PZ sums it up for us

Don’t even bother to watch the video, just read PZ Myer’s rebuttal of Ben Stein’s arguments for intelligent design.

There is a big difference, Ben, between free speech in public discourse and the curricula we agree to teach in our public schools. For some reason people forget that you can teach your children whatever superstitious crap you want if you homeschool or use religious schools. REMEMBER: What Ben tries to portray as the embattled defenders of free speech are really people who want to bring specific religious teachings into our public curricula in addition to it already occupying the church, the home and religious schools. They want it in public schools too.

Now Ben does do a good job of trying to not seem radical but he is a radical. He doesn’t understand how science works and he is equating wild speculation with valid science. He can “talk and think” all he wants about ID. You all can. Let’s all “talk and think” about ID. That’s great. No one is objecting to that. We’re objecting to teaching anything other than science as science in science class. That’s it.

So the “squashing debate” argument is completely fallacious.

But I agree with Ben Stein when he says:

Societies progress by asking questions, having freedom of speech and freedom of inquiry. We’re not trying to shut anyone up. Bill Maher can say anything he wants. All these Darwinist people, all these atheists can say anything they want. We would just like to have freedom of inquiry and freedom of speech. And is this problem important? Is freedom of inquiry important?

Yes, it is important. The gaps in evolutionary biology are under intense attack by evolutionary biologists. There are thousands of people around the world competing to prove, deny or improve the existing models. Research is abounding in these fields. What Ben wants is already happening. He is confusing the ravings of a few vocal creationists with science. Science IS challenging “Darwinism” every day. It’s just a fact that natural selection is still the theory to beat. ID does not come close by any objective measure to competing with natural selection in terms of a successful and well-tested theory.

PZ sums it up for us

2 thoughts on “PZ sums it up for us

  1. micadelic says:

    I don’t consider myself an atheist but I don’t consider myself as belonging to any religion either. I do think about religiosity quite a bit and I’ve been doing some reading. Something about these threads and such apparent hostility towards ID and religion in general does kind of bug me as it seems almost like a “radical atheism.”

    Anyway, I found somewhat of a kindred spirit to my way of thinking in a guy that no one can deny is a true man of science. his name was Albert Einstein. There was an interesting article in Time Magazine and I’d like to point out of few quotes from Einstein that pretty perfectly describes my view on the matter.

    Try and penetrate with our limited means the secrets of nature and you will find that, behind all the discernible laws and connections, there remains something subtle, intangible and inexplicable. Veneration for this force beyond anything that we can comprehend is my religion. To that extent I am, in fact, religious.

    I’m not an atheist. I don’t think I can call myself a pantheist. The problem involved is too vast for our limited minds. We are in the position of a little child entering a huge library filled with books in many languages. The child knows someone must have written those books. It does not know how. It does not understand the languages in which they are written. The child dimly suspects a mysterious order in the arrangement of the books but doesn’t know what it is. That, it seems to me, is the attitude of even the most intelligent human being toward God. We see the universe marvelously arranged and obeying certain laws but only dimly understand these laws.

    The most beautiful emotion we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion that stands at the cradle of all true art and science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead, a snuffed-out candle. To sense that behind anything that can be experienced there is something that our minds cannot grasp, whose beauty and sublimity reaches us only indirectly: this is religiousness. In this sense, and in this sense only, I am a devoutly religious man.

    I believe in Spinoza’s God, who reveals himself in the lawful harmony of all that exists, but not in a God who concerns himself with the fate and the doings of mankind.

    But throughout his life, Einstein was consistent in rejecting the charge that he was an atheist. “There are people who say there is no God,” he told a friend. “But what makes me really angry is that they quote me for support of such views.” And unlike Sigmund Freud or Bertrand Russell or George Bernard Shaw, Einstein never felt the urge to denigrate those who believed in God; instead, he tended to denigrate atheists. “What separates me from most so-called atheists is a feeling of utter humility toward the unattainable secrets of the harmony of the cosmos,” he explained.
    In fact, Einstein tended to be more critical of debunkers, who seemed to lack humility or a sense of awe, than of the faithful. “The fanatical atheists,” he wrote in a letter, “are like slaves who are still feeling the weight of their chains which they have thrown off after hard struggle. They are creatures who–in their grudge against traditional religion as the ‘opium of the masses’– cannot hear the music of the spheres.”

    Science can be created only by those who are thoroughly imbued with the aspiration toward truth and understanding,” he said. “This source of feeling, however, springs from the sphere of religion.” The talk got front-page news coverage, and his pithy conclusion became famous. “The situation may be expressed by an image: science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.

    There is more in the articel, it’s worth a read.


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