Joined: Feb. 2008
Hey Wes: For the record, I'm not ticked off with you. If you'll notice, I also put myself (and all other Kevin Millers on imdb) into the mofo category. It's a tongue in cheek thing. I may not agree with a lot of what people like Christopher Hitchens, Richard Dawkins or PZ Myers have to say, but I still admire their chutzpah, and I’d gladly have a beer with them (and you) any time. So wear it as a badge of honor. I'm just trying to have a little fun here.
As for your responses to my statements, despite appearances to the contrary, I'm not coming into this discussion with the assumption, "Everything Wes Elsberry says is wrong." I am listening, and pondering. And I am open to revising my views in light of new and better information. So you'll have to excuse me if I don't dive into a line-by-line response to your posts right away. It’s not an admission of defeat. I just need time to process the various arguments. (Plus, it's been a busy weekend, we have a new baby in the house, and I'm just plain tired.) But even if it turns out that everything you’ve said is right and everything I’ve said is wrong, I’m okay with that, because for me, this has never been about winning or losing. It's about learning. The only thing that really matters to me is getting at the truth, because the truth benefits everyone no matter what side of the debate they’re on. Contrary to how some critics have depicted the film, Expelled is not about promoting a singular point of view, namely, Intelligent Design. It’s about ensuring that all points of view receive a fair and adequate hearing. We made this film because we had good reason to believe that this was not the case with ID, and I stand by that assertion. In addition, my hope is that the film will prompt people on all sides of the issue to engage with one another. Because what I've observed over the past two years is complete polarization. The various camps sit in their respective corners cackling about how stupid the other guys are, but they rarely talk to each other—except to hurl insults. Very few people engaged in this debate seem open to an honest pursuit of the truth. Most are more interested in scoring debating points, looking clever, and promoting their own agenda.
So what I’m trying to do both here and on my blog is engage. In the process, I may say some things that come off as stupid, ignorant or inflammatory. I may hurl a few insults from time to time, and I may needle a few people who need to be needled. After all, I’m only human. But the learning process is often messy and confused. So you’ll have to excuse me if I cack up the joint from time to time.
In light of the above, I do want to ask Wes (and anyone else who cares to respond) a couple of questions:
1) How does science distinguish between a paradigm problem and a research problem? In other words, when a researcher encounters an anomaly, how does he/she determine whether the anomaly is a result of a problem with the data rather than a problem with the theory under which the data is being examined?
2) I understand that you're a Christian, Wes. And yet I get the sense that you believe divine influence is not something that should be factored into your study of the natural world. Fair enough. So my question is, if God doesn't influence the world through natural processes, such as evolution, how does he engage with nature? For example, I assume that you pray. How does God answer your prayers? Does he do so in any scientifically detectable way? Or do you take the Ken Miller approach and say he influences things on the quantum level in a way that we are unable to observe?