My Quest for the Truth About Humanity, Part 2


I want to mention a new documentary you probably didn’t see — Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed. It’s about evolution, and the so-called debate between Darwinists and creationists.

This movie was rated LAST at the box office. I mean, below Prom Night 2. But I had to see it. I mean, doesn’t it matter how life begin, how it evolves? Is’t that at the crux of everything � — how we got here, and why? Shouldn’t we be talking about that, instead of about Britney Spear’s latest rehab??

Ben Stein claims to have made the movie out of concern that scientific debate about evolution has been stifled. He interviews a few scientists who believe they were fired for mentioning the theory of intelligent design, the theory that some things in the universe are best explained by an intelligent cause.

Now, I don’t know about Ben Stein. He seems a bit morose, but credible. His detractors, who wrote lengthy articles discrediting the film, claim that the scientists who lost their jobs could not prove it was due to their theories. There’s no way to know the truth behind that. However, the more I read about science, the more I believe that there is a disturbing amount of censorship that goes on. Not necessarily organized, just the usual stupidity where the alpha male scientists who control the journals control who publishes — and refuse to publish anything that might threaten the theories that their reputation is staked on.

In my last column I give an example of this, how Alfred Wagener discovered continental drift and was banned from science until decades of evidence proved him right, after his death. I just read about another good example, the story of Delphi. No decision in classical Greece could be made without first consulting the Oracle at Delphi; it was said that she got high on volcanic vapors which rose from beneath the floor. About 100 years ago some French archaeologists bought the right to excavate the site, and pronounced the volcanic vapors theory ridiculous. The alpha scientist on the dig censored his students from writing about the theory. It wasn’t until the 1990s that a geologist visited the site. It was obvious to him that a cleft ran underneath Delphi which could have created hallucinatory vapors. To the sputtering dismay of French archeology, the geologist de Boer restored the credibility of so many ancient Greek historians.

Since I don’t doubt that scientists sometimes suppress evidence in order to maintain their own theories and worldviews, I appreciated Ben Stein’ss point about censorship. Then he went on to remind us that the theory of evolution is really still a theory –at least, with regard to explaining the origin of new species. There seems to be little doubt that small changes happen within species, due to genetic mutations (which by the way, science cannot explain). But a brand new species? That’s something we have never observed. How did the giraffe get that neck? Darwin’s theory doesn’t cut it. Think about it.

Not to mention, the origin of life. Science doesn’t have a clue, although if you asked your high school biology teacher, chances are they mumbled something about how they were able to re-create the conditions of life in a test tube. This is a lie. In the Expelled movie there is an excellent animation which reminds us how ridiculously complex the cell is. In order for life to begin, 250 proteins had to come together in exactly the correct order. According to science, everything happens by chance. Well, the chance of those 250 proteins randomly bumping into each other to create the first living thing is approximately nil. Even Richard Dawkins, the unsavory poster-child for textbook-thumping fundamentalist atheists, had to confess to Stein that life could not have arose on this planet.

Think for a second: did you come out of your biology classes with the assumption that evolutionary theory had it all figured out? Somehow modern science has a way of giving the impression it knows everything. And then if you ask a scientist, point blank: How do new species arise?, he will have to admit, after some hemming and hawing, that he has no clue.

So I think Ben Stein did a pretty good job with the movie. His comic clips were fun. Although, bringing Hitler into it really hurt his argument. He did convince me that without Darwin there would have been no Nazi genocide — but in my view, science should not be held responsible for what madmen do with their theories.

The movie’s critics like to say that the movie is aimed at creationists, and that intelligent design is nothing more than a fancy name for creationism. I don’t know. The movie dismisses the creationists’ obviously ridiculous theory that a cranky male God created everything in 4004 BC. Sorry to offend anyone out there, but this is clearly not the case.

So we have this false duality. Pick one: either 1. God created everything in 4004 BC, or 2. all that exists is matter, or ‘stuff’, and that everything that happens is a result of stuff randomly crashing into other stuff (this is the new dogma). The intelligent public, who knows that the world is older than 4004 BC, is led to fanatically accept Darwinism, unaware that it doesn’t actually explain much of anything. Not where life came from, not where new species come from. Which leaves us nowhere.

Can’t we entertain a third possibility? What if the universe is not a mechanistic, meaningless place devoid of Spirit, as science would have it? What if there are conscious intelligences behind natural processes — which is what every culture on earth believed, before the spread of monotheistic religions?

I’ve been arguing with my father about this. He is a fundamentalist textbook-thumping atheist. I don’t understand how atheists can be so sure; it is hard to prove the non-existence of anything. However, such science fanatics have great faith that science will figure out the rest of the mysteries. We just haven’t found the missing link in human evolution yet, that’s all. And then we’ll figure out how life arose, I’m sure it’s all perfectly rational, something we can see in a test. Nothing awe-inspiring or mystical.

My dad sent me a link to a website he really likes, E-Skeptic, for the debunking of the Expelled movie. Poking around on the site to see where these folks were coming from, I read one article that amazed me. It’s about ‘consciousness’ — the central mystery of our existence, the bane of science, since they can’t explain it. This article actually proposes that consciousness is a myth. That’s right, there’s no such thing. What we call consciousness is actually just a person talking to herself inside her head. Until someone learns to speak, they aren’t actually conscious. That’s right: Babies and animals — not conscious. Hello? You and I can see they are. Just look into their eyes. Isn’t that like modern science — if they can’t explain it, just pretend it doesn’t exist.

Science is a primitive medieval superstition. They’ve taken the life out of biology. They’ve taken the phi out of physics. They’ve sucked the air out of the mystery…

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