Stupid Praise for Expelled: The Movie

A lot of criticism has been justly piled onto Expelled:The Movie, the creationist “documentary” starring Ben Stein, which blatantly promotes Intelligent Design. To be contrary, I’ve decided to address some of the comments in favor of the movie and ID. Perhaps, by doing so, we can gain some insight into the creationist mind. But I doubt it.

First, there’s a comment from Steven on blog called

There are insurmountable failures of evolutionary science called Abiogenesis. Life is the product of intelligent contrivance. Thus, apparent design in biology would constitute evidence for a Designer. It is a self-evident and universally recognized truth: concept and design require an intelligent designer. To simply dismiss the concept of a Creator as being unscientific is to “violate the very objectivity of science itself”.

This is the standard argument from ignorant creationists. First, evolutionary biology is about the origin of new species, not life itself. Biochemists, who are the ones who study the question of life’s origins, have many good hypotheses as to how life on earth began. The fact the question has not been answered fully is certainly NOT an argument for a creator. If I lose a sock, does it mean that magical pixies have stolen it? It’s silly to abandon a natural world explanation in favor of a supernatural one, just because the answer is not currently available. This is why scientists do something called research, to answer questions. Second, if a design requires a designer, then who designed the designer? Get back to me on that one, Steven, and then I’ll take you and other creationists seriously. I won’t hold my breath.


Filed under Intelligent Design, Trawling For Creationism

3 responses to “Stupid Praise for Expelled: The Movie

  1. Correct, Evolution is not technically about the origin of life, but its definition is not limited to the “origin of species” and no working Darwinist limits its use to ONLY the origin of species. Also, evolutionists have a penchant for brining up origin of life theories in context of evolutionary writings and discussions. After all, evolution can only take place after life already exists. And, according to evolutionists, evolution began shortly, if not immediately after life began. Take for instance Richard Dawkins (whose rhetoric you’re fond of borrowing):

    “…when the ricochets of atomic billiards chance to put together an object that has a certain, seemingly innocent property, something momentous happens in the universe. That property is the ability to self-replicate…”

    Out of Eden, p. xi

    As for origin of life theories, the best theory, until empirically proven, is still just a theory, not a fact. And yes, I know what scientists mean when they label something a theory. We can infer the possibility of something like abiogenesis from current facts, and it may even satisfy us for now, but the simple fact of the matter is this: until we produce living matter from non-living, we will not have empirically proved any of those “good theories” you spoke of.

    I agree that the fact something hasn’t yet been explained is not proof of a designer, but neither is it proof against a designer, and much less is it proof that we will ever be able to fully explain what we set out to. There is, of course, no cosmic law which provides us with any hope that mankind can ever fully understand and explain the cosmos. We simply hope that things will keep going as well for us as they have been. No one likes a God of the gaps (well, some of us don’t anyway), but I would go a step further and say that I don’t like a science of the gaps either. Maybe science will explain everything, maybe it won’t: we’ll just have to work have to wait and see!

    PS: Who designed the designer? So far as philosophical concepts go, God (if we are talking about the God of creationists) is by definition undesigned, uncaused. Now, you’re quite free to say there is no God, and you may be right. But to say “who designed the designer” is to ignore the very definition of the thing you are rejecting.

  2. Sorry for the typos. I’m absurdly tired tonight.

  3. thedarwinreport

    “no working Darwinist limits its use to ONLY the origin of species”

    Dawkins’ words from “Out of Eden” are prose. His book isn’t a scientific paper, it’s a work for public consumption, a popular work. While biologists do not limit their language to the origin of species, evolution is technically a very different subject and process than the origin of life itself. Even Dawkins makes that simple distinction. Life began over 3 billion years ago. Evolution occurred over all that time. And it continues to this day. The origin of DNA is therefore a separate issue than what can be formed from the recipe of DNA.

    “God (if we are talking about the God of creationists) is by definition undesigned,”

    If you make that argument then you’re stuck with the fact that not all complexity requires a designer. And thus many would make the valid argument that the universe had no first cause.

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