November 25, 2020

Expelled: The Movie You Have to See

Expelled 250x250_ai Have you heard about this movie yet?

I started seeing ads for this movie show up at my site, but I had no idea what it was about. It turns out that Ben Stein has created a movie that documents how professors that choose not to believe in Evolution are systematically denied access to teaching positions, research positions, etc.?

This is from Ken Ham:

As you know, Darwinists have been expelling any hint of creation or intelligent design from public schools and research institutions. Now, many of them are expelling people from their academic posts in a desperate attempt to defend their evolutionary worldview. The upcoming film Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed comes to theaters on April 18.

Already a highly controversial film, its host Ben Stein (whom I met last month) is on a personal quest to discover more about the topic of origins and to expose the ruthlessness of many evolutionists. Even though Stein is not a creationist and is not a Christian, he presents the evidence of intelligent design we see in the world and exposes the censorship efforts of leading evolutionists. I encourage you to visit www.GetEXPELLED.com right now and discover more about this excellent, entertaining, and enlightening film. I’ve seen it twice now, including at a special preview screening at our Creation Museum. You need to see how our education system is expelling freedom of speech—and then you should do something about it.

“For a theater listing, go to:

www.expelledthemovie.com/theaterap.php

If you don’t see your local theater listed, call the manager and say you want to watch Expelled. Please be a “creation evangelist.” Let your family and friends know about this film, and then direct them to our website where they can find out more about the gospel message.

Right now it’s not offered in my area, but I’m definitely interested to see this movie!

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68 thoughts on “Expelled: The Movie You Have to See

  1. Mr. Gap, have I got newz for you!

    I have a Leader’s Edition DVD for EXPELLED with discussion questions and whatnot. Fer ’cause I have connections.

    Yeah, I feel cool.

    (Okay, I need to read fewer blogs by sassy, fiery women late at night. It’s carrying over into my posting on normal blogs.)

    Oh yeah. I might share once I watch the DVD. If you’re interested, that is. 🙂

    AG’s last blog post..Shout to the Lord

  2. Wait Ben Stein is not a christian or a creationist?!? What, in his early commercials he specifically said he was both.

  3. Definitely looking forward to watching this on Friday. Told everyone I know about the film and taking a group to watch it as well 😀

  4. My understanding is that Ben Stein is a Jew and a creationist. I could be wrong.

    MIn, let me find time when my roomie’s not using the TV and when I’ve watched the movie and the leader’s DVD, I’ll let you know. I hope it’s as good as everyone’s making it out to be. Apparently, Jim Dobson endorses it, and he never endorses movies of any type.

    AG’s last blog post..Shout to the Lord

  5. I’m not sure what religion Ben Stein adheres to. I believe that this is one of those movies that you’re either going to agree with or disagree with based on your worldview. Then again, maybe there are some in the middle that will be swayed?

    Frenzy, nice to see you back!

    AG, if you have a big enough space, why not invite us all over so we can watch it together? 🙂

  6. Sure. Ya wanna bring the popcorn and Loc and Frenzy can bring over some pizza and soda and we’ll just make a night of it? :p

    Actually, that really sounds fun. I wish someone would hurry up and invent transporters (you know, like in Star Trek) so things like that could be possible.

    AG’s last blog post..Shout to the Lord

  7. You are all more than welcome to come out to Colorado to watch the movie with me and Prince Frenzy + group. 🙂

    I was so surprised to see an ad for this on regular TV programming, last night! We had to rewind to watch it, again.

  8. @onein6billion: To me, it isn’t a matter of truth vs. falsehood as much as it is a clash of worldviews. I think that’s how you’ll see the reaction work out as well.

    If you believe in evolution, you’re obviously not going to agree with this documentary, and you’re going to find anything and everything you can do to claim it’s false. Can you or your site refute that there are qualified scientists who aren’t getting published simply because they don’t believe in or are skeptical of evolution? I know that there are colleges that won’t let people who do not believe in evolution in their science programs.

    Yes, they should not have used deception when making their documentary, but is their premise wrong? And if there isn’t any truth to it, why not just laugh it off? Seems to me that someone’s scared of the impact it could have.

  9. “clash of worldviews”

    There is scientific truth and there is religious nonsense and ne’er the twain shall meet.

    “the reaction”

    Well, you need to learn about the laws that the creationists are trying to pass in certain state legislatures. The creationists were legally slapped down in the Dover case by the constitutional “separation of church and state”. Unfortunately, high school teachers will continue to be encouraged to stop teaching evolution at all. But worse, the new laws would encourage high schools teachers to teach religious nonsense against evolution.

    “qualified scientists” … “because they don’t believe in or are skeptical of evolution”

    They are not really “qualified scientists” if they are trying to publish non-scientific nonsense. So they should not be able to publish in the scientifically peer-reviewed literature. They cannot be stopped from writing books, popular articles, blogs, etc. So they are not really “suppressed”.

    “is their premise wrong?”

    Their premise is that there is some science backing “intelligent design”. That is wrong. See the Expelled Exposed web site.

    “Seems to me that someone’s scared of the impact it could have.”

    Yes. The “dumbing down” of high school science education is a frightening prospect. And Christian home-schoolers are proud that they can teach their little ones that creationism is true and evolution is false. Fortunately, there are a lot of foreign students able and willing to come to the US to learn and become scientists and doctors. But, …

    Ken Ham above:
    “he presents the evidence of intelligent design we see in the world”

    There is no such scientific evidence and Ben Stein does not even try to present the religious pseudo-evidence.

    “You need to see how our education system is expelling freedom of speech”

    Yes, religious nonsense is prevented from being taught in high school science classrooms by the “separation of church and state”. And religious nonsense will not be accepted for peer-reviewed scientific publication.

    “Dobson endorses it” A scientific authority?

  10. @onein6billion: Funny, I didn’t think “science” had anything to say in regards to the realm of the supernatural since you can’t subject it to the scientific method. And macro-evolution truly deals more with history (what happened when) than dealing with how things happen. I would also add that your position that you “own” truth would carry more weight if your theory was actually falsifiable. Seems to me that Evolution is more a theory in progress (as it changes constantly) than something concrete.

    Let’s see, so far as I’ve read (and I do try keep up with this topic) the most that creationists have tried to pass is something like “teaching the controversy”, “putting a sticker in a book to say there’s a controversy” and perhaps teaching both theories. So, you’re afraid of a sticker? You’re afraid to have your “superior” truth to be taught along side something that’s “nonsense”? Sounds like you’re not as secure as you lead us to believe.

    Somehow I’m not quite so sure you are the arbiter of who is and who is not a scientist. Nor do I believe your test as to who qualifies as a scientist. The whole point of this documentary is to show that this very point is wrong. You cannot impose a test about belief about origins (a historical question) and discriminate based on it.

    Tell me, how much do scientists actually work with Evolution on a daily basis? And is it not fruitful to explore different lines of thought. For instance, the whole “superbug” idea. One could say that the bugs are getting stronger, because they’re resisting antibiotics. Or they could also say that we have weaker bugs, because they’ve lost information that allowed them to be effected by it. And then propose two totally different treatment concepts. Are we wrong for having options and different view points?

    And what about natural selection? Do you know that Creationists actually support the concept? Or is that the part where the Evolutionist name swap has messed with your mind too?

    The evidence that is in the world can be interpreted either way based on your worldview. Contrary to the sites you read and the circles that you choose to dwell in, Evolution has not been proven true.

  11. “clash of worldviews”

    There is scientific truth and there is religious nonsense and ne’er the twain shall meet.

    According to your worldview. According to mine, science and faith confirm each other.

    Ben Stein does not even try to present the religious pseudo-evidence.

    That’s not his purpose. His purpose is to expose the bigotry of the scientific community, not the errancy of it.

    Yes, religious nonsense is prevented from being taught in high school science classrooms by the “separation of church and state”.

    Separation of church and state was intended to keep either the church or the government from becoming too powerful and becoming a tyranny over the citizens. Different worldviews are allowed to be discussed in school as long as participation in religious rituals are not required.

    “Dobson endorses it” A scientific authority?

    That wasn’t my point. There is a lot of junk that’s been put out in the name of Jesus and the church, which really isn’t representative of what Jesus or the church stands for. While I haven’t seen Expelled yet, the fact that a man I respect as a godly leader endorses it makes me think it will be a more respectable work than a lot of other things.

    Don’t have such a closed mind. Once upon a time science said the earth was flat and the government and church alike ostracized those scientists who claimed it was round. Explore different options. I have – I’ve studied evolution as well as creation. I just think creation is hands down more plausible than evolution.

    AGs last blog post..Shout to the Lord

  12. Thanks Min! *waves to everyone in greeting*

    I would be glad to bring the pop and pizza for a night of fellowship, breaking bread, and good discussions! 😀

    I wish someone would hurry up and invent transporters (you know, like in Star Trek) so things like that could be possible. <– Ditto!

  13. “teach the controversy”

    But there is no scientific controversy.

    “taught along side something that’s “nonsense””

    The world is full of nonsense and high school students don’t need to learn any more nonsense. Now if you want to teach this in a university philosophy class so that students learn to recognize nonsense, …

    “this very point is wrong”

    Which is, of course, nonsense.

    “discriminate based on it.”

    Of course not. The discrimination is based on who is actually capable of doing science. They didn’t grant tenure to someone that they felt was not capable of doing good science. They didn’t invite someone who was not capable of good science to their parties. They did not renew the contract of someone who was deliberately teaching bad science. This was “intelligent discrimination” in my opinion.

    “do scientists actually work with Evolution on a daily basis?”

    Some do. Many don’t. So what?

    “And is it not fruitful to explore different lines of thought?”

    A “line of nonsense” does not count as a “line of thought”.

    “Are we wrong for having options and different view points?”

    When one is scientific and one is nonsense, then the nonsense view point is not productive.

    “Evolution has not been proven true.”

    Nothing is ever “proven” in science. But there is currently no scientific theory that threatens evolution. So evolution is just as “proven” as gravity, electromagnetic theory, nuclear theory, and quantum theory.

    “Don’t have such a closed mind.”

    Hilarious from someone who does not understand science, the scientific method, or the evidence supporting evolution. Of course the genetic evidence is the strongest.

    “I just think creation is hands down more plausible than evolution.”

    In other words, in this war between science and religion, you have chosen religion.

    Expelled will open today. There was no local preview for the local movie critic. So our newspaper picked up a very scathing unfavorable review from the Orlando Sentinel.

  14. Yeah, I’m not being closed-minded. Like I said, I’ve studied both sides of the coin. I can respect people who believe in evolution, I just don’t agree.

    Please stay respectful in your commenting.

    You said “Hilarious from someone who does not understand science, the scientific method, or the evidence supporting evolution. Of course the genetic evidence is the strongest.”

    You don’t know who I am. I’ve studied science for plenty of time, mostly in the pre-med capacity. The scientific method is simply this: Ask a question, research your question, develop a hypothesis, test your hypothesis, collect data and analyze. If your test confirms your hypothesis, you’re good to go and if it doesn’t, start the process over with more research, a new hypothesis, and a new experiment.

    I’ll admit that I wasn’t there when the world started. But neither were you. We can each only surmise what’s happened based on evidence and some ill-equipped experiments. My method is no less scientific than yours.

    As far as genetic evidence, I can’t disagree with you more. I do believe in natural selection and macro-evolution. I believe that a long-haired dog can be bred into a short-haired dog. But that’s not Darwinian evolution. That’s really more like adaptation.

    Species can’t mate with members of a different genus. And even when members of the same genus reproduce (mules and ligers are good examples) they offspring is always sterile.

    How in the world could natural selection have come up with all the diversity on earth when each new creature would’ve been sterile?

    AGs last blog post..Shout to the Lord

  15. “Ask a question”

    If humans and chimpanzees had a common ancestor about 10 million years ago, about what percentage of the human and chimpanzee chromosomes should “match”?

    “But neither were you.”

    Creationist alert! I wasn’t there when OJ Simpson …, but I have a pretty good idea …

    “My method is no less scientific than yours.”

    Sorry, I failed to notice that you had a method for creating new species and placing the fossil bones in the proper rock layers so that it surely looks like evolution is the best explanation. And creating the genetic evidence to support evolution. I thought this took millions of years. How do you do it?

    “How in the world could natural selection have come up with all the diversity on earth when each new creature would’ve been sterile?”

    How in the world can you ask such a stupid question?

    “Please stay respectful in your commenting.”

    Please make intelligent comments. Oops, I suspect that’s an impossible request.

  16. @onein6billion: You weren’t there when OJ Simpson, but I bet you read and saw first hand accounts, and I also bet you trust those accounts over the lawyers there too. And yet you have a first hand account of Creation and you choose the lawyers over it too.

    Fascinating.

    Sorry, I failed to notice that you had a method for creating new species and placing the fossil bones in the proper rock layers so that it surely looks like evolution is the best explanation. And creating the genetic evidence to support evolution. I thought this took millions of years.

    You are begging the question twice. First in your dating method. You date the rock layers by what’s in them, and then use the date of the rock layers to date what’s in them. That’s absurd and totally irrational.

    But then you add on the second– you presuppose that evolution is true and that the evidence supports only your interpretation (which you do not take any steps to prove) and then try to perform an implication that reflects back on your presupposition which you haven’t proven to be true.

    Indeed, you have not even tried to explain why their are fossil records for underwater life on the top of mountains, or why there are things that are in the “wrong” rock layers. The topic is far more complicated than you want to discuss in your arrogance.

    Let’s go a step further, shall we? If you’re so concerned about teaching children nonsense in the classroom, how do you feel about the peppered moths in England, or Haeckel’s embryos, or the Piltdown man. Indeed, how many times do we have some body digging up something and claiming it is my ancestor, it gets into the science class room as absolute truth, only to be refuted a few years later?

    And how about that exact science that is predicting hurricanes, global warming, etc. Seems that scientists aren’t even good at knowing what they don’t know, let alone what they do know. Lastly, what do you make of the fact that evolution keeps changing. First its uniformitarianism, then it’s catastrophe theory. And what about the whole generation of students that believe that the dinosaurs are the source of oil!

    Methinks you doth protest too much, for all downright garbage you and those that ascribe to your belief have foisted upon the American children in their schools in the name of trying to prove what science cannot– that there is no God, that He didn’t create, etc.

    And while you’re at it, start trying to explain why the engineering level of the early Egyptians and Aztecs is of the caliber that cannot be reproduced today. Then go and explain why almost every people group from the aborigines to the Native Americans to the Europeans has a flood story that correlates with the Biblical one.

    And don’t give me “aliens”– that’s just weak. It’s a cop out because Expelled and the Creationists are right: You’re simply refusing to consider the possibility of God– you’re not even open minded to look and see, to you you’ve already concluded that there isn’t and that you’re smart enough to know that for a fact. Or perhaps you’re more closed minded than those you dare to suggest cannot make intelligent comments.

  17. “And yet you have a first hand account of Creation”

    Eye-witnesses can be unreliable. What was his name and when did he live? The science behind the “Big Bang” seems very reliable. Your first hand account failed to describe the origin of the 4 degree background radiation.

    “You date the rock layers by what’s in them.”

    Your misrepresentation of the physics of dating methods is erroneous.

    “the evidence supports only your interpretation”

    Do you have a different scientific interpretation?

    “why there are things that are in the “wrong” rock layers.”

    Well, that really would be a “problem”. Can you be more specific? Or is this simply yet another creationist assertion with no actual evidence?

    “how do you feel about the peppered moths in England, or Haeckel’s embryos, or the Piltdown man?”

    I do not approve of “lying for science” or “lying for Jesus”. But two supposed examples of “problems in the past” and one deliberate hoax do not disprove thousands of confirming examples. And there is Tiktaalik.

    “Methinks you doth protest too much, … trying to prove what science cannot– that there is no God, that He didn’t create, etc.”

    Sorry to disappoint you – I’m not trying to “prove that there are no gods”. I think that it is up to you to prove that there are one or more gods.

    “You’re simply refusing to consider the possibility of God”

    Yes. If I disregard your “written evidence” as unreliable, there really does not seem to be any evidence that would indicate that that possibility has any merit.

    “open minded to look and see”

    Look and see what? A 14 billion year old universe? A 5 billion year old sun? Some 4 billion year old rocks on the Earth and the Moon? A 375 million old fossil named Tiktaalik that was the ancestor of all land animals (not to mention whales)? I look and I see an entirely natural universe.

  18. @onein6billion: The name of my eyewitness was/is Jesus Christ. He was never created, and although He did die once, He’s now alive. He seeks a personal relationship with you. And He was there at the Creation and documented it– stating what was created each day.

    As to the background radiation, it’s anything but a slam dunk, since it was based on three pieces of observation that all have alternative possible explanations. First, the background radiation itself is actually more a problem for the Big Bang than it is for creation. This is because the radiation itself was found to be uniform– which is only a problem because the universe is clumpy, not uniform. This is a problem for the theory, so the search went out to find discrepancies. However the only ones that were claimed to have been found were discrepancies of around 30 millionths of a degree. This is less the the noise level on the instruments that perform the measurement.

    Science May 1, 1992 (p. 612): the variations in temperature claimed are ‘well below the level of instrumental noise’—they have been obtained by statistical methods which still need careful checking.

    Nature (March 30, 1992, p. 731): all one can say is that they are ‘consistent with the doctrine of the Big Bang’, and that it is a ‘cause of some alarm’ that the media has called it ‘proof that “we now know” how the Universe began.’

    The same Nature paper also says that neither of these has any ‘true independent support, outside the cosmological arena for which they were invented.’ It goes on to indicate that those with alternative theories to the ‘big bang’ will probably be able to ‘claim the new data as support for their theories also’.

    This hardly sounds like the Big Bang has been proven by background radiation.

    So, correct my misrepresentation of dating methods, please. Tell me, how do we originally come up with the dates? Do we use radioactive decay (even though the half-life of some of the things we test with is much less than the scale of the number of years that the Earth is supposedly been around)? Do we use historical evidence as a calibration for dating, with all the inherent problems there? What happens when a given item is found in a layer it should not be in?

    How about testing of rock flows where it yields millions of years?

    I’m still researching the evidence on the wrong layers. I will retract until I can find the evidence to back up the assertion.

    It’s commendable that you stand equally against “lying for science” and “lying for Jesus”. However, you don’t follow through with your logic. Tell me, please, how can teaching students about Creation (how the worldview interprets the data) or even the controversy cause the irreparable harm you indicate to their future careers and science but teaching them outright lies like the Piltdown man, Haeckel’s embryos, peppered moths and dinosaurs to oil will not cause the same harm? Certainly the same students that are able to discern for themselves (or do the research to prove for themselves) that one set of “lies” is untrue will be able to do the same with the other set of “life”.

    Tiktaalik– what about this fish? Even evolutionists believe “in some respects Tiktaalik and Panderichthys are straightforward fishes: they have small pelvic fins, retain fin rays in their paired appendages and have well-developed gill arches, suggesting that both animals remained mostly aquatic.” (Nature – Ahlberg and Clack) and although they also go into the fish’s “missing” gill cover one would have to say that they knew that it had it in the first place! And whose to say what the snout size should have been?

    So, this “missing link” is far from conclusive proof. Is that the best you have? A fish that some claim lost a gill cover and has a long nose? Do you realize how many kinds of fish there are alive now, and all their differences. Tiktaalik is a fish, not a transitory animal from fish to tetrapod.

    Actually, you can correct me if I’m wrong, but I think the burden of proof lies with those trying do disprove the existence of the supernatural. That for almost all of recorded history man has believed that there was a God (or gods) and have attributed works to Him (them) means to me that it is the default set, and therefore evolution/atheism need to disprove it. All evolution has managed to do is provide a quasi-plausible wordview by which to interpret evidence, and it must contort to all evidence, effectively redefining itself over time.

    Again, I’m not speaking to natural selection, I’m talking about goo-to-you-via-the-zoo. My main supposition, and that which is being put forward by the movie, is that there are other plausible explanations for the evidence that we see around us. Evolution is nothing more than a worldview applied to a set of facts. Creation is the same thing, with the same set of facts. To say it slightly differently, we both have the same set of facts, and we can make plausible explanations for those facts that fit perfectly within our worldview.

    However, there’s one set of people that are being close minded about it, believing that they are dogmatically correct and refuse to even let the other side be heard. And I’m not talking about the Creationists.

  19. I spent 10 minutes typing and got an error message.

    1992 was 16 years ago – see WMAP.

    “we can make plausible explanations for those facts that fit perfectly within our worldview.”

    And one is science and the other is anti-science religious nonsense. Well, you know which I prefer.

    “I think the burden of proof lies with those trying do disprove the existence of the supernatural.”

    Ouch – this is so crazy that I think I’m just going to take my science and go home.

    “other plausible explanations”

    You keep failing to use the word “scientific”.

    “refuse to even let the other side be heard”

    Riiiiight. They can’t publish books, articles, blogs. And their movie was completely suppressed before 500,000 true believers saw it this last weekend. But there’s no science there. So scientists point and laugh at the ridiculous.

  20. One-in-six, I see you’ve been busily defending your faith over here as well!

    When one reads all the comments, it’s fairly obvious which comments reflect actual science. MIn, some of your comments are article-worthy, I hate to see them wasted here in the comment section. I also find it incredibly sad that the truth can be so easily dismissed as nonsense, when the evidence to support it is so well-rounded in the areas of history, science and archaeological discoveries.

    AG above said that the government and church actually ostracized scientists who said the earth was round–I just have to add that the evidence of it being round came about through scripture. Christopher Columbus was actually inspired by Isaiah 40:22 to sail around the world. He disregarded what science believed (that the earth was flat) and went on scripture’s reference to the “circle of earth”…and he found it to be true.

    We’ve recently gotten into watching Bob Cornuke’s investigative searches for Noah’s Ark, the Ark of the Covenant and Mount Sinai. Very awe-inspiring, especially his DVD on Mount Sinai. There could be no doubt that the Biblical accounts of the miracles on Mount Sinai actually happened after seeing his documentations and pictures of the blackened top of this mountain, the 12 stone pillars and altar for burnt offerings (mentioned in Exodus 24:4-5), the altar to the golden calf, Elijah’s cave, and most impressive, the monolith Moses struck which spewed water enough to quench the thirst of millions in the Saudi desert…There are water grooves ripping UPward in the massive split-down-the-middle 4-story rock, which was obviously ripped apart from the bottom up as if a geyser burst forth. The granite rocks were worn smooth below the split, and evidence of water-flow running down the desert landscape and the basin like area which must have held the river of water. Amazing for that part of the country which normally gets 1/2 inch of rain every ten years! Exodus 17:6 is the account of God having Moses strike the rock for water…and Psalm 78:15-16 says, “He split the rocks in the wilderness And gave them abundant drink like the ocean depths.
    He brought forth streams also from the rock And caused waters to run down like rivers.”

    Anyhow, just wanted to drop a line and say I’m hoping to see Expelled. Glad someone is trying to get the truth out there…and I’m off to check that link to see if it’s playing in a theater near us!

    Marys last blog post..Healing Promises Blog Tour

  21. Time to pop in and add a couple of cents worth…

    MIn, you said;
    Yes, they should not have used deception when making their documentary, but is their premise wrong? And if there isn’t any truth to it, why not just laugh it off?

    It goes deeper than just deception about interviews… the entire premise is wrong in that the people featured as having been “discriminated against” lost their jobs/were denied tenure because of factors other than their beliefs. Laughing it off would be nice, except that there’s a whole segment of the US population prepared to accept the claims in the film as gospel without any fact checking.

    Moving on…

    Seems to me that Evolution is more a theory in progress (as it changes constantly) than something concrete.

    All theories are “in progress” as each new little bit of data turns up. It’s a never-ending process.

    One could say that the bugs are getting stronger, because they’re resisting antibiotics. Or they could also say that we have weaker bugs, because they’ve lost information that allowed them to be effected by it.

    I’m going to start by assuming that this version of the argument comes from the AiG resistance article. Correct me if I’m wrong. The problem with the article is that it’s horridly guilty of a sin of omission in that not all antibiotics act in the same manner and not all resistance is due to a mutation in whatever that substance is supposed to act upon. One huge example is where some bugs produce enzymes to actively digest the antibiotic in question. This is not a loss of information by any measure I can see.

    I could spend weeks discussing the structure and function of many antibiotics and the processes on which they act (and I will, if need be), but for now I’d prefer you take it from a guy involved in antibiotic resistance and persistence research that the AiG article is missing a couple big somethings.

    You date the rock layers by what’s in them, and then use the date of the rock layers to date what’s in them. That’s absurd and totally irrational.

    It certainly would be, if that’s how it really worked. Thankfully it isn’t…

    Indeed, you have not even tried to explain why their are fossil records for underwater life on the top of mountains

    Please. Modern mountain ranges weren’t always there in the same form given our current understanding of the geologic processes on earth. Any mountain range on the border of two plates was likely part of the ocean floor at some point.

    If you’re so concerned about teaching children nonsense in the classroom, how do you feel about the peppered moths in England, or Haeckel’s embryos, or the Piltdown man.

    True, Haeckel’s drawings are still in some books. However, his sin was claiming a developing organism traces its evolutionary history, which was totally wrong. Saying that many organisms look fairly similar to each other at a certain stage in development is not wrong (we go by photographs now… not drawings). No book that I’ve ever seen from the last couple decades teaches that Haeckel’s recapitulation hypothesis is true.

    And what about the peppered moths? And Piltdown? Exposed as a fraud by scientists… not some creationist group.

    Lastly, what do you make of the fact that evolution keeps changing. First its uniformitarianism, then it’s catastrophe theory.

    Neither of which have anything to do with the theory of evolution… those are geology.

    And what about the whole generation of students that believe that the dinosaurs are the source of oil!

    Plant matter… not dinosaurs.

    Methinks you doth protest too much, for all downright garbage you and those that ascribe to your belief have foisted upon the American children in their schools in the name of trying to prove what science cannot– that there is no God, that He didn’t create, etc.

    None of it has anything whatsoever to do with proving or disproving a god. It doesn’t even enter the discussion. Sorry.

    And while you’re at it, start trying to explain why the engineering level of the early Egyptians and Aztecs is of the caliber that cannot be reproduced today. Then go and explain why almost every people group from the aborigines to the Native Americans to the Europeans has a flood story that correlates with the Biblical one.

    Need a cite for the first claim. As for the second, most of those flood stories are only similar in that there was a flood and some people survived to repopulate. The details differ quite a bit. As for why there are so many, before irrigation it was often necessary to live near water. Guess what? Floods happen… a lot. A recurring event or important substance has a way of insinuating itself into cultural identity (think salt, for instance)…

    Enough for now…

    P.S. For the Columbus arguments, people who took the time to observe the evidence knew the earth was round long before the Bible… they observed lunar eclipses to figure out the round shape, and sailors noted masts appearing before hulls on the horizon. Navigation during Columbus’ time relied on a spherical earth and star charts.

    Columbus’ disagreement with others of his day, contrary to popular belief, was not the round/flat thing. It was over the actual size of the earth (he thought it was considerably smaller than it was). A fairly accurate circumference for the earth was figured out in the 2nd century BCE by a Greek man.

  22. AG, I promised Mandi that I’d be nice, so I hope you’ll forgive my skepticism toward your claiming to have examined both evolution and creationism and concluding that creation seems more plausible. You have to understand I’ve been around this debate for a long time, and every time I’ve seen a creationist make this statement – and I do mean every time – it’s usually followed by total misconceptions as to what evolution really is about or says… or outright distortions (not always intentional… usually just repeated from a creationist source that gets it totally wrong). If you care to respond, I’d like to get a feel for your understanding of evolution as we know it.

    IAMBs last blog post..Score One for the Good Guys

  23. IAMB, thanks for being nice. 🙂

    And you ask a very valid question. Even as a Creationist, other Creationists sometimes bug me because they don’t know what they’re talking about. I’ll admit, I am naturally inclined to be a parrot, so I try hard to work against that and not just parrot anything I hear. I try to look at varying viewpoints. While I’m not good at coming up with ideas on my own, I can determine which idea I think is best. (I hope all that made sense – I think I even confused myself.)

    My understanding of evolution:

    The word “evolve” simply means “to change.” Biological evolution refers to changes made in the genetic code throughout generations, which yields new traits, behaviors, species, etc.
    There are two types of evolution: Macroevolution is any change which results in a new species. Microevolution is any change kept within an existing species.

    I don’t have a problem with microevolution. In my brain, this is synonymous with the word adaptation. A species can adapt to its environment via natural selection (those organisms best suited for an environment reproducing at a higher rate than those less suited) and can, over generations, retain mostly those traits which aid that species in survival, while losing mostly those traits which don’t.

    The reasons I have a problem with macroevolution:

    1) Natural selection can favor beneficial traits only if they are pre-existing. Natural selection cannot introduce new genetic information. If you breed a black cat with a white cat, even if you do it for generations, you will not end up with a marmalade cat unless one of its ancestors had a recessive marmalade gene. Unless you consider mutation.

    2) Mutation could, theoretically, produce new genetic information. However every mutation recorded is not only not beneficial, but harmful. For instance high cholesterol, cystic fibrosis, cancer, sickle cell anemia, and over four thousand other diseases are results of genetic mutation. The combination of different types of organisms breeding could, theoretically, produce a new species.

    3) Except that viable offspring can only be produced between members of the same species. Members of different species and the same genus can reproduce, but their offspring is sterile. Members of different genera cannot reproduce.

    I don’t see a way new genetic information can occur. In my understanding, this undermines every principle Darwinistic evolution stands on. Genetic codes can’t just be rearranged for a new species to occur. There must, somehow, be an introduction of new genetic information.

    AGs last blog post..Shout to the Lord

  24. “Even as a Creationist, other Creationists sometimes bug me because they don’t know what they’re talking about.”

    Do you own a mirror?

  25. Do you own a mirror?

    Onein6, grow up.

    As far as the lizards, that’s cool that they can microevolve like that. But they could already eat and digest plants – they just didn’t do it as often. Are they the same species? Then it’s not macroevolution.

    AGs last blog post..Shout to the Lord

  26. They’re still the same species, technically, but have evolved completely new structures in the gut for handling plant matter that aren’t present at all in the ancestral population. That’s a big deal.

    AG, you’re basically right in the idea of evolution, however a never-ending argument can be had over the micro/macro thing and whether it really exists at all. Strictly speaking, they are the same thing in that they rely on the same mechanisms and it’s really a matter of scope. Another issue is that the “species barrier” isn’t really a concrete thing at all, so it’s very difficult to tell at which point micro becomes macro. Especially difficult is the fact that we’re talking a considerable amount of time in many cases, so a person looking at either end of the scale will see vast differences whereas small changes from generation to generation aren’t as easily noticed. Think of it sort of like looking at a baby picture and then a graduation photo without having all of the years in-between (or how you don’t seem to notice a puppy getting bigger every day, but it’s plainly obvious if you have mom and dad dog sit while you leave town for a couple weeks).

    As for your issues:

    1) You pretty much covered it: mutations as a source of novel traits. Another consideration is co-option of existing structures into something new (like building a bridge and then removing the supports once all the parts are in place). The original functioning structures, if useful, will hang around as well as the new structure that does something different. If the code for the “new” structure happens to end up on a mobile bit of genetic material (such as a plasmid) it can hop over into something else, insert itself and continue chugging happily along as if it always existed. This becomes an interesting thing when working with bacteria when plasmids jump into organisms that are less closely related than you and a cactus.

    2) The problem here is that not every mutation is harmful (you’re looking at a few well-known examples, but not nearly the whole scope). Most are actually completely silent in that they don’t happen in a highly conserved portion of the genome. Others are helpful or harmful depending entirely on the context. The HbS mutation you mentioned, which causes sickle cell, is only bad if one possesses two copies of the mutated gene. With one copy, malaria resistance is conferred without side-effects that even remotely compare to malaria. Of course, this is only useful in an area where malaria is prevalent. On the same note, a more recent mutation (HbC) confers resistance with two copies with only a very mild anemia as a product while a single copy does nothing. As you can imagine, it’s highly selected for in malaria-prone areas.

    A mutation I mentioned earlier in passing adds a nifty little enzyme called beta lactamase which actively breaks the beta lactam (penicillin is one) family of antibiotics and enables the bacteria who have it to survive quite well. I’d call that one beneficial. These enzymes trace back to a mutation in cell wall synthesis enzymes known as D-Alanine D-Alanine peptidases and the conversion only takes a single mutation. As long as the cell still has the regular enzymes as well, you’ve added a new function without losing anything. Anyway, the list of beneficial mutations is a long one, especially in bacteria (I’m of the mind that very little is actually interesting when you’re looking at something bigger than a few micrometers). In fact, I have a mutant strain of one bug hanging around the lab that can handle four to five thousand times the lethal radiation dose for a human… very useful for life under certain conditions.

    Another issue is that beneficial mutations in something like a human – the kind readily noticed, at least – carry an “ick factor” for our vain species, so they’re often seen as a bad thing. Imagine, for instance, the added benefit of an extra thumb… then try to imagine how many parents who had the resources available would actually let their offspring grow up without having it surgically removed. Hopefully that made a little sense at least.

    3) You’re still laboring under the impression that the species barrier is actually a concrete line. In many cases, it just ain’t so.

    Hopefully I’ve cleared a few things up just a little… sorry the comment grew to novella length. Unfortunately, very few interesting subjects can be chopped into useful small bites while still retaining the all-important accuracy.

    IAMBs last blog post..Rolling Out the Welcome Mat

  27. @IAMB: Pardon me, I’m a computer scientist by trade so whereas I can understand logical concepts, my field is definitely not microbiology. Probably my worst class in high school.

    That being the case, can you explain why this is wrong?

    And here’s my big problem. I don’t have a problem with someone using Evolution to explain what they see around them– I really don’t. I don’t think they’re right, but I don’t have a problem with them seeing it that way.

    I have a problem when they (a) decide that it’s unquestionable truth, even when I read multiple places with what I consider plausible explanations for the arguments that are brought up and (b) when people that I know have degrees, have spent the time and training, and are definitely brighter than I in these fields are told that they have nothing to add or nothing to offer or lose their jobs (or are– however unreasonably– concerned that they will lose their jobs or positions) because they may have a different worldview on this topic.

    I understand the whole “the theory is alive and adjusts” argument as a way to justify changing whole concepts of TENS (Theory of Evolution through Natural Selection). I also understand Creationists that look at the evidence and explain it through their worldview.

    What I cannot fathom, and perhaps you can help, is why the assertion that “it’s the same evidence, just different interpretations” does not apply, and why I should switch my position and believe your worldview.

    I’m not saying this to be antagonistic. I know that you are brighter than I in the area of this science, so humor me. Explain for this logical human being why I should accept your worldview.

  28. Essentially my issue with that particular article is that it’s a few years out of date. They’re essentially saying that we know it’s a flexible enzyme but no one has explained how it came into being in the first place. As of 2004, that’s out-of-date, since we now have a pretty concrete idea of the how, as well as knowing how fast it can happen (a single generation can be measured in minutes in many bacteria if you get them in the right growth phase). Scroll through my last reply to AG for slightly more detail as to the how and how fast.

    More later…

    IAMBs last blog post..Rolling Out the Welcome Mat

  29. @IAMB: Actually, I read your whole comment to AG. It was very well written.

    My main issue boils down to this… Given any arbitrary set of evidence labeled A, B, and C if methods X and Y have different theories and both can take into account and give an explanation for A, B, and C, then what makes X better than Y?

    Let’s say that D and E are something that was previous unknown, and may invalidate part of X and Y respectively. If theory X changes to account for D and theory Y adapts to account for E, does that make either theory invalid?

    Back into concrete terms. Evolution continues to grow in its understand and adapt (how very natural selection of it) to evidence as it comes. It still seeks, at its foundation, to explain evidence– and extrapolate it historically. The constant is that Evolution must explain observations based on changes over time and the primary use of natural selection/mutation. Anything else, I would believe, would not be Evolution.

    However, Creation operates in much the same way. It seeks to understand and adapt to evidence as it comes. There are many things that its source and foundation does not explain, because it’s outside of the purpose of the Bible. The constant is that Creation must explain observations based on the concept that there is a God and that He was Creator. Anything else would not be Creation.

    Each of us believe that our worldview is correct, each of the worldviews adapt to the evidence, and yet I don’t believe that Evolution will ever be invalidated until Jesus appears again, or that Creation will be invalidated until the sun goes SuperNova.

    Or is this too simplistic?

  30. IAMB, may I say your rational, logical approach to this debate is so refreshing after some of the comments I’ve read on this page. Thank you for that!

    I’m having a spring cleaning day at home, so I can’t address everything I’d like to. I’ll have to come back to it another day.

    Have a great, spring day! 😀

    AGs last blog post..Shout to the Lord

  31. “each of the worldviews adapt to the evidence”

    Riiight. But one is science and one is not. One assumes that the supernatural is not required and one assumes that the supernatural is required. So you can see how a “scientist”, by definition, is going to prefer a scientific explanation.

    Someone can explain anything by saying “God did it”, but that’s not science. So fortunately, the courts have prevented that view from being taught in public school classrooms. And scientists have pretty much prevented it from being taught in university classrooms and from being published in peer-reviewed journals.

    Back to the top:

    “he presents the evidence of intelligent design we see in the world”

    But actually he doesn’t even try. And the word “scientific” does not appear in that claim.

    “exposes the censorship efforts of leading evolutionists”

    As I said above, creationists publish books, articles, blogs, and 500,000 people have seen their movie. That’s not censorship! But they can’t publish nonsense in peer-reviewed scientific journals. Is that censorship?

    So the religious war against science continues. And one of the primary “weapons” in this war is: Evolution can’t explain THIS, therefore creationism is true. But that’s a silly argument and evolution really can explain THAT. Unfortunately, even plant and animal genes are somewhat related and a billion years is a long time, so evolution can explain almost anything that is halfway reasonable.

  32. @onein6billion: Sometimes following your comments is strange. You attempt to rebut my argument, but then turn around and make it for me.

    But one is science and one is not. One assumes that the supernatural is not required and one assumes that the supernatural is required.

    This is close to true. Science operates on a system that it can reliably test. Science cannot test the supernatural. This, however, does not stop Creationists from being Scientists. They can still create hypothesis and test them.

    Again, I wish there was a formal term for this tactic (and there probably is, if I spent the time to look), but a common tactic in Evolutionist arguments that I’ve read is this change in focus tactic. First we’re looking at “How the Earth began” and then we’re looking at “How the Earth operates”. You have yet to explain why a person who believes something different about the first would have problems with the second.

    Again, Science has yet to tell me how something comes from nothing, how life truly began, and why we have a moral code. Science is great for telling me how something operates, and the specific laws that govern what is going on today, but cannot guarantee that what is happening today will continue to operate the same way tomorrow.

    And then you go off and make my argument for me.

    And one of the primary “weapons” in this war is: Evolution can’t explain THIS, therefore creationism is true. But that’s a silly argument and evolution really can explain THAT. … so evolution can explain anything that is halfway reasonable.

    Perfect. I have no problem with evolution explaining evidence. My problem is when you say that it’s the only way to explain the evidence, and every other way is wrong.

    Oh, and by the way, It’s just as silly of an argument if you switch evolution and creation in the above quoted section.

  33. IAMB, may I say your rational, logical approach to this debate is so refreshing after some of the comments I’ve read on this page. Thank you for that!

    I’m having a spring cleaning day at home, so I can’t address everything I’d like to. I’ll have to come back to it another day.

    Normally my vitriol dispenser operates at a much higher frequency, however I think primarily venting on usenet over the last while has toned down my blogosphere style a bit. Plus I promised Mandi I’d be nice, and I’ll hold to that since she’s someone I greatly respect.

    I also respect that this is MIn’s space, so whether I agree with him or not, which I obviously don’t, it does me no good to be a complete ass while trying to make any points. My comment threads have an open everything policy when it comes to tone and language, but this is not my house and I’d be a poor guest to act otherwise. Besides, it’s much more productive to stay civil in a case like this.

    Enjoy the cleaning, and don’t hurry too much on my account. I’m pretty patient most of the time when it comes to responses (I’d be a hypocrite to expect everything on my terms in a discussion when sometimes it takes me a while to get back to people).

    Cheers

    IAMBs last blog post..Rolling Out the Welcome Mat

  34. “They can still create hypothesis and test them.”

    Every “hypothesis” that a creationist has tried to make that is actually “testable” has been falsified. For example, that there was in fact a “worldwide flood” is a hypothesis and it is false.

    “I read multiple places with what I consider plausible explanations”

    There you go again – reading creationist nonsense.

    “this change in focus tactic. First we’re looking at “How the Earth began””

    If we are actually discussing evolution, “how the Earth began” is irrelevant. So it is you who is trying to change the focus.

    ““it’s the same evidence, just different interpretations””

    Yes, and for the tenth time, one is scientific and one is religious. You can choose the religious explanation, but it is not fair to complain that a “scientist” who rejects the scientific explanation is not rejecting his basis for employment.

    “Again, Science has yet to tell me how something comes from nothing, how life truly began…”

    The subject under discussion is evolution and you continue to try to change the subject.

    “why we have a moral code”

    It is evolutionarily advantageous. Even if it’s the Islamic moral code. When everyone conforms and cooperates, … When they have religious conflicts, …

    “cannot guarantee that what is happening today will continue to operate the same way tomorrow.”

    Silly, silly, silly. If you wish to place a wager that the fundamental operation of the universe (science) is going to change by the end of next year, I accept.

    “it’s the only way to explain the evidence”

    I say it’s the only SCIENTIFIC way to explain the evidence. If you wish to reject science, that’s fine with me. But …

  35. onein6billion:
    How […] do you come to the conclusion that the burden of proof lies on anyone trying to disprove the supernatural?!?
    So when I say there’s an invisible pink unicorn standing next to me, I don’t need to prove that, but you need to disprove it?

  36. Ah, sorry, I mean MInTheGap, not onein6billion. The poster’s name at the bottom had me confused for a while.

    Anyway, to add to my question: What you do is basically just an argumentum ad populum, i.e. just because many people believe something, doesn’t make it true.

  37. Wouldn’t the burden of proof lie with whoever is challenging the other side? Like if I were in a lecture in school and I wanted to challenge the prof or the textbook, the burden of proof would be mine. However, if we were having a church meeting and someone came in and wanted to debate, the burden of proof would lie with him.

    AGs last blog post..Thankful

  38. “Wouldn’t the burden of proof lie with whoever is challenging the other side?”

    Science proceeds by scientific consensus. If you wish to challenge scientific consensus, the burden of proof is on you. Science does not claim that the “supernatural” does not exist. Science claims that there is no evidence for it. So if you claim that the “supernatural” really does exist, then it’s up to you to provide evidence. But if you provide “natural” evidence, then your “supernatural” will become “natural”. So it’s an uninteresting word game for scientifically ignorant nincompoops. Kind of like “religion”.

  39. @onein6billion: First off, I think there’s still a big communication barrier between us. I’m speaking 9600 BAUD and you’re at 14,400 or something. Christian scientists can make a hypothesis about all sorts of things. To say that they are limited to making historical hypotheses is ludicrous. And this is exactly the point of Expelled.

    Scientists today are being refused and losing their jobs in laboratories and classrooms because of what they believe happened thousands of years ago. Not because they are not able to do the work when it comes to mixing chemicals, or studying bacteria, or the day to day work of a scientist.

    You have yet to actually prove that being a Creation Scientist has a negative impact on what any branch of science does day to day. As far as any of these discussions go, all that’s happened is a lot of throwing around how “wrong” the Creationist is about the past. If you really want to make an impact, talk about how terrible Creation Scientist work on things that matter today is. Tell me about the experiments they’ve botched, how their worldview has not let them see the obvious…

    The flood proves my point exactly. An evolutionist scientist that believes in millions of years finds a fossil, and because they are looking for it to be millions of years old, they come to prove that that’s what it indeed is. (Allowing for some jury rigging of the date, as dating these things is hairy and it seems like it takes many years just to get an accepted date– we won’t go there.) That is, until Mt. Saint Helens erupted and fossils were made quickly…

    The Creationist looks at the same fossil and says “wow, made quickly during Noah’s Flood!” And then they find fossils of fish eating other fish or animals defecating, and the Creationist says, “See, it took them by surprise, this didn’t happen over time.” And then the Evolutionist says, “Hmm… There must have been some catastrophe to do this, like an asteroid hit or something.” Because it can’t be a worldwide flood– that could only happen to a planet like Mars, and we couldn’t allow for the possibility that the Bible could be true.

    Again, exactly the problem. A unbiased scientist has to allow for the possibility that any reasonable thing could happen. Yet you have admitted yourself that you’re not open to that possibility. That you know the one truth and you believe it and so everything you see, every piece of evidence you encounter, and everything that you read will be based on your prior view of what you believe to be the truth, and you’ll use it to confirm your assumptions.

    And you’re more than welcome to do that. It’s your right and privilege. Just don’t call it science. Because science is great for telling you how, but pretty lousy at telling you why. Science is being used by two groups of people with two different assumptions to make two totally different points. Both sets are intelligent. It’s just that now it’s the Evolutionists telling Galileo that the Sun wasn’t created instead of the Roman Catholic church telling him that the Earth is the center of the Universe.

    Both cases were wrong– but at least the scientists aren’t burning Creationists at the stake– yet!

    @onein6billion & @AnonCoward: I’m currently having a fascinating discussion of the burden of proof and the null hypothesis here. It’d take too long to rehash the entire argument here in comments. Take a peek over there.

    @AG: You’re technically right– the burden of proof rests (in terms of law) on those bringing the complaint. However, that’s a tough argument now that science claims now that it’s the only truth.

  40. “Scientists today are being refused and losing their jobs in laboratories”

    It’s potentially an interesting claim. But, of course, there’s no actual evidence of this, just silly anecdotes (and some outright lies). But it is true that Gonzalez had to accept a job a Grove College (one year contract) after being denied tenure because he didn’t do enough science while writing his silly book.

    “Allowing for some jury rigging of the date, as dating these things is hairy”

    I reject this statement as incorrect.

    “the possibility that any reasonable thing could happen.”

    Define “reasonable”. Science has its definition and you have your religious definition and ne’er the twain shall meet.

    “Because science is great for telling you how, but pretty lousy at telling you why.”

    Define “why”. Science has its definition (a natural cause produces a natural effect) and religion has its definition (God caused that rock to fall) and ne’er the twain shall meet.

    “Science is being used by two groups of people with two different assumptions to make two totally different points.”

    Nope. Science is science. If you misuse it for your purposes, it’s simply a misuse for propaganda purposes (the fundamental “why” for Expelled of course).

    “it’s the Evolutionists telling Galileo that the Sun wasn’t created”

    Of course the Sun was created by perfectly reasonable scientific natural cause and effect. So your statement is silly.

    “I’m currently having a fascinating discussion of the burden of proof and the null hypothesis here.”

    I don’t think so.

  41. “I’m currently having a fascinating discussion of the burden of proof and the null hypothesis here.”

    I don’t think so.

    Aww… you hurt my feelings. I think I’m going to have to revoke your EAC decoder ring.

    On the other hand, I’m pretty sure AnonCoward has been at least lurking…

  42. “Aww… you hurt my feelings. I think I’m going to have to revoke your EAC decoder ring.”

    Nice try. But the EAC web page says:

    “In case anyone missed it, this page is just for fun. Don’t come looking for me expecting to get any of this stuff.”

    So there really is not any such thing and you can’t prove there is and I can’t prove there isn’t so let’s call the whole thing off. Kind of like agnosticism.

    “I’m currently having a fascinating discussion of the burden of proof and the null hypothesis here.”

    The reason I don’t think so it that you are beating up on an unarmed person and the spectacle is brutal. I condone brutality only when I an beating some poor defenseless person up. But not nearly as well as Derbyshire:

    http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=ZGYwMzdjOWRmNGRhOWQ4MTQyZDMxNjNhYTU1YTE5Njk=&w=MA

  43. No dissenting comments allowed on “loose morality”?

    “It does not, directly, address consequences or rewards.”

    Why not? Maybe a two-year-old does things without thinking about the consequences, but we expect more from a three-year-old.

    “God created a moral standard, and regardless of whatever standard man comes up with, if it does not match God’s it is flawed.”

    Which “God”? Yours? Islams? Buddha?

    “Since it’s man that can come up with a moral standard arbitrarily, something that is right for one man maybe wrong for another man. This leads to chaos.”

    Riiight. Our laws are not properly enforced and therefore we have “chaos”. I don’t think so. Explain to me why a professor was fired when he refused to explain his reasons for a divorce. Seems awfully arbitrary to me.

    “Because morality is whatever a group thinks it should be.”

    Unless, of course, some Supreme Court overrules that law as unconstitutional. Now what do you do? Set up a theocracy?

  44. @onein6billion: Loose Morality‘s comments are closed – and there are no comments either in the affirmative or in the negative for a reason. You would have had to have read Be Back Soon in order to understand why the comments are closed. I need space to layout the extent of my beliefs on the topic without diving into the minutia at every turn.

    That is also the reason that I’m not going to respond to the rest of your comment– have a nice day. 🙂

  45. It appears that Expelled has completely disappeared after 4 weeks. Total theater revenue in 4 weeks was about 1/2 of what they were hoping for for the first weekend.

  46. “Loose Morality’s comments are closed – and there are no comments either in the affirmative or in the negative for a reason.”

    Nah – there’s no good reason except that you are not interested in trying to defend yet another of your silly rantings.

  47. Latest news – the benighted state of Louisiana and its creationist legislators and governor has passed a “you can teach the controversy” law. So some poor school board can have another Dover decision one of these days.

    Ben Stein was advocating this, but I bet he won’t offer to help pay the school board’s losing court costs.

  48. @onein6billion: Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe in the Dover case the local school board was taken to state court, and in this case the state authorized “teaching the controversy”, so the school would probably not lose this case.

    Seems to me like we’re talking apples and oranges.

  49. “Correct me if I’m wrong”

    You are wrong.

    “I believe in the Dover case the local school board was taken to state court”

    No, Judge Jones was a Federal judge in a Federal court. The question was a first amendment constitutional “separation of church and state” question.

    “in this case”

    In which case, Dover or Louisiana? Of course in Dover it was the local school board that tried to promote “intelligent design”. But in Louisiana the state legislature has passed a “freedom to teach the controversy” law (almost identical to attempts in other legislatures promoted by the “Discovery Institute” and Ben Stein). It even has a silly clause saying this law shall not be used to promote creationism! Hilarious.

    “the state authorized “teaching the controversy”, so the school would probably not lose this case.”

    There is no case until some real school actually tries to teach the controversy. Then there would have to be someone in that school district that actually cares enough to file a lawsuit. It is most likely that such a lawsuit would be filed in a Federal court since it is a federal constitutional question. Then the Federal judge should apply the Supreme Court “tests” to determine whether or not the actual actions of this teacher in that school violate that “separation of church and state” clause. Of course the obvious purpose of “teach the controversy” is “evolution is wrong, therefore creationism is right”. The actual motivations of the state legislature and the teacher and the local school board are relevant. I believe that the religious motivations are clear enough that even a Louisiana Federal judge could rule against the teacher/school board.

    “Seems to me like we’re talking apples and oranges.”

    Seems to me that you have no idea what you are talking about.

  50. @onein6billion: You’re right– it was taken to federal court. And you’re wrong– there’s no “separation of church and state” in the first amendment. The First Amendment states that:

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. (emphasis mine)

    There was no act of Congress here, therefore the First Amendment doesn’t apply– regardless of the ruling or what the judge thinks. Unless you’re wanting to discuss the plain reading of the text?

    Your following sentences make for amusing reading.

    No, Dover’s school board did not try to promote intelligent design. They added the following to their science curriculum:

    Students will be made aware of the gaps/problems in Darwin’s theory and of other theories of evolution including, but not limited to, intelligent design. Note: Origins of life is not taught.

    It manifested itself as a sticker on the front page of science textbooks that teachers refused to read. However, the plain English of this statement says that they were interested in presenting all the information, instead of just the information aligned to a particular worldview.

    This is the exact opposite of what you are saying because right now the monopoly belongs to Evolution, which must be taught in schools without criticism and as fact. Which is exactly what the problem is here.

    I know you’re not one to get hung up on the details– you’re pretty sloppy with them. And I’d stay out of the Constitutional realm. I mean, I don’t need a lecture on how things get to the federal court and make their way up to the Supreme Court. I mean, are you able to delineate the “tests” that determine whether or not the non-existent principle principle of the “Separation of Church and State” has been violated?

    Do you know that they contradict each other and are not uniformly used?

    Again with the English– man, you should read your own stuff. So far, I’ve read that people have said that they want to teach the facts and make kids decide. The only people advocating for only one position to be taught as absolute truth are you and your friends the Evolutionists. It’s you that won’t allow people to say that there may be another way. It’s you and your friends that are afraid of open debate. And it’s you and your league that are scared that if people teach that there are gaps in Evolution and that Evolutionists can interpret facts incorrectly more times than not that they might see past the smoke screen.

    The reality is that Darwin came up with a theory that even he credited to a Creator in the Origin of Species that secular humanism ran with, and then decided to teach to children because it absolved them of their duty to a Creator. I can’t help that you’re a monopoly that will soon crumble, or that you believe in a lie, but I can hope to spread light on the subject.

  51. “Dover’s school board did not try to promote intelligent design.”
    “made aware of … other theories of evolution including, but not limited to, intelligent design.”

    They wanted to make students “aware of” intelligent design without “promoting” it? Well, the Federal judge saw right through that ploy!

    “I’ve read that people have said that…”

    Of course that’s what they “say”. But their religious motivations are obvious.

    “…they want to teach the facts…”

    Riiight. And who gets to decide what “facts” to teach? A Creationist Dover School Board? A Creationist Texas State Board of Education?

    “…and make kids decide.”

    Stupid, stupid, stupid. Even 9th grade teachers are not qualified to “decide”, much less 14-year-old students.

    “It’s you that won’t allow people to say that there may be another way.”

    Absolutely correct as it applies to a 9th grade public high school biology class. The “other way” is obviously religious and has nothing to do with science. That’s why a Republican judge ruled against it.

    “It’s you and your friends that are afraid of open debate.”

    Absolutely incorrect. But “open debate” should not take place in a 9th grade biology class. “Open debate” has been taking place for 20+ years. And all the creationists have to show for it is a Supreme Court defeat, a Federal court defeat, a $27 million Creationist “Museum” of lies, a really despicable movie, and an unconstitutional “teach the controversy” Louisiana law passed by Creationist legislators and signed by a Creationist governor.

    “you’re a monopoly that will soon crumble”

    LOL. Have you seen the web page that documents all of the quotations of the “demise” of evolution over the last 100+ years? Quite hilarious.

    “that you believe in a lie”

    Tell it to a jillion biological scientists.

  52. @onein6billion: I will grant you that this particular school board may have disagreed with evolution, but the ruling that was made was not biased against evolution as much as it stated that evolution should not be preached as Gospel.

    Facts do not have a bias– they are what they are. The fact is, the sky is blue because of the refraction of the sun’s light through the atmosphere. The fact is, grass is green because of chlorophyll in them which helps them to grow. The fact is that I inhale and use Oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide.

    These are facts. I would go so far as to say that “The date given by Carbon-16 for this rock is 32,000 years” is a fact. However, when I then say “So, this rock is 32,000 years old” I’ve crossed the line.

    Just like if you looked at my posts. A majority of my posts I write ahead of time– it’s the nature of my schedule that I cannot be online all day to write posts, so I tend to write them in bulk and schedule them. So, you’d be right if you said “This post is dated July 24, 2008” but you’d be wrong to assume that I wrote it then– those that I wrote on that date are a few days older than that.

    So, you need to get your mind wrapped around the idea that there are facts, and then there are interpretations of facts. Teaching facts should be the desire of any science teacher– or most other teachers for that matter. Teaching interpretations of the facts should either take into account those hypothesis that have not been invalidated by the facts.

    Should kids decide? I can see your point– they’re hardly equipped to decide what worldview they will attach themselves to at that point. Which makes preaching evolution as gospel from the school pulpit all the worse. I mean, teaching facts, that’s great. But teaching them that they grew from a monkey with no facts to back that up– that’s just filling their minds with faith based nonsense.

    “Hey, you’re no better than an animal, but we expect you to behave, get good grades and contribute to society.” Right, I can believe that one. Stick to the facts. Keep your religion to yourself.

    And I’m not going to get into the illogical use of an imaginary number like “jillion” when you expect to have a rational discussion. I mean, you already said that the number of biological scientists were much less than the number of 9th grade scientist teachers– so you have to resort to an imaginary number to bolster your argument. How weak and foolish.

    I mean, if you start looking at the fact that Darwin’s theory is only a few hundred years old, and that for at least 10,000 years before that every scientist believed in creation by a Deity (and looking at it through your time-line, we would be talking millions of years of scientists!). You’re vastly outnumbered.

    But that’s what you get when you use such silly, flimsy reasoning.

  53. “the ruling that was made was not biased against evolution as much as it stated that evolution should not be preached as Gospel.”

    Was I supposed to understand what this sentence meant? The ruling had nothing really to say about evolution – the ruling was against “intelligent design”. But a lot of “intelligent design” is “evolution is wrong, therefore intelligent design is right”. So there were some “objections” to evolution and those “objections” were found to be without any basis in fact.

    “because of the refraction of the sun’s light”

    Incorrect explanation.

    “The date given by Carbon-16”

    Oxygen is 16, 17, 18, Carbon is 12, 13, 14. The dating test is called Carbon-14. And rocks are much too old to be dated by Carbon-14.

    “However, when I then say “So, this rock is 32,000 years old” I’ve crossed the line.”

    What line is that? The line between a “fact” and a “scientific conclusion”? No scientist would see any “line” there. Only someone with a religious viewpoint?

    “then there are interpretations of facts”

    Yes. And when a thousand scientists get together and agree on such an interpretation, they call it a “scientific fact” and include it in the textbooks for high school students. Such as “moon rocks are 4 billion years old” and “evolution explains the diversity of life on this Earth”.

    “you’re no better than an animal”

    Now YOU have crossed the line – the line between scientific truth and trying to use that truth to influence morality. I’ll bet that if a high school teacher explicitly said “you’re no better than an animal”, he would get into big trouble.

    “we expect you to behave, get good grades and contribute to society.”

    Yes, we do. And if you don’t, there will likely be consequences in this life. There is no need to worry about fearing some consequences after you are dead.

    So how should I have responded to:

    “that you believe in a lie”

    You have your opinion and I have my opinion and they certainly seem to conflict. And you certainly don’t seem to be interested in actually learning anything about evolution. So I chose to try an “argument from authority”. Such an argument is only as strong as the authority. So do you wish to place your multitude of high school teachers against my very large number of trained biological scientists for reference as better authority?

  54. @onein6billion: I’m sorry if English escapes you– perhaps I can shed some light on it. The ruling of the school board did not say “You shall not preach Evolution”, it stated that “You must present Evolution with facts for and against it.” Basically, it was an attempt by the school board to state that Evolution is a Scientist conclusion of what happened historically, but it has many holes, all of which should be known. The fact that there are growing numbers of scientists that disagree fuels this ruling.

    The ruling of the judge was against the ruling of the Dover School board. Ruling perhaps is the word that threw you off.

    You’re right– Carbon 14. Forgive me for not looking things up when trying to make a philosophical point. And you’re right– the half life of Carbon-14 is much too short for the calculations that Scientists use. Funny that it was “the dating mechanism” for so long.

    Obviously you don’t understand logic, jumping to conclusions, and how time works. When I say a test resulted in a given figure, that’s a fact. When I make a conclusion based on the fact that’s an interpretation. The rock may read 32,000 years old on any one test. It might read 31,000 on a different test. And each of these tests are based on a uniformity principle that we know for a fact that the rock decayed at a given rate over time without question.

    The only problem is that we’re making the assumption that it did, since we don’t even have good records for weather, let alone rock decay, back a few hundred years. We also don’t know the condition of the Earth when it came into existence, or what level of decay it may have had then.

    There are too many unknowns going back into the past to be certain about anything, so there is an element of faith in play. And that’s just the problem here. Scientists have a degree of faith in their models and in uniformity that is not warranted given the documentary evidence available. And yet they cling to that faith as truth for whatever reason they desire. And have to have a monopoly of their own opinion in the classrooms.

    If it were the other way around, you’d want the facts out just the same. It’s simply because of your current monopoly and refusal to see anything other than your worldview.

    And it must be so frustrating from your point of view. I mean, not only do you have the pesky Creationists building their museum with their own money (you thought that you had that market cornered since you used government and the people’s money to build something the people don’t agree with), and then the irritating Intelligent Design people that took God out so there could be the discussion about a Designer without talking about God, but you constantly get egg all over your face each and every day.

    I mean, Haekel’s embryos? The Java Man? Piltdown Man? Why is it that every claim at a missing link that makes front page news follows up with disclaimer buried in the same magazine a few weeks later saying how such and such discovery that was meant to “prove Evolution once and for all” was either a fraud or not what it claimed to be.

    And then you can’t even get your story straight on whether there was a catastrophe or not– I mean, everything was the same, and then there were asteroids that did something to the earth. There can be a global flood on Mars, but not on Earth. I mean, the contortions you have to go through.

    And then there’s the eye, bombardier beetle, and other things that are irreducibly complex, and you have to come up with contorted reasons for why things are that way.

    And let’s not get into the confidence infused into scientists when they can’t accurately predict the weather, call for global warming while Alaska is experiencing the coldest summer on record, and doctors decide antibiotics aren’t so cool after all.

    And then, even Newsweek can’t keep the story straight. On the topic of Food Allergies, an article referenced the design of the intestinal tract and the immune system, but if we evolved there was no design. It was random chance and natural selection that resulted in the intricate systems of the body. Someone should call them.

    If anything, the whole science industry is a mess. You wonder why so many people continue to believe in Adam and Eve and that the world was created, but if you actually looked at science and it’s many retractions and the egg it wears all over it’s face (and this has been way before modern times with scientists that believed they could turn lead into gold and that the earth was flat), you wonder why we view you and laugh.

    Evolution is like a whining kid, overprotective of what it thinks it knows. If Evolution is true it has nothing to fear from having its flaws exposed and alternative theories expounded on. It will stand as the most probably theory if it is such.

    Continuing on– You’ve got yourself in quite a pickle with saying that a person is better than an animal. How would you come about this logically?

    How about I take a stab at it? If I descended from a monkey, then I am nothing more than a “better monkey”. So at some point I was a “less-better monkey”, right?

    So, what value do transitions get? I mean, some aborigines were considered less evolved– do they get less value? Would a neanderthal get less value?

    Hitler thought that the most evolved race was White Caucasians with Blond Hair and Blue Eyes. If he’s right, should they get extra special treatment? Should they get deference because of their superior genes?

    How about all of the high school teens that have done horrible things because they figured that we’re all just animals anyway?

    Lastly, I find it amusing that you characterize those Scientists that believe in Creation as “high school teachers”. Since many of them have PhD’s or were considered the fathers of Modern Science this seems amusing at best.

    And then, the part that really gave me a good laugh was when you mentioned “large number of trained biological scientists”. And their training is the exact subject. If I get a bunch of people in the room and brainwash them to think that there’s only one Computer language “C#” out there and then teach them how to use it, do you think that they will acknowledge that people can actually get things done in PHP?

    Nah, they’ll be as brainwashed to think that Microsoft is the only Gospel and preach the same. Believe me, I’ve read it.

    How many of your “very large number” have seen a transitional fossil, have been around long enough to verify a large degree of uniformity, or have witnessed the change from lifeless to life?

    I’m guessing that that number is statistically insignificant.

  55. You have demonstrated your invincible ignorance. I will not waste any more time demolishing your assertions as though they were really arguments.

  56. @onein6billion: That you think that you “demolished your assertions” is hilarious. Thanks for the time you spent and for showing us just how you think. I hope you someday are open minded enough to see that your “truth” is not all it claims to be.

  57. Don’t watch the three new History Channel shows – Eyes, Guts, Jaws. They treat evolution as an obvious fact.

  58. Well, it’s now been more than 2 1/2 years and Expelled the silly movie has sunk without a trace. And the 8th grade science teacher (Freshwater) has been voted 4-1 as rejected due to improper Christian teachings in his science classroom.

    “Evolution is like a whining kid, overprotective of what it thinks it knows.”

    Science is what it is – the best way of understanding reality. Religion thinks it knows something and it is simply incorrect – religion has no way of knowing anything – it’s all just opinions.

    “If I get a bunch of people in the room and brainwash them …”

    Your characterization of biological research scientists is quite ignorant. Who will make next year’s flu vaccine?

    “Thanks for the time you spent and for showing us just how you think.”

    You’re welcome. You should try talking to a real scientist some day.

    “I hope you someday are open minded enough to see that your “truth” is not all it claims to be.”

    Hilarious. Your opinion is ridiculous.

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