NY Times: Expelled from “Expelled”?

| 99 Comments

The New York Times reports in an article titled Disinvited to a Screening, a Critic Ends Up in a Faith-Based Crossfire how a critic was invited and then disinvited from attending the screening of Expelled and how the critic still attended the showing.

Shortly before he was to attend a screening in January of the documentary “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed,” which is about alternatives to the theory of evolution, Roger Moore, a film critic for The Orlando Sentinel, learned that his invitation had been revoked by the film’s marketers.

But Roger Moore decided to attend anyway

Moore traveled to the most likely place for the showing of the movie, “… [a] local megachurch and planted himself among a large group of pastors to watch the movie.”

Strangely enough the attendees were asked to sign a non-disclosure agreement.

There were nondisclosure agreements to sign that day, but Mr. Moore did not, and proceeded to write perhaps the harshest review “Expelled” has received thus far.

So why was Moore disinvited and what are the marketing objectives of “Expelled”?

Paul Lauer, head of Motive Marketing, which is handling publicity for the film, said that critics were not invited mostly because the film was not polished enough for professional scrutiny. He said that his company, which also marketed the 2004 film, “The Passion of the Christ,” is reaching out to conservative leaders.

Fascinating… No attempts to hide that Expelled is marketed to the religiously motivated people. And yet, ID creationists insist that ID has nothing to do with religion, even though reality shows time after time (even in Court) how the facts paint a very different picture.

99 Comments

No, ID proponents do not “insist that ID has nothing to do with religion.” That’s a distortion. There’s obviously some overlap of interest, which is what you’re seeing in the marketing of this film.

The two share either an actual rejection of, or an openness to rejecting, philosophical materialism as expressed in naturalistic evolution. But ID is not dependent on religion, not dependent on religious texts (which is why the repeated naming of it as “creationism” is such a tiresome distortion), and religion is not dependent on ID.

People who have a certain “small is better” view of economics have shared interests with scientists who believe in global warming. You would find a considerable overlap of interest there. If there were “small is better” groups out there, then Al Gore most assuredly would have marketed his “Inconvenient Truth” among them. By the logic you’re expressing here, a global warming skeptic could say, “see, it’s just economic advocacy!”

An overlap of interest between economics and climate science does not mean that climate science is economics. An overlap of interest between religion and ID does not mean that ID is religion.

The two share either an actual rejection of, or an openness to rejecting, philosophical materialism as expressed in naturalistic evolution.

what is naturalistic evolution and how is evolution an example of philosophical materialism?

But ID is not dependent on religion, not dependent on religious texts (which is why the repeated naming of it as “creationism” is such a tiresome distortion), and religion is not dependent on ID.

Since ID has no scientific relevance, and since ID is founded in a biblical concept, both well documented, it seems clearly that ID is not scientific and in fact is religious.

An overlap of interest between economics and climate science does not mean that climate science is economics. An overlap of interest between religion and ID does not mean that ID is religion.

Correct, but it’s not merely an overlap in interest now is it?

Naturalistic evolution is that which is assumed and understood to be directed only by natural law and chance, or taking place in a closed system of natural cause and effect. Evolution is not necessarily an example of philosophical materialism (theistic evolution is not PM) but naturalistic evolution generally is.

As to the rest of your comments, I could argue further, but you’ve heard it before. I thought it was worth my time to point out what I’ve said, but I have no illusions of being able to convince anyone here that ID is science–you didn’t respond to the meat of my comment, and I’m pretty sure you have your mind made up anyway…

The link to the “harshest review” seems to be taking me nowhere … might be my configuration here, might work OK in an hour, but then again a check might be worthwhile.

Was there any meat to your comment Tom? I saw some claims about peoples motivations, but nothing about the validity of ID’s claim to be legitimate science.

Tom G: …I have no illusions of being able to convince anyone here that ID is science

Could that be because you don’t have the slightest shred of evidence to back up your claim that ID is science?

–you didn’t respond to the meat of my comment, and I’m pretty sure you have your mind made up anyway…

The “meat of your comment” was rotten, ancient nonsense debunked long ago. Your IDiocy was not worthy of a response. And yet, you did receive one. You just felt compelled to lie about it. Isn’t your imaginary god supposed to have some sort of problem with bearing false witness?

If, as you claim, ID is not creationism, why was it possible to create an ID textbook by taking a creationist textbook, replacing all references to god with “design” weasel-words, and changing nothing else? If ID and creationism are different things, how can the one be substituted for the other, word-for-word, without any change in meaning? This is all well-documented, the search-replace even left behind evidence in intermediate versions, hence the term “cdesign proponentsists”.

Naturalistic evolution is that which is assumed and understood to be directed only by natural law and chance, or taking place in a closed system of natural cause and effect. Evolution is not necessarily an example of philosophical materialism (theistic evolution is not PM) but naturalistic evolution generally is.

Any scientific theory of evolution is constrained by natural law and change (or more accurately regularity and chance processes). Seems that naturalistic evolution is nothing more than methodological naturalism applied, or in other words, science.

As to the rest of your comments, I could argue further, but you’ve heard it before. I thought it was worth my time to point out what I’ve said, but I have no illusions of being able to convince anyone here that ID is science–you didn’t respond to the meat of my comment, and I’m pretty sure you have your mind made up anyway…

Yes, the lack of scientific contributions of ID combined with the foundation in gap arguments make the conclusion all but inevitable.

Tom G:

Naturalistic evolution is that which is assumed and understood to be directed only by natural law and chance, or taking place in a closed system of natural cause and effect. Evolution is not necessarily an example of philosophical materialism (theistic evolution is not PM) but naturalistic evolution generally is.

So, then, why is making an appeal to a supernatural intermediary necessary for scientific explanations morally necessary?

Furthermore, if Intelligent Design is not religious in nature, then, why do the Discovery Institute make a big song and dance about reinserting “God” into American Society in the Wedge Document?

As to the rest of your comments, I could argue further, but you’ve heard it before. I thought it was worth my time to point out what I’ve said, but I have no illusions of being able to convince anyone here that ID is science–you didn’t respond to the meat of my comment, and I’m pretty sure you have your mind made up anyway…

Perhaps the reason why you have no illusions of being able to convince anyone here that Intelligent Design is science is because it is not science to begin with, especially since none of the staff of the Discovery Institute, the organization that started modern Intelligent Design “theory” have been able to bother to demonstrate that it is science?

And perhaps the reason why PvM did not respond to the “meat” of your first comment is because it was an off-topic blurb about climate-change denialism and economy, when, in fact, the topic of this post is about how the producers of “Expelled” tried and failed to bar Roger Moore from viewing and critiquing their movie, and are trying to downplay the rightly-deserved bad review.

Tom, you can deny all you like (three times before the cock crows?), but the evidence is there: ID is just creationism wearing a lab coat.

And the lab coat is tattered, has been fished out of a dumpster, and smells of old coffee grounds.

This is easily, and amusingly, demonstrable in two words: cdesign proponentsists.

Now, see, what you’ve done is waded into a blog that’s catalogued dozens of very real links between ID and creationism, and you think simply stamping your feet and saying “NUH UH!” is meat?

I was about to respond to CM–but phantomreader reminded me why I don’t hang around here much…

But I’ll do it anyway, one more shot. It’s not because I enjoy the kind of rudeness and complete discourtesy that keeps showing up here, but because there are answers to your questions.

The meat to my comment, CM, was this: that ID has interests that overlap with religion does not, by itself, invalidate it. PvM’s post implied that it does, but that’s not the case.

Now, I understand there is a strong case on your side that ID is not a science. I don’t know why that in itself should invalidate what Expelled is about, however. In fact, I don’t know how it has anything to do with the movie at all. I haven’t seen the movie, so I have access to no more information than the rest of you have. The movie is not about religion. It’s about academic oppression.

Whether ID is “a science” is not the interesting issue. Whether ID is “science” (without the article) is a little closer to the issue, but it’s not quite there, either. Here’s the question: are there scientists doing real science who have some sympathies with the possibility of Intelligent Design, whether they want to call their science ID or not? And are they free to say that they have those sympathies? And is there freedom for ID to develop as a science, or even for scientists to explore whether there is potential for ID to develop as science? That’s what the movie is about.

All this about whether ID is, at this stage, “a science,” is a red herring. It might be applicable in other contexts, but it’s not the topic this time.

The topic of the movie is academic freedom. PvM implied that it’s really religion in disguise. I made the point that this would be like saying that global warming is really “small is better” economics in disguise.

No one has responded to that so far except Stanton, who totally missed the analogy. An “off-topic blurb”? Analogies are like that, Stanton–they are always in one sense off-topic, but for the purpose of clarifying a topic.

Now–a final note to phantomreader: that kind of abuse just doesn’t score debate points. You and others can continue it if you like, and if you do, I’ll just exit the conversation. I prefer to stick to the actual issues, myself.

The meat to my comment, CM, was this: that ID has interests that overlap with religion does not, by itself, invalidate it. PvM’s post implied that it does, but that’s not the case.

I am sorry that my post implied this. I was working from the presumption that people are familiar with the well documented link between ID and religion.

Here’s the question: are there scientists doing real science who have some sympathies with the possibility of Intelligent Design, whether they want to call their science ID or not? And are they free to say that they have those sympathies? And is there freedom for ID to develop as a science, or even for scientists to explore whether there is potential for ID to develop as science? That’s what the movie is about.

Close but not exactly, that is what the movie would like you to believe. Researchers are free and indeed have been free to pursue research into Intelligent Design, even though it seems to have failed so far to produce much of any scientifically relevant contributions.

The topic of the movie is academic freedom. PvM implied that it’s really religion in disguise. I made the point that this would be like saying that global warming is really “small is better” economics in disguise.

The topic is about Intelligent Design which even Ben Stein seems to understand to be the Christian God. The marketing of the movie, the foundation of the movie, the chosen approach of the movie all strongly support that this is not as much about academic freedom but more, as Tom suggested about objections that science cannot address the supernatural.

Tom G, perhaps you are one “Thinking Christian”? I think it has been explained to you quite thoroughly on your own blog why ID is not science: because ID plain and simply does not fulfill the requirement of providing scientifically testable and meaningful predictions.

ID is often advertised as following basically the same principles as archaeology, SETI and criminal investigation. But this is simply not true. The last three are not based on gaps in our knowledge. They are based on positive evidence.

For example, SETI does not try and explain any existing observations. It in fact searches for genuinely new kinds of observations: radio signals from other planets. It makes quite a bit difference to predict an observation, as opposed to being merely able to accomodate an observation (and in ID’s case, any observation).

Archaeology can, of course, largely explain new observations based on the background knowledge (existing evidence) we have on human civilizations. But when an achaeologist is in doubt, assessing a could-be-designed artefact, she does not e.g. resort to an “explanatory filter”. She puts the artefact under a microscope, making a prediction on what she should discover on the surface of the artefact if it was human-designed. This is a genuine prediction, because it is fair to say that she does not know the answer in advance.

In criminal investigation, we need to know quite a bit about the “designer”, including her motives and whereabouts at a given time, before anyone gets convicted. Even when reaching a conclusion that a crime probably took place, even though there is no suspect, a criminal investigator can be sure that some human could have, and probably was motivated to have, committed the crime.

ID, on the other hand, only tries to accomodate existing observations without making any predictions. Its logic is also quite curious. Take the flagellum, for example. Because human, the only known designer, can’t create a flagellum, and because person X happens to also doubt the ability of evolution to produce a flagellum, without knowing the relevant probabilities, person X should somehow reason that the flagellum probably didn’t evolve but was instead designed. Person X apparently can just assume that designers surpassing human skill exist at a high probability.

Tom G: All this about whether ID is, at this stage, “a science,” is a red herring. It might be applicable in other contexts, but it’s not the topic this time…

The topic of the movie is academic freedom.

I agree that whether ID interests overlap with religious interest ought to be irrelevant to the question of ID’s validity.

However, I strongly disagree that whether it is valid science is not important. It is and always has been the central issue. If ID is unscientific, then science departments are correct in shunning it and penalizing academics who hitch a substantive portion of their career to it. They would be equally correct in discriminiating shunning Holocaust deniers and flat-earthers. Academic freedom *does not* include the right to waste department resources on non-scientific pursuits.

On the other hand, if ID is valid science then the science departments are wrong in oppressing ID proponents, just as they would be wrong to suppress the pioneers of any new and promising theory.

Tom, based on it’s abilities to correctly model and predict what we see in the world, ID doesn’t appear to qualify as either “science” or “a science”.

Also, having individuals such as Wells and Egnor writing about ID do a disservice to ID’s cause, considering their recent posts about the Dardel paper. From their statements, they either a.) do not understand selection or b.) are being blatently dishonest.

Tom G: The meat to my comment, CM, was this: that ID has interests that overlap with religion does not, by itself, invalidate it. PvM’s post implied that it does, but that’s not the case.

You want to know what invalidates ID? How about the fact that ID is indistinguishable from creationism, but all you cdesign proponentsists LIE and say otherwise. A movement so steeped in dishonesty is invalid.

How about the fact that there is not a single shred of evidence for ID! Most of the time cdesign proponentsists don’t even TRY to argue FOR ID, they just throw around attacks on evolution (most of which were debunked decades ago) and claim their version of events should just be accepted without any scrutiny at all. A movement supported by no evidence whatsoever is invalid.

These aren’t the only things that invalidate ID. But it’s a start.

Now, I understand there is a strong case on your side that ID is not a science.

So, do you admit that the evidence indicates that ID is not, in fact, science? And given that ID is NOT science, do you think it would be just a tad dishonest to teach it in science classes as such? Again, isn’t your imaginary god supposed to have some sort of problem with bearing false witness?

I don’t know why that in itself should invalidate what Expelled is about, however. In fact, I don’t know how it has anything to do with the movie at all. I haven’t seen the movie, so I have access to no more information than the rest of you have. The movie is not about religion. It’s about academic oppression.

If the movie is not about religion, then why are screenings being limited to religious audiences? Why is it being agressively marketed to CHRISTIAN schools (and ONLY christian schools)?

Do you have any EVIDENCE for this “academic oppression” you speak of? The best “evidence” for “academic oppression” I’ve seen from cdesign proponentsists has been the fact that an editor who published papers without proper review in violation of procedure lost his status as an editor, and a professor who didn’t bring in grants or mentor students or do research was not granted tenure. Is that your idea of “oppression”? People not being rewarded for bad work?

Whether ID is “a science” is not the interesting issue. Whether ID is “science” (without the article) is a little closer to the issue, but it’s not quite there, either. Here’s the question: are there scientists doing real science who have some sympathies with the possibility of Intelligent Design, whether they want to call their science ID or not? And are they free to say that they have those sympathies? And is there freedom for ID to develop as a science, or even for scientists to explore whether there is potential for ID to develop as science? That’s what the movie is about.

The question of whether ID is science is not interesting because it has already been answered. The answer is NO. As for your other questions, yes, there may well be “scientists doing real science who have some sympathies with the possibility of Intelligent Design” (though they aren’t at the DI, they employ propagandists). Those scientists ARE free to say that they have such sympathies. There isn’t some vast conspiracy to silence them.

And there IS “freedom for ID to develop as a science”. The problem is, ID has not even tried. ID has no evidence behind it, no research, nothing substantial at all. Just PR, religious apologetics, baseless attacks on evolution, and a raging persecution complex.

Years ago, the Templeton Foundation offered grants for Intelligent Design research. These grants were never awarded, due to a lack of applicants. Offered money to actually do research and find evidence for their claims, the cdesign proponentsists didn’t even try.

All this about whether ID is, at this stage, “a science,” is a red herring. It might be applicable in other contexts, but it’s not the topic this time.

The topic of the movie is academic freedom. PvM implied that it’s really religion in disguise. I made the point that this would be like saying that global warming is really “small is better” economics in disguise.

You made that point BADLY. You didn’t address the question of evidence. You didn’t address the difference between the research done on global climate change, and the complete lack of research on ID. You are arguing by a bad analogy. It means nothing.

No one has responded to that so far except Stanton, who totally missed the analogy. An “off-topic blurb”? Analogies are like that, Stanton–they are always in one sense off-topic, but for the purpose of clarifying a topic.

An analogy can only clarify a topic if it has some validity and relevance. Yours did not.

Now–a final note to phantomreader: that kind of abuse just doesn’t score debate points. You and others can continue it if you like, and if you do, I’ll just exit the conversation. I prefer to stick to the actual issues, myself.

What kind of abuse? Calling you a liar, after you’d made demonstrably false claims? Stating that “the meat of your argument” was nothing more than debunked garbage and bad analogies?

If you don’t want to be called a liar, stop lying. If you don’t want your arguments torn to shreds and made fun of, find better ones.

I also notice that you didn’t address my final point, I’ll repeat it here:

phantomreader42: If, as you claim, ID is not creationism, why was it possible to create an ID textbook by taking a creationist textbook, replacing all references to god with “design” weasel-words, and changing nothing else? If ID and creationism are different things, how can the one be substituted for the other, word-for-word, without any change in meaning? This is all well-documented, the search-replace even left behind evidence in intermediate versions, hence the term “cdesign proponentsists”.

Roger Moore? Bad move by Ben Stein, why would you want to @#$% off James Bond?

minimalist:

Tom, you can deny all you like (three times before the cock crows?), but the evidence is there: ID is just creationism wearing a lab coat.

And the lab coat is tattered, has been fished out of a dumpster, and smells of old coffee grounds.

Nice description of ID, here’s another (from coments on the movie review)

David Edwards: ID is nothing more than creationism in drag caught trying to steal a lab coat.

Well after all, the title “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed” does say intellicence isn’t allowed. They found out this guy has some intelligence, so they tried to disallow him from it. :p

Is there any conceivable experiment that might be performed to distinguish between “naturalistic evolution” and “theistic evolution?”

Tom G: What do you mean when you say it is not an issue whether ID is (a) science or not? Are you suggesting that academics is not about science? Or that non-science should be studied at academic institutions?

sympathies with the possibility of Intelligent Design

Sympathy is irrelevant here. The relevant question is whether or not there is some consistently observed pattern of observations that might be explained* by a hypothesis that something was deliberately engineered**.

*explained = predicted by direct logical consequence of the hypothesis, not added as an ad hoc afterthought.

**signs of being engineered are much easier to detect than an undefined concept like “design”.

Henry

Tom G, if you want to head over to After the Bar Closes, you can take a look at the ‘Explore Evolution’ thread, which is about the textbook co-written by DI fellow Paul Nelson to ‘critically analyse’ evolution. You can watch as the book is torn up into scraps of creationist arguments, some decades old, all backed up with links to the sources. Then you can ask Paul himself, who’s on that thread, if the DI is pushing creationism in a lab coat or not.

are there scientists doing real science who have some sympathies with the possibility of Intelligent Design, whether they want to call their science ID or not? And are they free to say that they have those sympathies? And is there freedom for ID to develop as a science, or even for scientists to explore whether there is potential for ID to develop as science? That’s what the movie is about.

Who, excactly, is “preventing” ID from becoming science besides IDists themselves? There seems to be this great misunderstanding that any idea someone can come up with and write about should automatically be considered “science”. ID has done no experiments, proposed no experiments, and has made no explanation as to how insisting everything appeared by magic could be of any useful benefit to anyone.

Yes, the main question here IS whether or not ID is a science, because the only way it’s even capable of competing with evolution is if the answer is “yes”. At the moment, ID isn’t even on the same playing field as all the other sciences, and is demanding special treatment and handicaps because it is incapable of playing by the rules all the other sciences have to follow.

If ID wants to be science, it needs to do the following:

-Hypothesis: Life appears too complex to have arisen naturally, so must be the work of a designer.

-Experiment: 1) Quantify “complexity” as something discrete and measurable. 2) Find what the naturally-occuring limit of this value is so as to have a comparison between “too complex” and “not too complex” for natural processes. 3) Measure life for complexity.

-Results: If life is consistantly above the naturally-occuring threshhold of complexity, then this experiment becomes solid scientific evidence of a non-natural origin of life.

What’s wrong, IDists? Here’s your chance to prove yourselves!

Tom G lied: “But ID is not dependent on religion, not dependent on religious texts (which is why the repeated naming of it as “creationism” is such a tiresome distortion)…”

As was discussed in the 2005 Dover trial, one of the primary “theories” of intelligent design creationism, Michael Behe’s “irreducible complexity,” was plagiarized from an article by Dr. Dick Bliss in the June 1994 issue of the Creation Research Society Quarterly. That’s just of the many documented ties between ID and creationism.

Tom G, have you read the Wedge Document?

Bill, the answer is no, there is probably no such experiment. The two are empirically indistinguishable. Science would not be able to tell us which to choose.

So if science is your only basis for knowledge, then you would have to throw your hands in the air and say, “it’s unanswerable, it’s moot, it’s not worth even asking.” But science is not our only basis for knowledge, and it’s worth asking about.

Beowulff, obviously non-science should be studied at academic institutions! Have you ever heard of a business school, or a theater department, or a music program?

Maybe you meant to ask whether pseudo-science or false “science” should be taught at academic institutions. My position is this: research by scientists who are ID sympathizers should be able to be freely pursued. Expelled makes the claim that they have not been free to do this. Others disagree. I haven’t seen the movie. I’m not going to pronounce on how accurate it is.

caligula:

I think it has been explained to you quite thoroughly on your own blog why ID is not science

And I think I explained in my last comment that this is not the point at issue in the topic PvM brought to us here today.

FastEddie, I think you’re closer to the point:

If ID is unscientific, then science departments are correct in shunning it and penalizing academics who hitch a substantive portion of their career to it. They would be equally correct in discriminiating shunning Holocaust deniers and flat-earthers. Academic freedom *does not* include the right to waste department resources on non-scientific pursuits.

If ID is “unscientific” in the sense of being pseudo-science or false “science,” then you have a case to make. I think, though, that the movie is going to try to make a case that genuine scientists are being shut down from doing genuine research, on grounds either that the scientists or the research might be favorable toward ID. I’m talking about genuine scientists, genuine research; not pseudo-scientists or false research.

If you’re saying it’s inconceivable there could ever be any fruitful research with a potentially ID-friendly outcome, I’d say you have a failure of imagination. (I’d also suggest you read Mike Gene’s Design Matrix, which lays out a positive research program with testable predictions on topics that should be of scientific interest, regardless of which side of the issue it ends up tending more to validate.)

Does the movie make its case successfully? How should I know? I haven’t seen it. I’m not arguing that it does.

Does the fact that the movie is being marketed to Christians make any difference, which is what PvM wanted us to believe, and which is the point I have been trying to discuss? No.

Patches, I’d recommend Mike Gene’s book to you as well.

Tom G said: “that kind of abuse just doesn’t score debate points.

Well that’s the thing, isn’t it. You see, science does not advance by debate. Debate is a tool to persuade people, often people who have little knowledge of the field involved.

Science advances when theories are able to predict and explain the real world. “Goddidit” does no such thing. Neither does “A designer did it,” and for exactly the same reasons.

Tom G said: “But science is not our only basis for knowledge.

No, just reliable knowledge.

Consider, if the questions you think are answered by non-science were really so important, wouldn’t the answers be consistent?

Sure, questions of beauty and taste are not scientific questions, but they are also relatively personal. I may not like the same music that others do, in fact, I have pretty good evidence that that is the case. Does that mean I’m wrong? No. So is knowledge of beauty important in a sense beyond the very personal? Nope.

“I know what I hate, and I don’t hate that.” Montgomery Burns of the Simpsons.

Hey - hold on a minute. I am NOT the Tom G (above). I am the one who is a scientist who posts comments here fairly irregularly but often enough that my moniker might be recognized and misconstrued by some readers. I disavow any connection with the infamous Tom G herein so that I can continue to use my own former blog epithet in the future without all of you thinking that a creationist is sniping.

I am one of the geologists who lurk around here regularly and could not be a stauncher enemy of ID, DI or any other initials which by any other name stink of creationism.

I just wanted to set the record straight.

Tom (G)

Patches, I’d recommend Mike Gene’s book to you as well.

Is that the one that claims front loading as a way to enact design. This merely moves the event further back in time, and less likely to lead to any scientifically relevant contributions.

Tom thinks stringing together a series of “IFs” constitutes a rational argument. IF god exists and IF he talks to people and IF they accurately transcribe his message and IF this message is accurately passed down through the generations and IF… etc.

Yeah, that’s not knowledge, Tom. That’s called self delusion or wishful thinking–believing your own bullshit–and it’s pretty much the opposite of knowledge.

More from Ken Ham today:

http://blogs.answersingenesis.org/a[…]-convention/

EXPELLED PREVIEW

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to personally meet Ben Stein (who stars in the Expelled movie) and to again see a preview of this very revealing movie (that we are encouraging all our supporters to see).

After the showing at NRB, the crowd jumped up cheering and gave a standing ovation. Christians are tired of being beaten down, and they are excited when a movie like Expelled (which is not a Christian movie, but an excellent one nonetheless) exposes the loss of freedoms in America, the academic bias/snobbery, and the censorship of anything pertaining to God.

AiG has told the producers we will promote and support Expelled, and we ask you to get your churches to buy out theaters—invite school board members and other leaders in the community—invite your neighbors and friends.

Tom G Wrote:

Your responses quickly moved to your position that ID is not a science, that it has a religious connection, and thattherefore ID is religion.

Not exactly but perhaps you should read the excellent arguments by Judge Jones to determine how such a decision is reached.

ID was founded to replace methodological naturalism with God and the hope was that this could be done via a scientific argument. When the scientific argument was found to be flawed and when it became obvious that ID was scientifically vacuous, the conclusion that what remained was intimately linked to religious motivations and beliefs. Is it a religion? Nope, it is a religiously motivated belief that lacks scientific relevance and content.

Despite what was said about it above, the fact that God’s intervention in nature (if it exists, which I think it does) cannot be studied by scientific methods all the way back to God the source Himself, does not by itself mean that it is not true or knowable. One method of knowledge that transcends or bypasses scientific method is language communication. If God has spoken and we have heard, then we have knowledge.

Interesting, we may not be able to study this scientifically but we may have heard voices telling us so. So what did God tell you about His Creation, and are you sure it was God?

In other words, you have shown us that ID has no scientific content and thus we seem to both agree on this topic. So now all you have is the creationist argument that ‘God talks to us’. Fine, but that makes ID religious doesn’t it?

Note how you outline your thesis by emphasizing that this is something ‘we believe’, not something that is generally accepted nor something that can be generally studied.

I believe that you have done more than any of us critics to outline why ID is religious in nature.

For that I thank you.

Tom G Wrote:

And I’ve also pointed out that over-simplifying the ID-religion relation will inevitably produce errors in thinking, whichever side of the debate you may land on. Is there anybody here who wants to settle for one-dimensional thinking on a three-dimensional matter?

You seem to accuse others of 1-dimensional thinking and yet you refuse to address the other dimensions of Intelligent Design which are essential for the conclusion that ID is religiously motivated and in fact fundamentally so.

To claim that ID is not religious because it does not say anything about the Designer (wink wink) is incredibly one dimensional. However, you already have pointed out that the knowledge on which ID relies is inherently ‘revealed knowledge’, something which requires one to accept Christian beliefs and fundamentals. In other words, ID is at least partially based on religious foundations. By showing that ID fails as a science, and that it is scientifically vacuous, the partial can be turned into ‘fully’.

ID’s final attempt to gain some respectability by claiming that ID inferences are made in criminology, archaeology etc, are also easily dismissed by showing that design inferences in these ‘sciences’ do not rely on pure eliminating arguments but use motive, means, opportunity, eye-witnesses and physical evidence to lead to the design inference. Arguing that intelligence is somehow not reducible to regularity and chance processes, contrary to what we do know, only shows how desperate ID is. Intelligence is now suddenly a ‘supernatural’ force, just because we may not fully understand it.

That my friend is hardly 1-dimensional thinking, on the contrary, it looks at the various dimensions to show that the multi-dimensional picture collapses nicely onto a one dimensional plane of ‘religious motivations and foundation’.

TomG Wrote:

Your position, also (at least for some of you), is that what mankind cannot know by science cannot be known. That’s logical positivism (or at least a very close relative), which has been discredited for decades.

If you really believe that any working scientist today has anything to do with logical positivism, you are much farther behind in your education than you can possibly imagine. Even most scientists at the time it was “in vogue” within a small circle of philosophers didn’t buy it. Have you never heard of art, music, dance, mathematics, caring for the poor and sick, helping people to live self-supporting productive lives, and other humanitarian activities? Have you never heard of making sacrifices for strangers?

Evidently repetitions don’t get through to you. It is evidence that counts in science. If you want to avoid evidence for your claims, don’t ask to be labeled a scientist, and don’t keep pressing your claims unless you can provide evidence. And stop whining persecution if people don’t buy your crap, especially when you refuse to provide evidence.

ID/Creationist meddling in the educations of strangers crosses the line of “freedom of religion”. Spreading misinformation, confusion, quote-mining, running up the costs of administering public education, costing people time and money to defend themselves against slick-talking hucksters, and doing all this without providing any evidence whatsoever would constitute fraud in any other arena. And because the DI does it across State lines, it would be a Federal crime. So you can be sure that they are not going to totally risk their “business” by giving up religious claims and the protections that come with it.

Fraud is not protected by freedom of speech. However, some sects seem to think that freedom of religion means freedom from responsible behavior and providing evidence. That would not be a problem if they stopped their parasitic relationships to a larger society and stayed in their churches and gave thanks for their religious freedom.

However, because of slick-talking sophistry coming from their pulpits , people are being lead out of their churches to meddle in the affairs of strangers who want nothing to do with their sectarian dogma. And, just as you do, they arrogantly assume they are not responsible for providing evidence for anything they claim. This is a clear abuse of the religious freedoms they have been guaranteed. You and your religious handlers do not deserve the freedom of religion protections under the Constitution. And you certainly discredit the lives and sacrifices made by strangers who have protected your freedoms.

Before you go any farther in spreading your crap, get an education, learn science, learn the meaning of evidence, learn about religion, learn about the Constitution, and by all means grow up and stop whining.

Your pallid philosophy betrays the darkness in which your stunted intellect dwells. You need to get out of your philosophical dungeon and start living in the real world.

The second common objection to gaining knowledge if God has spoken is that this knowledge seems so muddled and controversial from one person and culture to another. That’s a very large topic; I acknowledge it, and I have dealt with it elsewhere as have many others. We recognize that it is controversial, yet we also maintain that Christianity can provide coherent answers. I have to leave it at that: with the respect to you of acknowledging the problem, without trying to solve it in this venue, yet also asking you for the respect of recognizing that it’s not an idiotic position, unaddressed and never thought through.

I doubt you’ll answer this, but I’ll ask anyway: why should science believe your claim that Christianity can provide any more ‘coherent answers’ than, say, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Shinto, or, for that matter, Scientology?

I’m not a scientist but the impression I get is that the theory of evolution must be pretty weak if it can’t stand the challenge of a “pseudo-science” theory. If ID is so fake, a lie, religion in disguise than you evolution zealots should have nothing to fear. The reactions on this board by supposedly open-minded scientists just makes me want to learn more about it.

“why should science believe your claim that Christianity can provide any more ‘coherent answers’ than, say, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Shinto, or, for that matter, Scientology?”

Who decides what “science” should believe? You? Me? Some self appointed group of scientists? Maybe we should put it up for a vote and let the people choose a group of scientists who will decide what scientist should be studying.

Headline: “Baptist professors featured in new film”

http://www.texanonline.net/default.[…]amp;aid=5527

No… No religion here.

Rich…

Check out this link: http://www.ucsusa.org/scientific_in[…]knowing.html

It’s a very good discussion of what science IS, and what it isn’t.

Now, I’m not an ‘evolution zealot.’ (Your use of the term does provide a strong hint of your pursuasion, however.) I’m not a scientist. I am a strong science supporter, though.

The main reason that many of us get incensed over ID is the ID proponents insistence that ID be treated as science in schools, when it is absolutely nothing of the kind. It takes critical science teaching time away from the science teachers.

In addition, we get very tired of replying to drivel. Some of the drivel is more cleverly disguised than others, but, it is still drivel, nonetheless.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by PvM published on March 11, 2008 11:56 AM.

PZ Myers: Casey Luskin caught quote mining was the previous entry in this blog.

Woese, the Darwinian Threshold and Intelligent Design is the next entry in this blog.

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