Expelled

Jeffrey Kluger pans EXPELLED in TIME Magazine

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Jeffrey Kluger’s review of EXPELLED in TIME Magazine is on balance negative. Interestingly, though, he makes clear something of what is motivating EXPELLED:

In fairness to Stein, his opponents have hardly covered themselves in glory. Evolutionary biologists and social commentators have lately taken to answering the claims of intelligent-design boosters not with clear-eyed scientific empiricism but with sneering, finger-in-the-eye atheism. Biologist P.Z. Myers, for example, tells Stein that religion ought to be seen as little more than a soothing pastime, a bit like knitting. Books such as Christopher Hitchens’ God Is Not Great and Richard Dawkins’ The God Delusion often read like pure taunting, as when Hitchens pettily and pointedly types God as lowercase god. Tautology as typography is not the stuff of deep thought. Neither, alas, is Expelled.

On the other hand, Kluger is clueless about the the current disarray of evolutionary theory, especially chemical evolution:

He [Stein] makes all the usual mistakes nonscientists make whenever they try to take down evolution, asking, for example, how something as complex as a living cell could have possibly arisen whole from the earth’s primordial soup. The answer is it couldn’t–and it didn’t. Organic chemicals needed eons of stirring and slow cooking before they could produce compounds that could begin to lead to a living thing.

Come again? Take some organic chemicals, slow cook them, give enough time, and out pops life? This is a scientific theory? No it’s not. This is an article of speculative faith. There is no materialistic theory of life’s origin. Stein is right and anyone like Kluger who suggests otherwise is bluffing.

15 Replies to “Jeffrey Kluger pans EXPELLED in TIME Magazine

  1. 1
    Gerry Rzeppa says:

    “There is no materialistic theory of life’s origin. Stein is right and anyone like Kluger who suggests otherwise is bluffing.”

    Or brainwashed.

  2. 2

    […] Comments Gerry Rzeppa: “There is no materialistic theory of life’s origin. Stein is right and anyone like Kluger […]

  3. 3
    russ says:

    I think Time was once more of a pure news magazine, but is now much more a news+commentary periodical like New Republic, The Nation, etc. Their take on any issue that touches on the culture war is always highly predictable. I assume this further leftward lurch is an attempt to slow the magazine’s declining circulation.

  4. 4
    j says:

    Ben Stein takes on the scientific establishment. Nobody wins.

    Really? Awesome. The Darwinists didn’t win. Pretty poor showing for the “single best idea anybone has ever had.” (Dennett) 😉

    Stein nominally set out to make the case that academics who write about evolution are being muzzled or denied tenure if they so much as nod in the direction of intelligent design. It’s impossible to know from the handful of examples he cites how widespread the problem is, but if there’s anything to it at all, it’s a matter well worth exposing.

    Why not do an experiment: contact some young untenured professors in the sciences and ask them to sign a statement in support of the academic freedom of ID proponents. Let’s see how many takers there are.

    [Stein asks] how something as complex as a living cell could have possibly arisen whole from earth’s primordial soup. The answer is it couldn’t — and it didn’t. Organic chemicals needed eons of stirring and slow cooking before they could produce compounds that could begin to lead to a living thing.

    Yes, that’s the usual answer from materialist scientists. Where are the experiments that support this? It’s an assumption. The origin of life is still a wide open mystery. To see an admission of this, read the essay “A Simpler Origin for Life,” by NYU chemistry professor Robert Shapiro, published on the web by Scientific American in February 2007.

    Stein [enumerates] all the admittedly unanswered questions in evolutionary theory and [uses] this to refute the whole idea. But all scientific knowledge is built this way…

    Nice going, Kluger. Darwin of the gaps.

    Stein argues that there is a clear line from Darwinism to euthanasia, abortion, eugenics and … Nazism. … [But] the only necessary and sufficient condition for human beings to murder one another is the simple fact of being human.

    So, you admit that abortion is murder? Wow.

    But, boy, are you in denial: The link to eugenics is immediate — Darwin’s cousin Francis Galton started the “science.” Galton was “one of the first converts to natural selection” according to Ronald W. Clark’s biography of Darwin. In the case of abortion, the link goes through Margaret Sanger, who wrote, “More children from the fit, less from the unfit — that is the chief issue of birth control.” Sanger founded the American Birth Control League, which became Planned Parenthood (abortion central). The Nazi’s believed that Aryans were the “master race”, etc….

    And, no, being merely human does not explain the industrial murder of millions based on race.

  5. 5
    GilDodgen says:

    Organic chemicals needed eons of stirring and slow cooking before they could produce compounds that could begin to lead to a living thing.

    On another forum I commented: “Ah yes, this is scientific fact, not speculation. No mention of the real fact, which is that no one has the slightest idea how life got started, or how it even could have gotten started.”

    The illuminating thing about Kluger’s comment is how effective Darwinist propaganda has been in convincing those in the media, and elsewhere, that origin-of-life research is well in hand. There is great irony in Kluger’s comment, “He [Stein] makes all the usual mistakes nonscientists make…”

    Kluger is obviously a non-scientist, because if he were a scientist — or even if he were trivially familiar with OOL research — he would know that the field is in a complete state of disarray, and that no one has the faintest idea about how biological information could have come about. The great challenge of OOL research is not accounting for chemical reactions in living systems, but accounting for the digital information and symbolic language that programs and controls life’s machinery. Materialistic and stochastic processes cannot possibly account for this.

    Evolutionary biologists and social commentators have lately taken to answering the claims of intelligent-design boosters not with clear-eyed scientific empiricism but with sneering…

    The reason is that evolutionary biologists cannot address the claims of ID proponents with clear-eyed scientific empiricism, because evidence, logic, and mathematical analysis do not support the Darwinian thesis. Thus, they have no refuge but denigration.

    The fossil record does not support Darwinian gradualism. Modern biochemistry does not support Darwinian gradualism or the creative power of natural selection (of which it has none, because NS throws stuff out and creates nothing). Mathematics and information theory do not support Darwinian theory, but render it completely impotent.

    At bottom — except for the fact that living systems have changed over time and share common characteristics, which is trivially obvious and does not require any thought, much less a “scientific” theory — Darwinian theory is completely useless and meaningless at best, and destructive at worst.

    Darwinists are in a state of panic about ID, because the onslaught of evidence, logic, and mathematics has rendered their worldview completely unsupportable.

  6. 6
    Frost122585 says:

    Yeah but its Time. The world is so kept in the dark to the truths concerning issues. Look how he wrote that paragraph. He took reasonable shots at the other side and their pathetic styles of debate but then had to, in the same paragraph, if only at the very end take one at Expelled. From what I have seen of the movie the clips show a movie that is VERY intellectual, creative and deep.

    What a patently false and ignorant statement. I’m sorry that Expelled isn’t as powerful an imminent as Broke Back Mountain or as deep and intellectual as Michael Moore’s slanderous hit piece “Full of Sh*t 911.” How anyone reads Time at all is a blowing case against ID. Why don’t they just come out and say that?

  7. 7
    Frost122585 says:

    Let’s face it. ID may never be as popular a sceintific theory as Al Gore’s false enviornmentalist religious propaganda.

  8. 8
    Frost122585 says:

    Speaking of global warming. I am reading a book about the Burgess shale where it is speculated by scientists that it once was pat of a tropical sea some 560 millions years ago. The Burgess shale is in Canada- hardly my definition of a tropical sea. So what if a couple of degrees of warming is coming from man made CO2 when it was 10s of degrees warmer 560 million years back? And of course there is also the fact that CO2 may not even be causing any global warming at all.

    ID on the other hand is a scientific theory about the nature of origins of phenomena in the universe that is inferred from the presently acting cause of the specified complexity that implies design as the causative factor of the observed phenomena as its effects.

  9. 9
    Frost122585 says:

    “The answer is it couldn’t–and it didn’t. Organic chemicals needed eons of stirring and slow cooking before they could produce compounds that could begin to lead to a living thing.”

    Utter nonsense. The first life on earth modern science speculates from the best data, did not appear million of years after the earth was formed just waiting on chance to being together all of its complexity and improbability and then hit it with just the right amount of lightning in just the right way (which is not even understood). Life appeared on the earth right away as soon as the earth cooled as if the earth was waiting for it- or it for the
    earth.

    The earth is like 4.6 billion years old and the first life is estimated at 3.6 billion or there about. Obviously most of the early time of the earth would be way to hot and hostile for life to have arisen.

    The author of this article apparently knows nothing but that never stops anyone from weighing in their opinions on the ID debate. When if comes to ID everyone is an expert on it except of course for the designers of the theory and all of its proponents who no nothing about it despite being the only ones who actualy read the books.

  10. 10
    Frost122585 says:

    correction to post #9

    did not appear millions of years after the earth

    Obviously switch “millions” with “billions.”

  11. 11
    j says:

    So, you admit that abortion is murder? Wow.

    When I first read the review, it seemed that Kluger was listing euthanasia, abortion, eugenics, and Nazism as all associated with “Hitler’s killing machine.” Upon second reading, that’s probably not what he intended.

  12. 12
    Jasini says:

    Biologist P.Z. Myers, for example, tells Stein that religion ought to be seen as little more than a soothing pastime, a bit like knitting.

    I expect that quite a few people over on http://www.ravelry.com would take exception to that description of knitting.

  13. 13
    jerry says:

    “The Burgess shale is in Canada- hardly my definition of a tropical sea. ”

    560 million years ago, North America was in a completely different place on the globe. Also our solar system was then in the galactic arm surrounded by millions of stars. Today we are off the galactic arm almost alone in the galaxy. Things were very different then.

  14. 14
    JPCollado says:

    “Evolutionary biologists and social commentators have lately taken to answering the claims of intelligent-design boosters not with clear-eyed scientific empiricism but with sneering, finger-in-the-eye atheism.”

    Kluger is just patching things up…sort of a PR maneuver. He knows how damaging these sneering comments are, especially when viewed under the power of mass multi-media.

  15. 15
    Joseph says:

    So is Kluger saying the designer was a patient chef?

    Now I understand the grocery-store scenario in “No Free Lunch”. 🙂

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