Stein Nukes Dawkins, Then Freaks Out

04/17/2008


By Heidi Martinuzzi

Richard Dawkins is going to be very sorry today. There's a moment in Ben Stein's new movie Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed that the revered biologist is not going to like at all.

As the preeminent source on evolutionary theory and Darwinism, Dawkins is being interviewed by the dry, laconic Stein, who gets him to talk about why he's so vehemently opposed to any possibility of Intelligent Design in any way, shape or form.

And then suddenly Dawkins starts to muse. He wonders sometimes, he says, why all DNA has such a deliberate signature to it. It's almost as if someone, or something, put their “stamp” on it, and maybe even placed the seeds of this DNA, in cellular form, on the Earth, on purpose, intending that it would reproduce itself and spread. Dawkins wonders at who this “intelligence” might be. Aliens? From another planet? He’s shy when he says it, blushing like a schoolboy, because he knows that he sounds a little silly. Yet he is not afraid to admit he thinks it’s possible that someone, or some THING, more intelligent than we are, made us on purpose. And how fascinating is that?

Cut to Ben Stein, feigning a perplexed look: "Did Richard Dawkins just say he accepts the possibility of Intelligent Design?"

It's Stein's ultimate "Gotcha!" moment. Everyone learned how to do this from Michael Moore.

Stein and Dawkins

And yet the film is deeper than that. My own training is in anthropology and I'm a committed Darwinist, but I have to admit that this movie, skillfully directed by Nathan Frankowski, caused me to give Intelligent Design a second look. Explaining the difference between ID (“Life is so complex, I guess maybe it was planned!”) and Creationism (“The Hebrew God made the world in six days”), Expelled interviews several scientists who actually lost their jobs because they considered Intelligent Design a worthwhile subject for study.

Richard Sternberg, a Ph.D. biologist, was fired from his job at the Smithsonian Institution after publishing a paper on the topic. Physicist Guillermo Gonzalez was refused tenure at Iowa State University because he documented a “design” he observed in the universe. Caroline Crocker, a biologist, was forced out of George Mason University for defining Intelligent Design in one of her classrooms. Expelled is definitely on the side of these scientists and against Dawkins and his crew, but Stein’s narrative tries to convince us he’s actually looking for “the Truth.” Well, he is, but he’s really looking for a strained truth of his own devising: that Darwinists are evil.

Ben

They're not evil, but perhaps what this film shows is that they've become so radicalized by the prejudices of their opponents that they're blind to their own lack of fairmindedness. While it’s unlikely that aliens came down and planted us here as part of some great experiment, isn’t it just as unlikely, in a common-sense kind of way, that life just “appeared” for no reason one day? Maybe, just maybe, something intelligent encoded the directions in DNA and placed it in a cell, where it would be safe, and then put the cell down on Earth and said “Go forth and multiply. Oh, and good luck, you’ll need it.” My first thought is: So, doesn’t that make us all machines of some kind? My second thought is: Oh my God, am I a Cylon? Are we ALL Cylons?

Dawkins

What’s going to make Richard Dawkins upset about his admission is that he is aggressively anti-religious, a “hater” of the Judeo-Christian God, and he has many times publicly denounced the theory of Intelligent Design as complete and utter hogwash. He frankly states, moments before his alien-musings, that the likelihood of God existing is about the same as “fairies, elves” and other fantastical creatures.

But apparently he’s okay with aliens.

That one scene is enough to open anyone’s eyes to the inherent hypocrisy not only of the scientific community but of humanity as a whole. Perhaps everything we think we know about our world should be put to the test more often by the scientific community. It’s easy to take for granted that certain things become "common knowledge" (global warming is bad; unicorns never existed), but then again Newtonian law was once accepted as the only physics, too. Then Einstein came along. Weren’t people once convinced that dinosaurs’ bones were the remains of long-dead dragons, and that they breathed fire? Wasn’t it not long ago that people died of common colds because science didn’t permit the dissection of human bodies for study? Aren’t we glad that people stood up to whoever was in charge only to arrive at greater and more complete truths?

So when Richard Dawkins, and many other scientists, heatedly deny the possibility of Intelligent Design because they claim it's “stupid,” they are refusing to entertain possibilities other than Darwin’s “survival-of-the-fittest,” “mutations-happen-randomly,” “environment-is-everything,” “free-will-does-not-exist” concept (and, in essence, are being closed-minded jerks).

Ben and Darwin

Ben Stein agrees, and Expelled does a great job of making this point. When he goes beyond that, the film stumbles. There's a very strange sequence in which Stein runs around Dachau and other Holocaust sites—we see the closeup tears on Stein's cheeks—claiming that Darwin is directly responsible somehow for Hitler. Moving from Darwinism to "social Darwinism," Stein insinuates that Darwinism leads to atheism, and that atheism leads to amorality and a devaluing of human life, and that leads to governments doing terrible things like sterilizing the mentally challenged (the eugenics movement of the 1920’s), killing Jews (the Holocaust) and creating totalitarian Communist states (Russia—no, seriously, Communist Russia is somehow a direct result of Darwin). This is where Stein goes overboard. To portray scientific thinking without God as the root of all evil is just as bad as claiming that scientific thought with God is stupid.

Dawkins, echoing several of the scientists interviewed, says that his pursuit of Darwinian science made him lose any faith in a higher power. But Intelligent Design claims that God and modern evolutionary theory can coexist. Darwin never explained how that first cell was created, and neither has anyone since then. ID advocates accept the doctrine of evolution, but also believe in the possibility that its "first causes" are not random. Maybe there’s a purpose?

So while Ben Stein’s greater objective seems to be to make Richard Dawkins Benout to be pure evil and a hypocrite, Intelligent Design not only gets some much needed press but proves that those old-fashioned witch-hunt tactics used to stifle free-thinking scientists are still being used today to control the flow of scientific information. That's because a godless world that has no place for the sick, old, or imperfect is somehow less scary to science than a world where everyone is a Cylon: an organic and pre-programmed machine with a purpose.

I loved Ben Stein in Ferris Bueller's Day Off, and I always watched Win Ben Stein's Money, but this is more like one of those speeches he used to write for Richard Nixon: so over-the-top that you can't totally trust it. It’s also kind of shameless the way he inserts both a Ferris Bueller’s Day Off moment and a Win Ben Stein’s Money reference in the film. It’s a good thing he accidentally makes some really good points.


Comments(138)

jdog | 10:46 am on 4/18/2008

It's funny that the church silenced so many scientist in the early days of the scientific movement and now the scientist are silencing the church. I'm a ID believer and if you look deeply at evolution there is no way that it works at a cellular level . Irreducible complexity just won't allow it(at least not macro evolution.) I'm mostly in favor of a 6 day creation but how we got here is not as important as where we are going!

PlagueWatcher | 01:02 am on 4/20/2008

If you look deeply at evolution? obviously you haven't been educated in evolutionary biology. commentary like this always comes from the illeducated. yes the church tired to stop science because it challenged dogma( look up the word) and authority And if science now is trying to stifle religion it is because it has always worked to eliminate ignorance and disease. Next time you get an infection, try praying it away. Quoting Darwin about evolution is not different that quoting marconi on modern satellite communications technology. Try reading E O Wilson, Lynn Margulis or Howard Bloom. Yeah its hard to wrap your mind around complex issues. But give it a try, and save yourself from a life wasted on the illusion of immortality, and the idea that a 13 billion year old uinvers was created in 144 hours in 4500 bc.

OnTheMount | 06:03 pm on 4/20/2008

You might want to spell check and proof read what you have written before you click the "Post" button next time. It will make your response look more intelligent. There is nothing quite like insulting other peoples' intelligence while showing that you can't even spell "universe" right. For my part I have wrapped my mind around plenty of complex issues, and found that a little humility goes a long way. The problem of Scientific Rationale minded people like myself is that we have a sure tendency to think much TOO much of our own ability to think. Issues as complex as the origin of life are simply much too complex for even the very brightest of us to get our minds around. It is like reaching our hand into a puzzle box with 2,000 pieces in it and pulling out a handful of pieces. Then we "Super-Intellectuals" study each piece under a microscope for years and come up with some hair-brained theory of what the entire puzzle looks like, which we have to do because we have lost the top of the box with the picture on it.

Now someone who is a lot dimmer then us would not make such a wild-ass guess, but we overly confident Rationales sure will. Open mouth, insert foot, while rudely and arrogantly putting down the masses whom we regard as much less wise then ourselves. Then it is only a matter of how many decades of research will be needed to prove that we were barking up the wrong tree. Many of the theories in the science books of my youth 30 years ago have been proven to be false, and I have no doubt that in another 30 many of the textbooks will have to all be rewritten again. And yet we never learn. No doubt however that our grandchildren will think of us as idiots after we and our theories are both dead and they would be justified in that regards.

Process Deist | 07:27 pm on 4/20/2008

I believe that the following two quotes belong to you.
"You might want to spell check and proof read what you have written before you click the "Post" button next time. It will make your response look more intelligent. There is nothing quite like insulting other peoples' intelligence while showing that you can't even spell....".
"we regard as much less wise then ourselves".
Is your second quote grammatically correct?
Should it be 'than' rather than 'then'?
I could be wrong.

Anonymous | 06:23 am on 4/23/2008

You profoundly missed the point! I do not think the issue was actually spelling. maybe read it again, you should.

It is an excellent point. I saved one of my favorite dinosaur books when I was young to read to my kids. As I read the page on the Brontosaurus, I have to explain that they wrong and that one did not really exist. I wonder what else was wrong.

I have noticed that the Bible is much older and if I am careful to pull meaning out of it and not try to shove meaning into it, I do not have the same problem.

~Steve

Rogi | 02:33 pm on 5/12/2008

Except existence of "Brontosaurus" a/k/a Apatosaurus was a legitimately disputed issue where its was based on fossil evidence and existing knowledge of reptilian physiology. Indeed, most of debunking of formerly held scientific beliefs comes from interpretation of existing evidence and extensive research.

You are correct though, spelling is rarely the point, but more often an attempt at pointing out poster's lack of intellect and, but for rare circumstances, should not be utilized.

Bob Barnes | 03:36 pm on 4/23/2008

Well said. While I am no "scientist," I am a thinker. Over my 72 years, I have discovered a good many "facts" that were erroneous.
Someone said that the computer was worthless as a personal possession (or something in that order).

Rogi | 03:25 pm on 5/13/2008

Whether or not computer is a worthless possession is not a fact, that is an opinion. That a computer has microprocessors -- that is a fact. Are you sure that in your 72 years of life you haven't mistaken many opinions for facts and facts for opinions?

Guy | 11:14 am on 4/24/2008

Are you so convinced that evolution is true that you would assign 0% to the probability that the universe was created? If so, then you miss the point of science. As a 27 year veteran science teacher in public school education, my understanding of science has always been that any statement as to method must be repeatable. Even repetitions of the same measurement aren't always the same (try caclulating the density of water four times using the same equipment). For example, gravity is a law because every time I drop something, it falls down toward the object of greatest mass. Micro-evolution is observable and repeatable (we do it with dog and corn breeding). The Big Bang isn't strictly an incontrovertible because we cannot repeat it. Observation absolutely supplies evidence that it happened, but to say it is proven begs the definition of science. Can we repeat the Big Bang? No; not yet anyway. Is there ANY chance that the Big Bang didn't happen the way current cosmology describes? Absolutely -- there is room for error in everything.

Theories that macro-evolution happens and that "life comes from non-life" have not been proven because we have not yet been able to show macroevolution in the laboratory, nor have we created life from non-life. To continue to say that a non-repeatable event is proven (despite observational evidence) isn't science.

By the way, unless you are 13 billion years old yourself, it's hard to prove that immortality is an illusion.

Anonymous | 04:32 am on 1/03/2009

All those assertations that Christianity held back science...

So when Mendel's theory of Genetics was rejected because "It disagrees with Darwin's New Theory of Evolution" that was Christianity holding back science...?

Oh, maybe you meant all those people who died because the Pancreas and the spleen were 'redundant organs' left over from our 'evolutionary past'?

Oh, silly me, that was Darwinistic Theory, not Christianity - getting hard to tell sometimes these days....

I particularly like YOUR detailed scientific reasons as to why coming to conclusions other than what the majority establishment believes is a bad thing.

I seem to remember that challenging the status quo was good for science - causing a re-examination of old theories and a reassessment of ideas - almost regardless of the eventual validity of the theory that did the challenging, the challenge itself has value, but I forgot the golden rule: You can only challenge the establishment from an athiestic viewpoint. No contradiction in terms there then...

tommyboy | 04:22 pm on 2/11/2009

PlagueWatcher illustrates the case for the "closed-minded jerks" that currently dominate the scientific landscape. Since the argument is not really about evolution (something just about every scientist can agree on) but about a narrower vein of study that restricts the origin of species to Darwin's theory of Natural Selection, it is important to note that this once valuable study has been completely trashed by the anti-religious extremist crowd.

One can make the argument that, what makes scientific research valuable is not the research itself, but the willingness to remain open-minded in the initial assumptions that spawn the research. Closed-minded science is the breeding ground of bad science; using any means to justify its own ends (e.g. the "gay gene" myth of the early 1990's -- http://www.narth.com/docs/mythgene.html).

Darwin's research provides an excellent example for true science. Although he was born of dogmatic Christian origins, his great contribution to science is birth in open-minded research -- a career that ultimately became crippled when he could no longer see the forest for the trees. The drive for money, notoriety and conformity are clearly crippling the sciences today, and to these I'll add my personal peeve -- a closed-mindedness to intelligent design.

Great article, Heidi.

Tony | 10:54 am on 5/03/2008

The fundamtnal thesis of the movie is that people are fired because they are ID'ers.

This is just not true. It's a lie. It's wrong.

Go to http://www.expelledexposed.com/index.php/the-truth/gonzalez and explore the site.

Tony | 10:55 am on 5/03/2008

Ok. Ok fundamental!

Process Deist | 10:43 pm on 5/05/2008

What makes you think we check your spelling?
We just try to understand each other.

Steve Schlichter | 03:34 pm on 5/07/2008

I've noticed that you are selective in your spell checking.

dr j | 02:49 pm on 7/06/2008

The owners of the website mentioned in your link posting is an organization dedicated to promoting evolutionary teaching and discrediting other viewpoints, and not exactly an unprejudiced source of "refutation".

I've been in the middle of these cultural wars (evo v cre) since the '60's (shook hands with Henry Morse when I was in high school) and haven't observed a great Gospel impact (negative or positive) from either side.

Until people see the transformational power of the Gospel in each of our lives, the words and pseudointellectual arguments are simply distractions from what is needed, that being promoting Christ crucified, resurrected, and His Redeeming Love through changed lives.

Anonymous | 04:15 pm on 8/21/2008

That's all well and good, but since there is no evidence or a testable hypothesis to support this concept of a creator, then it has no true basis in fact and no place along theories with scientific merit. One can believe any story they want, but it does not make it fact or even likely; it's just a story. More power to you. The points that are made in this review work against themselves. The theory of evolution is a scientific possibility that may answer these dark age assumptions about life. The possibility of a creator is not enlightening us who believe in science as the review insinuates. Let's just not confuse fantasy with physical evidence. The reason science works is that it's always wanting new evidence to prove theories wrong. Darwin's theory is a theory. It just happens to be the best one we've had in regard to this issue and no evidence has been found to discredit it. Sorry.

Anonymous | 11:11 am on 4/18/2008

I'm thankful that the over the top excesses of the movie are pointed out by the Door.

The Principal | 11:27 am on 4/18/2008

I saw a preview of this film three months ago. Now, I know that their must have been further editing, but I was left with the impression that Stein's thesis was that their is a militant anti-ID "establishment" in the scientific and educational communities. I also thought that he did a wonderful job of letting his subjects prove that point in their own words. Yes, he does skewer Dawkins - I have to admit I like that part. I do not think it is extreme to say that Dawkins hates Christianity and holds Christians themselves in contempt. Stein's final point, however, did not seem so far fetched to me. The irony is that the effects he traces from Darwinism led to certain people attempting to add their own "intelligent design" to the human species. This meant that defects had to be bred out of the gene pool. No one can possibly deny that this was the purpose of eugenics which was the precursor of Planned Parenthood and certain Nazi policies. Yes, Stein promotes an extreme view, but these are emotional subjects and I can forgive him for that. Some of my mother's family and my godfather escaped the Nazi death camps. My father, an uncle and my grandfather all had to fight in Europe during World War II. And maybe, since I am a veteran of our war on terror, I see things in the extreme myself every once in while. What I won't do, however, is fall so in love with a scientific theory or cause that I look like an idiot a hundred years from now. I do just fine making myself look like an idiot now.....

The Untouchable | 11:23 am on 4/27/2008

In all respect to The Principal;Yes;Hitler was one of the most evil men of the 20th Century;but in all fairness and honesty there was Anti Semitism long before Darwin's Theory and people have been killing each other since the beginning of mankind!!

While I like Ben Stein's droll sense of humor,I put"Expelled"in the same category as Al Gore's documentary about Global Warming and Michael Moore's anti Bush docs as well!!

Basically,theyr'e in the same category of"My Mind's Made Up,Don't Confuse Me with the Facts!!"Documentaries:" Rearranging Things To Show My POV and Make Me Look Good!!".

And like a lot of people,I get tired of both sides of the Political Spectrum crying"Victim!!"when things don't go their way!!
As the Late Peter Boyle's"Everybody Loves Raymond" Character"Frank Barrone"used to say"OH BOO HOO HOO!!GET OFF YOUR PITY POT NANCY!!
PULL UP YOUR PANTS AND BE A MAN ABOUT IT!!!".

I looked on line and it turns out that the Proffessors he interviewed for his Documentary were hardly"Persecuted"for their statements!!!

And if Ben Stein had done a little more investigation,he might've found out that quite a numberr of prominnent Americans were admirers of Hitler,including Charles Lindbergh;William Randolph Hearst;Joe Kennedy and The Father of Bush the Elder and Grandfather of Bush the Younger Prescott Bush!!!

And it wasn't until the Mid 60's that the Catholic Church finally absolved the Jews of Collective Guilt regarding the death of Christ!!
Yet,some Catholics still belong to the breakaway Catholic sect that still harbors to that notion including Mel Gibson and his Father,Hutton Gibson!!!

Yes,I beleive that some parts of Darwin's Theory are correct,yet I also beleive that there had to be some sembelance of order in the Creration of Earth as well!!

And to narrow Creation down in mere words and theory is impossible
as it would never properly explain God's Mysteries and Wonders!!
Basically;Ben Stein as well as Al Gore;is a sincere man who beleives in what he does;however,neither of them have Degrees in Science and are essentially playing to their followers!!
Yawners!!I Know It'll Give Michael Medved The Heebie Jeebies,But I'm Gonna see"Harold&Kumar Escape From Guantonomo Bay"or"Baby Mama"Instead!!

Anonymous | 07:31 pm on 4/28/2008

The documentary clearly states that the belief in Darwinism was only a component of the necessary environment that birthed Nazi-ism. It was in actuality a resonse to all the Darwin Scientists saying that religion was the cause of all the conflict and death in the World. Ben Stein simply pointed out that Darwinism and Atheism are plenty destructive in the wrong hands also. I'm surprised Dawkins chose to dwell on the Nazi portion of the film, instead of the main thesis, which was scientific debate is being silenced by the establishment. Global Warming is another great example of dissenters being silenced. That's the danger.

Rogi | 03:35 pm on 5/13/2008

What makes you think Dawkins chose to dwell on anything? I think given the nature of the movie the choice was made for him through the wonderful magic of movie editing.

Either way, Darwinism and Atheism are about as much components of National Socialism as Christianity and Norse Mythology and economics. Hitler's utilization of the foregoing is similar to New Age use of chaos theory to explain everything.

Anonymous | 11:40 am on 4/18/2008

If there is no god, then Ben's not a member of god's chosen race, just a lowly human like the rest of us.

JoshK | 11:40 am on 4/18/2008

Perspectives from the other side of the Great Divide:

http://www.expelledexposed.com/index.php/the-truth
http://www.expelledexposed.com/index.php/background
http://www.expelledexposed.com/index.php/resources

I doubt strongly that I will see this movie, for the same reason I avoid Michael Moore's horror flicks, or Gore's Inconvenient Truth...I dislike blatantly adgenda driven media, particularly if it agrees with me...the "Get off my side!" effect. :)

But, yah, Dawkins has got to be looking in the mirror every morning and wondering what kind of acid flashback he was having when he agreed to be in the movie.

Anonymous | 09:11 am on 4/23/2008

Amen about Dawkins!
Thanks for the links

60613 | 09:21 am on 4/24/2008

Josh - "blatantly adgenda driven media..."

It's called propaganda.

Raquel | 12:16 pm on 4/18/2008

Have not seen the movie. But..What I don't understand is why the concept of an Intelligent Designer is any easier to swallow than the concept that life arose "for no reason." If there is an ID, the question arises--and you know what's coming next--who designer the Intelligent Designer? If the answer is no one, then you've just hit the same brick wall scientists hit: You have to believe that something can come out of nothing (actually, there ARE particles that have the annoying habit of popping into existence and popping back out again. No one knows why this happens, but it is thought that one of these particles that popped in billions of years ago forgot to pop back out, and that "singularity" is what expanded into the universe). Or, if the answer is the ID is eternal, then we're back to my childhood school catechism, which said that "God always was, and always will be." Well, OK, but that doesn't really ANSWER anything, does it? I don't know about anyone else, but for me, the concept of something eternal--with no start, no end-- is no more easier to bend my mind around than life manifesting itself because it can.

This is why I think the argument between the two camps is useless. No matter how you twist that Rubic's (sp?) Cube around, you hit the same black hole at the core. You see what I'm saying? You chase it around and around, and it may not really matter in the end.

Process Deist | 12:33 pm on 4/18/2008

Good thinking, Raquel.
I think you hit some good points.

Anonymous | 05:25 pm on 4/18/2008

There's a bigger logical problem with NOTHING being self existent than with something being self existent. If nothing is self existent and outside of this universe, and this universe's energy is being use up (Which is a fundamental scientific statement)Then at any point in time the universe would be used up. You would go back infinitely with nothing because it would have been used up an infinite amount of time ago. Weather or not its harder or easier for someone to believe, its a fact that something has to be outside the universe to make it go.

JP | 05:29 pm on 4/18/2008

That anon was me, I forgot to sign my name.

JP | 05:29 pm on 4/18/2008

That anon was me, I forgot to sign my name.

Anonymous | 08:43 am on 5/02/2008

I don't think the phrase "energy is being used up" is appropriate here . The law of conservation of energy states that the total energy in a system (in this case, the universe) stays constant, but is converted into different forms of energy - e.g when you clap your hands, the kinetic energy is converted into sound and heat. This leads to the theories of entropy and 'heat death' (No, not descending into fiery pits of oblivion, it's better than that...we all turn into light (photons to be precise)) For a basic understanding, the Wikipedia page http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heat_death_of_the_universe
has a reasonable description of this.

Wolfgold | 03:49 pm on 4/20/2008

God has by definition to be infinitely beyond our understanding. I believe it was C.S. Lewis who said (paraphrased) that God is as far above a snail as he is above an archangel.

I think perhaps the point is that we humans just don't like the idea of someone greater than us telling us what to do...

He is, ultimately unknowable by us and that is precisely why he had to take the first step to know us.

60613 | 09:28 am on 4/24/2008

"I think perhaps the point is that we humans just don't like the idea of someone greater than us telling us what to do..."

I think it might, perhaps, be a signal feature of a responsible mature adult to think for him/herself rather than to have "someone greater" tell him/her what to do. Especially if that "someone greater" is a politician or a so-called "man of god". I would be delighted if you could explain just how you receive your instructions from the greater than everything being that "is... ultimately unknowable by us."

I'm very sorry, but on the face of it, your claim is mere lunacy.

Don Blosser | 04:52 am on 8/02/2009

Dear No Name,
You say,
"I think it might, perhaps, be a signal feature of a responsible mature adult to think for him/herself rather than to have "someone greater" tell him/her what to do."
Actually, the fact that God created us with a will and a logical brain says a lot about Him. The ONE person who could actually carry off the role of "control freak" does not do so. A sovereign creator who sovereignly created us with free will, amazing, huh?
That He gave us the ability to think and make choises does NOT mean we are not responsible for our choises. We are. And you are right, "we humans just don't like the idea of someone greater than us telling us what to do..." You could even say that we are naturally rebels. And fallen creatures desperately in need of a Savior.
Responding to another poster, whom you accuse of lunacy, you state, I would be delighted if you could explain just how you receive your instructions from the greater than everything being that "is... ultimately unknowable by us."

If God exists, He is certainly capable of revealing Himself to those who seek Him and He HAS done so in many ways, notably, visable creation, the written word (the Bible) and the incarnate Word, Jesus.

PS, Although I've heard about the magazine for years, I managed to come by this website "by accident" while googling "Dawkins/Ben Stein" . I know that Wittenburg door has a reputation for irreverant humor but some of you people posting here seem to be spiritually clueless. Or is that part of the joke? No disrespect intended.

nato | 06:38 pm on 4/20/2008

I think the basis for Intelligent Design not specifically defining the Designer is that, being strictly science-based, (and as an early cut of the film pointed out until some of the really heady stuff was removed for some reviews by simple-minded evangelicals that just wanted to get an "easy" point across)... i digress.

the reason the Designer is not named is that unless a "made by Jehovah" stamp is found somewhere on the bottom of a cell somewhere, that question is currently not answerable without going to a philosophical approach and stepping away from that which can be tangibly defined.

Steve Schlichter | 06:35 am on 4/23/2008

good points, I think it is interesting that this conclusion is where we end up. With all that science has done, you just ended up in the same pickle that Thomas Aquinas discussed 800 (somewhere in there) years go.

~Steve

Chuck Waterman | 01:29 am on 4/26/2008

Basically, I think the point, Raquel, is that science should be about studying phenomena, positing hypotheses, and seeking to determine whether repeated controlled experiments or data support or detract from those hypotheses. Science should NOT be about mandating that one set of hypotheses doesn't deserve to be examined in the laboratory or in any form of scientific study. That's as true for non-ID theories as it is for ID-theories BASED ON OBSERVABLE DATA.

Chuck Waterman

Don Blosser | 04:24 am on 8/02/2009

Raquel,
You could run a 747 through some of the gaps in your logic.
You say:
"If there is an ID... who designer the Intelligent Designer? If the answer is no one, then you've just hit the same brick wall scientists hit: You have to believe that something can come out of nothing".

Huh? I know first graders who could answer your supposedly unsolveable problem. God is an ETERNAL, uncreated being. He created time and space. He is the I AM. As our creator He is worthy of worship and obedience.
PS.
It will matter in the end, and that's no joke.

Rev. David Williams | 01:49 pm on 4/18/2008

The reasons this movie gives me the theological heebie jeebies go far beyond what is socially acceptable to post here. So...take a little jaunt off site, why don't ye?

http://weblog.xanga.com/Beloved_Spear/629541793/taking-ben-steins-money....

JP | 05:28 pm on 4/18/2008

The only commenter's on you're link pointed out how badly thought out that page was. It sounds like the writing of someone who is talking about two things without a faint understanding of either.

David Williams | 10:40 pm on 4/24/2008

What, you mean the two ID apologists who are my regular sparring partners on such things? Ah, JP.

If you've got a specific beef with the substance of what I articulate, say it. Show me the faintness of your understanding.

Heidi Martinuzzi | 01:59 pm on 4/18/2008

These are all good points. I think a lot of us have been told, from early on in life, that we should trust scientists, like we should trust our president, our doctors, our teachers, our priests... and the truth is, we should question all of them, all the time, or we'll end up being duped or missing out on something important.

Whether ID is a worthwhile cause or not, it's definitely something people should be able to pursue if they desire it. (Not at the University or Government's expense, however, in my opinion).

I think for anyone who wants to know what ID actually is and how it differs from Creationism, or for anyone who is in the scientific academic community, this film is fairly important, if for no other reason than they need to know what this film contains and how it is expressed.

Whatever Acid Dawkins was flashing back too, I want some.

JoshK | 02:05 pm on 4/18/2008

"... and the truth is, we should question all of them, all the time, or we'll end up being duped or missing out on something important." Heidi M.

Spot on, I'd say, spot on. There is a segment of scientists that forget to be very, very respectful of their potential for error...just as there are segments of politics, medicine, education, and religion (heck, any authority) guilty of the same hubris.

bea | 02:34 pm on 4/18/2008

Proclaiming themselves to be wise they become fools. Isn't it interesting so many in this country run around acting as if they have all the answers and refuse to even contemplate even the remote possibility this isn't all some incredible accident. To discount any belief whatsoever in ID is to stand and say even the first four words of Genesis and what follows are nonsense.

that calvinist doug | 02:54 pm on 4/18/2008

I'm sorry, did I miss something? I thought this was a site aimed at curious Christians. If non-C's want to hang around, that's way cool. But, it seems that most of the commenters cannot agree that the universe had a designer?! Is there a seismic shift in demographic reach going on here? I'm all for a Mars Hill (in the biblical sense, not the Seattle sense) presentation of the gospel, but it seems like all Mars Hill and no gospel at times. Call me crazy, but I'm thinking that accepting the "given" of a creator might be an important first step in walking the path of a Christian (or any other religion for that matter).

I believe it was Raquel who tried to say that matter just appearing is the same problem as God just existing. The refutation I'd make to that (admittedly, purely on a layman's basis) is ,simply, that it is not a problem for a believer! I don't feel the need to be able to explain everything. I can accept (in fact, I embrace) the fact that there is a being so far above me that I simply cannot comprehend. It would seem that a fairminded observation of the universe, in all it's complexity, vastness, and grandeur, would lead one inescapably to the conclusion that our tiny little pea-brains, on this tiny little speck of galactic dust, are by definition, incapable of grasping even the smallest bit of the "why's and how's" compared to the sum of all them. If we really believe we can, on our own, our self-importance is beyond comprehension to me. This is why the lesson of such stories as the tower of Babel are so compelling to those willing to think about them. Seriously, think about it.

Anonymous | 06:48 pm on 4/18/2008

Doug--just to clarify, I guess I'm an agnostic. I've hung around The Door Website (in one form or another) and subscribed to the mag for years because I discovered it through Joe Bob Briggs. I think the Trinity Foundation does wonderful work, and, though I haven't the vaguest idea what he's talking about on his CDs, I admire Ole Anthony, who just might be one of the few enlightened individuals on earth. Haven't been beat up around here yet. . . 'least not by the regulars. :)

I don't think anyone minds me very much.

Raquel | 06:49 pm on 4/18/2008

Oops. That wuz me, Doug.

that calvinist doug | 08:44 am on 4/21/2008

No, please don't think I'm attacking you. I was just voicing (typing?) my anxiety that not everyone sees the things that I find obvious. If you can't understand that I am always right, then just keep working on it.

Steve Schlichter | 06:39 am on 4/23/2008

personally, I do not think the site would be much fun at all if everyone agreed. :)

~Steve

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