Watched Expelled today

June 5, 2016

Saskatoon’s CFI affiliate watched the film Expelled – No Intelligence Allowed this afternoon. The whole film is available on Youtube if you want to put yourself through it.

It’s a “documentary” that plays fast and loose with the notion of facts and tries to claim that Intelligence Design is not only a valid theory better than evolution, but that educators and scientists who support it are run out of town, discredited and essentially thrown in ideological gulags for the rest of eternity for daring to suggest it. He does liken their treatment to gulags in the film and includes stock footage of guillotines and concentration camps and the Berlin Wall because “Darwinists” are close-cousins to Nazis, apparently.

Ben Stein and his team were unscrupulous in twisting everything to fit their agenda. A Scientific American article lists six of the most egregious ways the show manipulated its audience. I’ll include their list, but read the article for full details. (This opinion piece from NBC goes into some of this, too.)

1) Expelled quotes Charles Darwin selectively to connect his ideas to eugenics and the Holocaust.
2) Ben Stein’s speech to a crowded auditorium in the film was a setup.
3) Scientists in the film thought they were being interviewed for a different movie.
4) The ID-sympathetic researcher whom the film paints as having lost his job at the Smithsonian Institution was never an employee there.
5) Science does not reject religious or “design-based” explanations because of dogmatic atheism.
6) Many evolutionary biologists are religious and many religious people accept evolution.

Like Eugenie Scott, who was one of the unfortunates targeted for interviews for this film. She’s Catholic.

I also recall P.Z. Myers writing about his experience with it. I was a fan of his blog at the time and remember this being a topic. He wrote an amusing post about trying to go watch the film he was interviewed for. He was booted from line but his guest, Richard Dawkins (also interviewed), got in without difficulty.

We were trying to remember if this film came before or after the Intelligent Design trial. Kitzmiller v. Dover was 2005 and this film was release in 2008.

In the legal case Kitzmiller v. Dover, tried in 2005 in a Harrisburg, PA, Federal District Court, “intelligent design” was found to be a form of creationism, and therefore, unconstitutional to teach in American public schools.

As the first case to test a school district policy requiring the teaching of “intelligent design,” the trial attracted national and international attention. Both plaintiffs and defendants in the case presented expert testimony over six weeks from September 26 through November 4, 2005). On December 20, 2005, Judge John E. Jones issued a sharply-worded ruling in which he held that “intelligent design” was, as the plaintiffs argued, a form of creationism.

Ball State University in Indiana hired Guillermo Gonzalez to be an assistant professor of astronomy in 2013. He was one of the educators Stein interviewed.

In 2008 Gonzalez was denied tenure at Iowa State University, essentially a form of termination, after which he taught at Grove City College, a Christian liberal arts school in Pennsylvania, before landing at Ball State.

As of May 10th this year, they gave tenure to a guy named Eric Hedin, also for the astronomy department.

A “Boundaries of Science” class taught by Hedin reportedly promoted the idea that nature displays evidence of intelligent design, in contrast to an undirected process like evolution.

In 2013, Ball State President Jo Ann Gora decided ID was not an appropriate subject for a science class after receiving a complaint from the Freedom From Religion Foundation about Hedin’s course. After an investigation by a panel of academic experts, Gora said ID, which some call pseudoscience, was overwhelmingly regarded by the scientific community as a religious belief and not a scientific theory.

But they gave him tenure and Gonzalez is on a tenure track. Added to that, he’s a fellow for the Discovery Institute, the biggest group pushing for ID inclusion.

Michael J.I. Brown, an observational astronomer at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, told The Star Press in 2014 it was a “remarkable coincidence” that two astronomers who believe in ID ended up at Ball State. Two ID-believing astronomers winding up in the same modestly sized astrophysics department by random chance are as unlikely as two astronomers who own chimpanzees ending up in the same department, Brown said.

Ars Technica reported in April 2016 about an Ohio school district pushing the “teach the controversy” angle.

Zack Kopplin, an activist who has tracked attempts to sneak religious teachings into science classrooms, found a bit of sneaking going on in Youngstown, Ohio. There, a document hosted by the city schools includes a lesson plan that openly endorses intelligent design and suggests the students should be taught that there’s a scientific controversy between it and evolution.

The document focuses on the “Diversity of Life” and is a bizarre mix of normal science and promotion of intelligent design. Most of the first page, for example, is taken up by evolution standards that have language that echoes that of the Next Generation Science Standards. But the discussion is preceded by a statement that’s straight out of the “teach the controversy” approach: “The students examine the content of evolution and intelligent design and consider the merits and flaws of both sides of the argument.” In fact, elsewhere in the document, teachers are told to host a debate where students take turns arguing for evolution and intelligent design.

For a science class I think that’s a colossal waste of class time. Setting up both sides as if they’re in any way on equal footing does a great disservice to actual scientific advancement and understanding. Sure, there are gaps in the knowledge. It’s to be expected. Every year we know more but we’ll never know everything and while the ID side may think it’s somehow egotistical for scientists to claim their theories for origins are valid ideas (from mineral starts to panspermia), it doesn’t make any logical sense to slap a creator into the gap instead and consider the whole thing solved that way.

Thoughts?

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Glenn Beck is proof science class is important

October 21, 2010

World Net Daily is quoting him in an article saying some completely stupid shit about the evolutionary process.

Were human beings created by God in an instant, or over millions of years through evolution?

Glenn Beck addressed the question on his radio show today as he came to the defense of Christine O’Donnell, the Republican U.S. Senate candidate from Delaware under fire for challenging evolution.

“Did evolution just stop?” Beck asked rhetorically. “I haven’t seen the half-monkey/half-person yet. … There’s no other species that’s developing into half-people.”

“I don’t know how God creates. I don’t know how we got here,” he continued, wondering what God might tell him after he dies. “If God’s like, ‘Yup, you were a monkey once,’ I’ll be shocked, but I’ll be cool with it.”

Humans are humans. Monkeys are monkeys. We’re related but we’re not inbred cousins like Beck’s relatives might be.

Beck explained, “If God didn’t create, if things evolve, then your rights evolve. You’re not endowed by your Creator.

“Just like you go from a monkey to a man, you go from simple rights to higher rights and somebody has to take those rights and give them to you and take them away or change them. This is again the evolutionary thinking of progressivism.”

Of course rights evolve. They evolve as cultures and communities grow and adapt to new environments, new ways of thinking about the world and the people and animals in the world. Think about all the work done to get blacks the vote. To get women the vote. The SPCA. The Rights of Children. It’s appalling to realize none of that was automatically given. Absolutely appalling.

Nobody should be in favour of taking any rights away from people once they’ve been fought for and earned. Well, aside from what goes on with prison, I suppose.

Jokingly referring to himself as a “half-monkey person,” Beck blasted self-labeled progressives who seem bent on halting the viewpoints of anyone who disagrees with them.

“They have to stop the half-monkey people leaders so the rest of them can be saved and become fully developed, thinking human beings.”

Beck also challenged the notion that scientists are always correct.

“There are so many things that are accepted science that are later proven to be out of whack and false. … Science, they don’t know their a– from their elbow.”

Proven to be false by other scientists, you ass. What part of you is half-monkey? I’m guessing the brain.

Beck also alluded to the media’s fascination with O’Donnell’s admission she had dabbled in witchcraft in her teenage years.

“I don’t think the Wiccans are creationists. I imagine they’re evolutionists,” he said. “First she’s a witch, and then she’s a Christian. Which is she?”

She’s a problem and she’s an idiot. If she doesn’t understand the First Amendment and still thinks she’s qualified to run for public office, then anyone who votes for her is also a problem and possibly an idiot.

Hopefully sense and intelligence come out ahead.


It’s drafty in here (science is way cool)

August 13, 2010

Several posts over the next couple weeks are being pulled out of my drafts, if the title wasn’t a clue. I’ve been storing ideas in there for..oh, months now, and it’s high time some of them see light.

New Scientist was reporting in January on something called “horizontal evolution.” I don’t subscribe to their site, sadly, but since we’re talking about the internet here, others have put up information about this topic elsewhere. Sadly, they’re taking interesting research that can revolutionize the way we thought species evolve, and claiming it’s proof evolution never happened at all. Yes, the only places that seem to be quoting this piece are Intelligent Design places.

Cornelius Hunt over at Darwin’s God writes,

What do bacterial resistance to antibiotic drugs and the universal genetic code have in common? They both have been explained by horizontal gene transfer, a mechanism that evolutionists are increasingly using to explain the origin of the species. And what’s wrong with that? First, it makes evolution superfluous and second, it makes evolution ridiculous.

Um, no it doesn’t. It clearly shows how fucking cool it is. If gene transfer is possible, then all species are closely related enough (at a genetic level) to allow that to be feaseable. It’s further proof that evolution has had a hand in the making of everything from bacteria to elephants.

Humans can get mad cow like cows can. We can get rabies like dogs do. There are probably several diseases shared across species like that. We have to be close via gene pool for that kind of shit to affect us equally, yes? I’m not up on my biology, though. But if they can test treatments for humans using mice, that’d be more proof, yes?

Cornelius has more.

Various studies have found that bacterial sequences often do not form the predicted evolutionary tree, and in such cases horizontal gene transfer is the typical explanation.

But while such explanations make sense, they also make evolution vulnerable to Occam’s razor. For when evolutionary predictions fail, as they often do, we find scientific explanations that are independent of evolution. Organisms intelligently adapt to environmental challenges and genes show up in the wrong place. We now understand that epigenetic and horizontal gene transfer mechanisms, respectively, often account for such phenomena. And while evolution requires such mechanisms to save it from its failures, those mechanisms do not need evolution.

But I’m sure anyone with their head on straight would argue that this process must have evolved at some point. There was probably a useful reason genetically for this kind of adaptation to become prevalent. The ability to borrow shit from other organisms and make it yours is dead handy. If lowly bacteria sorted out how to utilize that ability and benefit from it, it should be a wow moment. Not a “Wow, ain’t God the Greatest!?” moment, but a “Holy Crap, bacteria can do this easier than we can. Wow! (And, just how much trouble are we in here anyway?)”

Unlike the bumper sticker’s reminder, horizontal gene transfer is not something that just happens. It is a consequence of various complex mechanisms for which evolution has no explanation beyond the usual speculation.

So we must believe that evolution, sans horizontal gene transfer, somehow happened upon such a facility which then allowed for more evolution. Apparently we are living in the right multiverse.

Yes, yes we are, Corny. And yeah, a lot of science is speculation. But once you have a hypothesis, you can start doing some work to try and prove it well enough to create a viable theory. If enough work is done that can suggest the theory is more right than it is wrong, then the theory will gain ground. If research heads the other way, the theory will scrapped for a better hypothesis. I might not be able to wrap my head around the science of molecular biology but I certainly understand the scientific process inherent in the discovery of stuff worth reporting on in New Scientist. I did enough science in school to know that’s how science works.

Evolutionists are now making the Greek myth makers appear downright sober. In an all-time understatement they do admit that pinning down the details of that early process remains a difficult task. This work augments the already rampant evolutionary serendipity with absurdity. Evolutionary theory is not merely superfluous, it is ridiculous.

Well, I make the hypothesis that Cornelius is ridiculous and I offer up his entire article as proof of my theory. Sheesh.


Science center being sued over ID movie cancellation

December 31, 2009

The California Science Center opted to cancel a pro-intelligent design film recently, and left themselves wide open for a lawsuit against them by the American Freedom Alliance, a “think tank and activist network promoting Western values and ideals.” Western being synonymous with Fundamentalist, I suppose.

The root of the problem seems to do with the contract between AFA and the Center in terms of advertising the event. The Center wanted to see everything, but AFA sent out a press release about the “premier” without getting the Center’s approval ahead of time and the Center considered that a breach of contract. Now AFA is hoping to sue for punitive damages due to loss of revenue and other things. They wound up having to show the film on a smaller screen elsewhere and didn’t get to run a short 3D IMAX picture, We Are Born of Stars, along with it as originally planned.

“We want to find out what really happened,” said John West, the senior fellow in charge of the Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture. Government agencies that allow the public to rent their facilities can’t “pick and choose only the viewpoints they like,” he added.

Among the 44 pages that the Discovery Institute did get from the science center are e-mails filed as exhibits with its suit: “I’m less troubled by the freedom of speech issues than why my tax dollars which support the California ‘Science’ Center are being spent on hosting religious propaganda,” wrote Hilary Schor, a USC professor of English, comparative literature and gender studies.

But another correspondent, Eugenie Scott, executive director of the National Center for Science Education, which champions evolution in clashes over which theory should be taught in public schools, urged “NOT asking the museum to cancel the showing of the movie. Really — the story that ‘big science is trying to squelch controversy . . . ‘ is going to be a bigger story and draw more attention to the movie’s showing than the showing itself.”

I’m thinking that’s become the case.

Thoughts?


Also, god deliberately messed up creation just to mess with our minds

December 27, 2009

God totally designed flawed systems and body parts to make people think no god would be so stupid as to design things in such a fucked up way. God’s gonna get the last laugh…

That does appear to be the “argument” I’ve discovered from David Klinghoffer explaining how, once again, Dawkins and his ilk have it all wrong.

The human knee appears to be ill-suited to its task, hence the prevalence of knee pain, similar to that of back pain, and so on. I’ve had trouble from this recurrent minor soreness, brought on by running. So here’s a website devoted to cataloguing instances of apparently faulty designs like my knee that, so goes the argument, a creator would not allow in his creatures.

That is a theological argument, not a scientific one, based on the premise that Dawkins & Co. know what a God would or wouldn’t do if that God existed which he does not.

I’m including the website link to save you clicking on the original article if you don’t want to. So basically the “argument” comes down to thinking Dawkins is trying to tell the world what a real god wouldn’t do and quotes a part of Dawkins’ latest book, The Greatest Show on Earth to “prove” it:

“Any intelligent designer would have hived off the laryngeal nerve on its way down, replacing a journey of many meters by one of a few centimeters.” Atheists think they’ve discovered a devastating “Ah hah! Gotcha!” sort of a response to religious believers who, it’s assumed, never realized that nature has a certain painful lack of perfection built into it.

Yet writing in the 16th century, the Maharal finds evidence that the deficiency was not only intended and foreseen by God but is a necessary feature of creation, alluded to in the opening verses of Genesis. … One particular “deficiency” that was tinkered with and corrected is the initial solitude of Adam, the first man, depicted as lonely and single

Fuck, that’s totally not the same thing. Dawkins is asking why convoluted bodily functions exist when there could have been “better” simple designs that would achieve similar results. It’s got nothing to do with people who thought that God thought Adam needed a girlfriend. What does that have to do with evolution?

God’s creative activity produced something that was “not good.” That it was fixed later through the creation of Eve doesn’t take away from the startling admission by the Bible itself. Dawkins again: “This pattern of major design flaws, compensated for by subsequent tinkering, is exactly what we should not expect if there really were a designer at work.” The Hebrew Bible’s reply would be, “Oh really?”

Dawkins means flaws within a body, not relationship issues, dorkus.

In the context of Chanukah, with its theme of the wicked Greek kingdom’s oppression of the Jews in their land and the subsequent civil war pitting religiously loyal Jews against secularist Greek-loving Jews, the theme emerges a little differently.

In the Biblical scheme of history, four kingdoms arose and sequentially divested God’s presence in the world of some of its splendor. Each did so by depriving the Jews of sovereignty in their land, where Israel was intended to carry out her mission to the fullest extent possible. One kingdom was Greece. Another was Rome, in whose exilic shadow we still live. The Maharal finds all four alluded to in the second verse in Genesis. It was foreseen, no matter of chance, a part of the pattern that God knew full well would unfold.

Again, what does this have to do with the rather bizarre evolution of eyeballs? Dawkins is a biologist, not a biblical “scholar” who interprets the “first” book by extrapolating “historical” shit out of later ones. This is one of the stupidest arguments for design that I’ve ever seen. Good grief. It’s laughable, really. It’s not an argument at all, is it?

Woven into creation from the start was a very painful thread of “deficiency,” playing out on the historical stage. Why not, too, in nature?

It could hardly be otherwise. If a trivial example like a sore knee is “bad design” and a point scored for atheism, then any trivial lack of perfection in created reality is enough to trigger the atheist response. Any evil in nature, any suffering.

Nature isn’t evil. Nature just does what it needs to do in order to survive. So did the cougar who ate the dentist’s patient as mentioned in the article. She was hiking in cougar territory, and a cougar took exception to that. Such is the nature of things.

What people do to other people, though – that can be cruel and disgusting in ways that no human should want to contemplate, yet many humans justify cruel and disgusting behaviour by saying it’s sanctioned by a god and therefore A-OK. What the Greeks (who had a pantheon) did, what the Romans (who had a pantheon) did. What God-loving Jewish/Hebrew/Israelite tribes did to their other God-loving tribes (see Judges).

My apologies if this upsets any delicate sensibilities, but consider the alternative. A world without evil. What would that be like? It would be the perfect hamster cage or turtle terrarium, where all our needs are provided, there are no predators, no contagious disease, no confusion, no loneliness, no sin, no particular purpose, no growth, just spinning aimlessly on our exercise wheel or swimming idly in our calm, algaed paddling pool.

For Dawkins & Co., it’s either the turtle terrarium or a Godless universe. What an absurd false dilemma. For the God he doesn’t believe in, however, it’s easy to see why the turtle alternative would hold little charm, hardly enough to justify creating a world in the first place.

But isn’t that what Eden would have been had God not gotten his panties in a bunch over Adam and Eve and the fruit? No sin, no clothes, vegetarian dinners with the Tyrannosaurus family across the way? Nothing to do but lay around in the ferns all day thinking about nothing in particular because they wouldn’t know there was anything they didn’t know? Paradise.

Creatures that could never grow or change spiritually because they were unchallenged and therefore totally uninteresting? What’s the point? Once we admit that some lack, or anyway so we perceive it, in creation was inevitable if there was to be a creation, what extent of deficiency was going to be enough? Maybe a little, maybe a lot. You will have to ask God when you meet him.

I’m taking it for granted that part of His purpose in creating us was to relate to us, once humanity has matured to a point where that’s really possible. Who would want to have a relationship with a hamster?

Taking it for granted indeed. Why didn’t god make a mature humanity in the first place to save all the trouble? Oh, I suppose that’s one of god’s purposeful design plans; leaving us mentally stunted for generations. He mocks Dawkins for claiming to know what a god would do and here he is claiming to know god’s purpose? Please. Plus, I had a very nice relationship with my hamster. Fritz was awesome. I’d rather hang out with a hamster all day than chat with the writer of this piece for five minutes. Most definitely.


Still the single greatest idea ever

November 24, 2009

Still the simplest and most sensible explanation for species adaptation, still the most misunderstood concept by all those who claim it’s wrong.

On the Origin of Species was published 150 years ago today. And no, I haven’t read it. I suppose I should but I haven’t gotten around to it. I don’t have to read it to know it’s on target, though, because scientists all over the world agree it’s on target and experimentation over the years has verified the inherent truths of Charles Darwin’s evolutionary model. It’s the best scenario we’ve got that can explain how we got to this point that doesn’t rely on any supernatural nonsense to make it work.

Religion Dispatches has a nice article about the evolution/ID argument today. Lauri Lebo does make the mistake of claiming Kirk Cameron was on Family Ties; it was actually Growing Pains, but I can see how she’d mix those up. Still doesn’t excuse something that easy to check, but anyway, the article:

Most recently, last week, former Family Ties child actor and born-again Christian Kirk Cameron and evangelist Ray Comfort, led a crusade at college campuses around the U.S. and Canada, distributing free altered copies of Origin of Species.

Because Origin is in the public domain, Comfort was legally able to add to the book his own new 50-page introduction, in which he quotes from Mein Kampf in order to link Darwin to Adolf Hitler, accuses Darwin of being sexist, and argues falsely that there are no transitional fossils in the fossil record.

And he deleted chapters 9-12 or something. I saw a copy of it and the sneaky turd doesn’t even put his name on the cover to let people know it’s not the original Origin. Pretty much everything that made Darwin’s case got pulled out.

Next month marks the four-year anniversary of the decision of Kitzmiller v. Dover, in which Judge John E. Jones determined that intelligent design was merely religion masquerading as a scientific conceit and therefore unconstitutional to teach in the public schools.

Since then, evolution’s opponents have been struggling to redefine their message.

But the underlying point remains the same. As a woman distributing Comfort’s altered copies of Origin last week explained to CNN, it was important to her because evolution “impacts a person’s eternal destiny.”

I don’t see how, personally. Evolution has nothing to do with a person’s personal belief in heaven or hell. Why would it have to be one or the other? Is it totally necessary to faith to buy into the 6000 year old earth, or is it possible to finally admit that’s an unfounded fallacy and move on to what’s proven fact? Of course I already know the answer to that one. I recently found a comment by someone basically claiming God made a mature earth just to take the mickey out of future scientists and their radio carbon dating. I’m surprised I haven’t seen any arguments claiming osteoporosis killed the dinosaurs because their bones were already “millions of years” old and fragile when they hatched in the first place…

It’s going to take a lot more than scientific evidence, rational thought and reasoned debate to get people to accept the very real fact that in the scientific community, there is no debate over whether evolution is real. Sadly, most of the fighting continues to take place in the U.S., where our tradition of anti-intellectualism and history of religious fundamentalism provided fertile ground for the battle over religion versus science. (In a 2006 survey of western nations, Turkey was the only country in which fewer people accepted evolution than in the United States.)

According to Ron Numbers’ The Creationists: From Scientific Creationism to Intelligent Design, in the wake of the publishing of Origin, Christians in America were, for the most part, able to make peace with Darwin’s theory and evolutionary principles. It wasn’t until the early 1900s, when a series of religious pamphlets, The Fundamentals, were published arguing for the acceptance of the Bible as literal truth that a widespread backlash to evolution was born.

Four books worth of Fundamentals pamphlets were published in 1915. 1925 marked the official banning of evolution in the classroom, but Intelligent Design as an idea grew out of scientific advancements in the late 1950s, according to Lebo, and have continued to make headway. Four years ago, Kitzmiller v. Dover took science’s side but that hasn’t stopped people from trying to manipulate science classes to make room for creationism as a theory equal to (or better than) everything we’ve built on since Darwin wrote his book.

The new creationist/intelligent design strategy has been to pressure states and school districts to water down the teaching of evolution until it’s virtually meaningless and to raise doubts in children’s’ minds about the validity of science.

As Don McLeroy, one of the members of the Texas Board of Education, who led efforts to instill intelligent-design friendly language into his state science standards, said during hearings this spring, “Somebody has to stand up to the experts.”

And that should be up to other experts who have a better theory and can demonstrate it with verifiable scientific experimentation. Don’t just point at some dude caressing a piece of fruit while he jabbers towards a camera and some dopey child star oohs and ahhs. That’s not proof of anything.

Last week, Comfort was quoted in Charisma saying he doubts intelligent design will ever be taught in schools alongside evolution. “That’s because we have to remember who we are as Christians,” he said. “We’re the folks who believe in Adam and Eve [and] Noah’s Ark … and so in the name of science, they are going to resist as much as they can.”

Well of course we will. Bible stories are for religion class. Science class is supposed to introduce kids to how the world works and what we think we know about the universe. It’s not the place to fill their heads with shit they’ll need to take on faith. It’s the place to fill their heads with facts that have been demonstrated as most likely answers to life, the universe and everything and encourage them towards those fields to prove or disprove any fact or hypothesis or theory they dare to take on. We will never have all the answers. We will always find more puzzles that need solutions. But no matter what, “God did it” will never be a sufficient or verifiable answer to anything.


Defending evolution

December 24, 2008

This is from a letter to the editor:

Allow me to point out that just because an idea is popular, doesn’t necessarily mean it is valid. Otherwise one could argue that we should eat cow pies since billions of flies couldn’t possibly be wrong.

This is how the writer justifies that evolution is likely wrong. It’s just a theory with more questions than answers and suggests readers watch Ben Stein’s hideous mockery of film making, Expelled. Never mind that flies evolved to get benefits from refuse and dead things whereas people didn’t…

The discoveries of ancient cave drawings of dinosaurs as well as side-by-side human and dinosaur footprints are only two examples of why this theory, by its own standards, is indeed just a very flawed theory.

I wonder where he found this information. Here is a close-up of the picture that likely provided the basis for this particular delusion. I found mention of an article about Bushmen dinosaur art, but the author seems to suggests those early artists used their innate skills to figure out what an animal that left certain footprints and bones might have looked like, and did remarkably well depicting them. I’d have to buy the article to read the whole thing but there’s no suggestion that dinosaurs and men lived side by side in the abstract and I presume a journal like Ichnos An International Journal for Plant and Animal Traces
probably leans toward scientific reasoning rather than silly unrealistic conclusions.

Seeing that we are constantly surrounded by all kinds of things that have been carefully designed, and inventions that took high levels of intelligence to create, it appears that it takes much more faith to believe that life itself, in its complexity and intricacy, just happened by chance rather than by intelligent design.

Most of what we’re surrounded by now are things humans designed and invented so I can agree with the levels of intelligence comment in regards to creating such wonders. Good job humans, what a long way we have come since the Stone Age. As to faith in chance, well, you don’t need faith in the postman to know he’ll deliver eventually. Chances are, he’ll deliver something today, even if it’s merely junk. Chances are an animal or bug or microscopic critter is going to do something a little later today that will wind up benefiting its progeny. We’ll probably never see what it was, but that doesn’t mean it won’t eventually make a difference to that genetic line, and perhaps to the species on a whole. I think survival always lends itself to chance because existence is always a bit of a gamble.

The special season of Christmas reminds us again that millions of people around the world have chosen to live their lives believing that there is a Creator God who sent His Son, rather than to live life as if there is no God, and in the end only to find out there is.

Him believing there is a creator god doesn’t get in the way of me thinking there isn’t one. I don’t have any belief that some god will let the hell door hit me in the ass on the way out. I don’t think there’s a hell, I don’t think there’s a heaven. I don’t think I’ll be punished for thinking so after my last breath, no matter how much a guy like this might wish it.