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devourhotpockets (profile) wrote,
on 11-6-2008 at 7:50am
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Subject: Ben Stein on Intelligent Design
I've really gotten lax with this. It's been over a month. Guess why I'm posting now? A movie pissed me off. This will be about more than a movie though, it's about the entire idea of creatonism and intelligent design (yes, Ben Stein, I am recognizing them as separate things). I've started enabling comments, and I've also imported this onto Facebook. So some of my posts will also appear as a new note on Facebook. Be sure to check here as well, though, because only some of my posts will go onto Facebook.

His movie, Expelled - No Intelligence Allowed, first talked about how scientists and scholars are being persecuted for their research into Intelligent Design. OK, I agree that's kind of lame, everyone is entitled to their own opinions. Persecution in this case is kind of just loss of job, ridicule, hard to get another job in that field. Stein interviews Richard Dawkins and others from both sides of the debate. The problems with the movie that can't be generalized to include all of Intelligent Design advocates are few, but kind of important when talking about the movie specifically. It was very one-sided, close-minded and it contradicted itself. First, Stein argues that Intelligent Design is not seeded from religion. Science and religion are separate, and Intelligent Design is part of science. He makes that clear. Fine, if that's the way you want it, we'll look at it that way. But then, 30 minutes later, he explores IN DEPTH how Darwinism and belief in evolution directly relate to loss of religious faith. I fail to see how that relates to his argument for Intelligent Design. Hey, Ben, I thought we were keeping science and religion separate? So, I understand that you as a religious man may have a problem with the loss of religious faith among other people. But since we're keeping science and religion separate, why are you talking about it in this documentary? The impression that I got was that Stein was trying to show the evils of Darwinism/evolution by showing that it draws people away from religion. That's just a very personal and biased way to look. He said it wasn't about religion but about a scientific theory, so why is he bringing religion into it now? Also, very early in the documentary, he looks at some alternate theories to evolution. One of them is that otherworldly beings visited Earth and seeded life on the planet. He says, in a very sarcastic tone, "Aliens?" Hey, you know what? That's a form of Intelligent Design. Intelligent beings that came to Earth and designed life for it. I'm not saying I believe that's how we got here, but I certainly don't find it any more goofy than God. The other thing that really bothered me was Stein's association of Darwinism with Naziism. The Nazis falsely used Darwinism to justify their actions. It's totally unfair of Stein to put that blame on anyone other than the perpetrators themselves. If the Nazis and Darwinism are directly related and should be grouped together, why don't we say that all Christians are on the same level as the crusaders of the 11th-13th centuries?

The problem with Ben Stein and all of the Intelligent Design advocates I've seen is that they just settled on something, and then decided to defend it to the death. Stein's argument at the end, in an intimate moment with Dawkins (where Dawkins came off as smart and reasonable while Stein came off as a total asshole), is that because Darwinists/evolutionists (this includes Darwin himself, in the 19th century) don't know how life on Earth started, that they obviously aren't reliable sources for any information. Their view is "Well, you guys don't have an answer, and we do have an answer, so therefore we should win this argument hands down." It's not as simple as that. Just because I'm wrong doesn't make you right. I can't answer the question, because I recognize that I don't know. You CAN answer the question, but with absolutely no proof. I'd rather just accept it as one of those things I'll never know.

It's OK, it's fair, to admit that you're not sure how life started. When it comes down to it, no one is sure. It's also fair to believe whatever you want to believe. But don't act like your answer is better than mine just because it covers every base, when it has no scientific backing and it offers no real explanation. We all have to admit that there are things that we just can't know and can't understand at this time. One of those things could be God, true. But one of those things could be crazy aliens putting life on Earth, like in Star Trek. One of those things could be the primordial ooze that was charged with energy and kicked into motion. One could be that a flying spaghetti monster dropped some spaghetti sauce into some gasoline and man was born. For this question that we should never stop trying to answer, we take the most likely and reasonable explanation and use that as our running theory, until something better may come along. We don't just take whatever answer is the most satisfying. We take the answer that is the most plausible, the answer that is proven in nature time and time again.

The only thing they have to put down random chance creating life is "How can you look at the complexities of one cell, or of a flower, etc., and think it happened randomly?" They also cite the statistics of how little a chance there is for something like that to happen. Do they know how little a chance there is of a supreme being that created us, loves us and watches over us? And do they know that no matter HOW small a chance there is for something to happen, it's GOING to happen. In an infinitely changing and moving universe, everything possible will happen at some point. It DOES make sense. It's a big subject. It's hard to think about. But why take the easy answer over the reasonable one?
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