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Creationism

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Tweefo
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« on: July 15, 2008, 16:49:19 PM »

My son was today (at school nogal) exposed to a movie on creationism by one Ralph O Muncaster. I would appreciate any links to arguments that debunk this movie. I think the school is out of line here to teach this point of view. A church maybe but a school? This is not education.
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Mefiante
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« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2008, 18:29:46 PM »

I assume that this is the video in question.  If so, I have not been able to locate any dedicated debunkings thereof.  However, the TalkOrigins Archive has tons of useful information and a wealth of links to more.  If there are any specific claims that you’d like to look at, perhaps you should post them in either the Religion and Philosophy or the  Science and Technology sub-forums for open debate, which would probably help towards marshalling a coherent rebuttal.

ETA: A good question to ask the person who organised the viewing is whether they would tolerate a sermon on evolutionary theory in their church given by a suitably qualified biologist.  Presented, of course, only in the interests of fairness because it would be a much more equitable version of the “equal time” treatment than the one currently in vogue that has creationist propaganda invading what should be a secular curriculum.

'Luthon64
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Tweefo
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« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2008, 08:24:54 AM »

Thanks. A big help. Your idea of asking for equal time is also a good point. Is there not a movie on the evolution point of view? Lots of books, but I am not giving them my books. They will probably burn it.
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ArgumentumAdHominem
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« Reply #3 on: July 16, 2008, 10:39:28 AM »

It depends on what type of movie about evolution you are looking for.  There are two options, but the intended audience of using these videos is very different.

Option 1 - discussing what evolution is about
These would be videos which completely ignore creationism, just explaining the facts about the theory.  Of course the audience here can't be creationists because they would have been preprogrammed by creationist literature to distrust the evolutionary perspective, they may say that the video does not address "irreducible complexity" or "modern fossils" or the "radiocarbon dating controversy" or that "a growing number of scientists doubt evolution".  These are creationist created "problems" with evolution and do not exist outside their own imagination and so have never been a part of an evolution discussion in the past.

Professor Dawkins has a video series called "Growing-up in the Universe" specifically made for children.  This series was made in the late 80s, early 90s before RD shot to fame as the militant atheist, so keep in mind that the creationist might ignore this video out of hand on ad hominem grounds because "he's that writer of The God Delusion".

PBS also has online videos for students.

There are many others, I don't have a full list but Google should help.  I think searching for "evolution DVD" might return more creationist video results, so it may be prudent to search for "biology DVD" or "paleontology DVD" or "natural history DVD".  I'm not sure, I haven't seen one that I can remember remember right now and could recommend.

Option 2 - contradicting the creationist view
Videos of this category may be considered "hostile" because they spend so much time debunking creationist claims (do I hear a "persecuted scientific minority" agrument?). There may not be many released videos and DVDs on this subject as it has always been a fringe argument and has only gained greater prominence since the recent education standards debate in the US.

There are a lot of online videos. 

PBS broadcast a video about the Dover Intelligent Design Trial which you can watch online or order on DVD.

The NCSE has recently started making short video rebuttals to creationist claims in the "Expelled" movie such as "irreducible complexity".

There are some excellent series of videos at YouTube.  I have been enjoying the "Why do people laugh at creationists" series by Thunderf00t (quite long but very thorough) and the "Top 25 Creationist Fallacies" video by ExtantDodo.  But you could search for specific rebuttals such as "bacterial flagellum" (Ken Miller) or "evolution of the eye".
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« Reply #4 on: July 17, 2008, 09:37:23 AM »

My son was today (at school nogal) exposed to a movie on creationism by one Ralph O Muncaster. I would appreciate any links to arguments that debunk this movie. I think the school is out of line here to teach this point of view. A church maybe but a school? This is not education.
Was this arranged for a specific class? Or was it part of that whole before class assembly thing...
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Tweefo
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« Reply #5 on: July 17, 2008, 18:17:32 PM »

Specific class.Life orientation. This is a private school but they claim to give "Good education based on science" when I started making noises about this.
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