32 Replies to “Pat Robertson interviews Ben Stein about EXPELLED

  1. 1
    bFast says:

    Its nice to see EXPELLED getting some press. However, so far EXPELLED has been promoted by religious, and quasi-religous media, but not by mainstream media. I want to see Stein on Jay Leno or similar. I really think that EXPELLED needs to find broader promotional channels.

  2. 2
    FtK says:

    How about Jimmy Kimmel Live??

    Will that work for ya?

  3. 3
    Frost122585 says:

    Good interview… if the link above doesn’t work for you ty this one-

    http://video.google.com/videop.....;plindex=2

  4. 4
    Frost122585 says:

    Bill, great job in the interview- both you and Ben were fabulous. I would like to see Berlinski do more videos though- like say on youtube- I really like his iconoclastic style. I have many of his books— infinite assent, Tour of The Calculus, Newton’s gift, and of course in your book Uncommon Descent his great article The Fossil Record and his Q & A to Scott, Dawkins, Dennet and the like.

  5. 5
    Gerry Rzeppa says:

    I think Ben hit the nail on the head when he pointed out that the primary motivation behind materialistic science is to eliminate moral responsibility.

    I wish everyone was as clear regarding the fact that we’re not looking at a mere intellectual disagreement betweeen alternative scientific paradigms. This is a theological war between the outspoken proponents of evil and the more reticent proponents of good.

    Blasphemous bestsellers whose books — in the science section of most bookstores — boldly proclaim that “God is a delusion” and “God is a failed hypothesis”, right on the cover, need to be answered with something a lot plainer and significantly more robust than “intelligent design offers a promising scientific alternative to materialistic theories.”

    It’s time, gentlemen, not to merely level the playing field, but to take the High Ground. David didn’t go against Goliath with sling and stone only, y’know. The victory was won with the words, “I come to thee in the name of the LORD of hosts.”

  6. 6
    Berceuse says:

    “Evolution is probably the most successful and impressive scientific theory of all time,” said Dr. Lawrence Krauss, a physicist at Case Western Reserve. “It has been tested over and over and over again.”

    Really??? REALLY????

  7. 7
    Frost122585 says:

    I hope that Expelled opens up the scientific discussion of the dichotomy between ID and Darwinian evolutionary theory. The political struggle is the ultimate mechanism creating the dichotomy in the first place, and I think that the movie’s aim is to prove that this is the case.

    Darwinian Evolutionists look at ID as being vacuous because it is an inference that has no ultimate means of proof. DE also sees science’s aim as one of relentless and ultimate reductionism. That is, intelligence is to secular Darwinian evolutionists “nothing but the product of various unintelligent material interactions.”

    ID, on the other hand, says that Darwinism is “over confident” and “too crude” to be the one and only theory for origins science to operate under.

    DE is over confident because it claims to explain things that probabilistically it cannot sufficiently explain. Thus, it paints a picture that it does not have a great deal of historical evidence to support. It is crude because it fails to answer the REAL and TRUE questions of origins such as where, when, what, why and how. Also, maybe even “who”- but who and “why” to a large degree are ultimately left for theology.

    What?: Darwinism has no concept of what is guiding the evolutionary process that it stipulates in the first place.

    Where?: Where did the processes and the material come from in the first place, let alone the CSI.

    When?: Can it give us the places and times when changes took place and their connections to the Darwinian mechanisms? Sometimes yes (in laboratory testing about .000007% of the time) most of the time no.

    How?: How can a mutation just appear? Where is the physical mechanism that allows for a mutation ratio that favors the existence of life vs. its destruction and/or the impossibly of life’s origination? How much can it explain? How could it be falsified?

    Why?: Why does evolution happen the way that it does vs. another way? Johannes Kepler’s famous question.

    Darwinian evolution reveals itself to be clueless.

    Darwinism’s evolutionary mechanisms are not even really “mechanisms” in the “physical force” and “organized operational” sense— that say in the sense of when I swing a golf club it- by virtue of my planning my mass energy motion and geometric dynamics- produces the flight of a gold ball.

    Natural selection in isolation is merely “the difference” of “unnamed” and conveniently “ignored” yet “acting forces” and preexisting structures combining and dissipating into constituent parts of matter.

    When natural selection occurs, “nothing within” natural selection has actually occurred because there is nothing there to name, because there is nothing there that is physical and or happened.

    Natural selection is the empty space in between what has died or vanished and what is functionally left. It does not explain the “origin of function/s” and therefore cant legitimize or explain itself and therefore it is by the very nature of its form that it must be incomplete. So why not teach the truth?

    It is not a force or even an object of ANY substance and in this sense “it ironically, completely irradiates the philosophical view of methodological materialism” (after useing it to eradicate design) because it claims that it is capable of purchasing all the complexity in the universe “without requiring any constituent materialistic guidance system, rules, assembly instructions, or even a materialistic first cause.” Without a materilistic first cause and a description of this nature, how can you legitimze or formulate the correct character, depth and range of the theory?

    Natural selection is like saying the reason why I won the lottery is because of the mechanism “everyone else didn’t win it.” Talk about a true vacuous theory. Darwinism in this sense is the ultimate science stopper. It is more of an anti-theory- an “anti-intelligence” concept or operation, that is used to reduce reality into that which exists and that which does not- without explanation of either- and it is in the “negation of inquiry” that Darwinism reveals it’s true mechanism.

    So when you hear people ignorantly repeating the false and obnoxious political mantra —“ one, two, three, four, ID is a science stopper!” you can recognize that the real reason that ID is rejected as a legitimate theory of origins is because Darwinism has been so successful at eliminating the true questions and nature of the study of origins and by virtue of this fact DE is obviously “the one, true and only science stopper promoted in, of course, the poltically hot settings, such as public schools.”

  8. 8
    Peter says:

    I think he could get on Colbert at some point.

  9. 9
    Peter says:

    Maybe even papa bear.

  10. 10
    PannenbergOmega says:

    Here is another interview of Ben Stein by Reformed theologian/philosopher R.C. Sproul.

    http://video.google.com/videop.....0192587449

  11. 11
    DaveScot says:

    Nice suit, Bill.

    You clean up good! 🙂

    Almost every time I’ve broached the subject of intelligent design with people I know no one has heard of it. When I try to describe it I’m more or less met with the same blank stare I’d get if I were trying to describe a TCP/IP protocol stack to them. Not always, but most of the time. People I’m closer to and have more time with at least understand what it is by now.

    Can’t wait for Expelled to come out. I’ve got enough personal favors to call in to get about fifty men, women, and children to go see it on opening weekend. I’ll buy the tickets ahead of time, pass them out, and extract a promise to go see it. If they find the movie worth the cost of admission they can pay me back otherwise thanks for at least making the time to go see it. In any event it’ll at least give them enough knowledge about ID so I can bring up the subject in casual conversation.

  12. 12
    Turner Coates says:

    I think Ben hit the nail on the head when he pointed out that the primary motivation behind materialistic science is to eliminate moral responsibility.

    I cannot get the video to play, and I’m getting no explanatory message. But Ben Stein is not dumb enough to believe the statement you attribute to him, and if he actually made it, then he is spinning. There is no basis for claiming that elimination of moral responsibility was a motivation of the Enlightenment philosophers who insisted on a naturalistic science. (The choice of the word “materialistic” is brazen revisionism. Phillip E. Johnson, the Father of Intelligent Design, had it right when he published The Wedge of Truth: Splitting the Foundations of Naturalism in 2000.) The prevailing Enlightenment view of ethics and morality was that they could be derived by capital-R Reason, not eliminated.

    Even The Wedge Strategy of The Center for the Renewal of Science and Culture indicates that

    [t]he cultural consequences of this triumph of materialism were devastating. Materialists denied the existence of objective moral standards…

    That’s consequences, not motivation. And it happens that I agree entirely with this point. But while my response is to educate people in the limitations of scientific belief, and to get them to understand that science is only one way of knowing — and certainly not the most valuable way — most advocates of ID seek to preserve the lofty status of science and make it square with their One Way convictions.

    I say that mixing the communal beliefs of empirical science with personal beliefs based on faith or apperception is a sure way to make mud.

  13. 13
    Turner Coates says:

    Frost says that

    Darwinism has no concept of what is guiding the evolutionary process that it stipulates in the first place.

    The observation that evolutionary theory has no concept of what guides evolution is vacuous, inasmuch as the theory asserts that nothing is guiding. Instead, natural selection, which Darwin later referred to (more appropriately) as natural preservation, “sorts through” the results of reproduction with variation. The degrees of success of variant offspring in survival and reproduction is largely a matter of necessity, not chance.

    There is no support in the writings of Darwin, including his journals, for the notion that he began by stipulating evolution, and then adduced evidence to his preconception. What is clear is that he pondered myriad observations for decades, and that his theory of evolution was a product of inductive inference.

  14. 14
    Turner Coates says:

    P.S. — To adapt a saying from linguistics, reproduction-with-variation proposes, and natural selection disposes.

  15. 15
    DLH says:

    Turner Coates at 12. How do you view Huxley?

    “Today the god hypothesis has ceased to be scientifically tenable, has lost its explanatory value and is becoming an intellectual and moral burden to our thought. It no longer convinces or comforts, and its abandonment often brings a deep sense of relief. Many people assert that this abandonment of the god hypothesis means the abandonment of all religion and all moral sanctions. This is simply not true. But it does mean, once our relief at jettisoning an outdated piece of ideological furniture is over, that we must construct some thing to take its place.”

    The New Divinity, Julian Huxley

  16. 16
    PannenbergOmega says:

    I strongly recomend everyone (even if you don’t care for RC Sproul) view the Ben Stein-Sproul interview.

    You will enjoy it.

  17. 17
    Gerry Rzeppa says:

    Dear Turner Coates –

    I’m not sure how much of your post represents misunderstanding and how much is real disagreement. Let me try to clear things up a bit.

    You say, “There is no basis for claiming that elimination of moral responsibility was a motivation of the Enlightenment philosophers who insisted on a naturalistic science. (The choice of the word “materialistic” is brazen revisionism…)”

    I don’t think I made that claim, nor did Ben. I’m contending that the naturalistic science (as you call it) of, say, Newton, somewhere along the line became the materialistic science of, say, Dawkins, and that the primary motivation behind this latter “science” is the elimination of moral responsibility.

    You also say, “The prevailing Enlightenment view of ethics and morality was that they could be derived by capital-R Reason, not eliminated.” And you later say, “…science is only one way of knowing — and certainly not the most valuable way.”

    I fully agree with your latter point. Well said. But I argue that in light of this point, the attempt to derive morality by Reason alone is essentially an attempt to eliminate God’s objective morality by letting man, with his limited intellectual resources, sit in judgement upon it. It’s not a good idea for men to pick and choose moral precepts based on their “understanding” of them.

    Finally, you say, “…mixing the communal beliefs of empirical science with personal beliefs based on faith or apperception is a sure way to make mud.”

    I reply, categorically, that there is no such thing as a “communal belief”. All beliefs are personal and are acted upon as such. And the consequences of these personal actions based on one’s personal beliefs — temporal and eternal — are suffered or enjoyed personally, as well. One may be able to statistically summarize the beliefs of a community, but a single individual within that community — in the right place at the right time — can overturn that concensus with a single act of the will. It is, in the end, the individual that matters — both to himself, and others.

  18. 18
    PannenbergOmega says:

    Sunday is Easter. So I thought I would share these materials with you. Many of us (but not all) here at Uncommon Descent consider ourselves to be Christians. I feel this is an issue we need to face, bravely and intelligently.

    A.http://lhvm.gospelcom.net/jesu.....railer.htm
    B.http://jesustombhoax.com/categ.....mb-quotes/
    C.http://www.designinference.com.....b_Math.pdf

  19. 19
    Daniel King says:

    PannenbergOmega,

    I strongly recomend everyone (even if you don’t care for RC Sproul) view the Ben Stein-Sproul interview.

    I’m not going to invest 30 minutes unless you give me a clue as to what’s worth watching in this clip.

  20. 20
    PannenbergOmega says:

    RC Sproul, love him or hate him knows his stuff. The banter between Stein and Sproul is far more educational than the discussion between Stein and Pat Robertson.
    No offense Pat.

    They flesh out the thought stiffiling atmosphere of western academia and convincingly show how Darwinism is most likely wrong, through an exercise in reason.

    You must however, approach it with an open mind.

  21. 21
    ericB says:

    Gerry Rzeppa (17): “All beliefs are personal and are acted upon as such. …”

    Excellent point. I would take it then that you do not disagree with my point that ID proponents are not operating in a ideological vacuum. Each one has an “ideology of their own” to borrow your wording.

    As I mentioned in that post “There is nothing difficult, confusing, or disingenuous about distinguishing between personal ideology and the limits of science itself.”

    So then, if I do not mistake his meaning, I would understand Turner Coates statement to have merit along similar lines:

    Turner Coates: “I say that mixing the communal beliefs of empirical science with personal beliefs based on faith or apperception is a sure way to make mud.”

    At the same time, since an individual’s beliefs and ideology are personal, Gerry, your point about the importance and value of individual action is very well taken.

    I don’t think anyone has failed to notice that Dawkins, et al, are acting on the basis of their personal beliefs. It is mistaken and in error for them to imply that they are doing so as the mouthpiece of science. It would be equally mistaken for ID to commit the equivalent error by claiming that “equations and test tube” science can prove more than it can with regard to God.

    Your legitimate urge toward awareness and action is appropriately understood on the personal level, not at the level of embedding religious positions into definitions of science or of how the scientific method is to be exercised in a just manner, with just weights and true balances.

  22. 22
    ericB says:

    Re: Turner Coates (12), Anyone interested in the roots of the relationship between materialism and the denial of moral responsibility should read

    Moral Darwinism
    How We Became Hedonists

    by Benjamin Wiker
    Foreward by William A. Dembski
    ARN description

    The roots are far deeper than the Enlightenment.

    Regarding your point on “mixing” and also on “the limitations of scientific belief”, please see my reply above to Gerry.

  23. 23
    Turner Coates says:

    DLH (15):

    The notion of scientific tenability of God is ridiculous, in my opinion. What a community of trained observers has to say about the relations among phenomena is irrelevant to the absolute relation to the absolute (is anyone here offended by an allusion to Kierkegaard?).

    But it does mean, once our relief at jettisoning an outdated piece of ideological furniture is over, that we must construct some thing to take its place.

    Nietzsche got to this long before Huxley did, and I think his understanding of the state of Western culture was much deeper. His Zarathustra said not merely that “God is dead,” but “God is dead, and we have killed him.” (To understand this, one must realize that Nietzsche loved the teachings of Jesus, and despised how the church had warped them.) I believe the Enlightenment was the beginning of the end of the god worshiped by the herd. And I believe that many Christians participated haplessly in killing their church-god by hybridizing religious belief with scientific belief. I hope that the ID advocates who seek to syncretize faith and science can see that my opposition is rooted in a conviction that it’s exactly the wrong thing to do to reverse the damage.

    I like to tell people that the teachings of Jesus are in my bones, and that I’m glad nowadays they’re there. But I will say also that the church filled the hollows with cancerous marrow, and it took me a number of years to deal with that. I can empathize with those are repulsed by traditional moral teachings, and feel there is no choice but to start over. As for me, my best efforts to rid myself of the teachings of Jesus failed. Eventually I grew into a new understanding of them, and just recently I am accepting that they are my essence.

  24. 24
    Turner Coates says:

    Gerry (17),

    I don’t think I made that claim, nor did Ben. I’m contending that the naturalistic science (as you call it) of, say, Newton, somewhere along the line became the materialistic science of, say, Dawkins, and that the primary motivation behind this latter “science” is the elimination of moral responsibility.

    We certainly are dating the transition to naturalism in science differently. I don’t think historians of science believe that Newton made the transition to naturalism. He didn’t distinguish between his scientific work and his alchemical investigations as we do. And he may have spent more time on alchemy than science.

    The insistence on naturalism in science definitely originates with Enlightenment philosophers. If memory serves, two of the prominent advocates were in fact atheists, but this doesn’t mean they were trying to eliminate moral responsibility. Of course, practicing scientists do not immediately toe any line drawn by philosophers. I’ve read a claim that the transition from natural philosophy to modern science was complete when Darwinism was widely accepted.

    Dawkins has had things to say about moral responsibility — but Dawkins has utterly no sense of when he’s out of his depth. I can’t identify a single contribution the man has made to my thinking.

    Frankly, I don’t understand why one would focus on Darwinism when talking about elimination of moral responsibility. The smoking cigar (which is sometimes not just a cigar) is Freudian psychology. But I have to say that it was the popularization of Freud’s ideas that did the damage. For Freud, psychological health required that the ego balance the id (animal instinct) and the super-ego (the ethical / moral aspect of personality). Freud did not view his patients moralistically. But he sought to help them develop appropriate regulation of animal impulses according to ethics and morals.

  25. 25
    Turner Coates says:

    Gerry (17):

    the attempt to derive morality by Reason alone is essentially an attempt to eliminate God’s objective morality by letting man, with his limited intellectual resources, sit in judgement upon it.

    Certainly. And all I can say is that there was no “objective” qualifier above.

    All beliefs are personal and are acted upon as such.

    I can easily report what my scientific community believes by consensus, and then tell you what I think my colleagues should believe. Of course, “should” is a matter of what makes for better science. I’d like to say more about maintaining a dialectic of beliefs regarding private experience and beliefs about empirical phenomena, but I’m tuckered.

  26. 26
    Gerry Rzeppa says:

    Dear ericB –

    I think your notion of “science” is significantly thinner than mine, while your esteem for those emaciated remains is significantly more elevated.

    The dictionary on my desk (Webster’s New Collegiate, 1979) defines “science” as: 1. (a) possession of knowledge as distinguished from ignorance or misunderstanding; (b) knowledge attained through study or practice; 2. (a) a department of systematized knowledge as an object of study (eg, the science of theology); (b) something (as a sport or technique) that may be studied or learned like systematized knowledge; (c ) one of the natural sciences; [etc, all the way down to] 4. a system or method purporting to be based on scientific principles.

    I agree with all of those definitions and I use the word freely as such. I think it noteworthy that the editors chose “the science of theology” as one of their example phrases. I also think the presence of the word “purporting” in definition (4) is telling: since there are no facts but perceived facts, it is impossible to eliminate the human element from science and the practice thereof.

    I hold that Theology — the study of God and His Works — is the supreme science, and all of the various specialties are both beneath and in service to it. Outside of their rightful position and separated from that noble end, the lesser sciences quickly become nothing but “the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.”

    Let me also make it clear that any and all kinds of evidence — including those from observation, experiment, reason, authority, and revelation — are ultimately acceptable to science so defined.

    I don’t think we’re going to get very far in this conversation unless you are willing to accept that I am not willing to sever any piece of whole from the rest. The motivations of the scientist are, to me, essential and inseparable components of his studies and should be enumerated up front. I do not believe that the stated motivations of many Intelligent Design proponents, and the actual motivations that sustain them in the thick of battle, are the same.

  27. 27
    PannenbergOmega says:

    David, personally I like Sproul.
    Though it has been my experience that some people don’t particularly care some of his theological views.

    Very intelligent man though.

  28. 28
    mynym says:

    Frankly, I don’t understand why one would focus on Darwinism when talking about elimination of moral responsibility. The smoking cigar (which is sometimes not just a cigar) is Freudian psychology.

    It’s both but it seems to me that history shows that Darwinian reasoning is more corrosive. Note that both allow for rather vague imagery to be cited as evidence and both neglect actual empirical evidence. Freudian reasoning allows one to cite dreams and Darwinian reasoning allows one to imagine things about the past and both build elaborate “explanations” while failing to focus on empirical evidence.

    I’m not sure about your other point, why shouldn’t Christians deal with and focus on empirical evidence? It’s true that they might apparently be proven wrong or try to base their theology on Nature instead of the Word, yet they also might be proven right and may be able to see the Word in Nature and so read part of the Mind of God. For example: “The holy Bible and the phenomena of nature proceed alike from the divine Word.” –Galileo Galilei, Laws of Dynamics, astronomical confirmation of the heliocentric system
    cf. (The Wonder of the World:
    A Journey from
    Modern Science to the Mind of God
    by Roy Abraham Varghese :103)

    It is not as if everyone who views science theologically will be correct, yet it seems that all will certainly be wrong if they believe that they can totally “separate” science and theology because that’s impossible.

  29. 29
    Turner Coates says:

    … they also might be proven right and may be able to see the Word in Nature and so read part of the Mind of God.

    Not to come at you personally, but I object to the suggestion that there’s any need to find evidence of the Word in nature. People tend to misconstrue this and say that if they can’t see empirical evidence, then there’s no value in the Word. I believe that immediate, private, ultimately unspeakable experience of God in one’s own life trumps anything scientists can observe and explain as a group.

    I think the primary motivations for most scientists are to have fun and to feed their egos. Science is much like solving puzzles, and there’s often an element of competition. The solutions may have great utility for humankind, but I’ve never encountered a scientist who had that on his or her mind much of the time.

  30. 30
    ericB says:

    Gerry Rzeppa (26): “The motivations of the scientist are, to me, essential and inseparable components of his studies and should be enumerated up front. I do not believe that the stated motivations of many Intelligent Design proponents, and the actual motivations that sustain them in the thick of battle, are the same.”

    You are confusing motivations for doing science with the axioms within science.

    The error of scientific materialism is that the assumption of materialism is written into science as one of the axioms, one of the rules of the game that may not be questioned. An axiom gets a free ride, never requires evidence, and can never be defeated by evidence.

    This is ideological prejudice and it is wrong. But whether you have scientists state their motivations or not, motivations do not become axioms, nor should they. No one’s motivations should get a free ride, immune from the need for evidence.

    Do you really imagine that each scientist’s motivations are to be written into science itself? That is not realistic. You have not yet presented a coherent proposal, if that is what you intend.

    At times you acknowledge that belief is personal and there is no communal belief. At other times you seem disappointed that the ID movement has not made the kind of statement of communal religious belief that you would want. Which direction are you trying to go?

    The ID movement is about removing from science itself the artificial prohibition against acknowledging evidence of directed causes. It will never be, and can never be, an advocacy for inserting religious axioms into science itself. Belief is personal. So what are you proposing?

    BTW, Just to be clear, after earlier falsely accusing others of equivocating, are you now trying to defend equivocation on the definition of “science” (i.e. interchanging definitions of the term within the course of an argument)? Do you at the same time still accuse others of equivocation as though it were a fault?

  31. 31
    Gerry Rzeppa says:

    Dear ericB,

    I’m sorry, but I’m getting very lost here. I will try to answer the direct questions you pose in (30).

    1. Do I really imagine that each scientist’s motivations are to be written into science itself?

    Yes, I think that is inescapable. I believe that each scientist’s motivations, assumptions, goals, interests, etc, are written into every non-trivial paper every scientist ever writes. In many cases — even when I don’t understand or don’t care about the details of a paper — I can still tell which scientist (or at least what kind of scientist) wrote the paper.

    But I can see we’re in trouble already, because the word “science” in the above question makes me think of the collected knowledge of actual scientists — pieces of their brains, as it were — while I suspect you see “science” as something apart from the individuals who produce it.

    2. Do I acknowledge that belief is personal and there is no communal belief? Yes. Am I disappointed that the ID movement has not made the kind of statement of communal religious belief that I want? No. I’m disappointed that the individual members of the Intelligent Design movement present themselves as more objective than they really are — in fact, as more objective than it is possible to be.

    I’m not interested in men as machines; I’m interested in men as men. Michael Behe is in search of the “edge of evolution”. Fine. My question is, Why? Why does he want to know? And why do I want to know? Because it will be easier for me to understand his technical points if I have that philosophical piece of data in hand before I start reading. After all, it’s not what Michael Behe discovers that’s important — it’s Michael Behe himself that matters. I don’t want to know what Michael Behe knows; I want to know him (which, of course, includes what he knows).

    In my view, any pursuit that requires a man to be less than a man — in thought, word, or deed — is a bad thing. I suspect you disagree.

    3. Which direction am I trying to go? I think I’ve made that clear. In my view, we either start at the top, with Theology — the Study of God and His Works — and make all of our specialties subordinate and in service to that pursuit, or we don’t. And I can’t list all of the alternatives that are included in that “don’t” because the number of wrong answers to any question is infinite. Either we’re trying — with our whole heart, soul, mind, and strength — to know our God better, or we’re simply wrong.

    4. Equivocation and “interchanging defintions of a term within the course of an argument” are two completely different things. The first is a moral fault; the second is a mere mistake.

    I’m a man. I speak like a man. I’m not a calculator that can only process simple terms defined in unambiguous ways — and neither are you. Stop insisting that we speak as if we were two computers communicating via some trivial protocol. When I say, “I don’t think he’s got the balls to drop those bowling balls on that other guy’s balls” you know exactly what I mean — in spite of the fact that I used the term “balls” in three different ways in one sentence. And I didn’t equivocate — or make a mistake — when I did.

  32. 32
    ericB says:

    To Gerry Rzeppa, Your post at 31 was helpful. BTW, I’m not aiming to discourage you personally. Rather, I do believe the value of what you have to say can become hidden by how you convey it.

    Preface: I have been and will be using “science” univocally in the sense used normally by ID proponents, their materialist critics, and at least sometimes by you of “equations and test tubes” science, i.e. the physical/natural sciences, complete with their acknowledged limitations.

    1. Gerry Rzeppa: “Do I really imagine that each scientist’s motivations are to be written into science itself? Yes, I think that is inescapable. … But I can see we’re in trouble already, because the word “science” in the above question makes me think of the collected knowledge of actual scientists …”

    However, “the collected knowledge of actual scientists” includes much more than science could possibly hold, as you also have acknowledged. It is necessarily so, even from your own statements…

    Gerry Rzeppa: “I agree that “you can only go so far [with] a scientific proposition,” and, like you, “I am not bothered by the fact that science cannot take us as far as we should consider going.” I never expected to find God in an equation or a test tube.”

    Consequently, if we should not expect to find God within the limits of “equation and test tube” science, and if we should find God within our motivations, it follows necessarily that we should not expect to find the proper motivations for doing science within science itself.

    This should not be surprising. Motivations are tied to personal beliefs that are outside of science itself. And since they are personal beliefs, that also tells us not to expect to find them inside the shared axioms of science itself. (See my comments in post 30 on motivations vs. the axioms of science itself.)

    Thus, by your own statements, it would be unreasonable to expect to find a scientist’s motivations for doing science within science itself. Science itself is too limited to hold them, as you have acknowledged.

    2. Gerry Rzeppa: “Am I disappointed that the ID movement has not made the kind of statement of communal religious belief that I want? No.”

    I am glad to hear it. Earlier I had the impression (apparently false) that you found some fault with regard to the absence of religious/theological content in the general description of ID (in contrast to scientific materialism) at the top of uncommondescent.com. I guess I misunderstood.

    However that may be, you seem to imply that “the individual members of the Intelligent Design movement” have never expressed their own personal ideological positions or are pretending they have none or that they pretend to be “more objective than it is possible to be.” I pointed out earlier that this was incorrect and linked to documentation. Since I don’t recall seeing you respond to that (or the post following it), perhaps you did not see the post.

    The links I provided were to Principled (not Rhetorical) Reasons Why ID Doesn’t Identify the Designer. Please see (Part 1) and especially (Part 2).

    3. I don’t think the core of what you are saying is unreasonable, if I understand it correctly now. But it becomes clouded and obscured by two problems. Though perhaps unintentionally, your posts sometimes convey disdain, as though these ID advocates don’t realize what they are doing or why. Yet at the same time, I haven’t noticed you acknowledging or showing understanding of the principled reasons why ID advocates make the distinctions they do between science and personal ideology or motivation. Together these give the impression, true or not, that you have just not bothered to first understand what you criticize and disdain.

    Matters are further confused when you use shift interchangeably between different meanings of “science”. This adds to the impressions just mentioned. It would be far more effective for you to translate your points into a consistent use of the language and terminology used by your audience. Consider 1 Cor. 14:7-11. Consider also that the New Testament was written in the common Greek.

    4. “Equivocation is classified as both a formal and informal fallacy. It is the misleading use of a word with more than one meaning (by glossing over which meaning is intended at a particular time).”
    -Wikipedia

    WRT equivocation, your analogy concerning “balls” does not work. In context, it is clear that each use of “balls” is meant to be a different term with a different meaning. No one would suggest that any of those “balls” are referring to the same thing. They are different definitions for clearly separate uses. Furthermore, if someone were talking about one of uses, no one would think of suggesting “your notion of “balls” is significantly thinner than mine” just because they were not talking about some other distinct meaning.

    On the other hand, when you say “I think your notion of “science” is significantly thinner than mine…” or when you respond to statements ID proponents have made about science using one definition with a response that actually supposes a different definition that is not as limited, those are cases of the error of equivocation, whether intentional or not.

    Equi+vocal (many voices, i.e. voicing/applying multiple meanings to the same term) vs. Uni+vocal (voicing/applying a single, consistent meaning to a term).

    Rather than slide between the various meanings of science, it would be better for communication if your response uses terms in a manner consistent with how your audience uses and understands them. Other meanings can be expressed in clearly distinct terms without loss of content. Please see previous point concerning translation.

    Blessings to you.

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