Anti-Defamation League Condemns Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed

From the official ADL website:

New York, NY, April 29, 2008 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today issued the following statement regarding the controversial film Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed.

The film Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed misappropriates the Holocaust and its imagery as a part of its political effort to discredit the scientific community which rejects so-called intelligent design theory.

Hitler did not need Darwin to devise his heinous plan to exterminate the Jewish people and Darwin and evolutionary theory cannot explain Hitler’s genocidal madness.

Using the Holocaust in order to tarnish those who promote the theory of evolution is outrageous and trivializes the complex factors that led to the mass extermination of European Jewry.

As the weeks go by the number of detractors of this crocumentary continues to escalate. The National Center for Science Education‘s ExpelledExposed website presents this growing collection of negative reviews, including reviews from national science agencies (e.g., the National Academy of Science, American Association for the Advancement of Science), science and skeptic magazines (e.g., Reason Magazine), individual scientists (e.g., Richard Dawkins), major magazines (e.g., Time, Variety, Slate) and newspapers (e.g., the New York Times), major blogs (e.g., The Huffington Post), and even conservative sources like Fox News and religious organizations such as BeliefNet, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, and Reasons to Believe – a Christian organization with which I found things to disagree with very quickly into their statement, but at least we can share some common ground when it comes to this piece of Creationist propaganda.

It seems, once again, that it is the fundamentalists versus the world. And as has always been the case, it is the fundamentalists versus reality. And as Stephen Colbert once pointed out: reality has a well-known liberal bias.

Comments
37 Responses to “Anti-Defamation League Condemns Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed”
  1. Is not your assessment of the movie proving its fundamental point? All of your references to journals and critics is reference to people’s opinions. One of the points of the movie is they think that popular worldview and reality are the same thing. Reality is the way things are. Science is the way people think things are. Science is always changing because people keep finding new data that proved old theories wrong.

    If the movie had been lauded by the majority of scientific journals, the movie’s conclusion would have been proved false.

  2. L. Ron Brown says:

    Chris:
    That was incredibly misguided. My assessment is not proving the movie’s fundamental point at all. These are not simply opinions. Science is not simply about opinions. Not all opinions are equal in science. The ones that follow from the evidence are respected, others are not. This movie does not reflect this at all. It is a pack of lies about some sort of dishonest insecure conspiracy against ID/Creationism that is based on dogmatism rather than reason.

    Also “All of your references to journals and critics is reference to people’s opinions.” Well what do you want?! Would you have preferred reporters had held their microphones up to the sky and asked a hypothetical God?

  3. Brown: “The ones that follow from the evidence are respected, others are not. This movie does not reflect this at all. It is a pack of lies..”

    That is an easy statement to make, but not an easy statement to support. I believe that God created the world, and I believe that both because the Bible says that and because all the evidence I’ve ever seen points to that.

    If you believe that Evolution syncs up with the evidence then you should respond to my post at http://www.silentorb.com/translucence/2008/04/survival-or-functional.php. There is very strong evidence in support of Intelligent Design and unless that evidence is addressed then you cannot make the claims you are making.

    You say that science is not simply about opinions. I agree it has a relationship with evident, but that is not a 1:1 ratio. You can also look at my post at http://www.silentorb.com/translucence/2008/05/science-is-not-reality.php for my more thorough version of the comment I posted earlier.

  4. L. Ron Brown says:

    First off, you can call me by my first name. We’re not a bunch of 15 year olds on the playground.

    Next, I’m honestly reluctant to even bother with you because it is patently obvious already that you are a Christian dogmatist and absolutely nothing will change your mind.

    It is also easy to say that you believe God created the world. What is this spectacular evidence? Go take your evidence and see how well it makes it though the gauntlet that has never been passed in the post at the top right of the screen listed under “Eternally Relevant Posts” about the pitfalls of every religious argument that I have ever heard.

    Next, I’m not even going to bother addressing your bullshit evidende against evolution and for ID. What’s the point? No matter how much you get owned you’re still gonna keep on believing. Think about this – over 99% of the scientific community thinks – based on their scientific expertise – that ID is unsubstantiated nonscience. Yes, that’s right – OVER 99% of scientists based on science. This group even includes many religious scientists. Even evangelical Christian geneticist Francis Collins has called it a joke. ID is a complete intellectual travesty that is 100% rooted in religious fundamentalism. There are evolutionists of every religious and non-religious background. Why are the only IDists (with at best a few exceptions – at best) devout religionists? where are the moderates and the non-believers? And again, where is the evidence?

    If you knew how science worked, maybe then you would think more before buying into this creationist bullshit. Science works with evidence and reason. Even crazy things can come to be believed given the evidence. Look at Quantum Physics – a collection of ideas that defy many elements of our normal experience. Look at how mindfulness meditation rooted in the Eastern mystic traditions has been taken up in science and is now practiced widely in Western medicine. Science is not against far-fetched ideas. It is against that for which there is not evidence – such as ID.

    If you actually want to go educate urself for real rather than just actively searching for things that bolster your current beliefs, then go look at TalkOrigins.Org and ExpelledExposed.Com, and find out why over 99% of scientists views ID as terrible joke (including many Christians), why the only people who back ID are religious literalists (with few if any exceptions), and why the entire Western world outside of America is shaking its collective head at America – again! – for the idiocy of so much of its population.

  5. Berny says:

    “Next, I’m honestly reluctant to even bother with you because it is patently obvious already that you are a Christian dogmatist and absolutely nothing will change your mind.”

    Hi Ron, I’m honestly reluctant to even bother with you because it is patently obvious already that you are a Darwinian dogmatist and absolutely nothing will change your mind.

  6. L. Ron Brown says:

    Berny: Yeah, I figured someone would make that retort. Meh. I can’t be bothered. Enjoy continuing to live in your bubble insulated from intellectual honesty and reality. And enjoy being a part of the reason why the rest of the world has lost its respect for America and now views it as a nation in which almost half of the people are religious nutcases.

  7. Berny says:

    Of course you can’t be bothered. Rather than seriously engaging a position, which requires intellectual effort and competence, you’re content to resort to bare ad populums and ad verecundiams. Notice how Darwinian dogma destroys the critical sense. Rather than put forward arguments and respond to counterarguments, it is enough for you to cite the scientific magisterium.

    You’re like the school mascot. Flailing your arms and yelling loudly for your team yet you’re not in the game. You’re a cheerleader.

    Good day.

  8. L. Ron Brown says:

    Berny: Yes, of course. Bang on! Because I haven’t already had this “debate” dozens of times over….

    And because ID is just such a great position fully worthy of respect (cough). And look at all the respect it gets, too! Over 99% of the scientific community views it as an intellectual travesty. Secular court systems view it as a big heap of fundie lies – even Conservative and Christian Bush-appointed Republican Lutheran Judge John Jones who presided over the Dover Trial called it breathtaking inanity and religion masquerading as science, but ultimately not science. Many liberal religious organizations decry it as dishonest bullshit. Its big representative right now, Expelled, has been slammed by various religious organizations and conservative media like FoxNews. And it has the rest of the Western World’s collective-head downcast in complete and utter bewilderment of the stupidity and dogmatism of 40% of the American population.

    Oh, and did I mention that there is not actually a shred of evidence for it that is recognized by anyone who is not a fervent religionist? Isn’t it funny that certain scientific claims are only recognized by religionists? And did I mention that it depends on arguments from ignorance.

    Yeah, ID is great. It’s just the 99+% of scientists, religious judges of secular nations, liberal religious organizations, the media, the rest of the Western World, and the education system that have got it wrong. Yeah, the religious right is right on this one. Their arguments from ignorance are just oh-so-logically-tight.

    But hey, fine, if any IDists want to have this debate. Fine. Bring your evidence here and make it concise (note: this means that you will actually have to understand what you are saying to us). Lets have the evidence put on the table right here. Lets see what the entire scientific community has been “suppressing”.

  9. Berny says:

    Your entire post betrays your simplistic level of thinking. I suppose you would’ve given this exact argument in favor of a flat earth back when it was the explanation of its day.

    Rather than surveying the opinions of the scientific establishment in response to arguments by your opponents, try actually engaging with their position. You can start with Chris Johnson’s links or deal with Peter Pike’s recent post over at the Triablogue.

    http://triablogue.blogspot.com/2008/05/glimpse-into-teleology.html

    Most people like you are desperately out of your element. It doesn’t take much to defeat methodological naturalism as the only viable means of arriving at truth, so my guess is that when you’re forced outside of your comfort zone, you’ll be unable to so much as even respond in a coherent way. Have you considered that the scientism of Dawkins is blatantly self-refuting?

  10. L. Ron Brown says:

    Berny:
    It’s amazing how unbelievably wrong you are – though I don’t blame you for it. This is probably the first time you’ve ever been to my blog. Had that not been true, you’d be well aware that what you just said is patently untrue. If you look around, you will learn that my thinking is anything but simplistic. The very reason that I was standoffish here in going all out into debate is because I have done so so many times already, and also because the evidence is so against your position that the only way you could have entered your position is through thorough intellectual isolation and indoctrination.

  11. Mark says:

    Hi Berny,

    I haven’t read through every word in the preceeding posts, and I so far only took only a quick look at your link on silentorb. I will start by letting you know up front that I used to be a Christian – and I had problems with evolution, but since have come to realize that evolution does better explain and match what I experience and what appears to have happened. At least for me… but I understand your perspective, at least I think so but I’m biasing it on by how I used to think, so I appologize for that up front.

    On silentorb, you state that evolution is illogical because it is based on natural selection. You define natural selection as ‘survival of the fittest’.

    I would like to point out that the notion of ‘survival of the fittest’ only applies to the gene level, and not the ‘organism’ level as you suppose. For example, humans are social animals, and have evolved complex social interactions which allow for survival of the weak organism. I don’t steal from my neighbour and take his stuff even if I am stronger, because it causes general chaos in the social society and structure for which I belong and which I depend upon for my survival.

    So to understand it at the gene level, I will try to give you an example:
    Imagine you have a large grid of dots/pixels (each pixel represents a gene), and each can be either on/white or off/black. (I could create a colour grid, but let’s keep this simple).
    Now, imagine that the material/physical environment in which this grid exists favours a particular pattern of pixels (ie. sequence of genes). You start out with a completely and utterly random mapping of the pixels.

    To bring about a species through evolution, we need 3 more things added to this mix:
    1) Reproduction (the genes mate and the offspring carry over a mix of the ‘traits’ of their parents)
    2) Mutation (in any reproduction cycle, there can be a mutation of ‘mis’copy of the gene sequence)
    3) Natural selection (the environment favours particular sequences)

    Now, with that in mind, watch the following short video:
    Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M2SVMKZhV2g
    Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xx5t5_trnuU

    You probably will have a lot to say about what I just said and the videos, but let’s keep this simple to start. What is one of the biggest problems you have with what I presented above?

    Cheers,
    Mark

  12. Berny says:

    Hi Mark,

    I think you have me confused with Chris Johnson.

  13. Mark says:

    Hi Berny, you are correct, I was addressing Chris.
    But you can respond as well🙂
    Cheers,
    Mark

  14. Chad says:

    On a whim I went and browsed Chris Johnson’s post.

    1. He does not accurately define natural selection.
    2. He creates a false dilema in ascerting that ‘natural selection’ is the only method of evolution.
    3. He promptly associates evolution to the explanation of the universe.
    4. Despite claiming to have evidence of ID in his post above, his actual post on his blog doesn’t even mention it or bother to provide any evidence at all.

    Chris, here are a few hints:
    A. Survival of the fittest is NOT survival of the strongest, using terms like strong and weak do not accurately relay how natural selection works.
    B. Look up Self Organization, its a concept held in both physics and biology. It demonstrates on key levels where and how complexity arises from simplicity.
    C. Evolutionary science only explains one thing, how life evolved. Evolved meaning how it changed from point A ( a simplier life form ) to point B ( not necessarily more complex but can be, life form ). It does not offer to explain how life began. You would have to delve into chemistry for that answer, which there are many standing hypothesis as to how life began. None of which are yet to be accepted as scientific theories.
    D. Terms like ‘complexity’ are inherently subjective, as they are often relied upon in the use of a ‘presumed’ when we have discussions with creationist. They presume that the level of complexity in a human is different from the level of complexity in a rock. The actual statement offers no distinction between the two, and the description is purely arbitrary.

    For Bern, Peter Pike’s blog can be summarized in the following:

    “If something looks designed, the simplest and straightforward reason is that it’s because it was designed. ”

    Great, his premise is infact his conclusion. ( circular ) By what criteria does something look designed? Complexity? Oh, you mean that subjective and arbitrary variable assigned without explanation to everything?

    We’ve gone full circle only to come back to ask why? what? where? when? how? Because when someone makes an argument from a logical fallacy ( circular fallacy ) we can do nothing but.

    Needless to say here is Peters elaborate ‘logic’.

    P1. Its designed.
    C2. Its Designed

    Here is Chris Johnsons elaborate ‘logic’.

    P1. Evolution is wrong
    C2. Evolution is wrong

  15. Chad says:

    Chris – Berny.

    I would say before you ever offer to reply again, that you explain in exact terms the application of the scientific method that took ‘intelligent design’ from a hypothesis ( that has yet to be explained/defined/identified/noted ) to a theory?

  16. L. Ron Brown says:

    Chad:

    Many thanks for your posts. It is incredibly taxing to have to battle ignorance on multiple fronts at once, so I greatly appreciate the support.

    It’s interesting because I was about to make a comment asking that each of them define evolution for us – just to see if they can do it, or to at least get them to go look up descriptions of it.

    A fellow atheist blogger, Shalini Sekhar, who is known for being one of the most brash critics of religion and ID on the blogosphere (she goes far further than I am interested in going), has a t-shirt which reads “99% of those who deny evolution cannot define it”.

  17. I believe that you can be a Christian and a Darwinist, too. To me, one is science and the other is faith and they each have their place in life, one in a class room, the other in a church. If ID is truly a valid scientific theory then win the debate within the scientific journals through peer review not in the court of public opinion (and please don’t give me that nonsense that the ID proponents lost their jobs, that was basically a Michael Moore liberty if I ever saw one.) This is how science advances and why should the mechanism change just because proponents of ID have lost the debate years ago? This is not about free speech, this is about science. To date, the arguments of irreducible complexity are not enough to allow ID to stand as a valid scientific theory. And even if it was what can you do with it as theory? What predictive models will come from ID other than to ask us to marvel at god’s handiwork?

    Here’s a quote from my http://www.millenniumwriting.com site that Jason provided from St. Augustine:

    “For then, to defend their utterly foolish and obviously untrue statements, they will try to call upon Holy Scripture for proof and even recite from memory many passages which they think support their position, although they understand neither what they say nor the things about which they make assertion. [1 Timothy 1.7]“

    By the way if you want a laugh go visit this site that one of the creationists posted at my millenniumwriting.com blog:

    http://www.intelligentdesignversusevolution.com/

    Some excerpts from this site:

    God Doesn’t Believe in Atheists

    Contrary to popular opinion, the existence of God can be proven

    Scientific Facts from the Bible: Shows the scientific facts that existed in the Bible long before “science” became aware of them. (Nothing like going to a two thousand year old book to get the latest scientific information, huh?)

    And the classic “Win $10,000 for the proof of evolution”.

    Thank god the entry is free. Read such classic arguments as “Just as a building is absolute proof there was a builder (no building ever built itself), creation is absolute proof there is a Creator.” Ouch, you got me there! I surrender.

    And the ever popular, “The more scientists have searched for the transitional forms that lie between species, the more they have been frustrated.” Newsweek, November 3, 1980. I guess the two legged snake doesn’t cut the mustard for the creationists anymore. http://millenniumwriting.wordpress.com/2008/04/10/fossil-snake-shows-its-leg-to-the-expelled-crowd/

    Erik John Bertel
    Author of Flores Girl: The Children God Forgot

  18. On the evolution front, I’d like to throw a resource out there to be used against evolution deniers.

    Evolution deniers love to say that ‘Evolution is supposed to be an ongoing proccess, but since we can’t see evolution happening in the world today it can’t be true’.

    Casting aside the rapid evolution of diseases such as influenza, there are other, much more convincing examples availible here.

    In fact, the entire TalkOrigins website is an excellent resource for combatting creationist drivel. Pay particular attention to their articles on abiogenesis, they’re gold.

    Hope you like it.😀

  19. L. Ron Brown says:

    TalkOrigins is definitely top-notch.

  20. Berny says:

    “I would say before you ever offer to reply again, that you explain in exact terms the application of the scientific method that took ‘intelligent design’ from a hypothesis ( that has yet to be explained/defined/identified/noted ) to a theory?”

    Sorry, I’m not interested in capitulating to your cute little requests. I’m not bound to answer on your terms, or to play the game on your turf. My own position is irrelevant to what I’ve posted in this thread. My only concern was to expose Ron’s tactic of appealing to the scientific magisterium rather than engage in honest debate. I never signed up to debate myself. Frankly, I don’t have the time right now.

  21. So… You just want to attack the views of others without submitting to critical review yourself?

    Doesn’t that strike you as a touch hypocritical?

    I’m all for open debate and critical review – but it has to be a blade that cuts both ways, otherwise it’s just tyranny.

    I hope to hear from you again, Berny.

  22. L. Ron Brown says:

    Cute little requests? You’re not bound to answer on my/his terms or play the game on my turf? Appealing to the scientific magisterium rather than engaging in honest debate?

    What a complete load of shit on every front! You come in and say that I’m a simple-thinking mascot for dogmatism, you’re challenged to provide rational grounds for standing up for ID, and then you demean people’s requests for rational argumentation as cute and little (this, by the way, is a peripheral means of diverting intellectual response – a means of disingenuity), you call the process of rational and honest discussion regarding the supposed science of ID to be “my terms” (no, they’re the terms of honest and pertinent scientific discourse), and you parrot off the expression “scientific magisterium” and express it as being contradictory to honest discourse. IT IS HONEST DISCOURSE! Do you have the foggiest idea of what science is and how it works? It seems like you don’t. It seems like you have been victimized (unbeknownst to you) by a thorough-going religious right propaganda campaign dedicated to misrepresenting the scientific enterprise – an enterprise built on honesty and intellectual rigor – as a cultural demon. And that’s what it is. The religious right – along with religion generally – does not have an intellectual leg to stand on when it comes to defending the supposed truth of the truth claims in their holy books. In the case of the religious right, the solution is apparently to demonize rational discourse. In the case of religious liberals, it’s to engage in cognitive backflips to try to square their beliefs with rationality by trying to hook their God into established science (e.g., “maybe evolution was God’s mechanism for creating us”).

  23. Berny says:

    “So… You just want to attack the views of others without submitting to critical review yourself?

    Doesn’t that strike you as a touch hypocritical?

    I’m all for open debate and critical review – but it has to be a blade that cuts both ways, otherwise it’s just tyranny.

    I hope to hear from you again, Berny.”

    I have no problems “submitting to critical review” when I’m debating someone. However, my sole purpose in this thread has been to expose Ron’s tactics, not to discuss evidence. This is what Chad fails to understand.

    If I wanted to debate I wouldn’t be egging Ron to examine the evidence that *others* brought up, both Chris Johnson and Peter Pike. And notice that when Chad responded to the link I put up of Peter Pike, I never concerned myself with responding back. Why? Because this isn’t my debate. I’m simply happy someone took to the time to deal with the objections rather than hide behind the force field of the scientific collective.

    I can assure you that if I were debating I would encourage the “critical review” of my position.

    Your charge of tyranny is obviously false. You posted a link on my blog to a reviewer sympathetic to atheism in response to a book that I praised. Did I block your link? Did I try to dismiss your opinion? Not at all. I didn’t even respond.

  24. L. Ron Brown says:

    My “tactics”? Question: Why has none of your supposed evidence ever been recognized by the scientific community?

    Oh, right, because the scientific community is one big evil conspiring organization that has it out for the religious!

    If your evidence is so darn great, then why does a prerequisite to seeing its greatness happen to be that you must be a devout religionist? Why is it that even devout Christian scientists are calling the ID camp bullshit?

  25. L. Ron Brown says:

    Do yourself a favour and actually do some research into how science works, instead of taking all your info from religious fundamentalist lobbyists.

  26. Berny:

    To place it more softly, Ron’s “tactics” has been to engage in evidence-based reasoning and argument. There’s nothing there to ‘expose’.

    So in turn, I was calling your method of argument hypocritical to try and expose your tactics of assuming a platform from which you could place accusations without backing them up or opening yourself up to questioning.

    If you’re going to play with the big boys, be prepared to play fair and be prepared to play hard.

  27. Berny says:

    “To place it more softly, Ron’s “tactics” has been to engage in evidence-based reasoning and argument. There’s nothing there to ‘expose’.”

    I’m sorry that you’re having such a hard time following the course of this post. I’ll recap it for you and then I’ll stop replying because it’s becoming painfully evident that this is a waste of time for everybody.

    Chris Johnson posted a couple of links and requested that Ron interact with them. Ron responded in the following way: “I’m not even going to bother addressing your bullshit evidende against evolution and for ID. What’s the point? No matter how much you get owned you’re still gonna keep on believing.” And this he followed up with a lengthy appeal to the scientific consensus.

    Now, I understand that you probably wouldn’t grant Chris Johnson’s articles as “evidence-based reasoning and argument,” but one thing is clear, Ron’s tactics, at least in this thread, have not been to provide “evidence-based reasoning and argument.” I’ve already revealed his argumentative methodology in this post as fallacious. Since I don’t have the time nor inclination to go through the archives and read every post he’s ever written, I don’t know of his golden moments in the past which he seems to be glowing on about. Maybe he has done his share to present evidence in the past, however, my comments were enclosed within the context of this post.

    “So in turn, I was calling your method of argument hypocritical to try and expose your tactics of assuming a platform from which you could place accusations without backing them up or opening yourself up to questioning.”

    You keep missing it. My “accusations” had to do with his argumentative tactics in this thread, not with evidence of any kind. It would’ve been hypocritical for me to have argued against his position but to have blocked him from arguing against mine. Why would I “open myself up to questioning” when I never entered into a debate over the issue in the first place but merely exposed Ron’s backpeddling away from having to interact with Chris Johnson’s articles?

    In any case, I retire from this post. Thanks for taking the time to respond to me. I’m sorry that I wasn’t more helpful as a conversation partner but I don’t have the time to engage these things at the current moment.

  28. You’re more than welcome, Berny. Thanks for taking the time out to disagree with us in the first place; I hope to engage with you in discussion again sometime.

  29. Mark says:

    Unfortunately Chris or Berny did not respond to my posting.

    I agree with further comments in the thread that being able to define evolution and why it is a ‘scientific’ theory is important. It’s a scientific theory because it is refined over time using the scientific method, getting closer and closer to reality with each step.

    Darwin postulated that somehow traits of species were transmitted to offspring by the parents through reproduction. To make a long story short, this early formulation of the theory was tested, and we found DNA and genes.

    The theory was also used to discover transistional species such as Tiktaalik. The planet was populated with fish up until 380million years ago, and then land animal fossils are found dating to about 365 million years ago. So scientists used the theory of evolution to predict that if they went looking in rocks aging between this they should find transistional fossils that showed fish transitioning to land. And guess what, they did… Titaalik is an example.

    Unfortunately creationists like to comment that nobody has ever “seen” a species transition to another species. Perhaps they fail to realize that naturally this transition takes millions and millions of years. I say ‘naturally’ because scientists are now working on methods of gene manipulation that may very well allow them to quickly morph one species into another at a much faster rate. Many creationists today will admit to micro-evoluation (they have to in the face of the “seeing” evidence), but they hold steadfast against macro-evolution. What millions and hundreds of millions of years PLUS constant micro-evolution give us is macro-evolution. Secondly, saying nobody has seen it doesn’t mean we don’t have fossil evidence. Third, nobody has seen a new species “created” either – it is not ‘proof’ that it doesn’t happen. Fourth, although scientists don’t understand absolutely everything about genes and evolution yet doesn’t disprove the entire theory, it simply shows that there is room to refine the theory further.

    Cheers,
    Mark

  30. L. Ron Brown says:

    Berny:
    My reasons for not wanting to waste my time reading through his link was more than about scientific consensus – though given how science works (and it is clear that you have a very poor understanding of this) – a scientific consensus is quite sufficient reason right there to not waste my time with the links. Here’s how science works, essentially: you get a bunch of people interested in studying certain things, they study them, they have their work criticized rigorously by other people studying the same things, and if after a brutal gauntlet of peer review (here’s an order of operations: scientist does study and criticizes own ideas and work along with his close colleagues who do the same; scientist presents work to departmental colleagues and grad students; scientist presents work at conference of colleagues; scientist sends of study to journal for review for publication by a panel of experts; the panel either accepts it, accepts it on some conditions of modification (e.g., re-write this section), does not accept or reject it decisively, but says to re-do certain things with greater control because something wasn’t done carefully enough; or rejects it flat out; (note that most publication submissions are not accepted); then once the article is published the work is reviewed by the widest audience of expert critics where it could quickly fall, last a while and then fall (perhaps due to newer findings), or last quite a while and become foundational to other research (but still could, later on, be rejected or in need of some sort of reinterpretation). This is a brutal process in which at every step of the way very intelligent experts with keen eyes for detail are actively looking for flaws and other interpretations. Further, there are many incentives for successfully arguing down someone elses or even one’s own work. To argue a study or body of research down is to show attention to detail, comprehension of the issues, and the ability to think critically and creatively – the very top qualities of a scientist. Each time a person successfully does this, they bolster their status in science which has implications for grants, promotions, tenure, performance bonuses, offers for jobs at other higher ranking institutions, funding, and general respect among peers.

    Given all of the above, scientific consensus means A LOT! This is far different than a mere argument from popularity.

    But that’s not where my reasons for doubting the strength of the supposed evidence for ID stops. Just over 2 years ago at the Dover, Penn Trial the ID community had the OPPORTUNITY OF A LIFETIME to argue for the scientific validity of ID. Not only did they have the opportunity of putting their case before a court – y’know, because the scientific community has it out for them and so they need someone else to judge… – but they had the odds stacked in their favour from the get-go: THE JUDGE WAS A CONSERVATIVE AND CHRISTIAN BUSH-APPOINTED REPUBLICAN! (Note: I’m not yelling, I’m just trying to emphasize). Not only did the ID community lose, they lost *miserably*. This judge not only decided against them, he called their position one of *”breathtaking inanity”*, he accused many on their panel of lying about their motivations for bringing the case forward saying that while the IDists were saying that it was about science they were clearly motivated by religion, he said that they were trying to dress up religion as science in a deceitful attempt to bring religion into the classroom, and he went out of his way to make his final word on this case strong and decisive for the sake of setting a strong precedential landmark to guide future rulings regarding ID/Creationism. Moreover, when Michael Behe (scientist recruited by the ID side) attempted to redefine the entire concept of science so as to be able include ID in the definition, his definition was so loose that he had to admit in court that under his new definition of science astrology would be considered science.

    Any more comments about my “tactics”?

  31. alan says:

    So Stein is a fundamentalist???
    Richard Dawkins is listed as a reputable detractor???
    What am i reading here a comic blog?

  32. L. Ron Brown says:

    Alan:

    Stein may not be a fundamentalist but he’s clearly pretty devout – either that or just incredibly ignorant and/or deceitful.

    Richard Dawkins is absolutely a reputable detractor. Some may criticize some of what he says – and to be honest, I imagine there are probably some criticisms made of him that I would sympathize with. Indeed, there are probably criticisms made of him that *he* would sympathize with, as is evinced by his willingness to accept that his political strategy of being a very brash atheist may not have been ideal for the goals of promoting rationalism, demonstrating that patent irrationality that is foundational within religion, and demonstrating the social costs of society continuing to act as if religious dogmatisms are something worthy of deference.

    You are reading anything but a comic blog, I assure you.

  33. Chad says:

    Berny said
    “Sorry, I’m not interested in capitulating to your cute little requests. I’m not bound to answer on your terms, or to play the game on your turf. My own position is irrelevant to what I’ve posted in this thread. My only concern was to expose Ron’s tactic of appealing to the scientific magisterium rather than engage in honest debate. I never signed up to debate myself. Frankly, I don’t have the time right now.”

    Lets be honest Berny. For an individual to offer to critique something which they demonstrate they have no working knowledge of and no effort to understand, is more simply the very definition of arrogance and the lack of every intellectual/ethical responsibility. It is entirely outside the plane of intellectual discourse and essentially terminates a conversation as easily as any other logical fallacy.

    It also demands an explanation, just like I demand an explanation when a creationist lies. To draw out the distinction, I draw a sharp comparison between the claims that creationist make and how they make them to the claims of religious belief. The two are quite similar you see, they essentially claim intimate knowledge without actually providing a rationale to give credence to their claims. They are essentially operating outside the basis of any objective analysis. In that distinction, creationism in its base parts demonstrates everything that is wrong with religion. It claims authority where one cannot be demonstrated or even tested, then its every appeal is made upon irrationality.

  34. Chad says:

    Further Note For Any Creationist/ID individual:

    Assuming you support creationism as a field of science; asking you to actually use the scientific method in application of ID ( or creationism – the two are interchangeable ) draws out your red herring for what it really is.

    The answer is that you cannot, because creationism ( or ID – the two are interchangeable ) is NOT science.

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