Sunday, April 27, 2008

BEN STEIN'S "EXPELLED ~ No Intelligence Allowed --is a "Must See" for Both Sides of the Debate!

Ben Stein has made an excellent film. People of faith should support it. People like evolution-believing bloggers Mud-rake, Microdot, and Whynot should see this film, for their own enlightenment.

One fellow was ostracized in his career because he said MD's really don't have to believe Darwinism in order to be good MD's. Now, who said THAT before? I did, because my husband is an MD who does not believe Darwin's theory of origins and it does not affect how he practices medicine --except that he is very life-affirming, unlike some Darwinian physicians who believe in eugenics and practice abortion.

In the film, the famous atheist who just wrote a book defending atheism, what's his name, Dawkins, was interviewed and admitted that he didn't know how life began. And that some intelligent beings may have dropped us off on the planet.
What we learn from this film is that very successful scientists with great accomplishments have been fired for entertaining the possibility of intelligent design behind our existance --for doubting Darwin.

We learned that there is deep establishment prejudice against scientists who profess faith and/or question Darwin. We learn that atheists have shut the door on academic freedom in favor of their smoky orthodoxy.

We hear it from Germans that Darwin inspired Naziism. There is a running theme --that without faith in a Creator, we lose sense of the inalienable rights of man.

We just returned from Disney World. We saw again the Hall of Presidents which opens with the Declaration of Independence as our defining document --not the constitution --but the statement about the "Creator" endowing us with "certain inalienable rights."

Ben so describes the Spirit of Mudrake, you'd think he knew him. Everything I've heard on the blogs was in the movie: 1. Stein was told that real scientists don't doubt Darwin. (He proved otherwise.) 2. He was told there is no conflict between religion and evolution ---yet atheists are the most vigorous supporters of the theory. 3. The Public School science leaders want to convince us that there is no conflict between religion and science --because if parents and churches realized just how much conflict there was, they would get involved in opposing the militancy of the Darwinists. 4. The study of Darwinian orthodoxy does produce atheists.

The movie didn't do as much as it could have to teach the public the evidence for intelligent design in nature --or the evidence against Darwin's theory. Nevertheless, it showed that academic freedom is needed in the sciences.





"God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance and have eternal life."--the Bible

15 comments:

Christian Apologist said...

Barb,

I can see from your post that you got out of the movie the exact things that I have been saying are bad about it.

Your dislike of evolutionary theory and science has increased.(provoking to anger)

Your belief that evolutionary theory and naturalism are the same thing has been reinforced.(misinformation.)

Your belief that athiesm is caused by evolutionary theory has been reinforced.(a misrepresentation of what is actually happening.)

The idea that Intelligent design is pure science has been enforced.
(deceit)

The overall impression that creationism and evolutionary theory is an either/or proposition has been propagated.(false dicotemy, misuse of scripture.)

He has managed to add in a new belief that Hitler wouldnt have done all the evil he did if darwins theory had never been proposed.(provoking anger)

Can you perhaps entertain me by pointing out what character in the bible is characterized by the following characteristics:
Deciever,
father of lies,
creates enmity between neighbors.
Uses scripture falsely to lead into temptation.

steve said...

I’ve probably said a dozen times that I believe that Evolution is a creation of God, and that evolution is Gods way of painting the inhospitable universe with life. But it’s just my humble belief. I think extremists exist on both sides of the issue. Atheists want to completely eradicate any idea of designer and intelligent orchestrator to the machinations of life and cosmic function. They have no proof that there isn’t a divine intelligence involved in the beginning of life. But creationists don’t have any proof either, just faith and intuition. The atheists argue the way they do because they don’t want to see the scientific method corrupted by unobservable and unknowable processes. The scientific method, of which we owe so much, is an immutable law of science that govern what gets accepted as theory, fact, and natural law. If you can’t see it, then you can’t repeat it by experimentation, then you can’t prove it. That is why creationism should not be taught; because it can not be proven with the scientific method… it is unobservable. But evolution, in its theoretical form meets the standards of the scientific method because it is observable. I’ve never read Darwin’s book in its entirety, but I don’t think Darwin ever discounted creation, or God. He made observations of the natural processes at work and formed a group of natural laws that allow a species to prosper. Natural Selection, Speciazation, etc.. Just teach the scientific method in schools, give kids the intellectual tools to make their own conclusions about evolution and creation.

Barb said...

I'm glad you guys could find your way here over my trip posts!

CA writes: Your dislike of evolutionary theory and science has increased.(provoking to anger)

No, my "dislike" has not increased --and who's angry? The film didn't present new info, just made a good presentation of the IDphobia in academia. I already knew about it.

Your belief that evolutionary theory and naturalism are the same thing has been reinforced.(misinformation.)

I assume you are calling naturalism the atheistic view of origins --and saying that evolutionary theory can be compatible with faith in a Creator. This is not news, CA. Most of us know that MANY Christians and our Christian school profs believe in evolution. You believe it has been proven by evidence. But the same evidence can be interpreted differently than Darwinism interprets it. There are, in fact, problems with his theory --but it has become forbidden to say so.

Even before Behe wrote his landmark book, my husband's college prof pointed out the problems within molecular biology for the Darwinists. He can explain it.

I still say, there is no need for the evolutionary process of producing the myriad of diverse life forms --when your God can speak a healing or a resurrection into happening instantly.

Your belief that atheism is caused by evolutionary theory has been reinforced.(a misrepresentation of what is actually happening.)

Evolutionary theory IS the sacred cow for atheists who guard it religiously. And yes, study of evolution has led many to atheism--because the theory does pre-suppose no guiding hand in the process of our being. I know it gave my uncle faith problems. But my father, a chemist, said he couldn't understand why evolution crossing species wouldn't be continually occuring --if it were truly a natural process. He wondered why there would still be apes and why all the species continued to procreate after their own kind--just as the Bible said. The evolution is observed rapidly in bacteria and viruses--but they always remain as bacteria and viruses.

I realize that many believers think it is anti-intellectual to disbelieve evolution's alleged "evidence" --but smarter guys than I are saying the evidence is either lacking or being misinterpreted to prop up their theory.

The idea that Intelligent design is pure science has been enforced.
(deceit)


I don't think ID as "pure science" is the issue. the issue is that real scientists think there is evidence for design in nature --and thus the liklihood or at least the possibility of a design process and designer. They know that DArwinians are traditionally atheistic --that the system as described IS naturalistic --that Darwin's watchmaker is blind --not guiding the process.

The overall impression that creationism and evolutionary theory is an either/or proposition has been propagated.(false dicotemy, misuse of scripture.)

Rob says many or some ID theorists really believe in evolution as God's method --but they see the design and the evidence for a designer --and feel that design should be pointed out in the classroom--such as irreducible complexity -- rather than just presenting the naturalistic point of view --that life spontaneously evolved ALL ON ITS OWN from a big bang to primordial soup to one cell to more cells to many creatures etc etc. Students ought to hear that the chances of this happening --over and over again from one cell to all the diverse life forms, animals, plants and people --without intelligence behind it are infinitessimal, unproven and possibly impossible.

He has managed to add in a new belief that Hitler wouldnt have done all the evil he did if darwins theory had never been proposed.(provoking anger)

I think it provokes anger in Stein, understandably so. It is NOT a new belief, however, that Darwin influenced Hitler in his justification for a master race --and influenced Marx as well.

What I don't understand is why Hitler thought the Jews were inferior --I understand the view that they should eliminate bad genes from the pool by sterilizing or killing off those considered "defective"--pursuing the survival of the fittest --but the jews were talented brilliant people, so it boiled down to ethnic bigotry --rather than desire for a master race. Hitler admired the Aryan features --weren't these blondes? Yet, he wasn't. He could've passed for Jewish himself.

Can you perhaps entertain me by pointing out what character in the bible is characterized by the following characteristics:
Deciever,
father of lies,
creates enmity between neighbors.
Uses scripture falsely to lead into temptation.


I don't remember any scripture in the movie, do you?? Who feels the enmity from whom? The people losing their jobs are being badly treated, as though they were enemies of intellectual truth when they point out that the irreducible complexity and communication in the DNA molecule suggest intelligence behind the cell. They also say that genetic changes typically do not produce improvements --that it's hard to conceive of life descending upward from simple to more complex --since that's not what they observe in genetics. In natural selection, the complex evolves to more simple.

IN fact, THEY are the ones speaking truth --like the dr. who said you don't need to believe Darwinism (or even study it?) to be a good MD. You do have to study it to pass tests in undergrad school, however.

Natural selection and adaptation are not at dispute; stein mentioned that. It's the evolutionists that have made life intolerable for those scientists who don't agree --not the other way around.

CA you seem to think that Christians are the divisive ones because they don't swallow Darwin. Christians are the troublemakers when they should just believe that God did it Darwin's way --that Darwin described God's way --but just forgot to give Him credit.

Creationists AND ID scientists are very accomplished --they are thinking outside the orthodox box --they aren't all simply refusing to believe in Darwin because of their faith--they think Darwin isn't supportable by science!!!!

And for that, they are being persecuted. And none of this in the film was new --just put together from a unique perspective of a Jewish believer in God.

Barb said...

Well, fellahs, why don't we all visit the creation museum and critique it. I'll pay your ticket.

Scientists on both sides are fueling the debate --some very smart educated people in both camps. But the ID people ARE being muzzled.

Yes, there are Christians like CA who believe Darwin described the creation sequence/process accurately --Darwin's theory attempts to account for life without a God in charge of the process --yes, naturalism. What Darwin thought about God, I don't know, but I believe he was not particularly faithful.

The problem is that evolution isn't as proven as you all think.

And students are going to feel the ostracization that faculty are experiencing --for questioning the party line.

Yankee Doodle said...

My biology teacher from last year defines natural selection simply as, "the change in the genetic make-up from one generation to another." None of us denies that. Obviously we aren't clones of our parents.

Natural selection is not synonymous with evolution. The concept of natural selection existed long before Darwin. Creationist Edward Blyth, from 1835 to 1837, described it as "a mechanism by which the sick, old and unfit were removed from a population; that is, as a preserving factor and for the maintenance of the status quo— the created kind."

Evolution uses natural selection to explain how some living organisms are evolved from other organisms. However, that's not what we observe in nature. The variations only come to the already-existing plan (DNA), and that changes to the plan produce nothing new.

Barb said...

Hear hear! Out of the mouth of youth! Thanks for the history, Yank.

Christian Apologist said...

I will accept your offer of the visit to the 'museum' I am interested to see it but refuse to give my own money to a cause I am against.

I still say, there is no need for the evolutionary process of producing the myriad of diverse life forms --when your God can speak a healing or a resurrection into happening instantly.

there may be no need for it but from what we have observed using the tools of science it is apparent that God's creative process was long and drawn out. much like an artist taking a luxuriously long time creating a masterpeice and enjoying every minute of it.

Evolutionary theory IS the sacred cow for atheists who guard it religiously. And yes, study of evolution has led many to atheism--because the theory does pre-suppose no guiding hand in the process of our being. I know it gave my uncle faith problems. But my father, a chemist, said he couldn't understand why evolution crossing species wouldn't be continually occuring --if it were truly a natural process. He wondered why there would still be apes and why all the species continued to procreate after their own kind--just as the Bible said. The evolution is observed rapidly in bacteria and viruses--but they always remain as bacteria and viruses.

It is not evolutionary theory that leads people to athiesm but the stance of fundamentalist christians that genesis is literal that drives them away.

Naturalism(what you keep calling darwinism) has its part to play in this too, but you should try and keep in mind that darwins theory and naturalism are two seperate things.

Students ought to hear that the chances of this happening --over and over again from one cell to all the diverse life forms, animals, plants and people --without intelligence behind it are infinitessimal, unproven and possibly impossible.

As I pointed out to Rob in my blog this is an incorrect use of statistics. a one in a trillion chance does not in itself make something unlikely or impossible.
for instance let us say that there is a one in a trillion chance of a specific event happening when certain conditions occur. If those conditions occur only once every million years then that would mean that the event is unlikely to happen. If however the conditions occur thousands of times every second then that event is likely to occur quite often. Furthermore it must be pointed out that our overall knowledge of science is not sufficient to put good numbers on many of the probablilities involved in origins.

Barb said...

a one in a trillion chance does not in itself make something unlikely or impossible.

CA, my understanding of this, which, I admit, is limited, is that this one in a trillion chance DOES make something HIGHLY unlikely if not impossible --especially considering that in evolution, such odds would be repeated and have to be overcome zillions of times to produce all the diversity of life forms.

It is NOT "apparent that God's creative process was long and drawn out." that's the theory --that's not what the evidence indubitably shows. The evidence can be interpreted otherwise. Some say the evidence shows that geologic changes attributed to great ages of the earth actually occured very quickly in the wake of the Mt. St. Helens volcano--changes that evolutionists have attributed to millions of years of erosion and petrification--occured rapidly in natural disasters like volcanos.

Fossils don't prove any transitions--only common features shared by extinct and still living creatures. Common design, common designer --not necessarly common descent. and there is no common descent observeably occuring today. Why not? Too slow to see, the evolutionist says. yeah, right. Meanwhile, all the creatures still produce after their own kind --not mutating to any BETTER, more complex beings --as Darwin alleges happened in the transition from primate to early man to modern man.

The more fossils they produce of early man, the more he looks just like some variant of modern man. Even nat'l Geog points out the modernity of some of their ancient finds--while still spouting the darwinian party line.

It doesn't matter how many cave men they unearth --they don't prove transition. They may prove that somebody had similarities to apes --but heck, we still do! And some of us more than others!

Most of the missing links found in the past were deliberate hoaxes to advance the theory.

Barb said...

The viruses and bacteria mutate rapidly --speeding up the evolutionary process --yet, they never transition out of their basic category--either viruses or bacteria.

I don't know why you became an atheist when you did--but was it because, as you described, Christians you knew believed in Genesis??

I believe most atheists who leave Christianity after studying Darwin do so because they think if Genesis is not literally true, then none of the Bible can be viewed as reliable. They decide that their parents, ministers, Christian teachers are know-nothings --because the PhD's at uni don't believe all that God and Bible stuff. And THEY really KNOW! They have PROVEN naturalism as a world view --they have PROVEN the mythology of religions. But in fact, they have not.

One minister preached that he believed moral problems led to doubt and loss of faith --rather than the other way around as one might expect.

In any case, I think we would agree that no one should pin his faith on Genesis --but on Christ. There were no eye witnesses to Genesis--whereas there were to Christ's life and death and resurrection --and miracles. I take both stories by faith--but Genesis does not tell us HOW God created --it doesn't give us the "science" of it -- Christians know that. We're accused of trying to make the Bible a science book--but we know that the actual creation process is a mystery. We just find evolution even more preposterous than what we do know from Genesis --that God made all life forms and they procreated each after their own kind. If he did evolve us --it would be with a "better-than-computer-like-knowledge source" ---the Mind of God --whatever it/HE is. He would be faster than a computer do produce from words --and if Jesus could "speak" a healing and raise the dead with a few words, he could certainly create all the life forms --even in 6 days. But I don't have to believe in 6 literal 24-hour days for creation --I'm ok with 6 eras --but I doubt the long process--because of the instant powers of Christ.

What is most important is WHO created and not HOW. But I continue to believe that the WHO didn't need Darwin's HOW --or use it at all.

Rob R said...

On the terms Darwism and naturalism: Darwin had no interest or belief or room in his process for God's activity and was at best an agnostic. He believed that natural processes accounted for everything, thus it is quite natural to use the term naturalism synonomously with Darwinism though Darwinism is more specific.

What many ID theorists and all theistic evolutionists hold to is common descent. This term is more specific than Darwinism and is less likely to imply naturalism than Darwinism. These terms have been used in all sorts of way by all sorts of people including informed ones, and that's not going to change since language will always have sketchy vague words because words gain their meaning through usage and these words are used in a variety of ways, though I think my usage of the terms here have the best clarity and reasoning behind them.

Most if not all of the ID theorists in the movie hold to common descent and feel similarly towards creationists (if I might use that term in the traditional sense of people who deny common descent and not just anyone who holds that the world was created, and I don't mean this distinction in any derogatory way) as the naturalists feel about ID, but it would have been out of place in the movie about academic freedom and ironic for them to explicitely emphasize "no, we're not those wackos! That view is out of bounds for the debate."

Rob R said...

Steve:

They have no proof that there isn’t a divine intelligence involved in the beginning of life. But creationists don’t have any proof either, just faith and intuition.

This is an old and defunct dichotomy between faith as grounds for belief and proof as grounds for belief. Just because something isn't "proven" (whatever that means), doesn't mean that it cannot be demonstrated as an excellent fit and explanation for the evidence.

The atheists argue the way they do because they don’t want to see the scientific method corrupted by unobservable and unknowable processes.

two of the work horses of Intellegent design, irreducible complexity and statistical assesments lend themselves to observation. We can study a system and discern how essential all the parts are, there are ways to do this and this is a more fundamental approach to biology than evolution ever will be (not that I am saying that they are at odds, but in light of the claims of irreducable complexity, they certainly can be).

If they are concerned about corruption of the unobservable, it's to late for that. Causation is not observable. I have described the reason for this over at Christianapologist's website. There is no obervable difference between a mere chronological sequence of events and a sequence of events where causation explains he relationship between a sequence of events. Cause and effect is an interpretation that our mind brings to the world.

The scientific method, of which we owe so much, is an immutable law of science that govern what gets accepted as theory, fact, and natural law. If you can’t see it, then you can’t repeat it by experimentation, then you can’t prove it.

So much for historical events. And of course, the notion that the creation of life was a historical event not to be repeated has been ruled out a priori, without observation.

And this is a double edged sword. They cannot repeat the creation of life from completely non-living material. And I've mentioned this irony before, even if these intellegent scientists do manage to create life, all they will have succeeded in doing is demonstrating how intellegent design can create life. They naturalistic view is still just as unobservable.

Just teach the scientific method in schools, give kids the intellectual tools to make their own conclusions about evolution and creation.

In theory, that sounds good and we can even outline the nature of intellegent design. Who knew, steve that you were such a raving fundamentalist theocratic zealot. (c'mon, we can't allow students any reason to doubt faith in methodoligical natuturalism). Steve, the fact is, science has grown so much that it actually isn't practical to expect everyone to figure it all out from scratch. No one will live long enough and that's okay. Science, the more complex it gets, the more it relies on appeals to authority (and not necessarily fallacious ones). And here's something that really escapes alot of people about science is that it is very interpretational. And interpretation is a skill that deserves to be taught as well and that comes through among other things, example.

I think that so many evolutionists handycap students scientifically when they aren't honest about the interpretational aspect of science to the effect that evidence doesn't speak for itself but needs intentional interpreters to make choices in drawing the connections from the data. And though many interpretations are better than others, it's not always clear as to which interpetation is best, and this debate provides such an example.

steve said...

That was a mouthfull, and a lot to think about Rob, I have a headache now.

Christian Apologist said...

I think that so many evolutionists handycap students scientifically when they aren't honest about the interpretational aspect of science to the effect that evidence doesn't speak for itself but needs intentional interpreters to make choices in drawing the connections from the data. And though many interpretations are better than others, it's not always clear as to which interpetation is best, and this debate provides such an example.

What you are calling interpretation is what scientists call the hypothesis step of the scientific method. You take a set of observed phenomena and try to figure out what they mean and how they are connected. If you think your hypothesis(interpretation) is correct you submit your theories for peer review for other people to run the same tests and see if you have an acurate, retestable hypothesis.
it is interesting to see the effect that your philosophic training has on your viewpoint. You again bring up the causation argument as if it still applies. I already gave you a refutation on my blog but I will try and explain it again.
Science must rely solely on what it can observe to be happening. if causation is actually the outcome of coincidence then we should be able to test for and observe a non-causal event. The issue of cause and effect is summed up in Newtons law that every action has an opposite and equal reaction. Thus science has set up within itself the possibility that cause and effect is not true. All it would take is a repeatable observation where Newtons Law did not work.

Christian Apologist said...

The viruses and bacteria mutate rapidly --speeding up the evolutionary process --yet, they never transition out of their basic category--either viruses or bacteria.

According to the fossil record as we have it today it took life around 900 million years to evolve from the first singular celled organisms to multicellular ones. This is a huge chunk of time considering the earth is only around 4.5billion years old. One can make the observation that as an organism gets more complex the more "quickly" macroevolution can occur. Thus it makes sense that we dont see macroevolution occuring amongst the simplest forms of life.

In any case, I think we would agree that no one should pin his faith on Genesis --but on Christ. There were no eye witnesses to Genesis--whereas there were to Christ's life and death and resurrection --and miracles.

I agree with you fully. However the basis for our belief in christ is the bible. If you make a the claim that the bible says God made the earth in 6 days(in opposition to known scientific proofs of the age of the earth.) you cast doubt about the veracity of the whole bible. Thus someone who wishes to believe in Christ has no grounds to do so because the bible can no longer be regarded as inerrent.

please note I am not saying the bible is wrong I am saying our interpretation of the Genesis story is wrong. And as good and faithful servants of Christ it is our duty to base our beliefs on True interpretation of the holy scriptures.

Rob R said...

you again bring up the causation argument as if it still applies. I already gave you a refutation on my blog but I will try and explain it again.

It does still apply. Yes, technically, you did refute my reply and technically I refuted your refutation.

I will explain again why. Correlation is not the same as causation. Again, the example of spurious correlations provides the prime counterexample.

Causation is not summed in newton's first law as far as the observations are concerned. It is assumed to be the explanation of the observations. an equal and opposite reaction to an action is a correlation. It is our interpretation that the observed correlation is the result of causation. It is hardly an avoidable interpretation that the rational mind gives us, but it is interpretation and not nor never will be pure observation.

I suppose something that might be a counterexample to the idea that cause and effect is indicated by newton's first law would come in the form of a video game with collision detection between objects simulated by the game. it is not the pixels running into each other that causes a repulsion direct reaction observed but the underlying collision detection program.

Thus science has set up within itself the possibility that cause and effect is not true. All it would take is a repeatable observation where Newtons Law did not work.

cause and effect is not limited to nor was it invented for newton's laws of motion. It's as old as the human mind is rational and if evolutionists are right about common descent, it is older than the human mind itself within the created order as even the animals probably have a conception of cause and effect, or they at least behave as if they do. It's not limited to science as all sorts of religions involve cause and effect including Judeo-Christianity. Hinduism of couse involves an interesting example in the doctrine of Karma. Magic and superstitions involve cause and effect as well.

Cause and effect does not apply at the level of hypothesis but is one of the most basic aspects of many paradigms including and especially science.

Of course quantum mechanics may have implications for cause and effect and some would say that quantum mechanics provides the counterexample to cause and effect, but I believe the central problem here may be that cause and effect is necessarily deterministic. I on the contrary insist that there are coherent indeterministic notions of cause and effect.

What you are calling interpretation is what scientists call the hypothesis step of the scientific method.

Interpretation is involved at all levels. It may be more straightforward with less wiggle room in many instances, but there are many where it is not.

I saw this in the lab several times. For example, when observing the effects of radiation on different groups of irradiated grass seeds, the group with the second to least amount of radiation appeared to have taller grass on average. After measuring the grass, we determined this was not the case, but prior to that, some of the students had already made up their minds that this result would not have fit with the hypothesis that radiation is harmful to living organisms. I recognized that this was not necessarily the case, because taller average grass could also indicate that only the grass with the most aggressive nutrient collecting abilities survived the harmful effects.

It's simply not as clean as you say. The hypothesis is an interpretation, but then the results of a test are interpreted (whether there is clearly a best interpretation is besides the point).