Lore’s guide to logical fallacies »« The love of Jesus!

Expelled performed below original estimate

The weekend actuals are in, and the $3.1 million estimate for Expelled that was holding as of Sunday afternoon has been downgraded to $2.97 million, with the movie coming in 10th rather than 9th place.

Anticipating an average second weekend dropoff of 50%-65% (which is what you see with most movies), I don’t think this has been the shot fired across the bow of “Big Science” that Mark Mathis and Walt Ruloff were anticipating. But as Eugenie Scott has pointed out, the movie will have a long DVD lifespan, playing the church-basement circuit.

Summation: well, that was over with pretty quick, eh? So, let’s all get back to doing science again, shall we.


Addendum: IMDb is declaring the movie a flop in their weekend box office roundup, and I like the honest way they describe it.

…the Ben Stein documentary Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, which argued on behalf of “intelligent design” — that is, the biblical view of creation — failed to bring out church groups in big numbers and settled for just $3.1 million to wind up in ninth place.

Good call, IMDb, for seeing through the pseudoscientific window dressing and recognizing that, yes, “intelligent design” is nothing more than old school Biblical creationism tricked out in jargon designed to wow the uninformed and illiterate. “Ooo, ‘complex specified information,’ sure sounds like summa that thar science type stuff ta me!”

(In other movie news, some dumbass working on the new Bond film ran the movie’s quarter-million-dollar Aston Martin off the road and into a lake. I think he’ll be a long time paying that off. Fail!)

Comments

  1. says

    I’m actually surprised that they managed to bring it that much. I suspect half their audience was there to laugh at and debunk the film. The other half were the enthusiastic fundamentalists…but, what the hell are they doing going to a theater? Aren’t fundies supposed to be in the “Hollywood is evil” camp? I keep thinking about the bit the Expelled producers store – “the life of the cell” or whatever. I wonder if the fact that the piece was stolen means that the people at Harvard (or where ever it was) retain the right to distribute their materials per copyright laws? If so, could they put Expelled on YouTube? After all, the graphics are, in reality, theirs! No one would have to put a dime in Expelled’s stolen pockets.

  2. says

    Hopefully they won’t be able to afford to release it onto DVD. *fingers crossed*Or perhaps, everyone realized how much crap it is? I like this one better.

  3. Martin says

    Oh, affording things is not a problem for them. The whole shebang is bankrolled by Walt Ruloff, a fundamentalist Christian software tycoon whose personal fortune is over $100 million. It’s all a matter of how much Walt is willing to lose. DVD’s are comparatively cheap to produce and distribute, in contrast to 35mm prints, so, like most regular movies, the theatrical could end up being a money-losing situation, while the shortfall will be made up in a massive DVD push — in this case to Christian retail outlets and other Jebus-friendly icons of capitalism like Wal-Mart. Ol’ Walt will end up in the black on this, never fear. But what they wanted with this film was a defining “turning of the tide” in the “culture wars,” as per the plans laid out in the Wedge Document. And that, I fear, has not happened. The movie would have to have done Michael Moore numbers for that to have occurred, and it didn’t even come close.

  4. says

    Speaking of being bankrolled and “turning of the tide”, I read a big bang bombshell that was An open letter to the scientific community by 229 scientists, May 2004It made points how An open exchange of ideas is not tolerated and The big bang today relies on a growing number of hypothetical entities, things we have never observed.The big bang theory cannot survive without fudge factors. In no other field of physics would this continual recourse to new hypothetical objects be accepted. The big bang can boast of no quantitative predictions that have been validated by observation. (like evolution)There is tremendous evidence contradicting the Big Bang:RedshiftCosmic Background RadiationGalaxy formationSpiral GalaxiesSupernova Remnants (SNR)Distribution of galaxies1st and 2nd Laws of ThermodynamicsMedium and heavy elementsStar formationSo these subjects has been around for quite a while but I love the fact that Ben Stein was able to push it to the public in his movie. Awareness and funding is shifting and I thank God for that.

  5. Martin says

    The big bang can boast of no quantitative predictions that have been validated by observation. (like evolution)Hmm, let’s see…that would be…wrong! Dan fails at life again.Interesting how many “independent researchers” are on this list of signees. (Kind of like the Discovery Institute’s list of “700 scientists who dissent from Darwinism,” which Ken Miller crosschecked against the membership lists of the two top professional organizations for biology and biochemistry — over 23,000 scientists — and found only 7 names.) And like the IDiots, they’re beating their breasts over a conspiracy theory too. Wah wah wah.As usual, there’s no pile of steaming antiscience bullshit that Dumb Moron won’t embrace like a lovesick whore. Are we surprised?

  6. says

    I would also like to point out that the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation is one of the strongest lines of evidence for the Big Bang. It’s hard to explain but I urge anyone who is interested to check out the astronomy cast podcast. They do 2 episodes I think that specifically deal with all the independent evidence for the big bang and they explain it far better than I ever could.

  7. says

    b-rad is correct, of course. Redshift and the background radiation are two lines of evidence FOR the Big Bang, not against it.Genius Dan doesn’t know this of course, because he hasn’t learned anything beyond copy-paste. Gives him a headache.Case in point is that star formation and the existence of heavy elements (just to pick two from the list) are quite well understood, and can be observed at different stages through the telescope. Such discoveries have nothing directly to do with the Big Bang, and wouldn’t be overturned if the Big Bang were replaced tomorrow by an alternative.Apparently Dan’s proxies are “arguing” that helium and carbon can be made readily inside the stars, but those darned heavy elements can’t exist unless the divine finger poofs them into existence like magic. This is the level of supposed intellect we’re dealing with here. Again, not directly related to the Big Bang anyway.Dan himself is nothing but a parrot who can’t argue his way out of a wet sack. What’s worse – the nitwits, or the robot enablers of nitwits who disseminate their drivel without understanding a word of it?

  8. says

    Martin provided the big proof of big bang which is laughable when anyone can plainly see that the article is so non-committal. quote: “Many researchers have argued all deuternium was made within a few minutes of the Big Bang” ‘many’, as in some but not all, and ‘argued’ which implies resistance from the scientific community. Wow big proof! Martin do you even understand the difference between “quantitative predictions that have been validated by observation” and “many argue”. You haven’t failed at life yet Martin you still have a chance. I have posted this before but to those with the understanding, answer these hard questions:big bang problem #1: Missing antimatter problem. (Baryon number) How much in the universe, near ZERO. One fluke exception is not an answer either.big bang problem #2: Monopoles problem. At high temperatures, greater then the core of a star, can create singular poles and the big bang started at infinite temperature and that would be hot enough. Guess how many we find ZERO.big bang problem #3: Singularity point problem. The Big Bang DOES NOT even explain the origin of the universe. How did that singular point get there?big bang problem #4:Known physics breaks down in this situation. General relativity (powerful gravitational fields) and quantum mechanics (very small situation) exists separately but there is NOphysics currently that can explain both situations at the same time which is what the Big Bang requires. Known physics cannot describe that (big bang) situation so big banger’s take it on BLIND FAITH that if such physics is ever discovered that it would even allow for the theory of the big bang.big bang problem #5: Population 3 stars there should be these type of first stars everywhere all over the universe. Any guess to how many are out there? All stars have trace amounts of the heaver elements.Leaps of faith is all you big banger’s and evolutionists have and you follow that Dawkins dude who needs a good dental care program. So please don’t claim superiority of knowledge like Martin does, y’all have no more proof of your beliefs then anyone else. It is all based on our world view and faith in that view, again presupposition.

  9. says

    Why not intelligent design? Richard Dawkins, in Expelled, admits that higher intelligent forms of life might have started life on earth. He says that…In a recent article http://news.yahoo.com/s/space/20080422/sc_space/primitivealienlifemayexiststephenhawkingsays admits that primitive alien life may exist. This is what Evolutionists/Darwinists are saying. The fact of the matter is Evolution is NOT a fact but a theory and questions upon questions are left unanswered about the Theory of Evolution. I was recently at a Richard Dawkin’s lecture at the University of Texas at Austin…he repeatedly stated that he does not have the answers to the critical questions of Evolution. In fact, it was more of a comedy act for the entire 45 minutes I was there. He showed clips from youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UY-ZrwFwLQg (marcus brigstocke religion video) ragging on religion as a whole (a very superficial view on religion as a whole, clearly, Islam, Catholicism, and Christianity are different in essence and nature—seek TRUTH! Or else this atheism becomes another religion on its own) as the atheist crowd cheered on the Atheist gospel and their preacher. If so many questions are left uncertain, why not the possibility for intelligent design? Aliens?! How did they come about?! The fact is Darwin’s theory of Evolution is way too outdated to have it accepted as the gospel truth of sciences.The movie Expelled is not trying to spread an undercover Creationism agenda. It’s merely trying to bring up conversation for the possibilities to the questions left unanswered by Evolution. Whatever happened to freedom of thought? I encourage everyone to see this movie and think about these questions yourselves. By the way, I have attended both the Dawkin’s lecture, a screening of Expelled the Movie by the makers, and it is clear that Dawkin’s clearly agreed on the documentary…he was paid a good amount for it too! More than anything, as a result more of his books will probably sell so I don’t think he’s too unhappy about that!I want to recommend a book that might be of interest to you which questions some of the core questions that we ourselves need to be asking. It’s by a secular Jew who appeared in the movie by Dr. David Berlinski, called The Devil’s Delusion. “Has anyone provided a proof of God’s inexistence?”Not even close.“Has quantum cosmology explained the emergence of the universe or why it is here?” Not even close.“Have the sciences explained why our universe seems to be fine-tuned to allow for the existence of life?” Not even close.“Are physicists and biologists willing to believe in anything so long as it is not religious thought? Close enough.“Has rationalism in moral thought provided us with an understanding of what is good, what is right, and what is moral?” Not even close.“Has secularism in the terrible twentieth century been a force for good?” Not even close to being close.Ask yourself these questions. Check out the movie, check out the book.

  10. Martin says

    The fact is Darwin’s theory of Evolution is way too outdated to have it accepted as the gospel truth of sciences.The frustrating thing about dealing with creationists is they continue to trot out the same bullshit over and over again, either not knowing or not caring that it’s been refuted more times than Paris Hilton’s had yeast infections.Here’s Dawkins’ actual views on the alien thing. Once again, you have to remember the producers of Expelled are a bunch of lairs promoting an anti-science agenda; the interview with Dawkins was edited to make him look as bad as possible. They want gullible rubes to think they’re courageous seekers of truth, and guys like you oblige them by falling for it.Naturally Dawkins or any scientist would say it’s possible that some sort of intelligent agency could have started life on earth. But just saying something is possible doesn’t mean you’ve accepted it as the answer. One still has to do the research and see where the evidence lies. And right now, natural processes — selection and genetic drift, things like that — are where the evidence is pointing. There has so far been no need to start plugging Gods into Gaps to answer things.That there are still things left to discover about evolution does not weaken the theory; it simply means there are still things left to study and research. On the whole, only three things are necessary for evolution to take place: reproduction, heritable variation, and selection. We know all three of these occur. There is no question that evolution occurs. All that’s left is to continue studying the process to fill in details.The movie Expelled is not trying to spread an undercover Creationism agenda.Yes it is. Read the Wedge Document, the internal memo leaked from the Discovery Institute. Among the many activities they promote in their efforts to defeat the horrible evil scourge of “scientific materialism” are “documentaries” and other media productions. Expelled is just the latest salvo in a long-planned anti-science propaganda campaign.It’s merely trying to bring up conversation for the possibilities to the questions left unanswered by Evolution. Whatever happened to freedom of thought?Allow me to answer this question as succinctly as I can, so it will hopefully crack through the edifice of creationist lies you have eagerly bought into. “Freedom of thought” does not translate to “you can teach ideologically based falsehoods as facts.” The way to solve questions as yet unanswered about evolution or any scientific theory is by doing actual scientific research and study. The ID movement is emphatically NOT doing this kind of research and study. There is no science backing up any of their claims, and in fact, not one ID proponent has ever composed an actual “theory of intelligent design.” Even ID superstar Michael Behe, testifying on the stand in the Dover trial, admitted under oath that for ID to be considered science, the definition of science would have to be broadened so as to include astrology. In short, ID is NOT science. A valid scientific theory must be falsifiable and have predictive power. ID possesses neither of those traits.Or perhaps, while you were gushing over watching Expelled, it never occurred to you to notice that the movie neither makes a scientific argument for ID, nor offers any scientific criticism of Darwin. It simply sells a persecution fantasy and conspiracy theory, and you swallowed it whole, sucker.Oh look…now you’re quoting that assclown Berlinksi.“Has anyone provided a proof of God’s inexistence?”Not even close.Has any religion ever provided a proof of God’s existence? Not even close either. Oh well.Has anyone ever provided proof of the nonexistence of leprechauns? No? Well, then clearly the rational thing to do is start believing in leprechauns!If this is Berlinski’s first question, he’s even stupider than he looks. The burden of proof always lies with the person claiming the existence of the thing in question. It does not lie with the skeptic. It is not my job to prove to Berlinski or any other religious dope that his sky-daddy doesn’t exist. It’s his job to prove to me that it does. Full stop.“Has quantum cosmology explained the emergence of the universe or why it is here?” Not even close.Has religion? Not even close. Oh, they concoct an invisible magic being and say, “There’s our answer.” But it might as well be a cosmic flying pink unicorn for all that they have evidence for it.“Have the sciences explained why our universe seems to be fine-tuned to allow for the existence of life?” Not even close.Can religion explain why, if some all-powerful God created the universe, he would need to “fine-tune” it for life? An omnipotent being should be able to create life to live in any conditions it wants. The entire universe could be chock full of searing, deadly radiation, and an omnipotent God could just make us immune to that. It always amuses me the way believers think the anthropic principle is some argument for a deity. As Dawkins points out in TGD, the AP is an alternative to a deity.“Are physicists and biologists willing to believe in anything so long as it is not religious thought? Close enough.Tell that to Ken Miller, Francis Collins, Francesco Alaya, and the hundreds of working biologists who are also theists. It’s just that unlike Berlinski, those guys aren’t ideologically programmed dipshits who fear all scientific evidence for threatening their theism. And while I personally don’t think there’s any reason to believe in a God, those guys are okay with theirs, and it hasn’t turned them into the same kind of scientifically illiterate moron that Berlinski and the ID crowd have chosen to be. Berlinski’s just chewing on his sour grapes here, resentful that atheists even exist. Poor baby.“Has rationalism in moral thought provided us with an understanding of what is good, what is right, and what is moral?” Not even close.It hasn’t? And I suppose theism has, with its jihads and pogroms and crusades and inquisitions and suicide bombers and burning crosses on black people’s lawns? Well, if you’re the sort of selfish, morally undeveloped dick who thinks the only reason to be “moral” is to please Sky-Daddy in the hopes he’ll give you a shiny reward, then I guess so. If, on the other hand, you’re an intelligent and mature person with a normally developed sense of empathy and connection to others, then it should be obvious that simply behaving rationally will result in morally upright behavior at all times. Even Aristotle realized this millennia before Christianity: “Virtue arises from the proper application of reason.” If your only reason to be moral is hope of divine reward and fear of punishment, then you are not in fact a moral person. Christianity offers no moral guidelines for life; all it offers is obedience to authority, which is not the same thing, as issues of right or wrong are really irrelevant in that context. Indeed, if I am to take most Christian fundamentalists at their word, then salvation cannot be by works, only by faith. Which makes morality entirely irrelevant to the Christian life. As long as your “faith” is solid, you can pretty much do whatever, and still cross those pearly gates when your time comes. What a deal!Anyway, the whole “theism = morality” thing has been so thoroughly disposed of over the years that if Berlinski is still trying to make an argument out of it, his stupidity is reaching Himalayan levels.“Has secularism in the terrible twentieth century been a force for good?” Not even close to being
    close.
    What was so terrible about the 20th century? Oh yeah, we had a ton of wars and stuff, but humanity has had those for ages and ages. The “terrible” 20th century also cured smallpox and polio (science did that, not religion); increased human life expectancy in the industrialized world from around 47 (in 1900) to 73 (by 2000); put men on the moon; developed global communications; invented virtually every technological marvel, from the car to the cell phone to those little heart monitors old people wear so that they can buzz EMS with the touch of one button, that human beings today cannot live without. These are all secular advances. Nobody prayed any of this stuff into existence, human beings had to work to develop them, and that in and of itself is a secular activity.How completely typical of a religious scumbag like Berlinksi that he is so desperate to flog his hatred for anything that doesn’t flatter his belief in his invisible magic Sky-Daddy that he will devalue all the good the human race has done for itself in favor of accentuating the bad. Why would anyone want to share this man’s beliefs or his outlook on life, as they are resolutely bleak, ugly, and misanthropic to the core? Thanks, but I’ll take Dawkins’ optimism for humanity’s future a thousand times over.Ask yourself these questions.Asked and answered. As the questions are such disgraceful, moronic horsecrap, I see no reason to think the book is any better. Seriously, you theists can keep your small, dark, ugly view of the world, and you’re welcome to it. I hope you have a nice day for it. Just leave the rest of us alone to advance the human race without your meddling, m’kay?

  11. says

    Oh, the stupid burns bright and hot in here today. I just couldn’t let this example go by without comment:James sputtered: “a very superficial view on religion as a whole, clearly, Islam, Catholicism, and Christianity are different in essence and nature—seek TRUTH!” emphasis mineHate to pop your bubble, Dumbass, but Catholics ARE Christians.

  12. Martin says

    Jen, we have had — like many other atheist and science blogs — a bit of an uptick in traffic since Expelled opened, and a rise in the number of creo trolls in the comments, who have been temporarily emboldened by Stein’s farce. For the most part though, it’s typical creationism: same BS, different day, not one new argument, just a retread of all the old long-debunked canards. Intellectually, in the world of creationism, there truly is no “there” there.The whole “Catholics aren’t Christians” thing, to me, is just another one of those amusing internecine squabbles among Christians that I allow myself to be mildly amused by. What’s more amusing about it is that these people always want to trot out the whole “there are flaws, gaps, whatever, in evolution, so the entire theory is bad” nonsense. And yet, they don’t see a problem with the validity of their Christianity being in any way disadvantaged by the fact it has split multiple times into different factions, schisms, denominations, and what have you over the centuries, with many of these little cliques completely vilifying the others for heresy and “not being True Christians™”. Funny, is it not, how Christians who attack science never notice the fragility of their own glass houses?

  13. says

    Martin – indeed! I find it endlessly amusing and perplexing that fundies will spend hours cutting and pasting the intellectual diarrhea of another fundie, but they won’t spend a little time investigating the origins of their own belief system.The Catholics aren’t Christians thing reminds me of one of my fundie relatives who once asked me if Catholics believe in Jesus. She seemed surprised when I assured her that they do. Another once insisted that Catholics killed Jesus. As I recall, my brother and I just looked at each other and burst out laughing.

  14. says

    but Catholics ARE Christians.“I believe that there are truly regenerate Christians in the Roman Catholic church. But, they are truly Christians in spite of official RCC theology and in spite of the ritualistic offerings of this ancient church which has had too many hands meddling in it through the centuries, gradually moving it away from orthodoxy and into apostasy. Yes, apostasy. The Roman Catholic Church is no longer representing true Christianity.If a Roman Catholic believes in the official Roman Catholic teaching on salvation, then he is not a Christian since the official RCC position is contrary to Scripture. Therefore, as a whole, Roman Catholics need to be evangelized. Jesus alone saves. Jesus alone is Lord. Only Jesus’ sacrifice can cleanse us. Only by faith are we made right before God. Justification is by faith, not by anything we do.” carmRemember that a good tree will bear good fruit and we don’t have to discuss whether the crusades and mass pedophilia is good fruit do we.And Martin did you notice that article that you referenced “Here’s Dawkins’ actual views on the alien thing.” was written on April 18th, 2008 as a sort of a ‘save face’ in light of the movie release. Oh , oh what I really meant was…bla bla save face bla blaBesides look at what he said here “Entities capable of designing anything, whether they be human engineers or interstellar aliens, must be complex — and therefore, statistically improbable.”statistically improbable? does he understand the probability of the existence of us. Taken from The Privileged Planet: The numbers of factors that have been postulated has grown, currently the number of typicalness is 20 such as correct location of the galaxy, correct distance from the sun, protected by giant planets, correct type of star, large moon (stabilize tilt of axes), terrestrial planet, crust thick enough with plate tectonics, magnetic field, oxygen-rich atmosphere, liquid water and continents and on and on to allow a diversity or an active biosphere that is needed to support complex creatures such as ourselves. All these factors have to be met at one place in time in the galaxy if your going to have a planet as habitable as earth which you need for complex even technological life. In an attempt to estimate the probability of attaining the combination of factors simultaneously, researchers have come up with equations signing a conservative 1/10 value to each factor deemed necessary to sustain advanced life. If every element has to be there at the same time you have to multiply the probabilities.The number is 10 to the minus of 15 which is one one thousandth of one trillionth and is a number like that that you have to compare to the 100 billion stars in the galaxy. 100 billion is a very large number but a thousandth of a trillionth is much much smaller. At face value these probabilities are speaking, what they are telling us is that this CANNOT happen or very unlikely this can happen in the galaxy and that is where the evidence is pushing us. You have to get it just right to have an inhabitable planet like earth and that leads us to conclude that we are extremely rare in the galaxy and the universe.

  15. Martin says

    You have to get it just right to have an inhabitable planet like earth and that leads us to conclude that we are extremely rare in the galaxy and the universe.But this is no argument for an Intelligent Designer, it only points out the rarity of life (though a lot of scientists dispute how rare that may be — Stephen Hawking considers alien life quite likely).If the universe were the product of an omnipotent deity, then he quite simply would not be in the situation of having to get everything “just right” to have life on Earth or anywhere else. An omnipotent creator could create life to live under any conditions whatsoever: in hard vacuum, on the surface of the sun, anywhere at all. If an omnipotent deity created the universe, I would expect to see not only life but thriving advanced civilizations such as our own on every single planet in the solar system, from Mercury to Pluto. There would simply be no barrier whatsoever to such a God to put life there. With an omnipotent “intelligent designer” fabricating your universe for you, you no longer have to worry about narrow, fragile “bio-zones” around only certain types of stars for life to exist. That restriction is simply not a factor. Omnipotence trumps everything.This is why ID fails the falsifiability test for being scientifically legitimate. Unless you can reasonably describe what a non-God-designed universe would look like (and no believer has), then you haven’t got an idea that can be falsified, and it’s thus not science.If Christians really want to use the “it’s so rare, look at the odds” anthropic argument to support their God, then they have no choice but to admit that, if this God exists, it must be subordinate to the known laws of physics, chemistry, etc., that we already know about. And if their God is subordinate to those laws, he cannot have created those laws, and he cannot be omnipotent. So something else — nature? a super-duper-designer? — must have created the laws first, and god, like the hypothetical aliens Dawkins was describing, had to come along later, and requires an explanation himself.So either you go with a deistic concept of god, which no Christian wants to do, or you simply dismiss gods altogether as the unnecessary hypothesis that violates Occam’s Razor, the rule of parsimony.So no, Dan, your “so rare, such huge odds, gotta get everything just right” arguments not only doesn’t support your god belief, it actually points in the exact opposite direction: to life being the result of natural processes that, in this solar system, were fortunate enough to be, like the baby bear’s porridge, just right. It’s chance, and I know Christians hate chance, but the annoying thing about reality is that it doesn’t care what Christians or any other ideologues hate.Once again, Dawkins’ interview was heavily edited, and his article sought to explain what was left out. This may be saving face. But only in response to being maliciously misrepresented by liars. I don’t expect you to care about the distinction, since we already know lies and lairs are things you eagerly support and embrace if it’s what you have to do (and it is) to defend your superstition.

  16. says

    Improbable does not mean impossible. The chances of any one of us being the person we are today are one in hundreds of millions due to all the potential sperm that could fertilize an egg. And yet, here we all are. Plus, I don’t trust those numbers for a second Dan, especially since we are finding out all the time different environments in which life can flourish. Their very well may be life on one of the moons of Jupiter, obviously your numbers can’t even begin to claim they are correct.

  17. says

    You’re missing the biggest point Martin. If there were “gulp!” 100 Martins in this world, exactly the same personality and quirks, would you feel special? How about 100,000 Dan Marvins? If there were people on every planet in the entire universe, how special would you feel. It is His plan we must trust, not yours.And Brad by being the first of 300 million sperm to get to the egg on that exact couple of days in the month makes you the strongest and best in the bunch doesn’t that make you feel special and unique? No one has the same finger print, no one has the same exact things that you possess physically and spiritually (personality) we are very unique to the universe this is the truth that God wants us to understand, Matthew 10:30-34 we have not just evolved without purpose we are extremely important and relevant and rare. Get it? Martin you are the only you in this universe, there is no other and you will be held accountable for your actions while here on earth. Our lives would be very different without you, the plan is perfect and unfathomable, we cannot even begin to grasp the complexity of His plan. We are held accountable. This is why he wants us to trust Him and believe He is doing what He is doing for a purpose with love. It will be very apparent and real when we pass on but we are to understand in this time on this planet, here and now.

  18. Martin says

    You’re missing the biggest point Martin. If there were “gulp!” 100 Martins in this world, exactly the same personality and quirks, would you feel special? How about 100,000 Dan Marvins? If there were people on every planet in the entire universe, how special would you feel. It is His plan we must trust, not yours.I think we’ve come to the core of your thinking here, Dan. You aren’t really interested in what can be demonstrated to be factual. You just want to be special. Well, Dan, here’s the hard truth. Reality doesn’t care about your insecurities or ego. It just is what it is. If you really cannot feel that your life is in any way “special” unless you convince yourself that you’re a unique and beautiful snowflake created lovingly by an all-powerful designer who devotes 100% of his attention to you, then your self-image and outlook on life are more impoverished and diminished than I thought, and I truly offer you my sympathy. As for me, what makes me feel special is how I live my life and do the best I can for me and everyone around me, trying to leave the world a better place for my having been in it. Several million people happen to have the same birthday as I do, which is coming up this weekend. But to me, it’s still a special day, and sharing it with others doesn’t make it less so.Part of what I’m doing for my birthday is going to see Rush tonight, and they have a song whose title I think best captures this desperate need to feel special that people embrace religions to fulfill: “Malignant Narcissism.”

  19. says

    And Brad by being the first of 300 million sperm to get to the egg on that exact couple of days in the month makes you the strongest and best in the bunch doesn’t that make you feel special and unique?Sure it makes me feel special, but at no point does it drive me to think that anything divine was involved.we have not just evolved without purpose we are extremely important and relevant and rareJust because our species arose through evolution doesn’t mean that we have no purpose. My life has the purpose that I give it, I need no divine buddy to give my life meaning.

  20. says

    Martin,You sure know how to pervert things dude. It isn’t about ego it’s about He made us in His image and He loved us so much he gave Himself as a sacrifice FOR us to SAVE us because he loves US and we should reciprocate. And yes His love for me does indeed make me feel special. Happy early B-day and I wish I can join you for Rush as I have been a fan of Neil Pert for many years. Exit stage left was my most memorable album (yes I had the album) and YYZ’s drum solo is in a league of it’s own. Rush’s ‘Snakes and Arrows’ warns against the dangers of religion.”Armor and Sword” says … What should have been our armorBecomes a sharp and angry sword…We hold beliefs as a consolationA way to take us out of ourselvesMeditation or medicationA comfort, or a promised reward…The battle flags are flownAt the feet of a god unknownNo one gets to their heaven without a fight…Have a great time and I will be with you in spirit.

  21. Martin says

    We just look at matters from diametrically opposed points, Dan. What you proclaim is a great strength for you looks like a profound insecurity to atheists, one which religion callously exploits in order to gain a hold over the hearts and minds of believers — making the believer’s sense of feeling “special” entirely dependent upon the religion. If your belief is what gives you a special feeling, Dan, fine, I wish you well with it, but I also wish it wouldn’t make you so easily susceptible to the lies of bad comedians and ideologues who demonize scientists and do so to make money. Take care.

  22. says

    Dan, are you really that dishonest or just congenitally stupid? ‘Cause when you make a statement like this:And Martin did you notice that article that you referenced “Here’s Dawkins’ actual views on the alien thing.” was written on April 18th, 2008 as a sort of a ‘save face’ in light of the movie release. Oh , oh what I really meant was…bla bla save face bla blathose are your only options. Dawkins has used the “directed panspermia” example many times before to illustrate the fact that there’s exactly the same evidence to support that hypothesis as there is to support your goddidit delusion. (As in none)Dawkins didn’t have to “save face.” The April 18th article was only necessary because Ben Stein and people like him (look in the mirror, Dan) willfully and maliciously misrepresent Dawkins at every turn. This is just another shining example of the “superior” morality of believers. Congratulations, Dan. Jesus would be so proud!

  23. says

    Dan: big bang problem #5: Population 3 stars there should be these type of first stars everywhere all over the universe.Not true. The lifefime of Population III stars is around a few million years. Seeing light from something that far away is problematic with today’s technology.

  24. says

    NAL,Problematic how? Secular scientist claim to be looking into the past, right? So looking hundreds of millions of years into the past would show them. Blue stars cannot last billions of years either, yet they are common in spiral galaxies, confirming that these galaxies are young.

  25. says

    Dan: Problematic how? Secular scientist claim to be looking into the past, right? So looking hundreds of millions of years into the past would show them.No. Population III stars formed about 400 million years after the Big Bang. That is about 13 billion years ago. Light that is 13 billion years old is very dim and highly red shifted. Dan: Blue stars cannot last billions of years either, yet they are common in spiral galaxies, confirming that these galaxies are young.It confirms that blue stars are, relatively, young.

  26. says

    “Leaps of faith is all you big banger’s and evolutionists have and you follow that Dawkins dude who needs a good dental care program.”I don’t see what dental integrity has to do with intellectual integrity. Legend has it that the Brits have the worst teeth in the free world, but that doesn’t necessarily bare even slightly upon whether or not their scientists are top notch or mediocre. Who knows; there might even be a strong negative correlation between intellectual and enamel integrity. “Richard Dawkins, in Expelled, admits that higher intelligent forms of life might have started life on earth.”Jesus Christ on an apple pie, here we go again. Read this. “The fact of the matter is Evolution is NOT a fact but a theory and questions upon questions are left unanswered”Which of course doesn’t mean that creationism is any more qualified to provide the answers. And yes, sorry to tell you this, but evolution is indeed a fact. It’s confirmed by thousands of pieces of evidence all converging onto the same conclusion: that life has changed over a long period of time and diversified, and that this process is ongoing. Details about exactly HOW it takes place are controversial; some scientists even assign to natural selection a relatively minor role. But no serious scientists denies that evolution itself – whatever mechanisms it happens to entail – is a fact. “If so many questions are left uncertain, why not the possibility for intelligent design?”Because there’s no evidence for one. “The fact is Darwin’s theory of Evolution is way too outdated to have it accepted as the gospel truth of sciences.”Unbeknownst to you is the fact that Darwin’s theory has been extensively modified since its inception. Data pertaining to genetics, ecology and palaeontology have been all incorporated into it for over a century. You say as it as though Darwinian evolution was conceived and that it was left to mature like wine, with scientists hoping that it would become more valid as time went on, all by itself. So it’s no wonder you think it’s “outdated”. It’s only outdated, however, if it was never broadened and refined. That’s simply false. The Modern Synthesis is the fusion of Darwinian principles to the revolution in genetics and other fields. I know this is going to come as a shock to your delicate sensibilities, but here goes: biologists are only too eager to, if necessary, overthrow certain parts of Darwin’s theory. Scientists love being revolutionaries; if they were to come across some mechanism that was radically antithetical to Darwinian evolution, the would grab hold of it and trumpet it to the skies. Who wouldn’t want to be the discoverer, after all, of such a mechanism? In fact, some evolutionists see the Darwinian paradigm as insufficient or even defective (but not false in its entirety), and they call upon other mechanisms to try to account for the phenomena they see as being inadequately explained by Darwinian evolution. Stephen Jay Gould was a Darwinian, but he saw the Modern Synthesis as as impoverished in key respects. I personally don’t think that he quite made his case (based upon my limited readings), as the revolution he aspired to wasn’t quite as radically departed form “orthodox” Darwinism as he advocated it to be – but he did trigger a lively debate, and certainly some of his ideas were fresh and served to invigorate the study of life’s history. Note: this does not mean “Goddunnit”. We’re still talking about fully natural processes. No one accepts Darwinian evolution as “gospel truth”. That’s not our style. I, for one, would love to come up with a new wrinkle on the surface of the current paradigm, if not overthrow it with something even better. The lively disagreements that go on within evolutionary biology attest to the lack of a conspiracy to enforce a Darwinian consensus. “The movie Expelled is not trying to spread an undercover Creationism agenda.”Yes it is; and we know it is because of the distortions and boldfaced lies that form part of its message, and the trickery that went into making it. “well said James”What was so good about it?”And Martin did you notice that article that you referenced “Here’s Dawkins’ actual views on the alien thing.” was written on April 18th, 2008 as a sort of a ‘save face’ in light of the movie release.”Besides look at what he said here “Entities capable of designing anything, whether they be human engineers or interstellar aliens, must be complex — and therefore, statistically improbable.”statistically improbable? does he understand the probability of the existence of us.”Ummmmm….yeah. Let me just explain that to you, because I think that, apart from your all-round ignorance of biology, you also have no conception of statistical probability. What he means by complex beings being statistically unlikely is that, in order to produce them, some process must be in place. That process could conceivably be intelligent design; indeed, on Earth, we see many examples of intelligent design – in human-constructed artefacts. A Ferrari – an exceedingly complex piece of machinery – is statistically overwhelmingly unlikely to come about through pure chance. We are therefore justified in invoking an intelligent designer – an engineer in Modena – to account for its existence. Living things, too, are complex, so it is also conceivable that they too are the results of intelligent design, by a God or by super-intelligent extraterrestrial beings. But here is the crucial difference: we DON’T need to invoke an intelligent designer to account for living things, because we know of a non-random process that can do the necessary design work, albeit smeared over vast amounts of time (so that each step in the build-up of complexity is only somewhat improbable, not prohibitively so). This cumulative process is called natural selection (strictly, natural selection doesn’t have to produce complexity; it can act simply to maintain a certain adaptation as it is, or even to reduce complexity. But the only process we know of that can parsimoniously explain such entities as vertebrate or cephalopod eyes, or lungs, or the suite of features required by whales to live an aquatic existence, is natural selection. Ultimately, even if super intelligent beings did in fact engineer us, the design process would have to terminate somewhere. Natural selection allows us to get from simplicity to complexity. Invoking God – an entity endowed with a sophisticated cognitive apparatus, the ability to read billions of minds simultaneously, the ability to wreak miracles by suspending the laws of gravity, and to tweak those laws in the first place in such a way that we could live in this universe (admittedly an exceedingly tiny part of it, which should by itself send alarm bells wringing for those who think that the universe was designed for them in mind) – is the very antithesis of a simple answer. It is a complete abdication of the obligation to provide a real answer, because it administers a gargantuan wallop – from the very outset – of the very thing we’re trying to explain in the first place. The God hypothesis not only fails to provide an answer, it is utterly, spectacularly and singularly incapable of even beginning to provide one. It is the cop-out to end all cop-outs. “You have to get it just right to have an inhabitable planet like earth and that leads us to conclude that we are extremely rare in the galaxy and the universe.”You have to get it just right to produce life forms as we know them. Actually though, even that’s probably conceding too much. On Earth, there are organisms that live in habitats of extreme cold, heat, toxicity, pressure, or radiation – and this could mean that the number of places in the universe that are conceivably hospitable to some form of life is increased. It’s that pesky evolution
    again – adapting organisms to a wide range of physical settings. The universe isn’t fine-tuned to life; life is fine-tuned to the universe via the process of natural selection. “If there were people on every planet in the entire universe, how special would you feel. It is His plan we must trust, not yours.”Oh, so it’s about our feelings. Ummmmm…how scientific. In other words, you can trot God to fix any inconsistency in a jiffy. Well, if God can be hauled in to explain every contingency on the fly, then God isn’t a viable hypothesis. If the universe isn’t inhabited by intelligent beings, then that’s because God chose us to be his stewards. If the universe is inhabited by intelligent beings, then God made it that way too. That’s what I mean by unfalsifiable: there is no a priori criterion by which you could say whether the odds of God being the designer or not are mitigated. If there’s no criterion by which you could potentially be wrong, then the hypothesis doesn’t mean anything, but everything automatically becomes a vindication of it. “No one has the same finger print, no one has the same exact things that you possess physically and spiritually (personality) we are very unique to the universe this is the truth that God wants us to understand, Matthew 10:30-34 we have not just evolved without purpose we are extremely important and relevant and rare. Get it?”Sure, we get it (in the sense that we understand what you’re trying to convey), but unfortunately Matthew 10:30-34 doesn’t constitute scientific evidence. It’s just something that you want to believe, and the fact that it’s written down in a book with other feel-good messages doesn’t in any way validate it. We are important and rare, but we are important in a sense that matters to us as human beings; it isn’t that we matter in some cosmic, ultimate way. Like I’ve said elsewhere, if a comet were to wipe out the Earth tomorrow, the universe would carry on just fine without us. “Our lives would be very different without you, the plan is perfect and unfathomable, we cannot even begin to grasp the complexity of His plan.”And yet, you – a human with a self-admitted “limited view” – judge yourself knowledgeable and wise enough to say what this “unfathomable” being wants. This is another manifestation of unfalsifiability: when we look at such and such, it supposedly “proves God”. Yet, since we don’t know how God operates or even what he’s all about (except as gauged through out inadequate human perceptions), whenever we can’t explain something it’s because God is mysterious. It’s not terribly compelling, and I hope you’ll join us in appreciating why we find it laughable (even if you find it indispensable). And let me just say something else, for everyone to consider: creationists talk about God being “great”, they talk about how the complexity of life is a testimony to God’s awesome power and wisdom. And yet, look at the creationist universe: a paltry 6,000 year-old sphere. Where the scientific view holds that the universe as we know it is 13.7 billion years old, that life on this planet is at least 3 billions years old, and that the universe is unimaginably huge and rich and surprising, the creationist’s ode to God is a mind-shrinking fallacy that puts us at the centre of a childish narrative. Instead of the epic story of 300 million years of tetrapod evolution, with innumerable branchings and adaptations; of cataclysmic punctuations known as mass extinction events, to be followed by new flowerings of life, as rich and varied as the ones that came before, and often adopting the same design solutions as their predecessors (through convergent evolution); of continents drifting apart such that the marsupials were largely confined to Australia (leading to this continent’s unique marsupial fauna); of coevolution in which insects and plants were moulded to one another in intimate interdependencies, often to such an extent that these organisms became so specialised that they succumbed to extinction where more “generalist” species prevailed; and a million events that we shall never know about because they have been lost forever to deep history; when you could have all that and immerse yourself in the sheer wonder and beauty and poetry of it all – of tales more haunting than any creation myth, and with the benefit of being corroborated by evidence that we can look at and build upon to reconstruct worlds that once were – when you can have all that, why would anyone want to settle for the boringly parochial, unsubtle and infantile claims of creationism? Are we so eager to feel special and superior and secure in a divine plan that we are then compelled to denigrate the whole of the natural world by reducing it to a mere component in this plan for US? Isn’t it about time we surrendered this grotesque fairy tale and lived in this world like real adults? That would entail giving up a bit of the blanket, but it’s worth it because future generations won’t thank us for wallowing in superstition. Or do people care so much about their selfish comfort blankets that the sublime beauty of nature must come a very poor second, and potentially even eschew the well being of the human race just so that THEY can get in on God’ largesse? This is part of the reason I regard creationism as not only false but immoral: it doesn’t just give us an impoverished, uninspiring view of the world and the universe that is also false, but it glorifies irrationality at a time when we should be pushing hardest for rational, evidence-based initiatives to fix the world’s problems (many of which are coming to rely more and more on an understanding of the evolving nature of biological systems – areas like disease control, farming, fisheries, and conservation. The practitioners in these fields are virtually entirely almost unanimous in accepting evolution and seeing its overriding importance to yielding practical results. The creationist propagandists would muddle all this up, and they are apparently so lacking in moral fibre that they would rather that evolution be destroyed as a discipline than to take into account the very real human cost of such actions – all in the name of Sky-Daddy; in other words, their own sense of feeling special and living forever in a magical cloud city. That is utterly immoral).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>