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Thursday, April 24, 2008

Radaractive versus Scientific American...point by point

(The words of Radar and his sources in black, the words of the Scientific American in blue)



Below we address the issues point by point that are posted in: Six Things in Expelled That Ben Stein Doesn't Want You to Know...

...about intelligent design and evolution

By John Rennie and Steve Mirsky

n the film Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, narrator Ben Stein poses as a "rebel" willing to stand up to the scientific establishment in defense of freedom and honest, open discussion of controversial ideas like intelligent design (ID). But Expelled has some problems of its own with honest, open presentations of the facts about evolution, ID—and with its own agenda. Here are a few examples—add your own with a comment, and we may add it to another draft of this story. For our complete coverage, see "Expelled: No Intelligence AllowedScientific American's Take.


1) Expelled quotes Charles Darwin selectively to connect his ideas to eugenics and the Holocaust.
When the film is building its case that Darwin and the theory of evolution bear some responsibility for the Holocaust, Ben Stein's narration quotes from Darwin's The Descent of Man thusly:

With savages, the weak in body or mind are soon eliminated. We civilized men, on the other hand, do our utmost to check the process of elimination. We build asylums for the imbecile, the maimed and the sick. Thus the weak members of civilized societies propagate their kind. No one who has attended to the breeding of domestic animals will doubt that this must be highly injurious to the race of man. Hardly anyone is so ignorant as to allow his worst animals to breed.

This is how the original passage in The Descent of Man reads (unquoted sections emphasized in italics):

With savages, the weak in body or mind are soon eliminated; and those that survive commonly exhibit a vigorous state of health. We civilized men, on the other hand, do our utmost to check the process of elimination. We build asylums for the imbecile, the maimed and the sick; we institute poor-laws; and our medical men exert their utmost skill to save the life of every one to the last moment. There is reason to believe that vaccination has preserved thousands, who from a weak constitution would formerly have succumbed to small-pox. Thus the weak members of civilized societies propagate their kind. No one who has attended to the breeding of domestic animals will doubt that this must be highly injurious to the race of man. It is surprising how soon a want of care, or care wrongly directed, leads to the degeneration of a domestic race; but excepting in the case of man himself, hardly anyone is so ignorant as to allow his worst animals to breed.

The producers of the film did not mention the very next sentences in the book (emphasis added in italics):

The aid which we feel impelled to give to the helpless is mainly an incidental result of the instinct of sympathy, which was originally acquired as part of the social instincts, but subsequently rendered, in the manner previously indicated, more tender and more widely diffused. Nor could we check our sympathy, even at the urging of hard reason, without deterioration in the noblest part of our nature. The surgeon may harden himself whilst performing an operation, for he knows that he is acting for the good of his patient; but if we were intentionally to neglect the weak and helpless, it could only be for a contingent benefit, with an overwhelming present evil.

Darwin explicitly rejected the idea of eliminating the "weak" as dehumanizing and evil. Those words falsify Expelled's argument. The filmmakers had to be aware of the full Darwin passage, but they chose to quote only the sections that suited their purposes.

~~~~~~~

Au contraire, mes amis! While some quotes are not complete, the thought and intent of the passages remain. First, Dr. Brad Harrub, Ph.D will respond:


Apologetics Press :: Reason & Revelation



The title itself evokes an emotional response that spans the spectrum. Some view Charles Darwin’s famous opus, The Origin of Species, as a negative turning point for human society; others revere it as practically sacrosanct. While both the author and the book have become historical icons, few people likely are aware of the full title of Darwin’s most famous work: The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection—or The Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life. The Oxford English Dictionary denotes that, historically speaking, the term “race” referred to a group of persons, animals, or plants connected by common descent or origin—in other words, similar to the way it is used today.

While many have argued that Darwin himself was not a “racist” (referring specifically to the fact that The Origin of Species did not include much discussion about Homo sapiens), his second book left little question about his personal views. Titled The Descent of Man, one entire chapter was dedicated to “The Races of Man.In that book, Darwin wrote:

At some future period not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilised races of man will almost certainly exterminate and replace the savage races throughout the world. At the same time the anthropomorphous apes...will no doubt be exterminated. The break between man and his nearest Allies will then be wider, for it will intervene between man in a more civilised state, as we may hope, even than the Caucasian, and some ape as low as the baboon, instead of as now between the Negro or Australian and the gorilla (1874, p. 178).

While some have argued that Darwin was simply “predicting the future,” the chapter on human races makes painfully clear his beliefs on the subject. For instance, a few pages later in chapter seven, he noted:

Their mental characteristics are likewise very distinct; chiefly as it would appear in their emotional, but partly in their intellectual faculties. Everyone who has had the opportunity of comparison must have been struck with the contrast between the taciturn, even morose, aborigines of S. America and the light-hearted, talkative negroes.

While Darwin may have maintained an outward concern for social justice, Thomas Henry Huxley, a close personal friend of Darwin’s and an indefatigable champion of evolution (who frequently referred to himself as “Darwin’s Bulldog”) observed:

No rational man, cognizant of the facts, believes that the average Negro is the equal, still less the superior, of the white man. And if this be true, it is simply incredible that, when all his disabilities are removed, and our prognathus relative has a fair field and no favour, as well as no oppressor, he will be able to compete successfully with his bigger-brained and smaller jawed rival, in a contest which is to be carried out on by thoughts and not by bites (1871, p. 20).

The point is obvious: if man evolved, then so did the various races. But more than that, Darwin and Huxley argued further that the “caucasian” race was farther along in the evolutionary process, and thus superior to all the other races.

However, evolutionists do not exactly revel in the thought of being associated with racism (which is one reason that the title of Darwin’s Origin of Species book has been truncated). Most would argue that these views are ancient, and are simply reflections of the culture of that age. Yet the stigma of an “inferior race” took root, and has from time to time continued to spring up in the literature. More than fifty years after Darwin released The Origin of Species, Henry Fairfield Osborn remarked:

The Negroid stock is even more ancient than the Caucasian and Mongolian, as may be proved by an examination not only of the brain, of the hair, of the bodily characters such as teeth, the genitalia, the sense organs, but of the instincts, the intelligence. The standard of intelligence of the average Negro is similar to that of the eleven-year-old youth of the species Homo sapiens (1980, 89:129).

The most recent addition in this evolutionary theory of human races comes from two prominent scientists—Vincent Sarich (one of the founding pioneers of the molecular clock) and Frank Miele (senior editor of Skeptic magazine). Robert Proctor reviewed their 2004 book, Race: The Reality of Human Differences, in the February 5, 2004 issue of Nature. The first six words of his review were: “This is a very disturbing book” (2004, 427:487). Disturbing indeed! The authors categorized people according to race, thereby reinforcing the contemporary ideas of racial hierarchy. How many individuals have ever stopped to fully grasp the true extent of evolutionary beliefs? And yet, the foundations for this racist thinking are being taught in classrooms all across the country. The Bible is clear—God created simply the human race—not a multiplicity of races.

REFERENCES

Darwin, Charles (1874), The Descent of Man (New York: A.L. Burt Co.), second edition.

Huxley, Thomas H. (1871), Lay Sermons, Addresses and Reviews (New York: Appleton).

Osborn, Henry Fairfield (1980), “The Evolution of the Human Races,” Natural History, 89:129, April; reprinted from Natural History, 1926.

Proctor, Robert N. (2004), “Racial Realities or Bombast?,” Nature, 427:487-488, February 5.


Also, Dr. Berlinski:

Connecting Hitler and Darwin
By: David Berlinski
Human Events
April 18, 2008


Original Article

One man -- Charles Darwin -- says: “In the struggle for survival, the fittest win out at the expense of their rivals. …”

Another man -- Adolf Hitler -- says: Let us kill all the Jews of Europe.

Is there a connection?

Yes obviously is the answer of the historical record and common sense.

Published in 1859, Darwin’s On the Origin of Species said nothing of substance about the origin of species. Or anything else, for that matter. It nonetheless persuaded scientists in England, Germany and the United States that human beings were accidents of creation. Where Darwin had seen species struggling for survival, German physicians, biologists, and professors of hygiene saw races.

They drew the obvious conclusion, the one that Darwin had already drawn. In the struggle for survival, the fittest win out at the expense of their rivals. German scientists took the word expense to mean what it meant: The annihilation of less fit races.

The point is made with abysmal clarity in the documentary, Expelled. Visiting the site at which those judged defective were killed -- a hospital, of course -- the narrator, Ben Stein, asks the curator what most influenced the doctors doing the killing.

“Darwinism,” she replies wanly.

It is perfectly true that prominent Nazis were hardly systematic thinkers. They said whatever came into their heads and since their heads were empty, ideas tended to ricochet. Heinrich Himmler proclaimed himself offended by the idea that he might been descended from the apes.

If Himmler was offended, the apes were appalled.

Nonetheless, even stupid men reach their conclusions because they have been influenced in certain ways. At Hitler’s death in May of 1945, the point was clear enough to the editorial writers of the New York Times. “Long before he had dreamed of achieving power,” they wrote, [Hitler] had developed the principles that nations were destined to hate, oppose and destroy one another; [and] that the law of history was the struggle for survival between peoples … ”.

Where, one might ask, had Hitler heard those ideas before? We may strike the Gospels from possible answers to this question. Nonetheless, the thesis that there is a connection between Darwin and Hitler is widely considered a profanation. A professor of theology at Iowa State University, Hector Avalos is persuaded that Martin Luther, of all people, must be considered Adolf Hitler’s spiritual advisor. Luther, after all, liked Jews as little as Hitler did, and both men suffered, apparently, from hemorrhoids. Having matured his opinion by means of an indifference to the facts, Roger Friedman, writing on Fox news, considers the connection between Darwin and Hitler and in an access of analytical insight thinks only to remark, “Urgggh.”

The view that we may consider the sources of Nazi ideology in every context except those most relevant to its formation is rich, fruity, stupid and preposterous. It is for this reason repeated with solemn incomprehension at the website Expelled Exposed: “Anti-Semitic violence against Jews,” the authors write with a pleased sense of discovery, “can be traced as far back as the middle ages, at least 7 centuries before Darwin.”

Let me impart a secret. It can be traced even further. “Oh that mine head were waters and mine eyes a fountain of tears," runs the lamentation in Jeremiah 9.1, “that I might weep day and night for the slain daughters of my people.”

And yet if anti-Semitism has been the white noise of European history, to assign it causal powers over the Holocaust is simply to ignore very specific ideas that emerged in the 19th century, and that at once seized the imagination of scientists throughout the world.

What is often called social Darwinism was a malignant force in Germany, England and the United States from the moment that social thinkers forged the obvious connection between what Darwin said and what his ideas implied. Justifying involuntary sterilization, Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes argued that “three generations of imbeciles is enough.” He was not, it is understood, appealing to Lutheran ideas. Germany reached a moral abyss before any other state quite understood that the abyss was there to be reached because Germans have always had a congenital weakness for abysses and seem unwilling, when one is in sight, to avoid toppling into it.

These historical connections are so plain that from time to time, those most committed to Darwin’s theory of evolution are moved to acknowledge them. Having dismissed a connection between Darwin and Hitler with florid indignation, the authors of the site Expelled Exposed at once proceed to acknowledge it: “The Nazis appropriated language and concepts from evolution,” they write, “as well as from genetics, medicine (especially the germ theory of disease), and anthropology as propaganda tools to promote their perverted ideology of ‘racial purity.’”

Just so.

Would he care to live in a society shaped by Darwinian principles? The question was asked of Richard Dawkins.

Not at all, he at once responded.

And why not?

Because the result would be fascism.

In this, Richard Dawkins was entirely correct; and it is entirely to his credit that he said so.

David Berlinski is a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute, the author of “The Devil’s Delusion: Atheism and its Scientific Pretensions” and appears in the new documentary “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed.”

~~~~~~~

2) Ben Stein's speech to a crowded auditorium in the film was a setup.
"
Viewers of Expelled might think that Ben Stein has been giving speeches on college campuses and at other public venues in support of ID and against "big science." But if he has, the producers did not include one. The speech shown at the beginning and end was staged solely for the sake of the movie. Michael Shermer learned as much by speaking to officials at Pepperdine University, where those scenes were filmed. Only a few of the audience members were students; most were extras brought in by the producers. Judge the ovation Ben Stein receives accordingly.

~~~~~~~

This point is remarkably lame. Hey, guys? It's a MOVIE!!! You don't know that Michael Moore and Al Gore included setups in their documentaries? This has absolutely nothing to do with whether the issues involved are valid ones at all.

~~~~~~~

3) Scientists in the film thought they were being interviewed for a different movie.
As Richard Dawkins, PZ Myers, Eugenie Scott, Michael Shermer and other proponents of evolution appearing in Expelled have publicly remarked, the producers first arranged to interview them for a film that was to be called Crossroads, which was allegedly a documentary on "the intersection of science and religion." They were subsequently surprised to learn that they were appearing in Expelled, which "exposes the widespread persecution of scientists and educators who are pursuing legitimate, opposing scientific views to the reigning orthodoxy," to quote from the film's press kit.

When exactly did Crossroads become Expelled? The producers have said that the shift in the film's title and message occurred after the interviews with the scientists, as the accumulating evidence gradually persuaded them that ID believers were oppressed. Yet as blogger Wesley Elsberry discovered when he searched domain registrations, the producers registered the URL "expelledthemovie.com" on March 1, 2007—more than a month (and in some cases, several months) before the scientists were interviewed. The producers never registered the URL "crossroadsthemovie.com". Those facts raise doubt that Crossroads was still the working title for the movie when the scientists were interviewed.

~~~~~~~

Craig of My Wise Generation responds:

"Response:
This is completely and utterly irrelevant. The questions these gentleman were asked were not deep nor should have been unexpected. Richard Dawkin's crumbles under a question regarding the 'probability' of his disbelief in God and his take on the origins of man. For a gentleman who wrote an entire book on how God is a delusion these questions shouldn't even break him a sweat. He then theorizes a possibility of an intelligent design, but that intelligent design couldn't possibly be a God, it must be something of higher intelligence, such as an alien race. Another scientists even suggests the absurd notion of life beginning on the back of crystals.

As for the other scientists who were asked questions, you find in documentaries that people have a much better propensity to be honest when they are comfortable answering questions. Explaining the exact context of the film would further encourage them to simply fall under scripted answers instead of giving genuine ones on the spot. This is a strategy used by many who create documentaries and for good reason.

I would, for sake of argument, accept it was unreasonable for them to "mis-represent" the purpose of the film if the questions Ben Stein had asked were actually difficult ones, but they were not. Instead, these gentlemen used their opportunity in the film to call intelligent design "idiotic" and "preposterous" (even though Dawkin's then later suggests an intelligent designer that may be aliens). Of course, now that they know what the film was about they want to take back their statements. If they didn't mean what they had said, then they simply wouldn't have said it, no matter what the title or purpose of the film was.

This is not a flaw in the film, in fact, it is a strength. It reveals genuine perspectives from some of the most world renowned Darwinian scientists."

Furthermore, all the people interviewed in the film had questions emailed to them in advance of the interviews.

Furthermore, it is common for movies to have working titles that are then changed. Go to IMDB to view the movies being filmed and you will find that they all have a working title and often that title is changed. SciAm either knows nothing about the movie business, or they hope that you don't!

~~~~~~~

4) The ID-sympathetic researcher whom the film paints as having lost his job at the Smithsonian Institution was never an employee there.
One section of Expelled relates the case of Richard Sternberg, who was a researcher at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History and editor of the journal Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington. According to the film, after Sternberg approved the publication of a pro-ID paper by Stephen C. Meyer of the Discovery Institute, he lost his editorship, was demoted at the Smithsonian, was moved to a more remote office, and suffered other professional setbacks. The film mentions a 2006 House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform report prepared for Rep. Mark Souder (R–Ind.), "Intolerance and the Politicization of Science at the Smithsonian," that denounced Sternberg's mistreatment.

This selective retelling of the Sternberg affair omits details that are awkward for the movie's case, however. Sternberg was never an employee of the Smithsonian: his term as a research associate always had a limited duration, and when it ended he was offered a new position as a research collaborator. As editor, Sternberg's decision to "peer-review" and approve Meyer's paper by himself was highly questionable on several grounds, which was why the scientific society that published the journal later repudiated it. Sternberg had always been planning to step down as the journal's editor—the issue in which he published the paper was already scheduled to be his last.

The report prepared by Rep. Souder, who had previously expressed pro-ID views, was never officially accepted into the Congressional Record. Notwithstanding the report's conclusions, its appendix contains copies of e-mails and other documents in which Sternberg's superiors and others specifically argued against penalizing him for his ID views. (More detailed descriptions of the Sternberg case can be found on Ed Brayton's blog Dispatches from the Culture Wars and on Wikipedia.)

~~~~~~~

First, just because his office at the Smithsonian was not a paid position doesn't mean that being kicked out wasn't a large loss professionally. It was still an attempt to quash a voice that was going against the Darwinist flow and no technicality will be able to cover that fact up.

Eric Rasmussen follows up on this controversy with more information that makes Ben Stein's point more pointedly:

"Hostility towards ID Science: The Sternberg Affair at the Smithsonian

Richard von Sternberg, the Smithsonian associate who was persecuted by the institution for having merely been the editor of a journal that published a pro-intelligent-design article, has published the result of the official investigation by the Office of Special Counsel into his persecution. It confirms his claims—and more, since he didn’t know how bad it was. A lot of scientists are seriously opposed any open-minded discussion of Intelligent Design. Steinberg prefaces the official report on his web page with this explanation:

After its initial investigation of my complaint the Office of Special Counsel (OSC) concluded that I had been seriously wronged by the Smithsonian Institution and its Natural Museum of Natural History. The OSC believed, however, that it lacked jurisdiction to force the Smithsonian to allow the investigation to continue to completion, and the Smithsonian was unwilling to proceed voluntarily. Consequently, the OSC sent me a “pre-closure letter” to inform me of the state of their investigation and initial conclusions.

The report itself is long. Here are some excerpts :

Our investigation also shows that there is a strong religious and political component to the actions taken after the publication of the Meyer article. Much of the e-mail traffic after the publication of the Meyer article documented a personal investigation of you and tabbed you as a “creationist.” One senior SI employee, when discussing the Meyer article stated, “the paper is a sheer disaster– We are evolutionary biologist, and I am sorry to see us made into the laughing stock of the world, even if this kind of rubbish sells well in backwoods, USA– under no circumstances should the Institution support the journal with page-charges, which up to this point has been a mainstay of the Society.” After the publication when many in the SI were investigating your background one of the e-mails raised concerns that you had “extensive training as an orthodox priest.” Another e-mail stated, ” Scientists have been perfectly willing to let these people alone in their churches, but now it looks like these people are coming out and invading our schools, biology classes, museums and now our professional journals. These people to my mind are only a scale up on the fundies of a more destructive kind in other parts of the world. Depressing. Oh, if we only still had Steve Gould to lead the counter-attack .”

An e-mail by a NMNH scientist that was sent to your supervisor sums up the sentiment of the e-mails, as it relates to this issue. It reads, “The whole situation sounds like a pain in the… neck. Hopefully, the ID folks will get distracted with something else soon. After spending 4.5 years in the Bible Belt, I have learned how to carefully phrase things in order to avoid the least amount of negative repercussions for the kids. And I have heard many amazing things!! The most fun we had by far was when my son refused to say the Pledge of Allegiance because of the ‘under dog’ part…” The e-mail concludes by lamenting that the school teacher was “religious” and it was unfortunate that there was “anti-evolution education” in the schools.

Of great import is the fact that these same SI and NMNH employees immediately aligned themselves with the National Center for Science Education (NCSE). Our investigation shows that NCSE is a political advocacy organization dedicated to defeating any introduction of ID, creationism or religion into the American education system. In fact, members of NCSE worked closely with SI and NMNH members in outlining a strategy to have you investigated and discredited within the SI. …

Our preliminary investigation indicates that retaliation came in many forms. It came in the form of attempts to change your working conditions and even proposals to change how the SI retains and deals with future RAs. During the process you were personally investigated and your professional competence was attacked. Misinformation was disseminated throughout the SI and to outside sources. The allegations against you were later determined to be false. It is also clear that a hostile work environment was created with the ultimate goal of forcing you out of the SI….

… managers called it an “egregious instance of editorial incompetence…” They could not fathom that they Meyer article had been peer-reviewed and, if it was, it could only have been reviewed by “like minded individuals.” In fact, there was a serious effort by some to take the drastic step of piercing the veil of peer review, an unprecedented and unethical act within your field. They assumed that you violated editorial regulations of the Proceedings because you were the primary editor of the article. These comments were made to and by SI and NMNH managers and were published to several outside organizations. It was later revealed that you complied with all editorial requirements of the Proceedings and that the Meyer article was properly peer reviewed by renowned scientists. As an aside, the information received by OSC does not indicate that any effort was made to recall or correct these comments once the truth was made known.

During the impromptu background investigation allegations were also made that you mishandled specimens and collections during your scientific research. You have clearly explained how damaging this is for a scientist in your position. This information was also shared outside of the SI. And once again managers later had to admit that the allegations were false. And as with the editorial issue there was no effort, as far as we can tell, to correct this misconception. This allegation may have played into a larger strategy to deny you access to the range and collections at the SI.

There was a strategy by several managers to force you out of the SI. The first thing they did was to check your official status with the SI to see if you could be let go for cause for the Meyer article and the information found in your unofficial background investigation. …

They came to the conclusion that you had not violated SI directives and that you could not be denied access for off-duty conduct. This was actually part of the strategy advocated by the NCSE. Undeterred, these same managers then embarked on a new strategy to change your working conditions and create a hostile working environment. Several e-mails complained that you should not be allowed to “live” on the same working floor with other scientists. Two very senior scientists wanted your supervisor to let you know that “you are welcome to leave or resign.”…"



Second, it is disingenuous in the extreme to say that "
The report prepared by Rep. Souder, who had previously expressed pro-ID views, was never officially accepted into the Congressional Record." The Congressional record is the official record of the proceedings of the United States Congress. Rep. Souter could have entered the report if he had wished, there is no standard by which it might or might not be accepted.
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5) Science does not reject religious or "design-based" explanations because of dogmatic atheism.
Expelled frequently repeats that design-based explanations (not to mention religious ones) are "forbidden" by "big science." It never explains why, however. Evolution and the rest of "big science" are just described as having an atheistic preference.

Actually, science avoids design explanations for natural phenomena out of logical necessity. The scientific method involves rigorously observing and experimenting on the material world. It accepts as evidence only what can be measured or otherwise empirically validated (a requirement called methodological naturalism). That requirement prevents scientific theories from becoming untestable and overcomplicated.

By those standards, design-based explanations rapidly lose their rigor without independent scientific proof that validates and defines the nature of the designer. Without it, design-based explanations rapidly become unhelpful and tautological: "This looks like it was designed, so there must be a designer; we know there is a designer because this looks designed."

A major scientific problem with proposed ID explanations for life is that their proponents cannot suggest any good way to disprove them. ID "theories" are so vague that even if specific explanations are disproved, believers can simply search for new signs of design. Consequently, investigators do not generally consider ID to be a productive or useful approach to science.

~~~~~~~

But scientists DO reject views because of their dogmatic naturalist materialism. There are two major fallacies here. "The scientific method involves rigorously observing and experimenting on the material world. It accepts as evidence only what can be measured or otherwise empirically validated (a requirement called methodological naturalism). That requirement prevents scientific theories from becoming untestable and overcomplicated."

Uh, NO! Naturalism is a worldview that some scientists have sought to impose upon the scientific community. It certainly is not emblematic of historical science. The greats of the past like Newton and Bacon (considered the father of the actual scientific method) absolutely studied and observed the world around them, but they did not put any limits on where that evidence would take them. This assertion by the SciAm folks is simply a humbug.

I am well qualified to blog on the subject, since as a boy I sought to be a Paleontologist much as most of my friends dreamed of being a fireman or a pilot or a race car driver. I collected large quantities of fossils and had tanks and bowls filled with various flora and fauna in my spare room. My favorite book as a single-digit-midget may have been "The Shy Stegosaurus Of Cricket Creek." I could name fifty or more varieties of dinosaur just by viewing a picture or model before I was ten years old.

I took all the requisite courses in High School and continued my studies in college before I was drafted out of school and into the military...which would signal the end of my career as a professional scientist but not my studies as a lay scientist. Those studies have continued for many years so that I might understand the questions and also the answers that bounce around the blogosphere and elsewhere. I incorporate the accumulated knowledge in my teachings and gladly embrace blogging as an outlet to pass the word along.

I grew up an agnostic with an open mind and a desire to know truth. I became a Christian and still believed in evolution. I then studied the subject and found, to my surprise, that the evidences favored Creationism!

I blogged in 2006 on the subject.

Plenty of scientists don't believe in evolution

I pointed out at the beginning of this year that science, by definition, is a study of both natural and supernatural phenomena.

I then pointed out that scientists themselves often revealed by their comments a world view based on philosophy or religion that had an impact on their scientific viewpoint.


Another thing I did was list some scientists who have issues with the idea that evolution is in any way established fact, or scientists who are believers and in fact many who are strict creationists.

"Let's talk about credentials. Perhaps you don't like this list. Perhaps you didn't read this post. There are more lists here. More here.
If you don't like AIG, read this one. There is also this page and this list.


It is a fact that there are hundreds of scientists who question macroevolution and hundreds who believe in special creation. Some of them are among the most brilliant scientists alive. Many of the great scientists of the past were creationists. Again I say that creationism is a valid scientific point of view whether or not it is the view of the majority.

Furthermore, in a previous post I linked to a creation science page that includes testable and falsifiable hypotheses. I linked it previously. Go read that and then tell me that creationism doesn't present empirically falsifiable hypotheses!"


I often post articles by creation-believing scientists, in part to present their viewpoint to another audience and also to illustrate that they are plentiful, unlike the claims of people like Creeper and Xiangtao.

Henry F. Schaefer III is one of several scientists I have posted.

Professor Henry F. (Fritz) Schaefer is one of the most distinguished physical scientists in the world. The U.S. News and World Report cover story of December 23, 1991 speculated that Professor Schaefer is a “five time nominee for the Nobel Prize.” He has received four of the most prestigious awards of the American Chemical Society, as well as the most highly esteemed award (the Centenary Medal) given to a non-British subject by London’s Royal Society of Chemistry. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Moreover, his general interest lectures on science and religion have riveted large audiences in nearly all the major universities in the U.S.A. and in Beijing, Berlin, Budapest, Calcutta, Cape Town, New Delhi, Hong Kong, Istanbul, London, Paris, Prague, Sarajevo, Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore, Sofia, St. Petersburg, Sydney, Tokyo, Warsaw, Zagreb, and Z├╝rich.

For 18 years Dr. Schaefer was a faculty member at the University of California at Berkeley, where he remains Professor of Chemistry, Emeritus. Since 1987 Dr. Schaefer has been Graham Perdue Professor of Chemistry and Director of the Center for Computational Chemistry at the University of Georgia.


There are lots of people like Schaefer, respected scientists who are believers in God and very often, creationists. I am going to make such posts a bit more often to continually expose their existence and recent thoughts so that the evolutionists cannot continue to pretend that creation scientists are either almost non-existent, or incompetent.

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6) Many evolutionary biologists are religious and many religious people accept evolution.
Expelled includes many clips of scientists such as Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, William Provine and PZ Myers who are also well known as atheists. They talk about how their knowledge of science confirms their convictions and how in some cases science led them to atheism. And indeed, surveys do indicate that atheism is more common among scientists than in the general population.

Nevertheless, the film is wrong to imply that understanding of evolution inevitably or necessarily leads to a rejection of religious belief. Francisco Ayala of the University of California, Irvine, a leading neuroscientist who used to be a Dominican priest, continues to be a devout Catholic, as does the evolutionary biologist Ken Miller of Brown University. Thousands of other biologists across the U.S. who all know evolution to be true are also still religious. Moreover, billions of other people around the world simultaneously accept evolution and keep faith with their religion. The late Pope John Paul II said that evolution was compatible with Roman Catholicism as an explanation for mankind's physical origins.

During Scientific American's post-screening conversation with Expelled associate producer Mark Mathis, we asked him why Ken Miller was not included in the film. Mathis explained that his presence would have "confused" viewers. But the reality is that showing Miller would have invalidated the film's major premise that evolutionary biologists all reject God.

Inside and outside the scientific community, people will no doubt continue to debate rationalism and religion and disagree about who has the better part of that argument. Evidence from evolution will probably remain at most a small part of that conflict, however.

~~~~~~~

Here is another fallacy. It really doesn't matter if someone who believes in God believes in evolution. If my plumber can unclog my sink, it makes no difference if he is a Christian or a Buddhist or a Rastafarian!

Religion doesn't matter in science, as long as you do not drag your religion into your conclusions. People like Dawkins and P Z Myers are enslaved to their religious doctrine, the doctrine of no God or supernatural forces. They will not pursue any thread that leads in that direction, nor consider any logical conclusion that points to a supernatural conclusion no matter the evidences! This is why they reject Intelligent Design, unless, as Dawkins revealed in the movie, the designer was a higher race of aliens that had evolved elsewhere! This reveals his prejudice. He can accept design and understands that it makes a great deal of sense, but he cannot bear the thought of the existence of a Designer!!! That isn't a scientific stance, it is a religious one.

When your worldview precludes a careful investigation of evidences, it makes for a bad scientist. When the scientific community in general adheres to such a viewpoint, it makes for bad science. Thus, we have today's Neo-Darwinism, a cobbled-together bunch of just-so stories and far-fetched explanations for a world full of evidences that fit the ID and Creationist models far better. Far, far better!

Darwin's motivation was his worldview, not his observations


Science and worldviews

A look at worldviews

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Radar,
I think I'm done with your blog. Aside from being grossly uninformed and wildly ignorant on the subjects you purport to be uniquely qualified to comment on, this thing is almost completely unreadable. Your ridiculously long and rambling posts, filled with unnecessarily long “written excerpts” and "comments" from other "choir" members, are simply stated, not very good. I am an individual that is quite interested in the discussion, yet I can barely make it through a single “post” without either dozing off or taking a pee-break part way through.
Not to mention the fact that you make statements like this,
"I grew up an agnostic with an open mind and a desire to know truth. I became a Christian and still believed in evolution. I then studied the subject and found, to my surprise, that the evidences favored Creationism!"
as evidence/proof that you are some kind of unbiased researcher on the topic (which to me just means that you really need to "brush up" on your studying skills). You seem to discount the idea that the fact that you are a literalist when it comes to the bible, may have “coloured” your own conclusions. Face it Radar, your constricting "worldview" forces you to discount or ignore all "evidences" that don't line up with your faith (and scramble to find absolutely anything on the web that agrees with your position). The fact that you admit that you became a Christian, and then began studying evolution proves my point (with your frequent request for proponents of evolution to provide you with “proof” and your subsequent disregard of the proof when provided only serves as further evidence of this point – I mean, you appear to think that as long as you keep those eyes of yours firmly shut, you can keep asking people to show you said proof and then deny it’s existence).
Just because you can find a handful of other religious nuts that agree with you (and write long winded posts on the subject) doesn't mean that there is actual controversy surrounding the subject, or that you all are any less nutty. Thousands of scientists with proven academic credentials have worked on the question of evolution, and are still working on today, and none of them have come to the kinds of conclusions put forward by your selected “examples” of undoubtedly equally religious dissenters.
Looking forward to see if you delete/ignore this post as you have others in the past. And where the heck is creeper, he/she is one of the only reasons I was intermittently checking in on this blog in the first place! Anyway, now I’m rambling, so with that, I’m out.

Canucklehead

Anonymous said...

agree that the absence of creeper makes this a much less interesting blog. Wish I had the time to write a long answer to some of this, but I don't.

Creeper- come back.


~lava