Everybody's favorite dead-pan teacher and game show host, Ben Stein, is the face of a new documentary to be released this April called "Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed". It's ostensibly a movie about attacks on freedom of speech in today's hostile climate among scientists in academia, but on closer inspection it really seems to be a thinly veiled screed for Intelligent Design.
A quick search of the web provides the background: the production company for the film is the same that produced The Passion of the Christ; its CEO and one of the film's producers recently questioned the Godliness of the administration at Baylor University over an ID-related incident; and the producers used Stein as the narrator specifically because he wasn't "overtly religious."
What's perhaps most dangerous about the film is not that it works to present Intelligent Design as a legitimate scientific theory, but that it tries to tear down Darwinism by equating it with Social Darwinism and therefore eugenics and racism (and Nazis; see Godwin's law).
Professor Paul Zachary Myers at the University of Minnesota is one of the scientists interviewed for the film. He's recently been caught up in a blog exchange with the film's producers regarding this and other topics to do with the movie. Read the arguments and decide for yourself whether you'll see the film. You can find the producer's first post here followed by Myer's response, followed by the producer's response. So, what do you think? Will you watch "Expelled" when it hits theaters?
What's wrong with presenting opposing theories? Maybe I missed the memo that said the concept of evolution has been proven beyond any doubt and that the subject was closed. Can someone please make sure I get copied on these things from now on?
Seriously, on a fundamental (no pun intended) level, these theories can complement each others' flaws and holes. Too often our highly educated peers in academia grasp on to whatever Occam's Razor pares off and accepts those THEORIES as fact, while rejecting alternate explanations, or even minor alterations of theory.
"...We've had troops in Japan and Germany for over 60 years. Mr. Reid, does that mean we LOST WWII ?!?!?..."
FYI: the production company behind "An Inconvenient Truth" also produced a film about supposed American atrocities in Iraq and a film following Jimmy Carter on his "Peace, Not Apartheid" book tour. Does stink of a conspiracy also? Or is that solely the domain of the vast right wing?
...We've had troops in Japan and Germany for over 60 years. Does that mean we LOST WWII ?!?!?...
The problem with advancing ID as a competing theory is that it's not a theory. Evolution is both robust and falsifiable. It is supported by an ocean of evidence from numerous fields of science: biology, genetics, population genetics, geology, astronomy, physics, archaeology, paleonotology. If the evidence were significantly different, we would have to abandon evoluion.The fact that it's withstood every scientific challenge thrown at it for 150 years speaks to its soundness.
ID has zero evidence in supprt of it's central tenet and it is unfalsifiable. What it's proponents try to do is to poke holes in Darwanism and then say "See...it must be God behind that." This is the "God of the gaps" argument and is bogus logic.
Sorry, that's not how science works. You might as well loudly proclaim that the universe and everything in it was created five minutes ago with all our memories as they now exist. There is exactly as much evidence for that scrap of whimsy as there is for ID.
The bottom line? Start giving equal time to religiously inspired fantasies and you won't have time for real science.
Intelligent Design cannot complement evolution, because the basis behind the theories are diametrically opposed. ID = a creator purposely designed biological processes. Evolution = changes develop gradually in response to environmental factors. Now, we could say that the process of evolution was put into place by a creator. That does not contradict the tenets of evolution, because evolution is not concerned with the origins of the universe.
People can research ID all they like; I don't think anyone would dispute that. And if that research leads to proof of the existence of God, it will be a glorious day for humanity. Until then, however, I don't believe we should change the scientific method to make "complete lack of proof or reasoning" an acceptable criteria for proving a hypothesis.
When will people actually go back and read the scientific method.
Neither ID or Evolution is a scientific theory, they are both philosophical theories on the origin of life.
To have a scientific theory the theory being tested must be, testable verifiable, falsifiable and repeatable.
While both Evolution and ID have some scientific evidence pointing towards them neither can be called in truth science.
The whole point of this movie that scientist should not be discriminated upon because their religious views do not line up with their department.
This article does nothing more than blatantly show Popsci's disregard for science. As well as showing what religion the author has devoted himself to at all cost.
To do research in the Scientific fields you must keep you mind open and look at the facts and examine many different theories to see where the facts lead. Not look through your favorite theory and see what facts it points at. I have read many books on this subject, from both sides. Perhaps you should too before you so hastily spit back out what you were fed in school.
This is not a review of a film but a slanderous attack of a philosophical theory. If you really think ID has no legs to stand on why don't you show the facts supporting both theories. But that really shouldn't happen here, after all this site is supposed to deal with science not and not the debate between two opposing religions.
As intellectually honest people, we must ask ourselves simply: where are the transitionary forms in the fossil record? Not one example of an unsuccessful transitionary form, the basis for evolutionary mutation theory, has ever been documented in the fossil record or elsewhere on Earth. The fact is that Darwinian Evolutionism is a philosophy, not a science, and no matter how many scientists one throws at it, one will never produce a shred of empirical evidence to prove it. I would wager all of my popsci PPX on it. Furthermore, has anyone found an objective study on the weight of the theory, one not tainted by theological considerations or grant money or tenure?
My point is that to dismiss intelligent design solely on the presupposition of either the mutual exclusivity or infallibility of a shaky bit of 18th century whimsical fantasy would sell short both the profoundly complex nature of the universe that defies logic and the definitions of reality in an increasingly "spooky" physical universe.
Well we seem to establish the definition of evolution is, "...Evolution = changes develop gradually in response to environmental factors..." by dinsy. And Intelligent Design is, "a creator purposely designed biological processes."
So how does this "Intelligent Designer" create living things?
How come we dont see new creatures just "poof" right in front of us? I think that will be the day when evolution is busted. Until then, evolution shall be taught in public schools. Any other theories that based on Judeo-Christian's book of Genesis with a fancy legal name attach to it, shall done in respective place of worship or private homes. Remember people, separation of church and state.
But who's to say evolution is "Someone's" grand scheme of things. Life is dynamic, it always changes. If Intelligent Design were true, how do we explain genetic mutations found in all living things, farm animals/ plants and dogs, which the latter is done by selective breeding over a period of time to create a totally new animal/plant/pet to suit it needs. So far, I haven't heard of any archeologist digging up a pekingese that dates back to the beginning of time.
Since we're (Man) creating new species in cattles, wheats, and dogs.... can we also be called Creators... err... I mean Designers too? Or is this blasphemy? Oh wait its not, because we're discussing Intelligent Design: a scientific theory, and not religion; of course.
Also wanna plugin a NOVA special on this case too. I saw it aired on PBS and it discuss about the recent event where textbooks for ID were distributed and taught in public class in somewhere. And then it became a Federal court case. I got bad memory, but if someone can can find it, watch it. Its quite riveting, like Law and Order: Religion vs.Evolution!
On, "What's wrong with presenting opposing theories?"
A theory needs substantial evidence or evidence to explain some aspect of the natural world backed up by experimentation and test to verify if it have some truth to it.
Intelligent Design doesn't have any experimentation or observations in the natural world done to argue its case. Its just arguing for arguments sake. This doesn't mean it should become a scientific theory.
Otherwise, I'll be studying astrology and craniometry in college.
In high school, which is supposed to be universal education, simple economy suggests that we only spend every student's time on science that is generally applicable and likely to remain valid for much of their life.
We don't talk about cutting-edge science much in high school because it's going to go obsolete very fast. People actively following the field, or doing more specialized research, will want to know, but there is plenty of worthy material to fill a high school science curriculum without delving into even slightly questionable science.
So theories with poor support are not mentioned at all, unless the field is so important that it's worth at least discussing it even if there are no well-established foundations to teach.
This is not suppressing a theory for political purposes, but just because it would be wasting students' time. Would you confuse a history class by introducing Illig's missing time hypothesis?
Then we get to the point that cdesign proponentism not only lacks any sort of observational basis at all, but isn't even well-enough formed to be a theory. The defining characteristic of a scientific theory is that it makes testable predictions. In contrast, creationism seems to be a series of attacks on the theory of evolution (and the even nuttier fringe attack the evidence for the fact of historical evolution) combined with the delusion that there is a dichotomy which will have creationism declared the winner if they can but make evolution fail.
That dichotomy is utterly illusory; as the numerous academic endorsements of the Flying Spaghetti Monster make clear, it is possible to dream up theories of speciation at least as well-founded as creationism without leaving the realm of blatant farce. If Darwin's theory of evolution were utterly disproved tomorrow, creationism would still be far from the first choice to replace it.
Teach the debate all you want in civics class; it's an interesting episode in current politics. There simply is no debate over the basic theory of evolution in biology. (Although there is active research and debate on many of the fine details.)
@ Bryan. Fristly, evolution has nothing to say about the origins of life, only about the variety of species; the title of Darwian's book was "On the Origin of Species", not "On the Origin of Life".
Secondly, of course evolution is a testable theory, it would just take a very long time to do so.
@ aryeh5761: Have some links showing transitional fossils, and stop perpetuating that old myth.
You know, I have no problem with using science as a tool and still believing in God and Jesus as savior. However, I'm not here making comments to proselytize, instead, I'm here to just make some comments.
Bryan, you hit the nail right on the head. Like Intelligent Design (or Creationism, or whatever a person wants to call it), The Theory of Evolution is exactly that: a theory. Blodo, there is NOTHING verifiable or falsifiable about Evolution. Look at all of the fossils, the various fossil records, and take one species out of that, like the bat for example. All the fossilized remains of bats were simply that: bats. There were no half-bat/half-lizard thing; no half-bats with stunted wings, or small ears. Any fossil of a bat, although slightly different in appearance from the "modern" day bat, is still a FULLY FORMED bat. Same goes for whales, and birds, and lizards...the list goes on and on.
Another argument against Darwinism is simply how Darwin came to his conclusions: not through scientific study and analysis, not through trial and error and the elimination of impossibilities. Charles Darwin simply took the ideas his friend Adam Smith (the "founder" of modern economic theory) and applied these economic principles on biology, and a new "science" was born. There is as little evidence for Evolution as there is for Intelligent Design; both have to be taken on faith. Faith is not something that can be quantified, measured, filmed or otherwise captured in any way. I've never seen an atom, or air, or a virus, except in pictures and microscopes; these things are INVISIBLE without some type of aid, and the majority of the people in the world have to take it that these things exist on FAITH, not on empircal data.
Let's take another example: DNA. Just because one type of creature shares similar DNA to another creature does not mean that they are related in any way or share any type of common ancestry. ALL DNA is similar, though it may come in larger or smaller strands: the building blocks are the same. For example, humans and chimpanzees share something like 96% similar DNA, and our "relationship" with the bonobo ape is even more significant, somewhere above 98%. This does NOT suggest common ancestry. To illustrate, I will use a non-biological equivalent. Follow me on this, because those of you with an open mind and basic understanding of materials science should be able to grasp this:
A cell phone is made of plastic, silicon, copper, aluminum, iron; it has circuit boards, wiring, and a power supply.
But look: a car is made of plastic, silicon, copper, aluminum, iron; it, too, has circuit boards, wiring, and a power supply.
If these were examples of creatures, they would have DNA so similar as to be indistinguishable (relatively) under current testing methods. However, these items are also completely incompatible in design, and so extremely dissimilar in function that nobody would even pretend that these items are related.
Same goes for biological entitites that are similar.
Oh, and FatFrank, those are not transitional fossils: they are simply different species.
Another look at DNA shows that the proteins are put together in a very specific order to create life. This ordering of the DNA has been likened to a programming language. Similarly, atoms are combined in very specific "structures" to produce matter as we know it. To think that this happened by accident is simply ludicrous. If you take all of the materials to build the Taj Majal and put them into a pile, and underneath that pile you place tons of explosives, no matter how many times you blow up those materials, you CANNOT build the Taj Mahal.
Now, on that note, I do agree that evolution (NOT as we "know" it) is happening, but not in the way current "scientists" would have us believe. How God did it is of no consquence whatsoever; but even under "ideal" laboratory conditions to recreate the "primordial soup" and bombard it with electricity, radiation, etc., has not been able to produce even 1 living organism. So, to think that it could happen as a random event is simply stupidity.
Anyway, this is my rant. Thanks for reading.
The author makes a big mistake. He automatically equates eugenics to Hitler when in fact the eugenics movement grew out of America. In fact, Hitler's first sterilization laws were based on Harry Laughlin's model eugenics code. Moreover, there is nothing wrong with Stein bringing up eugenics in his movie as Francis Galton, the man who first used the word "eugenics", is the cousin of Charles Darwin.
Evolution is a theory. ID is a theory. I personally don't believe in either.
Darwin was an elitist. When he theorized evolution, it was a justification for what he already believed--that he was of a "higher order" or "higher species" than the rest of the population.
To paraphrase the Onion, do you believe in the theory of gravity or intelligent falling? A theory, in the scientifc sense, is used differently than in common usage.
A scientifc theory is testable, as is the theory of evolution. You could take two identical populations of a test animals, isolate them in different enviroments and see what changes occured over a very long period of time. If no changes occured, you've falsified the theory of evoultion. If they do, you have added additional evidence that the theory of evolution works.
Go devise me a similarly robust test for ID and I'll admit it is a comparable scientific theory.
Bat evolution you say? Have some links:
Just because you don't belive something, or think it ludicrus, or unlikely does not devalue it as a theory. Evidence does.
I personally believe that the process of natural selection makes the most sense, but neither Darwin, nor anyone else knows what got the ball rolling - let alone what set the rules. That's where the idea of intelligent design seems to make pretty good sense - whether you call it God, flying spaghetti monster, or we are the result of an intergalactic reality tv show...
The end result is that you cannot prove the long term viability of any of these theories, so we end up accepting that which makes the most sense.
...We've had troops in Japan and Germany for over 60 years. Does that mean we LOST WWII ?!?!?...
ID is not science -- it's BS. I can't believe there are intelligent sounding people here defending ID. Obviously evolution has ignored quite a few people here for the past thousand years.
This film was not produced by the same company that did the Passion of the Chrsit. That was Mel Gibson's Icon Entertainment. That said, the production behind this film is using one of the same marketing firms--Motive Marketing--to help sell the film to faith-based viewers.
MrSuperHero, the theory of evolution is a scientific theory, and the <em>definition</em> of a scientific theory requires that it be falsifiable. That is the <em>defining characteristic</em> of a scientific theory.
To be considered as a scientific theory, a statement must not only explain existing observations but predict future ones. You can be right or wrong, and of course science searches for theories that are right as often as possible, but if you don't make risky predictions, you're not even a member of the league. The other side wins by default.
I point out that, although Darwin's work popularized the term "evolution" to the point where its non-biological uses are unfamiliar to some people, the fact of evolution was established before his birth. Linnaeus recognized the family resemblance between species in his 1735 book Systema Naturae, and the development f paleontology in the late 18th century (particularly the 1790s) led to all kinds of interesting facts.
George Cuiver demonstrated that species go extinct, and William Smith's "Principle of faunal succession" observed that fossils of species are found in a particular sequence through the ages, and that sequence is the same no matter where you look. All you have to have is sedimentary rock of the appropriate age to look in.
Thus, by the time that Darwin was born, it was well established that species change over time And things that change over time are said to "evolve".
What was lacking was an explanation of why or how that change took place. Jean-Baptiste Lamarck came up with one theory of evolution based on the inheritance of acquired traits, but Darwin's theory based on natural selection was much more convincing.
Evolution requires that the cornucopia of life on the planet today is created by an extremely long succession of steps of random mutation and natural selection. Although thoroughly discredited, the "irreducible complexity" argument is based on a kernel of truth: a form of life that cannot be generated by a viable series of small changes to its predecessors (and was not man-made) would constitute a falsification of the theory of evolution.
The part that has been discredited is the claim that any biological structure is known which constitutes such a falsification. Some questions seem difficult, but in every case, ingenious research has found enough clues to the path taken that the plausibility of a continuous path is clear. Dawkins goes on about the subject at length in his book "Climbing Mount Improbable".
On the other hand, the intelligence of any would-be designer that would make some of the systems that we see in life really has to be questioned. Evolution, once it starts down a particular path, is trapped by its incrementalism. Either the entire branch dies out, or it's made to work well enough despite its fundamental flaws. But why would a designer (particularly one that has a special fondness for humans) give vertebrates a fundamentally flawed retina design, despite having a working model of a better one in invertebrates?
And why did this hypothetical designer design so many extinct species? It seems like a tremendous waste of effort. Extinction is, on the other hand, an obvious consequence of natural selection.
I consider myself to be a Christian as well as an intelligent individual. I am not sure that there is a need for some people to insinuate a lack of intelligence in people who do believe in ID. I find myself somewhere in between the opposition. I am frustrated by the narrow vision of both sides, unwilling to accept any notion that resides outside their preconceived comfort zone. I have run into Christians who are repulsed by the theory of evolution because of the remarks made by their Sunday school teacher as well as the evolutionist that claims anyone who believes otherwise is an idiot. I believe that what science has shown in the fossil record can be a tribute to intelligent design; how much more intelligent is a design that is not static, but able to persist and adapt to the dynamic world we live in.
My advice - fold back the blinders and try to see in shades of grey in stead of black or white.
What is human? An infinite abyss that devours all things to complete itself and defiles true things to keep blind that no only one thing can complete it
-a wise unheard of hero's final breath
God created the universe
There was nothing and it exploded
Don't you know on his death bed Darwin ADMITTED to forging fossils to prove his theory. The genetic mutations of humans have been for beauty, and mating if you read up on our genes. Also if Darwinism was true we would have a vast multitude of anthropermorphic(animal people) walking around with fur and tails, but look left, look right, look forever, do you see anyone with tails or fur? Also even if we are only one percent from chimps genetically that one percent is doing a whole lot more because do you see any animal making electricity? or even fire!? Also do you see any chimps that are capable of smashing bricks and pulling trains? Also do you see animals hating there own kind? Do you see animals making wars? The use of theories about where the beggining of the universe and where we can from are completely unscientific because look up in the dictionary, science-theoretical theories for how the world works (not theories about history)
If ID has something like real evidence more than negative attacks upon evolution it has done an excellent job of concealing it. Whereas there is literally megatons of evidence that evolution to date best fits.
So forgive me if I choose to follow what seems to work -- even within the cyber-universe with programs routinely utilizing natural selection -- rather than what unmistakably is a religion based pseudo-theory.
It is not that people touting ID are stupid (even if some truly are) but are too quick to follow slavishly what authority figures like their scientifically ignorant preachers choose to put in their sermons and what certain creeds demand of their membership.
What arguing with creationists seems to produce most (besides headaches) is a profound feeling of the failure of science education in the United States. Yet most Americans disbelieve evolution as it continues as we speak, altering the human species and others, developing new species, productng new crops and products while ID has added not one iota to the scienctific landscape.
Listen everyone needs to stop making theories because if you can't prove it then you are oversteping science.
What you are doing is a "Holocaust of people's beliefs".
You don't allow for people to believe in God and disallow for us to propose our beliefs about how the world and life began.
What you are proposing is a world of absolute Nihilism!
Think about that the next time you tell of someone who believes in God.
Cristians point of view is that Darwin seriously attacked us, and it hurts that he said something so foul, and we are trying to atleast live in a world that is discriminatory against us, You discriminate against believers.
I would just like to point out that there are two different kinds of evolution, Micro-evolution and Macro-evolution. Micro-evolution is small differences like a tall person verses a short person. Macro-evolution is about large changes like a lizard giving birth to a chicken. By now you have probably guessed I do not know a lot about this topic. But what I do know I would like to ask seemingly obvious questions about.
Where are the missing links?
How can you tell that a skeleton that looks half way between a human and a monkey was not just a man with a bone disease?
How reliable do you think carbon dating really is?
How can carbon date a fossil for a date when part of the process of carbon dating is guessing at its age for a reference? ("The rocks date the fossils and the fossils date the rocks") (circular reasoning)
How does Macro-evolution explain plant life or the ozone?
Why are some of the planets in our solar system rotating opposite the average.
Explain the perfect conditions for life on this planet.
How is it possible to ignore the mathematical impossibility of Macro-evolution?
Explain the obvious difference between animal intelligence and human intelligence. I.E. if the monkeys are mentally just like us then why haven't we discovered a "Planet of the Apes" environment yet?
Thats all the questions I could come up with on short notice but I'm sure I'll think of many more.
And if when you answer these questions you find it disagrees with what the theory of Macro-evolution states then maybe you should change your beliefs.
little know facts:
Darwin was a Christian before he left on the S.S.Beagle. The crew of that ship teased Darwin to the point of giving up on Christianity. By the time the trip was over he had left Christianity and was considering other alternatives.
Darwin himself stated that if a fossil of an intermediate species was never found then his hypothesis would be proven wrong.
Here are a couple things:
First of all, Scientific Theory
This explains why a Scientific Theory isn't just something 'made up'.
As well in regards to transitional fossils or species, there are a couple reasons why we can't find them. One, fossils are rare. incredibly rare. The conditions requires to make a fossil are rather precise, so much that its a wonder that we have as many as we do.
As well, ALL species are transitional. Even humanity. What we are now is merely the intermediate step from what we were to what we will become. Mind you, this tends to take a very very very very long time, and is rather gradual. You will never see a cat giving birth to a dog to 'prove' evolution. That said, Speciation has occurred, and has been well documented within recent history.
'Intelligent design', or creationism, or last thursdayism have nothing to do with science. they are purely matters of faith. They have no evidence, no proof, no testable hypothesizes. These subjects are matters for philosphy or religion classes. Not the science class or institution.
The Theory of Evolution says nothing on where life came from. It cares nothing about 'social darwinism'. It only cares to document how species change over time.
And here is something to chew over: 'Survival of the Fittest' isn't really accurate. Call it 'Survival of the Fit Enough'. As long as you are fit enough to breed, then that is all that is important to the species.
I'll also try to tackle some of amerikeiths questions:
"Where are the missing links?"
There really are none. Every creature fits well within its niche, and all are 'links' to something else. Also recall that fossils are rare, and require specific conditions to form.
"How can you tell that a skeleton that looks half way between a human and a monkey was not just a man with a bone disease?"
You'd have to ask a medical expert in the field. They tend to be pretty good at noticing such things. But yes, mistakes can still happen.
"How reliable do you think carbon dating really is?
How can carbon date a fossil for a date when part of the process of carbon dating is guessing at its age for a reference? ("The rocks date the fossils and the fossils date the rocks") (circular reasoning)"
I'm not familiar with carbon dating. You'd have to check with a geologist.
"How does Macro-evolution explain plant life or the ozone?"
There is just evolution. No micro or macro. Evolution explains plant life very well, as well as it does any other biological structure.
Evolution doesn't care about the Ozone layer.
"Why are some of the planets in our solar system rotating opposite the average."
Evolution doesn't care. Ask an astronomer, or a physicist.
"Explain the perfect conditions for life on this planet."
Life evolved on earth to fit the conditions on earth. Life that evolved on a different planet, with different conditions could quite well find earth highly toxic, and deadly. WE fit the planet, not vice versa.
"How is it possible to ignore the mathematical impossibility of Macro-evolution?"
You'll have to be a little more specific, and show your maths on this one. Mutation rates are known, and evolution is observable. There is a great deal of evidence in favour of it. And remember, life evolved over roughly 3 billion years. Thats a LONG time. More than enough time for any improbabilities.
"Explain the obvious difference between animal intelligence and human intelligence. I.E. if the monkeys are mentally just like us then why haven't we discovered a "Planet of the Apes" environment yet?"
Animals have the intelligence on what is required of them. Humans aren't particularly strong, fast, agile or the like. We're thinned skinned, bleed easily, and are really only well suited for temperate zones. What we do have are nice brains, and opposable thumbs. Thus we became tool users. And over time, we became smarter, we made better tools. Developed language, and farming. When humanity settled down about 12,000 years ago to do our own farming, THAT is when we really blossomed as a species.
Many apes have been shown that they too, are tool users. A handful of other animals as well. As to a 'planet of the apes', well, give them a few more million years, we might see it yet. But we may not. we have become the dominate species on the planet, and we tend not to like others stepping on our turf.
"And if when you answer these questions you find it disagrees with what the theory of Macro-evolution states then maybe you should change your beliefs."
Well, none of the answers go against Evolution. (And some of the questions have nothing to do with evolution). But Evolution is considered a scientific fact. Creatures change over time is fact. The Theory of Evolution is the explanation on how and why creatures and species can change over time. It is not a belief.
I no more believe in Evolution than I do my dining room table. Both exist.
neodymium said, "What's wrong with presenting opposing theories?"
Nothing.. as long as they are indeed both theories. Please to inform us what creationism/ID has ever proven. Other than trying to shoot down any other actual scientific theory, what has creationism/ID ever contributed to science?
Remember, in science a theory isn't "Well, I had me a theory that them aliens came down from Mars and mutilated them cattle." A scientific theory is defined here, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theory
There /are/ two forms of evolution, macro and micro. The forms are used to distinguish between the smaller changes within a species and the process of an animal actually changing major classes-- fish to lizard, lizard to bird, ape to man, etc.
As far as defense within the ID/Evolution debate, ID scientists consider life itself one of their proofs. I think you could safely claim that if the premise of the theory is an Intelligent Creator, then said creator would be intelligent enough to allow for variability within the species. It would be stupid to create an entire set of living, breathing things that was incapable of adapting to cold or heat or food sources. The idea that disproof makes ID a weak argument borders on just silly. It is well within the borders of proper logical argument form to use disproof as evidence. Pointing out that no one has witnessed or been able to recreate the evolution of one animal into a completely separate kind (family, class, genus) of animal is not grabbing at straws-- this is pointing out a valid weakness in an opposing argument.
Now, one could in turn say that ID has not been able to present enough proof. This does not mean it is not a valid theory of the origin of life. The sheer improbability of that many number of proteins, DNA sequences, precise atmospheric conditions, proper order of necessary functions coming together to create life out of very little material is almost incomprehensible. John R. Baumgardner, Ph.D., in reviewing the highlights of a Los Alamos debate, restates:
"Let us merely focus on the task of obtaining a suitable sequence of amino acids that yields a 3D protein structure with some minimal degree of essential functionality. Various theoretical and experimental evidence indicates that in some average sense about half of the amino acid sites must be specified exactly. For a relatively short protein consisting of a chain of 200 amino acids, the number of random trials needed for a reasonable likelihood of hitting a useful sequence is then on the order of 20100 (100 amino acid sites with 20 possible candidates at each site), or about 10130 trials." - ( http://www.icr.org/research/index/researchp_jb_debatehighlights/ )
I think that with that in mind, you could say that evolution requires just as much faith in certain "impossible" things working out. If evolution is to be viewed as a valid theory with this sort of even numerical opposition, then ID's weaknesses in the same proof areas should not be permitted to render it invalid.
So, as philosophical theories concerning the origin of life, both with some evidence that could be said to support them, the real debate here is the importance of this film. I haven't seen the movie yet, but I plan to. The idea that ID should be taught alongside evolution in public schools, as another theory, does not violate the realm of science or responsibility of the government.
The "separation of church and state" was written by Thomas Jefferson in a letter to the Danbury Baptists, assuring them that the government would not attempt to restrict their religious practice. It was not intended to charge the government with keeping any form of religion or belief out of government activity, but rather the opposite-- to keep government out of the church. This was to ensure that members of different denominations and faiths could each feel safe in going to separate churches on weekends and then pray together without discrimination when they opened meetings of Congress.
Perhaps, for this reason, the entire evolution/ID debate /should/ be moved out of the science classroom and into the debate room. My biggest problem is not presenting the theory of evolution in tandem with the theory of ID, but the idea that in high schools across the nation, evolution is being taught as a fact. Most here recognize it as a theory, but have you looked at a high school text book recently? Been to a college lecture? There is very little mention of the theoretical state of evolution; it is presented as fact. Isn't this crafting confused and close-minded students?
Let's keep real science in the science classrooms and move theory debate of such level to other subjects; debate, religion, history, etc. Or if we're going to keep it in the science classrooms, where students really should be learning how to use the scientific method and studying current, relevant application science, present the two theories as that: theories. Let students weigh the evidence. Let it spark some inquisitive minds, some future researchers. I think this is all the movie is asking. Maybe I'll change my mind after I watch it, but I'll see.
That's all I've got for now.
I checked. And yes, Science does use Macro- And Micro-.
A couple things: Evolution does NOT care about the origin of life. The Origin of life is a different subset of biology. Evolution makes one assumption: Life Exists. Sine we know life exists, we don't have to worry much about that.
Now. Intelligent Design/Creationism have no valid Scientific Basis. It makes the assumption that 'God did it'. However, There is no evidence for the existence of God. Therefor the possibility of a supernatural creator can not be taken into account.
Evolution is a fact. It is also a Theory. These are two completely separate things! Evolution states that creatures change over time. The Theory of Evolution explains the process in which this occurs. Much in the same way you have Gravity (Things fall), and the Theory of Evolution (Explanation as to WHY things fall).
Creationism should be kept far out of science. Philosphy or religion classes? Sure. But you also need to decide. which Creation story are you going to teach? There sure are a lot of them...
The IDcreationism / Evolution debate represents a paradigm shift that many people of deep faith do not want to consider. The last time religious philosophy underwent a this large of a traumatic change occured when the scientific evidence overwhelmingly placed the planet Earth into a relatively minor solar system on the edge of a galaxy amongst the heavens full of galaxies (heliocentrism lost out to reality).
The same scale of religious evolution is currently happening. There are those who are not comfortable with the thought that a supernatural being may have not indeed created everything a short time ago. They try to cast their argument in terms of science vs religion, resulting in bad science (ID) and terrible theology.
To those who don't understand, learn the actual science and relavent scientific definitions, methods, and limitations. Evolution works on both a theoretical and realistic level.
Religion will survive - it has lasted for at least 10,000 years - someone will figure out a way that makes religious philosophy work within the evolutionary framework of life. It has to, there's too much money tied up in it.
In the meantime - drop the B.S. dichotomy that IDcreationism is equal to evolution.
(I, of course, meant to say geocentrism - not heliocentrism)