Monday, October 1, 2007

Win Ben Stein's Religious Endorsement

I know I'm late on this.... but...What the hell? Should I be surprised that sort-of media star, former Nixon speech writer, and pop culture icon Ben Stein is supporting Intelligent Design?! Why Ben, why? I guess my disappointment is the way he is supporting the cause, by starring as the main interviewer/narrator of the new documentary of ID called Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed. This is the one that rounded up some great atheist spokesmen and biologists and interviewed them under false pretenses, after which they "quote-mined" the interviews for anything that could be used against them. Some articles have stated this was a Michael Moore-style documentary, in the way it spins interviews of the opposition into the message of the movie. Michael Moore, for all his spinning and shortcomings as a fact finder, does not try to convince the world that there are alternative theories to gravity, or another viable option to mathematics.

This movie, in short, is unbelievable bullshit. In all attempt to not rant and rave, how can rational people sponsor such pseudo-science and mysticism? The Atheist Ethicist does a very well done letter to Ben Stein here, that says it better than I can.

The sad fact is that intelligent design will be the embarrassment of our generation. Future generations will look back at this backlash to the increasing understanding of scientific principles and theories, and feel sympathy for our poor, back water intellects. Intellects of a large number of people who were unable to accept that their 2000 year old book may not be 100% accurate.

I fear the future for our children, for a great number of reasons. If we can tell them that evolution is flawed and there are viable alternatives within the realm of superstition, then we can also tell them that the ice caps are not really melting, their just migrating south for the winter. We can tell them that oil comes from an infinite well at the core of the planet. We can tell them that solar energy is too expensive and not-feasible. Yes, we are already telling them most of this stuff. Sad.

1 comment:

mkcoastie said...

"for all his spinning and shortcomings as a fact finder, does not try to convince the world that there are alternative theories to gravity"

It is very interesting that the statement you use to convey to your readers the ridiculousness of Mr. Stein's beliefs is a falsehood in itself. Let me explain. To say that Mr. Moore has not suggested an alternate to the theory of gravity is correct, he left that to the much more capable hands of Albert Einstein. You see, something that you failed to take into account is that Newton's theory of gravitation does not fully explain gravity. It is a scientific theory, and like all scientific theory it is very often changed and improved upon. The general concept of gravity, i.e. “things fall down”, is something we all learn from the youngest of ages. We learn this simply by observing the world around us. The scientific principle of gravitation, however, are much more complex than this. It is the scientific theory that tries to answer the question “why?” The first widely accepted of these theories was that of Isaac Newton. His theory of gravitation became accepted by the scientific community of the day as the answer to the “why?” question. There where, however things that this theory did not seem to explain. One example is the precession of the perihelion of the orbit of the planets, especially of planet Mercury. You see, there is a 43 arc second per century discrepancy between the Newtonian prediction, which arises only from the gravitational tugs of the other planets, and the observed precession. Another discrepancy was the predicted deflection of light by gravity using Newton's theory is only half the deflection actually observed. And still yet another problem was the observed fact that gravitational and inertial masses are the same for all bodies. Newton’s theory, which was widely accepted throughout the world, simply offered no answers to these discrepancies. So how were these discrepancies solved? They where explained by an alternate theory. That’s right the alternate theory to gravity that you so scoffed as ridiculous in your blog. Einstein’s theory of General relativity turned out to be in much closer match for explaining many of these problems. So as you see, thoughts about something as common knowledge as gravity where changed, this is what is known as a paradigm shift. You might want to look that up: “paradigm shift.” Wikipedia defines it as a change in basic assumptions within the ruling theory of science. Wikipedia also gives a number of historical examples of this happening. Each time this has happened in history there have been arguments on both sides of the table. Often times the defenders of the prevailing scientific thought will vehemently defend there thinking against any new theory, much as you are doing here. Now don’t get me wrong. While I am one of those Christians that you seem to detest so much, I have not yet decided whether or not I personally accept the theory of “inelegant design.” I feel that I do not yet know enough about what scientific principles this theory is bilt on to make an informed decision. I am assuming (and I truly hope that I am right about this) that you have conducted a thorough amount of research and are not just outright rejecting this theory because “it’s just some right wing Christian attempt to push there religion on us.” I am truly hoping that you are not rejecting this theory simply because you are unable to accept that your 149 year old book (the Origin of Species) might not be 100% accurate. I am also very much hoping that you where somehow privy to a pre-screening of Mr. Stein’s film (which is due in theaters in February of 2008) and are not merely lambasting a film you have not actually seen based purely on what you have heard thorough the grape vine. I will commend Mr. Alonzo Fyfe (who’s blog you reference – rebuttal to be coming soon) that he does at least admit to not yet having seen the movie, as flawed (although well written) as the rest of his logic is. So in closing, I have offered a researched, scientifically based argument against your blog posting, which you can take as you please. I hope that you will take it as a plea to at least research that which you so vehemently dispute (i.e. intelligent design). Your posting here is exactly what Mr. Stein is trying to portray in his upcoming film, the outright rejection – without consideration – of any alternate to (or even updated or altered version of) the theory of evolution. I hope that at very least you will read this fully, and give it as much consideration as the postings of a non Christian.