Intelligent Design on Trial Directions

1. You will watch the NOVA program Judgement Day: Intelligent Design on Trial and answer a set of questions about the documentary.

2. I suggest that you read through the questions before starting to view the documentary. Watch for segments that address the questions and answer the questions as you watch the video.

3. Access the video by clicking the link above. If presented with a “choose you local station window”, you can close it. Click the arrow to start the video and wait for the brief advertisement to finish. The video runs about an hour and fifty-two minutes. You can watch the video in one sitting or watch it in a series of segments. There are 12 sections, each an average of about 10 minutes long.

4. The video is captioned. Click the “CC” icon near the lower right corner of the video window.

5. If you have trouble viewing the NOVA program from the link above, search youtube for “Judgment Day: Intelligent Design on Trial” and find a copy that is a little less than 2 hours long. I can’t guarantee that the video section time stamps below will exactly match the version you select.

Questions to Answer

Compose your answers to the questions in a Word document and copy/paste your text into the assignment text window. Retain your Word file for your records.

Your answers need not be extensive, but be sure to explain your reasoning. Convince us that you do understand the concepts you are being asked to address.

Your answers will be seen only by the course staff. There are some questions that ask for your opinion. Your score will not be based on the specific opinion you express. The only way you can loose points on those questions is to offer no answer or one that does not adequately address the question.

What was the basic conflict in the town of Dover, PA presented in the documentary?
What are the basic principles and origin of the theory of evolution by natural selection.
What are the basic principles and origin of the ideas of evolution by intelligent design.
During the trial the judge had to consider the tenants of scientific investigation in his decision whether intelligent design is a scientific alternative to include in the study of evolution in high school science classes.
a. How can the scientific method be applied to evolution? to intelligent design? Please refer to Lesson 1 Lecture as a review if needed.
b. A distinction was made between the use of the word, theory, in science and the common use of the word, theory, in everyday language. How does a scientific theory compare to the common use of the word theory?
In your opinion:
What was the most compelling argument presented in the documentary SUPPORTING the teaching of evolution?
What was the most compelling argument presented in the documentary AGAINST the teaching of intelligent design?
The judge considered the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment of the U. S. Constitution in his decision in this case. How did the revelation of the origin of the ideas that form the basis of intelligent design affect the judge’s opinion in regard to the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment?
What do you think? – Should intelligent design be taught as a scientific alternative to the theory of evolution in high school classrooms? What are your reasons?
Don’t have time to watch the Video in one sitting?

Follow these directions to access the video segments:

While the video is running, roll your mouse over the video window to pop up a a timeline across the bottom of the video window.

Roll your mouse cursor along the timeline to find the beginning time of the chapter you want to view (see “Chapter starting clues” below).

Double click your mouse on the time line to restart the video at the time point you want.

See the clues to the chapter starting points listed below to help you get started in the right place.

Note – you may be subjected to the advertisement once or twice again while you are restarting the video at a different point in the timeline. Please persist and you will get past that annoyance.

Chapter time stamps and starting clues……..
A town Divided – Picture of Dover sign – “Dover, Pennsylvania, Like much of the United States……”
What is Evolution – 13:34 – Picture of book, On the Origin of Species – “Darwin Published his theory of evolution in 1859……”
Introducing Intelligent Design- 20:38 – School board meeting – “Let’s bring this meeting back to order……”
The Trial Begins – 29.30 – Picture of Tammy Kitzmiller and daughter – “Tammy Kitzmiller is the mother of a ninth grade student……”
The Fossil Record – 38:54 -Title – Case for the Plaintive…. – Courtroom scene – “Dr. Miller, What is Evolution?……”
A very Successful Theory – 47:35 – Courtroom scene – “Lawyers for the parents may have impressed the judge and reporters, but…….”
The Nature of Science – 57 min – Courtroom scene – “So, if evolution has stood up to all this scrutiny, what about……”
Examining Intelligent Design – 1:05:22 – Courtroom scene – “Dr. Behe, what is your profession?…….……”
Faith and Reason – 1:14:33 – Courtroom scene – “But Behe testified it’s not just microscopic organisms……”
Separation of Church and State – 1:22:04 – Judge Jones in his Chambers – “Throughout the trial Judge Jones would never tip his hand……….”
A Culture of Conflict – 1:32:32Portrait of Galileo – “With the scientific revolution the work of Galileo, Newton, and others…………..”
Closing Arguments – 1:40:37 – Courtroom scene – “After six weeks the trial concluded with closing arguments…………..”
Deadline & Evaluation

See the Module 6 tab and the grading rubric below for complete information on due dates and evaluation.

This assignment is due before 11:55 PM, Tuesday, 8 December.

After the conclusion of this activity, you can expect your instructor to provide your grade and any relevant feedback to you via the Grades area within 3 business days. See the Policies page of the Course Information and Resources section for more details.

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