatible with their beliefs — and those who have a more fundamental and uncompromising belief in the biblical story of creation. It brought back memories of the famous Scopes Trial in Tennessee in 1925 that upheld a law banning the teaching of evolution. But several Federal and U.S. Supreme Court rulings in the past 40 or so years have reversed that course and struck down attempts to mandate, through laws, that "creation science" be taught along with evolution.

The Decider

Judge Jones delivered a stinging new affirmation of those decisions, arguing that intelligent design is "a religious view, a mere re-labeling of creationism, and not a scientific theory." He said the school board's claim of simply trying to examine an alternative was "a pretext for the Board's real purpose, which was to promote religion in the public classroom, in violation of the Establishment Clause," a reference to the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

"Both Defendants," Jones said, "and many of the leading proponents of Intelligent Design make a bedrock assumption which is utterly false. Their presupposition is that evolutionary theory is antithetical to a belief in the existence of a supreme being and to religion in general. To be sure, Darwin's theory of evolution is imperfect. However, the fact that a scientific theory cannot yet render an explanation on every point should not be used as a pretext to thrust an untestable alternative hypothesis grounded in religion into the science classroom or to misrepresent well-established scientific propositions. The citizens of the Dover area were poorly served by the members of the Board who voted for the Intelligent Design Policy."

The program attracted many reviews, and all those that I saw from more than a dozen newspapers across the country were very positive. Yet by about a three-to-one margin, the long compilation of letters from viewers that appears below were critical of the program, charging a one-sided treatment, a bias toward evolution colored by the producers, and that it was insulting to believers. Some of these are very powerful statements.

I find myself in agreement with that smaller number of viewers who wrote to me and praised the program. I'm a believer in evolution, and also understand the power and comfort of faith. But this was a program based on very solid ground — a high-profile event that took place in public view, had its activities and the arguments of all sides recorded by the court, was reported in detail by the press, and provided a digestible refresher course on the extraordinary work of Darwin that has, so far, survived 150 years of scientific probing and testing. In the end, even defense attorney Richard Thompson says, "I think first of all you, you have to say we had a fair trial," adding that, " I'm just disturbed about the extent of his (Judge Jones') opinion, that it went way beyond what he should have gone into deciding matters of science."

There were no cameras allowed in the courtroom, so "Judgment Day" uses court transcripts and re-enactments of testimony of witnesses, plus interviews with parents, school board members and advocates on both sides to present what I thought was not only a compelling, real-life and very important courtroom drama, but also a lesson on science, religion and biology that demanded that you pay close attention and rewarded you for doing so. It seemed to me public television at its best — a fair, fact-based look at an important and understandably emotional case, and into the essence of what science is and is not.

But In Memphis, Viewers Ask: What 'Judgment Day?'

Aside from the letters, many of which are printed just below, there were also phone calls received from PBS viewers around Memphis, Tenn., complaining that "Judgment Day" was not shown on their local station, WKNO. These callers said NOVA programs were always shown and that they were offended and insulted by what they viewed as censorship by station officials.

Early ratings research, according to PBS, show that this edition of NOVA achieved above-average viewership for the 56 TV markets around the country whose PBS stations are regularly metered by the Nielsen Station Index. This shows that the film was aired as scheduled in 52 of them. Of the four stations that didn't show the film, one was in the middle of Pledge Drive and another is on a reduced subscription basis that delays broadcasts by several days. Memphis and Louisville, Ky., were the only others that did not show it.

The calls I got were all from Memphis. One caller, David O. Hill, later wrote to me and described "a significant departure from the high standards of intellectual integrity that we viewers expect from PBS, and for which we support our local affiliate stations with both loyalty and remuneration. WKNO-TV here in Memphis made the decision, apparently at the last minute, not to air the NOVA program, 'Judgment Day: Intelligent Design on Trial.' The showing had been well publicized, both on air a week in advance, and in the daily TV listings in Tuesday's Commercial Appeal. I have spoken with two members of that paper's editorial staff, and it seems that they, too, where dismayed by the cancellation. Apparently they queried WKNO immediately and found that the station's email reply fell short of providing a satisfactory explanation. Why would WKNO censure the airing of this program? And yes, I do consider this censorship! Who made this decision, and with what justification? I think a serious error was made here, and I strongly hope that it will never again be repeated."

I asked WKNO Station Manager Russ Abernathy about these complaints. He said the station decided to run re-plays of local programs that were prepared for Veterans Day, two days earlier, that were documentaries playing off the Ken Burns series "The War." He said "Judgment Day" did not run on their analog, or main broadcast channel, the one most people get, but that it did run on the high-definition channel, and on one of the station's digital channels. Asked if local or political pressures were a factor in not running it on the main channel, as is normal, he said, "There was some concern because of our market, but that was not the driving force by any means." In response to the concerns expressed about not airing it, he said the station is going to run the program in the same time slot in January, probably the 22nd, with some sort of local follow-up discussion. The Commercial Appeal, under a story headlined "Topic too hot for WKNO," also quoted station spokesman Teri Sullivan as saying the program did not air because of the "controversial nature" of the subject.

All PBS affiliates are independent and can decide what programs they are going to air. But I, too, think WKNO made a serious mistake in not broadcasting this program on its main channel at a time when the rest of the country could easily tune in.

Here Are the Letters

The full two-hour debate into Intelligent Design vs. Darwin's scientific studies was a great presentation! Thankfully, Science won for me! If we are to continue to seek "our beginnings," we apparently won't be satisfied unless we know WHO did all this stuff! GOD is a great name (for we Christians) but the story is just a popular theory. I want to know more! The stock machinery in all creatures was a great piece of work! (Eyes, Nose, Ears, Mouth, Brain & Heart!) Mankind is the only one that REASONS. That must have been a mistake, huh?

Bruce Towar, Two Rivers, WI



I am a Quaker pastor with a keen interest in science. I am very disappointed in the absolutely one-sided treatment of the Evolution and Intelligent Design debate on PBS. Last night, the Jim Lehrer NewsHour featured a soft-ball interview with Judge Jones, apparently in order to promote "Judgment Day," itself a very unfair and inaccurate treatment of the subject. Why was there no interview with any one of a considerable number of well-qualified scientists and legal experts who consider Judge Jones' opinion and ruling faulty?

I realize that PBS has always treated the neo-Darwinian theory of Evolution as sacred and beyond question but last night's dose of Darwin-worship was so strong and so contrary to any genuine search for truth that I can no longer consider support of public television a morally defensible practice. For years, I have defended public television among my fellow Christians for its many fine offerings for family viewing, but PBS has become so strident and so relentless in its disrespect for fair debate and dialogue on the subject of Evolution vs. Intelligent Design, that I can no longer do so.

Why has PBS never broadcast any of the very fine and well-produced films featuring critiques of the theory of Evolution and presenting the case for Intelligent Design? A couple of these are "The Icons of Evolution" and "The Privileged Planet." If the majority of the American public, despite years of massive indoctrination by Evolutionists, still believe in some form of creationism or Divine involvement in the origin and development of the universe and of life on earth, then PBS should allow them to have at least a small opportunity to show that they are not religiously-blinded bigots.

Or, if broadcasting these ID programs is too much for you to stomach, why not at least allow qualified spokespersons from the ID movement to debate and rebut the arguments put forward in the attack pieces and films you regularly air on PBS?

James Healton, Sacramento, CA

(Ombudsman's Note: "The Privileged Planet" was the subject of a Jan. 30, 2006 Ombudsman's Column, and the film was shown on 11 PBS-affiliated stations.)



First let me say that I am not threatening to boycott PBS. You have a right to air any stories you like but I do have an opinion about the amount of time given to the so-called controversy about intelligent design. In a nutshell, it's pathetic. You may as well be asking the audience to decide whether we are products of an evolutionary process or if Daffy Duck is behind it all. In fact, Daffy Duck has a better vocabulary than most of the people who advocate for intelligent design.

The whole notion that there is a god-like being somewhere roaming around heaven and stroking his gray beard as he figures out how to design our world is so obviously a myth that it is truly astounding that we still have millions of people who believe this stuff. Creationism is a myth in a long series of dramatic and eloquent myths that began long before Christianity or Judaism. If millions of people are hooked on the myth, that's fine, as long as we don't start taking it seriously. And, too many Americans have unfortunately taken the myth to be a divine truth.

Once you separate god from nature and set man above the rest of the natural world, you are doomed. It's very sad to see PBS go down the road to a serious exploration of intelligent design no matter what the outcome of the debate is. Daffy for President!

Leon Levy, Solana Beach, CA



After tonight's program on Intelligent Design it proves that PBS has a "design" of its own — it's one that is driving the country to destruction — your bias is completely counter to history, to the very foundation of our nation and history of nations. Every part from beginning to end had its own objective; completely counter to the Truth which is proven in the rise and fall of nations.

Daryle Getting, Winter Park, FL


So, Why Are There Still Monkeys, a Viewer Asks?

It doesn't take a "Rocket Scientist" to figure out that if we, as humans, evolved from monkeys . . . THEN WHY? . . . Are there STILL Monkeys??? We were "Created" by God!!! Pull up AOL now and you'll notice the Gov. of Georgia praying for rain, (No Doubt to GOD). When 9/11 happened what did every good neighbor do? PRAY. Not to monkeys . . . To our "Creator"!!! It shouldn't take tragic and desperate circumstances for people to realize this fact!!! GOD BLESS AMERICA!!! In GOD We Trust!!!

Sonya L. Johnson, North Port, FL



I just watched your program "Judgment Day: Intelligent Design on Trial." Fantastic! I don't remember recently watching such an informative and well put together program. PBS deserves to be awarded for this stellar program. Thank you so much for actually airing a program that was intelligent, well put together, and fun to watch. Superb.

Atlanta, GA



Intellectual dishonesty, clear bias towards evolution, & unfair treatment of the subject matter. I measured the time from the beginning of the program to the first time an idea from ID theory was even presented (25). If I had time I could make a chart of how many times a positive statement was made pro evolution (uncontested) vs. pro ID statement (each contested or refuted). What are you people afraid of? I am concerned for the viewer who is not familiar with the major tenants of both sides of the argument. I am only a lay person, but I know enough about the issue to see that a fair hearing in your format is not tolerated.

Marcus Moreno, San Bruno, CA



Just read the reason Paula Apsell, Senior Executive Producer of "Judgment Day . . ." gave for doing the show. She very clearly states her belief in evolution, and as such, her bias in the matter colors her program. I watched parts of the program and, being a PBS station (KQED), I already knew this program would lean heavily towards the evolution side. At the end, when the judge gives his ruling, I knew the reason for the show being done — because it appears to validate the thinking of those who believe in evolution.

I am glad I have not donated any $ to KQED for many years since I would not want to contribute to the propagation of the false, erroneous, illogical theory of macro-evolution.

If evolution were true and man "evolved" from apes, why do we have apes and monkeys co-existing with man? Why have the apes not all turned into humans?

Then, there's the immoral implication of evolution. "Survival of the fittest" follows from evolutionary theory. Evolutionists, to be logical and true to their faith (it takes faith to believe in it since there is no clear, unimpeachable physical evidence for macro-evolution) should see nothing wrong with what Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, etc., did in the genocides of millions of people. Since the exterminated ones were "weak," in terms of evolutionary faith, evolution proponents should all just shrug off these murders as being inconsequential (which is how the ones responsible for the murders saw them). But most don't, and the reason is we know those were atrocities. We know to murder another human being is wrong. And we know this because we have consciences given to us by our Creator.

David V., Newark, CA



Any pretense of objectivity on behalf of PBS is ridiculous, I'm watching a 2 hour advertisement for evolution, smug and dismissive as it is. To say PBS is objective is like saying PBS is commercial free. I don't expect to hear where the pre-existing matter from which all things evolved came from. POOF magical matter space and time explode to the four corners of the cosmos. POOF magical pre-existing unicellular organism for all things to evolve from. No attempt at an explanation?

C.W., Kansas City, KS



Nice work on the NOVA presentation of "Judgment Day." Now if we can only get our political ship in order.

Gary Weiss, Bakersfield, CA



I have been a faithful watcher of PBS and the NOVA programs over the many years and have always stood up for those who would say that PBS was too liberal in its programming. Your program insulted me and my family with your very jaundiced view and recreation of facts that were slanted heavily towards Darwinism. You did have one science teacher who was pictured in a Roman Catholic Church, as a presumed Christian who said that IF GOD does exist — No more needs be said. I hope you don't find this too mushy, but may God be with you.

Dan Fahey, Greenwich, CT



I am watching your series on intelligent design and can't believe how biased and unprofessional it is! Is this NOVA? If so, it certainly taints the entire series. Evolution IS intelligent design. The program tars creationists as backward and evolutionists as enlightened. How awful. It enlists the ACLU and even takes a shot at George W. Bush. Shameful. Surely you could have interviewed prominent scientists, philosophers and theologians who could explain how the two theories are actually one and the same. Typical humanistic, lefty propaganda staged to move the feeble mind to a certain point of view. Garbage, really. You should fire the writers and producers. I spent 10 years at AP, so I know a little about editorial balance and integrity.

Tampa, FL


Ignoring Science that Affirms ID

Recently I watched your commentary on the Dover debate over evolution vs. intelligent design. I believed that your report of it was quite biased, as it ignored many scientific arguments affirming intelligent design. Teaching this theory in school would not be establishing a religion in America, hence being unconstitutional, but would give students the opportunity to see both sides of the argument. I appreciated watching this commentary, but I believe it could have been presented in a way that did not show such bias.

Elizabeth Glorioso, Dimondale, MI



The recent Nova special on Intelligent Design vs. Evolution was one of the most blatantly biased pieces of so-called "journalism" or scientific documentary. It was extremely insulting to the idea of Design. The whole tone of it was very sarcastic against Intelligent Design and completely victimized evolutionary thought by the evil villains of religious ignoramuses. It gave precious little air time to ID scientists who have plenty of legitimate research, but gave plenty of time towards evolutionary research. This was especially evident during the reenactment of the trial, when all evolutionary thought was propagated without rebuttal. However, the design theory was constantly interrupted with instances of anti-design narrative and arguments from outside the dramatization.

Intelligent Design is not religion. The end of the lesson does not offer any path to eternal salvation, claim that we are spiritual beings, or delve into supernatural phenomena; it merely states a theory of the origin of humankind that people in any arena should not be afraid to discuss. If public schools are assuming the responsibility of telling students to tolerate alternative lifestyles (which really has no place in the atmosphere of academia), then they should certainly open up the dialogue of alternative theories of evolution. I have a degree in journalism and could easily point out every instance of yellow journalism in this show. I propose that evolutionary thought is a religion in and of itself, and this program was its equivalent of a televangelistic sermon.

As to the program's claims regarding Intelligent Design being taught in the public classroom as a violation against the First Amendment — it was completely out of line. The First Amendment says nothing of the "separation of Church and State." It says "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or PROHIBIT the free exercise thereof." It protects religion from being persecuted by the State, not the other way around. If anything, the Constitutional First Amendment protects Intelligent Design being taught in school, and anything less is a violation of said Amendment.

It had many other inaccuracies touted as "fact," such as Newton and Galileo doing away with the supernatural, when in fact they completely acknowledged the existence of a Designer within their areas of research. Nova has lost all reasonable credibility through this piece. I have long known that they espouse Darwinian doctrine, however, this piece was biased, inaccurate, insulting, sarcastic and ultimately, due to its primarily cultural and political content, was outside of the scope of Nova's "scientific" programming.

Ellany Collins, Oklahoma City, OK



I find the Nova episode that aired on Nov. 13 titled Judgment Day: Intelligent Design on Trial was presented in a clearly biased manner. I was offended by this episode and I am a substitute for the public school system. To present the advocates for Intelligent design as stammering idiots and barbaric criminals (rednecks), and the evolutionist advocates as saints, as brilliant and educated civilized people. This was clearly a lop-sided presentation to make it appear that people who believe in a supreme being, and not in evolution, to be idiots and criminals. This episode was not unbiased! I am sorely disappointed in Nova and PBS for allowing this episode to air.

P.C., Nampa, ID



Why didn't the PBS special: "Judgment Day: Design on Trial" include the following about Judge Jones' decision?

Seattle, 12/12/2006 — The key section of the widely-noted court decision on intelligent design issued a year ago on December 20 was copied nearly verbatim from a document written by ACLU lawyers, according to a study released today by scholars affiliated with the Discovery Institute. "Judge John Jones copied verbatim or virtually verbatim 90.9% of his 6,004-word section on whether intelligent design is science from the ACLU's proposed 'Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law' submitted to him nearly a month before his ruling," said Dr. John West, Vice President for Public Policy and Legal Affairs at Discovery Institute's Center for Science and Culture.
http://www.arn.org/blogs/index.php/3/2006/12/12/cut_and_paste_jones_served_as_aclu_mouth

Springfield, MO



In response to Nova's airing, ID vs. Evolution. I found its simplistic terms for debate addressed to apes and not humans. It stressed the outcome only of the case without truly debating through all disciplines of science that evolution truly occurred. Even Einstein among so many others knew there could not be a time when everything fell into place appropriately. There are other planets that protect us and keep our climate from deteriorating, how did that occur? Nothing in this show was explained, it was so distressing. I definitely believe we were created but not on literal terms of the Bible. There are other cultures that support this but no one has tried to bring all the information together. We need to comfortably be apologists for both sides WITH scientific evidence that is available, until that is done, please don't continue this propaganda.

Tami, Indianapolis, IN



The documentary made a good effort to be objective up until the middle of the content. Then it seemed to bring sources that were not used in the trail to push the evolutionary view. This was labeled as a landmark case. Not so. This was a smaller court not a Federal court from what I have found.

How can that show not mention that Congress and the President have passed legislation that allows schools to teach controversial views of science, specifically in reference to evolution, as an amendment to the No Child Left Behind Act? I think they had to know this and left it out because anyone who is familiar with this topic knows about that. Most scientists who are Darwinists have atheistic beliefs just as there are people of faith who support creation or ID. About two years ago a FEDERAL court ruled that atheism is a religion. No one should use someone's philosophical or religious persuasion to make an issue valid or not. ID will be taught eventually because some of the evidence for it was not shown concerning Information Theory and mostly because it has not come up to a higher court which should rule to uphold the No Child Left Behind legislation.

Ernest Serano, Reno, NV



In the Q & A with the Executive Producer on the ID webpage, Mrs. Apsell said, "However, Michael Behe, Scott Minich, and other ID proponents affiliated with the Discovery Institute declined to be interviewed under the normal journalistic conditions that NOVA uses for all programs." What are those journalistic conditions? Is it abnormal to provide interview subjects with complete footage from the interview?

San Jose, CA

(Ombudsman's Note: This is a good point. In the film, the narrator also says that "NOVA made repeated requests to interview members of the Discovery Institute . . . but the Institute set conditions that were inconsistent with normal journalistic practises." The film should have taken a minute to explain those inconsistencies and practices.)


Dipsticks from Backwaters

It was fascinating to see those dipstick high school teachers, bolstered by the heir to the Darwin fortune explain the impossible and to the great lengths that these . . . will go to deny that there is a greater power than some . . . that passed teacher's college in some backwater . . . state.

J. Gunn, Windor, On



Since you are the repository for objective thought and redress . . . Let me first say that I am a Christian and have accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior . . . that out of the way, something, someone at PBS needs to address the fact that evolutionary thought has long since passed Darwin by . . . current thought holds Darwin's theorizing to be crude at best . . . thus, the recent episode of NOVA, Judgment Day, does little other than to keep the public ignorant of current scientific thought by keeping Darwin around as the convenient poster child for the Creationists and Intelligent Designers to shoot . . . And if you asked him, Darwin would do what all good scientists do, I bet . . . say "that was then, this is now, and let Creationist/Intelligent Designers try to pick holes in modern evolutionary thought."

Stuart Stiles, Washington, DC



Your 2 hr. piece on creation vs. evolution is by far the best effort PBS has ever done. That one period of time paid for whatever tax money it has taken to support PBS. You are to be commended for the courage it took to show why some continue to "wishfully think" (religion) instead of studying math, logic and scientific method (evolution) and stop confusing the young students' minds. Thanks.

Bill Andress, Tulsa, OK



Last night I stumbled upon the PBS broadcast regarding the debate between evolution and creationism. Mr. Getler, responsible journalism is supposed to be about balance — presenting both sides of the argument in a fair and unbiased fashion, and I feel that this program fell miserably short of that standard. Having studied the issue of evolution and creation for the better part of 2 decades, I know that creationism is based upon sound research by responsible scientists. And the theory of evolution has been left wanting in lieu of proven concepts of science such as the Anthropic Principle (design and purpose in the universe), and the Second Law of Thermodynamics (everything unravels into chaos without an outside source of energy to bring order and purpose). While I don't have time or space to explore these concepts here, I would encourage you to present a balanced and fair presentation of the debate by also airing programs that support creationism. There are many sources, and I would be happy to recommend some programs that are exceptionally professional in their presentation and sophisticated in their review of how biochemistry seems to point to the existence of a Creator Who designed life. In the interest of unbiased and responsible journalism, I encourage you to pursue these programs. Otherwise, it looks as though you and PBS have an agenda — one that is not friendly to the faith of people like myself and intends to undermine it. Please consider airing programs presenting the other side of the argument. If you are interested, you are welcome to contact me and I will make a few recommendations that I believe will be consistent with PBS' high standards of quality.

Andrew Robbins, Edinburgh, IN



The 2-hour special on the Dover, PA, conflict over Intelligent Design theory was a MASTERFUL work of presenting the typical PBS Bias. As I watched, I began to feel as if I lived in the old USSR where the government tightly controlled the propaganda presented to the public. PBS's statement of why Discovery Institute declined to be interviewed was slick. I dug further and found that they wanted the freedom to record the interviews and then to present their recordings to the public.

WHAT IS PBS AFRAID OF, that they would not allow it??? PBS's refusal to allow a fair rebuttal tells the whole story. What a shame that so many Americans who can intuitively see that there is a difference between intelligent involvement and random chance must pay for such one-sided reporting. It is sad that the Intelligent Design idea has been hushed-up. Talk about loss of freedom of speech!

John and Frances Beaty, Clinton, OH



Just wanted to say that I thoroughly enjoyed the Nova program that aired last night (Tue, 11/13) called "Judgment Day: Intelligent Design on Trial." What an excellent program! It was the best Nova program I've seen in a long while and I've been a fan of Nova and PBS for decades. I would love to see more of the same. Keep up the good work. Would also love to see it replayed in the near future so that I could alert friends to it and watch it myself again.

Rodney Smith, Colorado Springs, CO



Excellent. That was the best NOVA yet. Until now my favorites were E=MC2 and Newton's Dark Secrets. But last night you guys out did yourselves. The way you laid it all out — how could anyone deny evolution? Keep up the good work!

Diane Kutney, West Palm Beach, FL



'Judgment Day, Intelligent Design on Trial'? Even the very title is prejudicial and Why should I.D. be the only thing on trial, as I will quickly demonstrate in a moment. I watched with great interest, this program on the local PBS station last evening. It's interesting how even a public television station can be so one sided and slighted in its presentation. The theory of evolution got great attention and careful coverage, while I. Design, was represented as some sort of crazed rambling. When you have no obvious intentions of being objective, it becomes quite clear, early into the program. The actors' portraying Dr. Behe and others as uncertain and unsure of their positions was simply ludicrous.

Isn't it interesting that the word SCIENCE and its exact definition were never discussed, as if we are to accept at face value the definition offered by evolutionary biologists and accept only this definition as valid. Or was this conveniently left out in the programming? Of course the word Science, simply is from the root word KNOWLEDGE. How you obtain that knowledge, is of course the point.

Isn't it interesting, when evolutionists speak of ORIGINS they go into a long winded explanation of life on earth and how things operate and function, yet never tell you the source or offer a SCIENTIFIC EXPLANATION OF THEIR TRUE ORIGIN. And according to their own definition of the word science, it's only that which can be TESTED AND MEASURED THAT SHOULD BE ACCEPTED AS VALID. You may be able to test, examine and explain many things, yet if you cannot put the ORIGIN OF THE MATERIALS to the same LITMUS TEST OF EXAMINATION AND MEASUREMENT, then your position is just another theory or religion as well. THEREFORE, LOGICALLY, Biological Evolutionists are forced to do one of two things, they are forced to acknowledge and accept that their position ULTIMATELY cannot be tested according to their own DEFINITIONS AND CANNOT STRICTLY BE CLASSIFIED AS SCIENCE. Or, they are forced to accept as VALID, theories that use the same logical reasoning processes like that of Intelligent design TO OBSERVE WHAT IS OBVIOUSLY DESIGN IN NATURE.

The point is simple, you cannot ascribe a definition to a word (Science) and then only have it apply to everyone else's theories but your own. Or only have it apply to your position up to a certain point, as evolutionists so often try. Biological Evolution cannot and does not, ultimately pass the test that they so passionately ascribe to the word science. It is a THEORY THAT ULTIMATELY CANNOT BE TESTED.

Since both positions, ultimately have to rely on a study outside of THEIR definition of Science, Intelligent Design should in no way be considered a religion. As was stated before, if one is, then both are. If one is not, then neither is the other. It's not enough, for evolutionist to complain about the idea of I.D., not being science. They must demonstrate that design did not take place. This of course, they simply cannot do.

D. Bertot, Midwest City, OK



I enjoyed the program on Judgment Day: Intelligent Design. I thought it was presented well, however, I thought the evolutionists were on a witch hunt as much as the creationists. I believe in evolution as much as we have hard evidence and proof, however, we do not have enough hard evidence to call all evolution fact. Therefore, all aspects should not be presented as fact but as theory. Other theories should be allowed to be presented including creationism. Let's not forget what this country was founded upon and what made us great, it wasn't evolution!

Kevin Hiatt, Eagle Mountain, UT



I recently viewed your Nova special "Judgment Day" and was quite intrigued but saddened by the whole thing. I expected the show to be biased toward evolution and was perfectly prepared and "OK" with that since I am always interested in the other side of the story. However, I was totally shocked by blatant misrepresentation of the arguments for Intelligent Design and character of the respected scientists who dare to challenge the prevailing presuppositions of science. I was particularly disturbed by your misrepresentation of the scientists at the Discovery Institute. Why did you fail to report that they do NOT support the teaching of ID in schools and that on several occasions they contacted the Dover school board to dissuade them from the actions they were considering (as reported in the Associated Press). Why did you refuse to let the DI interviewees make recordings of their interviews with PBS so they could have transcripts of the exchange for their records and use? In general, what were you so afraid of?

Leah Dillman, Antelope, OR


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