I haven’t been a huge fan of Ben Stein. I knew him from his rather clever Win Ben Stein’s Money game show. He also made a cameo in the surprisingly entertaining (for me, at least) TV movie Men In White. I also know that he did a bunch of other things, but wasn’t as familiar with them.
But now his new movie is the one I’m anticipating the most. And it’s a documentary, which means it has to work extra hard for me to care. But I do care because the premise is pretty darn neat. Check out the website for EXPELLED.
Ever since I found out the exact mechanism by which photosynthesis works, I’ve had a hard time being sympathetic to evolutionists. Photosynthesis, you see, is the magical process by which plants turn sunlight into food. You may have heard that much about it in school. But even the “simple” process of photosynthesis, one of the simplest and basic life processes you can have, a process that is absolutely vital for an ecosystem, is freaking complicated. Essentially, it’s a long, long, long series of chemical reactions that cannot be screwed with or simplified because if you do, you have a dead plant cell. It’s not magic. It’s not possible to arrange this by chance, because chance would screw it up.
But furthermore, the proof the photosynthesis does not happen by chance is right there in the plant cell. Each plant cell has explicit instructions on how to do photosynthesis. It’s called DNA. Saying that photosynthesis could possibly have happened via evolutionary process is like saying that Internet Explorer could possibly be engineered if you gave an infinite amount of monkeys access to Visual Studio. Which is fair enough. The problem, however is this: if you then say that the infinite monkeys also created Visual Studio (and my Alienware Laptop, and the tools necessary to put the laptop together), we’re talking multiple sets of infinite improbability*. In other words, you need at least (infinity^fc)(infinity^n)(infinity^m)(infinity^eeccd)(infinity^dt)(infinity^as+1)(infinity^ml+1)** number of parallel universes, each with differing but compatible laws of nature than our own*** and you need to pass matter and energy through these universes just to get to the point where lightning striking mud puddles would be useful.
And then you have to make sure that cell is able to compile itself a set of instructions on how to replicate itself because otherwise you’re stuck with one short-lived cell instead of exobillions of organisms. Because the information does not, and cannot appear by magic no matter how many monkeys and parallel universes you have. And let’s say that it does, somehow. That “somehow” is a synonym for “magic”, dumbass. The truth is that not even multiple sets of infinite universes can accomplish what “scientists” assume they have accomplished.
“Intelligent Design” are two words that merely acknowledge the only possibility of what is in front of everyone. Without those two words, what is in front of everyone is not merely very improbable, but truly impossible. As much as I like Douglas Adams’ books, he was a fool for criticizing those who say that God created life while simultaneously describing life in outright magical terms. (See his illuminating essay in The Salmon of Doubt. )
See, I’m not as nice as Ben Stein. That is why I don’t major in any of the sciences.
I know that what currently passes for rational “scientific” thought is just a religion that claims it isn’t. It has it’s own presuppositions, dogma, and heresy. It has plenty to say about the supernatural world: this and that religion’s teachings are wrong because “we know better”. Science is a result of highly intelligent thought, therefore those who do not accept the current established views must not be as intelligent. Since the current established view says that intelligence is the most important result of evolution, those with less intelligence are less evolved and vice versa. Those who are more evolved are more important to the species and vice versa. Therefore those who reject the teachings of the establishment must shut up or be shut up (and possibly sterilized so their lesser-evolved descendants don’t waste resources that the more highly evolved could use) for the good of humanity.
Science does have a god: humanity.
What could possibly go wrong with a god like that in charge?
Anyway, sorry for being so serious. I may have had too much coffee in the last few hours. (Maybe I need two weblogs?) The next post will be game-related, I promise. 😉
*Claiming that there is an infinite number of parallel universe, or even potentially infinite, is not only magic, but comic book magic. But I’m being generous here: as if the idea of the possibility of just more than one universe was less ridiculous than the the idea of the possibility of God. Seriously: basing a theory on something people have believed for thousands of years is not less ridiculous than a theory first presented in any serious fashion in a Flash comic book in the 1960s.
**Where fc is the minimum number of universes that have the favorable conditions for being part of the multi-universal process somewhere in them, n is the number of steps required for every kind of living cell to replicate itself, m is the number of steps required in a mechanism that copies the instructions for those steps, eeccd is everything each cell can do by themselves, dt is everything that living cells can do together in an organized fashion such as forming organs, as represents every “aw shit!” universe where the whole process fails because the lightning strikes the wrong puddle, and ml represents the whole of Murphy’s Law that can happen after the whole thing finally starts that prevents the cell from actually replicating itself to a point where there’s enough back-up copies to prevent extinction of all life on Earth because, say, a rock falls in the puddle at the wrong time.
***I’m not doing the math on that. It’s after midnight already. But let me point out that self-organized chemical processes going from simpler structures to more complicated structures independent of any intelligent effort requires multiple sets of physical laws. It’s literally far less complicated for humans to gain super-powers through chance than it is for life to happen by chance.