Friday, November 16, 2007

Intelligent Design Advocate, Ben Stein!

If this trailer for the movie Expelled - - isn't actually a joke, Ben Stein has turned from Trial Lawyer/Game Show Host to Science Critic and an advocate of Intelligent Design. From my impression of the trailer, the movie seems to brand itself as a rebellion against Big Science, the David to the Goliath of DARWINISM. Following in the footsteps of cigarettes, beer, and drugs, the film is trying to make Intelligent Design seem counter-cultural and cool.

Note to Kids: When something brands itself as counter-cultural and cool, it's usually really bad for you.

What can I say about Intelligent Design that hasn't already been said? It's a religiously based ideology. If you want to believe in Intelligent Design, you're more than welcome to. Meanwhile the US continues to produce fewer scientists while China and India gleefully continue to pick up the slack. As creationism and Intelligent Design have increasingly presented themselves as alternatives to "big science" (read: actual science) in the schools, does it seem like a coincidence that our kids' math and analytic scores have taken an abysmal turn compared to those of other advancing nations?

When trusted people and institutions, like our religious leaders and churches, spend their capital trying to undermine the credibility of the very concepts that have propelled Western Civilization into global dominance, what do they expect the outcome will be? What do they think our children will do? Withdraw from "big science" as they have?

"We just want a fair hearing!" beg the Intelligent Design folk. "You're not even listening!"

Ah. But we are listening. You have gotten a fair hearing. And we Do understand. Intelligent Design is not born of science. It's born of religious belief.

What proponents of Intelligent Design choose to omit is that SCIENCE is not a conclusion. SCIENCE is a process. It's a method for answering questions. In a nutshell, this is science:

When you start with a conclusion, and search for ways to bolster your conclusion, you are way outside the realm of science. Does that mean your conclusion is wrong? Not necessarily. But it's not SCIENCE. Intelligent Design falls apart as a scientific theory at the fourth step, Test With An Experiment.

So you believe an absolute creator zapped certain creations into existence in an instant. How do you test for that in an observable way?

We're confronted with the challenge now of testing for two things 1) That there is an absolute creator and 2) that the absolute creator designed elements of life in an instant.

Do you see what's happening? Intelligent Design, in its zeal to be treated as science, tries to subject religious faith to scientific scrutiny. This beautiful, spiritual part of the human experience is now cast into the cold, clinical light of science; a franchise entirely based on experiences of the flesh...what we can observe with our human senses. Why the faithful community would want to do this is beyond understanding.

How far has religion fallen? Rather than embracing the scientific method as an extension of itself, a spiritual gift from God, it is now trying to conform to science. Rather than being above science, it's trying to BE science.

It seems to me that the ones lacking faith are those who are trying to prove their religious doctrine in earthly, scientific terms. Ben Stein, Pat Robertson, advocates of Intelligent Design, that would be you.