Monday, March 03, 2008

More B.S. (Ben Stein) on Religion versus Science

I think this will be the first time that I have disagreed with a post at The Sword's Still Out a great blog by a wonderful person and friend. In a recent post she states "I think I'm in love with Ben Stein." 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 Ben's "movie" that condemns science educators that oppose the teaching of Intelligent Design as a scientific theory. 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! Ben's argument reminds me of how Bush and other supporters of continuing the war in Iraq condemn anybody that disagrees with them as non-Patriotic. When you lack the facts to defend and promote your opinion then attack the authority and credibility of your opponents. Follow the link to the Ben's video and judge for yourself.

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. However, these science educators do 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 could 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 in the proper context - religion rather than science - and 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...

...and as long as some in the scientific community will not shun those in the same community with thoughts, beliefs, and interests that run contrary to the direction that they wish to go.
Again, this movie isn't about religion. It's about persecution.
Hope we're still friends, Joe. We don't have to agree on everything. I do enjoy a good discussion!

Joe said...

We'll be friends as long as you can stand it. I have a very good friend that I served with in the Navy more than 40 years ago. He also lives in CT - I'm on the Western border and he's on the Eastern border. At least once a month we meet in the middle of CT for lunch and our monthly discussion of politics. He is a conservative Republican and I am an incorrigible Liberal. We don't disagree about everything and sometimes we find ourselves switching sides of the political fence. He never supported Bush's war in Iraq while I supported it until last year. Although we often disagree we listen to each other's position and we will always be friends first.

Ben's video reminds me of an e-mail that I receive about once a year. The e-mail tells the story of the ant and the grasshopper. The ant worked all summer storing food for the winter while the grasshopper played all summer and had nothing to eat when winter came. Although the grasshopper is starving it is undeserving of a handout from the ant. The real message of the e-mail, in my opinion, is that social programs exist to support those who are too lazy to support themselves and those who have worked should not be expected to help those that did not. Life is not that simple. Not everybody in need is so because they are lazy. The real message is disquised but it is still effective.

Back to Ben's video. It's my opinion that Ben and the proponents of Intelligent Design argue that scientists and science educators who refuse to accept a religious model of creation as a scientific theory do so only to sustain belief in their evolutionary view. Scientists and science educators simply disagree with teaching a religious model as a scientific model. Ben resorts to attacking the scientist's principles instead of presenting scientific evidence to support Intelligent Design.

Ben's video shows images of Nazi concentration camps and extermination ovens while it warns us that proponents of evolution want to prevent us from hearing about an opposing idea. He warns that we could lose our friends and our jobs.

How often do scientists and educators warn us to not listen to new ideas? Don't watch that movie. Don't read that book. On the other hand, religious leaders frequently warn us against reading certain books and watching certain movies because the content is contrary to religious dogma.

You accused scientists of constantly changing its "proofs". I agree completely. Man is constantly learning more about the universe and his models are constantly revised to reflect man's increasing understanding. That's a good thing. Einstein's general theory of relativity was a vast and accurate improvement in our understanding of the universe compared to the limited Newtonian model. Newton's model was not incorrect - it was incomplete. Altough much of Einstein's theory is supported by scientific observation, his model was not perfect either and other, more accurate models have been born out of the scientific challenges to Einstein's model.

Faith no matter how strong is not scientific evidence. Until scientific evidence is provided to support Intelligent Design it will remain a religious belief rather than a scientific theory.

karen said...

I still contend that this promo is about a movie about persecution and close-mindedness.

It IS advertising. I don't mind that. I write advertising material. All in a day's work.

We don't yet know if there is any scientific evidence of an intelligent design. I can't rule out the notion that one day we may indeed have that! Perhaps there is a logical reason these scientists feel that it may be provable. Perhaps they have evidence. I don't NEED evidence, but having started the first part of my education fixated on science, I would welcome any information. I love information.

Friends forever, Joe.