Archive for May, 2008

31
May
08

Ben Stein is a Genius: Not!

Since I haven’t blogged for a while I thought I would respond to this annoying comment from Sean regarding Ben stein and Expelled:

“I have seen the movie and it was quite fascinating. The reason this movie isn’t popular is because it IS a documentary. Don’t compare it to the Michael Moore pseudo documentaries. This movie uses fact, not made up stuff to dramatize it.

Ben Stein is a genius. That is fact. It doesn’t mean he is always right, but it means he has the brain power to analyze data and make conclusions.

Spoiler Alert:
Ben Stein even gets one of the great atheist minds to admit that ID is very possible, as long as the designer isn’t God. And that is the point. The movie never talks about God. It only points out that evolution is so flawed as to be literally impossible. So what are the alternatives? Well, don’t talk about that or you will be expelled.”

Response:

Sure, Ben Stein is a genius. Sean, I would say Expelled takes as many liberties with the truth as Michael Moore’s does in his documentaries and that consequently does Expel does not get precluded from ticket revenue comparisons with “Sicko” or “Bowling for Columbine”. There are numerous blogs that have made the point that nobody in academia, never mind in the movie, has lost their jobs due to their ID or religious beliefs.

Besides what are you saying? There are more liberals that enjoy a documentary than conservatives? Why would say that that be unless you think there are more liberals in the US which is a hell of state of affairs after we have suffered through 8 years of the incompetent Bush administration.

As to the wisdom of Ben Stein well, to be honest with you, I just don’t get it. Nor do I see Richard Dawkins as one of the great minds of science either, atheist or otherwise. Dawkins basically rode the coattails of George Williams regarding the Selfish Gene and has basically suffered from hoof in mouth disease ever since.

As to Ben Stein this is the main who gave you these great quotes:

“It’s also true that the theory (evolution) lends itself to justify atheism, abortion, euthanasia, and eugenics” –as Stein points out.

Here is another quote from Mr. Stein, “Love of God and compassion and empathy leads you to a very glorious place, and science leads you to killing people.

Yes, love of God can lead to compassion and empathy but it has also led to religious wars, the Taliban, the Spanish Inquisition, pogroms, the extinction of aboriginal people and so forth. Science can lead to more efficient ways of killing people, it can even be an excuse for Antisemitism but it can also extend and improve the quality of life for billions of people. Not surprisingly, both belief systems are dual edged swords because, well guess what, man wields the sword.

In your mind evolution may be flawed but unfortunately ID and creationism is a non-starter as scientific process no matter how many mental contortions you go through. Trying to subject the world of science to a cartoon vision of the Bible is not going to cut it as rigorous scientific thought.

Really Sean, what though process do you go through when you a view or find a fossil? Oh, here is god directing nature so that he obtain his finest creation: mankind. How come no creationist never addresses my issue regarding when does God’s designing efforts interfere with our own free will? And if he so busy molding us and the world, you know reducing our jaw size and the like, is it too much to ask him to give the idiot colonels in Myanmar a blood clot in the brain while he is at it? Oh, yeah, he works in mysterious ways! Sorry, the function of science is to solve mysteries and not to perpetuate them.

Erik John Bertel
Author Flores Girl:The Children God Forgot

PS:  I still have yet to find a single Expelled Bootleg but there a ton of Michael Moore pirate copies!

16
May
08

Why There Are No Expelled and Ben Stein Bootlegs

There is an easy way to measure the success of any studio movie and that is by measuring how many bootleg copies there are out there on the street. You know think Jerry Seinfeld and they range in quality from pre-studio release copies to poor copies taken by Kramer wannabes. In comparison, copies of Iron Man have already hit the street. Now, before some reader goes off on a rant, let me set the record straight about bootlegs. I actually go to the movies or rent from Blockbuster on a weekly basis and if it’s a visually stunning movie. buy a legit copy for my own personal use. Why? I am a video and audiophile with a home theater and enjoy the sights and sounds of a good movie. Bootleg copies of movies are often of wildly varying quality and in almost all cases they don’t meet my exacting standards. Yes, I am one of those weirdos that play with different brands of HDMI cables.

With that said, I have to be honest with you there was no way I was going to spend $20 and give that money to the ICR, Institute of Creation Research, to watch Expelled. Plus, I would never subject my wife to an hour and half of this drivel, her time is too precious and she would kill me if I did. Moreover, I don’t go to the movies alone, its has been a couples ritual for me during the entirety of my life and I am certainly not changing my ways for Expelled and Ben Stein.

So I have been looking for a bootleg copy to watch to make my comments on this blog but guess what? There are no bootlegs, the street vendors don’t have any copies nor is it available online as a valid torrent. I even noticed that most of the major movie critics have kept away from reviewing this masterpiece as well (no, your pastor doesn’t count!).

Why? Supply and demand baby, nobody wants to see Ben Stein drone on about the horrors of Darwinism save a handful of religious fundamentalists and conservative gadflies. The rest of the silent majority is too busy trying to figure how we can afford to fill our cars with a tankful of gas, thank you Mr. George Bush. The gross to date, a month after the release of Expelled, is just shy of $7.5 M, not exactly Michael Moore territory for a documentary. So much for a Creationist’s revolution in the United States and things will not fare much better for this crowd with the fall presidential election. You can already hear the yawns!

Erik John Bertel

Authors of Flores Girl: The Children God Forgot

Great News! Flores Girl:The Children God Forgot is now available as a free ebook novel on the iPhone!

06
May
08

Expelled And Ben Stein’s Hate Mongering

This is the part of the ID argument that is disingenuous.  “It’s also true that the theory (evolution) lends itself to justify atheism, abortion, euthanasia, and eugenics” –as Stein points out. Here is another quote from Mr. Stein, “Love of God and compassion and empathy leads you to a very glorious place, and science leads you to killing people. 

Basically, Expelled, or should I say Ben Stein, tarnishes all Darwinists and evolutionists as maniacal murderers responsible for the worst atrocities of man.  Linking Hitler and Darwinism is basically a specious argument, after all how many Christian Germans prayed to God that Hitler would triumph?  Should we equate Christianity with the Nazis too? That’s stupid and simplistic, right?  Or do we just ignore the previous two thousand years of anti-Semitism in Europe and assume it had it had no impact on the holocaust or do we blame all Christians for the camps? Again, that’s a simplistic answer or do we assume the world was a Garden of Eden before Charles Darwin?

To quote the Anti-Defamation League:  The film Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed misappropriates the Holocaust and its imagery as a part of its political effort to discredit the scientific community which rejects so-called intelligent design theory.  Hitler did not need Darwin to devise his heinous plan to exterminate the Jewish people and Darwin and evolutionary theory cannot explain Hitler’s genocidal madness. Using the Holocaust in order to tarnish those who promote the theory of evolution is outrageous and trivializes the complex factors that led to the mass extermination of European Jewry.”

I believe that you can be a Christian and a Darwinist, too.   To me, one is science and the other is faith and they each have their place in life, one in a class room, the other in a church. 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 a 100 years ago?  This is not about free speech, this is about science. To date, the arguments of irreducible complexity are not enough to allow ID to stand as a valid scientific theory.  And even if it was what can you do with it as theory?  What predictive models will come from ID other than to ask us to marvel at god’s handiwork?

Here’s a quote from my http://www.millenniumwriting.com site that Jason provided from St. Augustine:

“For then, to defend their utterly foolish and obviously untrue statements, they will try to call upon Holy Scripture for proof and even recite from memory many passages which they think support their position, although they understand neither what they say nor the things about which they make assertion. [1 Timothy 1.7]“

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

04
May
08

Expelled: No Intelligence, Certainty without Proof

Science has proof without any certainty. Creationists have certainty without any proof.
-Ashley Montagu (1905 – 1999), Author of Man’s Most Dangerous Myth: The Fallacy of Race’.

When proponents of Intelligent design describe ID as a plausible scientific theory I have to wonder how many vicodins are they taking on a daily basis? ID for the uninitiated is a pseudo-claptrap creationist science theory that says evolution is not a viable mechanism for the understanding of modern biology because of irreducible complexity, that is life is too complicated to have risen solely by time and chance. As somebody said we, the evolutionists have the fossils including the fossils that I have personally discovered, whereas the ID crowd has the bible and faith. They certainly don’t have proof which is why they are going directly to a gullible American public. Why? Americans are good at buying into a lot of crap, look at the past eight years with the oil man Bush and the mess in Iraq (count me as one the gullible on that lie as well).

Talk about the emperor having no clothes, the only substantive part of ID is as a negative argument that diametrically opposed to evolution, otherwise it has nothing of substance to offer science. Imagine teaching ecology in school without a fundamental understanding of Darwinism and evolution. What would ID tell these students, other than the showing and teaching these alleged students the incredible complexity of nature? What’s the explanation for these systems and their numerous interactions? God did it of course. Cool huh? Sorry, that’s not science and I challenge any ID proponent to demonstrate a single predictive model that ID can make regarding living organisms and their present day ecosystems. There are no models, they got nothing but faith. I have my faith too but the difference is I don’t subject you to it. Science is not faith but a way of reasoning and we need all the good scientists we can get with the way we are tanking the environment.

Think I am denigrating a valid scientific theory? Consider that most ID advocates will tell their supporters not to get into the age of the earth with Darwinists. Why? Because they will look stupid and ignorant in their discussions. Think I am being nasty? Well ask the same supporters how many think the earth is 6,000 years old and you will wet your pants with sheer number of true believers raising their hand. And, oh yes, don’t forget the dinosaurs shared the earth with man. Also, there was a flood that killed all the archaic extinct species but Noah saved all of the good species. There is even papers describing how this herculean could be accomplish by a team of people although there is no genetic bottleneck to be found in any of the surviving species of this so-called flood. But what the hell you can’t let the facts get in the way of faith.

How can I say this? Because I read their crappy pseudo-scientific papers! You call this science when the facts are blithely ignored to uphold a literal interpretation of the bible? I have seen such mental gymnastics since Clinton was trying to describe his, eh, well you know his liaisons as being non-sexual. I am all for the good book but I also know men wrote the passages in the bible, not god, and I can smell their stink and agendas a mile away in some of the passages. Just think about the cult in Texas and the rape of those children if you don’t get my drift about how matters can get so twisted in matters of faith. Do I blame all religions for that mess or for the Catholic priest scandal? No, but that is what the ID proponents are doing when the equate Darwinism with the Nazi atrocities, as if to absolve Europe of two thousand years of anti-antisemitism pogroms. What would you expect from a Nixon henchman, Ben Stiller?

If you think you have a valid theory and ID is a science please have you’re debate with the scientists and not with the average lay person who slept through much of 9th grade biology. By the way the process is called peer review. To all people thinking that it can’t hurt to add Intelligent Design to the curriculum think again if you are wondering why all of the American jobs are going to Indian and China. You’re letting the pandering politicians distract you once again as they continue to rob your pockets for the special interests. Keep America strong by keeping your faith and science separate.

Erik John Bertel




Get the Free Flores Girl e-Book at FloresGirl.com

Flores Girl: The Children God Forgot is an exciting speculative adventure story about the discovery of a new prehistoric people by two scientists, Sarah and Richard. Their discovery is threatened by both religious zealots and marauding industrialists. Download the e-Book in PDF, Mobi and Microsoft Reader formats. Honest it is free at floresgirl.com. Just click the chick!

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