Ben Stein and Intelligent Design
For once these two topics are actually related. This past Friday Ben Stein's documentary entitled Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed was released. First, let me state for the record that I have not seen this movie yet. I was busy this past Friday, the only day I ever see movies, and my local silver screen has a very limited number of new releases usually consisting of the next installments from the creators of Scary Movie 4, Meet the Spartans, and Superhero Movie. However, if this was available to me I would see it, even though I know it is going to be horrible.
From as far as I can tell from the trailer on the movie's website, this documentary is a defense of intelligent design as a viable alternative to the theory of evolution. For anyone who does not know the term "intelligent design" is a euphemism for "creationism." Intelligent design does not necessarily believe in Adam and Eve and that they were made of clay and God blew his breath in them and that Eve was actually created from one of Adam's ribs that God stole when he slipped Adam some rohypnol. However, intelligent design does argue that God is the force and being behind the creation of life. Basically, science has a problem.
Well, I would not really consider it a problem as in like a contradiction or conflict or falsehood. I mean problem as in an obstacle or hurdle. Like 2+2 is a problem. One must understand the logic involved in 2+2 to get over the hurdle and come to the conclusion that it equals 4. The problem science has is that there is this theory of evolution, and a scientific theory is not like an opinion. The theory of evolution is not comparable to, "Which do you prefer, apples or oranges?" It does not depend on the person and his own beliefs. It is true that evolution is not a proven fact, much like how gravity is not a proven fact. However, there is some evidence to support that something close the theory of evolution is actually at work. The current problem with the theory of evolution is that no one really knows how life actually started. That is, of course, a problem that continued scientific study will answer. Basically, Ben Stein's movie and other creationists, or intelligent desiginists, say "No God damn it, we want the answer now. If you scientists don't know, we sure as hell know. God."
As I see it, and as I have explained before, and Stefan Molyneux agrees, that is like saying, "Well I have no damn idea and I do not intend to find out." Just great. Halting the search for truth. Always a sound strategy.
Of course, there are several other problems with the intelligent design theory, I mean opinion, in that it completely relies on the existence of a supernatural being, which really does not exist. Intelligent design should not be acknowledged as a viable alternative to the theory of evolution because the existence of a supernatural being should be acknowledged as a possibility. This is where I distinct myself from agnostics, who argue they really do not know. My response is, "Well, if you do not know, then it does not exist." No supernatural being exists, and I will provide a brief proof of it based on a podcast from Stefan Molyneux's Freedomain Radio. However, I do not believe that I should have to provide any proof. I am the skeptic. The skeptic never proves his skepticism like the accused never proves his innocence. It is the believer who proves his belief like the prosecutor proves the accused's guilt.
If one is interested in hearing Stefan Molyneux provide this proof it is podcast 1040 of Freedomain Radio. I listened to the podcast a few days ago so I am going to try recall as much of it from memory.
Let me start with an interesting point. There are millions of people of several different faiths who believe a God, a supernatural being exists, and no one thinks these people are crazy. If I went around saying I believed in Keebler Elves, Vampires, Werewolves, fairies, goblins, zombies, etc. I would be sent to Arkham Asylum. But the believers in God get a free pass.
The problem of a belief in God is that it evades all criteria of proof. When someone says he believes in God he is stating that God truly exists. He is stating the existence of God as a truth. He is not saying that he had a dream that he met God. That takes place in his own mind, and currently that cannot be proven. However, if God exists in reality his existence can be objectively proven. Therefore, there are certain scientific tests that can be conducted. I will use an analogy much like Molyneux to get the point across.
There is a man who comes to me and says that he has an invisible pink unicorn in his living. Obviously, I think this is amazing and want to see it; however, the man reminds me that the unicorn is invisible. I respond by pointing out that just cause the unicorn is invisible does not mean I cannot feel it, smell it, hear it, and taste it. Of course, the last of those would be really gross unless I killed it, cooked it, then tasted the invisible meat. The man, however, informs me that the unicorn cannot be felt, smelt, heard, or tasted. I encounter another problem, yet I have the use of modern science. There are infrared waves, heat waves, etc. that modern science allows me to measure with new technological equipment. Thus, the invisible pink unicorn cannot hide, and I will also be able to determine if it is pink even though I cannot see it because different colors produce different wave lengths. Of course, the man tells me known of these things can detect it either. This possess a problem because all the methods for proving the existence of the invisible pink unicorn have been exhausted. In asking the man how he knows it exists he says it told him, but he said it could not be heard. He then corrects himself saying it told him in his mind. Once again the existence of the invisible pink unicorn cannot be measured. Therefore, if it cannot be measured, it does not exist. That is the definition of existence.
Above I used an invisible pink unicorn and people will undoubtedly say well an invisible pink unicorn is not God. This is, however, a lie. God cannot be seen, felt, heard (unless in one's own mind), smelled, or tasted. Also, no instrument that measures energy, waves, or rays can detect him. Therefore, there is no proof of his existence. God is exactly like the invisible pink unicorn.
However, the believers will raise another point. They will say man's current technology cannot prove his existence, but at a later date it might be able to. Therefore, man must be open to the possibility that God exists until the technology can detect him. This is a huge problem for two reasons. Firstly, the believers are unwilling to accept that God may not exist. There is no place for the technology to spit back results that say, "No God." Technology will always eventually uncover God for them. I am an atheist, and I am the exact opposite. I do not believe in God. There is no evidence to prove his existence. God does not exist. However, if science says, "Hey, you were wrong. He is real. He has been detected." I will admit that I am wrong. The believers refuse to subject their beliefs to reality. They refuse to subject their beliefs to questioning, testing, evidence, and truth. I, however, am willing to do so. I am the definition of the open mind. The open mind is not one that accepts everything. The open mind is the one that subjects one's own beliefs to reality. The believers in God are closed minded, without reason. For example I am closed minded on the belief that killing innocent men is a vice. That is a solid case, a solid truth. God is not, but believers remain closed minded on it. The second problem with this position is that if they argue that one must accept the idea and science will eventually prove the existence of God, then everything must be accepted. The existence of Keebler elves must be accepted. The same goes for vampires, werewolves, smurfs, etc. Also, whiwhnondsohfusd must exist. I have no idea what whiwhnondsohfusd is or are, but I said it, I say they exist; therefore, they must be accepted science will eventually prove its existence. On a more serious level, however. This would be like if a man in the 1500's said that x-rays exist. X-rays did indeed exist in the 1500's but there was no way to measure it at all. Therefore, none of them should have believed in x-rays. If they believed in x-rays they were ignorant. In that time period the term x-ray also did not mean anything. X-ray meant as much as whiwhnondsohfusd it was of absolute no value.
The final problem with the existence of God is that he is a contradiction. Believers say God is all knowing and all powerful; however, God cannot be both. He can be one, or the other, or neither; however, if he were neither then he would not really be a God. If God is all knowing, then he knows everything that will happen until the end of time. Therefore, he cannot be all powerful. If he is all powerful then he can change anything. If God knows everything that will happen then he cannot change anything because then he will not know what will happen after he changes something. For example, God knows everything will happen on earth at any given moment. At a particular moment it will rain on me and God knows this, but God does not want it to rain on me. Consequently, he moves the clouds somewhere else. Well, he knew I was going to be rained on, but now I am not going to be; therefore, God did not. Also, he moved the clouds to Las Vegas where there were no clouds before. I knew it was not going to rain on Las Vegas, but now it is; therefore, he did not know.
Once again this is almost completely from Stefan Molyneux. It is certainly incredibly interesting. It is not something skeptics should have to prove, but it certainly helps when combating things like Ben Stein's Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed. That title also bothers me because it argues that a belief in God is intelligence. It is the exact opposite it is irrational. Through the trailer one will see that several scientists who believed in God were fired from their jobs. I would certainly consider firing them from their jobs. Irrational rationalists, that is a contradiction. Of course, if they produced results I would consider keeping them. In the trailer Stein also says that people plan on keeping science in this tight little box where it can never touch God. Yes, absolutely. Science should be in the box of reason and never be allowed to touch the ignorant.
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