Richard B. Hoppe posted Entry 1882 on January 4, 2006 07:49 PM.
Trackback URL: http://www.pandasthumb.org/cgi-bin/mt/mt-tb.fcgi/1877

Ken Miller’s talk at Case last night has been archived:

REAL PLAYER
Windows Media Player

No definitive info on how long they’ll last, but rumor has it that normal is two months.

RBH

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Comment #67730

Posted by Sir_Toejam on January 4, 2006 9:05 PM (e)

That is without a doubt the most thorough treatment of the history of the ID movement, culminating with the trial in Dover, that I have ever seen, hands down.

at 2 hours plus it oughta be!

Dr. Miller’s speaking skills are just as good as his writing skills.

definetly worth a listen.

thanks again, RBH.

Comment #67731

Posted by John Farrell on January 4, 2006 9:11 PM (e)

Superb presentation. It would be great if this could be made available on video or DVD!

Comment #67733

Posted by jim on January 4, 2006 9:14 PM (e)

Yeah!

Comment #67746

Posted by Eva Young on January 4, 2006 10:13 PM (e)

I would very much like to get a DVD of this presentation - and use it in talks with some Minnesota legislators.

I have lunch with a woman who ran for state senate - and lost - in a Republican leaning district - partly because she blew it when asked about Intelligent Design. She’s a good person - and I think she just didn’t think things through. This video tape would speak to her - because she is part of a very socially conservative church.

Comment #67747

Posted by Sir_Toejam on January 4, 2006 10:17 PM (e)

all the current hosters would have to do is convert from streaming media format to static, then users could save the whole video to disk and make their own dvds or cds.

hmm. i suppose it would be easy enough to just use some shareware that does that on the fly.

I’ll post a link.

cheers

Comment #67748

Posted by Rich on January 4, 2006 10:19 PM (e)

Nice one Sir_Toejam. Well worth keeping.

Comment #67751

Posted by Sir_Toejam on January 4, 2006 10:40 PM (e)

I’m currently capturing the stream. i’ll convert to mpeg and will leave one version at its current rate (suitable for conversion to high-quality video tape) and will convert it to a bit more compressed format (it’s at 384kbs right now, so i’ll probably shrink that in half).

It’s gonna be a huge frickin file at full resolution (think at least hundreds of mb, if not a gig or more), so I’m sure lots will prefer the higher compression version.

It will take 2 hours to capture, probably at least that long to convert, and then i’ll post it temporarily to my server until someone volunteers to become a more permanent host (heh, my “server” is just a laptop right now).

or, you can do your own capture and conversions. I’m trying out this software (asf recorder), which is free:

http://www.pcworld.com/downloads/file_description/0,fid,7942,00.asp

it appears to be capturing the stream just fine.

cheers

Comment #67753

Posted by Sir_Toejam on January 4, 2006 10:43 PM (e)

oh, and that’s of course assuming that the stream capture itself works out correctly :)

Comment #67756

Posted by Dale on January 4, 2006 11:07 PM (e)

Could we put the full quality version on a p2p network?

Comment #67760

Posted by Sir_Toejam on January 4, 2006 11:22 PM (e)

hmm. now you’re talking about legalities. technically, yes. legally… i think you might need to get permission from the hosters of Ken’s talk.

but what do i know.

I doubt Ken would object, unless he plans on incorporating his talk into his own video release.

I suggest keeping it for your own “personal” use until such time as those issues become clearer. and that is, again, if the stream capture completes successfully. the asp capture program is a bit antiquated; it’s possible new formats might not convert successfully.

about another hour and I will know for sure.

cheers

Comment #67762

Posted by Avery on January 4, 2006 11:52 PM (e)

Can we pass the hat and collect some money…I’d like to donate 60 copies of the DVD to Dover HS Science Dept….anonymously, of course.

Comment #67763

Posted by caerbannog on January 5, 2006 12:01 AM (e)

Just a quick note for those of you running *nix:

I’m currently using mplayer to do the stream capture (using the -dumpstream/-dumpfile options) and it seems to be working just fine.

Comment #67765

Posted by Rob on January 5, 2006 12:16 AM (e)

Can anyone do a .torrent for this or otherwise link to a non-streaming source. I had to quit after 30 minutes. Just too hard to follow with that many breaks for buffering, and this is at 11pm(CST). Love what I’ve heard so far.

Comment #67766

Posted by Sir_Toejam on January 5, 2006 12:34 AM (e)

no dice for asf capture. the saved media file is not readable for conversion.

*sigh*

i’ll try using mplayer and see if i can use the option switches suggested by caerbannog

Comment #67767

Posted by shiva on January 5, 2006 12:37 AM (e)

I was there at Case last night. This is the second time I am seeing Dr.Miller. He was in his element. For the “it is about the science not philosophy” dissemblers Miller’s answer to my question (the last but one) is a smackdown. Ken says that unexpectedly there were no quesions on the blood clotting cascade from the defence instead they chose to dig into his book, of course with little success. Maybe scientists should write more fiction - not the unintended ID kind.

Comment #67768

Posted by RBH on January 5, 2006 12:47 AM (e)

Shiva: I was the last questioner. :)

RBH

Comment #67769

Posted by Sir_Toejam on January 5, 2006 12:47 AM (e)

ok, problem solved. ‘tis true, asf capture is too old for these media files. I had to find an alternative program, which i tested on a small segment of the iterview and it works fine.

so, it will still take 3 hours (ugh) to get the full video, and I’ll convert it to.. what would folks prefer?

avi? mpeg?

the full version is just under 300mb. that’s at 384kb (which is full video quality). that’s a bit large for me to host. I can compress that to half without losing much quality.

anybody wanna volunteer to host the files?

Comment #67770

Posted by caerbannog on January 5, 2006 12:52 AM (e)


*sigh*

i’ll try using mplayer and see if i can use the option switches suggested by caerbannog.

Arrrgghh… just filled up my disk-drive! But at least the RealVideo stream I captured plays back quite nicely with mplayer.

Anyway, here’s the mplayer invocation that filled up my drive (ignore any line-wrap – the command fills a single line):

mplayer rtsp://mv-helix1.cwru.edu/a/2006/biology/intelligent_design_384kbps_01_03_2006_1.rm -dumpstream -dumpfile ken-miller.ram

Comment #67771

Posted by Shadowram on January 5, 2006 12:54 AM (e)

I watched the whole thing live last night. Professor Ken Miller is outstanding, not just in his presentation, but in the question and answer segment. He never faulted. This can only come from one that truly knows what is he talking about and has nothing to hide. I know if it could be proven tomorrow, that God did in fact have a hand in all abrupt creation of life and that IC is in fact true, Dr. Miller will be the first to admit he was wrong. I wish I could say the same for Dr. Behe and Dr. Dempski.

I am truly sadden that Dr. Dempski could not make it. It would have been a wonderful debate, albeit one sided. Pure and simple ID brings nothing new to the debate, but evolution on the other hand changes every day (not meant as a joke). I mean every single day a new discovery comes out, today for instance on a goggle
http://www.abcnews.go.com/GMA/OnCall/story?id=1469078
or even
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/connected/main.jhtml?xml=/connected/2006/01/03/ecpanda03.xml&sSheet=/connected/2006/01/03/ixconn.html

Sure these are not huge discoveries, they are just little steps in the understanding of our natural world. Again, neither Behe nor Dempski will ever admit they are wrong. But I have a very good feeling Dr. Miller is the kind of person that would admit if he was worng. I personaly do not think he would ever be in the position to have to admit he was worng:).

Just my 2 cents
Jit Gill
Newport News VA

Comment #67775

Posted by Shadowram on January 5, 2006 1:15 AM (e)

Oh I’m sure most of you saw the Pandas Thumb plug in the slide show. I thought it was great.

Comment #67777

Posted by Sir_Toejam on January 5, 2006 1:17 AM (e)

This can only come from one that truly knows what is he talking about and has nothing to hide

and has a good memory to boot!

Dr. Miller has been doing science long enough to have grasped the concept of “following the evidence”. I have met laypeople, creation proponents, and scientists alike who fail to ever really grasp this simple concept.

I have found myself in the middle of turf wars on more than one occassion, and it’s quite depressing to say the least. Paleontologists in general can be quite cantankerous in this area, but the ones I knew had nothing on shark biologists ;)

In some cases, defense of one’s turf can result in saying some seriously stupid things, in others, one says things in order to better compete for very limited funding. In still others, well, we have folks like Dembski who simply is mentally unable to follow evidence because it would collapse his very limited worldview.

Ken is in the very enviable position of being:

tenured
well-published
and a successful (monetarily) author

all of which results in him being the perfect spokesperson on this issue, just from that perspective alone.

His position is rock solid, and no amount of “burn in hell” letter writing campaigns will shake that.

Comment #67801

Posted by Sir_Toejam on January 5, 2006 3:56 AM (e)

since Ken’s talk originally was intended as a debate between he and dembski, many have pointed out dembksi’s blog demise (mothballed, as he put it).

now, lo and behold, like lazarus it’s been resurrected….

“The Resurrection of Uncommon Descent” posted by dembski on UD details the fact that UD will now be run by…

Dave Scott

bwahahahahahaha!

damn, funniest thing i’ve seen in a couple of weeks. one of those “funny cause it’s true” type things.

Comment #67819

Posted by Sir_Toejam on January 5, 2006 5:48 AM (e)

Ok i have the original wmv file encoded.

it’s already fairly compressed, even tho it’s 320mb (it’s over 2 hours long!).

the following can be done with this file:

it can be saved as is on anyobdy’s machine, and will play in any video player that can handle wmv files (e.g., windows media player).

it can be converted to any format from standard avi to mpg1 to divx.

note that unless folks are willing to accept a lesser quality than what they saw the video at originally, it won’t be any smaller in these formats, and could even be larger.

i can convert it to a higher compression format, and drop 5 frames per second from it. this makes it still readily viewable, but a bit “noisier” (mainly because i would be re-compressing an already compressed file), but would drop the filesize considerably (at least less than half the original, if not better - should be around 100 mb instead of 320).

so… what do folks want?

my personal recommendation would be to leave the file as is. it readily fits onto a cd for portability, and can be played in any version of media player.

alternatively, without sacrificing any quality, i can convert to DVD format, and those that want to can burn it to DVD.

to get a vhs tape out of it, you can purchase a cheapo mpg1 encoder board to record the video from your computer onto a vhs recorder (i think you can buy a package to do that for under 50.00 at places like circuit city or best buy). If you want to go this way, it might be better to have the video already in mpg1 format (it really depends on what the software that comes with the encoder board can do.

so, what’s it to be?

play it from a standard video file (leave as is)?
make it a divx file for burning to DVD?
make it mpg?

should we cut the quality to reduce the filesize, or leave the quality as is?

just let me know, and i can do it.

then, just tell me where to stick it so folks can access the converted files.

cheers

Comment #67835

Posted by Corkscrew on January 5, 2006 6:46 AM (e)

My personal preference is for avi, but frankly anything but the original evil formats would be good. I don’t know Caerbannog managed it - I can’t get it to play in Mplayer for more than a few minutes before it stalls, and realplay throws in the towel exactly 13 minutes in :(

Can’t wait til the BBC finishes their work on Dirac so that I don’t have these problems any more.

Comment #67837

Posted by Tim Hague on January 5, 2006 6:58 AM (e)

avi or mpg is fine.

You could stick it on yousendit.com, just put yourself as the recipient then post the link the mail you here so we can find it.

Comment #67857

Posted by John Farrell on January 5, 2006 8:49 AM (e)

Sir Toejam, thanks for your hard work. WMV is fine with me. I appreciate it.

Comment #67858

Posted by S. L. C. on January 5, 2006 8:51 AM (e)

The files can be downloaded using one or more of the following programs.

1. NetTransport
2. Streambox
3. Streamdown
4. SDP

Comment #67859

Posted by bill on January 5, 2006 8:54 AM (e)

Dave Scot is running Uncommon Descent (into madness)? When the Alfred E. Newman of Information Science turns over the reins to the clown troupe, it’s more than a collapse.

Perhaps Miller should have titled his presentation “The Implosion of Intelligent Design.”

Comment #67865

Posted by Ralph Kramden on January 5, 2006 9:22 AM (e)

Why did the presentation start with a prayer? Isn’t CWRU a secular university?

Comment #67868

Posted by steve s on January 5, 2006 9:28 AM (e)

Bill, that’s interesting. DaveScot is the Head Dimbulb In Charge, apparently. I wonder if the criticism banning will be more intolerant, or less? I’m sure our fellow Pandas are going to be running experiments to see.

Comment #67869

Posted by bill on January 5, 2006 9:39 AM (e)

I tried to sneak in with the handle “Charles1859”, but got caught. You don’t think it was the snarky comment, do you?

Comment #67875

Posted by rb on January 5, 2006 9:55 AM (e)

I don’t know if you all saw it, but maybe Ken Miller’s presentation inspired Dembski, nonetheless, for all of you Dembski junkies, Bill has resurrected his uncommondescent blog, made it a group blog (and look who he put in charge)

The Resurrection of Uncommon Descent
By popular demand this blog is back in operation, though with only limited participation in the future from me. Past contributors to this blog have decided they are willing to shoulder the responsibility of maintaining this blog, namely, DaveScot, Bombadill, Crandaddy, and Gumpngreen. Unlike in the past, when they were limited to commenting on my postings, they now have full posting privileges. They will be in charge of the day-to-day business of this blog, everything from keeping it interesting to approving comments to booting recalcitrant commenters. Of these four, DaveScot has been the designated blogczar — the buck stops with him.

Comment #67877

Posted by snaxalotl on January 5, 2006 10:06 AM (e)

I would LOVE to see the file in original quality downloadable somewhere. otherwise, maybe we could start chainmailing CDs by snail mail

Comment #67878

Posted by Dean Morrison on January 5, 2006 10:08 AM (e)

Thanks for the worrk Sir Toejam - any format would work for me - but I would prefer not to compromise on quality.

You could host it for free at www.rapidshare.de but you would have to split it into archives of less than 100MB

Comment #67882

Posted by Corkscrew on January 5, 2006 10:35 AM (e)

I have a question. How long is the talk? I ask because when I attempted to record it on the night the stream didn’t stop streaming when the talk was over :-/ I’m currently trying to download again (original version was corrupted) and the method I’m using to download (mplayer) doesn’t allow me to watch as I go, so I’m stuck with making an educated guess about when to stop recording.

Comment #67890

Posted by Avery on January 5, 2006 10:51 AM (e)

The talk was about 1:57+… After the live event they kept the feed going with a generic media center splash screen, it didn’t stop.

Comment #67892

Posted by Mr Christopher on January 5, 2006 11:06 AM (e)

So, to clarify, does anyone have a avi or mpg copy available for download? If so I will be happy to burn it to CD and make copies for people. Not too many…Maybe 10 copies :-)

Chris

Comment #67898

Posted by Chuck C on January 5, 2006 11:17 AM (e)

I sure hope this is a joke.

Talk about “breathtaking inanity”…

Comment #67901

Posted by Corkscrew on January 5, 2006 11:24 AM (e)

Has anyone actually asked the university if it’s acceptable to redistribute the talk as a file not a stream? Who knows, they might even say yes.

Comment #67904

Posted by steve s on January 5, 2006 11:31 AM (e)

Now they’ve got a cute little cartoon up on UncommonPissant about us. Except you have to do a little work to see the whole thing, they’ve botched the formatting (at least insofar as it displays on my perfectly normal computer).

Comment #67905

Posted by Corkscrew on January 5, 2006 11:32 AM (e)

Chuck C: ick. The guy seems to think that science is just a collection of factoids about how the world works. He obviously completely failed to absorb anything about the scientific method and critical thinking.

I’m planning to write in with the standard “so should we stop teaching history because it might go against what a kid’s holocaust-denying parents say?” reductio ad absurdum argument. Any thoughts before I hit “send”?

Comment #67906

Posted by wswilso on January 5, 2006 11:34 AM (e)

How about extracting the audio for thoswe of us with pinched pipes?

Comment #67907

Posted by KCrist on January 5, 2006 11:39 AM (e)

Has something happened to the links to the webcast archive. They do not appear to work now. Did the university pull them?

Comment #67908

Posted by Corkscrew on January 5, 2006 11:40 AM (e)

Audio should be fairly easy, I’ll try it when I have the full download. You will, however, be missing out on a lot - the guy uses a bunch of great visual aids. I do like the CD distribution idea, if we get permission from the university.

Comment #67909

Posted by Alexey Merz on January 5, 2006 11:44 AM (e)

Can the talk be made available as a .torrent, please?

That would be great!

Comment #67917

Posted by Chuck C on January 5, 2006 12:00 PM (e)

I’m planning to write in with the standard “so should we stop teaching history because it might go against what a kid’s holocaust-denying parents say?” reductio ad absurdum argument. Any thoughts before I hit “send”?

Fire away!

Comment #67918

Posted by CC on January 5, 2006 12:02 PM (e)

Are the slides from his talk available anywhere online?

Comment #67930

Posted by Sir_Toejam on January 5, 2006 12:42 PM (e)

1. NetTransport

bingo.

that’s what i used.

I certainly have no objections to anybody who wants to do this themselves.

I can’t get it to play in Mplayer for more than a few minutes before it stalls, and realplay throws in the towel exactly 13 minutes in :(

the server it was located on was a bit iffy. once the file is local to your machine, you won’t notice that problem any more.

How about extracting the audio for thoswe of us with pinched pipes?

can do.

i’ll look for a place to host the files later today.

cheers

Comment #67931

Posted by Bill L on January 5, 2006 12:46 PM (e)

Sir_Toejam, I’ll volunteer to host the wmv file. If you like, you can email me at pandasthumb atsign lutton dot com.

Comment #67932

Posted by MaxOblivion on January 5, 2006 12:47 PM (e)

The lecture by miller was one of the most well presented i’ve listened to. The guy truely is brilliant at dealing with emotive issues in an honest and scientific manner.

The guy deserves an award!

Perhaps this service can be conveniently provided by various religious organizations, such as church Sunday schools. There the students will be taught the sciences in agreement with their parents’ beliefs, even if they choose to believe that the flat Earth was created 6,000 years ago when men walked alongside dinosaurs.

Surely this is a joke parody letter?

http://www.timesunion.com/AspStories/story.asp?storyID=436402&category=OPINION&newsdate=1/5/2006

Comment #67933

Posted by Stephen Elliott on January 5, 2006 12:48 PM (e)

Posted by Sir_Toejam on January 5, 2006 12:42 PM (e) (s)

the server it was located on was a bit iffy. once the file is local to your machine, you won’t notice that problem any more….
i’ll look for a place to host the files later today.

cheers

Please please and pretty please.
The presentation looks very interesting. However I tend to give up about 20+ minutes in, as it is difficult to watch atm. I would be willing to purchase a DVD if they are available.

Comment #67936

Posted by Sir_Toejam on January 5, 2006 12:51 PM (e)

Sir_Toejam, I’ll volunteer to host the wmv file. If you like, you can email me at pandasthumb atsign lutton dot com.

done deal.

I have some work to do this morning, then I’ll finish off the files in the afternoon and email you (likely i will set up an ftp site temporarily for you to grab them).

cheers

Comment #67937

Posted by Corkscrew on January 5, 2006 12:53 PM (e)

Gah, the only way I can make this letter sound convincing to religious types is by mildly backstabbing Dawkins. This sucks. I’ll copy the letter here before sending to see what you lot think.

Comment #67945

Posted by Corkscrew on January 5, 2006 1:17 PM (e)

OK, here’s the letter I’m planning to send in in response to this Mahmood guy. Please comment, in particular if you can see any way I can shorten it without affecting the content. Have fun spotting the Dawkins backstab too :)

——

The Times Union recently published a letter to the editor entitled “Resolve the intelligent design debate by teaching science only in college” by Sajid Mahmood. This letter claimed that a natural response to the evident conflict between some aspects of science and the religious views of some parents is to delay the teaching of science until college.

Sadly, there’s an obvious fallacy here. Say that there’s a child at your son’s school whose parents are holocaust deniers. How would you feel if the school decided to ban the teaching of modern history on the basis that the teaching of various specific historical theories to impressionable young minds conflicts directly with their parents’ beliefs?

What if that child’s parents are Scientologists - members of a cult that, among other things, holds that psychologists and psychiatrists are part of an evil global conspiracy? Would you feel that the school was justified in firing the school psychiatrist on the basis that they shouldn’t expose impressionable young minds to such essentially religious controversy?

There are additional problems. Despite Mr Mahmood’s claim that “many college professors will already tell you that students enter institutions of higher learning with minimal appropriate training,” such commentary must be taken with a pinch of salt. As a Mathematics undergraduate, I am painfully aware that many of my supervisors and lecturers believe that the quality of my school education is sadly lacking. This does not mean that it is acceptable to delay instruction in math until later in a student’s academic career - otherwise I’d have wasted most of the first year of university being coached in basic trigonometry! Similarly, a delay of years in a student’s science education can only put more strain on their already crowded schedule as they approach higher education.

The aspect of Mr Mahmood’s letter that I find the most worrying, however, is his belief that the sciences do not provide skills that are helpful to people in any field. It appears that Mr Mahmood considers science to be merely a collection of interesting factoids. If so he may well be justified in slating the middle-school science education he received, as nothing could be further from the truth. The heart of science lies not in quantum mechanics, or general relativity, or thermodynamics, or common descent, but in critical thinking. It is the scientist’s trained ability to calmly and without bias collect reliable data, whether first-hand or from the work of others, and assess it for accuracy that makes science a fundamentally trustworthy edifice. It is the scientist’s trained ability to propose testable hypotheses, and to then attempt to the best of his/her abilities to disprove them, that has allowed America to become perhaps the greatest centre of technology in the world.

There are of course areas that aren’t tractable to scientific study. No amount of data analysis can help a Christian come to a closer relationship with God, or a Buddhist achieve enlightenment, or a Moslem maintain the Five Pillars of Islam in his or her life. Equivalently, there are areas where a given religious doctrine may prove to be inferior to a scientific conclusion - the classic example being Galileo’s persecution for adopting the “heresy” that the Sun is the centre of the solar system. Fortunately, the majority of scientists alive today are mature enough to understand and accept the distinction, and there remain comparatively few individuals on either side of the secular/sectarian discussion who insist on extending one or the other past its natural remit. The Roman Catholic Church, the American Jewish Congress, the Lutheran World Federation, the United Methodist Church, the General Convention of the Episcopal Church and many others have all publicly stated that they find no conflict between their religion and evolutionary theory.

Fundamentally, science and science education is about separating the intellectual wheat from the chaff, about spotting bias and fallacies in the statements of others, and about coming to conclusions that, whilst by no means 100% correct, are as accurate as the circumstances allow. These skills can only become more essential in the face of increasingly sophisticated propaganda by everyone from advertisers through political parties to tinfoil-hatted cranks. Science education isn’t indoctrination in a set of known facts or theories, it’s the shield and sword we provide our children with so that they can defend themselves from plausible-sounding nonsense.

Mr Mahmood believes that children should be taught to write creatively as a priority. I believe that it will do them far more good in the long run to be able to spot the “creativity” in the writings of those around them. And, if their parents truly believe that their views are accurate, how can they possibly disagree with that?

Comment #67948

Posted by Lixivium on January 5, 2006 1:25 PM (e)

How about using Google Video to host the file? (Assuming, of course, that you have the university’s permission).

Comment #67953

Posted by cogzoid on January 5, 2006 1:39 PM (e)

Corkscrew wrote:

I’m planning to write in with the standard “so should we stop teaching history because it might go against what a kid’s holocaust-denying parents say?” reductio ad absurdum argument. Any thoughts before I hit “send”?

Maybe you’ve been exposed to the creationist drivel too long and you’re burned out. This is a parody. Don’t respond to well written satire with seriousness, it only makes you part of the butt of the joke.

Comment #67954

Posted by Corkscrew on January 5, 2006 1:40 PM (e)

Version two, which is half the length. I cut out a bunch of stuff, including the Dawkins backstab (which was a relief). It’s now only 1.6 times the length it’s supposed to be, rather than 3.2 times (they prefer letters to be 250 words)

—-

The Times Union recently published a letter to the editor entitled “Resolve the intelligent design debate by teaching science only in college” by Sajid Mahmood. This letter claimed that a natural response to the evident conflict between some aspects of science and the religious views of some parents is to delay the teaching of science until college.

Sadly, there’s an obvious fallacy here. Say that there’s a child at your son’s school whose parents are holocaust deniers. How would you feel if the school decided to ban the teaching of modern history as a result? What if that child’s parents are Scientologists, who believe that psychologists are part of an evil global conspiracy? Would you feel that the school should fire its psychiatrist to avoid this essentially religious controversy?

The aspect of Mr Mahmood’s letter that I find the most worrying, however, is his belief that the sciences do not provide skills helpful to people in any field. It appears that Mr Mahmood considers science to be merely a collection of interesting factoids. If so he may well be justified in slating the middle-school science education he received, as nothing could be further from the truth. The heart of science lies not in quantum mechanics, or thermodynamics, or common descent, but in critical thinking.

It is the scientist’s trained ability to calmly and without bias collect reliable data, whether first-hand or from others, and assess it for accuracy that makes science fundamentally trustworthy. It is the scientist’s trained ability to propose testable hypotheses, and then whole-heartedly attempt to disprove them, that has allowed America to become perhaps the greatest centre of technology in the world. Applied to the world at large, these same techniques allow us to identify bias, to find fallacies, and to draw the most accurate conclusions possible.

These vital skills can only become more important in the face of increasingly sophisticated propaganda by everyone from advertisers through political parties to tinfoil-hatted cranks. Science education isn’t indoctrination in a set of known facts or theories; it’s the shield and sword we give our children that they may defend themselves against plausible-sounding lies.

Mr Mahmood believes that children should be taught to write creatively. I believe that it will do them more good to first be able to spot the “creativity” in the writings of those around them.

Comment #67955

Posted by jim on January 5, 2006 1:42 PM (e)

The sad and ironic thing is that a lot of Fundies will read it and agree that science shouldn’t be taught in HS.

Comment #67956

Posted by Corkscrew on January 5, 2006 1:42 PM (e)

cogzoid wrote:

Maybe you’ve been exposed to the creationist drivel too long and you’re burned out. This is a parody. Don’t respond to well written satire with seriousness, it only makes you part of the butt of the joke.

Are you sure about that? The only reason that I can see for believing it’s a parody is that it’s internally consistent, which is fairly unusual for creationist drivel.

Comment #67958

Posted by Stephen Elliott on January 5, 2006 1:47 PM (e)

Posted by Corkscrew on January 5, 2006 01:42 PM (e) (s)

Are you sure about that? The only reason that I can see for believing it’s a parody is that it’s internally consistent, which is fairly unusual for creationist drivel.

I must admit that I find it hard to tell a parody creationist from the real article. Some creationist claims are so outrageous that a parody sounds more realistic.

Comment #67960

Posted by Mr Christopher on January 5, 2006 1:52 PM (e)

Assuming a permanent home is found for the Miller presentation, we should add a link to it on the Wikipedia Kizmiller vs Dover page.

BTW, if you Google Kitzmiller vs Dover the Wikipeida article is the first entry. How cool is that?

Chris

Comment #67961

Posted by cogzoid on January 5, 2006 1:54 PM (e)

Corkscrew wrote:

Are you sure about that? The only reason that I can see for believing it’s a parody is that it’s internally consistent, which is fairly unusual for creationist drivel.

One can never be sure without asking the original author. But, if I read your response in the paper, I’d have a hearty laugh at your expense while thinking less of those all-too-serious “evolutionists”. Something you should consider.

Comment #67963

Posted by Corkscrew on January 5, 2006 1:57 PM (e)

OK, chalk that one up to brain-rot. I think I’ll keep a copy of the letter floating around - it was getting rather good, I thought, despite the all-too-seriousness.

Comment #67964

Posted by S.L.C. on January 5, 2006 2:01 PM (e)

I downloaded both the rm and wmv files using NETTRANSPORT. The rm file works fine, the wmv file has no sound. I then downloaded the wmv file again using SDP. The resulting file had both video and sound.

Comment #67966

Posted by Bill Gascoyne on January 5, 2006 2:09 PM (e)

***** SPOILER ALERT ******
Corkscrew,

Couldn’t find your e-mail address, so let’s see, could the Dawkins slam be, “Fortunately, the majority of scientists alive today are mature enough to understand and accept the distinction, and there remain comparatively few individuals on either side of the secular/sectarian discussion who insist on extending one or the other past its natural remit.”

Comment #67967

Posted by Moses on January 5, 2006 2:11 PM (e)

It is great! This guy can really speak well.

Comment #67970

Posted by cogzoid on January 5, 2006 2:17 PM (e)

Corkscrew wrote:

OK, chalk that one up to brain-rot. I think I’ll keep a copy of the letter floating around - it was getting rather good, I thought, despite the all-too-seriousness.

Well, at least you got to put some of your thoughts down on paper. Keep fighting the good fight.

Comment #67971

Posted by Albion on January 5, 2006 2:32 PM (e)

An articulate theistic evolutionist like Ken Miller must be the IDists’ worst nightmare come true. He makes it very hard for the “evolution is an atheistic philosophy” accusation to seem credible. And when that’s been shown to be false, the IDists don’t have a lot, because the “evolution is atheistic” argument is the essence of the IDist position.

Comment #67980

Posted by jim on January 5, 2006 2:48 PM (e)

Did STJ ever post a link to the .wmv file? I’ve scanned this thread multiple times but don’t find it.

Comment #67981

Posted by Sir_Toejam on January 5, 2006 2:55 PM (e)

patience. Bill L said he would host the file, and others requested an audio only version.

I’m currently converting the file to the following formats:

straight wmv (no change) (320mb)

128k wmv (for those that want a smaller file)

avi (no change in compression)

audio only (64K stereo).

then i’ll email bill with an ftp link for where to grab them, then i assume he will send me an email with the link, or just post it here on this thread.

Comment #68006

Posted by Corkscrew on January 5, 2006 4:01 PM (e)

Bill Gascoyne wrote:

Couldn’t find your e-mail address, so let’s see, could the Dawkins slam be, “Fortunately, the majority of scientists alive today are mature enough to understand and accept the distinction, and there remain comparatively few individuals on either side of the secular/sectarian discussion who insist on extending one or the other past its natural remit.”

Yes it was. I felt rather guilty about that - I broadly agree with Dawkins, I just don’t think that invoking science is necessarily the best way to go about it.

Comment #68007

Posted by Dale on January 5, 2006 4:15 PM (e)

Corkscrew,

It may be worth mentioning in your letter that exposure to science before university helps students make the choice to do science. WIthout any exposure at an early age, it’s likely that science enrollment numbers would plummet.

Comment #68012

Posted by Corkscrew on January 5, 2006 4:38 PM (e)

RBH: Just managed to finish watching the lecture. I am so impressed by your truly encyclopedic knowledge of the history of creationism over the last half-century. I felt like I should be writing notes!

Comment #68015

Posted by Sir_Toejam on January 5, 2006 4:52 PM (e)

er, that was Ken Miller, not RBH in the video. although you are also technically correct about what you said if directed at RBH as well.

Dr. Miller actually did write not only the first biology text i ever read, but also the version we used to teach freshman bio at UC Berkeley.

Comment #68021

Posted by Corkscrew on January 5, 2006 5:11 PM (e)

Sir_Toejam: RBH said earlier that he was the last questioner. The one that managed to summarise about twenty years of creationism history in the course of his question. I’m slighly awed.

Comment #68026

Posted by Just Bob on January 5, 2006 5:14 PM (e)

I wasn’t sure of the best location to park this–and many of you may be quite familiar with it. I’m assuming it’s in the public domain, since it’s readily available on the web:

Design
Robert Frost

I found a dimpled spider, fat and white,
On a white heal-all, holding up a moth
Like a white piece of rigid satin cloth–
Assorted characters of death and blight
Mixed ready to begin the morning right,
Like the ingredients of a witches’ broth–
A snow-drop spider, a flower like a froth,
And dead wings carried like a paper kite.

What had that flower to do with being white,
The wayside blue and innocent heal-all?
What brought the kindred spider to that height,
Then steered the white moth thither in the night?
What but design of darkness to appall?–
If design govern in a thing so small.

Comment #68047

Posted by Sir_Toejam on January 5, 2006 5:52 PM (e)

@corkscrew:

ah! that explains it, I mistakenly thought you were referring to the primary speaker, my bad.

Comment #68049

Posted by Bob O'H on January 5, 2006 5:53 PM (e)

RBH wrote:

Shiva: I was the last questioner. :)

So, now I know what two of you lot look like!

I’ll add my vote that Ken Miller is a great speaker.

Bob

Comment #68051

Posted by Sir_Toejam on January 5, 2006 5:55 PM (e)

almost done with the file conversions; bill is busy downloading as i write this, so all the links should be available for download this evening.

slight modifications:

there will not be an avi version (too big)

there will be:

the original wmv (about 320 mb)
a compressed to 128k version (about 130 mb)
a sound only version (should be around 50 mb)

and an mpg version (which won’t be available until later this evening or tommorrow)

Comment #68069

Posted by RBH on January 5, 2006 6:35 PM (e)

Corkscrew wrote

RBH: Just managed to finish watching the lecture. I am so impressed by your truly encyclopedic knowledge of the history of creationism over the last half-century. I felt like I should be writing notes!

Don’t credit me too much. Did you notice the quiet guy behind the table outside the doors? He’s a librarian, a member of Ohio Citizens for Science, and has perhaps the broadest knowledge and best collection of materials about the creationist movement in the U.S. (aside perhaps from Ron Numbers) of anyone I know. Our motto is “Be careful: We’ve got a librarian, and we’re not afraid to use him!” :)

RBH

Comment #68189

Posted by Sir_Toejam on January 6, 2006 1:09 AM (e)

OK ALL HERE IS A TEMPORARY LINK TO GET THE FILES:

http://66.133.236.48/

good for tonight ONLY; it will move to Bill L’s machine tommorrow (or be mirrored there later tonight, even)

I will leave this server up until tommorrow morning at 11:00 AM.

you should see links to 3 files, with descriptions. one original size (384k bandwidth - 320 mb), one half size (128k bandwidth - 140 mb), and one audio only (mp3 @ 56k - 47 mb)

the MPG conversion was double the size of the original wmv file (over 700mb!) so i abandoned that. You can convert WMV files to mpg after you dl the wmv files using freeware wmv converters.

Comment #68200

Posted by W. Kevin Vicklund on January 6, 2006 1:47 AM (e)

Our motto is “Be careful: We’ve got a librarian, and we’re not afraid to use him!”

OOK!

Comment #68217

Posted by Bill L on January 6, 2006 2:46 AM (e)

Thanks to STJ, here is another link to the files: click here. Not sure what my transfer limit is on that server, so please be kind - use the CWRU streams or the smaller download if possible.

Comment #68218

Posted by Federico Contreras on January 6, 2006 2:53 AM (e)

As I type this I am compressing a 35MB version for the downloading impaired (160x120, 15 fps), and I will also create a .wma file for people who want to sacrifice some quality for a smaller audio file.

I also created a 100 MB 320x240 version that is of slightly lower quality than the original but still entirely watchable, I will post it on YouTube.com and post the address as soon as that’s done.

Comment #68221

Posted by Federico Contreras on January 6, 2006 3:09 AM (e)

Did I mention the doc was devastating? He was. VERY Watchable.

Oh yeah: http://www.youtube.com/?v=yWGMtaww7Vk

3:13 AM EST - You may have to wait a bit while the auto flash encoder they use at youtube recompresses the file (this is SOP).

If you’re reading this with your morning coffee, you’re ready to watch!

Comment #68288

Posted by Rajeev on January 6, 2006 10:22 AM (e)

Thank you so much for this! The presentation was brilliant.
- rajeev

Comment #68292

Posted by Peter Henderson on January 6, 2006 10:42 AM (e)

I’ve just listened to the whole of this talk. Really excellent! As someone who has a background in science (I have an HNC in chemistry which is first/second year degree level and several level two Open University courses on geology and astronomy so I consider myself to be at least scientifically literate) but no biology, I found the points that he put across both clear and easy to understand. He really is an excellent and highly listenable speaker. I particularly liked the bit about the fused chromosome and I must confess that I hadn’t even heard about this really important discovery ! I’m sure this claim about the missing chromosomes must be on a creationist website somewhere as they are quite often behind the times on such matters (it took Ken Ham over thirty years to acknowledge the theory of continental drift, and even then he got it wrong! ). I also liked the way he didn’t equate science with atheism or try and knock or insult Christianity.

I’d also love to hear him debate some of the Young Earth Creationist speakers from AIG like Ken Ham or David Menton (who has spoken at my church here in Northern Ireland, and who maintains that you can teach biology without even mentioning evolution). In my opinion Dr Miller would be the perfect person to take on the YEC’s since he isn’t associated with the atheist camp. People like Richard Dawkins may be great scientists but his (Richard Dawkins) attitude towards Christianity only gives groups like AIG ammunition !

I would also have liked to have seen the AIG cartoons about evolution being the cause of all of societies ills like abortion. homosexuality etc. as this is one of the issues they (AIG) really emphasise on their website. I thought Dr. Miller really got his point across on this.

As I said earlier, a really good talk and a refreshing change from the nonsense put out on the christian TV channels in this country by the various YEC proponents like Ken Ham, Monty White, Philip Bell, Paul Taylor, and John McKay etc. I just wish that someone like Dr. Miller would take these guys on.

Comment #68302

Posted by Laser on January 6, 2006 11:09 AM (e)

Thanks to all, especially STJ, for all your hard work. I downloaded the talk and can’t wait to watch it!

Comment #68308

Posted by Spore on January 6, 2006 11:41 AM (e)

Thanks, STJ!

Comment #68310

Posted by dogscratcher on January 6, 2006 11:49 AM (e)

STJ, and Bill L:
thank you very much for your time and effort. DS

Comment #68313

Posted by Stephen Elliott on January 6, 2006 11:59 AM (e)

I finaly got to watch it late last night.
Ken Miller was very good. Shame it could not have been a debate.

Comment #68340

Posted by Randy on January 6, 2006 1:38 PM (e)

I was a little surprised and disappointed that there weren’t any IDiots in the audience – or at least none that chose to show their colors. I haven’t the stomach to graze any of the creationist web sites; has there been any snarking that the audience was stacked, questions censored, that sort of rubbish?

In addition to the other kudos here, I want to compliment Dr. Miller on a couple other excellent things: he deftly turned asided the one question/comment about fascism; and managed to acknowledge that science is a problem for certain religions, or certain interpretations, without denigrating religious beliefs or undermining science. Both of those were minefield questions but he handled them with grace and aplomb.

My $0.02

Comment #68344

Posted by Steviepinhead on January 6, 2006 1:49 PM (e)

I haven’t scrolled the whole thread, but let’s also recall that this was originally set to be a debate (recall all the handwringing here over the “rules,” etc.?).

Except that–in the aftermath of Dover–all the witless wonderboys of ID totally choked and chickened out.

It’s pretty clear in retrospect that Miller would have cleaned their clocks, just as it must have been clear to the IDiots in advance. They know they can only “prevail” when they hold a stacked deck, can put their more PR-savvy types up against less-sophisticated, less-experienced public speakers, or can otherwise rig the game.

In that regard, I thought the idea of selecting a mild-mannered but steely-eyed pastor for a moderator was pretty dang brilliant–it would have been hugely entertaining to see the avowedly-“Christian” ID mouthpieces try to talk over or around this moderator…!

Comment #68348

Posted by Sir_Toejam on January 6, 2006 2:05 PM (e)

STJ, and Bill L:
thank you very much for your time and effort. DS

no problem; always glad to be able to contribute something more than words :)

a word of warning tho:

the server I set up (not bill’s) will be shut down very soon, so whoever is still trying to grab files there, better hurry up!

cheers

Comment #68361

Posted by cogzoid on January 6, 2006 2:33 PM (e)

Thanks for the file compression efforts! I’m eager to watch it later tonight.

Comment #68385

Posted by Sir_Toejam on January 6, 2006 4:32 PM (e)

I’m shuttin down my server at 2pm. please finish your downloads or move to bill’s site.

thanks

Comment #68501

Posted by Deamiter on January 6, 2006 10:58 PM (e)

Here’s a torrent. I should be able to keep it up for at least a week without problems, but other seeders would be welcome if I end up having connection trouble.
http://tracker.zaerc.com:666/torrentDetails.jsp?torrent_id=4599

Comment #68503

Posted by Deamiter on January 6, 2006 11:01 PM (e)

Shoot that’s what I get for posting the link too early.

This link is the REAL link to the torrent. It’s the highest quality video compressed by STJ above.
http://tracker.zaerc.com/torrents-details.php?id=4599

Comment #68511

Posted by Mr Christopher on January 7, 2006 12:06 AM (e)

Thanks for the download!

And every scientific organization should be submitting a news release talking about the Miller’s talk at Case and providing a link to the video stream. We talk about how bad we are with educating the public and showing them what science really is about, we should be telling the media and public about this video. Even the other side, the average American who does not believe he “came from apes” would probably be inclined to see what our side has to say.

This video is a great introduction to science and using critical thinking for ordinary Americans. We should be flaunting it. This is good stuff.

Seriously.

Comment #68813

Posted by UnMark on January 8, 2006 7:05 PM (e)

Wow! What a great talk! I have only one thing to add to it: one of the reasons, IMO, that the IDists/creationists have seemingly gained more of a foothold in the last decade is the internet. Simply put, anyone with a room temperature IQ (in Farenheit, in a southern climate) can create and maintain a website on nearly any topic desired. Most people don’t have the wherewithal or desire to separate the real info from the BS, and simply agree with and propound whichever ideas fit their worldview. Why did Al Gore have to invent the internet?! :p

I’ll help seed the torrent for a few days.

Cheers!

Comment #69732

Posted by Dean Morrison on January 10, 2006 1:32 PM (e)

This really does deserve a wider audience - I’ve posted links to it on UK sites and will help seed the torrent until no-one is interested anymore.

Comment #69744

Posted by jim on January 10, 2006 2:21 PM (e)

I’m interested but haven’t been able to get to a high-speed site yet to download (no high-speed at my home!). Don’t want to do this at work, ‘cause it’s likely to trigger some investigation…

Hmm, our new library is open. I’ll have to swing by sometime this week.

Comment #70003

Posted by jim on January 11, 2006 8:40 AM (e)

Deamiter,

Thanks for continuing to seed that talk. I finally tried to get it downloaded yesterday. I went to my library to get access to their high-speed connection (I can regularly get over 100Kbaud from their connection!). Imagine my surprise & dismay when I discovered that it wouldn’t download faster than about 6Kbaud :

I can almost get this from my dial-up connection (I’m averaging 4-5Kbaud as I type this).

It’ll take 24 hours of downloading at this speed…

Comment #70290

Posted by Dale on January 11, 2006 8:03 PM (e)

I have a Mac and tried using Windows Media Player to view this, and it didn’t work too well.

There is a plugin for quicktime that allows you to play wmv files from within the quicktime player, and this seems to work a lot better (it allows me to jump into the middle of the presentation so I don’t have to watch it all in one go).

It’s available from…

http://www.flip4mac.com/

Comment #70297

Posted by Sir_Toejam on January 11, 2006 8:13 PM (e)

nice tip, Dale.

hmm. I think i recall reading that MS dropped support for IE and media player on the Mac.

or was that just IE?

you can also find free converters that will let you change the file format from wmv to mpg or avi or Divx, etc.

I left the originals in wmv format because otherwise i would have had to do a recompression, which would have resulted in same size or even larger files in most cases, and degrade the quality noticeably.

Comment #70336

Posted by jim on January 11, 2006 9:46 PM (e)

Is anyone still seeding this?

It was downloading (very slowly) this afternoon. However, now I’m getting nothing. Of course slow download doesn’t bother me at home. I only have dial-up access :( .

Comment #70419

Posted by Dale on January 12, 2006 12:46 AM (e)

I -think- i’m hosting a torrent for it now (i’ve not used bittorrent before). I have cable with a slow upload speed, but it’s faster than a normal modem line.

You should be able to find it soon (if my understanding of how it works is ok). If not let me know, and I’ll put it on my website for you.

Comment #74667

Posted by J Dawson on January 22, 2006 6:40 AM (e)

Hey,
was a bit late finding out about this, have ordered ADSL so that I can download it. Should arrive on Tues, can you keep hosting it until then?
Cheers,
and
thanks!