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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

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Expelled - No Intelligence Allowed - viewer feedback

Please see the post below...

On Fandango as of 9:43 PST on Tuesday, here are the ratings:


Must Go! =4 39
Go = 63
So-so = 11
No = 4
Oh No! = 40

The feedback from the movie is enormously positive from those who attend...lots of naysaying going on from those who haven't. 'Nuff said!

Thursday Update!

-Critics continue to pan the movie armed with a wealth of misinformation
-Viewers continue to go to see it and continue to rate it highly after viewing

From Box Office Mojo - The five most popular movies
MOST POPULAR
MOVIES
1. The Forbidden Kingdom
2. Forgetting Sarah Marshall
3. Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed
4. Horton Hears a Who!
5. 10,000 B.C.

On the BOM site, here is the viewer feedback...again, mostly positive with a small group of naysayers (and outliers) at the bottom...

242 votes...grade "B"

As: 162 66.9%
Bs: 7 2.9%
Cs: 2 0.8%
Ds: 2 0.8%
Fs: 69 28.5%




Saturday, April 19, 2008

The REAL Inconvenient Truth: Expelled the movie




"A preference for natural explanations could be reasonable. But it is impossible to prove the contention that "miracles may not happen" or that there is no supernatural realm. Therefore, a willingness to adopt such an a priori position, and hold that as superior to facts, reflects a philosophical fundamentalist position as rigid as a religious fundamentalist position." - Lawrence Selden




I went to the opening night of the movie: Expelled - No Intelligence Allowed. The last showing at the local Kerasotes theater was half-filled with viewers and, at the end, applause broke out through the theater while a few folks seemed to smirk or scowl in response. It appeared that true believers, the unconvinced and the diametrically opposed all showed up.

I think Expelled is the flipside of Al Gore's deliberately deceitful movie. Gore and his ilk seek to shut off debate, calling those opposed to his views "global-warming deniers" and seeking to paint them as ignoramuses unable to see the truth. Even green-friendly folks have big problems with the whole man-made global warming premise on the basis of science:

There is no Greenhouse Effect as defined in An Inconvenient Truth. Greenhouse gases are not being trapped, they’re being released. When surface temperatures do rise, they’re not rising due to man-made causes because nothing is trapping them.

Al’s examples of impending doom both on his web site and in the movie, tend to be snap shots of normal, cyclical environmental behavior that, when grouped together, paint a foreboding picture. Professor Phillip Stott of the Univesity of London noted that, when these 'snap shots' are placed in the context of history, over 10, 30 or even 50 years, these events are quite ordinary.

But why are Glaciers in northern most latitudes receding? Is this normal? If it is, why? Is it cyclical? If so, what's the cycle? Unless Al Gore, his proponents and all his Carbon Footprint programs get out of the way and allow these climate conditions to be exposed to real scientific analysis, we may never know. That’s the great Environmental Crime here.

Expelled is not a creationist-apologist movie. It is not an attack on science. It will surprise you, just as it surprised Brent Bozell III:

"...Evolution is another one of those one-sided debates. We know the concept of Intelligent Design is stifled in academic circles. An entire documentary to state the obvious? You can see my reluctance to view it.

I went into the screening bored. I came out of it stunned.

Ben Stein's extraordinary presentation documents how the worlds of science and academia not only crush debate on the origins of life, but also crush the careers of professors who dare to question the Darwinian hypothesis of evolution and natural selection.

Stein asks a simple question: What if the universe began with an intelligent designer, a designer named God? He assembles a stable of academics — experts all — who dared to question Darwinist assumptions and found themselves "expelled" from intellectual discourse as a result. They include evolutionary biologist Richard Sternberg (sandbagged at the Smithsonian), biology professor Caroline Crocker (drummed out of George Mason University), and astrophysicist Guillermo Gonzalez (blackballed at Iowa State University).

That's disturbing enough, but what Stein does next is truly shocking. He allows the principal advocates of Darwinism to speak their minds. These are experts with national reputations, regular welcomed guests on network television and the like. But the public knows them only by their careful seven-second soundbites. Stein engages them in conversation. They speak their minds. They become sputtering ranters, openly championing their sheer hatred of religion.

PC liberalism has showered accolades on atheist author Richard Dawkins' best-selling book "The God Delusion." But when Stein suggests to Dawkins that he's been critical of the Old Testament God, Dawkins protests — not that Stein is wrong, but that he's being too mild. He then reads from this jaw-dropping paragraph of his book:

"The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully."

Dawkins has a website. Its slogan is "A clear-thinking oasis."

It's understood that God had nothing to do with the origins of life on Earth. What, then, is the alternate explanation? Stein asks these experts, and their very serious answers are priceless. One theorizes that life began somehow on the backs of crystals. Another states electric sparks from a lightning storm created organic matter (out of nothing). Another declares that life was brought to Earth by aliens. Anything but God.

The most controversial part of the film follows Stein to the Dachau concentration camp, underlining how Darwin's theories of natural selection led to the eugenics movement, embraced by Adolf Hitler. If there is no God, but only a planetary lab waiting for scientists to perfect the human race, where can Darwinism lead? Stein insists that he isn't accusing today's Darwinists of Nazism. He points out, however, that Hitler's mad science was inspired by Darwinism.

Now that the film is complete, the evolutionist prophets featured in the film are on the warpath inveighing against it, and the alleged idiots who would lower themselves to watching it. Richard Dawkins laments how the film will solicit "cheap laughs that could only be raised in an audience of scientific ignoramuses." Minnesota professor and blogger P.Z. Myers predicts the movie is "going to appeal strongly to the religious, the paranoid, the conspiracy theorists, and the ignorant —— which means they're going to draw in about 90 percent of the American market." Myers and Dawkins now both complain they were "duped" into appearing in the movie (for pay).

Everyone should take the opportunity to see "Expelled" — if nothing else, as a bracing antidote to the atheism-friendly culture of PC liberalism. But it's far more than that. It's a spotlight on the arrogance of this movement and its leaders, a spotlight on the choking intolerance of academia, and a spotlight on the ignorance of so many who say so much, yet know so very little. "

The segment where Stein interviews Dawkins is particularly telling - Dawkins actually agrees that intelligent design could be true, if the designers were an alien race that had seeded life on earth, a race that had evolved elsewhere in the universe by some means agreeable to evolutionists. So if you peeled the layers off, Dawkins is not afraid of the idea that life was designed, as long as it wasn't by a Higher Being. He reveals in this that it is his worldview that rules his opinion, rather than the science.

Algebraic rendering of the workings of the Dawkins brain:

ET + Spaceship + One-celled-organism = Science
God + Noah's Ark + Animal Kinds = Fantasy

It is telling that people like P Z Myers and Dawkins are now complaining about being "deceived" into doing interviews for the movie:

"...three scientists — Richard Dawkins, author of The God Delusion; Eugenie Scott, executive director of the National Center for Science Education; and P.Z. Myers, a biologist at the University of Minnesota, Morris — told the Times that they felt deceived by producers of Expelled.

Premise Media Corporation, the makers of the film featuring television personality Ben Stein, responded Thursday to accusations, denying any wrongdoing.

"There is some serious mistreatment and downright reprehensible behavior going on here,” said Executive Producer Walt Ruloff, “but I can assure you it's not coming from us.

“We're just the ones exposing it.”

In Expelled, Stein – best known for his role in Visine eye drops commercials – highlights the long-standing controversial debate between supporters of Darwinism, which suggests the universe was created by chance, and Intelligent Design, which argues that the creation of life and the universe are results of an intelligent “designer.”

Through interviews with both Intelligent Design and Darwinian Evolution proponents, the movie is said to expose “the intimidation, persecution and career destruction that takes place when any scientist dares dissent from the view that all life on earth is the mere result of random mutation and natural selection,” according to producers.

“When our audience sees the stories of the real victims of scientific malpractice they're going to be outraged,” said Ruloff.

Dawkins, who has earned the label “Darwin’s Rottweiler” from the media, protested that makers of the movie did not inform him that they were representing “a creationist front,” in an e-mail written to the Times.

He also shared similar complaints with fellow atheist Meyers over the film’s title change from Crossroads: The Intersection of Science and Religion to of Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed. Both Dawkins and Meyers claim that changing the film’s title amounted to deception.

Mark Mathis, one of the film's producers, countered their allegations and said that they were a “bunch of hypocrites.”

According to the makers of the film, even Dawkins admitted that the title of his anti-religion documentary (Root of all Evil?) was chosen as a replacement for the original title late in the process. They maintain that movie's title was changed on the advice of marketing experts.

Furthermore, Expelled producers pointed out that Dawkins is involved in a documentary that attacks Intelligent Design theory. It is the makers of A War on Science who are deceptive, according to Expelled producers, since they approached Discovery Institute as objective filmmakers and then portrayed the organization as religiously-motivated and anti-scientific.

Mathis, who set up the interviews for Expelled, said the scientists who were interviewed were well-informed beforehand.

“I went over all of the questions with these folks before the interviews and I e-mailed the questions to many of them days in advance,” said Mathis. “The lady [and gentlemen] doth protest too much, methinks.”"

The problem is that Dawkins thinks a balanced look at ID versus evolution would be pro-evolution. He cannot abide the idea that he could possibly be wrong. Besides, the movie isn't primarily about science. IT IS ABOUT FREEDOM!!!!

Expelled uses images of the Berlin Wall very tellingly in the opening and then interspersed throughout the movie. There truly is a Berlin Wall of thought that has been erected in the arena of origins, a wall that stretches throughout the scientific and academic community and, sadly, America's classrooms.

"Dr. Paul A. Nelson, a biology professor at Biola University in La Mirada, lauds the documentary, and not just because he’s one of the Intelligent Design advocates interviewed by Stein.

“Long before there were any Christians by name, people were debating the issue of design,” he said in a telephone interview from his home in Chicago. “It’s a question that’s as deep as humankind.”

Nelson, a fellow with the Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture, said he believes the issue of academic freedom often collides with First Amendment issues, giving alternative science theories a distinct disadvantage.

“It creates this funny, tilted playing field,” he said. “So we have this weird asymmetry in American high schools, especially, which is quite unnatural. All theories are equal, but not as equal as others.”

The result, he believes, short-circuits inquiry and could ultimately be counterproductive to Darwin enthusiasts.

“They need to recognize that something has gone tremendously wrong,” he said. “The open-ended inquiry of science has been distorted.”

Despite the attempt to thwart Intelligent Design in higher education, Nelson said students “get a little inoculation” and learn just enough to become skeptical about evolution.

“The educational establishment has failed to persuade most Americans that they are right when it comes to evolution,” Nelson said.

Nelson said he’s hopeful the documentary will serve to keep the debate before the public and, by default, on school campuses.

“At the end of the day I am encouraged,” he said. “Human curiosity is so powerful that it will win out. Intellectual freedom will win out the day. The message of ‘Expelled’ is that the Berlin wall did come down.”"





Tellingly, the opponents of the free discussion of ideas use derision rather than evidence to try to counteract this movie. The Minneapolis Star-Tribune labels the movie, "propaganda" and says:

"A hard-core, fundamentalist bit of right-wing propaganda, "Expelled" slyly appropriates its style from liberal and left-wing sources, sending Ben Stein out to do deadpan interviews of a grab-bag of experts and wack jobs, while intercutting old movies, new animation and newsreel footage."

I wonder who are the "wack jobs", the degreed scientists who advocate the discussion of ID, or those who are opposed? Virtually every interviewee on both sides is a degreed scientist. The Star-Trib has nothing worthwhile to say but certainly screeches while saying it.

We are sure to soon hear cries of outrage from evolutionists who will decry the way the movie demonstrates the links from Darwin to Eugenics to Hitler to mass slaughter. I hope to address that issue in my blog later on. It is a valid argument to be discussed. But it is not the main focus of the movie.

The Tragedy of Higher Education in America is this: In the field of science, free discussion of ideas is not only discouraged, it is banned! As Ben Stein says, "There are people who want to keep science in a little box where it can't possibly touch God." These are the people who are so afraid of the evidential consideration of Intelligent Design because it might cause people to consider that God exists. It is all about worldview rather than science.

The Darwinian Fundamentalism blog writes the following:

"

Richard Lewontin's January 9, 1997 article, Billions and Billions of Demons, which is a review of Carl Sagan’s book, The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark contains the oft-quoted line about not allowing “a Divine Foot in the door.” The entire paragraph in which this line appears is worth quoting. It seems to me to be the best statement of the philosophical foundation for the Darwinian fundamentalist perspective:

Our willingness to accept scientific claims that are against common sense is the key to an understanding of the real struggle between science and the supernatural. We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs, in spite of its failure to fulfill many of its extravagant promises of health and life, in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism. It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door. The eminent Kant scholar Lewis Beck used to say that anyone who could believe in God could believe in anything. To appeal to an omnipotent deity is to allow that at any moment the regularities of nature may be ruptured, that miracles may happen.

Empiricism is subservient to philosophy. Facts are subservient to a priori presuppositions.

What distinguishes this statement is how forcefully he insists on not being open to the possibility that there may be a supernatural realm or that miracles may happen. A preference for natural explanations could be reasonable. But it is impossible to prove the contention that "miracles may not happen" or that there is no supernatural realm. Therefore, a willingness to adopt such an a priori position, and hold that as superior to facts, reflects a philosophical fundamentalist position as rigid as a religious fundamentalist position."


In the two or so years I have published this blog, I have raised all sorts of questions relative to origins and never have I gotten a truly reasonable response from any Darwinist on any subject. Darwinism has no explanation for the origin of the Universe, or the origin of life, or the amazing complexity of living organisms, nor the fine-tuning of Earth and the Universe or the remarkably uniform rock layering found around the globe or any other major question.

In terms of religion, it isn't about whether religion is part of the discussion, but rather will only one religious worldview (naturalistic materialism) be allowed to stifle all other lines of inquiry?

Darwinism is The Great and Mighty Oz. They fear that we will look behind the curtain, so the Darwinists are working hard to ban the curtain from being investigated. Some are simply brain-washed idealogues and some, small-minded and fearful zealots. But I believe and hope that many are just people who haven't really taken the time to truly consider the situation from more than one point of view. Someday the scientific community will have the guts and the integrity to let real science back into the study of origins and the instruction of our young people. It cannot be one minute too soon!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Global Warming - the Myth - the Man - the Mandate


Now that the political process has ramped up, we see candidates giving lip service to Global Warming. This is another in a series of pins aimed at the hot air balloon that is Global Warming - the myth - the man - the mandate!

(With thanks to Michael Ramirez for the cartoon)

The Myth: As the Powerline guys recently posted...

Global Cooling Alert

When Scott and I wrote "The Global Warming Hoax" in 1992, a group of Danish scientists had just published a paper that compared solar energy output (as measured by sunspot activity) to global temperatures, and found a striking correlation. No surprise there: just about all energy on earth comes from the Sun. Investors' Business Daily recalls that research and notes that the Sun has been quiet lately:

Solar activity fluctuates in an 11-year cycle. But so far in this cycle, the sun has been disturbingly quiet. The lack of increased activity could signal the beginning of what is known as a Maunder Minimum, an event which occurs every couple of centuries and can last as long as a century.

Such an event occurred in the 17th century. The observation of sunspots showed extraordinarily low levels of magnetism on the sun, with little or no 11-year cycle.

This solar hibernation corresponded with a period of bitter cold that began around 1650 and lasted, with intermittent spikes of warming, until 1715. Frigid winters and cold summers during that period led to massive crop failures, famine and death in Northern Europe.

[Kenneth Tapping, a solar researcher and project director for Canada's National Research Council] reports no change in the sun's magnetic field so far this cycle and warns that if the sun remains quiet for another year or two, it may indicate a repeat of that period of drastic cooling of the Earth, bringing massive snowfall and severe weather to the Northern Hemisphere. ***

R. Timothy Patterson, professor of geology and director of the Ottawa-Carleton Geoscience Center of Canada's Carleton University, says that "CO2 variations show little correlation with our planet's climate on long, medium and even short time scales."

Patterson, sharing Tapping's concern, says: "Solar scientists predict that, by 2020, the sun will be starting into its weakest Schwabe cycle of the past two centuries, likely leading to unusually cool conditions on Earth."

I suspect that many global warming alarmists are well aware that time is running out for them. If nothing is done and global temperatures decline in coming years--as they inevitably will, the only question is when--the alarmists will have been refuted. On the other hand, if they succeed in pushing through industry-destroying caps on carbon emissions around the world, and especially here in the U.S., they will take credit for the cooling when it comes, claiming it as vindication of their theories.

In that context, the 2008 election shapes up as very important. I don't worry too much about John McCain's acknowledged lack of economic expertise, as his instincts on the economy are generally conservative. But McCain badly needs to educate himself on the debate currently raging over the climate. "Global warming" represents the Left's most ambitious power grab since the fall of Communism, and if a Republican President doesn't stand it its way, who will?

If McCain is looking for a sensible energy policy, he might start with these recommendations from the Science and Environmental Policy Project:

Our policy recommendation is to phase out natural gas (methane) for electric power generation (now about 20% in US and 40% in UK), replace it with coal/nuclear, and use gas as a clean transportation fuel (in the form of Compressed Natural Gas -- CNG) for buses, trucks, and all fleet vehicles. In the US case it would cut oil imports by 30%. Further cuts would come from the use of plug-in and hybrid-electric cars.

There is lots of good work being done in climate science, a discipline that is still in its infancy. There are also plenty of creative proposals for how to address our energy needs. But if the Republican Party mindlessly signs on to the fake-science of anthropogenic global warming, those ideas will never see the light of day. Someone please get the word to John McCain.



~~~~~~~

The Man

Yes, Global Warming caused by man is not a concensus opinion of scientists worldwide, but in fact many of the best believe we are headed for a period of cooling that will impact the world negatively, much as it did the last time the sun cycled that way.

But there is one man who is dedicated to push Global Warming and will lie and cheat on facts and figures to be heard: Al Gore. Yes, maybe he really didn't claim to invent the internet and maybe he really did thing that he and Tipper were the inspiration for Love Story. Maybe. But he pushes this GW business for more than the good of the general public. Last year at about this time his hypocrisy was exposed, if you recall...

THE HEAT IS ON
Gore's 'carbon offsets'
paid to firm he owns

Critics say justification for energy-rich lifestyle serves as way for former VP to profit

Posted: March 02, 2007
4:13 pm Eastern

© 2008 WorldNetDaily.com




Al Gore's Nashville mansion (PajamasMedia.com)
Al Gore defends his extraordinary personal energy usage by telling critics he maintains a "carbon neutral" lifestyle by buying "carbon offsets," but the company that receives his payments turns out to be partly owned and chaired by the former vice president himself.

Gore has built a "green money-making machine capable of eventually generating billions of dollars for investors, including himself, but he set it up so that the average Joe can't afford to play on Gore's terms," writes blogger Dan Riehl.

Gore has described the lifestyle he and his wife Tipper live as "carbon neutral," meaning he tries to offset any energy usage, including plane flights and car trips, by "purchasing verifiable reductions in CO2 elsewhere."

But it turns out he pays for his extra-large carbon footprint through Generation Investment Management, a London-based company with offices in Washington, D.C., for which he serves as chairman. The company was established to take financial advantage of new technologies and solutions related to combating "global warming," reports blogger Bill Hobbs.

Generation Investment Management's U.S. branch is headed by a former Gore staffer and fund-raiser, Peter S. Knight, who once was the target of probes by the Federal Election Commission and the Department of Justice.

Hobbs points out Gore stands to make a lot of money from his promotion of the alleged "global warming" threat, which is disputed by many mainstream scientists.

"In other words, he 'buys' his 'carbon offsets' from himself, through a transaction designed to boost his own investments and return a profit to himself," Hobbs writes. "To be blunt, Gore doesn't buy 'carbon offsets' through Generation Investment Management – he buys stocks."

As WND reported, Gore, whose film warning of a coming cataclysm due to man-made "global warming" won two Oscars, has a mansion in the posh Belle Meade area of Nashville that consumes more electricity every month than the average American household uses in an entire year, according to the Tennessee Center for Policy Research, citing data from the Nashville Electric Service.

The think tanks says since the release of Gore's film, the former presidential candidate's energy consumption has increased from an average of 16,200 kilowatt-hours per month in 2005, to 18,400 per month in 2006.




~~~~~~~

Gore has gone "green" (as in greenbacks)


Now, to be fair, Gore has taken measures to reduce the energy usage of his two family mansions since the stories of his massive energy consumption broke. Nevertheless, one thing that has not changed is that the "carbon offsets" that Gore recommends are serving to line his considerable pockets with lots of greenbacks. No wonder Gore has gone so green!

You understand that when a guy tells you snake oil will cure you and, oh, by the way, he just happens to sell snake oil, just maybe you are getting scammed? How long before the World begins to realize that Gore is a self-serving liar who is simply trying to get richer and keep his name in the headlines.

~~~~~~~

The Mandate

If the United States would ignore the Gores and tree-huggers and elitists seeking to make us into Failed Marxist Experiment 3.0 (Soviet Union, dead, Red China, troubled, are 1.0 and 2.0 respectively), we would see a great opportunity ahead.

I propose that we drill in Anwr and in the Dakotas and off-shore wherever we can to get to the oil that is available to us within our territory as soon as possible.

I submit that nuclear power plants have been hugely successful and should be viewed as the best way to generate electric power in most situations.

I also suggest that wind farms and hydroelectric plants be utilized where practical, even if they ruin Teddy Kennedy's view of the Atlantic!

We should totally ignore the Kyoto Protocols, just as Red China and, indeed, most of the world will do, whether they signed the darn thing or not.

We need to quit mixing ethanol into our gasoline and save corn for animal and people food. Focus our technology on finding ways to make fuel from trash, not food!

The Executive Branch of government needs to put more pressure on our so-called allies like the Saudis in the Middle East to increase oil production and exports, thus lowering the world cost of oil. You really think the pressure on the economy is because of George Bush???!!! Not unless you spell Bush "O-P-E-C"! Duh.

Great strides have been made with hybrid automotive technology. This is perhaps the only good part of the GW stupidity. But in truth, even though we have lots of oil now it will eventually run out, so alternate methods of energy need to be found. There is no good reason for the government to subsidize most research, since most research is done by companies hoping to find a profitable product. However, government encouragement in this field should help speed the process of improving hybrid technology as well as alternate energy source technology. Grants and subsidies to ideas with promise are still worth consideration.

The news media needs to be hit upside the head with a stupid stick! The constant drone of "carbon footprints" and "Global Warming deniers" works against the truth and real progress in the search for alternative energy sources.

Oh, you wanted a mandate on Global Warming? No, there is no manmade Global Warming!!! We are now facing a period of cooling and you had better hope against hope that Al Gore was just a tiny bit right, because, 20 years from now you will be looking for all the warming you can find. Will the Thames freeze over again? Will the Midwest United States have snowcover by Thanksgiving? It is unfortunately pretty likely.

~~~~~~~
“Isn’t the only hope for the planet that the industrialized civilizations collapse? Isn’t it our responsibility to bring about?” ---- Maurice F. Strong, one of the worlds leading environmentalists and senior advisor to various U.N. Secretaries-General


THEREFORE the energy needs during the winter months are going to grow, so we had better work hard to get every energy source available working for us before things begin to get even more difficult for us in the United States.


POSTSCRIPT: from the Science and Environmental Policy Project: -

ABC Journalism: Fraudulent
ABC's Dan Harris smears Dr. Fred Singer

The only useful measure of the

ABC News' recent smear of Dr. Fred Singer is reproduced on its web site (story dated March 23, 2008, "Global Warming Denier: Fraud or 'Realist'/Physicist Says Humans Will Benefit From Warmer Planet"). That story is dissected below with appropriate comments.

The only useful measure of the value of journalism is the degree to which an article informs the public with objective truth. On that basis, the recent article by ABC (Global Warming Denier: Fraud or 'Realist'? Physicist Says Humans Will Benefit From Warmer Planet - Dan Harris, Felicia Biberica, Elizabeth Stuart and Nils Kongshaug contributed to this report.) scores an abysmal zero.

The article begins, His fellow scientists call him a fraud, a charlatan and a showman ... which is neither true nor objective. Further, it is a smear as it fails to identify any of the claimed "fellow scientists" (how very convenient!).

The article continues: Singer, an 84-year-old Princeton-trained physicist, is the grandfather of the global warming skeptics who dispute the established scientific consensus that global warming is real, that it is caused by the pollution humans are pumping into the atmosphere, and that it will be catastrophic if measures are not taken immediately.

Why is age important here? Is ABC's intent to put Dr. Singer in a box labeled "old fool"? If so, then it's failed to consider that his age suggests wisdom and subject-matter knowledge far beyond that evidenced by the writers of this article. While Dr. Singer is certainly a key player in the scientific effort to inject perspective and sanity into the global warming issue, I suggest the characterization of Dr. Singer as the "grandfather of the global warming skeptics" is inaccurate because the truth is (that terribly inconvenient "truth") that real science, historic climate, and the scientific method are the principal foundation upon which skepticism of the IPCC/Gore theory are built. As a scientist (mathematician) who has had a strong fascination and interest in both meteorology and climatology for over 50 years, I have studied paleoclimatology and earth sciences throughout my adult life. As anyone with a similar background in the scientific method and scientific inquiry would understand, virtually any nominal interest and associated knowledge in these areas is sufficient to cast serious doubt on the theories professed by policymakers of the IPCC and Mr. Gore that Dan Harris supports. Then there is the inconvenient science that completely debunks the unsustainable conclusions of the IPCCs Summary Reports (note that March 1, 2007 through February 29, 2008 was the coldest global 12 months in many decades, losing nearly 1°C).

The paragraph under scrutiny also contains several conjectures that are simply not true. First, of course, being that Dr. Singer is the "grandfather" of skeptics when, in fact, science and truth are the grandfather of skeptics. Second is the brazen statement that there is "scientific consensus" that humans are causing global warming. That is an oft-repeated claim whose veracity is simply not reflected in any true assessment of the positions of subject-matter experts (i.e., those trained in climatology, meteorology, and/or atmospheric science). Next is the totally unsupportable claim that human "pollution" pumped into the atmosphere will cause catastrophic warming. First, climate warming has historically been associated with advances in human civilization (the Minoan warm period, the Roman warm period, and the Medieval warm period - each of which were warmer than anything we've experienced in the 20th-21st centuries - are all testimony to that truth). When climate cools, civilization struggles. Witness the demise of settlers of Greenland (no longer "green"). It is preposterous to claim that greater plant yields, longer growing seasons, and more benign weather will increase human strife. Would ABC prefer lesser plant yields, shorter growing seasons, and more severe cold?

So after only two paragraphs of ABC's story, ABC's position is revealed to be biased propaganda based on conjecture and theory without any substantiation in the long history of both climate and human civilization. Are you beginning to understand why this story rates a journalistic value of zero?

Next paragraph: "All bunk," Singer told ABC News in his characteristically blunt fashion. "I'm not really looking for popularity, you know." Singer seems to enjoy being provocative.

If being intelligent, understanding science, and the scientific method amount to being "provocative" then Dr. Singer is truly provocative. Scientific truth is not determined by what is popular (neither is it determined by consensus).

The smear continues: Singer does not deny the planet is warming, but says man is not the cause, and argues, against overwhelming scientific evidence, that a warmer planet will actually be beneficial for mankind and other species on the planet.

As has been addressed above, there is no scientific evidence that a warmer climate would be more detrimental to humans than a colder climate. No real journalist would take issue without presenting rational, objective facts in support of the contrary view. There is a mountain of scientific fact on the side of so-called "skeptics." There is nothing but faulty analyses (remember the infamous, now discredited, "Hockey Stick" curve made famous by the IPCC?), inaccurate computer projections (simulations are based on incomplete science, inadequate data, and complete lack of adequate solar/water vapor contributions), and contradicted theory supporting the so-called "consensus" on global warming (atmospheric CO2 and global temperature over the past 100 years are completely uncorrelated and certainly not bound by a "cause and effect" relationship).

Moving on: Polar bears, though, are not likely to benefit. They are starving because the Arctic ice cap is shrinking, which is cutting them off from seal populations, and some scientists have suggested they will be extinct in the wild before the end of this century if the warming trend is not reversed.

ABC needs to do better research. Hasn't anyone at ABC noticed that the Arctic ice cap freezes every winter? Doesn't ABC know that melting only occurs during the summer season when the sun is out full time? What does that suggest about the role of solar activity in polar warming? Is ABC not aware that this past winter the Arctic sea refroze far beyond what had been lost in recent melting and that scientists now believe that ocean currents, not "global warming" are responsible for periodic warming/melting episodes in the Arctic? Has nobody at ABC bothered to follow the unusually bitter cold in the Arctic this past winter? It is now spring and the sun has risen and there are still polar regions whose temperatures do not exceed -20°F? Is ABC unaware of past natural warming episodes (through which the polar bear have survived quite nicely) that have been far greater than anything Earth is currently experiencing? Is ABC so ignorant about paleoclimatology that it knows nothing about ice eras, ice epochs, and ice age cycles? Are there no scientists at ABC who know that all of human existence is contained within the current ice era that began 60 million years ago - and that humans have never experienced Earth's typical climate? That typical climate being what Earth has experienced more than 83% of the past 2.5 billion years (since complex organisms first appeared) during which there is no polar ice and the only permanent ice exists at the tops of the highest mountains. If the folks at ABC are unaware of these natural climate cycles, then they have no business smearing Dr. Singer who does know.

ABC's smear goes on: This is not the first time Singer has set himself against mainstream scientific opinion. He has also challenged the dangers of second-hand smoke, toxic waste and nuclear winter.

Then ABC quotes from Greenpeace: "He's kind of a career skeptic," said Kert Davies, a global warming specialist at Greenpeace. "He believes that environmental problems are all overblown and he's made a career on being that voice."

Does ABC really expect to find a voice of reason and scientific knowledge at Greenpeace? The truth behind Dr. Singer's skepticism is that he believes the claims made are way overblown - exaggerated. That doesn't mean he believes there is no place for rational concern for reasonable environmental protection. Their long record of radical, extremist views renders Greenpeace an inappropriate organization to seek objective, rational, proportionate views about environmental protection. It is hardly an organization that should be sought for counsel about the views of Dr. Singer (unless, of course, one is determined to shine the worst possible light on Dr. Singer, i.e., smear him).

ABC continues with: Davies says skeptics like Singer, many of them funded for years by the oil and coal industry, have been able to delay government action on global warming by a decade or more by convincing the public through a disinformation campaign that there was an ongoing debate among scientists about global warming. "That's how people will remember Fred Singer, as someone who tried to slow down the reaction to global warming," Davies said. "And in the end that is going to cost lost lives, lost species and major economic damage around the world."

Facts are: (1) There IS an "ongoing debate" as there should be (people like Davies do not want a debate because it would only serve to discredit their position). (2) In any scientific inquiry, debate is at the heart of rigorous pursuit of the truth. (3) Many so-called "skeptics" have no association with the oil or gas industry. Many "scientists" who support the theory of human-caused global warming have benefited from billions of dollars spent on global warming research as a result of the exaggerated claims of the IPCC and Al Gore. But truth doesn't rest on where the funding comes from ... it is in the results of how that funding is used. Much of the scientific research conducted during 2006 and 2007 (all of which were specifically excluded from the most recent IPCC reports) discredits the greenhouse warming scenario posited by the IPCC, Al Gore, and Greenpeace. The "disinformation campaign" is headed by Greenpeace and ABC, who want no debate on the topic.

In his book, Global Warming, Myth or Reality/The Erring Ways of Climatology (2005), Dr. Marcel Leroux, renowned French climatologiest, studied the roles of various climate change forces and concluded that the greenhouse effect (while a heat retention agent), is well down the list of significant influences on climate change (no surprise, solar activity leads the list). Dr. Leroux is not a stooge of the oil and gas industry, either.

Davies is right about one thing. Dr. Singer may well be remembered for his contribution to scientific sanity by his efforts to slow down the rush to take costly actions that will have absolutely no benefits whatsoever to Earth's environment. Foolhardy pursuit of carbon dioxide emission reductions will be costly and provide no measurable benefit to human endeavor. Much like the recent ban on incandescent lightbulbs (beginning in 2012), either no cost-benefit analysis of global warming legislation is performed, or that which is generated has a fraudulent cost basis (i.e., it includes the "cost" of conjectured dire consequences if no action is taken - which is nonsense). These facts don't seem to bother either Davies (whose organization profits from the proliferation of disinformation about global warming) or ABC. To paraphrase: and in the end, the actions of Greenpeace and ABC will cost jobs, quality of life, standard of living, and major economic catastrophy around the world for absolutely no benefit whatsoever.

The smear goes on: Singer responds by asking, "Suppose the other side is wrong.... They're forcing us to make tremendous economic sacrifices that will force people into poverty in the world, make life miserable for our children and grandchildren." But scientists say there is no "other side." The debate about global warming is over, they say.

What "scientists" are saying there is no "other side"? ABC's failure to name any suggests they've made this up. No scientist ... I repeat ... NO SCIENTIST of good repute will ever state that there is no "other side" to a scientific question. This is particularly true of issues involving sciences as incompletely understood as climatology, meteorology, and atmospheric sciences.

The smearing concludes with: ABC News showed Singer's most recent report on global warming to climate scientists from NASA, from Stanford University and from Princeton. They dismissed it as "fabricated nonsense." Singer insists he is not on the payroll of the energy industry, but admits he once accepted an unsolicited check from Exxon for $10,000.

Failing to reveal what "scientists" at NASA, Stanford University and Princeton were consulted, and failing to reveal the rationale for ABC's contention that they universally reacted the same, suggests that ABC is being less than forthright in its statement. To put it bluntly, it suggests Dan Harris lied. Of course, consulting NASA about truth in global warming is a bit risky given that for years they falsely claimed the 1990s were the hottest decade with 1998 being the hottest year of the past century, when, in truth, 1934 was the hottest year and the 1930s were the hottest decade of the past 100 years. So much for "unprecedented" warming. NASA quietly revealed in August 2007 that it had erred in its computations and corrections restored the 1930s as being the hottest decade and containing the hottest year. That being the truth, I would then ask ABC's "scientists", if the IPCC/Gore theory that higher atmospheric CO2 produces global warming, how is it that the 1930s were the hottest decade of the past 100 years in a period of continuing increases in atmospheric CO2? They might also want to comment on why global temperatures since 1998 have been either steady or dropping. These are facts readily available to ABC's story authors. They are questions that should have been asked, but were not.

The reference to a single grant of $10,000 years ago (for what work?) if proving that Dr. Singer was corrupted suggests that government funding of billions of dollars in recent years for global warming research has far more vastly corrupted the results of that research. Neither claim has any veracity, yet ABC uses the old smear tactic of leaving that as the last thought of readers.

ABC's story is a classic case of disinformation, distortion, smearing, and journalistic abuse. It is a shining example of why our Fourth Estate has become the new Fifth Column. It is virtually devoid of any truth. It is presented with a highly biased viewpoint. It is close-minded. It is, quite frankly, mere propaganda. The complete lack of scientific credentials of anyone named in the story (other than Dr. Singer) or any of the story's authors, demonstrates the ABC story is a fraud.

Bob Webster
Editor, Publisher, http://www.webcommentary.com