Posts Tagged ‘Expelled

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

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27
Mar
08

A Mighty Wind Named Rush Backs Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed

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!

 

 

26
Mar
08

Expelled, No Intelligence Allowed at the Movies: Where Bad Religion Doctrine Meets Bad Science

Wow! “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed,” the movie has made evolution chic once again. If you haven’t heard yet those wacky creationists got the bright idea to make a pro-Intelligent design movie. Unlike others that feel it is their right to comment on a movie they haven’t seen I haven’t seen this original piece of work so I will limit my comments to the central premise of the movie: Intelligent Design. You may also be wondering why the hell a blog about writing cares about Intelligent design. One of the basic themes of my novel and free speculative fiction podcast, Flores Girl:The Children God Forgot, is the individual struggle between a path of science and one’s spiritual choices. Many of the more devout podcast listeners are offended by the main character’s irreverent take on religion, after all they are biologists, and I have exchanged some interested discourses with some religious fundamentalist types.

What is interesting about the Expelled phenomenon is that the bitterness and acrimony expressed during the reviews of the movie can only be the province of true believers on both sides of the argument. Categorically, each side has rejected the other’s arguments and the personal animosity shows. Science is about the pursuit of truth but not necessarily the seeking of a final truth whereas religion is all about a final truth as accepted by the true believers. And yes, science does have its own dogma and priesthood but that doesn’t mean the pursuits of the church and science are the same. That contradiction just reflects the ture nature of man. The problem is there is no halfway solution; the two should remain irrevocably separate. To teach one as a complement to the other in some sort of bizarre ying and yang relationship does a disservice to the lucid thinking of our younger generations and confuses the choices of an individual.

Moreover, while the knowledge of god is liberating to a pious person, to a scientist the heavy hand of god is extremely confining. There is not much a scientist can do with the theory that “god did it” or that “god will do it” and that in essence is the guiding insight of Intelligent design. Okay, they say Intelligent guidance rather than the almighty but wink, wink we all know they are talking about god, and in fact a Christian god. And if you believe in the doctrine of Intelligent design at what exact point in the science do you throw up your hands and acknowledge the handiwork of that god? That’s not as easy a decision as you might think if you think rationally and scientifically.

Today, physicists struggle to throw off the self-imposed shackles of their own Big Bang theory by embracing string and brane theory so unwilling are they to acknowledge the imposition of a god at a given starting point or singularity in the universe. And I say good for them, stretching the imagination is prerequisite for science and being timid has no place in science. Scientific theory has an entire thought and review process that is alien to religious practice and rather than fostering blind leaps of faith, science is forever skeptically questioning what we know. Rather than seeing the scientific process of question and debate as strength the very scientific process emboldens the ignorant. Asking why five fingers, two eyes and a single anus is de rigeur for a scientist rather than the blind belief that we are made in god’s image. I don’t know why we are what we are but saying god did it is not going to get us any closer to the truth; it just makes it easier for the vast majority of us to excuse ourselves for being intellectually lazy.

Getting back to my comment that there can be no middle solution with teaching evolution and creationism, excuse me Intelligent design, that would be analogous to a person asking to become a priest without believing in God on the pretense that he wants to serve mankind. No sane Church would have him as a member of t he clergy no matter how good his intentions. He would be kindly reminded that there are other, more appropriate venues for him to demonstrate his innate humanitarianism.

Now to the flip side of the coin as they say. The true believer on the side of science has a considerable personal investment in their own personal struggle to free themselves from the yoke of religious instruction and oppression. Men railing against one another about the existence of God and his/her manifestations in the world, each claiming to have greater insights as to the truth is a common artifact of this individual’s spiritual struggle. For the atheist and agnostic alike religion smells of man and not god and consequently they are reduced to ineffectual displays of rebellion à la Sinead o Connor as she ripped up photos of the Pope on stage. And yet they forget that straining against the religious ties that bind often constricts you more. I know that because I have been in that bitter mode before. So for my evolutionary friends I say use a little less venom, fewer insults and add a little more understanding as to why men (word used deliberately) clutch to their seemingly irrational beliefs. They are not all morons and face it, it is a basic biologically urge to seek the ultimate alpha male in god!

More to follow!




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