Thursday, September 27, 2007

Darwinists Closing Ranks Already Against an Unreleased Film Defending Intelligent Design

The New York Times reports that Darwinists are complaining that they were tricked into being interviewed for an upcoming film called "Expelled," featuring Ben Stein. The film will not be released until early next year. It will be the first major motion picture to challenge Darwinism and defend Intelligent Design. So, the Darwinian orthodoxy is already closing ranks and attacking the film before it comes out. (Think of the Democrats crucifying General Petraeus before he uttered a word.) Call it a preemptive strike. All's fair in love of Darwin and war against ID, it seems.

You may think that I should give the Darwinists the benefit of the doubt, but I have seen this strategy so many times that it seems unlikely that they truly were tricked. They probably have discerned that the film may be a big deal and they are rethinking their involvement. Dawkins called Eugenie Scott, and here we go... The details are hard to pin down, but the general strategy is typical: anything having to do with ID is perverted, retrograde, and positively Neanderthal. Kill it before it walks. Or if its gets hired, deny it tenure, as the Darwinian priesthood recently did with Professor Gonzalez at Iowa State, despite his impressive record of publications. (He did not even teach ID in the classroom, but never mind; he is "one of them").

I look forward to this film.


Abu Daoud said...

I look forward to seeing it.

Sir Fab said...

Since John Stockwell has been barred from further contributions, I will come to the rescue, i.e. until I am barred myself :-), and selectively quote a couple of lines from the article:
"There is no credible scientific challenge to the theory of evolution as an explanation for the complexity and diversity of life on earth," which basically, if indirectly, sums up all one needs to know about Intelligent Design. And it's not just the very liberal and biased NY Times that says so: it's been court after court after court (famously, the judge who ruled against the Dover school board's attempt to bring ID into the curriculum is a liberal activist, of the registered Republican kind), scientific publication after scientific publication, peer review after peer review, and so on.
So, I guess, I am really curious to see the movie myself.

Anonymous said...

Sir Fab,

Thank you for summing up what I need to know about ID from the Times article, as well as asserting the seemingly universal rejection of ID by judges and scientists. Foolishly, I had been reading the actual arguments of ID folks, but now I see I need not weary myself with such a task. May we all learn simply to take your authorities word for it.

JPS said...

If what PZ Myers says is true (and I have no reason to doubt him, especially since he is pasting all the sources in), then they are very manipulative. I'd be pretty ticked.

Regardless, the movie looks pretty lame.

Sir Fab said...

You're welcome Tony.

If you are impressed by the argument made by the ID folks in support of ID, you might enjoy the movie (but stay out of science museums or away from peer-reviewed scientific publications, they can be quite overwhelming)

evagrius said...

See Howard J Van Till for an interesting essay on evolution and "creationism";

The American Scientific Affiliation is an interesting web site;

Sarah Scott said...
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JanusMagus said...

"it's been court after court after court"

Oh no! Not the courts that allowed slavery! They can't be wrong. Ever. Their authority would be put into doubt. Yep, the same authority which was exercised in the Scopes trial.

JanusMagus said...
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probatio said...

Could someone explain to me what this entire ID debate is really about?
I have followed the controversy for a while but I seem to be missing something.

What is it about ID theory that makes scientists completely forget their own methodology? Shouldn’t every scientific theory be tentative and open to falsification? The way some biologists defend evolution theory makes it look like a dogma rather than a scientific theory.

And why are the proponents of the ID theory so desperate for the title “scientific”? What is so special about this word? One could almost think that a peer-reviewed article was a means of salvation.

So what is this debate really about?
Is it about public funding, institutional power or social prestige?
I simply don’t get it.

Anonymous said...

The Bible tells us to that the kingdom "comes by the sword" which means that any trickery or deception by the ID camp is allowed against Darwinists. I agree with Groothuis and dishonesty in this case is warranted.

All conservatives need to support ID because it helps support the literal 6,000 years of creation reading. The Bible is innerrant, so therefore ID must be true. Since it is true it needs to be taught. Please see my post (in my blog) summing up the ID argument and why it is the most tenable option. I sort of "cut to the chase" and didn't worry about the science stuff.

evagrius said...

righteousness first-

I hope you're being sarcastic.

If not, then you'll have to figure out why God created human beings with a reasoning mind.

Anonymous said...

Righteousness first - Perhaps I am misunderstanding you...Are you saying that deception, in addressing those who disagree with Christian presuppositions, has warrant and that Groothuis would agree with this notion? Additionally, are you saying that the passage, not identified but probably Matt.10:34,35, is saying trickery or deception is ok if exercised with the non-believer for the sake of the Gospel?


Sir Fab said...


I get your point about the courts. However, perhaps the courts that sanctioned slavery did so on biblical authority, since the Bible has instructions on how to handle slaved properly... And perhaps the court that ruled against Mr. Scopes was largely driven by religious motifs, don't you think?

The larger point is that when people try to mix religious belief and science, the former pollutes the latter. Which leads me to Probatio's post:
"Shouldn’t every scientific theory be tentative and open to falsification?" That is quite a statement, since Creationism 2.0 (or ID, call it whatever you like) is by definition unfalsifiable.

Yossman said...

On this blog I have found that any discussion of ID vs evolution never centers on the ID arguments but on the validity of ID as a valid scientific contender against evolution. I would like this issue addressed. Until that time I find any discussion of ID useless and annoying.

Anonymous said...

My understanding of the NY Times article is that darwinists were tricked by ID people. I also got the impression that Grootuis approved of this deception because of the greater importance of ID.

Like Groothuis, I would say that deception can be justified for the sake of the gospel. Or am I just assuming that since he didn't disavow the tactics of ID proponents he didn't have a problem with them.

The kingdom coming by the sword means using the Bible (Heb 4:12-13). The Bible is the basis for ID and it should be the basis for science; we can couch the discussion in more sophisticated language--but the buck stops somewhere for us inerrantists, doesn't it?

Anonymous said...


The validity of ID is simple.
1. The Bible is the Word of God.
2. The Bible tells us that God created the world.

Since we've proven #1 to be true (see myriads of apologetics books), #2 must also be true.

That's the argument in a nutshell.

evagrius said...

Gonna use the Bible for cooking instructions and clothing tips too?

B. Thomas James said...

Righteousness First,

First, your reference to the Kingdom "coming by the sword" is a gross misrepresentation of Hebrews 4. The "sword" in question refers to the Word of God being sharper than any two-edged sword and being able to pierce to the core of men. Since the Bible speaks out against deception, it cannot be deduced that one is "allowed" to deceive another in the name of "the kingdom." This is what Islam teaches, not Christianity.

Second, you are mistaken on the nature of ID. ID is not creationism and proponents of ID have gone to great lengths to refute such ideas. A quick look at the homepage of The Discovery Institute or the arguments in the Dover trial will show this. Your syllogism draws a false conclusion from two true premises. ID does not go about proving that an Intelligent Designer is the God of the Bible or even Allah of the Koran. ID simply states that the status quo of Darwinian evolution is an unsatisfactory theory to answer an ever-growing number of questions we are finding relating to how science is done and interpreted.


"Gonna use the Bible for cooking instructions and clothing tips too?"

I laughed out loud at this as well as agreed with it.

properly basic said...

LOL- That's great news!

Anonymous said...

b. thomas james - as the Aussies say, "your on spot." Islam, along with all the cults, promote the notion that deception, for the sake of the cause (whatever that might be) is justified. Christianity does not teach this.

Regarding've made excellent distinctions that ID people themselves make. Does the Bible teach creationism, yes, most certainly, but for a simplistic response of..."the Bible tells me so," does not treat people as made in the image of God, nor is it a sufficient argument for the non-believer. As thoughtful apologists we are called upon to give reasons why we believe. These reasons come from both special (Scripture) and well as general revelation (Nature).

As Doug often says...good chops!


Doug Groothuis said...

"Righteousness First" is confused. There is nothing in my post affirming the use of deception with Darwinists! Truth is good enough to refute them.

I was inferring that the Darwinists are telling tales to attack the unreleased film.

If the film makers used deception to get clips, that is wrong and they should repent. Clear enough?!

Yossman said...

Righteousness First:

If that is your take on ID then ID is not science but theology and is understandably disregarded by evolutionists.

evagrius said...

If that is your take on ID then ID is not science but theology and is understandably disregarded by evolutionists.

And a very bad theology at that. At most, it's a form of deism. It's not even Christian since it has no mention of the Trinity.

Ed Darrell said...

If the film makers used deception to get clips, that is wrong and they should repent. Clear enough?!

So far they have refused to do so. The fellow who first set up the interview with Dr. Myers sent him a mass-produced kiss-off e-mail.

One might wonder why the producers did not ask the question of the scientists they interviewed that the film poses: Is there bias against challengers of evolution? That issue has twice been litigated in federal court, and both times the courts determined that there is no such bias in science.

What is it about the straight answer that Dawkins, Myers and others would give that makes the producers think they need to be deceptive?

The attempt to ambush Baylor University President John Lilley demonstrates that the producers are acting in bad faith. The deception isn't reserved for scientists, but is instead a broadbrush tactic used against good Christians.

Repent? Will you seriously ask them to repent, Dr. Groothuis? Perhaps, by refusing to support their dubious conclusions, until they issue a repentance statement?

Doug Groothuis said...

My claim was conditional, if they did use deception, they should repent.

My take on it thus far (it is not the final word), is that the Darwinists are spinning things.

I may be wrong; I'm open to further insights.

But I do not think ID is intrinsically deceptive or evil, as you do. That's the difference.

The NY Times reports this, but not when ID supporters get railroaded by the Darwinian establishment.

Anonymous said...

I have a challenge to all of IDers who dispute my rationale of looking to the Bible. I do not have a PhD in science and except for a year of college chemistry and a year of Organic chemistry, my knowledge of science is very limited. Thus, except for vague sentiments that the world couldn't have randomly come about--I cannot analyze or intelligently comment on any of the data used to marshall ID. I am ill-equipped to make any pronouncements from a scientific perspective. Thus, the locus of my understanding of ID derives from the Bible.

I wonder how many of you are in the same position, unable to evaluate the data but supporting ID because of the way that you read the Bible.

So, if I propose three options, could you say what best identifies you? A) I believe in the Bible and do not have advanced scientific training to fully deal with the data, B) I do not have the necessary scientific data to make sophisticated conclusions but root my understanding of ID in my limited understanding of science rather than the Bible, or C) I am a competant scientist who can evaluate the data.

Of course these choices aren't absolute and not the only choices, but by answering this question honestly you'll make your true interpretation of ID clear.

I strongly suspect that most people who read this board would choose A, as simplistic as the option sounds.

Evagruis: For all your rebuke about not using deception, I find your sarcasm and patronizing tone to be ironic.

I will soon be making a blog post on deception in the Bible and how modern day apologists frequently (and justifiably) use it. Suffice it to say that I see straw-man arguments to be at the heart of most of our methods.

evagrius said...

righteousness first-I'm not quite sure what you're arguing about.

ID is a poor theology. It's not science.

If you want a theology of creation, go read the Fathers of the Church. Read Iraneaus, read Origen, read St. Basil's Hexamaeron.
Read St. Maximus the Confessor.

They all have theologies based on Scripture and the logic of the science available to them at the time they wrote.

ID is basically just another version of the clockmaker routine.
It's not very deep.

Anonymous said...


I've read most of the CF you mentioned and do not find them to be quite as inspiring (save much Origen). For example, the apologia of the resurrection based upon the phoenix returning to the sun and being reborn evey 1000 years seems silly, and undermines the credibility of the early Christian apologia.

Just to say: I think ID is not science--as I routinely argue. Most proponents (us fundamentalists) are not true scientists. The vast majority of scientists are evolutionists--I don't think its a conspiracy (as some might argue), but the fact that science and theology condradict, and if push comes to shove I'm going to choose theology and read the Bible literally.

evagrius said...

righteousness first- obviously you haven't read the Fathers with care, otherwise you would know that they are the ones responsible for the enunciation of the basic doctrines of the church and the source for the Nicene and Chalcedonian creeds, creeds fairly normative for most Christians.

Your example about the phoenix shows how little you understand their thinking. The phoenix was thought by many to be a real animal. The phoenix was, therefore, understood to be an allegory for the resurrection. It made sense to the people back then. Quite often, examples from nature were used asallegorical examples. It doesn't make sense today since we know, through science, that no such animal as the phoenix exists.

I'm glad you state ID is not science. It isn't.

But you confuse the purpose of science which is not to explain why things are but how and what things are. The why is outside the purview of science.

When scientists begin to go outside their boundary and begin to substitute the how and what explanation as equivalent to why, then they are injuring science.

The Bible states more of the why of creation than the how and what.

Even there, one must be careful.

As I've stated, ID is not Christian. There's no Trinity involved only the deist "God".

For a Christian, that's not acceptable.

Anonymous said...

Actually Aristotle pre-empted such phoenix discussion. Among the literati the phoenix analogy would have been silly.

Perhaps I haven't read them with a lot of care (hopefully care doesn't mean appreciation), but I did read the material in the Loeb volumes in Greek. Except for Ireneaus, I was even less impressed with their Greek prose than Paul.

Origin on the other hand, is on a whole level. His Greek is very far advanced by anyone's measure. His genius was clear, while I'm not sure about all the Church Fathers.

In any case, I don't even really know what you mean by Church Fathers? Some were responsible for the creeds, while others you mentioned antedated those formulations of the faith. While other's--those in the Philolikalia that you seem to reference are hit and miss. Sometimes their Greek is good and sometimes their ideas are novel.

In any case, if chicanery is wrong, I'm troubled that Groothuis still looks forward to promoting the movie with re-editing the blog.

evagrius said...

That's because they weren't concerned with the niceties of Greek prose or rhetoric.

I don't think you really have an appreciation of their style though. The phoenix and other symbols of Christ are used as literary metaphor, as allegory.

No educated person took them literally.

Don't be so anachronistic.

I don't read Greek myself. I've just read them in translation, mainly Source Chretiennes and Library of Western Spiritual Classics.

Yes...they do predate the creeds. Of course they did. They set the terminology for the creeds over a number of centuries.

Look up the history of homousia etc; or hypostasis etc;

You seem quite knowledgeable so why be dismissive of their thougt?

Have you read Pelikan's history of theology? You should.

As for the Philokalia. Once again, it's not the niceties of the language but what's being said. In this case, it's a guide for the practice of prayer. It contains some excellent insights into psychology that have yet to be surpassed..

Ed Darrell said...

The NY Times reports this, but not when ID supporters get railroaded by the Darwinian establishment.

The quick and accurate answer would be that the Darwin establishment does not do ambush interviews of the president of Baylor, nor of scientists, telling them the film is about one thing when it is about another.

But, let's assume you're not talking about this specific incident, but instead you're still sore about the incidents that Ben Stein is still sore about.

The NY Times covered the affair of Sternberg:

I consider that to be yet another style of ambush journalism, since it was an illegal attempt to smear the Smithsonian by the ID crowd, but it was covered, nevertheless.

What other incidents might you be worried about? Why should the NY Times cover them?

stardust said...

The Intelligent Designer, 13.7 billions ago, created a universe of atoms and evolution in nature. A while later, they settled in, as elements. Undoubtably, we, by evolution, are the same ancient atoms along with all matter in the universe. The Reverend Charles Darwin would be both humbled and grateful for his science contribution. The ideological camps do a great disservice to the search for wisdom and truth. Valid science can lead us furthur into the great mysterys of the natural world and stop when they reach philosophy and the soul.

Aaron Snell said...

I'll say it again - Righteousness First is playing games. Run away.

Anonymous said...

I have read one volume (the second one) from Pelikin's history.

Aaron: Why are you giving me a hard time? I think you're the one playing games with your ad hominem arguments.

evagrius said...

Why the second volume and not the first?

probatio said...

“The Bible states more of the why of creation than the how and what.“

I have just reread the biblical creation account. I do not find anything about the “why of creation” there. Why did God create the heaven and earth?
I’d be very interested if you have an answer to this question.

evagrius said...

I have just reread the biblical creation account. I do not find anything about the “why of creation” there. Why did God create the heaven and earth?
I’d be very interested if you have an answer to this question.

The Prologue to the Gospel of St. John, read as the Gospel on Pascha in Orthodox Churches. :)

evagrius said...

It belongs to the style of Paul's synthesis that it plunges its roots into the revealed mystery of creation and redemption as a whole, from which it is developed and in the light of which alone it can be explained. According to the biblical narrative, the creation of man is an enlivening of matter by means of the spirit, thanks to which "the first man Adam became a living being" (1 Cor 15:45). The Pauline text repeats here the words of Genesis (2:7), that is, of the second narrative of the creation of man (the so-called Yahwist narrative). From the same source it is known that this original "animation of the body" underwent corruption because of sin.

At this point of the First Letter to the Corinthians the author does not speak directly of original sin. Yet the series of definitions which he attributes to the body of historical man, writing that it is " dishonor..." indicates sufficiently what the consequence of sin is, according to revelation. Paul himself will call it elsewhere "bondage to decay" (Rom 8:21). The whole of creation is subjected indirectly to this "bondage to decay" owing to the sin of man, who was placed by the Creator in the midst of the visible world in order to subdue it (cf. Gn 1:28). So man's sin has a dimension that is not only interior, but also cosmic. According to this dimension, the body—which Paul (in conformity with his experience) characterizes as " dishonor..."—expresses in itself the state of creation after sin. This creation "has been groaning in travail together until now" (Rom 8:22).

However, just as labor pains are united with the desire for birth, with the hope of a new child, so, too, the whole of creation "waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God..." and cherishes the hope to "be set free from its bondage to decay, and obtain the glorious liberty of the children of God" (Rom 8:19-21).

Aaron Snell said...

Righteousness First:

"I think you're the one playing games with your ad hominem arguments."

When did I make an argument? I simply made a claim.

stardust said...

Intelligent design was, 13.7 billion years ago, the
Evolution plan. It still is, a magnificent and wonderous expression of a somewhat unscrutable designer. Those ancient atoms are still with us,they are all the material universe as well as you and I. Pick out your atomic age in billions of years and call it evolution or Intelligently designed. Biblical expressions should not be taken literally. Atoms, quarks, string theory did not belong in the bible: but we should always look to it for wisdom in our society