Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed

dna2.gifSeven minute preview of the upcoming movie. 

The more I thought about this situation, the more I wondered why we tolerate free speech in every other area of this society, but not here.

What makes this situation so different?  In my experience, people who are confident in their ideas are not afraid of criticism.  So that tells me that Darwinists are afraid. 

. . .

But if you do leave, will anyone be left to fight this battle?  Anyone?  Anyone?

Ben Stein

49 thoughts on “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed”

  1. Hi, Neil.

    I am continually amazed at the absolute illogical theories that Liberals espouse. As far as Intelligent design goes, I concur with the great philosopher, Emo Phillips, who said, “”Of course there’s a God. Do you think that billions of years ago a bunch of molecules floating around at random could someday have had the sense of humor to make you look like that?”

    Come to think of it, maybe the “random molecule theory” does account for the way I look.

    Seriously , intelligent design is not the only thing we are not free to believe or talk about. I posted a comment at a Liberal blog expressing my conviction that Homosexuality is a perversion and a choice and was figuratively shouted down and called stupid. Thre are many other times when I have been castigated for believing things that are politically incorrect.

    There is some hope, however. Since Liberals support and promote abortion, perhaps someday they will un-breed themselves into the minority…Oops! I forgot the Libs still have public schools. They can still mold the minds of young Conservatives, can’t they?

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  2. I love this quote from Ben Stein. It really does show how Intelligent Design doesn’t belong in a science classroom. He actually thinks it is a “free speech” issue. That really made me laugh. A science classroom is not like a philosophy class — there are scientific standards and criteria that must be met. You can espouse anything you want, however, if it isn’t able to be falsified or observed then it cannot be considered scientific evidence.

    I’d love to hear the ID response to the latest findings on endogenous retrovirus and how they leave tell-tale signs on their infections on their hosts’ genome which is passed onto that host’s descendants. Now that both chimpanzee and human genomes have been decoded scientists have discovered that both share over 100,000 of these tell-tale signs of infection. This can only mean that both humans and chimps descended from a common ancestor.

    Check out this link which explains more: http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/comdesc/section4.html

    Now, given this evidence what response can the ID community possible formulate? The only option left is that this “intelligent designer” must have been extremely deceptive in his/her creation as he/she left a MOUNTAIN of evidence suggesting evolution. Was would this “God” be so deceptive?

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  3. The only option left is that this “intelligent designer” must have been extremely deceptive in his/her creation as he/she left a MOUNTAIN of evidence suggesting evolution. Was [sic] would this “God” be so deceptive?

    I can speak for no other theist, but I would say that you’re presenting a false dilemma. Inteliigent Design, in the broadest sense, only means that an intelligent being created all life on Earth. It does not entail one and only one explanation for how that life was created. Certain theories of the mechanism of ID (rather than the mere fact of ID) would seem incompatible enough with our knowledge of genetics that deception on the part of the creator seems like the only option, but that’s not necessarily true for all such theories.

    And, anyway, drawing the conclusion that an intelligent designer must have been deceptive presumes that science has the final word on our origins, but it does not.

    The fact is, science makes a wholly unprovable assumption about the universe — that conclusions about the entire system can be drawn from observations in one time and place, that (in its strongest version) the universe is a closed and predictable system in which intervention from beyond the system does not occur. That assumption may be false, and if it is, the scientific conclusions that we draw from our genes may be have little or no bearing on what really happened.

    Personally, I wouldn’t mind at all if the science class kept only to those theories that conform to its fundamental assumptions, if it was made perfectly clear that those assumptions are only assumptions, that they could be false, and that therefore their theories might not perfectly adhere to reality.

    But the science professor rarely does that.

    Instead, he insists that science matches up precisely with reality, necessarily implying that these assumptions of science are true, self-evidently true. They are not, but when he makes that assertion, he’s gone from the realm of the scientific (as you say, the realm of what can be falsified or observed) to the philosophical.

    If he’s going to wrap science in a materialist philosophy in order to give it more authority than it deserves, then other philosophies should be allowed their turn in the arena of ideas.

    A science classroom is not like a philosophy class — there are scientific standards and criteria that must be met. You can espouse anything you want, however, if it isn’t able to be falsified or observed then it cannot be considered scientific evidence.

    I absolutely agree, but it seems to me that the reductionist at the lectern typically doesn’t want a classroom free from philosophy: he wants a classroom free from philosophies that compete with his own.

    Shall we purge the science classroom of all philosophies? Sure, and let’s start with the professor’s.

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  4. Thanks for posting this preview, Neil! I am looking forward to seeing the entire movie when it comes out in February.

    I was initially introduced to Intelligent Design at a Biola U. lecture series in 1999. I wrote two commentaries about it and our local newspaper published them. By the time I wrote the third commentary, it was outrightly rejected. I was able to get it published in a monthly Christian newspaper. The title was “Time to Teach the Controversy.” No wonder the liberal paper wouldn’t touch it!

    It took 8 years, but I am most gratified that Ben Stein had the guts to expose this “do not question Darwinism” sham.

    Here’s an excerpt from one of my articles that contains a revealing quote from Phillip E. Johnson:

    In “First Things,” Phillip E. Johnson wrote, “Those in scientific leadership cannot afford to disclose that commitment (to materialism) frankly to the public. Imagine what chance the affirmative side would have if the question for public debate were rephrased candidly as ‘Resolved, that everyone should adopt an a priori commitment to materialism.’ Everyone would see what many now sense dimly: that a methodological premise which is useful for limited purposes has been expanded to form a metaphysical absolute.”

    “People who define science as the search for materialistic explanations will find it useful to assume that such explanations always exist. To suppose that a philosophical preference can validate a cherished theory is to define ‘science’ as a way of supporting prejudice. Yet that is exactly what the Darwinists seem to be doing when their evidence is evaluated by critics who are willing to question materialism.”

    Many scientists and philosophers think that a dedication to materialism is the defining characteristic of science. If design in biology is real, then the designer also might be real, and scientific materialists contemplate this possibility (if at all) with outright panic. The concept that the universe is the product of a rational mind provides a far better metaphysical basis for scientific rationality than the competing concept that everything in the universe, including our minds, is ultimately based in the mindless movements of matter.

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  5. Re, “The longer I live, the more I believe that it takes more faith to believe in evolution than it does to believe in God.”

    Well, I would hope that it takes you more faith to believe that your coffee pot will work in the morning that it takes for you to believe in God!

    I mean, you have a relationship with God, right? God helps you every day, right? God seeks you out even when you fail, in your humanity, to seek God, right?

    So, yes. It does take more faith to believe in Godless evolution , as opposed to skeptical acceptance of new scientific evidence, couched in one’s Christian faith, as one works out one’s salvation.

    That’s no reason to be smug about it. You believe because God enables you to believe. Pretty petty, and prideful, to “lord” your belief over one not yet so blessed.

    Man. This stuff wears me out. I wish to God — not gratuitous — that helping people to find God was the thing, not helping people see how “I” have found God.

    Returning to the lurker cave …

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  6. Hi ER – Ms. Green can clarify herself, but I’m pretty sure she meant “faith” in an ironic sense – i.e., not the Biblical definition of trust based on evidence but in the stereotypical “blind faith” – i.e., there is evidence to good reason to trust in Jesus but not in the Darwinian worldview.

    But I do agree that faith comes from God, and not from some cleverness on our parts.

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  7. Great post Neil. I hadn’t heard of this movie (I’ve been somewhat confined to my own little world lately), but I’ll be sure to check it out.

    For the gentleman who posted about “philosophies in the classroom” or something to that effect (I’m far too lazy to scroll up and check at the moment!) I would agree with your statement, but not in completely in the context it was used. We are talking about two unproven (at least in total scientific context) theories on where life comes from. If the evidence is irrefutable for darwinism, there would be no debate (and the debate IS ongoing…and not just from us unyielding fundies, but actual intelligent and educated people, including scientists, with no ties to Christian ideals). The point of scientific method is to not only question findings, but to keep questioning them until there is nothing left to question (and then, just to be sure, question them some more). This means any idea that can logically (and, yes, logic IS involved on BOTH sides of the debate…mostly) counter an idea should not be ran from, but explored. Most thinking Christians don’t disregard every aspect of Darwin’s theories. I find it funny though, that Darwinist’s are so ready to accept their theory as gospel (I just had to!), but are afraid to have to defend it…not very “scientific” if you ask me.

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  8. Thanks for posting this. It looks cute.

    Of course it indulges in some pretty obvious straw man tactics (mud and lightning? c’mon!), and confuses the issue with statements like ‘ID would have be acceptable in Einstein’s era, but not in the present era of Darwin’ – um, Darwin predated Einstein by a bit and modern evolutionary theory has moved pretty far beyond Darwin, in any case.

    And a ‘Free Speech’ issue? Give me a break. Anyone may say whatever they want about ID or evolution and they do. Free Speech does not mean that a university is required to keep you on their faculty if you are spouting tripe, or that a magazine is required to publish your article if it’s bogus.

    Cute scare tactics, but no substance here.

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  9. That assumes the articles ARE tripe and bogus. I get the idea that such articles are rejected upon first glance, with no real effort to debate anything about it. The complaint is certainly framed in such a way.

    But the point they make is clear and true: Why can’t they go where the evidence leads them without being their research so quickly labeled as tripe and bogus?

    I love this quote by Joseph:

    “This can only mean that both humans and chimps descended from a common ancestor.”

    Why is THAT so? I think it would be more honest, more accurate to say that it “suggests” that both have common ancestry. But immediately, you take it as the absolute fact and truth. How very unscientific. Sounds to me like you are quick to jump on any hint as proof without the possibility of a counter argument. Few legitimate scientists or researchers speak in these terms.

    Personally, as a layman, I think it is pretty likely that a universe made from one event, be it a big bang, or the Hand of God, would have running througout all creatures, some similarities. How can it possibly be otherwise? So what Joseph’s example really proves, is that there are over 100,000 similarities, and nothing more.

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  10. “This can only mean that both humans and chimps descended from a common ancestor.”

    It could just as easily mean that they have a common designer. One rule of design is; don’t re-invent the wheel.

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  11. Now that I think about it, if I were looking at a piece of equipment that I knew had a designer I would take that as proof of a common designer.

    In early farm equipment, for example, when equipment was made by small companies with one designer, you could recognize the designer from his style even if you did not know who made the equipment.

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  12. Kudos, Christinewjc, for expressing beliefs that I share with brevity and eloquence.

    Aric, you write that “mud and lightning” is a straw man tactic, but I don’t see how it is. In the question of abiogenesis (the origin of life from inorganic matter), it seems to me that most purely naturalistic theories can be reduced to the idea that inorganic matter underwent chemical reactions triggered by energy from sunlight, lava, or — yes — lightning.

    To refer to these theories as origins from “mud and lightning” may be somewhat poetic, but I don’t see how its unfair.

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  13. Marshall Art said, “Why can’t they go where the evidence leads them without being their research so quickly labeled as tripe and bogus?”

    Because the results of their research must be proveable by using scientific method. Scientists are simply not allowed to say that some faeries used magic on a part of the theory that is yet unexplained.

    It is simply too easy of an out for the “scientist” to say such things. It smacks of being lazy. “Oh, well, God must’ve intervened at that point.” Puhleeze!!! What kind of an explanation is that? If we revert back to that type of thinking, we will be plunged into a second Dark Age.

    They ARE allowed, however, to simply state that a part of the theory is missing – they may offer suggestions as to the origin or placement of missing peices, but they must stay within the scientific realm. Theories are constantly changing based on new evidence. To say that scientists are afraid that their theories are incorrect is absolute balderdash!

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  14. Mark, is archaeology science? Or is it positively medieval to conclude that an intelligence may have created arrowheads, clay pots, and ziggurats? Is that too easy a way out, and should the archaelogoist insist on a purely naturalistic explanation for these artifacts?

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  15. Archaeology is: “the scientific study of historic or prehistoric peoples and their cultures by analysis of their artifacts, inscriptions, monuments, and other such remains, esp. those that have been excavated.” Meaning that the study is done in a scientific manner.

    Being the scientific study of *people* – it is very safe to conclude that people created those arrowheads, clay pots, and ziggurats. They do not occur naturally. It is NOT safe to say, for example, that God created these things because we cannot figure out how they might have been created.

    Let’s say for argument purposes that we have not yet figured out how these items were created. The working theory would be that we think early man created these items and are working on possible ways that they did so. It would NOT be that we can’t figure out how these items were created so it must have been devine intervention.

    See the difference?

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  16. The difference between studying something a human designed (or a monkey, or ants, or bees or any other creature that ‘designs’) and something that we claim God or a higher intelligence designed is that humans and animals are part of the natural system and can be observed, analyzed and verified. God is not part of the natural system. God by definition cannot be observed, analyzed and verified the same way a human being can. We can conclude that humans made arrowheads because we have observed humans doing it. No one has observed God creating the universe, by definition it is impossible.

    “God” cannot be the object of scientific inquiry. Any God which could be would not be God. By extension we cannot scientifically draw conclusions about things that God did, since science is absolutely agnostic about the existence of something it cannot possibly observe. Miracles, the Resurrection, Creation – these are theological categories, not scientific ones. None of them are provable (or disprovable) because they operate on the assumption that something which is beyond the natural order occurred.

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  17. Incidentally, Archaeology is a science in the loose sense of the word that it is concerned with “knowing”, but in the enlightenment application of “empirical knowledge” archaeology cannot function scientifically. Any archaeologist will tell you that it is an enormous amount of guesswork, assumption and conjecture.

    That’s not to say Archaeology is pointless. I love it! I’ve been on two digs as an assistant and there is a ton to learn from it, but the nature of the knowledge is very fuzzy compared to what you get from organic chemistry or something. Archaeology is more useful for disproving something (ie: there was probably no Exodus because there is absolutely no evidence of over a million people wandering the Sinai peninsula, or living in or leaving Egypt, or destroying Canaanite villages, or evidence of the plagues or other factors which certainly should crop up in the record if they happened)… even then you’re only at the level of probability.

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  18. There you have it folks. There was no Exodus because we haven’t found enough evidence to Aric’s liking (assuming he has researched it adequately and is not just relying on information from false teachers) for an event that took place over 3,000 years ago.

    Of course, all the archeologists are out of jobs now because everything that could be found has already been found, right? And archeological finds have never embarrassed the libs / skeptics when discoveries were made (e.g., Pilate, the Hittites).

    Sounds like a good blog topic.

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  19. “See the difference?”

    I don’t. You “know” that earlier people made these things. But IDers are merely claiming what you are: Design implies a designer. It isn’t the God of the gaps straw man.

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  20. Oh my gosh! Neil, do I have to do this? I guess I do.

    The Big Bang theory is a scientific theory. The evidence at hand suggests that one happened. We cannot yet prove that it happened. Scientists are still searching for proof. Because of the strong evidence that it happened – some are working to prove the “how.” There is much conjecture on *how* it happened. But just because we cannot prove *how* it happened doesn’t mean that scientists should fill in the gaps with “God did it.”

    If scientists had that attitude, we would never have come up with the Big Bang theory in the first place.

    So – to reiterate.

    The current theory: A Big Bang probably happened, we’re still working on proof. We are also working on theories as to *how* it happened.

    Your way: A Big Bang probably happened, we’ve searched and searched for proof but haven’t found any yet, so it must have been devine intervention. Being devine intervention, we will never know how it happened, so we’re not trying to figure that part out.

    Your way (really): The Earth is round. If that’s true, what keeps the water from falling off? We don’t know, it must be God’s will. Gravity? Big Bang? What’s that?

    I’m sure the Dark Ages were fun for some – but can we please not go back to those times?

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  21. Mark, I’m not in the mood for straw men today.

    Here’s a good ID website: http://www.intelligentdesign.org/

    I like their definition of ID: “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.”

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  22. I agree with Aric that God, if He exists (and I believe He does), must exist outside the universe and is thus outside the scope of science.

    But, as I understand it, Intelligent Design doesn’t necessarily presume supernatural intervention, only INTELLIGENT intervention. Hence, “intelligent” design and not “divine” design.

    An archaeologist can look at an ancient clay pot and the art painted on its side and conclude that the artifact is the result of an intelligent being — an ancient human — and still be said to have engaged in science. Scientists who participate in SETI look for radio waves that carry information that bear the signature of an intelligent source, and it can be said that they are still conducting science when they do so.

    Likewise, a biologist who looks at the information encoded in life on earth, and who finds evolutionary explanations to be as unpersuasive as the idea that weather created the ziggurats, can conclude that life bears the mark of intelligent design and can still be a scientist when drawing that conclusion.

    If he seeks an elegant theory that explains how an intelligent designer could create life on Earth while obeying the laws of nature, he’s also, still, conducting science.

    It is only when he attributes that creation to supernatural processes or a supernatural intelligence does the ID scientist move away from science.

    I see nothing wrong with a geologist looking at a vaguely arrow-shaped rock and an archaeologist looking at the very same rock, with the former seeking a scientific explanation that precludes intelligence and that latter seeking an equally scientific explanation that presumes intelligence.

    Why can’t we approach these scientists in the same way they approach the rock?

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  23. On the Big Bang theory, that has been staring us in the face since the writing of Genesis.

    “Being the scientific study of *people* – it is very safe to conclude that people created those arrowheads, clay pots, and ziggurats. They do not occur naturally. It is NOT safe to say, for example, that God created these things because we cannot figure out how they might have been created.”

    They must have occurred naturally, if there was no creator. They may be artifacts, but the people who made them occurred naturally.

    On the other hand, if nature could produce life, I certainly don’t see why it couldn’t manage a clay pot or two.

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  24. Neil,

    Don’t be silly, my false teachers are Michael Coogan of Biblical Archaeology at Oxford, and John Collins of Harvard and other idiots like them who have written every relevant peer reviewed article on the topic in these past two centuries.

    The egyptians obsessively documented even unimportant events. We have records of their labor forces, the beer consumed, the structures built, the babies born etc… etc… for 1000 years on either side of the best possible estimated dates for the Exodus – and in that record there is no trace of Israel – let alone a series of massive cataclysms followed by the abrupt departure of over a million people. It’s not like we’re looking for a needle in a haystack here.

    Furthermore, I just finished saying that archaeology is inconclusive – more useful for disproving than proving, but still only at the level of broad probability. There is no evidence for the Exodus according to the best Biblical Archaeologists out there. Get snooty about it if you like, but I’m not saying anything outlandish.

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  25. ER,

    I don’t get it. Why did my comment put a burr in your saddle?

    Let me reword my thoughts.

    There is more evidence for a God, Who is creator of the Universe and all that is in it, than there is for the theory of evolution.

    Or I’ll be a monkey’s aunt.

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  26. Ms. Green said: “There is more evidence for a God, Who is creator of the Universe and all that is in it, than there is for the theory of evolution.”

    And by “evidence” you mean… what?

    Evidence: noun, verb
    1. That which tends to prove or disprove something.
    2. To indicate clearly; exemplify or prove.
    3. An indication that makes something evident.

    Sorry, Ms. Green, but you cannot “prove” the existence (or non-existence) of god. You can show proof for evolution: retroviruses, are one example.

    Evolution is an exact science. It has been tested in the laboratory on Manduca sexta, a caterpillar commonly called the tobacco hornworm, which was studied as to whether it became green or black in colour after changes were made to its environmental temperature.
    http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi/abs/10.1086/519962?journalCode=pbz

    And evolution has also been studied in the wild on islands in the Bahamas with Brown anolis lizards, which evolved shorter legs to help with climbing trees in order to avoid a newly introduced predator.
    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2006/11/061116-lizard-evolution.html

    Neil, Ms. Green, at al, please don’t get me wrong here – you guys are more than welcome you to your faith, but to confuse a personal belief, with concrete, documented, scientific proof is just not the same.

    Thanks.

    Neil said: Tyler, thanks for “discovering” micro-evolution. The thing is, though, that we’ve known about it for quite a while and we’ve also known that it isn’t macro-evolution. Hey, even Darwin knew that (special vs. general theories).

    As I’ve said before, you can’t “prove” God in the sense that you can prove 2+2=4, but there is lots of evidence and it is the most likely explanation.

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  27. “The more I thought about this situation, the more I wondered why we tolerate free speech in every other area of this society, but not here.

    What makes this situation so different? In my experience, people who are confident in their ideas are not afraid of criticism. So that tells me that Darwinists are afraid.

    Ben Stein”

    By all means Ben, if you have something to add to the mix, come on in. But it has got to be scientifically testable and based on empirical evidence – NOT based on subjective opinion.

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  28. Evolution, it is claimed, can account for changes in caterpillars and the lizards that our scientists have studied. Never mind the logical leap that it takes to go from changes in caterpillars to the caterpillars themselves: can evolution account for the scientists?

    If the behavior of a scientist can be wholly explained as a byproduct of the spasms and collisions of an unguided universe, there is no reason to trust that behavior: the behavior may be useful in the sense of aiding gene propagation — and then again, it may not, as the number of evolutionary dead ends must be extraordinary — but there is no necessary connection leading from utility to logical validity.

    The materialist looks to the heavens and argues that the stars are the result of unguided chaos, and he looks to the fields and posits that the cattle too are by-products of chance. And then he looks in a mirror and concludes, what? That he too is nothing more than the result of random chemical reactions?

    If he does that, then there is no reason to trust his arguments about the stars and the cows. The thoughts and words that bubble up from his brain are as logically valid as trustworthy, and as rational as the bile produced by his liver: his thoughts may be produced by a more complex chemical reaction, but the slight difference in chemical complexity gives us no good reason to trust the result.

    Turning his naturalism against himself, the naturalist destroys the reasons to trust the conclusions he reaches. He has, essentially, argued that all arguments are invalid and cut the very branch on which he sits.

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  29. Neil said: “As I’ve said before, you can’t “prove” God … but there is lots of evidence and it is the most likely explanation”

    Based on your opinion, perhaps.
    Based on empirical evidence, no chance!


    Neil said: I think you are making a category error if your point is that science can’t prove something outside science (or the thing that created science). I submit the universe as evidence, by the way :-). Seriously, there are lots of logical proofs that I consider “evidence” – Kalaam cosmological argument, morality, etc. (perhaps “reasons” would have been a better word choice on my part). To say, “no chance” is a wee bit bold in my view.

    Neil said: “Hey, even Darwin knew that (special vs. general theories).”

    Remind me again of Darwin’s special vs. general theories. Or are you thinking of Einstein?

    Neil said: Good point, Gary. I should have been more specific. Those weren’t Darwin’s terms, just inferences noted from his writings. When I come across the quotes by him again I’ll add them to the post. His “evidence” was all micro.

    Macroevolution:
    http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/comdesc/

    1. Remnants of a human tail (“coccygeal projection”)
    2. The vermiform appendix (of no use in modern humans)
    3. The eye (the blind spot)

    Neil, I don’t mean to turn this thread into Evolution101, feel free to take it offline if you see fit.

    Neil said: Thanks, Gary. Let’s save that for another time.

    Thanks.

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  30. Neil said: Good point, Gary. I should have been more specific. Those weren’t Darwin’s terms, just inferences noted from his writings. When I come across the quotes by him again I’ll add them to the post. His “evidence” was all micro.

    http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CB/CB910.html
    I’d say most of that is of the “macro” variety, even if it isn’t mentioned in darwins notes.

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  31. Bubba, excellent questions. They can’t answer them, of course, because it exposes their artificial reality where science only deals with the natural, and since it can’t test the supernatural then God must not exist. Are these guys members of the Jesus Seminar?

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  32. Neil said: Bubba, excellent questions. They can’t answer them, of course, because it exposes their artificial reality where science only deals with the natural, and since it can’t test the supernatural then God must not exist.

    If god affects something in the “natural” world it would become subject to scientific inquiry. We could study how the healing occurred in the body, or how the sea was parted. All you’d need is for your god to actually do something.

    Still waiting for that one 🙂

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  33. Havok has a point here. If a god intervened in the ways of the world/universe his actions would become subject to scientific scrutiny.

    Some people claim that there are miraculous healings. Are there really? All these healings only work within the boundaries of organic body functions, i. e., sometimes the immune system CAN cure a cancer that has begun to show symptoms. Fact is that our immune system fights cancers all the time, the only difference being that normally it nips them in the bud, so we don’t even notice. Every now and then it fails to do so, so the cancer becomes virulent and there is only a very slight chance of the immune system to gain the upper hand again, so very rarely it does. But there is nothing miraculous about it, it is only a chance event.

    A real miraculous healing would be the regrowing of a severed limb. Has this ever happened? Of course not!
    Why not? Because miracles do not exist.

    Look here for more thoughts on the point:

    http://whywontgodhealamputees.com

    Neil said: Sigh. Keep searching. That little “proof” has been dealt with in many places. God is under no obligation to jump through your little hoops. And keep in mind that you can’t prove that no severed limbs have ever been grown again.

    To get rid of another misconception: evolution is not based on random chance, evolution works by natural selection.

    Mutations are triggered by chance as far as we know. They form the raw material from which selection takes its pick.

    That is why organisms APPEAR to have been designed while in reality they have not. Despite claims to the contrary there is not a single example in nature where ID can prove their design assumption.

    Neil said: I encourage you to do some more research on ID. These are tired assertions and typical macro-evolution tautologies.

    Darwin himself could convincingly show that the eye has evolved. Had it been designed the designer would have to be labelled a dilettante, because there are so many flaws in the design (blind spot and many, many others). Surely believers do not want to have such an imperfect designer. So why still uphold the idea?

    Neil said: I wouldn’t go there. Science “proved” that various body parts and “junk DNA” were superfluous and therefore evidence against ID, only to find out later that they were there for a reason. More evidence for ID and against macro-evolution.

    How many adherents of ID are scientists working in the life sciences?

    Neil said: And how many would still be working their if they were public about their views? Be sure to see Expelled when it comes out.

    I only know of Behe, a biologist who is the laughing stock of his own university department. They distance themselves from him on the university’s website:

    http://www.lehigh.edu/~inbios/faculty/behe.html
    (check official disclaimer)

    and even more clearly here:

    http://www.lehigh.edu/~inbios/news/evolution.htm

    ID is just creationism in disguise and thus one of the extremely disputable forms of religious beliefs unsupported by no facts whatsoever. Adherents of ID fervently jump at any explanatory gap in the theory of evolution and time and again become embarrassed when real scientists are able to fill that gap.

    Unlike Neil’s assertion the intelligent designer SI a god of the gaps and therefore rest on rapidly shrinking ground. His final demise is only a matter of time.

    Neil said: Wolf, I encourage you to get your own blog and put your Darwinian talking points there. These are all re-hashed misstatements and ad homs and frankly I find it tiresome. I could go to atheist sites and say things like, “Darwinian evolution is just atheism in disguise and thus one of the extremely disputable forms of anti-religious beliefs unsupported by no facts whatsoever. Adherents of Darwinian evolution fervently jump at any explanatory gap in the theory of ID and time and again become embarrassed when real scientists are able to fill that gap.” But that wouldn’t be very productive, so I don’t do it.

    Final thought: Keep in mind in your worldview all the religious beliefs, ID, etc. that you hate so much were formed via Darwinian evolution. Just sayin’.

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  34. Hi Neil, happy Friday.

    Neil said: Keep in mind in your worldview all the religious beliefs, ID, etc. that you hate so much were formed via Darwinian evolution. Just sayin’.

    Not via biological evolution except in a minor sense. Evolution laid the groundwork, but it gave rise to minds and cultures of amazing complexity, where many factors besides mutation and selection come into play. Evolution has wrought critters who want more from life than to propagate our genes. And there’s nothing to stop me liking or disliking any piece of what evolution has wrought anyway. As someone said (was it Havok?), we don’t WORSHIP evolution, it’s just the way things have happened. A description is noway a prescription.

    Hi Seas: I stand by my comment. If all we are is a “bag of chemicals” then your materialist theory explains everything about what we think.

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  35. @Neil

    ” That little “proof” has been dealt with in many places.”

    Can you give a URL to any of these places? I’d be interested!

    Neil said: You’ve got a search engine, give it a shot. I’ve come across three items in the last couple months.

    “God is under no obligation to jump through your little hoops.”

    And vice versa. Why do people claim that God healed them? Exactly the same hoop. But strangely enough these “healings” occur with all sorts of people, totally independent of their belief or denomination. Christians would have some point if healings predominantly occurred among them. But it ain’t so.

    “And keep in mind that you can’t prove that no severed limbs have ever been grown again.”

    I think it can be completely ruled out that it happened in the last 300 years or so. Otherwise we would most probably know. Had it happened during the last 100 years we would definitely know. This many people – even scientists! – would and should regard as a proof of God’s existence, because this would truly be a miracle which no science could explain away.

    Neil said: Here’s where I think you are deceiving yourself. If you can’t see the the universe as evidence of God’s creation, then you’ll rationalize away any other miracle you are given documentation of – it was digitally altered, or people lied, or saw what they wanted to see, or whatever.

    “I encourage you to do some more research on ID.”

    Believe me, I have looked into ID closely enough to discard it as an unscientific endeavour. It’s creationism in disguise, end of story.

    “These are tired assertions and typical macro-evolution tautologies.”

    Sorry, I have to put you right on this. On the face ID adherents do not deny macro-evolution. They only assert that not ALL of evolution can be explained by natural causes alone and from this assertion they infer that there must be a designer who from time to time intervenes with naturally occurring evolution. Basically ID admits to the fact of evolution, it only pretends to propose a different THEORY of evolution, if only a completely unscientific one.

    “More evidence for ID and against macro-evolution.”

    I do not quite see how a new view on “junk DNA” is evidence for ID. It just shows that science is progressing all the time while creationism is regressing. Did ID prove that “junk DNA” could not have evolved naturally? I do not think so!

    Neil said: You misunderstood my point. “Science” was wrong on their proof points on junk DNA and allegedly superfluous organs.

    And there are rudimentary organs, what does ID have to say about it?

    “And how many would still be working their if they were public about their views?”

    Well, Behe still is. But how come most advocators of ID have no proper qualification to talk about the subject?

    “Be sure to see Expelled when it comes out.”

    I surely will. Can’t wait to spot all the distortions and plain lies that will be presented in the film.

    Neil said: Hee hee. You’re not biased, are you? Already dogmatically saying there will be lies and distortions and you haven’t even seen it!

    “Final thought: Keep in mind in your worldview all the religious beliefs, ID, etc. that you hate so much were formed via Darwinian evolution. Just sayin’.”

    You seem to like that point, I have come across it in your comments several times so far. However, it is by no means compelling. Evolution does not select for truth, it merely selects for survival.

    Neil said: Yes, I like to point it out, because it is true. Your distinction about “survival” has nothing to do with the argument.

    There may have been – no, there most likely was – a survival value in credulity and mythical ideas. It is a fascinating new field of scientific and philosophical research to find out how religion evolved.

    Neil said: Tautology 101. Just like the Darwinians rationalize that abortion and homosexual behavior support “survival.” And they think we’re the ones that don’t reason . . .

    Our brain structure is not really different from that of our ancestors 10,000 or even 50,000 years ago. So it is unavoidable that people came up with false ideas about their environment. Then religion probably played a part in holding the group together, today it is more often than not a divisive force.

    Neil said: All speculation, no evidence. Seems to me that your survival of the fittest theory would weed out those false ideas rather quickly.

    Thanks to the advancement of the scientific method today we can distinguish between ideas/theories that give an appropriate description of the world about us and those that give a distorted picture. The former is true for the sciences, the latter for the religions. Science is shaped by evidence and moves on in the light of new evidence, even if scientists have to give up long-cherished ideas. Religion is mostly static because it cannot give up basic “truths” without destroying itself.

    BTW, I do NOT HATE religions nor their adherents, I only want to point out where they are erroneous.

    The majority of people are not scientifically-minded. Some are even proud of their ignorance of reality and religious bias. This is reflected by the very fact that there is a positive correlation between the percentage of agnostics and atheists and higher education. The better educated and intelligent a group is, the more critical they are of religion.

    Neil said: That reminds me of two of my favorite quotes:

    1 Corinthians 3:19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight. As it is written: “He catches the wise in their craftiness”;

    “Though it always comes as a surprise to intellectuals, there are some forms of stupidity that you must be highly intelligent and educated to commit. God keeps them in His arsenal to pull down mulish pride, and I discovered them all.” J. Budziszewski

    P.S. I once read that Unitarians have the highest IQs of any religion yet they hold the most intellectually bankrupt beliefs. Wisdom does not always correlate with intelligence.

    This does of course not completely rule out that some intelligent people are still religious. “Old habits die hard” as the saying goes. If you have been brainwashed into believing some things without proper evidence it may stick with you for the rest of your life.

    Neil said: Funny thing about your brain washing ad hom. The media assumes that Darwinian evolution is true, and all the schools teach it. Academia ruthlessly roots out dissenters. Yet most people still don’t believe it! You need to work on your brainwashing techniques some more.

    As far as the USA is concerned however I fear that many scientists who seem to profess a belief just do so because stating otherwise would be detrimental to their career. To a lesser extent this may also be true for other western countries.

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  36. Wolf said “there is a positive correlation between the percentage of agnostics and atheists and higher education. The better educated and intelligent a group is, the more critical they are of religion.”

    Jesus talked about it being hard for a rich man to get into heaven. Seems like “rich” in this sense applies to IQ as well as wealth.

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  37. Neil said: You’ve got a search engine, give it a shot. I’ve come across three items in the last couple months.

    If you have, please give me a hint what to look for. Where is there “proof” that miracles do occur?

    Neil said: I never claimed I had “proof” that those miracles occur – just that there are plenty of reasons (some of which I offered) as to why that the whole issue is a lame atheist attempt at a trump card.

    “If you can’t see the the universe as evidence of God’s creation, then you’ll rationalize away any other miracle you are given documentation of – it was digitally altered, or people lied, or saw what they wanted to see, or whatever.”

    I still have an open mind on that. But so far nothing of the sort has come up. You may have heard of James Randi’s 1-Million-Dollar-challenge (http://www.randi.org). The price is offered for ANY proof of supernatural talents.

    A miracle worker just would be fine. I suggest Bill Johnson from the Miracle Center in Bethel, CA (http://www.bjm.org/).

    Genuine miracles could be detected by the scientific method, but so far all alleged miracles were either impossible to check on properly or revealed as fraud. I will remain sceptical until proven wrong.

    Neil said: OK with me.

    Neil said: Hee hee. You’re not biased, are you? Already dogmatically saying there will be lies and distortions and you haven’t even seen it!

    Well, Not only have I watched your trailer, I have also read quite a bit about the film and its makers on the internet. There is enough information online to prove that the film makers are a dishonest bunch:

    http://www.coloradoconfidential.com/showDiary.do?diaryId=3229
    http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2007/08/im_gonna_be_a_movie_star.php
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Sternberg
    http://www.skeptics.com.au/articles/dawkins.htm

    The last link is of special interest as it shows that the deceptive proceedings for “Expelled” are typical of IDers and it also deals with ID’s false claim that information as found in DNA cannot be the product of natural selection.

    For the sake of a balanced view I also include what Sternberg has to say about the issue:
    http://www.rsternberg.net/

    Neil said: The media assumes that Darwinian evolution is true, and all the schools teach it. Academia ruthlessly roots out dissenters. Yet most people still don’t believe it! You need to work on your brainwashing techniques some more.

    No need to do so. Scientific thinking is based on skepticism, not authority. That is why the film “Expelled” starts with an inappropriate imputation:

    “You must not question authority”
    “You must not question Darwinism”

    What can you expect of a film that starts with such a preposterous misrepresentation of the truth?

    Scientific progress is only possible by constantly questioning what you believe to be true. That is the essence of the scientific method. There may be the occasional scientist who deviates from this, but they are soon put right by their collegues. Modern theory of evolution is a long way from Darwin’s initial explanations. We should be alarmed if almost a century and a half of research had not found out a number of false assumptions Darwin made.

    However, his basic idea that mutations and natural selection are the driving forces of evolution survives to this day and there is not the slightest reason to assume that it will not accompany humankind for the rest of its lifetime.

    Not only the Dover trial of 2005 has once again clearly demonstrated the unscientific character and to a certain extent the dishonesty of ID and its proponents.

    Expelled is just another example.

    Neil said: The Dover initiative was not supported by most IDers. It was a bad plan and poorly executed. But aside from being a temporary public relations coup for Darwinists, it really proved nothing scientifically. The judge was a joke in how he “borrowed” much of his opinion from Darwinists.

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  38. The “expelled” people are going to have have a difficult time ahead of them.

    Obviously they plagiarized a film about the cell made by Havard University.

    Just one more point to prove what an dishonest and despicable bunch they are!

    Only the dumbest of people will still not be able to see through the fraud.

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  39. I find the histrionics of the Darwin crowd over Expelled to be very, very amusing and informative. “Boo-hoo, they didn’t let me in the screening.” Sheesh. Call the Wah-mbulance.

    “Only the dumbest of people will still not be able to see through the fraud.”

    Yes, you are right. Macro-evolution’s days are numbered. Films like Expelled will indeed expose the Darwinists. Thanks for pointing that out.

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  40. I expected as much. It is quite telling which comments you let go through and which not.

    Expelled has been totally debunked, Stein exposed himself as a fool and liar. Creationism is dishonesty in disguise. Clearly visible for each and everyone now.

    Neil said: Yes, it is telling. I have developed incredible discernment with respect to which comments can yield productive dialogue and which are pointless, fact-free rants. Yours is an example of the latter. Thanks for proving out my Hyperbole Gone Mad post. I wonder if you even saw the movie.

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  41. Neil said: I’m responding to this comment as a sort of public service announcement. Anyone writing similar things in the future will want to save their keystrokes, because this is not the kind of thing I find productive.

    Birds of a feather flock together.

    Just as I expected you did not dare leave my comment on your blog.

    Neil said: Yes, I was far too frightened of your powerful arguments. Seriously, do you think it could have had something to do with your last comment having been full of personal attacks, sorta like those in this one? If people want to have their comments deleted a good thing to type is, “I dare you to post this.” I don’t have time for that.

    Just like that vile liar Stein you are not interested in fair and honest debate, all you want to do is drive home your agenda, regardless of the facts.

    Neil said: Let’s see, you criticize this little blogger for not posting your unhinged comments, yet you attack Stein, whose main point was to highlight the unfair restrictions of government and academia in letting people express ideas openly. I suspect the irony will be lost on you.

    Do you see the difference? You can start up your own blog in 5 minutes and say whatever you like about Stein or me and it won’t affect your career one bit. But many people can’t get tenure or their jobs back if they criticize Darwinism.

    If Jesus were alive today you would have his deepest contempt as he hated liars and hypocrits! Cf. Matthew 23

    Neil said: First things first, Jesus is alive. He died on a Roman cross almost 2,000 years ago but then rose from the dead, further validating his claims to be God. There is a lot of historical evidence pointing to that fact if you are truly interested.

    Re. my sins – Jesus knows I’m a hypocrite and a liar, though He also knows I didn’t lie or commit hypocrisy with this post. He knows everything, including all the sins you have committed and the darkness of your heart.

    He took the punishment for all my sins and I trust in him, so I am forgiven for all the lies I have told and all my acts of hypocrisy. I regularly thank him for that, and I am filled with joy to be able to follow him and learn from him. His ways are the best ways, and it is an honor to love and serve in his name.

    Here’s something for you to think about: When you die and face God, will you accept the punishment for all your lies, hypocrisy and countless other sins on your own, or will Jesus be standing in your place? There is still time to repent and put your trust in him, but I wouldn’t wait too long. You never know if you’ll have 50 more minutes or 50 more years of life.

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