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)

Questioner | 08:27 pm on 4/20/2008

Seems like gibberish. I'll consider this a great end to the debate. No kidding. If it's too logical, I get suspicious.

Questioner | 08:49 pm on 4/20/2008

Sorry mountainguy, my last post was in reference to anonymous 8:01pm

Anonymous | 05:47 pm on 4/21/2008

"irreducible complexity" is just another word for "intelligent design". Multisyllabic words, but no added meaning. It's equivalent to the argument that "an eyeball could not just have evolved".

References to Kuhn as a proxy for "all science is relative" are another bollocks argument. The fact that a paradigm shift gives us Einstein's relativity as a refinement (ok, revolutionary change) to Newton's mechanics does not negate Newton's principles - Newton still applies on the non-relativistic scale. And don't even start on quantum probability clouds a la "What The Bleep Do We Know" (WTB). "Nonsense on stilts" will serve as a proxy for reasoned argument. As an example of pseudo-scientifc argument, I will say that the physical manifestation of quantum events resolves the uncertainty inherent in those events. The fact that a quantum cloud on some super-micro scale embodies uncertainty is resolved by the interaction of each quantum with the actual macro physical world impinging on it. This is possibly true, but I've not seen it argued anywhere. Entangled particles. subsequently dis-entangled, are possible only when they are purposely constructed.

About the manipulation by Mr Stein in not presenting the real purpose of his project, this is directly comparable to the (few) scientific voices presented in WTB: every one of them disavowed their comments after they saw the edited versions in a movie whose views they had no intention of supporting (and whose arguments their statements did NOT support). I accept that I should be providing cites, but for these statements you can google WTB and the like and you'll find it yourself.

ny guy | 12:11 am on 4/22/2008

My understanding of Kuhn's work wasn't that it lead to the conclusion that "all science is relative" but rather that it showed how we as humanity deal with paradigm shifts and change and that its not just this soothe gathering of knowledge into a giant human think tank. I liked the way that it challenged the Cartesian understanding and idealized view of human progression. I read it at the recommendation of one of my philosophy professors in undergrad, completely unattached to the whole ID/evolution debate.

after the Kuhn Reference in your post I understood about 2% of your middle paragraph. But I guess thats my problem and not yours.
=)

James F. | 03:02 am on 4/22/2008

Why on Earth does any religious theory of human origin need to be taught in schools? Can't one simply rely on the scientific consensus of the day and leave causes to parental influence?

What infuriates about the ID movement, as with much of what the fundamentalists are seductively selling, is their staunch refusal to admit political goals. ID has nothing to do with open expression, and everything to do with reaffirming the myth of Christianity under attack by militant secularists. Saying "all of America's woes are directly due to God's anger at our not being a theocracy" would be honest, and probably supported by a large proportion of the public. It would also, via its support, remove one of the main reasons for electing politicians who run under the fantasy that fundamentalist Christianity is besieged. The ultimate origin of existence is not the real issue here, as those who debate it most furiously are well aware.

Stein's involvement in this is shameful -- as is the connection, in general, of fundamentalist proselytizers with right-wing economic interests, of which he is firmly a member -- but what did one expect? As his Attorney General, John Mitchell, once said, "this country is going so far to the right you won't recognize it."

Would ID acolytes, if they assumed ascendancy in American schools, allow the same "intellectual freedom" to evolutionists they claim is denied them?

Mad Prophet of Mandeville | 04:44 am on 4/23/2008

Heidi

Get a grip
"My own training is in anthropology and I'm a committed Darwinist"

What is a committed Darwinist?

What do they think about?

How do they think?

You are probably a really nice woman who swallowed the scum produced by layers of academia and then proudly declared yourself a "Committed Darwinist".

What pray tell does that really mean?

Darwin got all of his science wrong.

He didn't now about the complexity of microbiology, or any of what you and I now take for granted in the world of science and technology but is now colored by a neo-Darwinian view of the landscape around you.

None of the so called science of Darwin's day would be accepted by men and women of learning today but we keep him around with his uninformed theory. The anthropology alone was only being developed by Darwinists anyway.

WHY?

Judgment day is surely going on today because if we have to wait in line for all this people to explain themselves eternity will not be long enough.

But Lord I was trained to think that way by the best science teachers..

But Lord you made me feel like I was a sinner....

But Lord Richard Dawkins made me feel liberated because I knew you weren't real...

OH please rejecting God and his plain and simple gospel from the Bible, which includes Creation and Noah and Abraham, etc. as real history, is going to be expensive.

Ben did a great service for the great body committed believers in God

Darwinists are the ones with the megaphones screaming that they are right and we should stay on board, "don't leave Sodom", "Stay in Jerusalem (take your pick which time 586 BC or 70 AD, while the civilization ship goes down.

Have fun with the Darwin debate, to use Dawkins words "its already over" except it is he and his clique that are lost.

Nancy C | 07:30 am on 4/23/2008

It is fascinating to explore the origins of life and speculate on where it's going. For many, though, the issue is less HOW God made the Universe than that he did it. Does he owe us an explanation? Guess not. Right, ID is NOT "science" but a good deal of any scientific inquiry is just taking your best shot and seeing whether what you come up with holds water. (Talk about mixed metaphors...but, hey.)
Trying to suss out the how and why of creation from a religious viewpoint, IMHO, anyway, is one more attempt to create God in our own image and somehow limit the Creator to whatever our own little minds can encompass. The "how" is much more the realm of science, the "why" that of the theologian. Sometimes they get together and manage to enlighten each other. That's nice.
No, I don't think the "six days" thing is valid as anything other than an oft-told tale passed down until somebody figured out how to write. The kernel of truth in there is that we believe that SOMEBODY created the Universe. As I said, HOW it was done is less important than the message that we believe it was CREATED and didn't just HAPPEN.
thanks for the use of the soapbox.
N

Gary | 08:55 am on 4/23/2008

My problem with the idea of ID is that it results in the worship of the little green men who planted us.
As stated before, things pop in and out of reality all the time, so much so that it is not true to state that anything came from nothing as nothing and empty void seem to be myths.
We have seen where Darwinism has led in the fields of Science, I can't imagine where ID would lead, I am put in mind of the old cartoon where a scientist stands before a very impressive formula and we see him as he adds " and then a miracle happens"

Anonymous | 08:56 am on 4/23/2008

I am grateful for The Door pointing out the underhanded tactics used by this film. I will still watch it, just to see Dawkins in the "hot seat"

As for evolution: it has Biblical support in Genesis. God causes the earth to bring forth vegetation (Gen. 1:11)and living creatures (1:24). So God did not create plants and animals by himself but caused the earth to "bring them forth." Sounds kind of like evolution to me.

Jan Sykes | 09:26 am on 4/23/2008

All I want to say is that I appreciated the article very much. I thought is was on mark. I believe in evolution and think it has nothing to do with my faith in God who created survival of the fittest--along with creating gravity, magnetism, etc.
All religions can believe in evolution or not. Darwinism is not a religion. It is a only tool to examine nature. Hitler used that tool to exterminate "lesser" life forms, but the tool did not make him an atheist. Hitler could as easily have thought it was God's will to exterminate lesser life forms--just as the Israelites thought it was God's will to kill all the Canaanites.
The real challenge for science is to figure out how God, who always was, came into existence.

Bailey Hankins | 10:28 am on 4/23/2008

You idiot Godders. If you think that evolution being unable to explain how life BEGAN, which it never claimed to be able to explain, then I guess you don't believe in gravity because physics can't explain what happened BEFORE the Big Bang.

YOU WIN!

Thanks for conceding that evolution is no doubt an established fact at least after the beginning of life, over three BILLION years ago, meaning Gawd was done back then and the Bible is just a bunch of silly stories and calls to work hard, avoid wealth, and obey the ruling class.

So wait, how did Intelligent Design gain any ground here? Oh, that's right, because Evolution can't explain what it never claimed to explain -- how life began.

I do happen to believe that life is a natural by-product of the universe. In a way, I guess that puts me slightly in the ID camp, except for one important distinction -- I don't think Santa in the Sky had jack shit to do with it. The Bible, and all other religious nonsense was made up by human beings as a glue to hold together larger populations and justify murdering outsiders. Look at how carefully the religious texts admonish followers to obey their leaders. Murder your enemies, but obey your king!

How did life begin? That assumes the universe is dead, doesn't it?

So, while I disagree with Material Reductionsism, and classical atheism, there is no doubt that evolution is a fact, and ID is just a stupid Godder attempt to inject the evils of superstitious Santa in the Sky religion into the only thing that ever led us out of the darkness -- rational, objective, scientific thinking.

If you really hate science, stop using your car, cell phone, electricity, and indoor plumbing. Religion didn't create anything of value, ever.

Michael Camp | 11:26 am on 4/23/2008

Heidi,

Great perceptive review. You hit the nail on the head. Don't forget that ID proponents and sympathizers are not insisting that the causal agent is the Judeo-Christian God. Hence, people like David Berlinski, an agnostic, and Antony Flew, a non-christian former atheist, are insisting ID is worthy of serious consideration. The academic establshment, due to hypocrosy and bias, are not. Stein does a good job exposing this. Dawkins is actually admiting to the logic of ID theory when he says aliens could be the causal agent. The point is that there is evidence for intelligence behind biological development. It could be God or green aliens. But God is a reasonable alternative, not an irrational fairy tale.

Thinking guy | 12:54 pm on 4/23/2008

I am an evolutionary biologist and also a Christian (yes, we do exist). I have always held that evolution is about "how" not "Who"

Anonymous | 12:59 pm on 4/23/2008

"YOU ARE GOING TO DIE! so why let yourself be operated by a huge psycho-spacial Parasite. Why not live a fulfilling life? Why not make each day worth something special." Some here might argue that the "fulfilling life" you espouse can only be lived by following the "psycho-spacial Parasite" you refer to. I call Him King of Kings and Lord of Lords, but I guess you have to decide what moniker you want to use. It truly amazes me that guys like you hang around sites like this - why waste yout time? We're not bothering you (at least I don't think we are). Something tells me you're trying to convince yourself that God doesn't exist and doesn't concern Himself with Man by refuting what Christians believe - and maybe, just maybe, you should consider the fact that you're so anxious to prove us wrong because you know we're right.

Bailey Hankins | 02:59 pm on 4/23/2008

The biggest laugh ever is that a bunch of miserable hypocrites are the ones leaded the good life because they believe in Santa in the Sky. That is why they have to try and control what is taught in science class -- because they are so happy and contented and most of all CERTAIN!

Refute what Christers believe? What is there to refute? That some guy who probably never existed was really the actual son of God and walked on water and died for our "sins" ... hmmm. Wow. Now who could possibly refute THAT.

No, I don't want to take that on. I mean, the preponderance of evidence points right to the scientific correctness of the King James version of the Bible! I know, let's go back to the Dark Ages: the last time religion was taken seriously.

that calvinist doug | 03:15 pm on 4/23/2008

Bailey, okay, now you're just beginning to bore me...you got any new material?

luke h. | 04:34 pm on 4/23/2008

I like the word "Godders," though. That sure is some clever neologism-ing right there.

buda | 06:43 pm on 4/23/2008

I wish you would be more interesting or academic, coherent, logical, sensical, organized, persuasive - something more than hatred and vitriol. I mean, I love a good debate, Biley, so give me one, boy. Did a christian kill your puppy when you were a child? Were you a victim of the catholic abuse scandal? Give me something more than frothing negatives, man.

I think (of course I don't know you bla, bla, bla) that you don't care at all about the subject of God at all, but you get a lot of attention from people with these posts. You just love the attention. I've seen at least two of your posts @ other sites, (same name, same tone, same words) and it's the same thing. Piss off as many people as possible, scream as loud as possible with no debate, no listening and no learning. Like a child that would rather be noticed for bad behavior than not noticed at all.

Like I tell my kids, being famous is shit, being respected is gold. I assure you, Biley, if you tone it down and converse, you would have my respect, not that it would mean anything to you, but it's all I have to offer.

Mad Prophet of MO | 04:55 pm on 4/23/2008

Bailey, you talk a lot about being rational... somehow your tone seems a bit, well, irrational... Can science explain that?

I sit in a classroom everyday with students who act a bit irrational everyday and the best I can do is the weather or the moon...

Hmmm... so maybe it is science. Dang.

luke h. | 05:03 pm on 4/23/2008

Anytime I begin to doubt the gospel, I just look at people like Bailey and realize what I total ass I'd be without Jesus. :)

Rev Dennis FitzPatrick | 09:24 pm on 4/23/2008

Curious, why Christians reject creation, 6 days and all that. I did at one time, no longer.
Also, the movie is no vague on the nazi connection, read orginal works of Marg Sanger the grandmother of the nazis who lectured KKK and others here in the states on the superior white race and the need to do the the right thing.

Peace in Christ
Rev Fitz

Siarlys Jenkins | 10:39 pm on 4/23/2008

The essence of evolutionary biology is all laid out in the first two chapters of Genesis. Since God said it, who is this Stein guy to question Holy Writ? All this stuff about Intelligent Design is made up by people who want to confine God's glorious act of creation into a series of mechanics that the human mind can fully comprehend, which is ridiculous. Oh ye of little faith! Why do people who claim to "walk by faith, not by sight" have to come up with "scientific proof" that some superintelligent folk hero created everything?

While I am not going to watch this silly movie, I am looking for a copy of a book called The Dawkins Delusion by an Oxford professor who says, correctly, that Richard D. has brought the natural sciences into disrepute. There is nothing more akin to ID in its ridiculous, speculative, mechanistic nonsense than The Selfish Gene, which I can comment on because I got around to reading it when I found a copy for fifty cents at a rummage sale.

There are some fascinating inquiries, more natural philosophy than hard science, into the relation of evolution to the sacred. Stuart Kauffman's At Home In The Universe is a good place to start. John F. Haught's God After Darwin is another, and by the way, he is a Jesuit priest. Remember when Pope Leo XIII said the miscalled "Big Bang" theory was entirely consistent with Catholic teaching? It certainly conforms to the second verse in Genesis. Kauffman suggests that we are not at all a random accident, but that laws built deeply into the nature of the universe make it statistically almost inevitable that life very much like us would appear. That sounds more like the act of a God who said "My ways are not your ways" than anything ID has come up with.

So, let's stop the caterwauling about science vs. faith. Science is what little we can discern from the material universe we live in, and it is by and large pretty accurate. IF it is all there is to know, then the atheists are more or less correct. IF it is a subset of something larger, say a vast metaphysical reality ruled by an omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent being who, apparently, loves us for some incomprehensible reason, then science doesn't have much to enlighten us on that point. And it is true, those scientists who do claim scientific proof that there is no God are really out of their league.

buda | 11:39 pm on 4/23/2008

This is the best argument for young earth creationism/biblical creationism I have ever heard. My sister is always giving me stuff from creationist scientist trying to convert me back to biblical orthodoxy and nothing any of those scientist have ever said comes close to this. No suedo scientific arguments, no imperial evidence, just- "Oh ye of little faith." Ouch. Sometimes I miss having this kind of faith.

Kudos to M. Jenkins

buda | 12:33 am on 4/24/2008

"imperial" evidence ?? sorry, I meant 'empirical" evidence.

Siarlys Jenkins | 10:50 pm on 4/24/2008

It's S. Jenkins. Sorry to disappoint you, but I was making a very OLD earth argument. The entire framework of evolutionary biology IS Biblical. The earth IS 4 billion years old, because God said so.

Actually, there is an orthodox Jewish astronomer, whose name I can't recall right now, who has applied Einstein's theories of Relativity to suggest that from the viewpoint of the moment of Creation, the entire process was indeed six days, while from our viewpoint in space and time, the time that has passed is indeed 13 billion years. Now that makes sense.

Process Deist | 10:00 am on 4/26/2008

S. Jenkins....please keep in mind that some of us think that God is still creating. God may have rested on the Seventh day, but God put the work clothes on the morning of the Eighth day.

Rogi | 04:21 pm on 5/13/2008

Except no true scientist will ever say that there is proof of no God(s). This would be contrary to the basics of scientific method.

Anonymous | 11:13 am on 5/11/2008

I think Richard Dawkins is very good as Jack's dad on "Lost."

Dr Bob | 08:37 am on 5/12/2008

Intelligent Design is "The Talking Snake Theory" with a more scientific sounding name.

Vic | 02:55 pm on 5/12/2008

It's so hard to learn something when you all seem to be trying to learn the entire truth right here and right now. Sometimes truths come in time. My youngest is in college right now, OSU - and he comes home and is ready to combat me with all the new scientific data he has. The only thing I can tell him is that nothing he tells me can disprove what I personally know, but that I'm sure one day we'll all see how it all fits together and makes sense, but that for today - we only know as much as we know, and we don't even know how much that is in comparison to the whole truth, we don't know how much we don't know, I guess. He thinks I'm coping out of a good arguement. But until we know how much we have to know before we know the whole truth, we are fooling ourselves if we think the truth of this minute is absolute.

a question though, can the big bang be intelligent design?

Rogi | 03:47 pm on 5/13/2008

Except, Vic,

If you say nothing can disapprove what you know and then say that there is much that we don't know you contradict yourself. Either you are missing or misunderstand some facts, which is what most scientists will admit to, or you have all the information that forms the basis of your belief. Every scientific theory or law contains a way it can be shown false, which is one of the basic tenets of science. Just be honest with your kid and tell him that's how you feel.

In response to your question, big bang can be intelligent design if the designer initiated the big bang. But that is just my opinion, i don't know if you can get all ID proponents to agree on that. Of course since no time or space existed before the origination, then whoever caused big bang, if anyone, had to either be able exist in such a state, or come from another universe, which raises way too many additional questions.

micktransit | 10:51 am on 1/18/2009

Those who "know" that god exists as a matter of blind faith or personal revelation, cannot be persuaded otherwise, obviously. Equally obviously, their arguments are utterly worthless in persuading others who do not subscribe to their delusion/faith. I wish they'd stop cluttering up these pages with their noise.
If you could magically remove the hand-me-down knowledge of god, and just rely on observation, someone would soon invent a new one. It would catch on, too, because faith is easier than knowledge. It's also very stubborn. Those who believe, are lost. Let's try to prevent children from being infected by the comforting mental laziness of faith, bigotry, and superstition.

Anonymous | 08:40 am on 12/01/2008

That was funny when Dawkins was kicking the slot machine. Ha!

Richy Dawks | 01:53 pm on 1/17/2009

Check my personal blog at...
http://richdawkins.blogspot.com/

Bubba | 02:22 am on 5/27/2009

The problem all stems from a difference in goals. Science and religion have two objectives that have no business being discussed in the same lesson.
Religion aims to (among other things) give human beings a sense of purpose. In fact, that is why religious studies is always in the philosophy department. Personal agenda is left entirely up to the person.
Science on the other hand aims to explain the workings and mechanisms behind the universe as well as the fine points of all things smaller and infinitesimal. Once again, personal agenda is left up to the person.
The paradox comes from when people try to overlap the two. It is very easy to do since the scale involved in both cases is nothing less than the entire universe as we know it. Religious people, not necessarily their religion, aim to answer the workings question with religious text. This is as infuriating as people who try to use the Bible as a math book (don't think it's not been done). Similarly, various scientist look inwards to their studies and research only to find no purpose at all and conclude that there must be none. This is as equally foolish and is evidenced by science textbooks that ask the question "why?" at the end of statements. It is as equally valid to reply "Because the Lord of Hosts on high dictated it as such" as to explain the workings of the problem, which is probably what the author was going for anyways.

ID does not say that G-d did it. That is the blank answer left for the individual to determine. Any person who attempts to fill in the blank and parade it around as scientific truth (when all they have is conjecture, even good scientific guesses) is as bad as anyone else who is trying to proselytize you to their cause, whether it be atheist or religious. Yes, this deeply religious man says that proselytism is ALWAYS evil regardless of the view held. If nothing else, it means that you do not accept the other persons view and rather than GENTLE conversation, you elect to jump down the other guys' throat with your view or just plain shut them out.

Well, that's the end of this whiskey. I got a shotgun that needs oiling.

-Bubba

RobM | 03:32 am on 10/04/2009

http://richarddawkins.net/article,2394,Lying-for-Jesus,Richard-Dawkins

http://expelledexposed.com

The first link is for Dawkins' own explanation about this interview. The second link does a thorough job of debunking the deliberate lies in the name of creatio...oops, I mean intelligent design.

Coralhead | 06:14 pm on 7/30/2010

Seems pretty simple to me. ID is a vector to religious belief. Evolution is a scientific theory, part of the body of science involved in trying to explain how things work (speciation, heredity, ecosystems, biological processes, and so on). Evolution and ID are not anywhere near the same universe, much less the same playing field. Enjoy, revel, expand, indoctrinate and expound religion all you want, but religious proponents can't seem to stop wanting to discredit scientific endeavor. Maybe it seems to religious people that scientists can't seem to stop wanting to discredit religious endeavors, but I think that's a shaky, fairly paranoid view.

I'm happy to believe in religion as a cultural phenomenon, maybe even a good thing for human civilizations (though the record here is decidedly mixed), but I find it lacking as a discipline for dealing with facts.

If you mix sodium and water it will explode. That's a fact that science can explain and I can rely on. If you don't believe in my god and worship him in the manner I decree you should and will be punished is a religious doctrine you may rely on, but I'd like to have the freedom to ignore. God made sodium so it would explode in water is religion, not science.

When it comes to telling people how to live, don't put sodium in water in a crowded room -- that is, science-based direction -- makes sense. Religious-oriented direction -- children should be taught about God in science class -- seems incorrect at best. Of course, it would also be wrong to teach in science class that "religion is bad," and that's probably what makes people crazy over Dawkins, that he speaks about science and calls religion bad. But I don't think fighting the forced teaching of ID in science classes or denying tenure to professors of biology who want to preach ID is wrong or unfair as insisting on teaching ID in science is.

Yvette in Carlsbad | 07:37 pm on 9/07/2010

To the Creationists, Agnostics, Atheists and Intelligent Design Believers Everywhere: Can't we just agree to follow the evidence where it leads and accept the fact that a model is going to be amended as evidence is re-evaluated, refuted/thrown out or introduced or integrated? Can't we accept that science has been wrong many times and that it is imperious to think that at any fixed point in time we completely understand something as complex as the universe and its life forms? As evidence comes to light we have to be reasonable and change, and understand that change, based on the evidence that comes to light, is good! So many people get stuck where they are and don't seem to have the presence of mind -- or honesty -- to seriously consider alternatives to their entrenched positions, again, based on evidence or a working model trying to make sense of the current evidence. The theory/model of macro evolution is flawed, as is being revealed by our ability to look into the wonder of DNA. Scientists are just as ridiculous as the so-called "religious" in clinging to their pet theories and thinking everyone else is a moron. As someone pointed out, evolution is merely a theory/model. Check out the website of "Reasons to Believe" (http://www.reasons.org/). The scientists associated with Reasons to Believe are building/refining an intelligent design model that is quite interesting. Whether your faith is in the evolutionary model (flawed) or creation (also flawed), you may be pleasantly surprised by what they have to say.

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