Flock of Dodos: The Evolution-Intelligent Design Circus

2006, Religion  -   170 Comments
Ratings: 6.21/10 from 19 users.

Flock of Dodos: The Evolution-Intelligent Design CircusFlock of Dodos examines the disagreements that proponents of intelligent design have with the scientific consensus position of evolution. The evolutionarily famous dodo (Raphus cucullatus) is a now-extinct bird that lived on the Island of Mauritius, which is approximately 500 miles east of Madagascar.

When Portuguese sailors arrived on the island, the possible combination of over-hunting and introduction of new predators (i.e. pigs, macaques) seems to have led to its extinction by approximately 1700. Due to its lack of fear of humans and inability to fly, the dodo was easy prey, and thus became known for its apparent stupidity. It failed to change with an evolving environment, which ultimately led to the birds' demise.

The film attempts to determine who the real dodos are in a constantly evolving world: the scientists who are failing to effectively promote evolution as a scientifically accepted fact, the intelligent design advocates, or the American public who get fooled by the "salesmanship" of evolution critics. While Randy Olson ultimately sides with the scientists who accept evolution, he gives equal air time to both sides of the argument, including intelligent design proponent Michael Behe and several of his colleagues.

The film begins by going over the history of intelligent design thought from Plato and Paley to the present-day incarnation promoted by the Discovery Institute. Olson mixes in humorous cartoons of squawking dodos with commentary from his mother and interviews with proponents on both sides of the intelligent design/evolution debate.

On the intelligent design side, Olson interviews Behe, John Calvart (founder of the Access Research Network) and a member of the Kansas school board. Olson also unsuccessfully tries to interview school board member Connie Morris and members of the Discovery Institute.

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170 Comments / User Reviews

  1. This isn't even the proper doco! WTH??!!

  2. it is amazing how Behe says that the judge was bias on the Dover trial and what the papers claimed about what Behe claimed about his Astrology comment at the trial! His words prove to me how BIAS in favor of evolution the trial really was! VERY Telling indeed! Behe is a HERO to me and he is NOT crazy as the evolutionist or anti-design people tell us he is!LOL

  3. Can someone re-upload? The panel discussion is great but not what i came here for.

  4. Aww wanted to watch this again but it was removed by user.

  5. Those Who War so violently against creationism are just showing their extreme hatred for God. To accept evolution as fact one has to ignore many facts and believe by "FAITH" that evolution really happened. After all it is called the "THEORY" of evolution.

    1. Fred Littlefield
      could you please define theory for me? and elaborate on "To accept evolution as fact one has to ignore many facts " also i do not hate god i only question his existence. it is like claiming i hate unicorns

    2. @Fred Littlefield:

      What violent war against creationism are you referring to?

      After you show proof that there is your gods, who are the ones that are showing their extreme hatred for such?

      Show by proving what facts are ignored, and prove and show which people only believe evolution by faith alone, that evolution really happened?

      Look up theory to find out what theory means, would you like to test the "theory" of gravity by jumping out of an airplane without a parachute?

      Or maybe you think that you are smarter than Einstein and refute the "theory" of relativity?

    3. As far as "faith" goes--creationism (or "ID" as it is now being marketed) is the faith-based idea. It didn't even exist as an explanation for the natural world until the last couple of centuries.

      So help us please?

      Explain just which camp of creationism you belong.

      As over the edge asked, please define 'theory.'

      Provide the evidence to back your position so we can understand your reasoning.

      Maybe we could move into meaningful dialogue after that.

      And maybe you could also explain why the scientific fact of evolution equals hatred of god?

      I've never quite understood the 'creationists' insistence on being victims, or on demonizing those who don't agree with them.

    4. the demonize anyone who does'nt agree with them as its the only defence they have as there is no evidence to support creationism

    5. I only assume what Fred Littlefield is referring to is the way that atheists (or "evolutionists" as its being called) go about the whole thing. Ive been watching documentaries on this site for years now and love to read the comments to see others thoughts on things. In my opinion though, its very annoying to see so many people belittling some one else's beliefs. For example mentioning unicorns or flying spaghetti monsters and such is just a way to get under their skin. It also appears like some people are keeping a close eye out for anyone who believes in god just so they can make comments implying they are stupid. By FAR the majority (to put it very lightly) of comments that come across as rude and/or demonizing come from people who do not believe in a god. When some one has a belief and sees people bashing it they feel then need to defend it. Your lack of belief puts you in the stance of being on the offence. So you should learn to expect to see some one making comments defending their belief now and again. It should not be that big of a deal. So that I would assume is a good answer to your lack of understanding when it comes to the victim role of a creationist. I think you have the demonizing part all wrong though. Just so you dont have to ask, I am a christian. I very much enjoy religions and the self study that I do when it comes to them. I also enjoy the atheist documentaries as well. I am actually a fan of the late Christopher Hitchens (who wouldn't be). I love the scientific way of thinking and have my own beliefs as a result. But Let me tell ya... If people think they are going to talk some sense into a creationist by belittling or commenting in a manner that comes across like your talking down to them, then they are not as intelligent as they think.

    6. How do you think things like Satan came along?

      Satan was the Christian attempts to belittle the old Gods when they were struggling for control.. It's what happens, it's how societies evolve.

    7. what "FACTS" would they be then?

    8. Would you believe that evolution is BOTH a fact and a theory? Think about it if that doesn't discomfort your rigid mindset. Atheists don't "hate God" because there is no 'God', nada, niente, neguno...... Faith is a guess, a hunch, maybe so,could be, but what it lacks is evidence, science is evidence based, it can be seen or experienced by others, confirmed by other scientists. Do you have an extreme hatred for non-believers? To comprehend evolution you must attempt to comprehend change over millions and billions of years, not just a few hundred years or a couple of lifetimes. To understand religion you must understand no change over the same period. A 'deity' that has always existed? And what could it possibly mean to say that 'humans are made in God's image'? The National Catholic Almanac has an interesting assortment of Godly attributes: almighty, eternal, holy, immutable, infinite, invisible, merciful, omnipotent, omniscient, etc., exactly none of which could apply to humans. So what is God's Being? We are flesh and blood and bone -- what could a god possibly be??

  6. please re upload

  7. I think something that is always missed/ignored is that evolution theory has changed since Darwin's theory, it's not static as is implied in this and many other evolution vs creationism/ID documentaries. Like all science, parts of it have been changed in order to better fit new evidence discovered. Of course, the Origin of Life is a very important scientific and historical book, and contains the backbone for evolution, but it does not contain modern evolutionist theory.

    Another thing that bothers me about this documentary is the assertion that evolution can be split into two parts, origin of life and changes that occur. That is wrong, evolution ONLY explains the latter, and how modern organisms have evolved. It has nothing to say on how life began. There are however other theories on how life began.

    And important to note is that ID is not the belief that evolution needed a God (I'm not going to pretend that the designer isn't God), it is creationism redressed. Many scientists believe in God and evolution, almost no credible scientists in the relavant field believes in ID. Enough said.

  8. I sincerely believe that the Dodo is evidence that the gods are not without a sense of humor.

  9. I think it is unfair to refer to the people who believe in intelligent design as dodos...I'm sure they were decent birds.

  10. ID should not be disregarded as it has not been disproved, but it should be treated with proportional regard. That is proportional to its supporting evidence. Of which there is really only one text. Thousands of years old, not reviewed, with no testing to substantiate its claims,/ So it shouldn't be disregarded, but set against the tens of thousands of papers and tests that support evolution, it should receive roughly one paragraph of discussion out of every 50,000 words book written on matters of bio-logical diversification and development. Another important aspect is that no new evidence has come to light to support the ID. Simply the one article in a religious mythological text, and the arguments that than things are too complicated for there not to be a designer, and that things are too suited to us for them not to be made specifically for us.

  11. @ Creatio-whaa!?
    Thanks for the example. Strictly speaking this is still an example of natural selection in species, so is an example of micro evolution but does not confirm macro evolution.

    More strictly speaking the second study seems to imply that the bactereia were ‘made’ to learn to digest some chemical byproducts of nylon production. This could imply the bacteria have a more dynamic relationship with their environment than random mutation can accommodate. There is the possibility that these bacteria already had some genetic disposition to digest similar naturally occurring chemicals and this, possibly receded, gene came forward in a very limited food environment, but this would be less impressive for the macro evolutionary case.

    So the example raises questions as much as it posits evidence. I remember hearing about this example along the way. It is truly fascinating, and so long as the excrement is not more toxic than the ‘food’ they are eating and that the bacteria don’t spread and start eating all the nylon bushings in the world this kind of 'bio-training' could be useful in dealing with industrial waste.

    1. The use of micro and macro evolution is just another misconception of evolution. The only difference between micro and macro evolution is time. It seems to come from the same line of thinking as the croco-duck. It's the idea that if evolution were true, we would find fossils of a half duck half crocodile.

      If we actually found a croco-duck fossil though, it would help disprove evolution. Evolution is the idea that species slowly split apart, that's where the image of the evolutionary tree comes from. The branches break off from each other, a croco-duck would bring two of those branches back together.

      Bringing this back to micro and macro evolution, micro evolution is used as member or members of a species having a slight variation that helps them have a greater chance of reproduction. This greater chance of reproduction means that the species will slowly shift towards the variation.

      That just means that if other members of this species are in a different part of the world, they will stay the same while the group with the variation will become slightly different. This is a branch coming off the evolutionary tree off this species. The group without the variation may have a different slight variation later, creating a different branch.

      Macro evolution is just this micro evolution over a long period of time. They are both evolution, one is just a single instance of evolution, and the other is multiple instances over a long period of time. If you have micro evolution, you have macro evolution, you just haven't been watching long enough to see it.

  12. Unfortunately I cannot see any more than the outtakes short. But not seeing or carefully listening to the documentaries here does not seem to be a precondition for commenting.

    “ID is just Fundi propaganda, a last chance desperation to prop-up a dead deity.”

    “Post Darwinian evolution is just Atheist propaganda, the first successful means conjured to explain the existence in purely physical terms.”

    Both of these statements are at times true and at times false. Individual motivation needs to be assessed before we can know.

    A good deal of what is called Creationism is total nonsense. There were some fairly quaint ideas along the way of evolutionary conception as well.

    “Evolution is a fact.” This is not a true statement. Evolution may be true. But its factuality is not yet confirmed. Natural selection is factually confirmed. Unnatural or cultural selection (breeding) works precisely because species have some morphological latitude. So we fairly claim that natural selection is the theory that explains inner species variety. This mechanism may be so apparent through empirical evidence that we might choose to speak of the fact of natural selection as producer of inner species variety.

    We may also be tempted to see natural selection as a theory to explain the development of all living species and families. And this seems a good intuition. I have not heard that this is empirically confirmed and so remains a normative claim. Empirical proof that natural selection has produced all of the living variety we see would confirm the fact of Evolution. We are not there yet. The facts as they stand now are that like begets like with variety. If a timber wolf should fancy a toy poodle and the toy poodle should survive the encounter she would produce some very interesting offspring, but all canines.

    I am curious how DNA and RNA belong to Darwin. Is this because Crick was an Atheist? Do the beliefs of a researcher allow them to stick a flag in their discoveries? If so Darwinian Evolutionists need to stop using Linnaeus’ taxonomy and need to build on something other than Mendel’s work. Empirical data is everyone’s no matter the beliefs of the discoverer. This is surely an assumption we must make if we believe the world is understandable.

    I wonder how the natural selection of ideas will work out. Since natural selection cares nothing for the truth of our beliefs, unfortunately victory will not be proof of validity.

    The Carpenter

  13. Thank you all for a really great read, I actually learned a lot and love this site for this very reason :D

  14. 1. ID is not science; it offers no testable predictions that we can use to verify or falsify the hypothesis.

    2. ID is clearly motivated by a specific fundamentalist version of Christianity, which I do not subscribe to. The concept and the debate around it is a religious one, NOT scientific.

    Therefore keep it out of government-sponsored schools and stop trying to shove your religious views down my throat.

    If you feel that strongly about it, send your kids to a private religious school, or home school them. You can even give them numerology, phrenology, or astrology classes while your at it. Knock yourself out, but stop trying to pass yourself off as legitimate science, stop lying to yourself that this is not a RELIGIOUS debate, and stop trying to use government-sponsored schools to push your narrow, nonsensical religious opinions on others.

  15. All right... I'm sorry... yes, if I have extra money I will give you some.... I mean, I do have SOME sympathy for you.... but...

    I don't know, my "mirror neurons" are overdeveloped, I have too much empathy but at the same time-- great hatred for humanity, mysanthropic, I am...

    Anyways... carry on...

  16. HaTe_MaChiNe wrote, and I just discovered it and thought it was quite profound and very worth repeating:

    "I know three teachers. Two are grade-school and one is a high-school teacher. All three believe that there are ghosts and places are haunted. When I ask why they believe it, they each will cite a haunting “reality” show they watch on TV. None are science teachers… but each have advanced degrees.

    When these teachers were getting their educations they spent a few hours in class and did some homework and instantly forgot about school. Then the TV comes on and they spend 3 hours watching bloody violent acts of god, followed by 2 hours of ghosts and goblins. One night one of the teachers refused to turn off the lights because the show had shaken her.

    That means she spent way more of her day worrying about ghosts then she had spent studying. No wonder science is losing its hold.

    Science used to be amazing… Einstein used to be a pop star. Now the pop stars are vampires and weirdo kids with magic wands.

    When someone says if you believe in evolution you will go to hell, it isnt even a decisions to most people(Americans that is).

    I know perfectly rational people that have no problem believing in interstellar travel but refuse to accept they “evolved from monkeys”.

    The argument is just that simple. Would you rather have man appear spontaneously or be related to a monkey. Well hell, who wants to be related to a monkey.

    Do you believe in ghosts? Yeah saw some scientists go into a haunted house last night. Do you believe you share a common ancestor with chimpanzees. Hell no, im not related to a monkey. Will god save the planet from pollution? Oh yeah, god can do anything he wants...."


    What I thought was most interesting was, "They spend more time worrying about ghosts and goblins... then studying..." (paraphrased)... It is quite baffling.

    It's all make believe, people! Vampires and witches and magic is fun to read about, but then you have to wake up and be in the real world. Not TV world. Not movie world. REAL world. Where you need to have 500,000 dollars, (US) in the bank, in liquid cash, by the time you are 50.

    Sorry. There will be no Social Security for you. No one to take care of you. You need to toughen up.

    You must assume that there is no one looking out for you. No kids, no parents, no family, no government, you must do it ON YOUR OWN!

    If not... then.... I have no sympathy for you.

  17. Thank you so much Vlatko! Not only for your efforts to try to find it, but for your website in general as well. I appreciate your site very much.

  18. This is probably a stupid question but where can I watch the full length version?

    1. No it is not stupid question @shyGurl. The movie was removed from YouTube. I'll try ti find it again and re-embedded it.

  19. @Frank Tigani

    My friend you are a pathetic fool clinging to redundant, poorly constructed arguments. There is a reason ID hasn't been and shouldn't be accepted, its not because it strikes against Evolutionary Theory, its simply because it doesn't stand the test of Science - nothing more, nothing less; I gaurantee you that the person/people who comes up with an alternative to Evolutionary Theory that better explains the origin of our species will not be vilified, instead they will recieve a Nobel prize and be forevered remembered as Champion/s of Science. If you don't believe me, I encourage you to explore the history of theories in the field of Physics (esp Cosmology) and the vast (dare I say) evolution the theories of the universe have come about.

    If you are to take anything from this, I would hope it would be the following proposition, which I plead with you to invest some serious thought into :

    NOT (EVOLUTION) does not imply ID

    I only wish people like yourself with employ the same Logic you use for nearly every other facet of your life on the topic of Evolution being taught in Public Schools.

  20. I am proud of being related to monkeys. more proud then being related to a lot of humans.

    1. Any readers of Discworld should know how to correctly respond to being called a monkey! we're apes dammit!

  21. Nice documentary.
    I like the way the air time is distributed in a more acceptable way than most debates between Intelligent Design and Natural Selection.
    The only thing I have to condemn is approach on one side of the the argument.
    It makes it obvious to see a predetermined conclusion to the topic.
    Without this, the documentary would have been much more like an open debate.

  22. Epicurean_Logic wrote @me:

    "hey randy

    i am a 2nd generation immigrant living in the U.K. my family moved to England as part of the open door ploicies that were extended to the commonwealth countries ruled by Britain, like Jamaica, India, Cyprus and many others in the late 60’s.

    my (limited) understanding of the U.S evolution vs creation debate comes from the few news pieces that have made their way across the altlantic and mostly from pasionate debate on this forum.

    what is bugging me at this time is. the wording that teachers are instructed to use in class? what are the told to say? why is religion ( or comparitive religion as it is taught in the U.K )not confined to R.S classes?

    as you stated earlier, i can imagine that is as much a mystery to you as it is to me."

    Well, good onya, mate! Because you, frankly, understand it as well as I. I have a saying, "I LOVE America... I just wish I lived in it..."

    Frankly, to live in America, we seem to have to go to other countries... like yours or Sweden's or Germany or, as a last resort, France! (I kid the French because I love!)

    I keep saying to my wife, when we retire, I want to expatriate to Canada if they will have me. She hates the cold, but I tell her that there are many very temperate areas there... where there are several months of spring before the bone-shattering winters begin! LOL!

  23. @Chief

    Sorry to gush. That was incredible!

  24. @ Achems Razor

    Thanks to you too. I've visited my writings a little bit more than usual. I've been encouraged by Randy, Epicurus and you.

    Evolution, in light of the human genome project and the precision of DNA analysis, acquires another corroborative element in the multitude of proofs: makeing the bases of intelligent design postulates corrosive. With a 6,000 to 14,000 year old history of Earth's existence in our solar system, where is a comparative place for a 180,000 year old East African 'mitichondrial Eve' or a 60,000 year old y-chromosome male from the Rift Valley in Southwest Africa? To maintain their train of controlled thinking, Patrick Henry College, The Jesus Army and similar programs must remain in place if they are to grow the kind of people needed to perpetuate their idea of 'Kingdom Life' in the Western World.

  25. dont worry everything i say here is fair game. take it, use it, claim credit...i dont care who is known for the information, as long as it is spread.

  26. hey randy

    i am a 2nd generation immigrant living in the U.K. my family moved to England as part of the open door ploicies that were extended to the commonwealth countries ruled by Britain, like Jamaica, India, Cyprus and many others in the late 60's.

    my (limited) understanding of the U.S evolution vs creation debate comes from the few news pieces that have made their way across the altlantic and mostly from pasionate debate on this forum.

    what is bugging me at this time is. the wording that teachers are instructed to use in class? what are the told to say? why is religion ( or comparitive religion as it is taught in the U.K )not confined to R.S classes?

    as you stated earlier, i can imagine that is as much a mystery to you as it is to me.

  27. @RANDY agreed. @RANDYEpicurean_Logic having your cake and eating it to ..... except this cake isnt eaten by the person who's plate its on............... its by the dog under the table..... ????

  28. Epicurean_Logic wrote:

    "Could you please clarify somethind for me. I get that creationism is being taught in U.S schools and that in some way it is ‘taught as science’ instead of religion.

    could one of you ‘Ivy league eggheads’ please clarify this ‘taught as science’ part for me."

    Dude, I think if we could explain that, this would be a much better country. We are mind-boggled about it, frankly...

    There is no explanation, except that America is full of very silly people... I mean, I don't know... I shake my head at the TV everyday...

    Where are you from, Epi-Logic?

  29. Hi guys great posts thanks

    Could you please clarify somethind for me. I get that creationism is being taught in U.S schools and that in some way it is 'taught as science' instead of religion.

    could one of you 'Ivy league eggheads' please clarify this 'taught as science' part for me.


  30. Chief wrote:


    I appreciate your sentiment and gratitude, but you bestow upon me too much bravado. In my area of the ‘Bible Belt’ publicity and circumstances has made my manhood and personal exploits a model to be avoided..."


    Well, Chief, I think we know what the opinion of the bible-belt is worth on this site... you are a hero, everyday, to me.


    He also wrote:


    Thank you for reciprocating. I have copied your post of referencesmfor future examination and contemplation..."

    I do the same thing. I am just afraid that he will one day sue me for "intellectual property" copyright infringment! Like the ivy-league, liberal socialist he is!


  31. @ Chief:

    I commend you also, you seem a man of great wisdom, fortitude and have a free thinking curious mind.
    And have to add, great writer!

  32. @Randy

    I appreciate your sentiment and gratitude, but you bestow upon me too much bravado. In my area of the 'Bible Belt' publicity and circumstances has made my manhood and personal exploits a model to be avoided.


    Thank you for reciprocating. I have copied your post of referencesmfor future examination and contemplation. As for your question, I write a little bit every few months. It is cyclical because rehashing events appear to cause a return of stress induced hematuria; afterwards, I have to allow time for my body to heal itself.

  33. lol jeez chief, ever think of writing?

    that was wonderfully put...and look what you did, you made my buddy Randy cry.... ;)

  34. @Chief...

    I should have said... "Thank you so much for your service to OUR country..."

    I'm so embarrassed...

  35. @Chief

    I am so in awe of you, frankly. That was one of the most moving testimonies I have ever read...

    Thank you so much, for your service to my country!

    Uh... I'm tearing up right now...

    That someone like you could speak to me directly and I was being so pompous and.... You are a tremendous man, I am a small man... I am truly humbled...

    So... how about those Phillies! (I don't know what to say to you...)

  36. Creationists are not qualified to come into the realm of science. One thing I do agree on is that scientists soft skills are bad but I think its reat that they openly abuse idiots and rightly so. Again, there are to many stupid people in the world including this Emmy award winner above.

  37. @Randy

    My thoughts are evolving from a transformation of consciousness; from a fundamentalist perspective that was permanently dislodged in 1994. I was once zealous and fervent in espousing various aspects of Christian thought and praxis. Perhaps an earlier chink in the armour of god simply lay dormant as I wrestled with the failure of prayer in keeping me out of the Vietnam War. A life changing trauma in 1968 (Dong Ha, Vietnam) led to a restoration of a belief in a Divine Entity.

    After separation from the Marine Corps, a destruction of my sense of respect for law and order led to an arrest in 1970. The choices, in the midst of fear, that I made from the din of a jail cell required that I honor the conditions upon which I believed I had been set free. In the minds of my friends, I became a 'Jesus Freak'. I was fanatical, ever looking for his appearance while anticipating 'the End of Days."

    My subsequent "walk with God" led to the ministry, speaking in tongues, casting out demons and healing the sick. In 1978, I almost lost my youngest son. He had a fever of 104 degrees. I laid hands on him, prayed the 'prayer of faith' and accepted his healing. However, he didn't get any better and languished in the throes of death. There were 9 cases of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever in the United States in 1978. There were 8 deaths with one survivor. My son survived because my wife insisted that we take him to the hospital. I was distraught that 'the effectual prayer of a righteous man (in Christ)' had failed. Science had triumphed and my fundamentalist bent came to an end. But I did not abandon the faith.

    I increased my study in the 'things of God'. I applied the skills of my occupation, as an elementary school teacher, in my preachments. When Science gave me the Theory of Sea Floor Spreading and Plate Tectonics, I matched it with Scripture; noting that "In the days of Peleg, God divided the Earth". When Gregor Mendel's discovery of dominant and recessive genes in the field of heredity had to be taught, I colored the people of the Bible as "People of Color". I became a teacher in Schools and Colleges of Christian Education.

    In 1994, as an Elementary School Principal I saw my hopes and dreams for my students dashed to bits. Their academic gains, and the manner by which they had been achieved, had become an embarrasment to the School District. The weapons that had been formed against me became known to me. I sought to thwart their machinations and was assured, by faith, that God would give me the vistory. Their weapons prevailed. This failure, for me, was the 'ultimate test' of faith.

    In retrospect, it was a defining moment in my liberation, freeing my mind from religious bondage and providing, through the trauma, a service connection to events experienced in Vietnam. It all worked itself out in October of 2005, eventually culminating in lifetime benefits and privilege which I receive as a Disabled American Veteran.

    I thank you for your acknowledgement of my mental acuity, but I am just beginning to learn. Charles darwin, Carl Sagan and Stephen Jay Gould are as new to me as this site (Top Documentary Films). The content of the documentary THE REAL EVE by the Discovery Channel, THE HUMAN FAMILY TREE by National Geographic and CRACKING THE CODE OF LIFE by NOVA inspired me to re-engage myself in communicating via the internet.

    I come here to view documentaries and read the comments. I appreciate the pros and cons concerning evolution and intelligent design. As a gardener for the past 33 years, I have witnessed vegetative mutations and can clearly see adaptation to climate changes as the seasons come and go. The need for sun screen in many humans during the summer months serves as an ever present example of the latter concept.

    Keep doing what you do and don't get discouraged if your efforts seem in vain. I assure you, all is not lost. Let the judgments and negative aspersions come. This is America and for the most part, freedom of expression remains a fundamental right.

  38. Tell me who then created the designer...look around we are nothing but animals...look at the horrible things we do to our own species...Quit being so afraid We are not alone!!!

  39. V sad, so many stupid people in the world. Scientists dont claim to know everything, otherwise they would stop. Creationists need to start coming up with emperical evidence to put forward an arguement, similar to what darwin collected for example. otherwise its just sounds like another odd thought process and that is not a valid arguement. Its reallý not about religion, just common sense and analytical problem solving which creationists cant explain.

  40. Hate_Machine (pretty_little) wrote:

    "@Randy – I think he meant the people playing poker in THIS docu’ . Just a guess..."

    Oh. Maybe I should watch the doc, then... I probably saw it before though, which is why I vaguely remember the reference.

  41. @ Randy:

    Paramedic, and class "A" hazard big industry. For about 25 years.
    Yeh, I saw a lot of horrifying stuff also that most people could hardly imagine. And I sure will not go into detail,(LOL)

    @ S.M.M. I know what was meant about oblivion, (getting tired of saying that word) so am dropping it. So peace to you.

  42. @Randy - I think he meant the people playing poker in THIS docu' . Just a guess

  43. @Jason

    A little, yeah :P But they might be tipsy.

    @Achems Razor

    I'm really not trying to be offensive at all. I'm just pointing out a misunderstanding. Randy says death is final and absolute and no part of you lives on in any conscious way. He used the word oblivion and you mistook him to mean an actual place.

  44. @Achems

    Well, I don't know who you were talking to when you were mad. But, I would guess you were/are an EMT?

    I worked with convicts and alcoholics when I was pre-med, you see some awful things in humanity. I also spent many a drunken night with cops and social workers. Good gods, they have some horrifying stories to tell!


    Please explain "poker playing evolutionists"? it sounds vaguely familiar. Was that a term used by a famous biologist? I've read so many books in my life, it's hard, through the haze of years, to sort it all out...

    Sad, really.

  45. Does anyone else think the poker playing evolutionists are rude belligerent twats. Oh and i guess i'm an evolutionist too, but i'm not rude or belligerent, honest.

  46. @ Randy:

    Offend me? no I was not including you in this discussion.

    I enjoy your posts tremendously!! I also think you have a world class mind!

    Not really afraid of death, have seen lots of of it, have saved many lives also. Some that I could not save which did grieve me, like a little 6 year old girl. But that is another story, one that stays with me!

  47. @Achems!

    Did I offend you? I never wanted to. I think you have a world-class mind. Are you afraid of the death I describe? Would you like to have something more?

  48. @ H.M.

    That is the most truth-full thing I have ever heard you say!!

    But do not back-slide on my account!

  49. @Achems Razor - trying to talk about something you know nothing of

    If you are saying I know nothing about "Null Physics"... You sir are correct. The only fiction i read is usually Stephen King, Isaac Asimov, and a little Ray Bradbury. To mention a few.

  50. "God did it" is an excuse for the ignorant. Just My Opinion.

  51. Are you two guys married or something? is love in the air?

    You are both very funny, trying to talk about something you know nothing of!

    Wanna-be pseudointellectuals! and shallow thinkers!

    Have fun being in your mutual admiration!

  52. @HaTe_MaChInE - "Gravity condenses matter" are you a complete ignoramus?

    Anything can condense matter, a bicycle tire pump condenses matter in a tire tube. Learn what gravity is before you us it.

    Yes Im having a psychotic breakdown but let me continue.

    What I was alluding to is that gravity is a force that causes matter to fall in on itself and become condensed.

    Not the only force, and not the only result of that force.

  53. @Achems Razor - "Physicists call the zeros that make up the Universe geometric points"

    so 1 positron + 1 electron = a geometric point

    How can that even began to be logic to you.

  54. @Achems Razor - which are similar to singularities, but do not condense matter

    Singularities do not condense matter. Gravity condenses matter. Learn what a singularity is before you try to use it in an analogy.

  55. @Achems Razor - Physicists hypothesize that the state of “nothing” is actually “something” because if there is nothing, there would have to be something'

    No they dont... that is dumb. Show my one physics book that has this poopoo in it.

    "Physicists call the zeros that make up the Universe geometric points"

    No they dont... This is idiocy.

    "Geometric points only represent what is not there"

    What... you idea of geometry is more flawed then you idea of physics.

  56. @Achems Razor

    You're still not understanding what Randy meant by oblivion. He didn't mean a place you go to or anything that actually exists. He merely meant that when we die we cease to be. Not that our soul goes to oblivion or anything, just that our brain stops working and we go to oblivion in the sense that we become nothing.

  57. Let me clarify what I am talking about:

    Null physics states that the Universe began from the number zero.
    Physicists hypothesize that the state of "nothing" is actually "something", because if there is nothing, there would have to be something, that has become nothing. Nothing is filling something, this goes as far as to say, that the Universe is nothing, and it does not exist.

    The reason for this is, if everything is to the value of zero which is the "something" of "nothing", then you would have nothing. Almost like multiplying a negative times a positive. Physicists call the zeros that make up the Universe geometric points, which are similar to singularities, but do not condense matter.

    Geometric points only represent what is not there. And this is how the Universe "exists".

    That is why there is no such thing as "oblivion". Hope I made it more clear.

  58. @Achems Razor - "how can you look forward to something you can not imagine"

    Its called a surprise... kinda like on your birthday when you cant imagine whats in the box with paper and bows on it... then you open it and its a SURPRISE

    You really cant be serious right? Im mean, your making this up so you can get attention right?

  59. @Achems Razor - You are spewing gibberish again.

    Your inability to grasp the basic concepts of nature is in part due to your understanding of nature only as the analogies that people use to describe their work.

    "Try to imagine a state where nothing exists. Such a state is impossible" how about 0. thats right zero. 1-1 = (oblivion)

    oblivion and infinity are 2 concepts that are hard to explain but easy to write down and use in equations.

    Since you have never actually seen any of the equations you just assume that just because 0 is hard to explain it is a hard concept to use in physics.

  60. You are both right.

    Oblivion means just that. No anything, no place , no time.
    Nothing exists, but again there has to be something initially to make the nothing. You cant have nothing without something to make the nothing. so there is no such thing as nothing.

    That is "Null Physics"

  61. Indeed, SMM.

    If I am my brain, an organized collection of bio-mechanical energy, then when I die, my brain, (almost immediately), will go from order to chaos. Disintegrating into a dis-organized mess, incapable of being me anymore.

    TO those that say "energy never dies so your soul never dies, science, the laws of thermodynamics..." etc. I say, that is true, but there is a difference between energy organized by neurons and synapsis, and free-range (for a silly but not inaccurate term), dis-organized energy.

    My computer uses electricity to perform amzingly complex tasks, (like play Dragon Age: Origins!), but if I smash it, the energy remains- out there- but with no organizing principle it can no longer play games and calculate numbers.

    The energy can be re-used by ANOTHER computer, but there is no memory of when it was "my electricity".

    Something like that...

  62. @Achems Razor

    Ah, I see, I think you've misunderstood what he meant by oblivion in the first place. We're not talking about a place we're just talking about the nothingness at the end of life. At least I think that's what he meant.

  63. @ S.M.M:

    I do not think you got my point!

    Exists for who? how are you or anything going to determine if oblivion exists, from what perspective? How can you be in oblivion and be conscious of oblivion?

  64. @Achems Razor

    Just because we can't imagine it doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

    (You're message is still in moderation so I was referring to your earlier "oblivion" post".

  65. @ Randy:

    What you just said, how can you look forward to something you can not imagine? oxymoron anyone?

  66. @ Randy

    Nah! It's a real drag, actually. Especially if you're the last of your kind!

  67. @Achems Razor

    Oblivion is just a word I used. Don't get tied up in it.

    Of course I can't imagine non-existence, but I'm sure looking forward to it!

    To be nothing. To not be here anymore... mmmmm... *drools like Homer Simpson*...

    Like Hamlet said, "[death] it is a consumation devoutly to be wished..."

  68. @ Randy:

    In your discussion with @ Chief: You mentioned "oblivion" My thinking is that such a state of "oblivion" does not exist.

    Try to imagine a state where nothing exists. Such a state is impossible, even contradictory, since the concept "existence" is necessary to apprehend it. Therefore, existence exists necessarily, even if nothing else exists.

  69. @Chief

    Another sound and compelling synthesis of a complex idea... this site really does attract some tremendous minds!

    I have experienced what you speak of many times in my life and even on this site. The denial of any proofs against a, what we might call, "skewed" world-view, (like religion or conspiracy theories), on the basis that worldly wisdom can't know the mind of god. Or, in the case of Con. Theorists, "it's all part of the cover-up!". Like the UFO folks that claim that a LACK of evidence for UFO's is PROOF that the government is hiding the truth. Their views are, therefore, unassailable.

    Then, of course, there is just the simple fear of letting go of the idea that we all might just be... on our own. No one looking out for us, or to greet us when we die, that terrifies many people, (probably most people, I should think...)

    I understand that, but I have come to understand, also, the freedom and the responsibility that knowledge brings to me as a person. I mean, no one is accountable for my actions but me. It's my job to look out for myself and the ones I love, not some invisible creatures like gods or angels or demons. And, hopefully, I have another actual person to take care of me if I am in trouble. That's all any of us can hope for, I think.

    And, I certainly am not afraid of the idea of oblivion after death. I am looking forward to that! No memories, no regrets, no pain, I wouldn't miss anybody because my brain would be mush and incapable of any thought. The idea of eternal life of ANY kind is what scares me! No. I just want rest from this wearying world. I can't take being around people for very much longer... tedious creatures. Not you guys, though.... you guys are cool... LOL!

    Anyways, this was just supposed to be a praise of your post and I just went on and on... sorry...

    Carry on...

  70. When Stephen Jay Gould wrestled with the prevailing view towards a diagnosis of mesothelioma, he came to an understanding of himself and wrote "for we cannot really know until circumstances compel an ultimate test" (Full House p 47). The context seemingly related to his 'positive mental attitude' in the face of scientific pessimism towards the cancer diagnosis. There is a place for 'positive thinking' apart from mysticism and other altered states of consciousness. For those who grow up into a religious belief system, the training usually sticks. It is difficult to break the stranglehold of dogma and doctrine (the very thought or hint of percieved betrayal conjures up fears of retribution. Any knowledge that conflicts with the tenets upon which the belief system is anchored is designated as 'worldly wisdom'. Thus, no matter the proofs or clarity of thoughts expressed concerning scientific validation, the information is rejected and the proponents are prayed for, called names and condemned to hellfire and damnation.

    How do the 'religious' experience an "ultimate test"? Something of great value had to be put at risk; resulting in a devastating outcome that contradicts or brings an end to 'faith'. Failure occurs; a crack in the armour causes a deeper search, one that leads to an exploration of material outside of the vectors of the professed religious belief. The transition to recovery of one's mental freedom can take years and in the process, other mystical systems holds some attraction as a new paradigm.

    Comments by @silkop, Randy,Epicurus, Achems razor and others do have a positive impact on some, even if it only serves as "seeds" that wait for an "ultimate test" that will make known the possibility of error in any given religious system.

  71. @ Randy:

    I agree! this is as good as it gets!

  72. @ silkop:

    Well you got me there, hate being right all, (most) the time,
    And still being uncertain.
    Thanks for the advice.

    Are you considering offering physcoanalysis, via. the net?

  73. @Achems Razor Seems like you didn't quite get my point.

    There is a nice concept in empirical psychology called 'calibration'. A subject is said to be well-calibrated if he can consistently and correctly estimate his own uncertainty in various statements. As one extreme example, someone who always claims to be 100% sure, but in actuality is only right 50% of the time, would be called 'miscalibrated'. There is also the other extreme end of miscalibration, claiming to be very uncertain, while actually being right most of the time. You seem to be leaning toward this end of the scale.

    Critical thinking is NOT to "question everything". Open mindedness is not to have a gap in your head wide enough for brains to fall out. Essentially, the noble goal is to increase accuracy (being right) AND improve calibration: do not spend effort on questioning such things for which there is ample evidence, allocate it to question (that is, express doubt about) such things for which the evidence is lacking.

    I perceive from your comments that you are expressing extraordinary amounts of doubt about things that aren't much worth doubting while also attaching too much weight/trust to some murky and incredible explanations.

    The road to hell is paved with good intentions (even if there's no hell, hehe).

  74. @Randy: Thanks for sharing your view of the world and mine at the same time :-D

  75. @ silkop, and @ Randy:

    Thank you guys for your synopsis, Even though I was never religious. am always seeking for the truth.

    The truth is just not here as yet for me. If it was than everything would be static for me. I suspect there is a lot, lot, more to discover with science, and we are only just beginning. Science is change, not etched in stone, like religion!

    Yes, certain "facts" that science has discovered through the scientific method holds true, to a certain extent, until new hypothesis come into the fold.

    Everything for me is critical thinking, question most everything!

  76. I was, (and still am, I suppose, since I own every book he ever published and still re-read many of them from time to time), a big follower of the great psychodelic philosopher, Robert Anton Wilson.

    He was really into, unfortunately, the whole Quantum Theory as an explanation for mystical consiousness thing, long before Wayne Dwyer and Deepak. His saving grace was that he wanted everyone to be agnostic about it. Indeed, he talked about being agnostic about EVERYTHING, your neighbor, your car, your dog, the government, religion, pizza, the world, everything... he espoused the idea that the brain was the only way we can interpret the universe, and the brain is by nature, faulty, therefore our senses were faulty... and on and on, like that.

    He rolled with the old Zen paradox, "There is but one Truth; and that is there is no Truth" (paraphrased slightly). No absolute truth; as absolute truth was impossible to achieve with a few pounds of meat in your skull.

    The problem with that is, it's not very productive! If you get really sucked into that stoner logic, you wind up sitting around in the lotus position your whole life like a Zen monk, and you'll NEVER get laid! (LOL!)

    While there is SOME truth to that concept, my interpretation of it, as I matured in life, was the same that I applied to business. You bet on the long odds.

    My personal philosophy is, put your chips on the most likely bet. If it's true that we can't know Absolute Truth, (whatever that means), then you go for the most likely to pay off. Science has proved itself, time and time again, for hundreds, if not thousands of years, the best bet.

    Religion, apparently, only pays off after death... The personal stories of wonderful, lifechanging experiences with The Lord, notwithstanding, because they are subjective. I've known people say the same things when "The Lord" was Satan, Earth Gods, Crishna, and most ecstatically, Scientology. Those guys really say their lives are SUPER, thanks for asking!!!

    Given that, I want the thing that will really pay off in THIS life, understanding that evidence shows that there is NOTHING waiting for me after death. Can't be sure of that? Correct. But the BEST BET is, nothing after. So make this one count.

    Bottom line: sure, there is a 2-5% chance that the bible is true, (if it is, I'll tell the monster-overlord in that horrible book how much I hate his perverted ass, and go to hell happily with both my middle fingers in his face, frankly), but I'll bet on the 95-98% chance science gives me.

    Thank you, for your kind attention. We now return to our regularly scheduled program.

  77. @silkop

    Exactly! And very well put! You captured it, my friend, very good!

    When I was reading your post, I saw that dynamic you described in ME, many years ago as a younger man. The way you described it was a perfect reflection of my thought processes at the time. Bravo.

    Listen to the man, Achems, he speaks the truth. Seek for truth all the says of your life, but don't throw the baby out with the bathwater! Critical thought is your best friend.

  78. Achems' appeals to authority are self-defeating, and his beliefs are cranky. He is someone who has left behind the stage of religious ignorance only to become caught up in the following stage of metaphysical-conspiracy-theory-truth-is-out-there-just-be-open-minded-not-arrogant-nobody-knows-it-all-and-you-dont-have-the-credentials-anyway attitude. This sadly happens to many people.

    There are basically two different ways to err. The first one is to believe in fairy tales (typical for religious simpletons). The second one, much more widespread among seemingly intelligent people, is to disregard facts where they are present and seek for alternative explanations where none are needed (typical for conspiracy theorists and Achems Razor).

  79. Inteligegent desisgn are dumb and me like soup

  80. @Hardy

    Let's not turn this into a political debate as well, eh?

    This arguement is going nowhere

    Evolutionist: Sure, I.D. is possible, but it's improbable and is not a scientific theory.
    I.D. defender: But it's possible!

    I don't think anybody has said I.D. is impossible. In fact, I'm pretty sure everybody has said it is possible. But it's improbable and has absolutely no evidence supporting it. And even if I.D. happens to be true, it in itself rules out the possibility of an omnipotent creator as there are way too many imperfections in nature for him to be competent.


    You should talk to the teacher.

    That being said, the next person to use "Only a theory" like a theory is some drug induced dream that scientists have is going to be openly laughed at by me.

  81. @Joe-nyc: Scary.

    It's so weird! It seems only in the USA you guys have the need to 'teach the controversy'. The rest of the western world is turning their heads and asking: 'Huh? What controversy?' because there is no (scientific!) controversy in any other country than America.

    But hey, you have way worse problems than pseudoscientific attacks on evolution. All I need to say is: education system, voting system, social framework, gun-related crimes, economy :-D Honestly, I'd be terrified to live in the USA.

  82. @ Randy:

    Actually I am also on the side of science, 100%,
    and do go along with most of what you guys are saying!

    Even the illustrious syllables of the famous Hate Machines, convoluted verbage.
    I am not talking new age, or any other such other esoteric or eastern type religions.
    And no, not quoting, Deeprak Chopra, which is third hand info. about QM.
    Of course, I do quote second hand Info. about QM. Show me one person here on the forum that is quoting first hand info, about any sciences et al: please do, just one person, that has not read, or been informed by authority or peers, of the sciences that they speak of so fluently.

    What I am getting at their is more to the empirical thinking, tabula rasa. of science at the Quantum level.

    According to the rules of Quantum mechanics, our observations influence the universe at the most fundamental levels.
    The boundary between an objective "world out there" and our own subjective consciousness that seem so clearly defined in physics before the eerie discoveries of the 20th century blurs in Quantum Mechanics.

    I could site a lots of examples from top reputable theoretical physicists of all types, concerning this subject.

  83. I have nothing to add here but I let me share a story.

    Few nights ago at dinner table, my daughter, who is in 7th grade at NYC public school, mentioned her biology class was learning about Charles Darwin, theory of evolution. For sometime I been meaning to find time and excuses to force my children to watch 'Genius of Charles Darwin' so I intentionally pursued the topic hoping to catch their interest on evolution. But my daughter said something about evolution that I thought it could never happen in NYC. She said her biology teacher told the class that evolution is only a theory and each student should make up his or her own mind whether to believe it or not, and that they are only learning about evolution because it will be on NYS biology test.

    Any thoughts?

  84. Intelligent design would not need to improve itself, it would have made itself perfect.
    If it did not it would not be very intelligent....

  85. You know what I find absolutely absurd about the comments posted here and on all the other documentaries about evolution, or religion, or the big bang?

    The religious turn their religion into the science and the scientists turn their science into the religion.

    You all seem to forget in your petty arguments and vanities, that the Bible was NOT written as a theory or science, and your textbooks are NOT a religion. I don't know how anyone who believes in either, can get it so ass-backwards that they cannot see that. If you cannot comprehend that - then you are probably one of them.

    Einstein never said God did not exist, and God never wrote that Einstein was a devil.

  86. Rightio then. Magical Fairies it is! All agree?

  87. okay then i propose that magical fairies created the universe and everything in it and they float around on unicorns when too tired to fly form all their creating.

    or maybe its some magical intelligent being that lives in a realm we like to refer to as "outside of space and time" who decided one day he was lonely and wanted to make things.

    or we can observe the evidence we have and try to understand what it says.....

  88. New flash fundies, the bible doesn't contain all that it was originally supposed to. many truths are missing, that is why it is so limited - and also why there are so many whack jobs on the side of intelligent design. ("Where's your evidence" I hear you scream) just remeber friends, we may all be lookng at different parts of the truth, and genuinely doing the best we can within our limitations. Rather than attack other peoples knowlegde or beliefs, lets recognise our own limitations and continue seeking truth together - no blinkers, no absolutes, as friends, all on the same quest for knowledge and understanding.

  89. I am often surprised at how much respect Dawkins gets in the US but i really believe that he is the exact type of character (an annoying know it all who isn't afraid to speak his mind) that the US needs to shine a light on the strange ideas that are being added to the US school curriculum; ie I.D.

    It's actually a win-win scenario as we have been trying to ship him off to another country for years, only kidding Dickie were proud of you son, even Boyzone couldnt crack America

  90. Well, I didn't mean to imply that philosophy or ancient history were bunk and shouldn't be taught in schools. Which is what I seemed to have done as I read it back to myself. So... disregard that part, all the other stuff is bunk.

    But, useful as a tool for understanding the underpinning psychology of the people and societies that create the bunk. You know?


  91. Hey Achems! I thought you were on our side!

    Listen, I study pretty much everything. Science, sure, but also, occult systems of magic, philosophy, ancient history, UFO's, crytozoology, whacko conspiracy theories, tarot cards, IChing, and all other forms of divination, mythology, hell I'm even a priest in a coupla whacky pagan religions... (I think I was a Satanist for a while but I was drinking pretty heavily back then...).

    It's all fun and interesting to think about, but I wouldn't want any of THAT bunk taught in schools either. I study everything, digest it for a coupla years, then form an opinion or a theory regarding its validity. All of it is connected in some way or another, I mean, nothing is created in a vacuum. There is always a long evolution to every idea.

    I find I can get more understanding of a concept if I know every intersecting discipline that inspired it.

    But, we are talking science here, so we are discussing what we've learned about it in relation to the ID debate. I haven't made any personal breakthoughs in evolutionary biology lately, so... I really can't put forth any of my own work, you know?

  92. Epicurus = fundamentalist, look that up

  93. I am an atheist, but everything that the empiricists, the "Tabula rasa" say on this forum, is all second hand information, what they have learned in school in their ivory towers, from their professors, I believe nothing comes from their own intuition, from their own thinking, heaven forbid!

    To them everything is cut and dry, if it cannot be measured, or cannot follow their so called scientific criteria, it is discarded.
    Per the rules set down by their scientific method. Usually from inanimate dead matter.

    Science cannot prove the essence of "I" they cannot prove what consciousness is, or where it is located in the body. Consciousness is the driving force of all that is, without consciousness their would be nothing, a void!!

    We need some free thinkers on this forum.

  94. "Religion has formed the basis of our Western culture, accept it or not. If you actually read the bible thoroughly, you would find many parallels with what we regard as right and wrong in our culture to what is taught in the bible.

    For this reason, since the bible talks of creation, it must be taught in school. Of course, with due diligence and not even in science class."

    absolutely funniest thing i have heard on this website thus far!

    im going to have to save that...that almost requires a youtube response.

    just because the religion of the people who took over this side of the world from the natives was christian doesnt mean it HAS to be taught in the schools. please support your claim.

    the creation myth of christianity IS taught in any religion class so i dont know what you are complaining about.

    should we also teach what the bible says about how to heal?

    Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: And the prayer of faith shall save the sick.... (James 5:14-15)

    you can teach your religious stories in religion classes. science stays in science class.

  95. The place to teach religion is church (or temple, mosque, synagogue, etc.)

    Keep religious zealotry out of science classes, which includes intelligent design.

  96. That is really sensible. Taking an axiom from such an ethically sound and morally proper industry like law and use that to support your point. That is dangerous and reckless.

    Religion has formed the basis of our Western culture, accept it or not. If you actually read the bible thoroughly, you would find many parallels with what we regard as right and wrong in our culture to what is taught in the bible.

    For this reason, since the bible talks of creation, it must be taught in school. Of course, with due diligence and not even in science class. Like I admit, you cannot prove scientifically the story of creation, however, logic and reason provide good support that such a notion has validity. Therefore it should be taught, perhaps in religion class. It does not have to be taught in such a way that students are forced to believe. On the contrary, it should be taught with a philosophical approach.

    This, i believe is a more holistic approach to teaching. Excsuse the pun. Your approach, one without the alternative possibilities regarding the universe, like creationism, is a more closed minded approach to education.

    Such an approach, with its sealing off of other possibilities that are valid, is ironically a less than scientific approach and therefore you make yourself to be a contradiction of sorts.

    Bottom line is, I, as a committed theist, retain a more open mind than you. I accept scientific evidence where it is undoubted and appropriate.

    1. Creationsim is a cult and as such has no place in any school, ever.

    2. And the THEORY is a tax-supported dream that has NO evidence, NO facts at all, and has been proved to be one of the most laughable joke that any THINKING person see's right thru.... and is part of the humanest cult....

      I love seeing all the hanger-on's come out of the woodwork when evolution is brought up.

      Talk about a magic act, there is a LOT of smoke & mirrors on the evolutionist side...too bad ya all don't LOOK in one every now & then..

      There, was I as considerate as yourself?

    3. JJudge, Evolution is a proven fact. The theory of Evolution explains how it works. Please stop parroting what the idiots are saying. Makes you look bad. Visit DonExodus2's channel on youtube and learn something please. If you can account for Endogenous retroviral insertions, human chromosome fusion, as well as the GULO Pseudogene without evolution as the mechanism, I'd like to hear it.

    4. A magic act? Like creation? Abracadabra.

  97. let me try that again, "It's not what you believe, it's WHAT you can prove."


  98. Careful not to extend YOUR theories where it has no right to go... like schools!

    Science only deals with what it can MEASURE. All else is meaningless.

    It also follows another axiom, used by the legal profession as well, "It's not what you believe, it's you can prove."

  99. To all ignorant....Ill call you foundationalists... is that okay?

    Just because something cannot be proven scientifically does not mean, in any way, that it cannot be true.

    Logic and reason are two faculties which indicate that Intelligent design is a real possibility.

    Science is limited in what it can explain. Though some parts of the evolutionary theory have credible scientific evidence making it scientific fact, be careful not to over-extend this theory into areas where it has no right to go.

  100. Everybody acknowledges that intelligent design is a possibility. It's definitely not a probable one by any definition. What the intelligent people here are saying is that it is a rather silly thing to believe outright (absolutely no evidence for it) and that it is not a scientific theory, or even a true hypothesis for that matter. There is no testable predictions.

    This is why it is laughed at and ridiculed. It's not because the big bad evolutionists are trying to keep people "down". It's because it has absolutely no merit in anything remotely related to science.

    It's hogwash. This site has given me great faith in humanity (Epicurus, HaTe_MaChInE, young) but some of the posters on here just show how right Einstein was about the two infinite things.

    I'll let you guys google that quote so as to avoid moderation.

  101. @Andrew and others who are confused about the ID Movement...

    Your point is, sort of taken... excapt that you made some errors from like 1955. The idea of "The Missing Link" is kind of falling by the wayside as new fossil evidence has been found in the last couple of years. Update your knowledge a bit.

    I see where some of you are going wrong. The idea that there could be some UNKNOWABLE intelligence, some Prime Mover that we can't possibly fathom, is not dis-agreeable to me. As long as it leaves me alone...

    But you guys, maybe didn't get the "memo". The Intelligent Design "Movement", as an activist group that keeps bringing these lawsuits, is, in actuality, a mask for dyed-in-the-wool, jesus loving, bible thumping, born-agian christian fundamentalists. I mean, they don't just want "some intelligent creation" they want pure Book of Genesis creation taught in schools. The ID label is a way to lend them legitemacy, bring in christy "scientists", and skirt the law.

    I might not have much of an objection to a teacher saying, "well, evolution COULD have been all guided by some intelligence... but..." I DO have major objections on every level to THE BIBLE story being taught alongside evolution. That's just insanity and against the law.

    I mean, in the 80's I got into the work of Dr. James Lovelocke's "Gaia Hypothesis" which embraced the idea that the Earth was a living organism made up of trillions of organisms, as our own bodies are. And he went further to propose it may have a kind intelligence and could be guiding the process. It's a great theory for Earth Goddess worshippers and some Native American traditions. But, I realized that his theories might SEEM observable but certainly not testable, and therefore worthy of only speculation and late night, drunken, roundtable discussions with friends.

    the ability to comprehend; to understand and profit from experience

    nothing about evolution or gravity is able to comprehend. comprehension requires CONSCIOUSNESS.

    you are equivocating words.

    and would you preach to keep an open mind about gravity when someone asks you if they should leave a 15 floor building by the balcony or the elevator.

    there is no such thing as a missing link. that is a made up concept. we have found many many many links that were all missing. we couldnt possibly expect everything that died to have fossilized.

    the varying degrees are absolutely there....what are you talking about? are you ignoring mountains of evidence willfully?

    i dont think you keep an open mind when you go to type this conversation out to me...you type it out knowing that the keys you hit will show the words as you expect them to come out. dont pretend people need to keep an open mind to everything. and especially not to intelligent design which has had its dayS in court (literally) and has lost every time, not because of a conspiracy but because it cant show itself to be SCIENCE.

  103. ummm your talking about adaptation, not evolution. And yes, I think gravitation is a very intelligent thing, so intelligent we cannot fully understand it, much like most of life and biology, it is still beyond us, more intelligent than us. We are discovering intelligence, it is all around us, science is the investigation of intelligence, how and why, knowledge. The missing link is exactly that, missing, it is possible it doesn't exist for a reason, and if we all evolved form apes why are the varing degrees of apeness to humanness not there. Clearly two different species. We are simply small intelligences trying to understand much much larger intelligence, generally we are doing pretty ggod, but let us be wise and consider that there just may be something much more intelligent then us out there. Intelligent design should not be discredited in light of the discovery of evolutionary (or adaptational) processes at work. It does shake up the fundamentalist Christians which take the bible literally and suggest the earth is only 6000 years old. (That I like). I am anti-fundamnetalist whether you are a creationist or and evolutionary or anything for that matter. Keep an open mind boys, keep an open mind. That way we have less to eat humble pie over later on as more knowledge comes to light.

  104. really?

    so reproduction works by copying the DNA of the parents, nothing is perfect so the DNA is flawed in certain places resulting in diversity from the parents and sometimes with new mutations.

    now say we have an environment that undergoes a drastic change like a volcano...the volcano covers everything in ash and soot.

    lets say there was a species of rabbit in the area that was sometimes white and VERY VERY rarely gray because in the area the white could blend in and the gray stand out (its a snowy area)

    after the volcano everything is covered in dark ash, the rabbits which are born more gray will now blend in better thus having better ability to survive and pass on their "gray" genes.

    was there ANY intelligence involved in this or is it COMPLETELY natural?

    would you call gravity "intelligent falling"????

  105. @epicurus
    "Nature Selects"??? Sounds like more intelligence at work here.

  106. @Andrew, no if you say something like "“constantly trying to improve itself” doesn’t that suggest intelligence at work?" then you CERTAINLY do not understand evolution.

    what you did here was NITPICK the choice of words he used (which i admit wasnt the best choice) things arent TRYING to improve themselves on the genetic level but nature selects by default that which is most adaptable

  107. @SexMoneyMonkey

    You obviously don't understand intelligence.

  108. @ Frank Tagini. wow. so you quote mined Einstein (typical creationist nonsense) why not quote the parts about Einstein that DENY any god thing???

    and your last quote was by Michael Behe?!?!? lol he was laughed out of court and is the idiot who tried to say the bacterium flagellum was an example of irreducible complexity and he was laughed out of every journal on the planet. Michael Behe is an absolutely TERRIBLE scientist and not someone that you should quote.

    Einsteins ACTUAL quote IN CONTEXT reads like this:

    "You will hardly and one among the profounder sort of scientific minds without a peculiar religious feeling of his own. But it is different from the religion of the naive man. For the latter God is a being from whose care one hopes to benefit and whose punishment one fears; a sublimation of a feeling similar to that of a child for its father, a being to whom one stands to some extent in a personal relation, however deeply it may be tinged with awe.

    But the scientist is possessed by the sense of universal causation. The future, to him, is every whit as necessary and determined as the past. There is nothing divine about morality, it is a purely human affair. HIS RELIGIOUS FEELING TAKES THE FORM OF A RAPTUROUS AMAZEMENT AT THE HARMONY OF NATURAL LAW, which reveals an intelligence of such superiority that, compared with it, all the systematic thinking and acting of human beings is an utterly insignificant reflection. This feeling is the guiding principle of his life and work, in so far as he succeeds in keeping himself from the shackles of selfish desire. It is beyond question closely akin to that which has possessed the religious geniuses of all ages."

    What Einstein is describing is what theologians have admirably dubbed Spinoza's God. Look it up.

    and then you call ME and others on here STUPID because we arent OPEN MINDED to intelligent design.

    well you are s%^&*$ for not being open minded to the inuit belief that the universe and earth were created by two great big seals. YOU are s@#$%& and closed minded for believing that disease is caused by bacteria and viruses instead of aliens.

    your problem is you are so open minded your brain has fallen out. Frank what is your level of education?????

    @Sabertooth. No. all my facts are supported by evidence. and are all peer reviewed.

  109. @Andrew

    You obviously don't understand evolution.


    I agree there is still a possibility of an Intelligent Designer (although not an omnipotent one or omniscient) but it is still not a valid scientific theory

  110. If life wouldn't 'try to improve', if it wouldn't reproduce, it wouldn't be here.

    Because it does, life exists.

  111. @Randy, "constantly trying to improve itself" doesn't that suggest intelligence at work?

  112. @Randy The natural "designs" are bad simply because they are incremental. The conditions for which these "designs" used to be good might have long changed, but the "designs" cannot be re-done. At best they must be adjusted stepwise to match the newly emerging conditions. Furthermore, this readjustment has to happen under serious energy-efficiency constraints and tradeoffs - improving one aspect of something typically sacrifices need to be occur in another.

    Interestingly, the same phenomenon is observable in human endeavors of creating complex systems that need to change, be it organizations or be it computer software. These systems usually start out designed for a particular purpose, but as time goes, their designs tend to deteriorate. Some useless characteristics remain from the original times that one would rightfully label "really bad design" later on because the original purpose has changed or disappeared. These characteristics are not eliminated because it would be too expensive or dangerous to mess with the "working system". They are a "lesser evil" so to say.

    Given that, note that "design deterioration" and "bad design" is a very weak argument for the absence of an intelligent designer. After all, the systems mentioned above all suffer from it, but they inarguably *do* have (limited) intelligent designers. So it's only a great argument against an *omnipotent* designer, not against *any* intelligent designer.

  113. The other problem with intelligent design is... it's not a very intelligent design.

    Most animals, like us, breathe and eat out of the same orafice which can cause choking. That's a terrible design. Our eyes are horribly inefficient compared to even cephalepods or birds. The blood supply in our eyes is located on top of the retina causing a blind spot for which our brains must compensate. It would be like putting the power supply for a camera in the middle of the lens.

    Standing upright is a mistake of evolution. It helps some things but makes the heart, lungs and genitals vulnerable to attack. Movement is stable at walking speeds but requires much more energy to run than on all fours like other mammals.

    Then there's all the horrible birth defects and genetic anomolies that cause so much suffering. And, the list goes on...

    Bad design. Much more indicative of an accidental confluence of events that is constantly trying to improve itself, than some super-intelligent, omnipotent being.

  114. There would be no harm if people were just postulating that some "intelligence" must have "designed" the laws of physics which then gave rise to the observalbe evolution. After all, nobody can really contradict that and nothing follows from that claim either. This puts it into the category of dumb and useless ideas, but harmless. (For an example of another such dumb idea, look up "solipsism").

    Where it becomes both ridiculous and dangerous is when they start pointing their finger at a human-like god described by one of the holy books. A god who actually cares about individual beings, has a political agenda, intervenes with miracles, wants people to pray and visit temples, demands that taxes be paid to clergy etc. etc.

    Of course the movie got it right. Scientists are blunt and hardly convincing for the masses. However, the job of a scientist is not to educate morons about things that are more or less obvious. This is the job of a teacher. What if a teacher is a moron herself? Fire and replace with a smarter candidate.

  115. @Intelligent Design believers

    "I'm not smart enough to understand the other theory" is not enough evidence to make something a scientific theory.

    I.D. is a possibility. But there are no testable hypothesis and so it's worthless as a scientific theory.

  116. WOW!!

    Good stuff! Imagine! All this started from from one probable vibrational unit from the sea of probabilities, at Planck 10-34 sec. (the big bang)
    And progressed outward from inflation-to the Universe we now know.

    Even though I believe in Evolution, the big question should be what was before the 10-34 sec. of the "Big bang"!

    A lot of smart people on this forum, anybody have any "scientific"
    theories, suppositions, anything?

    Ex Nihilo? Hawkings seemed to think so, when he said Universes can be created from tiny "bubbles" on..."How did the Universe begin"

  117. We don't consider the "possibility" of intelligent design for the same reason we don't consider the "possibility" of unicorns, fairies and leprauchauns.


    Please, gimme a break...

  118. @ Epicurus

    Is there even the smallest chance that you don't have all your "facts" correct?

  119. @Frank: Wow, your quote really won that argument.

    I think there is a little green goblin sitting inside each planetary object and he is the one moving the object, not gravitational force at all.
    New theory! Let's teach it in school!

    Seriously, if you have hard evidence, please do share it with the scientific community, they've been waiting for it for a long time. Up until now, your argument was 'The Universe is so big that you can't understand it, and it looks designed. Ergo it must be designed'. If you have no more, then stop calling people ignorant and stupid.

    Your notion of an intelligent superior being should go into philosophy-class, and it should definitely be discussed there, but trying to put it in a box with biology is no more than creationism.

  120. @ Epicurus. You are s!@#$%. In fact, not many here on this forum are very intelligent at all. It seems a waste of time arguing with such closed minded fools.

  121. @ all you ignornant fools who refuse to at least consider the possibility of Intelligent design. Here are some words from some highly noted scientists who suggest such a theory is plausible or perhaps even likely. I will start with Albert Einstein no less.

    "the rapturous amazement at the harmony of natural law, which reveals an intelligence of such superiority that, compared with it, all systematic thinking and acting of human beings is utterly insignificant reflection". ALBERT EINSTEIN

    "The intelligent beauty of the order discovered by science is consistent with the physical world's having behind it the mind of the divine Creator... The finely tuned balance built into the laws determining the very physical fabric of the universe is consistent with its fruitful history being in the expression of divine purpose" Acclaimed Physicist John Polkinghorne

    To finish a quote from Michael Behe, Associate Professor of Biochemistry at Pennsylvania Lehigh Uni...."life on earth at its most fundamental level, in its most crticial components, is the product of INTELLIGENT DESIGN".

  122. @ creator of all things

    Actually, I am sure we could prove that the universe did not come out of your arse. Probably very easy too.

    What we could also prove easily is that you speak out of your arse too.

  123. It cannot be disproven that the universe came out of my rear end, therefore it is only fair to consider it as SCIENCE and teach it in school. HAHA!

  124. There are two ways you can look at this argument.

    Evolution is a fact.
    Intelligent Design is a theory.

    Evolution is a theory.
    Intelligent Design is an untestable hypothesis (read: fanciful dream).

    You either use the scientific terminology (Two) or the laymen's terminology (One).

    You can't mix the two because then you're mixing terminologies which is foolish at best.

    I.D. is laughable as a scientific theory. It's okay to have as a belief but, you have to realize that it has zero credibility when put next to Evolution.

    People who use the argument that "Evolution is just a theory" are uneducated or unintelligent. They either don't know what Evolution is or what a theory is... or both.

  125. Interesting documentary. I think the filmmaker tried to present both sides to the best of his ability. He believes does not believe in ID, so of course that will come out.

    I love the comments from i am become death. Thank you

  126. The way I see it if they are allowed to teach this in school then they should also teach neo-nazi historical revision regarding the holocaust.

  127. If creationists want to teach intelligent design in science class then we ought to be able to teach evolution in church.

    why not teach what the quran or bhagavad gita says next to the bible in church?

    lol stupid people are stupid.

  128. ID/Creationism is a lie manifested by fundamentalists to propagate there own agenda.

    Just because evolution seems too complicated to a small group of people does not prove that it cant happen the way it is described.

    If you think evolution is to complicated to happen naturally wait until you get out of 5th grade and start learning algebra.

    To be surprised that this film is biased is like being surprised that a film about the moon tends to lean more toward the opinion it is not made of cheese.

    If the evolutionists seem a bit upset it would be like me telling you that Jesus really isn't in the bible because there are scientists around the world that have told me so. Even when the facts are presented that Jesus was indeed mentioned in the bible I say... well its weak evidence and you really cant prove anything by it. So lets at least have the debate that Jesus is not in the bible. Let me have a 2 paragraph statement saying that the THEORY of Jesus being in the bible is not the ONLY theory and everyone should be aware of alternatives.

    The people that advocate ID live by a double standard. If I question ID I'm either going to hell or I need an open mind. If I don't question evolution I'm either going to hell or I need an open mind.

    Tell me exactly, what is the worst that would happen if ID was not taught.

    If ID is taught the creditability of science in the US would come into question. I would be ashamed if the US could not even be trusted to follow the scientific method.

  129. @Frank intelligent design is dismissed because IT IS NOT SCIENCE. it claims there is a magical intelligence that exists OUTSIDE of our universe and doesnt obey our universal rules of logic. THAT IS NOT SCIENCE. that is metaphysics or religion and it will stay there.

    science doesnt make assumptions about magical men. so intelligent design is NOT SCIENCE.


    When non-biologists talk about biological evolution they often confuse two different aspects of the definition. On the one hand there is the question of whether or not modern organisms have evolved from older ancestral organisms or whether modern species are continuing to change over time. On the other hand there are questions about the mechanism of the observed changes... how did evolution occur? Biologists consider the existence of biological evolution to be a fact. It can be demonstrated today and the historical evidence for its occurrence in the past is overwhelming. However, biologists readily admit that they are less certain of the exact mechanism of evolution; there are several theories of the mechanism of evolution. Stephen J. Gould has put this as well as anyone else:

    In the American vernacular, "theory" often means "imperfect fact"--part of a hierarchy of confidence running downhill from fact to theory to hypothesis to guess. Thus the power of the creationist argument: evolution is "only" a theory and intense debate now rages about many aspects of the theory. If evolution is worse than a fact, and scientists can't even make up their minds about the theory, then what confidence can we have in it? Indeed, President Reagan echoed this argument before an evangelical group in Dallas when he said (in what I devoutly hope was campaign rhetoric): "Well, it is a theory. It is a scientific theory only, and it has in recent years been challenged in the world of science--that is, not believed in the scientific community to be as infallible as it once was."

    Well evolution is a theory. It is also a fact. And facts and theories are different things, not rungs in a hierarchy of increasing certainty. Facts are the world's data. Theories are structures of ideas that explain and interpret facts. Facts don't go away when scientists debate rival theories to explain them. Einstein's theory of gravitation replaced Newton's in this century, but apples didn't suspend themselves in midair, pending the outcome. And humans evolved from ape-like ancestors whether they did so by Darwin's proposed mechanism or by some other yet to be discovered.

    Moreover, "fact" doesn't mean "absolute certainty"; there ain't no such animal in an exciting and complex world. The final proofs of logic and mathematics flow deductively from stated premises and achieve certainty only because they are not about the empirical world. Evolutionists make no claim for perpetual truth, though creationists often do (and then attack us falsely for a style of argument that they themselves favor). In science "fact" can only mean "confirmed to such a degree that it would be perverse to withhold provisional consent." I suppose that apples might start to rise tomorrow, but the possibility does not merit equal time in physics classrooms.

    Evolutionists have been very clear about this distinction of fact and theory from the very beginning, if only because we have always acknowledged how far we are from completely understanding the mechanisms (theory) by which evolution (fact) occurred. Darwin continually emphasized the difference between his two great and separate accomplishments: establishing the fact of evolution, and proposing a theory--natural selection--to explain the mechanism of evolution.

    - Stephen J. Gould, " Evolution as Fact and Theory"; Discover, May 1981

    Gould is stating the prevailing view of the scientific community. In other words, the experts on evolution consider it to be a fact. This is not an idea that originated with Gould as the following quotations indicate:

    Let me try to make crystal clear what is established beyond reasonable doubt, and what needs further study, about evolution. Evolution as a process that has always gone on in the history of the earth can be doubted only by those who are ignorant of the evidence or are resistant to evidence, owing to emotional blocks or to plain bigotry. By contrast, the mechanisms that bring evolution about certainly need study and clarification. There are no alternatives to evolution as history that can withstand critical examination. Yet we are constantly learning new and important facts about evolutionary mechanisms.

    - Theodosius Dobzhansky "Nothing in Biology Makes Sense Except in the Light of Evolution", American Biology Teacher vol. 35 (March 1973) reprinted in Evolution versus Creationism, J. Peter Zetterberg ed., ORYX Press, Phoenix AZ 1983


    It is time for students of the evolutionary process, especially those who have been misquoted and used by the creationists, to state clearly that evolution is a fact, not theory, and that what is at issue within biology are questions of details of the process and the relative importance of different mechanisms of evolution. It is a fact that the earth with liquid water, is more than 3.6 billion years old. It is a fact that cellular life has been around for at least half of that period and that organized multicellular life is at least 800 million years old. It is a fact that major life forms now on earth were not at all represented in the past. There were no birds or mammals 250 million years ago. It is a fact that major life forms of the past are no longer living. There used to be dinosaurs and Pithecanthropus, and there are none now. It is a fact that all living forms come from previous living forms. Therefore, all present forms of life arose from ancestral forms that were different. Birds arose from nonbirds and humans from nonhumans. No person who pretends to any understanding of the natural world can deny these facts any more than she or he can deny that the earth is round, rotates on its axis, and revolves around the sun.

    The controversies about evolution lie in the realm of the relative importance of various forces in molding evolution.

    - R. C. Lewontin "Evolution/Creation Debate: A Time for Truth" Bioscience 31, 559 (1981) reprinted in Evolution versus Creationism, op cit.

    This concept is also explained in introductory biology books that are used in colleges and universities (and in some of the better high schools). For example, in some of the best such textbooks we find:

    Today, nearly all biologists acknowledge that evolution is a fact. The term theory is no longer appropriate except when referring to the various models that attempt to explain how life evolves... it is important to understand that the current questions about how life evolves in no way implies any disagreement over the fact of evolution.

    - Neil A. Campbell, Biology 2nd ed., 1990, Benjamin/Cummings, p. 434


    Since Darwin's time, massive additional evidence has accumulated supporting the fact of evolution--that all living organisms present on earth today have arisen from earlier forms in the course of earth's long history. Indeed, all of modern biology is an affirmation of this relatedness of the many species of living things and of their gradual divergence from one another over the course of time. Since the publication of The Origin of Species, the important question, scientifically speaking, about evolution has not been whether it has taken place. That is no longer an issue among the vast majority of modern biologists. Today, the central and still fascinating questions for biologists concern the mechanisms by which evolution occurs.

    - Helena Curtis and N. Sue Barnes, Biology 5th ed. 1989, Worth Publishers, p. 972

    One of the best introductory books on evolution (as opposed to introductory biology) is that by Douglas J. Futuyma, and he makes the following comment:

    A few words need to be said about the "theory of evolution," which most people take to mean the proposition that organisms have evolved from common ancestors. In everyday speech, "theory" often means a hypothesis or even a mere speculation. But in science, "theory" means "a statement of what are held to be the general laws, principles, or causes of something known or observed." as the Oxford English Dictionary defines it. The theory of evolution is a body of interconnected statements about natural selection and the other processes that are thought to cause evolution, just as the atomic theory of chemistry and the Newtonian theory of mechanics are bodies of statements that describe causes of chemical and physical phenomena. In contrast, the statement that organisms have descended with modifications from common ancestors--the historical reality of evolution--is not a theory. It is a fact, as fully as the fact of the earth's revolution about the sun. Like the heliocentric solar system, evolution began as a hypothesis, and achieved "facthood" as the evidence in its favor became so strong that no knowledgeable and unbiased person could deny its reality. No biologist today would think of submitting a paper entitled "New evidence for evolution;" it simply has not been an issue for a century.

    - Douglas J. Futuyma, Evolutionary Biology, 2nd ed., 1986, Sinauer Associates, p. 15

    There are readers of these newsgroups who reject evolution for religious reasons. In general these readers oppose both the fact of evolution and theories of mechanisms, although some anti-evolutionists have come to realize that there is a difference between the two concepts. That is why we see some leading anti-evolutionists admitting to the fact of "microevolution"--they know that evolution can be demonstrated. These readers will not be convinced of the "facthood" of (macro)evolution by any logical argument and it is a waste of time to make the attempt. The best that we can hope for is that they understand the argument that they oppose. Even this simple hope is rarely fulfilled.

    There are some readers who are not anti-evolutionist but still claim that evolution is "only" a theory which can't be proven. This group needs to distinguish between the fact that evolution occurs and the theory of the mechanism of evolution.

    We also need to distinguish between facts that are easy to demonstrate and those that are more circumstantial. Examples of evolution that are readily apparent include the fact that modern populations are evolving and the fact that two closely related species share a common ancestor. The evidence that Homo sapiens and chimpanzees share a recent common ancestor falls into this category. There is so much evidence in support of this aspect of primate evolution that it qualifies as a fact by any common definition of the word "fact."

    In other cases the available evidence is less strong. For example, the relationships of some of the major phyla are still being worked out. Also, the statement that all organisms have descended from a single common ancestor is strongly supported by the available evidence, and there is no opposing evidence. However, it is not yet appropriate to call this a "fact" since there are reasonable alternatives.

    Finally, there is an epistemological argument against evolution as fact. Some readers of these newsgroups point out that nothing in science can ever be "proven" and this includes evolution. According to this argument, the probability that evolution is the correct explanation of life as we know it may approach 99.9999...9% but it will never be 100%. Thus evolution cannot be a fact. This kind of argument might be appropriate in a philosophy class (it is essentially correct) but it won't do in the real world. A "fact," as Stephen J. Gould pointed out (see above), means something that is so highly probable that it would be silly not to accept it. This point has also been made by others who contest the nit-picking epistemologists.

    The honest scientist, like the philosopher, will tell you that nothing whatever can be or has been proved with fully 100% certainty, not even that you or I exist, nor anyone except himself, since he might be dreaming the whole thing. Thus there is no sharp line between speculation, hypothesis, theory, principle, and fact, but only a difference along a sliding scale, in the degree of probability of the idea. When we say a thing is a fact, then, we only mean that its probability is an extremely high one: so high that we are not bothered by doubt about it and are ready to act accordingly. Now in this use of the term fact, the only proper one, evolution is a fact. For the evidence in favor of it is as voluminous, diverse, and convincing as in the case of any other well established fact of science concerning the existence of things that cannot be directly seen, such as atoms, neutrons, or solar gravitation ....

    So enormous, ramifying, and consistent has the evidence for evolution become that if anyone could now disprove it, I should have my conception of the orderliness of the universe so shaken as to lead me to doubt even my own existence. If you like, then, I will grant you that in an absolute sense evolution is not a fact, or rather, that it is no more a fact than that you are hearing or reading these words.

    - H. J. Muller, "One Hundred Years Without Darwin Are Enough" School Science and Mathematics 59, 304-305. (1959) reprinted in Evolution versus Creationism op cit.

    In any meaningful sense evolution is a fact, but there are various theories concerning the mechanism of evolution.

  130. @Frank Tigani so uh, what PREdictions (not post-hoc explanations) does "intelligent design" make that have been successfully validated using empirical data? Name a single such prediction, where evolutionary theory fails and ID delivers, and we might wish to consider it as an alternative. Go ahead.

  131. What difference does it make where we came from.
    we will all know when we die. and that could be at any second
    So i think we all need to worry about now, and try to make sure that there is a clean safe planet for our children to live on. One with no wars.
    There are more important things to worry about.

  132. religion throughout time has told people not to think for themselves, thats how they get away with things like-You shall not make for yourself an idol, whether in the form of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath. just visit the vatican and you will see by there own logic they are the first to go to hell. ones father may be abusive oh but i should respect him so that i dont offend god, now who really wrote this… a savage,patriarchal,despotic israelite.question by all means, but just cause there is no heaven for you and hell for me isnt the end of the world. id is trying to open the door to this amoral manipulation. we wont forget what it was like when you people were in control.

  133. religion throughout time has told people not to think for themselves, thats how they get away with things like-You shall not make for yourself an idol, whether in the form of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath. just visit the vatican and you will see by there own logic they are the first to go to hell. ones father may be abusive oh but i should respect him so that i dont offend god, now who really wrote this cr^p... a savage,patriarchal,despotic israelite.question by all means, but just cause there is no heaven for you and hell for me isnt the end of the world. id is trying to open the door to this amoral manipulation. we wont forget what it was like when you people were in control.

  134. Hoping to change the course of drudgery comments on this thread:
    Connie Morris is a MILF.

  135. @ Capricious.

    I may come across as some hardline theistic, but my point is that no one should reject the theory of intelligent design. That is bad science.

    If it cannot be proven false, then it is bad science to completely disregard it. You are as bad as any religious fanatic. Your faith is, however, just on the other sideo the fence.

    I accept evolutionary theory in that it can explain some things. However, I do not accept it in other areas (like in explaining the genesis of homosapiens).

    Unlike you suggest, I do not promote the idea that it is all in the bible and therefore we should not look any further. Far from it, my religious siding in fact has been based on the search for truth. Having not been satisfied by science (I am also a former science student), I am looking for it elsewhere. But, I still consider the scientific evidence that comes out, only I am more inclined now to investigate more thoroughly which I believe is good science, right?

  136. “Go back to bed, America, your government has figured out how it all transpired. Go back to bed America, your government is in control. Here, here’s American Gladiators. Watch this, shut up, go back to bed America, here is American Gladiators, here is 56 channels of it! Watch these pituitary retards bang their skulls together and congratulate you on living in the land of freedom. Here you go America – you are free to do what well tell you! You are free to do what we tell you!” bill hicks.
    “The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts.”
    bertrand russell.

  137. “Go back to bed, America, your government has figured out how it all transpired. Go back to bed America, your government is in control. Here, here's American Gladiators. Watch this, shut up, go back to bed America, here is American Gladiators, here is 56 channels of it! Watch these pituitary retards bang their f--king skulls together and congratulate you on the living in the land of freedom. Here you go America - you are free to do what well tell you! You are free to do what we tell you!” bill hicks.
    "The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts."
    bertrand russell.

  138. I think for either side to say absolutley that their theory's are correct at the exclusion of other theories miss the point of science. Let us teach all the major theories of life (both their strengths and weaknesses) to our intelligent young humans. Maybe they will continue to add more knowledge to the theories as they grow in intelligence and continue the investigations. It is possible that ALL observers hold various parts of the truth, lets seek the common ground and build on it. Many people from both "sides" of this arguement seem to be fundamentalists who have closed their minds to other possibilities. Wisdom suggests we should not close our minds to any possibilities, just keep investigating with an open mind. To a certain degree, they are both right!

  139. @ Frank and if you are accepting the evidence available, what part of it don't you understand? Why is it only people who have had their head in the bible for any portion of time are the only people who disagree? Don't you find this very distinct correlation somewhat, ummm.. curious?

  140. @ Frank, just a theory in contrast to what exactly?

    Intelligent design cannot be detected as there is no possible way to point to something and say "ah yes this is intelligent design". If you did this, just as the man explained in the documentary, how do you NOT consider this an excuse to simply stop looking? And if we simply stopped looking, how would our knowledge as a species progress?

  141. @ Epicurus. Theists are concerned with listening. Though, I will admit that I was perhaps too easily turned off by the language in the documentary. Oh well!

    By highlighting that evolutionary theory is JUST A THEORY, I did so because too many people today take it as fact too easily and use it to explain things that it simply cannot explain, like the genesis of human kind. Sure it can explain how perhaps we have evolved but it does not explain how we came to be in the first place, whether as apes or whatever you believe we were at first.

    If you want to be scientific about it, then one should have an open mind. Intelligent design cannot be proven false, therefore it cannot be disregarded. Therefore, to disregard it would be to reject something that is still a possibility.

  142. @ Capricious. Theists do recognise scientific evidence. There are many theists who accept evolution as fact, but who still believe in ID. To say otherwise is just plain arrogance that is so characteristic of people like you. Talk of intelligence, with such a ignorant and arrogant statement like that, you only prove that you are the one here that is not so intelligent.

    Evolutionary theory does not explain the genesis of human kind. Therefore, it is more intelligent to consider alternative theories like intelligent design until it can be proven, without question, to be false. This has not occurred.

    Just because the notion of a God creating everything is somewhat hard to fathom, even for theists like myself, it does not mean that is should be disregarded.

  143. The concept of intelligent design defeats itself by its very own merits. If intelligent design were true, theists would have the intelligence to acknowledge scientific evidence because intelligent people realize evidence is required for rational belief of ANYTHING. Theists themselves prove that people clearly do exist that are not intelligent, and thus, we can safely conclude there cannot be an intelligent creator. Funny how that works itself out.

  144. Evolution is NOT a theory, it is a fact. NATURAL SELCTION is a theory of evolution and has its flaws, but evolution was not invented by Darwin. The idea of evolution was around for almost 2000 years before Darwin. Darwin's theory is Natural Selction as the ENGINE of evolution.

    We see evolution happening all the time, all around us, every day. In viruses, bateria, fungi, plants, insects, even in mega-generational mammals like mice and rats.

    Dogs, cats, cattle, pigs, chickens, all invented by human beings through selective breeding, or artificial selection. In just a few thousand years we made cocker spaniels out of timber wolves. How much more could natural selection do in over a billion years?

    Finally, if evolution weren't true, then genetic science wouldn't work and the medicine that will probably be keeping you alive when you are 70 would never have been possible.

  145. @frank. maybe if you watched it without already forming a hatred for it you would have noticed that almost EVERY TIME he referred to dodo's it was mocking him or just "laymen" not creationists.

    evolution is a fact how it happens is a theory. A theory is an explanation of the facts. there is a theory of gravity is that JUST A THEORY? there is a germ theory is that JUST A THEORY?

    ID is not only fact it is wrong like saying the sun rotates around the earth.

    the movie was one of the LEAST evolution bias documentaries i have seen on the topic and it just goes to show that theists arent even concerned with listening. they just want to play victims.

  146. So opiniated. I could barely watch it.

    Such a documentary will go nowhere in trying to promote its agenda for from the start it is biased.

    Calling believers in ID a flock of dodos is a somewhat distasteful way to start such a controversial and hotly debated topic.

    Who cares what opinion polls say, the fact is that evolutionary theory is just that, a theory. It is not fact.

    Sure one cannot say ID is fact, however, if neither have been proven then whenever the debate is represented it must be done so with respect shown to all sides of the argument.

    Evolutionist are no more dogmatic than creationist. For there is evidence that supports both views and the rest is simply a choice of belief or faith.

    1. 1. You are desperately trying to turn a magic act into a scientific research / hypothesis / discovery. They simply are not the same thing and do not belong on the same level of discussion even though they deal with the same subject. Magic acts can at best only ever be Hocus Pocus.

      2. The burden of proof of the creationist cult, will never lie with those that can't be bothered with it. You can't prove the existence of god, that is proof enough of his non existence. I mean honestly, a transparent creature that lurks in the sky that does magic tricks? Who can plausibly deny its existence. It's laughable.

      3. The gods do exist, only in as far as any fictitious character in a book exists, but only within the confines of that book.

      4. All gods are man-made, that is a fact.

      5. The existence of the gods is an anthropological and philosophical debate, nothing more and certainly does not ever belong in an educational institution.

    2. Why not? What are YOU afraid of?

  147. lol @ pete....was that a joke?

    the evolutionist side is opinionated because it has the evidence and the facts and is right.

    would you say whats the big deal with having other theories like bloodletting and exorcism in hospitals? would you want alchemy being taught along side chemistry? or astrology alongside astronomy?

    what do you mean evolution cant explain everything? it doesnt try to...only explains how life got from it's starting point to it's current point. It doesn't explain how life started, nor how the universe began.

    you can definitely tell who the theists are. those with bad reason and poor understanding of reality.

  148. sorry but IDesign for the win, the evolutionist side just seemed to opinionated, and they twisted everything, whats the big deal with having other theories, its like these people cant stand the thought of any thing other then evolution, sorry but evolution cant explain everything, get over it. You can deffinately tell who the athiests where............

  149. I know three teachers. Two are grade-school and one is a high-school teacher. All three believe that there are ghosts and places are haunted. When I ask why they believe it, they each will cite a haunting "reality" show they watch on TV. None are science teachers... but each have advanced degrees.

    When these teachers were getting their educations they spent a few hours in class and did some homework and instantly forgot about school. Then the TV comes on and they spend 3 hours watching bloody violent acts of god, followed by 2 hours of ghosts and goblins. One night one of the teachers refused to turn off the lights because the show had shaken her.

    That means she spent way more of her day worrying about ghosts then she had spent studying. No wonder science is losing its hold.

    Science used to be amazing... Einstein used to be a pop star. Now the pop stars are vampires and weirdo kids with magic wands.

    When someone says if you believe in evolution you will go to hell, it isnt even a decisions to most people(Americans that is).

    I know perfectly rational people that have no problem believing in interstellar travel but refuse to accept they "evolved from monkeys".

    The argument is just that simple. Would you rather have man appear spontaneously or be related to a monkey. Well hell, who wants to be related to a monkey.

    Do you believe in ghosts? Yeah saw some scientists go into a haunted house last night. Do you believe you share a common ancestor with chimpanzees. Hell no, im not related to a monkey. Will god save the planet from pollution? Oh yeah, god can do anything he wants.

    And so on... and so on...

  150. Its weird to see how polarizied the USA is today...if its not republicans vs democrats, evolution vs I.D etc, to be honest i think something is going to give, maybe you should take a page out of our (European) book. I think my German friend sums it up, crap like I.D would not be tolerated in the 21st EU's public schools . Evolution is a proven fact and we didnt need to find the missing fossils, we cracked the DNA code. Its a triumph of human reason and ingenuity that we should all be proud of..anyway im rambling...keep the peace y'all!

  151. Pretty enjoyable. It's very much not academic as joe pointed out but, it tries to set the record straight and points out that all the people who don't believe in evolution do it because they are falling for good PR.

  152. Interesting for someone not from the USA. Man, you guys have discussions Germany could never DREAM about! :-D

  153. lol
    I just loved it. Nothing like a dose of humor to fend off pesty zealots.
    Highly recommend it to those who think Dawkins is too academic.