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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Re: Ben Stein - Expelled movie

#91

Post by rodyshusband » Mon Apr 14, 2008 3:26 pm

The film is already being raked over the (proverbial )coals by secular critics. No surprise.
I would love to see a film by Hugh Ross and/or Ravi Zacharias on the subject. I suppose Ben Stein is more "entertaining" for the mainstream.
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Re: Ben Stein - Expelled movie

#92

Post by cslewislover » Fri Apr 25, 2008 5:43 pm

Whooooowheeee. I'm going to have to take quite a bit of time to read and digest the posts thus far. Has anyone gone and read the "Shout Out" section of the movie's web site? http://www.expelledthemovie.com/shoutout.php Some of the stories are quite amazing, and they show how so many teachers get angry about someone questioning their "beliefs." Related to that is a tiny clip that Dawkins said that is included in the group leaders dvd, but not the movie. He said something like: "I don't like when someone pits their doctrine against mine." I'd have to watch it again to get the exact quote.
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Re: Ben Stein - Expelled movie

#93

Post by David Blacklock » Thu May 01, 2008 6:55 am

http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/expelle ... e_allowed/

This website, for movie critique, has called "Expelled" a cynical political statement under the guise of a documentary. Their internet reviewers have given the movie an average "3" on a scale of "10." y:-?

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Re: Ben Stein - Expelled movie

#94

Post by cslewislover » Thu May 01, 2008 3:56 pm

Yes, there are negative reviews, but what's amazing is how there are so FEW reviews. A lot of the press has just been ignoring it. If you go to the ARN website (http://arn.org/) and click on the Expelled picture (upper left), you'll get a page with a whole bunch of links. To both good and bad reviews, biographical listings, and so on.
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Re: Ben Stein - Expelled movie

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Post by chizum » Fri May 16, 2008 10:44 pm

I was disappointed with Expelled. I accept evolution, but having spent the better part of the last few years obsessed with this debate I felt the Expelled movie could have been done way better. They chose to focus on freedom instead of debate, which I'd rather have seen.

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Re: Ben Stein - Expelled movie

#96

Post by David Blacklock » Mon Jun 30, 2008 12:09 pm

Hi, anybody that wants to listen. I posted this on a less appropriate thread and decided to post it here also:

Although the lack of supervisory design is a key feature of evolution, I prefer to believe the system was set up by and monitored by God. Unfortunately, the ID people have a much broader agenda than the words "intelligent design" might suggest. What they are doing could legitimately be called a conspiracy theory. The Discovery Institute is a highly organized and well-funded think-tank that would re-define science, assert that scientific evidence is no more valid than any other point of view, and make evolution versus their theory into a merchandizing campaign. Once they owned the public soul on the issue of evolution, they would direct their attention to other sciences that, in their view, wreak havoc for family values in our nation. Their own eloquent summary betrays their conspiracy in a "Wedge" document, leaked to the outside world some years ago. Below are some of my thoughts on this:

1. "Only a theory:" What ranks higher than a theory in science? Nothing! A theory is the top of the food chain. Unfortunately the word has a different common usage that plays right into the hands of those who would distort intended meanings.

2. "Irreducible Complexity" is Behe's trademark phrase and is my pet peeve. Since when does science throw up its hands and say, "it can't be done." Claiming that what is unknown in science today will never be known isn't just poor logic - it's a lousy bet. Historically, many, many things that are unknown today's science are known tomorrow.

3. To Behe, the mousetrap is irreducibly complex. If it's missing any part, it won't work - as a mousetrap. However, I can use parts of the mousetrap to make a tie clip, a catapault, a clipboard, a toothpick - I can add a magnet and make a handy refrigerator magnet. Maybe not a perfect analogy, but neither was Behe's. I guess the mousetrap isn't so irreducibly complex after all.

4. Advocates of creationism and ID word their attacks on evolution so as to make it seem that the principal purpose of teaching evolution in our schools is to demoralize our young people by telling them that their lives are without meaning. Science searches for truth wherever it can be found, following the evidence. Knowledge is generally preferable to ignorance.

5. The Discovery Institute is borrowing ideology from the post-modern left to question science as a valid endeavor - where they think it threatens their value system. This type of thinking is what caused the first Congress to put their famous freedom of (and from) religion clause in the Bill of Rights: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion..."

6. In a 2005 survey of industrialized countries, citizens answered true, false, or not sure to this statement: "Human beings, as we know them, developed from earlier species of animals." Only forty percent from the United States answered "true," a lower score than any of the 33 other industrialized nations, except for last-place Turkey - a country facing the Muslim version of intelligent design.

Many, many believers see no conflict between evolution and religion and evolution has the advantage of being true. The ID movement is not engaged in any research trying to figure out how God instituted or directs evolution. Instead, against overwhelming evidence, they have decided it simply didn't happen and hang their hat on gaps in our knowledge. What area of science doesn't have gaps?

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Re: Ben Stein - Expelled movie

#97

Post by Gman » Mon Jun 30, 2008 5:45 pm

David Blacklock wrote:2. "Irreducible Complexity" is Behe's trademark phrase and is my pet peeve. Since when does science throw up its hands and say, "it can't be done." Claiming that what is unknown in science today will never be known isn't just poor logic - it's a lousy bet. Historically, many, many things that are unknown today's science are known tomorrow.
Possibly.. But then that is really side stepping the issue to say that sometime in the future we will have it all figured out. What if we didn't?
David Blacklock wrote:3. To Behe, the mousetrap is irreducibly complex. If it's missing any part, it won't work - as a mousetrap. However, I can use parts of the mousetrap to make a tie clip, a catapault, a clipboard, a toothpick - I can add a magnet and make a handy refrigerator magnet. Maybe not a perfect analogy, but neither was Behe's. I guess the mousetrap isn't so irreducibly complex after all.
That's not the point... If you take any part away from it, it will cease to function as a mousetrap, not as a toothpick.
David Blacklock wrote:4. Advocates of creationism and ID word their attacks on evolution so as to make it seem that the principal purpose of teaching evolution in our schools is to demoralize our young people by telling them that their lives are without meaning. Science searches for truth wherever it can be found, following the evidence. Knowledge is generally preferable to ignorance.
That is not true... ID supporters do not seek to totally reject evolution. Many proponents believe that biological structures may have resulted from a combination of both design and evolution.

Also ID proponents do not seek to have ID taught or mandated into the public biology classrooms. Rather than confronting a federal judge to legalize the teaching of ID, they ask only that schools “teach the controversy” surrounding evolution, arguing that broadening the discussion would foster critical thought and enliven the students.
David Blacklock wrote:5. The Discovery Institute is borrowing ideology from the post-modern left to question science as a valid endeavor - where they think it threatens their value system. This type of thinking is what caused the first Congress to put their famous freedom of (and from) religion clause in the Bill of Rights: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion..."
Shouldn't science be debated? Why is that so threatening to science? We can't totally prove that Darwinian evolution happened or it didn't, the same with ID. It's beyond the current capacity of science to draw a conclusion with any degree of certainty on either side.
David Blacklock wrote:Many, many believers see no conflict between evolution and religion and evolution has the advantage of being true. The ID movement is not engaged in any research trying to figure out how God instituted or directs evolution. Instead, against overwhelming evidence, they have decided it simply didn't happen and hang their hat on gaps in our knowledge. What area of science doesn't have gaps?
What overwhelming evidence?

I would disagree with this statement... Many do see a conflict between evolution and religion. Including the evolutionists... According to evolutionist Scott Todd C., "Even if all the data point to an intelligent designer, such a hypothesis is excluded from science because it is not naturalistic." This form of bias or opposition keeps many scientists from considering design and also makes ID a very controversial subject....
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Re: Ben Stein - Expelled movie

#98

Post by godslanguage » Mon Jun 30, 2008 9:58 pm

I just saw Gmans reply to David.
That's not the point... If you take any part away from it, it will cease to function as a mousetrap, not as a toothpick.
Yes, Gman is right...
This is exactly what I was saying in my other response to what appears to be the exact same post by David on a different thread. See David, all ID proponents say the same thing, just contrast and compare. Whats specified to be a mousetrap, IC only applies specifically to the mousetrap.
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Re: Ben Stein - Expelled movie

#99

Post by godslanguage » Wed Jul 02, 2008 10:08 am

I saw the movie after its release here in Toronto. Dawkins is given lots of time to speak his mind. Ben Stein's questions gives Dawkins the opportunity to sell his atheism, basically a rehash of his book "The God delusion". I wonder what Dawkins was complaining about after the movie was released as it looks as if nothing in favor of ID had been edited in (except for the part about the Aliens). Ben Stein didn't look as he was forcefully trying to fetch specific answers out of Dawkins, Dawkins did it himself.

Even though the holocaust issue was raised, nothing was directly stated that Darwin was responsible. The message I got was that it was indirectly and even though Darwin was dead his ideas about natural selection as it applies to evolution and as it applies to the opposite of a purposeful universe were taken face value to many such as Hitler who applied it and who at the same time thought it was the morally right thing to do.

I thought about the scientists that were expelled. The first thing one should realize was that these are legitimate scientists. The second thing is what possible thing could they gain from all this? The answer is nothing, being in a movie called expelled doesn't do much good to they're careers either. I find that the movie was balanced overall in terms of showing both sides.

The cell animations were amazing to watch, this should really open up some eyes especially people who don't know anything about these topics.
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Re: Ben Stein - Expelled movie

#100

Post by David Blacklock » Tue Jul 08, 2008 10:14 pm

Hi Gman,

Thanx for your reply.

>>Possibly.. But then that is really side stepping the issue to say that sometime in the future we will have it all figured out. What if we didn't?<<

Trying to figure things out is not side-stepping anything. It is what scientists do. They never figure they will have it all figured out. That's just not in the cards. Science, by it's very nature, is always subject to revision with the uncovering of new evidence.

>>That's not the point... If you take any part away from it, it will cease to function as a mousetrap, not as a toothpick<<

My point may be different than yours. Precursor arrangements of molecules that function as "toothpicks" can be reused by evolution as assembly parts for completely different purposes. In the case of the eye, from which the original analogy came, the functionality of the eye in different species ranges from primitive light sensing devices to complicated eyes with lenses and everything in between, with a similar range of chemical and structural complexity. Some parts in the complex eye are not found in the simpler eye. Just because the simpler eye is missing parts doesn't mean it doesn't function at all.

>>ID supporters do not seek to totally reject evolution<<

Whoever wrote the wedge document (Johnson) does seek this.

>>Many proponents believe that biological structures may have resulted from a combination of both design and evolution<<

That someone believes a designer is responsible doesn't require the kind of strategic and tactical merchandizing DI has undertaken.

>>they ask only that schools “teach the controversy” surrounding evolution, arguing that broadening the discussion would foster critical thought and enliven the students...Shouldn't science be debated? Why is that so threatening to science?<<
<<

Which is non-scientific and belongs in a philosophy or religion class. There are as many things that are unknown in any of the other sciences, but nobody organizes a whole oppositional theory to "teach the controversy" in geology, astronomy, physics, or chemistry class. Something about evolution threatens some believers, but I am convinced it doesn't have to.

>>We can't totally prove that Darwinian evolution happened or it didn't, the same with ID. It's beyond the current capacity of science to draw a conclusion with any degree of certainty on either side <<

Evolution has the same status as any other theory in science (which, as I mentioned is the highest status available in science) - a status that has survived intense scrutiny over a long period of time. That's as good as the proof is going to get. Similar proof is what you put your faith in when you board a commercial airliner, that aerodynamics, hydraulics, physics, engineering, etc, are going to act in the predictable manner science says it will. These technical applications of science have no more proof of reliability than evolution, but unless you don't fly, you have bet your life on these applications of science.

>>What overwhelming evidence?<<

Any legitimate text in evolution. If all you read is negative information put out by those who don't believe that evolution has happened, I understand why you would be negative. Two books I've read lately specifically have to do with evidence. They are: "Relics of Eden" and "Your Inner Fish," both available on Amazon, as is a good recent critique on ID written by the main witness for the prosecution, Ken Miller (who is a Christian) in the Dover trial. It is named, "Only a Theory." I have read books by Behe, Johnson, and Dembski, and I challenge you to also read what's put out by those of the other persuasion. They possibly won't seem nearly as evil as you might think.

Thanx again for your reply,

DB

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Re: Ben Stein - Expelled movie

#101

Post by Gman » Wed Jul 09, 2008 6:15 pm

David Blacklock wrote:Trying to figure things out is not side-stepping anything. It is what scientists do. They never figure they will have it all figured out. That's just not in the cards. Science, by it's very nature, is always subject to revision with the uncovering of new evidence.
Ok, but that is a little different from what you said earlier....
David Blacklock wrote:My point may be different than yours. Precursor arrangements of molecules that function as "toothpicks" can be reused by evolution as assembly parts for completely different purposes. In the case of the eye, from which the original analogy came, the functionality of the eye in different species ranges from primitive light sensing devices to complicated eyes with lenses and everything in between, with a similar range of chemical and structural complexity. Some parts in the complex eye are not found in the simpler eye. Just because the simpler eye is missing parts doesn't mean it doesn't function at all.
But it is still an eye....

This is a little different from the mousetrap argument. Sure you could use the "spring" in a mousetrap as a shock absorber on a toy truck but then it would be performing a different function than a mousetrap.
David Blacklock wrote:Whoever wrote the wedge document (Johnson) does seek this.
David, I would disagree with this. Many who supported that document have also refused to back the local school board's push to require the teaching of intelligent design as an alternative to evolution. Such was the case in Dover, Pa.
David Blacklock wrote:Which is non-scientific and belongs in a philosophy or religion class. There are as many things that are unknown in any of the other sciences, but nobody organizes a whole oppositional theory to "teach the controversy" in geology, astronomy, physics, or chemistry class. Something about evolution threatens some believers, but I am convinced it doesn't have to.
I think we are only addressing Darwinian evolution here. Not the "other" sciences... If we performed the same rigorous tests that we could on ID with evolution, evolution probably wouldn't pass the test to be classified as "science" either. We do have greater weights of evidence for evolution, but for the most part that evidence has primarily only been focused on evolution since the separation of church and state many years ago. Given this, how could ID ever be considered in the scientific communities? In order to legally evaluate different hypotheses, science should remain strictly science and should be debated in the public sectors if we want to get a clearer picture of our world.

Perhaps the question of origins is more philosophical in nature and should only be allowed in philosophy classes rather than our biology classes also.
David Blacklock wrote:Evolution has the same status as any other theory in science (which, as I mentioned is the highest status available in science) - a status that has survived intense scrutiny over a long period of time.
Since the separation between church and state, it is currently "illegal" to think otherwise....
David Blacklock wrote:That's as good as the proof is going to get.
Science was meant to be debated and when the debate is taken away from it, people may learn about evolutionary theory but in the end they don't always believe in it because they were never allowed to debate it.
David Blacklock wrote:Similar proof is what you put your faith in when you board a commercial airliner, that aerodynamics, hydraulics, physics, engineering, etc, are going to act in the predictable manner science says it will. These technical applications of science have no more proof of reliability than evolution, but unless you don't fly, you have bet your life on these applications of science.
The claim that ID isn't science by certain scientific standards isn't necessarily true. Complex structures such as the bacterial flagellum are not religious texts or objects. The flagellum is a biological machine that resembles an outboard motor. If someone were to examine the parts of an outboard motor they would conclude that it was intelligently designed..
David Blacklock wrote:Any legitimate text in evolution. If all you read is negative information put out by those who don't believe that evolution has happened, I understand why you would be negative. Two books I've read lately specifically have to do with evidence. They are: "Relics of Eden" and "Your Inner Fish," both available on Amazon, as is a good recent critique on ID written by the main witness for the prosecution, Ken Miller (who is a Christian) in the Dover trial. It is named, "Only a Theory." I have read books by Behe, Johnson, and Dembski, and I challenge you to also read what's put out by those of the other persuasion. They possibly won't seem nearly as evil as you might think.
No one has said here that evolution was evil David.... I have studied anthropology, astronomy, and physics greatly in college. I use to believe in evolution as well. What we object to is the saying that Darwinian evolution has "all" the answers... That is foolish. Even to say that ID has "all" the answers is foolish as well. It is probably more professional, IMO, to say that we don't know. That is if we are strong enough to admit that. :wink:
David Blacklock wrote:Thanx again for your reply,

DB
Thanks for your reply too... ;)
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Re: Ben Stein - Expelled movie

#102

Post by David Blacklock » Wed Jul 09, 2008 9:26 pm

Hi Gman,

Thanx for your very rational reply and thanx also for disclosing of your scientific background. Although we have arrived at different conclusions, clearly you have made decisions from an adequate data base.

When all the smoke clears I find evolution to be incredible also. It moves so slowly we can't see any evidence of it in day to day living, so it's hard to fit into our scheme of things. I originally became convinced because of the paleotological evidence. Nowadays the DNA evidence ices the cake for evolution. There doesn't appear to be any other way certain DNA sequences could exist other than from the haphazard, Rube-Goldberg methods of random mutation and natural selection - and there are hundreds of examples.

That being said, I am completely open to the guiding force that has (so far) left no tracks. I'm unimpressed, however, with the techniques that the brain power behind the ID movement (DI) has used to further its cause. So much time, space, and effort is expended by these people criticizing evolution from every direction when evolution is so obviously (to me) the methodology He used. After all the rhetoric (or ignoring the rhetoric) what is left is evidence, to me, the only important consideration.

Thanx again for your thoughtful replies,

DB

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Re: Ben Stein - Expelled movie

#103

Post by godslanguage » Wed Jul 09, 2008 10:03 pm

That being said, I am completely open to the guiding force that has (so far) left no tracks. I'm unimpressed, however, with the techniques that the brain power behind the ID movement (DI) has used to further its cause. So much time, space, and effort is expended by these people criticizing evolution from every direction when evolution is so obviously (to me) the methodology He used. After all the rhetoric (or ignoring the rhetoric) what is left is evidence, to me, the only important consideration.
David, I just cannot for some very obvious reason grasp how you reconcile God and the god of Chance working together synchronously in this very asynchronous dialogue. I know many on this forum share the same view (which I respect), I just can't get my head around it.

I can see God playing no role, I can see God play a role, but I can't see a God that designs by rolling dice and expecting predictable results. The most I can grasp is pseudo-random results, predictable but not entirely.

K.Miller who shares your view has had a reputation of attacking Intelligent Design. What K.Miller does like Dawkins, is take the word of Darwin and adapt it to thy faith system, and to add to the confusion, a faith not equally shared by neither Dawkins nor Miller.
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Re: Ben Stein - Expelled movie

#104

Post by Gman » Thu Jul 10, 2008 7:10 am

nobible wrote:I'm surprised that Stein, an alumnus of Columbia and Yale, has fallen for the idea that intelligent design is legitimate science. Evolution is not anti-god/goddess/gods or anti-religion. It just describes how life has changed and evolved over time.
Exactly the point... It just describes how life has changed and evolved over time without God. It is a purely naturalistic approach to origins. God is replaced by natural selection and any type of divine intervention is "completely" erased from the equation.... In other words, there is no God.....
nobible wrote:The issue isn't whether or not there is a god, goddess, or gods...it's whether or not people want ACTUAL science taught in public classrooms and studied by real scientists.
No one knows how to chemically reproduce living cells from scratch. If you want to call that actual science, or possibly a magic show...
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Re: Ben Stein - Expelled movie

#105

Post by JCSx2 » Mon Oct 20, 2008 12:47 pm

Release tomorrow, I pick up my copy woo hoooo
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