Monday, February 25, 2008

I think I'm in love....

...with Ben Stein


Don said...

Too long has religion left a bad taste in the mouths of those who choose not to believe. Now religion is reaping what it sowed. Intelligent Design is so, so obvious to the heart, but can become so distant if only the mind is involved. I'm with Ben, the Darwinians are running scared because they know there are so many holes in their ideas.

Barbara said...

Very good video, thanks for sharing it. I wonder if I can get my friend who's a huge Richard Dawkins fan to watch it.

karen said...

Ben Stein is a very smart man and it's nice to see him doing this.

barbara...hmmmmmmm. Let us know how THAT goes! LOL!

simplydave said...

I don't go to see movies very often but I reckon I might make an exception for this one. It will be interesting to see if my daughter's partner makes any comment about it as he is a huge Dawkins fan...hmmm...

karen said...

Hmmmmm. This Dawkins fellow is certainly popular....hmmmm. DaRWin....DaWKin....I'm seeing a pattern....

Missy said...

Good find, Karen. Maybe I should see this with my Dad. It has potential for an interesting discussion.

karen said...

Missy, I'd like to be a fly on the wall during that discussion! It would be very interesting!

Kansas Bob said...

Thanks for the link Karen. I posted the youtube version at my place.

Sad what passes these days for science in the world of academia. I'm with Ben on this one.

Joe said...

I think this will be the first time that I have disagreed with one of your posts. I have often enjoyed Ben Stein's unique sense of humor but I generally disagree with his advice. I think Ben checks the breeze for the popular opinion before he wades in with his editorial pen.

This video is nothing more than marketing hype to drum up business for his "movie". He dares you to see his movie like so many e-mails dare you to forward them to 5, 10 or more friends and loved ones unless you don't believe in God!

Generally speaking science educators don't have an issue with scientific challenges of Darwin's Theory, after all, it is only a theory based on scientific study not a LAW. These science educators disagree with teaching faith-based beliefs as scientific theory.

Creation or Intelligent Design (the code name for Creation disguised as scientific theory) is not the belief of all faiths. There are many different beliefs regarding the creation of the universe. If the Christian definition of Creation should be taught in schools should the schools teach all the faith-based Creation models? Not all Christians believe in a literal translation of the Book of Genesis and its description of the creation of the universe. How shall educators decide which Christian concept of Creation to teach when Christian religions cannot agree on one concept?

I believe that every religious organization has the right to establish its own faith-based beliefs regarding the supernatural realm and the creation and purpose of the universe and mankind. I don't believe that any faith-based beliefs should be taught in schools as scientific theory.

I welcome Ben to dispute all the scientific theories regarding the creation of the universe and the evolution of species with the same scientific processes used to establish these theories. I also welcome him to present his faith-based beliefs regarding the creation of the universe and the evolution of species as long as he will recognize the right of all other religions to hold and profess their beliefs no matter how contrary they may be to Ben's beliefs.

karen said...

It's fine for you to disagree with me, Joe. We haven't always seen eye to eye. That's okay.

I don't agree that Ben Stein goes with the breeze. He's never seemed that way to me. He's always been no-nonsense.

Of course he wants us to see his movie. And, I want to see it. I don't think this promo is anything akin to thoses insipid emails. This is advertising. So what?

I disagree that science educators don't have an issue with challenging Darwin's Theory. Start a conversation questioning this theory by reminding them that it's only a theory. See where that gets ya.

This promo wasn't about teaching Creation, Intelligent Design, Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, or any other faith-based belief in schools. It was about scientists who believe that there was/is an intentional, intelligent, creative, force behind the making of everything, and how those scientists are received by other scientists.

Lastly, I didn't see him trying to stop anyone from any pursuance of their field of study.This promo was about close-mindedness and bigotry--the kind of stuff everyone is guilty of at one time or another.

Kansas Bob said...

I agree with your last comment Karen. Really, we aren't debating science here.. no one was there to observe creation.. hence no observable science.. just theories built around scant "evidence".. of course the evidence doesn't include the science of statistical analysis :)

What we have here are people who have faith in Darwinism and people who disagree with their "faith".. and some of these "scientists" are more like fundamentalists when they are challenged :)

karen said...

Excellent point, KB. "Faith in Darwinism."

Joe said...

We will have to disagree on Ben Stein in general and specifically whether Religious dogma should be taught as if it is science.

Scientists argue about the adequacy of all theoretical models - some more rationally than others. Generally recognized THEORIES are based on fact and/or hypothesis supported by scientific observation of the natural world.

Religion is based on faith.

While Ben does accuse scientists of not accepting challenges of the Darwinian theory of the evolution of species, I believe Ben's real issue is with science not accepting Intelligent Design as a scientific model rather than just a religious model.

You should recognize that Ben is using the same tactic that the Bush administration uses to discredit opponents of the war in Iraq. They attack the authority of their opponents by implying that they are not Patriotic. The question should not be whether Americans opposed to the war are Patriotic, instead the question should be whether continuing to wage a war in Iraq would be justified by agression against the US or its allies if they were not now fighting in Iraq.

Don't let Ben steer you away from an honest rational consideration of the issue with his diversionary attack on the authority of his opponents.

You should also remember that scientists placed the sun at the center of the solar system while religion placed the earth at the center. Those scientists paid at the stake with their lives for disagreeing with the church. What kind of threats is Ben now using?

Joe said...

You can call it "faith in Darwinisn" but it is actually confidence supported by the scientific process.

Kansas Bob said...

I think I see where you are coming from Joe. What do you do with scientists that make the leap and say that Darwinism explains the origins of man apart from the existence of God? Is that a "logical" conclusion to Darwinism? If not how do you see Darwinism in light of a divine presence? Theistic evolution?

karen said...

Joe, the discussion wasn't about whether religious dogma should be taught as if it is science, and even if it were, you don't know my stance, so how can we be in disagreement?

Again, this isn't about religion.

I think Ben's premise is that scientists are not allowed to even work with the idea of intelligent design, they are shunned for it.

I fail to see a correlation between your comments about Bush politics and Ben Stein's movie. Are you throwing political views in here to derail the discussion at hand?

"Don't let Ben steer you away from an honest rational consideration of the issue with his diversionary attack on the authority of his opponents."
I rarely let anyone steer me away from rational consideration. Are you saying that Darwinian scientists are somehow more of an authority and more rational than a scientist who is a believer in a Source, or a God, or an intelligent designer? Where we are in science now is not where we will be in the future. Better we keep an open mind either way.

"You should also remember that scientists placed the sun at the center of the solar system while religion placed the earth at the center. Those scientists paid at the stake with their lives for disagreeing with the church. What kind of threats is Ben now using?"
Threats? Who fired off some threats? I see this as simply exposing another form of persecution. And, scientists once claimed the world was flat; that some critter or something was turning the earth; that the atom is the smallest particle; and so on. Even in our lifetime, science has backpeddled many times. To those in the future, we will seem as backward as we think those in the past were.

And, people have been burning, killing, maiming, and destroying people who disagree with them for various reasons, for all of time.

"You can call it "faith in Darwinisn" but it is actually confidence supported by the scientific process."
Evolution is still a theory. Confidence is not proof. The scientific process is just that. A process--and one that changes it's "proofs" constantly.

Kansas Bob said...

Hi Joe.. I thought about "scientific process" and looked this up in wiki:

A scientific method consists of the collection of data through observation and experimentation, and the formulation and testing of hypotheses.

Not sure that Darwinism came from observation and experimentation and don't think that there was a whole lot of theory testing involved.

Let's face it.. Darwinism is attractive to so many and has become the academic standard because it provides an explanation for mankind's beginnings that excludes God.

Hope I didn't rant too much Joe.

Sorry to distract Karen. Agree with what you have said about Ben.. the issue he is addressing is pseudo-intellectual silliness.. not science.

Joe said...

Bob, if you are not sure whether Darwinism came from observation and experimentation then what is your basis for disagreeing with it? Do you even know what Darwin claims or are you satisfied with calling it pseudo-intellectual silliness without first understanding the theory and its development?

What makes you think that Darwinism excludes God? We know that species, including man, are constantly evolving. The evolution is observable and measurable. That said I have no reason to believe that all species have evolved from one simple life form. Nor do I have proof that they did not.

I'm always amazed when a Christian disagrees with science because it conflicts with his literal translation of Genesis. They say "The world was not created by a Big Bang event." I say God could have used any means and methods to create the universe. If God had created the universe with a Big Bang event, how would he have described that process to his people thousands of years ago? Would a more scientific explanation of the creation improve the message that Genesis contains for man?

Neither you nor Karen have "ranted" too much to me on this subject. I enjoy the discussion as always.

Kansas Bob said...

Hi Joe,

I am enjoying the dialog as well. I am certainly not a literalist or an anti-literalist with regard to Genesis.. I am simply comfortable with the idea that God made man in His image. I guess that is why I am not a Darwinist.

For me anyway it is a huge leap to say that man evolved from apes. I see man as unique in all of creation and unlike any other created being. We have abilities that no other beings on earth have and we have the ability to receive the Holy Spirit. I think that this separates from the beasts.

You are probably right about my knowledge of Darwinism as it was taught to me 40 years ago. However, I don't think that I need to be an anthropologist to reject it at a conceptual level.. after all is is just one theory of many.

Hope your week is going well.


John T. said...

Hi Bob

Heres a quote for you.

"No beast so fierce but knows some touch of pity. But I know none, and therefore I am no beast."

Joe said...

The very little I know about Shakespeare's plays was forced into me well before I was mature enough to appreciate anything except horseplay, The Wonderful World of Disney and the mystery of pretty girls. Therefore, all I can say in response to the comment by John T. is "What"....

John T. said...

Hi Joe

Bob made reference to not being a "beast", or at least being separate from the beasts. It reminded of the movie runaway train, as the lead character was beating a man, when interrupted by someone saying "youre an animal." He then turned to her and said, "no, worse, Human.

The shakespeare quote was at the end of the movie.