Good ‘Judgment’

November 14, 2007

Judgment Day, last night’s documentary about the Kitzmiller vs. Dover trial that decisively ended attempts to infiltrate creationism into schools via “Intelligent Design” quackery, was solid stuff — measured in tone but absolutely devastating in the way it used the evidence and the creationists’ own words to demolish any doubts about the bad motives of ID proponents.

Pharyngula liveblogged the show, which had the wingnuts of the Discovery Institute in full-froth mode well before the program aired.

The documentary was a wonderful display of the power of true science, properly explained and honestly defended, to delight and engage anyone with native intelligence and an open mind. The inspirational figure of the story was John E. Jones, the federal judge who presided over the case. Though his provenance as a Bush appointee could not have been more suspect, Jones put truth over politics — a revolutionary approach within the Bushie contingent — and delivered a decision that not only chopped down the blighted tree of ID, it pulled up the roots, filled in the hole and paved over the ground. That sucker is finished. The wingnut assault on science education will never end, but the eight-lane highway that had been constructed by the Discovery Institute has been closed for good.

Watching the interviews with William Bonsell and Bill Buckingham, the ringleaders behind the attempt to get ID materials taught in the Dover science classes, it was hard to miss how often “I” was the basis for their objections. “I am personally offended by evolutionary theory,” “I can’t accept this,” “I feel like this is a slap in my face.” It’s not about the facts, it’s all about their feelings of confusion and panic when faced with those facts.

In the creationist mindset, the sun doesn’t just orbit around the earth — it orbits around them. For people who constantly profess their humility before God, that’s an appallingly arrogant way to view the universe.

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