Why Darwinism is So Dangerous

January 30, 2008

From Katherine T. Phan and Christian Post.

“For Ben Stein, host of an upcoming documentary on the dominance of Darwinism in academia, Darwinism is not just problematic but dangerous even.

In a media teleconference for the film “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed” on Tuesday, Stein pointed out that Darwinian teaching on natural selection and random mutation “led in a straight line to the holocaust and Nazism.”

Darwin said that there were certain species that were superior to other species and all were competing for scarce supplies of food or resources, Stein pointed out. But if there was a limited supply of basic resources, Darwinism taught that “you owe it to the superior race to kill the inferior race,” he told reporters.

Darwinian evolutionary theory fueled Nazi idealism that felt gypsies, Eastern Europeans and others were competing with them for scarce basic resources, explained Stein.

“As a Jew, I am horrified that people thought Jews were so inferior they didn’t deserve to live,” he commented.

But the link between Darwinism and the holocaust is just one of many reasons why the former speech writer for President Nixon and President Ford decided to join Premise Media in the making of the documentary, which hits theaters April 2008.

Stein said he finds it problematic that Darwinism, which he feels leaves a lot of questions unanswered, is being touted in the academic and scientific circles as the only rational explanation on how life began.

Where did life come from? How did cells get so complex?

If the origins of life all did happen by random mutation, he questioned, where does the laws that make the universe possible to function – the law of gravity, the law of thermodaynamics, laws of motion – all come from?

“Who created these laws that keeps the planets in motion?” asked Stein. “These are fundamental questions” where Darwinism lacks explanations.

The film follows Stein as he interviews disciples of Darwinian Evolution, including The God Delusion author Richard Dawkins and proponents of Intelligent Design – the teaching that the creation of life and the universe are results of an intelligent “designer.”

At first glance, the documentary may appear to attack Darwinism and champion Intelligent Design.

But the film doesn’t try to validate one idea over another, explained Walt Ruloff, the film’s executive producer and CEO of Premise Media.

“Science is supported by empirical work that can be verified by empirical data. We are not against that,” he told reporters.

“What we are asking for is freedom of speech … for people who do research to have freedom to ask the questions they need to ask and go where they need to go.

The current system doesn’t allow open dialogue, according to the makers of “Expelled.” The film highlights a number of educators and scientists who are being ridiculed, denied tenure and even fired in some cases for the fact that they believe there is evidence of “design” in nature or challenging the Darwinian orthodoxy.

Ruloff hopes that the film will prompt congressional language to protect the free speech of people who dissent from Darwinism.

Furthermore, he sees the documentary as creating a culture where things like the metaphysical can be openly discussed.

“Eighty-five percent of people believe in a form of a deity – why can’t we talk about that?” asked Ruloff.

“We don’t think that we have all the the answers, or anyone has all the answers,” added Stein. “We just want free speech.”


Interview: ‘Big Science’ in America is Killing 1st Amendment, Says Actor Ben Stein

January 23, 2008

From Kevin Mooney and CNSNEWS.com.

Intelligent design theory, or ID, is opening new doors of scientific research, particularly in cancer and other disease research, according to its adherents, but a new movie, “Expelled” starring Ben Stein explores how an “elitist scientific establishment” is apparently muzzling and smearing scientists who publicly discuss ID.

The First Amendment is under brutal attack in the scientific community, Ben Stein, a former presidential speechwriter-turned-actor and commentator, says in the film, which opens in theaters on Feb. 12.

“I always assumed scientists were free to ask any question, pursue any line of inquiry without fear or reprisal,” he says. “But recently, I’ve been alarmed to discover that this is not the case.”

In an exclusive interview with Cybercast News Service – with audio clips below – Stein contends that rigid Darwinists are silencing their critics in academia, which the film explores, and discusses how ID ideas are helping in cancer research and similar work.

Yet the ID research that could potentially produce medical breakthroughs, says Stein, is also being undermined by Darwinian scientists who don’t want ID research viewed as legitimate.

Cybercast News Service:
Is this controversy about science versus religion, or is this more science versus science? Simply, is this about scientists with different worldviews -with one group more willing to open themselves up to alternative explanations than others – as the film suggests?

Ben Stein: Well, first of all, I question your premise. It’s not just scientists versus scientists. It is a particular subset of science which does not admit any kind of questions – it is a kind of perversion of science, which doesn’t allow for any kind of questioning of itself. Science should always be in the business of attempting to disprove itself. Neo-Darwinian science is exactly in the opposite business of endlessly trying to rationalize itself – and reprove itself, you might say – reprove that it’s right without any kind of test. So it’s not scientists – it’s really, I would say, scientists are the ones willing to look into intelligent design. The people who are anti-science are the ones unwilling to look at anything new or different. So I’d say it’s a perverted kind of science versus what I would call a more classical science. But it is also science versus at least the possibility of belief.

Cybercast News Service:
There is a fair amount of discussion of creationism and how it might relate to intelligent design, and there are a lot of critics who say this is just folks with religious convictions trying to use intelligent design as a Trojan horse to advance a form of creationism. … What sort of separation do you see or perhaps don’t see between creationism, on the one hand, and intelligent design? Do you have your own definition of intelligent design, and is it distinct and different from creationism?

Ben Stein:
Well, I would say it’s creationism by someone. For me, I’ve always believed that there was a God. I’ve always believed that God created the heavens and earth – so, for me it’s not a huge leap from there to intelligent design. I think for some of the people who work on intelligent design, they’re not as long-time believers as I am. So, I would answer that question, in brief, by saying, I believe in God and God created the heavens and the earth and all the life on the earth. But what other people, who are intelligent design people, think, I could not characterize. (Listen to Audio)

Cybercast News Service: There is a segment in the film, where it’s made clear that intelligent design can open up new areas of inquiry that could improve the human condition. One involves a neurosurgeon, Michael Egnor, and another scientist, Jon Wells, who indicate that given how the cells are put together, with eye toward intelligent design, and with the idea that animal cells have tiny turbines – or if viewed as tiny turbines – he was able to formulate a theory that said in the event these things malfunction and don’t properly shut down and could break apart, this is the first step on the way to cancer. He seemed to be suggesting that intelligent design theory could open up a lot of possibilities into improving the human condition. He doesn’t explicitly say ‘a cure for cancer,’ but at least providing additional insight into new areas of treatment or a better understanding of how cancer is formed. What is your reaction to that part of the film? What sort of potential is attached to research going forward?

Ben Stein: Well, I think, I wouldn’t say, if you say intelligent design is the answer and we’re all created by an intelligent designer – that does not by itself provide the cure to cancer or any other disease or does not provide any ideas about how to deal with a stroke or with the heart hammering blood into the brain. But I would say, if you accept a broader, an even broader premise than intelligent design, namely, don’t foreclose anything in your study of the human body and of the cell, then you are a lot more likely to get somewhere. I’d put it like that. I don’t think saying intelligent design just automatically gets you anywhere. (Listen to Audio)

Ben Stein:
But I think if you say we are going to study everything, and we are not going to let anyone close down our rights of inquiry, then I think we are getting somewhere. But also, there is this big issue about RNA and DNA, and whether RNA and DNA can respond to changes in the world around them. I think we say it can respond to changes in the world around them and that neo-Darwinians say it can only do that by random chance – it only happens by random chance. We say the cell may have the possibility of doing itself in an intelligent way that there may be some intelligence in the cell itself so that’s probably a big difference between the two of us. We, on this side, think at least there’s a possibility. We believe there’s some possibility the cell could have an intelligence of its own. (Listen to Audio)

Cybercast News Service: The film spends a fair amount of time on the complexity of the cell and makes the point that no one at the time, including Darwin himself – no one could have anticipated that level of complexity …

Ben Stein:
Not even close. (Listen to audio)

Cybercast News Service:
In what way did the film have any influence or change in your thinking and how it relates to intelligent design or scientific inquiry?

Ben Stein:
Oh, when I first started working on this, I had no remote clue of how complicated the cell was, and I was believer just because I’d always been a believer and the idea that an intelligent being created the universe. But after working with these scientists and interviewing them and learning about how complex the cell was and how unlikely the proposition was that it all happened by random chance, then I was just overwhelmed by this data. And I was just overwhelmed by the fact, at least as I am told, that Darwinists have never observed natural species being originated … There’s not even a clear definition of what a species is – and the Darwinists have no theory whatsoever about the origin of life, none whatsoever, except the most hazy, the kind of preposterous, New Age hypothesis. And I think our theory that there is a creator strikes even some people, even Dawkins very possibly, as more likely than it all happened by total chance.

Cybercast News Service:
Mr. Dawkins describes the proponents of ID as being ignorant. They don’t buy into the scientific consensus – a lot of arguments made that there is a rock solid consensus in favor of evolution to explain biology. What is your reaction to this notion of consensus, and how does this complicate the journey for scientist or academics open to the idea?

Ben Stein:
It doesn’t complicate it at all because Dawkins, at least in my opinion, is completely wrong, and we produced a number of people who are bona fide scientists who clearly believe there is a possibility of intelligent design. So, his idea that there is a complete rock solid consensus is completely wrong. I mean, God bless him, he’s obviously an intelligent guy, but it’s obviously wrong. The people we produced weren’t actors pretending to be scientists – they were scientists. (Listen to Audio)

Cybercast News Service:
Why do you think the very idea or suggestion of intelligent design is so antagonistic to scientists who claim they have evidence? Why not have the debate? If they are so confident, why not have debate?

Ben Stein:
That’s a deep question. That’s a sociological, psychological and ethical question. One, if they are Darwinists and they owe their jobs to being Darwinists, they are not going to challenge the orthodoxy because that would challenge the whole basis of their jobs and their lives. So they are not going to challenge the ideology that has given them lush positions in real life. That’s one thing. Second thing, once people are locked into a way of thinking, they are unlikely to change. Third is, if they acknowledge the possibility of intelligent design and that intelligent design is God, then they may think God has moral expectations of them and they may be falling short of those moral expectations, and they may be worried about some sort of judgment upon them. (Listen to Audio)

Cybercast News Service:
The film starts with you giving a presentation about American freedom, and when you get near the end of the film there’s a Polish official – I believe a member of the EU Parliament – who said there’s actually more freedom and latitude in Poland than here in the United States to explore these questions, and he blames it on political correctness. Mr. Stein how did we get to this point? … If there’s more latitude for scientific inquiry overseas in a recently released communist country than there is in the United States of America?

Ben Stein:
That is a very, very, very good question. How did we get here? I don’t know. How did we get to this point in Hollywood? There’s (sic) only certain attitudes allowed about military, religion, or small towns or about business? I don’t know how we got to this, this kind of orthodoxy. I think there is this kind of Marxist establishment in this country that has been overthrown in other countries, but not overthrown here. There is a very powerful Marxist establishment within the intelligentsia that does not allow questioning of its premises. (Listen to Audio)

Cybercast News Service: What do you think needs to happen in academia? What suggestions or prescriptions do you think will come out of the film?

Ben Stein:
We want more freedom. I just spoke to some young people in Orlando. And I said, this to us – at least to me, I don’t know what it is to other people in the film – is a bit like the Civil Rights movement. You want to have freedom, where our goal is freedom. We want freedom. We want all our rights, not some of them, all our rights to free speech. We want them here in America, and we want them now. That’s what we want; we’re not going to get it. But we hope to open the door wider to some serious debate on these issues. (Listen to Audio)

Cybercast News Service: The point is made that journalists have a tendency to embrace the establishment position …

Ben Stein:
If the establishment position is the sort of left-wing establishment position. They are certainly not going to embrace the Republican establishment position. (Listen to Audio)

Cybercast News Service: This reminds me of the global warming debate. The Union of Concerned Scientists, exactly one year ago, put out a report on Exxon Mobil for their position on global warming, and in their report they say too often journalists’ inclination to provide political balance leads to inaccurate reporting – and that members of the media should not quote ExxonMobil officials or anybody who questions the scientific consensus.

Ben Stein:
Yes, that is precisely the analogy. Very well done. I totally agree. There are still plenty of scientists who question fossil fuels’ role in global warming, but you’re not allowed to question that anymore. (Listen to Audio)

Design Found, Intelligence Lacking in Latest Attack by Darwinians

January 7, 2008

From the Family Research Council.

“The National Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Medicine have mounted yet another attack on the scientific theory of intelligent design, publishing an 89-page book titled Science, Evolution, and Creationism. The new publication falsely equates “intelligent design” (a scientific theory which infers the necessity for intelligent design from scientific evidence) with “creationism” (a term usually used for a theory of origins that begins with the Bible or some other religious text). It also lumps together concepts of microevolution within species (such as the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria), which are not controversial, with the more contested theory of macroevolution, which seeks to trace all existing forms of life to a common ancestor. It appears to dodge altogether the crucial question of how living things could have arisen from non-living things in the first place. It also slanders intelligent design as “unscientific” despite peer-reviewed articles on the concept and the credentials of 700 doctoral-level scientists who have publicly questioned Darwinism. Perhaps the biggest problem with the defenders of Darwinian evolution is that, ironically, they have reversed the roles in the supposed historical “war between science and religion,” by declaring Darwinism to be inerrant dogma, and punishing its doubters by burning them at the academic stake.”

Questions in evolution: How do jellyfish, crustaceans and beetles just suddenly appear?

January 5, 2008

From Denyse O’Leary and Uncommondescent.com.

“Animals suddenly appear … and after that nothing much happens. Why? How?

Read the latest post, linked above, at The Design of Life blog and help me think about this. (Currently, I am learning to cope with the fact that Alley Oop has been lying to me for, like, tens of thousands of years, so I can use the help wth thinking.)

The comments facility has been enabled, but for best results, read the blog FAQs first.”

National Academy of Sciences Report on Evolution is Long on Assertion, Short on Evidence

January 5, 2008

From Anika Smith and evolutionnews.org.

“The National Academy of Sciences has published yet another report on evolution, titled “Science, Evolution, and Creationism.” In the ample space of 89 pages, the NAS manages to celebrate evolution as an unassailable truth, completely misrepresent intelligent design, and rehash the same standard Darwinist arguments which have been refuted by critical scientists time and again.

The NAS exaggerates the success of evolution, hyping it as “the foundation for modern biology.” This outrageous claim continues to meet a growing skepticism from scientists around the world. Over 700 doctoral scientists have publicly declared their disagreement by signing a list dissenting from Darwinism, including National Academy of Sciences member Phillip Skell.

In 2005, Dr. Skell wrote in an article published in The Scientist that “the claim that [Darwinian evolution] is the cornerstone of modern experimental biology will be met with quiet skepticism from a growing number of scientists in fields where theories actually do serve as cornerstones for tangible breakthroughs.”

Instead of treating evolutionary theory as an area open to further scientific inquiry, the NAS report canonizes evolution as perfect and immutable, “so well established that no new evidence is likely to alter it.”

“Under their definition, a theory is not a testable area of science but rather an unquestionable dogma,” said CSC program officer Casey Luskin.

Of course, this should come as no surprise, given the NAS’s bias against intelligent design, which challenges Darwinian evolution on scientific grounds. Rather than addressing the science of ID, the report misrepresents the theory as an untestable religious belief. While the report ignores what design theorists actually claim, it chooses to cite the Kitzmiller ruling instead, apparently trusting a judge who copied the ACLU and disregarding the academic freedom of the scientists who stake their reputations and careers on the scientific merit of intelligent design.At bottom, this report does little more than reveal a tired and weary voice of an establishment unwilling to actually address the scientific claims or the thoughtful skepticism of a growing number of scientists who disagree.”

Discovery Institute recently published its own guide for educators, “The Theory of Intelligent Design: A briefing packet for educators to help them understand the debate between Darwinian evolution and intelligent design.” It is available at www.discovery.org.

Mounting Evidence for Intelligent Design Discovered in 2007

January 1, 2008

From Katherin T. Phan and Christian Post.

“From jellyfish fossil finds to the newly discovered function of the appendix, a science and technology watchdog group has released a list of some of the year’s top news that reflect mounting evidence supporting intelligent design.

The Access Research Network – which reports on science, technology and society from an intelligent design perspective – recently released its “Top 10 Darwin and Design News Stories” list for 2007.

“Overall in 2007 I’d say we’ve observed a growing consternation running through many scientific disciplines over Darwinian explanations of the evidence that were once thought to be resolved long ago,” said Kevin Wirth, ARN director of media relations.

Among the top stories the group considers a “growing burden” to Darwinists is the increasing level of complexity being discovered in small biological systems such as living cells and in early life history such as jellyfish. Newly uncovered jellyfish fossils in Utah were dated back 200 million years earlier than the oldest specimens of the modern jellyfish yet showed the same complexity as modern orders and families of jellyfish. These findings, according to ARN, challenge Darwin’s molecule-to-man theory because they reveal that there was an insufficient amount of time for complex life to have developed only via the Darwinian principles of random mutations and natural selection.

Darwin’s “Tree-of-Life” model was also hit hard in 2007 when a scientist at the National Center for Biotechnology Information published a paper claiming the tree pattern could not explain major transitions in biological evolution and instead proposed a “Biological Big Bang” model.

ARN executive director Dennis Wagner noted that science is still recovering from a whole generation of people who have been raised according to “Darwinian fairytales,” such as the teaching that human and chimpanzee genetics only differ by 1 percent and that the appendix is a leftover evolutionary vestige.

“These are Darwinian ‘arguments from ignorance’ that continue to be discarded as scientists uncover the incredible design and purpose of biological systems,” he said.

But the challenges to Darwinism have not been without opposition.

The group notes in its list that political and academic persecution against those who question the evolutionary theory has also been a hallmark for 2007.

“Our modern western culture is so ingrained in the naturalistic Darwinian creation story that those who challenge the story, even with scientific evidence in hand, are treated as outsiders and outcasts,” observed Wagner.

He hopes that Ben Stein’s documentary “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed,” scheduled for release in early 2008, will serve as a “eye-opener” to Americans on the growing hostility toward individuals who have suggested alternative views to Darwinism.

The debate about origins is expected to heat up again significantly in 2008, Wirth said.
“I think we’re beginning to see a growing trend overall that the sufficiency of Darwinian explanations to describe how life evolved is turning out to be substantially inadequate in a growing number of fields, particularly in the areas of genetics and molecular biology,” he noted.
“I think it’s becoming clear that Darwinism is on the verge of one of the greatest challenges it has faced in many decades.”

On the Web: ARN’s “Top 10 Darwin and Design News Stories” at www.arn.org/top10

Let’s open minds, textbooks to intelligent design theories: Intricacies of Earth life-forms, microscopes challenge evolution ideas

December 22, 2007

From Gordon Rose and Indystar.com.

“In our school systems today, science, with its dramatic and continual advancement in knowledge, has to be one of the most interesting as well as important subjects being taught.

Strangely enough, it is here that we are teaching unchallenged, the biggest lie in education — the theory of evolution. Not that the theory shouldn’t be taught — it should, simply because it is believed to be true by so many scientists. But the latest research with modern tools such as the electron microscope, have ruled out any possibility of life on our planet occurring by accident. Modern, competent scientists can show that the unbelievable complexity of design of the human cell, for example, demands the acknowledgement of a designer, or an intelligence far higher than anything we can imagine.

Unfortunately for our students, those in control of the science curriculum have defined science in such a narrow way that only the theory of evolution is allowed to be considered as the explanation for all of the varied life forms on Earth. They do this by demanding a “natural” explanation for the evidence before us, rather than the most “logical” explanation of the evidence. That is the only way they can keep the pseudo-science of evolution going and being unchallenged in the classroom. Critical examination of the theory itself is not found in high school textbooks, and therefore not discussed as part of the course study. Why not?
The bacterial flagellum, for example, is so small that more than 1,000 could fit in the period at the end of this sentence. Its propulsion system consists of dozens of interactive components clearly designed and functioning together as a variable-speed, reversible, rotary motor capable of turning 100,000 revolutions per minute. That is 10 times faster than a NASCAR race engine! And, it can stop and reverse itself in one-quarter of a turn!
Common sense — good, logical reasoning — tells us that this did not come about by accident. But our kids in school are required to believe it did, simply because close-minded educators in control of curriculum are afraid to admit a higher intelligence had to be involved . . . and this lies outside their blind, self-imposed restriction which says they must only explain it by “natural” causes. So they teach a lie instead.
The “religious” smokescreen that die-hard evolutionists keep using is keeping our kids from developing their critical thinking skills and learning truth in science. Instead, they are force-fed a canned, preordained theory that sounded good back in 1859, but does not stand up to the rigorous research and testing of the 21st century.
Gordon Rose is a retired field engineer with NCR. He and his wife live in Fishers. They have five children and nine grandchildren.”