Tag Archives: Expelled

Ben Stein – Creationist Of The Month

Ben Stein

I offically declare Ben Stein as May’s creationist of the month. He earns his position for his ignorance and sleazy behavior.

In Expelled: The Movie, Ben Stein attempts to draw a link between Charles Darwin and the Holocaust by misreading a quote from Darwin’s famous book The Descent Of Man. Scientific America Magazine explains with an article:

One of the many egregious moments in the new Ben Stein anti-evolution film “Expelled” is the truncation of a quote from Charles Darwin so that it makes him appear to give philosophical ammunition to the Nazis.

Here is Ben Stein quote-mining Darwin in the movie Expelled:

“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.”

Now here’s is the rest of Charles Darwin’s words, the part Stein conveniently left out:

“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.

The Descent Of Man is a thick book, perhaps too thick for Ben Stein’s thick head. He might not have had the discipline to read it in full. Or maybe he didn’t edit the quote himself, he could have just read it that way from a script. Either way it looks bad, really bad. Ben Stein is either too lazy to pick up a book, or he’s a prositute-puppet, who says anything for money. Congratulations to Ben Stein for being creationist of the month, he’s earned it.

P.S. I recommend The Descent Of Man to anyone interested in evolution or the history of science. I read it last summer. It’s truly fascinating. The Penguin Classics Edition has a great introduction. Also, check out the complete works of Charles Darwin online.    

www.TheDarwinReport.com 

 

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Intelligent Design Garbage

Biologist Kenneth Miller destroys intelligent design by pointing out how in living creatures the function of a structure can change over time. And if the function is mutable nothing can ever be irreducibly complex. Example: The stinger in honey bees is a modified egg depositor (ovipositor), which is why male bees cannot sting. The natural world is filled with tinkering and re-tinkering, not design. But, of course, ID supporters just ignore the lack of evidence for irreducible complexity and they keep on vomiting up pseudoscientific garbage.     

www.TheDarwinReport.com

 

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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 www.HeLives.com:

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.

www.TheDarwinReport.com

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Filed under Intelligent Design, Trawling For Creationism

Physicist Freeman Dyson On Religion – Part 1

Freeman Dyson

Star Trek fans will remember the episode of TNG titled Relics in which Scotty helps the Enterprise escape from inside a Dyson Sphere. The concept of a Dyson Sphere was lifted from physicist Freeman Dyson, who speculated that an advanced alien civilization, somewhere in the Universe, would encompass a star within a sphere and live on the inside surface of the sphere. It’s a fantastical idea.

Well, recently I finished reading Freeman Dyson’s book of essays (book reviews actually) called The Scientist as Rebel. And overall I found Dyson’s writing to be unsophisticated, a bit trite, and super apologetic, where religion is concerned. A perfect example is the last essay in the collection, Religion From The Outside, which is a review of philosopher Daniel Dennett’s book Breaking The Spell.

Dyson cites T.H. Huxley (an agnostic), who sat on England’s education commission. Huxley said, “Every child should be taught the Christian Bible as an integral part of English culture”.

Dyson then writes, “In recent times the scope of religious instruction in England has been extended to include Judaism and Islam. As a result of this policy, no strong antagonism between religious parents and the public schools has arisen, from 1870 until the present day. The teaching of religion in pubic schools coincided with a decline of religious belief and a growth of religious tolerance. Children exposed to religion in public schools do not as a rule take it seriously.”

Dyson fails to take into consideration the continuous flow of immigrants from Islamic countries into the UK, which prevents Islam from becoming pacified like Christianity. This results in a conflict between Islamic parents and the UK public schools. Many Islamic schools and Islamic communities in the UK do, in fact, try to keep their students separated from Western ideas, which include secularism. Therefore, Freeman Dyson seems to be out of touch with reality when he claims that  “Children exposed to religion in public schools do not as a rule take it seriously.” Some of them take it very seriously. 

Many UK Muslims suffer from the same delusion as American Christian fanatics, that their religion is the only true religion, and that the whole world needs conversion.

Some physicists suffer from a similar ailment, which causes them to think physics is the only true science. Too bad. If physicists only studied biology a little closer, perhaps some of them would understand humans behavior better.  

www.TheDarwinReport.com

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Richard Dawkins and PZ Myers at the movies: “Expelled”

Richard Dawkins and PZ Myers sit down to discuss the creationist movie Expelled. Myers was apparently such a trouble maker at the premiere that he was tossed out of the theatre before the show. Perhaps he was throwing pop corn at Dawkins or smoking a cigar and laughing demonically like Robert DeNiro. Or perhaps the producer of the movie is a whiny little moron who doesn’t understand the word irony.

What’s confusing is that Intelligent Design is advertised as both science and religion. Young earth creationists like Ken Ham are promoting the movie big time and encouraging Christians to see it. And even Ben Stein the clownish star of the movie links ID to religion when he appeared on Fox News. Creationists should make up their minds. When are these fools going to get a clue?

www.TheDarwinReport.com

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Filed under Culture Warfare, Intelligent Design

Richard Dawkins Brings Some Rational Thought

A clip from “Richard Dawkins: Break The Science Barrier”

Americans need a mega-dose of rational thought. Why? Here are several reasons. The fact that psychic Sylvia Brown is allowed on TV. Oprah Winfrey recently did a show on “The Secret” and the “Rule of Attraction”, the incredulous belief system that wishing for a good thing makes its happen. I wish I lived on Bora Bora Island. Larry King recently did a show on UFO’s. The panel consisted of several UFO “experts” and one skeptic, Michael Shermer.  A scary poll from Florida indicates that 50% of Floridians want only Biblical Creationism or Intelligent Design taught in schools. Americans are sinking in post-modernistic belief and religious credulity. Basically, we are a society of anti-intellectual saps. And that’s dangerous, being that we are the superpower of the world.

We all need a shower in rational thought. So, watch Richard Dawkins’ video. After growing up on the mind numbing American media, it’s like sliding into a warm bath. Ahhhhhh! That’s much better.

Check out the rest of “Break the Science Barrier” on YouTube or watch it in three parts at Google Video.

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

Rational People Unite!

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