Wednesday, 14 March 2007

DVD materials sent to British schools and colleges: a review

In September 2006 the group calling itself Truth in Science sent a pack of two DVD’s and a booklet to every high school and college in the UK.

I have now obtained the pack form my local school and have looked at it for myself.

This is my review on I have updated it a little and added a link to the evidence regarding the flagellum );

This is one of two videos sent to all UK high schools in September 2006 with a letter saying that it will help staff teach students "to adopt a critical questioning frame of mind".

Someone with half a mind will see through this as the science content is so incredibly thin.

I sat down with pen and paper and at the end of the hour could list the main claims made in this programme as follows;

1) No one can explain exactly how a bacterial flagellum evolved.
2) No one knows exactly how life started.
3) Life looks like it was designed because its really, really complicated and it looks like it was designed.

The video then leaves a rather large door open ready for someone to start talking religion - but stops at that point.

A rebuttal can be simply made as follows;
1) There is no evolutionary explanation for the existence of bacterial flagellum - yet. Who is setting the deadline? Or are they film makers claiming it is impossible to explain this? If so, why would it be impossible? Much good scientific work has been done to show this is bunk - have a quick look in the literature and you will find it. Here is a good up to date summary.
2) We don't know how life started. Well science is working on this question as well - again the video seems to claim we never will know but gives no evidence for why this should be so. None of this proves evolution theory wrong. The theory of evolution does not claim to have solved this scientific puzzle, in fact it does not comment on the origin of life at all.
3) Life looks like it was designed because its really, really complicated. Well, in fact, evolution theory claims it was designed, blindly and unintelligently, by the various processes described in the theory, and without any intelligent designer.

They do not address any of the huge mass of other evidence in favour of evolution.

What exactly is the theory of intelligent design? Sometime, someplace, somehow, someone/thing designed something intelligently. Feel the detail!

Just to let the other shoe drop - yes - this is a bunch of devout Christians trying to scrape any kind of case together to preserve their belief that a literal interpretation of the bible is true. 6,000 year old earth, dinosaurs on the Ark etc.

You may wonder why a group with such disparate qualifications got together. There are lawyers and philosophers here as well as a few scientists. Well they all have this same religious belief in common which mean's that they "know" evolution is wrong because it says so in the Bible - not exactly an unbiased assessment of the evidence.

PS. they use an analogy of a mousetrap. Whilst this has some merits at the molecular level I have seen this completely confuse people as it absolutely does not work as an analogy for anything more complicated like the eye etc. This is pretty obvious to anyone who has tried to explain evolution with these kinds of stories and so not to clarify it's use in this case is tantamount to deliberate disingenuousness.
Several of the people on the video were embarrassed if not completely humiliated by the court judgement in the US at the beginning of 2006 which completely dismissed any claims that these ideas and theories are scientific and not religious.”

The second DVD contains the same material but split up into 10 minute segments. This is rather ridiculously called ;"Where Does The Evidence Lead?".

At the risk of pointing out the obvious it is funny because the people at Truth in Science don't follow the evidence to the truth because they already know what that truth is - it says what it is in the Bible.

Future posts will cover the short workbook which accompanies the DVD's exposing the fallacious and misleading content for what it is.

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