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Monday, April 21, 2008

Expelled Backlash and the Scientific Method

Okay, I am dying to see Expelled the Movie. I am desperately interested in all things related to the Evolution versus Intelligent Design controversy. And I must admit, coming from the man who once uttered, "Bueller? Anyone...Bueller?" it simply must not be missed. And kudos to the Angus Young private schoolboy attire. I wonder if that is purposeful.* But I digress.

As I said, I haven't seen the movie. I will, God willing, before the radical left wing conspiracy drives it out of theaters. Hey, if they can blame just about everything on us...

Nonetheless, I have been paying attention to the backlash unleashed by the movie Expelled. There are very interesting conversations taking place in all circles of society--especially in the blogosphere.

I took part in one blog debate just recently and thought I'd post my thoughts on the matter here as well. My .02, for what it's worth.


Very cool discussion. I'm very glad to hear so many diverse views on this subject. It interests me greatly.

I'm not a scientist in the formal sense, but it seems to me that we all are in the common sense. So, I'm looking at the Scientific Method with a little common sense. And here are my "common" conclusions.

First, the Scientific Method:

* Ask a Question
* Do Background Research
* Construct a Hypothesis
* Test Your Hypothesis by Doing an Experiment
* Analyze Your Data and Draw a Conclusion
* Communicate Your Results

Okay, here goes:

* Ask a Question: How did the earth and everything that lives upon it come into existence?

* Do Background Research: I've discovered that the earth, its ecosystems, its gravitational properties, and its position in the universe, as well as, the forms of life living upon it are extremely complex.

* Construct a Hypothesis: Since it is irrefutable that the earth and the living beings upon it are complex and since other complexities in my experience have had an intelligent designer, I hypothesize that the earth and all living things upon it also had an intelligent designer.

* Test Your Hypothesis by Doing an Experiment: I attempted to create a world with all manner of complicated systems and life forms. And: it worked. I've written several novels.

* Analyze Your Data and Draw a Conclusion: I'd be pretty surprised if the novels I've written showed up by accident or chance. I'm guessing the odds would be pretty steep that a coherent plotline could be randomly generated. I've also used a microwave oven to pop popcorn to munch while writing. I'm thinking it's pretty obvious someone created this ingenious (and mighty handy) microwave.

And I've also noted that, like my novels, other works of art have been purposefully created by intelligent artists. And when I look at the many paintings by a certain artist, I notice many similarities in style, medium, perspective, and subject matter--everything from brush strokes to color selection.

Put quite simply an artist's works have similarities that can be traced directly back to the artist. So when I see that chimps and people have similar features--or even Endogenous Retroviruses, I don't see common ancestry, but a common artist.

* Communicate Your Results: The most logical explanation for the appearance of a complex world and all its inhabitants is that there was an intelligent designer involved.

*Pun very much intended.


S. J. Deal said...
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S. J. Deal said...

What can I say? Another great post.

I used to be a very pro-intelligent design and creationism person. I still believe it. But I'm not nearly as much into that as I used to be. But yes, your scientific method list does indicate something!

My favorite Evolutionary theory has got to be the Big Bang. Here is something that'll only work if it has a designer. The Big Bang demands a creator for one very simple reason. Matter does not spontaneously generate! Not to mention big explosions are kinda cool.

Anonymous said...

I really think that the movie, even though it doesnt seem to be pro Creationist, its a good step towards the truth. I just hope that it will come out in theaters here in Europe so i can watch it.

Anonymous said...

I've seen the movie and it is very good. A little sad, but still good.

Elliot Reed said...

Wow! The scientific meathod of common sense worked well. One thing I always think of when confronted with things like this are to look at various simple objects and think to myself: 'What does this object have?'

When I look at a building, I know that beams, bricks and boards weren't just thrown into a heap to make a building. That shows Creation.

When I look at a room, you know that the person didn't randomly throw out the furniture, it shows design.

When you look at something like the Mona Lisa, you know that the famous artist didn't close his eyes and put random brush strokes. That shows art.

If you go to a library, books aren't randomly placed anywhere, but they all go in a particular place. That shows order.

Creation, Design, Art, Order. You can't have these four things occur out of nothing. Seeing these four things in our world so clearly as we do demands- dare I say it- Intelligent Creation, Design, Art, and Order.


Anonymous said...
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James Somers said...

Wayne, I think that the complexity of plant pollination is a great proof for evolution--those amazingly smart plants (big brains) they knew how to change their chromosomes to produce a particular smell or colored petal to attract the exact vector animal or insect necessary to carry out their reproductive/pollination cycle...gee their smart. I didn't even know that birds can't really smell, but those brilliant flowers knew it and didn't bother to develop a smell when using a bird for their vector...gee, if only we were as smart as plants.

Heavy sarcasm included for flavor.

Shelby Marie said...

I really like how you described the similarites in an artist's works can be likened to the similarities in God's creation. An analogy dear to my heart!
Write On!!!
Shelby Marie

***Flinn-fan-of-the-Twins*** said...

Bravo Mr. Batson!

dCF said...

that was incredible....just enough push or "ummph" as my pastor father would say...with enough sarcasm, and humor to make it light and give even the lefties something to laugh at...reading IoS for the 5th time...AGAIN!

Pais Charos said...

Kinda interesting that I read this on the day I'm working on an essay for my class. The assignment is to compare and contrast evolution and the Bible's stance on Creation. Too funny :P

everlastingscribe said...

The movie really isn't to be missed! In fact it doesn't hit as hard with Intelligent Design ideas and research as it does begging for this -an open dialogue of ideas. That's really all that it asks of the listener and then it goes on and shows what's happening in the scientific community. By the way, Intelligent Design isn't Creationism. Intelligent Design merely states at its' core that all that we see in the natural order could not have happened without outside influence.

That influence could be an alien race more developed than our own, it could be any number of gods, it could be hyper intelligent pan dimensional beings running experiments, all it claims is that an intelligence was involved in the creating of life on this planet. It's more about the loss of freedom of thought than it is about creation/evolution.

I have been talking for a week now with people about it-be prepared for all kinds of discussions to happen should you go and see it. Also, go with an open mind. There are some really dark secrets that are revealed, and sadly it doesn't paint the country that I love in a very favorable light.

Go see it anyway.

The Writer said...

Great post. I had a conversation like this today.

Arysta said...

Most interesting. I like how you compared creating worlds in literature to how the world we live had to have a Creator.
Way to go Mr. Batson!

Justin B. said...

I will try to keep my post to venturing off into a commentary of my pol. beliefs (which lean ways most would be confounded by..) This movie looks really interesting and would love to see it. I've had my bouts with being agnostic for a bit.. never did I reach the level of atheism mostly due to the fact that this world is just too complex and us as individuals are too diverse and complex (repetition of words.. sorry) to have been created from a single atom.
The whole theory of a universe completely confounds me, how can matter be created by accident and how can something just exist. Its a bit like a pizza, a pizza cannot be just created. It must have a creator. It really confounds me how people can believe that the world was created by accident. The logic of it just does not get into my mind.
If there is one area of Christianity I wrestle with its what CS Lewis himself wrestled with. The creation of the world makes sense... but why if there is a God then there is so much darkness in our world,and sometimes make no sense. Why is it that sometimes the religious community shuts the door on the very thing that proves god noncomformity. When I see differences I see a smart God, when I see the choice of acting upon Satan or God's influence, I see God. When I am left in a field looking out upon creation, God to me just makes sense. But when I am sitting and listening to a sermon on you should vote this way, these groups of people are abominations, and other things. I see a complex God being minimized to an easily digestible form that makes God seem less complex than human.
I'm not the first to admit my thinking of God is a bit odd to most. My favorite illustration of the faith journey is from Pan's Labyrinth. That God allows freedom of choice and its our jobs to decipher the signs he throws out and follow the path to salvation. For me it was Madeleine L'engle's writings that made me become a full Christian, though I still wander off the path sometimes when I see Christians verbally accost someone who's different or hear of many travesties caused by some religious followers or the complete ignorance of poverty and the fact that the people we mark as untouchables will never feel genuine love due to the all the stereotypes and genereal fear that permeates the church community.

This going way off mark.. and I'm kinda apprehensive of some of the comments I may get for this. I'm not always sure of everything around me, as life goes on I still learn something new each and everyday. One of the challenges God puts us up to is that sometimes we continue to decipher the clues God throws out at us, as that is genuine faith freely choosing the path willingly and part of that path is discovering for yourself just what God wants of you.

*Sorry if this is a bit off topic, anyone who needs a good book on this topic should check out And it was Good by Madeleine L'Engle, that book that brought me back to Christ after three years of being an agnostic*

Justin B. said...

*from not to*

Rebecca said...

I saw Expelled with my youth group on Saturday and it was so AMAZINGLY AWESOME!

OnTheStraightAndNarrow said...

I just wanted to point that there is a difference between Creationism and Intelligent Design. Creationism is based directly on the Bible. Intelligent Design is merely the belief that the universe was made by a divine being, and it allows for some evolution.

PatShand said...

For me, evolution goes hand in hand with Intelligent Design. How could there be such, as you say, 'complex' beings that are able to adapt and grow with their surroundings if there was never an Intelligent Designer. Of course evolution exists. But, at the same time, of COURSE intelligent design exists as well. They're part of each other.

Justin B. said...

I love the way Madeleine L'Engle sums it up, who cares whatever method God used to create the Earth, for whatever method he used was beyond words. That is not the exact wording since its much more eloquent than that, I'm pratically quoting from her wonderful book "And it was Good."

WayneThomasBatson said...

Hi, Justin

You're always welcome to express your thoughts here. Your experience points to one of the most critical (if the not THE most critical) problems with Christianity of the past, present, and likely future.

The problem, as I see it, is twofold. 1. Jesus said they will know you by how you love one another. 2. Some Christians do horrible things.

People outside of the faith or even inside the faith have a hard time reconciling those two truths. I completely understand the temptation to flee hypocrisy. But we need to constantly keep in mind that we are not to follow Paul or Apollos, or Pastor Biff. We are to follow Jesus.

People may let us down. Jesus won't.

And Hi, Pat. I think everyone in the scientific community and the faith community agrees on micro evolution--small changes that do not result in a new species.

But wholesale evolution or macroevolution is where many ID folks (including myself) draw a line and say, no…that's not right. When scientists argue that Darwinian evolution is true, Christians need to question it and begin a dialogue. There's good scientific evidence out there, not to mention some serious common sense in support of ID...and Creation.