Tag Archives: Intelligent Design

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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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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Apologetics; The Teleological Argument for God

Within Philosophy in general, there usually is a discussion of whether or not “God” exists.  Now, it is important to keep in mind that the starting point in philosophy is a general idea of “God” not a specific religious POV on who/what God is.  So, there have been many philosophers that attempt to approach the question from a general standpoint, often formulating arguments for His existence.

One of the major arguments is the Teleological Argument for God.  Many people just refer to it as the Design Argument…however, it isn’t just limited to “design” as in the design of living organisms, but also of the apparent “purposefulness” of the universe; which includes the ordered nature of it, such as the laws of physics.

This would also include things like the apparent unity, and harmony of systems within the universe.  I’ve posted before on Ecological Biodiversity, and how the whole system works together to the point that naturalistic explanations fall flat.

Paley often comes up in the discussion of the Teleological Argument for God; him and his famous watch analogy.  If you happened upon a watch…even laying on the moon…would you believe it just happened to assemble itself, or would you assume it was designed by an intelligence?  Simplistic explanation, but you get the picture.

Of course now, the Intelligent Design movement has kind of resurrected this idea and really grounded it in more technical science.  The mass amount of information contained in DNA is one example of a subject now scrutinized by ID…not only the amount contained in DNA, but also how that information is read and interpreted and if there can actually be any logical naturalistic atheistic explanation behind all of this, which, thus far, there is not.

If we want to move more to the specific, we find that indeed God Himself puts forth a teleological argument in several places in the Bible, for example;

Psalm 19:1 The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.

Romans 1:19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. 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: 21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, 23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.

So, the idea that design and purpose shows forth the fact of God can be seen both in a general way, and also in a Christian framework.  As always in apologetics, some people will really like to use and/or hear logical arguments such as the teleological argument that can be used either generally to point to a God, or more specifically to point to The God.  Some people do not care for philosophical types of apologetics, and prefer to use other arguments.  I’m not coming down on the issue either way, in this blog post, just teaching about it, but I do know that as Paul said, everyone is truly without excuse.

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Filed under Apologetics, Atheism, Origins, Philosophy, Theology

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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Special Solar System…

I wrote before about Ecological Biodiversity, and how amazing it is, especially from an Intelligent Design POV, or a Creationist POV.  An article on Science Daily shows, once more, that our planet and our continued existence are pretty special indeed: Solar System is Pretty Special.  Do the authors see it as a sign of ID, or Creationism…probably not.

We must also keep in mind that this computer simulation was set up by man, and will be limited on both its scope and its knowledge base, and heavy on speculation and perhaps even bias…but I found it quite interesting, just for conversations sake.  It makes us look through the lens of the “macro” and see how unique the earth is.

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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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