59 Replies to “Clips of Our Fearless Leaders in Expelled

  1. 1
    Frost122585 says:

    Now DaveScot, you know it was funny in clip 2 when Stein asked Berlinski what he would compare the cell’s complexity to and he said “A Galaxy!” HAHAHA! He just said the most complex thing he could think of in 2 secs and he was slouching so bad in his chair.

    That to me was hilarious.

  2. 2
    Frost122585 says:

    Thanks for the great clips Dave. I am glad to see Bill has made it on the big screen. Bill now you are a staaaaaaaaaarrr.

  3. 3
    FtK says:

    Thanks for the HT, Dave…

  4. 4
    TRoutMac says:

    Maybe my eyes are bad at 5:30 in the morning, but on the second clip, at Dr. Dembski’s appearance, some type appeared in the lower right corner which identified Dr. Dembski. But it looked to me like they misspelled his name! “Dempski” is what I saw. The first clip didn’t contain this error. I hope the 2nd clip wasn’t actually used as-is in the final cut. That would be rather embarrassing.

    Regardless, I’m anxious to see the film.

  5. 5
    Frost122585 says:

    yup that’s a “P”- Dem(p)ski.

  6. 6
    DeepDesign says:

    Dr. Berlinski seems to feel more comforable discussing design with Mr. Stein.

  7. 7
    Frost122585 says:

    I am very pleased to see that Schroeder made the movie. His books are some of my favorites and his work is well worthy of being held up with the other icons of ID like Dembski, Behe, Meyers, Wells etc… Schroeder is also comming out with a new book maybe in the fall caled “God according to God” which will be about an interpretation of the bible regarding issues of faith and how it asks of us t live.

    Stephen Meyers is alos comming out with a new book called “The DNA Enigma.”- which is obviously a look at the complexity and structure of information in DNA. Cant wait for them both.

  8. 8
    Gods iPod says:

    This singular entity is going to do much for the cause. Thank you to all who participated in bringing this to “life”.

  9. 9
    DeepDesign says:

    I probably shouldn’t reveal too much personal information as I have chosen to use “Deep Design” as my blog name. Want to point out though that I am very proud ( I am half Jewish), that we have three incredibly intelligent and well spoken men of Jewish background involved in this project.

    Especially because of the Darwin-Holocaust connection.

  10. 10
    Graceout says:

    A Galaxy??? I suppose he was trying to think of the BIGGEST thing he could, but that certainly doesn’t make it the most complex.

    He might as well have said a whirlpool or tornado.

    Perhaps something more analogous to a ‘Buick’ might be space shuttle. (Or more appropriately, a BORG ship.)

  11. 11
    jerry says:

    “A Galaxy???”

    There is nothing man made that would compare unless you want to say a major city.

    Back in Darwin’s day, spontaneous generation out of spoiled food was considered a possible source of life and the cell was a mass of goo. The cell as making up the body of a live organism was only understood a couple decades before “The Origin of Species.”

  12. 12
    Atom says:

    Perhaps something more analogous to a ‘Buick’ might be space shuttle. (Or more appropriately, a BORG ship.)

    The Borg ship is a good analogy. His “galaxy” comment caught me off guard…but then again, Dr. Berlinki catches me off guard with a lot of what he says. Always interesting.

  13. 13
    DeepDesign says:

    I second that the Borg ship is a good analogy.

    “Dr. Berlinki catches me off guard with a lot of what he says. Always interesting.”

    He is a character, indeed.

  14. 14
    bFast says:

    I found another article which shows that much of the DNA that has been labeled “junk” is being brought into the fold of important.

    http://www.physorg.com/news126893405.html

  15. 15
  16. 16
    Frost122585 says:

    Great finds DD.

  17. 17
    Frost122585 says:

    You know I cant believe I am saying this but this might well be one of the most powerful movies ever. The atheistic Darwinian world view is so closely related to all of the evil ideologies and yet so far from faith that this movie is really ground breaking on the mainstream scale.

    I mean they say that Platoon or Saving Private Ryan was powerful but this movie touches the world in a very different and imminent way.

  18. 18
    Frost122585 says:

    and every clip that I see keeps getting beter and better.

  19. 19
    jerry says:

    The link bfast provided had some google adwords advertising on it and the first link was for Expelled. So they are advertising on the google content area (regular web pages.) They did not appear on searches of evolution and intelligent design in a google search so they do not appear to be advertising on searches.

    Also Rush Limbaugh spent about 10 minutes on Expelled and Darwinism today and had a religious Darwinist call in to him. He calls Dawkins, Hawkins so he is not familiar with Sir Richard.

  20. 20
    bFast says:

    jerry, “The link bfast provided had some google adwords advertising on it” Is that all that was on it, because I get an article, “Scientists find a fingerprint of evolution across the human genome” which presents that fully 1/3 of human DNA shows evidence of preservation, so presumably function. This is vastly more than the 1.5% that codes to protein.

  21. 21
    Frost122585 says:

    The movie just looks great. It is really exciting and special to see all of the things that we blog about here daily at the site come to life in the mainstream. It feels good to be a part of this even if I/we here at the site provide just a tiny fraction of the contribution that the movement is getting.

  22. 22
    Frost122585 says:

    The videos are gone.

  23. 23
    Frost122585 says:

    And just to expand on the point above, I think that with all of the dirty politics that is going on (the hiring and firing over) over people’s doubts about Darwin or belief in ID- this movie could not be more timely. Where is the ACLU screaming that people have “a human right” to peruse science and education from an honest perspective without their beliefs being discriminated against by another belief system such is the materialistic theory of evolution which doesn’t explain a lick of positive information or mutation- only concedes that its there.

  24. 24
    jerry says:

    bfast,

    The article was there. I was just commenting on Expelled using articles about evolution to advertise the movie and not using search engines.

  25. 25

    I don’t know if anyone is still watching this thread, but Premise Media has just been slapped with a “cease and desist” letter from XVIVO, the group at Harvard that produced the video clips from which the still images at the top of this thread were taken. They are alleging copyright infringement (not to mention blatant plagiarism). The full text of the letter from XVIVO’s lawyers can be read at:

    http://endogenousretrovirus.bl.....arism.html

    The letter makes it clear that if the offending video clips are not removed from the film and all promotional materials by the opening date, immediate legal action will be taken to stop the release of the film.

    I’m curious; isn’t there a commandment about stealing in there somewhere? Anyone? Anyone? Buehler?

    P.S. It might be a good idea to remove the still pictures at the top of this thread, too. You never know…

  26. 26
    jstanley01 says:

    Off topic a little bit: There’s an unsourced copy of a letter circulating on the Internet (hopefully this link will work without a sign-in) that claims Expelled is being accused of copyright infringement by XVIVO LLC. Didn’t Dr. Dembski put this to bed months ago? Here’s the text of the alleged letter from a post on Ann Coulter Official Chat:

    Re: Copyright infringement in “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed”

    Dear Mr. •••••:

    This letter will constitute notice to you, as Chairman of Premise Media Corporation, of the copyright infringement by your corporation, and its subsidiary, Rampant Films, of material produced by XVIVO LLC, in which XVIVO holds a copyright.

    It has come to our intention that Premise Media and Rampant Films has produced a film entitled “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed,” which is scheduled for commercial release and distribution on April 18, 2008. To our knowledge, this film includes a segment depicting biological cellular activity that was copied by computer-generated means from a video entitled “The Inner Life of a Cell.” XVIVO holds the copyright to all the models, processes, and depictions in this video, and has not authorized Premise Media or Rampant Films to make any use of this material.

    We have obtained promotional material for the “Expelled” film, presented on a DVD, that clearly shows in the “cell segment” the virtually identical depiction of material from the “Inner Life” video. We particularly refer to the segment of the “Expelled” film purporting to show the “walking” models of kinesic activities in cellular mechanisms. The segments depicting these models in your film are clearly based upon, and copied from, material in the “Inner Life” video.

    We have been advised by counsel that this segment in your film constitutes an actionable infringement of XVIVO’s intellectual property rights, as protected by federal statutes, including Section 106 of the Copyright Act, the Visual Artists Rights Act of 1990, and the Digital Millenium Copyright Act of 1998. Each of these statutes provides for judicial enforcement of their provisions, with substantial civil penalties for their infringement.

    We have also obtained legal advice that your copying, in virtually identical form, of material in the “inner Life” video clearly meets the legal test of “substantial similarity” between the copied work and our original work.

    This letter will also serve as notice to you that XVIVO intends to vigorously and promptly pursue its legal remedies for your copyright infringement, unless and until Premise Media, Rampant Films, and their officers, employees, and agents comply with the following demands:

    1. That Premise Media, Rampant Films, and its officers, employees, and agents remove the infringing segment from all copies of the “Expelled” film prior to its scheduled commercial release on or before April 18, 2008;

    2. That all copies of the “Inner Life” video in your possession or under your control be returned to XVIVO;
    3. That Premise Media notify XVIVO, on or before April 18, 2008, of its compliance with the above demands.

    We have been advised, by a telephone conversation with Mellie Bracewell of Premise Media on April 8, 2008, that an e-mail transmission of this letter to her will be promptly forwarded to you. A hard copy of this letter, on XVIVO stationary, will also be sent to you today by express delivery.

    We are sure that you will want to avoid legal action in this matter, and urge you to promptly notify us of your compliance with the above demands. You may do so by return e-mail, directed to david@••• or mike@•••, followed by a hard-copied letter indicating your compliance with the above demands.

    Sincerely,

    David Bolinsky
    Partner and Medical Director
    XVIVO LLC

    Michael Astrachan
    Partner and Creative Director
    XVIVO LLC

    Cc: Peter Irons, Esq.
    Attorney at Law
    2551 North Valley Road
    Greenville CA 95947

    I wonder what this is? A hoax? More harassment?

  27. 27
    jstanley01 says:

    BTW, my reply on the thread was:

    Interesting. Because the date on the blog post sads404 linked, above, is November 20, 2007. And except for the title of that particular post, the accusations about the video appear to have nothing to do with the movie.

    FYI, here’s William Dembski’s discussion of the issue, dated November 27, 2007, in which he claims the allegations made were false. Evidently he used the video as part of PowerPoint presentations to live audiences. Again, nothing to do with the movie.

    What’s your source for the letter? Got a link?

  28. 28

    The date for the blog post with the full text of the letter is TODAY, not November 27, 2007. Here is the link:

    http://endogenousretrovirus.bl.....arism.html

  29. 29

    It’s not harassment; it’s the owners of a legitimate copyright using their full legal rights to make an illegal (not to mention immoral) copyright infringer and plagiarist cease and desist immediately.

    Stealing someone else’s intellectual property is known to most intelligent people as “theft”, and most upright citizens consider theft to be immoral, as well as criminal.

  30. 30
    irreducible_complacency says:

    It seems that all of the hype about who supposedly copied what from whom could be more easily settled if we had some sort of way of discriminating between copies and originals. You know you can’t trust the darwinists and I’m sure that Ben STein and his supporters have to be very careful now that they don’t get sued by the ACLU. It just seems to me that there must be some sort of method that can sort this out. Doesn’t science help us out here?

  31. 31
    jstanley01 says:

    Allen_MacNeill @ 29

    Hardly looks like the slam-dunk you describe at all. I’ll be interested to see whether Bolinsky and Astrachan actually make the transfer of wealth that Peter Irons, Esq. will require to pursue the matter in court.

  32. 32
    jstanley01 says:

    BTW, information, via whatever medium, about the structure and functions of a cell are no more subject to copyright than E=MC^2. Facts cannot be copyrighted. Only original depictions of those facts.

  33. 33
    TRoutMac says:

    The 2nd paragraph of that letter reads:

    “It has come to our intention that…”

    Really? It’s come to their “INTENTION”? I think that’s supposed to be “attention”, folks. ATTENTION.

    “We have obtained promotional material for the “Expelled” film, presented on a DVD, that clearly shows in the “cell segment” the virtually identical depiction of material from the “Inner Life” video.”

    Okay, I’ve seen the 8-minute-long “Inner Life of the Cell” video numerous times. And obviously I haven’t seen ALL of Expelled, only the trailer and the two clips above. But the animations contained in the clip(s) above may have depicted similar things, but to my eye it looked markedly different. It did not appear to me to be clips from that video.

    More from the letter:

    “We have also obtained legal advice that your copying, in virtually identical form, of material in the “inner Life” video clearly meets the legal test of “substantial similarity” between the copied work and our original work.”

    Okay, so this seems to back me up as well as jstanley01 at #32. It’s not a clip from “Inner Life”, but rather a depiction of the same processes via computer modeling which has a similar appearance, principally because — duh — it depicts the same FACTS!!

    I also love this excerpt:

    “We particularly refer to the segment of the “Expelled” film purporting to show the “walking” models of kinesic activities in cellular mechanisms. The segments depicting these models in your film are clearly based upon, and copied from, material in the “Inner Life” video.”

    First, the phrase “clearly based upon” further emphasizes that the actual “Inner Life” video was not used. And anyway, clearly, the clips in Expelled were based upon, well, what actually HAPPENS inside of a cell. Makes me think that perhaps the Intelligent Designer ought to sue XVIVO for copyright infringement.

    My second reaction to this excerpt is “Oh, you mean the little gizmos that look like the two-legged imperial walkers from Star Wars? Yeah, those things are cool, aren’t they? I wonder how George Lucas “evolved” those walkers without DESIGNING them!!”

    Needless to say, I don’t regard this letter and this threat as anything to take seriously. It looks to me like a naked attempt to damage the film for the damage’s sake.

    For the record, I also don’t take seriously those people who accuse others of immorality of one sort or another if that person doesn’t believe there is any transcendent, source of absolute morality.

  34. 34
    Helio says:

    If this goes to court, the producers will have to show all the necessary steps to produce this 3D animated clip. I assure you this is considerable work, each moving organelle is a separate “character” with its own model. Finally they will have to show a computer archive in its fully animated, but unrendered form. If not…they are in trouble because it will look like they recolored the original.

  35. 35
    jstanley01 says:

    TRoutMac @ 33:

    I double checked, and the “intention” proofreader error is also on the sourced website, ERV. It’s a site run by the same grad-student hack who got her panties in a bunch back in November over Dr. Dembski’s use of the Harvard video.

    What all the weeping and gnashing of teeth on that issue failed to reflect was the copyright laws’ specific Fair Use exemptions for educators. If Dr. Dembski was plagiarist in that instance, so are the good professors PZ, Dawkins, no doubt, along with every first-grade teacher in the country.

    I wonder if illustrators who paint the atom using little comet-like electron fireballs whirling in orbit around a nucleus of clumped-together colored balls have to get permission and pay royalties to someone?

  36. 36

    TroutMac wrote (in #33):

    “For the record, I also don’t take seriously those people who accuse others of immorality of one sort or another if that person doesn’t believe there is any transcendent, source of absolute morality.”

    Neither do I. I’ve been a member of the Ithaca Monthly Meeting of Friends (“Quakers”) for most of my life. I have also spent most of my life studying that branch of philosophy known as “metaethics”. That is, the philosophical inquiry into the underpinnings of moral prescriptions and behavior. I have (as do virtually all of my colleagues) a “transcendent source of absolute morality”, which I not only consult when considering my own actions, but also actively teach to my children and to my students, in both word and deed.

    So who, exactly, were you referring to? Anyone in particular, or just those unnamed individuals that you like to erect for the purposes of burning straw? Just for the record…

  37. 37

    jstanley01 wrote (in #35):

    “What all the weeping and gnashing of teeth on that issue failed to reflect was the copyright laws’ specific Fair Use exemptions for educators. If Dr. Dembski was plagiarist in that instance, so are the good professors PZ, Dawkins, no doubt, along with every first-grade teacher in the country.”

    That is precisely the point. The use of clearly plagiarized video clips in the movie “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed” can in no way be construed as “fair use in an educational setting”. When I last checked, this film is being shown in commercial movie theatres, and the people who want to watch it are required to buy tickets, some of the proceeds from which will be paid to the producers of the film. Some of that money will be made using copyrighted materials that were used without permission.

    As to the motivation for XVIVO to pursue their case, common law on this issue is crystal clear: if individuals whose copyrights have been violated do not pursue all of their legal rights, they lose them. This is why corporate giants like Disney pursue what appear to be extremely minor copyright violations; they don’t want to lose their rights by not defending them.

    Why is this so difficult to understand?

  38. 38
    jstanley01 says:

    Helio @ 34

    It’s easy (not to mention inexpensive) to write a letter. And people can blather all they want online. But if the matter goes to court, the decision will be in the hands of a judge and jury, weighing whatever facts they deem relevant against the Title 17 of the US Code.

  39. 39
    TRoutMac says:

    Allen_MacNeill wrote:

    “I have a “transcendent source of absolute morality”, which I not only consult when considering my own actions, but also actively teach to my children and to my students, in both word and deed.”

    Interesting. Naturally, I’m curious as to what that source of this absolute morality is.

    Allen_MacNeill wrote:

    “So who, exactly, were you referring to? Anyone in particular, or just those unnamed individuals that you like to erect for the purposes of burning straw?”

    I think it’s clear that I was implicating you, because I have seen your posts in other threads and it’s quite clear to me that you are hostile toward Intelligent Design. It would follow, then, that you would likely reject the idea of a transcendent source of absolute moral standards and therefore it would be odd, to say the least, for you to accuse someone else of doing something that was immoral.

    To the extent that I’m wrong, which is always a possibility, and to the extent that you actually do accept that God exists and does provide an absolute, transcendent moral standard, common sense requires that I ask what, exactly, is your beef with the idea of Intelligent Design? Is the God you believe in actually dumb as a box of rocks, or what?

  40. 40
    jstanley01 says:

    Allen_MacNeill @ 37

    The use of clearly plagiarized video clips in the movie “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed” can in no way be construed as “fair use in an educational setting”.

    Reread my posts. I’m not conflateing the two issues. You are.

    Regarding the movie: the term “clearly plagiarized” is nothing more than yours and others’ assertion, and hence, the bone of contention.

    Did you click on my link to PZ’s site @ 31? Hard to tell from stills alone. But it doesn’t look like plagiarism — with a mere “recoloring” — to me.

  41. 41
    nullasalus says:

    TRoutMac,

    “I think it’s clear that I was implicating you, because I have seen your posts in other threads and it’s quite clear to me that you are hostile toward Intelligent Design. It would follow, then, that you would likely reject the idea of a transcendent source of absolute moral standards and therefore it would be odd, to say the least, for you to accuse someone else of doing something that was immoral.”

    As someone who is critical of some of what Professor MacNeill says and argues, I think the idea of ‘If you reject ID you must not believe in anything transcendent’ is not only a mistake, but an argument that should not be made at all. And if he’s just asserted that he does believe in something he expressly calls transcendent, mocking that belief strikes me as (and I’m no admin here, so I hope no one takes this as backseat adminning) out of line.

    There are some, probably many people of legitimate faith who have a problem with what they perceive as ID, Christians and otherwise. ID proponents and TEs alike dislike it when people unwarrantedly dump on our beliefs. We shouldn’t make the same moves, even if we disagree with them on important subjects.

  42. 42
    TRoutMac says:

    nullasalus wrote:

    “I think the idea of ‘If you reject ID you must not believe in anything transcendent’ is not only a mistake, but an argument that should not be made at all.”

    Thank you for your input. I worded my response to the professor carefully, not really being sure just exactly what he believes and why. I am certain that he argues against Intelligent Design, however. And from that I think it’s reasonable to conclude that he believes there is no Intelligent Designer. Obviously, it would be odd to argue against something which you believed was true.

    A good friend of mine claims to believe in God, but rejects Intelligent Design and scoffs at it. This view seems very, very strange to me. It’s like saying that “I believe God is really, really stupid.”

    Leaving aside the fact that the theory of Intelligent Design cannot positively identify the designer as God, it’s clear that many of us who frequent UD have concluded that indeed God is the Intelligent Designer, and also the author or moral laws.

    If there is a transcendent moral standard, then that moral standard must have an author. It’s not logically feasible that there be a transcendent moral standard in the absence of such an author… an author with supreme intelligence, an author with a mind.

    Therefore, I find it difficult to reconcile a view which rejects Intelligent Design, but accepts a transcendent moral standard. If someone can demonstrate for me how the two views are actually compatible, I’s be glad to hear it.

    Thank you.

  43. 43

    […] Thanks to Allen MacNeill for bringing this accusation to our attention. […]

  44. 44
    nullasalus says:

    TRoutMac,

    “Therefore, I find it difficult to reconcile a view which rejects Intelligent Design, but accepts a transcendent moral standard. If someone can demonstrate for me how the two views are actually compatible, I’s be glad to hear it.”

    I’ll offer myself up for this. To me, ID makes a specific claim – that not only is there design present in the universe (I believe that – for me, said designer at the topmost level would be God), but you can verify at least some of this design in a scientific way. Put aside the greater debate about what constitutes ‘scientific’ – if it means ‘we can entirely rule out design or a lack of design where the (insert IC structure here) is concerned’, I’m skeptical. I think questions of penultimate design default the the philosophical arena, and cannot get out.

    I’m welcome to being proven wrong. And personally, I think there are scientific opportunities that will grow out of ID philosophy, in terms of how we investigate nature, how we look at nature sans investigation, and how we create things with the inspiration of nature. All that, plus I’m sympathetic with the general thrust of the ID concept. But technically, I’d probably ‘not believe in ID’, at least as that standards relates to specified complexity estimates.

    Mind you, this explanation is offered for me and me alone, but I give it as an answer anyway.

  45. 45
    TRoutMac says:

    leo stotch wrote:

    “Or uninvolved. Which is the line taken by deists, like myself.”

    Fair enough. But as I’ve observed the threads here at UD, you seem supportive of Intelligent Design. And I take that to mean that, while the god you believe in may be “uninvolved,” he nevertheless did design life, and perhaps the entire universe, and is intelligent. Correct me as needed, of course. My apologies if I’ve mischaracterized you in any way.

    Point is, it’s consistent logically to accept Intelligent Design and believe in a transcendent God, whether in the deist or the Christian mold. But to reject Intelligent Design and yet believe in God and hold to a transcendent moral standard (which requires an author) seems logically inconsistent.

    Thank you.

  46. 46
    StephenB says:

    I think TRoutMac’s argument is a fair one. The idea of a “natural moral law,” observable, real, and detectable is completely consistent with the idea of a natural creative design, observable, real, and detectable. To reject design as real is to reject the natural moral law as real. The universe is either rational or it is not; purpose and morality are either built in to it or they are not.

  47. 47
    Russell says:

    TRoutMac: “It’s not a clip from “Inner Life”, but rather a depiction of the same processes via computer modeling which has a similar appearance, principally because — duh — it depicts the same FACTS!!”

    There’s a massive problem with your claim, because the depiction of kinesin “walking” along a microtubule includes the same MISTAKES! I suspect that an undecided viewer would be far less likely to interpret a more accurate animation as the product of ID.

    Mapmakers have even made deliberate errors to catch plagiarists, and the courts have endorsed this strategy–not that I think that the XVIVO mistakes were deliberate.

    “And anyway, clearly, the clips in Expelled were based upon, well, what actually HAPPENS inside of a cell.”

    No, clearly they were based on copying the misunderstandings of XVIVO about what we INFER happening inside a cell. Have you read any of the amazing biophysical papers describing the mechanism of kinesin motility, TRoutMac? There’s really cool stuff using laser tweezers to measure single-molecule displacements and forces.

    An more accurate literary metaphor for the way these
    “motors” (a metaphorical label) move and hold things in place within a cell is the pushmi-pullyu of Dr. Doolittle, not Sisyphus as suggested by both animations.

  48. 48

    TRoutMac wrote (in #42):

    “If there is a transcendent moral standard, then that moral standard must have an author. It’s not logically feasible that there be a transcendent moral standard in the absence of such an author… an author with supreme intelligence, an author with a mind.”

    This would certainly be news to Emmanuel Kant, John Rawls, john Locke, Jeremy Bentham, and most other ethical philosophers of the last three centuries (not to mention T. H. Huxley and the vast majority of evolutionary biologists), all of whom both profess and try to adhere to a transcendent and absolute moral code (which, BTW, does not necessarily require that such a code be promulgated by the deity of the Judeo-Christian-Muslim-Mormon tradition).

    Or are you asserting that only Christians can be moral?

  49. 49

    TRoutMac also said:

    “A good friend of mine claims to believe in God, but rejects Intelligent Design and scoffs at it. This view seems very, very strange to me. It’s like saying that “I believe God is really, really stupid.”

    Hmm, so an omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, omnibenevolent deity would be incapable of devising and implementing a set of natural laws that would lead to life as it is today without later having to tinker with it repeatedly? Not only does this seem to me to be a contradiction in terms, it also makes the “tinkerer” deity so enamored of so many IDers the deity that is “dumb as rocks”.

  50. 50

    This whole line of argument – that ID necessarily contains within it both an absolute committment to the basic tenets of Judeo-Christian-Muslim_Mormon religion, and that it necessarily has moral implications (which, not surprisingly, lead to “believers” charging all non-believers with being intrinsically and inescapably immoral) – not only violates basic principles of science, it also violates what most IDers would like the general public to believe about ID: that it is not simply another form of crypto-fundamentalist apologetics.

  51. 51

    StephenB wrote (in #47):

    “I think TRoutMac’s argument is a fair one. The idea of a “natural moral law,” observable, real, and detectable is completely consistent with the idea of a natural creative design, observable, real, and detectable. To reject design as real is to reject the natural moral law as real. The universe is either rational or it is not; purpose and morality are either built in to it or they are not.”

    Not only does TroutMac’s argument fly in the face of three centuries of philosophical and religious tradition concerning the source of moral and ethical values, it is wholly in line with the logical fallacy that provided the underpinning of “social darwinism” and all of the evils that are supposed to have flowed from it.

    What both StephenB and TRoutMac assert is that, since nature has tied into it the logical bases for morality, we can “read” our morals directly from nature. People are “moral”, not because they have to reason their way to being such, but simply because morality is “natural”, just like gravity.

    It’s an interesting coincidence that this line of argument has come up, as my summer evolution seminar at Cornell this year will focus on precisely this question. The title of the course this year will be “Evolution and Ethics: Is Morality Natural?” My answer, which I believe is in line with nearly all of western moral and ethical philosophy of the past century, is NO. Morality doesn’t come to us “naturally”: we have to choose to be moral, on the basis of our experience and our moral values, which are not modeled on nature, which (as Alfred Lord Tennyson pointed out), is “red in tooth and claw.”

  52. 52
    TRoutMac says:

    Allen_MacNeill wrote:

    “This would certainly be news to [blah, blah, blah] ethical philosophers of the last three centuries all of whom both profess and try to adhere to a transcendent and absolute moral code.”

    It’s not my fault if that was news to them. Standards need authors. Laws need lawmakers. That’s a no-brainer. If there is a transcendent moral standard, then it needs an author.

    Allen_MacNeill wrote:

    “Or are you asserting that only Christians can be moral?”

    Why on Earth would I assert something so absurd? And why on Earth would you suggest that I might suggest something so absurd? That anyone has the capacity, at least in a relative sense, to adhere to a moral standard (more or less) in no way demonstrates that the moral standard doesn’t need an author.

    Allen_MacNeill wrote:

    “What both StephenB and TRoutMac assert is that, since nature has tied into it the logical bases for morality, we can “read” our morals directly from nature. People are “moral”, not because they have to reason their way to being such, but simply because morality is “natural”, just like gravity.”

    Neither StephenB nor myself said anything REMOTELY akin to the above gibberish.

    What we said is that to believe in a transcendent moral standard and yet REJECT Intelligent Design is logically incoherent.

    How you got from that to that other junk about ‘reading morality in nature’ is beyond me.

  53. 53
    RichardFry says:

    Mr Mac

    If there is a transcendent moral standard

    It seems to me that this concept is bandied about by many but few take the time to examine the details.

    I know you like thought experements. So please indulge me. Imagine that you are locked in a box. You have no memory except of being in the box but can speak english (like all the aliens in startrek!). You are handed an axe and break out of the box – who hands you the axe? Who knows, it’s not important for now. When you break out of the box you see an island and lots of other people breaking out of boxes. You imagine that they all have axes too, and that they have no memory, like you.

    How, in your opinion, does the universes transcendent moral standard become comminicated to this group of people? Are you feeling safe desipte all those axes out there in random peoples hands?

    If there is a transcendent moral standard, then it needs an author.

    It also needs a reader, and it needs to be able to be read to have a reader. What enables access to the transcendent moral standard?

    That anyone has the capacity, at least in a relative sense, to adhere to a moral standard (more or less) in no way demonstrates that the moral standard doesn’t need an author.

    Nor does it demonstrate that it does need an author.

    What we said is that to believe in a transcendent moral standard and yet REJECT Intelligent Design is logically incoherent.

    Why? And why would you need to believe in the TMStandard for it to take effect?

    Perhaps alot of the trouble in the world is that everybody says to each other “I believe in a transcendent moral standard” and everybody nods and says “yes, me too, you are good people” but then when it comes to the crunch it turns out that everybody was working to a slightly different standard and the grand plans all fall.

    There’s been plenty of research into how people react when faced with a moral dilemma

    Recent work shows an important asymmetry in lay intuitions about moral dilemmas.
    Most people think it is permissible to divert a train so that it will kill one innocent person
    instead of five, but most people think that it is not permissible to push a stranger in front
    of a train to save five innocents.

    http://dingo.sbs.arizona.edu/~.....lemmas.pdf

    Mr Mac, why do you think that the TMS allows one and not the other (if that is the indeed effect at play here)? Care to speculate?

  54. 54
    StephenB says:

    For my part, I will be happy to go all the way with this one. A moral law requires a law giver. Yes, I will go with that.

  55. 55
    StephenB says:

    —–Allen: “What both StephenB and TRoutMac assert is that, since nature has tied into it the logical bases for morality, we can “read” our morals directly from nature. People are “moral”, not because they have to reason their way to being such, but simply because morality is “natural”, just like gravity.”

    Allen, Let me fine tune my comment in the context of your response. I submit that we can’t reason our way to morality unless there is someplace to go. If there is no destination (objective natural moral law) then there is no journey to be made. That is why I like your language and your apt use of just the right preposition. We can’t simply reason ABOUT it (subjective [make it up]) we must reason our way TO it (objective [discover it]).

  56. 56
    Stone says:

    “most upright citizens consider theft to be immoral, as well as criminal.”

    Most mature adults wouldn’t be so pretentious as to think morality is that black and white.
    You must not have lived through much…

    “This whole line of argument – that ID necessarily contains within it both an absolute committment to the basic tenets of Judeo-Christian-Muslim_Mormon religion,”

    What a completely meaningless, propagandist load that is.

    The basic tenets of christianity have changed so much by culture and context, that there are NO basic tenets of christianity.

    Infact if you took the time to name some “Fundamental” values I am certain I could name a significant church at some point in time, who has gone the completely opposite direction of said tenet.

    It’s funny you mention mormonism, which at one time condoned incest and christianity, which last time I read the new testament the apostle Paul spoke against.

    Same with muslim families who also engage in incestuous marriages.

    Islamic fundamentalism sure sounds different to me…
    But please continue to enlighten me on how the western churches warped view reflects that of the original middle eastern author’s.

    Especially when the trinity(a fundamental tenet of christianity) was called blasphemous by St. Augustine(who founded many of the fundemental values the modern church follows)

    There are no fundemental tenets, just people who look at the surface and no further.

    I find it highly hypocritical that you would get mad at people attempting to generalize morality, but then act as though it’s ok to generalize anybody who thinks an intelligible force contributed to either life or the system that supports it as a fundamentalist christian.

    We are on the brink of creating the first synthetic microbe, it is not an opinion to state ID is plausible, and it certainly does not require any particular interpretation of the Bible, Quran, tal mud or the book of mormon to see that.

  57. 57
    Stone says:

    “Hmm, so an omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, omnibenevolent deity would be incapable of devising and implementing a set of natural laws that would lead to life as it is today without later having to tinker with it repeatedly?”

    All things that exist within the
    spatio-temporal realm, exist within a natural context even before man attempts to define them. So, I’ll flip it around and ask would an omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, omnibenevolent deity not be capable of using a methodology to create and alter life his simple subjects have yet to comprehend in their incredibly short amount of time here on earth?

    Yeah, you should always think 2 steps ahead when you argue.

  58. 58
    Frost122585 says:

    Someone needs to explain to me how they get video of Meyers, Dawkins and all the Darwinian materialists saying all this stuff. I mean did Ben just go right up to them and say “hi were doing a movie called Expelled (no intelligence allowed) and its about exposing your side for the psychopaths that you are. Just for the movie’s sake can you please give us your side of the argument as blatantly and as vile as you can possibly say it?

    And then they set up the HD cameras?

    From what I have seen that they have captured on tape, this movie is gold.

  59. 59
    RichardFry says:

    From what I have seen that they have captured on tape, this movie is gold.

    Transcendent moral standard are not set by Judges. However neither are they set by scientists. Or filmmakers. Perhaps this gold is becoming ever so slightly tarnished? Could it be a different type of gold altogether even?

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