Accurate Reporting or Left-wing Propaganda?

Shortly before the movie “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed” came out, I reviewed it and recommended it on my blog. (I saw it in a special screening before it was in theaters. I did not review this movie without seeing it, as many in the left-wing media did.) I believe that the issues it speaks to are of great importance. I also believe that some in the aforementioned left-wing media would have us to believe otherwise.

As stated on the Evolution News and Views blog, an editorial in the New York Times presents, as fact, statements that are simply not true. It says that we creationists “struggle with reality,” that teaching the strengths and weaknesses of evolution is “code for teaching creationism.” These statements are simply false.

But it gets worse. It moves from ill-informed opinion to blatant lies:

Scientists are always probing the strengths and weakness of their hypotheses. That is the very nature of the enterprise. But evolution is no longer a hypothesis. It is a theory rigorously supported by abundant evidence. The weaknesses that creationists hope to teach as a way of refuting evolution are themselves antiquated, long since filed away as solved.

But The Scientist (magazine) would beg to differ. It seems that all the mysteries and questions surrounding the process of evolution have not been “filed away as solved.”

This theory of evolution is really a framework for thinking about change in the living world. It provides no specific guesses for the kinds of traits that may exist, no strong requirements or prohibitions on how they may interact to make a complex organism or ecosystem, and no commitments to how innovation can occur. Even the problem of how a differentiated population ultimately divides into two distinct species (posed in the title of Darwin’s seminal work) remains a major technical problem in evolutionary biology

Someone needs to explain to the New York Times the difference between fact and fiction.

Billions of Missing Links – Evidence for a Creator

I read this (by Geoffrey Simmons) and I had to laugh:

The wombat has an upside-down pouch. Scientists presume, and it makes sense, that position prevents dirt from entering the pouch when the wombat is digging in the ground. Could there have been transitional species with pouches situated sideways, or did the first wombats have to scoop dirt out of their pouches every day?

So you’re telling me there’s a chance?

I might be the only one, but I love “Dumb and Dumber.” Maybe it reminds me of myself (a little). This is my favorite part:

In other words, not a chance. (Of course Lloyd doesn’t see it that way. Later on he finds out she’s already married and asks “What was all that one-in-a-million talk?”)

Two nights ago I had a dream that I looked out my bedroom window to an open wheat field and watched dozens of workers just scatter, running in all directions. A minute later an asteroid landed in the field and skidded past my apartment building. Weird dream. But then I looked up the chances of an asteroid hitting the earth. The chances of an “extinction-causing asteroid” blowing us all sky high are the same as Lloyd’s chances with his special someone – one in million (http://www.ucolick.org/~mountain/AAA/impact/).

Personally, I dont think there’s anything to worry about.

And I haven’t heard of anyone else being worried either. Given our propensity to blow things out of proportion, I must say I’m surprised that there aren’t lots of very vocal scientists running around shouting the sky is falling. And I’m quite thankful that Al Gore is not running with the idea to make a sequel – “An Even Less Convenient Truth.” Maybe even Al Gore has the sense to see that the chances make it essentially impossible. Maybe. But I doubt it.

Why do I doubt it? Because people are convinced that even smaller chances (and not just a little bit smaller like one in a million and one) have certainly played out in the past. Consider our home planet. This is a planet that is just right. Its circling a sun thats just right. At just the right distance. With just the right moon (for tides; tides are important for ecosystems and such).

And then there’s life. I mean, how did that get started? It would take minimally over 200 proteins all composed of a specific sequence of amino acids There are 20 amino acids in all (each of which is a quite specific molecule), and we want just the right sequence. Somehow they got together inside a cell membrane (a phospholipid bilayer with protein channels) and aligned themselves with the proper DNA codes – no problem setting up a code much more intricate than anything Bill Gates has come out with (by his own admission). Chances are… well, chances are slim. One in a million? Not hardly.

Try 1 in 10 followed by about 400 more zeroes. Salvo Magazine has an ad on their web page for the “Universal Lottery.” Check it out: http://www.salvomag.com/new/ads/UniversalLottery.html

After you check it, you may want to invest in some Asteroid Insurance I have for sale. Because 1 in 1,000,000 is just math lingo for “bound to happen.”

A good book on this is RC Sproul’s “Not a Chance.” (If you can afford it after you pay my insurance premiums).

Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed

There is a new movie coming out this Friday night (April 18, 2008). It is probably the most anticipated documentary ever to hit the screens:

Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed.

Expelled Banner

This film stars many scientists with varying views on evolution, Intelligent Design theory, neo-Darwinism and Social Darwinism. Former presidential speechwriter/comedian/game show host Ben Stein does most of the leg work in this film. He runs all over the US and even visits other countries in his quest to get to the bottom of all the commotion surrounding the “big questions” of our origin.

I was privileged to attend one of the early screenings of the film in Louisville KY. And I can say that, over all, the film is quite well done. It is entertaining. It is informative. And though Stein has taken a side on the issue, he allows the scientists he interviews to say what they think. They were given the questions ahead of time in order to prepare their answers. Even so, this gets pretty incriminating for some of them at times when they suggest that life was formed “on the backs of crystals” or speculate that possibly aliens bestowed life on our humble planet.

The film begins with a visit from Ben Stein to a former employee of the Smithsonian institute who claims he was fired for publishing a peer reviewed science article which spoke favorably of Intelligent Design. The skeptical Stein then investigates further into many similar claims. This is one of the primary ideas of the film, probably the most causative reason for the film.

Its purpose is not to debunk the theory of evolution or to force public high schools to teach Creationism (gasp!). It is to expose the fact that many in academia are purposefully trying to smash all dissent and discussion of the modern dogma of neo-Darwinism. If scientists are no longer allowed to follow the evidence where it leads, then how can science continue to expand knowledge? The film is not an attack on science, but a defense of it.

Ben Stein concludes his journey by visiting the site of a former Nazi concentration camp. But contrary to what some critics would have you to believe, Expelled does not try to blame Darwin for the atrocity known as the Holocaust. Darwin made claims that the “lower” forms of humanity should not be allowed to propagate. Hitler tried to give evolution a little boost. He tried to speed up what he believed would eventually be the natural selection of the aryan race. Stein eloquently makes this clear.

The movie is an honest look at neo-Darwinism, ID, and the academy of the modern day. I highly recommend it to anyone who cares about our origins, our dignity, or our right to free speech.

For another review, go here:

http://www.evolutionnews.org/2008/04/expelled_critics_so_bored_they.html#more