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  Topic: Thoughts on the Horizon programme, The ID hoax on BBC2< Next Oldest | Next Newest >  
Stephen Elliott

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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 26 2006,11:10   

Just finished watching it.
Initial thoughts are that it wasn't too bad. It could have been a lot clearer though.

If only the BBC would quit those stupid mood shots they would have had time to cover the lying under oath, the DI dodging of the case and the TMLC mishmash.


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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 26 2006,11:20   

Well I'm not as sanguine about it as you are, I thought it verged on the bloody awful.

They gave VASTLY too much time to the IDCist nonsense and presented it as plausible. Dawkins and the Kitzmiller decisions were almost inserted as afterthoughts, Miller came off well however.

What really annoyed me was the pish poor journalism. This was presented as a dramatic clash between faith and science. ID was built up as a reasonable scienctific project as opposed to the vile religious calumny it is. The tiny bright light is that they never showed ID as being anything other than religious.

Poxy BBC and their religious agenda! I'm writing in, later on when I am less incandescent and more coherent.




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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 26 2006,11:36   

Must have been a tricky line for the programme to walk. It's a science programme, but clearly if you're going to make a film about this subject, you have to give time to the IDists, otherwise everyone just thinks its biased. I tried to watch it from a neutral's perspective and felt that I would have come out of it thinking that ID was a deeply sneaky and underhand way of introducing god into science which I'm sure was Horizon's intentions.

I don't see how they could have done it much better, other than highlight a few more of the negative stuff from the trial ie "breathtaking inanity", "persistent lies" etc.

Stephen Elliott

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Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 26 2006,11:51   

Well the central them of the programme was supposed to be the Dover trial.

They made it sound like the trial was a 2 day presentation by Ken Miller.

There was so much interesting stuff that was ignored it irritated me.

Why all those time wasting stupid mood shots? Rolling dice and theme park riding etc.

They did mange to put ID in a bad light. But to me it came across like accusing Sweeney Todd of profesional negligence.

A link for colonials who have never heard of Sweeney.

BTW Atenborough and Miller did look and sound good. Dawkins was a tad hit and miss IMO.

Alan Fox

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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 26 2006,11:54   

I thought the programme was simplistic in its presentation, but that's maybe because I already knew the outcome of the Dover trial. I was struck by the contrast in charisma level between Behe and  Dembski, or maybe I am prejudiced against Bill. He shouldn't have agreed to that shot of him walking along the railtrack.

I agree that the producers managed to give ID a dishonest flavour, though the rather creepy Stephen Meyer helped in that regard.


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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 26 2006,15:14   

As a lifelong victim of dictionary-think, I have terrible problems mastering even elementary misspellish. So tell me: is a programme the opposite of a programyou?


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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 26 2006,21:14   

is a programme the opposite of a programyou?

What was it Eddie Izzard said? "Two countries separated by the Atlantic Ocean..."


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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 26 2006,21:16   

I thought it was too lightweight as well.  PLenty of mood shots, long pauses between the presenter saying anything, etc etc.  THey should have left out the CArdinal schoenberg bit and had more about the trial.  

I thought it entertaining that they interviewed Behe in an amusement park- isnt that what the ID'ers kind of do anyway, play about?

The problem is that I am not a vaguely interested but scientifically poorly educated layman, so I have trouble working out if it was pitched at them properly.


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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 26 2006,23:06   

My problem with the programme was that being Horizon (with its years of quality science coverage behind it) simply covering ID gave it a degree of gravitas.

I've been watching the programme (yes, programme ;-)) since I was a kid and have seen so many episodes where they outline the radical new theory that no-one believes but then turns out to be correct.

On the other hand, while it isn't going to have converted any IDiots, I don't think its conclusion was in any way supportive of ID.

Richard Crawley

Stephen Elliott

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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 26 2006,23:22   

Quote (Flint @ Jan. 26 2006,21:14)
As a lifelong victim of dictionary-think, I have terrible problems mastering even elementary misspellish. So tell me: is a programme the opposite of a programyou?

LOL. Programme is the way it is (program) spelled in England.

Remind me, what is the language called?


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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 27 2006,00:10   

Incidentally, I think the use of David Attenborough was a master stroke.

Dawkins can seem a little elitist when off the page (that cut glass accent!;), but cuddly old David slagging off the creationists was a great way to get laymen on the right side.....(and indicative of the way producers were pitching this)

Dean Morrison

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Joined: Dec. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 27 2006,00:55   

It was fun to watch the Horizon program tonight -  and to see some of the protaganists...

Dembski really does look like that guy that plays the Banjo in 'Deliverence'.....

.. and so cool to see Dover itself and such..

but the 'fairness and balance' of the BBC and the 'graphics and sound men' - just confused the issue rather than shining light on it - 5 out of 10 BBC.

... and to think I missed Celebrity Big Brother for that!!!???

Attenborough was a star as usual... if they'd handed the whole program over to him -it might have been more educational.

He'd be good for a quote or two.

I've got this on VHS - but I'd love the PT'ers in the States to see it...



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 27 2006,01:12   

I enjoyed the programme overrall.

They did a good job of building up Behe's bacterial flagella, with his good ol' "it won't work if all the parts aren't there" canard, which to a layman can make a lot of sense, just to knock it down so thoroughly with Ken Miller's wonderfully clear demonstration subsequently.

The same approach was followed with Dembski (is he always so spooky?). They took some time to explain his mathematical probability theory that makes the 'chances' of evolution happening (whatever that means)impossible. Again this was followed with Ken clearly explaining that if you take a deck of cards and deal out all 52, the probability of you dealing those same 52 cards again in the same sequence is extremely low. However that is entirely irrelevant; the original 52 card sequence (evolution) had a 100% chance of happening, as that is the card sequence we have today. Ken's explanation made Dembski and all his moody dice throwing look, well, a bit silly.

For me this formula of building up and thoroughly explaining the 'science' behind ID, just to then knock it down again so convincingly was a persuasive way of presenting the creation/evolution controversy (or lack thereof).

I felt that the programme could have interviewed some of the Dover board of governors on the creationist side; those that voted for the original change in the biology curriculum. They interviewed one couple who voted against the change, and one science teacher who resigned when he realised the board majority's agenda, but none on the creationist side. However I'm guessing that after they were voted out they'd be rather reluctant to grant any interviews.

Dawkins I thought came across as rather shrill, but then he usually does. It's a shame because his points are always very clear and concise, but his manner (I am RIGHT and they are WRONG) is immediately off-putting.

The moodiness in the presentation of the program with lingering shots of not very much was, I agree, unnecessary, but overall I don't think it detracted too much from the subject therein.

Anyhoo, leave it to the ever-wonderful and ever-interesting David Attenborough to sum things up beautifully at the end.

Dean Morrison

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Joined: Dec. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 27 2006,03:29   

I expect it is very  naughty to point this out- but then The BBC is dedicated to public education -

I understand that a search reveals the existance of a bitorrent of the show 'The War on Science' here:

... so don't follow that link if you feel there may be any danger of copyright infringement or anything.

I won't be doing it as I have already seen the show in the UK of course..

  13 replies since Jan. 26 2006,11:10 < Next Oldest | Next Newest >  


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