Tag Archives: Evolution

Info for those researching the movie “Expelled…”

Hat-tip to Uncommon Descent for this link.

At the time Expelled came out, there was a bunch of misinformation released about some of the people that were a part of the documentary.  This article; Expelled Exposed” Exposed: Your One-Stop Rebuttal to Attacks on the Documentary Expelled takes a look at that misinformation and the attempt to discredit some of the content of Expelled.  If you haven’t yet watched the movie, I do heartily recommend it, and yes, it’s out on DVD.

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A Common Atheist Contention…

I had to make a post about this, because it is something that amuses me, and it has come up once more in the past few days.  Just so everyone here knows, when I’m “absent” for a while from my blog, I’m usually carrying on apologetics elsewhere on the web.  This week I was dialoguing with two atheists simultaneously on another website.

When in deep discussion on topics such as Darwinian evolution, philosophy, psychology, etc… there is an assumption that many of the atheists I’ve dialogued with make.  That assumption (contention), especially when it comes to Darwinian evolution is that if you don’t buy into it, you obviously have never been exposed to any real educational or scientific material.  Translation; if you don’t swallow the Darwinist line, you are a poor ignorant wretch who doesn’t know any better.

And lest anyone think this is a personal issue; it isn’t.  I’ve seen this contention leveled against many many different individuals, not just me.  What is also amusing is that the atheists leveling this charge think they are being polite…because we all know if you don’t buy into Darwinian evolution and you actually do have a scientific education, then you have to be either a liar or suffering from delusions. Heh.

So, anyway, I politely explain that I’ve graduated high school, university, and grad school, and am now teaching at a college level, and that I assure them I’ve been exposed to Darwinist thought all through my educational career, and further, to toot my own horn since it is relevant; I’ve aced every class in which Darwinism is preached.  Can you guess the next contention?  “You had to have gone through a religious institution, and you have to be teaching at a religious institution.”  Seriously.  And, this isn’t limited to discussions of Darwinist evolution by any means; the latest instance of this was when I was discussing Pascal’s Wager.

When I point out that, in fact, I’ve never attended, nor taught at a religious institution, that I’ve had all of my education and employment at secular schools, there is a deafening silence from the other side.  It throws a kink in their thought processes, and that is sad.  Why is it sad?  Because they have this false impression given them by leading atheist proselytizers that Christians are a bunch of drooling idiots…which in turn shows the tendency of some leading atheists to resort to ad hominem attacks against believers.

So, what is the point of this post?  Don’t assume just because someone opposes things like Darwinian evolution that they lack the necessary exposure (kind of like a virus maybe?) to the Naturalists’ POV.  I shouldn’t have to assure anyone that at this point in our society, we’ve all been exposed, and it is starting now even prior to grade school in things like children’s cartoons.  If you doubt a person’s education (formal or informal), their experience with Darwinist thought or something similar, after checking your own biases, just ask if you truly want to know and aren’t being facetious or sarcastic.

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In honor of Darwin, on his “special” day…

Here’s a link to a lovely article from The Journal of Creation, 21 (3), 2007.  Astonishing DNA Complexity Demolishes Neo-Darwinism.  Tis a good summary of the awesome design found within DNA, and why Darwinian evolution is not a viable theory.  Thanks to Uncommon Descent for posting a link as well.

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Interesting post at UD…

Uncommon Descent is a blog about Intelligent Design Theory, and has multiple contributors/authors.  Every now and again someone will post a blog that I find interesting.

The latest one that caught my eye was “The Psychology of Blinding Obedience to a Paradigm” by Barry Arrington.  It caught my eye for two main reasons, first I find the subject matter interesting, and second because he uses a bit of scripture to add to his idea.

First, it is possible for anyone with a certain paradigm to become blinded, if they aren’t careful.  This is true even of certain Christians with certain beliefs, but it is also true, as Barry points out, of other paradigms as well.  One of the keys to not becoming blind in one’s obedience to a paradigm is research.  This is where the fundamentals of true science can play a part, as we are to dig into things with the intent to find real and “true” information.  If one is presented with new info, it too should be sifted through and researched.

Many have this odd idea about Christianity that it tries to get people not to test things, not to research.   This couldn’t be further from the truth.  We are told quite clearly in scripture: 1 Thessalonians 5:21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. “Good” here carries with it the idea of truth.  Other places in scripture back this up as well.

What I do find to be happening more and more in the scientific community, as Barry points out, is a blind obedience that is not only being carried out by those firmly entrenched in the field of “science,” but is also fully expected of those just learning…grade school students, high schoolers, college kids, etc…  Blind obedience results from not proving all things, from not digging into a subject and asking questions.  It results from latching onto a certain POV, for whatever reason.

Do I think that there are some Darwianian scientists who question their beliefs and truly dig into them, looking for new info, and good counter-arguments?  Sure.  But, the bothersome thing is that there are currently too many who do not…and even those who do are afraid to speak out about their questioning.  This results in their passing on blind obedience to “the next generation.”

Barry used the story of Lazarus to illustrate this idea.  There were those people in the crowd that witnessed a full-fledged miracle first-hand.  They literally saw a formerly dead human being emerge alive from a grave, at the behest of Christ, and went to witness this fact to the leaders.  This new information did not alter the leaders actions, rather they became even more frantic in their pursuit of Jesus, in order to silence Him once and for all…they were stuck in their own paradigm.

John 11:45 Then many of the Jews which came to Mary, and had seen the things which Jesus did, believed on him. 46 But some of them went their ways to the Pharisees, and told them what things Jesus had done. 47 Then gathered the chief priests and the Pharisees a council, and said, What do we? for this man doeth many miracles. 48 If we let him thus alone, all men will believe on him: and the Romans shall come and take away both our place and nation. 49 And one of them, named Caiaphas, being the high priest that same year, said unto them, Ye know nothing at all, 50 Nor consider that it is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not. 51 And this spake he not of himself: but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus should die for that nation; 52 And not for that nation only, but that also he should gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad. 53 Then from that day forth they took counsel together for to put him to death.

Anywho, I thought the interplay between Barry’s idea and scripture were quite interesting.  Check out the article if you have time, and care about such things.

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Two great videos on the cell…

Here is a vid from several years ago, you’ll need to click on the link to read the article and watch the video.  Cellular Visions.

The second vid was posted by VipChannel on youtube, my hubby “The ‘Shrink” spied it first, and put it up on his blog; Intelligent Design:

We are truly without excuse! Romans 1:20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:

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Thoughts about Ecological Biodiversity and ID…

I’m in the middle of a book titled: In Six Days; Why Fifty Scientists Choose to Believe in Creation (Ashton, 2000).  All the chapters (which are composed by the different scientists giving their reasons) have been informative and interesting, but one so far really stood out to me.

Dr. Henry Zuill holds a B.S. in biology, a M.A. in biology, and a Ph.D. in biology (from Loma Linda University).  His chapter is the fifth chapter in the book, and he brings up a perspective that I’ve never really thought about before.  Ecological Biodiversity is one of those things that I don’t set and ruminate on all that much, and I certainly haven’t pondered it fully when it comes to the Creationist vs. Evolutionist debate, or even ID vs. Evolution debate, but he got me thinking.

When ID proponents look a the world and try to spot irreducible complexity, it is usually sought at the micro level; within cells for example.  Dr. Zuill urges a different perspective too; a look at the macro and complexity.

One thing he brings up is the fact that we know that ecosystems are very complex in nature, and one thing in an ecosystem affects every other thing.  Take one species out of an ecosystem, and their will be changes, small or large.  Ecosystems, made up of plants, animals, bacteria, fungi, etc… serve to make our planet habitable.  On page 67-68 he notes:

When we look broadly at the panorama of life and ecological relationships, we see that ecological complexity is built on layer upon layer of complexity, going all the way down through different hierarchical structural and organizational levels to the cell and even lower.  Thus, if we think cytological complexity is impressive, what must we think when we realize the full scale of ecological complexity?

We are reminded again and again, even in the high school science classroom, that certain ecological relationships are essential for life; therefore, it could be an interesting way of looking at something at the macro level that is irreducibly complex.  For certain ecosystems to come to be, to survive, and to flourish, I’ve seen no evidence that mere naturalistic evolution could account for their existence; then it is entirely possible that they had to be designed and created in certain states.

It also has implications for the origins of life; not only do naturalistic evolutionists expect us to believe that life arose from time and chance, they would also be expecting us to believe that time and chance provided the correct ecological systems in place at the exact right time for life to 1) come to exist, 2) survive, and 3) reproduce, while at the same time balancing the ecological system itself.

Dr. Zuill points out that some naturalistic scientists do see that at the very least two species had to co-evolve, but also those same scientist see that they would have to have a close ecological relationship as a foundation for that co-evolution…that close ecological relationship would, “have to precede co-evolution.” (p. 69)

I love things that make me think in a different manner, and add to the scientific discussions between naturalistic evolutionists, creationists, and IDer’s.  Dr. Zuill’s thoughts on Ecological Biodiversity have enhanced the way I look at our world in general, and also added to my thoughts on Intelligent Design, and he points out some things that just may be irreducibly complex outside the world of the micro.

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We perceive design…

Can we humans perceive design?  Can we know, for example, that when we see a car that it was designed by someone with intelligence?  How about other objects?  The post, A Simple Perceptual Test and Intelligent Design, brings up some of these issues over on an Intelligent Design blog.  Sometimes it does seem like naturalistic evolutionists can’t see the forest for the trees…or in this case, can’t see design in nature because their presuppositions are blinding them.

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Poe’s Law and Fundamentalist Evolutionists…

As a lot of my readers will know, there is a definite “internet culture”, with it’s own slang, it’s own etiquette (netiquette), it’s own definitions for words, etc… Sometimes something becomes so popular on the ‘net that it enters the mainstream world.  These things that move through some portions of the ‘net like wildfire take a bit more time to filter to everyone in the “real world,” and to certain parts of the web.  An example of what I’m referring to is a phrase like “Poe’s Law.”  If you are doing Christian Apologetics on message boards, or blogs, or are surfing the net reading different religious discussion boards, Poe’s Law is sure to come up at some point.

What is Poe’s Law?  The law itself was defined by Nathan Poe over on Christian Forums.  He was making the point that without some sort of overt sign, like a winking smiley ( ;) ) or something to show irony, that you really can’t tell the difference between a parody of fundamentalism and the real thing.  Meaning, with Poe’s Law, many times you cannot tell if someone is being sarcastic, and attempting humor or are really serious with what they are saying.   Take someone, for example, going around the ‘net claiming the earth is flat, because they claim that the Bible says it is (of course, it does no such thing, but bear with me).  Now, there are two possibilities; either they are jerking everyone’s chain to try to prove a point, or they are completely wrong, but completely serious. That’s Poe’s Law; you can’t tell the difference unless the person is 100% honest and tells you their motivation.

Poe’s Law is often centered around Christian fundamentalism…however, back when Expelled: The Movie (Expelled is a documentary revealing the prejudice and bias of the academic community centering around evolution vs. Intelligent Design) was being released in theaters a youtube video was released on March 28, 2008 by a user by the name of “randomslice;” Richard Dawkins: Beware the Believers (for my readers who care about such things; there’s mild language, wacky hip hop dance moves, and employs language meant to show naturalistic evolutionists’ disdain for us religious folk, so if that will bother you, skip watching the vid) :

Now, when this video was released the ‘net was buzzing with speculation; who produced it? (The question is hilarious in and of itself; because it was obvious that the video was indeed designed by an intelligent designer, and everyone wanted to know who it was; it could never have happened by chance.) Was it poking fun at those that support Intelligent Design, such as the makers of “Expelled: The Movie,” or at those fundamentalist Darwinian evolutionists who cannot stand any other theory being discussed and who try to take a position of intellectual superiority?

Well, the first time my husband and I saw it, we felt it was plainly a mockery of the Darwinian position…and we could not believe that they were blind to this fact…well, on April 20th, randomslice added a new vid; Richard Dawkins: Designed by chance?

Clears it all up, right?  It clearly shows that it was the Expelled crew, those in favor of ID being discussed, that was behind the video.  And yet…and yet, the fundamentalist Darwinian evolutionists couldn’t give it up.  The next theory was that Mike, over at Float on Films, (who was in charge of the animation) had to really be on the Darwinists’ side even though he was hired by the Expelled crew…because, look at Ben Stein’s t-shirt in the second clip…it says “Poe’s Law.”

Now at this point, I’m laughing, and loving it, because the Expelled crew just gave the world an example of Poe’s Law from the other perspective.  Their video demonstrates that you can’t tell a parody of Fundamentalist Darwinism from a display of the real thing!  The Darwinists couldn’t even tell, that means they fully expect their really arguments to come off that way.  Of course it is indeed a parody, trying to show how the Darwinists, especially Atheistic Darwinists, now have a fundamentalist branch, which falls within Poe’s law as well.  This set of videos was a kick, everyone following Expelled, on each side, really enjoyed the videos, and it was great fun reading everyone’s discussions when they were trying to figure out who designed them.

So, there ya go; two birds, one stone.  I’ve given you a run down of the phrase “Poe’s Law” and shown an illustration of the extreme position that fundamentalist evolutionists have taken up.  Yes, it was a parody, but a parody so close to the real thing that even adherents to fundamentalist evolutionary theory couldn’t tell the difference, and even embraced the videos as representative of their position.

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Creation Museum Review…

My husband and I went the the Creation Museum in Kentucky last year, and while they have added several new things to see/do at the museum since we went, I still feel that this review will help others get an idea of what to expect if you decide to go.  I want to say, right off the bat, that I’m not a “dogmatic” Young Earth Creationist; but at this point I lean toward the Young Earth Creationist position based upon the interpretation of evidence including historical, scientific, archaeological, scriptural, etc…  This museum is affiliated with Answers in Genesis.

First of all, yes, it’s worth going! We drove about 4 1/2 hours to go, and stayed the night at a hotel, going to the museum in the morning. That brings me to tip number one; there are lists of hotels on the Museum’s website: http://www.creationmuseum.org/plan-your-visit/hotels if you plan to stay at a hotel, make sure you ask if they have a special Creation Museum rate. The one we chose, Hyatt Place, was half price ($89) for Creation Museum goers, as opposed to something around $170.

Next tip; note the hours: Hours of Operation, and plan accordingly. From our other tourist activities we believed the museum would open a lot sooner, so we modified out plans a bit. When we arrived, we had to wait outside for a bit (maybe 5 – 10 min) because a large church group had gotten there right at open. We stood in line, when entering for about 5 min, waiting for tickets. I loved it here, because hardly anyone was complaining and most people were having a ball standing in line because that meant there was a lot of people visiting the museum, not only that, they were openly commenting on that fact with smiling faces!

There’s also a lot to look at while you wait, The Museum itself is gorgeous. The detail is really neat on the outside and inside, and there are some great fossils/models toward the front of the museum as well as sculptures right outside the door. We were also given a map of the museum to look at while in line, so we could plan our day. Here’s the next tip: definitely get the ticket with the stargazer’s planetarium on it! It costs seven dollars more if you get a ticket to the whole museum, including the planetarium (the prices are listed on the “hours” page). There are scheduled shows in the planetarium, so you need to have an idea of when you would like to go, and tell them when you buy your ticket. The Men in white show ran on a loop, every thirty minutes, so you don’t have to schedule it right off the bat, but be sure to check to make sure the scheduling hasn’t changed.

Also, if you had a really early breakfast, I would suggest eating lunch early; my husband and I had Noah’s cafe almost all to ourselves. (Another tip: there is another food stand, with different offerings, inside the cafe around the corner, what you first see is the “main” station.) We got our food and went outside to the beautiful covered patio, which overlooks the pond and botanical gardens. By the way, there are big covered shelters outside, past the botanical gardens for those people wishing to bring a picnic lunch.  One of the new additions that we didn’t get to see is a new food stand; The Lakeside Grill, which is located outside below the patio (you should be able to access it either from the grounds outside the museum, or by going into Noah’s cafe and down the outside steps.)

So, in the main hall, there is a lobby, which most people will recognize from all the interviews with Ken Ham about the museum, it is where there are two children in the company of dinosaurs. There are live fish in the water, and the kids were loving it. There are also fossils in display cases along the wall (esp. leading to the restrooms, and “Men in white” theatre) that were really interesting, as well as live finches, and dart frogs. The kids caught on quicker that they were “really” real and not animatronic…which I found quite amusing!

There is also The Bookstore entrance here, in the lobby. When we got there, there was maybe three other people in the bookstore, this means if you want to go shopping, you may wish to do it when first arriving. There are a ton of books, DVD’s, and also toys, t-shirts, and other knick-knacks. As of our trip, you could buy things and take them back out to your car without worrying about getting back in (thus avoiding the huge, wall-to-wall crowds in the store we witnessed before leaving). Which brings me to another interesting point: When we went, you could actually park, come into the lobby, go to the bookstore, go to Noah’s cafe, and tour all the botanical gardens without paying admission, and are free to walk around. So, you are basically paying for: the museum tour (which is the main part of the museum), the men in white show, the dinosaur den, and the planetarium (and now the new petting zoo).

The museum tour is really the heart of the museum, it’s a self-guided tour and you can go at your own pace. If you want to pass people up, you’re free to do so, as some people will look at everything much longer than others. The only problem with this was when rooms were really really crowded. Overall, though it is a good setup. There are several movies along the way; my favorite was “The Last Adam.” I will say, to all my fellow Christian women especially, you may wish to pack a kleenex. One of the things in the tour that (ironically) made secular evolutionists a bit hot, was the fact that both views are presented side by side and people are allowed to see both angles, as opposed to secular museums.

After the main museum tour, you’re spit out in a lobby where there is a dino den, a small coffee shop, more awesome fossils, a dino/dragon movie, and a small chapel. We also walked all the botanical gardens, outside, which I loved, I believe they have even added onto the walking path that was there originally, and of course the petting zoo is outside as well. They have a floating bridge, and a suspension bridge, and a huge pond, many flowers and paths, and a small creek, and statues too. If the museum gets too packed, it’s neat to be able to go out and walk around for a bit.

Plan to be there, oh, three to four hours at least, if not more (now I’d definitely say “more”). The only thing that was there at the time that we did not see was the Men in White show, we simply ran out of time and energy, but I heartily recommend it, I’ve heard good reviews, and it also, from what I’ve read, tends to annoy the secular evolutionists.  Yes, we are planning on returning sometime soon. The only “downside” (that wasn’t really a downside, really) was the amount of people there. It was still in the summer, so it was packed, most of the time you didn’t notice, but if there were fossils you wished to look at, or to be able to walk right into the Men in white theater you couldn’t do that sometimes because of the crowds — again, most people agreed, including us, that the museum being packed was a good thing.

If you study all of AIG’s materials, there won’t be anything earthshatteringly new you learn here (however, the planetarium is quite enlightening, and only after a presentation in the museum did I realize that Methuselah was alive when Adam was, AND when Noah was). I feel that one should go to be able to recommend it to others, both believers and non-believers, and I do heartily recommend it to anyone.  Everyone is welcome there, and I know that respectful questions from non-believers are also welcome. I do believe that people of different faiths can get a lot out of the museum, and old earth Creationists, and theistic evolutionists would enjoy it.  As for secular evolutionists, many would probably want to go to get a clear view of what Young Earth Creationists believe, and also, their interpretations of evidence are presented alongside the Creationist ones, so there seems to be something for everyone.

Some misc. notes; the atmosphere was lovely, everyone who worked there was extremely friendly and helpful. Also, we didn’t run into anyone (other guests) who seemed to be mocking the museum, but I’m sure there are some around in the tours and shows. There were people there from all over and from different denominations, included many Mennonites. Homeschoolers were very well represented. Also, there was, what I assumed to be, a young man’s choir group touring (could have been homeschooled brothers?) and the four boys actually stopped in the lobby and started singing gospel out of the blue, it was great! Also, now it is very important to check the museum homepage for any events and/or speakers that will be making presentations during your visit (I would really love to go around Christmas!).

I’m quite happy to attempt to answer any specific questions about the museum and hope this is a help to someone.

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