Oh dear.

Just when you thought it was safe to get back in the classroom…a protester promoting the claims put forth in Ben Stein’s controversial film Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed showed up on the U.C. Berkeley campus today to argue with students about creationism and atheism.


When I stumbled across this scene, I didn’t at first notice the Expelled card on his sign. It’s rare to see anti-atheism protesters in Berkeley (as you might imagine), so I stuck around for a while to eavesdrop on the ongoing arguments.


It wasn’t until I circled around to the back that I got the full gist of his intent.


And then it hit me — Oooooohhhhhh, he was inspired to confront the UC students by Ben Stein, who thinks creationism should be given equal time in science classes alongside evolutionary biology. (Which, in my opinion, is a completely ludicrous demand, seeing as creationism is not science. Teach theology in Sunday school; in biology class, stick to the scientific method. This review of the film pretty much sums up my opinions on the matter.)


The story behind my presence on the U.C. campus adds another bizarre dimension to the scene. I had gotten a tip that the group “Students for Justice in Palestine” was going to set up a “checkpoint” near Sproul Plaza to force passing students to experience what life is purportedly like in the West Bank — as SJP’s way of marking the “Nakba,” the Arabic word for “catastrophe” that is used in Palestine to describe the founding of Israel. But when I showed up, no faux-checkpoints were to be found — only this table for the Muslim Students Association. I guess I either missed the action, or the whole event had been cancelled.


So instead I hung around and listened in on the arguments for and against God. I don’t think too many minds were changed.

There are many aspects of the left-wing bias in Berkeley’s liberal arts departments that merit criticism — but insisting that the school’s world-class science departments abandon their fundamental principles is the wrong way to confront the problem.

53 Responses to “Here come the pro-Expelled demonstrations”

  1. 1Erik Jon Bertel on May 7, 2008 at 4:04 am:

    They are going to the public becuase Intelligent Design has been rejected as a valid scientific theory for a number of years. Simple question: sum up for me how ID describes the functionality and modeling of an ecosystem? Remember, you can’t use competition and evolution to describe the changing ecosystem or fluctuating species populations. I bet ya you can’t. Yet using the evil Darwinist and evolutionist’s theories we can model the environment and I ask you to reference the classic Wilson & Bossert’s Island Biogeography and its modeling of species equilibrium.

    What would ID have to say? Wow, this is so complex, forget about understanding this, this had to be an intelligent designer at work. And that’s fine but it’s not science and you can’t do anything with it.
    If ID is truly a valid scientific theory then win the debate within the scientific journals through peer review not in the court of public opinion (and please don’t give me that nonsense that the ID proponents lost their jobs, that was basically a Michael Moore liberty if I ever saw one.) This is how science advances and why should the mechanism change just because proponents of ID have lost the debate years ago?

    Reconciling your faith should never be an easy exercise and we don’t need to give people another excuse not to think. We have American Idol for that!

    Erik John Bertel
    Author Flores Girl: The Children God Forgot and the MillenniumWriting.com Blog

  2. 2Dusty on May 7, 2008 at 7:54 am:

    So sorry. Checkpoints are today, 10-2. I don’t know why the change….unless the intent is to interfer with the Israel Action Committee Celebration….

    Wednesday, May 7th Sproul Plaza (Sather Crescent):
    Mock Checkpoint, 10-2 pm
    Checkpoints are a daily impediment in the occupied territories for students going to school, people going to work, patients trying to reach hospitals, or families visiting family. This will be a mild example of what Palestinians go through on a daily basis.

  3. 3John on May 7, 2008 at 10:19 am:

    Thanks for the report…is Dusty kidding?

  4. 4Dfbaskwill on May 7, 2008 at 10:31 am:

    As a 1977 graduate of Dover Area High School (Yea, that Dover Area High School) I am amazed how the creationists persist like they do. To this day, I have to be very careful what I say to classmates I run across. My favorite teacher hung around 5 years longer than she wanted to just to make sure she was heard at trial. My best friend’s dad burned the Descent of Man mural with the asst. supt.’s approval. At least this guy’s presentation was better than the defense attorney’s at the trial. Can’t wait for the next installment of “Intelligent ” Design.

  5. 5NC on May 7, 2008 at 10:31 am:

    The day that a moronic, misguided student stops me at a “checkpoint” is the day I break said student’s nose.

  6. 6Joshua on May 7, 2008 at 10:51 am:

    Erik,

    Why then have no new phyla appeared since all known phyla first spontaneously appeared at roughly the same time? Don’t you think it is interesting that all complex lifeforms just randomly came into existence, from nothing, essentially at once? Sure intra-phylum (and higher) transitions have been documented, but why nothing earlier? It doesn’t seem for lack of fossil record, the fossil record is well documented at this period.

    Given the complexity of the protein sequences required for each phylum, how could they have even appeared as early as they did in the history of Earth. By pure probability alone, DNA for phylum should not exist for billions of years *from now*!

    I don’t claim that evolution does not occur on the small scale, I just reject that it occurs on the large scale (phylum).

    What say you?
    Joshua

  7. 7Ster on May 7, 2008 at 11:03 am:

    I think it would be fair to teach a class that would show what evolution and ‘science’ cannot explain. (Actually, that would be interesting, I love anything to do with cosmology.) As well as the fact that the universe is pretty much perfect for life, that is, if certain things were just a little off – like the mass of an electron – we wouldn’t be here.

    Not that this class would teach ‘creationism’, but it would expose the things that science cannot explain and show the limits of our knowledge.

    Heck, teaching ‘creationsim’ isn’t an indoctrincation no more than an atheist attending a history of theology class is. For some reason, this is rejected. Why? Don’t we want a ‘broad’ education. If it’s an elective, creationism is a fine class.

    Although I believe the class subject listed above (the ‘limits’ of science type class that can leave an opening and EXPLAIN why creationists believe what they do) is just as much a fair subject as the history of Hinduism. No? Hinduism isn’t a ‘science’, but I bet there are plenty of classes on it!!

  8. 8Ster on May 7, 2008 at 11:04 am:

    As for the “checkpoint”, if they had one you could have just said… “But myself and my fellow students are not known to blow crap and people up!” If there were no bombings, there would be no checkpoints. Duh!

  9. 9Ster on May 7, 2008 at 11:05 am:

    If there was just ONE attempted bombing at Disney, you can bet your bottom $ they would have “checkpoints” and metal detectors at the gates! Pretty much the same thing.

  10. 10Greg on May 7, 2008 at 11:09 am:

    There is no need for conflict, as long as one side doesn’t completely deny the possiblility of the other side’s point of view. The earth is 6000 years old? Well, no, plenty of evidence that the earth is billions of years old, and that the universe is much older. But no one can prove that what kicked off the “big bang” that started the whole thing was not an intentional act by a greater power, and that the sequence of events that got us here was not planned exactly as it unfolded. Evolution is a mechanism. It’s how He got us here. The final action in a Rube Goldberg machine is known when the creator of that machine first starts the marble down the ramp. It’s not a random outcome, it’s olanned.

    Bottom line, science is the study of how God does things. Religion is the study of why God does things. No conflict required. And the people who deny the existence of God and his influence in creating the world we live in, are themselves expressing a religeous viewpoint: There is no God. There should be no room for that in school curricula either.

  11. 11Cameron on May 7, 2008 at 11:37 am:

    “There is no need for conflict, as long as one side doesn’t completely deny the possibility of the other side’s point of view. The earth is 6000 years old? Well, no, plenty of evidence that the earth is billions of years old”

    Didn’t you just completely deny the belief of young earth creationists?

    “But no one can prove that what kicked off the “big bang” that started the whole thing was not an intentional act by a greater power, and that the sequence of events that got us here was not planned exactly as it unfolded.”

    True, but there’s also absolutely no proof that it was god (whichever god or gods you choose) that started the big bang, so at best it’s a tie and of course science explains infinitely more than any religion ever could or will.

    “Bottom line, science is the study of how God does things. Religion is the study of why God does things.”

    Well no science has absolutely nothing to do with god, science studies the physical universe and attempts to explain how and why things work.

    “And the people who deny the existence of God and his influence in creating the world we live in, are themselves expressing a religeous viewpoint: There is no God. There should be no room for that in school curricula either.”

    Once again a definitive no on that one as well, claiming that there is no god/s is not a religious viewpoint it’s a reasoned belief, it’s not based on blind faith, religious texts or an indoctrinated brain.

  12. 12Ted Strout on May 7, 2008 at 12:14 pm:

    As per the island populations, I believe creationists differentiate between natural selection and evolution. And one big point is the lack of transitional fossils showing in-between stages of evolution.

  13. 13AA on May 7, 2008 at 12:34 pm:

    Next time they want to set up a checkpoint to show what life is like in Palestine, you can just show up with a bunch of fire crackers to represent suiside bomber and then go back half a block and randomly launch bottle rockets at them as a protest to their obstructionist checkpoint.

    But you probably can’t do that in CA. Maybe randomly lob nerf footballs in their direction.

  14. 14Super Jesus on May 7, 2008 at 12:42 pm:

    A lack of a transitional fossil is simply a gap between two points of evidence. ID proponents don’t have to deal with this sort of problem because they have no evidence of any kind between which a gap could be formed.

    Super J.

  15. 15Sherri on May 7, 2008 at 12:48 pm:

    The scientific method:
    1. Observation. (Evolution takes too long to observe).
    2. Develop a hypothesis. (It’s Darwin’s THEORY of evolution ya’ll…not Darwin’s PROOF of evolution).
    3. Prediction.
    4. Perform tests to prove/disprove the hypothesis and prediction.

    Evolution does NOT follow the scientific method and is, therefore, unprovable.
    Evolution = Bad Science.

  16. 16Ross on May 7, 2008 at 1:07 pm:

    Cameron,

    “Well no science has absolutely nothing to do with god, science studies the physical universe and attempts to explain how and why things work.”

    Granted, science is not aimed at learning about God. Science in its purest form is the study of causality; finding out why what happens, happens. However, it is foolish to say that the two are unrelated. If there is a God, Science may be one of our best hopes to find how and/or why the world was created how it was, and how we can understand him.

    “True, but there’s also absolutely no proof that it was god (whichever god or gods you choose) that started the big bang, so at best it’s a tie and of course science explains infinitely more than any religion ever could or will.”

    Actually, the very fact that there is a beginning to the universe indicates cause. Since natural forces, time, space and even matter first emerged at the big bang, they cannot be responsible for the bang. (a self-defeating argument; the result of an event cannot be the cause) Thus, there must necessarily be a ’cause’ outside of nature (literally ‘supernatural’). This alone is strong evidence for a ‘creator’, acknowledged by even many devout atheistic scientists. The only reasonable way to dispute this is to suggest an eternal universe, however, this violates the second law of thermo-dynamics, and Einstein’s theory of relativity.

    “Once again a definitive no on that one as well, claiming that there is no god/s is not a religious viewpoint it’s a reasoned belief, it’s not based on blind faith, religious texts or an indoctrinated brain.”

    A ‘reasoned belief’ can be used to describe a great many things, many of them religious. Like it or not, Atheism is based on faith, as are the many forms of theism (and agnosticism), unless of course you’re stating that you know with absolute 100% certainty that atheism is true and undeniable. Anything which you cannot prove to 100% certainty (a point which you admitted above) does require an amount of so called ‘blind faith’ to believe. Our knowledge gets us to a certain point, call it ‘beyond a reasonable doubt’. The rest of the way to what we call certainty is faith, whether theistic or atheistic. Thus, Atheism requires faith, and can fairly be called a ‘religious viewpoint’ (ie. the viewpoint that all theistic religions are false is, in and of itself, a religious viewpoint).

  17. 17Armand on May 7, 2008 at 1:27 pm:

    There is no proof of the big bang either – speculation, guess work, transferred in science. No scientist alive can explain how life began – not one – so whats the big deal in suggesting ID, if you ask me it take the same amount of faith to believe in Darwin as it does a deity.

  18. 18Russ on May 7, 2008 at 1:31 pm:

    Joshua, There are 35 phylums. The cambrian explosion is a well studied area.

    As far as when the different phylum evolved, I think the most recent is flowering plants (140M years ago). I think the oldest (still existing) phylum is the cnidaria (580M years ago). Of course, there any many long dead phylums, most of which we will probably never discover. Part of the explosion of the cambrian explosion is the increase in number of phylums that leave fossils or trace fossils. Life on earth has a 3 billion year history, over which there have likely been hundred of possible phylum classifications. So lets see. 3000M years of evolving phylum, and for the past 140M we haven’t seen a new phylum. Your point seems so incredibly weak.

    So what you are really saying, is that most of the body plans from before the cambrian have been supplanted by newer, more evolved plans…and this is a problem why? Also, 500M years ago is not “early” in the history of the earth. It represents approximately 2500M years of evolution. If you don’t think evolution occurs on the phylum scale, please explain the ample evidence in the fossil and genetic record for the appearance of flowing plants.

    Read up, then come back http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cambrian_explosion

  19. 19Russ on May 7, 2008 at 1:40 pm:

    Armand.

    I’m sorry that scientists don’t have that nailed down yet, but that doesn’t prove a point. If I said a hundred years ago that the complex, completely unexplainable spectrum lines produced by different elements were proof of an intelligent design, I’d look like an idiot today.

    Abiogenesis is a very exciting topic with a lot of study and theories.

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

  20. 20Russ on May 7, 2008 at 2:03 pm:

    It’s my understanding that the basis of ID is that some processes of the natural world are explainable, and some are not. Those already explained would clearly be in the former column, and those not cannot be explained (other than by deferring to an omnipotent supernatural being) may or not be in the latter column.

    If ID really is a science, then it should be able to show which processes are in which column. In mathematics, there are provably unsolvable problems. In order for ID to be a viable theory, it must attempt to prove that certain processes are in fact in the unexplainable column.

    The only arguments I’ve seen from ID are ones that attempt to point out weaknesses in current theories. (Ie, a certain process explained by a theory is too unlikely to occur). I haven’t seen any arguments that provide evidence that a certain process is provably unexplainable.

  21. 21Steve-o on May 7, 2008 at 2:22 pm:

    The check-point idea is great. For more realism, it should be blown up every so often.

  22. 22spudmom on May 7, 2008 at 4:19 pm:

    Actually, Disney does set up security checkpoints (my family of 8 went through it in January) just outside the admission turnstiles. I don’t think they would know what to do if they found an incendiary device or weapon, but it does keep the stuff out of the park. It didn’t used to be this way; having grown up in Southern California, I remember the E-ticket rides, not having my backpack rummaged through. Why the change? A perceived threat to do random acts of violence on innocent civilians by?????? oh, yeah, radical religious families like ours.

  23. 23Oligonicella on May 7, 2008 at 4:37 pm:

    Joshua —

    “Given the complexity of the protein sequences required for each phylum, how could they have even appeared as early as they did in the history of Earth. By pure probability alone, DNA for phylum should not exist for billions of years *from now*!

    Your argument is poor. Proteins do not occur because of “pure probability alone”. Therefore, your calculations are meaningless.

    “I don’t claim that evolution does not occur on the small scale, I just reject that it occurs on the large scale (phylum).”

    So, what you’re saying is that, the argument having been totally trashed at the species, genus, class and order level, the goalposts have now been moved to phyla?

    OK. Explain why they weren’t around before 190M years ago?

    Ster —

    “Heck, teaching ‘creationsim’ isn’t an indoctrincation no more than an atheist attending a history of theology class is. For some reason, this is rejected. Why? Don’t we want a ‘broad’ education. If it’s an elective, creationism is a fine class.”

    They examine creationism in theology class. That’s where it belongs. In fact, most religious doctrine is creationism of one sort or another.

    Sherri –

    1. Observation. – Evolution *has* been observed. Nylonase. Pod Kopiste.
    2. Theory in science means “a coherent group of general propositions used as principles of explanation for a class of phenomena”. That class of phenomena in this case being the empirical evidence of evolution. Learn terminology.
    3. Prediction. Introduce novel compounds into the environment and novel enzymes and/or structures will evolve to utilize them. (1)
    4. Done many times. You’re simply ignorant of them.

    Read more.

  24. 24Oligonicella on May 7, 2008 at 4:38 pm:

    Joshua — “they” meaning angiosperms.

  25. 25cjk on May 7, 2008 at 5:02 pm:

    The fossil record absoluetly PROVES evolution false. When you behave and think that something that is unproven is proven, then you are an idiot. The established scientific/political alliance has been proven wrong numerous times. Every society always has had this alliance probrably dating back from sumerias astrologers.

  26. 26Christina on May 7, 2008 at 6:27 pm:

    I wish people would stop confusing ID and Creationism. ID just says that the existence of a watch implies a watchmaker. Creationism holds that Genesis is an accurate accounting of how the universe came into existence.

    Life is far too complex to have come about merely by chance. Evolution can’t explain the eye, the relationship between pollinators and the plants, or DNA polymerase — an enzyme that cruises your strands of DNA, fixing errors in the code.

    And, if evolution really worked, why haven’t possums smart enough not to get into stare-downs with oncoming cars replaced the kind so prone to AIDS (Asphalt Instant Death Syndrome)?

  27. 27average_guy on May 7, 2008 at 8:13 pm:

    Zombie:

    You know you posted this because you knew it would drive tons of coments.

    Not that I can blame ya…..

  28. 28grout on May 7, 2008 at 10:26 pm:

    Christina:

    Pandas & People: the result of a global search & replace of “Creator” with “Intelligent Designer”. This is only one, very embarrassing for ID supporters, piece of evidence.

    There is no confusion. ID is creationism.

  29. 29Mayumi on May 7, 2008 at 10:35 pm:

    ID needs an extreme makeover. It would get an interested audience if it simply replaced the Judeo-Christian face of the intelligent designer with the face of a Roswell alien. The idea of a rational and intelligent universe is not unique to Creationists. Newton, Hawking, Collins (the genome project), and even Dawkins (The God Delusion) acknowledge the super intelligence embedded throughout the universe. Newton’s discovery of the law of gravity and his thoughts on the conversion of matter into energy, just as Collins’ glimpse into the complex information universe within a single DNA had the unintended consequence of believing in an intelligent designer. The complexity and rationality of these laws that render them reliable and permanent are simply…too complex and too rational to be an accident. The engineering marvels of biosystems once unknown, but now revealed by nanotechnology couldn’t have evolved but must simply always have been what they are, are leaving gaps in evolution. What Darwin convincingly did to primates and homo sapiens, cannot simply be applied to the subatomic world. A super intelligence, it seems, may have set the mechanism for evolution itself. The big-bang – life – as unbelievably rare a cosmic accident it already is, is more common still than this finely-tuned mechanism. Ignoring it can only be an act of faith, ironically, a Creationesque faith in reverse.

    The creationists prefer this super intelligence as God, of course. The atheist Dawkins rather ascribes this intelligence to aliens, obviously. But there seems to be some recognition, at least, for some evidence of a singular designer. But ID is too closely associated with God and looking like Creationism in drag. Half of the challenge is getting over the huge mental hurdle and identifying the Adam-and-Evers. ID proponents may well be the new explorers rejecting a new flat world. Or they may just be old flat-worlders still afraid to sail across the edge. I hope we hear Darwinian evolutionists and ID proponents debate the theory of evolution at the molecular level.

  30. 30Rocketsbrain on May 7, 2008 at 11:48 pm:

    I agree with Mayumi. The ID folks would do well to distance themselves from the Creationists. I like the movie because it was thought provoking re the responses of an established paradigm to marginalize those who would criticize it. I posted these thoughts on one of my blogs:

    Mayor Verner – Thoughts on Ben Stein’s new movie and Spokane

    BTW I came here via a link from LGF.

    RBT

  31. 31V1per41 on May 8, 2008 at 7:29 am:

    cjk:
    “The fossil record absoluetly PROVES evolution false.”

    Try looking at the evidence before making such claims. Just because you heard some creationist say this before doesn’t make it correct. I’m assuming the next words out of your mouth when confronted about this statement would be “there are no transitional fossils anywhere”. So I’m going to tell you ahead of time to look up the following species:
    Archaeopteryx
    Tiktaalik
    australopithecus afarensis
    Evolution of cetaceans
    If you research all of these and still think there is no such thing as a transitional fossil, then there isn’t really much we can do for you.

    Christina:
    “Evolution can’t explain the eye”.

    Have you even tried looking into this statement? Scientists have known for years how the eye formed using purely darwinian means. The website http://www.expelledexposed.com has a great video up fully explaining the process.

    I encourage everyone to see what the scientific literature says before making claims. You’d be surprised, you might actually learn something.

  32. 32Fred on May 8, 2008 at 7:51 am:

    “Try looking at the evidence before making such claims”

    Evidence has to be interpreted. Depending upon which unquestioned presuppositions you use to interpret it will determine what conclusions you will extrapolate from the evidence. None of those fossils you mention are compelling for evolution. They’re just fossils.

    Fred

  33. 33V1per41 on May 8, 2008 at 8:28 am:

    “None of those fossils you mention are compelling for evolution.”

    How are none of those fossils compelling for evolution? The theory of evolution predicted that we would find these kinds of fossils from those time periods, displaying the traits that they do. Evolution is the theory that best explains the existence of these fossils. Of course these fossils don’t prove evolution, but they are certainly strong pieces of evidence in favor of the theory.
    If you think you have a better explanation, I along with the entire scientific community would love to hear it. Of course your hypothesis would also have to explain things like atavisms, ERVs, and nearly all of genetics just to start. I wish you luck… you’re gonna need it.

  34. 34Stogie on May 8, 2008 at 8:30 am:

    As someone who has actually studied evolutionary theory in college, I am disappointed by the vacuity of this post, Zombie. You cite John Derbyshire’s asinine review of “Expelled” even though Derbyshire admits he hasn’t seen the film and merely makes assumptions as to its content. I suggest you read David Berlinski’s rebuttal of Derbyshire where Berlinkski rips him a new one. The link is here: http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=M2M0M2ZiOWE4YzgwNDIyOTI5NWE4NGY1NTYxNmYxNzA=

    I don’t know what Intelligent Design is, have never studied it and could care less. I am not a fundamentalist Christian. In fact, I’m not even a Christian. I don’t have a religion. But what Ben Stein says about the dogmatism, closed-minded intolerance of the Scientific community is basically true. Not to mention those who feel so terribly threatened by alternative views. Like you, Zombie.

  35. 35Fred on May 8, 2008 at 9:06 am:

    “How are none of those fossils compelling for evolution? The theory of evolution predicted that we would find these kinds of fossils from those time periods, displaying the traits that they do. Evolution is the theory that best explains the existence of these fossils. Of course these fossils don’t prove evolution, but they are certainly strong pieces of evidence in favor of the theory.”

    They explain how there is variations within kinds of species and how species can adapt to changing environments. That sort of “evolution” isn’t disputed and no one has a problem with because it is observable. None of those fossils, however, explain how you can get from bacteria to Bach, what is needed for Darwinianism to actually be meaningful as an explanation of how we got here. Your last statement demonstrates my point: If you begin with the presupposition that materialistic naturalism is true and any other worldviews are excluded, of course you are going to see the fossils as ‘strong pieces of evidence’ for your favored point of view.

    By they way, the Expelledexposed site is maintained by the NCSE, a group of atheist hacks and head-up by the self-appointed high priestess of evolutionary dogma, Eugenie Scott, who has made her life’s passion to lead inquisitions against any apostate biology teacher who dares to question the authority of Darwinianism. That fact alone takes its credibility down a notch or two as a sincere critic of ID theory.

    Fred

  36. 36beniyyar on May 8, 2008 at 9:07 am:

    The theory of evolution was a pseudo scientific attempt by Darwin to justify the injustices of the British, aka the Brutish, Empire by positing that some people, mainly the British, were more equal than others. There is no proof to the scientific validity of this theory, even mutations as a type of evolution are largely harmful to the mutant. Creationism or intelligent design is just as pseudo scientific as evolution, but does at least have some hard evidence to back it up. For example, try to make a rock or a tree out of nothing, it’s pretty hard, not to say impossible, but somehow there are rocks and trees and somehow they were made by someone out of apparently nothing. Go figure out the math yourself.

  37. 37cjk on May 8, 2008 at 9:34 am:

    To ‘Viper’ : Like I already said ‘ When you behave and think that something that is unproven is proven, then you are an idiot.’ If you look at the fossil record without bias the only conclusion to be drawn is that evolution is false. Just because the scientific/political alliance proclaims it truth dosn’t make it truth. NO ONE, NO ONE can prove evolution via the fossil record, which by the way, should be the GREATEST way to confirm it if it were true. Also; I’m not here backing ID. or Creationism, but to continue to believe and teach such a disproven theory is absolute idiocy. People who back evolution are as dogmatic and foolish as the most rabid cultists. On second thought, maybe they’re not so foolish because they sure collect the cash and the esteem of their political allies.

  38. 38andy a on May 8, 2008 at 10:07 am:

    Hey Ster – guess you haven’t been to a Disney park for a while – they do have checkpoints, they hand check every back that comes into the parks. This actually has been for the best, because the picnic area at Disneyland is inside the secure area, you can now take food and drink into Disneyland or Cal. Adventure, and not pay the outrageous prices!

  39. 39hybrid_t on May 8, 2008 at 10:12 am:

    CJK-
    what do you mean by “proof”? Science doesn’t deal in proof, it deals in evidence. There are mountains of evidence for evolution, the fossil record being a good chunk of that. Perhaps you’d like to explain which parts of the fossil record show evidence for some other mechanism (please propose the mechanism too)? You also seem pretty naive about the reality of scientific work, as in “they sure collect the cash” lol have you ever even met a scientist?

    also, Mayumi, do you have a reference for your statement on Dawkins believing in a “super intelligence embedded throughout the universe”? I’ve read most of Dawkins and I can’t remember anything like that.

    your statements on Collins are just plain weird, first of all you should know that Collins is a born again Christian who already believes in the Judeo-Christian God and has explicity REJECTED intelligent design. Not to mention, Collins is not the only person to “glimpse into the complex information universe within a single DNA” (by the way what do you mean by “single DNA”?); thousands of scientists do this daily and reach different conclusions. Just because he is the head of NHGRI does not mean he has some special insight into the nature of DNA that other scientists are not capable of.

    anyway, my conclusion: y’all need some remedial science classes!

  40. 40Fred on May 8, 2008 at 10:23 am:

    y’all need some remedial science classes!

    I always find it amusing how evolutionists grouse about how we don’t have enough evolutionary education. All of my life, from elementary, to Jr. High, High School, and college, I was indoctrinated with evolutionary propaganda by die hard Darwinians. And that was out in Possum Squash Arkansas where there is nothing but barefoot hill billy Bybul thumpers.
    And still, I need to return to remedial science class? How did my teachers fail me so? You evolutionary educators are always a day late and a dollar short.

    Fred

  41. 41JerryFLA on May 8, 2008 at 10:50 am:

    It seems like almost everyone, including the scientists, are missing the big picture concerning this whole “Darwinism” debate.

    All of this (recent) controversy – and the renewal of the “Intelligent Design” idea – originates from a handful of extremists closely associated with the “Discovery Institute” in Seattle. Read up on this fascinating story via my supplied links below but be WARNED: you will feel liked you’ve been duped if you do.

    The “Wedge” document in particular clearly shows that these people regard the theory of evolution as “scientific materialism’ as they call it. In other words, they feel evolution removes God and ‘purpose’ from human existence. Hence evolution (and science) becomes the major reason for the world’s current ‘downward spiral’ into evil.

    The stated goal of the Discovery Institute’s Center for the Renewal of Science is: “seeks nothing less than the overthrow of materialism and its cultural legacies.” And guess how they intend to do this? Read the document to find out just how successful they’ve have been so far (hint: they don’t care who wins any of these debates, only that there ARE debates).

    I’m not making this stuff up – they REALLY think evolution is “evil” – and I find it fascinating that such a small group of dedicated zealots have managed to dust off William Paley’s long forgotten “Watchmaker” book from 1802 and resurrect “ID” as something new and valid and interesting. When did you first hear of ID? I’ll bet it was within the last 5 years – maybe 10 at the most.

    And if you find yourself feeling angry (and you should) after doing a little research, consider this as well: those men (Meyer, Johnson, Behe, Dembski, etc.) probably don’t care about “ID” at all and know full well that their new ‘science’ is a farce. They apparently feel the means justifies the end. While all of us are arguing about fossils and such – these guys are producing propaganda and appealing to the American ideal of “fair play” by suggesting we give “both sides” a fair shake. They are making remarkable progress largely as a result of sucking in millions of otherwise intelligent and reasonable people – from BOTH sides of the argument.

    If you find yourself “educating” people about science (and evolution in particular) you have been DUPED. Read up and you’ll find that fomenting a “controversy” (complete with heated debates) is all part of the strategy to suggest that (“to be fair”) both sides of the argument “might be valid”. People don’t have to know about the science if they can trust (real) scientists.

    If you find yourself defending ID and think Expelled is a great movie, you have been DUPED as well. The truth is this: it’s perfectly OK not to be a science whiz but it’s downright dishonest to take advantage of someone who might otherwise be brilliant but avoided science in school. Take it from a guy who DOES have a lot of science under his belt: A LOT of plain old garbage has been deliberately floated in the last 10 years – interestingly, much of it in the form of ‘sound bites’ such as the famous “it’s just a theory”. It’s nothing but ‘spamming’ – disinformation deliberately put out there to deceive and further fuel a fabricated controversy.

    The bottom line is that ALL of us should be mad because we’ve all been chumps. If you consider yourself a reasonably open-minded and intelligent person you have NO excuse not to find out for yourself and make your own decision given the ready access to information we enjoy today. It’s not about evolution nor is it about faith or science. It’s about a small group of people who want everybody to step in line with their way of thinking – and believing.

    It’s time to address the real issue however, I have to say, history has shown that in the long run scientific progress ALWAYS proves to be unstoppable. On the other hand, The short term consequences will result in the further ‘dumbing down’ of our country and the subsequent loss of technological superiority (most probably to China). It would take a number of generations to regain that stature – if at all – and those generations (our kids) would probably shake their heads at how we engaged in stupid bickering all the while oblivious to the fires being set all around us. We ALL need to smarten up on the REAL issue that confronts us.

    Wedge Document Reprint
    http://www.antievolution.org/features/wedge.html

    A scan of the original wedge document (pdf format)
    http://www.antievolution.org/features/wedge.pdf

    A brief history of the Discovery institute and how the Wedge Document was made public
    http://www.seattleweekly.com/news/0605/discovery-darwin.php

    Breaking the Modernist Monopoly on Science
    Phillip E. Johnson
    http://www.arn.org/docs/johnson/le_wedge.htm

    THE “WEDGE DOCUMENT”: SO WHAT?
    Discovery Institute rebuttals
    http://www.discovery.org/a/2101

    Wedge strategy
    Wikipedia
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wedge_strategy

    A chronological history of wedge strategy and authentication of the “Wedge Document”
    A survey of wedge activities
    An analysis of the nature of the wedge strategy and its advance into the mainstream
    http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/barbara_forrest/wedge.html

  42. 42hybrid_t on May 8, 2008 at 11:05 am:

    Fred,
    I was talking specifically to the two people I addressed in my post… but as for you, you do seem rather muddled about certain points. For example, the fossil record does not do anything to *explain* how “there is variations within kinds of species and how species can adapt to changing environments.” The modern synthesis explains this, and the fossil record simply supports it with lots of evidence (and the genetic record even more so).

    also you seem to think that “micro” evolution and “macro” evolution would require different mechanisms. What is your basis for believing so?

    These are all probably college-level concepts, so maybe “remedial” was a poor choice of words.

  43. 43Fred on May 8, 2008 at 12:12 pm:

    “The modern synthesis explains this, and the fossil record simply supports it with lots of evidence (and the genetic record even more so).”

    Again, “modern synthesis” is an interpretative term that requires the evaluation of evidence, and the evaluation applied to the evidence is developed from specific unquestioned axioms of the individual. Darwinian evolution purports to be a world view that explains how life developed on our planet; how complex lifeforms developed from simple, one celled life forms over millions of years. If it merely explained how various forms of life adapt to their environments there wouldn’t be a debate, but the system goes much further in suggesting no supernatural cause was ever necessary, even at the beginning.

    “also you seem to think that “micro” evolution and “macro” evolution would require different mechanisms. What is your basis for believing so?”

    Primarily information. Descent with modification plus mutations over millions of years does not add the necessary genetic information to a common ancestral organism to bring it to splitting off to produce chimps and gorillas on one hand and human beings on the other. Dr. Lee Spetner and Dr. John Sanford have written extensively on this dilemma for Darwinianism. So google their work. Sanford’s in particular. He even invented the gene gun, and he is a young earther to boot.

    “These are all probably college-level concepts, so maybe “remedial” was a poor choice of words.”

    I’ll have to contact my college biology profs to let them know you think they are idiots.

    Fred

  44. 44zombie on May 8, 2008 at 12:44 pm:

    36beniyyar said:

    “The theory of evolution was a pseudo scientific attempt by Darwin to justify the injustices of the British, aka the Brutish, Empire by positing that some people, mainly the British, were more equal than others. There is no proof to the scientific validity of this theory”
    ————————
    Of all the ignorant statements on this thread, yours is the most ignorant. You obviously have no clue as to what Darwinism even is, or what Darwin demonstrated. It was in fact the OPPOSITE of what you claim. Darwin was the first person to show that humans are not “above” the animals, and that the different races of humans are simply different — not superior or inferior to each other. In fact it was Darwinism that destroyed the pre-existing assumption that humans were the “top” of the evolutionary pile and that the British were the top of the human pile. He showed that every living thing simply has adapted to its environment, and that none can be said to be “better” or “more advanced” than any other. It was actually this aspect of Darwinism that was the most controversial during his lifetime. And here you come along 150 years later and say the exact opposite — that Darwin was concocting things out of thin air in order to prop up colonialist racism. Complete balderdash!

    Wherever you learned that load of crap, you’ve been brainwashed. Start from the beginning and learn from scratch what “evolution through natural selection” means, and it will open your eyes. Once you grasp it, it’s like a new dimension of understanding dawning in your head. Some people on this thread “get it,” but many here — and sadly, many across America — do not understand what is even being discussed.

  45. 45hybrid_t on May 8, 2008 at 3:00 pm:

    Fred,

    “Again, “modern synthesis” is an interpretative term that requires the evaluation of evidence, and the evaluation applied to the evidence is developed from specific unquestioned axioms of the individual.”

    So basically, what I hear you saying is that scientific evidence is always subjectivly interpreted and there is no objective reality (or if there is, no way to get at it, due to these “unquestioned axioms”). You are entitled to this view of course, but it dismantles the entire scientific method. Is that what you intend? If so, how do you ever bring yourself to get on an airplane?

    “If it merely explained how various forms of life adapt to their environments there wouldn’t be a debate, but the system goes much further in suggesting no supernatural cause was ever necessary, even at the beginning.”

    This is pretty telling. Your arguments up to this point ARE about its explanatory power. But that’s not what really bothers you, is it? It’s that it suggests (to you) that no supernatural force is needed for life. (Actually, it is totally neutral on this point, as the supernatural is not a valid area of inquiry for science- by definition.)

    “Descent with modification plus mutations over millions of years does not add the necessary genetic information to a common ancestral organism…”

    Why not? I’m sorry… but “information” really is not a problem for biology. These arguments almost always rest on assumptions of the frequency of point mutations and ignore larger scale changes and a whole host of other genetic factors.

    “He even invented the gene gun, and he is a young earther to boot.”

    ummmm, one of those makes him slightly more credible as a scientist (or at least interesting) and the other one makes him a COMPLETE LOON. Which phase was he in when he came up with this “information” problem? I wonder. Also I wonder which research was published in journals like Nature and which in… some obscure computing journal?

    “I’ll have to contact my college biology profs to let them know you think they are idiots.”

    I’m not sure what you mean… I said remedial was a POOR choice of word, so I think I implied the very opposite of your college professors (?)

  46. 46TheBad on May 9, 2008 at 1:44 pm:

    My, oh my. It simply amazes me how hot under the collar everyone gets when religion enters a conversation. My personal views aside, something did catch my eye that I wanted to address:

    #15: Sherri said:
    The scientific method:
    1. Observation. (Evolution takes too long to observe).
    2. Develop a hypothesis. (It’s Darwin’s THEORY of evolution ya’ll…not Darwin’s PROOF of evolution).
    3. Prediction.
    4. Perform tests to prove/disprove the hypothesis and prediction.
    Evolution does NOT follow the scientific method and is, therefore, unprovable.
    Evolution = Bad Science.

    While #23 Oligonicella makes a good counter-argument, I felt that one major point was missing:

    Sherri – please explain to me how the scientific method, which you attempt to use in order to debunk the theory of evolution, can be applied to trumpet the theory of ID. It seems your argument could be directly used against it, specifically steps 1 and 4:

    1. Observation – how does one observe the Intelligent Designer?
    4. Perform tests – how does one perform tests on the notion that a being of which we have no scientific proof created everything?

    Ultimately, I have to agree with Zombie on this: religion does not belong in science class. Religion is a belief system based entirely on faith in God to explain intangibles, and therefore has no place in a classroom where the subject matter is specifically the process of using tangibles to explain the “everything”. Faith and God have no place in such a process.

  47. 47cjk on May 9, 2008 at 3:58 pm:

    Anyone who looks at the fossil record with no bias will see that evolution is not supported by it! You political zealots like to type more than me, I never really learned or tried. Anyway, everything shouldn’t have to be explained in detail, including how just about all scientific study and scientists themselves are beholden to politics. When you act as though somethings proven when it isn’t you’re an idiot, period! LOL. The evidence of the fossil record should give the largest and clearest support for the THEORY of evolution, but it shows the contrary. I know that brainwashed non -independent thinking individuals will argue forever, but no honest person can get around the evidence. I don’t have answers for you, but evolution is not supported by the fossil record which should be it’s largest supporter.

  48. 48cjk on May 9, 2008 at 3:59 pm:

    Did y’all get that numbnuts.

  49. 49Jim on May 9, 2008 at 10:18 pm:

    I have no concrete answers on how life made it here, whether it evolved or was created spontaneously. I have my opinions. But I would like to point out that the pro-evolution folks, for lack of a better description, are completely disingenuous and hypocritical when they argue that ID shouldn’t be taught in Science classes because, and I paraphrase, ID cannot be tested by the scientific method.

    I cannot recall exactly how many shows I’ve seen on String Theory, claiming it’s the answer to the Theory of Everything, and the number of academics, mostly physicists, talking about it in various Science talks, shows and yes, even classes today, when String Theory has no more legs than ID from a test standpoint.

    So forgive me when I completely ignore the sanctimonious prattle from some of the pro-evolution people here, talking down ID but I’m sure giving free reign to BS like String Theory……

  50. 50George on Jun 2, 2008 at 8:18 pm:

    Just another idiot for his god.

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