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Intelligence Expelled

December 30, 2008
The controversy over intelligent design receiv...

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In the middle of Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed,” Ben Stein‘s movie about the assault on Intelligent Design by the intellectual “gatekeepers” in the nation, a prominent evolutionist tries to explain just how mud might have turned into the first cell.

“One popular theory is that it might have started on the back of crystals,” says Michael Ruse.

I laughed out loud, but Stein, unflappable, keeps a poker face.

“I don’t get,” he deadpans, “how you get from mud to a living organism.”

“I’ve already told you,” Ruse continues, apparently unaware of just how silly he sounds.

Such is one of the telling moments in the movie, which came out last year, and is now available in video stores.

As the second half of the school year is starting across New Jersey and the nation, it is worth visiting this movie just to see one perspective on how the battle of evolution versus intelligent design is being waged.

(It also serves as a lead-in to some of the fun we’re going to have on this blog debating that issue.)

Ben Stein makes three telling points:

George Berkin has done a great job on his blog Intelligent Design.  Click below to read the rest of this excellent post


Ben Stein Movie: “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed” – NJVoices: George Berkin

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. December 31, 2008 12:05 am

    Um… amino acids and other nutrients often found in cells will bond to crystals so when a biologist says that there’s a theory that the first cells could’ve started on the back of crystals, he’s not saying that cells start from mud. He’s saying that there are amino acids and minerals on crystals that could combine into cells. And you don’t even have to go that far to get a replicating, cell like life form:

    So what we’ve learned from this scene is that Ruse can’t teach or has been crudely edited to look incompetent and that Ben Stein likes to use strawman arguments.

    • 1familyman permalink
      January 7, 2009 1:58 am

      Thanks for the input. I left this on yours site as well. It is from my own life in the 70’s. It is science that works for me. Science begins with a quizzened, “Why” . . .

      Yes, respect is important. I agree. To get there we will have to forgive and forget first. Shall we start?

      On a quiet 1970’s fall day, near a lazy sloping hill’s crest, I stood with an easel explaining how we recognize that life, specified complexity, is the result of intelligent design (I borrow the phrase because it works well). All morning as groups of students waited for the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute bus and departed. This received as much recognition as a billboard ad with no pictures. At lunchtime, the bus stop became quiet and deserted.

      Quietly, I considered the possibility of more frustration when the students returned. My dark mood was reinforced by the cigarette butts, coke cans and more discards littering the bus stop’s unloved, dusty ground.

      EUREKA! I would make my point, without words.

      A scraggly branch was modified to become a boom-like rake. I cleaned the ground until it was pristine and uniform. Stray rocks were brushed to reveal their original finish. Standing back I studied the scene and positioned them in reference to where the bus would stop and where passengers exit. I began tracing rhythmic, resonant lines around the rocks. Time flew. I was having fun as I thought of what might happen when the students arrived. Just beyond the hill’s crest the sound of the approaching bus grew louder and I moved out of sight.

      The bus arrived. Students left the bus. They hesitating for a moment, the students continued their trek. I smiled. These students proved the point I was trying to make earlier. They avoided the ground etchings as they continued to their destination. Finally, the last student left the bus. He stopped and considered the ground for several moments, and, finally, I emerged from behind the bush. He recognized me from earlier in the day and asked, “Why?”

      I smiled and explained. “I wanted to prove that, unaided, we can recognize that life is not an accident. Life, existence, all of this” – I motioned all around us — “is the result of a designer, God, whatever you want to call the creator of all this. I created these patterns in the dust and you noticed and responded. The creator has caused everything we see take this form and in some cases to live. Like you have here, I am encouraging people to look around, pause and ask, ‘Why?’”

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