Home > Intelligent Design > Jim Valentine, the Cambrian Explosion and ID

Jim Valentine, the Cambrian Explosion and ID

October 4, 2009

Jonathan Wells claims:

Illustra Media interviewed [Simon] Conway Morris and [James] Valentine for this project in October and November of 2006—less than three years ago. Both Morris and Valentine knew they were being interviewed by Illustra Media, which was well known for having previously produced two pro-intelligent design films, Unlocking the Mystery of Life and The Privileged Planet. They were not deceived in any way.

Jim Valentine says:

I wish to clarify my role in the new film Darwin’s Dilemma. When I was interviewed about a decade ago for the material used in this movie, I was unaware that this interview might appear in a film promoting intelligent design. My appearance should not be misconstrued as support for any creationist agenda.

Now who are you going to believe?

Valentine did an interview in 1993 regarding the origin of phyla for a DVD sold by ARN.  I wonder whether that footage is the same one being re-used for Darwin’s Dilemma, the latest Illustra Media piece. (Strangely, the YouTube sample of the older Valentine interview is no longer available.)

Valentine goes on to state:

I disagree with the view that the best explanation for the Cambrian record is the action of an “intelligent designer” instantaneously creating phyla. Had the filmmakers bothered to read my book On the Origin of Phyla, they would have understood that I do not support a creationist interpretation of the Cambrian explosion or the fossil record. Scientific findings in many fields, including my own (paleobiology) as well as geology, geophysics, geochemistry, developmental biology, and systematics, have led to a synthesis of the events surrounding the Cambrian explosion that is in full accord with well-established evolutionary principles.

Yet another case of an expert being misused by denialists.

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  1. October 5, 2009 at 4:43 am

    I was just reading Climate Coverup, a book about the tactics used by global warming denialists – they’re amazingly similar to creationist tactics.

    For example, Carl Wunsch, a physical oceanographer at MIT, was duped into appearing in The Great Global Warming Swindle (ref: http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2007/mar/11/broadcasting.science) and then quote-mined (of course).

    Another example that really I enjoyed was when the coal-funded “Information Council on the Environment” sought to use its budget “to reposition global warming as a theory (not fact)”.

  2. October 5, 2009 at 4:44 am

    Whoops, probably better remove that parenthesis. http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2007/mar/11/broadcasting.science

  3. October 12, 2009 at 10:47 pm

    I think the creationist’s problem lies in just how long 5 million years is. Let’s try expressing it in terms of generations, and use the biblical measure of a human generation at 40 years. Using simple multiplication that 2.5 generations per century becomes 125,000 generations in 5 kilo-millenniums. Lots of opportunity for productive error there.

  4. October 12, 2009 at 10:58 pm

    Especially considering the generation time for Cambrian inverts is waaaaaaaaayyyyyyy shorter than 40 years 🙂

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