Expelled – Ben Stein’s New Movie Asks Some Dangerous Questions…

“Some of you may lose your friends or even your job because you watched this film”

… Ben Stein on his film “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed”

Where Did Life Come From?

One of the big questions I’ve struggled with is the Darwinian premise that everything made itself out of nothing – with no design, no purpose, no external energy or plan. No god or designer or creator or whatever label you will apply to the external energy that made everything and set the rules.

If Darwin and his followers are correct, the universe, everything, is nothing but an accident of random chance. Perhaps we are all here because mud was struck by lightning.

My reluctance to accept the mud and lightning myth, stems from my reluctance to take the next logical step. When one accepts that we are all an accident, if all is random chance – then humans as a species are nothing special, and individuals are lesser still. We have no innate rights or freedoms except that which we give ourselves – either through agreement, or by the imposition of force.

If there is no “god”, there can be no “right” or “wrong” except what we decide for ourselves as individuals or groups. Who is to say that your morality is wrong and mine is right? Me? You? The group?

And it all stems from that great first question: Where did everything come from?

But according to Mr. Stein, our friends at Cave Hill and academia in general don’t allow certain questions to be asked. Those who ask them are shunned and discredited.

Mr. Stein is correct – certain questions are not allowed…

Can’t wait to see this movie. Check out the long trailer if you have some time. Well worth it.

Expelled – No Intelligence Allowed: Official movie website

Short Movie Trailer #1 – Link Here

Short Movie Trailer #2 – Link Here

Long Movie Trailer – Link Here


Filed under Abortion, Barbados, Religion, Science

155 responses to “Expelled – Ben Stein’s New Movie Asks Some Dangerous Questions…

  1. honepiega

    You certainly have the right to need more knowledge. You know the bible was not written by the hand of god it was written by a friend of a friends friend. Go to the library many scholors have written on this subject.

    Also, most of the crimes are commited by people who believe in god. Some even stand before you in church and read to you from the bible. We all know right from wrong but make choices. You don’t have to believe in God to make the right choices.
    All the wars in the world are because of who believes or not and what you believe. Sounds to me like the god and bible stuff is not working.. May be we do need to make other choices.

  2. kip

    The far Right damns ID more than anyone else. Why is Stein politicizing this? Oh, that’s right, he’s a republican, I forgot.

  3. permres

    I don’t think you have that correct, kip. Bush said he had no problem with ID being taught in schools. The fundamentalist Christians (born again) are creationists, and it is claimed, incorrectly, that ID is an offshoot of that, but it certainly means the far Right (e.g. Seventh Day Adventists are described sociologically as an ultra-conservative Protestant sect) will support ID, not damn it.

    I am looking forward to seeing this film, I think an SDA church might get it first. As a scientist, I think ID has something to offer the discipline of science.

  4. Politics Sholitics

    I too have a problem with wrapping my head around the thought that everything came from nothing by itself.

    There is a whole lot of pretending going on by the scientists who have made it impossible for students to question the religious dogma that is presented in the classroom as real science.

    And yes, I’m talking about the religious position that the theory of evolution is true even though it cannot be observed or replicated. It isn’t science, and it is as much an article of religious faith as those who believe in a creator god.

  5. Krzysztof Skubiszewski

    Is there a God?

    Spouting propaganda worthy of Nazi Germany to prove there is a God, Ben Stein intersperses pictures of Hitler and Death Camp ovens to prove how “we” (the civilised American People?) have progressed since 1939-45.

    Omitting any mention of civilian deaths since then directly caused by the very same people in Vietnam and continuing today in Iraq. (To name but two other Holocausts.)

    There’s another school of thought which Stein completely side-steps.

    The theory submitting Hitler is only one of many, many apparitions proving definitively there can be no loving, merciful God.

    Otherwise how could HE allow Auschwitz, Vietnam, Stalin’s Death Purges, Mao’s Great Leap Forward, Darfur, Cambodia, Iraq and Rwanda? (To name but a handful from many where tens of millions died unnecessarily.)

    Although this theory has nothing at all to do with Darwin and/or science (just plain indisputable, provable facts of inhuman punishment and suffering) perhaps Mr. Stein and his scientist friends can muster an ecclesiastic answer.

  6. RRRicky

    Krzysztof, never mind all the twisting by everyone and all sides, I want to know the answer to the question…

    1/ Is it a scientific fact that everything made itself out of nothing?

    If science can explain that to me, I will listen.

  7. permres

    I am not going to turn this blog into one of those never-ending circular debates which occur on the Internet, Krzysztof Skubiszewski. Just a brief comment, then, on your post.

    The problem of evil, to which you refer, has drawn the attention of theologians for centuries. A recent attempt to address it is Plantinga’s free will defense.

    I do not think “Expelled” is about this, though. It’s about the bullying tactics of mainstream science to control scientific dissent. The link between Darwinism and facism is well known, I think, but the film does not suggest in any way that present-day neo-Darwinists, as they like to be called, are fascists.

  8. Krzysztof Skubiszewski

    RRRicky – If science can explain that everything “didn’t make itself out of nothing” I will listen.

  9. permres

    Krzysztof Skubiszewski, belief in God, also non-belief (atheism), is a choice, because we have free will. Neither can be proved scientifically, for or against, but most of us prefer to choose that there must be a creator.
    Pascal’s wager says that if you believe in God and He does not exist, you lose nothing, but if you do not believe in God and He does exist, you lose everything! Debatable, but interesting.

  10. RRRicky

    Krzysztof, I need money. If I put an empty box on the table and wait, will it appear in the space?

    Does extending the time frame improve the chances for success?

  11. Krzysztof Skubiszewski

    RRRicky – sit next to your empty box outside Cave Shepherd on Broad St. You won’t have to wait so long.

  12. RRRicky

    Oh? So the money won’t make itself? Someone has to put it in the box?

    Maybe I don’t have enough faith in the ability of things to create themselves out of nothing…

  13. xenophobe chick

    permres – so stick to the question which is Darwinism or Creationism?

    (It’s also Condoms or AIDS? Or Abortion or Unwanted Pregnancies? But we’ll save them for another day.)

    I also do not wish to turn this blog into one of those never-ending circular debates which occur on the Internet but by throwing in some spurious link between Darwinism and fascism you make me believe strongly not all of us have evolved at the same speed.

  14. Scientist

    BFP wrote,

    “the Darwinian premise that everything made itself out of nothing”

    “If Darwin and his followers are correct, the universe, everything, is nothing but an accident of random chance. ”

    what complete nonsense.


    you are refuting claims that DO NOT exist in science

  15. Scientist

    If a scientist went around claiming the earth was flat he too would be “shunned and discredited” but i doubt anyone would make a movie about it

  16. RRRicky

    Oh, sorry Scientist. I must have been given a wrong lesson about Darwinism by my science teachers.

    Are you saying that Darwin believed that God (a god) created matter and the universal rules that govern science, but that evolution then took over, perhaps as “god’s” mechanism? (I mean, it would have to be a created mechanism then, wouldn’t it?)

    Maybe I’m confused about Darwinism.

    Could you please explain where life came from then and how it relates to Darwinism?

  17. passin thru

    Careful RRRicky. You’ll be shunned for asking the question! 🙂

  18. Krzysztof Skubiszewski

    Back to Ben Stein.

    He says if God exists Darwin can’t be right.

    But what if Darwin is right?

  19. Scientist

    Sounds like you never been taught evolutionary biology at all.

    Well first there is no such thing in science as “darwinism”

    Evolutionary theory is about descent with modification and explains the diversification of life on earth. It underpins several subjects.

    The evolution of species is factual observed data – the fossil record – the theory is the mechanism of the change.

    the field of abiogenesis is the study of life’s origins, NOT evolutionary biology. A common misuderstanding.

    the field of cosmology is the study of the origins of the universe

    complaining evolutionary biology does not explain where life comes from is like complaining the theory of gravity does not explain electromagnetism.

    all research scientists do is spend their time acquiring new knowledge and trying to prove other scientists wrong.

    a movie like expelled propagates peoples misunderstandings about science (so perfectly exampled by this blog)

  20. RRRicky

    Ok Scientist, thanks for the lesson.

    How does science say that life originated? That the inorganic became the organic?

    And where did all that inorganic stuff come from?

    What does science give as the answers to those two basic questions?

  21. Scientist

    science only has some hypotheses of the origins of life, no theories (in the scientific sense of the word). it is a very challenging area because most if not all of the evidence at the time of life’s origins (a few billion years ago) does not exist anymore

    we do know a lot about how the elements were formed from cosmology in the early days of the universe

    remember science spends its entire time devoted to unanswered questions and there remains very many of them

    the search for truth holds no allegiance to anyone

    expelled is pure propaganda and I am saddened to see BFP taken in by this nonsense

    you can be a christian and a good evolutionary biologist – ask kenneth miller (look him up)


    BFP says,

    Yes, you can be a Christian and an evolutionary biologist… but according to the movie, if you mention the mere possibility of god in your work, you’re history. That is, I think, the point of the movie.

    I haven’t seen it yet. Have you?

    And if you haven’t yet seen it, how can you call it “pure propaganda” and “nonsense” ?

  22. Scientist

    does anyone here really believe that every biological scientist in harvard, yale, oxford, cambridge, london and every great university on this planet is wrong and ben stein understands something better than they do? the brightest minds on the planet ?

    do you really believe there is some global conspiracy
    to suppress scientific knowledge? between every major university on the planet?

    you might as well believe there is a conspiracy against “astrology”

    we are an evolved species, get over it


    bfp says,

    “every biological scientist in harvard, yale, oxford, cambridge, london and every great university on this planet”

    Hmmmmm…. you know a lot of people!

    But you fail to mention the many, including at least one Nobel Prize winner, who don’t agree with you.

  23. Scientist

    I have a theory that storks bring babies

    I think the sex theory is nonsense. I know loads of people who have sex but no baby appears.

    however i am shunned by the scientific elite. i want my theory taught in high school and i dont see any reason why both sides should be taught and let the students make up their minds

  24. scientist

    BFP says,

    But you fail to mention the many, including at least one Nobel Prize winner, who don’t agree with you.


    you dont either, please do

  25. scientist

    I have seen most of it, there has been private screenings

  26. scientist

    now if you believe there are “many” biological scientists who dont accept evolutionary theory you have indeed been fed propaganda

    please write to all the university biology dept I just mentioned and choose the top 100 in the world if you like and see what replies you get.

    you can write the members directly, you will be surprised by the level of response

  27. scientist

    if you dont think it is propaganda, tell me why is there is no one complaining about “quantum theory” or the “theory of relativity”?

    strange that

  28. scientist

    BFP says,

    you mention the mere possibility of god in your work, you’re history


    again talk to ken miller, a great scientist and find out the total nonsense in that claim

    besides you keep forgeting that these ID proponents say you must not call it god

    scientists dont use god in their work because its does not explain anything, scientists look for natural explanations

    why is the sky blue? saying god made it blue, just does not explain anything

    scientists look for answers – rayleigh scattering of light makes the sky appear blue


    BFP says,

    But where did the light and the sky come from?

    And where exactly and when did you see the private screening of the film? Just curious, my friend.

  29. scientist

    bottom line, bfp, what do you want taught in high school science?

    – the same science taught in universities? or

    – some idea without a single published scientific paper to back it up and not taught in any university but makes religious leaders happy

  30. scientist

    But where did the light and the sky come from?


    legitimate scientific questions.

    if i say “god did it” have I explained anything?

    had clips sent to me obtained from the screenings

  31. scientist

    we are moving off topic

    is the central claim of the movie valid? that legitimate scientific knowledge is being suppressed?

    i say total nonsense

    and as clearly seen here, the movie producers spread myths and lies about evolutionary science, that really is disturbing

    I have also seen many ben stein interviews, that is also much of my information about the movie

  32. scientist

    also of course i have read reviews

  33. yatinkiteasy

    Why do people who do not “believe” in God or practice religion at all, suddenly cry out “God Help me” when confronted with a major crisis or life threatening illness?….just wondering.

  34. Pat

    I have had my dentist, a practicing Jew, since 1974. He says I am a mutant. I have never had any wisdom teeth. He says he is seeing more of it in his practice. He says we dont use them, they serve no purpose and eventually no-one will have any. He calls it on-going evolution. I have no beliefs one way or the other, but if I had to choose I would believe him.

  35. permres

    xenophobe chick, the link between Darwinism and facism is well known, I think, it is quite simply, “the survival of the fittest”, and all of us can make it. It may well be spurious, as you say, but the the arguments for and against are readily available on the Internet. They are not as extensive as occur in theodicy (that branch of theology which deals with the problem of evil), but in both cases I think the jury is still out.

    I advise BFP not to let this blog become eristic rather than dialectic, as usually happens with this topic. This is only a film, made for totally commercial and propogandist reasons, but no less worthwhile for seeing it because of that.

    I trust it will not be the neo-Darwinists who get hot under the collar over it, and the rest of us will certainly be entertained and be given cause to ponder, I think.

  36. Krzysztof Skubiszewski

    permres – The link between Darwin (never mind the “ism”) and fascism is not well known.

    Perhaps you could support your claim by quoting someone who actually accepts Darwin’s theories.

    That there are those who see the link and decry Darwin is indisputable.

  37. Krzysztof Skubiszewski

    PS. The smirking avitar isn’t from me. It should be a “close bracket.”

  38. a link between fascism and the teaching of evolutionary biology is pure nonsense

    hitler based his ideas on selective breeding an idea that had been known for centuries before darwin. selective breeding had been used in horses since the 17th century and in dogs even before that. it had also been used in agriculture for many years before darwin

    again we have a misrepresentation – ‘survival of the fittest’ says permres. In evolutionary biology its survival of the fittest for the environment and one of the fascinating discoveries in biology is that darwinian natural selection is not the optimal selection but rather the selection minimally necessary to survive

    since 99% of species that have ever existed are now extinct, darwinian natural selection is hardly a guarantee of survival far less superiority

    very sad how people misrepresent science to support their own agenda and people fall for it

  39. This thread started with the statement ;

    “the Darwinian premise that everything made itself out of nothing”

    a complete falsehood

    no such premise exists in science

    this has been explained hundreds of times to the people behind this movie and other of their ilk but they continue to state it. stein keeps doing it in the interviews

    as a scientist and an educator, few things are more depressing than to see knowledge being caricatured and misrepresented and it being done deliberately not out of ignorance but wilful intent

  40. xenophobe chick

    Back to the opening of this blog.

    “One of the big questions I’ve struggled with is the Darwinian premise that everything made itself out of nothing – with no design, no purpose, no external energy or plan. No god or designer or creator or whatever label you will apply to the external energy that made everything and set the rules.

    “If Darwin and his followers are correct, the universe, everything, is nothing but an accident of random chance. Perhaps we are all here because mud was struck by lightning.”

    To keep me humble I have a screen saver picture taken through the Hubble Telescope of The Sombrero Galaxy which is 50,000 light years across, is 28,000,000 light years from Earth and has 800 billion suns.

    We’re told that’s just one of the millions and millions of galaxies.

    The odds are great that there is life somewhere out there. I wonder if they’re having the same debate about how they (and we) came into being?

    And by whom? Or what?

  41. Krzysztof Skubiszewski

    xenophobe chick – Great post! Sure puts this petty debate into perspective.

    I know nothing about Ben Stein except that he once hosted a shabby TV show but I’d sure like to know how old he thinks the Earth is. (Creationists are convinced between 6,000 and 10,000 years) And if he’s absolutely sure his God reserved all his efforts for only our tiny lump of mud and water.


    There’s a perfectly good reason why Creationism (or ID) should not be taught in schools.

    Anyone polluting our children’s minds by claiming that God created the Earth around 6,000 years ago should be banned from teaching forever.

    And forced to write a thousand times “400 million year-old fossils of harvestmen arachnids (Opiliones) have been found by palaeontologists in an ancient rock at Rhynie near Aberdeen in Scotland.” (The New Scientist – 20 September 2003.)

  43. scientist

    you can teach whatever you like about god , just dont do it in a science class


    BFP says,

    Thank you, Scientist, for confirming the point made by the movie.

  44. scientist

    unless you have evidence to back up your claim, then its science

  45. scientist

    BFP says,

    Thank you, Scientist, for confirming the point made by the movie.


    No BFP you have it wrong

    the supernatural is not taught in science class and no one is saying it should be

    this movie is trying to make you believe that legit science is being suppressed. not even they would tell you that god should be taught in a science class

    this movie is trying to make you believe that teaching evolutionary biology leads to fascism and even worse the holocaust

    science is based on evidence.

    are you saying that science classes should include information that has no evidence? that has no backing in published scientific journals

  46. scientist

    the US constitution disallows the teaching about god in science class

    sorry bfp, try again, I have confirmed no such point about the movie

  47. akabozik

    We’ve seen a lot of talk from Scientist, but nothing about how random chance could produce something as complex as an eyeball. One part missing and it doesn’t work so it doesn’t seem to be much of a candidate for spontaneous appearance in the evolutionary chain.

    They say that mathematicians are highly skeptical of trans-species evolution because the odds are impossible.

    As to Scientist’s claims about the fossil record I have yet to see a clear transitional species fossil out of the millions and millions that have been collected.

    I’m not saying I believe in an overnight “poof” creation, but there are so many valid questions out there that Scientist must ignore.

  48. the same misrepresentations repeated over and over and over again ;

    “We’ve seen a lot of talk from Scientist, but nothing about how random chance could produce something as complex as an eyeball.”

    please see the post above which i repeat below


    “If Darwin and his followers are correct, the universe, everything, is nothing but an accident of random chance. ”

    what complete nonsense.



    evolutionary biology does not claim the eye or any other organ for that matter came about by random chance

  49. “As to Scientist’s claims about the fossil record I have yet to see a clear transitional species fossil out of the millions and millions that have been collected.”


    every fossil is a transitional fossil of some kind

    a really spectacular one was found in April 2006 a key transitional fossil between species living in the sea and species living on the land

    it always amazes me that people will write like aka about evolutionary biology (are you a biologist?) but i dont hear you complaining about the evidence for quantum theory?

  50. scientist

    people like aka ignore a much more important point

    of the “millions” of fossils found forming the basis of the evolutionary data it would take ONE fossil, just ONE, out of place to falsify the theory of evolution

    no such fossil has been found (as yet)

    are scientists looking for it? you bet ! Find that and your name is destined for immortality like newton or darwin

  51. scientist

    a post seems to be missing


    BFP says,

    Hello Scientist,

    Robert here (different moderator now)

    Please read the tab at the top re comment moderation.


  52. “We’ve seen a lot of talk from Scientist, but nothing about how random chance could produce something as complex as an eyeball.”


    evolutionary biology makes no such claim that the eyeball or any other organ arises by random chance

    so I cant really explain the claim because no scientist i know has made it

  53. bfp, i redid a smaller version

  54. Citizen First

    Here we go again. Another attempt to discredit the institution of science because it does not validate religious viewpoints. God is not understood by the methods of science. He is not the subject of scientific enquiry because the concept of God is not falsifiable. Intelligent design is a religious theory and does not belong in the arenas of science.

    I recommend the following:

    Akabozik wrote that “there are so many valid questions out there that Scientist (sic) must ignore”. His/Her post actually indicates that there are scientists who have raised questions on aspects of evolution which thus contradicts the quoted statement.

    I suggest the possibility that intelligent design is a political tactic being used by those who wish to gain control over Western countries. This is ironically in response to the rise of Islam and others who are challenging the dominance of the West.

  55. Straight talk


    For an evolutionist’s explanation of the origins of the eyeball check out Oxford professor, Richard Dawkin’s video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rUOpaFVgKPw

    It baffled Darwin, but as with this example we can see that even evolutionary theory is evolving.

  56. RRRicky

    Straight Talk, I watched it and it was interesting. Still Harry Potter stuff and little science though. The professor has great faith in his scientific theories.

    His faith is the key that holds his “Mount Improbable” theory together, for their is very little science and much imagination in his talk.

  57. RRRicky

    You might try this YouTube video…

  58. permres

    Since we are into giving links, anyone interested in the other side of this story might try:


    Yes, I know it is from Access Research Network, a pro-ID site, but that is the whole point. All scientists should look at all of the evidence, no matter where it comes from.

    BTW, there are already many creationists (even young earth ones) teaching in our schools, and excellent teachers they are, too.

  59. PiedPiper

    Citizen First said: I suggest the possibility that intelligent design is a political tactic being used by those who wish to gain control over Western countries. This is ironically in response to the rise of Islam and others who are challenging the dominance of the West.

    ID is an invention of the right wing religious fundementalist movement in the U.S. These people scare the shi** out of me!

  60. Krzysztof Skubiszewski

    Meanwhile – back to Ben Stein’s movie.

    Here’s a review from Slant Magazine where you’re always more likely to get an honest opinion than most other movie reviewers.

    Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed
    by Nick Schager
    Posted: April 16, 2008

    or a film about American freedom of expression and the necessity for open dialogue, it’s hard to imagine Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed being more one-sided, narrow-minded, and intellectually dishonest. Co-written by and starring actor and former Nixon speechwriter Ben Stein, this “documentary” investigation into the debate between evolution and intelligent design is bald-faced PR rubbish pitifully masquerading as a plea for rational discourse.

    Such fraudulence is epitomized by Stein casting the proceedings as an authentic investigation into the contentious topic, a pretense exposed as a sham by his biased, manipulative use of language and aesthetic juxtapositions.

    According to Stein, mainstream establishment scientists are “evolution’s top apologists,” intelligent designers must fear “the Darwinists’ wrath,” a scientist who wants to make money in his field must “be a good comrade” (a comment accompanied by archival images of Soviet soldiers), and—in a feeble attempt to flip things on their head by positing evolution, and not intelligent design, as a concept rooted in faith—it’s “the Darwinian gospel” against which a brave group of outcast intelligent design devotees must struggle.

    Expelled commences by positioning academic intelligent design advocates as minority victims of the reigning scientific community, whose oppressive intolerance for those who question the status quo is likened to the Berlin Wall, Stalin, and Khrushchev, while Darwinism is equated with—in this order—racism, atheism, and Nazism.

    After visiting one of the Holocaust’s death chambers in order to clearly link Darwinian theory to Hitler’s final solution, Stein then says that he’s not, in reality, equating the two issues, a preposterously bogus statement whose equivalent is a kid prefacing an insult with “No offense, but…” Not content with those guilt-by-association criticisms, America’s history with eugenics and the related origins of Planned Parenthood also pop up as evidence of evolutionary theory’s awfulness.

    Throughout, Stein erects a pose of impartial inquiry by asking “tough” questions, though the smarty-pants smirk that’s detectable behind his serious countenance is hard to miss, as is the fact that, despite eagerly accepting intelligent designers’ claims that this isn’t a “religious” issue, the film refutes said stance by working overtime to prove that evolutionists are—cue grave music and ominous shadows!—godless.

    Court actions against intelligent design curriculums are dismissed via a movie clip of a judge making funny faces and twirling his gavel, and the scientific community’s supposed fear of scrutinizing Darwinism is explained via the sight of Dorothy pulling the curtain back on the Wizard of Oz. It’s proselytizing Morgan Spurlock-style, replete with a childish animated cartoon and CGI sequence of a cell’s inner workings.

    To their film’s catastrophic detriment, Stein and director Nathan Frankowski fail to provide concrete examples of the flaws in Darwin’s theory, content instead to simply have speakers (many with impressive credentials) state that it’s problematic and then treat such unsupported statements as verifiable truth. Nor, ultimately, do they examine the obvious and crucial religious underpinnings of the “intelligent design movement,” whose onscreen adherents deliberately refuse to speculate on the source of this creative “intelligence” because their opinion on the identity of this fundamental biological architect—God—would conclusively reveal Expelled as propaganda for a Christian-right movement whose own champion, Ronald Reagan, Stein ultimately depicts as his spiritual counterpart.


  61. Nevermind pretzels


    Stein asks a simple question: What if the universe began with an intelligent designer, a designer named God? He assembles a stable of academics — experts all — who dared to question Darwinist assumptions and found themselves “expelled” from intellectual discourse as a result. They include evolutionary biologist Richard Sternberg (sandbagged at the Smithsonian), biology professor Caroline Crocker (drummed out of George Mason University), and astrophysicist Guillermo Gonzalez (blackballed at Iowa State

    That’s disturbing enough, but what Stein does next is truly shocking. He allows the principal advocates of Darwinism to speak their minds. These are experts with national reputations, regular welcomed guests on network television and the like. But the public knows them only by their careful seven-second soundbites. Stein engages them in conversation. They speak their minds. They become sputtering ranters, openly championing their sheer hatred of religion.

    PC liberalism has showered accolades on atheist author Richard Dawkins’ best-selling book “The God Delusion.” But when Stein suggests to Dawkins that he’s been critical of the Old Testament God, Dawkins protests — not that Stein is wrong, but that he’s being too mild. He then reads from this jaw-dropping paragraph of his book:

    “The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.”

    Dawkins has a website. Its slogan is “A clear-thinking oasis.”

    It’s understood that God had nothing to do with the origins of life on Earth. What, then, is the alternate explanation? Stein asks these experts, and their very serious answers are priceless. One theorizes that life began somehow on the backs of crystals. Another states electric sparks from a lightning storm created organic matter (out of nothing). Another declares that life was brought to Earth by aliens. Anything but God.

    The most controversial part of the film follows Stein to the Dachau concentration camp, underlining how Darwin’s theories of natural selection led to the eugenics movement, embraced by Adolf Hitler. If there is no God, but only a planetary lab waiting for scientists to perfect the human race, where can Darwinism lead? Stein insists that he isn’t accusing today’s Darwinists of Nazism. He points out, however, that Hitler’s mad science was inspired by Darwinism.

    Now that the film is complete, the evolutionist prophets featured in the film are on the warpath inveighing against it, and the alleged idiots who would lower themselves to watching it. Richard Dawkins laments how the film will solicit “cheap laughs that could only be raised in an audience of scientific ignoramuses.” Minnesota professor and blogger P.Z. Myers predicts the movie is “going to appeal strongly to the religious, the paranoid, the conspiracy theorists, and the ignorant —- which means they’re going to draw in about 90 percent of the American market.” Myers and Dawkins now both complain they were “duped” into appearing in the movie (for pay).

    Everyone should take the opportunity to see “Expelled” — if nothing else, as a bracing antidote to the atheism-friendly culture of PC liberalism. But it’s far more than that. It’s a spotlight on the arrogance of this movement and its leaders, a spotlight on the choking intolerance of academia, and a spotlight on the ignorance of so many who say so much, yet know so very little.

  62. Krzysztof Skubiszewski

    How tiresome – one after another relating Hitler to Darwin.

    Then who led the God-fearing (whatever that means) Bush to approve and admit to torture?

    From today’s New York Times – “…we have learned recently, is that — with President Bush’s clear knowledge and support — some of the very highest officials in the land not only approved the abuse of prisoners, but participated in the detailed planning of harsh interrogations and helped to create a legal structure to shield from justice those who followed the orders.”

    “Mr. Bush told ABC News this month that he knew of these meetings and approved of the result.”

    And don’t pull the Darwin excuse. Bush doesn’t believe in evolution.


  63. So Long

    I hate God people. They are so full of themselves. They bore.

  64. So Long

    I wonder if one of the share holders at BFP is due a commission for advertising this nonsense production in such a clever way. (anyone remembers the The Blair Witch Project?)

  65. nonsense

    Enough. Darwinism does not deny the existence of God, it merely demonstrates how livings things naturally evolve. The ‘fight’ between Darwinism and religion is no such thing. It’s being primarily driven by people who can’t seem to accept that God does not necessarily need to tinker continuously with the world in order to exist. And that’s what really, really irritates me. I believe in God and yet I can still believe in Darwinism. Amazing isn’t it. I just don’t happen to believe that some non-theory touted mainly by creationists is rigorous from either a scientific or religious viewpoint. And don’t even get me started on linking Darwinism to Eugenics and Facism. It’s a little bit like me saying that “all religion leads inevitably to killing other people as per the crusades and 9/11”. Simply daft. BFP, you’re by entitled to your views but ID is fairly silly whichever way you look at it.

  66. iWatchya


    I am a hobbyist researcher and have yet to find hard evidence for inter-specie evolution.

    If I am correct the main hypothetical proposition is that each animal / plant evolved from another specie in a hierarchal relationship.

    Can the current scientific evidence really support this theory? It seems to point to the well observed fact of environmentally driven adaptation within each specie.

    Please, if you have come across such evidence, place a link here so I can do my own research.

    PS: I believe that what the religious hard liners have a problem with is the teaching of evolutionary theory as a pure science in the classroom. It is still a theory and needs to be taught as such.

  67. So Long

    Name one respectable scientist who has claimed that he/she is “absolutely” 100% sure about anything other than for the obvious like the fact that we will all at some time die. Aren’t you glad that there are people out there who continue to seek real answers because they just do not accept emotionalism?

  68. good discussion

    excellent discussions

    isn’t this what a real press is suppose to do?

    discuss, investigate and expose ideas

  69. scientist


    “It is still a theory and needs to be taught as such.”

    you may be a hobby researcher but you dont know the meaning of the word “theory” in the scientific arena. Have you had scientific training? should gravity be taught “as a theory” and how exactly would that vary from how it is being taught now.

    “Can the current scientific evidence really support this theory?”

    Ever heard of DNA evidence?

    a website? try talkorigins.org

  70. wonder why there are no European scientists being “suppressed”

  71. Permres says ;

    “All scientists should look at all of the evidence, no matter where it comes from.”

    ok ask yourself honestly, who is ignoring the evidence, the worlds biology departments or this group of ID people who have never a published any evidence of their own and just simply ignore all other evidence

  72. Citizen First

    As I understand the issues, evolution is a fact. Even creationists talk about micro-evolution and try to distiguish this from what they term macro-evolution. That said, it is the mechanism of evolution about which there are many competing views and arguments in the scientific community. Scientists are therefore working at trying to unearth and understand the mechanisms by which evolution occurs. Intelligent Design/Creationism does not provide any useful approach (vis-a-vis the scientific method) to this task. Acceptance of such a proposition (i.e ID) is to implicitly declare that there is no need for science. We only need “revealed truth”. Any rational person should be able to forsee the many pitfalls, arguments and yes, abuses (the trial of Galileo comes to mind) that result from such an approach.

    I conclude that anyone who attempts to combine science and religion is unworthy of serious consideration in EITHER field – theology or science.

  73. permres

    I wasn’t picking sides, scientist, of course IDers should look at the evidence for evolution by descent as well as for evolution by design. There is, of course, a lot more of it (evidence for descent), so it should keep them pretty busy.

    It is not convincing evidence though, is it, otherwise we wouldn’t be bothering to look for alternatives to neo-Darwinism? I think those who are convinced by it are so, more on faith than reason.

  74. permres says;

    “It is not convincing evidence though, is it, otherwise we wouldn’t be bothering to look for alternatives to neo-Darwinism?”

    I doubt there is a single biological dept of any significant university anywhere in the world that would agree the evidence “is not convincing”

    Its not much easier for me to explain the evidence for evolutionary theory than say the evidence for relativity.

    My best try would be DNA. The greatest test of a scientific theory is its ability to predict. When DNA was eventually unravelled, the findings were exactly as predicted by evolutionary theory. The closer a species is on the evolutionary tree, the closer the match of DNA

    Every time a transitional fossil is found and found in the right time period it is again a further example of the predictive power. just one fossil out of place would turn the theory on its head.

    Scientists are not so much looking for alternatives for current evolutionary theory as they are looking to improve their understanding. In trying to refine the theory more. Evolutionary theory has come a long long way in the 150 years since darwin and no doubt we will continue to refine it further.

    You also added ;

    “I think those who are convinced by it are so, more on faith than reason.”


    not the overwhelming evidence? you dont think that plays a role?

    You think the thousands of scientists working in different fields that evolution is part of the core, really are working on faith?

    scientists avoiding reason? hundreds of them? at all the best universities?

    if you believe that you really have bought the propaganda.

    are their any other scientific theories held on faith? without reason or evidence?

  75. thanks, nonsense, for a wonderful post

  76. good post too citizen first,

    if i may clarify,

    evolutionary data is a fact. the theory of evolution is used to explain the observed evolutionary data (fossils, genetic information, DNA etc etc)

    scientists consistently work on the theory of evolution to refine it and improve our understanding of how and why life evolved it way it did. It is a wonderful subject of discovery.

    In science, theories are “higher” than facts, theories explain facts. A theory never aspires to or never becomes a fact.

    Theories are fact are different things, one does not become the other.

    There will never be the “fact” of gravity. It will always be the theory which explains the facts we observe

    Unfortunately in common language we use the word theory much differently than in the scientific arena

    The propagandists behind this movie exploit this misunderstanding. They also spread lies about evolutionary theory (random chance and that nonsense). The constantly like to tie evolutionary theory with life origins which is another subject altogether. They do this to confuse and mislead

    It is time for me to go back to work.

    I am heartened to find some of the posts here but I am saddened to see people fall for the propaganda.

    Ask yourself, do universities suppress knowledge?

  77. typo correction

    Theories AND facts are different things, one does not become the other.

  78. permres

    scientist, why are you so energetic to post? Even to the point of making typo’s? This discussion is a calm, considered, and hopefully constructive dialogue. Dialectic rather than eristic.

    Read the mainstream media responses to “Expelled”, and then read the alternative views on the pro-ID sites such as ARN. Why are the neo-Darwinists so aggressive? Are they frightened, or are all of us believers in God criminally insane, as Richard Dawkins suggests as we corrupt our children? God bless.

  79. Natural Mystic

    I agree with ‘Nonsense’.

  80. nonsense

    Permres, Here we go again linking Darwinism to being an aetheist. It’s not mutually exclusive to believe in God and evolution all at them same time. It really isn’t. I may have had to look up eristic but that doesn’t mean that you’re right. Darwinists tend to be agressive because the alternative being put forward has not a shred of evidence to support it. Not a thing. Darwinism has some gaps but it also has solid, scientific backing as a theory. ID does not. Pure and simple. It’s become a “faith” vs. “science” debate where the only people really putting ID forward are a lunatic fringe. I resent the general implication that anyone who believes in evolution is not religious. I’m not some creationist nutter but I believe in God. And evolution. Bizarre isn’t it ?

  81. permres, we are frightened, very frightened

  82. permres

    Richard Dawkins needs to come to Barbados and see for himself that the children of Seventh Day Adventists are the least prone to corruption, drugs, and aggressive lifestyles. Dawkins claims believers are corrupting their children. He acknowledges he is not a good politician. Like Anthony Flew, he may well become a believer before he dies.

    I am sure you are not frightened by the demise of civilised society which we see all around us. You may be pleased to know that God is not a punishing God, just accept Jesus into your heart and all your sins will be forgiven.

  83. permres

    Here is a criticism of the review in the New York Times:


    BFP, I will not be keeping this up, I promise! Intelligent readers will now know that there are two sides to this story, and they will be able to find out for themselves. Better still, go to see the film when it is made available here in Barbados so that we can make up our own minds about it (the film).

  84. Just saw Expelled, it would seem that Ben Stein designed his movie to promote dangerously-free thought, especially more thinking about motivations that drive American academia and a lot of other behind-the-scenes worldview that we tend to take for granted.

  85. Rumplestilskin

    You know, I respect all of your posts and ideas, but to me what I would take as a tongue-in-cheek post by scientist i.e. his reference to the stork and persons having sex but no babies, says it all!

    The ONE factor that everyone seems to have missed or refuses to acknowledge, but said factor is critical to anything that we consider, is that we can only identify, assess and conclude on the basis and within the parameters of our OWN KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING, whether in of itself or by choice!

    Hence, what we either do not yet know, or cannot comprehend or indeed will not comprehend or choose to understand, is in of itself a barrier to understanding!

    Which thus makes any of our theories just that.

    Theories, NOT fact!

    Unless you define fact as only that which you can conclude on, within your own parameters of understanding?!

    That may be a ‘comforting’ way forward, but only just that!


  86. Citizen First

    Rumplestilskin, I suggest that one should keep things simple (as good scientists do) and avoid epistemological sandtraps.

    Within the world of trained scientists and mathematicians, the words “fact”, “theory” and “hypothesis” have very definite meanings and on which there is consensus.

    A fact is an observation which is irrefutable (or as the more rigorous would say – has not yet been refuted).

    A theory is an explanation of the observations. It explains the existing observations and predicts new ones. In science, theories are constantly challenged, modified and even thrown out on the basis of new observations and data.

    A hypothesis is a working assumption. It is being tested/evaluated to determine its validity.

    Your comments echo those of that ‘great scientist’ Ronald Reagan who said pretty much the same thing in reference to the evolution of species.

  87. Rumplestilskin


    So, within your second paragraph, you confirm my point in mentioning ‘trained’ scientists and ‘on which there is ‘consensus’.

    Both of these references inherently represent defined parameters, thus what you have already done is set parameters that suit your own hypothesis, thus making such self-fulfilling.

    You say that there is ‘consensus’? Again, a parameter making things ‘comfortable’.

    Why keep things simple? Nothing is, particularly the topic discussed here.

    To avoid the greater issue in order to win little ‘battles’ makes no sense whatsoever.

    Why mention Ronald Reagan? In an effort to avoid the point that I have raised you are attempting to deflect same with an irrelevance.

    What is relevant is that current knowledge AND choices of belief in of themselves establish a framework of making assessments that are ‘comfortable’ only, without any real underlying validity, apart from in one’s own mind.

    I do not echo anyone’s statements, but merely state the ONLY truth and FACT here i.e. that no one here or anywhere else in the world can state ‘reality’ or ‘fact’ as an absolute.

    I am glad that within the realms of ‘traditional science’ these parameters are admitted to, as the conclusions reached can only be within such parameters and ultimately cannot be in any way absolute, thus it is good that these are recognised as such.

    Any scientist of any worth who wishes to breach traditional boundaries must have a truly open mind, without laying parameters.

    Why avoid reality? There is no harm in investigating, nor in hypothesising, but never state something as fact, which ultimtely cannot be determined.

    That is my issue with many persons who vent theories, whether ‘atheists’ or ‘scientists’. Such theories are usually vented as absolutes, which is inherently ridiculous.

    Ultimately, any such expressions are and can only be opinions.

  88. rohan

    Theory in the scientific world:

    You’re driving down a highway and see a mangled car at the side of the road. You’ll probably say “that must have been a terrible car accident, I hope everyone is okay”.

    A scientist on the other hand will examine the car, look at the scatter of windshield fragments, measure the skid marks, search for engine fluids etc. before proposing their THEORY that there was indeed a car accident. They then publish all their evidence for the world to examine, critique, and break apart. Only after all this scrutiny does this theory become generally accepted.

    Compare this never-ending search for the truth (always evolving and improving) with theories proposed by a bunch of sheep herders 2000 years ago who thought the earth was flat, was about 3,000 years old, and that slavery was okay (yup, read your bible). Folks who think we descended from two people about 5,000 years ago. STuff that we know is FACTUALLY incorrect.

    Believe what you will, but to think that this stuff can stand up to the actual scientific method is laughable.

    We now have science people, this is no longer the middle ages. The blindfolds are off now, if you choose to keep your eyes closed, that’s up to you.


    BFP says,

    But we have recently discovered that the speed of light is increasing. What does that mean in terms of assuming that the rate of radioactive decay has remained constant?

    Or… do you have any idea what I’m talking about and why it matters?

  89. Citizen First


    The Reagan reference was not an effort to avoid the point that you have raised nor to attempt to deflect same with an irrelevance but to assert that very similar words were used by him about the same subject i.e “Evolution is only a theory.”

    Just to put my cards on the table, I do not believe the issue of this thread to be simply about evolution per se but really to be more epistemological in nature i.e the scientific method versus revealed truth and their respective modes of application.

    I must admit that after reading and re-reading your posts, I have to wonder if you are proposing your own very personal and esoteric framework of enquiry and analysis. Scientists by way of the scientific method seek to provide explanations and to advance knowledge about the observable universe in commonly accepted terms and constructs. How else could we have dialogue, conjecture and refutation by different individuals which facilitates progress? Otherwise one could and would dismiss (or accept) viewpoints simply on caprice.

    It is true that nothing is known with 100% certainty (except a mathematical proof) but what would it serve to question say if you or I really exist? Our minds cannot be so open that they fall out!

    And so on to your final comment – “… with many persons who vent theories, whether ‘atheists’ or ’scientists’. Such theories are usually vented as absolutes, which is inherently ridiculous” – I strongly disagree that this characterises any scientist of good repute (atheists will have to speak for themselves). As you pointed out scientific theories are established with stated limitations and as I have pointed out theories are constantly reviewed, modified and even dismissed. This is hardly the venting as absolutes even Einstein’s General Theory is being questioned and the idea of multiple universes is getting a second look. However, I observe that the tendency to speak of absolutes is often that of fanatically religious persons.

  90. Citizen First

    I have heard of Faster than Light travel and communication. Also some scientists in Europe have reported being able to slow down and speed up the speed of light in fibre optics. However I have not read of light increasing its speed. Please provide more information.


    BFP says,

    Hi CF,

    Actually, there are differing claims about the natural speed of light. Some say it is slowing, some say increasing. Lots on google and wiki if you’re interested.

    What does it matter? It is a big deal IF you are a scientist attempting to establish scientific theories. If, as most do, a scientist assumes that the speed of light is a non-variable – a constant – since the beginning, that leads to a whole different outcome than if the speed of light has been changing.

    Same goes for the rate of radiometric decay upon which the technology that dates fossils is built around. If that radiometric decay has not been constant since day one… well, the whole thing becomes a farce.

    Consider this…

    The sun is shrinking. It has been measured as shrinking for about a thousand years and accurately measured for about the last 100 years or so.

    Suppose we assume that the rate of the shrinkage has been a constant throughout all time?

    If we do that, we find that only 20,000 years or so ago, the earth’s orbit would have been within the sun’s surface! Which… obviously it was not.

    So we know that the rate at which the sun is shrinking has not been a constant – but only because we have an external reference that disproves the assumption.

    For the rate of radiometric decay though, we have no such external reference to calibrate or disprove our assumption that the rate of radiometric decay has been a constant since forever.

    We assume it has been… but it begs the question… Why the hell should it have been constant? Especially when it looks like the speed of light is not constant.

    Yet we base vast areas of our scientific beliefs upon that one assumption of radiometric decay.

    Fascinating stuff, neh?

  91. Citizen First

    You want to keep me up all night ….lol. Will do some research. If these things turn out to be true (through observation and experimentation along with stochastic modelling) scientists will be only too happy to revise their theories (the General Theory does accomodate velocity faster than the speed of light however). There are no sacred cows and that is the point.

  92. Rumplestilskin

    Ciizen First.

    Okay, I get where you are coming from.

    I have no problem with proposals as you reference for ‘scientists’ as long as you note that ‘nothing is sacred’.

    But it is indeed dogmatism that puts me off many a ‘position’.


  93. Citizen First


    Ah, let there be peace.

    btw what do you think about my proposal re the Hudson Medal? (see About us and submissions)

  94. permres

    As much as I understand it, BFP, you are putting forward some of the Young Earth Creationists’ ideas, along with a world wide flood (from waters beneath the earth’s surface) and rejection of plate tectonics. All interesting from a scientific point of view, I think, but still at the level of hypotheses, rather than theories. That is, they need lots more of experimental evidence and observations, although they already make use of the fossil record to support their hypotheses.

    Paul Feyerabend was the “enfant terrible” of the philosophy of science, upsetting many mainstream philosophers and scientists. His ideas are beginning to be looked at again. As a well respected, though radical, Roman Catholic theologian says, ” …some arguments of … the enfant terrible of critical rationalism – are worth considering even if it is impossible to share his anarchical attitude to method – anything goes” (Hans Kung, “Doe God Exist?”).


    BFP says,

    We never said a thing about plate tectonics, a flood or young earth.

    Not a damn thing.

    Where do you get that? We merely point out that those who stand so surely quoting science are often wrong and most often refuse to admit that much of what they believe is predicated on assumptions of which the speed of light and the rate of radiometric decay being constant are only two.

    Now, with a knowing glint in our eye let’s pose another question and see where it will take us…

    At the beginning of the twentieth century there was a worldwide shortage of ivory caused primarily by the fact that pianos were everywhere as entertainment devices. Where homes today have a television, the homes of 1901 had a piano. The combination of modern manufacturing methods and the invention of the phonograph and cheap printed music had combined to create a “piano frenzy” that lasted until the depression of the 1930s. That produced a shortage of ivory for much of the late 1800’s and early 1900’s.

    Here is the question for you: Prior to the start of the Great War (WWI), what country supplied most of Europe’s and much of North America’s ivory?

    CLUE: This question has nothing to do with Africa.

  95. permres

    “Does God Exist?” (eng. trans. 1978). Sorry, not Doe!

  96. Straight talk

    Angels dancing on pin-heads.

    ” Humans still live in prehistory: all things stand before the creation of the world. The real Genesis is not in the beginning, but in the end, when society and human existence become radical. When we engage our roots – the history of human as worker, creator, moulder–and ground our possessions in a genuine democracy without alienation, only then there will appear in the world something glimpsed in childhood, a place where nobody has yet been: Home.”

    – Ernst Bloch, The Principle of Hope


    BFP says,

    Very true, ST.

    But it is fun and our nature to consider the big questions… and the small questions that produce difficulties – like our question about ivory!

  97. permres

    My apologies, BFP, I did not mean to imply that you were YECs! I was trying to point out that they use the hypothesis that the speed of light might have been different years gone by (within 10,000 years for them!) to support their views.

    (I’m a flat-earther, myself! Not really!)

    P.S. You will have to give me time to search out an answer to your question about ivory.


    BFP says,

    Hi Permres,

    You sound like someone who enjoys thinking in new ways – or at least thinking for yourself.

    You will enjoy the ivory question when you discover the answer.

  98. rohan

    BFP says;

    “But we have recently discovered that the speed of light is increasing. What does that mean in terms of assuming that the rate of radioactive decay has remained constant?

    Or… do you have any idea what I’m talking about and why it matters?”

    My answer:
    BFP, first off you have it backwards. The argument you’re trying to make is this: The speed of light is DECREASING (not increasing) and therefore the scientifically accepted age of the earth is wrong. It’s a little creationist sleight of hand, no such thing is happening to the speed of light.

    Anyhow, here’s how the little argument goes:

    If the bible is right and the earth is only 6,000 years old, how could light from stars that are well over 6,000 light years away have made it to earth by now. Convenient answer: Light was travelling much faster in the past than it is now. MUCH faster, as in millions of times faster.

    Voila: problem fixed. The bible’s 6,000 year old estimate works and the earth is not 4,500,000,000 years old. How convenient……ly funny.

    This theory has no founding in the scientific community and was based on the shoddiest of work by a creationist with assumptions like

    “I will assume that this value held from the time of creation until the time of the fall, as in my opinion the Creator would not have allowed it to decay during His initial work.”

    Even the Institute for Creation Research rejected it. (Acts and Facts, June 1988, G. Aardsma). –
    Even the creationist thought he was off his rocker!

    Seriously, this guy’s theory could not be more full of holes. It would have been slick if it worked though, but it’s simply one more example of having a conclusion (the earth is 6,000 years old) and then trying to find evidence to support it.

    All evidence points to the earth being between 4 and 5 Billion years old. The bible is off by an order of magnitude that is so large, its the equivalent of saying that the distance from Christ church to north point St lucy is TWO inches (I did the math). Ofcourse, if the bible did say that, this guy would come along to say, “Well inches have become smaller. At the beginning of the world, an inch was 10.5 miles!” 🙂


    BFP says,

    Again we did not mention the “old earth – new earth” debate. We merely and correctly point out that this “science” everyone worships is in large measure based upon assumptions, some of which are in doubt. If we had wanted to talk creationism we would have illustrated our argument that the speed of light was slowing instead of pointing out that some believe it is accelerating.

    We have never said the earth is 6,000 years old, nor do any of us believe that. We have never mentioned the biblical account of creation so where the H*** do you get off saying that we did?

    So don’t try to put words into our mouts. Argue the facts.

    And yes, there is lots of debate out there – including by Nobel prize winners – as to whether the speed of light is a constant or even cyclical. If it isn’t constant it blows the heck out of much of the science.

    In the 70’s the concern was Global Cooling. The scientists assured us that by the end of the 21st century we’d all be blocks of ice. Now the same scientists assure us that we’ll be burnt toast.

    This worshiping of whatever the latest “scientist” has proclaimed is as much a religion as the bible thumpers.

  99. rohan

    Quick counterpoint based on your paragraphs BFP

    1) Agreed. Science is indeed based on assumptions. Reasonable peer tested ones. Example: Gravity is explained by assuming that space-time curves. It’s not an assumption that’s pulled out of the air, it’s one that has stood the test of rigorous research. The day that a better explanation comes along, this one will be discarded. Critical thought and a constant search for the truth. Saying a magic man in the sky did it does not work.

    2) The reason I assumed (yeah we know what this does) that you were making a creationist argument is the change in the speed of light thing. I knew this was an old rehashed creationist argument and with your take on the expelled documentary…so my apologies on this.

    3) BFP says:

    This worshiping of whatever the latest “scientist” has proclaimed is as much a religion as the bible thumpers.

    You lost me on this one. The thing is, scientist and science gets better. So the “latest” proclamation is the best info we have at the time and usually builds upon itself and improves. That’s why the human race could go from creating a combustion engine to splitting an atom. The day we stop asking questions and exploring and researching and testing, would be the day science becomes religion. Until then, comparing the two is laughable.

    Religion REQUIRES belief in something with zero evidence.

    Science REQUIRES an overwhelming set of evidence before that thing can even be considered an argument.

    Anyhow, interesting debate. You guys rock!

    BFP say

    Thanks Rohan, you sound like someone who pays attention to, and has an interest in a little bit of everything too.

    Hey… have you tried your luck at the ivory question? 😉

    Here it is…

    At the beginning of the twentieth century there was a worldwide shortage of ivory caused primarily by the fact that pianos were everywhere as entertainment devices. Where homes today have a television, the homes of 1901 had a piano. The combination of modern manufacturing methods and the invention of the phonograph and cheap printed music had combined to create a “piano frenzy” that lasted until the depression of the 1930s. That produced a shortage of ivory for much of the late 1800’s and early 1900’s.

    Here is the question for you: Prior to the start of the Great War (WWI), what country supplied most of Europe’s and much of North America’s ivory?

    CLUE: This question has nothing to do with Africa.

  100. rohan

    Hmm, good question. I’m going to guess Russia/Siberia

    haha, two guesses in one.


    BFP says,

    Excellent Rohan!

    Very few people have heard of the trade in mammoth ivory that carries on even to this day.

    And of those who do know that millions upon millions of mammoths died and were frozen and buried – very few stop to consider the fact that Mammoths did not and could not survive in the winter environment. Yet the frozen mammoths that are unearthed are found to have grass and buttercups etc. in their digestive system.

    SO…. they did not die during the winter, they died in a lush environment with lots to eat. Some died and were frozen while giving birth. Some died and were frozen while copulating.

    Yet they did not rot.

    So… they were eating buttercups, giving birth, making little mammoths… when in an incredibly short period of time, they were flash frozen. Millions of them.

    What happened? Who knows… some say the earth’s magnetic field suddenly reversed. Some say a massive meteor strike. Who knows?

    But whatever it was, it was big. Sudden.

  101. rohan

    Good stuff BFP. I actually had no idea about the mammoth ivory trade until good ole wikipedia told me ; ) Interesting stuff about the grass in their digestive systems. Now I’m curious…real interesting stuff!

  102. BFP

    Hi rohan,

    Cliverton here,

    I think I’ll work up an article on the Mammoths with some of the materials I have from school. Remember all those pictures you saw in school of the mammoths in the snow storm etc?

    They were portrayed that way because the mammoth remains were found in the north… russia, alaska and canadian tundra, so the scientists and their artists pictured the mammoths in the snow.

    To this day in the NY Museum of Natural History there is a huge painting of mammoths in the snow.

    The painting is a lie – or to be more accurate, is probably a lie.

    But the scientists and the artist who created the lie were absolutely sure that the painting taught the truth about mammoths.

    It was scientifically proven, you know!


    Good night friends, I’m off to bed. Marcus will be on briefly at about 3am so he says.

  103. Citizen First

    I am very skeptical about your mammoth claims but I will await your story and references.

    According to one wikipaedia article (which I do not take be the ‘be all’ but…) “To date, thirty-nine preserved bodies have been found, but only four of them are complete. In most cases the flesh shows signs of decay before its freezing and later desiccation “- “http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Woolly_Mammoth#Frozen_Remains

    You paint a picture of a rapid freezing of a mammoth while still eating. However others suggest that the animal fell and died and then froze – “E. W. Pfizenmayer was one of the scientists who recovered and studied the mammoth that was found at the river Berezovka in the early 1900s. In his book, Siberian Man and Mammoth, he says about the mammoth: “Its death must have occurred very quickly after its fall, for we found half-chewed food still in its mouth, between the back teeth and on its tongue, which was in good preservation. The food consisted of leaves and grasses, some of the latter carrying seeds. We could tell from these that the mammoth must have come to its miserable end in the autumn.”

    Please provide references about mammoth remains which indicate that they were frozen while copulating or giving birth.


    BFP says:

    Start here….

    Trade in Mammoth Ivory, Helped by Global Thaw, Flourishes In Russia

    Then I shall get the book I’m thinking of when I am at work today. Author is a petroleum scientist named Ian Taylor. Can’t think of the book’s title at this time, but there are photos of mammoth mining (that is what it was called) in Russia pre-1917.

    The 39 found mentioned in your comment is actually at odds with many accounts of mammoth mining carried on in the mid 1800’s in Russia.

    Bye the way… are you aware that there are sea-shells at the top of Mount Everest?

    The world is a wonderous place and no doubt many of good will and intent will disagree on the interpretation of our natural history.

    As I recall from Mr. Taylor’s book, his interest was piqued when, as a petroleum scientist working for one of the big oil companies, he had been taught that certain geological layers in the earth were of a certain age … and that each layer in this particular section he was examining was laid down millions of years apart. This was fact… and big oil used this science in the quest to find more.

    But then one day as they were digging, they found a fossilized tree which penetrated multiple layers.

    So the whole scientific theory for interpreting the local layers in the quest for oil was blown to pieces.

    Perhaps I’ll do a book review.

  104. Citizen First

    Where did the smiley icon in my post above come from? I did not put it there!

    BFP says,

    Oh… but you did put it there!

    Accidentally. Smileys are made with combinations of various keys.

    Original smiley is : plus – plus ) together equals… 🙂
    Sadey… : plus – plus ( equals 😦
    Wink ; plus – plus ) equals 😉

    There are some very naughty ones too! 😉

  105. Scientist

    BFP has made the following claims among others;

    1 – there is a darwinian ‘premise’ that something made itself out of nothing
    2 – if Darwin is correct, the universe is an act of random chance
    3 – the sun is shrinking
    4 – radiometric dating ASSUMES a constant radioactive decay and if not vast areas of science become “farce”
    5 – the speed of light has been found to be shrinking
    6 – if the speed of light is not constant then it “blows the heck out of much of the science”

    All of the above are complete and utter rubbish.

    They could only have been written by a scientific illiterate or someone who is being fed pseudo science from the crackpot creationists which some posters here clearly also felt. BFP reads Ian Taylor, a noted creationist so the above is really not surprising.

    I have already pointed out that 1 and 2 form no part of evolutionary biology whatsoever and to repeat them is just to tell lies.

    3 is just simply flat out demonstrably false

    4 – no such assumption is made and in any case affects only absolute measures of age and not relative measures. Evolutionary theory which we discussed in this thread for example, needs only relative ages which are also provided by several aging methods.

    5 is pure nonsense as there is no meaning to the speed of light (strictly speaking the speed of electromagnetic radiation) as it is a value with dimensions. The speed of light (in a vaccum) is DEFINED to be the constant c and if say, we were to more precisely determine how long it took for light to travel a metre why that would change our definition of a metre !!!!! (not the other way around). Maybe I can make this a little more clearer – If we observed the time for light to travel from one galaxy to another would that mean the light is traveling faster? or the distance is getting bigger? Only dimentionless physical constants such as the fine structure constant have a measurable value relevant to scientific theory.

    6 – no idea what science BFP is talking about. The absolute speed of light has no relevance in special relativity and the constant c (in the physics equations) has the same numerical value no matter what you did to the actual speed of light. Light of course, travels at different speeds in different mediums. Perhaps BFP is getting confused with the concept of lightspeed invariance which is something completely different to light being at a constant speed since the beginning of time.

    Run along back to your creationist pseudo scientists and bring us more nonsense. I am looking forward to it.


    BFP says,

    But the point of the entire discussion and the movie is that we will leave your arguments up for all to see and discuss – but if even a Nobel Prize winner questions your dogma, he is shunned.

    Now… only 25 years ago you were cautioning against “global cooling” and “perpetual winter” – it was true. It was said by scientists. It was TRUTH and you’d better not question it!

    Fast forward… 25 years later.

    Global warming is TRUTH.

    By the same scientists.

    Friend, feel free to engage in discussion. WE have no fear and no religious position regarding science.

    …but you do.

    Science is your religion. And like any other religion, it requires a certain degree of faith.

    You just hate to admit it.

  106. Scientist

    if you really believe some of the most important and powerful scientific theories developed by some of the greatest minds we have ever produced over the last hundred years are simply built on a few weak assumptions you really have bought the propaganda

  107. Scientist

    if you present a paper with weak “assumptions” it wont even pass peer review

  108. Scientist

    BFP says ;

    “It was scientifically proven, you know! ”

    No such thing as “proof” in science, only evidence. Proof is a mathematical term.

    Scientists build mountains of evidence. While nothing is ever absolutely true (again look to maths for as near to absolute truth as you can find) eventually some things are held more “solid” than other as the evidence builds up.

  109. Tell me Why

    Here is the question for you: Prior to the start of the Great War (WWI), what country supplied most of Europe’s and much of North America’s ivory?
    Alaska is the other country. As a matter of fact, the colder the region, the better it would be to preserve these mammoths. Remember the baby mammoth that was found in Russia encased in ice for over 40,000 years, still intact, minus the tail, otherwise all of its organs were still intact.


    BFP says

    Hi TMW,

    There have been mammoths found in Alaska and Northern Canada, but nothing like the Mammoth fields of Russia and Siberia…. hundreds of tons of mammoth ivory has been mined and is still mined from this region.

    But it is the buttercups in the stomach that excite my curiosity.

  110. Ohio Friend

    Scientist is upset and defensive. Why is he bothering to be upset if his position is beyond question? He should leave the ignorant to their ignorance, but it is almost like he has an emotional attachment to his beliefs.

    You know: like some people feel about their religion.

  111. Scientist

    or maybe an emotional attachment to education

  112. Scientist

    BFP says ;

    “Now… only 25 years ago you were cautioning against “global cooling” and “perpetual winter” – it was true. It was said by scientists. It was TRUTH and you’d better not question it!
    Fast forward… 25 years later.
    Global warming is TRUTH.”


    what a sweeping generalisation.

    actually BFP, i am surprised that you of all people are not critical of the way journalists caricature something as complex as climate change.

    the globe is currently warming (that is the data), the question is why ??

    only very recently has there been some level of consensus about the models explaining the change as man made.

    so far from scientists “religiously” holding a particurlarly view, slowly as the evidence came in they came around to a consensus although hardly an overwhelming one.

    the problem is, it is one thing for the models to explain the cause of the warming, it is another for the models to predict exactly how warm we will get. the models are very sensitive to the data (small changes in inputs give big changes in outputs) and the data needed is hard to collect

    then we have another problem. Even if we get reliable predictions from the model we have various models showing what the consequences of the warming will do. By no means is it certain that if the globe warms futher it will be a catastrophe.

    models are by necessity probalistic models and approximations because we can only solve models that work on subsets of the entire data. we can never get certain predictions (in the same way say quantum mechanics can)

    climate change is complex, but journalists and governments dont like complexity and people make and use the headlines that suit their agenda and ignore the complexity and uncertainly.

    scientists genuinely warn about global warming in the same way they warned about the levees in the new orleans. Nothing absolutely certain but a warning well worth considering.

    the fact that scientists changed their minds about the direction of climate change is a credit to them and is a complete rebuttal of your claim that scientists preach dogma and hold their views by “religious” type faith

    it is a nonsense to say “scientists say dont question it”. Question things is all scientists ever do.

  113. reluctant nonbeliever

    Cool thread. Kudos to BFP for starting it.

    Scientist’s winning the argument hands down here though. He/she sounds really well informed, argues his/her case with clarity, force and passion.

    BFP, you need to get someone on your team from UWI or somewhere, someone who doesn’t rely so heavily on Wiki for their info. Y’all are being outplayed here guys, and your rebuttals sound weak and unconvincing – and I’m speaking as a neutral here, a floating voter 😉

    The only really lame post is Ohio’s, though.

    While Scientist sounds “upset and defensive” to you, your post to me is a pretty banal, superficial and basically girly (no offense Shona!) response to this fascinating debate.

    Why not argue your case like Scientist rather than just try and bitch-slap him/her down…?


    BFP says,

    Well, heck, we’re not scientists… but we do know a con job when we see one. Especially this business of Global Cooling/Global Warming. Scientist totally ignores the decade of the 70’s where scientists proclaimed that anyone who didn’t accept Global Winter was crazy, stone age simpleton etc etc etc.

    Much the same as the contempt now reserved by the scientists for those who have doubts about Global Warming.

    Never mind “clarity, force and passion”… what about truth in advertising?

    Although he denies it, Scientist starts his whole perspective with the assumption that “God (or whatever you want to call that) doesn’t matter and has nothing to do with anything.”

    Fair enough… that’s his right. But he also LIES when if he says that many (most?) of his like-thinking compatriots aren’t embracing science primarily as a justification and support for a deeply-held atheist perspective and belief.

    Although Scientist denies it, in the end he must admit that he believes that everything came from nothing… and created itself with no purpose or intelligent design.

  114. Scientist

    Oh by the way, this is what wikipedia has to say about “global cooling” which you claimed scientists said was “truth” and that scientists said you must “not question it”

    “This hypothesis never had significant scientific support, but gained temporary popular attention due to press reports that did not accurately reflect the scientific understandings of ice age cycles and a slight downward trend of temperatures from the 1940s to the early 1970s.”

    The Press reports were a primarily a newsweek article in 1975 for which newsweek issued a retraction in 2006.

    The National Academy of Sciences stated the following in 1975

    “The climates of the earth have always been changing, and they will doubtless continue to do so in the future. How large these future changes will be, and where and how rapidly they will occur, we do not know.. “

  115. reluctant nonbeliever

    Ooops, used the b***h word there inadvertently. Mea culpa Auntie M.

  116. Scientist

    thank you “reluctant non believer”, i appreciate your comments

    i freely admit to having passion about science, learning and education

  117. reluctant nonbeliever

    Note also how Ohio automatically assumes Scientist is male.

    Sexist as well as superficial. Very uncool 🙂


    BFP says,

    Did Ohio “assume” or did he or she sense it from the cold calculating male perspective shown by Scientist?

    Women generally have different perspectives than men. Ohio was nonetheless correct.

    I wonder if Ohio is a woman?

  118. Scientist


    I am glad you recognise the possibility I could be a woman, there are many excellent female scientists but sadly not enough.

    I work hard to make female students believe they are just as capable as any man to do science (including maths)

    I am though a man

  119. Scientist

    the “global cooling” thing was before my time so I had to look it up in the wiki.

  120. Scientist

    BFP says,

    Besides, Scientist starts his whole perspective with the assumption that “God (or whatever you want to call that) doesn’t matter and has nothing to do with anything.”


    Now you put that in quotes yet I am quite sure I made no such statement


    BFP says,

    But you believe it, yes?

  121. reluctant nonbeliever

    Keep up the good work dude.

    Your students are lucky to have you if you’re as eloquent and fair-minded in class as you are here.

  122. Scientist

    BFP says,

    “But he also LIES when if he says that many (most?) of his like-thinking compatriots aren’t embracing science primarily as a justification and support for a deeply-held atheist perspective and belief”


    How can I be accused of lying IF I say something?


    BFP says,

    If is a literary tool.

    But never mind that… you haven’t answered if you believe that everything created itself with no “god”… or IF you are an atheist.

    Of course, you are free to answer directory or not.

    That my friend, is what free will is all about.

  123. Scientist

    BFP says,

    Did Ohio “assume” or did he or she sense it from the cold calculating male perspective shown by Scientist?


    thats right BFP, if Ohio did it on the evidence of my writing it was not an “assumption”

  124. Scientist

    no i did not answer the question but you posed two new ones

    exactly which would you like me to answer?

  125. Scientist

    BFP will you retract this claim :

    “Scientist totally ignores the decade of the 70’s ”

    I did after all make an effort

  126. Scientist

    BFP says,

    “But he also LIES when if he says that many (most?) of his like-thinking compatriots aren’t embracing science primarily as a justification and support for a deeply-held atheist perspective and belief.”


    no i dont lie because I agree that many atheists do come to their beliefs by embracing the evidence of science

  127. reluctant nonbeliever

    You need to be less sloppy with your terminology, BFP.

    Atheism is not strictly-speaking a “belief” at all.

    On the contrary, it’s the rejection or repudiation of belief in God or gods: ie in theism.

    My question to you:

    do you understand the difference between theism and deism?


    BFP says,

    Golly, I feel really stupid now because I was only relying on numerous court judgments where atheism was declared a religion – many times at the request of atheists.

  128. Scientist

    BFP says,

    “… but we do know a con job when we see one. Especially this business of Global Cooling/Global Warming”


    ok BFP I will give you some credit, there is no doubt some conning is going on both sides (Govts/scientists). Scientists are human and will “sell” the case for research money as best they can

  129. Scientist


    strictly speaking atheism is non belief in theistic gods

  130. Red Lake Lassie

    I see that Scientist does not want to directly answer your questions BFP. ‘nuf said.

  131. Scientist

    RLL, I asked for a clarification

  132. Red Lake Lassie

    For God’s sake Scientist, just answer the questions or don’t. Like “Are you an athiest?”

    an “do you think that everything came from nothing with no intelligent designer.”

    Free world, Scientist. You don’t ahve to answer, but your dancing is making me seasick.

  133. reluctant nonbeliever

    “For God’s sake Scientist” 🙂


    “numerous court judgments where atheism was declared a religion – many times at the request of atheists.”

    Huh? Really? Can you cite an example?

    (ideally not from Wiki…)

  134. Scientist

    yes I am an atheist, do you have a problem with atheists?


  135. Red Lake Lassie

    American Atheists.org


    Also see Torcaso v Watkins
    US Supreme Court 1961

  136. Red Lake Lassie

    I have no problem with atheists, Scientist.

    Please tell me the answer to the other question… where did everything come from ?

    And are all the rules an accident or by design?

    No cop-outs now! Just tell it like you believe it.

  137. Scientist

    “where did everything come from”

    who knows? I dont

    “And are all the rules an accident or by design?”

    what rules?

  138. reluctant nonbeliever

    Just re-read this absurdly inaccurate statement in BFP’s original post/article:

    “our friends at Cave Hill and academia in general don’t allow certain questions to be asked. Those who ask them are shunned and discredited.”

    Weekly prayer meetings in the ALT? Codrington College? The fortnightly Philosophy Seminars? You’re clearly not familiar with what goes on up at UWI, my friends.

  139. reluctant nonbeliever

    Thanks for the link, Lassie.

    But from the article, it’s clear the prison inmate guy was simply trying to get his atheist group recognized as a religion for legal purposes, not because he really “believed” it was atheism was a religion…

  140. reluctant nonbeliever

    “When the only avenue for having rights in America for all Atheists is to say that you are a ‘religious person,’ then SOME Atheists take that route instead of challenging the rules. This is what Mr. Kaufman did He was allowed only one avenue to form a group and that was to say his was a religious right.”

  141. reluctant nonbeliever

    Ok, I’m off to say my prayers…


  142. rohan

    LOL @ folks calling atheism a religion. Atheism is a lack of belief in God/s.


    And by Gods, I mean Aphrodite, Baal, Ceres, Diana, El, Fenrir, Ganesha, Horus, Isis, Jesus, Krishna, Luna, Mercury, Norse, Odin, Poseidon, Quetzalcoatl, Re, Shiva (one of my favs), Thor, Utu, Vishnu, Xipe, Yam, or Zeus.

    (I included just ONE for each letter of the alphabet). Sorry, I couldn’t find a God beginning with “W” haha

    Anyhow, most of you here practice a form of atheism when it comes to 24 of the 25 Gods I listed. You don’t believe in them.
    When you figure out why YOU don’t believe in the other 24 you’ll figure out why many critical thinkers have a hard time believing in any of the 25.

  143. Rumplestilskin

    Ok. Here goes, and watch the eggs and tomatoes fly.

    (Maybe..tongue in cheek, maybe not).

    There is clear unattributed evidence to the existence of a ‘creator’.

    Can you accept that the flowers are entirely the process of random evolution?

    How about the streams, rivers and sunsets?

    Yes, entirely scientific, we can describe down to the last molecule, but still? So what?

    The voices of Bocelli, the music of Bach, yes these can be explained scientifically, but again, so what?

    Random evolution?

    And if that is not the clincher, look at Shakira 😉 , Halle Berry and (yes) our own Rihanna (and many others), look at your own wife/ girlfriend 😉 .

    Can they be the result of random evolution?

    I say, Oh my Gosh and GOODNESS NO!!! 😉

    Them there are too well designed and in the local lingo…. proper 😉

    Fire away!!!

  144. Richard

    the person who wrote this article is a complete unlettered idiot. evolution by natural selection has nothing to do with chance. absolutely nothing.

    there is simply no way that barbados could be 98 or what ever percent literate. there simply is no way.

    please read before commenting on things that you absolutely dont know anything about. I am embarrassed that people all over the world can see some of the crap on these blogs.

    where did it come from ?
    god has the answer ?
    where did god come from ?
    yes i am an atheist

  145. permres

    I am resurrecting this thread for two reasons, and to try to get it back on topic. Discussions between neo-Darwinists and ID’ers tend to get eristic, especially from the atheistic element amongst those who believe that the theories of evolution are fact.

    Firstly, does anyone know if “Expelled” is on its way to Barbados? If so, when and where?

    Secondly, since this film is about academic freedom, rather than specifically intelligent design, I find the following interesting, especially with its reference to blogging:

    Posted by John West on May 20, 2008 2:07 PM and taken from:


    “I guess facts just don’t matter when the issue is evolution and you’re a writer for the Washington Post editorial page. After all, Post editorialists have a proud history of producing fact-free editorials on the topic (see here, here, and here). And the big media wonder why many citizens are turning to alternative sources for news and commentary? ”

    Yes, Richard, I am referring to your last post. Anyone who asks the question, “Where did God come from?” obviously has little understanding of what we believers mean by God. Try Hans Kung: “Does God Exist?” for starters (paperback, 840 pages).

  146. rod-the-farmer

    I too am amazed at the incredible displays of scientific ignorance here. But let’s start with the simple issues about the “Expelled” movie. Dig into the details of who was/was not fired for promoting creationism. Steinberg was not even an employee of the Smithsonian. Crocker continues to work. The movie is full of lies, half-truths, and quote mining, if not deliberate mis-quoting. As for where did everything come from, try reading up on what happens when a star goes supernova. All the heavy elements it has been creating in the core get scattered all over in the resulting explosion. You, sir/madam, are made of star stuff. Then, read up on star and planetary system formation. If you were in a debate with a scientist, and each side could forbid the other side one book to which they could not refer, even indirectly, you would have nothing to stand on. Remove the bible, and you are without a source. But the scientist (denied Darwins’ Origin of Species) will have multiple books on multiple subjects, any of which will support old-earth, cosmology, plate tectonics, geology, archaeology, botany, biology, etc. etc. etc. You need to educate yourself about the wonders of science. Stop telling school children that “Never mind investigating why things are they way they are, goddidit.” You want to dumb down an entire generation. Perhaps it is OK for you, but for our children we need something better than Bronze Age myths.

  147. MorituriMax

    I always find it amusing when someone wonders why atheists don’t believe in God. Especially when they are only upset that the atheist doesn’t believe in THEIR specific God.

    There isn’t any alarm at all that the atheist also doesn’t believe in all the OTHER Gods out there. The person questioning the atheist’s belief never asks themselves why they don’t believe in any other Gods themselves.

    Another thing I find hilarious is that Scientists can provide rooms full of evidence to support their Theory, in this case the Theory of Evolution, and the creationist then proclaims that it isn’t enough evidence. But when it comes to belief in God or Creationism/ID “faith” is all one needs. No evidence of any kind is required.

  148. Matt

    I would highly suggest for you, and any one else interested to read the book ““The Devil’s Delusion: Atheism and its Scientific Pretensions.” by self-professed secular Jew and mathematics/philosophies teacher David Berlinski.
    This tells the story of a Jew who was forced to dig his own grave prior to being shot by a German soldier. Prior to being shot, the old Jewish man advised the German that “God is watching what you are doing.” The Jewish gentleman pointed what i think is the real problem with atheism. “If you have the time please check the book out

  149. Annette Williams

    If we were to look at the theory of Darwinism from a profound metaphysical dimension, would it not give us a better understanding of life and the universe? In other words, could we replace the objects (for lack of a better word)with metaphors and / symbols and look for a deeper meaning in this theory?

    Looking forward to answers.

  150. bewildered

    i had no idea that barbados had so many confused youth…. it must suck to have faith in absolutely nothing and hide behind science to justify it…….seems theres a new study claiming humans are hard wired for faith..sounds right to me