Tuesday, 22 April 2008

Expelling The Myths About "Equal Time" In The Academia


In recent weeks (or months), the religious right have reveled in the release of their propaganda-driven, religiously-slanted film, "Expelled", which, chief amongst its issues, talks about the lack of democratic principles exhibited by the upper echelons of the academia. In such cases, religion again feigns the role of the abused housewife, constantly and consistently whining about how pious, religious folks (Creation "scientists", in this case, if they should be considered as anything but scientists) are being persecuted for making a committed stand for their own professed religion.

The sheer economic and emancipation afforded by democratic nations, in contrast with communist regimes, had ensured that democracy got the upper hand during the post WWII cold wars: With its promise of freedom and human rights, democracy is rightly heralded as the chief beacon of the new era.

That said, the right to choose cannot be exerted in certain facets of society, as I shall attempt to illustrate.

The Importance of Truth in The Education System

In developed and developing nations, education is of paramount importance: Not only does education provide a stable base of blue and white collars for a developed or fledging economy, it is also the cornerstone of intellectual excellence.

Facts must be thought as facts, myths as myths, and so on. It is sheer humbug, for example, to teach science students that the Loch Ness monster exists, or some imaginary deity pulls the strings of its earthly minions, because such ideas cannot survive the hypothesis of science, or measure up to any other yardsticks which constitute "truth".

Trying to whitewash the Nazi's crimes to students in a history class by proclaiming that the Holocaust is nothing more than Jewish propaganda designed to hoodwink the soft-hearted Jewish sympathizers would be stretching the story too far, for anyone who proclaims such profound nonsense must be able to commit himself or herself to provide a mountain of evidence to refute the tons of documented evidence of Hitler's gruesome gulag camps, built with the insidious purpose of eliminating the Jewish and other supposedly "inferior" races.

Facts and evidences cannot be distorted to look truthful: The truth, be it a paragon of virtue, or the sheer depravity of evil, depraved minds, must be presented as nothing other than the truth.

Since education workers are in the business of educating the young, it is imperative that they cannot be swayed by public opinion: Any deviation from facts and truths must be presented unambiguously, and being vested with such responsibilities, secular teaching staffs should be obligated to become the bastion of truth, not chicanery and tomfoolery, in dispensing their services.
Science: Not The Right Institution For Democracy

Like Education, Science is not in the demeaning business of blind indoctrination: While Creationists are attempting to destroy Science from within by introducing the "Let the parents decide what is to be taught" horse shit, the unbridled truth is that facts and truth are not democratic ideals: Any scientific idea, no matter how rational or absurd, must be validated by the golden sickle of proof.

Expelling Nonsensical, Religious Bullshit From the Academia

Scientists, such as the infamous Michael Behe, have the temerity to introduce Creationist ideas into the Scientific community (Behe was infamously proven wrong when he claimed that the flagellum couldn't be reduced into simpler, molecular parts): Fine, let them dish out their most absurd claims in their quest for a invisible deity in the sky, but do not expect a single ounce of sympathy from the rest of the Scientific community when these morons find themselves being stonewalled by their own universities (Behe has since been disowned by his own institution, Lehigh University) and ignored by respectable, scientific publications.

After all, when you start playing with the worms, you will be treated like a worm.

57 comments:

Larro FCD said...

I've been following this one. If you go to the "Expelled" MySpace page you'll only find Christians on the "Friends" list. Spouting "God Bless!" and other words of encouragement to the makers of this "documentary". It's blatant pandering to the religious community who have found themselves "left out" of the scientific debate...

Why do they feel "left out" again?

All-in-all I truly see this as a token death throe, a feeble attempt at "debunking" science. This, I hope, will be short-lived.

Anonymous said...

It's questionable why evolution is not more explicitly taught in Singapore at the primary school levels. At least one Singapore PSLE reference book actually allows both viewpoints.

The mountain of evidence for evolution should compel that evolution be taught as rather more than just a theory, just like the holocaust is plain fact.

BEAST said...

Actually, the word "theory", when used in scientific terms, is a misnomer, because theory often refers to something that is unjustified.

Scientific theory embodies facts and data: It is the interpretation of the data that gives the word "theory" some form of credibility.

Beast

drd said...

oh come now fella's, Gravity is not a "theory"....Gravetons are the theory of how it happens.

Evolution has some area's that seem to point to common decent, and others that point away from it.
Pseudogenes are good evidence of common decent on one hand, yet they also are a good representation of 'devolution'.

Evolution cannot be a 'fact' until it answers certain critical questions.
1. What is the mechanism?
Natural selection can never account for new traits. This is the where the pavement meets the rubber. The 'natural selection argument' falls way short.
2. How do we account for the first biomolecule? No good mechanism for this is available.
3. Why can't we reproduce this phenomena? With our best laboratory techniques we cannot induce evolution on a macro scale, only the micro scale.

I could go on, but it would likely bore you.
The final point is: Evolution is a THEORY because its incomplete, needs refining, and is not proven. It won't advance past the theory phase until it can pass these sound scientific tests and criteria for 'fact'.

BEAST said...

Natural selection cannot account for new traits? Either you must be sleeping, or you don't look around nature very much.

We can't reproduce the effects of the sun in the lab either. Can we say the sun doesn't exist? No. Like the sun, evolution is observable phenomenon.

DRD, you claim to be a doctor: You of all people should know what a scientific theory is.

I rest my case.

Beast

BEAST said...

Natural selection cannot account for new traits? Either you must be sleeping, or you don't look around nature very much.

We can't reproduce the effects of the sun in the lab either. Can we say the sun doesn't exist? No. Like the sun, evolution is observable phenomenon.

DRD, you claim to be a doctor: You of all people should know what a scientific theory is.

I rest my case.

Beast

drd said...

Once again Beast, you are out of your field. If you understood natural selection, you would know that it cannot account for "new traits", it only selects traits to pass on that are advantageous.

To do this, the traits must exist to be selected.

So, please don't claim that NS can produce something new. It cannot.

Secondly, we do know the physical mechanism by which the sun operates. We do NOT know the mechanism by which the theory of Evolution supposedly operates.

To reproduce nuclear fission has been done, and nuclear fusions mechanism is well understood. No such thing can be said of Evolution.

Laboratory methods to reproduce anything remotely similar to macro evolution have failed miserably, as have any experiment to generate life from nonlife.

BEAST said...

1. Natural selection eliminates traits that are basically useless, and allows those that are survivable to the species to survive. It eliminates the randomness of mutations, most of which are largely redundant or detrimental for survival.

If one is to claim that natural selection cannot account for new traits, one is obviously not a biologist.

2.It is quite obvious that current technologies cannot replicate macroevolution.....it takes a long time for most species to evolve into a wholly different species. Like I said earlier, there are many phenomena that cannot be replicated in the lab.....The sun is obviously the best example. Supernovas are another.

Beast

drd said...

With all due respect, Natural Selection is the mechanism whereby some advantageous traits are 'selected' (hence the name) to be passed on due to the environmental pressures on the organism. Natural selection 'selects' those traits ALREADY in the population via the pressures related to species survival. Again, even the non-biologist can follow this simple fact.
*Natural Selection does not and cannot produce new traits, rather selects (hence the name) existing traits within a species population*

I don't know how much clearer I can make this to help you out here Beast, maybe if you go to wikipedia that will help.

Secondly, Supernova, and nuclear fusion are well outlined mechanisms that are documented and completely undestood.

Macro evo:
We have the equivelent of 'millions of years' of lab testing on various species with short gestation times, and done everything imaginable to produce any evidence of macro changes, and....yep, you guessed it, nada, nothing, zippo.

Of course, that does not mention the Origin of Life problem, which your boy Dawkins admits may be 'intelligently designed'...only he proposes if it is, little green men did it!! WOW, nice theory Richy!!

drd said...

oh, yes, let me not forget crystals...they may be the mysterious organizing force behind it all!

You know, snowflakes are very organized, and systemantic, they are, of course, totally random, so, there ya go! Randomness explains everything!

Oh, but we do have this little problem of 'information', since no snowflake or crystal contains any information systems, replication and organic intelligence for production of life is completely missing, but hey, I am sure thats only a minor problem.

In the end, if its totally random, so are these key strokes, they are without meaning and I guess thats why you don't get my point, nor I yours. There is no such thing as a point, since even thoughts are random chemical/electrical accidents!

BEAST said...

Don't know what you are driving at, but evolution is not entirely based on mere mathematical random.

Richard dawkins even argued that had evolution been determined by mere numbers alone it wouldn't work. Obviously natural selection must be in place to weed out the useless gene traits from the gene pool.

Oh, btw DRD, you might want to show some respect here. If you want to debate, keep your nuisance cat calls aside before I start doing the inevitable.

Beast

drd said...

What I am driving at is this:
1. As the summit in Switzerland coming up is going to point out, the existing model for evolution has failed all scientific validity tests. No origin, no mechanism, not reproducable. It needs drastic revamping.

2. Its a theory in every sense of the word.

3. The education system is certainly biased against any critisism toward it despite these facts.

4. A God directed theory fits much more closely with what we see in science than does a theory which invokes random chance and theoretical ideas with no mechanisms for action.

BEAST said...

Lol... A submit in Switzerland? By who? The paedophile priests from the Church?

Please.....

If evolution is a failed "theory" as you say, everything, from biology to even medicine, will have to be revamped drastically.

Beast

drd said...

Beast, your rebuttal is simple ad hominem response. No substance what so ever.

Next, you assert that if evolution needs revamped, so does all of biology, and medicine. Really? How so?

Its interesting that you have that opinion, and frankly, your not alone: however, its totally incorrect.
As my second son pointed out to the grad research student who said "if you don't believe in evolution, how can you understand what we are doing here?
Well, they are looking at blood serum and histology slides of alligator pituitary glands and testing growth hormone in the serum. The theory is that the shuttle fuel waste product is causing an increase in pituitary function, resulting in larger gators, with more eggs.

My son simply replied (and wisely):
Please explain how belief in evolution effects our work in this project? We are looking at the by product of shuttle fuels effect on physiology of gators. Its either affecting it, or its not, and evolution has NOTHING to do with it.

Your assertion is simply put, wrong. It has no connection to the vast majority of biology or medicine.
Its a failed theory for the reasons I have stated.

I would love to see if you can have a non 'ad hominem' response, of any substance to any of the points I made.

BEAST said...

1. "if you don't believe in evolution, how can you understand what we are doing here?
Well, they are looking at blood serum and histology slides of alligator pituitary glands and testing growth hormone in the serum. The theory is that the shuttle fuel waste product is causing an increase in pituitary function, resulting in larger gators, with more eggs."

This is evolution at work: Evolution is about change, changes in life forms caused by the interaction between existing life forms and the environment.

In this case, the waste product reacted with the croc genes to create this effect. This is mutation, a process that also involves evolution.

2. Since you talk about ad hominems, go scroll up and read who started the ad hominems: "oh, yes, let me not forget crystals...they may be the mysterious organizing force behind it all!" Is it the case of the "pot calling the kettle black"???

If evolution is a failed theory, then the vast majority of the scientific establishment must be made up of imbecilical buffoons, and biology as a whole would need to be revised: Mutations wouldn't occur, life forms don't change, and invisible space monkeys would be the leading cause in the diversity of life forms.

Beast

Anonymous said...

Ah, but Beast, we are not talking about change with respect to environment or with respect to time when we talk about 'evolution' as is debated here, and in Expelled. No no no. Anyone with a shred of common sense acknowledges "MICRO" evolution and change with respect to selective pressures and change over time.

But, your lack of background in siences leads you to some incorrect assumptions: (not a dig, just pointing out the obvious)
1. The alligator endocrine changes with the introduction of the shuttle fuel waste is NOT mutation, nor evolution. The fuel by product is simply acting as a stimulant to the endocrine system, and increases the release of growth hormone when the organism is exposed to it. Remove the waste product, and the alligator is unchanged from a genetic standpoint. There is no semblance of the evolutionary theory of which we debate, present in this research. Nor is there any argument about what occurs or may occur.

Next, my comment on crystals was not an ad hominem toward any person, rather it points out the absurdity in a failed theory regarding origins of life. I did not attack a class of people (such as pedophile preists), or maybe you equate bashing an absurd theory with bashing a stupid idea?
Hmm..I attack an idea, and you attack people...and the definition of ad hominem is?

Lastly, if evolution is a failed theory, biology won't be revamped at all. More research will continue, and those who have agnostic/atheistic worldview will interpret data from their perspective, and those with some Theology will do likewise. Science will go on, and what is true will stand, and what is false will be revamped.
Mutations will continue, and most will be neutral, and the vast majority of the rest will be harmful. And we will continue to try and make sense of it all.

drd said...

whoops...forgot to put my name on the last post
DRD

BEAST said...

"But, your lack of background in siences leads

That's not ad hominem?

DRD, DRD.....if evolution is a failed theory, then mutations, natural selection and all biological theories will indeed come to a standstill: What is the use of producing new antibiotics if diseases do not mutate?

I assume you are arguing against the origins of life.....you want to presume that a deity of sorts spark of the whole chain of events....something which again no one can prove.

As for chemicals and mutations, we already know that certain chemicals can cause mutations (That is where cancer from smoking comes in) in cells, and that is also part and parcel of evolution.

Evolution is change. And that is something you christians cannot handle.

Beast

BEAST said...

Point of note: Mutation is part and parcel of evolution. If you want to discredit evolution, then you need to throw mutations out of the window. You can't have the whole cake and eat it all at once.

Mutations + Natural selection = evolution. Its all a very simple equation. No Gods required!

Beast

BEAST said...

"Anyone with a shred of common sense acknowledges "MICRO" evolution and change with respect to selective pressures and change over time."

Ah, so you want to acknowledge micro evolution and not macroevolution, cos it fits into your biblical worldview whereby the earth is like, 6000 yrs old.

You see, DRD, Science is not religion: It doesn't eschew evidence to fit into a certain rigid dogma or worldview.

Like Tim (Splinters of Silver), you want Science to fit into your religious agenda. Science doesn't work that way, and neither is it democratic.

Beast

drd said...

No Beast, my comment on your lack of a scientific background is not ad hominem. You have admitted it in prior conversations, and its fact and not an attack at all.

I am not a scholar in history, liturature, or languages, that is also fact, and if pointed out, its no ad hominem.

drd said...

Let us be clear here beast: I do not claim that mutations do not happen, and you know this.
Mutations happen, and most are neutral (you argued this with me long ago and have yet to admit you were wrong). The large majority of the rest of the mutations are negative, with a very few having any positive advantages.

So, you know that I do not deny mutation or natural selection. You will notice however, that bacterial mutation to environmental pressures that yield new strains such as MRSA (medicine resistant Staph A.) still do not change the bacteria into anything but bacteria with mutational changes. Its still STAPH. And, when enviromental pressures are removed for sufficient times, STAPH would revert back to being suseptible to older varieties of antibiotics.

So, please don't take this argument/discussion into an area that its not. I do not deny (nor does any reasonable person with scientific knowledge) that mutations occur, and selective pressures act on them, or mutagins exist. I have never said that. I have said that none of these facts support the theory of Darwin. Neither in its original form, or any form subsequent to date.

drd said...

In regard to 'origins of life', yes, I believe that the most rational explanation is God. All evidence points to a supernatural beginning. The attempts to explain O&I from naturalistic paradigms have failed horribly. In fact, more money is not aimed in research at finding life in outer space, than figuring out how it began here. You know why? Because the biochemical researchers are all be giving up and feel they gotta look elsewhere.

Now, you will not hear this publically, in fact, just the opposite. The reason is simple economics. Admit this, and all research dollars are shut off. Dollars are what pays the bills and keeps departments open.

drd said...

I acknowledge micro-evolution because its fact. I am skeptical about Macro, and in fact doubt it seriously because of the scientific lack of evidence to support it.

The fact that it fits my biblical world view is a great support to my faith, but in fact, its one of the things that led me to faith, not the other way around. Gods evidence in His Creation is great testimony to the Truth of Who He is.

In regard to 'eschewing' evidence to fit world views, WOW, now that is the pot calling the kettle black.

BEAST said...

Lol.

Stick to your own world view if you want.

To scientists, micro and macro are just terms to determine the length of time required for a mutated phenomenon to manifest itself.

Both micro and macro can easily be proven by tonnes of scientific evidence.

This will be my last post to this article.

Beast

drd said...

Your assertion is without a shred of backup, you simply assert something as if its true.
But, its not. There is no evidence to prove macro.
Your world view belies your bias.

BEAST said...

LOLZ.

tina FCD said...

Ditto! LOL!

Larro FCD said...

The whole issue with "Expelled" is whether or not Intelligent Design (ie. Creationism) can be considered a valid scientific theory itself. Not whether evolutionary biology is valid or not (we already know it's a sound scientific theory that is tested everyday).

Intelligent Design as science will never be anything more than hypothesis. Unless of course we can find physical evidence of the designer.

drd said...

Partially true Larro. ID is not science persey. It makes no predictions, and is not testable. Hence, its not science.

What it is is a valid set of critisisms of a hypothesis that has a poor track record of producing mechanisms for its predictions; and poor history of prediction in general. The fact that most of the fossil record shows 'stasis' rather than gradual change, is a halmark of the failures of the predictions of evolution.

ID makes theses valid critisisms, but goes too far when it claims to be 'science' or 'theory'. It is merely a critique of an existing theory, and does not offer anything new in science.

In this light, ID is not even a hypothesis, in that it makes no predictions. Hard physical evidence of something 'beyond' nature will never occur. What may well, and in my opinion, already has occured is the prepoderance of forencic proof of a Creator.

Hope this clerifies my position on ID. I have never asserted that ID is a valid theory of evolution or creation, and it does not proport to be.

Anonymous said...

Fucking atheists still at it. die already.

aduki said...

DRD man, I have a question for you. Why do you do it? why do you argue with these fools? One's a bus driver, and one draws shit for a living. Probably some poly dropout. So why do you bother engaging them? All the do is run to wikipedia every time they see a big word.

Don't waste your time.

tina FCD said...

lolol!!

Larro FCD said...

What? Are you texting from a cell phone?

Larro FCD said...

You wish you had my job.

Larro FCD said...

Because it is ABSOLUTELY NOT about the pay.

Larro FCD said...

Sorry DRD, I'm glad for your clarification. Scientific methodology and religious theology (origin hypothesis) as of yet can not mix (and I seriously don't see how it can).

Larro FCD said...

I use Dictionary.com as well. It might help improve your spelling aduki.

Aduki said...

Trust me, I don't want to be a bus driver. It would be a waste of my intelligence, and all the effort and money I put into my studies.

Larro FCD said...

At least your using a dictionary. You may need some help on the grammar though. Me too.

Larro FCD said...

My job is no "job".

The greatest thing about it is that it is not self-serving in the least.

You don't need a degree to help people in need.

Larro FCD said...

You come across quite elitist.

Larro FCD said...

I could have a PhD and you wouldn't even know it.

aduki said...

If I had a Ph.D I wouldn't want to be a bus driver. Who cares, we all know you don't have a Ph.D.

Working for a non profit organization doesn't say anything about your character if that's the only job you could get.

Try to consolidate all your messages into one post, if you can handle that. What you're doing now makes you look like a scatterbrained dimwit.

aulddwone said...

Hi Beast,

With regards to the word "theory", scientists and laymen indeed use it in 2 completely different ways.

Another way to see it would be that scientists are a pretty modest lot, they only dare to call their conjectures "theories" even when they're backed up by mountains of data.

Religionists, on the other hand, tend to be very sure about their speculations, even when they fly in the face of real data.

drd said...

scientists are a pretty modest lot???

You clearly have not met many scientists, or at least you don't know them well.

Larro FCD said...

Personal attacks are unwarranted because in all actuality no one knows anybody on the internet.

Of course me being a dim-wit apparently gives me no say in anything whatsoever. That's what elitist academics are good at; If you don't have an "education" you're pieces of shit. And obviously are incapable of thinking for yourself so you better shut the fuck up and be a meek little lamb and let us intellectual elites run the show.

That's how revolutions get started.

Aduki said...

your say!!!!!? you mean what you read on wikipedia?

I know you from more than the internet BTW.

aulddwone said...

Of course I meant being modest in their scientific assertions, not necessarily in their personal demeanour.

Chadley said...

Hi,

I became an Atheist over a year ago. While I am pleasantly surprised to find out that there are also attempts to start a movement for Atheists in Singapore, the last post you wrote here was a little too offensive.

I myself acknowledge and question the highly privileged status of religion, including Singapore itself, but there's no need to make ourselves look elitist. We can write something without resorting to kid gloves and at the same time need not go all out to turn off potential readers such as Creationists.

Anonymous said...

ITS FUNNY YOU ALL DONT BELIEVE IN RELIGION BUT SOMHOW ITS ALL YOU CA SEEM TO TALK ABOUT. DOENT THAT KIND OF MAKE RELIGION YOUR LIFE? WHETHER DISPROVING IT OR NOT ITS ALL YOU NON BELIVERS DO. LOLOLOLOLOL

michele said...

Science does not have all the answers yet. And that is exactly the beauty of it. That it does not claim to have the truth and knowledge like religions do. Go read more about the scientific method.

Also, there's a new film out for atheists! Bill Maher's Religulous is coming out sometime end of this year.

Anonymous said...

YOUR KNOWLEDGE OF SCIENCE ACTUALLY JUST SHOWS YOUR LACK OF KNOWLEDGE. SO TELL ME HOW THE EARTH WAS CREATED, HOW IT JUST FLOATS, WHY IS IT CIRCULAR? HOW DID IT ALL START?

AND LOL NO WE DID NOT EVOLVE FROM MONKEYS, THATS THE STUPIDEST THING IVE EVER HEARD. LIKE I SAID. YOU THINK YOUR KNOWLEDGE CAN PROVE ANYTHING, BUT IT ONLY SHOWS YOUR LACK OF KNOWLEDGE. GOD GAVE US TWO BRAIN HEMISPHERES. HE WOULD HAVE JUST LEFT OUT THE RIGHT SIDE IF HE WANTED US ALL TO THINK LOGICALLY ABOUT EVERYTHING.
LOLOL
YOU KNOW, SCIENCE HAS BEEN USED TO DISPROVE ALL YOUR "LOGICAL" BELIEFS...OR ATHEISTIC VIEWPOINTS.

WE HAVE TWO HALVES OF A BRAIN FOR A REASON, SO WE CAN BELIEVE THE UNNATURAL, UNREAL, UNEXPLANABLE THINGS IN CREATION.

DUH!!

Atheists are stupid said...

WTF do you mean by religion claims to have all the answers? No it does not. God may have all the answers, not 'religion', whatever the fuck you mean by 'religion'. In the mean while people(religious or not) are free to use science to try and figure shit out, but of course the beauty of science; the shit the figured out will all be wrong in the future.

Yeah, bill maher, the dick from comedy central got a movie coming out to end all discussions. Can't wait.

Chadley said...

Amazing to know that there are people (See the comments above mine) who has the same mindset as I did years ago. Well, good for me as I got smarter. Let's see how God would strike me down with a thunderbolt when I come up with a web site that mocks Christianity and Creationism.

Atheists should be ashamed. said...

Yes, I bet you'll get a million views on your website. Good luck with that. God forbid it ends up like this one.

Over the years you either became smarter, or you gave in to Satan. You have to consider both the possibilities.

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