If Expelled turns into some sort of national phenomenon, I’ll probably go nuts and kill someone. So far it was only 9th its opening weekend, but you never know about word of mouth.

No, I have not seen the movie, and by all rights and in the interest of avoiding hypocrisy I shouldn’t be commenting on it. But it is fairly clear that the film is a presentation of all of the arguments intelligent design (ID) proponents put forth in their arguments. All it takes are a couple minutes of Googling to find that the people who were “unjustly” fired “because of their belief in ID” are seriously misrepresenting the reality of their situation–unless, of course, all you read are the countless posts by ID supporters who like to paint themselves as being persecuted.

At the end of the day, what it comes down to is this: Evolution may have holes in it, it may turn out to need serious revision at some point before it is truly understood, but that does not prove ID. Those who suggest that is the case are creating a false dichotomy. Their argument seems to be “Not fair, we have a right to our theory too!” But the problem here is that they are not actually performing science, which is the process by which they set out to do work to attempt to prove their theory. One does not prove one theory simply by pointing out problems with another theory. You need factual evidence that directly supports your theory.

Therein lies the ultimate problem. ID is quite simply not science. The ID people wish to assert that it is not religion, and I will for a moment graciously accept that. However, just because it stops being religion does not automatically make it science–it makes it philosophy. ID posits the metaphysical, which is simply not provable or disprovable in a factual manner. And if it can’t be proved or disproved, then it is not science. Period.


About John Carr

Gamer, comic guy, office drone.

Posted on April 21, 2008, in General, Movies. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Kudos to nearly all this post, except the last two sentences. All sorts of metaphysical claims are provable in a factual manner. Many currently unsettled metaphysical claims might very well turn out to be provable, as well.

    Yes, claims about God, for instance, are DIFFICULT to prove, but that doesn’t mean they’re IMPOSSIBLE to prove. After all, the metaphysical issues of the past, such as what the basic building blocks of physical stuff are, at one point seemed incredibly difficult to resolve. But many are resolved now. Some view philosophy as a shrinking discipline of seemingly unanswerable questions that slowly get answered by science.

    The moral I’m preaching is this: saying there is something fundamentally insoluble about an issue is a BIG CLAIM that is difficult to justify. ID proponents make the same slip in reasoning. They point out that science is currently incomplete, then jump to the conclusion that it is INCOMPLETABLE. If science literally cannot explain it all, there may be a rational need to posit an intelligent designer to fill in the gaps.

    Again, though, this is an unwarranted leap. It may wind up true that science under the assumption of naturalism is incompletable, and so must make room for the supernatural. But pointing to the fact that science is currently incomplete, a work in progress, is flimsy evidence, at best. I think one can maintain a scientific spirit in arguing for the incompletability of science under naturalism, but there’s a lot more of an argument needed.

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