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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Dennett on "Expelled"

By now, many of you will have heard about the new Ben Stein documentary entitled "Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed." The documentary, receiving very poor reviews, is about the lack of discussion in academic circles about Intelligent Design. The movie contends that the theory of evolution is dogma; that questioning the dogma leads to being an outcast; and that the leading evolutionary theorists--biologist Richard Dawkins and philosopher Daniel Dennett (both are also pretty fierce atheists, who call themselves "brights"), amongst others--encourage condemnation with religious fervour.

Prior to the release of the movie, I had an opportunity to ask Daniel Dennett a few questions about the movie. Here's the email exchange:

Dennett Peter Jaworski: What do you think of the upcoming movie, "Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed"? (I hope you are familiar enough with the premise and some of the subject-matter to offer a comment).

Daniel Dennett: I know a little about the movie. For instance, they interviewed me for it in Venice, and after I got suspicious of their motives and realized they could quote me out of context, I rescinded my permission to use the material.

I don't know if the final movie uses anything of me (the trailer does, briefly). If so, it is without my permission. This is just a bit of evidence that this is stealth propaganda for "intelligent design," not an honest look at evolution.

PJ: What do you think of the debate about evolution? Is there one?

DD: No, there really isn't a debate, but these people are trying to create the illusion of one. There are always a few kooks around who will disagree with anything (flat-earthers come to mind, and global-warming-deniers, and holocaust-deniers), and mostly these people are harmless, however obnoxious.

If these people wanted a real debate they should try writing some serious scientific papers that purport to explain phenomena in nature that evolutionary biology can't explain. That would get the respectful attention of scientists. Otherwise, they're just banging on pots and pans and creating a distraction.

PJ: What do you think of the framing of this debate as a battle for free speech?

DD: I think it is ludicrous. I have no direct or inside knowledge, and haven't seen the film, of course, so I can't comment on the cases they say they will highlight. We'll have to look closely at them. If what they say in the trailer is true, and not just half the truth, then some bad decisions may have been made.

But if your opinions willfully ignore the evidence, then expressing them in class or in publications isn't a free speech issue at all. It's a matter of incompetence. Imagine the damage that could be done to our schools and universities if every incompetent teacher or researcher could simply start  declaring that the earth is flat, and then complain that his free speech was violated when he was fired.

Posted by P.M. Jaworski on May 27, 2008 | Permalink

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Comments

The reason academics no longer debate evolution is because the first debates took place 150 years ago. Biology and genetics have advances since then based, very strongly, on evolutionary theory.

Asking an academic to debate evolution again is like asking an astronomer to debate with Galileo and the Pope! It is old, old OLD news!

Epsi

Posted by: Epsilon | 2008-05-27 3:47:27 PM


There is no debate really. Nothing to see here at all. Go back in your homes. They are only Jews...er, I mean intelligent design advocates, not real people. If they commit heresy, they are outta here. That's the rules. Simple enough for most people to understand, Mr. STEIN.

Posted by: Quentin L F Patch | 2008-05-27 3:48:12 PM


Correct that it about preventing questioning of the dogma of evolution just like the attempt to do the same with anyone questioning the global warming swindle.

To claim that evolutionary theory is a scientific fact is rubbish. The links or proof of links indicating how any given specie changed into a completely difference specie have never been found. Not to fear however for this is still the dogma preached in text books and the believers will fight to the bitter end to keep it so. So they are the ones who actually have much in common with the flat earth believers and not those questioning their dogma.

Posted by: Alain | 2008-05-27 3:58:52 PM


To read some favorable reviews
about the new Ben Stein documentary:
"Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed."
visit:
.
http://creationontheweb.com/content/view/5626
and/or
http://creationontheweb.com/content/view/5638
and/or
http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/am/v3/n2/expelled-review
.
(partial quote)
"In summarizing Expelled’s ultimate goal,
Stein declares that he wants to see a world where
“scientists are supposed to be allowed to follow the evidence wherever it may lead, no matter what the implications are.""
.
The documentary will be in Canadian theatres
on June 6, 2008.
.
In the mean-time,
visit:
http://www.ExpelledTheMovie.com/video.php
to view

3 "Expelled" movie trailers
and a Bill O'Reilly interview.

.

Posted by: JoeU | 2008-05-27 4:18:19 PM


According to Ben Stein, intelligent design is the hypothesis that an all-powerful designer created the ancestors of the forms of life that exist today, and that those ancestors were not significantly different from their currently living descendants. His hypothesis cannot be tested by the methods of science. His hypothesis cannot become a scientific theory.

The proponents of intelligent design falsely assert that intelligent design is a scientific theory. They are full of bull-oney.

Posted by: Scott Beach | 2008-05-27 4:25:31 PM


Posted by: JoeU | 27-May-08 4:18:19 PM

I wouldn't really point to a review on two websites that have made it their calling to crusade against Evolution as proof that there are "positive reviews" out there.

"One of the sleaziest documentaries to arrive in a very long time, Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed is a conspiracy-theory rant masquerading as investigative inquir" -- New York Times

"For a film about American freedom of expression and the necessity for open dialogue, it's hard to imagine Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed being more one-sided, narrow-minded, and intellectually dishonest." -- Slant Magazine

"A cynical attempt to sucker Christian conservatives into thinking they're losing the 'intelligent design' debate because of academic 'prejudice.'" -- Orlando Sentinel

"Stein spends the first half of the movie setting himself a trap, and the second half squirming in it." -- New York Post

"The film shows that Intelligent Design should be on the table for discussion. But if you're looking for ammo to argue your Darwinist friends under the table, look elsewhere." -- Christianity Today

Posted by: Snowrunner | 2008-05-27 4:59:23 PM


Have you heard about this case? Great answer from the judge!

In Florida , an atheist became incensed over the preparation of Easter and Passover holidays. He decided to contact his lawyer about the discrimination inflicted on atheists by the constant celebrations afforded to Christians and Jews with all their holidays while atheists had no holiday to celebrate.

The case was brought before a judge. After listening to the long passionate presentation by the lawyer, the Judge banged his gavel and declared, 'Case dismissed!'

The lawyer immediately stood and objected to the ruling and said, 'Your honor, how can you possibly dismiss this case? The Christians have Christmas, Easter and many other o bserva nces. Jews have Passover, Yom Kippur and Hanukkah...yet my client and all other atheists have no such holiday!'

The judge leaned forward in his chair and simply said, 'Obviously your client is too confused to even know about, much less celebrate his own atheists' holiday!'

The lawyer pompously said, 'Your Honor, we are unaware of any such holiday for atheists. Just when might that holiday be, your Honor?'

The judge said, 'Well it comes every year on exactly the same date---April 1st! Since our calendar sets April 1st as 'April Fools Day,' consider that Psalm 14:1 states, 'The fool says in his heart, there is no God.' Thus, in my opinion, if your client says there is no God, then by scripture, he is a fool, and April 1st is his holiday! Now have a good day and get out of my courtroom!!

Way to go, Judge! AMEN

Posted by: lloyd barrester | 2008-05-27 5:02:39 PM


Scott Beach - correct that intelligent design is a hypothesis and not a proven scientific fact. However you fail to mention that evolution as taught and promoted is also a hypothesis and not a proven scientific fact. Otherwise come up with the missing links - real ones not hoaxes.

Now we can expose the problem, which is the refusal to admit that the evolution theory is only that and then to prevent the teaching of other theories.

Posted by: Alain | 2008-05-27 5:50:32 PM


Scott Beach - correct that intelligent design is a hypothesis and not a proven scientific fact. However you fail to mention that evolution as taught and promoted is also a hypothesis and not a proven scientific fact. Otherwise come up with the missing links - real ones not hoaxes.

Posted by: Alain | 27-May-08 5:50:32 PM

What exactly are you looking for? The Skeleton in the closet? DNA has been quite helpful in establishing lineage and the chance for finding a fossil of the "missing link" that you would accept (or the Creationists) probably doesn't exist, not because the creature never lived but because the odds of something fossilizing is extremely low to begin with.

A book I'd like to recommend to anybody who is wondering about the Missing Link:

"What Evolution is" by Ernst Mayr, maybe that'll close some knowledge gaps for you guys.

-----------------

Now we can expose the problem, which is the refusal to admit that the evolution theory is only that and then to prevent the teaching of other theories.

Posted by: Alain | 27-May-08 5:50:32 PM

The difference between an established Scientific Theory and some other theory that someone cooks up in their basement is that Scientific Theories are getting tested and if they fail a test they do get revised. Contrary to popular Creationist lore evolution HAS been observed, albeit not with humans but with less complex organisms that have more generations a lot faster.

Again, I recommend the book mentioned above, that should (hopefully) shed some light on the darkness that seems to invade these threats about Evolution.

Posted by: Snowrunner | 2008-05-27 6:01:18 PM


The big question is: what did everything evolve from? What was the starting point? And, no, it was not the aliens whose crystal skulls we learn about in Indiana Jones. If it was, who created the aliens?

And, it's a question whose answer the theory of evolution cannot, does not attempt to and actively tries to avoid.

It's scientifically proven there can be adaptive changes within species.

Still waiting for scientific proof that one species can evolve into another one. Guess that's why it's still a theory.

Stein understands that much of early 20th century political theory, the utopian movements particularly, believed human nature can be evolved.

Well, there's no questioning there is more scientific knowledge today than there ever was, but human nature has remained pretty much as it always was.

Any honest scientist will tell you the way nature works could not have happened in a random way.

“And, if you don't agree with me, I'll have you killed."

Sorry for my utopian moment.

Posted by: set you free | 2008-05-27 6:07:03 PM


Alain, it is interesting to see a claim that "the links or proof of links indicating how any given specie changed into a completely difference specie have never been found." There is so much evidence for speciation at this point that Answers in Genesis, the largest Young Earth Creationist ministry in the United States lists it as an argument creationists should not use:
http://www.answersingenesis.org/home/area/faq/dont_use.asp

I'm not going to bother discussing the rest of your comments in detail but they are similarly divorced from reality.

Posted by: Joshua Zelinsky | 2008-05-27 6:09:11 PM


To summarize, the theory of evolution is a narrowly-focused observation that draws unprovable postulations from adaptive changes within species.

It cannot answer two basic questions.

1) What is the starting point?

2) Give one example of a species evolving into another species.

Other than that, it's perfectly correct within its observable, provable narrow focus.

Posted by: set you free | 2008-05-27 6:14:30 PM


Who is really hurt by allowing this line of thought to creep into schools? I'll tell you this, nobody wins when religion gets trampled.

I'm not a practising Christian, and I more or less believe in the theory of evolution. I'm not dumb enough to start arguing with someone from a religious background. I used to be, and it usually made me look like a prick.

I've had a couple of good science teachers who made me feel interested in the process. The religious kids never jumped up and down and called them liars, and they never ridiculed the kids beliefs. If the science courses are interesting and well presented the kids will make good choices. Are we worried that we'll lose a bunch of potential scientists to the pulpit? They're going to get their direction from family influences anyway. How many doctors do you know who doesn't have a doctor in his immediate family?

Posted by: dp | 2008-05-27 6:23:09 PM


dp:

The way I look at it, science and religion are two different fields of knowledge.

Any religious people I know also are interested in science.

There is a scientist in my church congregation whose research has led him to conclude that there must be some type of creator, based on his own detailed scientific observations.

Let's just put this in totally scientific terms.

Who is the most likely to be the most informed person?

A person who studies physics, chemistry, biology, astronomy and plate tectonics?

Or a person who studies biology and says all the other fields of knowledge are just superstition?

A person who knows how to speak English, French, Japanese, Greek and Russian? Or a person who believes that because he can speak Japanese, he is superior to all others?

Now, who would be the wisest?

A person who loves to learn all the science he can and all the religion he can? Or a person who believes science has all the answers?

There cannot be superiority in an ignorant mind.

Posted by: set you free | 2008-05-27 6:39:01 PM


Here's the bias: "try writing some serious scientific papers that purport to explain phenomena in nature that evolutionary biology can't explain."

Yes evolutionary biology "can explain", by using assumptions, presumptions, suppositions, conjectures, etc.

So can intelligent design. Why is one revered and the other distained?

In fact, Intelligent design is a much better fit when it comes to matching all the phenomena associated with human existence, including the reality of non-material things such as conscience, consciousness, will, logic, reason, love, and abstract notions such as justice, honour, not to mention the overwhelming appearance of design that confronts us every day, the improbability of life in a hostile universe, the finiteness of time, and the iron-clad observation that everything that begins to exist has a cause, etc. etc. etc. etc.

Posted by: Richard Ball | 2008-05-27 6:45:57 PM


Evolution is not about how self replicating molecular systems came to be. There are several competing workable hypotheses for this, but none are yet proved as a theory.

Evolution only explains how such a self replicating system inevitably leads to increased complexity, and eventually to speciation. For example, it explains why an amoeba has many times as many genes as a man, yet parasitic bacteria have fewer.

In the last century, there have been a few cases of actual species changes observed in nature, and many more in laboratories. In fact, the hardest question is, "how do you define species?" When does a breed become a species? One common characteristic is is a member of one group can no longer breed with a member of another. But we have too many accepted separate species that can interbreed.

That evolution occurs is an observed fact, and was generally accepted before Chas. Darwin was born. Darwin proposed a simple mechanism for how it happens. He did this before we had the periodic table or cell theory or genetics, much less atomic theory or chaos theory. In the 150 years since then, no one has been able to find any evidence against his overall theory.

But the public controversy struts and frets, fed by publicity hounds and political manipulators, signifying nothing.

Posted by: Dan in Missouri | 2008-05-27 6:50:35 PM


Actually, there's an excellent chance that no, "Expelled" won't open in Canada on June 6. If -- as expected -- the scheming producers lose the copyright infringement case brought against them for their theft of John Lennon's "Imagine," then a new version will have to be cut and distributed, something that couldn't be done in two weeks. And even if the judge doesn't rule, there's currently a court injunction against "Expelled" opening in any new theaters.

In other words, the folks who made "Expelled" picked the wrong person to steal from.

But maybe Yoko's done you a favor -- the movie sank like a stone in the US because it's just no good.

Posted by: zippidee | 2008-05-27 6:53:18 PM


I tire of that Judge joke. It holds as proper the attitude that government offices are right to cite the Christian Bible as a reference in civic decisions, in spite of the establishment clause.

Posted by: MrTitanium | 2008-05-27 6:57:12 PM


Dan:

And, Darwin did it before we understood the nature of DNA.

That, by itself, refutes the possibility of any complex organism ‘evolving' into another species.

Religion is not the enemy of the theory of evolution, since it is a totally different field of knowledge, as well articulated by our friend Richard Ball.

Science itself is its strongest refutation on the assertion of

Posted by: set you free | 2008-05-27 7:30:40 PM


Oops! A bit trigger happy.

My point was that even a cursory knowledge of DNA behaviour makes it impossible for there to be evolution of one species into another.

The complexity of the DNA and its ‘locks' would kill the original organism if the DNA map would change.

But then, that would involve stepping out of the shadows of ignorance and understanding biological and chemical principles.

Posted by: set you free | 2008-05-27 7:34:46 PM


Religion is not the enemy of the theory of evolution, since it is a totally different field of knowledge, as well articulated by our friend Richard Ball.

Posted by: set you free | 27-May-08 7:30:40 PM

So if Religion is a "field of knowledge" what has it proven? Has Religion proven the religion of (a) God? Or do we still have to just believe what was written in a book?

Posted by: Snowrunner | 2008-05-27 8:25:15 PM


Religion itself is a product of evolution and is embraced or eschewed by how it enhances fitness. It's not about truth but about success as measured by birth rates.

If a scientist believes in a "creator" then s/he denies Christ and should not be welcomed in a Christian church.

"It cannot answer two basic questions.

1) What is the starting point?

2) Give one example of a species evolving into another species."

It does not have to answer two basic questions. It's a scientific theory, not proof positive. It stands as a scientific theory because, as has been stated ad nauseam, it is falsifiable.

"Why is one revered and the other distained?"

ID is disdained as science because it is not falsifiable. How do you posit a position that falsifies a creator? You can't. Love ID all you want but it's not science.

"The complexity of the DNA and its ‘locks' would kill the original organism if the DNA map would change."

Google is no substitute for actually reading 'Origins' or 'Descent'.

Posted by: DJ | 2008-05-27 8:25:36 PM


DJ:

I'm unsure where you would come up with your silly assertion that a scientist should not be welcomed in a Christian church.

There's a scientist and two doctors within my denomination, along with a great many professional people, along with people who make their money in blue-collar occupations.

Science vs religion is a totally artificial construct, since each is an entirely separate field of knowledge.

Nobody on this thread has claimed ID is science. Could you please point out where you get this false notion?

My Bible contains 1007 pages of which the Creation account takes up exactly one page and two-thirds of a column.

It's more about ‘now that we're here, what would be the best way to go about things.'

I like exploring that field of knowledge and also exploring scientific knowledge.

Anyway, thanks for confirming my statement at 6:14 that the theory of evolution is perfectly correct within its observable, provable narrow focus.

You're quite welcome to dwell within that narrow strip if you like.

I will not try to impose my beliefs on you, but please respect my right to hold my beliefs.

Ripping down religious belief has never proven any scientific theory and it's an undignified debating technique.

If you prefer to offer some evidence to support the guesswork of the scientific postulation, go for it. Nobody's been able to prove that one species can evolve into another one for more than 150 years and they never will be able to.

The theory will continue to fall short on any measure of scientific scrutiny.

Sorry to shatter your delusions, but that's a fact. You're entitled to your opinions, but you're not entitled to your facts.

Posted by: set you free | 2008-05-27 8:52:47 PM


to set you free

I have read your comments and have this advice for you -- if your are really interested in the subject matter, find an evolutionary biologist and get some answers. Do NOT get any more biological information from the pulpit. Everything you have learned, and regurgitated here, is absolute nonsense. You have not made a single good point for ID.

ID is not science. and it is poor theology. For example, why would a perfect deity create an imperfect being? Nipples on men are a bit superfluous, don't you think. And what about the poor design of the spine? It makes more sense for quadrapeds, but is presents quite a few problems with bipeds. Then there's the appendix and cancer. And what can you say about a deity who would create cancers which affect only children?

All of these examples make sense when looked at from an evolutionary perspective. But when looked at from a religious perspective, you could only conclude a bumbling, capricious and somewhat malicious creator.

Posted by: infidel57 | 2008-05-27 9:08:56 PM


Re-posted from [email protected]:

I'm a young earth creationist. Although I think in many ways arguing theories of time in Genesis is irrelevant to one's belief in an eternal God, based on the scientific evidence I have read I believe the earth to be about 6000 years old. There's a creationist Museum here in Alberta and they are planning on building another in Ontario. Of course, the scientific community (the same ones who believe in global warming like a religious faith) will protest this museum because they don't believe people are able discern the truth from competing views.

Scientists, using darwinist models, have shaped the evidence using the storyline rather than the other way around as it's supposed to be. On the other hand, if you study Persian astrology and and earliest records from Mesoptomia, carbon-dating, as well as other archaeological evidence I it demonstrates that the planet has been around for thousands of years rather than millions. Geocentric theory, flat earth theory, global cooling, global warming, are but many examples of how the consensus of the 'world's scientific community' has gotten it wrong.

Posted by: Graham SProule | 2008-05-27 9:20:26 PM


"I'm unsure where you would come up with your silly assertion that a scientist should not be welcomed in a Christian church."

The point isn't a scientist in church. The point was that "the" scientist that postulates "a" creator denies Christ and therefore is not a Christian. Why are you accepting the machinations of a non-believer?

"If you prefer to offer some evidence to support the guesswork of the scientific postulation, go for it."

"Some evidence"? There is a bounty of evidence.

"Nobody's been able to prove that one species can evolve into another one for more than 150 years and they never will be able to."

So what? The geologic record is imperfect. Why should the fossiliferous record be perfect? If the theory is to be disavowed, falsify it. Find a Buick in the Mesozoic era. You'll put Darwin out of business.

Posted by: DJ | 2008-05-27 9:32:00 PM


To Graham,

Here's a challenge -- put your money where your mouth is. If you think evolutionary biologists are wrong, and the Bible is the final authority, start up your own biotech firm, using the scientific knowledge from the Bible. What an advantage you will have over all those idiots who have wasted their lives studying the foundation of modern biology, evolution. Just think, you could prove us wrong, and make some bucks, coming up with cures for disease, replacing DNA evidence,
and, in general, trashing everything we think we know about how our world works, just by following tthe science in a ancient book.

So have it, Grahm. The challenge has been made. If you really believe the nonsense you spout, back it up. After all, investers in biotech risk much more, and they don't have the Word of God to back them up.

Posted by: infidel57 | 2008-05-27 9:32:37 PM


infidel:

Where's the conflict?

Go back. Read slowly. And thoroughly.

Science and religion are two different fields of knowledge.

Religion offers a possible explanation about how this all started and deals with ‘now that we're here, what do we do?'

Evolution is a thread (after the fact) in which Darwin observed adaptive changes within species. That's it. That's the total extent of his scientific observation.

Without a start of some sort, evolution within species would not have been possible. If you don't get in your car, is it possible to drive anywhere? It's gotta start somewhere, does it not?

Nothing else has been demonstrably proven and so it remains an unproven postulation of evolution. Therefore, it cannot be verified or proven by any credible scientific measure and it never will be.

Evolution? Consider that there must be a starting point. What is that starting point?

Since nobody was there at the time, nobody can say how it happened. But, since we are here, we know that it did happen. Capice?

Posted by: set you free | 2008-05-27 9:33:47 PM


Graham:

You've got it.

The AGW theory is the 21st century's version of 19th century Darwinism.

Time has shown one is scientifically unprovable, while the more recent one will also soon be laughable.

Posted by: set you free | 2008-05-27 9:39:45 PM


Geocentric and flat earth theories were pet projects of the Catholic church dispite being falsified by Copernicus (Geocentric) with support from Kepler and Galileo.

"Time has shown one is scientifically unprovable..."

It's shown no such thing. Provide the evidence of the falsification of evolutionary theory.

Posted by: DJ | 2008-05-27 9:51:30 PM


"Nothing else has been demonstrably proven and so it remains an unproven postulation of evolution. Therefore, it cannot be verified or proven by any credible scientific measure and it never will be."

It can be falsified, however, like geocentrism. It can be, unlike ID, be disproven. That makes it scientific theory not metaphysics.

Posted by: DJ | 2008-05-27 9:55:40 PM


"So have it, Grahm. The challenge has been made. If you really believe the nonsense you spout, back it up. After all, investers in biotech risk much more, and they don't have the Word of God to back them up."

Well sir, I am tempted to accept your challenge. However, I don't believe my vocation in life is to start a biotech firm to scientifically study the origins of mankind and the planet. Having said that, there are Christians scientists who have done such things. There is one gentleman in particular from the U.S. who already has accomplished such a feat. A scientist first, he actually converted to Christianity after discovering the scientific evidence supported intelligent design - not evolution . Interesting thing about his story is that unlike most he read Genesis AFTER spending a life of examining the evidence instead of the other way around. I've read his book so I'll try to find his name and post it here for your benefit.

Posted by: Graham Sproule | 2008-05-27 10:01:36 PM


DJ:

Sorry?

Where were there any charges of falsification?

Darwin did observe adaptive changes within species and nobody can refute those observations.

And, that's the extent of the proveable science.

The entire theory should be taken for what it is ... observations on a very narrow field of scientific study.

Not something to base a life philosophy on, surely?

Posted by: set you free | 2008-05-27 10:03:59 PM


Graham:

It's much like the scientist in my congregation.

His observations affirm to him how the impossibility of such a complex, beautiful and wondrous system could have an entirely random starting point.

Although Darwin's observations were correct, their extrapolations have never been proven.

The theory makes no attempt to explain a starting time. And, subsequent attempts have been unable to provide example of species transforming into other species beyond the simplest organisms.

DNA was unknown during Darwin's time and that more complex knowledge would certainly have disproven the postulations at that time.

So, the question is, why has it survived and why was it such a popular theory in political thought of the late 19th and early 20th centuries?


Posted by: set you free | 2008-05-27 10:24:27 PM


"The entire theory should be taken for what it is ... observations on a very narrow field of scientific study."

A theory, by definition, is not observations alone. It uses empirical evidence to form an hypothesis. And that is what evolutionary theory is. If you wish to disavow it, falsify it it. Find the Buick.

Posted by: DJ | 2008-05-27 10:42:59 PM


Graham- I doubt there'll be any protests over the creationist museum in Bow Island Alberta. I drive through that town pretty well every week. That town along with every other small town between Lethbridge and Medicine Hat have been mostly taken over by Mexican Mennonites. I'm surprised Highway #3 hasn't been renamed the Mennonite Trail. So protests no, resentment likely.

So in reality the museum wasn't an Alberta idea. It arrived with the horde of immigrants from Mexico. I don't mind their arrival. They work fairly hard and don't bother people. Most of them have useful skills for this area. They don't mind living frugally for awhile.

They probably thought the school system in Alberta was going to have too much influence on their kids. I suppose they had private schools in Mexico. Once they realized the Alberta school system controls curriculum, even in private schools, the next best alternative was a museum. Sort of a back door ID education, but legal and ethical.

Posted by: dp | 2008-05-27 10:42:59 PM


DJ:

Find the missing link.

Posted by: set you free | 2008-05-27 10:51:54 PM


"Find the missing link."

Why? It changes nothing for an evolutionist.

Posted by: DJ | 2008-05-27 11:36:52 PM


Graham-

I deplore young-earth creationism and biblical literalism. It is both bad science and bad theology; bad science, because it necessitates ignoring vast swathes of geological and biological evidence about the age of the earth and the history of species, or twisting that evidence to fit a predetermined belief; and bad theology, because the natural and physical world is full of flaws and cruelties, many of which are in no way attributable to human activity, which does not square with the idea of intricate design by an omnipotent and loving God.

All evidence shows that the earth was not created in six 24-hour days in 4004 BC, and there is no evidence showing how it could have been. Indeed, I have difficulty understanding how any rational and intellectually honest person could promote such a belief in the present day.

Posted by: Benjamin Franklin | 2008-05-28 5:54:49 AM


Posted by: Graham Sproule | 27-May-08 10:01:36 PM

Does that Scientist have a name, or is it a well kept secret within the Christian Cabal to prevent him from being attacked by Evolutionist and Atheists?

Posted by: Snowrunner | 2008-05-28 9:36:20 AM


Ignorance of religious wisdom is an invalid defence of a flawed scientific postulation, which remains unprovable by any credible scientific method.

What I'm hearing from the evolutionist side is something like this: “My mind's made up, don't confuse me with lack of facts."

If it's science, PROVE IT! If it's politics disguised as science, the AGW stance being today's example, then ADMIT IT!

Fact of the matter is, since no human being was there to record the moment of creation, nobody actually knows when or how it happened.

The only facts we know is that somehow the universe is here and sometime after the moment of creation, an observation by a man who had no credentials as a scientist observed that species went through adaptive changes (evolved to their circumstance).

Everything else on the topic is either unprovable, best-guess speculation or false prophecy.

The fact is that we are here and 1006 of the 1007 pages of my Bible deal with issues on human being's relationships between themselves and between God.

The Creation account forms a very small part and I would agree with Ben Franklin that it is not to be taken literally, mainly because a 24-hour day in the Genesis account could not have happened until at least the third day of creation (which obviously did happen, since we are here).

Evolution as Darwin observed ... could not have happened without a starting point of the physical universe, which is understood as creation.

Posted by: set you free | 2008-05-28 9:57:46 AM


Well stated set you free. Furthermore true science is open to inquiry and not a closed dogma. Things that science once believed proven have many times later been disproved by true science. What identifies dogma as opposed to science is the closed mind and refusal to further inquiry. So if this is not a dogma, why the fear and refusal of open scientific debate and inquiry?

Posted by: Alain | 2008-05-28 11:12:37 AM


Alain:

Thanks.

Fact of the matter remains that the theory of evolution, and specifically the assertion that man evolved from something else, cannot stand up to scientific scrutiny.

There has never been a ‘missing link' provided as evidence and man's inherent curiosity about the pursuit of scientific fact has led to the discovery of DNA, whose structural safeguards make a species jump into humanity impossible.

All I know for sure is I'm still breathing and my faith allows me to embrace, not fear the future, even though I am unable to accurately predict its outcomes.

Posted by: set you free | 2008-05-28 11:20:12 AM


"Evolution as Darwin observed ... could not have happened without a starting point of the physical universe, which is understood as creation."

A random explosion doesn't imply a creator. It also disavows the Christian belief. Talk about dogma. The creationists will throw Christ from the train just to prove evolution wrong. Too funny.

"Furthermore true science is open to inquiry and not a closed dogma."

The theory of evolution is not a closed dogma. It's open to falsification. Darwin can be proved wrong. It's a creator that can't be falsified. Thus one is science the other metaphysics.

Posted by: DJ | 2008-05-28 11:29:46 AM


DJ:

What makes you think something can be created from an explosion?

Any examples of how it's possible? All I can surmise is that's your belief, so I'll ask for clarification.

In your understanding, does an explosion increase or decrease matter?

During a “Big Bang,' would any living thing be able to survive?

Can any living thing evolve from inanimate matter? Examples?

Have you ever been outsmarted by an inamimate object? Does an inanimate object contain inherent intelligence? Is the universe a living, breathing organism? Do you believe in Gaia?

Posted by: set you free | 2008-05-28 11:39:04 AM


During a “Big Bang,' would any living thing be able to survive?

Posted by: set you free | 28-May-08 11:39:04 AM

You are reading the "Big Bang" thing wrong. It wasn't an "explosion" per-se as you may think of when you see your fireworks go off.

And now you're actually getting away from Biology and into Quantum Mechanics and String Theory which is a whole other ball of wax.

Evolution explains the biological process in which live has evolved on this planet, it makes no claim to HOW life first got onto this planet. This is something that is probably more part of cosmology.

Amino Acids (the pre-cursor to life) has been found even in asteroid samples and on other places, so it is feasable that these started combinging.

The thing I find fascinating about most creationists is that they claim it can't just be a huge coincidence, yet at the same time have no problem believing that the world was created by a conscience being.

Which brings me to a question SYF: who created God who then created us?

Posted by: Snowrunner | 2008-05-28 11:53:38 AM


BTW, this may be helpful to understand the origins of "our" universe (there is a strong indication that the Universe "pulses", meaning it first expands up to a point, then collapses and the cycle beings anew):

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_the_Big_Bang

Posted by: Snowrunner | 2008-05-28 12:05:32 PM


"What makes you think something can be created from an explosion?"

It matters not because the BB theory is falsifiable. Demonstrating another origin for the vast amounts of hydrogen accumulated would suffice. Again, that's the difference between scientific theory and metaphysics. How is a creation falsified?

Posted by: DJ | 2008-05-28 1:30:17 PM


snowy:

There are some things that we will be ever be unable to understand.

Infinity, for example.

‘I am the Alpha and the Omega.'

The beginning and the end. It's something that will always be incomprehensible to the human mind.

“There shall be no man see Me and live."

“God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.:

“ ... a bodiless and invisible spirit."

So, a force that has always been there and always will be there and which has an ability to create something out of nothing. We are here and there's no disputing the fact we're here.

All we can see (let's stick to what our senses can sense) is somehow in a natural balance. Could that complexity and balance be random, or somehow perfected from an imperfection?

Before the earth's life, there was no earth. At some point, the earth will also die but infinity will remain.

I have never physically seen my great-grandfather, or even have any photographic or painted depiction of him. Yet, he must have existed, because if he had not, then I would not have been here.

But, you're certainly entitled to your beliefs. All I ask is that you respect mine.


Posted by: set you free | 2008-05-28 1:40:05 PM


DJ:

It is impossible to quantify and measure absolutely everything.

Religion attempts to give answers that science cannot.

Ignoring the field of knowledge that gives answers science cannot can simply be taken down to two words ... willful ignorance.

I speak English and understand Russian. If I cannot speak Italian, does that mean the language does not exist?

Posted by: set you free | 2008-05-28 1:50:13 PM



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