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Flight: The Genius of Birds

16 comments in the last 6 months
Response to Mr. Lad Allen: Flight the Genius of Birds
Posted: December 20, 2013 by Name Withheld
Program: Flight: The Genius of Birds (16 comments)
I do not share Mr. Allen’s praise for the repeated airing of Flight: the Genius of Birds by CPT12. I have no problem with this program airing with a disclaimer that its contents advocate for “intelligent design” and that its conclusions are not supported by scientific evidence. But that is not what CPT12 did and your channel is complicit in Mr. Allen’s charade. I also object to CPT12’s repeatedly patting itself on the back for airing this program in the way that it did. “Part of Colorado Public Television’s mission is “Serving under-represented interests by providing access to diverse and opposing viewpoints.” CPT12 has been known for airing controversial subject matter in the past. It seems to be a part of our station’s DNA. It is just the way we roll.” I repeat again: If some people think that the world is flat, or that the Sun orbits around the Earth or that Zeus created the universe, they do not represent under-served interests that warrant 60 minutes on public TV. They are simply wrong. There is a fundamental difference between airing a controversial opinion and attempting to create a veneer of credibility around a religious view that the producers of this program want to "disguise" as science. If my opinion is not sufficient, then please take the time to review the following commentary from the National Academy of Sciences. While this conclusion was meant as a rebuttal to the teaching of intelligent design in schools, I think that it is also appropriate to the airing of faux scientific documentaries about creationism on public TV. This statement is from “Science and Creationism: A View from the National Academy of Sciences, Second Edition ( 1999 ) / Conclusion” "Science is not the only way of acquiring knowledge about ourselves and the world around us. Humans gain understanding in many other ways, such as through literature, the arts, philosophical reflection, and religious experience. Scientific knowledge may enrich aesthetic and moral perceptions, but these subjects extend beyond science's realm, which is to obtain a better understanding of the natural world. The claim that equity demands balanced treatment of evolutionary theory and special creation in science classrooms reflects a misunderstanding of what science is and how it is conducted. Scientific investigators seek to understand natural phenomena by observation and experimentation. Scientific interpretations of facts and the explanations that account for them therefore must be testable by observation and experimentation. Creationism, intelligent design, and other claims of supernatural intervention in the origin of life or of species are not science because they are not testable by the methods of science. These claims subordinate observed data to statements based on authority, revelation, or religious belief. Documentation offered in support of these claims is typically limited to the special publications of their advocates. These publications do not offer hypotheses subject to change in light of new data, new interpretations, or demonstration of error. This contrasts with science, where any hypothesis or theory always remains subject to the possibility of rejection or modification in the light of new knowledge. No body of beliefs that has its origin in doctrinal material rather than scientific observation, interpretation, and experimentation should be admissible as science in any science course. Incorporating the teaching of such doctrines into a science curriculum compromises the objectives of public education. Science has been greatly successful at explaining natural processes, and this has led not only to increased understanding of the universe but also to major improvements in technology and public health and welfare. The growing role that science plays in modem life requires that science, and not religion, be taught in science classes."
CPT12 Response:
Thank you for your thoughtful email and feedback. I have forwarded your comments to our Director of Programming, Brad Haug.
Sincerely,
Joan
CPT12 Staff 
Flight: The Genius of Birds
Posted: December 18, 2013 by Lad Allen
Program: Flight: The Genius of Birds (16 comments)
I am the producer/ director of "FLIGHT: The Genius of Birds" and I've been following the viewer comments in response to your station's recent broadcasts of our documentary. Not surprisingly, they were an impassioned mixture of praise and rebuke for the program. http://www.tyleropenmri.comwww.cpt12.org/community/viewer_buzz.cfm?s=898&ta=1 The theory of intelligent design has stirred intense debate for more than a century. The search for a scientific explanation for the origin of life on earth is a holy grail for biologists, chemists, geneticists and philosophers...and, it should be. On behalf of the entire Illustra Media team, I want to thank and commend Colorado Public Television 12 for having the courage to present a program that challenges the conventional scientific paradigm. Many PBS stations have rejected FLIGHT because they are fearful of negative viewer response. Such decisions puzzle me. By definition "public" television exists to present and consider a wide spectrum of views not available on commercial networks. Controversy and debate are never bad things. Especially when they involve the "big questions" of life. We appreciate your open mindedness and the platform you provided for our film.
CPT12 Response:
It is always nice to hear from the producers of the programs we air. Thank you for your email.
Part of Colorado Public Television’s mission is “ Serving under-represented interests by providing access to diverse and opposing viewpoints.”
CPT12 has been known for airing controversial  subject matter in the past. It seems to be a part of our station’s DNA. It is just the way we roll.
All the Best,
Joan
CPT12 Staff 
ID not creationism
Posted: December 9, 2013 by Jan Grossberg
Program: Flight: The Genius of Birds (16 comments)
Anyone who has actually taken the time to investigate what ID really is will know that it is NOT creationism, but cutting edge science. Anyone who does not offer a reasoned, dignified, evidence-based response to the ID theorists but resorts to distracting techniques such as name-calling, put-downs, insults and other vitriol, is behaving in a manner that will do nothing but detract from any possible legitimate arguments they might attempt to offer. Those who support evolution should, as proper scientists are expected to do, welcome challenge to their theories, which, if they are correct, will withstand the challenge. If not, they should willingly examine alternative explanations that follow the evidence. Science is not name-calling. Intolerance and prejudice is embodied by it. Kudos to PBS for having the intellectual honesty and courage to present this information at prime time or otherwise. Do not be intimidated, PBS.
CPT12 Response:
Thank you for your email and support.
I appreciate your  considered and respectful  take on the subject.
All the Best,
Joan
CPT12 Staff 
Change of Program
Posted: December 8, 2013 by Coleen Lyon
Program: Flight: The Genius of Birds (16 comments)
What happened to "Flight: The Genius of Birds" which was originally scheduled to show on 12.2 at 4:00 am?
CPT12 Response:
We made a programming change due to viewer feedback.  We did air this 4 times already and it wasn’t a big hit with our viewers.
 
Sorry for any inconvenience.
 
Sincerely,
 
Pamela Petti
Programming Assistant | Colorado Public Television 
permancraig_a@hotmail.com
Posted: December 4, 2013 by Craig A Perman
Program: Flight: The Genius of Birds (16 comments)
I don’t understand what all the fuss is about. Why should every show have an evolutionary bias? Pretty narrow minded I say. Are we afraid to look at alternative models that may better explain nature than the failed dogma of evolution? Considering that evolution and associated changes: 1) Violate entropy 2) Is impossible by probability 3) Has never been shown in the fossil record 4) Life (information) has never been demonstrated to arise from abiotic origins 5) Is irreducibly complex 6) Genetic mutations represent a loss of information To name just a few things, it is time to open our minds. I think the producers should be applauded. They have made a beautiful program and risked the ire of evolutionists to propose a view that expands our thinking. Thank you PBS for showing this program.
CPT12 Response:
Thanks for writing.  We appreciate your feedback.
 
All the Best,
 
 
Jackie
CPT-12 Staff 
Political, not scientific
Posted: December 2, 2013 by Doug Norden
Program: Flight: The Genius of Birds (16 comments)
This was a huge disappointment to watch and should have come with a disclaimer as it is a politico-religious statement of false claims. Evolution is what actually happened and is happening, and is best explained by natural and sexual selection. This video utilizes all the bad arguments (e.g. straw man - Boeing 747 assembled by the wind, etc.)that have come to exemplify creationism. Someone at the station should have caught this before it was aired as public TV is not the place for such rubbish... Or at least had a follow up by real scientist to explain where they went wrong.
CPT12 Response:
Thank you for writing.  I have forwarded your comments to our Director of Programming, Brad Haug.
 
Sincerely,
 
 
Jackie
CPT-12 Staff 
This video distorts the meaning of
Posted: November 30, 2013 by C Finch
Program: Flight: The Genius of Birds (16 comments)
I'm disappointed that a PBS station would broadcast a program promoting "Intelligent Design" (aka Creationism) as science. (Watch the Nova DVD "Judgment Day: Intelligent Design on Trial" http://video.pbs.org/video/980040807/ to see how & why this widely held religious belief in "Intelligent Design" was discredited.) Although "The Genius of Birds" includes visually appealing video showing the amazing ability of birds, it's primary objective is to promote Intelligent Design" by distorting & confusing the meanings of Engineering," "Design," & "Intelligence." As an Electrical Engineer (who knows something about engineering & design) it disturbs me that the producers use the word "engineering" to describe God's process for 'designing' birds, because 'engineering' is a word that describes a human process, which imagines something, builds it, discovers it doesn't work the way it was imagined, and then re-imagines & rebuilds it - over & over again. Now I don't claim to know the mind of God, but I find it difficult to believe that God would have 'designed' creatures by 'engineering' them. If He had, it seems more reasonable that an all-knowing all- powerful God would have gotten it right the first time! But if that were the case, we'd have discovered million-year-old fossils that closely resemble today's birds. But what we've found instead, are fossils of creatures that have gradually changed over time, evolving into what they are today as the result of natural selection. Of course it's possible God knew that dinosaurs would evolve into birds, and ape-like creatures would evolve into humans. But if birds & humans were what He really wanted, why did He bother creating dinosaurs & ape-like creatures? Why didn't He just create birds & humans? Or maybe God did nothing more than create the Big Bang so He could watch with wonder & joy the amazing universe unfold in unimaginable ways. I don't know. But I do know/believe that except for the videos of the birds, this movie is crap.
A comment that CPT12 made about "Flight: The Genius of Birds"
Posted: November 28, 2013 by Name Withheld
Program: Flight: The Genius of Birds (16 comments)
In response to a comment that CPT12 made to input from one of your viewers, you said that “Part of the Mission of Colorado Public Television is to serve under-represented interests by providing access to diverse and opposing viewpoints. This one probably falls in that category”. I have to disagree. Creationism is not an “under-represented interest”, nor is it a “diverse and opposing viewpoint”. It is simply wrong, nothing more and nothing less. Natural law is not governed by diverse or opposing viewpoints. If I think that gravity no longer exists, it does not give me special dispensation to levitate. If some people think that the world is flat, or that the Sun orbits around the Earth or that Zeus created the universe, do they represent under-served interests that warrant 60 minutes on public TV? Do they represent diverse and opposing viewpoints that are credible alternatives for explaining the way the world works? Nope, they’re just wrong. And intelligent design has no more verifiable scientific support than any of the examples above.
Flight:
Posted: November 27, 2013 by Marie Rossmiller
Program: Flight: The Genius of Birds (16 comments)
I was totally enveloped in the program, I got in the last part and was thrilled to see this. We have a cabin in the mountains and our community homes all have hummingbird feeders. I've been looking for a video like this. Last summer we contacted lots of audoban (sp) organizations looking for speakers or video's for our community events. I'm hoping to get ahold of this or watch it again sometime on your channel... thanks for bringing in various views, I appreciated this one big time!
CPT12 Response:
Thanks for writing.  We appreciate your feedback and glad you enjoyed Flight: The Genius of Birds.  This program is due to air again on Friday, December 20 at 12:00 am on Channel 12.1.  You can also go to www.shoppbs.com to check for purchase of a DVD.
 
Thank you for watching and supporting Colorado Public Television.
 
Sincerely, 
Wow! Bate & Switch Bird Program... Not up to your standards
Posted: November 27, 2013 by Vicki Fogel Mykles
Program: Flight: The Genius of Birds (16 comments)
This program started out as an interesting soft "scientific" look at how birds work. Loved the hummingbird info and flight muscles. However, 40 minutes into the show, the science began to recede and some fuzzy thinking started to appear. It finally disintegrated into a religious pitch referring to the so-called "Intelligent Design." This show does not belong on PBS - there are plenty of right wing religious channels that can run this. Very disappointed. CPT12.. what a shame you got bated into this.
CPT12 Response:
Thank you for writing.  I have forwarded your comments to our Director of Programming, Brad Haug.
 
Sincerely,
 
 
Jackie
CPT-12 Staff 
Disappointment in programming
Posted: November 27, 2013 by Ann Donoghue
Program: Flight: The Genius of Birds (16 comments)
I watched this program last night and was incredibly disappointed. Throughout the show I kept thinking, "that was badly written", "that wasn't scientifically accurate", "who is that so-called 'expert'?" and then, finally, in the last 10 minutes I found out why. It was then that it was revealed that the program entirely devoted to convincing the viewer that intelligent design was at work in 'designing' birds. My jaw dropped and I couldn't believe I was watching PUBLIC TV! You've lost me as a member and contributor. Inaccurate, poorly written programming is not what I'm looking for. I was under the impression that Public TV was to educate and inform. This show did neither and was a waste of my membership dollars.
CPT12 Response:
Thank you for your email and feedback. I am sorry you were disappointed in the quality of Flight: The Genius of Birds. I have forwarded your comments to our Director of Programming, Brad Haug.
We do take comments from our viewers very seriously and your feedback will help shape future programming decisions.
The film’s website does list its contributing scientists and scholars. It also lists books on Intelligent Design on its resource page.
Sincerely,
Joan
CPT12 Staff
  
Flight: The Genius of Birds
Posted: November 27, 2013 by Name Withheld
Program: Flight: The Genius of Birds (16 comments)
I would like to voice my very strong objection to your airing of “Flight: The Genius of Birds”. This program is nothing more than thinly veiled creationism and clearly advocates for the concept of intelligent design. “Intelligent design” creationism is not supported by any scientific evidence. The “irreducible complexity” theme of this program has been repeatedly disavowed by any reputable science. “Flight” is about blatant religious advocacy and nothing more. On its website, Illustra Media, which produced “Flight”, describes its mission as producing “video documentaries that examine the scientific case for intelligent design. Working with Discovery Institute and an international team of scientists and scholars… Illustra has helped define both the scientific case for design and the limitations of materialistic processes like Darwinian evolution.” Christiancinema,com , describes this program as follows: “In FLIGHT, the ingenuity of a bird's behavior and biology showcase unmistakable evidence for design, purpose, and plan. It is evidence best explained by an intelligence that transcends the natural world.” Flight is peddled by this company along with other videos such as “Flight of Faith” and “Creation Proclaims: Flight and Spike(Vol.2)”. Unlike creationism, evolution is not a belief system but is supported by verifiable and reproducible science. Airing this program is the equivalent of offering 60 minutes of air time to the Flat Earth Society in order to promote the idea of a flat earth as a scientifically credible alternative to the idea that the earth is actually a sphere. Again, evolution is not a belief system whose validity is dependent upon individual opinion. Natural law operates independently of human beliefs and opinions. There are not always two equal and credible opinions for every position. Just ask Copernicus. At a minimum this program should have been aired with a disclaimer or introduction indicating that this program advocates biblical creationism as an alternative explanation for biological evolution. I am extremely disappointed in CPT12!
CPT12 Response:
Thank you for your email and feedback. I have forwarded your comments to our Director of Programming, Brad Haug.
We do take comments from our viewers very seriously and your feedback will help shape future programming decisions.
All the Best,
Joan
CPT12 Staff 
Intelligent design
Posted: November 27, 2013 by steven rafferty
Program: Flight: The Genius of Birds (16 comments)
Dr. Sharon F. Diehl - I tuned this program in a little late and apparently missed the intelligent design business, and thought it a wonderful show. Could you explain what it was you observed that led you to make your comment? No pal of intelligent design nonsense here. Thanks.
CPT12 Response:
Thank you for your email.
I did not personally watch the Flight: The Genius of Birds  last night  and I cannot speak for Dr. Diehl.
I did visit the film’s website. Under Resources, they do  list books on Intelligent Design.
Sincerely,
Joan
CPT12 
Flight--Genius of Birds
Posted: November 27, 2013 by Name Withheld
Program: Flight: The Genius of Birds (16 comments)
Thank you so much for showing this fantastic program. It makes you think of how flight is even possible just by chance.
CPT12 Response:
Thanks for your email.  We appreciate your feedback and are glad you enjoyed the program Flight: The Genius of Birds.
Thank you for watching and supporting Colorado Public Television.
Sincerely,
Joan
Colorado Public Television (CPT12) 
"flight - the genius of birds"
Posted: November 27, 2013 by Name Withheld
Program: Flight: The Genius of Birds (16 comments)
This is just disguised propaganda of people who can't deal with the reality of science and what it means to their beliefs. It is dangerous pseudo-science. I thought this was a nature show only to find I am being preached to using wishful thinking and opinion in place of science. I am disappointed. It would be ok if it was clearly labeled as religious opinion. It was not. This is public tv.
CPT12 Response:
Thank you for your email and feedback. I have forwarded your comments to our Director of Programming, Brad Haug.
The staff of Colorado PublicTelevision does take comments from our viewers very seriously and your feedback will help shape future programming decisions.
 
Sincerely,
Joan
CPT12 Staff 
Genius of Birds; religous indoctrination
Posted: November 26, 2013 by Sharon Diehl
Program: Flight: The Genius of Birds (16 comments)
Good grief, was the station bought out by a religious outfit? I was so suprised to see a public channel promoting a religious claptrap idea of "intelligent design". I'm very, very disappointed in your choice of programming. Dr. Sharon F. Diehl
CPT12 Response:
Thank you for your email and feedback. I have forwarded your comments to our Director of Programming, Brad Haug.
We do take comments from our viewers very seriously and your feedback will help shape future programming decisions.
Part of the Mission of Colorado Public Television is to serve under-represented interests by providing access to diverse and opposing viewpoints. This one probably falls in that category.
I can assure you we have not been bought out by any religious outlet.
Sincerely,
Joan
CPT12 Staff 
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