Expelled

Finally, a movie I am looking forward to seeing. There are not enough movies for smart people to watch; however, this one looks really good. In a year where popular books discussing the silliness of religion were published by the likes of Richard Dawkins and Chris Hitchens, Ben Stein is set to release Expelled. Here is a brief clip.

What is Expelled about?


The premise of Expelled is that scientific discoveries made since Darwin’s time point to an intelligent designer – or God, depending on your perspective – but scientists who question the theory of evolution are persecuted for their queries. The film asserts a large number of scientists have been denied academic degrees and new jobs, been reprimanded or fired and subjected to public humiliation for publicly questioning the validity of the theory of evolution.

 

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31 Comments

Filed under Atheism, Darwinism, Movies, Religion

31 responses to “Expelled

  1. Anonymous (Intolerant People On This Site)

    I once believed in Evolution as I was taught in school. But as the years went by and I ran across books such as “Darwins Black Box” by Michael Behe and Oxford Astronomers like Hugh Ross. I have since come to a realization that the theory of evolution has many flaws and holes. If you question Darwin, then even your IQ level is questioned. This is wrong. Science is about discovery, debate and even controversy. Once you take these out of the “Scientific Method” then you basically lose science in general. Scientist’s now, all marching to the beat of the same drummer. I believe the drummer is corporations and governments. In the past, it marched to the beat of the Church, and we know how bad that turned out. So now science is no better than when it was ran by the Church. Now it is ran by “payouts”, government grants, and even polictical agenda’s such as the Global Warming theories that NO one wants to debate. I agree, this will be a good movie to watch. I hope it actually opens up the mind when it comes to issues such as “Freedom of Speech” and the intolerance of the press, education system and even the Government when it comes to these topics. What a sad state that world, and yes, even the United States has become due to these intolerant people who squelch anyone who does not believe or worse yet, question these theories. It sounds more and more like Medieval times if you ask me. A dark time when the Church controlled peoples minds and you never “Questioned Authority”….

  2. Siek

    To the first comment: You are very right. Here is the problem I have with teaching faith/creation: it is not an eaxct science. True, scientist cannot agree on a number of things, but religion has yet to present evience of a creator. I do not think it is a big deal to teach creation, but from what religios view?

    That movie clip is great!

  3. Anonymous (Intolerant People On This Site)

    Siek,
    Darwinism is not an exact science either yet we teach it. We teach openly a theory of chance and speculation, how do you scientifically test chance and speculation without faith? Great, you pull out a bunch of fossils and you “speculate” that this one had wings, or this one grew a tail. But let’s get serious and get down to the Biological level and that is when you start seeing the clues to a design. If you really study the makings of a single cell, you find out how complicated a cell truly is, yet it happened by chance. I simply refuse to think that I can put a bunch of dirt in a box and shake this box for however long and out comes a Rolex watch, (or Timex if you prefer) . That is not science my friends, that is speculation and you have to have faith to believe in such a theory. If I pull out a watch and show a watch to you would you think it was created by chance or does it have a designer? Open the watch up and you see how detailed and “created” that watch is. Now look at just one human cell. Look at the design of it and how it all fits together. You remove just once piece of a cell and it simply falls apart like a watch if you took a piece out of it. That is the “theory” and I believe that is evidence enough to open up a discussion on intelligent design.

    As to what religion to teach? Who is talking about religion? No need to bring religion into this conversation. Let’s simply talk about a designer. I am sure most religions would agree on that point.

    My son and I saw a survey a while back about how many people in the world believe that other life exists in the Universe. We had a conversation about these other civilizations and how more intelligent some could possibly be. I took this conversation to a friend of mine at the office and my friend asked me if other species could have started life on Earth. (Interesting eh?) This conversation went around the office and we had about 4 people in on the topic. In the end they had this grand theory of how easy it would be to create life from the genetic code. At that point I asked them about that code, who created that code? Could a God have created that code? It was funny, the room almost cleared. These people have NO problem with other species creating life, but once you stick in the word god as a designer, the topic changes greatly. I do not have a problem believing that there is something in the Universe more intelligent than Humans. Why could this not be the Designer we are looking for?

  4. “As to what religion to teach? Who is talking about religion? No need to bring religion into this conversation. Let’s simply talk about a designer. I am sure most religions would agree on that point.”

    I am not sure we can have this discussion without addressing the role religion plays. I have found intelligent design to be the PC way of addressing the existence of a GOD. I like to listen to both sides of the debate; it seems that the intelligent design discussion is a space to allow those who cannot commit to science or God stay in the middle.

    Humans are close to being the designer; I suspect we are a generation or two away from perfectly designing all life; if this is the case, what does this say about religion? Many of my friends are deists and believe God created us, but it is up to us to advance all life. Thus we contribute to the process of evolution.

  5. Anonymous (Intolerant People On This Site)

    I am not sure we can have this discussion without addressing the role religion plays. I have found intelligent design to be the PC way of addressing the existence of a GOD.

    You need to first agree upon a Designer before you can debate the roles that Designer plays in our lives. If we do not agree upon a Designer then the role of religion is mute.

    Humans are close to creating life. But again, I think this is blurred. You might say that they are copying code to create life. That is not essentially “Creating Life”. If you want to truly put this in perspective, then it would be like copying computer code from one program to another. The bottom line is, you are copying code. You did not create the code but you are manipulating it do what you want. The question still remains. Who created the code? Obviously Humans are NOT the designer simply for the fact that we are not the owners of the original code. Thus, we cannot “create life”. We can manipulate life.

    I like the story about Scientist going up to God and saying that they can create life. God sits and listens to them as they talk about manipulating the genes, and cells of animals, copying cells from one to another and even growing enzymes in pots with electricity. God listens very interested. The scientists then challenge God and say that they want to show him how this all will work. God agrees. So the scientists gather the equipment and one reaches out to grab some dirt to put in the first pot. God stops them quickly and says, “Wait, that is MY dirt.. Create your own!”..

  6. I’m with that dude. Of course, I’m a chemist, not a geneticist or a biologist, so my opinion my carry little weight.

  7. The Tin Man

    I have yet to read about any evidence suggesting a higher force or life. Until then, I think we waste too much time and energy discussing higher forms.

  8. Anonymous (Intolerant People On This Site)

    The Tin Man,
    Going full circle to what we talked about up above in my first comment. I beg to differ. Scientists are seeing signs of a “designer” in both the code of both genetics and biology. That is the whole point of what Ben Stein is commenting on in his movie. When professors and scientist even bring up the conversation of a designer from the research that they are doing, they are being silenced by the dogma of Evolution. Pick up the book by Michael Behe “Darwin’s Black Box”. This guy is as smart as they come. Here is a quote.

    “Behe is professor of biochemistry at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania and a senior fellow of the Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture. He advocates the idea that some structures are too complex at the biochemical level to be adequately explained as a result of evolutionary mechanisms. He has termed this concept “irreducible complexity”

    Another favorite author of mine is Hugh Ross. He earned a BSc in physics from the University of British Columbia and an MSc and PhD in astronomy from the University of Toronto; and he was a postdoctoral research fellow at Caltech, studying quasars and galaxies. Both of these gentlemen would disagree with your comment of a “higher force”.

    The bottom line is that you are not wasting your time discussing a higher force. A lot of people are discussing this on a Scientific level. What is the harm in the research that these men are produciing? Or are we like Ben Stein says to “Never Question Authority”. If you are never to question authority, then we are headed for very scary times indeed…..

  9. Edward, Frumteacher has relayed a meme tag to me and I’m passing it to you. I think you’ll find it enjoyable to think about and share. Definitely atypical (I’m not usually a player in memes).

    Details here: http://repairman.wordpress.com/2008/03/09/meme-passion-quilt/

    Let us know about the movie!

  10. I have to say, this film offends me. Not because it goes against what I believe, but because Stein gives himself a level of superiority that is very undeserving.

    This is the equivalent to Al Gore becoming the spokesmen for global warming. Why are politicians attempting to mingle in realms outside their jurisdiction? (Climate change is also one of the many other fields in which the opposition is shunned… just to name one thing Stein missed)

    The problem with ID (intelligent design) is not that many believe it to not be based on scientific fact, but that it attempts to throw in its own dogma into the equation. And don’t say you can teach ID without religion. You try… That lesson would be 30 seconds long.
    So even if you were to prove that we are the product of ID and there is a higher power, well then how do you go about finding that higher power? Is it the Judean God because that’s how you were raised? Or is it the god of any other large religion of today? Why throw out pagan gods or even the flying spaghetti monster? There is no evidence to support ID being the product of any specific god, and unless the words “Made by the Abrahamic God” are coded into our DNA somewhere (in English of course), then any attempted teaching of ID will not be the teaching of science, but that of religion.

    And on a more lighthearted note, ever think this might just be payback for things such as the Inquisition and all the other acts against personal freedoms committed by religions throughout history?

  11. Anonymous (Intolerant People On This Site)

    Walkerparkhill,
    It is interesting that most people tend to believe in a “higher force” but we would simply rather bury our heads in the sand and ignore the things that we are seeing in science. Do you not think that Darwinism does not teach its own Dogma of Humanism and that we are all alone and products of chance? Come on..

    I do not see why we cannot explore what we are seeing these days in science, and if folks want the particulars on who or what this higher force happens to be, they should contact the local Church, Synagogue, Mosque or Tom Cruise. :-)

    Schools should present the science from all sides. This is what makes science works. (or at least it used to be what made science work so well.) Leave Religion to the experts. A good teacher should be able to handle this with ease.

    Your comment “The problem with ID (intelligent design) is not that many believe it to not be based on scientific fact, but that it attempts to throw in its own dogma into the equation.” It frankly creeps me out. You admit that “many believe” in ID, but yet you basically say we should just ignore this and teach whatever we want as LONG as it does not come close to a religious topic. But you allow for Evolutionists to teach the Dogma that they do. Again, I do not want to be a part of a school system that buries its head in the sand to avoid these topics. I want my children to have a more progressive education and be alerted to the facts and fictions from BOTH sides. If it borders on a religious topic then I expect the Teacher/Instructor to defer the topic, (Why do teachers have to be experts in every topic??) to the parents or to the folks who handle religious topics, i.e. Church, Synagogues, Mosque or even L. Ron Hubbard…

    Yes, the inquisition killed thousands in the middle ages, but Atheists have killed MILLIONS. Remember Stalin? I think it was he who said “You know, they are fooling us, there is no God… all this talk about God is sheer nonsense” – E. Yaroslavsky, Landmarks in the Life of Stalin

    Hmm, now how many people died under his banner? Oh yeah, MILLIONS. So please don’t bring up the inquisition until you compare it to the atrocities that Atheists have brought the world and how they denied personal freedom.

  12. First off, comparing the killings by Christians to the killings of Atheist is an overused rebuttal of ignorance. The difference is that religions kill in the name of their religion. Atheist do not kill others because they want them to convert, or because they expect a special place in the after life. The killings of Stalin had nothing to do with the fact that he was an Atheist…
    Now on the other hand, shall I bring up the crusades, religiously supported slavery, or even the fact that Hitler was anti-Semitic because of his Christian up bringing?

    In short, Atheist do not kill in the name of Atheism. Now compare that to the murders that are committed in the supposed name of God?
    —-
    “Schools should present the science from all sides. This is what makes science works.”

    No, science works because it presents the most accurate side, or a combination of sides that have equal chances of being correct.
    And when it comes to all the religions of the world today, you would tell me that every single last one should be taught? Or do you just want your own religion taught?

    And if you believe facts and logic to be a religious dogma, then I pity your ignorance.

  13. Anonymous (Intolerant People On This Site)

    Walkerparkhill,
    Come on, using the word ignorance twice in a rebuttal is very un-becoming if not an overused tactic of someone who feels like they have nothing more to say but claim the other person is ignorant. (sigh)

    Atheism is a religion. Fist off. Let me clarify. Atheism is recognized as a religion by the US Federal Courts:

    http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=45874

    “The Supreme Court has said a religion need not be based on a belief in the existence of a supreme being. In the 1961 case of Torcaso v. Watkins, the court described “secular humanism” as a religion.” – Quote from the article above.
    Notice I did not use the word ignorant to describe you. I will let the chips fall where they may. Both Stalin and the Church killed in the name of faith. Both killed for the beliefs that they had, no matter how different.

    As I have stated above in my earlier comments. A lot of new theories, based on scientific findings are appearing in the works of scientist in multiple fields. These are not “ignorant” men. They hold PHD’s in both biological science as well as Astrophysics. In fact, a lot of these “ignorant” men are professors at world renowned colleges. Still think that these findings should not be taught?

    You fall very neatly into what Ben Stein is talking about. Anyone who believes new evidence being presented in today’s scientific findings is “ignorant” and should be pitied, possibly silenced?

  14. Matt S

    If we exist in four dimensions, and God exists in twelve dimensions… it will be impossible to prove his existence. IMPOSSIBLE. There would not even be terms in our reality to describe some of the other dimensions. Science is about what it can prove. Good enough. However, to say that since a thing cannot be proved it must not exist… that goes too far.

    I’d like to see more scientists AND more Christians admit they don’t “know it all.” I read Christopher Hitchens’ book “God is Not Great”, and that’s probably the thing about all religions that irritates him the most. However, atheists and scientists do the same thing. I don’t see the point of trench warfare when the truth might be somewhere in-between.

    Humans kill to protect or gain structure and power. It might be wrapped in a religion or a government, but such vulgarities of humanity have little to do with the truth of how the universe came to be.

    Thanks for mentioning this book, Carson. I hadn’t heard about it until now.

  15. Oh wow, the US federal courts… Jim Crow laws, black codes, slavery, Japanese American internment. Still think the American government is the epitome of the right? Their decision means nothing.

    The definition of religion according to the American Heritage Dictionary:
    1. Belief in and reverence for a supernatural power or powers regarded as creator and governor of the universe.
    2. A personal or institutionalized system grounded in such belief and worship.

    Isn’t the the whole idea behind atheism that you do not beleive in a supernatural power regarded as creator? Science is not supernatural.
    — —
    You do not get my point on the difference in their killings.
    One does no kill in the name of Atheism. What glory or special place in heaven will an Atheist get for acting in the name of Atheism. Tell me whose name that would be acting in anyways?

    I have nothing against the teaching of ID, but as I said earlier, that lesson would be about this short: “The universe and everything in might have been created by a higher power or set of powers.” That is about all you would be able to say without bringing in a religious dogma.

    The problem is that these men with PHD’s who may have discovered evidence for ID, is that they immediately assume that the designer is their God. They assume that if they prove one thing wrong, then they are automatically proven correct. Things don’t work that way.

  16. Matt S,
    Here’s a nice little quote by Bertrand Russell known as Russell’s teapot.

    “If I were to suggest that between the Earth and Mars there is a china teapot revolving about the sun in an elliptical orbit, nobody would be able to disprove my assertion provided I were careful to add that the teapot is too small to be revealed even by our most powerful telescopes. But if I were to go on to say that, since my assertion cannot be disproved, it is an intolerable presumption on the part of human reason to doubt it, I should rightly be thought to be talking nonsense. If, however, the existence of such a teapot were affirmed in ancient books, taught as the sacred truth every Sunday, and instilled into the minds of children at school, hesitation to believe in its existence would become a mark of eccentricity and entitle the doubter to the attentions of the psychiatrist in an enlightened age or of the Inquisitor in an earlier time.”

  17. Matt S

    Point taken, walkerparkhill. I am all for using logic when discussing what is possible.

    Here’s another scenario of logic: If I were to suggest that a single page out of a detective novel found in the middle of the woods must have evolved into existence I might be ridiculed. However, if it were explained that over many years the surrounding vegetation could explain the paper; nearby minerals the source of the ink; and natural environmental changes causing the formation of letters, words, sentences (even concepts of thought) then I might find at least a small audience among those who consider it cannot be proved that an intelligent being dropped the page in the woods.

    Science (and the average person) can extrapolate the true source of the page (and the probability of the orbiting teapot) NOT because it is proveable, but because it fits or doesn’t fit the logic and complexity of our past experiences. It must follow the laws of our universe (width, depth, height, and throw in time) or we become confused.

    If the universe was created by a being existing in four additional dimensions beyond our own, certain actions of this being touching our reality would appear miraculous and impossible to square with our world-view. Does that mean He exists? No. Does that mean He doesn’t exist? No. Does that mean He *might* exist? Sure. Many atheists admit to this possibility while shunning the idea that any current “man-made” religion would have any clue what this being is or would be about.

    A teapot is part of our reality. A universe-creator probably is not, and to try and prove or disprove the two using the same set of physical laws is an exercise in futility.

  18. Beo

    I don’t believe in atheists.

    Everyone has a religion. Two religions that “atheists” commonly embrace are humanism and macroevolution. Environmentalism is a third.

    So, yes, Hitler killed in the name of his humanistic socialist religion (if you think he was Christian in any sense, you really should crack open a history book once in a while. He was deep into the occult.) Stalin, Mao, Mugabe, Pol Pot… need I continue to list “athiests” who killed in the name of their religion?

    [OFF TOPIC] Also, don’t bring up the Crusades as an example of “Christian aggression.” Again, don’t you know history at all? Jersusalem was liberated in the first Crusade in 1099. An unwarranted attack by Christians against Muslims? Maybe you should do some research on the caliphate of Cordoba, or look up when the Muslims attacked and subjugated Anatolia, threatened the Eastern Empire, wiped out Christianity in Africa, tried to invade France, etc. (I’m sure you’ve heard of Charles Martel and Charlemagne.) You’ll find that it all happened PRIOR to the Crusades – the Crusades were a defensive action – not unwarranted aggression. If you want to really learn about this topic, pick up a book by Robert Spencer called “A Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam and the Crusades. Educate yourself so you don’t sound ignorant when you speak.[/OFF TOPIC]

    Now to the religion of macroevolution. The scientific method is based upon observation, experimentation, and repeatable phenomena. NO SCIENTIST ALIVE has EVER witnessed ONE example of macroevolution. (For the ignorant amongst us, macroevolution regards creation of new species; microevolution regards “survival of the fittest.” More on that in a moment.)

    NOT ONE SINGLE INSTANCE OF THE CREATION OF A NEW SPECIES HAS EVER BEEN WITNESSED BY A SCIENTIST.

    In fact, we are losing species. Living things are not becoming more diverse. Just the opposite is true. Where’s the scientific proof for macroevolution? If you’ve never witnessed something, and no experiment can produce the results of your theory, then continuing to follow such a theory is no longer science. It is 100% based on… faith. And a badly misplaced faith at that, as there can be no reconciliation between macroevolution and the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics (entropy, Time’s Arrow.)

    So macroevolution is nothing more than a hokey religion akin to (as the commenter above pointed out) Tom Cruise’s goofy obsession with Xenu and his DC-8 space planes. Just like Scientology, it was a framework created specifically to explain the existence of the universe in its present state with the exclusion of a Creator. Why do you think the 20th Century dictatorial atheists listed above embraced it so wholeheartedly? It’s NOT science – it’s religion with a very specific goal: eliminate God from the equation. (Which explains why their equations never seem to add up.)

    Microevolution on the other hand is entirely true and provable and repeatable. But microevolution is REDUCING variety, not INCREASING it. All the dogs in the world descend from two ancestral dogs. Geneticists don’t argue with that. Those dogs contained all the genetic code to produce every variety of dog we have today – Chihuahuas, Great Danes, Poodles, Pugs, Dobermans, wolves, Pomeranians, etc. But each of those breeds is missing genetic material that their forebears possessed. You can not breed Pomeranians and ever produce a Great Dane as offspring. The genetic uniqueness that produces the characteristics of Great Danes is no longer present in the bloodline. As certain breeds die out, that genetic material is lost forever. Variety is decreasing. The same holds true of humans, plants, birds, and every other living thing.

    But “survival of the fittest” tells us that it is GOOD that the weak die out, so that the strong can take their place. Ooops, now we have problems like eugenics (Hitler again, anyone?) It still amazes me that the biggest proponents of evolution (as they understand it) are also the ones that protest the loudest when an endangered owl’s habitat is threatened (what happened to survival of the fittest? Kill the owls! Nuke the whales! If they deserved to survive, they’d evolve to do so!) These people are also frequently in favor of practices and experiements involving weeding out “unsavory” characteristics from the human race. Observe all the 20th Century dictators I listed above. Everyone committed genocide to wipe out “inferior races” of people. Evolution was their religion.

    The hypocrisy comes into play when you have Greenpeace or Save the Whales show up and say that mankind is responsible for the decimation of the animal kingdom and should intervene to prevent the loss of species. Wait a minute – aren’t we just animals, too? If so, why should we (and how COULD we) intervene in the natural order of things? For these people to suggest that we preserve species and interfere with the natural course of things indicates that they don’t really believe that we are in fact animals after all – that we are somehow above the rest of the living things (which is pretty much what God told Adam, if you’ll recall.)

    Don’t be a hypocrite. Embrace it all, or reject it. The teachings of evolution are not shrouded in mystery. The implications of this belief are clear to the intellectually honest – kill or be killed. Not quite the great Utopian dream you thought it was, huh?

  19. Wade

    There are already a few critical reviews out about Expelled and why the movie is a fraud. They misled biologists and atheists into interviewing for the film on false pretenses and are now only giving prescreenings to ID advocates, preachers, and other handpicked people to view it. These people are supposed to sign forms preventing them from legally publishing any information about the movie. They won’t bring any scientists or people critical if the idea to view it.

    http://www.coloradoconfidential.com/showDiary.do?diaryId=3229

    Above is a review critical of the movie

    Incase anyone cares to read a positive review, here is a kook doing so:

    http://www.spectator.org/dsp_article.asp?art_id=12759

    Evolution has survived and grown as a theory for over 100 years. The likelihood of this being a crackpot theory are practically zero. Theories do not last like this that do not have an incredible amount of validity to it.

    To say that evolution is completely wrong is to be against the scientific method. To question aspects of evolution is normal, and what science is about. But a theory to replace evolution would first have to show why evolution fails in a detailed manner, and offer some method to explain the phenomena that can’t be explained by evolution and all of the phenomena already known and explained under the same theory.

    Expelled does none of these but paints a wrong picture of evolution, and then completely leaves it at the door, never addressing it again, and never truly offers anything instead.

  20. Wade,

    Great comment; I was hoping to hear a less than positive review. Much of what I have read so far has been good; however, the links posted adds some balance. I am still looking for it here in theatres. I have not found it in Houston.

    Beo — I agree….Either agree with it or disagree. This quasi god quasi science talk is for people who cannot commit

  21. Beo

    Wade;

    Evolution has survived and grown as a theory for over 100 years. The likelihood of this being a crackpot theory are practically zero. Theories do not last like this that do not have an incredible amount of validity to it. [sic]

    Really? A hundred years of politicized antitheist junk science constitutes an impenetrable aura of truth? Flat earth theory persisted until the time of Columbus. Terra-centric theory was blown away by Copernicus. The sonic speed limit – Yeager proved that wrong. All those lasted for thousands of years.

    But a theory to replace evolution would first have to show why evolution fails in a detailed manner…

    I gave you some very compelling reasons above. Microevolution does not create diversity, it reduces it over time. Macroevolution violates the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics.

    The point of Stein’s movie as I understand it is to point out how “fundamentalist” worshipers of science are. If you try to point out the holes in evolutionary theory or (God forbid) global warming, the holy church of science rushes to silence you. Nevermind that evolution is a sloppy theory that violates known scientific laws; nevermind that the earth is in fact COOLING as we speak, and that every shred of evidence points to the SUN as the catalyst for global temperature variation and not cars/lawnmowers/hairspray/freon/cow flatulence/etc. It doesn’t matter – the scientists have their sacred theories to deny the existence of God and elevate mankind to the god-like status of being able to “save the planet” and, by God, you’d better not challenge their assertions on any of that!

    Expelled does none of these but paints a wrong picture of evolution, and then completely leaves it at the door, never addressing it again, and never truly offers anything instead.

    You seem to be making assertions about a movie you haven’t even seen. Hmm.

  22. Wade

    Beo:

    I don’t even know where to begin. But I can safely say that every allegation you made to atheism and to evolution is wrong.

    Atheism is the non-belief in any god(s). It isn’t a religion. It is the same thing as not practicing pseudoscience being a science, or not playing sports being a sport. Not believing in any religion isn’t a religion.

    What you mentioned above about dogs is completely false. Each species has genetic information that the other species lacks, that is what separates them. It is not like their genetic code is white light passing through a pane of glass and splitting off into the other species. Where are you getting this idea?

    The implications of evolution are simply that species change through natural processes and due to environmental pressures. It happens on all scales but through varying time scales. It doesn’t mean that god doesn’t exist, or any such claim about anything supernatural. But it requires no need of a supernatural being to explain the variety of species. There are many reasons against supernatural powers, but evolution has no stance on it. If you interpret your religion to require creation, then so be it. The evidence just isn’t there for that kind of thing, so either recheck your interpretation or find a belief system that is more set in reality.

    Atheism is not a group or a worldview. It can’t be held responsible for actions of any individual. You can’t “kill” in the name of atheism, because atheism doesn’t say anything about morality, or about good and evil, or about how you should live your life. So killing in the name of atheism is the same as killing in the name of a tree, or killing in the name of the theory of special relativity. They are nonsequitors. To call Hitler an atheist is crazy. He never denounced his catholicism and had plenty of priests on his side and aiding him. That is not to say that it has anything to do with catholicism or christianity. He was a nutcase, and a racist. That is how he should be viewed. His actions are larger than these few influences. Stalin also was not much of an atheistic state, since he basically took on the role of god onto himself, and had his people worship him. The rulers of russia back then were considered basically more than human as it was. That is not secular. The rest fall similarly.

  23. Wade

    Beo:

    You can’t compare older theories such as that to today. The scientific method wasn’t NEARLY as developed back then when there was still usage of greek thought which includes ideas of perfection, and how things must be if the universe is perfect. It was all incredibly subjective, and there was no experimentation to produce the findings that were claimed. That was not the kind of science that is done today.

    You are wrong on the flat earth idea. Many common folk thought the earth was flat, such as farmers and other folks with no idea of anything about science or mathematics. Since the greeks the earth was known to be round. It had even been calculated about how big the earth was.

    http://dunningrb.wordpress.com/2007/09/22/ancient-greek-astronomy/

    That blog goes into some detail about it. Find the name and search for a better explanation if you wish.

    I am a physics major sir. I think I know what the second law of Thermo says. It says that a change which requires a negative change in entropy is statistically improbable. Since the probability of doing so is proportional to e^-(Sf-Si) where S is the entropy. This is ONLY true if a system is completely isolated. The earth is not an isolated system. It is receiving energy from the sun, and therefore is not applicable to the 2nd law.

    Microevolution DOES give diversity. Otherwise the flu virus wouldn’t have many variants, and there wouldn’t be new genetic code made on the smaller scales for immunity to disease.

    The Sun is not affecting the temperature changes. The earth goes through many cycles of temperature change, but the evidence apparently is showing (though I do not follow this very much since we need to curtail our energy usage and lack of efficiency no matter what is happening) that the average temperature is rising that can not be accounted for in the normal sequence of temperature fluctuations on earth.

    I make assertions of the movie based on many reviews I have read. Perhaps you should read the critical review I posted?

    There is no evidence for ID, no experiments which confirms ID, there isn’t even a full theory explaining ID in any way, or that accounts for all of the phenomena. Yet it is somehow being put on a pedestal as a good idea. NO theory has ever been like this. Most theories don’t even show up for 30 years or so to the public, because there is too much of a debate in science about many aspects of them before non-specialists start applying it to other areas and performing retests of previous experiments, etc.

    Ben Stein’s movie is quite a bit different than how you are claiming it to be.

  24. Beo

    I was hoping you’d trot out the tired canard about the sun excluding the earth from being a closed system.

    I’ve seen the sun dry mud. I suppose the sun could even make bricks. I’ve never seen the sun build a house. That would take intelligence. Refer to the comment above about irreducable complexity.

    Now let’s declare the universe a closed system. It still applies. Every “evolutionary step” forward is a violation of entropy. For life to exist as it does today, it would be the result not of a few random reversals of Time’s Arrow, but a continuum of improbable circumstances. The likelihood of the universe as we know it happening by chance is so improbable as to be impossible without the existence of an external powerful intelligence. It really takes a lot of faith to believe that life as we know it is just a fluke. How does Occam’s razor apply to the theory of evolution versus the statement, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth”?

    I applaud your faith. Your faith in scientists is remarkable as well. Since science is based on observation, experimentation, and repeatibility, it is limited in its scope. Modern science isn’t the panacea you think it is. There are things in this universe that science can never be applied to – making determinations about things which scientists cannot witness (proving or disproving the existence of God for one.) So science is limited in its scope.

    But clearly the scientists of today could never be wrong! Since science builds theory upon theory and assertion upon assumption, the entire scientific understanding is nothing more than a house of cards. If one assumption fails, the entire structure falls under its own weight.

    I have no idea what you are saying about the dogs, because your response makes no sense and doesn’t address what I stated. First of all, all dogs are the same species. Microevolution only applies intra-specially. So clearly a Chihuahua doesn’t have the same genetic information that a Great Dane has due to breeding. If all Great Danes die out (which may happen eventually – their hearts are weak and their lifespans are already very brief due to breeding), then that branch of the species is gone forever. Loss of diversity. What’s so hard to understand about that?

    Macroevolution is the creation of a new species. Please, I am BEGGING YOU – provide ONE SINGLE EXAMPLE of scientists actually observing this phenomenon! Honestly, if you want to be a scientist when you grow up, and you want to embrace the scientific method and apply it to the world around you, and you want to prove evolution is a viable theory, SHOW ME A NEW SPECIES! Or… admit that scientists can’t really substantiate this theory and that it’s just a matter of… faith.

  25. Beo

    And as for global warming:

    Here and here. I have more if you need them.

  26. Wade

    The house is not a biological organism, therefore evolution doesn’t apply to it!

    It doesn’t violate entropy, because the sun’s entropy is increasing as its “useful energy” is moving to “useless” energy in the form of more stable molecules. The sun is only undergoing its processes because its a dense object that is contracting and trying to reach a lower energy. So the sun earth system is not violating the 2nd law. The universe is not violating the second law because it too is increasing in entropy, but the smaller systems inside of it can change.

    Occam’s razor would tear the god idea to shreds:

    1) you must introduce a god
    2) you must explain how god created the universe
    3) you must explain why god created the universe
    4) you must explain when and why then god created the universe.
    5) you must provide evidence that such a god exists
    6) you must show why that god as opposed to the infinite other formations of gods anyone could come up with wouldn’t explain the phenomenon.
    etc.

    That is what else you would have to explain instead of just the observed phenomena. You can’t just simply introduce this fudge factor without reason/explanation.

    What is science limited to? That which affects us? To claim that there is anything else beyond what we can observe is speculation. You don’t know that there is anything else, becuase you haven’t observed it in any sense.

    Science can not prove or disprove the existence of god because it is “supernatural” i.e. outside of the realm that you and I exist in. To say that you can prove using other methods this existence is ridiculous and a speculative claim at best. You gave no real natural thing that science cannot examine.

    Scientists today can be wrong, and have been wrong. that is what science is all about! It is coming up with ideas, and testing them, and making them better, knowing full well that there will probably be a better explanation later on! That is the beauty of it! What assumption fails though? If one assumption in a theory fails, the theory might fail, but it must be shown why and how that assumption fails. And even if it does fail, it still might be applicable.

    We still use “wrong” theories all the time. Newtonian mechanics is a great example. Its assumptions are completely wrong, such as an absolute clock, an infinite universe, etc. Yet we still apply it in everyday life, and even in modern physics classes to an extent.

    It did address what you were saying by pointing out the flaw in your logic. You didn’t even provide a paper or evidence that all of the genetic material of dogs were in its predecessors. Yes dogs can breed with each other, so they are the same species, but they are not “lesser” beings of the past wolf, but adaptations due to natural processes, i.e. our breeding them and putting our own environmental pressures onto them.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Speciation

    There are many examples of specation (the creation of new species). in that article.

    Perfectly good examples of evolution. There is no difference between micro and macro.

    What are you/did you study in school?

  27. walkerparkhill

    Hahaha this parody video of the expelled preview is amazing and totally relevant…

  28. Andy Swanson

    I went to see this with my dad tonight and I thought it was great! The funniest part to me is when Ben Stein is interviewing Richard Dawkins, and Dawkins just cannot come up with a good answer for where the first cell came from. Then, he says that he is 99% sure that there is not a god, but he does not say 100. I just started laughing in the theater during the scene. If you have not gone to see it yet than you should because I know you are going to enjoy it. He also parallels Darwin’s theories to Hitler’s which was really interesting. It was a good movie, and I learned a lot more about Intelligent Design and Evolution than I knew before. Ben Stein was pretty funny too.

  29. John Joubert

    I just saw this movie tonight and it stirred some questions in my mind. Forget the debate of whether or not ID should be taught, more importantly, why won’t the scientific elite debate openly against ID? The impression that I came away with after seeing the film was that there is an aura of elitism among Darwinists and evolutionists (note this impression is going to be skewed because I know that film and Stein had an agenda and let the viewer see what he wanted the viewer to see). If ID is so incredibly ridiculous, then why can’t Richard Dawkins sit down face to face with the top proponents for ID and have a “Battle Royale”? Is not the goal of science and academia to test what you already know against the newly discovered, and then adjust you beliefs/doctrine/theology accordingly? Are these men too scared to look at the holes in their theory (which is believed in, and taught as a law) and have to come up with answers using evidence as to how certain events happened? How in the world can Richard Dawkins postulate that so-called “higher life forms” planted the beginnings of life, yet still deny the God of the Old Testament and say that there is no chance that He exists? I know in my treasure trove of experience I have not quite had the experience of Richard Dawkins, but it almost seems to me that his denying THE GOD is ignorance. It seems that it is comparable to preforming an experiment, and limiting yourself to only accepting outcomes X and Y, and denying that outcomes A and W are not even possible, even if there is evidence to prove otherwise.
    Obviously, as pointed out in the film, each theory has its own implications. If Darwinism and the big bang/ primordial soup/ “alien” theory holds to be true, then the implications of no moral right or wrong, good or evil, and purposeless life follow suite. The one professor that went off about how boring ID is, which seemed very elementary to me, said that there is no inherent right or wrong, and that when we die that is it. A question that I am sure I will never be able to answer is if I were to go place a gun to that Dr. of knowledge’s head, and told him that I did not agree with his thinking and that I believed it was inferior to mine, therefore I had the right to kill him, would he be ok with that? It is an oh so slippery slope to go off and say that there is no right nor wrong. Society has founded itself on certain principles dating back to Hammurabi. Would Hammurabi now be considered as the man who told humanity what is right and wrong for thousands of years because he was the first one to codify his laws? many of those scientists are, on account of calling religion something that makes people feel good, and only a social side dish, therefore saying that society has stayed together as whole whole because of something made up? Since society does shape our image of right and wrong, where did right and wrong start? Who shaped the first men’s thoughts or good and evil? That itself points to an intelligent designer who knew what men needed to know from birth to survive. Just as we are born with survival instincts as babies, so also are we born with a sense or judgment towards right and wrong.
    I have to admit that I was slightly upset at the use of emotionalism in the film when talking about the holocaust and connecting it to Darwin. I am in no way trying to discount the Holocaust, I believe that it is an enormous dark spot on human history, yet I do not think it was right to connect exterminating a people to a debate on whether or not ID should be tolerated in intellectual institutions.

  30. Andy — I really need to see this. Dawkins, for the most part, is usually pretty good at giving some explanation — even if it is not the most rational one.

    John – You should not be shocked at the use of emotionalism. A friend of mine told me the exact samething. Addressing the holocaust beside Darwinism. I too am curious to see why discuss this with Intelligent Design. Nice review above.

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