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Expelled and ID: Appendix I, Two Christian Views

March 31, 2008

So, I won’t be linking to the drives of Christian writers that support Expelled because I couldn’t find any that didn’t support it out of prejudice against atheists (because all evolutionary biologists are, of course), blindness and rationalization to the deceitful tactics of the Expelled crew, or plain ignorance of scientific method.

Until now, that is. I will feature two Christian writers who have taken a rational and educated view of ID and the film Expelled and, unsurprisingly, know the failings of ID and Expelled and hold little support of the tactics of the ID movement.

First up is Henry Neufeld, author of Threads From Henry’s Web. From Henry’s About page:

I am a passionate moderate Christian who is a member of a United Methodist congregation. I’m often called a liberal charismatic.

Passionate, moderate, and liberal seems a nice combo for a Christian, and Henry’s writing proves that plus the fact that he’s just a cool cat all around. Henry watched the trailers for Expelled and has been following the current events. He explains  his disinterest in seeing the movie:

This is a movie that I have very little interest in seeing. Let me explain that. It’s not that I don’t want to hear about ID, but I need something that at least purports to provide some sort of information, some sort of argument in favor of it. I might reject that argument after reading, but I’m not going to be attracted to the material unless such an argument is made. For me to read something, or even more for me to view something, I require some sort of reason, and since I dislike watching informational videos in general, I need an extraordinary reason to go watch one. In the case of something like Expelled!, I also rest in the knowledge that I have friends who are attracted to these things like motorists to wrecks, and they will write about it.

Then gives a great list of why just the trailers sullied his impression. Here’s a sample:

  1. Misrepresentation of evolution
    It’s difficult to explain a theory properly in a short period of time, but there was no attempt made to correctly represent the theory of evolution. References to a totally random process or to lightning hitting some mud are misrepresentations intended to ridicule, not to inform. The ridicule is in no way surprising. This is constant in creationist materials on evolution. It was, in fact, one of the major elements that drew me away from creationism. This problem is especially egregious in a movie that complains about the way intelligent design (ID) advocates are ridiculed in science.

Yeowch. He has five more reasons, so read them! Threads from Henry’s Web is definitely going on my feed reader!

The other to have some choice words for ID is none other than Christian apologist mouthpiece Dinesh D’Souza. In an article for AOL News called The Failure of “Intelligent Design”, Dinesh describes the fault of Biblical interpreters to glean science from the Bible:

Certainly if you read the Bible you would never predict Darwin’s theory of evolution. But neither from the Scriptural accounts could one predict that the earth goes around the sun. The Bible is not and does not purport to be a science textbook. It takes no position, for example, on the heliocentric theory. Unfortunately, in past centuries, many Christians interpreted a few casual references to the sun “rising” to mean that the earth must be stationery and the sun must revolve around the earth. These interpretations were hasty, to say the least: the Bible is describing sunrise from a human or experiential perspective. Still, these narrow-minded Christians opposed Copernicus and Galileo until they were forced to admit that they were wrong. It wasn’t the Bible that was mistaken; it was the foolish certainty of its interpreters that was exposed and discredited.

D’souza than goes on to allege that ID isn’t science, far more concisely than I have.

ID advocates have sought to convince courts to require that their work be taught alongside Darwinian evolution, yet such efforts have been resoundingly defeated. Why has the ID legal strategy proven to be such a failure, even at the hands of conservative judges? Imagine that a group of advocates challenged Einstein’s theories of general and special relativity. Let’s say that this group, made up of a law professor, a couple of physicists, several journalists, as well as some divinity school graduates, flatly denies Einstein’s proposition that e=mc2. How would a judge, who is not a physicist, resolve the group’s demand for inclusion in the physics classroom? He would summon a wide cross-section of leading physicists. They would inform him that despite unresolved debates about relativity–for example, its unexplained relationship to quantum theory–Einstein’s theories are supported by a wide body of data. They enjoy near-unanimous support in the physics community worldwide. There is no alternative scientific theory that comes close to explaining the facts at hand. In such a situation any judge would promptly show the dissenters the door and deny their demand for equal time in the classroom. This is precisely the predicament of the ID movement. (Emphasis mine)

Of course, he then describes evolution being used as atheist propaganda, but this is Dinesh D’Souza we’re talking about here. Actually, in his defense (whoa, almost blacked out there), some evolution proponents, such as Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchen’s do see evolution as support against a theistic worldview. However, not all scientists see it that way. As I’ve said before, science does not deal with the supernatural, so it is my belief that science and religion can co-exist. It’s just that in the U.S., it normally doesn’t. I want to quote one more D’Souza snippet as an end to this post:

 Instead of trying to get unscientific ID theories included in the classroom, a better strategy would be to get the unscientific atheist propaganda out. (Emphasis mine again)

Agreed. There should be no propaganda in the science classroom. I can’t wait for the next post to see what his definition of propaganda is.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. March 31, 2008 6:47 pm

    Thanks for the info, and particularly the link to that closing D’Souza quote. He has indeed managed to capture the issue in a nutshell. I wish I were so concise!

  2. April 1, 2008 4:51 am

    C. David Parsons,

    Again, I say that spam is not welcome on my blog. Take your advertisements and your links elsewhere!

  3. Karen R permalink
    April 18, 2008 10:16 pm

    The way I understand it, being a believing Christian, and also believing the Bible is God inspired. I say lets look at what the Bible does say on the matter of creation.

    In the beginning GOD created the heaven’s and the earth Genesis 1:1 GOD created the great creatures of the sea Genesis 1:21 GOD created man in his own image Genesis 1:27

    These are just a few verses of many that state there is “ID” i.e. GOD

    Now lets see what He says about those who refuse to believe there is ID i.e. GOD.

    Since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the CREATION of the world God’s invisible qualities – his eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became FUTILE and their FOOLISH hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools. Romans 1:19 – 23a

    The Bible is full of this sort of information which I happen to believe is TRUTH.

    By the way He created all things in Christ and the Bible tells us this also

    Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. John 1:3 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created, things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities, all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things and in him all things hold together. Colossians 1:16

    Now I know if you are an atheist then you do not believe in any of this and I feel really sad about that because among the many other things the Bible tells us it also says that someday every knee WILL bow to Christ Jesus.

    Before me every knee will bow Isaiah 45:23b It is written: As surely as I live, says the Lord, every knee will bow before me; every tongue will confess to God Romans 14:14 that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2:10 – 11.

    The Bible also tells me to be careful not to open myself up to ridicule.

    Do not give dogs what is sacred, do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do they may trample them under their feet and turn and tear you to pieces. Mathew 7:6

    But I am also called to love others as God loved me. Unconditionally….

    My command is this; Love each other as I have loved you John 15:12

    Personally I am truly offended by what others claim about Christians, our ignorance, our lack of knowledge, it goes on and on…. But the Bible has something to say about this as well.

    The fear (NIV footnote: A loving reverence for God that includes submission to his lordship and to the commands of his word) of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline. Proverbs 1:1

    My prayer is that whomever reads this to the end will at least pick up a Bible and read it for yourself. Ask God in prayer to enlighten you. He will, because His word also says

    Ask and it will be given to you, seek and you will find, knock and the door will be opened to you. Mathew 7:7 and Luke 11:9

    I pray you ask, seek and knock, before it is too late. For there is only one sure thing about life and that is death, it happens to all of us. And the Bible says there are only two places to go after that.

    Heaven:
    In my Father’s house there are many rooms; if it were not so I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. John 14:2 Come you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world Mathew 25:34b

    Hell:
    Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Mathew 10:28 For if God did not spare angels when they sinned , but sent them to hell, putting them into gloomy dungeons to be held for judgment, if he did not spare the ancient world when he brought the flood on its ungodly people, but protected Noah, a preacher of righteousness, and seven others; if he condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah by burning them to ashes, and made them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly; and if he rescued Lot, a righteous man who was distressed by the filthy lives of lawless men (for that righteous man living among them day after day, was tormented in his righteous soul by the lawless deeds he saw and heard) – if this is so, then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly men from trials and to hold the unrighteous for the day of judgment while continuing their punishment. 2Pe 2:4 – 9

    Eternal punishment vs. eternal life:

    Then they (those who refuse the gift of salvation in Christ Jesus) will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous (those who have accepted Him as their Lord and savior) to eternal life Mathew 25:46

    And finally the Bible says there is only ONE way.

    Jesus answered “I am the way the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” John 14:6

    I have accepted Jesus and my Lord and savior and am convinced that if I am taken from this world at this very moment I will be instantly in His presence.

    In His Love and Grace

    Karen R.

    Emphasis in any of the scripture references are mine only to help make my point. All quoted scripture is from the NIV Study Bible.
    I could have added much more scripture above in reference to all the points I wanted to make but for the sake of space and your time I only quoted what was necessary. But the Bible is such a wealth of knowledge, and with God’s help it would offer a wealth of wisdom.

  4. May 11, 2008 3:02 pm

    Karen,

    As a thinking human being, I don’t trust in the bible for scientific information. Your whole argument is that bible says this, and also says if you don’t believe the bible, you’re going to hell.

    Well, my website says that current science is the best way to describe how the world really works that we have available to us. If you don’t read up on current science, you will be doomed to die in ignorance. (If you can’t find where I said that, then please refer to the sentence previous to this one.)

    You can’t learn from the bible the same way you can learn even from a newspaper. The bible deals in theology and “imparted wisdom”, and doesn’t do a great job of that. It is woefully inadequate for describing the natural world.

    What does describe the natural world is science, from the engineered banana to the origin of species, to the orbit of bodies, to the formation of matter from energy and back. The volumes of data gained through scientific inquiry continue to modify, grow, and temper our knowledge of the universe. It is there where you will learn about how the world came about and how it came to be as it is.

    I don’t want to be rude, but vomiting scripture is no way to continue a discussion of science. It brings nothing to the table, and fails so miserably that a group of people had to try to fit their myths into a scientific framework just to continue the discussion, which is also turning out to be an epic failure. We’re almost 30 years into Intelligent Design, and there is not testable research out there, so they have some hacks throw together ridiculous sham of a movie to explain their failures as a result of discrimination. I call bullshit!

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