Movie Review: Expelled

posted at 3:00 pm on April 18, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

While at CPAC in February, I had an opportunity to attend an advance screening of the new documentary, Expelled: The Movie. Ben Stein focuses on a perceived lack of intellectual freedom afforded to those who either believe in or investigate Intelligent Design theories in the scientific community. I wrote the following review at the time; the producers may have made some changes since, but I don’t believe it would change the thrust of my review. I plan on seeing the theatrical release this weekend, and would recommend it to everyone as at least a way to discuss the values and limitations of scientific inquiry and intellectual openness in American Academia.

The bloggers at CPAC received an invitation to screen a new documentary on academic intolerance called Expelled: The Movie this evening. The documentary features Ben Stein on a quest to understand the near-hysteria caused by scientists who so much as broach the idea of intelligent design in papers or in research. It follows Stein as he interviews professors denied tenure, editors fired, and journalists shunned for touching the subject even at its most innocuous levels.

Before discussing my feelings about the film, which is still in post-production and will not go into release until April, I should explain my approach to the ID/evolution debate. I believe evolution is demonstrably proven in enough examples to say that its effect on variation in species cannot be denied. The example I used tonight in discussing this with another viewer (certainly not the only example) is antibiotic effects on bacteria. Antibiotics that kill 99% of bacteria eventually promote the survival and the expansion of the 1% that resist them, created superbacteria that require another set of antibiotics to cure, and so on.

That said, evolution does not interfere with my faith in God. God certainly could have created the universe with a design that included life. The rational laws of nature would include evolution, as well as the myriad of other rational and mathematically provable mechanisms that undergird nature. In fact, the impulse of man to discover the rational laws of nature began with the belief in a rational God, as scientists understood nature’s rationality to reveal an intelligent Creator.

I’d go deeper than that, but Dinesh D’Souza covers it nicely enough already in his book What’s So Great About Christianity, and it’s getting late enough as it is. Suffice it to say that evolution doesn’t present a threat to my worldview.

Rationally, we have to admit that some use ID as an excuse to teach the more literal form of Creationism that has been used to argue against evolution entirely, especially against teaching evolution in primary-school classrooms. That admission does not appear in Expelled, which is a glaring omission. It tends to take out of context the frustration some scientists have about ID, and its place in polarizing the debate over its use. Properly framed, ID accepts all of the science without accepting its transformation into its own belief system.

What do I mean by that? In this, the film does an excellent job of demonstrating atheism as a belief system. Atheism as represented by Richard Dawkings and others in this film gets exposed as exactly the kind of belief system they claim to despise. They can’t prove God exists — and they can’t prove God doesn’t exist. They make the common fallacy of arguing that absence of evidence amounts to evidence of absence.

But in a way, this is all secondary to the real issue of the film: academic intolerance. The debate over ID vs Darwinism sets the table for a truly disturbing look at academia. Science should be about the free debate and research of ideas and hypotheses for duplicable results and provable theorems. However, as the examples Stein and the film provide amply show, the Darwinist academic establishment will brook no dissent from the orthodoxy — and scientists have to be shown with hidden faces to speak to the issue for the film.

Amusingly, Stein asks people how the first cell came to be. None of the scientists could give him a straight answer. Dawkins himself admits he doesn’t know and that no one else does, either — but postulates that aliens could have brought life to this planet, and then postulates that another alien civilization could have brought life to that planet, and so on. He then concedes that one entity could have been the original source … but insists that entity could not possibly have been God. For this he gives absolutely no evidence at all, relegating it as a belief system somewhat akin to Scientology.

All of this is extremely effective, as are the many allusions made to the Berlin Wall during the film. The theme runs throughout, and it explicitly refers to the defensive academic establishment as having built a wall that tramples on freedom of thought and discourse. Less effective is the heavy references to the Nazis in the movie. Although emotionally affecting for some obvious reasons, the fact is that while the Nazis were mostly Darwinists (along with a lot of other things), the vast majority of Darwinists aren’t Nazis. Certainly the eugenicists in Nazi Germany were mightily influenced by Darwinism, but America had its own eugenicists, which the film points out.

I should point out that the film has not finished production, and that changes will be made between now and its release in April. The filmmakers just completed an interview with Christopher Hitchens and will include it in the final cut. I believe other changes may be made which could address some of the criticisms I’ve written here.

Overall, though, the film presents a powerful argument not for intelligent design as much as for the freedom of scientific inquiry. If scientists get punished for challenging orthodoxy, we will not expand our learning but ossify it in concrete. Expelled: The Movie is entertaining, maddening, funny, and provocative, and well worth your time.


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Ars Moriendi on April 22, 2008 at 11:40 AM

It sounds quite boneheaded…let me hear them facts.

Red Pill on April 22, 2008 at 11:45 AM

The observed evidence in the Grand Canyon fits the Biblical Creation Theory much better than the Darwinian Evolution Theory. Honest people should look at the evidence from both perspectives and ask themselves which theory makes the most sense given the observable evidence.

True the Biblical Creation Theory does explain the Grand Canyon much better evolution does. Evolution is a biological theory that doesn’t explain the Grand Cayon at all.

Ars Moriendi on April 22, 2008 at 11:47 AM

Ars Moriendi on April 22, 2008 at 11:47 AM

Allow me to rephrase that…

The observed evidence in the Grand Canyon fits the Biblical Genesis account of Creation and the Flood much better than the theory that the canyon formed over millions of years of slow erosion. Where is the Colorado River delta?

That’s just one question to be answered. There are many more, including significant questions about the accuracy of radiometric dating methods.

Honest people should look at the evidence from both perspectives and ask themselves which perspective makes the most sense given the observable evidence.

Red Pill on April 22, 2008 at 12:03 PM

So can I take this statement to mean that you consider the theory of ID to be fanciful?

Can I take this response to mean that you don’t have an answer to my question and are dodging?

One states that God did something, the other states that aliens did something.

More artless dodging.

I am going to stay on topic here and say that for ID to accepted into science classes it must demonstrate on its own merit that it belongs there. What should or should not happen to others theories is not relevent. The case that ID proponents have to make is why ID is a good theory, not why some other theory is a bad one, and certianly not as you seem to be arguing here that why ID is just as bad as other theories.

The artless dodger strikes again! This topic does not belong to you. I asked you a question, and you have refused to answer. Dodger.

Yes please explain why you feel that my argument is non sequitur and also please list and explain the several other logical flaws.

Since you aren’t interested in discussing this anymore, but instead are dodging everything, I will ask you to google it.

I am not against equal scrutiny for ID and other theories. I believe that it has recieved equal scrutiny and has fallen short of the standards of science.

Then you need to go see the movie. Still haven’t have you? Keep dodging.

ID proponents do not seem to want equal scrutiny though. They seem to want less scrutiny for ID than other theories recieve. They appear to want science to put its seal of approval on something that is clearly well outside of the scope of science.

Ars Moriendi on April 22, 2008 at 11:38 AM

It’s like…when I speak…you just refuse to listen. LALALALALALALA I CAN’T HEAR YOU…right?

What is this “science” that you speak of that can “put its seal of approval” on something? Aren’t you really talking about people? Because we all know that science is not a living being, correct? Please stop speaking in metaphors. You are dodging the issue deliberately.

Evolution is not science. It is a philosophic interpretation of science. It should be taught in the classroom the same way ID should be taught.

fossten on April 22, 2008 at 12:15 PM

ID proponents do not seem to want equal scrutiny though. They seem to want less scrutiny for ID than other theories recieve. They appear to want science to put its seal of approval on something that is clearly well outside of the scope of science.

Ars Moriendi on April 22, 2008 at 11:38 AM

One other thought…

ID is scrutiny of evolution, by its definition. The very premise of the movie demonstrates the unwillingness of evolutionists to allow scrutiny of their pet theory.

There’s not a sane person around who will say that evolution is settled science, so are you saying that it is above scrutiny?

Be careful how you answer. If you say yes, you are a laughingstock, if you say no, then you must acknowledge that ID has a place in science as a method of scrutiny.

fossten on April 22, 2008 at 12:18 PM

fossten

“Science” has more than one definition.

jgapinoy on April 22, 2008 at 12:19 PM

fossten

But the rest of your points are spot on.

jgapinoy on April 22, 2008 at 12:20 PM

I’m only on Exodus right now. Exodus in one hand, Worlds In Collision in the other. Long way to go to John. I’m having a blast, though. It really makes the athiests heads explode the way science and so many religous writings agree. ;)

shibumiglass on April 21, 2008 at 5:00 PM

I didn’t know much about Worlds In Collision, so I looked it up on Amazon. Interesting stuff. I also read some of the reader reviews. It’s always been ineteresting to me how two people can look at the same thing, yet see different things because they are looking from different perspectives (a true statement in both the physical and spiritual worlds).

Some readers have a mindset similar to, “See! I knew those spiritual stories were mythical…here is the science to explain what really happened”

My mindset is more akin to, “Cool! So that could be the scientific explanation of how God did what he did in the Bible.”

The first viewpoint asks, “What really happened?” The second viewpoint asks, “How did it happen?”

Red Pill on April 22, 2008 at 12:38 PM

One of the reviews, though, is another shocking wake-up call regarding Islamofascist indoctrination:

I live in a “traditional” tribal Islamic society, characterised by repression and compulsion as far as beliefs and expression are concerned. Here, if by the age of seven a kid doesn’t start parrotising and doing the numerous and laborious prescribed Islamic rituals, then according to the doctrine his guardians are duty bound to see to it that he starts – even if this means using physical punishments, coercion or threats…. and a lot of kids are terrorised that God will “cause the roof to fall in on them” or they will be visited at night by monsters that will gobble them up if they don’t learn their so-called prayers…. It was similar treatment by my late father and teachers that made me hate Islam as a kid. And my own intelligence told me that it was nothing but a bunch of silly, backward legends for which I was being tortured. You can imagine then the secret joy, consolation and the resulting inner strength I felt when I came across “Worlds in Collision” that “X-rayed” and explained these silly legends and revealed rationally the true nature of this frightening religious horror to me. Of course, I didn’t argue about this publicly with my “elders” then, because I would have been beaten up for “blasphemy”….

Red Pill on April 22, 2008 at 12:38 PM

Be careful how you answer. If you say yes, you are a laughingstock, if you say no, then you must acknowledge that ID has a place in science as a method of scrutiny.

fossten on April 22, 2008 at 12:18 PM

Darwin first made a scientific case for traits being passed from one generation to the next through natural selection. We now have an understanding of the way that genes function to pass on those traits. It is hard to see how a reliance on ID would aid scientists looking to understand the mechanism for inheriting charactaristics.

Theories are not laws and should always be challenged. Natural selection would be most effectively challenged with an alternative theory–just as Darwin himself challenged Lamarck.

dedalus on April 22, 2008 at 12:44 PM

Can I take this response to mean that you don’t have an answer to my question and are dodging?

You said that ID is just as fanciful as evolution so I was confirming that you believe ID to be a fanciful theory.

More artless dodging.

Did you just learn a new word? Anyway, I never proposed that aliens created anything. I far as I know we don’t have any evidence that aliens actually exist.

The artless dodger strikes again! This topic does not belong to you. I asked you a question, and you have refused to answer. Dodger.

I did answer. My answer is that ID must stand on its own merit as a theory, not on the percieved flaws of another theory. If ID is worth teaching, then it worth teaching wether evolution is a good theory, a bad theory, or anything inbetween.

Since you aren’t interested in discussing this anymore, but instead are dodging everything, I will ask you to google it.

Actually this particular point is what I am most interested in discussing which is whay I have tried to keep my part of this discussion focused on intelligent design and the key idea of irreducible complexity.

I thought you were offering to point the logical flaws for me, if not that is fine. I already know what non sequitor means and I know that my argument is not an example of it.

It’s like…when I speak…you just refuse to listen. LALALALALALALA I CAN’T HEAR YOU…right?

What is this “science” that you speak of that can “put its seal of approval” on something? Aren’t you really talking about people? Because we all know that science is not a living being, correct? Please stop speaking in metaphors. You are dodging the issue deliberately.

This a good point. Yes, when I said science I meant a collective group of people of various disiplines and the body of their work.

Evolution is not science. It is a philosophic interpretation of science. It should be taught in the classroom the same way ID should be taught.

So you believe that ID is a philosophy and not a scientific theory. Most scientists would agree with you on that.

One other thought…

ID is scrutiny of evolution, by its definition. The very premise of the movie demonstrates the unwillingness of evolutionists to allow scrutiny of their pet theory.

There’s not a sane person around who will say that evolution is settled science, so are you saying that it is above scrutiny?

Be careful how you answer. If you say yes, you are a laughingstock, if you say no, then you must acknowledge that ID has a place in science as a method of scrutiny.

Evolution is strutinized by scientists all the time so it cetainly is not above scrutiny.

ID cannot be considered a scientific theory simply to scruntinize evolution. ID makes its own claims about the nature of the origin of life and it must provide evidence for those claims.

Ars Moriendi on April 22, 2008 at 1:04 PM

“Science” has more than one definition.

jgapinoy on April 22, 2008 at 12:19 PM

I agree; however, it’s clear that the “science” he is referring to is the “establishment.”

fossten on April 22, 2008 at 1:05 PM

Theories are not laws and should always be challenged.

Agreed.

Natural selection would be most effectively challenged with an alternative theory-
dedalus on April 22, 2008 at 12:44 PM

I think I speak for most (if not all) of the Biblical Creationists when I say that we aren’t challenging Natural Selection…the process by which certain factors in the environment favor certain genetic expressions within a species. Ed’s example of the resistant bacteria surviving while the non-resistant bacteria die is a prime example. But take note that this results in a loss of genetic information from the species, not a gain.

What is being challenged is the concept that information is gained over time and one species evolves to a new species.

The “alternative theory” that is challenging that Theory of Evolution is … the Biblical Genesis account. The whole premise of the movie, which is validated in both the movie and this blog, is that the “alternative theory” is silenced.

By silencing this “alternative theory”, many scientists don’t even consider the possibility of a global flood. They neglect that possibility to their own folly. You can’t just assume that the environment you observe today has always been that way. Things were so different before the flood that people lived 800+ years. If you begin with a premise that Genesis is not true, attempts to explain the world around us are missing a vital understanding, and the resulting explanation is highly likely to be wrong.

Red Pill on April 22, 2008 at 1:08 PM

ID cannot be considered a scientific theory simply to scruntinize evolution. ID makes its own claims about the nature of the origin of life and it must provide evidence for those claims.

Ars Moriendi on April 22, 2008 at 1:04 PM

Again, you’re using anthropomorphisms. If an ID scientist wants to make a claim about the nature of the origin of life, he is ostracized, fired, and blackballed by the “establishment.”

Please go watch the movie before you comment again. You really don’t know what you’re talking about. You’re assuming that this scientific world is so open and free, and it isn’t. ID scientists have done their research, but they are being prevented from being heard in mainstream scientific forums because of censorship, not because they are being proven wrong.

Look, nobody is correct if they say that scientists from either side are stupid or ignorant. Both sides have very smart, highly educated and respected people – so why the huge divide?

Thus, this is not a scientific argument, it’s a philosophical argument. Both sides use the same data and come to different conclusions based on their own particular worldviews. Neither side should be shutting the other down. There should be an open discourse, with each side sharing ideas in pursuit of truth – but that isn’t the way it’s going. Instead, evolutionists refuse to allow the ID scientists a forum.

If ID scientists are so retarded, they should be welcoming an opportunity to show how stupid their ideas are, right? Since when does a particular scientist get to decide what is true and what isn’t? That is NOT science.

fossten on April 22, 2008 at 1:14 PM

First of all, no scientist is an “Evolutionist” or a “Darwinist” or any other “-ist”… science is about coming up with theories to explain observations. To be scientific, though, the theory must be testable through some sort of experiment that could prove the theory wrong. You can’t “prove” something is true, you can only show that it is not try by doing something that it predicts is impossible.

“God did it.” IS NOT A TESTABLE HYPOTHESIS. Just because we can’t imagine how something was done or it seems impossible by current understanding, doesn’t mean that science would say “God did it.” Science says, “We don’t know enough, yet,” and keeps looking.

Second of all, evolution does not explain how life began. It is an entirely separate theory to explain how species change over time. The origin of life in the first place is a different question.

If you are religious and believe that “God did it.” then fine, that’s your perogative. But that’s not science, that’s religion.

There is no “Darwinist” conspiracy. The theories of species/evolution have gone through major changes over time and very well established theories have been changed to explain new evidence. Just because that has happened, though, doesn’t mean that some new experiment will prove that “God did it.” is the right scientific explanation for life.

If you want to have a religious/philosophical debate, then discuss how God did it or why God did it or what that means for your life that God did it. But don’t discuss the science in the religious/philosophical debate.

if you want to have a scientic debate, then discuss theories of how life began and/or theories of evolution and the evidence for or against them. Don’t bring up whether or not “God did it” as that’s not a scientific question.

Talking about Evolution vs. ID is like trying to figure out whether happy is orange or loud. It doesn’t make any sense.

eiconoclast on April 22, 2008 at 2:06 PM

Again, you’re using anthropomorphisms. If an ID scientist wants to make a claim about the nature of the origin of life, he is ostracized, fired, and blackballed by the “establishment.”

That is a conspiracy theory. The “establishment” is nothing more than individual scientists and researchers each making their own contribution to the overall body of knowledge. As a loose collection of individuals they lack both the ability and the motivation to work as a monolithic whole to suppress ID.

Please go watch the movie before you comment again. You really don’t know what you’re talking about. You’re assuming that this scientific world is so open and free, and it isn’t. ID scientists have done their research, but they are being prevented from being heard in mainstream scientific forums because of censorship, not because they are being proven wrong.

Please don’t tell me what to do. I do know what I am talking about. There is no conspiracy against ID. ID has been considered and rejected by most members of the scientific community because of the lack of supporting evidence for ID.

Look, nobody is correct if they say that scientists from either side are stupid or ignorant. Both sides have very smart, highly educated and respected people – so why the huge divide?

I agree. I think the difference is in the quality of the evidence supporting each sides claims. The proponents of ID just do not have good quality evidence for their claim.

Thus, this is not a scientific argument, it’s a philosophical argument. Both sides use the same data and come to different conclusions based on their own particular worldviews. Neither side should be shutting the other down. There should be an open discourse, with each side sharing ideas in pursuit of truth – but that isn’t the way it’s going. Instead, evolutionists refuse to allow the ID scientists a forum.

This is where I think you run into a problem. Evolution is not a philosphical argument. Evolution is a well established scientific theory that is supported by natural evidence. ID is a philosophical argument that is not supported by natural evidence. Evolutionists as a collective can not and do not prevent ID proponents from publishing their own work. ID proponents in turn, can and do publish their theories. The only real question is, do the individual scientists who make up the scientific community accept overall the theory of ID? The answer is no. But it is not because of an evil conspiracy of marxist nazis or whatever.

If ID scientists are so retarded, they should be welcoming an opportunity to show how stupid their ideas are, right? Since when does a particular scientist get to decide what is true and what isn’t? That is NOT science.

No. Scientists generally do not wish to make anyone look retarded or make ideas look stupid, they simply ask for supporting evidence for theories that are put forth.

As far as I know, no one particular scientist gets to decide what is true and what isn’t. Did you have someone in particular in mind when you made that comment?

Ars Moriendi on April 22, 2008 at 2:06 PM

Ars Moriendi on April 22, 2008 at 2:06 PM

First you say that there is no conspiracy, then you refuse to watch the movie.

I have pored over reams of “evidence” used to “back up” evolution and have come to the conclusion that it’s all crap. Natural selection within species is used to support neoDarwinian evolution, and that is dishonest in the extreme. That alone cuts the feet of credibility out from under evolutionists.

I’m satisfied with the evidence backing up creation, and I don’t need faith to do be satisfied. Evolution is too ridiculous to accept without faith.

You may have the last word, as I’m done with this conversation since you are repeating yourself and you are not interested in learning anything new.

fossten on April 22, 2008 at 2:34 PM

The theories of species/evolution have gone through major changes over time and very well established theories have been changed to explain new evidence.

eiconoclast on April 22, 2008 at 2:06 PM

Very true. Evolutionary scientists are good at making things up to cover their huge blunders.

fossten on April 22, 2008 at 2:37 PM

First you say that there is no conspiracy, then you refuse to watch the movie.

Are you saying that because I have not seen the movie that I am part of the conspiracy? I haven’t been to a movie in months, am I part of conspiracy to try a silence all those other filmakers also? Wow. I am actually laughing out loud at you right now.

I have pored over reams of “evidence” used to “back up” evolution and have come to the conclusion that it’s all crap. Natural selection within species is used to support neoDarwinian evolution, and that is dishonest in the extreme. That alone cuts the feet of credibility out from under evolutionists.

There are scientists who agree with that who have not been expelled, persecuted or in any way the victims of marxists nazis. For example the University of Massachusetts Amherst biologist Lynn Margulis who says:

“neo-Darwinism is dead” and, echoing Darwin, she said, “It was like confessing a murder when I discovered I was not a neo-Darwinist.” Why? Because, Margulis explained, “Random changes in DNA alone do not lead to speciation. Symbiogenesis—the appearance of new behaviors, tissues, organs, organ systems, physiologies or species as a result of symbiont interaction—is the major source of evolutionary novelty in eukaryotes: animals, plants and fungi.”

I’m satisfied with the evidence backing up creation, and I don’t need faith to do be satisfied. Evolution is too ridiculous to accept without faith.

Actually you do need faith to accept creationism but not evolution. But why would you talk about faith like it is a bad thing? Are you not a Christian?

You may have the last word, as I’m done with this conversation since you are repeating yourself and you are not interested in learning anything new.

I wouldn’t keep resonding if I wasn’t interested learning anything new, but what the heck, this thread has to die sometime, I may as well get the last word.

Have a great day fossten, I enjoyed the debate.

Ars Moriendi on April 22, 2008 at 3:30 PM

Very true. Evolutionary scientists are good at making things up to cover their huge blunders.

fossten on April 22, 2008 at 2:37 PM

Revising theories to reflect new evidence is “making things up”? And every hypothesis not proven to be 100% correct is a “huge blunder”?

Pretty harsh words coming from someone who dismisses out of hand as unscientific any theory that allows for the possibility of death to have existed before man.

Watcher on April 22, 2008 at 5:25 PM

Pretty harsh words coming from someone who dismisses out of hand as unscientific any theory that allows for the possibility of death to have existed before man.

Watcher on April 22, 2008 at 5:25 PM

Link or slink, sport…I never said that. Nice try, but your misquotation won’t fly.

Guess you’re not much of a “watcher.”

fossten on April 22, 2008 at 7:50 PM

So, did the three or four of you account for all 2300+ comments.
sad.

shooter on April 22, 2008 at 10:19 PM

I’ve been writing this response over the course of several days, in an attempt to address some issues people have mentioned. I apologise in advance for its length.

A few things-

NuclearPhysicist, I find it disturbing that you think a barely pubescent girl is old enough to choose a partner and father of her children. Considering between 10 and 13 is when most girls start puberty, that’s a pretty young age to be making such life long decisions, don’t you think? Or is it that you think a girl’s parents should pick her mate for her and marry her off? Thankfully, children aren’t considered property nowadays. It’s pretty obvious what an impediment to further education bearing children so young would be. Arguing that our forefathers married young(er) girls is a red herring too; 100+ years ago, life expectancy was low, overall health wasn’t as high, women weren’t generally as well educated as men and many died in childbirth, meaning that one man usually had many wives over the course of his life. None of this sounds appealing, or like a period in our history we should strive to revisit.

Re: Evolution and ID-

Pointing out Darwin’s flaws (he was by no stretch perfect and subscribed to many prejudices), doesn’t negate decade upon decade of study and research subsequent to his findings. Don’t the Libs try to demonise our Founding Fathers by pointing out they owned slaves? That doesn’t somehow taint every thing that Jefferson did, nor should it take away from Darwin’s observations about adaptation.

To ID believers, what would convince you? What fossil proof would change your mind? What test would convince you? Even after Miller’s 1950 experiment (and several since) showing that inorganic elements, when subjected to electricity, resulted in amino acids – life’s so called ‘building blocks’ – you say that evolution is impossible, that life could never have started in some primordial soup on a planet in the throes of early existence. So what would alter that perception?

I take umbrage with the fact that when someone believes in evolution they suddenly are labeled atheists and the morality questions fly. Really, it’s possible to believe in God’s wonder and majesty (and be humbled by it), and believe in evolution. Every God fearing person I know (save two who like ID) believes in evolution. Many believers in evolution are atheists, but the opposite is not true. When ID proponents have dolts who claim a banana is proof that God made us as we are today, that does a LOT to discredit any possible rational questions that ID may have hidden under the scrub. If you’re going to try and say ID is science, know the playing field and accept it; you won’t win by trying to redefine what science is, or what a Theory or Law is. Why is suddenly the Bible now not only religion, but science, physics, paleontology…?

People have bandied about dogs a great deal on this thread; well, they’re an interesting example. Supposedly our modern dog is descended from wolves that were domesticated in Europe/Asia and brought across the land bridge. Dogs, unlike humans, have been bred for traits; appearance, senses, ability, size, to name a few, so they aren’t a good comparison for human evolution. They are however, based on our completely human constructed taxonomy nomenclature, a sub-species of wolf; so you could say one species evolved from another (also, coyotes – a separate species – and wolves have bred, so perhaps ‘species’ isn’t as set as we think). There is a lot of grey area when it comes to divvying up creatures into what we call species; it’s completely man made, meant to make classification of organisms and creatures we come into contact with have some uniformity or commonality. That is why a tomato is a fruit.

Speaking of no evidence:

There is no evidence fossils could be made in 4000 years.

Saying an eye is complex ergo it couldn’t have evolved isn’t experimental evidence. Just as many on this thread say evolution isn’t reproducible, how are you going to test this? Also, you can’t prove a negative; you can’t prove God doesn’t exist, for example, so how are you going to prove an eye couldn’t be the result of evolution?

In order to truly believe ID, it seems we have to completely give up on dating techniques (carbon and others) even though they seem to have borne out the authenticity or aging of artifacts, scrap geology as a science, along with plate tectonics, anthropology and archaeology. What will you guys let science keep, or is it all dustbin material?

Teach ID in religion class; I don’t care. But it doesn’t belong in science because there are hundreds and hundreds of years of experimentation and research by hundreds of thousands of scientists on genetics, radioactive decay, geology, biology, chemistry, paleontology (etc) that go in to support the theories (and hypotheses) that are taught in science class and there is NO such corpus for ID. Saying that everyone is being quashed is a cop out; I haven’t seen anyone here talk about experiments that support ID – only anecdotes, and currently we don’t define science that way. ID is a recent product, why should it be on the same plane as evolution?

…Ever stop to notice God’s week was of precisely the same duration and pattern as man’s regular week?…
apacalyps on April 20, 2008 at 2:44 PM
Because… the length of the work week was taken from the Bible, maybe?
During the French Revolution, the week changed to 10 days for a spell, it was the French Republican calendar, and was used for approximately thirteen years. Also, by the way, cells don’t have a ‘sex’. Cells divide.
With regard to Biblical references, two of the things I love the most about it are the parables and inherent wisdom in Christ’s teachings. Does anyone SERIOUSLY think, however, that you need to take a log out of your eye before you take a speck out of another’s, literally?
With regard to T-Rex tissue being taken from a leg bone, the La Brea tarpits have served as an excellent repository for fossils. Peat and organic matter in other parts of the world have resulted in bones and tissue being well preserved, the Tyrolean man was amazingly preserved in ice, and the ancient Egyptians used very primitive techniques to preserve soft tissue over 5000 years ago with incredible results. Soft tissue can last for far longer than a mere 4,000, which is but a blink in God’s eyes.
I don’t have a problem with the Big Bang; Black Holes are caused by a dying star collapsing upon itself into a singularity. As a result of the gravitational pull such a mass creates, (physics studs, feel free to expound and correct as necessary) it sucks in whatever matter is nearby. Black holes are supported by math and are anecdotally supported by the behaviour of objects around them, (they can’t be directly seen) so yes, they exist. It’s not that huge of a leap for me to accept the mass of the universe squished into (what we think of), as a small area. Gravity is a weak force but has a large ‘sphere of influence’, if you will. With regard to the energy of the Big Bang, you may have heard of E=mc^2; energy is equal to mass times the speed of light squared; useful in nuclear reactors and bomb making. Matter cannot be created or destroyed, merely transformed, etc etc.
So really to me, this comes down to how much I am willing to accept the world I see and know and experience around me, and taking every word in the Bible absolutely literally, with no exceptions. Considering the Bible was inspired by God but written and translated and abridged by man, I don’t think it is heretical to refuse to take every word literally. God made us in his own image, and I know many people think that means God is a biped with two eyes, a mouth, nose, etc., but what if what God gave us as a gift, of all the creatures on this planet, was intelligence and self awareness? No other species is so interested or curious about its environment and we certainly are the most intellectually advanced. If that’s the case, we would be fools to throw out everything – a millennia of science and research – and ignore our senses. What God has given us are the tools to fully appreciate the depth of what He has made, and I think if we deny that we’re denying the very thing that makes God’s children.
Several of you have defined ID as acknowledgement that God was involved in our creation, yet then many of you start talking about how the flood was only 4400 years ago. THAT is creationism. I’d therefore like ID clarified, really clarified; what are its parameters?
You complain we don’t know for sure how life began, but that’s silly. There are LOTS of things we don’t know about the universe around us, why are you picking on that? Evolution is not a LAW, it is a theory; very few things in science are considered concrete enough to be called a law.
Scientists for years have discussed the anthropic principle, an idea that came out of analysis and examination of our universe. Look it up; it’s fascinating. Science examines alternatives using its own methods and processes, and it is important for it to continue doing that, unimpeded by emotion.
Something to think about: every time a woman gets pregnant, she begins a complex process that results in one fertilised egg becoming a complex human being with specialised cells and systems. Right there you have proof of how one simple microscopic cell can become something incredibly complex and intricate, and that only takes 9 months to happen. So why do you think it is so impossible that a single cell, over billions of years, could have evolved into a complex organism? Saying you simply can’t understand how an eye or cell could have existed without each one of its current intrinsic parts isn’t scientific and it is shortsighted.
There is a lot of intolerance around; in universities, the workplace, politics. Unfortunately, it’s nothing new, but in some cases (like global warming), VERY obvious. If a scientist can get money to fund research investigating a radical idea or approach to a problem, he shouldn’t be ostracised. However, he can’t bandy it about as a law or theory on the same plane as science that has been established after scrutiny.

linlithgow on April 22, 2008 at 10:48 PM

So, did the three or four of you account for all 2300+ comments.
sad.

shooter on April 22, 2008 at 10:19 PM

No.

This is not “scientific”, but is an “observation” I’d like to share. I’ve tried to keep a running log of unique user names who have commented on this thread, and I’ve tried to put them in one of three categories. I may have missed a few, but here it goes…

Anti-ID Evolutionists (46):

lorien1973
crr6
Squid Shark
Ars Moriendi
ninjapirate
Jimmy the Dhimmi
Enrique
funky chicken
Big S
muyoso
deewhybee
Roger Waters
catmman
hicsuget
exception
Viscount_Bolingbroke
libertytexan
Kaptain Amerika
uptight
Nonfactor
e-pirate
ronsfi
dedalus
canopfor
Tzetzes
Byron
gator70
RightOFLeft
Mark Jaquith
dcpolwarth
Hening
profitsbeard
Buddahpundit
MrLynn
triple
Watcher
Rod
HeIsSailing
beefytee
dorkafork
JFS61
Lurker1970
RoPa4life
The Buzz
Krydor
Eiconoclast
Biblical Creationists (97):

fossten
db
Dr.Cwac.Cwac
Maxx
wise_man
williars
Scribbler
babynurse1
Hening
saltydogg14
D0WNT0WN
Zaire67
Riposte
jp
terryannonline
jgapinoy
MechEng5by5
locomotivebreath1901
Sabot
VolMagic
CliffHanger
Esthier
Skywise
corona
Wise Golden
inviolet
wytammic
Frank T.J Mackey
Lunkinator
Think_b4_speaking
SaintOlaf
AverageJoe
kirkill
maynila
CyberCipher
infidel2
JetBoy
shick
Fatal
ConstantSorrow
NTWR
JellyToast
TheCulturalist
Theworldisnotenough
canopfor
VolMagic
jack_in_the_box
RushBaby
Johan Klaus
shooter
Weight of Glory
labrat
fourstringfuror
Cold Steel
PrettyD_Vicious
Skidd
right2bright
Simon
AZ_Redneck
Jdkchem
Dilophos
theregoestheneighborhood
DannoJyd
splink
Zorro
petefrt
DaveC
Farmer62
davenp35
percysunshine
Rhodeymark
Ian
shibumiglass
Rosmerta
Corsair
apacalyps
RMC1618
INC
Alegnab
Rose
stenwin77
Aslans Girl
Beto Ochoa
maverick muse
flenser
Seven Percent Solution
jerseyman
Theophile
Bambi
MsUnderestimated
Jaibones
Mojave Mark
ColtsFan
Aristotle
Squiggy
cjs1943
Red Pill
Middle Ground (not Biblical Creationists, but in favor of open debate of ID vs. Evolution (35):

DerKrieger
MadisonConservative
Liberty or Death
JetBoy
TheUnrepentantGeek
the goddess anna
MarkTheGreat
JS
Liberty or Death
Spolitics
Pablo
WastelandMan
Sultry Beauty
SoulGlo
a4g
E1701
woodcdi
Eric12470210
MB4
Branch Rickey
linlithgow
kongzilla
NuclearPhysicist
RMC1618
Bayam
Maquis
CCRWM
Capitana
TexasJew
AH_C
LevStrauss
Speakup
RiverCocytus
Steve Z
John
So, it appears to me that Biblical Creationists outnumber Anti-ID Evolutionists more than 2 to 1, and if you add the middle ground folks, the Pro-ID crowd outnumbers the Anti-ID crowd nearly 3 to 1.

Tell that to the folks at “Expelled Exposed” who claim:

We’ll show you why this movie is not a documentary at all, but anti-science propaganda aimed at creating the appearance of controversy where there is none.
Red Pill on April 22, 2008 at 4:31 AM

labrat on April 22, 2008 at 10:58 PM

I apologise for the formatting problems at the end of my post; honestly, when I previewed it looked normal!

This is when edit would be handy!

linlithgow on April 22, 2008 at 11:02 PM

labrat

Do you expect a conservative website to reflect academia’s beliefs?

jgapinoy on April 22, 2008 at 11:27 PM

I don’t understand your point…all I know is that you must be r-e-a-l-l-y into this thread.

jgapinoy on April 22, 2008 at 11:29 PM

Re: Colorado River Delta:

Seems that whoever told y’all that the Colorado River doesn’t have a delta are mistaken.
How did the Valles Marineris, a canyon deeper and longer than the Grand Canyon, form?

linlithgow on April 23, 2008 at 12:14 AM

jgapinoy on April 22, 2008 at 11:27 PM

I’m sorry sir, you’ve lost me. If you’re referring to my post above, I was responding to shooter’s comment about only “three or four” people producing all the comments on this thread. I copied an earlier comment by Red Pill where he compiled a list of all commenters that have contributed. It was over-kill, I admit it.

labrat on April 23, 2008 at 12:21 AM

Darwinism, like the racism that spawned it, has become really nothing more than an industry. So many careers and so much of what has been written over the past century and a half, not to mention the money in government grants that is riding on those in academia cranking out study after study trying to prove this theory. This is the reason for the backlash documented in the film.

I’ve enjoyed very much being a small part of this all important conversation.

Good night all.

labrat on April 23, 2008 at 12:41 AM

To ID believers, what would convince you? What fossil proof would change your mind? What test would convince you? Even after Miller’s 1950 experiment (and several since) showing that inorganic elements, when subjected to electricity, resulted in amino acids – life’s so called ‘building blocks’ – you say that evolution is impossible, that life could never have started in some primordial soup on a planet in the throes of early existence. So what would alter that perception?

I think you should review those experiments again. The conditions were very artificial, in a way designed to strongly favor the probability of forming amino acids. That’s a reasonable enough approach if you’re just investigating whether a thing is conceivable.

But it is so far removed from proving that life could have evolved from non-life, that it’s absolutely foolish to ignore the established science that says spontaneous generation doesn’t happen based on this experiment.

Which is indeed the evolutionist’s dilemma. For all the talk about ID not being a “true science,” evolution is full of things that are believed to be true not because science indicates it’s true, but because the theory of evolution requires it.

This is the perfect example. There is absolutely no proof that life arose that way, yet we have all kinds of evolutionists deriding creationism as pseudo-science, and ID as closet creationism, because they tell us that evolution is a proven fact. How can it be a proven fact if no one can prove life arose from non-life spontaneously?

Face it: the reason people believe life started spontaneously is not because there are any experiments that reproduce it, but because evolution requires life to begin from non-life, or it’s not purely naturalistic. If life didn’t begin in a completely naturalistic way, then evolution is no more scientific than special creation. When evolutionists run out of answers, they fill in the gap with anything that sounds plausible.

I take umbrage with the fact that when someone believes in evolution they suddenly are labeled atheists and the morality questions fly. Really, it’s possible to believe in God’s wonder and majesty (and be humbled by it), and believe in evolution. Every God fearing person I know (save two who like ID) believes in evolution. Many believers in evolution are atheists, but the opposite is not true. When ID proponents have dolts who claim a banana is proof that God made us as we are today, that does a LOT to discredit any possible rational questions that ID may have hidden under the scrub. If you’re going to try and say ID is science, know the playing field and accept it; you won’t win by trying to redefine what science is, or what a Theory or Law is. Why is suddenly the Bible now not only religion, but science, physics, paleontology…?

The reason evolution gets so tied to atheism? One reason you allude to: basically all atheists are evolutionists. But also, many of the most vehement supporters of evolution are atheists, so it’s inevitable that atheism gets associated with evolution.

Your point that this is not necessarily so is quite true, but please bear in mind that the association in people’s minds comes from an association that very much exists in the real world. Don’t just blame opponents of evolution for the association.

Good point about the dogs, by the way. I know people bring them up because they are familiar, and a good example of the kind of variation possible in a species. They’re not the best analogy for evolution, though, since the variations were specifically bred into them rather than having occurred randomly.

Speaking of no evidence:

There is no evidence fossils could be made in 4000 years.

Fossilization does not require great amounts of time: just favorable conditions. I’ll bet you there’s a lot more evidence for rapid fossilization than there is for life occurring spontaneously. Why is the complete lack of evidence for spontaneous generation of life no big issue, but the relative rarity of modern fossilization a big obstacle?

Saying an eye is complex ergo it couldn’t have evolved isn’t experimental evidence. Just as many on this thread say evolution isn’t reproducible, how are you going to test this? Also, you can’t prove a negative; you can’t prove God doesn’t exist, for example, so how are you going to prove an eye couldn’t be the result of evolution?

I’m told that evolution is the scientific theory, so I’m sure you wouldn’t be raising this question unless evolution producing eyes had been proven in a valid scientific experiment: say, a double-blind test in a laboratory. Otherwise, I could just turn the question around and ask, “Can you prove the eye evolved?”

Of course, we know it’s never been observed or reproduced. But since believing all life developed from simpler organisms, evolutionists believe the eye evolved because they have to in order to believe in … evolution.

I’m afraid the reasoning is just that circular.

In order to truly believe ID, it seems we have to completely give up on dating techniques (carbon and others) even though they seem to have borne out the authenticity or aging of artifacts, scrap geology as a science, along with plate tectonics, anthropology and archaeology. What will you guys let science keep, or is it all dustbin material?

When you date the fossils by the geologic layer they are found in, and date the geologic layers by the fossils found in them (“index fossils”), then it’s not all that hard for each to confirm the other’s age. Until someone notices the circular reasoning inherent in it.

Regardless, all dating methods produce their age estimates based on a beginning substance that decays into an ending substance at a certain rate. However, the implicit assumptions in these processes are a) that there is none of the ending substance in the item being dated to begin with, b) that the decay rate has remained constant over time, and c) that there has been no other process that also produced that ending substance. Only if all these assumptions hold true, and if the rate was measured accurately or not, will the radiographic dating be valid.

Evolution depends on too many things that have not been proven, but must be accepted in order to accept evolution over all. Two of the most egregious examples are the requirement to believe in spontaneous generation of life in spite of NO evidence it has ever happened, and questionable evidence that it might even have been possible.

Teach ID in religion class; I don’t care. But it doesn’t belong in science because there are hundreds and hundreds of years of experimentation and research by hundreds of thousands of scientists on genetics, radioactive decay, geology, biology, chemistry, paleontology (etc) that go in to support the theories (and hypotheses) that are taught in science class and there is NO such corpus for ID. Saying that everyone is being quashed is a cop out; I haven’t seen anyone here talk about experiments that support ID – only anecdotes, and currently we don’t define science that way. ID is a recent product, why should it be on the same plane as evolution?

The study of genetics is more of a complication for evolution than a support, since it makes clear that no adaptations to the environment are inherited by younger generations unless the genes are modified to support it. Which means evolution can only proceed by genetic mutation. However, genetic mutations are both rare, and overwhelmingly harmful.

Tack that on to the fact that some body parts or organs are irreducibly complex, and it’s clear that those things can only evolve when all required genetic mutations come together.

With regard to Biblical references, two of the things I love the most about it are the parables and inherent wisdom in Christ’s teachings. Does anyone SERIOUSLY think, however, that you need to take a log out of your eye before you take a speck out of another’s, literally?

Saying that some people believe the Bible literally seems to be meant as a put-down. I would imagine there are very few people who literally take every word literally. When Jesus said, “I am the Bread of Life,” I don’t think you’ll find anyone who thinks you must take Jesus out of the oven and spread a little butter on Him.

It’s equally silly to read things that are obviously to be taken at face value and labor to turn them into an allegory or metaphor. For example, when Leviticus lays out in great detail how to offer a burnt sacrifice, it would be foolish to think the fire was only metaphorical.

So really to me, this comes down to how much I am willing to accept the world I see and know and experience around me, and taking every word in the Bible absolutely literally, with no exceptions. Considering the Bible was inspired by God but written and translated and abridged by man, I don’t think it is heretical to refuse to take every word literally. God made us in his own image, and I know many people think that means God is a biped with two eyes, a mouth, nose, etc., but what if what God gave us as a gift, of all the creatures on this planet, was intelligence and self awareness? ….

Again, I think you make too much of “every word absolutely literally.” Jesus said that God is a spirit, which implies not a body at all, so it seems unlikely we should take the “image of God” to mean something physical.

…. No other species is so interested or curious about its environment and we certainly are the most intellectually advanced. If that’s the case, we would be fools to throw out everything – a millennia of science and research – and ignore our senses. What God has given us are the tools to fully appreciate the depth of what He has made, and I think if we deny that we’re denying the very thing that makes God’s children.

As Proverbs tells us, “It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter.” The wonderful thing about science is the search for knowledge, and the above verse seems to suggest this is a great, even a royal, pursuit. ID, at heart, is skepticism that evolution addresses certain problems that nearly require an intelligent designer or force to solve, such as irreducible complexity or the huge jump from inanimate things to life. It seems to me rather foolish to cut short such questions, as if it’s more important to preserve the theory of evolution unchanged rather than actually answer those questions.

Several of you have defined ID as acknowledgement that God was involved in our creation, yet then many of you start talking about how the flood was only 4400 years ago. THAT is creationism. I’d therefore like ID clarified, really clarified; what are its parameters?

Perhaps the relationship between ID and creationism is similar to the relationship between evolution and atheism?

You complain we don’t know for sure how life began, but that’s silly. There are LOTS of things we don’t know about the universe around us, why are you picking on that? Evolution is not a LAW, it is a theory; very few things in science are considered concrete enough to be called a law.
Scientists for years have discussed the anthropic principle, an idea that came out of analysis and examination of our universe. Look it up; it’s fascinating. Science examines alternatives using its own methods and processes, and it is important for it to continue doing that, unimpeded by emotion.

Yes, evolution is a theory. Unfortunately, many evolutionists forget that, and start off any discussion by claiming that evolution is a known, proven fact. Asking how life began is at least one way to move past that by demonstrating that evolution is in fact still a theory, and unproven.

Theories should be challenged. If they can be shown true, they will survive the challenge and remain unchanged. If they can be shown faulty, they will be improved. If they can be shown false, they can be rejected and replaced with better theories. Any of those three outcomes is a good one.

Something to think about: every time a woman gets pregnant, she begins a complex process that results in one fertilised egg becoming a complex human being with specialised cells and systems. Right there you have proof of how one simple microscopic cell can become something incredibly complex and intricate, and that only takes 9 months to happen. So why do you think it is so impossible that a single cell, over billions of years, could have evolved into a complex organism? Saying you simply can’t understand how an eye or cell could have existed without each one of its current intrinsic parts isn’t scientific and it is shortsighted.
There is a lot of intolerance around; in universities, the workplace, politics. Unfortunately, it’s nothing new, but in some cases (like global warming), VERY obvious. If a scientist can get money to fund research investigating a radical idea or approach to a problem, he shouldn’t be ostracised. However, he can’t bandy it about as a law or theory on the same plane as science that has been established after scrutiny.

linlithgow on April 22, 2008 at 10:48 PM

I think you approach very near to the core of ID here. Yes, a sperm meeting an egg develops into a very complex baby in just 9 months. But it happens because the baby’s DNA contains all the information necessary to develop. This DNA came from the baby’s parents.

But when we talk about a complex structure developing by evolution, there is no DNA for a species that does not yet exist. It seems unreasonable to think the evolution would have occurred without some corollary to DNA that directs the process of evolution.

The gaping hole in the theory of evolution is not really the origin of life or the origin of “irreducibly complex” structures. The gaping hole is its dependence on random mutations over incredibly long periods of time. The origin of life and the origin of “irreducibly complex” structures just highlights two cases where random mutations are clearly inadequate.

theregoestheneighborhood on April 23, 2008 at 2:59 AM

I have been specifically focusing on ID and have not advanced any other theory for the origin of life. Each theory must stand on its own merit, I was challenging the central principle of ID that is irreducible complexity. If an eye is so complex that an intelligent designer is required to explain its existance then it follows that the creator of that eye must also be so complex as to require a designer. When I raise this objection I get two answers.

1. God just is and cannot be questioned because we are incapable of understanding. If this is true then ID is not science because science deals with concepts that we can question and understand. We may not always understand(or we may misunderstand), but the idea in science is that ultimately the things we study can be understood. If we define a concept as unknowable then it rest outside of the scope of science

2. God is simple. This cannot be. God is usually described as all-knowing and all-powerful. If God is all all-knowing then just to store all of that data about the universe, God would have to be at least as complex as the universe itself.

….
Ars Moriendi on April 22, 2008 at 10:05 AM

Have you considered that God might be the ultimate in recursion: The Creator that Creates Himself? Put another way, He is His own Intelligence.

That may sound sacrilegious at first, but flash back to Moses at the burning bush, and God describing who He is: I AM THAT I AM.

Put it this way. You exist, unless you’re just an extremely sophisticated AI. You have an origin. Your origin had an origin. That origin had an origin. Eventually, you’re going to come back to something that came out of nothing, or something that just always was.

Do you think that’s just a religious idea? Have you heard of the Big Bang theory? It says that the origin of everything was what exploded in the Big Bang. But where did that come from.

Quite frankly, if God created the universe, then He would obviously not be bound by the structure of the universe. Since time is part of the universe — you may have heard of the space-time continuum — I’m not even sure it makes sense to speak of God needing an origin, since an origin would require a time when He did not exist, and time is part of the universe created by God.

theregoestheneighborhood on April 23, 2008 at 3:18 AM

theregoestheneighborhood on April 23, 2008 at 2:59 AM,

for the win.

Now if only you would have posted this near the beginnning..this debate would have been over days ago.

SaintOlaf on April 23, 2008 at 6:47 AM

To be scientific, though, the theory must be testable through some sort of experiment that could prove the theory wrong

Riiiiiightttt.

Except for all the millions of holes in “evolutionary theory” that “could be used to prove the theory wrong”. Those are just “gaps in our knowledge”.

The fact is, the biggest obstacle to “Darwinism” being proven true, is the fossil record itself. Using a tooth to extrapolate an entire species is less than a joke.

Squiggy on April 23, 2008 at 6:53 AM

theregoestheneighborhood on April 23, 2008 at 2:59 AM,

for the win.

Now if only you would have posted this near the beginnning..this debate would have been over days ago.

SaintOlaf on April 23, 2008 at 6:47 AM

I concur.

TGTN, that was a masterful set of replies. Better than I could have done. Bravo.

fossten on April 23, 2008 at 9:56 AM

Have you considered that God might be the ultimate in recursion: The Creator that Creates Himself? Put another way, He is His own Intelligence.

That may sound sacrilegious at first, but flash back to Moses at the burning bush, and God describing who He is: I AM THAT I AM.

Put it this way. You exist, unless you’re just an extremely sophisticated AI. You have an origin. Your origin had an origin. That origin had an origin. Eventually, you’re going to come back to something that came out of nothing, or something that just always was.

Do you think that’s just a religious idea? Have you heard of the Big Bang theory? It says that the origin of everything was what exploded in the Big Bang. But where did that come from.

Quite frankly, if God created the universe, then He would obviously not be bound by the structure of the universe. Since time is part of the universe — you may have heard of the space-time continuum — I’m not even sure it makes sense to speak of God needing an origin, since an origin would require a time when He did not exist, and time is part of the universe created by God.

theregoestheneighborhood on April 23, 2008 at 3:18 AM

This is a good well thought out post, and it is a excellent argument against intelligent design as a theory.

What you have stated is that God is an intelligent complex system that exists spontaneously without the need for an intelligent designer. According to the “theory” of ID that should be impossible.

I agree with SaintOlaf that this post should end the debate. Not only is ID not a science and therefore should be rejected by the scientific community, but it is not consistent with the Biblical account of God either and therefore should be rejected by the religious community as well.

Ars Moriendi on April 23, 2008 at 10:44 AM

theregoestheneighborhood on April 23, 2008 at 2:59 AM,

for the win.

Now if only you would have posted this near the beginnning..this debate would have been over days ago.

SaintOlaf on April 23, 2008 at 6:47 AM

I concur.

TGTN, that was a masterful set of replies. Better than I could have done. Bravo.

fossten on April 23, 2008 at 9:56 AM

Bravo, theregoestheneighborhood, Bravo!
Standing ovation!

Red Pill on April 23, 2008 at 1:51 PM

what would be different in your life if the earth were only 6000 years old and not billions of years old?
Red Pill on April 21, 2008 at 6:05 PM

It would probably still be too hot to live on.
Ars Moriendi on April 21, 2008 at 6:18 PM

You know what sounds hot to me?

Another parable He put forth to them, saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field; but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way. But when the grain had sprouted and produced a crop, then the tares also appeared. So the servants of the owner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?’ He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ The servants said to him, ‘Do you want us then to go and gather them up?’ But he said, ‘No, lest while you gather up the tares you also uproot the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn.”

Then Jesus sent the multitude away and went into the house. And His disciples came to Him, saying, “Explain to us the parable of the tares of the field.”
He answered and said to them: “He who sows the good seed is the Son of Man. The field is the world, the good seeds are the sons of the kingdom, but the tares are the sons of the wicked one. The enemy who sowed them is the devil, the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are the angels. Therefore as the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of this age. The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness, and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!
Matthew 13:24-30,36-43

Now, in the process of looking through “hot” verses, I came across this:

Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron,
1 Timothy 4:1-2

Who do think of when think of “conscience seared“?

You didn’t happen to vote for John Kerry in 2004, did you Ars Moriendi?

Red Pill on April 23, 2008 at 2:39 PM

Ars Moriendi, I pray for you to have ears to hear.

Red Pill on April 23, 2008 at 2:44 PM

In the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill area of NC, this movie currently has four user-written reviews, and each one gave the movie the top rating of five stars:

User Reviews for Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed

A movie that had to be made 04/21/2008 Posted by dlingalt

At first I thought this movie would clearly define intelligent design and show that it is entirely based on scientific method and empirical fact, but this is more important. Ben Stein sticks our noses into the logical consequences of Darwinism, the prevailing religion of today’s secular academia. You see a number of PhD’s, very knowledgeable people in their fields (Mathematics, Physics, Microbiology, etc.) willing to have a dialogue about facts that do not fit Darwinism. But this is unthinkable to atheists. If Darwinism is accepted as an article of faith (it must be) then there is no need for God, no soul, no morality, and ultimately no accountability to God for one’s actions. In the film, Nazism is traced back to its solid underpinnings in Darwinism. Why wouldn’t a population cleanse itself of the weak and unwanted? From our point in history it was an unspeakable horror. Now the politics of intolerance in the name of Darwinism have re-emerged in the public arena masquerading as authority. Never mind that their present dogma does not fit the knowledge base, that inquiry is the soul of science, or that in America there is supposed to be free speech—the heretical words (intelligent design) must not even be mentioned in a serious context or careers are gone. Two points stand out in the movie: the woman at the German lab and the atheist in chief. The woman did not think the doctor who did experiments on people and terminated them was evil. He had…a purpose. Chilling. Think about it. That is like saying that what Jeffrey Damler did was ok because he was busy. And the atheist, admitting the inability of Darwinism to address the origin of life, submitted that perhaps we were seeded by aliens! How ironic, that atheism in the face of irreducible complexity is reduced to intelligent design, as long as it is not by God! (So man without God decides that it is okay to be created by someone a little higher than him, just not a lot higher!)

Pros: Thought provoking

Cons: Too short

Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed 04/20/2008 Posted by barnieca

This movie was highly insightful and entertaining as well as being important to keeping America free from tyranny. This movie is far more important than Gore’s flawed movie and should be a required movie for all High Schoolers. Must see for all people that care about freedom of speech and religion.

A must see no matter which side of the wall you’re on! 04/19/2008 Posted by minksseattle

Last night was the worst snow storm we’ve seen all season here in the North West but I forged ahead to meet friends at the Regal Cinema in Lynwood, north of Seattle for opening night of EXPELLED. I am so glad I went. The theater was packed except for a few remaining seats in the front row. From the opening scenes the audience was engaged fully… nothing could have been more obvious. They laughed out loud at the unique humor spliced into the film with old black and white footage… but laughed even more at the ludicrous statements made by some of the Darwinian Atheists in the film. A theme strongly emerges with the aid of “the Berlin Wall” as an effective symbolic metaphor that caries throughout the film and concludes at the end with footage of the wall coming down. A prophetic symbol perhaps and hopefully, for the walls that may and must come down in science that have been forged by elitist agendas and atheistic world views. The film clearly exposes a wide spread suppression that is halting, stunting and maligning the expansion of Science across America and around the world. The audience erupted in applause at the conclusion. Five star film all the way. A MUST-SEE no matter which side of the wall you’re on!

Pros: Provocative, educational, enlightening, humorous, encouraging

Cons: Alarming!

Well worth the time and money. 04/18/2008 Posted by dobrdale

I recommend this flick to thinking people and not followers seeking a thrill, although the subject is incredibly current and cries out for a resolution. It puts many loose ends together, and points the finger of false teaching at academia. I attended a showing that started at 1:20 PM on the first day of release. The theater was about 1/3 full which is unusual for that time of day in my experience. Also to be noted, at the end of the showing, the audience gave spontaneous applause. From the beginning movie credits to the end, my watch showed a run time of 1hour and 40 minutes.

Red Pill on April 23, 2008 at 9:13 PM

If public schools have been showing “An Inconvenient Truth” to school children, I think we should start showing them “Expelled”.

Red Pill on April 24, 2008 at 12:43 AM

This movie is truly a must see for every American.

I fully understand that moonbats won’t want to see it, and will try to prevent others from seeing it.

Nevertheless, everyone who voted for Ronald Reagan needs to see this movie. The Reagan footage, and how it relates to the theme of the movie, is very powerful.

Red Pill on April 24, 2008 at 1:14 AM

This movie isn’t just about the Evolution/ID debate.

It’s about this:

All human history is the struggle between systems that attempt to shackle the human personality in the name of some intangible good on the one hand and systems that enable and expand the scope of human personality in the pursuit of extremely tangible aims. The American system is the most successful in the world because it harmonizes best with the aims and longings of human personality while allowing the best protection to other personalities.

Red Pill on April 24, 2008 at 1:48 AM

Evidence that Ben Stein is right, right here on Hot Air.

Red Pill on April 24, 2008 at 10:37 AM

Of course, I think the best HotAir evidence that Ben Stein is right was my being banned from Hot Air. By whom? An athiest. For what? Talking about God.

Red Pill on April 24, 2008 at 12:50 PM

If you haven’t seen Ben’s new movie Expelled, go see it. It is simply amazing. I believe it is as big a wake up call to this country as September 11, 2001 was.

Contrary to what Obama tells you,

But somehow, somewhere along the way, faith stopped being used to bring us together and started being used to drive us apart. It got hijacked. Part of it’s because of the so-called leaders of the Christian Right, who’ve been all too eager to exploit what divides us. At every opportunity, they’ve told evangelical Christians that Democrats disrespect their values and dislike their Church, while suggesting to the rest of the country that religious Americans care only about issues like abortion and gay marriage; school prayer and intelligent design.

Christians aren’t crazy for believing that there is a war against them. The words out of the Darwinist’s mouths (and the books they have written) makes it abundantly clear that they have declared war against us. Just as the communists have declared war against us. This movie is a wake up call, and the debate isn’t over, it’s just beginning.

It starts getting fun now. It’s like watching a previously-recorded sports game where your team is behing but you already know your team wins the game. Get in the game or get your box of popcorn and sit back and enjoy the show, but either way this is going to be a great game!

On The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or The Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life

by Charles Darwin

It sounds quite boneheaded…let me hear them facts.

Red Pill on April 24, 2008 at 1:08 PM

The above Obama quote comes from the same speech where he dreams of a Socialist/Communist revolution in this country:

But my journey is part of a larger journey – one shared by all who’ve ever sought to apply the values of their faith to our society. It’s a journey that takes us back to our nation’s founding, when none other than a UCC church inspired the Boston Tea Party and helped bring an Empire to its knees.

Barack Hussein Obama, Jr.
A Politics of Conscience
Hartford, CT
June 23, 2007

That’s what Obama means when he talks about the “Social[ist] Gospel” that Rev. Wright teaches!

Red Pill on April 24, 2008 at 1:11 PM

Peer review’s a bitch, ain’t it? Especially when your peers aren’t peers at all, but your scientific and intellectual superiors.

hicsuget on April 20, 2008 at 10:47 AM

You are a perfect case study of exactly what Exposed reveals. Superiority complex. Divide and conquer: when “infidels” are isolated, they have no “peers”. All that is left are the “bullies” who mock them and try to intimidate them into being silent.

They sow the wind,
And reap the whirlwind.
The stalk has no bud;
It shall never produce meal.
If it should produce,
Aliens would swallow it up.
Hosea 8:7 (New King James Version)

Let’s see how well the Theory of Darwinian Evolution holds up against Intelligent Design when the debate becomes a real, open debate.

The first one to plead his cause seems right,
Until his neighbor comes and examines him.
Proverbs 18:17

I already know which side will win the public debate. So do the Darwinists…and they know that the only way they can hold on to the power they have gained is by being fascists and denying freedom to others. As Ben Stein so wonderfully points out, this nation was founded on freedom, and you cannot continue to suppress freedom in this country and get away with it.

God Bless America, land that I love!

This debate is not over; it’s just getting started…

Red Pill on April 24, 2008 at 2:11 PM

Just an observation: Why does it snow and why is it so cold in those regions where major earth day celebrations and global warming conferences etc. are held?

One might actually think that there is a God and he has a keen sense of humor.

PrettyD_Vicious on April 24, 2008 at 3:59 PM

Thanks, PrettyD_Vicious. That is an interesting observation, and it seems to have been happening multiple times…multiple different dates, multiple different cities, etc.

It wouldn’t be the first time that God has used weather to mock those who worship a false God. The Global Warming fanatics are like Baal worshipers.

Red Pill on April 24, 2008 at 11:10 PM

Thanks for taking the time to respond to my post! I’ve edited portions out of the thread for sake of brevity. I have taken a long time to respond because I wanted to read up on several things before I posted. If there is italics in a block quote it is from my original post; the regular text is from theregoestheneighborhood.

To ID believers, what would convince you? What fossil proof would change your mind? … So what would alter that perception?

I think you should review those experiments again. The conditions were very artificial, in a way designed to strongly favor the probability of forming amino acids. That’s a reasonable enough approach if you’re just investigating whether a thing is conceivable.

That is your opinion; I tend to disagree. My understanding was Miller’s original experiment was to test what effect repeated electrical discharge would have on the earth’s early atmosphere, and the amino acids in the ‘mimicked’ ocean appeared. He wasn’t trying to stack the deck; your argument on what specifically was the problem is vague to me. He did prove that amino acids could form in a condition believed to be akin to those present on early Earth.

This reminds me of a problem I have with a lot of ID proponents; they wave so much stuff away and try to exclude it without much of a basis, but tend to have the opposite reaction when they’re under the gun. Take everyone’s deconstruction of Darwin’s racism and using that as an excuse to defenestrate anything he proposed; when someone, however, points out that apacalyp’s link goes to a You Tube video and remarks that the person in it is a convicted felon, the ‘you’re attacking the man!’ type of posts were plentiful. Don’t you think that’s a bit hypocritical?

But it is so far removed from proving that life could have evolved from non-life, that it’s absolutely foolish to ignore the established science that says spontaneous generation doesn’t happen based on this experiment.

The point of evolution isn’t how did life begin millions of years ago but given life, how did it come about as it is today? The early earth was violent, with asteroids hitting it, the atmosphere forming; it was very active. Unless any of us were there and can attest, we don’t exactly know everything that happened, but we can certainly work things backwards by taking the Earth now, examining other heavenly bodies in our solar system, observing extra-solar events and making sense of it. Miller took data, devised a mock up of what the early Earth would have probably looked like as a result of his observations, and found amino acids form and they are key to life.

Look, we are only really getting the computing power now to process all the weather data we get and attempt to make fairly reasonable models, but even then they are sometimes incorrect. That doesn’t stop us from trying to predict the weather and hone the process, does it? Newtonian mechanics wasn’t demolished by Einstein’s Theory of Relativity, he extended our understanding.

Science has undergone many such refinements, but when something is proven to be false as the old scientific theory of spontaneous generation was (organisms miraculously developing in a closed environment; the discovery of bacteria showed them this was wrong), it is put in the dustbin. Adaptation hasn’t proven to be wrong, and that is a key component of evolution, isn’t it? Viruses responding to medicines, the giraffe, orchids with scents that attract specific pollinators (like the carrion fly), bugs that use camouflage, native inhabitants of equatorial regions having more melanin; there are lots of things in our environment that continue to support adaptation. I feel this argument by the ID group is a bit disingenuous; to my knowledge Darwin never said (and I admit, I have not read every scrap of text Darwin composed), that 3.2 billion years ago, during a rather violent and raging storm, a lightning strike in the area we now call Fiji resulted in the first amino acids being formed.

Evolution explains why seemingly similar creatures, separated by distance, seemed to have slightly different characteristics that appear particularly in tune with their environment. It explains why there is such a variety in seemingly shared traits, why most life on this planet shares a huge portion of their DNA. I know IDers say that an SUV and VW bug both have tyres, radios, doors, etc. but they look different; however, this is a completely invalid comparison. Try to find a car with 3 billion parts (base pairs), or 120,000 features (genes), with a majority of them currently not being used and then refine your comparison.

Which is indeed the evolutionist’s dilemma. For all the talk about ID not being a “true science,” evolution is full of things that are believed to be true not because science indicates it’s true, but because the theory of evolution requires it.

Such as…? What specifically does evolution require you to believe that is proven, scientifically, demonstrably, through experimentation, to be absolutely false? There are lots of things in science taken on ‘faith’; we haven’t found a graviton, yet we believe in gravity because of observation. Newton’s original theory has been expanded now to include the movements of planets, not just an apple falling from a tree, and the math works, there is nothing to directly contradict any of its assumptions, so we accept it. But since the universe is a big sandbox that no one can ever hope to replicate and therefore beyond a shadow of a doubt prove gravity’s effects, should we take your argument one step further and say we shouldn’t believe gravity affects planets? Since we can’t ever ‘mock it up’, should we throw that educated assumption away too?

We don’t know everything about ANYTHING in our world, and we certainly don’t avoid using the knowledge we have, hoping that it will further our understanding. Why are you trying to hold evolution to a standard of completion and thoroughness we don’t have anywhere, especially NOT ID. We don’t wait for the picture to be perfect and complete before we move or devise hypotheses. We don’t know everything about the human body, but that doesn’t stop us from making educated assumptions about it and using experimental treatments and each time we try something, we move ahead, incrementally.

Even today we still take an observation, form a conclusion and test it out. Hypothermia is an interesting thing. Physicians realised that someone whose core body temperature had been significantly lowered appeared to survive longer than normally expected in certain environments or situations. Why? Observation and research made us realise that lower temperature slows metabolism, which means that biologic activity slows – less oxygen requirements, etc – which means the subject was able to survive. Lowering a patients body temperature is now used as a technique during very delicate procedures like brain surgery, where there may be a need to restrict or reduce the flow of blood to a vital area and therefore limit the oxygen available.

This is the perfect example. There is absolutely no proof that life arose that way, yet we have all kinds of evolutionists deriding creationism as pseudo-science, and ID as closet creationism, because they tell us that evolution is a proven fact. How can it be a proven fact if no one can prove life arose from non-life spontaneously?

See above. Evolution doesn’t claim to explain the moment life began on the Earth.

I take umbrage …Why is suddenly the Bible now not only religion, but science, physics, paleontology…?

The reason evolution gets so tied to atheism? One reason you allude to: basically all atheists are evolutionists. But also, many of the most vehement supporters of evolution are atheists, so it’s inevitable that atheism gets associated with evolution.

Your point that this is not necessarily so is quite true, but please bear in mind that the association in people’s minds comes from an association that very much exists in the real world. Don’t just blame opponents of evolution for the association.

I don’t, but I can certainly blame people on this thread for casting aspersions on others because they’re atheists, rather than dealing with the issue. Many of us on this thread have said we believe in God, and just as you don’t want to be thought of as religious nutjobs, so all evolutionists don’t want to be lumped in as part of some super-secret cabal to dethrone God.

Good point about the dogs, by the way. I know people bring them up because they are familiar, and a good example of the kind of variation possible in a species. They’re not the best analogy for evolution, though, since the variations were specifically bred into them rather than having occurred randomly.

True, and I did mention they were bred for certain characterisics. It does speak, however, to the adaptability of the species of the planet and how easily, over a short period of time, you can ‘customise’ a species.

Speaking of no evidence:
There is no evidence fossils could be made in 4000 years.

Fossilization does not require great amounts of time: just favorable conditions. I’ll bet you there’s a lot more evidence for rapid fossilization than there is for life occurring spontaneously. Why is the complete lack of evidence for spontaneous generation of life no big issue, but the relative rarity of modern fossilization a big obstacle?

Many IDers claim that the flood could have caused immediate fossilisation of all the remains of creatures at one time. I’d like to see the experimentation that backs this up. Saying ‘probably’ and ‘I’ll bet’ is NOT scientific observation.

Saying an eye is complex ergo it couldn’t have evolved isn’t experimental evidence. Just as many on this thread say evolution isn’t reproducible, how are you going to test this? Also, you can’t prove a negative; you can’t prove God doesn’t exist, for example, so how are you going to prove an eye couldn’t be the result of evolution?

I’m told that evolution is the scientific theory, so I’m sure you wouldn’t be raising this question unless evolution producing eyes had been proven in a valid scientific experiment: say, a double-blind test in a laboratory. Otherwise, I could just turn the question around and ask, “Can you prove the eye evolved?”

Since you’re questioning accepted science, the burden of proof is on you. There is a lot of ‘could’ in ID; nothing concrete. As I’ve said many times, there are gaps in understanding in various parts of science and portions of the theory of evolution is one of them and that is why it’s not a LAW. So you need to prove that something that evolution claims is wrong, or your argument isn’t valid.

Evolution doesn’t need to have every single question everyone will ever pose answered in order for it to be a theory, but if you want to have it thrown out, because there is a great deal of supporting science in other disciplines and observations, YOU need to prove that something it says isn’t true. That is how a theory is ‘disproven’ not by saying ‘could’. I could sit here all day and say ‘this could be true’ or ‘that could be true’ but that doesn’t MAKE them true.

Of course, we know it’s never been observed or reproduced. But since believing all life developed from simpler organisms, evolutionists believe the eye evolved because they have to in order to believe in … evolution.
I’m afraid the reasoning is just that circular.

Why is there such variety in eyes across species? Fish in the deepest oceans can’t see because there is no sunlight that reaches those depths, but other senses are more developed. Why all the variety? I know a woman, who can only see in black and white and is highly light sensitive; her problem is genetic. However, she managed to go to school, has a child and is a successful massage therapist, yet her eyes are defective and incomplete.


In order to truly believe ID, it seems we have to completely give up on dating techniques …. What will you guys let science keep, or is it all dustbin material?

… all dating methods produce their age estimates based on a beginning substance that decays into an ending substance at a certain rate. However, the implicit assumptions in these processes are a) that there is none of the ending substance in the item being dated to begin with, b) that the decay rate has remained constant over time, and c) that there has been no other process that also produced that ending substance. Only if all these assumptions hold true, and if the rate was measured accurately or not, will the radiographic dating be valid.

Right. So prove one of those assumptions is false. This is specious; of course things have to be true in order for them to not be false.

If high amounts of carbon (for example) are regularly introduced into specimens, then statistically, you should see large numbers of results that make no sense, and huge irregularities in dating items you know were from a similar time period. Also, there are several methods used for testing artefacts and if your above posit was true and dating was so unreliable, there would be scores of conflicts in date range from technique to technique.

This means that either a.) periodically a substance used for dating is introduced, but not in significant enough quantities to alter the results b.) the substance is introduced in a significant amount but the occurrence is not regular enough to significantly alter findings or c.) said used substance isn’t introduced at all, and datings are generally correct.

Can you show me specific examples where we know a piece of pottery or a tool appears significantly older or younger than we are CERTAIN it is? Then find me enough examples so that it becomes statistically important that we need to throw all dating down the drain.

Evolution depends on too many things that have not been proven, but must be accepted in order to accept evolution over all. Two of the most egregious examples are the requirement to believe in spontaneous generation of life in spite of NO evidence it has ever happened, and questionable evidence that it might even have been possible.

You seem to contradict yourself in the above statement; you’re saying there have been experiments that show its possible, but you don’t like them, but prior to that you say there’s no evidence.

The summary of the ID argument seems to be this; that there are some topics related to evolution that haven’t been proven to your satisfaction and you’re not content that life could have begun in a primordial soup and developed over billions of years to a highly specialised form of life.

ID has the bigger problem; as I’ve mentioned in my previous post, not only do IDers require that we throw out evolution, and all dating mechanisms, but a huge corpus of other scientific knowledge in order to believe it. So we have to ignore botany, because researchers using tree ring sampling and painstaking reconstruction techniques of living and dead bristlecone pines, scientists have built up a tree ring sequence that goes back 6400 years. We have to toss out paleontology and anthropology, because they claim that the earth and fossils are older than the 6000 year Biblical cut off. We have to toss out cosmology and astronomy, even though there is a huge amount of mathematical evidence that explains how galaxies are formed, how stars can be long lived or short lived depending on their composition. We have to throw out physics because how can we see the Andromeda galaxy, which is 2 million light years away if the universe isn’t that old? The speed of light must be incorrect.


Teach ID in religion class…. ID is a recent product, why should it be on the same plane as evolution?

The study of genetics is more of a complication for evolution than a support, since it makes clear that no adaptations to the environment are inherited by younger generations unless the genes are modified to support it. Which means evolution can only proceed by genetic mutation. However, genetic mutations are both rare, and overwhelmingly harmful.

Tack that on to the fact that some body parts or organs are irreducibly complex, and it’s clear that those things can only evolve when all required genetic mutations come together.

That’s not true; a virus that adapts and is able to survive a treatment meant to kill it would beg to differ. Viruses regularly co-op host cells and use it’s genetic material to replicate more copies of said virus. You can modify or insert genetic code; it’s not set in stone. The fact that there is ‘legacy’ DNA and that the amount of DNA doesn’t correspond to an organism’s complexity, (the so called ‘C-value paradox’), should give IDers pause. There is an enormous amount of DNA that is not used in every organism and unbelievable as it may seem, tulips, onions and wheat have more DNA per cell than humans do.

Behe has even admitted that there could be evolutionary lineages for the eye. Several species, such as the nautilus, have a primitive precursor to our eye. I know Behe has problems with our photoreceptor cells but in many ways our eyes are far less complex than many people think. Our eyes are not very high resolution and in fact, our brain does an amazing amount of processing and pattern matching to give us the images we ‘see’. There are 12 different snapshots that the eye takes; one such snapshot, concerns itself with edges of an object, and so on (for a fascinating book on how our scientific knowledge is leading up towards a technological ‘singularity’, I recommend Kurzweil’s book, “The Singularity is Near”). I reject the notion that an eye is irreducibly complex. Similarly, I reject that blood clotting is an example of IC (various animals, including the whale, also a mammal, lack a key factor but their blood still clots).

With regard to Biblical references, two of the things I love the most about it are the parables and inherent wisdom in Christ’s teachings. Does anyone SERIOUSLY think, however, that you need to take a log out of your eye before you take a speck out of another’s, literally?

Saying that some people believe the Bible literally seems to be meant as a put-down. I would imagine there are very few people who literally take every word literally. When Jesus said, “I am the Bread of Life,” I don’t think you’ll find anyone who thinks you must take Jesus out of the oven and spread a little butter on Him.

No, thanks for the funny visual. =) Apacalyps seems intent on taking everything literally (despite the fact that the Bible never mentions a 24 hour day, he says the Bible is absolutely clear on this point).

It seems to me rather foolish to cut short such questions, as if it’s more important to preserve the theory of evolution unchanged rather than actually answer those questions.

I don’t think we’re cutting short the discussion. Science is all about evidence; directly or supporting from other areas (such as math), and ID doesn’t contain any of that. Also, a simple search on Alta Vista shows that despite it’s youth, a simple search for ‘irreducible complexity’ results in 1.4 million hits and ‘intelligent design’ 90.6 million hits; it is being discussed and bandied about. Asking questions alone doesn’t disqualify a scientific theory.

Perhaps the relationship between ID and creationism is similar to the relationship between evolution and atheism?

Perhaps, but that still doesn’t explain why many people on this thread extend this discussion to the 6000 year old earth. That age was calculated by a priest (?) hundreds of years ago, if I’m not mistaken. It’s not Biblical, is it? It’s been a long time since I’ve read all of the Old Testament, so tell me if this isn’t so (I’m reading the Gospels currently, not as enamoured with the Old Testament).

Yes, evolution is a theory. Unfortunately, many evolutionists forget that…

That alone isn’t sufficient an excuse to ‘punish’ evolution because some believers get pushy.

But when we talk about a complex structure developing by evolution, there is no DNA for a species that does not yet exist. It seems unreasonable to think the evolution would have occurred without some corollary to DNA that directs the process of evolution.

See my point earlier about ‘species’ being a man-created classification system; you’re putting too much emphasis on the word.

The gaping hole in the theory of evolution is not really the origin of life or the origin of “irreducibly complex” structures. The gaping hole is its dependence on random mutations over incredibly long periods of time. The origin of life and the origin of “irreducibly complex” structures just highlights two cases where random mutations are clearly inadequate.

I’ve discussed the problem with irreducible complexity earlier, but we can see changes in humans in just the pass few hundred years (we’ve gotten taller), and eye colour (blue and green eyes are a mutation of brown).

No takers on the delta of the Colorado River, which many of you said proved, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that the Biblical version of the flood was real? Since the Valles Marineris on Mars is larger and deeper than the Grand Canyon, what caused it? A Martian flood?

Something else to think about; one of the whale’s closest DNA relatives is… the hippopotamus.

BTW, Red Pill, I think you were banned not because Allah is an atheist and you’re a Christian, but because you spammed a thread. I don’t think religion has anything to do with it.

linlithgow on April 25, 2008 at 12:35 PM

We receive many positive and supportive emails. Readers and visitors continue to send us stories of deconversion, a new understanding of reason and science, and a positive change of direction in their lives.

-Richard Dawkins

“Deconversion” = leading people away from the true God to the god of this earth (Satan).

How about a conversion instead of a deconversion?

Paul Recounts His Conversion

“While thus occupied, as I journeyed to Damascus with authority and commission from the chief priests, at midday, O king, along the road I saw a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, shining around me and those who journeyed with me. And when we all had fallen to the ground, I heard a voice speaking to me and saying in the Hebrew language, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.’ So I said, ‘Who are You, Lord?’ And He said, ‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. But rise and stand on your feet; for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to make you a minister and a witness both of the things which you have seen and of the things which I will yet reveal to you. I will deliver you from the Jewish people, as well as from the Gentiles, to whom I now send you, to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me.’

Acts 26:12-18

Could it be that Dawkins is one of the people to whom the following verse applies?

For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.
Matthew 24:24

Red Pill on April 26, 2008 at 4:41 AM

We receive many positive and supportive emails. Readers and visitors continue to send us stories of deconversion, a new understanding of reason and science, and a positive change of direction in their lives.

-Richard Dawkins

Red Pill on April 26, 2008 at 4:43 AM

“Deconversion” = leading people away from the true God to the god of this earth (Satan).

Red Pill on April 26, 2008 at 4:44 AM

How about a conversion instead of a deconversion?

Paul Recounts His Conversion

“While thus occupied, as I journeyed to Damascus with authority and commission from the chief priests, at midday, O king, along the road I saw a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, shining around me and those who journeyed with me. And when we all had fallen to the ground, I heard a voice speaking to me and saying in the Hebrew language, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.’ So I said, ‘Who are You, Lord?’ And He said, ‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. But rise and stand on your feet; for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to make you a minister and a witness both of the things which you have seen and of the things which I will yet reveal to you. I will deliver you from the Jewish people, as well as from the Gentiles, to whom I now send you, to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me.’

Acts 26:12-18

Red Pill on April 26, 2008 at 4:44 AM

Could it be that Dawkins is one of the people to whom the following verse applies?

For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.
Matthew 24:24

Red Pill on April 26, 2008 at 4:44 AM

A Darwinist would claim you could begat it all the way back to a squirrel, and beyond. But that’s a different thread :-)

dedalus on April 25, 2008 at 5:24 PM

I challenge you to show me a single example of one species begetting another species that is able to reproduce.

Everything in creation yields seed according to its kind. Apple trees yield apples containing apple seeds which yield more apple trees…
Humans yield sperm and egg cells, which when joined together yield more humans.

A species never yields seed of a different species.

Genetic mutations are overwhelmingly detrimental.

I’d like to see an analysis of the DNA of the two simplest animal life forms known to man, and compare how many positive mutations would have to happen for the simplest life form to “evolve” into the next higher life form.

Red Pill on April 26, 2008 at 5:54 AM

A species never yields seed of a different species.

That’s a straw man… we’re not talking about sudden changes like a cat giving birth to a dog, we’re talking about slight differences that would be occurring over many thousands or even millions of generations to produce major changes over time.

Genetic mutations are overwhelmingly detrimental.

That may be so, but the differences that prove themselves to be the most useful (or the least detrimental) will have a greater tendency to survive and be passed on. Saying that mutation is mostly bad doesn’t mean that it can’t ever lead to anything good.

By the way, nice to see you posting on-topic again.

Watcher on April 26, 2008 at 3:22 PM

People who support free and open debate of Intelligent Design vs. Darwinian Evolution are not Anti-Science.

However, the people in power over today’s Scientific community are Anti- free and open debate of Intelligent Design vs. Darwinian Evolution.

Red Pill on April 26, 2008 at 9:54 PM

Watcher on April 26, 2008 at 3:22 PM

Here’s some homework for you:

1) Report back on what are the two simplest life forms known to man.

2) Report back on how many mutations would be required to change from the simplest life form to the next simplest life form.

3) Report back on the probability of all of those positive mutations happening, given that positive mutations are very rare, without any life-threatening negative mutations happening along the way.

Red Pill on April 26, 2008 at 9:58 PM

Red Pill on April 26, 2008 at 9:54 PM

In essence, we (ID supporters) tolerate them (Darwinists), but they don’t tolerate us.

Yet they call us “Agents of Intolerance”.

A truthful witness gives honest testimony,
but a false witness tells lies.
Proverbs 12:17

They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.
Romans 1:25

Red Pill on April 26, 2008 at 10:04 PM

Here’s some homework for you:

1) Report back on what are the two simplest life forms known to man.

2) Report back on how many mutations would be required to change from the simplest life form to the next simplest life form.

3) Report back on the probability of all of those positive mutations happening, given that positive mutations are very rare, without any life-threatening negative mutations happening along the way.

As chance would have it, I’m actually not a microbiologist… I can’t give you specific numbers on how many mutations it would take to jump from one form of life to another. I do know that when you are dealing with an organism that does nothing but eat and churn out as many copies of itself as it can, at some point those “copies” are eventually going to become noticeably different from the original… especially after a billion years or so have passed.

Before you start handing out homework, it would be nice if you would stop spamming the thread long enough to actually read my last response to you. You keep insisting on trying to create a false choice between no mutations at all and a series of only good mutations… I already agreed with you that detrimental mutations happen all the time, it’s just that the beneficial ones have the greater tendency to be passed on and kept within the gene pool.

Watcher on April 27, 2008 at 3:24 AM

…at some point those “copies” are eventually going to become noticeably different from the original… especially after a billion years or so have passed… detrimental mutations happen all the time, it’s just that the beneficial ones have the greater tendency to be passed on and kept within the gene pool.
Watcher on April 27, 2008 at 3:24 AM

What about the scientific evidence that a billion years haven’t passed?

Red Pill on April 28, 2008 at 10:39 AM

Red Pill, that link is just silly.

You criticise c-14 dating because several things have to be ‘true’ (including decay rates) in order for it to work, but you don’t prove any of them AREN’T true, then you post a link to where someone makes an assumption about how quickly the sun has burned through its fuel, with NO SCIENTIFIC STUDY cited!

Instead of waving things around why don’t you start publishing links and studies. Better yet, why don’t you answer some of the questions I posed in my thread above, or don’t they have a web site that answers my challenges up yet?

linlithgow on April 28, 2008 at 3:25 PM

linlithgow,
I might have interest in answering your questions after you answer mine:

1) What are the two simplest life forms known to man?

2) How many mutations would be required to change from the simplest life form to the next simplest life form?

3) What is the probability of all of those positive mutations happening, given that positive mutations are very rare?

Red Pill on May 1, 2008 at 12:34 AM

Red Pill-

I’ve got a about 3 billion years to play around with, so take your time. If you were so sure of your position, you should be able to do something better than “I know I am but what are you?”

Since you think you know the answers and feel they prove your point, why don’t you answer? You and others keep bandying around phrases like ‘it’s impossible’ but I don’t see any numbers, any data, NOTHING. You’re attempting to narrow this discussion not to any germane issue but by creating arbitrary questions that don’t disprove evolution but they’re the only straws you can grasp at.

Where is your evidence that positive mutations are rare? As I’ve stated, it happens EVERY DAY when viruses defy our medicine. It only takes one positive one for an organism to be more adapted to their environment. Show me the numbers.

Similarly, since people say it’s statistically impossible, show me how its impossible for advanced creatures (us) to have developed over BILLIONS of years and all the possible attendant mutations.

I don’t have to prove anything as I’ve stated; it’s incumbent on challengers to offer alternatives supported by empirical evidence and you can’t. Funny how everyone was bandying about the Colorado River Delta and when I disprove it with evidence and photos, you blithely ignore it and try to deflect attention to me, as if I haven’t provided readers with a veritable cornucopia of food for thought. Pitiful, really.

linlithgow on May 2, 2008 at 2:03 AM

It’s quite clear that the Darwinists want the last word on this post.

It is incumbent on anyone who wants to put forward a theory as “science” to follow the scientific method to test that theory and provide evidence of that theory.

The fact is that supporters of the Darwinian Theory of Evolution do not follow the scientific method to test the theory and provide evidence of the theory. They attempt to squash any competing theory of our origins, whether that be Biblical Creationism or the more general theory of Intelligent Design.

When asked how the first life came to be, supporters of the Darwinian Theory of Evolution do not have a scientific answer.

When asked how many mutations would be required to change from the simplest life form to the next simplest life form, supporters of the Darwinian Theory of Evolution do not have a scientific answer.

Multiple historical “proofs” of the Darwinian Theory of Evolution have been proven to be frauds.

Yet the supporters of the Darwinian Theory of Evolution accept it as “fact” in exactly the same way that supporters of the Al Gorian Theory of Anthropogenic Global Warming accept it as “fact”. Both are equally Junk Science. Yet the supporters of the Darwinian Theory of Evolution think that we should all accept it as fact, and “it’s incumbent on challengers to offer alternatives supported by empirical evidence”. How about offering some hard science to prove your theory?

Until you do, expect this debate to continue and spread. Today’s students don’t like being told what to think without any evidence to back it up. The competing theories of our origins will be openly debated, and students will make up their own minds. The debate isn’t over, it’s just beginning…

Sincerely,
Red Pill

P.S. Re: The Colorado River Delta, what you showed, in comparison to the volume of material missing from the Grand Canyon, is pitiful, really.

Red Pill on May 3, 2008 at 7:15 PM

Probably my last post on this, seems it doesn’t seem to sink in with you.

1. The Grand Canyon was formed over millions of years. The material from that lengthy erosion isn’t just going to stay there. That’s silly. Also, when you tried to use the Grand Canyon as proof of the flood, you didn’t say there wasn’t enough material; you said there was NO DELTA. I showed you there was, and now you are finessing your previous comment.

2. You keep saying things like “Multiple historical “proofs” of the Darwinian Theory of Evolution have been proven to be frauds” but you don’t show any evidence or instances. I believe I dealt with Piltdown man in a previous post, and if you read my post, I give you numerous opportunities to refute specific points I made supporting evolution and dislodging your contentions. I even did a bit of brush up on people like Behe and pointed out that he now grudgingly admits there could be an evolutionary path for the eye and deal specifically with a lot of what you IDers claim are the Holy Grails proving your point and you ignore my comments.

3. You’re trying to define and hinge the veracity of the theory of evolution on some pre-constructed irrelevant questions you’ve contrived, such as: “how many mutations would be required to change from the simplest life form to the next simplest life form”. It’s a moot and stupid question. How does that prove anything? Evolution was billions of years in the making and with 3 billion base pairs, there isn’t enough computing power in the world to process that data. Heck, we have trouble with predictive global weather patterns because of the computing power needed. I’d like to know how the number of mutations it takes to make a human being is germane. If it’s 147,990,859,454,387,422 and not 147,990,859,454,387 what does that prove? Your question is just silly. I’ve seen people on this thread say it’s statistically impossible and I have repeatedly asked for references for that and been met with resounding silence which brings me to …

4) I have specifically addressed and successfully countered many of the vagaries on your side of the discussion in an attempt to move it to a more scientific realm and away from baseless accusations, to which no one, including you, have countered with rebuttals of substance or fact. Your inane comment that somehow the delta of the Colorado River doesn’t contain enough materials to prove erosion (and you don’t even phrase it that way), isn’t scientific and doesn’t prove your contention and I even mentioned the Valles Marineris as a bonus.

Again, you’re just making baseless assumptions (of what you think a delta would/should look like), and because it doesn’t fit your fantasy you shake your head but you don’t PROVE anything, you have no scientific background and don’t care for it, apparently. How can you possibly be expected to be taken seriously on this board, never mind in the academic/scientific world, when your best argument isn’t an example but a feeling or a thought and not something measurable, observable or experimental in nature.

I say the eye isn’t an example of IC, talk about Behe’s admission, about how we see, about simplified examples of our eyes in other creatures and no one discusses that. I mention that we have a lot of unused genetic material and no one responds. I mention how other species clot without having the same biological composition we do and there’s silence. Instead you answer me with a silly question that’s not even pertinent. I thought you wanted a debate about ideas and were interested in the other side; didn’t realise you’d keep your fingers in your ears and repeat the same similar questions and baseless accusations over and over again, regardless.

It’s too bad you just recite the mantra, I guess hoping it will make it true. It doesn’t. Again, I also don’t have to prove anything; evolution has been worked on, discussed, dissected, refined for over a hundred years; it’s seen tens of thousands of eyes and nowadays a handful of people have some qualms about it, so we should just toss it based on their unscientific say so? Unbelievable.

Talk about science being a religion; ID has become the latest sect.

linlithgow on May 14, 2008 at 2:42 PM

can’t let an evolutionist get the last word..

DaveC on May 19, 2008 at 5:52 PM

CLOSED

malan89 on May 22, 2008 at 6:32 PM

Okay

DaveC on May 26, 2008 at 11:16 AM

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