Monday, November 10, 2008

HOW NOT TO MAKE YOUR POINT


I’ve never really understood all the hubbub surrounding the evolution argument. It seems like a duh, a no-brainer, an “is global warming real” kind of argument. My complacency with it all stems from my college revelation that Creation is the why and Evolution is the how of God’s plan. Why can’t they be the same stories? No one has ever been able to explain why that is not a plausible solution and it seems rather reasonable to me.

Never-the-less, I rented Ben Stein’s “documentary” about the evolution/creationism debate, Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed. My putting the word documentary in quotes is not to demean the title or call it names. I’m just not sure it fits the definition of documentary any more than Micahel Moore’s films do. I've watched several of Moore's films, but have decided that he skews things to the point that I cannot trust him.

I was disappointed with the film and not for the reason you suspect. Seeing how I see evolution as being wholly God’s, then the idea of Intelligent Design is fine with me. That is, depending on how you define Intelligent Design, and that is where my disappointment with the film begins.

The first half of the film was dedicated to showcasing a cavalcade of scientists who have been fired, berated and run out of the scientific field for thinking that God created it all. Furthermore, the crux of the argument was that scientific inquiry should be open to all investigations and not closed around one central idea.

Well, duh. Any credible scientist and educator should be down with that idea. We should allow people to challenge contemporary thought. After all, that’s how we came to know that the Earth traveled around the sun, right?

Stein and the excommunicated scientists hit the issue home when they stated that Intelligent Design was not Creationism and that linking the two is a red herring. That would be fine. I could fly with that. Except …

They never once defined the difference between the two. They didn’t give detailed explanations of Intelligent Design. They simply claimed, over and over, that they were different. Not one shred of scientific evidence, not one journal, not one news report, not one website did they flash in front of us to help clear the issue up. It gets better, or worse depending on your point of view.

The rest of the film centered around the pseudo-science that is evolution, and we are talking macro evolution here and not change within a species. They did make that point, at least. For the next 30 or 45 minutes I sat and listened to scientist after scientist claim that the scientific basis for evolution was on shaky ground to begin with. Isn't that a red herring, too?

I sat, waiting, for the evidence to be discussed, for the claims to be supported, for a freaking website or journal article. Something. Nope. Again, they made claims, but never once cited how evolution believes x but the research done by the Intelligent Design folks demonstrates another truth. Nothing. Just claims and rhetoric.

In the end, I walked away from the film with no more information on the definition of Intelligent Design or the scientific research they have to support their views that I did going in. So, what’s the point of the movie? I still don’t know unless it is to preach to the choir. It makes me wonder if they actually have real scientific research to support any of their claims?

If they are going to claim the red herring argument, then using the same technique to attack the evolutionists seems rather counterproductive and unscientific. I wanted to know what Intelligent Design really is because after watching it, I’m not convinced it’s not just a end-road to teach Creationism as science. Since they say it is not, then I have to say the movie was a failure.

From my perspective, it's a ridiculous argument anyhow. I've resolved the issue a long time ago and have no problem believing in both science and God. Seems to me that both can be right and both can tell two sides of the same story.

4 comments:

Malcolm said...

Hey - if you dig a little deeper and research the people who the film claims were fired or discriminated against for supporting ID you'll find that the cases dont hold up. In every case there were other reasons for the firing, or it never actually happened. This is all old news so I dont have the references to hand, but Google will help you.

The other point you dont mention is the films ridiculous effort to link the theory of evolution to Hitler and the Nazis. The logic would seem to be something like : the nazis believed they could use evolutionary principles to breed a better race of humans. The Nazis were evil, therefore Evolution is evil and false, so ID must be true.

This movie has been panned by every independent reviewer (look it up on rottentomatoes.com) - it's a waste of time, effort and money to go and see it.

Jack said...

Dang it, Malcolm.

I wanted to write about the Hitler things and forgot. How could I forget that? I should have written down my notes before writing. Double dang!

Malcolm is right. They do go on to link evolution to abortion and the Nazi's. As we know, the Nazi Zombie is always a losing battle. Thanks for the reminder, dude.

Sky Girl said...

I have long agreed with the position that the two positions are not incompatible. I really like the way you phrased the "how" and the "why" of the plan. That may be the best description on the topic I have ever heard. I think I'll skip the movie.

Complaint Department Manager said...

Have faith, Jack. Also, watch your language. Was 2 "dang"s absolutely necessary?