No Intelligence Admitted Without Proper Authorization
March 21, 2008 7:27 AM   Subscribe

Cephalopod enthusiast P.Z. Meyers is barred from entering public screening of "Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed" P.Z. … unknowingly appeared in the movie and has been a vocal critic since it was announced. Last night he attempted to see the film at a private screening, which was advertised as open to folks who registered in advance with no ticket purchase. Meyers was recognized by the producer, Mark Mathis, who had him thrown out by security. Security (and presumably Mark Mathis) did allow Meyers' family and guests to attend the screening. Who was his guest? Richard Dawkins. Previously…
posted by device55 (91 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite

 
Cue remarks that principled defenders of science are "just as bad as" liars in 5...4...3...
posted by DU at 7:34 AM on March 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


...2...
posted by kbanas at 7:37 AM on March 21, 2008


Intelligent Design... I dunno, what is wrong with those people? Cue the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

The funny thing is, I really have no problem with God having created the universe. It's all the other ignorant bullshit that these goobers bring to the table that pisses me off. What is wrong with using science to explore the world we live in? Why can't we get to the singularity, say "We can't explain that... yet," and go from there? Why can't these "intelligent design" boneheads deal with that?
posted by Guy_Inamonkeysuit at 7:44 AM on March 21, 2008


Delightful little story.

But more importantly, what the hell is wrong with Ben Stein? I've always known he was a conservative, but I thought he was more of the Bow Tie George Will/Tucker Carlson type. But now he is 'starring' in this garbage? Has he always been a fundie? I just wish we could still have the opportunity to Win Ben Stein's Money...
posted by boubelium at 7:48 AM on March 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


What's sauce for The Daily Show...
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 7:55 AM on March 21, 2008


Thanks for spoiling the punchline, by the way.
posted by ardgedee at 7:58 AM on March 21, 2008


I've been reading these blogs and sub-blogs and I have one question about Dawkins's "pause" He states that he didn't want to "blind people with science" and that he needed to back up to the definition of "information" before he went forward with an answer. What I want to know though is why he didn't save himself all the trouble by just answering the question with a specific example and then gone back and made the qualifications to his answer. That way the whack-jobs that interviewed him would have had their answer and it wouldn't have been, "um, well that's complicated, let me explain..." It would have been something more like "do you have gills or ears?"
posted by Pollomacho at 8:02 AM on March 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


I didn't realize one could actually be a cephalopod enthusiast.
posted by Dave Faris at 8:09 AM on March 21, 2008 [2 favorites]


Well, Pollomacho, as to "gills or ears," if they'd seen Waterworld they'd know the answer: both!
posted by Guy_Inamonkeysuit at 8:10 AM on March 21, 2008


Dave Faris: I'm a cephalopod enthusiast, but mostly I keep that enthusiasm to myself.

Except today!!! Yay cephalopods!
posted by aubilenon at 8:14 AM on March 21, 2008 [3 favorites]


Is this something one would have to be caught up in the mindlessly moronic modern dialectic between religion and science to know about?
posted by Burhanistan at 8:15 AM on March 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


...-1
posted by DU at 8:17 AM on March 21, 2008 [4 favorites]


Why do science nerds think everything they "get away with" is funny?
posted by jsavimbi at 8:18 AM on March 21, 2008 [2 favorites]


I didn't realize one could actually be a cephalopod enthusiast.

Well, Rule 34 and all that...

I kid. Cephalopods kick ass. Or at least they would if they had some kind of functional spinal colum. As it is, they sort of tentacle ass, I guess.
posted by quin at 8:18 AM on March 21, 2008


Irony is lost on many people. Really, those people are the lucky ones, like survivors of a nuclear holocaust.
posted by cog_nate at 8:19 AM on March 21, 2008


"I will go see this movie, and I will cheer loudly at my 30 seconds or whatever on the screen, and I will certainly disembowel its arguments here and in any print venue that wants me."

You probably should have waited for that, before making this post.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 8:19 AM on March 21, 2008


Hah, that's great. I laughed out loud, especially because Dawkins has a kind of distinctive, easily-recognizable look to him. If you're a creationist, how do you not realize Richard Dawkins is standing right next to the guy you're kicking out?

What's funnier is that they kicked anyone out at all. You'd think if they wanted to change people's minds, they wouldn't care if atheists saw the movie.
posted by Nattie at 8:26 AM on March 21, 2008


Nattie, I don't know that they're used to that kind of logical thought process.
posted by agregoli at 8:34 AM on March 21, 2008 [2 favorites]


Changing Dawkins' and Meyers' minds would be the impossible dream...however they should have recognized the chance for bad publicity.

Throwing either of those guys out is a much bigger PR gaffe than letting them both see the film and speak poorly about it later. It runs directly counter to their stated premise.
posted by device55 at 8:41 AM on March 21, 2008


So there are no reviews of the film yet? Have to admit that the trailers at the Expelled movie site make the film look interesting. I even got a good laugh at the very end.

Why can't we let people like Stein question Darwinism without getting upset? I'm not saying I want to let creationism or intelligent design be taught in our schools but I have no problem letting these people state their case.
posted by notmtwain at 8:53 AM on March 21, 2008


"Irony is lost on many people."

Creationists' immunity to irony can only be the result of untold generations of natural selection. Which in itself is an irony that would kill a normal man.
posted by fleetmouse at 8:57 AM on March 21, 2008 [7 favorites]


It would've been funnier if I knew who Richard Dawkins was. I thought it was Richard Dawson and it was time to play The Feud.
posted by kirkaracha at 9:02 AM on March 21, 2008


notmtwain, There are few reviews of the film so far because it has been shown mainly to private pre-screened audiences. People who are known to disagree with the film's point of view are being turned away from going to see it. I think that's what bothers people about the movie, rather than the point of view itself.
posted by Cookiebastard at 9:08 AM on March 21, 2008


What a way to miss the forest for the trees! It's irony-overflow time.
posted by monocot at 9:09 AM on March 21, 2008


nowmtwain, you can see some reviews linked here: http://www.expelledexposed.com/
posted by device55 at 9:13 AM on March 21, 2008


This "Mall of America" thing sounds damn scary to me.
posted by Artw at 9:14 AM on March 21, 2008


notmtwain: Stein and other creationist d-bags are not trying to engage in reasonable scientific debate. Creationism and intelligent design are just a front. Sure, they believe in it, but the people behind the movement use it as a wedge issue to get religion into the public sphere. They want their ideology to dominate American political and social discourse so that they will be the ones in power.
posted by papakwanz at 9:25 AM on March 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


Why can't we let people like Stein question Darwinism without getting upset?

No one is suggesting they can't. Sure they can state their views, but it's important to label bullshit as bullshit unsuported ideas as such. Most religious leaders want to not only express their views, but do so free from criticism.
posted by jeblis at 9:25 AM on March 21, 2008 [3 favorites]


Why can't we let people like Stein question Darwinism without getting upset?

Well, mainly because they're wrong.
posted by M.C. Lo-Carb! at 9:30 AM on March 21, 2008 [4 favorites]


Why can't we let people like Stein question Darwinism without getting upset? I'm not saying I want to let creationism or intelligent design be taught in our schools but I have no problem letting these people state their case.
posted by notmtwain at 10:53 AM on March 21 [+] [!]


We can let them question it, he's doing it right now. But the reason people get upset is because it's often so offensive that creationists willfully ignore evidence; willfully ignore the whole scientific process to try and make their points. And it is upsetting that many laypersons do not have the scientific background to understand why these emotionally charged arguments are wrong.

I have had debates with people like this on all manner of subject, as I'm sure you have as well. No amount of overwhelming evidence can dissuade them from their point of view they espouse to others as fact. And no opportunity is given for you to refute their claims. At some point, all you can do is throw your hands in the air and get upset.

I watched the trailer and found it pretty offensive. The people who are being discredited for their beliefs are being done so because they offer no evidence to support their claims, just wild hypotheses that are untestable. It isn't science, so of course its laughed at, discredited and scorned. But its being spun as some overwhelming conspiracy to persecute the true believers. And its just not. Science welcomes testable arguments. But ignore the evidence, ignore all previous bodies of work, and interject ideas based on belief that are untestable, unprovable and often times silly, and you can't expect anything less than a bad reaction.

And as pointed out in this thread, there is no reason evolution and a religious belief can't go hand in hand. Are creationists honestly trying to say that they don't think that their god or gods are capable of creating a process such as evolution to bring about life? That an omniscient and omnipotent wouldn't be in complete control of a random process? Many don't think so, I personally know a few religious scientists that are not creationists. The catholic church has even condemned creationism as a science.
posted by [insert clever name here] at 9:51 AM on March 21, 2008 [13 favorites]


Dopey premise. According to the trailer, "Darwinists are afraid! of being questioned." No. Scientists just react very negatively when a group of people attempt use the structure and hard-won credibility of science to support a premise that is fundamentally non-scientific. In much the same way, I would imagine, that Christians would be upset if scientists started donning the priestly robes and preaching sermons all about how evolution is correct and there is no God. You'll note, incidentally, that scientists don't do that. Although perhaps we should. Hm. That's not a bad idea actually. Sauce for the goose...

The other thing scientists are very hostile to is shitty science. Whenever someone, pretending to be a scientist, posits in a paper the existence of a supreme being or intelligence outside the universe's guiding laws (whatever they may turn out to be) as the explanation for some phenomenon, that person is by definition doing shitty science. It's called an unfalsifiable hypothesis. It removes the paper from any meaningful scientific context, and other scientists say "What a load of bollocks" and very rightly deny tenure to the dolt who wrote it. I'm not surprised they whine. Imbeciles always do.

If creationists want to stop attracting the hostility of scientists, they should stop pretending to be involved in science. How about they keep the churches and we'll keep the labs, and everyone can pretend the other isn't there?

Also, Ben Stein is such a joke. Always has been, and clearly always will be.
posted by rusty at 9:52 AM on March 21, 2008 [9 favorites]


Here is a review from the other side.

Pharyngula is in my daily reading list, I really enjoy the science posts there, and I like to know where the creationist are hiding, but it is sad to read the comments. It is clear that the ID and creationist crew are ignorant, willfully or not, and a bunch of hypocrites, but most of the most vocal defenders of science, evolution and atheism show a lot of ignorance. They defend their views with outdated, already refuted, or just plain arguments, the build strawmen 30 feet high, they engage in all kinds of ad-hominem attack, etc..., and they are 100% sure that they are right.

They give credence to the argument, often expressed by religious folks and IDers, that atheism and darwinism are just another religion. So sad.
posted by Dr. Curare at 9:54 AM on March 21, 2008


how do you not realize Richard Dawkins is standing right next to the guy you're kicking out?

blinded by science?
posted by quonsar at 9:57 AM on March 21, 2008 [9 favorites]


That an omniscient and omnipotent wouldn't be in complete control of a random process?

Head asplode! It's either random, or it's not. "Random and controlled" is just an amusing contradiction of terms.
posted by kiltedtaco at 10:02 AM on March 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


Ben Stein: America's Most Smartest Creationist
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 10:12 AM on March 21, 2008


God, this so funny. I love how Meyers compares himself to a sabot.
posted by longdaysjourney at 10:12 AM on March 21, 2008


Man, who'd have thought we'd see the day where a cephalopod enthusiast put his foot in his mouth?
posted by stet at 10:14 AM on March 21, 2008 [2 favorites]


What the hell is wrong with the folks in this thread who have a problem with what Dr Myers did/say? Jesus effin Christ, people, get over yourselves.
posted by grubi at 10:26 AM on March 21, 2008


Head asplode! It's either random, or it's not. "Random and controlled" is just an amusing contradiction of terms.

Sounds like a halfway decent definition of quantum phsyics to me... oop, better not get into that with the ID crowd. Lord knows what they'd say.

Uh, no pun intended.
posted by Guy_Inamonkeysuit at 10:28 AM on March 21, 2008


kiltedtaco, but isn't that the point of most religious explanations of god (but especially christian?)? Humans have freewill yet its all planned? Why wouldn't it extend to evolution - is that the one area that an omnipotent god isn't?
posted by [insert clever name here] at 10:30 AM on March 21, 2008


it's often so offensive that creationists willfully ignore evidence; willfully ignore the whole scientific process to try and make their points

Well, for me the part that's particularly offensive is that you have these groups of holier-than-thou uber-Christians who are so devoted to the risen Christ that they feel a burning need to defend Him and, ostensibly at least, His word and His moral commandments against an onslaught of whatever from the secular boogeymen.

And what's the first thing they do to express their love of the Lord and the glory of His righteousness?

Put together complex, expensive schemes to lie to judges about what they want.

In their next round of Fundamentally Missing The Point, they construct a time machine and send a battalion of Marines back to Calvary to rescue Jesus from the Romans, slaughtering half of Jerusalem in the process.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 10:40 AM on March 21, 2008 [5 favorites]


isn't that the point of most religious explanations of god (but especially christian?)? Humans have freewill yet its all planned?

No, those are two seperate theological arguments in Christianity and other religions. Some believe in a Creator that spun off the Earth and gave humankind full freedom. Some think that He gave them freedom and then meddles a bit (divine Providence for example). Some think everything is all predetermined and there is no free will at all.

Strangely these folks also tend to hate the idea of government meddling in their lives.
posted by Pollomacho at 10:41 AM on March 21, 2008


Dammit, I meant to link to "The Greatest Action Story Ever Told." Stop killing Judas!
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 10:42 AM on March 21, 2008


device55, thanks for the links to the reviews. The one linked from the Orlando Sentinel "Is Ben Stein the New Face of Creationism?" and the comments linked to it has more than enough to keep MFr's entertained for hours.

Here is one snippet- Expelled makes good points about academic freedom and the ways unpopular ideas are shouted down in academia, the press and the culture. But not offering evidence to back your side, where the burden of proof lies, makes the movie every bit as meaningless and silly as that transcendental metaphysical hooey of a couple of years back, What the Bleep Do We Know?
posted by notmtwain at 11:16 AM on March 21, 2008 [2 favorites]


I hate it when the theory of evolution is called "Darwinism". Evolution as a theory has moved beyond Darwin's initial propositions, as we study it and understand more about biological mechanisms, genetics, etc. (that that whole "science" thing in play, y'know)

Calling evolution "Darwinism" is the creationists' attempt to diminish the supporters of the theory of evolution by implying that they're no more than followers of some bearded 19th century nut.

Which is of course in sharp contrast to the creationists' own bearded omnipotent Nut.
posted by Artful Codger at 11:30 AM on March 21, 2008 [3 favorites]


God, this so funny. I love how Meyers compares himself to a sabot.

Yeah, his story is pretty fun.

I think it’s pretty cool even though I generally consider Dawkins a bit of a dick.
posted by Artw at 11:35 AM on March 21, 2008


Guy_Inamonkeysuit
Intelligent Design... I dunno, what is wrong with those people?

I would lay blame squarely at:

1) Their ego. These people are incapable of coming to terms with anything they believe in being hysterically wrong. They have an established mindset, set in forms when they were children. Worship for them is a way of reinforcing these ridiculous beliefs as something apart from their normal everyday lives. A magical existence waits for them if they just believe in the ridiculous beliefs long enough. GOD HAS A PLAN FOR THEIR LIVES. They FIRMLY believe that. EVERYTHING HAS A PURPOSE to them, even their own pain and suffering.

2) Their lack of inquisitiveness. These are not people who ask "Why am I here" very often. They already know. It's all somewhere in a magic book written by cultists thousands of years ago. One reason why ID exists in their minds opposed so squarely against evolution is that they rail against scientific method itself. How dare our theory, a house of cards placed one carefully on the other, capable of its very design of being proven incorrect by application of scientific method, supplant the fact in their minds that an all powerful god created all this world for them. This is a wedge in their minds between inquisitiveness and faith. Faith unfortunately wins this battle, and they drop to their knees to ask why satan tempts them away from god's word. That's the end of the inquisitive streak for most religious people.

3) Momentum. Their entire social structure is based around their cult. Most truly religious people visit their culthouse at least once a week, seeing their family and friends in this place of delusion reinforces the cult's presence in their life. The iconography of whatever cult they are members of fills their minds as the ever droning cult authority figures dispense the weekly reinforcement kick. Pleasant soothing trancelike drones emanate and echo from the choir and organs, laced with seeds of belief to be planted in the minds of the young and old. The old long for an embrace with their perceived saviours and creators, the young revel in the wonder of it all. God has a plan for me. My parents and family all smile in the glory of our willful acceptance of the ridiculous. Maybe if I accept it too, god will fill me with righteousness too and I'll have a place in his glorious afterlife. Amen.
posted by sydnius at 11:56 AM on March 21, 2008 [11 favorites]


Artful Codger: Using the term "darwinism" also is a tactic to drag social darwinism in (which is done explicitly in the self-Godwining Expelled trailer) and taint evolution by association.
posted by rusty at 12:03 PM on March 21, 2008


Yes rusty, I love that about the people behind expelled. They are so used to having an unquestionable authority figure, and to defending it to the death (the death of the questioners, usually), that they believe that if the can tarnish Darwin, the whole edifice of evolutionary theory will fail. That is why they spend half of the movie making the point DARWIN = HITLER.

They have no idea how science works.

It would be great to get one of these people to live for one year without benefiting from the fruits of of the scientific work of any atheist, Nazi, Muslim, etc...
posted by Dr. Curare at 12:14 PM on March 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


It's sad that "documentary" now means "propaganda film" rather than "film which documents events or facts." For the viewer there is absolutely zero added-value of watching most of these rather than reading. Watching a film, one is unable to stop and evaluate, look up more information about something interesting, or check the reliability of a citation. No novel arguments or information are presented.

Netflix (as well as other film classifications) should have a separate category for issue-documentaries. Just call them what they are, propaganda.
posted by a robot made out of meat at 12:32 PM on March 21, 2008


Cephalopods rule. Also, I would liked to have seen Richard Dawkins' facial expressions during that movie.
posted by Tehanu at 12:51 PM on March 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


A magical existence waits for them if they just believe in the ridiculous beliefs long enough. GOD HAS A PLAN FOR THEIR LIVES. They FIRMLY believe that. EVERYTHING HAS A PURPOSE to them, even their own pain and suffering.

What if it is God's plan that some babies get aborted?
posted by Pollomacho at 12:56 PM on March 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


Just watched the trailer - I absolutely love how Stein Godwin's his movie in the first 20 seconds.

After all, this isn't Nazi Germany. Right? Right?! You Darwinist Nazis!
posted by Baby_Balrog at 1:00 PM on March 21, 2008


Also, I would liked to have seen Richard Dawkins' facial expressions during that movie.

I've changed my mind. Like has nothing to to with it. I believe we need video footage of evolutionary biologists watching this film. Possibly MTS3K-style footage. I think they would need to be drinking for that to work.

Hmmm.
posted by Tehanu at 1:13 PM on March 21, 2008


Mystery Theatre of Science, we'll call it. My typos are GENIUS.
posted by Tehanu at 1:14 PM on March 21, 2008


I think that's what bothers people about the movie, rather than the point of view itself.

I think the fact that it's a dishonest propaganda movie intended to keep people ignorant is more of a concern than how they're handling the release.
posted by Pope Guilty at 1:30 PM on March 21, 2008


Faith unfortunately wins this battle, and they drop to their knees to ask why satan tempts them away from god's word. That's the end of the inquisitive streak for most some religious people.

Most truly religious people visit their culthouse at least once a week, seeing their family and friends in this place of delusion reinforces the cult's presence in their life.

This is rather offensive, not to mention misleading. And I'm an atheist, mind you. Organized religion's done more than enough things just in my lifetime to equip me with a deep-seated mistrust of it and an interesting amount of outrage. But I know PhD biologists who are regular churchgoers and loathe creationist bullshit. Statements such as this, which suggest that religion and science are entirely incompatible practices, and which equate all faith to willfull brainwashing, are the bread and butter of people like Ben Stein. They're the fuel that keeps his message relevant to many people. This movie is intended to provoke reactions such as yours. It's meant to reinforce the idea that science and religion are enemies. From both sides of the fight. You might want to think that over a bit before you spew more vitriol here.
posted by Tehanu at 1:56 PM on March 21, 2008 [5 favorites]


I read this post, its links and comments and my reaction is: "So then what?" Ok, so Dawkins got into the movie, then what happened?
posted by Eideteker at 1:56 PM on March 21, 2008


SEEKRET FUNDIE Pr0N!
posted by Artw at 1:57 PM on March 21, 2008


His head exploded, Eideteker. You didn't see the YouTube video?
posted by Tehanu at 1:58 PM on March 21, 2008


Well. Really, Cephalopod enthusiast*. I can see why they kept him out.
*Fhtagn!
posted by Smedleyman at 2:30 PM on March 21, 2008


Head asplode! It's either random, or it's not. "Random and controlled" is just an amusing contradiction of terms.

I don't know, I think that an omnipotent being could load the dice, personally. This is actually a key part of my God As Wily Fucker hypothesis. The one I came up with when I was crazy (and no longer believe). It all made sense at the time, naturally.

Seriously though I wonder if we really have enough data that is able to tell us that the die-rolls of evolution throughout the untold millenia were truly, incontrovertibly random. It would be nifty if we could do that.

A true Wily Fucker God would be great at covering his tracks.
posted by marble at 3:10 PM on March 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


God is just evolving us for tasty.
posted by Artw at 3:15 PM on March 21, 2008 [2 favorites]


I wonder if we really have enough data that is able to tell us that the die-rolls of evolution throughout the untold millenia were truly, incontrovertibly random.

From the inside, there's no way to tell, and so no need to invent a god.
posted by Pope Guilty at 3:18 PM on March 21, 2008


no need to invent a god.

when you can worship reason.
posted by quonsar at 3:25 PM on March 21, 2008


Tehanu FTW.

Hey, just to put my $.02 in, I read PZ's blog every single day and am starting to wonder if there should be an established curriculum in schools, with a Master's level degree, on just smacking some of these dishonest creationists upside the head....

..or just better science education in school. Evolution is not random (as a commenter says above). Nor is Dawkins or any of his peers fundamental about science. Have basic critical thinking skills completely vanished from the world? Have people stopped thinking "gosh, I better read up on the theory of evolution before I speak about it."? Am I the only one who remembers Biology 101?

I really do want to find a career that is focused on disproving and re-educating people who make such obtuse and flagrantly false claims about science and scientists. I'd be so content...
posted by Dantien at 3:26 PM on March 21, 2008


quonsar proves my point. You conflate the term "worship" in a dishonest way man. Worshiping a god and "worshiping" science aren't the same thing. Either you are loosey-goosey with your English or you are deliberately trying to misrepresent things. Care to elaborate?
posted by Dantien at 3:28 PM on March 21, 2008


Pollomacho , my religious dogma may be off, but my point remains. I don't see how any religion could view their god as "all powerful" but somehow, evolution isn't something he/she/it would be capable of.
posted by [insert clever name here] at 3:54 PM on March 21, 2008


when you can worship reason.

Actually I prefer FL Studio.
posted by fleetmouse at 3:55 PM on March 21, 2008


I used to keep Pharyngula in the set of tabs I use as a homepage. It's going back.
posted by Kronos_to_Earth at 4:17 PM on March 21, 2008


*imagines a Sunday morning spent in the CHURCH OF SCIENCE*

"We are 95% sure that this act is good. There is a 5% change of evil."
"We do not have sufficient evidence to evaluate this question about meaning. Please ask again after we collect more data."
"After extensive experimentation, we have reached a consensus that challenging this social norm is supported by the evidence. We are willing to advise you now on what is moral, but please keep in mind that we have a 5% error rate."
"We have revised the ritual after observing that last week's session could have had better quality control. Please familiarize yourself with these revised methods and look over the MSDS provided for the new incense. Before we start: is everyone wearing their protective eyewear?"
"We do not at this time have an official position on life after death. Because it is a non-falsifiable hypothesis, we cannot ever have an official position. But you are free to speculate on your own."
"Always remember: Darwin loves you. Well, he would if he wasn't dead. We're just saying that to piss the creationists off. Unlike Darwin, his theory has stood the test of time and experimentation. It's not going anywhere anytime soon. Unless someone disproves it, of course. Darwin was just this guy, you know?"
"Today's moral: do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Please turn to page 175 of Advanced Game Theory and read aloud from Tit-For-Tat Strategies."
"As Darwin's work teaches, reproductive fitness is of utmost importance in shaping the future of in this world. Therefore, go forth and multiply. But only x1, human population growth is unsustainable. Now let us read from the Book of Malthus."
"We do not read Wallace here except in History of Evolutionary Theory sermons. The text is a bit... apocryphal."
posted by Tehanu at 4:23 PM on March 21, 2008 [4 favorites]


quonsar proves my point. You conflate the term "worship" in a dishonest way man. Worshiping a god and "worshiping" science aren't the same thing. Either you are loosey-goosey with your English or you are deliberately trying to misrepresent things. Care to elaborate?

It's just quonsar playing the same dishonest rhetoric games the rest of the desperate theists play.

I'd be more impressed by the argument that theism/religion/whatever was necessary to keep people moral if religious people weren't so universally dishonest in arguments.
posted by Pope Guilty at 5:57 PM on March 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


Why is evolutionary biology so rife with the terms and emotions of organized Western religion? Numerous factors have played a role. Evolutionary biology’s emergence from traditions of religious reasoning and writing, into contexts where religious thinking remained prominent; the propensity of evolutionists themselves to paint themselves, ironically or seriously, as dissenters or believers; their tendency to draw, unconsciously or consciously, their scientific frameworks from preexisting religious ones; and their impulse to take it on themselves to pronounce on issues formerly the domain of religion – all of these have prompted biologists to armor themselves in the language of religious combat.--"Biologists on Crusade," Abigail Lustig. Introduction to Darwinian Heresies.
posted by No Robots at 5:59 PM on March 21, 2008


As I'm finishing up my degree in Philosophy (focusing on Ethics) the argument that "without religion there would be no morals" is a deeply interesting one, only because I am astounded the point is even put forth. So the theists feel that, if God is somehow disproven, they would suddenly capitulate to their every whim and rape and pillage and such? They are so morally adrift that without the Divine Command theory to fall back on, they would turn into some sort of a monster?

That tells me two things. 1) they are weak willed, cruel, and surreptitiously malovent at heart and only fear keeps that in check and 2) they have no concept of moral theory at all. What? Do they think all societies that dont believe in God are morally bankrupt? They've never read Kant or Mill or Rawls or Singer?

It boggles the mind! Imagine what their thoughts must be like!!!

Morals are stronger without religion!
posted by Dantien at 6:12 PM on March 21, 2008 [3 favorites]


As I'm finishing up my degree in Philosophy (focusing on Ethics) the argument that "without religion there would be no morals" is a deeply interesting one, only because I am astounded the point is even put forth.

Don't think about it from a philosophical perspective, think of it from a business perspective.

Organized religion is a business, and the church needs to keep itself relevant. Why should people show up every sunday and give money? The church has a vested interest in arguing that society can't hold itself together without a church in place. Enough people buy the story to keep various churches in business.
posted by b1tr0t at 7:31 PM on March 21, 2008


From the inside, there's no way to tell, and so no need to invent a god.

It's not about *needing* to invent a god. It's about *wanting* to.

It's especially awesome if the god you invent finds you personally interesting and special and worthy.
posted by marble at 9:51 PM on March 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


You might want to think that over a bit before you spew more vitriol here.

Sorry. Evangelical athiest, spreading the word. Religion is delusion. It is false. It is lies. It hurts people. I've had enough of it and apologetic athiests like yourself. DIAF.
posted by sydnius at 10:07 PM on March 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


So you tell people to "die in a fire". Lovely. One person that I've found who is a nice bridge between atheism and believe is J. Krishnamurti. Would it be that I/we could really heed his charge to people to wake up from the sleep of ideas (atheist or religious) and really see life as it is, unfiltered. But if one is up spewing bile on the internet or the media, then it's safe to say that one is not awake.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:13 PM on March 21, 2008


believe = belief.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:14 PM on March 21, 2008


when you can worship reason.

Why worship anything at all? The value of reason is self-evident from daily life.

Evangelical athiest, spreading the word.

So, how's that working out for you? In my own experience as an "apologetic" atheist, whatever that is, I find that not being a dick works better.
posted by me & my monkey at 4:16 AM on March 22, 2008 [3 favorites]


Hmm. Yeah I find it works out fine. I prefer calling people on their bullshit instead of hiding in a corner wishing it will go away. Diff'rent strokes, ya know? Takes one to know one too. Just sayin'.
posted by sydnius at 6:02 AM on March 22, 2008


one is not awake Ahem. ROFL. wink, wink, nudge nudge, eh?
posted by sydnius at 6:06 AM on March 22, 2008


Creationism, evolution, and Nazis. Yes, Nazis.
posted by homunculus at 4:02 PM on March 22, 2008


Sorry. Evangelical athiest, spreading the word. Religion is delusion. It is false. It is lies. It hurts people. I've had enough of it and apologetic athiests like yourself. DIAF.

Lies, falsehoods, delusions, harm. A duty to stand up against th hurtful lies and spread the truth. There's not really anything in this vein you can say that other self-righteous people haven't already said to me in the name of religion. The only real difference is that they mean an eternal fire.
posted by Tehanu at 1:58 PM on March 23, 2008


Sorry. Evangelical athiest, spreading the word. Religion is delusion. It is false. It is lies. It hurts people. I've had enough of it and apologetic athiests like yourself. DIAF.

lurk moar
posted by Snyder at 6:13 PM on March 23, 2008


SciAm's review: Ben Stein's Expelled: No Integrity Displayed. A shameful antievolution film tries to blame Darwin for the Holocaust
posted by homunculus at 9:53 AM on April 12, 2008


We love you homunculus!
posted by Pope Guilty at 11:23 AM on April 12, 2008


He's the follow-up king.
posted by Artw at 11:42 AM on April 12, 2008


Expelled Conspiracy Revealed!
posted by homunculus at 11:18 AM on April 13, 2008


io9's accomplishing neither real critique nor humor, there. But that's io9 for you. Most linked site to the sites I read yet consistently disappointing in all content.
posted by Tehanu at 9:44 AM on April 14, 2008


Six Things in Expelled That Ben Stein Doesn't Want You to Know... ...about intelligent design and evolution
posted by homunculus at 9:44 AM on April 17, 2008


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