Saturday, May 17, 2008

More on 'Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed'

FIRST-PERSON: The difference 'Expelled' will make is an article authored by William Dembski which discusses the movie Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed and other related matters. Quoting from the article:

Who's right? That's the wrong question. Anyone who has studied the history of science knows about "the pessimistic induction." The pessimistic induction says that all scientific theories of the past have to varying degrees been wrong and required modification (some were so wrong that they had to be abandoned outright). No scientific theory is written in stone. No scientific theory should be venerated. Every scientific theory should now and again be subjected to severe scrutiny. This is healthy for science.

Biological theories of origin (abiogenesis and evolution) do arouse a level of passion not found associated with other scientific fields of endeavor. That includes a defensiveness on the part of its advocates that belies the "pessimistic induction" noted by Dembski. Another quote:

Spotlighting yet another sin of society is all fine and good. Happily, Expelled also suggests a way forward in the debate over biological origins. The most surprising thing viewers learn from watching the film is the flimsiness of the scientific evidence for thinking life can be explained apart from a designing intelligence -- the other side's rhetoric notwithstanding. Take Jeffrey Kluger's review of the film for Time Magazine:

"He [Stein] makes all the usual mistakes nonscientists make whenever they try to take down evolution, asking, for example, how something as complex as a living cell could have possibly arisen whole from the earth's primordial soup. The answer is it couldn't -- and it didn't. Organic chemicals needed eons of stirring and slow cooking before they could produce compounds that could begin to lead to a living thing."

The author thinks he is being clever and that he is showing Ben Stein's ignorance of an essential element and guarantor of the process- eons of time. But it does nothing more than illustrate a substitution of scientific faith for empirical supporting data- something nonscientists, let alone scientists, should find objectionable.

The linked article includes this notice:

© Copyright 2008 Baptist Press. All Rights Reserved. Terms of Use.

Also of interest to potential viewers of the movie are links at this site.



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