In post number one of this thread I recommended the Center for Inquiry's podcasts. That was two months ago, and starting from the oldest I've already worked my way up to their 4th podcast, dated December 4th of last year (hey, I listen slow, leave me alone!). It has a wonderful little editorial commentary by Lauren Becker that occurs near the beginning, starting at 3:40. It's about why the fundamentalist perspective on science is dangerous.
They've got things all neatly wrapped up in their own little Macromedia Flash Player box, so I can't provide an MPEG link, but you get to it like this:
I especially recommend the two videos (also available as audio only mp3) at http://www.atheistvoices.com/pages/anne.html . They don't cover evolution but offer an archaelogist's perspective of many bible stories including the lack of evidence for the exodus and the origins of Christianity that lie in the many other religions of the time.
In this Center for Inquiry podcast from January 6, 2006, Eugenie Scott is interviewed about creationism/ID and the then recent Dover decision. This is a must listen. Listen now, or put it on your iPod, listen to it in the car, whatever, but listen. Scott states the issues with a rare clarity.
In the right hand navigation bar, click on the item at the top, "Listen Now".
In the box that appears, scroll most of the way to the bottom and select "Eugenie Scott - The Dover Trial: Evolution vs. Intelligent Design".
Drag the scroll bar over to 3:30.
Example excerpt from Scott at 19:00:
We're talking about what do you teach in high school science class. And it doesn't take a rocket scientist to conclude, well, you teach science.
So, what a high school teacher does, say in biology, is take a look at the whole field of biology and say, "Okay, for high school students the most important things for them to learn are this, this and this. Now how do I translate this into something that is understandable to high school students who don't have any background? Well, I guess we have to leave out that and that, but what we'll do is we'll build the curriculum around these principles this, this, this and this."
Now, what the Intelligence Design people, and the creation science proponents before them, wanted to do is say, "Okay, in addition to teaching the consensus view of science in a biology class, we want you to teach something that hasn't been accepted yet by scientists. We want you to bring in something that's outside of the general scientific canon, because we think it's really a good idea to give the students all views.
And that has a tremendous amount of attraction, unless you really think it through, because in essence what they are doing is something that's really very, very unfair. They're really cutting to the head of the line here, you know. They're saying, "Take our idea and teach it in high school even though the scientific community hasn't accepted it yet, even though we haven't done an adequate job of presenting these views to the scientific community, and working them through and really trying to earn our way, so to speak, by convincing the professional scientists."
My answer to that is to say, "Well, once you convince the professional scientists, then you may indeed trickle down into high school, just like all other new ideas."
And immediately following this at 20:45 the interviewer asks how ID theorists convince professional scientists, and the response is yet another gem. And after that response, Scott continues to explain why what Behe is doing is so far outside the scientific process.
You might expect a secular humanist podcast a series of softballs to toss strident atheist and evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins, but such was not the case. Host D. J. Grothe pitched several innings of hardball with several brushbacks up and in. Some examples of Grothe's questions:
Why is an evolutionary bioligist and professor of the public understanding of science at Oxford so hell-bent on criticizing religion and belief in God?
Are you implying by that that it is intellectually indefensible to believe in God and Evolution at the same time, as you say many liberal religionists do?
A lot of people make the argument that it takes as much faith to be an atheist as it does to be a believer. What do you say to that?
Grothe also played a clip from Dawkin's program The Root of All Evil? It was an exchange between Dawkins and Ted Haggard, president of the National Association of Evangelicals. Haggard really gives Dawkins his comeuppance:
Haggard: We fully embrace the scientific method as American evangelicals, and we think as time goes along, as we discover more and more facts, that we'll learn more and more about how God created the heavens and the earth.
Dawkins: The scientific method clearly demonstrates that the earth is more than four and a half billion years old. Do you accept that?
Haggard: What you are doing is, you are accepting some of the views that are accepted in some portions of the scientific community as fact, where in fact your grandchildren might listen to the tape of you saying that and laugh at you...
Dawkins: You want to bet?
Haggard: Sometimes it's hard for a human being to study the ear or study the eye and think that happened by accident.
Dawkins: I beg your pardon, did you say by accident?
Dawkins: What do you mean by accident?
Haggard: That the eye just formed itself somehow.
Dawkins: Who said it did?
Haggard: Well, some evolutionists say it.
Dawkins: Not a single one that I've ever met.
Dawkins: You obviously know nothing about the subject of evolution...
Haggard: Or maybe you haven't met the people I have. But you see, you do understand, you do understand, that this issue right here of intellectual arrogance is the reason why people like you have a difficult problem with people of faith. (imitating Dawkins) "I don't communicate an air of superiority over the people, because I know so much more. And if you only read the books I know, and you only knew the scientists I know, then you would be great like me." Well, sir, there could be many things that you know well, but there are other things that you don't know well. As you age you'll find yourself wrong on some things and right on some other things, but please, in the process of it, don't be arrogant."
Incredible how someone could have all the facts on his side and still come off so poorly. Dawkins comes off far more poorly than he does in this transcript - you wouldn't believe his angry and belittling tone.
As an extra bonus, the podcast ends with an interview of Derek and Swoopy of Skepticality fame. This interview has some gems itself, one of the best coming from interviewer Grothe:
I think you would agree that the proper role of religion in education is the study of religion, not the indoctrination in a religion.
The Dawkins interview begins at 8:57. The Derek/Swoopy interview begins at 57:00. Instructions:
Haggard: Evolution says that God doesn't exist and that eyes have little hands that they use to make themselves. Trust me, when I'm not campaigning against gay marriage or smoking crystal meth with my gay hooker, I've had literally hours to study the whole subject of evolution, so believe me, I'm an expert. Anybody who disagrees must be an idiot, or worse.
Dawkins: I humbly beg to disagree.
Haggard: The trouble with you atheists is that you're all so damn arrogant.
In his Message 296 Melatonin told us about the Beyond Belief conference that dealt with the interplay between science and religion . I've downloaded the entire set of 10 videos from the conference from Google and placed them on my iPod. I've listened to the first video and found it is a must listen. Some of the greatest minds of the day participated at this conference, and just the first video by itself contains a wealth of observations and characterizations that just can't be missed.
You can go to the conference site itself and watch the videos there:
Or you can go to Google and watch them there, but a search for "Beyond Belief" does not bring up the list of videos in order, so here is a complete list of links to Google. Google provides the ability to download in mp4 format to your own computer by going to the Download line, selecting "Video iPod/Sony PSP", and then clicking on download:
Modulous describes aspects of the talk in the opening post of the Intelligent design. Philosophy of ignorance. thread. The title is a phrase briefly used by Neil Tyson in his talk, and it fits well with the talk's context. It's the first talk of Session 2 of the Beyond Belief 2006 conference. The link again is:
Click on the link and watch Neil Tyson's talk. Now. Ignore all work, deadlines and obligations, I promise you will not regret it. The talk finishes with a segment he calls "Naming Rights" that is beyond belief! Now go, watch it!
..it is not an exaggeration that something like half of the American population is eagerly anticipating the end of the world. I think it should be rather obvious that this kind of thinking provides people with no basis to make the hard decisions we have to make to create a durable civilizaion for ourselves; to make geopolitical and evironmental and economic policy that has a time horizon of not 50 years but 1000s of years.
Of course, biblical creationists are committed to belief in God's written Word, the Bible, which forbids bearing false witness; --AIG (lest they forget)