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A new low for PBS
Posted: 07 August 2007 01:29 PM   [ Ignore ]
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Usually PBS is one of the few channels I enjoy watching. It has some great programming such as “Science Now”, “Masterpiece Theatre” and others.

But last night, in their thrice-yearly pledge drive, they had the following person’s program featured. I am still so stunned and appaled that I hardly know what to make of it. Is anyone else familliar with this new age motivational speaker who promotes magical thinking?

Look out, it might be coming to a PBS station near you!
http://www.pbs.org/tvschedules/index.html?display_feed=2658&display_format=multifeed&station=WKNO&zipcode;=&transport;=&provider;=&feeds=2658,14852,16915&display_date=2007-08-06&display_time=7:00pm

His website:
http://www.drwaynedyer.com/

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Posted: 07 August 2007 02:34 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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The PBS link isn’t working for me ... but agreed about Dyer. Another quack I recall them running several years back was Gary Null.

It somehow seems that PBS runs excellent shows (NOVA, etc.) during the regular season, then sees fit to trot out the garbage for Pledge Week. OK with me, saves me time and money ...

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Posted: 07 August 2007 02:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Ours refuses to show “The History of Disbelief”  :(  I’m hoping it comes out on DVD soon.  I know like everything else like that, I’ll have to buy it online, but what else is new.  I really hate this area of the U.S. BTW, I can’t seem to get Dawkin’s “Root of All Evil?” around here either.  I’ll have to buy it on his site or something when I get the money.

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Mriana
“Sometimes in order to see the light, you have to risk the dark.” ~ Iris Hineman (Lois Smith) The Minority Report

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Posted: 07 August 2007 03:24 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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I was unsurprised that “History of Disbelief” did not run here.

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Posted: 07 August 2007 09:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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I don’t know if it qualifies as a new low.  I’ve seen him on PBS a number of times, years ago.

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Fiziks is Fundamental

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Posted: 08 August 2007 12:01 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Ours refuses to show “The History of Disbelief” :( I’m hoping it comes out on DVD soon.  I know like everything else like that, I’ll have to buy it online, but what else is new.  I really hate this area of the U.S. BTW, I can’t seem to get Dawkin’s “Root of All Evil?” around here either.  I’ll have to buy it on his site or something when I get the money.

I watched both at veoh.com.

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Fiction is fun, but facts are fundamental.

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Posted: 08 August 2007 10:00 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Since PBS still has some of the very best programming available I continue to watch it. But I check the television listings first and I only turn my television on now if there is something I choose to watch, like “Simon Shama’s Power of Art” or “Are you Being Served?”. Otherwise I’ll visit the library and pick up a book or movie.

I find myself very disturbed by the increasing religiosity of public television. I don’t think it is merely that I am becoming more aware of it but that it is truly steadily increasing. If Dr. Wayne Dyer has appeared on PBS in the past I am very glad to have missed it, but dismayed he is on public television at all. When I first turned it on I had to check the channel. I thought I was watching an infomercial.

I see the increasing religiosity of televison programming as a barometer of the public’s tastes in general. The Discovery Channel is a good example of what I am thinking of. Two years ago when I subscribed to cable it was one of the channels I was looking forward to watching but I found I could hardly watch it for all the shows about the shroud of Turin, the tomb of Jesus, The Holy Grail and other programs in a similar vein - all presented minimally critical way. I discontinued my cable. Point being, the networks present what the public wants to watch in order to get the largest number of eyes glued to the screen to recieve the paid commercials.

Now that PBS is more and more reliant upon private dollars they are subject to the same effect. They are going to provide programming that will result in the best funding for them. Sadly, I think we can expect to see more of the same in the future.

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Posted: 08 August 2007 10:04 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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I should probably make clearer here that I am, in general, a huge fan of PBS. Let’s not let the perfect become the enemy of the good here ... most of the very best programming on TV is available on PBS. I simply never watch normal broadcast TV. My concern with PBS is with some of their programming, in particular (for some odd reason) programming that they run during pledge drives. It tends to be the lowest-brow.

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Posted: 09 August 2007 05:54 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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I love PBS. They’ve got NOVA, and occasionally I watch an episode of Arthur or Sesame Street to revisit my childhood…

And then I saw the whole thing with Dr. Wayne Dyer the other day and felt like banging my head into the floor.

Not the first time they had some sort of New Age stuff on there.

I was going to complain about that on here but looks like someone beat me to it.

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3. Nothing can travel faster than the speed of light.
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Therefore, God is nothing.
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Posted: 09 August 2007 07:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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As Doug pointed out on another thread, PBS has very low ratings.  People seem to want entertainment, not information or education.  I guess PBS decided to go where the money is.  downer

Occam

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Posted: 10 August 2007 05:09 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Wayne Dyer has been on PBS for years. He used to do a more pop-psych kind of thing, which has drifted into the new-agey kind of thing.

He’s there to sell his crap - DVD’s, Books, card sets (“10 Secrets for Success and Inner Peace Cards” - ooooh!), calendars, and such.  He’s a new age version of a televangelist.

PBS is good if only because it is about the only American broadcaster that would even consider making something like Nova or Nature - both of which, I think, have declined in quality over the last few years in seeking to entertain, so that they can survive the cuts that anti-secular Republicans have pushed through over the last couple of decades.  The BBC still puts out some very good (and entertaining) programs about the real world.  The public broadcasters seem to be generally less apt to air programs about the world.  The CBC seems to air them at times nobody will be watching - some compelling documentaries, but few people see them.

I think that there is still some good radio going on, though - shows like Ideas (CBC) and All In The Mind (ABC Australia - they air a whole bunch of interesting shows).

Anyone else noticed a trend in supposedly “scientific” shows that do Biblical archaeology?

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Posted: 10 August 2007 09:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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I have, indeed, noticed and been disheartened by the “biblical archeology” trend in programming. I noticed it most often on National Geographic Channel and Discovery Channel. Since I no long have cable I no longer give their lineup my attention, but I am sure they are still there. Given the religious bent of the majority of Americans I anticipate no decrease of this sort of thing.

I would gladly welcome these programs if they were truly critical and thoroughly, but the ones I was determined to watch when I still had cable seemed minimally critical and, most irritating of all, always started from a basic assumption of historicity of Jesus, a historicity I am not convinced of. The evidence is simply not strong enough for me to be satisfied with it.

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Posted: 11 August 2007 10:54 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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I don’t mind that people are rooting about trying to prove the historicity of the Bible.  What I mind is that it becomes a justification for taking the entire Bible to be true.

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Posted: 11 August 2007 11:03 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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rsonin - 11 August 2007 10:54 AM

I don’t mind that people are rooting about trying to prove the historicity of the Bible.  What I mind is that it becomes a justification for taking the entire Bible to be true.

Absolutely. Any careful historical treatment of the Bible will show (and has shown) that much of the material in it is historically inaccurate, distorted, or without evidence. I am all in favor of doing honest legwork to try to find out more about what happened during the biblical period in the Middle East. The Bible is simply one text among many from that period; some of it is most likely accurate, much is not.

I guess what I’m saying is that anyone who investigates the historicity of the Bible honestly will come to the conclusion that it can’t be entirely true. That’s why all serious biblical scholars are not biblical literalists.

Re. the question about Jesus’s historicity ... we’ve hashed that out quite a bit here. I am of the opinion that Jesus did exist, and that we can do some rough reconstruction of his life.

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Posted: 11 August 2007 11:20 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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There are people who doubt that Socrates existed, that Lao Tse existed - all kinds of important historical figures are doubted.  I think it misses the point - we can still study what Socrates, or “Socrates”, had to say, and consider it apart from the reality of the person featured - someone said all those things, after all, even if it wasn’t Socrates.  What is important is not who said it, but whether it is true or useful.

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Posted: 11 August 2007 12:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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Meh. If they can explain it scientifically, then where’s the miracle in that, eh?

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1. God is omnipotent.
Source: Several incidents where I’ve annoyed fundamentalist Christians by challenging God’s power.
2. If God is omnipotent then he can travel faster than the speed of light.
Modus Ponens
3. Nothing can travel faster than the speed of light.
Source: Einstein
Therefore, God is nothing.
QED

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