Ben Stein - Expelled movie

Discussion about scientific issues as they relate to God and Christianity including archaeology, origins of life, the universe, intelligent design, evolution, etc.
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Kurieuo
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Re: Ben Stein - Expelled movie

#31

Post by Kurieuo » Wed Jan 09, 2008 7:08 pm

Himantolophus wrote:To the posters earlier: I wasn't saying Jones' decision was an "end-all", but I mean that ID has gone up against the school system many times and they haven't been able to shake the "creationist" affiliation. They will just keep complaining and going to court, I think until they get lucky somewhere :?
It is true that Creationist ID proponents have been taken to court by the ACLU. The ACLU is the one doing the complaining so I find your take that it is the other way around very interesting. The ACLU have also selectively chosen their battles when making a challenge (wisely I must say). For they only appear to be challenging the creation variety of ID proponents and not the core variety.

I guess it is harder to target the latter however, when the core do not want ID taught in science and only greater exploration of Darwinian evolution with regards to the pros and cons of the theories.
Himan wrote:People here also act like Darwinian evolution is set in stone in science.
That is actually a surprise. We do?
Himan wrote:Evolutionary biology is still a young science.
It is almost as young to science as modern science is to itself. ;)
Himan wrote:Science is still searching and testing the theory of Darwinian evolution.
For which there were many detractors such as Eldredge and Gould and those who agree with them.
Himan wrote:So before we "throw out" Darwinian evolution OR start to teach the myriad of creationist and ID theories, we should just do some more research on the evidence at hand and teach the best theory. Keep in mind that this could be 100 years in the future! lol
You have not been following the core movement of ID have you? If you did, then you would know that all they wish to do is do more research on Darwinian evolution and introduce a fuller scientific discussion regarding it in the classrooms. Those like Eugene Scott and others are they ones who say that children are not intelligent enough to be able to sift their way through such discussions. I agree with Stein that they are afraid, very afraid, that their metaphysical assumptions will loose sway.

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Re: Ben Stein - Expelled movie

#32

Post by Kurieuo » Wed Jan 09, 2008 7:10 pm

BGoodForGoodSake wrote:
Kurieuo wrote:
BGoodForGoodSake wrote:
godslanguage wrote:
"Science is about skepticism"
By that standard ID movement is more then qualified to be legit Science since 50 percent is based on being skeptic of Darwinian evolution. I would say being skeptic is ID's foundation and anything else that stems from that root is a bonus.

I guess being a skeptic isn't that bad is it? yB-) :winking:
Being a detractor is not the same as skepticism.
"A danger sign of the lapse from true skepticism in to dogmatism is an inability to respect those who disagree"
- Dr. Leonard George
touché
:duel:

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Re: Ben Stein - Expelled movie

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Post by Himantolophus » Wed Jan 09, 2008 8:35 pm

You have not been following the core movement of ID have you? If you did, then you would know that all they wish to do is do more research on Darwinian evolution and introduce a fuller scientific discussion regarding it in the classrooms. Those like Eugene Scott and others are they ones who say that children are not intelligent enough to be able to sift their way through such discussions. I agree with Stein that they are afraid, very afraid, that their metaphysical assumptions will loose sway.
No, I haven't been following the "struggle" so I'll refrain from adding anything else. All I think is that the word "God" sends shivers through people who want to leave Church and State separate. Old Earth and evolution are strongly supported by evidence and I think most people equate "evolution" with "Darwinian evolution" nowadays.

In favor of the ID's however, I think if the Darwinian evolutionists are so confident, why should they bother if other theories are discussed? We know alot on the history of the Earth both geologically and biologically, we just have to search for a mechanism of evolution that explains it all better. If God is part of it, who cares?

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Re: Ben Stein - Expelled movie

#34

Post by Kurieuo » Thu Jan 10, 2008 3:47 am

Himantolophus wrote:
You have not been following the core movement of ID have you? If you did, then you would know that all they wish to do is do more research on Darwinian evolution and introduce a fuller scientific discussion regarding it in the classrooms. Those like Eugene Scott and others are they ones who say that children are not intelligent enough to be able to sift their way through such discussions. I agree with Stein that they are afraid, very afraid, that their metaphysical assumptions will loose sway.
No, I haven't been following the "struggle" so I'll refrain from adding anything else. All I think is that the word "God" sends shivers through people who want to leave Church and State separate. Old Earth and evolution are strongly supported by evidence and I think most people equate "evolution" with "Darwinian evolution" nowadays.
Now you have leaped from discussing science to a matter of religious talk of Church and State. I quite frankly do not see the issue the US has with this.

It is a mistake to think that a "idealistic beliefs" are only subject to "religions". It sends a shiver through my spine when I think that one person's irreligious philosophies can dictate the whole course of a nation such as Nietsche's which were adopted in the past at a cost to many a Jewish person's life. On the other hand, if we look to Christ Himself what do we see? It also sends a shiver down my spine to see anyone twisting Christ's teachings for their own gain, but what philosophy are they really following, Christ's or an egoistical irreligious philosophy of self?
Himan wrote:In favor of the ID's however, I think if the Darwinian evolutionists are so confident, why should they bother if other theories are discussed? We know alot on the history of the Earth both geologically and biologically, we just have to search for a mechanism of evolution that explains it all better. If God is part of it, who cares?
In general I agree. Just present to facts for and against the Darwinian mechanisms. What is there to fear if it is so much better? Nothing.

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Re: Ben Stein - Expelled movie

#35

Post by frankbaginski » Thu Jan 10, 2008 10:36 am

Kurieuo,

Wow, nice post.

I was reading Romans again and it says something about you are given a designed in need to seek God. Yes, you could ignore it. It also says that the universe calls out to you to seek God as well. Yes, you could ignore it. But it adds that if you turn from God and teach others the same then you will receive some judgements on earth. I think that taking God out of the classroom and placing Darwin there is doing just that. If you look at our society since the removal of the Bible you see the judgements listed in Roman's. Am I wrong?

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Re: Ben Stein - Expelled movie

#36

Post by Kurieuo » Thu Jan 10, 2008 7:11 pm

frankbaginski wrote:Kurieuo,

Wow, nice post.

I was reading Romans again and it says something about you are given a designed in need to seek God. Yes, you could ignore it. It also says that the universe calls out to you to seek God as well. Yes, you could ignore it. But it adds that if you turn from God and teach others the same then you will receive some judgements on earth. I think that taking God out of the classroom and placing Darwin there is doing just that. If you look at our society since the removal of the Bible you see the judgements listed in Roman's. Am I wrong?
I am not really knowledgeable regarding the going ons in US classrooms regarding the Bible, y:-/ however I am aware to the issue about prayer being removed from schools in the US. Quite frankly, I do not see the issue with prayer. What harm does it really cause? It is just political correctness gone wrong, the same "fundamentalist" political correctness which thinks saying "merry Christmas" or "happy Hanukkah" is not acceptable as it could offend someone of a different faith.

Yet Christians can not expect non-Christians to adhere to their beliefs. As Paul says, "what have I to do with judging outsiders? Do you not judge those who are within the church? But those who are outside, God judges." (1 Corinthians 5:12-13) Thus, removing the Bible and prayer for people in general while sad is in my opinion fine, for people in general are not Christian (at least as I see it they're not). At the same time, banning or restricting others from such things just shows a dictated irreligious philosophy and intolerance. Is there such restrictions in US schools? I can't believe that there would be. On the other hand, in other countries you can go to prison for practicing Christianity or even be killed.

So to answer your question, yes you see people being turned over to themselves as in Romans 1, however God still desires such to turn to Him and offers grace through Christ. Paul's message in Romans is that all have sinned and deserve God's judgment and punishment. We are all bad and stand condemned before God. In fact, some Christians would be morally worse than many non-Christians. "Therefore you have no excuse, everyone of you who passes judgment, for in that which you judge another, you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things. And we know that the judgment of God rightly falls upon those who practice such things. But do you suppose this, O man, when you pass judgment on those who practice such things and do the same yourself, that you will escape the judgment of God?" (Romans 2:1-3)

Thankfully, it is the kindness of God which leads us to repentance and admit to our wrongs (Romans 2:5), and not God's judgment. Judgment as we see with Pharaoh often hardens people, whereas kindness opens people up. Thank God that we are justified by grace through the redemption which is in Jesus Christ, (Romans 3:24) and that our own acts which condemn us and deserve God's judgment and wrath have been washed over. Now, there are still consequences for actions we do. Bad actions may often bring bad consequences. If I sleep around, I may end up finding it hard to commit to one wife later on and having a loving family. Or worse yet, I may end up with a disease of some sort. However, such things do not necessarily mean judgment, they are just natural consequences we can face for our actions.

Perhaps what you see as judgment is simply the outgrowth and consequences of certain actions that have taken place in the US rather than "God's judgment"? Should anything be more clear to the person who sees God through Christ than this: God desires love and kindness, not judgment and wrath.

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Re: Ben Stein - Expelled movie

#37

Post by frankbaginski » Thu Jan 10, 2008 8:37 pm

Kurieuo,

There are many times in the Bible that God crushes a people and says they will seek Me.

Isa 26:9 With my soul have I desired thee in the night; yea, with my spirit within me will I seek thee early: for when thy judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness.

Hos 5:15 I will go and return to my place, till they acknowledge their offense, and seek my face: in their affliction they will seek me early.

I am not wishing a judgment on anyone. What I am doing is looking at the country and I notice a connection to scripture. If anything I wish that everyone on the planet would be saved.

I would like more rather than less taught in school.

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Re: Ben Stein - Expelled movie

#38

Post by AttentionKMartShoppers » Sat Feb 09, 2008 9:59 pm

Interesting review at http://triablogue.blogspot.com/2008/02/expelled.html.

Expelled

Last month, I was able to watch a screening of Ben Stein's upcoming movie, Expelled (http://www.getexpelled.com/). Stein was there at the presentation too, so I got to sit through a little Q&A with him. At the time, all viewers had to sign a confidentiality agreement that precluded us from writing reviews about the movie. That restriction was lifted yesterday, however, so today I bring you my review of Expelled.

For those who know absolutely nothing about the film, Expelled is Stein's look at Intelligent Design and the way that ID proponents are expelled from the "academy" via academic censorship. The basic goal of the film is to publicize the fact that there are professors who question Darwinistic dogma who are then censured for it, who cannot get tenure, who are fired from their jobs, etc. Therefore, on a broad issue, the film is designed simply to publicize the suppression of free-thought by Darwinists and not to provide an apologetic for ID as such.

Since I knew this was the motivation, I watched the film intentionally thinking of what Darwinists would say in response to it. Because of that, when I watched it I found the movie does have some weaknesses. The main drawback to it from the intellectual standpoint is that it relied on a heavy emotional link to Social Darwinism, especially manifest by Hitler's Darwinism; thus the "intellectual" Darwinist will most certainly respond: "It's nothing but emotive propaganda with no substance" (which isn't true, but the emotive aspect was emphasized enough that it did sometimes feel that way even to this ID proponent).

By the way, I should also point out that I don't think it's bad in and of itself for the movie to play on the Social Darwinistic evils that have come about; atheists harp on the Crusades enough that they deserve this. And frankly most people are unaware of the links between Eugenics and Darwinism and Planned Parenthood, which are also mentioned in the film along with Hitler and the Communists.

Throughout the film is the metaphor of the Berlin Wall, and Stein ends the film by paralleling Reagan's famous "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!" speech. The attempt is to get people to know the wall exists so that others will be able to work at chipping it away. The rallying cry is: "We need academic freedom, and that includes the freedom to believe contra-Darwin about origins of life." I do believe the film captures this goal, and so it succeeds at what it attempts to do.

So to review it, it definitely would get a solid A in my book. And while the movie is only 97 minutes long in the form I saw, Stein told us the DVD is going to have tons more footage and extra features in it, including what will probably become one of the most famous Dawkins interviews, at least for the IDers.

In fact, that interview remains the most memorable portion of the film if, for no other reason, than the fact that I have read so much of Dawkins materials beforehand. Stein had Dawkins looking absolutely flummoxed. During Stein's interview, Dawkins stated that it was impossible that there is an Intelligent Designer. Stein asked him for a percentage on how sure he is of that idea. Dawkins refuses to give an exact number, then finally decided on 99%. Stein asked: "Couldn't it be 49% instead?" Dawkins responded with his typical: "No, the probability of a designer is nowhere near half" etc. Then, Stein pressed Dawkins on how the first cell was created, and in the end Dawkins actually acknowledged that he could accept the theory of panspermia (aliens did it). Everyone in the theater laughed, because after just saying it was impossible for intelligent design to have created life on Earth, Dawkins admits that aliens that were "more intellectually advanced than we are" (as close to a direct quote as I can recall from memory of something I saw only once) could have done it after all.

As a funny aside, one of the questions Stein was asked during our forum was: "Do you think you treated Dawkins fairly in the movie?" To which Stein responded (accurately, as those of you who have read Dawkins already know): "I think we treated him charitably. There were many hostile responses he gave that we edited out, where his response was basically, 'I'm Richard Dawkins and you don't know what you're talking about. I'm Richard Dawkins!'" It remains to be seen how much of the entire interview will be in the DVD version of the film.

Naturally, this film will not convince any Darwinist to look at ID...but then, no film could do that. It will hopefully be enough to pry open the door a bit for some so that others can come along with more detailed explanations in the future.
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Re: Ben Stein - Expelled movie

#39

Post by Gman » Sat Feb 09, 2008 10:47 pm

AttentionKMartShoppers wrote:During Stein's interview, Dawkins stated that it was impossible that there is an Intelligent Designer. Stein asked him for a percentage on how sure he is of that idea. Dawkins refuses to give an exact number, then finally decided on 99%. Stein asked: "Couldn't it be 49% instead?" Dawkins responded with his typical: "No, the probability of a designer is nowhere near half" etc. Then, Stein pressed Dawkins on how the first cell was created, and in the end Dawkins actually acknowledged that he could accept the theory of panspermia (aliens did it). Everyone in the theater laughed, because after just saying it was impossible for intelligent design to have created life on Earth, Dawkins admits that aliens that were "more intellectually advanced than we are" (as close to a direct quote as I can recall from memory of something I saw only once) could have done it after all..
:pound: :shakehead: Duh? Oh well ET is ok, after all he made a movie back in 82....
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Re: Ben Stein - Expelled movie

#40

Post by David Blacklock » Sun Feb 10, 2008 10:59 am

Nowhere in scientific methodology is it appropriate to pronounce anything "irreducibly complex." A major motivation for scientists is curiosity. They just don't throw up their hands like that and say, "it can't be done." That ID seems to have hung their hat on IC seems to make it, In the words of our friend, The Cannuckster, "quack like a duck." The idea that God was and is responsible and that he intervened once or billions of times - is an entirely reasonable position. To find out evidence as to where and how he intervened, seems to me, like a legitimate scientific endeavor.

Evolutionists believe what they believe after having followed multiple trails of evidence for 150 years (or so), and new evidence every year continues to confirm the theory. Instead of following suit (trying to find out where and how God intervened), The Discovery Institute (despite their PR stance) appears to have put all their marbles into the bag of being against the strong scientific concensus regarding evolution. What should scientists think of an outlying group who aren't trying to find out how things work?

There is much more guesswork involving Inflation theory - the specific details of how the Big Bang unfolded - than there is in evolution. How come we don't hear much objection to that? Or to String theory? Unlike evolution, these are heavily speculative. Just wondering....

DB

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Re: Ben Stein - Expelled movie

#41

Post by Canuckster1127 » Sun Feb 10, 2008 11:55 am

David Blacklock wrote:Nowhere in scientific methodology is it appropriate to pronounce anything "irreducibly complex." A major motivation for scientists is curiosity. They just don't throw up their hands like that and say, "it can't be done." That ID seems to have hung their hat on IC seems to make it, In the words of our friend, The Cannuckster, "quack like a duck." The idea that God was and is responsible and that he intervened once or billions of times - is an entirely reasonable position. To find out evidence as to where and how he intervened, seems to me, like a legitimate scientific endeavor.

Evolutionists believe what they believe after having followed multiple trails of evidence for 150 years (or so), and new evidence every year continues to confirm the theory. Instead of following suit (trying to find out where and how God intervened), The Discovery Institute (despite their PR stance) appears to have put all their marbles into the bag of being against the strong scientific concensus regarding evolution. What should scientists think of an outlying group who aren't trying to find out how things work?

There is much more guesswork involving Inflation theory - the specific details of how the Big Bang unfolded - than there is in evolution. How come we don't hear much objection to that? Or to String theory? Unlike evolution, these are heavily speculative. Just wondering....

DB
I agree with some of this David.

However, consider this too. Science is established on skepticism. It does seem to me that there is an element of dogmatism even within the scientific community that is responding against the skepticism of scientists such as Behe. That doesn't invalidate some of the concerns with the DI that I''ve voiced. But it's not a mutually exclusive proposition. The emporer looks a little threadbare in each camp when statements and claims that exceed the evidence are made. You'd think there'd be, especially in the scientific community, a more neutral stance that allowed for some discourse to a higher degree than what appears to be the case.
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Re: Ben Stein - Expelled movie

#42

Post by AttentionKMartShoppers » Sun Feb 10, 2008 12:38 pm

Nowhere in scientific methodology is it appropriate to pronounce anything "irreducibly complex." A major motivation for scientists is curiosity. They just don't throw up their hands like that and say, "it can't be done." That ID seems to have hung their hat on IC seems to make it, In the words of our friend, The Cannuckster, "quack like a duck." The idea that God was and is responsible and that he intervened once or billions of times - is an entirely reasonable position. To find out evidence as to where and how he intervened, seems to me, like a legitimate scientific endeavor.
First, aren't you are assuming that searching for an unintelligent solution cause is the right way to go in the first place? It's amusing, but you are merely saying ID isn't science (or it sounds like that) because ID doesn't fit your definition of science. Also, isn't it possible that the reason Michael Behe wrote The Edge of Evolution because he was curious to determine how far dumb luck can get you? Aren't ID proponents curious as well? They just aren't curious about the same things--they aren't curious to try to prove and defend the belief that random mutations and natural selection bring about complex structures in organisms, as well as bring about organisms to begin with. Can I turn your statement around? May I blast Darwinists for not being curious to determine if maybe life wasn't brought about by random mutation and natural selection? Also, don't Darwinists throw up their hands and say "life the result of an intelligent agent, it can't be done!" And why do you neglect the fact that many ID proponents are Darwinists, such as MIchael Behe?
Evolutionists believe what they believe after having followed multiple trails of evidence for 150 years (or so), and new evidence every year continues to confirm the theory. Instead of following suit (trying to find out where and how God intervened), The Discovery Institute (despite their PR stance) appears to have put all their marbles into the bag of being against the strong scientific concensus regarding evolution. What should scientists think of an outlying group who aren't trying to find out how things work?
“Scientific 'consensus' is only resorted to when uncertainty exists.”
http://www.uncommondescent.com/intellig ... certainty/

It is rather dishonest to say ID proponents aren't interested in finding out how things work. I would love to see some explanation as to how you came up with that. All I can say ID proponents are uniformly against is saying "Darwin-dun-it" at everything living. Can you quote an ID proponent saying he's not interested in understanding how things work? And what multiple trails of evidence? If you're just going to assert it, I'll say the same things about ID proponents, but I'll shave off 100 or so years. The last sentence reminds me of Thomas Hobbes. Hobbes called for a strong leader to take control of man and strong-arm everyone into having uniform beliefs. Not because what he (the leader) believed was true, though.
There is much more guesswork involving Inflation theory - the specific details of how the Big Bang unfolded - than there is in evolution. How come we don't hear much objection to that? Or to String theory? Unlike evolution, these are heavily speculative. Just wondering....
It would probably be because an outworking of inflation theory doesn't lead to eugenics, the antagonism towards Christianity, the censoring of people who doubt inflation theory, moral relativism, and legal positivism. In simpler terms, it is because inflation theory is not based solely based upon naturalism. Darwinism, though, is.
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Re: Ben Stein - Expelled movie

#43

Post by David Blacklock » Sun Feb 10, 2008 1:50 pm

To Cannuckster: Thanx for your usually thoughtful reply, Bart. However, I reviewed my post and can't say I'm moved. That scientists aren't perfect - that some of them intrude into arenas outside of science - I understand. That doesn't address MY issue. Why doesn't DI commence serious investigation or experimentation to find out where and how God intervened? Don't the very words "Irreducible Complexity" tend to discourage any experimentation or investigation? In usual scientific hands, the hypothesis of IC would at least lead the proposing scientist to work out an experiment with a null hypothesis.

To AttnKMartShoppers: Also thanx, AKMS, and I'll address each of your comments. 1. Q: Am I assuming that searching for an unintelligent cause is right, etc. A: right or wrong, science only searches for natural causes and my description of how science proceeds is very standard in the field and not mine. I wish I could take credit for it. Q: isn't it possible that the reason Michael Behe wrote The Edge of Evolution because he was curious, etc? A: Can't speak for Behe and others, but if they are not curious in a manner that includes conventional scientific investigation, they don't belong in science class, which is the real issue here. Q: Why do you neglect the fact that many ID proponents are Darwinists, such as MIchael Behe? A: That's a funny thing about Behe. Sometimes he speaks like he believes evolutionary science and sometimes he doesn't. My initial post questioned specifically his stand on IC and I would like very much your opinion as to how that attitude can be considered appropriate in science. I'm not talking about appropriate in general, just in science. Q: May I blast Darwinists for not being curious to determine if maybe life wasn't brought about by random mutation and natural selection? A: Scientists are open to other evidence than just N/S. Recently epigenetic variation has been getting a lot of attention. Workers in this field are follwing the evidence. Q: don't Darwinists throw up their hands and say "life the result of an intelligent agent, it can't be done!" A: Most scientists just do their work. Many are Christians. I venture to say most College Biology professors will freely discuss ID as a possibility with their students, using evolutionary framework, although maybe not at the expense of class time.

Thanx again for your thoughtful response,

DB

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Re: Ben Stein - Expelled movie

#44

Post by Canuckster1127 » Sun Feb 10, 2008 3:23 pm

David,

I'm not completely on the ID bandwagon so I don't particularly mind the challenges.

I agree there are issues with ID. I think it's a fair criticism to note that IC (irreducible complexity) is not a particularly scientific concept as it involves something that either rests upon proving a negative or can even be seen as a more sophisticated version of a God of the Gaps type argument.

The point for me is that I don't see complete consistency in the scientific community on these types of issues. Is there consistency in applying the same standard toward IC proponents in overstating things or creating standards of proof and a null hypothesis scenario with those considered cutting edge in the realm of evolutionary science?

I've pretty much come to the conclusion that part of the reason ID has arissen as a popular challenge is due to ID seeking to point out that there are elements of the scientific community overstating their case and so, if that can be done for one side, the thought is, why isn't the same lapsing of standards or restraint in promoting conclusion exercised in both directions?

I think Behe has some things to say and raises some valid points. I'll have more to say later on that, as I've picked up his most recent book and will be reading it soon.
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Re: Ben Stein - Expelled movie

#45

Post by David Blacklock » Sun Feb 10, 2008 3:24 pm

More to AKMS: Had to go for a couple of hours. To continue:

Q: I would love to see some explanation as to how you came up with that. (ID proponents aren't interested in how things work). A: My extrapolation from the concept of IR. I assert that the very words, "irreducible complexity," indicate the investigations are over. Writings by the DI confirm my opinion. There are no investigations to find out how or where God has intervened. Q: And what multiple trails of evidence? A: Volumes worth, and the learning curve is long. Evidence from Paleontology, Geology, molecular biology, genetics and DNA sequencing, etc. Any texts on these subjects (and others) are full of valid evidence. As in any area of science, there are any number of items the authorities fight about, but they agree on the broad outline of evolution. The DI material concentrates on these arguments so I recommend a real textbook. My question: Why is there no huge argument about the specifics of the Big Bang? Your answer: It would probably be because an outworking of inflation theory doesn't lead to eugenics. A: I agree that happened. It wouldn't be the first time Man has misused his resources, nor will it be the last. I'm more interested in what is true and what is not. BTW, how is inflation theory not based on naturalism?

Thanx for your reply,

DB

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