Archive for the 'Intelligent Design' Category

22
Apr
09

The Flores Girl Free eBook Novel is a Featured Work at Wattpad

Sarah hears strange voices

Flores Girl: The Children God Forgot is now a Featured Work on Wattpad.com. Flores Girl is a prehistoric adventure novel that is available for free on Wattpad, the World’s Most Popular EBook Sharing Community. Wattpad delivers free eBook novels to your iPhone, BlackBerry, SmartPhones and other mobile devices. Join the thousands of readers that are following the adventures of Sarah and Richard as they unwittingly introduce a small tribe of prehistoric people living in isolation for a half million years to the ultimate modern predator: humanity.

Wattpad

http://www.wattpad.com/125445-Flores-Girl-The-Children-God-Forgot-Part-1

Or try these sites for the free novel download:

WWW.A-FREE-EBOOK.COM

WWW.SCIENCE-FICTION.MOBI

06
Apr
09

Shimkus: More Global Warming and Fundamentalist Folly

Fundamentalists are not just a threat to the study of evolution and biology but their special brand of ignorance can lead us to extinction. A congressman named Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL) shows us how science and Fundamental ignorance can combine for some bad science and unintentional entertainment.   Here’s a quote:

“The Earth will end only when God declares it’s time to be over. Man will not destroy this Earth. This Earth will not be destroyed by a flood… God’s word is infallible, unchanging, perfect.”

Reminds me of the  ignorance in Afghanistan where President Hamid Karzai on Thursday signed into law legislation that okayed the husband’s raping of  their wives.  These are the guys Obama wants us to protect?  Ignorance like this you can’t make up and to think everybody blames the atheists for the sorry state of mankind.

Okay,  so here’s the Shimkus performance:

http://scienceblogs.com/dispatches/2009/04/worst_persons_in_the_world.php

Last week at a House Subcommittee on Energy and Environment, Shimkus tried to argue that the United States doesn’t need a cap-and-trade system to limit CO2 emissions in the atmosphere. I’m not a fan of cap-and-trade system either but  I do think it was folly years ago to rig the CAFE standards to the benefit of trucks and SUVs. That bit of forward looking thinking worked out so well for our overall energy independence and our auto industry, didn’t it?  Still this particular argument borders on the brain dead and here is Shimkus’s newest take on rapid rise of CO2 in our atmosphere:

SHIMKUS: It’s plant food. … So if we decrease the use of carbon dioxide, are we not taking away plant food from the atmosphere? … So all our good intentions could be for naught. In fact, we could be doing just the opposite of what the people who want to save the world are saying.

Plant food? Even a child knows too much of anything can be bad for you and this is from a member of the U.S. House Subcommittee on Energy and Environment.  Want to know how screwed we really are? Take a gander at this satellite photo showing a chunk of the ice shelf the size of Jamaica separating from the Antarctic and heading out to sea:

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/45636000

But don’t worry it’s part of God’s plan! Why?  Shimkus said so!

For those that care my first novel in the Trilogy, Flores Girl: The Children God Forgot, is now available on Amazon for the Kindle Reader at a very reasonable price:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B001UE6MDY

Or you can read the novel for free on your Blackberry RIM on Wattpad just go Wattcode 125445!

02
Apr
09

Creationists Fail Science 101 and so goes America

Here is a recent exchange with another ID fan in response to my blog yesterday. This type of thinking really scares the hell out of me for the future of this country as a global technology leader:

“So do the math and by multiplying by millions of years, and use a calculator if you must, to see how the earth is constantly changing over time.”(From my blog-EJB)

“but you are assuming that the area the mountain is in now was once flat. If God created the mountain at a certain height 6,000 years ago then it growing today does not tell us how old the earth is.”  – McCoville, Intelligent Design advocate.

My Response – You’re right if you assume god had a certain sensibility regarding landscaping but the presence of marine fossils on the top of certain mountains indicates that they were once at sea level and with their present rate of accretion that had to be more than 6,000 years ago.

And lets take this out of the realm of the earth for a moment. Look at the lunar landscape with its myriad craters that you can see with your naked eye. Now if you follow the Bible the moon was also created six thousand years ago, actually after the earth on the fourth day according to Genesis and all of those meteorite and asteroid collisions had to occur in that tiny time frame. Why isn’t the earth pockmarked to the degree the moon is? Why? Because those impacts occurred billions of year ago and the forces of atmospheric erosion, which are lacking on the moon, eroded most of their presence on the earth over that time.

If you don’t believe in an old earth you now have to account for the moon being created at a different time before the earth and I don’t believe that is the normal reading of scripture. Or you have to create a scenario in which god bombarded the moon but chose to spare the earth, you know one of “his” miracles. Not to be blasphemous but god was pretty liberal with his miracles during biblical times but you have to admit “his” modern day miracles have kind of paled in comparison. Or just maybe god likes craters and he created the moon that way just to mess with us. Funny, we just witnessed a comet collision with Jupiter during our lifetime though so that thinking is a bit suspect. Kind of convoluted thinking in any case wouldn’t you say? Sorry, you have to face it, the Bible makes for a very poor science book.

My last comment said it all.  Where do these Creationists learn science? Did they just fall asleep during the geology lectures in school or were they never taught any critical thinking because they were home schooled? How do they selectively turn on and off  what they consider true science or do they care?  Do they just listen to Rush Limbaugh on the radio?  I don’t get it but almost half of Americans reject evolution. That means half of all Americans are not capable of critical scientific thinking.

Now their comment to me is that I am the one who has been spoon fed and accepted the humanist belief system including Darwinism without my own critical review or personal introspection.  Not true, I spent some time in Catholic School and immediately began discounting everything they taught me the minute I escaped their clutches, including the concepts of heaven and hell.  I did so as I slowly began to find my way in the real world. First, the natural world just did not make sense to me as taught by the priests and nuns.  Furthermore, their shocking abuse of parochial school students as personally observed did not jive with me either.  And while I did not experience the sexual abuse that was inherent in the Catholic School system, I can tell you that nobody, including myself, was exempt from the numerous forms of physical punishment that was perpetuated upon the student body by the clergy.  I can also tell you that celibacy gives you a lot of pent up energy and a certain zeal that needs to be vented upon unwary sinners. In my case, being left-handed I was subjected to regular physical beatings because I had the temerity to use my left-hand to write and draw.  You know, the old school superstition regarding the left-hand being sinistral or evil thinking from the middle ages.

So did I reject god? No, I rejected the men who claim to speak for god.  Every major religion has the stink of man about it and not the rarefied air of  god.  To me, nature speaks more of god than any holy book as interpreted and manipulated by mortal man. So again, I ask what of science in America?

Here was McCovilles response:

“Marine fossils at the top of the mountains…. Noah’s flood. Again, the moon has the marks because that is how God made them, have you seen the meteorites hit the moon or are you taking the words of men by faith that it happened? God’s miracles continue to happen today, you fail to recognize them as such. I never said the Bible was a science book, I only stand by the claim that it is infallible and science continues to agree.”

Should have seen the proverbial flood coming but you can see my response in the blog.   In any case, if 50% of Americans are thinking like this then we are so screwed as a nation.

For those that care my first novel in the Trilogy, Flores Girl: The Children God Forgot, is now available on Amazon for the Kindle Reader at a very reasonable price:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B001UE6MDY

Enjoy!

Erik John Bertel

01
Apr
09

There is No Darkness Like Hovind’s Creationist Ignorance

This is a recent exchange that was initiated by a creationist chap, named Andrew Sandstrom, who took exception to an old Blog posting I wrote about Sarah Palin and the Republican Expelled Creationist gang. If you have followed my writings you know I wasn’t particularly receptive to the Republican’s fundamentalist religious preoccupation as cynically perpetrated by Karl Rove.  Here is Andrew’s reply to me:

Intelligent Design is very limited when it comes to a creationist point of view. It’s assuming that the earth is billions of years old, when it really isn’t. (Here we go again! -EJB)

The Geological column and several key theories brought it about. And assumptions that places like the Grand Canyon take many many years to form. (And this is an interpretation, not fact. It’s never been proven.)

Our dating methods have been proven wrong a long time ago. Although, once evolution started leaking into mainstream media and everyone had started to accept that the earth is billions of years old, nobody dared question our modern-day methods except darwinists. (Not sure what the point was with this comment- EJB)

And now we’ve been repeatedly fed this bull crap about how the earth is billions of years old. We’re now looking upon every other theory as immediately dismissable.

Watch Kent Hovind’s creation series. You’ll find that the modern-day creationist views are ‘very’ different than ID. ID is still a way for humanists who don’t believe in a God but also don’t find evolution a very reliable theory to explain life. Ex: There was a designer, but it’s never showed itself to us. (This guy is hard-core so of course you can’t trust humanists -EJB)

You can believe whatever you want, all I’m saying is that evolution is an interpretation of the FACTS. Grand Canyon existing is a FACT. That it was created over millions or billions of years is THEORY. It cannot be observed so it cannot be proven.

In short: Show a little more respect to another person’s beliefs. Just because you believe in evolution doesn’t mean you’ve come along more intellectually.

Oh, and Kent Hovind’s website: http://www.drdino.com

(One of Hovind’s articles is titled “The Grand Canyon, Things That Make Evolutionists Look Stupid,”  see name calling is not relegated solely to intellectuals -EJB)

My Response:

“There is no darkness but ignorance” and this is especially evident when religious zealots talk about scientific observation. You realize that with the advent of laser and computer technology and now through GPS, we can actually measure mountains rising and tectonic plates spreading apart, right? Or don’t they teach these scientific facts in your religious compound? (Okay, I was being bitchy but these denials are so hard to take early in the morning!)

For example, the massive Indo-Australian plate is still moving at 67 mm or for you metric phobes, about 3 inches a year. That very same plate is still pushing up the Himalaya Mountains. So do the math and by multiplying by millions of years, and use a calculator if you must, to see how the earth is constantly changing over time. So don’t give me that crap we haven’t seen it. You might as well argue that the GPS in your car doesn’t work while you are it. Speaking of which, I didn’t see my car being built but it’s a pretty safe assumption it was built by Americans in a U.S. factory (?) and not by angels in heaven (hopefully not by devils but that could explain a lot!) And yes, I do buy American!

Religious zealots chose to conveniently ignore the facts and look for weakness along the fringes of science hoping beyond hope to see some personal glimpse of God. Albert Einstein tried to do the same and he failed miserably by the way so I don’t think you’re going to fare much better. That’s why we call it faith by the way. And faith is fine but don’t tell me you have the right to teach this ignorance in a public school. It’s important to separate the teaching of science from the preaching of faith and you just have to look to the Taliban to see where religious ignorance will lead you.

Oh, as to the link to that Creationist site look if you must for a needed laugh but it’s more of the usual Creationist denial and crapfest material. I like the negative article about the chickenosaurus, which is an attempt by biologists to turn genes on and off to recreate a ancestral dinosaur from it’s descendant: a common everyday chicken. For example, they have been able to grow teeth in chicken embryos which is pretty impressive by playing around with a few genes. As to the ethics of doing this, well that is another matter. Here’s a better link:

http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/discoblog/2009/03/10/will-jurassic-park-ever-really-come-true/

Finally, as to the state of my intellectual development, well I am reminded of an old Archie Bunk quip when Meathead commented to Archie about how Archie should be wanting more for his children. To paraphrase Archie’s comment he said “didn’t the gorilla parent want more for his children but there they are, still a gorilla.” I have accepted that there is so much we don’t know and more importantly, in our present physical manifestations as human beings, so much we will never know.  In short, I have embraced uncertainty unlike my creationist fundamentalist friends and any supposed intellectual superiority on my part melts away upon personal introspection and a simple gaze at the night skies.

Erik John Bertel

20
Jan
09

Flores Girl: The Children God Forgot is Now a Free e-Book

Great News! The Flores Girl novel is available as a Free e-Book down loadable right from www.floresgirl.com. Just click here! You heard right, free and it is available in a number of popular e-Book formats such Adobe PDF, Mobi and Microsoft Reader. Amazon’s Kindle will be next and, of course, the free podcast is always available at podiobooks.com.

What? Has to be a gimmick, right? Perhaps the last chapter is missing, right? No gimmicks, I’m just trying to build an audience for the Flores Girl sequels. After 55,000 downloads of the podcast I figured it was time to up the ante. So I figure if you like the first novel a lot there is a good chance you may buy the sequels in the future, that’s all. So please download and enjoy guilt free or listen to the free podcast.

Cheers,

Erik John Bertel

10
Sep
08

Sarah Palin and the Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed Creationists

It’s funny how life comes full circle to anybody who is paying attention. I started out writing this blog hoping to discuss some of the issues writers face trying in their efforts to get published. Frankly, writing can be a lonely and sometimes unrewarding task and book publishers don’t make the task any easier. A process that is inherently tied to communication can cause the individual to drown in their isolation and consequently I felt talking about such a task could at least ameliorate some of the pain. As I worked with my Flores Girl novel I found that the subject matter of my book was getting some unwarranted attention from a number of cranky creationists. Flores Girl: The Children God Forgot is a cautionary tale about the discovery of a prehistoric dwarf tribe by a pair of scientists and, of course, is a complete work of fiction. Well, that wasn’t good enough for some of my creationist detractors because the title contained the word “god” and made some implicit assumptions about mankind’s evolution and that was enough to illicit some seriously cranky email. And you know how the fundamentalists are all about the written word!

So, seeking revenge and some personal amusement, I decided to go off on that craptacular movie called “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed” from Ben Stein. After a while, I became less amused with the blog and tired of the pointless arguments with people who read exactly two books in their lives: the bible and the instruction manual to their trailer home. So after failing to find an Expelled bootleg, I boldly pointed out that nobody cared about ID and creationism since there was a presidential election going on and that a crappy Bush-inspired war economy had everybody more worried about foreclosure. Furthermore, the creationist creeps were going to have a tough time choosing between Obama or McCain since neither one was particularly accommodating to their simplistic world bible views.

Boy, was I wrong on that prognostication! Nostradamus I am not! No sooner did I make that stupid forecast McCain goes out and adds some Alaskan Creationist- Secessionist- Pro-Life-Pro-Gun-MILF to his ticket as his VP, all after an incredibly long vetting process that must have transpired during the duration of a single bowel movement. And I should add that I am a McCain supporter!

So what of Sarah Palin and her religious beliefs? Well, five to six years ago she was a member of a Pentecostal church, the Assembly of God to be exact. Now these rocket scientists believe in a literal bible, talking in tongues, faith healing and, how can we forget, the ever popular end-of-times. We have had so many end of times I don’t were to begin. This type of inspired lunacy leads to such clear thinking as “it’s God’s will that is being done in Iraq.” Funny, I thought that was the work of a mediocre son looking to clear his daddy’s historical record but, hey, what the hell do I know? I mean we went in there to separate those heathens from the WMD’s right? Eh, okay the weapons weren’t there but we did bring freedom to the Iraqis, right? You know freedom from boredom as the local militia executes the men in your family but hey that’s God’s plan and you can’t argue about the big picture, right?

The good news is that God’s plans are not just relegated to simple matters of war. No way! Did you know that a new pipe line is a task from God? Me, I was thinking Exxon-Mobil but I guess I think way too small. Really, Palin said this. God’s will is to be done developing our natural resources, never mind all we are doing is feeding a nasty oil habit and that the sooner we can move to something alternative the sooner we can tell the idiots in the Middle East what they can do with their oil.  Ask Sarah about Creationism and she’ll reply sure Creationism should be taught in school!  We don’t have a lick of proof that it can’t stand up to rigorous scientific review but hell proof didn’t stop us from invading Iraq.

That said, Sarah Palin is not stupid. Unlike Obama, she had the good sense to realize that once she became a mainstream Republican she had to leave behind the small town church that inspired a thousand tongues. In fact, she does not does not consider herself Pentecostal anymore but I do wonder if she feels that God can still be accessed? And what about the view that Alaska is the preferred shelter for Christians in the end-of-times? There has been some talk that she is also anti-Israel but really has she ever met a Jew? Ben Stein for example? I mean really, has she?

All I know is the Expelled crowd is really charged up again and we have McCain to thank for this madness. Soon we’ll get all sorts of new home school and ID initiatives coursing through the mediocre halls of Congress. I’m thinking of voting for Obama now just for spite but damn I don’t want my taxes to go up again! What’s a thinking evolutionist to do? And where is Hillary in all this mess? Can’t she remind women not to cast their vote based on their chromosomes but to vote instead on the issues? After all, who do they think they are? Men? Someday, perhaps after the election, I hope to get back to writing about writing rather than about politics and fundamentalists. And to think, if they had just left me alone this all could have been avoided!

More on Hillary: No Political Catifght with Palin

More on Palin “Governor Palin You’re No Hillary Clinton!”

More on Palin with this story,“Apparently-Bristol-Palin-is-no-Chelsea-Clinton-Either”

11
Jun
08

Defending Rush Limbaugh and ID: Why?

A few weeks ago I wrote the following:

Here are some more pearls of wisdom from Rush Limbaugh about Darwinists and apparently most biologists:

“These people fear God. These scientists, they fear God because God has the answers, God’s smarter than they are. God’s judgmental. That’s one of the things that liberals and atheists hate about religion anyway is that it’s judgmental.”

Obviously, Rush thinks he is going to fare well during judgment day. I guess he will get a pass on his vicodin law breaking spree with the big guy based on the body of his prior work. Yet, you know the freak is also into something else that is equally perverse. That’s how it is with these chicken-hawk conservative types, in real life they tend to be the biggest freaks. What cracks me up is that these creationist horses asses like Rush love to play the card that most biologist and Darwinists are atheist when in fact quite the opposite is true. But hey, never let the facts get in the way, you know those atheists-agnostic-humanist-communists are holding back free speech in our schools.

Below is my original rant regarding Expelled and the Mighty Wind:

Okay, I just can’t let go of this one. The other problem with this silly pseudo-science is that Intelligent Design purports to have some great interfaith universality when in fact teaching Intelligent Design would be contrarian to many other religious beliefs as well. Many Buddhists have little need or no need for a creator/personal god guiding the direction of the universe and for a fundamentalist the god of Intelligent design would weaken the power of their personal god or their fundamental belief in a 6,000 year old earth. Intelligent design, as advocated by Expelled, is not only bad science but bad religious dogma for many people as well and is specifically a tired, rehashed Judaic/Christian fundamentalist dogma.

Furthermore, Intelligent Design is a belief structure that is reduced to disingenuous nitpicking at the edges of scientific theory called evolution, looking for a foothold where none is forthcoming or where the ground is forever shifting. And does anyone care the least bit that Intelligent Design actually destroys any illusion of free will? I mean when does god’s hand comes down and beginning squeezing the jaws of the chosen people so that the next generation can have one less molar? I am of course referring to the observation that our wisdom teeth have become superfluous in modern man as our jaws continued to be downsized. And if god is removing teeth as part of his great evolutionary plan what else is god mucking with? If all of this sounds rather silly as an argument well that’s because it is. Rather than being liberating like religion, Intelligent Design is a bastard child of Creationist’s convenience and is not terribly convincing even as a pseudo-science.

The loss of ‘free will’ is of no concern to Rush Limbaugh, after all he believes life should be scripted as per his own neo-conservative credo and no dissenter need apply. Rush skewers the scientific community with such dismissive comments as “the condescension and the arrogance these people have, they will readily admit that Darwinism and evolution do not explain how life began.” Hey, lard ass, it’s the theory of evolution and not the theory of creation! Jeez, can’t you follow any discriminating, structured argument?

So now the great vicodin-fueled gas bag himself has added his own personal endorsement to the movie Expelled. And why not? Minimal critical thinking is required to embrace Intelligent Design and with Intelligent Design god’s chosen species is once again returned to the top of the proverbial spiritual food chain. I should point out since man made god in his own image it comes as no surprise that most fundamentalist religions make it a point to exclude women from their own theocracy. When does the madness and stupidity stop?

Alright, I know I said that insults have to stop but really isn’t Rush Limbaugh just an escaped caricature from some perverse adult theme park? Al I can say is just be careful Rush or scientists will stop inventing new pain killers for you to buy from your housekeeper. And that cheesy photo of him with a cigar! Doesn’t he know cigars go best with a tacky Hawaiian shirt!

Well, I got a few comments pro and con but here are some of the more acerbic posts from Kain:

“Wow! Reading your shallow rant just refreshes my memory of why people like Rush have traction with the mainstream crouds. With all due respect, the ID people have a point (even if people like Rush mistakenly lump evolution and ambiogenesis together). If the public school system was just teaching evolution then there wouldn’t be a problem, but they are endoctrinating kids with ambiogenesis or just about any other atheistic possiblity for the start of life except a 3rd party whether that be alien or “god” and then hiding under the “seperation of church and state” nonsense. I’m perfectly content with my kid being taught that we freaking have no idea where we came from and then lay out a number of 3rd party and non-3rd party theories and associated merits, but when my kid comes home and tells me we all came from a soup-a-la-the-Miller-experiment then it’s obvious our public school system is horribly broken. ID doesn’t have to satisfy every fundamentalist religion on the planet and it isn’t meant to. It is not meant to replace evolution. It is meant to be a counter theory to ambiogenesis. It simply points out that life on our world reeks of design from a 3rd party and try to identify the parts that could not have evolved by accident and maybe find clues as to where we came from (alien, god, or otherwise). Heck, just look at the error correction system of DNA with all of it’s redundancy and forward error correction. It has a shocking number of simularities to what we use in datacenters to protect computer data and screams design. I’ve seen a lot of attempts at natural explanations for how those error correction schemes could have evolved on their own and they are about as believable as saying my hard drive evolved on it’s own so I obviously lean towards the ID side. There are obviously people who don’t share my viewpoint, but I don’t petition my lawmakers to ban those viewpoints from the school system. It’s numbskulls like you who would banish ID (in a pure form) from the classrooms and who try to equate it to fundamentalist religions that give people like Rush a voice and if you keep it up you may just find yourself bringing a big religious backlash against you (they do outnumber you) and end up with theology in the public school systems instead of a truce between 3rd party and non-3rd party theories. If you get down to it, atheism IS a religion and one of the oldest ones (called materialism). How would you like it if we petitioned the courts to have ambiogenesis banned under the seperation of church and state because we don’t want the religion of materialism taught in schools? Don’t even try to say science and materialism are one and the same because then I’ll say all science must be banned from schools and that children can voluntarily learn it from their place of worship (materialist) of choice. It’s the same flawed logic you guys apply to ID.” – Kain

Now mind you, he felt the need to defend Rush, the old gas bag who makes crap up like their is a half million polar bears in Arctic when he wants to discredit global warming.

My repsonse:

Where to begin? Okay I decided, let’s go with the religious backlash comment. Since Kain sounds so old school and is such a true believer maybe we could go with some old, school Taliban style backlash? You know, we out number you so we can round up the heretics and burn them at the stake because they dare question what we the true believers know? That’s what “retarded” fundamentalist religion does to you, it keeps locked you safely in a box until the real world comes knocking at your door, like the wackos in Texas.

What you don’t get with all your huffing and puffing is that science will let you teach ID in a school the day ID becomes a verifiable and working hypothesis, until then it is a matter of faith and conjecture not fitting for scientific study. Do we ask you to teach evolution during your bible studies? You are so damn afraid your kids might think for themselves one day that you will do anything to repress the facts including the existence of the fossil record. If you win on this issue what’s next? Are you going to go back to the earth being at the center of the universe?

So for now let’s address this Christian fundamentalist religious intolerance you are so enamored with. I know Ben Stein and the gang want to blame Darwin and science for the holocaust but that doesn’t address centuries of pogroms against the Jews prior to the existence of Darwin now does it? No, but you know what does? Religious intolerance, in fact, intolerant religions have killed more people than any other cause in the history of mankind and science only helps the wackos to kill more efficiently.

Finally, explain for me how ID doesn’t interfere with the concept of free will if you can? I have yet to hear a plausible explanation for how god directs the evolutionary direction of all living creatures even to this day but doesn’t see fit to get involved with saving the Jews during the Holocaust or the flood victims in Burma. Mighty strange priorities for the almighty if you ask me and one can only conclude that that thread of fundamentalist thinking is both simplistic and hopelessly erroneous.

Erik John Bertel

Kain wasn’t done:

“Wow. Are you seriously this misinformed? 1st off, my comment about the backlash was simply that Rush’s audience outnumbers you at least 2-1 and in a democratic society it’s not good to piss off the majority so yes the best way to educate people to your side of the argument is by true debate in the classroom and not Nazi style exclusion because the latter may end up biting you in the ass when the majority decides to use the same against you and believe me we don’t want our school system to be systems of theocracy. Also, comparing every religious person to the “wackos” in TX is the equivalent of me saying all atheists are the equavalent of Stalin or Mao.

2nd, ambiogenesis isn’t a “verifiable working” anything. It is a hypothesis to the origin of life and nothing more AS IS ID and ambiogenesis is a matter of FAITH for those who have none in a 3rd party (including a god). Also you are making the same ignorant assumptions that we all have a problem with evolution or the fossil record. We all don’t. Evolution describes a natural process that goes on all the time around us. It does not describe the origin of life.

I think your rant pretty much tips your hand on why you are angry with ID. You are intolerant to religions and broadbrush everyone as fundamentalist Christians (which I am not thank you) and see anything that MIGHT challenge your religion of materialism as a threat and you are too closed minded to admit it. Not that it matters, but materialism definitely ranks up there on the “killed more people” list and I would argue that anyone who killed en masse in the name of Christianity was actually following materialism and greed as the Christian religion does NOT advocate violence (i.e. you can’t be a true Christian if you’re acting contrary to the teachings so the Christianity killed more people argument is a logical fallacy).

As for free will, that’s easy. DNA is a source code and was deposited here by a 3rd party to evolve on it’s own. The 3rd party does not interfere in “free will” of the creation. It would be no different than a programmer creating a highly resilient program and depositing it in a hostile environment to see if it could “survive.” Maybe that doesn’t jive with the fundamentalist notion of a Christian God you seem to have but it works quite well for a number of theists. Your questions about god and suffering can easily be answered in any theology 101 course. Regardless, ID supporters are not actively promoting a fundamentalist Christian God but rather the possibility of a 3rd party as being the genesis of life rather than dumb luck even IF that life was started somewhere else in the universe and arrived here by accident and the creator doesn’t know of our existence. ID does not equal the “almighty”. -Kain

My final retort:

Sorry, I’m not buying that there is no tie between the ID faction and religious fundamentalism, the facts speak otherwise. You may not want to be part of the fundamentalist agenda but that is like the brown shirts saying they had nothing to do with the rise of the Nazis. The ID movement is basically a Trojan horse for a whole line of discredited religious thinking. And, I remind you that this entire Nazi thread and all of the attendant outlandish commentary was started first by Ben Stein and the Expelled crowd in the movie.

Also, how and why you attach materialism or the origin of life to Darwinism and the theory evolution of life is beyond me as well. The theory of evolution and Darwinism does not address the origins of life. Moreover, this entire argument reminds me of the fourteen questions the Gautama Siddartha refused to answer and for evolutionists the creation of life is one of those unanswerable questions. Could that change? Of course, as our knowledge base grows I fully expect it to. Maybe we are of Martian origins as the idiot Dawkins was alluding to but that doesn’t mean all life in the universe has to originate in such a mystical or extraterrestrial manner.

The facts remains there is no proof for the ID credo and puh-lease don’t give me that tired old irreducible complexity negative argument. Finally, if a third party did all of the seeding and coding, what was that source code programmed to do, to live and evolve into devout followers? When I write code I usually have an agenda in mind, at least I try to, so what was the goal of the Intelligent creator? How far could such a creative force foresee into the future, I mean RNA and DNA coding takes you in a very specific direction and once again how does a preprogrammed agenda square with free will? I agree with you on one fact, this is theology 101 and consequently it and ID has no place in a science class. And by the way, I am Christian that recognizes when science ends and when my faith begins.

As to the will of the majority, I could give you the old Henrik Ibsen quote about the majority always being wrong, you know the old chestnut about Hitler being voted into office but frankly I am not even going to concede that point. After all, Expelled wasn’t exactly Ironman or Indiana Jones at the box office this spring and going forward Americans are going to have their hands full with other urgent matters after eight years of benign neglect by the Bush administration.

Erik John Bertel


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

15
Apr
08

Expelled: Creationist’s Wacky Web Site for ID

If you want some real fun check this post out and link from my fundamentalist friend Tom. This Creationist site is off the wall and really, I get my best material from the fundamentalists in the audience:
I just prayed for you.

Check this out if you want to win $10,000.00

http://www.intelligentdesignversusevolution.com/

Some excerpts from this site:

  • God Doesn’t Believe in Atheists
  • Contrary to popular opinion, the existence of God can be proven
  • Scientific Facts from the Bible: Shows the scientific facts that existed in the Bible long before “science” became aware of them. (Nothing like going to a two thousand year old book to get the latest scientific information, huh?)
  • And the classic “Win $10,000 for the proof of evolution”. Thank god the entry is free. Read such classic arguments as “Just as a building is absolute proof there was a builder (no building ever built itself), creation is absolute proof there is a Creator.” Ouch, you got me there! I surrender.
  • And the ever popular, “The more scientists have searched for the transitional forms that lie between species, the more they have been frustrated.” Newsweek, November 3, 1980. I guess the two legged snake doesn’t cut the mustard for the creationists anymore. Incredible Fossil Two-Legged Snake Link

Come on Tom, tell me this as a joke, right? This Creationist site has so much going on it reminds of Homer’s web site on an old Simpson’s episode where all he did was to steal other site’s clip art and place them on his own site. $10 grand to prove evolution; what is this the Price is Right? A truly craptacular site and like they say you can’t make this stuff up! Not to be missed by any aficionado of camp.

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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