quote:[Y]ou'll stay awake through the one-hour-and-forty-five-minute film "Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed" - if you can manage it -- without ever hearing...any...definition of intelligent design...
"Expelled" trots out several martyrs to the Darwinist inquisition. The poster boy is Richard Sternberg, whom the movie says was ousted from his position at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, and from his editorship of the Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington when he published in that publication a peer-reviewed article of scientific evidence that supports intelligent design...
The allegations made in "Expelled" are wrong. Sternberg never worked for the Smithsonian, so the Smithsonian couldn't threaten his job there. He was a visiting scholar with research privileges, assigned an office. He still has both the office and the research privileges. He wasn't deprived of his editorship. His term as editor had expired so he was stepping down anyway in favor of another editor when the controversial ID article was published.
In short, contrary to the assertions in "Expelled," Sternberg suffered no harm whatever from the dustup...There are three or four other cases explored in "Expelled," all of which are presented in black-and-white terms as anti-ID intellectual repression by a Darwinist cabal...
After a half hour or so, "Expelled" wanders off to blame the theory of evolution for Communism, the Berlin Wall, Fascism, the Holocaust, atheism and Planned Parenthood...
The confusion about the definition of ID is apparent throughout the movie. "Expelled" ridicules a hypothesis proposed some years ago called "panspermia." This conjecture - for which, I hasten to add, there is zero direct evidence (just like ID) -- is that life on earth was originated elsewhere in the galaxy and was planted here, either delivered by alien visitors or remotely somehow. "Expelled," and the audience I saw it with, found this idea laugh-out-loud funny. But think about it. This is exactly ID's hypothesis: Some superintelligence planted life on earth. IDers prefer that the "intelligence" be the God of Abraham, but there's nothing in the hypothesis to rule out visitors from another galaxy.
Nothing really new there. They trot out the tired worn out classics. The Sternberg part sounds like they engage in blatant dishonesty - and they have definitely been corrected enough times to make it dishonesty. They undermine their 'secular' image by ridiculing the only secular ID concept proposed - Aliens did it.
The fact that they lied to get various interviews and other examples of dishonesty means that I won't be paying money towards the movie - if it even gets 'released' here.
I have heard the claim that ID cannot be falsifiable and therefore cannot be considered a science. The irony, as you can imagine, is the swarm of criticism attempting to falsify it.
There are two broad fronts here: 1) The correction of the criticism of evolutionary science, and the pointing out of the dishonesty of repeating known errors. 2) The correcting the idea that certain concepts such as irreducible complexity can give any indications of a "designer".
The reason it is unfalsifiable is because intelligent agents are capable of hiding evidence of their existence.
So if it can be shown that there is no specified complexity, then there is no reason to assume that an evolutionary algorithm is at work through unguided processes.
Correct. That is why evolution doesn't rely on disproving specified complexity, but in gathering positive evidence for the hypothesis.
But see, there is no way to ever discount the possibility of God, or any other intelligence. The intelligence could want it to look as if it were just through happenstance. Evolution could easily fall in that category.
There is no reason to think that an entity with no motivation might be motivated to manufacture evidence to cover up its own existence. Indeed there is much evidence that evolution has happened. Of course we could say that the intelligent designer manufactured the evidence to look like evolution happened - but that is unfalsifiable.
Evolution doesn't have 'desire' so it cannot 'want' to make it look like an intelligent designer did it.
Now - an intelligent designer could have made all of this happen and done so 'using' the mechanism of evolution. This is unfalsifiable and unparsimonious. An intelligent pusher could be keeping us on the planet, in a way that appears to be due to the warping of the geometry of space/time. That contains the same amount of weight as a hypothesis. I didn't do it, the fact that I am on film doing it only proves how devious my enemies are to create the appearance of me being a criminal!
All one has to do is to turn the table around on the initial claim and it is effectively dismantled. That is how you can falsify ID. ID is specifically precipiced on the notion of specified and irreducible complexity.
And yet, when they are falsified as links to a designer - ID remains - how?
Irreducible complexity was shown as not only a bad indicator of design, but (in its biochemical form) as a prediction of evolution! That the mathematics developed regarding specified complex information came from irreducible complexity leaves CSI as equally unfounded. The best part of the whole thing: Dembski was shown a pattern and was asked to determine if it had CSI. He said that evolutionary algorithms were capable of producing the 'appearance of complexity'. He has never to my knowledge given a way to discriminate between the appearance of complexity and actual complexity.
Thus the following hypotheses:
Irreducible Complexity demonstrates the necessity of an intelligent agent. and Specified Complexity demonstrates the necessity of an intelligent agent.
Have both been falsified.
"ID" can never be falsified since it refuses to describe the agent, or its methodology for implementation: and thus we are not able to know what it is capable of. It could be capable of hiding evidence of its own existence. Plenty of statements made by ID proponents can be falsified since they do make empirical claims, and when they do - they are often erroneous.
As soon as we get a 'how' that would leave a certain type of evidence that cannot be explained better by some other theory...ID will have itself a theory that might lend itself to actual falsification. However, we still find 'a designer did it' is unfalsifiable. We need 'designer x with properties y designed life using methodology z at time a' before we get anywhere near a scientific theory with the possibility of falsification.
That's kind of a silly objection don't you think, because anyone could just say that evolution was caused by God, giving the impression of capriciousness?
If that is the sole qualifier for (un)falsifiability, then I hardly see the objection.
Why is it a silly objection? Yes - anyone could say evolution was caused by God...and that hypothesis is unfalsifiable...which is why anyone can say it. Anyone can say that an invisible pink unicorn is sitting on their shoulders and they would be making an equally unfalsifiable claim (Assuming said unicorn has no mass etc etc).
The addition of a sentient entity into a hypothesis is not the sole qualifier for the lack of falsifiability, and it doesn't necessitate that the hypothesis is unfalsifiable. The capabilities of the sentient entity have to remain unknown or unknowable.
I'll tell you this much: The way to advance the evolutionary model is to advance shared genetic mistakes. Similarities between genes of a species begs the question. But showing that organisms share the same insertions/deletions would do so much more, because otherwise it is totally subjective. Categorizing organisms with similarities is like finding people who look alike, arranging them in a specific order, and saying, "Aha, they are related."
Nem, it isn't about finding organisms that look alike - otherwise we'd categorize Thylacine wolves as more related to placental wolves than they are to Kangaroos. Also - dolphins might prove problematic. In order to discover evidence of evolution we have to begin like this "Assuming evolution is true we should find..." and try and find what that is.
Shared genetic mistakes is one of them, but another one is the attempt to find synapomorphies (not just 'similarities' - also known as the phenetic method - which is as you assert subjective and flawed). Since you have come to accept the shared genetic mistake argument, perhaps it is time for you to give the 29+ evidences of macroevolution another careful read - it lays out how cladistics are actually done.
My contention is that attempting to trace it down to an amoeba, with all of the links in between, remains totally unconvincing to me.
Well actually getting to the population of universal common ancestors is obviously hard work, but why are you unconvinced by all of the lines? Why not just the earliest ones?
Sure, but that would mean that evolution isn't guided by chance + natural selection.
Actually it would. The entity is using the method of evolution - thus it is using the method of chance and natural selection. We have used the method of evolution to design things, Nem, and we definitely used chance and selection to do it.
You would all but have to concede the point that for centuries upon centuries mankind assumed an Intelligence beyond itself. Why did they come to that conclusion? Because life sure as heck, in almost every way, appears to be purposeful.
Right - we are pattern seeking mammals. And that has gotten us very far but sometimes we see patterns and come to strange conclusions:
Laws indicate purpose
Scientific laws do not indicate purpose. They are just descriptive, not prescriptive. That is contrary to human laws which are prescriptive not descriptive.
Or a convenient scapegoat to get around the obviously flaw... I mean, its like punctuated equilibrium. After years of not seeing any real evidence connecting the dots, they erected a strawman, the fact that we see no evidence is in itself the evidence! Huzahhhhh! Know what I mean?
Darwin had proposed that the rate of evolution wasn't constant and that it might come in fits and bursts. Gould pointed out that this matches the fossil record. You should probably understand that this is something else. Note that irreducible complexity was an evolutionary prediction made before the first world war. So punctuated equilibria was predicted by Darwin in the late 19th Century and irreducible complexity was predicted by Muller in the early 20th Century. (See Message 15 for details). Not really the image you were trying to insinuate, is it?
If they have been falsified, as you allege, then ID is falsifiable, because those two arguments in conjunction with one another are the foundation of the theory.
That particular strain of ID is falsified. When people say that ID is unfalsifiable thy refer to the concept of ID is inherently unfalsifiable because if the ID proponents were to admit that they falsify ID they will still hold to ID and hide behind things such as 'the appearance of complexity not actual complexity'. More importantly they do not give details of how the design is implemented. The implementation is the important part of science - and until some method of implementation is put forward the theory as a whole remains unfalsifiable.
That's silly though. That's like saying gravity never existed before it was proven because gravity didn't have a face. Surely you can see how the logic is faulty here.
No, it is like saying there wasn't a theory of gravity until the mechanism for gravity was hashed out. And there wasn't. It wasn't until Einstein that a falsifiable theory came to be.
The "how" is what the investigation of ALL science is about though! Everyone knew, long before a law was ascribed to it, that what goes up, eventually comes down. But these are useless facts. The "how" is what science is concerned with, and always has been, and presumably, always will be.
Exactly my point. When ID gives us a 'how' we'll have a scientific theory. That they refuse to tell us 'how' should tell you something.
We don't how an intelligent designer created life anymore than we know what the First Cause was. Science wants to find it out. So let them!
Nobody is stopping anybody from trying to find the 'how' behind ID. The problem is the refusal of the ID proponents to even try.
When asked how a pakicetus eventually became a whale, you could just say "evolution did it." Assuming evolution is true, that would ultimately be the correct answer, but so what?
The difference being is that if you want more information as to 'how did evolution do it' you can get answers. They may not be complete answers, there may be more to evolution than we currently know, but there are lots of hows involved. Compare and contrast to ID.
Suppose you were asked to take a poll. This poll dictated whether or not the writers of a new science textbook would allow the introduction of the Steady State theory to be juxtaposed by the Inflationary model.
What answer would you give them, and why?
I'd say it depended on context. I'm perfectly happy for the steady state model to be mentioned as a hypothesis which has fallen out of favour due to the overwhelming evidence against it. Likewise, I'm perfectly happy for creationism and Paley and ID to be mentioned in a similar context. However - I would object to the curriculum if a special interest group was trying to do this only for their pet theories or concepts. I'd want historical science or what have you to be across the whole board if its going to be in there at all.
Given the amount of time this might take up, it might prove to be unwise in the already full high school curriculum but it might be ideal for a university setting.
So I presume Richard Dawkins had also reserved a seat online? I wonder if he used his own name.
ID was needed to gain entry, so he'd have probably shown his passport. Also from pharyngula:
PZ Myers writes:
This was a private screening with no admission charge, and you had to reserve seats ahead of time; you also had to sign a promise that you wouldn't record the movie while you were there, and they were checking ID... I was the only person evicted. The people I was with, which included my wife, my daughter Skatje, her boyfriend Collin, Richard Dawkins, and the entire staff of the Richard Dawkins Foundation, were overlooked. I was the lucky one.
quote:Stein asks Richard to put a number on how certain he is that there is no god. Richard says 99%. Stein asks "Why not 97? Or why not 47?" Richard replies "Well you asked me to put a number on it, so I did".
quote:Stein then asked Dawkins to put a number on how sure he is that ID didn't happen. After saying he didn't think it was appropriate to put a number on such a thing, he said 99%. Then conversation following went as such: "99, huh? Why not 97?" "Uh, well, you asked me to put a number on itâ€¦" "Why not 47, then?" "Well, I think it's definitely in the higher rangeâ€¦" Dawkins looked more confused than anything in this part, and understandably so.
Because that would go against his previous public statements and presumably what believes. He doesn't say God 100% does not exist.
quote:Not only is the god hypothesis unnecessary. It is spectacularly unparsimonious. Not only do we need no God to explain the universe and life. God stands out in the universe as the most glaring of all superfluous sore thumbs. We cannot, of course, disprove God, just as we can't disprove Thor, fairies, leprechauns and the Flying Spaghetti Monster. But, like those other fantasies that we can't disprove, we can say that God is very very improbable.
I've not seen it, but from what I hear, God and 'The Designer' or 'God did it' and 'ID' are used interchangeably. The amusing thing is of course that ID has been trying to prove it is a secular science, and Expelled blows that out of the water. From what I remember, Dembski once argued that it doesn't have to be God, the Designer - it could be aliens the Designers. Naturally, Dembski was taken very seriously by IDers at the time. When Dawkins states the hypothesis as being more probable than the God hypothesis...mocking ensues?
There are 2 sides to the ID movement. On one side, they are trying to convince the legal parts of our society that ID is secular. These battlegrounds are mainly in the courtrooms...
In this particular case, this documentary is appealing to the unwashed masses. I highly doubt that anyone would bring this documentary up in the courtroom.
The unwashed masses find their way on to school boards (and I believe some school boards have specifically been invited to watch the film). If you remember Kitzmiller, you'll remember one unwashed member named Bill "I didn't say creationism" Buckingham. Not that I expect to see much in the way of ID court cases now, but the secular faÃ§ade is difficult to maintain when it comes to the unwashed. Slips like Buckingham's are quite easy to make over a long enough time period, if they were 'converted' to the cause by Expelled it'll just be that much more difficult.
I can't help but think Behe's and Dembski's appearance on ID's side won't be doing them any long term favours in their battle to insist that ID is secular science.
I knew he had not said never ever ever no God but still he could have said no ID-100%
I'm not sure that would have been a particularly strong or coherent argument. After all, most people's conception of God is a specific kind of Creator/Designer/Architect. It would also undermine his position on the tentativity of knowledge.
The modern media militia considers Creationism as a "faith-without-facts warhorse"...They are very good at tearing down their enemies and lifting them selves up with their credentials, making a name for themselves so they can have authority.
You realize that Premise Media is in fact, a media company right? One whose open goal is to 'tear down their enemies' whilst lifting themselves up with their credentials? Did you know that Ben Stein wrote speeches for Nixon? Did you know he was part of the intelligentsia? If you didn't before, in the wake of this film you do now!
. It is also exposing the ties from Darwin to euthanasia, abortion, eugenics, racism and the Holocaust
Of course, you'll find very few historical documents where you'll see the actual people who do the killing getting convinced it is the correct thing to do because of Darwin. You'll find rants about Marxism of the Jews, Communist Jews, secret Jewish Capitalist conspiriacies, economic leechery, the high population density of Germany versus the low population density of other places in Europe, you'll see that Jews drink their children's blood and commit vile crimes against German women and children (the vilest crimes humanity has ever conceived, no less), you'll see rhetoric accusing the Jews of being a race of liars perpetuating the Big Lie, you'll see stuff about Jews seeking only to gain more money or power at the expense of German moral and spiritual goodness, you'll see insane prophecies of the Fuhrer, you'll have no problem finding justification in God's command, I'm sure you'll see such wonders as appealing to the vengeance-based debasement that is the Old Testament without the New.
He claimed that the Aryan race was God's Favored race and every one else was "sub-human".
Yes, it's one of the oldest justifications for genocide stretching back thousands of years before Darwin was born. Jews were the unfortunate victims of many of these genocidal pogroms. The Israelites, quite literally, wrote the book on theological justifications for genocide.
Evolutionists will always try to make Hitler out to be this Christian Killing in the name of God.
No, he was an opportunist that cynically manipulated anything from Wagner to Darwin to Luther to the Roman Catholic Church in an attempt to appeal to as many people as possible in one of the most successful propaganda efforts humanity has ever suffered under.
Anybody who thinks the Nazi's rise to power, and the subsequent horrors, can all be pinned on one single causal source is a fool.
But let's not speculate, lets see what Hitler says
Yes, lets. You quote from a section of Mein Kampf where Hitler is talking about how ideas spread (cultural evolution). He says that a nationalist autocrat should be allowed to rise to power because he is selected by Destiny to do so (and the Volk should clear the path to allow the strong personality to flourish). After all, this is survival of the fittest. However, he shows his cloudy thinking as he talks of Marxist Jewry. Apparently, even if Marxism is successful that doesn't mean it is a good thing, because it can't be successful in the right ways.
You won't find any reason in Darwin's works to prefer a dictatorship fo National Socialism to Marxism. Studying nature has shown us that there are many ways of legitimately running a social group.
So how does Hitler get from cultural/political evolution to being able to determine which political system is 'best'? Why, common lore, folk wisdom, common sense of course! Why, everybody knows that of race is a factor in personal worth!
Anyway, the entire chapter is like that, it's a political argument against Marxism - which (when convenient), Hitler ascribes to Jews.
He accused the Jews of bringing "Negroes into the Rhineland" with the purpose of "ruining the white race by the necessarily resulting bastardization." From everything I can find on this topic, it leads to Hitler using a mix of Evolutionary thought with his neo-christian views as political weapons.
He's not using evolutionary thought when he says
quote:With satanic joy in his face, the black-haired Jewish youth lurks in wait for the unsuspecting girl whom he defiles with his blood, thus stealing her from her people. With every means he tries to destroy the racial foundations of the people he has set out to subjugate. Just as he himself systematically ruins women and girls, he does not shrink back from pulling down the blood barriers for others, even on a large scale. It was and it is Jews who bring the Negroes into the Rhineland, always with the same secret thought and clear aim of ruining the hated white race by the necessarily resulting bastardization, throwing it down from its cultural and political height, and himself rising to be its master.
That's just straight up racism. The concern for the 'home race' is a common thread throughout history. As I mentioned earlier, the Israelites where very concerned about their neighbours 'bastardizing' them so that they would lose their racial identity. White people today who are definitely not pro-evolution use this argument about the Mexicans, the Poles, the Arabs and any number of other races that might be immigrating into the area.
Any 'documentary' that simply points to let's say, a particular branch of science, as not being manipulated and misused, but applied in a logical fashion to lead to the murder of millions, is being deliberately misleading.
Indeed, it is propaganda that Hitler would be proud of. Instead of piling up the evils of the world on one thing, the Jews, Expelled seeks to pile up the evils of the world on one thing, Darwinists. It makes references to communism and Nazism, Hitler made references to Marxism and destructive economic greed. Hitler references global Jewish conspiracies, Expelled has global Darwinist conspiracies.
Expelled tries to follow Hitler's rules for good propaganda:
quote:All propaganda must be popular and its intellectual level must be adjusted to the most limited intelligence among those it is addressed to. Consequently, the greater the mass it is intended to reach, the lower its purely intellectual level will have to be. But if, as in propaganda for sticking out a war, the aim is to influence a whole people, we must avoid excessive intellectual demands on our public, and too much caution cannot be extended in this direction.
The more modest its intellectual ballast, the more exclusively it takes into consideration the emotions of the masses, the more effective it will be. And this is the best proof of the soundness or unsoundness of a propaganda campaign, and not success pleasing a few scholars or young aesthetes.
The art of propaganda lies in understanding the emotional ideas of the great masses and finding, through a psychologically correct form, the way to the attention and thence to the heart of the broad masses. The fact that our bright boys do not understand this merely shows how mentally lazy and conceited they are.
Once understood how necessary it is for propaganda in be adjusted to the broad mass, the following rule results:
It is a mistake to make propaganda many-sided, like scientific instruction, for instance.
But in the wrong hands it becomes a weapon. The exact same can be said for neo-christianity, islam, and any religion.
Yes, all ideas are weapons in the wrong hands. If this documentary was about how good ideas can be perverted by powerful lunatics, it would have been interesting. Instead it uses cheap tactics of saying things like, "I found out that Darwinism could be dangerous" (Cue pictures of Nazi Germany).
Darwinism isn't dangerous - charismatic mass-murderers are dangerous.
Did Premise Media, Ben Stein, Mark Mathis et al intentionally decide to release Expelled at the box office on the weekend of Hitler's 119th Birthday? What about the fact that the 18th is made of two digits...1=A and 8=H AH=A.Hitler.
Probably not, but stupid conspiracy theories are easy to make up.
Ir looka likw your dinfwea qwew on rhw qeonf kwya!
I actually agree with the Hitler comments you made, I in fact went back and re read the Mein Kampf chapter I had mentioned.. I do see your point on that and should not have used it as an example.
Can't ask for a more cordial response. Welcome to EvC, I'm sure we'll be seeing a lot of each other!
That is what I am saying in my post, that Hitler wasn't JUST using biological evolution as an excuse, but also neo-christianity and politics.
You are quite right that this was your overall thesis, and I had seen that and didn't want to imply that you were ignorant of it. I was trying to show that Expelled wasn't torn down because of the evil Jewish Financiers Darwinist anti-God League. It was criticised because it takes a complex issue like the holocaust and implies that Darwin's work was necessary for it to have taken place.
Is Ben Stein actually interviewing all the scientists involved?
quote:Some, like Richard Dawkins and Michael Shermer, were interviewed by the host of the film, Ben Stein. Other scientists, such as Eugenie Scott and P. Z. Myers, were interviewed by Mathis and other production crew.
The average price of a ticket is $6.82 and each cinema made on average $3,000 which I estimate to mean about 440 people per day per cinema:- A grand total of approximately 462,000 tickets sold on the opening weekend.
Not bad for a documentary, but there is a reason most people don't spend a lot of money on making documentaries.
I was composing a similar post, but decided that it didn't have enough weight so I discarded it. Here are some concepts from that now dead post:
quote:...greater is the responsibility of those Europeans who have always from the most base motives encouraged, protected and fostered the disintegrating activity of the Jews, and these are primarily the Princes and the nobility â€” and that too from the first century of our era to the present day. Open the history of any European nation you like wherever the Jews are numerous and begin to realise their strength, you will always hear bitter complaints against them from the people, from the commercial classes, from the circles of the learned and the poets; everywhere and at all times it is the Princes and the nobility that protect them: the Princes because they need money for their wars, the nobility because they live extravagantly.
This was Houston Stewart Chamberlain, famous intellectual father of Nazi race theory. His opinion of Darwin was expressed in the following way, reminiscent of the Film, Expelled:
quote:A manifestly unsound system like that of Darwin exercises a much more powerful influence than the deepest speculations, just because of its â€œpracticability.â€œ And so we have seen the idea of evolution develop itself till it spread from biology and geology to all spheres of thought and investigation, and, intoxicated by its success, exercised such a tyranny that any one who did not swear by it was to be looked upon as a simpleton.
quote:Among the group of white races, the noblest, the most highly gifted in intellect and personal beauty, the most active in the cause of civilization, is the Arian race.
But then again he also wrote:
quote:In this miserable corner of the world, what were the Jews ? A people dextrous in all they undertook, a free, powerful, intelligent people, who, before losing bravely, and against a much superior foe, the title of independent nation, had furnished to the world almost as many doctors as merchants
But then: why does anybody expect Hitler to honestly represent his sources? Does Ben Stein trust Hitler? So Hitler makes some veiled references to something that might be traced back to something Darwin says, are we to take Hitler's word for it? After the hatchet job Hitler does on every single other source, twisting it, turning it, censoring it, burning it, lying about it, manipulating others into believing his version of things...we are supposed to conclude that Darwin's ideas are somehow causally responsible for Hitler's actions?
As you can see, there is no real meat to the post, nothing to really get one's teeth into, but I thought it complemented your post rather well so there it is.
What struck me about the movie (it reached red box, I was bored) was how small this group is. Several minutes in the movie were taken to show how difficult it was for Ben Stein to locate the office. Once inside we see a couple of secretaries and one or two significant players.
Was there any mention of the budget of this small group? The last time I heard any info on this it turned out that their budget was like ten times that of the NCSE. Some of the significant players were pulling in way more than I make in a year to compose a single document.
Yes they dream big don't they? But who believes their nonsense? Those who already reside in their camp of thought. I have not met anyone yet who became a YEC based on their arguments, only people who were already YECS grasping at the straws offered them.
I have met a few people that parroted 'Teach the controversy' and that ID sounds perfectly reasonable to them. ID is only the narrow end of their proposed wedge. Whether their wedge will work is an interesting question.