So, I was Expelled from a Pro-Expelled Blog…

Initially, I wasn’t going to post on this out of consideration for the blogger that took my posts down – or didn’t let them go through in the first place. But given the importance of the issue, the fact that I know that I am not the only one who has been silenced in this way by people claiming to be for the free exchange of ideas and wanting to hear “both sides”, and given the incredible amounts of dishonesty, ignorance and information-filtering that surrounds this crocumentary, I’ve decided otherwise. Read on to hear about how I, like surely many others, was expelled from commenting on Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed.

On Monday I came across William Petruzzo’s WordPress blog, William Petruzzo. He had just posted a flattering review extolling Expelled, and strongly recommending it to others. It was plainly obvious that he had fallen hook, line and sinker for every lie and misrepresentation that the film had on offer. He clearly had heard only side of the issue: theirs, and uncritically accepted it. And so did the four commenters who commended him for his write-up, and echoed the film’s banner claim of being the little guy standing up for free speech against a supposed tyrannical dogmatic totalitarian regime.

Enter me. I give a fairly detailed post, explaining how Expelled is a dishonest propaganda film. You’ll have to bare with me, as I am summarizing the posts I made and the one reply I received on the site from memory as they no longer exist online.

In my first post, I write that Expelled misrepresents science, evolution, ID, etc., that it had to trick people like PZ Myers and Richard Dawkins to appear in it, that ID is not science, that evolution is overwhelmingly well supported, that acceptance of evolution has nothing to do with Nazism, and so on. This post is allowed to appear on the blog – temporarily.

Petruzzo promptly replied to my comment thanking me for my thoughtful comment, but saying that my strong response suggests insecurity on my part with respect to the truth of evolution. I quickly replied to this post, immediately dispelling his assertion of insecurity. I wrote that I am in no way insecure about the truth of evolution or the possibility that ID may usurp it. I explained the two reasons for my security with evolution: 1) given the amazing amount of evidence in its favour and the complete absense of evidence behind ID, that evolution could be disqualified and ID become the dominant paradigm seems highly unlikely; 2) If research were to show that evolution was substantially in error and that ID actually is the best idea we have, I would accept this as a matter of simply following the evidence. What I am worried about, as I wrote, is that roughly 40% of Americans are primed and ready to eat all of this propaganda up because it is what they want to believe. A huge minority of Americans place Biblical literalism at a far higher level of priority than intellectual honesty, investigative rigor, and open-mindedness, and this disingenuous “documentary” with its implied credibility (by virtue of featuring a known public figure in Ben Stein and a few Christian scientists) will only serve to give them a false sense of justification, arm them with more untruths with which they can promulgate their intellectually-vacuous ideology, and will serve as a prominent propaganda film for those who want to peddle Christian literalism and establish and maintain distrust in the mainstream academic community.

I also provided more evidence indicating that this is a propaganda film that is filled with lies and misrepresentations, and was marketed by a team that selectively presented the film to those who it thought would give it good reviews and went to great lengths to exclude critics. I cited that ID is not only disqualified as being scientific by atheists and scientists, but has also been spoken against by numerous religious organizations, Christian scientists (e.g., evangelical Christian and prominent geneticist Francis Collins, Director of the National Human Genome Project in America), and was denounced strongly by Conservative Christian Republican Bush-appointed judge John Jones in the Dover Trial as being non-scientific and clearly religiously rooted. I also pointed out that there are many religious people who comfortably accept evolution, but ID doesn’t seem to have any non-fundamentalist advocates – though I was once linked to a site said to be authored by a pair of atheist scientists who support ID; however, the biographical info of one of them was dubious and regardless, they remain (at best) the only 2 non-fundamentalist scientists I have ever heard of that have any respect for it at all. Furthermore, I pointed out that the total proportion of scientists worldwide that support ID is well under 1%. I could have gone on way more, but I felt like that was sufficient. I also presented a link to Expelled Exposed.

So a few hours later I checked Petruzzo’s website for replies. I didn’t find any replies. I also didn’t find any of my posts – they all had been taken down, along with his one reply. Well, this isn’t completely honest. What I found was that all of my comments, even the one that had previously been admitted, were said to be awaiting moderation, and his reply to mine was gone. Had another visitor visited, they would have seen none of the comments by he or I in this conversation. Then a little while later I checked my email, and received the following note from Petruzzo:

Hey bro,

Thanks for your thoughts and writing them down. I have a policy to keep extended debate
out of the public comment string (regardless of topic). It just isn’t usually fruitful.

I feel this debate is important, so in no way do I intend to attempt silence the debate.
However, the conversation needs to be moved into some other forum for discussion. Please
don’t take my moderation of the comments personally or offensively.

If you decide to move the conversation to another location, please let me know. I may
want to join the debate.

Thanks for the understanding,

// Bill Petruzzo

I replied as follows:

Bill:

Greetings. I have to say that I do find it somewhat concerning that you remove comments that invalidate the film that you posted on with positivity. I don’t know why you would not want debates occurring in your comment section. It’s not like it would detract from other comments – people can still drop by and drop in their 2 cents unimpeded.

Given that I was the only commenter there who took a position contrary to yours, and given that I presented good argumentation as well as a link, I think that my comments deserve to be left up there.

People are going to read through your comments and they’re going to have an illusion that everyone that has commented there has agreed with you and with Expelled, which is not true.

Whether this decision was done in order to abide with an existing policy or not, it is stifling an important discussion, creating a false impression to readers, and is *expelling* an honestly presented and evidentially-backed argument.

On the topic of expulsion, as I pointed out in a comment and would have gone into in more detail later on: it is the people who made and who support Expelled that seem to be doing the expelling. Myers was expelled. Roger Moore of the Orlando Sentinel received an invitation by accident (of the promoters of the film) and when they realized what they had done and that Moore wasn’t a Creationist, they attempted to revoke it. During there entire pre-screening period they were carefully selecting their audiences. Outside of Anonymous [EDIT: Here I meant to say “Expelled” – I’ve been posting on Scientology way too much…], people who run ID blogs (e.g., Uncommon Descent) are known for regularly censoring critics. Send emails to Larry Moran of Sandwalk (http://sandwalk.blogspot.com) or PZ Myers (http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula). Each of them will be able to give you a bunch of names – including themselves – who’ve been banned from posting on ID/Creation blogs. And you should absolutely check out this post, which chronicles a number of expulsions for evolutionists which were based not on academic integrity or anything else commendable, but simply on the fact that the people endorsed evolution and would not pretend that ID is science: http://www.sunclipse.org/?p=626

You can do what you want with your blog. I would hope that someone endorsing a movie that claims (dishonestly) to be for academic freedom and freedom to share ideas would exhibit these lauded qualities themselves, even if it means reconsidering some rules, even if for just this one post.

In closing, I’ll say it again: the film is dishonest propaganda. If you look around online, you will even see conservative sources saying this (e.g., Fox News reporters). Even Francis Collins, evangelical Christian geneticist who was/is Director of the Human Genome Project, dismisses ID. It really is the world versus the religious right on this one – and even some people who often side with the religious right are opposing this dishonest base.

http://www.expelledexposed.com

Ron

Bill replied:

Hey bro,

Again, thanks for the thoughts.

I understand your concern. On almost any topic, the blog does not stand as a discussion forum. I don’t write with the intention of persuasion, I write for people who are already persuaded. You’ll find that my blog is overtly Christian and I don’t make defense of Christian doctrines a regular topic. It’s just not my job here in this venue. Folks who are looking to have the debate can find many other places to have it, but my writing is not for that intention at all.

I’m sorry that you feel expelled, and I hope that you will trust that censorship is not my intention, however, proper venue is.

Bill Petruzzo

To which I replied:

Very well.

But what you are doing right now is nevertheless a diservice to yourself and all of your
readers. You are endorsing a movie that is without a doubt a deceitful propaganda film.
And this is not just atheists saying this. It’s not even just scientists. It’s atheists,
scientists, liberal religionists, even some conservatives (e.g., at least one Fox News
correspondent; John Jones slammed the IDists in Dover, as I mentioned; Francis Collins,
evangelical geneticist, also dismisses this movement as bogus). In posting the item you
have posted and then not even allowing for people to disagree with you in your comment
section, you are serving as an enabler of deceit and slandering of both atheists and
scientists of all stripes. Just because atheists and scientists are not Christian,
Jewish, Black, female, Hispanic, Gay, or disabled in someway does not somehow make it
okay to slander and lie about them.

Ron

I have yet to receive a reply to this email, despite the 4 days that have elapsed. Petruzzo claims that he is not expelling me, but is simply abiding by a long-standing policy of not allowing debate on his blog. As I pointed out in an email to him, if ever there were a time to temporarily lift that rule, it’s here. How hypocritical is it to endorse a film which *claims* to be rallying against suppression of speech (and hypocritically engaged in constant censorship and audience engineering throughout its promotions), and then suppressing dissent in one’s own comment section for that very post? And does having a no-debate policy make this situation that much better? He claims that his site is for the converted, and is not a haven for debate on Christian apologetics. So basically what he’s saying is that he has a permanent policy in place to silence anybody who comes in and tries to criticize/debate his and his intended audience’s beliefs. He’ll respond to this by saying that his no-debate policy spreads beyond Christian apologetics, but lets be honest here: is there another subject that is more likely to lead to such an “unproductive” debate than the subject of the intellectual validity of his religion? He is endorsing a movie for taking the stance that the scientific community is a dogmatic and dissent-suppressing organization when dogmatism and prevention of dissent are at placed at the very core of his blog when he, from the outset, sets up rules that him and his co-believers from having to face intellectual challengers.

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Comments
27 Responses to “So, I was Expelled from a Pro-Expelled Blog…”
  1. Pauli Ojala says:

    I wish an analogous documentary film should also be made concerning the DINOGLYFS or dinolits:
    http://www.helsinki.fi/~pjojala/dinosaur.htm

    It seems that the ancient man not only saw but also documented the last megafauna (gigafauna, I should say).

    Bruce Albers it was who first accepted from his post as the president of the National Academy of Sciences USA that the biological machinery can be called as such, machinery, without asserting to metaphora. He gave the students that license in 1998. Other animations on the tiny cellular machineries apart from the Expelled movie can be seen in here:
    http://www.helsinki.fi/~pjojala/Videos_animations_flagella_evidence_existence_creation_contra_evolution.htm

    Anyway: It is interesting that it is the People of the Book who once more are the initiative spectators who have the balls to question the ambient amen and go against the loudy majority. Not the first time. Here’s some statistics and charts regarding the success of the Jews in science and technological innovations when the others were too stubborn to see things in any history of science perspective:
    http://www.helsinki.fi/~pjojala/Indicator.html

    pauli.ojala@gmail.com
    Biochemist, Finland
    http://www.helsinki.fi/~pjojala/Expelled-ID.htm

  2. RHM says:

    It is amazing how much hype Christians can throw behind such a piece of junk. Michael Shermer and others have already debunked half of their intentional deceit regarding the denial of tenure and more. This film is weak from top to bottom. How sad it is to watch believers cling to it like their bibles. Truly sad how delusional most of our country is.

  3. Shawn McBee says:

    This kind f hypocrisy should be expected. In fact, you should probably count yourself as lucky; after all, Christian debate used to consist of burning the dissenting voice at the stake 🙂

  4. William says:

    I must say, as sticky a topic as it is, I never thought I’d find one of my email discourses on someone else’s blog. It’s weirdly flattering and kind of funny, even if it is a a bit of negative attention. 🙂

    If you’d like to, please post a link to your thoughts on my blog. Like I said, and meant, it had little to do with what you said, or your thoughts, and almost entirely to do with the debate. In fact, had it remained only your first comment, it certainly would have been left there.

    So, once again, it wasn’t about the topic, it was about the debate. I would have done the same thing had you debated my opinion of Indiana Jones.

  5. L. Ron Brown says:

    William: It’s just that I had provided very strong evidence that not only were you personally misguided, but you were enabling mass misinformation and not only did you not want to entertain my points with conversation (let alone saying that you would reconsider the statement you were running), but you altogether took my disagreement off of your site.

    And what did you expect me to do after your reply to my initial comment, other than respond in kind? You accuse me of being insecure in my stance and I’m supposed to just let it stand?

    What is more, I checked your post once more before I posted this post and your post was exactly as it first was, indicating that you probably had done little with regard to considering the other side – i.e., the side that is indisputably correct in this case.

    The fact that you have a permanent policy against debates suggest that you are probably some or all of the following with respect to the sorts of things you tend to post about: 1) dogmatically committed to the relevant beliefs to the point where you are put off by having to defend your beliefs; 2) you want to be able to unilaterally make highly contentious claims without having to defend them when someone inevitably disagrees with them; and/or 3) you would rather not engage in deep thought regarding your beliefs and risk having to change them or looking foolish and showing yourself to be dogmatic.

    To post on emotionally, intellectually and politically-charged issues with highly contentious positions and to evade defending the positions you take is intellectually and socially lazy and irresponsible as well as inconsiderate.

    The fact that you vie to create an online community in which you say what you believe without defending it, where your audience is ideally of people who believe as you do (as you yourself said is your aim), and where you actively avoid having to seriously consider the validity of your statements reflects a strong aversion to intellectual honesty if it means having to admit a perfectly acceptable and normal thing: that you, a human being, were wrong about something.

  6. L. Ron Brown says:

    As for posting a link to my comments, I’d rather not have to type them all up again. I put enough effort into that the first time. But if you genuinely do want to see the other side of this issue, then check out http://www.expelledexposed.com. I’ve already checked it out and have read a few sections of it. What I saw of it is well done.

  7. Benjamin Franklin says:

    Don’t feel bad,

    For a few weeks I was posting a very carefully written essay to blogs presenting trailers for Expelled, and cajoling their readers to support the movie. My post never made it past moderation on over 40% of the sites.

    The worst were the sites that were not ony ultra Christian, but also ultra conservative. Most of those folks got downright nasty.

    The funniest one to me was a blog where I asked for the blogger to show some evidence of what he claimed was the vast conspiracy to silence etc, etc. He kept responding with how evolution is just this and that philosophy. After three times requesting him to show some evidence, I told him that philosophy is like masturbation, its fine, and it makes you feel good, but if you want some tangible output (ie offspring), you need the biology and physical science of reproduction.

    this was his respnse –
    Your comment has been deleted because you have gone outside of the norms of debate and discussion and lowered yourself to degrading language NOT allowed on this blog! If you would like to try again that would be acceptable otherwise take your gutter language to your leftists komrades and yammer back and forth with each other there!

    I wrote back and told him he was a prude.

  8. b4dguy says:

    I saw the movie yesterday. The quote that stands out to me is, “I want to follow the evidence wherever it leads.”

    The message of the film was, allow science to pursue all possible hypotheses. No more, no less. The warning is that if we don’t honestly pursue scientific research, we could end up like a Nazi Germany, or a communist state, or with something like Eugenics.

    I’m a Christian that sees no problem with science pursuing the truth of the origin of our species, our planet, and our galaxy. Science is merely trying to figure out how it all was accomplished (this implies a Creator). I don’t really care how God worked his wonders – but I am certainly curious to discover his methods.

    Question: how much untruth was in Dawkins statements at the end of the film that allowed for intelligent design of some sort, just not from a divine source?

  9. b4dguy says:

    Oh, and I can vouch for Bill that he truly does not engage in any rational or intelligent discussion on his blog. His views are his views, and he is not open for correction. So, it’s truly not you or the subject matter – it’s Bill and his lack of wanting to engage in discussions that would further his understanding of any topic.

  10. so frustrating. i can understand completely. i have a ‘friend’ who is a creationist. the reason i say ‘friend’ this way is because we are both young cancer survivors and met and very much liked one another however, we are totally opposite.
    she has a blog. she homeschools her kids, does not think evolution is valid.
    she puts a post on her blog entitled. Evolution or Creation?
    fair game right? nope.
    my comments were taken off. all the amen’s kept on.
    wtf??
    not surprising..they don’t want anyone to make them look stupid and you going against that film and having rational reasons makes him look like an ass.
    that is why he did what he did. he doesn’t have any ‘no debate’ rules. why have a f-ing blog then?
    only people in agreement can get on there and he is being so hypocritical. you know it and he knows it too.
    i think you handled the situation well.
    i, however would of kept screaming not fair, not fair, not fair.lol
    kristi

  11. L. Ron Brown says:

    Kristi: Many thanks for your post.

    B4DGuy: Thanks for your posts, too. I’ll just clarify one thing, though: science should *not* be pursuing all hypotheses.

    Kristi, who posted just after you, is a cancer survivor. Lets talk about cancer. Would you want your tax dollars and cancer research scientists’ valuable time and resources being dedicated to investigating the following hypotheses:
    * Licking the bark of maple trees can cure cancer.
    * Spending 4 hours a day in 95 degree fahrenheit water can lead to cancer remission.
    * Starring at the sun, though causing blindness, will cure cancer.
    * Walking backwards everywhere you go will lead to cancer going backward in its development – i.e., retreating back to absense.

    These are scientific hypotheses that can be tested. This alone makes them more scientific than ID, as it cannot be in anyway tested – how could it be falsified? But that wasn’t really the point here. The point is that it would be senseless to waste time, money and resources studying every scientific hypothesis. The hypotheses above were completely senseless (and in one case dangerous), and there is no good reason going in to have any confidence in them at all. ID is in the same boat. You might say “well, no, ID is not in the same boat because when it comes to the origins questions, its either evolution or Creation – or some combination of the two”. This, by the way, is not really true. For all we know, there could be a third class of explanation that is simply outside of what humans have conceptualized thus far. Just as religionists will say that we cannot understand God, and scientists will say that we do not and perhaps cannot understand the universe, it’s entirely possible that we have not and perhaps cannot understand/conceptualize an alternative class of explanation. Moreover, there is no evidence for a Creator. If you do not agree with this – which you surely will not – view this post where I list the pitfalls of every theist argument that I have ever heard:
    https://theframeproblem.wordpress.com/2008/03/06/the-short-comings-of-every-theistic-argument-that-i-have-ever-heard-and-the-one-type-of-case-that-gives-me-some-pause/

    A genuine thanks for writing. At least you are willing to talk!

  12. b4dguy says:

    Sorry, Hypothesis was probably poor word choice. Would “theory” work better for you? I guess science really is looking at what is there and explaining it or drawing conclusions. The other statement that jumped out at me in the film was “does your science shape your world view or does your world view shape your science?” (or something to that effect).

    The hypotheses about cancer – I assume these are things that were actually tried at some point? Or were you just making them up to prove your point? (just curious) All I can say is that when my brother was dying of cancer he would have (and did) try anything – no matter how far fetched – to find a cure and/or prolong his life.

    It’s not that I don’t agree with your statement “there is no evidence for a Creator” – I believe the evidence is clear, either you see it for what it is or you don’t. I do agree that there is no proof for the existence of a Creator nor is there a way to disprove His existence. That’s between everyone and God on an individual basis. The shortcoming of looking for evidence that God exists is that God doesn’t work that way; it’s not His style.

    I’d likely fall into your category #6 from your pitfalls blog. I know God is real because I have a relationship with Him. Everywhere I look I see the evidence of His existence in His creation. I’m anxious for science to continue to unlock the mystery of how He did it.

    Your estimate of 20 billion humans having existed throughout eternity – I think that’s a little on the high side. I’ve heard it said (don’t know the source) that there are more people alive today than have lived and died in all history. If that were true, the number would be closer to 12 billion. The ratio you suggest would be somewhat smaller, but still astronomical I suppose, but I’ve worked with mathematicians, and they get pretty agitated if you are careless with your numbers.

    Oh, one more question. Out of curiosity, did you have any type of religious upbringing? If so, do you mind sharing what was it?

    Finally, I may have come across a bit harsh with regard to Bill’s blog. I should not presume to understand his motives for deleting comments and cutting off threads. For that I apologize to Bill, your readers, and you.

  13. b4dguy says:

    …another question:

    I was reading the “Expelled: Exposed” website and someone commented, “Evolution doesn’t even try to answer where life came from or where physics came from, as these are completely different fields!”

    Maybe it was poorly worded, or I misunderstood; but what is the field of study of the origin of life (where life came from) called? And is there any study of the origin of physics?

  14. Sirius says:

    Devil’s advocate:

    We’re not the friggin’ press. Nor are we the government.

    Why in Sam Hill should we be forced to keep every comment on our blog, even if it’s pertinent to the subject? A blog by definition is an individual voice. Why should an individual be forced to keep comments on his site that he disagrees with?

    You have your blog for your opinions. Why should someone else be forced to air your views on their site, whether they like it or not, just because you bothered to reply? Didn’t the government try something like this once?

    People “edit” my comments all the time. Isn’t that the same thing?

    What is it you’re really objecting to here?

    –Sirius Knott

  15. b4dguy says:

    found it on wikipedia – Abiogenesis is the scientific study of the origin of life.

    So I don’t understand the controversy here. It seems like we’re talking apples and oranges. Darwinism/evolutionism doesn’t explain where life came from, nor does it intend to do so. ID (it would appear) attempts to answer the question, or offer a possible solution, to how life started. This is two different topics (as the Expelled: Exposed website points out).

    This is a non-issue.

  16. Benjamin Franklin says:

    Sirius

    I think that having a blog is like standing on the street corner, shouting your opinions. Like a street corner it is a public place. If you want to restrict participation, require people to join or log in.

    People are free to delete, or censor responding posts, but I think it is in poor taste, and not respectful of the fact that other people may have opinions other, and perhaps better than your own.

  17. Sirius says:

    Other people might have better opinions than mine? Inconceivable. But thanks for making me smile.

    Seriously though, who makes these rules of blogging? And why is it in poor taste? What if the comment is in poor taste?

    And on a more fundamental level, it appears from the response given to the maligned Mr. Brown that the other party was quite respectful, but did not feel a post of such length was appropriate on someone else’s site.

    With due respect, blogging isn’t like a street corner at all. I’ve spoken on a street corner. I have NO MEANS to edit the dialogue in such an environment. Blogging does have this means of editing, and I suggest that it for the specific purpose of excluding whatever you wish for whatever reason.

    On the face of it all, it seems hypocritical of Mr. Brown to complain about being denied an outlet of expression when atheist science seeks to similarly exclude deists and theists from the scientific conversation.

    I suppose we all have a right to our opinions. The question is does everyone else have a right to our opinions?

    –Sirius Knott

  18. L. Ron Brown says:

    B4dGuy:
    Greetings.
    I can’t remember where (or that) I said 20 billion people.

    I still don’t think science should be studying everything, as some ideas are clearly more reasonable to study than others. The examples I gave were things I just made up off the top of my head.

    As for whether science shapes my worldview or the other way around, I genuinely do make a serious effort to be honest with myself and others. I constantly try to force myself to confront the possibility that I could be wrong and that someone I disagree with could be right. So I make great efforts to be open-minded and loyal to the evidence rather than to my own state of mind at a given time. I do this not only for myself, but in the interest of everyone. As far as I’m concerned, the world would be a far better place if everyone could be far less attached to their beliefs and be genuinely honest – and I argue this constantly. So I oblige myself to follow this practice.

    Category 6 seems to a be a popular one.

    My religious upbringing: None, but with a culturally Christian bias. That is, in my home religion was a non-issue. It didn’t come up one way or the other. In fact, it was only about 2 years ago (I’m 25 now) that I found out what my mom thought on the matter – she believes in some sort of higher power; she seems to be a deist, I suppose. The culturally Christian bias comes from living in Canada where Christianity is the dominant and unless-otherwise-specified assumed branch of religion. For many years I did believe in God. But not because I had thought about it seriously or had had any moving personal experiences. It was simply because I tacitly took everyone’s word for God. It was apart of my cultural knowledge the same way that it was apart of my cultural knowledge that Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba are Canadian provinces, though I have never been to them. For a number of years in my teens I prayed nightly, though for all the wrong reasons – it was just me spending 40 minutes a night asking God for a long list of personal favours and then throwing in about 40 seconds of well-wishing for the rest of the world and God and Jesus so that I didn’t come off as a completely self-absorbed kid (as if that would have fooled anyone, let alone God…). The latest point at which I recall having seriously entertained the realistic possibility of the Christian God was during my first year of university when I was 19. Some fundamentalist Christians from British Columbia were on a cross-country proselytizing mission and I had become connected to them through a series of coincidences and misunderstandings. One day they were sitting over coffee and they basically set up a Good Christian, Bad Christian routine on me wherein one of them was warning me of the most diar (spelling?) consequences of not fully accepting Christ and of such things as masturbation and what not, while the other would occasionally pat me on the shoulder as if to say “it’s okay, it’s okay” but all the while nodding along with the other one; they both genuinely thought that what they were doing, they were doing for my own good. How I know that I still entertained the Christian God as a very real and worthy of consideration possibility was that when Bad Christian was laying down the law for me my response was something like “well, couldn’t I still go to heaven if I don’t become a devout Christian but am a generally good person, am nice to people and so on…” – to which he replied “No” and that I might as well go on a raping rampage because unless you’re all in, you might as well be all out. The point, though, is that even at that age it didn’t even occur to me to ask “well, what if your God doesn’t exist in the first place?”. This was only 6 years ago.

    As to biogenesis/evolution: Yes, you’re right: evolution doesn’t explain where life came from, and no scientist says it does. A precondition for evolution is self-replicating life forms. There are still issues, however. Firstly, ID is a breach of secularism in that it is clear that it is being pushed for purely religious reasons (I can go more into the evidence for this if you’d like). Second, ID is not at all scientific. Scientists would also be up in arms by someone pushing for some other branch of non-science to be peddled in classrooms – though the resistance is possibly extra high in this case because of the coincidence of nonscience with attempts to violate secularism. Third, fundamentalists believe in individual species Creation, which evolution directly contrasts. Fourth, ID claims that the intelligent designer played a role during evolution, not just as a creator of a first cell.

    Scientists, as you could have guessed, are also working on studying abiogenesis. You can read good summaries of work being done in this area on TalkOrigins.Org – a great scientist run collection of info on evolution, evolution vs. Creationism/ID, etc.

  19. L. Ron Brown says:

    Sirius:
    My issue with the deletion is that here we have a guy who is strongly supporting a movie that is claiming that IDists are being unjustly silenced and then when one person comes and challenges his endorsed view, he silences them. Not only is this blatantly hypocritical (and I mean BLATANTLY hypocritical), but it also sits nicely with what scientists have been saying all the long: ID was not expelled, it flunked. I mean, I put arguments up for this guy and for everyone else and rather than trying to defend the position that he is endorsing, he shuts me down.

    Any my position is 100% NOT hypocritical. ID IS NOT SCIENCE! It has absolutely no place in a science classroom. It is no more scientific than astrology or nose-picking-as-a-cure-for-cancer. As I *attempted* to post on Will’s blog, that ID is not science is not simply the view of atheists or even of scientists (that is 99% of scientists, regardless of religion); it was also the position of Conservative Christian Republican Bush-appointed devout Lutheran Judge John Jones in the Dover Trial who not only ruled against the ID group and ruled that ID is not science and is purely religiously motivated; he also said that it was clear that the ID group (or at least many of the people on it) had lied about their motivations for bringing the case, and that the position that they were holding was one of “breathtaking inanity”.

  20. b4dguy says:

    Ron,

    Thanks for the background – I’d lump you into the category of having been burned by religious/christian people (which is the larger context of “most are ex-catholic, ex-pentecostal in the first place)

    Oh, the 20 Billion reference is in the same blog listing all your categories of theists. You’re too young to be experiencing memory loss – that’s for old farts like me!

    I think it’s interesting that the whole argument between ID/Creationism and Evolution exists in the first place – since they are (scientific or not) mutually exclusive. Why isn’t the Creationist argument leveled against Abiogenesis?

    Seems kind of silly to me – but what are you gonna do?

    Personally, I believe science should continue to figure out how things work, especially for the purpose of solving global issues that impact mankind. I would like to think that scientists are open to all possible outcomes – that if there is someday some “proof” of a Creator, that they will see the data and make the acknowledgement. It’s only supernatural if it’s not understood; if it is figured out someday how a Creator created then it would be within the limits of our understanding, and therefore natural.

    Stop by anytime you want to discuss issues of deity or theology – I’d be happy to answer your questions.

  21. L. Ron Brown says:

    b4dguy:
    I would also hope that scientists are open to all possible outcomes. If there were one day strong scientific evidence for a Creator, I’d hope scientists would be honest about it, too. But the evidence would have to be positive evidence, not simply pointing at something we don’t understand or that appears to be impossible and saying that God did it, which is how it has been so far.

  22. L. Ron Brown says:

    Also, I wasn’t categorizing theists. It was just a listing of reasoning errors that every argument I’ve ever heard has fallen into.

  23. b4dguy says:

    Personal experience /= error.

    Not trustworthy maybe, nor demonstrable to others, but not in error.

    You may want to check out this thread (if you haven’t already seen it):

    http://1godsgal.wordpress.com/2008/04/27/286/

    Cheers.

  24. davidmabus says:

    ttp://thomashawk.com/hello/209/1017/1024/Johnny%20Cash%20Finger.jpg

    And PZ, you self-deluded insignificant NUTCASE…

    the ORIGINAL *KING OF TERROR* VIDEO…..

    the *MODEL* of mental health:

    “Look at the ANGLE OF THE KEY….see that, see that….”

    what an idiot this Randi is…..a REAL CRITICAL THINKER….

    Visit:

    http://www.centerforinquiry.net/forums/viewthread/3283/P0/

    to see how we stopped James Randi’s fraudulent MILLION DOLLAR PARANORMAL challenge…..

    watch carefully the consequences of Randi’s *idea*…..

    For over 40 years James Randi Zwigert (is this even a REAL NAME?) has had total control over who and how the testing was conducted, yet despite all this he has terminated the challenge.

    The ONLY REASON why the challenge was stopped is because he lost and refused to pay.

    Apparently, Randi likes to break the rules when it serves him:

    “14. This prize will continue to be offered until it is awarded. Upon the death of James Randi, the administration of the prize will pass into other hands, and it is intended that it continue in force. ”

    Great force…..it’s over……

    where is my MILLION DOLLARS, you LITTLE *NO-NAME* FRAUD

    PS: Almost Forgot: Love the IRONY of the *BULLSHIT* sign over Randi’s ugly head….

  25. RaiulBaztepo says:

    Hello!
    Very Interesting post! Thank you for such interesting resource!
    PS: Sorry for my bad english, I’v just started to learn this language 😉
    See you!
    Your, Raiul Baztepo

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  1. […] from pro-Expelled media (e.g., blogs)? April 25, 2008 — L. Ron Brown I was recently prevented from expressing dissent on a pro-Expelled blog. I know that I am not the first person to have been […]

  2. […] mine) and closing down commenting on the post altogether. That action however made me into a suspect of being part of the gigantic conspiracy to suppress science in then name of religion (Hmm, news to […]



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