Why Ben Stein’s Expelled! Documentary is a Waste of Your Time: A Christian Anti-Review

The producers of Expelled! have done a masterful job of insisting that their film speaks dangerous and important truths that have been silenced. They all but imply that unless you shill out 10$ to see their film, you’re part of the conspiracy, or scared to face their challenge.

It’s easy to forget that this stance is, simply, ridiculous. The film doesn’t contain even a single allegation or argument that hasn’t already been debated to death elsewhere. It certainly, in 90 minutes of running time, cannot present ANY side of any issue issue in anywhere near the amount of depth found in books or blogs: even purely pro-Intelligent Design websites contain more detailed content in a single days’ posting than the film can squeeze in alongside its “edgy” (i.e. inexpensive padding) deployment of stock footage and musical montages.

The only thing particularly unique about Expelled! is that it is bizarrely oblivious to the devastating objections already raised against its core arguments, in some cases decades ago. It’s as if none of these arguments (the vast majority of which, coincidentally scientists won pretty decisively) ever happened. The producers have even had, in the face of the movie’s selectively enforced ignorance, the incredible gall to brag that no one had responded to their substantive arguments… before yet again scrambling in fear when someone actually tried to respond.

So why should anyone bother paying to see the film? Henry Neufeld, who calls himself a moderate Christian, makes the best case Ive seen so far as to why most people should not, utterly regardless of whether they are interested in its subject matter or what side they support. In doing so, I think he sums up the core problems with the film better than any anti-Expelled blogger I’ve yet seen, including myself (I’ve been struggling unsuccessfully to boil it all down into a nice press primer for some time). Here’s the overview of his basic objections, each of which is well argued in more detail on his blog, and any of which are damning flaws.

  1. Misrepresentation of evolution
  2. First amendment issues are badly confused
  3. Academic freedom doesn’t guarantee you a job or tenure
  4. The problem for intelligent design is not that it hasn’t been considered
  5. The connection of evolution with Hitler
  6. The lie that accepting the theory of evolution is the equivalent of atheism

Back when the film was first announced, the producers scoffed at all the early criticism they received, making fun of folks that would dare characterize a film they had yet to see. And yet, now that the film has been seen and reviewed several times over, there seems to be little reason to question our original low expectations. All of our predictions were, if anything, too generous.

Personally, as a student of political pushback and as someone that wants to be able to pick apart the film’s claims in detail for others, I’ll be seeing the movie. As a good capitalist, I’ll even pay for the odious privilege. But unless you have my bizarre collections of interests and ambitions, save your money.

The movie is nothing more than the real life version of a messageboard troll. And what’s the cardinal rule of dealing with trolls? Do. not. feed.

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33 Responses to Why Ben Stein’s Expelled! Documentary is a Waste of Your Time: A Christian Anti-Review

  1. craftlessculture says:

    very interesting. the trailer was a little iffy for me as well. however, i’ll see it meself before i judge it (cause to not do so would make me….. a conservative evangelical!) even though i’ll probably reach the same conclusions that you have.

    It’s interesting too because I felt the same way about the Da Vinci Code. Everyone assumed these are new or hidden ideas.

  2. Bad says:

    The difference with the Davinci Code was the ideas, while not new, were not well known: they were basically crackpot conspiracy theories that were once the purview of a small group that suddenly gained a wider audience… and thus, eventually wider ridicule. Expelled doesn’t even have that going for it, in that anyone who has even peeked into the creationism/evolution debates over the last however many years will be familiar with all the canards the film floats.

  3. THERE IS A NEW DISCIPLINE:

    Mr. Parsons: I’ve hidden the content of your comment, as if appears to be a generalized promotional pitch for a book series rather than an on-topic response to anything in this post or any of the comments. If you would like to contribute to a discussion directly, I’m happy to entertain anything you have to say, provided that it is written specifically by you, expressing your thoughts of the moment relevant to this topic. -Bad

  4. Jay says:

    ^^^

    What the eff?

  5. Bad says:

    Promotional comments that don’t really address the subject of a post or ongoing spin-off discussions are pretty much the only sort that I consider censoring: just to discourage spam and thoughtless copy/paste posts. So I’m highly inclined to delete this unless its author can write a real comment trying to relate these “Quest for Right” materials to more than just the general topic.

  6. L. Ron Brown says:

    You’re going to pay to see the crocumentary? Then you’re literally supporting it. If I had your ambitions, I would probably either buy a ticket for another movie and then go watch Expelled, or just download it off the net. I would do either of these things before willfully supporting such a travesty.

  7. Bad says:

    I disagree. They’ve made something, and they own it. Whatever I think about them, that doesn’t mean that it makes sense to steal or hoodwink them or theater owners. I don’t care if this film makes them a zillion dollars: the point is not to keep money out of their pocket, but to make sure that the truth prevails.

  8. Howie says:

    Stein’s major contention is that there are many out there who have strong academic credentials and yet hold these views. They do indeed have a right to be heard and not censored. Those who think otherwise would seem to be fearful of having their own ideology challenged – a perspective that only serves to interfere with the search for truth. It makes me think of Al Gore refusing to answer the question of how global warming could be present on Mars.

  9. Bad says:

    Stein’s major contention is that there are many out there who have strong academic credentials and yet hold these views.

    By many, what you mean is an exceedingly tiny group of folks mostly working outside of their fields of expertise. And that is simply beside the point. They are heard. They are not “censored” as the film claims. Not getting rehired, especially after incompetence, like happened to Crocker, is not “censorship.” Not getting tenure is not censorship. Getting merely criticized, like Sternberg is not censorship.

    And the idea that their critiques of evolution are some closely kept secret is utterly laughable. Their ideas have been critiqued, and very very rigorously and directly. For most scientists, they simply aren’t taken seriously as science in the first place, period.

    The real problem is that they don’t wish to play by the same standards that all other scientists have to: standards of evidence, of scientific merit, and so on. They can’t accept when they lose, or when they are proven wrong, or that they should need to provide evidence for their positions instead of appeals to magic. The number of just outright falsehoods and nonsense that they still peddle (like “evolution can’t create new information”) despite having it debunked time and time again is simply astonishing.

    Those who think otherwise would seem to be fearful of having their own ideology challenged – a perspective that only serves to interfere with the search for truth.

    These are mere talking points from the film. For anyone that knows about the actual course of the debate in question, the idea that scientists are “fearful” of ID is a rather desperate and pathetic attempt to avoid having to talk about the fact that scientists do take this stuff on, and trounce it over and over.

    It’s the ID folks that keep dancing away from the issues, running what is mostly a well-funded PR campaign aimed at the public that simply ignores and avoids the serious problems people have raised with their entire project. There’s a reason that Ben Stein has basically stuck almost exclusively to Christian ministers who know nothing about science for his interviews. Who is hiding from whom, exactly?

  10. Bad says:

    As to the issue of purchasing tickets to a movie I think is terribly dishonest, I heartily enjoy the idea of purchasing “Truth Tickets” to compensate, a sort of minor parody/homage to the concept of carbon credits. I think my conscience is clear with or without them, but I salute the creativity of this solution.

  11. Richard Ball says:

    We had better hope that we are the products of design, rather than mindless evolutionary forces; otherwise, there’s no logical reason why we should trust anything that comes out of our junkyard brains.

    Likewise, we had better hope that reality is more than purely materialistic, because, if it isn’t, the thoughts of our brains are nothing more than the products of chemical reactions inside our junkyard brains.

    Christians, of course, have a reason to have confidence in logic, abstract thought, reason, etc. Atheists don’t have a leg to stand on. Behind reason, logic, abstract thought is an intelligent being who designed us in his image.

  12. Bad says:

    Richard, your arguments are quite familiar, and certainly they must seem very flattering (which, I suspect, is their primary purpose). But they aren’t in the least compelling. I’ve dealt with these objections many times before.

    Your argument that our origin matters to whether we can trust our rational senses is a complete non-sequitur: there’s simply no logic there at all. Claiming that the whole can never have properties it parts do not is the fallacy of composition. Claiming that something cannot produce things different from its origin or underlying causes is the genetic fallacy.

    And please don’t embarrass yourself by trying to argue that I cannot cite fallacy to critique your claims until I’ve satisfied you that logic is valid. It either is or it isn’t. If it isn’t, then your own argument is self-refuting and pointless. If it is, then I’ve refuted it. You lose either way.

    We can trust our brains to precisely the degree with which they all seem to perceive a common reality we all share. It is that reality we are trying to describe, the only one particularly relevant here, and the proof is in the pudding: our “junkyard” brains seem to do a pretty good (though not flawless, which is why we need things like logic and science to check our misunderstandings) job of figuring things out about this reality in ways that are predictable and repeatable and hold up to the evidence of this reality.

    I doubt you can actually express your “no logical reason” contention IN formal logic. Theologians have often tried, but their attempts are generally nigh incoherent.

    Likewise, we had better hope that reality is more than purely materialistic, because, if it isn’t, the thoughts of our brains are nothing more than the products of chemical reactions inside our junkyard brains.

    This is perhaps the silliest pretension of all: the idea that positing a “non-natural” existence somehow allows us to escape the issue of how our thoughts work and come to be.

    First and foremost, adding a “supernatural” realm doesn’t explain anything at all: it solves no mysteries about how thoughts work and what they are. It answers no questions. It might hypothetically allow more explanatory freedom, but I’ve never seen a theologian put any of that freedom to work to do anything useful. All it is is a retreat into the inexplicable used as a ruse to dodge having to produce the explanations you demanded from others.

    Second of all, supernatural realm or no, our thoughts have to work in SOME way: i.e. they have to have SOME underlying substrate of functioning that explains how and why they are the way they are. Even if you want to appeal to some sort of ghostly spiritual machinery, you’re still left with the need to explain thoughts via SOME sort of functional, constructive explanation. So retreating into the supernatural doesn’t even afford a way out of that problem.

    Christians, of course, have a reason to have confidence in logic, abstract thought, reason, etc. Atheists don’t have a leg to stand on. Behind reason, logic, abstract thought is an intelligent being who designed us in his image.

    You’ve seemingly confused telling a story with providing an explanation. You first demand a reason to have confidence in logic, abstract thought, and reason, etc. But then instead of supplying a reason in your own case, you merely tell a story: there exists a magical being, itself utterly inexplicable, that guarantees the reliability of our perceptions, for some sort of unverifiable motive, and done in an intelligible way.

    This, this is what you’re claiming you have over basic philosophy and empiricism? In addition to your case a) not actually explaining any of the things its supposed to explain and b) not having any compelling reason to believe its true in the first place, there’s then the problem that no matter what you do, your idea of a guarantee is just itself ultimately relying on unsubstantiated assumptions too.

    But if we are going to make assumptions, your choice seems like a truly bizarre place to start: why not just assume what we’re getting at in the first place: the general reliability of our common sensory experienced reality. Simply starting there is far simpler, and doesn’t require some sort of elaborate and wholly inexplicable chain of ghostly assurance to finally meander its way around to assuming the reality of reality.

    And that’s not even getting into the head-slapping problem of why exactly your intelligent being would have any sort of reliable reasoning capacity. How can it assure what it doesn’t have unless you merely assume it to have?

  13. I wonder, would a public school teacher in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania….

    Michael, while you’re free to make any argument you want, as long as it’s on topic and relevant to the discussion it’s posted under, you are not free to spam copy/pasted comments on several different threads, particularly when they are word for word identical to previous comments. You’ve already posted these exact comments here and here, and both those comments are already suspiciously devoid of signs that they were actually written in response to the threads in question, rather than being copied from somewhere else. Again, if you want to comment, the only requirement I have is that you actually comment, writing your thoughts in real time, as part of an ongoing discussion. Repeated copy/paste cross-postings complete with links to promote a for-sale book do not qualify. -Bad

  14. Fritzy Ritz says:

    I am wondering about all the noise on this Documentary. As a former evolution educator for over 30 years, that the reason I left the theory was after the world wide meetings evolutionists held between 1978 & 1982 because of the many Burgess Shale sites around the world and the leaders all admitted they had no empirical to support the fossil evidence.. They even created another concept, called “Punctuated equilibrium. Evolution happened so fast, it left no fossils, yea.

    I was even threatened with being fired If I continued to present that information to my CLASSES. I waas told I would be dismissed. I still presented the result of those meetings as was not.

    I also learned last April 2007, three Israeli scientist demonstrated the ‘Lucy fossil was not a chimp. but an ape.

    We do not need indoctrination in any subject, as that style is fascist.

    Okay,

  15. Bad says:

    Fritzy, your description of things like the Burgess Shale and PE are simply bizarre: those are indeed the standard creationist lines on those things, but they have little resemblance to the reality.

    I was even threatened with being fired If I continued to present that information to my CLASSES.

    Well, no wonder: it sounds like it was misinformation and your own confusion, not information. Would you support the continued employment of a math teacher who kept misteaching the wrong formula for integrals?

    I also learned last April 2007, three Israeli scientist demonstrated the ‘Lucy fossil was not a chimp. but an ape.

    Chimps ARE apes: they are a type of ape. You seriously taught other people biology when you can’t even get the most basic elements right?

  16. Fritzy Ritz says:

    Evidently you are going thru some diatribe to cover the fact that a Gorilla, also an ape of different genetic genes. The Jaw gave it away, ((( Lucy a Gorilla ))))

    For photo and origginal news story click this address:

    http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull&cid=1176152801536

    The jaw bone of Lucy and the jaw bone of
    Australopithecus afarensis.?Photo: Courtes

    Story is false? Google carries the site where the story resides, any one can google it. You have yet to demonstrate one example of any fossil chain demonstrating empirical evolution.

    As far as the information on the ((( Burgess shale ))) goes, that frustrated all the Major evolutionists to this day. There are Now over 35 sites around the world that show the fact, that NO fossil transitions exist proving evolution, every thing in these site show abrupt appearance o all creatures, and you know this.. Every thing at these site shows NO ancestors for any fossil, they all appear fully formed.

    With so called millions of evolution time we should have thousands of fossils, where are they?

    Fritzy

  17. Bad says:

    Evidently you are going thru some diatribe to cover the fact that a Gorilla, also an ape of different genetic genes. The Jaw gave it away, ((( Lucy a Gorilla ))))

    I didn’t say that the article was “false” I corrected your confusion.

    First you say Lucy was a chimp, then an ape, and you bizarrely seemed to think that ape contradicts chimp when in fact humans, chimps, and gorillas are all apes. Now you say that Lucy is a gorilla. But that’s still not what the article you linked to actually says at all: it says a particular trait feature more closely resembles parts of the gorilla lineage than we would expect if Lucy were a closer ancestor to the hominid line. And so the conclusion is that she’s further off it than we thought. So?

    When I read the actual story, I can see that you are badly garbling what’s actually being discussed in any case: the question (by no means settled even now) is exactly where in the family tree Lucy should go. That she might now be a direct ancestor of homo sapiens is interesting, but doesn’t really bear on the ability to construct evolutionary trees. We rethink the specifics of these trees all the time based on new evidence and examination. And while Lucy is famous for being one of the first and earliest finds in the ancestry of apes, you seem to think that the entire case for hominid evolution somehow rests on Lucy being our direct ancestor, which isn’t even remotely the case.

    You don’t seem to understand how a phylogenetic tree works: what things we can be sure about and what we can’t, and what matters as far as fossils demonstrating evolution.

    Fossils are essentially like random samples from a family tree. If we randomly pulled people out of your own extended family tree, we might get great great uncles, fourth cousins, and so on. We might even get one of your direct paternal ancestors. But whether we do or not is, while important for nailing down the fine specifics of how exactly everyone is related to everyone else, not of great importance when putting together a picture of the overall tree. We can still demonstrate that the sample we have is related to you: how directly related any one individual is to may be ambiguous, but the overall pattern of ancestry is not. It’s the same with fossils.

    You have yet to demonstrate one example of any fossil chain demonstrating empirical evolution.

    I don’t have to “demonstrate” it: the evidence is already out there and well known: and very well demonstrated! One example? Pick any of them, for goodness sakes, and we’ll see if your complaints hold up or even make any sense. You’re the one insisting that every single example is false, and virtually every single biologist is denying or covering up something that, by your accounts, should be very very obvious.

    But I’m not sure you even understand what we’re looking for and at anyway. Do you even know what the term for the specific trait patterns that evolution suggests that must characterize all fossil? This is a very very basic and very key concept: do you know what it is? If not, how can you claim that all of these chains of evidence are wrong, or that the fossil record does not show progressive change over time in specific related lineages?

    As far as the information on the ((( Burgess shale ))) goes, that frustrated all the Major evolutionists to this day. There are Now over 35 sites around the world that show the fact, that NO fossil transitions exist proving evolution, every thing in these site show abrupt appearance o all creatures, and you know this.. Every thing at these site shows NO ancestors for any fossil, they all appear fully formed.

    This is simply, flatly false. Plenty of Cambrian animals have both known prior ancestors and subsequent descendants. The mystery of the Cambrian is exactly why such dramatic changes appeared so quickly (“quickly” being over millions of years), and this mystery actually has several promising answers, with the biggest problem not being that we have no explanation, but rather that we aren’t sure which of the possible explanations is correct because we don’t have enough evidence yet to narrow things down.

    With so called millions of evolution time we should have thousands of fossils, where are they?

    Uh, thousands of fossils… of what? We have hundreds of thousands of fossils with new ones being discovered all the time: millions or even billions of if you are going to count things like diatoms and tiny crustaceans. We have thousands of hominid fossils alone.

    And how would you have any clue at all what we “should have” anyway? What should we have that we don’t, according to you, and why?

  18. Fritzy Ritz says:

    OKAY, YOU SEEM TO HAVE TWISTED SOME OF MY STATEMENT, BUT THATS PART OF THE GAME FOR YOUR THINKING.

    THERE IS MUCH CONFUSION ABOUT THE GENE SEQUENCES IN THE APE GROUP, SO HERE IS AN UPDATE.

    TO THE BAD GUY,

    FOR STARTERS,

    While many evolutionists proclaim that human DNA is 98% identical to chimpanzee DNA, few would lie by idly and allow themselves to receive a transplant using chimpanzee organs.
    As a matter of fact, American doctors tried using chimp organs in the 1960s, but in all cases the organs were totally unsuitable. The claim of 98% similarity between chimpanzees and humans is not only deceptive and misleading, but also scientifically incorrect.
    Today, scientists are finding more and more differences in DNA from humans and chimps. For instance, a 2002 research study proved that human DNA was at least 5% different from chimpanzees—and that number probably will continue to grow as we learn all of the details about human DNA (Britten, 2002).

    http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/2070

    In January 2002, a study was published in which scientists had constructed and analyzed a first-generation human chimpanzee comparative genomic map. This study compared the alignments of 77,461 chimpanzee bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) end sequences to human genomic sequences. Fujiyama and colleagues “detected candidate positions, including two clusters on human chromosome 21, that suggest large, nonrandom regions of differences between the two genomes” (2002, 295:131). In other words, the comparison revealed some “large” differences between the genomes of chimps and humans.

    Amazingly, the authors found that only 48.6% of the whole human genome matched chimpanzee nucleotide sequences. [Only 4.8% of the human Y chromosome could be matched to chimpanzee sequences.] This study compared the alignments of 77,461 chimpanzee sequences to human genomic sequences obtained from public databases. Of these, 36,940 end sequences were unable to be mapped to the human genome (295:131). Almost 15,000 of those sequences that did not match human sequences were speculated to “correspond to unsequenced human regions or are from chimpanzee regions that have diverged substantially from humans or did not match for other unknown reasons” (295:132).

    While the authors noted that the quality and usefulness of the map should “increasingly improve as the finishing of the human genome sequence proceeds” (295:134), the data already support what creationists have said for years—the 98-99% figure representing DNA similarity is grossly misleading, as revealed in a study carried out by Roy Britten of the California Institute of Technology (see Britten, 2002).

    Exactly how misleading came to light in an article—“Jumbled DNA Separates Chimps and Humans”—published in the October 25, 2002 issue of Science. The first three sentences of the article, written by Elizabeth Pennisi (a staff writer for Science), represented a “that was then, this is now” type of admission of defeat. She wrote:

    For almost 30 years, researchers have asserted that the DNA of humans and chimps is at least 98.5% identical. Now research reported here last week at the American Society for Human Genetics meeting suggests that the two primate genomes might not be quite as similar after all. A closer look has uncovered nips and tucks of homologous sections of DNA that weren’t noticed in previous studies (298:719, emp. added).

    FINALY,

    t seems that, as time passes and scientific studies increase, humans appear to be less like chimps after all. In a separate study, Barbulescu and colleagues also uncovered another major difference in the genomes of primates and humans. In their article “A HERV-K Provirus in Chimpanzees, Bonobos, and Gorillas, but not Humans,” the authors wrote: “These observations provide very strong evidence that, for some fraction of the genome, chimpanzees, bonobos, and gorillas are more closely related to each other than they are to humans” (2001, 11:779, emp. added). The data from these results go squarely against what evolutionists have contended for decades—that chimpanzees are closer genetically to humans than they are to gorillas.

    Another study using interspecies representational difference analysis (RDA) between humans and gorillas revealed gorilla-specific DNA sequences (Toder, et al., 2001)—that is, gorillas possess sequences of DNA that are not found in humans. The authors of this study suggested that sequences found in gorillas but not humans “could represent either ancient sequences that got lost in other species, such as human and orang-utan, or, more likely, recent sequences which evolved or originated specifically in the gorilla genome” (9:431).

    FRITZY

  19. Bad says:

    As usual, your understanding of things sounds like a garbled echo of reality.

    You state things like the fact that chimp organs were not suitable usable in humans in 1960s which are true, but don’t seem to have any idea that this doesn’t support your case at all. You don’t mention, for instance, that the main reason why we don’t do chimp to human transplants is that chimps are incredibly expensive to raise compared to other animals. It has nothing to do with them not being close to us genetically. Heck, even other human beings aren’t close enough genetically to me for a transplant to work unaided. That’s why we developed special drugs that suppress the immune system. And those drugs today can allow chimp transplants just fine: as well as pig and bovine organs (which are far cheaper to produce in bulk, especially because they tie into existing supplies).

    Your discussion of DNA differences is similar. What don’t seem to understand is that while new studies have found more differences between chimps and humans (which is actually not that surprising: we now have the technology to allow us to identify more differences, which is EXACTLY what your quoted article says!), none of these differences are of a sort that call our evolutionary connection into any question. And none of these things make us correspondingly more like some other animal as we identify more differences from chimps in particular. All it changes are the specific percentages of similarity, and though you don’t mention it, quite a lot of that is based on exactly how you choose to measure difference and similarity.

    Creationists predicted that we are not related to chimps period. They made no contribution to finding these additional genetic variations. They made no useful coherent predictions about what the correct about of variation was. I’m at a total loss to understand how you can claim that this somehow validates their position. They aren’t involved or relevant in any way.

    And I’m not even sure what YOU think it means that gorillas have DNA specific to them. This surprised you? This has exactly, uh, what to do with evolution? Your own quote lists the two very common possibilities for how those sequences got there: either they are basal to all apes, but then retained only in gorillas, or a development that happened in the gorilla line after it became reproductively isolated. Both are common and thoroughly in-line with evolutionary ideas.

  20. Fritzy Ritz says:

    BLOG THAT DOES HYPERBOLES

    Bad Says:
    April 15, 2008 at 10:07 pm

    You: As usual, your understanding of things sounds like a garbled echo of reality.
    You state things like the fact that chimp organs were not suitable usable in humans in 1960s which are true, but don’t seem to have any idea that this doesn’t support your case at all. You don’t mention, for instance, that the main reason why we don’t do chimp to human transplants is that chimps are incredibly expensive to raise compared to other animals. It has nothing to do with them not being close to us genetically. Heck, even other human beings aren’t close enough genetically to me for a transplant to work unaided. That’s why we developed special drugs that suppress the immune system. And those drugs today can allow chimp transplants just fine: as well as pig and bovine organs (which are far cheaper to produce in bulk, especially because they tie into existing supplies).

    Me: YOU GOT TO BE KIDDING, People with big bucks would spend 100,000 minimums, just for a chimp to get the organ.

    Your discussion of DNA differences is similar. What don’t seem to understand is that while new studies have found more differences between chimps and humans (which is actually not that surprising: we now have the technology to allow us to identify more differences, which is EXACTLY what your quoted article says!), none of these differences are of a sort that call our evolutionary connection into any question.

    Me: Again, you got to be kidding, where in the world are the (((( millions )))) of fossils necessary to support your ideas?

    Apart from our appearance being so vastly different with the similarities you suggest, why are Chimps unable to do artistic real life work, write a symphony, design complex structures, sing a song, okay no vocal ability like us, but at least demonstrate a rhythm. Can any other ape enjoy the beauty of nature such as the western mountains or the Grand Canyon?

    These differences are like a 99% separation point from the chimp and our very design. Crafting a story to avoid the concept of a designer God that has demonstrated Intelligence in all His Creation, which I believe you fear, there for adjust your thinking to help to remove guilt from your mind as to what you really know in your Heart and Mind.

    Admittedly Chimps are also an intelligent design for their purpose in this world, what ever that is. Those who design electronics like a computer, HD TV, watch, our cars as examples, used an intelligent process called intellect, No??

    Evolutionists today remind me of some student claiming that knows more about Nature and how every thing started, yet unable to come up with any Empirical evidence to support his argument,

    Me: Example, where are the millions of fossils needed to prove the hypothesis, or at least just present evidence. You claim they exist, okay name them.

    You: And none of these things make us correspondingly more like some other animal as we identify more differences from chimps in particular. All it changes are the specific percentages of similarity, and though you don’t mention it, quite a lot of that is based on exactly how you choose to measure difference and similarity.

    Creationists predicted that we are not related to chimp’s period. They made no contribution to finding these additional genetic variations. They made no useful coherent predictions about what the correct about of variation was. I’m at a total loss to understand how you can claim that this somehow validates their position. They aren’t involved or relevant in any way.

    Me: The fact that the world wide meetings of all major Evolutionists had to have several meeting from 1979 to 1982, and defend the lack of ant fossils in this Burgess shale Cambrian time line, (((( There are now over 30 sites around the world displaying the fact, No ancestors for any of the invertebrates or vertebrates. indicates evolution never happened since is ZERO macro- evolution. Don’t keep saying there are dozens of examples, name them.

    Also, explain why S J Goud and N Eldridge, introduced the Punctuated Hypothesis at these meeting?

    Bottom line here, you are unable to relax and enjoy Operational science which is testable, by the Scientific method, while (((( Historical Science ))))) cannot be tested by the scientific method with repeatable results etc.

    Fritzty

  21. Bad says:

    Me: YOU GOT TO BE KIDDING, People with big bucks would spend 100,000 minimums, just for a chimp to get the organ.

    Uh, that makes no sense. With immunosuppresants, we don’t have to worry as much about the closeness of genetic matches: and when you’re going to be on those drugs no matter what to deal with rejection issues, it makes no sense to pay an extra 100,000 for an organ when you can get one from a pig for far far less. In addition to being really expensive to raise, apes, like us, also mature really really slowly.

    In any case, you’re just laughably misinformed about this. But at least you aren’t like the last person who tried to claim that chimp organs were unsuitable for transplants because they were so unlike us genetically and morphologically: they actually cited a Weekly World News article to support their claim that we are more closely related to pigs.

    And again, what is your point on this in any case? There isn’t any serious argument being made by you here that we aren’t ourselves a kind of apes, or closely related to all the modern species.

    Me: Again, you got to be kidding, where in the world are the (((( millions )))) of fossils necessary to support your ideas?

    This response doesn’t make the least bit of sense. We were talking about genetic variation. How does this have anything to do with my criticism of your claims? What does fossils have to do with it? Are you now back on evolution as a whole? The fossil record supports common descent just fine. And where are the fossils? Most are in museum collections and labs, as it happens.

    These differences are like a 99% separation point from the chimp and our very design.

    I’m not sure what this is supposed to mean. Yes, we are different from chimps, in ways that WE find to be really important and special to us. But chimps are also different from gorillas. So what?

    And our morphology really isn’t very different at all. Creationist biologists noticed this long before anyone even suspected an ancestral connection. We think of the recognizable differences as being really special, but all of them are actually morphologically pretty darn minor. The only major feature we have that other apes lack is the space at the top of our mouths that makes distinct vocalizations a lot easier.

    Crafting a story to avoid the concept of a designer God that has demonstrated Intelligence in all His Creation, which I believe you fear, there for adjust your thinking to help to remove guilt from your mind as to what you really know in your Heart and Mind.

    This is just baseless nonsense to make yourself feel better. I didn’t “craft” any story, and it has nothing to do with avoiding a designer God. If that’s what you believe in, it’s perfectly compatible with a designer God: many many believers don’t have a problem with evolutionary biology.

    Evolutionists today remind me of some student claiming that knows more about Nature and how every thing started, yet unable to come up with any Empirical evidence to support his argument,

    Yawn. This is simply akin to sticking your fingers in your ears and screaming that you can’t hear us. There’s plenty of evidence to support common descent. You don’t need me to feed it to you. You know where to look to learn about it. But you don’t seriously want to learn about it. If you want to debate this or that evidential chain, pick one and lets discuss it.

    The fact that the world wide meetings of all major Evolutionists had to have several meeting from 1979 to 1982, and defend the lack of ant fossils in this Burgess shale Cambrian time line, (((( There are now over 30 sites around the world displaying the fact, No ancestors for any of the invertebrates or vertebrates. indicates evolution never happened since is ZERO macro- evolution. Don’t keep saying there are dozens of examples, name them.

    Now that’s a tremendously nutty statement. No ancestors for any invertebrates or vertebrates prior to the Cambrian?

    Why can’t you guys make claims that are even remotely plausible?

    Also, explain why S J Goud and N Eldridge, introduced the Punctuated Hypothesis at these meeting?

    Because they believed that p_______ _r________ was the wrong model of evolutionary change based on their study of fossil taxonomy. Can you fill in the blank word of that sentence? Because if you can’t, off the top of your head, then you almost certainly have no idea what Gould and Eldridge were actually arguing against, and what the stakes were.

  22. Just so you know that not every Christian is like the ones speaking above, I wanted to let you know that I am a devout follower of Jesus, and I am able to believe in evolution without my worldview falling apart. I also appreciate that you’re trashing Expelled, because I don’t like the premise of the film any more than I like atheist hit pieces being used in the hopes of baiting people into believing (or not believing) something. Discussion is fine, but I don’t like when people decide to get pushy.

  23. Bad says:

    One of the film’s major omissions are people like yourself CVK. What the filmmakers don’t seem to want people to know is that science isn’t incompatible with faith: just with the very narrow selection of faiths they happen to hold.

  24. Sanchotene says:

    Pepole, there are some things that I would like to put on discussion.

    First, the idea of a Intelligence Design is not new, and it’s discussed on Philosophy. Of course, with another methods and on other “language”. Those scientists are importing the idea and trying to TRANSLATE that to “science”.

    Second, there is no problem in doing that. It’s extremelly common. Leibniz have discussed with Newton and showed him his mistakes much earlier then Einstein. Einstein translated, with extreme competence, some Leibniz ideas – and added some of his own – into Physics.

    Third, Intelligence Design don’t desagree with Evolution, the problem IS the “autopoiesis”, the very base of Neodarwinism thought. The ID simply puts that Evolution is not RAMDOM.

    Best wishes,
    Paulo Sanchotene

  25. Bad says:

    Your first and second point: it’s true that people have philosophized, and theologized, about designers for as long as human beings have considering the world around them (and relating to it psychologically, as we are wont to do). But not all philosophy translates well into science. Some philosophical ideas can give insights into at least places to look or things to consider. But there most certainly can be problems in doing that, and it can be misleading to do it also. The question always still remains whether or not an idea holds up scientifically.

    Finally, while its true that that ID may incorporate varying degrees of insights from evolutionary biology (for instance, Michael Behe concedes common descent), it’s wrong to say that it doesn’t disagree, because in practice, as a movement, ID very often does. A lot of what the modern ID movement IS, is a bunch of accusations tossed out at evolution.

    And neo-darwinian evolution does not posit that evolution is “random” at all: this is a common misunderstanding. It simply doesn’t propose that change is intentionally directed. ID proponents do propose this.

  26. patrick says:

    just saw Expelled; the fact that Ben Stein isn’t trying to win any popularity contests helps to validate his message… i gather that his goal is to promote free thought, especially more thinking about worldviews that drive American academia

  27. Bad says:

    As I see it, his goal is not to promote free thought, but rater affirmative action for ideas that can’t cut it on the merits. His portrayal of the debate, or the claimed persecution events, and of science in general is decidedly one-sided and misleading. Not paying for an idea because you don’t think it has merit as science is not the same thing as quashing free thought. And making a movie that carefully ignores the very existence of countless religious scientists who oppose ID and tout God without risking their careers is simply dishonest.

  28. Joe says:

    YOU ARE RONG!!!!!!!

  29. Emily Kendall says:

    To Mr. BAD:

    Your intelligence and superb communication through writing do you well in conveying your stance on Mr. Stein’s documentary and the debate between evolution and ID. But the irony is there just the same: you are the epitome of the stubborn, smart, yet blinded individuals Mr. Stein references who cover themselves with the tatty, dirty shreds of evolution while ignoring and insulting the beautiful, intricately-patterned theory of intelligent design.

    It is obvious that no one will get anywhere arguing with you. You believe yourself too knowledgable and informed to ever be corrected or admit that the alternative is potentially plausible. So I will not waste my time with the technicalities of each theory; I only wish to give you a few things to consider.

    Do you see the world around you? No, I am not talking about the computer screen or the building. I mean the mountains, the skies, the grass, the people. How do you explain the intricacies of the human eye? Of the cell? The impossibly complex muscle we call the human brain? Do you HONESTLY believe that this is all the result of a perfect evolution? How can it be?

    Creation shouts of its Creator. Ignoring science is not the answer, indeed it is a beautiful thing. But the futile attempts of scientists (ie. “piggy-backing crystals”) to explain away any trace of a God, of a higher authority than themselves….are laughable.

  30. Emily Kendall says:

    I spent quite a while typing a comment out yesterday – where is it?

  31. Bad says:

    I apologize for not catching this earlier: I found it in my spam filter…. along with your later message asking where your comment was! The Askimet software that wordpress uses seems to be messing up more and more, most likely as spammers “train” the filters to basically see legitimate comments as spam.

  32. Bad says:

    Emily Kendall says: But the irony is there just the same: you are the epitome of the stubborn, smart, yet blinded individuals Mr. Stein references who cover themselves with the tatty, dirty shreds of evolution while ignoring and insulting the beautiful, intricately-patterned theory of intelligent design.

    As I’ve always tried to point out when people say things like this, I could just as easily respond by using similar rhetoric back at you: but would you be convinced by that? Anyone can make these sorts of preemptively dismissive claims about people they disagree with. But they are pointless, in the end. Maybe I’m blind, maybe I’m not, but simply making the accusation without being willing to defend it in detail is empty posturing.

    Also pointless are these posts declaring that it’s pointless to debate before you’ve even tried. This is basically just a cheap way of trying to make your claims but then deny any need to further defend them from criticism.

    In any case, you insist that ID is beautiful and intricately patterned. I disagree: ID is vacuous (because it doesn’t really explain anything in any coherent detail at all) and being full of jargon is not the same thing as being intricate. Biological organisms are beautiful intricate. ID is not the same thing: ID is a purported explanation for those things, but it doesn’t even come close to providing a matching intricacy or beauty against the things it is attempting to describe.

    Do you HONESTLY believe that this is all the result of a perfect evolution? How can it be?

    I don’t know what you mean by a “perfect” evolution. Why would a “perfect” evolution be needed to reach what we see today, and what does that even mean (i.e. how would “an” evolution be “perfect”: along what criteria is its perfection measured?)

    I think you are making a heck of a lot of assumptions about the things you talk about, and our appreciation of them, that aren’t really warranted. You simply assume that anything complex must be designed. But this begs the entire question. You simply assume that it is extraordinary that there would be things we find very beautiful in the world around us, and that this, in turn requires design. I don’t see the warrant in any of these assumptions.

    Creation shouts of its Creator.

    This is a claim, like any other, not a truth (and it’s even a sort of question begging claim: since it already speaks of “Creation” which just assumes a Creator to begin with).

    I don’t find that claim compelling. I think you should explain in more detail why you do find it compelling: how exactly you get from what we see in the world to the conclusion that it must have been created.

    Ignoring science is not the answer, indeed it is a beautiful thing. But the futile attempts of scientists (ie. “piggy-backing crystals”) to explain away any trace of a God, of a higher authority than themselves….are laughable.

    I think the implication that anyone is trying to do away with things “higher” than themselves is what’s laughable. Most of these scientists are in utter awe all the huge things moving in nature, far bigger than they, and as people, they all believe in causes and ideals and groups of people bigger than themselves.

    The film’s claims about crystals is particularly misleading as a means of rhetoric, as I explain in my full review.

    As for your description of evolutionary science as being nothing more than tattered shreds, well… shrug. Creationists have been saying the exact same sorts of things pretty much every single decade since Darwin first wrote. Evolution is always just on the edge of collapse, supposedly. And yet, somehow it never does: and back in the world of science, it actually just becomes more and more sound and well established.

    You’d think that after such predictions fail so many times over that people would begin to wonder if their understanding of the thing, or their portrayal of the state of science, is actually what’s flawed.

  33. Glazius says:

    Your intelligence and superb communication through writing do you well in conveying your stance on Mr. Stein’s documentary and the debate between evolution and ID. But the irony is there just the same: you are the epitome of the stubborn, smart, yet blinded individuals Mr. Stein references who cover themselves with the tatty, dirty shreds of evolution while ignoring and insulting the beautiful, intricately-patterned theory of intelligent design.

    “A magic man did it” is not beautiful or intricately-patterned. Of course, I do Intelligent Design too much credit – there is no Intelligent Design theory and there never can be, because it would have to come up with predictions which could be falsified in the lab. Intelligent Design predicts everything, because the magic man can do as he pleases.

    It is obvious that no one will get anywhere arguing with you. You believe yourself too knowledgable and informed to ever be corrected or admit that the alternative is potentially plausible. So I will not waste my time with the technicalities of each theory; I only wish to give you a few things to consider.

    Yeah, why bother with knowledge or information when you can have talking points?

    This is actually a pretty good evo vs. ID microcosm. One side has knowledge and information, the other side has talking points.

    Do you see the world around you? No, I am not talking about the computer screen or the building. I mean the mountains, the skies, the grass, the people. How do you explain the intricacies of the human eye?

    A simple photosensitive spot which over time became concave to acquire some sort of focal length, piled on color-sensitive cells when pattern-recognition wasn’t cutting it any more, and topped it off with a refractive epidermis and a muscular shutter to work at a wider variety of distances and light intensities.

    Also: glaucoma, cataracts, yellowing of the lens, corrective lenses, and the blind spot.

    Of the cell?

    Hundreds of millions of years of free interchange of genetic information to find something that worked, with the occasional extremely focused product undergoing endosymbiosis.

    Also: viruses, mitochondrial infections, and everybody’s old favorite, cancer.

    The impossibly complex muscle we call the human brain?

    Muscle?

    Do what now?

    The human brain is 10% composed of nerves and 90% composed of cells to make sure those nerves don’t a) short-circuit or b) starve. Muscle is not a factor.

    Also: clinical depression and pretty much the entire contents of the DSM

    Do you HONESTLY believe that this is all the result of a perfect evolution? How can it be?

    Perfect? If it were perfect it wouldn’t have all the problems briefly alluded to above.

    Heck, if the body were perfect we wouldn’t have the rich and varied history of tortuous hiccup cures, on account of hiccups being what happens when the part of your brain that still thinks it’s a newt tries to turn the gills on.

    Creation shouts of its Creator.

    No, people growing up around a bunch of created things and then trying to pretend their hasty generalizations aren’t wrong shout of a Creator.

    Besides, last I checked, faith wasn’t supposed to require evidence.

    But the futile attempts of scientists to explain away any trace of a God, of a higher authority than themselves….are laughable.

    Science is limited in that it can only discuss repeatable observations. If you want to call that laughable, you can go ahead and do that. Tripling life expectancy and feeding billions who otherwise would have starved are just real laugh riots, aren’t they?

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