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Saturday, April 19, 2008

EXPELLED Panned by Critics! Surprised?

The reviews are coming in and we have a dichotomy of opinion on just what Ben Stein’s documentary has to say and how convincingly he says it. Well, there is no surprise in the fact that the MSM and the atheist blogs are all panning the film as unscientific, biased, sleazy, exasperating(Entertainment Weekly), "… a conspiracy-theory rant masquerading as investigative inquiry." (New York Times), an “insulting propaganda piece …" (TV Guide), "Bizarre and hysterical." (Village Voice).


It is interesting that with the opening of “An Inconvenient Truth,” Al Gore’s ridiculous attempt to play a scientist, every one of these same reviewers had nothing but praise and “gratitude” for The Goracle’s efforts.

The film received a positive reaction from critics. It garnered a 'certified fresh' 93% rating at Rotten Tomatoes (as of May 21, 2007), with a 94% rating from the 'Cream of the Crop' reviewers. Film critics Roger Ebert and Richard Roeper gave the film 'two thumbs up'. Ebert wrote: 'In 39 years, I have never written these words in a movie review, but here they are: You owe it to yourself to see this film. If you do not, and you have grandchildren, you should explain to them why you decided not to.’ (quoted from Wikipedia)

But when actual scientists spoke about the movie we heard an entirely different point of view. Richard Lindzen, as MIT professor of meteorology, Roy Spencer (Senior Scientist for Climate Studies at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.), Timothy Ball (retired professor of climatology, University of Winnipeg) were some of the more vocal critics. William Gray , Emeritus Professor of Atmospheric Science at Colorado State University (CSU), wrote after viewing the movie, ‘We're brainwashing our children. They're going to the Gore movie An Inconvenient Truth and being fed all this. It's ridiculous…This is slick propaganda.’ Following the remarks by actual scientists even the NYT had to backpedal a little reporting that many scientists "argue that some of Mr. Gore’s central points are exaggerated and erroneous." Really? What are the chances the MSM critics have it wrong again?

The fact that the MSM and the atheist blogs are so defensive and visceral in their condemnation of “EXPELLED” might be further evidence of the very point that Stein attempts to make in his film. Ben Stein will be vilified, mocked, intimidated and rejected for his audacity in asking the forbidden question. The Religious Left finds its prime doctrine threatened and reacts predictably.

David Berg has written his review on National Review on-line. He sees the film not so much about the debate on evolution or even Intelligent Design, but about intellectual freedom:

The film’s endeavor is to respond to one simple question: “Were we designed, or are we simply the end result of an ancient mud puddle struck by lightning?”

Big science doesn’t like that question because they can’t answer it. Underneath their antagonism toward explanations that suggest an intelligent cause, lies a fundamental egoism. Science wants to deny any evidence of a supreme being precisely because it wants to be a supreme being. Moreover, representatives of big science in the film are unsettlingly snippy, suggesting that they feel threatened by rival opinions, rather than assured of their own.

[...]

“In the end, the film isn’t really about intelligent design as much as about a relentless attack on an authentically free inquiry. As Ben Stein points out, “Freedom of inquiry has been greatly compromised, and this is not only anti-American, it’s anti-science. It’s anti-the whole concept of learning.”


49 comments:

anziulewicz said...

Granted, Ben Stein's movie is the new evangelical rallying point. Churches groups are flocking to theaters much like they did for Mel Gibson's "The Passion," Christian publications and websites are singing its praises, and of course columnists like this one see the film as an innocuous effort to broaden the debate over the origins of life on Earth.

But "Intelligent Design" as SCIENCE? Puh-LEEZE. If anything "Intelligent Design" is the complete ANTITHESIS of science. It begins with a supposition, that some intelligent being (i.e. probably the Judeo-Christian "GOD") is responsible for all of creation and life on Earth, and then works BACKWARD from there. Anything that does not support that original supposition is to be discredited and discarded. Scientific research is pointless because the existence of this "GOD" is neither provable nor disprovable. So we might as well throw up our hands and open our Bibles!

So what, exactly, does Ben Stein believe? He has made it clear in interviews that his allegiance is with the Judeo-Christian concept of "GOD" as the Creator of all things. So I wonder, is it conceivable to Stein that God simply used evolution, as scientists understand it, as the means to the end? Well, apparently Stein doesn't want to go THAT far. That would be "theistic evolution," which is anathema to the "Intelligent Design" people. So is Stein a "Young Earth" or an "Old Earth" creationist? Apparently he isn't saying. But one thing I know for sure: If all the church groups in America have anything to say about, he'll be laughing all the way to the bank.

Jeff Clement said...

This film is not about "intellectual freedom". This film is a propaganda film trying to push Intelligent Design as a scientific theory and it is not.

In order for science to work there are very particular and stringent requirements. Science is the study of the natural world and, by necessity, does not venture into the supernatural. A scientific theory must be falsifiable and it must be testable. Intelligent Design is neither. It is simply a ploy at pushing religion into mainstream science where it has no right to be.

So, while it is perfectly fine for people to believe in creationism, please realize that until a theory is presented that conforms to the tenets of science, creationism (or I.D.) should not be considered a science.

This film is pure propaganda and I hope that most of your readers would see this.

Bob Ellis said...

Jeff, did you know that Darwinism, materialism and naturalism (what otherwise passes itself off as "science" these days" doesn't conform to the tenets of science? They are impossible according to their own framework.

Anonymous said...

"The fact that the MSM and the atheist blogs are so defensive and visceral in their condemnation of “EXPELLED” might be further evidence of the very point that Stein attempts to make in his film."

Surely you can't be serious.

MSM and atheist blogs are defensive and visceral because the movie is a complete fabrication based on lies and, at best, half-truths. The only reason why some Christians are praising the film is because they are just as deluded and ignorant as Ben Stein.

Anonymous said...

Isn't it ironic that the liberals who commented on here who are supposed to be the biggest proponents of academic freedom and free thought are the most close minded of all. Why not let scientists who want to pursue this do so? What harm can come of that? If there is actual science involved, it will eventually be recognized as such. Why comment on the movie when you haven't even seen it? Rank hypocracy!

Anonymous said...

Regarding "An inconvenient truth", none of the scientists quoted are leaders in the field of climatology. Lindzen was once a respected scientist, but he stopped doing science long ago and instead has taken to publishing op/ed puff pieces instead of peer-reviewed journal articles.

William Gray is not taken seriously in the climatology community. His expertise is very narrowly focused -- short term hurricane prediction. He has absolutely no expertise in climatology. Spencer, likewise, has a very narrow range of expertise which he regularly steps outside of when he criticizes the science behind global warming.

If you want to find out what climate-scientists really think of Gore's movie, you need to talk to current active researchers who are truly leaders in the field, like the scientists at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

And here's a statement from Scripps regarding Gore's movie: http://scrippsnews.ucsd.edu/Releases/?releaseID=734

Likewise, with evolution, you need to talk to current active researchers who are publishing in the peer-reviewed literature, not disgruntled has-beens who aren't doing any research in the field.

Anonymous said...

I am pleasantly surprised that critics have seen through the flimsy arguments of this propaganda piece. If and when intelligent design makes some contribution to science, it will be recognized, funded, and pursued. The creationsists need to lay out a program of falsifiable experiments before they complain about not being funded. Why should they be different than anyone else who wants to be a scientist?

Bob Ellis said...

Why all the angst over a different scientific point of view when the flimsy arguments of evolution get a pass?

Evolution theory is a philosophical idea, not science. It contends the universe came to exist in the state we now observe by completely naturalistic causes, refusing to even consider supernatural causation.

Since when did "science" involve an approach which refuses to consider evidence simply because that evidence doesn't fit the philosophical bias of the scientist?

Anonymous said...


Why all the angst over a different scientific point of view when the flimsy arguments of evolution get a pass?


Bob,

To find out how solid the science is behind evolution, try visiting the web-sites of some of America's most prestigious research institions, like http://salk.edu (founded by Nobel Laureate and polio vaccine developer Jonas Salk), http://scripps.edu, http://caltech.edu, http://stanford.edu, etc. Nearly all these web-sites have convenient search facilities. Do a search on "evolution" and you'll be buried in a mountain of scientific information about the subject. Try the same for "intelligent design" and you'll see virtually nothing.

Valerie said...

Atheistic Evolution is an untestable, pseudoscientific hypothesis. There is no designer because we have not found one? That's not science--and it appears to be rapidly evolving into an intolerant religion.

Bob Ellis said...

That didn't answer my semi-rhetorical question, Anonymous: evolution's arguments are flimsy.

The only reason you won't find creation theory or ID theory listed in these venues is because they don't fit the philosophical bias of those who control the scientific marketplace of ideas.

I used to believe in evolution...until I found out that many of its arguments simply won't stand up. They won't even stand up within their own framework; even they require supernatural forces in order to work--something considered taboo if the theory points to an intelligent supernatural cause.

Science is the examination of the universe; it is what it is. When we make philosophical theories about the nature of the universe (which might be said of evolution, Darwinism, naturalism, materialism, creationism, or intelligent design), we move away from the facts and toward worldview assumptions.

Ironically, the supposedly "closed minded" creationists will usually admit they start from a philosophical predisposition, while the supposedly "objective" evolutionists are as blind as bats toward their own bias.

It's a real laugh, sometimes, watching adherents to the religion of evolution get in a lather over creation or ID, while remaining utterly blind not only to the impossibility of their own arguments, but their very bias itself.

Anonymous said...

Hey Bob,

So how's that tin-foil hat working out for you?

Theophrastus Bombastus said...

"EXPELLED" explains very well why the literature in replete with articles in support of evolution, and nary a mention of design or creation, except to ridicule.

Dawkins, et al somehow keep a straight face as they ruminate about panspermia, punctuated equilibrium, abiogenesis or life on Mars; all of which are ideas come of whole cloth--no evidence, no testable hypothesis. Yet these are the science experts who claim that evidence for design MUST be wrong, for no other reason than they say so.

Bob Ellis said...

Anonymous, I took off the tin foil hat when I quit believing the silly ideas contained in the theory of evolution.

I've since moved on to theories which makes much more sense, and aren't impossible within their own framework. You should try it sometime.

la Rana said...

Bob,

I'm sorry you are so convinced evolution is wrong. Everything we have ever discovered on this earth conforms to the theory. On teh other hand, there is no material evidence for ID. Zero. Evolution can make predictions, ID cannot. Evolution is testable, ID is not. It is really quite simple.

Scientists are closed minded about ID in the same way they are close-minded about Elvis still being alive and the world being flat. I'm afraid knowledge about the world we inhabit has passed you by.

As for the stupid article above, he implies that somehow scientists will show the critics to be wrong again, and offers as tentative evidence of this an article written by someone who writes jokes for Leno. Seriously?

This is not an ideological, political, or religious battle people. This is about observing the world around us, and developing explanations that conform to everything we can observe. In this regard, the theory of evolution is no different from the theory of gravity one divines from Einsteinian physics. There is no debate.

Bob Ellis said...

la rana, you seem to be heavily ideologically or religiously invested in the theory of evolution, so I doubt I'll change your mind.

But simply to set the record straight, while many scientific discoveries can be interpreted to conform to the theory of evolution, at least an equal number can be interpreted to conform to creation and ID theories. In fact, there are a number of discoveries since Darwin's time that prove his theory is untenable, and some that illustrate that every variation of his theory is untenable.

You can't get matter from nothing. You can't get life from lifelessness. You don't get new genetic information out of mutations. Matter and biological organisms don't organize themselves into higher states of complexity; instead, they tend toward disorganization.

For materialism and naturalism to work, they MUST have causes and help from things which simply do not exist according to the laws of the universe...and if they have help from supernatural sources, they are by definition no longer materialism and naturalism; they may or many not be intelligently designed, but they certainly do not fit within the framework of materialism and naturalism. These theories, which encompass evolution, are therefore unworkable within their own framework.

Creation and ID, however, don't have these problems. Thus, evolution is nonsensical and impossible, while creation and ID are the most likely vehicles for explaining the origins of the universe.

Those who have staked their philosophical and religious futures on the hopes that evolution is true desperately fight the growing understanding that evolution is a crumbling house of cards.

At the risk of patting myself on the back, at least I had the intellectual honesty and integrity to abandon evolution theory when I realized that not only were their scientifically viable creation theories, but that evolution theory is simply IMPOSSIBLE.

Why can't so many others have that same intellectual integrity? Because they are more devoted to their religion of atheism than to the truth itself.

la Rana said...

I'll happily and readily admit that I believe the theory of evolution, but that is because it is overwhelmingly supported by the evidence. The corollary to that statement is that if any evidence surfaced that was actually incompatible with evolution, or suggested a "better" theory, I would change my mind. So far that has not happened.

You say there have been discoveries that disprove or at least cast doubt on evolution. Let's take them one by one.

"You can't get life from lifelessness." Whether or not this is true, evolution only contends to explain the course of life after it was begun.

"You don't get new genetic information out of mutations." This depends on what you mean by "new." The molecular components of DNA don't change into any "new" substance, but their arrangement is certainly "new" in the sense it is different from the previous arrangement. The "new" arrangement of DNA is then manifested in "new" biological processes, structures, substances, or whatever the DNA code compels.

"Matter and biological organisms don't organize themselves into higher states of complexity; instead, they tend toward disorganization." This is simply false. The fossil record, when analyzed through radiometric dating, shows that complex life followed less-complex life. Further, it has actually been demonstrated ad infinitum in the lab. Every day, scientists somewhere are manipulating the evolution of (e.g.) bacteria to produce more complex forms of increasing organization. The clear trend is literally the opposite of your perception, and this statement is supportable by looking at literally any scientific work on evolution. You saying otherwise doesn't convince me.

"For materialism and naturalism to work, they MUST have causes" We can stop right there, because as I said before, evolution ONLY concerns what took place/takes place after life comes into creation. Abiogenesis is a fascinating field of inquiry, but one that is entirely distinct from evolution.

"Creation and ID, however, don't have these problems." As I've just shown, you have not demonstrated any "problems." All you have done is make unsubstantiated claims or erroneous assertions. You can yell all day that the world is flat, but no one is going to believe you.

Creation and ID have other problems. Like the original cause. Or conforming to what the fossil record, geology, radiometric dating, molecular biology, genetics, etc, etc. tell us about the world.

You don't appear to have any idea what you are talking about, yet you feel no shame in patting yourself on the back. Call that intellectual honesty if you want. In every other field, concerning every other aspect of our lives on this planet, its called something else. Ignorance.

Anonymous said...

"Isn't it ironic that the liberals who commented on here who are supposed to be the biggest proponents of academic freedom and free thought are the most close minded of all. Why not let scientists who want to pursue this do so? What harm can come of that? If there is actual science involved, it will eventually be recognized as such. Why comment on the movie when you haven't even seen it? Rank hypocracy!"


Not really. ID proponents have all the freedom of the USA at their disposal to pursue their beliefs. The problem comes when they want their beliefs taught in school before coming up with anything so show for all their hard work in the field. Their beliefs, their "science", need to be held to the same standards as evolutionary theory. Not different standards, the same. When there is enough compelling evidence to show ID is science and can be treated as such then you will have something.

MMVIII said...

All the evidence confirms evolution, and has ever since Darwin first observed it.

Those attempting to keep a controversy alive do so with a political agenda.

Shameful, and a disservice to science and fundamental public education.

When will the dumbing-down of America end ?

Wayne said...

Freedom of inquiry? Are you kidding? Anyone is free to inquire whether evolution is a valid theory or whether intelligent design is supported by the evidence. But what ID supporters want isn't freedom of inquiry. What they want is to replace evolution with intelligent design, but without all the hassle of actually having to do the science, to make a valid scientific case for design. They want the scientific community to embrace their "theory" on faith, the way they have. Freedom of inquiry? What a joke! They had their chance to make the case for intelligent design in Dover and they couldn't even convince a sympathetic, Bush appointed judge that they had a valid theory, yet they expect real scientists (like they aspire to be but aren't) to accept their unsupported claims? Shameless liars.

Bob Ellis said...

la Rana, evolution is only loosely supported by the evidence.

It's true that "evolution" purports to explain life after it has initially begun, but with a few exceptions, discussions of evolution usually include an acceptance of both materialism and naturalism--in other words, causes for both life and matter itself with no supernatural causation.

Materialism is impossible within its own framework because we know that according to the laws of nature matter doesn't come from nothing.

Moving on a step, we also know that life does not spring from lifelessness. This was initially proven by Pasteur and Mendel, and life from lifeless material has never been observed (observation is just a teeny bit important to "science").

Mutations virtually always involve negative reordering of genetic material; even when the mutations can be seen as beneficial, other genetic information and flexibility is compromised, resulting in an overall negative result.

I reiterate: matter and biological organisms do NOT organize themselves into higher states of order. The fossil record can be interpreted to support evolution...just as it can be interpreted to support creation theory.

And radiometric dating is itself a guessing game based on a multitude of assumptions that are unverifiable. In fact, many verifiably erroneous radiometric dates have been returned (Mount St Helens lava dome and several others). If we've seen rock form, and that rock is radiometrically dated at millions of years...well, either we're imagining things when we saw the rock form, or radiometric dating is fundamentally unreliable--which it is. As is C14, which has dated living organic material at thousands of years old. Assumptions involve a uniform rate of decay, uncontaminated specimens , etc. which even over the course of a hundred years is hard to verify, much less the theoretical millions or billions of years. Radiometric dating is so full of holes it's useless.

Though I've already identified some of those "problems" you seem to have missed in my last comment, here's another, related to the organization of matter: stars and planets cannot form according to the laws of nature. They need something to compress them...but what did that when there was nothing? And when has science observed matter coalescing and compressing into solid matter--much less matter with nuclear reaction--without the benefit of an external force? That dog don't hunt, either.

You're welcome to cling to your religious beliefs about evolution (because it takes at least as much faith to believe that as it does to believe creation science), but if you let go of your bias and examine it objectively, you'll find it has bigger holes in it than the Titanic.

Theophrastus Bombastus said...

Those of you that are so certain that you have everything you need in the theory of evolution are simply uninformed and apparently content in your ignorance.

The complexities of life are so far beyond your imagination that it is no great feat to imagine a protein here and a enzyme there and, presto, you've got a pianist from a protozoan. Amazing what random chance can do!

Have you ever considered what the fossil record is and how it formed? There is no gradualist theory to account for it. Catastrophism is the only possible explanation, such as massive floods. How does a five hundred square mile sedimentary bed contain literally billions of fossil herrings, all deposited in the same layer, stacked like cordwood and all facing the same direction? How do petrified trees by the thousands stand upright and extend through geological deposits that are claimed to span 1.5 billion years? Do trees live that long?
How did the trilobite eye, the most complex eye in all of nature, come into existence in the Cambrian period, at the very beginning of evolutionary history? How did sexual reproduction get started? Would that have required the fortuitous evolution of both the male and female organism in the same place and same time? How likely is that?

Darwin's theories are 19th century postulations, based on almost total ignorance of life and this is what some people defend, but that's all they've got. The alternative is just...well...unthinkable!

la Rana said...

Bob,

You are simply ill-informed. If this is by accident, then shame on our education system. If it's on purpose, then shame on you. For once again you have made unsupported and glaringly erroneous assertions, then declared yourself correct. Once again, I'll take the time to correct you.

Evolution is the subject. Evolution does not involve, in any way, the origin of the universe or the origin of life on this planet. Simply because your "discussions" are not usually limited to a single subject at a time does not mean that you can refute one theory with the problems faced by another. This is intellectually lazy, dishonest, and of no value. All of your claims about materialism, naturalism, and "life from lifelessness" are of this variety. They are therefore ancillary to the question at hand (evolution) and will be ignored (as they should be by any rigorous thinker curious about the solution to a problem).

"Mutations virtually always involve negative reordering of genetic material; even when the mutations can be seen as beneficial, other genetic information and flexibility is compromised, resulting in an overall negative result." Bob. This is stupid. It is stupid because if you had done any research whatsoever on evolution you would know that this claim is simply factually incorrect. Although it may seem intuitive for mutations to "result in an overall negative result" (whatever that means), all of the scientific research that has been done over the past century comes to the opposite conclusion. Importantly, you have also confused the theory of evolution with the theory of natural selection. Read something about evolution. Learn why its important not to make that mistake.

"The fossil record can be interpreted to support . . . creation theory. On the basis of what information do you make this claim? Every geologist in the world, with the exception of (quite literally) a half dozen, would disagree.

"Radiometric dating is so full of holes it's useless. Again, I'm afraid your assertion does not make it so. Radiometric dating includes a number of methods, some of which have proven ineffective and are no longer in use (read about this if you'd like to learn how to disprove something). The methods in use are constantly subjected to criticism, but have proven effective.

There is a lot of science behind it. Read some Bob. You quite clearly are repeating uneducated lines from a creationist/ID website or book. Read the science yourself and you will see that the claims you are asserting are literally fabrications.

Then you wander into stars and planets again. I thought this simple, but I guess not: Cosmology is not evolution! Everytime you conflate the two you sound confused and uneducated. I descended from two parents, but I'd never confuse my dad's geneology with that of my mother's. This is the equivalent of what you are doing, but you are doing it on a much larger scale.

Last, you think belief in evolution is religious, when in fact its just the opposite. Religion is faith in the absence of evidence. Evolution, much to the contrary, is an explanation for the existence of evidence. You have managed to conflate two ideas whose approaches to truth are diametrically opposed. Kudos!

READ SOMETHING ABOUT EVOLUTION.

Bob Ellis said...

la Rana, you must be talking to a mirror when you talk of ignorance, because yours is glaring.

I understand why you would like to stop the examination of origins at the point of origin of life; there are enough problems going back that far, and going back further just multiplies them.

But that initial spark of life had to have a cause--what was it? And the elements that made up that life had to have an origin--what were those origins?

I was fairly well informed about evolution, naturalism and materialism when I believed in them, and am even more so now. I'm also fairly well informed on creation and ID. If you were half as informed, you'd recognize the relationship between matter and biology to which I've been referring.

Why don't you do some research and come back for further discussion.

Scott said...

la Rana implied intelligent design when she suggested that scientists manipulate the elements to create something more complex. Entropy is the order of the universe. Science simply ignores that and has simply opened the windows of a very complex world we live in and is not prepared to advance a modern day theory about what they have found so they simply hold onto and ancient explanations of a simpler time. Dawkins refers to a bibilcal God as if the understanding of God never changes like the belief in Darwinism never changes. Intellectual freedom is the point of the movie. Without it both the bible and darwin fail to advance the spirit and knowledge of humankind.

la Rana said...

If you think evolution involves random chance or the origins of life, or you think that scientists recreating what happens in nature implies a designer, you don't understand how evolution works. No human being who understands how evolutionary theory works, including Behe, Berlnski and the rest of the professional IDers, would ever make those kinds of mistakes. Ever. This means, despite your protestations, that you do not understand evolutionary theory (Bob. Look into yourself. You have never read a modern evolutionary text. After I demolished your specific claims you retreated to broad pablum. Next up "Evolution=bad, ID=good").

Here is one attempt at a lay-explanation:

Evolution by natural selection is dependent on random mutation. This is true, with the caveat that random mutations are a fact. This is where the randomness ends. Those mutations (among perhaps millions over millenia) that prove more amenable to procreation are passed down, precisely because they are more amenable to procreation. Some of these mutations are visible, some are not. Over the course of all this time, complex things like the eye (which appear to have been designed) are created. First there was a mutation for sensory perception of the outside world (plants, for instance), followed by a mutation for detecting lightness and darkness (not unlike an earthworm), followed by increasing clarity and ultimately what we would call "vision." The mutations themselves (as opposed to our experience of sensation/vision) involved an increasingly complex series of nerve and other cells. They got more complex as they imbued greater functionality (and greater likelihood of procreation) until voila, eyes. Like the empire state building, something complex and remarkable was really just made brick by brick. In evolution by natural selection, mutations beneficial to procreation are the bricks. Not every mutation is useful, mind you, most are garbage. But those precious few that prove useful for procreation, over millions of years, turn those bricks into a building. There is no "chance" involved.

Take the time to read something about evolution, written by someone who understands how its works. It's really quite remarkable.

I understand that other, tangential things like the creation of the universe and life are important questions. But for the love of humanity, stop letting the things we don't know get in the way of what we do.

Bob Ellis said...

la Rana, evolution is related to the origins of life, and related to the origins of the universe.

Is infancy unrelated to other stages of life? Is infancy unrelated to fetal development? Is fetal development unrelated to the conception of life? They are all related, and in the study of life you can't isolate one and say the other stages of life don't matter.

And as I said earlier, though technically it doesn't, the term "evolution" is commonly understood to encompass the entirety of origins.

The sad fact remains that from the Big Bang to cosmology to planetary biospheres to life to evolution, every single stage of the philosophy which assumes a lack of intelligent design contains insurmountable problems--problems that makes their claims impossible.

To ignore these problems and continue in faith that these theories are true makes Christian faith pale in comparison.

All the things you claim are known, true facts are in reality nothing but INTERPRETATIONS of facts.

This inability of most evolutionists to grasp this distinction is a common one, so you're not alone. Nevertheless, it's disappointing, because it makes rational discussion nearly impossible. If someone insists their ideas, theories, perceptions and interpretations are "facts," there's little room for intellectual growth.

And that's pretty much the entire point of EXPELLED.

Kiote said...

In reply to "I reiterate: matter and biological organisms do NOT organize themselves into higher states of order" - this statement is based on the second law of thermodynamics which states that entropy, a measure of randomness, cannot decrease in a closed system. Our planet is not a closed system (the sun provides continuous input of energy) so this argument doesn't really hold water.

Rejection of bad ideas isn't "closed mindedness". Even Fox hated this movie.

pillock said...

Thunderf00t blows Ben Stein's claims out of the water:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LsyCJJRK6IE

la Rana said...

Bob,

"evolution is related to the origins of life, and related to the origins of the universe . . . though technically it doesn't, the term "evolution" is commonly understood to encompass the entirety of origins."

Bob. I understand that you like to and/or enjoy talking about all of these things at once. I, too realize that it is all part of a contiguous system and before evolution began there must have been a beginning to the universe and beginning to life, neither of which we can currently explain (though its neat to think that science can already explain almost everything else in our universe). That is interesting. But you make a number of reasoning errors in thinking that they are inter-dependent, or that the failures of one field of science can be used to refute or question the conclusions of another field of science.

These are entirely independent ideas; evolution relies in no capacity on the manner in which life came into being on this earth (it even permits seeding by a god or panspermia, per Dawkin's joke). However life started, evolution is true. Likewise, the origins of the universe (which cosmologists can now calculate to an infinitesimally small point) do not impact the truth or falsity of evolution. Whatever theory of time and/or universes one has, evolution remains true. If you think nothing existed before the big bang, such that it doesn't even make sense to ask what happened before the big bang, evolution is true. If you think that there are multiple universes, as suggested by some explanations of quantum mechanics, evolution is true. If you think the big bang was a sort of renewal of universes, such that the previous came to the big crunch (as some think ours is headed toward), which then birthed our universe, evolution is true. And finally, but not least, if you think god set in motion the universe, or controlled the big bang in some way, evolution is true. That about covers all the possibilities, and evolution is unaffected, whichever one you choose (your deliberately vague pablum notwithstanding).

Furthermore, the very idea that one of these things will prove or disprove evolution because they are all part of the same contiguous system of matter is hopelessly flawed. I would start with your example, but you commit a large error in trying to create an analogy (error within and error, touche). The "conception of life" is a social matter. What we think of life, as humans, will affect how we proceed, with respect to life, in our society. It is not a physical law or theory, and therefore has no effect on the truth or validity of infancy or fetal development. Those latter two things will occur according to biological and physiological processes that we understand and can predict (in part because of our understanding of evolution) regardless of whether we take the papal respect for life, or the Nazi disrespect for life (irony unintended). Neither approach changes the truth of the underlying biological processes.

You can (and will!) continue to whine that there are "problems" and "difficulties" with evolution, but there aren't any. This is evidenced simply in our little back and forth. When you aren't making deliberately vague accusations, I have completely refuted what you said. I can continue to do so ad infinitum, because the answers have already been discovered. Anyone reading this thread will and should take notice that your only remaining claims are too vague to precisely refute (which I have nonetheless torn to logical threads again and again). Stating that there are "problems" doesn't get us anywhere. The only thing it reveals is how thin and unsubstantiated your claims are.

Evolution is a theory that accurately describes the progression of life on this planet. Gravity is a theory that accurately describes planetary motion. That I am typing into a computer and interacting with another human being over the internet is a theory that accurately describes this post. None of these things is a "fact" in the naive sense of "fact" you are thinking of. Give me an example of a "fact" as you envision it, and I will show you that it is really a theory. Some of the simplest things we understand about the world - the weather, for instance - are the result of changing theories over time. The newest one is so accurate that we now call it a fact. The same is true of evolution.

BigRed said...

You have been duped. Ben Stein's no fool, he is shrewdly trying to make money off of fundamentalists. He knows he has made a gigantic strawman of a movie. He is hoping for a “Passion of the Christ” reaction that will line his pockets.

Follow the money. Academics aren’t getting rich off of studying evolution or “squelching” the faux “ID debate.” Politicians and the wealthy are making money off of this fake debate. Stein and fiscal conservatives support ID because it helps maintain a scientifically–illiterate underclass of religious fundamentalists. It’s a wedge issue that will generate votes and allow the Republican elite to continue funneling money to the rich while paying lip-service to the fundamentalists. These conservatives know that if they can discredit science in general, they can ignore scientific findings in favor for options that produce the most profit for donors and corporations. They want to reject things like Global Warming, arsenic in our water, air pollution caps, etc. They want you to trade your children’s health and future for extra profits for a few already wealthy individuals.

Wake up. Do you really think scientists are a part of some vast conspiracy to create a Godless U.S.A.? If so, how will they profit? How many scientists are on the Forbes 500 Richest People list? How many anti-Global Warming oil and energy executives are?

Anonymous said...

I have been waiting 33 years to see the 'proof' science offers for evolution! Nobody can explain how the soul or spirit was formed...you cannot form intangeable (spirit) cannot evolve from organic matter!
I believe in God and therefore ID but doesn't mean I am stupid, duped or dumb. It means that I admit that I DON'T know and that science doesn't know either. There's no proof of transitional fossils or life forms. Where's the proof? And for the most part scientists use circular reason to date fossils and rocks!
I know one thing, I don't believe life started from 'nothing...then it rained on rocks....and then soup formed.....then bacteria....then rats or monkeys or something....then here humans are!'
Monkeys don't stare at a sunset and contemplate philosophy! They use instinct and not reason like humans do. Which animals have history books, ambulances, airplanes or museums????
Evolution requires mutations in DNA and I learn in my current Biology book that mutations are 'not helpful but hurtful' because as all cells divide and replicate ALL CONDITIONS MUST BE PERFECT OR A BAD THING HAPPENS.
How can DNA that is so perfectly assorted and organized be formed from something of disorganization? If DNA was unorganized we would have something else.....or perhaps no life!
God is a God of order. He created everything and by Him nothing was created.
The Bible states creation way more intelligently than a mess of evolution that states it rained on rocks.....or that nothing popped and life formed! What?
And I am the one that is ignorant and brainwashed!
Sorry....to believe in something as silly as evolution is like saying that life is still being formed from nothing. There's no proof of evolution, thus it is a theory, a religion of secular humanists.......

Anonymous said...

Wayne:
You said that we want to replace evolution....that's a lie! Who's calling the kettle black?
We, as ID supporters, want to introduce another theory since evolution is still a THEORY and NOT science but it is treated and taught as if it's a FACT!
That's what I dislike about my tax dollar supporting this garbage. Looking at the crime rates in school, pregnencies, and such since the birth of atheism and evolution have gone up drastically. And whenever someone tries to go against the THEORY not FACT of evolution they are fired, fined or persecuted. Why?
If you really did your homework you would realize that Darwin was a Christian and was introduced to Marxism and then it went downhill from there.
Again, any proof of the fossil record or any transitional creatures or NEW creatues that are evolving.....that would be proof! But you can't and nobody can either.
The Lord even said that those that profess to be wise will become fools....too late.
What came first the chicken or the egg?
You see evolution cannot explain that. Yet we see a cambrian explosion. And not only that but what can produce fossils? Pressure, probably the flood. The Bible explains it, evolution doesn't. Evolution explains nothing. If the chicken came first well, that means a totally developed bird...if the egg came first, what laid the egg and what sat on that egg???
Show me the proof....as a matter of fact Dr. Dino (Dr. Hovind) is giving anyone $25000 for proof!
You all say you have the proof, here's your chance to cash in!!
Good luck with that though....

Anonymous said...

I was wondering if anyone can explain something to me.
I'd certainly appreciate it!

How can the theory of angular momentum explain our universe and galaxy? If the big bang was accurate...how come planets and galaxies spin in opposite direction? Wouldn't that then say that the big bang is a lie? Because if the theory can be proven by just watching a blender...the particles will spin in the direction in which the axis spins.....how can the galaxies spin in the opposite direction?
Evolution cannot explain it because evolution isn't true.....as most atheists and secular humanists believe. Yes there's actual proof that the big bang is a dud......they are still holding to this religious worldview. It is called philosophy and naturalism.

And I was also wondering that if you state there is NO God....that means you would have to have ALL knowledge. And you would have to be omnipresent. Therefore it is possible that God does exist in time and space that we cannot see with our eyes because we only see a certain spectrum of the light spectrum? So isn't it possible that God does exist in the universe that I cannot see?????

Well, I would rather put my faith in something that I have had a personal experience with rather than a theory that is based on lies and can't even explain how the galaxy formed. You cannot even explain why time is slowing down. Time is not a constant...and if it slowing down in just the recorded time, how can it be billions of years old? We would have stopped a long time ago....

But I am just the idiot that believes in bind faith ;)

The reason you don't want to teach ID is that perhaps our students would believe in God! OH NO! All we want is fairness. All we want is freedom of speech. And since science hasn't proven the 'theory' otherwise it would be called 'the evolution fact' it should have an alternate theory to give students the ability to think for themselves. But the agenda of secular humanism started in the early 20th century and their primary mission is to remove God from our school. Guess what? Prayer was removed. The pledge of allegiance is hardly ever cited. Students cannot say, "Jesus Christ" in school or if they are speaking at graduation or any other school event. The separation of church and state doesn't state that you cannot speak of God. You have that all wrong. It is simply stating that our government shouldn't tell us how to believe or worship our Creator.
The humanist manifesto is trying to push the new world order and the guidestones are already in place. Check it out for yourself. Their agenda is to kill off everyone and get the population below half of a billion. Well, if they outlaw Christianity, you have a couple a Billion. Kill the Jews and the other Christian sects....there's the rest. You would have a hard time killing the other countries off but Americca could be reduced drastically....
http://www.radioliberty.com/stones.htm

I am still waiting for solid proof and www.drdino.com is offering $250,000 for anyone with solid proof for evolution. Here's your chance!

Anonymous said...

BigRed:

"How many anti-Global Warming oil and energy executives are?"

"In fact, just two months ago, ABC News.com estimated soon-to-be-Nobel Laureate Al Gore's net worth at $100 million, which isn't bad considering that he was supposedly worth about $1 million when he watched George W. Bush get sworn in as president in January 2001."
Taken from this site:
http://www.newsbusters.org/blogs/noel-sheppard/2007/10/03/al-gore-getting-rich-spreading-global-warming-hysteria-media-s-help

$100 million? Perhaps he made it into the fortune 500?????

Perhaps he's getting rich from his global warming swindle?
I know that his 'inconvenient truth' is only inconvenient for the low class citizens that the far left liberals what to control!
Come on man! You're telling me that Al Gore thinks we're polluting the enviornment? The ocean puts out more methane gas than all humans put together. The weather is actually controlled by the sun. Check it out for yourself...you may actually learn something!
You see, I am not the typical idiot you called a 'fundamentalist' that wants to just blindly follow the lemmings....I actually check things out.
Have you seen the polar ice caps personally? Are you a scientist?

And what do you know about Al Gore's energy consumption?

Here are a few inconvenient facts about your boy Al:

• Al Gore's average monthly electric bill in 2006: $1,200 (source: AP).
• Al Gore's total electric consumption in 2006: 191,000 kilowatt hours (source: AP).

• Average annual electric consumption per U.S. household (in 2001): 10,656 kilowatt hours (source: EIA). ***Notice they compare his readings in 2006 to a 2001 estimate, perhaps he uses more than 30 times the average household? Gluttony! Hypocrite!

Based on the above, Al Gore consumed roughly 18 times the national household average in kWh of electricity in that year!

He lives in his 10,000 sq' mansion when others live in apartments.....but we're supossed to bend over and let him stick it to us? Why to pay HIS carbon tax?
No way man!
The global warming swindle is something you call propaganda that the federal government wants us to fork more money over for. It's a scam and you know it!
I'm surprised you didn't blame Bush for global warming.....

You liberas are all the same I swear. You got Pelosi in the house and what changed? NOTHING. It's more of the same there. Perhaps more ridiculous pork bills and earmarks than before, both parties are guilty of spending our tax dollars, but come on! The liberals only like it when it's all roses and puppies for them.
Look at Obama when the pressure's on. He cowards down and tells them "enough questions" or whines when the debates are against him. Poor baby! As president you have to be tough. He's a little whimp.
Hillary is worse.
And I don't really like McCain but have to pick him.....even though he's a liberal too, but I respect his military service. Something the liberals attack. You all know where to hit and how to take human dignity from us huh?
I wish you would peel the scales from your eyes....they're pretty thick, or perhaps you're smoking something???

Anonymous said...

I'm still waiting for the proof of evolution.........
la Rana do you got anything?

Hhhhmmmmm, I didn't think so ;)

Dimensio said...

Evolution theory is a philosophical idea, not science. It contends the universe came to exist in the state we now observe by completely naturalistic causes, refusing to even consider supernatural causation.

The theory of evolution addresses only an explanation for the cause of biodiversity emerging from common ancestry. It does not address the origin of any other aspect of the universe, including the universe itself. If you do not know this, then you do not adequately understand the theory of evolution sufficiently to comment credibly on the subject.

Dimensio said...

We, as ID supporters, want to introduce another theory since evolution is still a THEORY and NOT science but it is treated and taught as if it's a FACT!



Your statement implies a direct contradiction. If evolution were not science, it would not be a "theory".



Please identify the "another theory" that you wish to introduce. State the specific observations that the theory that you propose explains, state the known occurring processes that form the basis for the mechanisms of your theory, derive predictions based upon the stated mechanisms and the means by which you assert they have occurred and reference peer-reviewed research that have validated the predictions that you have made to an extent sufficient to establish a reasonable level of confidence in the validity of your theory amongst scientists in related fields of study.





Looking at the crime rates in school, pregnencies, and such since the birth of atheism and evolution have gone up drastically.



Please provide a citation for the alleged increases that you reference.





And whenever someone tries to go against the THEORY not FACT of evolution they are fired, fined or persecuted.



Please provide specific examples of this occurring.





If you really did your homework you would realize that Darwin was a Christian and was introduced to Marxism and then it went downhill from there.



I am aware of no historical data supporting your assertion. Please provide references.





Again, any proof of the fossil record or any transitional creatures or NEW creatues that are evolving.....that would be proof!



Transitional fossil forms have been found.

Speciation has been observed.





The Lord even said that those that profess to be wise will become fools....too late.



This is an unsubstantiated assertion, and it does not validate your claims.





What came first the chicken or the egg?

You see evolution cannot explain that.




You are incorrect. The theory of evolution leads to the conclusion that chickens, or G. gallus domesticus descended -- as with all birds -- from egg-laying reptiles. As such, "eggs" were present first, and egg-laying and hatched organisms produced descendants which eventually became chickens.



I do not believe that you have actually studied the theory of evolution to any extent.





Yet we see a cambrian explosion.



Yes, there is a remarkable divergence of species during the 80 million year period known as the "Cambrian explosion". What, exactly, do you mean in referencing it?





And not only that but what can produce fossils? Pressure, probably the flood.



Actually, a flood would not produce many of the fossil patterns observed today. Most fossils are the result of rapid burial under sediment.





The Bible explains it, evolution doesn't.



The theory of evolution does not attempt to directly address the cause of fossilization.



Please reference the Bible's explanation for fossils.





Evolution explains nothing. If the chicken came first well, that means a totally developed bird...if the egg came first, what laid the egg and what sat on that egg???



As has already been explained, the "egg" originated from pre-chicken ancestors. Your statement suggests that you have not actually studied the theory of evolution.





Show me the proof....as a matter of fact Dr. Dino (Dr. Hovind) is giving anyone $25000 for proof!



Kent Hovind -- who does not hold a legitimate doctorate -- is currently incarcerated following a conviction of tax fraud charges, and as such it is unlikely that he is able to pay out any such amount. Additionally, the challenge, when offered, requested a "proof" of claims that are not in any way a part of the theory of evolution. Kent Hovind was not requesting a "proof" of evolution; he was demanding "proof" of a complete strawman that no one actually argues. His challenge had no legitimacy.

Dimensio said...

How can the theory of angular momentum explain our universe and galaxy? If the big bang was accurate...how come planets and galaxies spin in opposite direction

I believe that you are appealing to common misconceptions about the Big Bang



Wouldn't that then say that the big bang is a lie? Because if the theory can be proven by just watching a blender...the particles will spin in the direction in which the axis spins.....how can the galaxies spin in the opposite direction?

As I have stated, you have not actually studied the Big Bang. The Big Bang is not analogous to a "blender", and you cannot disprove the Big Bang by watching events within a blender.



Evolution cannot explain it because evolution isn't true

The theory of evolution does not, in any way, address the Big Bang. It is true that the theory of evolution cannot "explain" what you have stated about the Big Bang, but it it is not because evolution is false and it is not because the Big Bang is false; it is because the Big Bang has no relevance to the theory of evolution. If you do not understand this, then you demonstrably do not understand either the theory of evolution or the Big Bang to any sufficient degree.


.....as most atheists and secular humanists believe. Yes there's actual proof that the big bang is a dud......they are still holding to this religious worldview. It is called philosophy and naturalism.

Please provide the "actual proof" to which you refer, and explain why theists also accept the validity of the Big Bang.




And I was also wondering that if you state there is NO God....that means you would have to have ALL knowledge. And you would have to be omnipresent. Therefore it is possible that God does exist in time and space that we cannot see with our eyes because we only see a certain spectrum of the light spectrum? So isn't it possible that God does exist in the universe that I cannot see?????

This has no relevance whatsoever to the validity of the theory of evolution. Additionally, atheism is a lack of belief in deities; lacking belief in an entity does not require "ALL knowledge", it is sufficient to justify lack of belief in an entity merely because insufficient evidence is available of that entity's existence.




Well, I would rather put my faith in something that I have had a personal experience with rather than a theory that is based on lies and can't even explain how the galaxy formed.

The theory of evolution does not attempt to address how galaxies from. Galactic formation is a matter of cosmology, while the theory of evolution addresses biology. If you do not understand that galactic formation is wholly irrelevant to the theory of evolution, then there is no reason to believe that you understand the theory of evolution sufficiently to be able to credibly claim that it is "based on lies". Nonetheless, I will ask that you state the "lies" that form the basis of the theory of evolution.

You cannot even explain why time is slowing down. Time is not a constant...and if it slowing down in just the recorded time, how can it be billions of years old? We would have stopped a long time ago....

Please provide references in justification of your claim. How, exactly, is time "slowing down", and how does this allegation show that the theory of evolution is false?





But I am just the idiot that believes in bind faith ;)

You have, thus far, provided no evidence in support of any of your claims, and in fact you have demonstrated a clear ignorance of the very subjects that you have attempted to address.




The reason you don't want to teach ID is that perhaps our students would believe in God!

This is not correct. "Intelligent Design" is not a scientific claim. It posits no mechanisms, has no supporting evidence and has yielded no research.

In fact, major "Intelligent Design" proponents have insisted -- even through testimony given under penalty of perjury -- that "Intelligent Design" relies upon no deities, including the "Christian God". Your suggestion that it would cause students to "believe in God" is curious; it suggests either that you do not understand "Intelligent Design" or that leading proponents who have made the aforementioned claim were themselves lying, to the point of committing perjury.


OH NO! All we want is fairness.

How, exactly, is it "fair" to insist that a conjecture supported by no evidence, that offers no actual mechanism and has produced no research be given equal footing to a well-established scientific theory whose mechanisms are well-established and demonstrated, that is supported by extensive evidence and which has produced an innumerable amount of research?


All we want is freedom of speech.

I do not believe that anyone has attempted to stifle your "freedom of speech".


And since science hasn't proven the 'theory' otherwise it would be called 'the evolution fact' it should have an alternate theory to give students the ability to think for themselves.

Your statement suggests that you do not understand the meanings of "theory" and "fact" as they relate to scientific inquiry.
In science, a "fact" is a single observation. It is no more than a data point and, on its own, it is not useful. A "theory", however, is an attempt to collect and group multiple facts into a comprehensive explanation of why the "facts" are as they are. A set of facts is used to explain the reason for an observed pattern of another set of facts. A theory cannot become a "fact" because a theory is far more useful and complex than a mere "fact".

Additionally, scientific theories are never "proven". They may be further validated by the discovery of new facts, or contradictory facts may force revision or rejection of the theory, but under no circumstances can a theory said to be "proven".

If you have an "alternate theory", then you will need to explain it. State the pattern of "facts" that it attempts to group and explain, and then state the "facts" that it employs as an explanation; this should take the form of known events, such as properties of biology, chemistry or physics. For example, the 'facts' that evolution employs as an explanatory mechanism are the known events of imperfect replication (that is, offspring vary from their parents) and reproductive selection pressures (that is, factors in an environment influence the success rates of various heritable traits in organisms). Please provide analogous known events as an explanatory mechanism for the "theory" that you propose. Derive predictions from the 'facts' that explain the events as you theorize them; as an example, evolution has been used to derive predictions about patterns that would be observed in DNA as a consequence of certain lines of descent. Had those patterns not been observed, evolution would have been weakened as a theory, however those patterns ultimately were observed. Finally, provide references to research showing a validation of some of the predictions that you have derived.

If you cannot do all of the above, then you cannot reasonably claim to have a "theory".



But the agenda of secular humanism started in the early 20th century and their primary mission is to remove God from our school. Guess what? Prayer was removed.

Please justify the inclusion of a specific sectarian prayer in a government run school attended by a religiously diverse student body, including students who have no religion.


The pledge of allegiance is hardly ever cited.

Please justify this assertion.


Students cannot say, "Jesus Christ" in school or if they are speaking at graduation or any other school event.

Please explain and justify this assertion.


The separation of church and state doesn't state that you cannot speak of God. You have that all wrong. It is simply stating that our government shouldn't tell us how to believe or worship our Creator.

Please show where individuals have been prevented from "speaking of" a deity, and then explain how this relates to the validity of the theory of evolution.



The humanist manifesto is trying to push the new world order and the gudestones are already in place. Check it out for yourself. Their agenda is to kill off everyone and get the population below half of a billion. Well, if they outlaw Christianity, you have a couple a Billion. Kill the Jews and the other Christian sects....there's the rest. You would have a hard time killing the other countries off but Americca could be reduced drastically....

Please justify your assertion of such a conspiracy, and then show how it relates to the validity of the theory of evolution.

Bob Ellis said...

materialism and naturalism.

If you knew as much about evolution theory as you want us to believe, you'd realize that the question of the origin of life has to ultimately be dealt with in the evolutionary equation.

la Rana said...

Bob, you keep saying that abiogenesis is inextricable from evolution. Yet after repeating prodding you have still not offered an explanation.

Having some experience with this (see above) I'll go ahead and assume you will either dodge the question or feed me some vague platitude. So I'll give you an analogy.

We can explain why a ball takes a particular route down a hill. The explanation will involve gravity, mass, friction, air currents, and probably even some biology (grassy knoll). At no point are we required to explain how the ball got rolling in the first place. Our explanation will be true whether the big bang caused it, Bob Ellis rolled it, or God pulled on his Skeetball shoes and threw a slider.

These are simple logical concepts Bob. That you cannot accept them permits of two possibilities. Either you are very, very dumb (something I doubt) or you have decided that evolution conflicts with your belief in God and must therefore be wrong, reason and evidence be damned.

Bob Ellis said...

la Rana, I mentioned it on one of these threads; not sure which one at this point.

Evolution theory is at its heart an attempt to explain not only the present state of biology, but the origin of that biology. Even if you only wanted to examine the process between Point A and Point Z, it would be the height of irrationality to say, "Okay, we're going to look at Point B to Point Z and everything between, but we do not care about Point A in the slightest."

In other words, the origin of life not only begs to be dealt with, it MUST be dealt with in any serious examination of biological history.

And once you deal with the question of the origin of life, the next question is begged: where did those physical elements which make up "life" come from? How did they come to be?

I believe you're purposefully trying to compartmentalize evolution from the whole ball of wax because you know that while evolution theory has a host of its own problems, when you get back to the origin of life itself and earlier, the problems get exponentially more difficult to theorize away.

Dimensio said...

Evolution theory is at its heart an attempt to explain not only the present state of biology, but the origin of that biology.

This is simply not correct. The theory of evolution only addresses the cause of biodiversity from existing life. It is a model initially proposed to explain, using known recurring events, the existing diversity of life combined with the clear evidence that currently extant organisms did not exist in the past while organisms that did exist in the past are not extant now.

Claiming that the theory of evolution attempts to address the "origin of biology" is not accurate. Your conclusion is drawn from an incorrect premise and, as such, is not reliable.


Even if you only wanted to examine the process between Point A and Point Z, it would be the height of irrationality to say, "Okay, we're going to look at Point B to Point Z and everything between, but we do not care about Point A in the slightest."

In other words, the origin of life not only begs to be dealt with, it MUST be dealt with in any serious examination of biological history.


Evolution is not the study of all biological history. Evolution is an attempt to address a specific observation -- that of existing biodiversity -- based upon known, specific mechanisms. The mechanisms of evolution can only operate when life exists. As such, the explanation of life origins, whatever it may be, must rely upon mechanisms outside of those employed by the theory of evolution and, as uch, the explanation will be a seperate subject from evolution. Additionally, the theory of evolution requires no specific biogenesis event to be valid. The theory of evolution does not require that the first life came to exist through reactions deep in the ocean, circumstances in a volcanic vent, intervention by extradimensional entities or divine creation in order to be valid.

And once you deal with the question of the origin of life, the next question is begged: where did those physical elements which make up "life" come from? How did they come to be?

This question is not "begged". This question is merely outside of the scope that evolution addresses. While it is an important question of concern to scientists, it is not a part of the theory of evolution and, as such, it must be addressed by a different scientific field of study.


I believe you're purposefully trying to compartmentalize evolution from the whole ball of wax because you know that while evolution theory has a host of its own problems, when you get back to the origin of life itself and earlier, the problems get exponentially more difficult to theorize away.

You have offered no "problems" with the actual theory of evolution. Moreover, your assertions regarding the necessary scope of the theory of evolution have no rational basis. The theory of evolution addresses only the specific process of populations of imperfect replicators emerging from descent with modification combined with reproductive selection pressures. Questions regarding the ultimate origin of imperfect replicators and the ultimate origin of matter, while of interest to scientists, are addressed by fields of study other than evolution, and it is not logical to assert that evolution is 'problematic' for not addressing matters outside of its scope.

Anonymous said...

"Please identify the "another theory" that you wish to introduce. State the specific observations that the theory that you propose explains, state the known occurring processes that form the basis for the mechanisms of your theory, derive predictions based upon the stated mechanisms and the means by which you assert they have occurred and reference peer-reviewed research that have validated the predictions that you have made to an extent sufficient to establish a reasonable level of confidence in the validity of your theory amongst scientists in related fields of study."

Where in the fossil data have you ever seen transitional life forms?
Were YOU there 2.5 billion years ago to see this happen?
That's my point!

Darwin's theory is the most idiotic, made up garbage to describe life.

Even Stephen W. Hawking admits that Intelligent Design probably fits the creation model better than evolution!

And he's a lot smarter than any of us that post in this blog......

There is no proof of evolution. The evolution I refer to is where the text books state that everything came from nothing, the big bang, and the parts where various life forms evolved to different kinds of animals.

Humans were alive with dinosaurs. If they weren't how come they drew them and wrote about them? Duh.

If anyone has seen adaptation, microevolution or minor changes WITHIN the same kind or species that is normal. It's built into our DNA. Duh.

I think that whoever thinks we are from a lower life form is nuts.
Show me elephant museums. Who ever saw a squirrel drive a little race car they designed?

I want to show children they aren't a mistake in biology class. That their life was designed for a purpose, not just a blob of soup that formed life.
All those science projects that formed protein or 'life' is a farse too because the scientist put the 'right' ingredients together.

It's like baking. It must be exact or you will not get the souffle to rise.....kinda like DNA. How it all knows where to assemble itself and when to coil, etc.

Only a Smart, Intelligent Designer could have done that. Or we'd see random changes of life still....and we haven't over the past 2000+ years in recorded history.

Oh yeah, evolution happened when nobody was looking, therefore it's true!
Whatever!

I challenge you to give Kent Hovind the proof and you got your money!

Anonymous said...

Check it out:

What is intelligent design?

Intelligent design refers to a scientific research program as well as a community of scientists, philosophers and other scholars who seek evidence of design in nature. The theory of intelligent design holds that certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, not an undirected process such as natural selection. Through the study and analysis of a system's components, a design theorist is able to determine whether various natural structures are the product of chance, natural law, intelligent design, or some combination thereof. Such research by observing the types of information produced when intelligent agents act. Scientists then seek to find objects which have those same types of informational properties which we commonly know come from intelligence. Intelligent design has applied these scientific methods to detect design in irreducibly complex biological structures, the complex and specified information content in DNA, the life-sustaining physical architecture of the universe, and the geologically rapid origin of biological diversity in the fossil record during the Cambrian explosion approximately 530 million years ago.

Is intelligent design the same as creationism?

No. The theory of intelligent design is simply an effort to empirically detect whether the "apparent design" in nature acknowledged by virtually all biologists is genuine design (the product of an intelligent cause) or is simply the product of an undirected process such as natural selection acting on random variations. Creationism typically starts with a religious text and tries to see how the findings of science can be reconciled to it. Intelligent design starts with the empirical evidence of nature and seeks to ascertain what inferences can be drawn from that evidence. Unlike creationism, the scientific theory of intelligent design does not claim that modern biology can identify whether the intelligent cause detected through science is supernatural.

Honest critics of intelligent design acknowledge the difference between intelligent design and creationism. University of Wisconsin historian of science Ronald Numbers is critical of intelligent design, yet according to the Associated Press, he "agrees the creationist label is inaccurate when it comes to the ID [intelligent design] movement." Why, then, do some Darwinists keep trying to conflate intelligent design with creationism? According to Dr. Numbers, it is because they think such claims are "the easiest way to discredit intelligent design." In other words, the charge that intelligent design is "creationism" is a rhetorical strategy on the part of Darwinists who wish to delegitimize design theory without actually addressing the merits of its case.

Is intelligent design a scientific theory?

Yes. The scientific method is commonly described as a four-step process involving observations, hypothesis, experiments, and conclusion. Intelligent design begins with the observation that intelligent agents produce complex and specified information (CSI). Design theorists hypothesize that if a natural object was designed, it will contain high levels of CSI. Scientists then perform experimental tests upon natural objects to determine if they contain complex and specified information. One easily testable form of CSI is irreducible complexity, which can be discovered by experimentally reverse-engineering biological structures to see if they require all of their parts to function. When ID researchers find irreducible complexity in biology, they conclude that such structures were designed.

This is what I want our kids to be taught. A fair, balanced, well thought out plan. Not just a random, naturalistic method.

So much science and laws have disproven evolution...but you people that refuse to admit there are problems with your 'naturalistic' model are warped with a "skeptical" or "subjective" worldview.

There's really no sense to tell me that evolution is proven when it's still a theory. If it were a fact, we would still observe life forms evolving into other species or creatures.
Why are no new life forms being created by naturalistic means?
And evolution does not prove the chicken came first. That's ludacrous. Nobody was here when the big bang happened and nobody was here when the dinosaurs died. Carbon dating is way off and hasn't even been consistent.

I see far too many holes in evolution to be taught as 'truth' to kids. Nobody knows for sure how the earth was formed. All of us have a 'religion' or worldview. Nobody can prove the earth is billions of years old.

And because time is slowing down (theory of relativity), it is therefore not constant, so we would have stopped many years ago.

The fact that our universe is so finely tuned (the anthropic principle) can only lead me to believe that we didn't just happen to have everything line up this way. If were closer to the sun, we'd burn up. If we were further away, we'd cool off and feeze. So, how can evolution or the big bang account for a finely tuned universe?
Even the author of my book states that DNA and our cells are 'organized' and have to have perfect order so they can all function. Again, when mutations occur, it usually means a loss of data, not a gain and if it's a gain, extra fingers or body parts is NOT a good thing.

The fossil data is riduculous. And in order to create tons of sand to be deposited into areas where fossils were formed....where did the dirt come from? Why did it cover up a lot of animals and trees? Why are trees standing up in the geologic column? Did they stand up for billions of years as the layers gathered around? Probably not. And why are there shellfish and shells on top of mountains? Hmmm, a flood! Duh.

Anonymous said...

la Rana
Your ball theory is fancy but doesn't explain anything regarding the existence of life!
Were you there to witness the big bang?
Were you there when monkeys evolved into humans?
Were you there when the earth was formed?
Were you there when the laws of science were made?
If there is a law, there must be a law giver.

You use reason and naturalism (your religion) instead of objective truth "truth that is independent of the knower and his/her conscious"

The problem is that we all have different worldviews; skeptical, subjectivist, and rational. Each has a different definition of truth and how you interpolate it.

The problem with the problem we're having is that we're not communicating in the same language.

To state that the universe, which is finely tuned, happened by accident is like saying my dog will make me dinner one night. I'm offended when people tell me I evolved from a monkey.

The problem from going from a quadrapedal to a bipedal is also not possible in science. The chances of that happening are pretty slim.....

Anatomy of Bipedalism
To transition from a knuckle-walking quadruped to an upright biped involves extensive anatomical changes.10 These changes include the following:

Relocation of the spinal cord opening
The foramen magnum (the opening in the base of the skull that receives the spinal cord) must be relocated from the back to the center of the skull base. In this position the vertebral column effectively balances the head, eliminating the need for powerful neck muscles.

Restructuring of the inner ear bones
The inner ear bones, which play a role in balance, must be altered to support bipedalism.
Introduction of spinal curvature
The lower and upper vertebral column must possess forward curvature to maintain bipedalism. This forward curvature coupled with the backward curvature in the middle of the spinal column allows the backbone to function as a spring, facilitating movement.

Restructuring of the rib cage
Apes’ inverted funnel-shaped rib cage accommodates arm use for locomotion. The barrel-shaped rib cage of bipeds permits effective use of the arms for nonlocomotory functions.

Reshaping the pelvis
To accommodate the hip joints and muscles necessary for bipedalism, the pelvis of bipedal primates must be lower and broader than that of knuckle-walking apes.

Altered lower limbs
Bipedal primates not only have longer lower limbs than quadrupeds, the valgus angle (the angle that the femur makes with the midline of the body) is also different. Longer lower limbs shift the center of mass towards the lower body. Angling the femurs inward moves the center of mass closer to the midline of the body. The altered center of mass allows stable bipedal locomotion.

Enlarged joint surfaces
Not only does the knee need to be restructured to accommodate the changed valgus angle, but joint surfaces must also be enlarged. This enlargement increases the contact area, helping the knee and other joints withstand the stress of standing or walking upright.

Restructured foot
Even the feet must be structured differently to support bipedalism. A platform foot with an arch allows for a greater surface area, one that can better withstand shock. In bipedal primates, the big toe is more elongated and aligned with the other toes and, thus, needs a different location. This new placement allows the toe to make the last point of contact with the ground as the leg swings forward during a bipedal stride.

Restructuring of the body’s musculature
In order to accommodate the extensive skeletal changes required by the transition from a quadruped to a biped, much of the musculature must also be altered.

So, if we evolved, don't you think this sounds absurd that we just happned to have our entire organ system, reorganized????

The ball theory is cute, but doesn't fit the creation model.
I want more proof, not philosophical mumbojumbo....

Anonymous said...

"Expelled" was a GREAT movie!
I especially enjoyed the ending where Richard Dawkins stated that 'Nobody knows how the universe was created! Perhaps our intelligent designer was an alien!?

So, ID in the sense of God is stupid but the atheists or Darwinists can say, "If you talk about a designer, but not God....that's ok!"

Again, this all boils down to philosophy and the way we interpret the data.

Aliens? What? I straight laughed out loud when I heard that bunch of nonsense.

The other theory is the cells that were on the crystalline backs!

Anonymous said...

You remind me of my grandmother. She understands when one argument opposes another, but seemingly possesses no ability to distinguish the logically compelling and empirically verifiable from, say, supermarket tabloids. Not a single one of you has ever read anything about evolution or made any attempt to figure why it is that almost 100% of people who learn evolutionary theory realize that it must be true.

And most of your posts are simply cut-and-paste from conspiracy theory websites and are completely, utterly, false and have in most cases been completely disproven. I refuse to respond to cut-and-paste arguments. If you are not smart enough and/or sufficiently educated about the topic that you cannot even type sentences accurately describing the argument you are so insistent is true, then you need to re-think what you are so upset about. Priests, pastors, and anyone bellowing with a bible in hand can be pretty compelling, but if you can't in turn describe why what they say is true or even worthy of discussion, you need to re-examine the sources of your information; not to mention your own indignation.

"Your ball theory is fancy but doesn't explain anything regarding the existence of life!"
Luckily the whole point of the ball example was to demonstrate why we don't need to understand the existence of life to prove that evolution is true. Congrats.

"Were you there to witness the big bang?"
The big bang is a certainty - the only theory of its type consistent with all of the information we have observed in our universe and one that is mathematically compelled. Where you there to witness your own birth?

"Were you there when monkeys evolved into humans?"
Monkeys didn't evolve into humans; we share a common ancestor. Where you there when we fought WWI?

"Were you there when the earth was formed?"
Where you there when we discovered the cure for polio?

"Were you there when the laws of science were made?"
Who says someone made them?

"If there is a law, there must be a law giver."
You confuse the social world of human beings with the operation of the universe. In any event, the "laws of science" in the naive sense you intend were created at the big bang.

You use reason and naturalism (your religion) instead of objective truth "truth that is independent of the knower and his/her conscious The problem is that we all have different worldviews; skeptical, subjectivist, and rational. Each has a different definition of truth and how you interpolate it.
If you ever tried to define the words "naturalism," "religion," or "objective truth," you'd realize that this is a line fed to you by a person deperate to refute evolution, but who has no empirical or logical evidence of their claims. Honestly, what does it possibly mean to say there is a different definition of truth? It's gobblegook. Sweet sounding gobblegook, but gobblegook nonetheless.

2 larger misconceptions that will not go away: (1)Evolution is not dependent on the origins of either life or the universe. If you can't comprehend the analogy about the ball then you are either too stupid to understand this, or you are lying. (2) Evolution is not a system of chance. If you think it is, you don't understand evolution. No one who has ever studied how evolution works (it is not that complicated - you can teach it to yourself), even if they thought evolution was false, would ever make the argument that evolution is a system of chance. It's like arguing that special and general relativity are false because they are predicated on the universe balancing on the back of a turtle. In both cases the only good response is "you clearly have no idea what you are talking about."

RE: Aliens and crystals.

Dawkins doesn't believe those things, he was offering an alternative for the origin of life that was at least as plausible as an all-knowing, all see-ing, all-controlling, connected to everyone and everything and yet entirely outside the laws of science and the universe god. He wasn't serious, and yet his hypothesis (which is a really an old tongue-in-cheek hypothesis, look it up) about another specias of living forms, not terribly unlike us, but more advanced, is emminently more reasonable than teh god hypothesis. That was his point, as apparently that stupid movie tried to give a different impression.

As for the crystals, yeah, great point. Its really outlandish to suggest that cells stick to other substances. It's not like our existence is predicated on various laws of attraction. I'm sure people laughed at copernicus too. But now we have (thankfully) pushed such people to the margins of society, so we can get on with the business of living in the universe we actually inhabit.

Anonymous said...

Did you even SEE the movie?
The propaganda you mention is in fact observing nature to find an 'intelligent' answer.

The theories evolutionists give are ludacrous and stupid at best.

Perhaps your worldview doesn't allow you to reason, you're duped, you have scales over your eyes and ears.....you only want to see and believe what YOU want to believe no matter what kind of evidence is put in front of you, even if it is TRUE or INTELLIGENT!

These are the theories of Richard Dawkins and the rest of the weirdos that were seen LIVE IN PERSON in Expelled: I saw the movie and have other eyewitnesses that also saw it with their own two eyes and ears....

Quote from Richard's lips:
"Toward the end of his interview with me, Stein asked whether I could think of any circumstances whatsoever under which intelligent design might have occurred. It's the kind of challenge I relish, and I set myself the task of imagining the most plausible scenario I could. I wanted to give ID its best shot, however poor that best shot might be. I must have been feeling magnanimous that day, because I was aware that the leading advocates of Intelligent Design are very fond of protesting that they are not talking about God as the designer, but about some unnamed and unspecified intelligence, which might even be an alien from another planet.... Bending over backwards to make the best case I could for intelligent design, I constructed a science fiction scenario.... I still hadn't rumbled Stein, and I was charitable enough to think he was an honestly stupid man, sincerely seeking enlightenment from a scientist. I patiently explained to him that life could conceivably have been seeded on Earth by an alien intelligence from another planet. The conclusion I was heading towards was that, even in the highly unlikely event that some such 'Directed Panspermia' was responsible for designing life on this planet, the alien beings would THEMSELVES have to have evolved, if not by Darwinian selection, by some equivalent 'crane' (to quote Dan Dennett). My point here was that design can never be an ULTIMATE explanation for organized complexity. Even if life on Earth was seeded by intelligent designers on another planet, and even if the alien life form was itself seeded four billion years earlier, the regress must ultimately be terminated (and we have only some 13 billion years to play with because of the finite age of the universe). "

This theory is as probable as evolution and this one: Abiogenesis

"Four and a half billion years ago the young planet Earth... was almost completely engulfed by the shallow primordial seas. Powerful winds gathered random molecules from the atmosphere. Some were deposited in the seas. Tides and currents swept the molecules together. And somewhere in this ancient ocean the miracle of life began... The first organized form of primitive life was a tiny protozoan [a one-celled animal]. Millions of protozoa populated the ancient seas. These early organisms were completely self-sufficient in their sea-water world. They moved about their aquatic environment feeding on bacteria and other organisms... From these one-celled organisms evolved all life on earth" (from the Emmy award winning PBS NOVA film The Miracle of Life quoted in Hanegraaff, 1998, p. 70, emphasis in original).

Here's another quote from Dawkins:
"...no life, no biology, only physics and chemistry, and the details of the Earth’s chemistry were very different. Most, though not all, of the informed speculation begins in what has been called the primeval soup, a weak broth of simple organic chemicals in the sea. Nobody knows how it happened but, somehow, without violating the laws of physics and chemistry, a molecule arose that just happened to have the property of self-copying—a replicator. This may seem like a big stroke of luck... Freakish or not, this kind of luck does happen... [and] it had to happen only once... What is more, as far as we know, it may have happened on only one planet out of a billion billion planets in the universe. Of course many people think that it actually happened on lots and lots of planets, but we only have evidence that it happened on one planet, after a lapse of half a billion to a billion years. So the sort of lucky event we are looking at could be so wildly improbable that the chances of its happening, somewhere in the universe, could be as low as one in a billion billion billion in any one year. If it did happen on only one planet, anywhere in the universe, that planet has to be our planet—because here we are talking about it" (Dawkins, 1996, pp. 282–283, emphasis in original).

I am not a math/science major, but if it's possible to have the odds of "billion billion billion in any one year" then it's POSSIBLE to have AN INTELLIGENT DESIGNER!

You are all stating it's NOT possible that a God created this! Yet you will speak of aliens, soup, organic life spontaneously arising from inorganic life.....and we're supossed to believe that your oddds are 'probable'?

Come on!

Theories abound, but no direct evidence for the beginning of the theoretical evolutionary climb of life up what Richard Dawkins and many evolutionists call “mount improbable” ever has been discovered (Dawkins, 1996). And Dawkins himself and the others will refute the possibility even though they say it's IMPOSSIBLE!

Probability Arguments

"As Coppedge (1973) notes, even 1) postulating a primordial sea with every single component necessary for life, 2) speeding up the bonding rate so as to form different chemical combinations a trillion times more rapidly than hypothesized to have occurred, 3) allowing for a 4.6 billion- year-old earth and 4) using all atoms on the earth still leaves the probability of a single protein molecule being arranged by chance is 1 in 10,261. Using the lowest estimate made before the discoveries of the past two decades raised the number several fold. Coppedge estimates the probability of 1 in 10119,879 is necessary to obtain the minimum set of the required estimate of 239 protein molecules for the smallest theoretical life form. "

and

"At this rate he estimates it would require 10119,831 years on the average to obtain a set of these proteins by naturalistic evolution (1973, pp. 110, 114). The number he obtained is 10119,831 greater than the current estimate for the age of the earth (4.6 billion years). In other words, this event is outside the range of probability. Natural selection cannot occur until an organism exists and is able to reproduce which requires that the first complex life form first exist as a functioning unit."

source: http://www.trueorigin.org/abio.asp

ARE YOU KIDDING ME?
Do you realize that 10 to the 119,879 is IMPOSSIBLE?

Dawkins:
"An origin of life, anywhere, consists of the chance arising of a self-replicating entity. Nowadays, the replicator that matters on Earth is the DNA molecule, but the original replicator probably was not DNA. We don’t know what it was. Unlike DNA, the original replicating molecules cannot have relied upon complicated machinery to duplicate them. Although, in some sense, they must have been equivalent to “Duplicate me” instructions, the “language” in which the instructions were written was not a highly formalized language such that only a complicated machine could obey them. The original replicator cannot have needed elaborate decoding, as DNA instructions... do today. Self-duplication was an inherent property of the entity’s structure just as, say, hardness is an inherent property of a diamond... the original replicators, unlike their later successors the DNA molecules, did not have complicated decoding and instruction-obeying machinery, because complicated machinery is the kind of thing that arises in the world only after many generations of evolution. And evolution does not get started until there are replicators. In the teeth of the so-called “Catch-22 of the origin of life”... the original self-duplicating entities must have been simple enough to arise by the spontaneous accidents of chemistry" (1996, p. 285).

A SPONTANEOUS ACCIDENT OF CHEMISTRY? So, if I am hearing this correctly, I am supossed to believe a theory that is IMPOSSIBLE and a RANDOM ACT OF CHEMISTRY; but here on Earth, we have to have everything finely tuned and perfectly organized, otherwise chaos will prevail? But I am supossed to believe that I have to accept these ridiculous theories, and that accidents happen, but only when it fits their model? And when it doesn't fit their model they invent a new fairy tale (propaganda) in order to brainwash the kids in school since it's mandatory to teach them such nonsense!

I may be stupid, but I'm not THAT stupid.....and I doubt there are that many other IDIOTS out there too that, when discover this crap, will believe it too!

I will leave you with this thought, "Abiogenesis is only one area of research which illustrates that the naturalistic origin of life hypothesis has become less and less probable as molecular biology has progressed, and is now at the point that its plausibility appears outside the realm of probability. Numerous origin-of-life researchers, have lamented the fact that molecular biology during the past half-a-century has not been very kind to any naturalistic origin-of-life theory. Perhaps this explains why researchers now are speculating that other events such as panspermia or an undiscovered “life law” are more probable than all existing terrestrial abiogenesis theories, and can better deal with the many seemingly insurmountable problems of abiogenesis." Quoted from Jerry Bergman

 
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