First on this tape, Science Friction: Creation looks at creationism in America, and the attempts to get Evolution banned from classrooms, and creationism taught. Some of the ignorance on show is horrifying. It’s unfair to pick on a school pupil, but when this chap expresses his disbelief at the idea with the question “How can an African American person evolve from a white person? We’re different skin.” you begin to think it isn’t all about religion.
One voice of reason is Eugenie Scott of the National Centre for Science Education.
I can’t believe it took the show 30 minutes to bring in Richard Dawkins.
Here’s the whole programme.
BBC Genome: BBC One – 8th September 1996 – 22:35
Next, the third in this series, Miracles. It’s a lot less interesting, as it’s mostly about the experience of religious miracles. There’s some Italian scientists who can reproduce weeping statues, for example, but the programme runs into trouble when it looks at healing, and we have Dr Ervin Laszlo, a ‘Science Systems Analyst’ (whatever that is) who starts spouting the worst kind of pseudoscience. “Our brains are connected by a field that is a quantum field it carries information. So what used to be considered miraculous healing actually can be an act of self healing, or healing by others.”
He doesn’t seem to realise he’s just replaced one unexplained phenomenon with another.
Good grief. The programme has a couple of scientists researching Cold Fusion – something that was pretty well debunked several years before.
BBC Genome: BBC One – 22nd September 1996 – 22:40
After this, recording switches, apparently to next year, as it’s Film 97. Barry Norman reviews the following films:
There’s a location report on Event Horizon.
BBC Genome: BBC One – 3rd June 1997 – 23:15
After this, recording switches to… UK Living? Well that’s what the pictures say, but the audio is Radio 3, as this is a Proms concert. My satellite box allowed me to listen to the radio, and the audio channels were carried alongside TV channels on the same multiplex, and because it wasn’t a digital box, it just played whatever the video signal happened to be on. In this case, some kind of Australian courtroom drama called Halifax, and a programme called Sex Zone which looks like one of those full and frank discussions about sex that Channel 4 used to have in the old days.
But the proms is a late night prom, featuring two pieces of music. First, it’s Brahms Clarinet Quintet, with soloist Anthony Pay. He’s my wife’s favourite clarinettist, so for that reason I think we probably went to see this concert live. I don’t specifically remember, but I do know we did see Anthony Pay live at least once, so this was probably it.
The second piece is Mendelssohn’s Octet, which I remember seeing elsewhere, at the Wigmore Hall, where the octet included both Joshua Bell and Steven Isserlis, two performers who were somewhat popular with my wife’s sisters. And I do have a vague memory of seeing it twice, so this must be the second time.
This performance is by Hausmusik, an ensemble who play with period instruments, which explains why they have to retune their instruments between each movement.
BBC Genome: BBC Radio 3 – 4th September 1997 – 22:00
The tape runs out a little after this recording.