Joined: May 2006
They finally have a new blog up at Ben's site, about as pathetic as the first one. Well, I'm going to continue to archive, for I don't know what they're going to do with the blog in the end:
|--Actually, the authentic victims in this story are those scientists who have been “expelled” for the offense of merely acknowledging that intelligent design exists within nature.--|
Does it ever occur to you that you need to back up your claims? Or are you just too IDist to care about truth, and evidence?
Yes, we've heard that extremely tiresome and extremely well-answered claim extremely many times before now. The mere fact that you've never come up with the slightest bit of solid evidence for it indicates that you're not only uninterested in science, but also that you're uninterested in telling the truth.
You want to know what I think about the complaints over the interviews? I think they're legit, but not very important. What? Someone's making a film about religion and science, and it ended up having a viewpoint, particularly one in favor of theocracy? What a shock! The name change is almost to be expected with films, and <i>Crossroads</i> should have been considered to be a working title by the participants.
Greater honesty from theists might be expected, if these weren't intellectually dishonest proponents of ID. But the ellipses in their answers, in their "science," and in their dealings with others should be expected when they're opposed to the modern science that was worked out mainly within Christian societies (hardly only by Christians, or even theists, however).
Fine, I've taken care of that, from my perspective.
Now back to the gross dishonesty of the film's producers and writers. Here's Ruloff's defamation of what is, as far as anybody knows, an honest man and scientist whose work Ruloff couldn't hope to understand, Francis Collins:
--Mr. Ruloff also cited Dr. Francis S. Collins, a geneticist who directs the National Human Genome Research Institute and whose book, “The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief” (Simon & Schuster, 2006), explains how he came to embrace his Christian faith. Dr. Collins separates his religious beliefs from his scientific work only because “he is toeing the party line,” Mr. Ruloff said.
That’s “just ludicrous,” Dr. Collins said in a telephone interview.--
And this is supposed to be an honest film? Not a chance. Francis Collins, who is attacked by the likes of PZ Myers and other "new atheists" who are intent on faulting religion and not just pseudoscience, does his work of gene sequencing well within the evolutionary paradigm (how could anybody do otherwise and be intellectually honest?), writes books on how he finds faith and science compatible, and sticks up solidly in favor of modern evolutionary theory, and all we get from Ruloff is this slander of the good man.
By the way, Francis Collins does speak out in favor of cosmological ID and for a mind behind human morality, neither of which is exactly welcome in the scientific community--and for good reason, I might add. He apparently is willing to buck the "Establishment" in some areas (areas where his competency does not lie, I might add), yet Ruloff acts as if his agreement with modern evolutionary theory is just some slimy suck-up to the powers that be. These IDists have no shame, much like Joe McCarthy who knew the "communists" without taking the trouble to bring forward any evidence, or even intelligent argumentation.
Of course, Ruloff probably knows about as much about the history of the acceptance of science among religious folk in the Catholic and mainline Protestant traditions as he knows about science itself. Tell me, Ruloff, why Father Coyne writes in favor of science and against pseudoscience? Why do Catholic biology departments all across the country oppose "Intelligent Design," when clearly they rely on their Church to shield them from the faux persecution trumped up in this film?
Indeed, why do many biologists in fundamentalist schools chafe under the restrictions of their religious leaders? Wouldn't they simply accept ID without concern, if there was anything to it? I know about at least one of these, because I went to a religious college (Walla Walla University, was Walla Walla College when I attended) for my undergraduate degree. A number of your better scientists there were frankly evolutionist, from biologists to physicists, for all of the reasons that we've laid out at this blog and elsewhere.
Indeed, if Ruloff, Miller, and Ben Stein were able to show any kind of illegitimate suppression of their unevidenced pseudoscience, they'd be answering the questions I asked in the other thread, namely, why do the taxonomy and phylogeny of prokaryotes and of eukaryotes differ considerably and according to what would be expected from the known "naturalistic" evolutionary mechanisms, if indeed they were "designed"? And why were pterosaur, bird, and bat wings were all derived from legs, and not from first principles or from extant (in the case of birds and bats) wings? To say that it makes design sense to make wings out of legs is merely ridiculous.
None of you can answer those questions. None of you has the slightest evidence FOR design at all. Yet you demand that we treat ID as science, thus revealing your autocratic tendencies and desires to force unscientific beliefs into the science of Newton, Galileo, and Einstein.
|As it happens, Ben Stein doesn't seem particularly impressed by the ID nonsense either. Not that it really should matter, given that he neither has expertise in science, nor has sense enough to recognize the importance of keeping pseudoscience from being forced into the university science departments. Nevertheless, this is what NY Times reports of Stein's response:|
--...said in a telephone interview that he [Ben] accepted the producers’ invitation to participate in the film not because he disavows the theory of evolution — he said there was a “very high likelihood” that Darwin was on to something — but because he does not accept that evolution alone can explain life on earth.
He said he also believed the theory of evolution leads to racism and ultimately genocide, an idea common among creationist thinkers. If it were up to him, he said, the film would be called “From Darwin to Hitler.--
Now this is a bizarre notion, though one pushed by IDists often enough.
Ben needs to study the history of Germany versus that of England and the United States. Both of the latter have had and continue to have their faults, but they were the Enlightenment countries (the US in particular was founded on Enlightenment principles), and thus were not fertile ground for the nonsense of the Nazis (it is believed that occult beliefs played a large role in fostering Nazi anti-Semitism, for instance). Germany was open to such ideas, for a number of reasons, naturally (WWI, depression, etc.), but especially because the Enlightenment hadn't really taken hold in Germany.
From Germany came Hegel, Marx, and Heidegger (actually, Kant, too, but Kant's pro-enlightenment notions had been quickly turned into Romantic thought by people like Hegel and Heidegger). Of course great scientists came from Germany as well, but the overall attitude of Germany was Romantic, and favored "spirit" over theories about hard evidence.
Darwin, by contrast, was in the tradition of Hume, Newton, and a tradition that in both the judiciary and in science favored evidence over "feelings" and vague notions like ID or, indeed, the German Haeckel's magical notions. Among the intellectuals of the Anglo world, Darwinism was taken up almost as a matter of course (most religious people in power did not oppose it), and despite a fair amount of Victorian notions in Darwin's writings, including racist ideas, evolutionary theory was part of far saner societies than what appeared in Germany and in Italy.
Evolutionary theory needed to move on from Darwin, in part because he included Victorian prejudices, and it most certainly did (one reason we don't like yahoos like Ruloff calling today's evolution "Darwinism"), for it was evidence-based science and thus became well-integrated with other science, like Mendelism. Meanwhile, the non-Enlightenment societies of Germany and the USSR largely rejected the "materialistic" ideas of Mendel and of Darwin. Did this itself make them the totalitarian nightmares that they were? No, of course not, however, bad ideas in science frequently are associated with bad ideas in government, and Nazi Germany and Stalinist USSR were no exceptions.
In spite of all their faults, the UK and the US remained beacons of Englightenment, as the rejectors of the Enlightenment brought us war and genocides.
Stein really ought to know about all of this much better than he does, for he ought to know a little about Jews and the improvement of their lot as the Enlightenment took hold. Medieval theocracies were cruel to Jews, and actually, to many many Christians as well. The Enlightenment brought relief to most everybody, other than that we had to fight and oppose the anti-Enlightenment societies of Germany and the USSR.
So now what does Ben do? He attacks the Enlightenment itself through this movie, claiming that those who have no evidence and only desires to impose their will onto science, have been persecuted. You want Hitler, or at least theocratic dominance over what should be free science? Then keep this up, Ben.
The Enlightenment is what demanded evidence before one is determined to be guilty, and the Enlightenment is what demands that science remain based in evidence and not in the wishes of Romantics and of atavistic theocrats. As ID's Wedge Document points out, ID is really only a way of getting rid of Enlightenment ideas (it doesn't call them that, but it is what they are), and hence the way to attack both our Constitution and the science that America needs to compete.
If you don't know science, Ben, at least try boning up some on history. Attacking the Enlightenment is the way to Hitler, as well as to other less odious but still objectionable impositions upon humanity. Force science to accept "standards" that reject the need for legitimate evidence, and not only have you destroyed the First Amendment, you have destroyed the Declaration of Indepence as well, and all that gave rise to freedom of thought and of science.
There you go. You're free, of course, to oppose the Allies and their anti-fascist standards, but if you succeed in your gambit, you had better not count on having freedom for much longer.
Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of coincidence---ID philosophy