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EXPELLED: No Intelligence Allowed ^

Posted on 11/01/2007 5:53:26 PM PDT by truthfinder9

This will be interesting, a documentary movie by Ben Stein on the new wave of thought police and academic suppression in academia and science:

Ben Stein, in the new film EXPELLED: No Intelligence Allowed

His heroic and, at times, shocking journey confronting the world’s top scientists, educators and philosophers, regarding the persecution of the many by an elite few.

In theatres near you, starting February 2008

Ben travels the world on his quest, and learns an awe-inspiring truth…that bewilders him, then angers him…and then spurs him to action!

Ben realizes that he has been “Expelled,” and that educators and scientists are being ridiculed, denied tenure and even fired – for the “crime” of merely believing that there might be evidence of “design” in nature, and that perhaps life is not just the result of accidental, random chance.

To which Ben Says: "Enough!" And then gets busy. NOBODY messes with Ben.


At Big Science Academy we take our motto seriously: “No Intelligence Allowed.” And this year, we are proud to report that in every subject but Science, students and faculty are free to challenge ideas, and seek truth wherever it may lead.

But Science is different. In Science, there is no room for dissent, for dissent is dangerous. That is why we at Big Science simply refuse to allow it. Like dancing, “dissent” can lead to other things.

As Class President Richard Dawkins put it so well: “Shut up!”

As you know…last year we had the misfortune of “presupposition of design” rearing its ugly head, with several students challenging Neo-Darwinian materialism, and arguing incessantly for the right to examine Intelligent Design.

They were all Expelled, of course – but still: it just goes to show where academic freedom can lead, if not shut down immediately!


Charles Darwin Principal, President, Admissions and Diversity Affairs Officer, Big Science Academy “No Intelligence Allowed”

TOPICS: Culture/Society; Philosophy
KEYWORDS: benstein; education; expelled; highereducation; id; intelligentdesign; moviereview; religion; science; stein; universities
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It’s either magic or ID. Some scientists seem to prefer magic over the concept that there is intelligence greater than them.

21 posted on 11/01/2007 8:13:33 PM PDT by webboy45
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To: Socratic
It is true that generally accepted facts can sometimes be misleading (which is why I pointed out the "barking dog" as an example of inductive reasoning). However, we do the best we can with what we have. Sometimes we don't have enough information and don't know it. Thing is, my example of deduction is pretty solid, because we know all the relevant information. Deduction is used quit often in science and math.

The point of this entire exercise is to show the logical basis of the anti-IDers vs IDers (note that I didn't say anything about evolution. The debate is between those who say ID is suitable for scientific discussion and those who oppose this worldview).

A hint. Neither side can support their positions through deductive analysis. I just threw that in there because those who are three exclamation point posters (evolutionists!!! and IDers!!!) have only two options. Either they must prove their point through the use of deduction, or they are involved in a faith-based belief system.

So, anyone who says that ID is false or has no scientific validity or that ID is absolutely true must back themselves through the use of deduction or risk being tagged as religious cults.

OTOH, anyone who is not so dogmatic is free to use deduction, induction and Occam's razor to their heart's content to make their points.
22 posted on 11/01/2007 8:19:02 PM PDT by Frumious Bandersnatch
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To: Frumious Bandersnatch
Therefore, I ask you to *logically* explain your position about ID without resorting to argumentum ad hominum or question begging premises (circular logic). Any assumptions will, of course, have to be logically shown to be valid for the purposes of this discussion.

Fair enough.

ID (intelligent design) is a religious concept that was prevalent in earlier centuries. I think the last major promotion was about 1801 (William Paley's 1801 "Argument from Design").

Thereafter, scientific arguments increasingly showed that religious belief and divine revelation failed to account for observations of the natural world. By about February 18, 1831, the last major creationist (flood) geologist capitulated.

Thereafter ID took a back seat for many years. Then, with creationism being tossed from schools, creation "science" was born. But soon the Edwards decision by the US Supreme Court in the late 1980s tossed that out. So, ID was dusted off in an attempt to pass religious belief off as science (see the Wedge Strategy for the sordid details).

The Wedge Strategy was "designed" by the Dyscovery Institute to promote ID as scienc, but their internal fund-raising document leaked--whoops!

But they went ahead with the plot anyway. Currently, at the Dyscovery Institute, ID is being pushed not by scientists but by lawyers, English majors, and an occasional journalist -- PR flacks all; see their blogs for the sorry details.

And you think that ID is a reasonable substitute for science?

A word to the wise. Be very careful about relying overmuch on "scientific evidence." Scientists seem to be wrong more often than not. As an example, I give you the evidence on climate change, which has flip-flopped at least four times in the last century - each time, the consensus of scientific opinion was absolutely certain they were correct.

Scientists are not "wrong more often than not." Scientists are increasingly more accurate in their descriptions of the natural world.

The current global warming hysteria is not good science, and will shortly be sent to the ash-heap of scientific history. It is not that the earth is not warming -- that has been a fact since the end of the last ice age (with quite a few variations in between). Rather, the idea that the earth is warming because of SUVs and other man-made causes is politics, not science. Check the scientific websites and you will see that real science is starting to catch up with political science.

But this has nothing to do with ID vs. the theory of evolution. ID is religious belief repackaged in order to try and sneak back into the schools. But a federal court decision (Kitzmiller), after examining the testimony and evidence, determined that ID is creationism warmed over.

If you want to promote ID, or any other religious belief, you need to bring scientific evidence.

23 posted on 11/01/2007 8:50:36 PM PDT by Coyoteman (Religious belief does not constitute scientific evidence, nor does it convey scientific knowledge.)
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“The link between belief and behavior raises the stakes considerably. Some propositions are so dangerous that it may be ethical to kill people for believing them. This may seem an extraordinary claim, but it merely enunciates an ordinary fact about the world in which we live.”

Sam Harris. The End of Faith

Belief gets in the way of learning.

Robert A. Heinlein, Time Enough for Love, 1973

24 posted on 11/01/2007 8:58:05 PM PDT by Coyoteman (Religious belief does not constitute scientific evidence, nor does it convey scientific knowledge.)
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To: Coyoteman
Sorry, but you have not logically made your case. Please *logically* show (through deduction, induction and Occam's razor) why ID is invalid. Justify logically, for example, just why ID is merely a religious premise while Darwinian paths are not. Your second paragraph doesn't hold together logically either. It can be shown, for example, that scientific observation and experimentation alone can't account for all phenomona in the natural world (e.g. hunches, intuition). For that matter, one could get into an argument on what makes up the natural world, but that is not logically germane to the argument.

ID being tossed from schools is beside the point. None of your arguments can deductively show that ID is a non-starter.

By it's very definition science *must* be wrong more often than not (a thing called "trial and error"). As time goes on, we (hopefully) improve our understanding, but make many more mistakes than we achieve successes. Its the name of the game. The only problem here is that scientists, like anyone else, can be quite dogmatic in support of their beliefs and pet theories.

One could also discuss the many debates between creationists and anti-creationists in the late 19th and early 20th centuries wherein the antis got thoroughly trounced. But all that is beside the point.

Using the logical constructs indicated, show that ID is a non-starter. Given all the facts we have available to us, show that evolution is *not* ID based. So far all that has been given is open-ended logic. There are too many holes in your presentation. You have a premise that ID is a religious belief, which it well may be, but much the same could be said of evolution also (after all, atheism, itself is a religious belief). Certainly the tactics used by Dawkins, et al are similar in certain aspects to the tactics used by a certain anti-war Baptist church or Code Pink to shut down debate.

All premises (as I've said before) need to also be justified logically. Therefore your premise that ID is invalid because it is religious based needs to be logically validated. For that matter, the assumption that ID is merely religious based also needs to be examined by you.

All you've shown thus far are side issues that have little or nothing to do with the logic of your position. Believe me, I'm not flaming you on your beliefs on this. I just want you to show me logically your position. Please. I do wish to know, just to see how strong your arguments are from a logical standpoint.

This is a far harder exercise than you might imagine - for both sides of the debate. First, you have to strip all ad-hominum from the debate (which you didn't quite succeed with your comments about the Discovery Institute as well as ID being sneaked back into schools). Then you need to take the claims of ID, which can be boiled down to "Something or someone was responsible for creating the universe" and show, logically that this is fallacious. If you use "ID" and "Creationism" as synonyms, then you must show that the IDers are homogeneous in their beliefs. To top it all off, your logic must be bullet-proof (if using deduction) or probable (if using induction) and explained so that any layman can understand.

Frankly, I don't envy you the task, for I think that it is promethean in it's scope.
25 posted on 11/01/2007 9:44:08 PM PDT by Frumious Bandersnatch
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To: Frumious Bandersnatch

You are putting the cart before the horse.

Let's first see creationism and its Trojan horse offspring ID show that they should be treated in any way as science.

That's the real issue here; religion wants back in the public schools, and it is trying all sorts of schemes to get there.

And "Darwinism" as religion? What a joke.

Here are a couple of good definitions of religion from my FR homepage:

Religion: Theistic: 1. the belief in a superhuman controlling power, esp. in a personal God or gods entitled to obedience and worship. 2. the expression of this in worship. 3. a particular system of faith and worship.

Religion: Non-Theistic: The word religion has many definitions, all of which can embrace sacred lore and wisdom and knowledge of God or gods, souls and spirits. Religion deals with the spirit in relation to itself, the universe and other life. Essentially, religion is belief in spiritual beings. As it relates to the world, religion is a system of beliefs and practices by means of which a group of people struggles with the ultimate problems of human life.

Do you see science in there anywhere?
26 posted on 11/01/2007 9:58:59 PM PDT by Coyoteman (Religious belief does not constitute scientific evidence, nor does it convey scientific knowledge.)
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To: Coyoteman

Religious belief does not constitute scientific evidence, nor does it convey scientific knowledge”

A few years ago they found Jericho and were amazed that the walls had fallen outward.

27 posted on 11/01/2007 10:23:44 PM PDT by philetus (Keep doing what you always do and you'll keep getting what you always get.)
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To: Coyoteman
You got it backwards. I asked you to give a logical explanation. Not only do you *not* do this, you also continue to break the rules by using argumentum ad-hominum. You also refuse to give a logical validation of your premises.

Again, you are assuming that Darwinism is science and ID is not. These are premises for which you have yet to give logical support for.

If you wish to continue play this game, please do so by the rules (which I thought you agreed to when you indicated that my challenge was "Fair enough").

Since it now appears that you are a three exclamation point evolutionist, I would suggest that you either have to logically prove the fallacy of ID or accept the fact that your's is merely a religious belief. Of course, you could concede the point and admit ID has validity. Yeah, and it could snow here in the valley in the next five minutes too - but I doubt it. If you are not a three exclamation pointer, then you still need to show your points by, at the very least, induction.

It is off topic a bit, but I did not actually state that Darwinism is a religion, though it certainly could be. Or, to put it another way a faith-based belief.

I have to admit though, that this response of yours, though disappointing, is not entirely unexpected. First you agree to logically show ID is a bunch of bunk. Then when you will not (or cannot), you change the rules of the game and say that it up to me to show whether or not ID is scientifically valid.

Sorry, but that is a cop-out and is not intellectually honest. First, this is a logical exercise as I've indicated time and again. Second, you were supposed to be able to defend yourself logically.

Instead, you hide behind a sophism. This is not about whether or not I can or even desire to defend ID.

If you can't or don't know how to develop a logical construct to support your position, just admit it. That would be, at the very least, honest. Such an admission wouldn't be to your discredit either. Such a logical answer is not easy to come up with, by either side. I seriously doubt that many people could. Certainly not Dawkins who seems to be more interested in shutting down debate than answering uncomfortable questions.

To be taken seriously, you need to come up with a logical explanation as the linchpin of your argument. This especially important since evolutionism uses many hypotheses regularly which haven't met the tests that you postulate are needed for the acceptance of ID (e.g. Open and Closed Darwinian paths). BTW, I merely used the Darwinian paths to make my point about common use of constructs within evolution which are neither falsifiable nor testable. I did not do it as a critique on the tools themselves. That is beside beside the point since we are doing a logical only analysis.
28 posted on 11/01/2007 10:38:13 PM PDT by Frumious Bandersnatch
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To: Coyoteman
And "Darwinism" as religion?

Yep. When one considers the mathematical odds of all the transitions in the paleontological record which are unrepresented by fossil evidence, from the first coacervate droplets to protozoa, to metazoans, to vertebrates, to Homo sapiens, and all the missing ancestral forms and apparently fully developed mutations which must have occurred in order for humans to evolve, however circuitrously from inorganic compounds, it seems a far greater leap of faith to believe in human genesis through evolution than to believe in the presence of a Creator/Designer.


29 posted on 11/01/2007 10:56:27 PM PDT by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly.)
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To: truthfinder9

Oh, I’m sure that this whole thing isn’t that big a deal for Ben. He’ll probably just donate huge sums of cash to a candidate who would make sure that this sort of thing continues.

30 posted on 11/01/2007 10:58:06 PM PDT by Mobile Vulgus
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To: Socratic; Frumious Bandersnatch
Would you be calling a Socratic, a Sophist?

Socrates himself was called a Sophist in his day.

31 posted on 11/01/2007 11:17:30 PM PDT by NutCrackerBoy
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To: Coyoteman

I’m agnostic. I have no God in this fight.

I view ID not so much as an independent scientific theory as I do a -critique- of evolutionary theory. In that, I think it’s proponents argue quite well. Take the simplest and oldest of the ID arguments - the irreducibile complexity of the eye. I’ve seen the evolutionist’s responses to that one - and they’re not only unpersuasive, their responses (such as that of Dawkins) have evidenced deliberate deception. In this case, he claimed a computer model that showed how the eye could have developed. I found this supposed model on the web, and examined it for a good hour. It didn’t even -begin- to show what Dawkins claimed it to show. It was about as persuasive as someone claiming they had calculated the exact value of pi, and when you look at it, it’s a piece of paper with “22 / 7” written on it.

There’s also the lack of transitional forms. I agree with the ID arguments that, for evolution to be true, they ought to be -everywhere-. The evolutionist’s arguments for why they’re so incredibly rare are frankly terrible arguments (and their supposed discoveries of those few transitional forms they claim to have found have been repeatedly debunked as hoaxes).

As a “non-partisan” agnostic observer, I’ve seen a good deal of BS along the lines of global warmism also produced by the evolutionists. You can consider me quite skeptical of evolutionary theory as it stands, and the behavior of those defending it is very much like the behavior of those who consider a successful debunking of evolutionary theory as concrete evidence of the Judeo-Christian God.

My personal opinion? I -do- think that if evolutionary theory doesn’t pan out, then yes, at least for now, the logical deduction is that given no better explanation, “intelligent design” is the most reasonable conclusion for what we can observe. It doesn’t mean it’s the Judeo-Christian God (although it could be). It could also be that we were designed by little green aliens from Alpha Centauri who -did- evolve in a different environment and without any irreducably complex organs. It could be nanobots left over from the intergalactic war between Xenu and the Legion of Ascended Mormons. Who knows.

It is at that step, where they presume that proving Intelligent Design means proving the J-C God, that I think the ID’ers swerve from scientific critique into faith based argumentation. But there’s plenty, -plenty- of places where the evolutionists engage in faith based argumentation as well.

So. For the record. Trying to debunk it by merely asserting that it’s a trojan horse for religionists isn’t going to do a damn thing to convince me. I can tell precisely where the leap goes from a valid scientific critique to a faith based conclusion, and feel myself in no danger of mixing the two up. The line between evolution as a valid theory and the faith based argumentats of it’s proponents is way more blurry, and much more dangerous, IMO, and thus I am forced to treat it with much more skepticism. Ad hominem attacks such as yours only advance that skepticism. Do better.


32 posted on 11/01/2007 11:27:55 PM PDT by Qwinn
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To: Coyoteman
It's probably not a good idea to criticize a group for using lawyers and then close with a "because a judge said so" argument in the same post.
33 posted on 11/01/2007 11:42:44 PM PDT by Hacksaw (Appalachian by the grace of God - Montani Semper Liberi)
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To: Frumious Bandersnatch

I certainly haven’t read all of Coyoteman’s posts, but the many posts I *have* read all seem to boil down to the same few points:

1. The scientific consensus favors Darwinian evolution.

2. ID is creationism disguised as science.

3. Proponents of ID have no scientific evidence to back their position.

He repeatedly asserts these claims — as if the more he asserts them the truer they must be.

Assertion 1 is probably true, but it certainly does not prove that Darwinian evolution is absolute truth. Science is not “democratic.” I think Coyoteman knows that, but he seems to forget it quite often.

Assertion 2 is irrelevant. Coyoteman constantly brings up the so-called “wedge document,” written by a member of the Discovery Institute, as though this document has any scientific significance whatsoever. It does not, and Coyoteman displays his fundamental lack of understanding of the scientific method every time he brings it up.

What Coyoteman and other “evolutionists” fail to understand is the fundamental concept of burden of proof in science. As you suggest, the burden of proof is not on ID advocates to “prove” that ID is real. The burden of proof is on Darwinian evolutionists to “prove” or provide evidence that ID is not real. Until they do that, ID remains the only reasonable explanation for life.

They have done no such thing. To give but one simple example, honest scientists admit that we do not even understand how a person adds “3 + 4” in their head. So how far are we from understanding how Euler performed his mathematical magic — not to mention Shakespeare or any other genius you can think of.

But evolutionists ignore all that and delude themselves into thinking that we understand so much that only a few “gaps” remain in our knowledge. Hence, the concept of “God of the gaps.” What a delusional concept that is! It’s like calling all the open space on planet Earth the “gaps” between man-made buildings!

In any case, I applaud you for trying to nail Coyoteman down to actual logic, but I warn you that you are wasting your time. He will continue with his assertions, and your attempt to bring logic into the discussion will sail a mile over his head just as it does with so many other evolutionists.

34 posted on 11/02/2007 12:00:08 AM PDT by RussP
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To: Qwinn

You make many excellent points. You might be interested in my post #34.

35 posted on 11/02/2007 12:05:09 AM PDT by RussP
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To: RussP
What Coyoteman and other “evolutionists” fail to understand is the fundamental concept of burden of proof in science.

The same argument can be made much more strongly against the ID camp.

Like another poster, I don't have a religious stake in this argument. As a result, I can see the failings of both sides.

As for the evolutionist camp, quit being so scornful of the religious. And realize that evolution has gone through many, many theoretical changes over the years - from gradualism to punctured equilibrium and other variants - and still has difficulty explaining just what is going on. Which means the arrogant treatment of critics is often not warranted - and that the evolutionary camp needs to do a better job of criticizing those in their midst who harbor a hatred for the religious.

As for the ID camp - as long as the Young Earth folks are part of your movement, you've got far more serious problems than any evolutionist in reconciling with reality. The ID camp needs to do a much better job in rejecting the Young Earth arguments to better frame their own. One can argue that it was the hand of God instead of survivial of the fittest that drives the change in form that we see in the fossil record - but to deny the fossil (and geological) record is very old is, quite frankly, absurd. There is a clear progression of species and development in the fossil record - I remember reading a creationist pamphlet that claimed all major forms of life were present after the Cambrian boundary. Which is true if you don't count amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals, among other things. Drive through the road cuts in Pennsylvania and tell us again that all that deposition, deformation, uplift and erosion was done in 6,000 years.

So at the end of the day, the serious and sober in this debate need to do a better job framing it - namely, the evolutionary camp needs to sanction those who hate and twist religion, and the ID camp needs to do a better job of those who hate and twist science.

But I don't see that happening. So the evo/ID threads on FR, and the debate in general, will continue to be a lot of heat but little light.

36 posted on 11/02/2007 3:52:37 AM PDT by dirtboy (Ron Paul - shrimp pimp rock schlockster surrender crustacean)
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To: dirtboy; RussP
Too true. There is to much sound and not enough enlightenment in the debate.

This is why I requested that both sides logically present their cases. I was please when Coyoteman accepted my challenge, but disappointed when he tried to change the rules after failing to make the grade.

It is no shame to fail. Heck, I do it all the time. After all, it is not easy to come up with a logically supportable solution. It rarely is in science. It took me many a year to come up with a logical solution and I'm continually refining it and testing it.
37 posted on 11/02/2007 6:06:11 AM PDT by Frumious Bandersnatch
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To: dirtboy
I agree with your sentiments. But ‘he who pays the piper calls the tune’ and Behe and Dembski and the Discovery Institute are not going to alienate their most ardent supporters with a review of the data that clearly points to an old earth, an older universe, and common descent. Meanwhile anti-religious books by a particularly zealously atheist Scientists (a minority among Scientists)keeps falsely conflating Biological Evolution and Atheism in the public mind.
38 posted on 11/02/2007 7:14:16 AM PDT by allmendream (A binary modality is a sure sign you don't understand the problem. (Hunter 08))
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To: NutCrackerBoy
Socrates himself was called a Sophist in his day.

Which is precisely why popular perception should never be equated with fact - and why the deductive process, when applied to false "facts," does not lead to truth.

39 posted on 11/02/2007 7:18:04 AM PDT by Socratic (“Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow; it empties today of its strength.” - Corrie Ten Boom)
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To: Coyoteman

But there you encounter the problem: EVOLUTION is religious belief masquerading as science.

40 posted on 11/02/2007 7:22:56 AM PDT by jwatzzzzz (jwatzzzzz)
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