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Date: 2006/04/25 04:23:16, Link
Author: Benjamin Garrett
I wanted to go to this, but it was my wedding anneversary.  From the panel, I don't see anybody there that I think would jump up to defend ID.  Jimmy Watson is the minister at the church I attend so I might be able to get some kind of report from him if no one has a first-hand report.

Date: 2007/12/14 13:31:16, Link
Author: Ben Franklin
I was posting on the expelled site, but my posts were considered "pathetic", so I figured that this was the place to come.

Let’s take a closer look at those who wrote in to the Shout Out section on the expelled website claiming to have been “expelled”.

Of the 43 postings (only 42 now, cos’s entry seems to have mysteriously vanished), there are 6 claiming to have been fired, or forced to resign. I think this is relevant, and will be discussed later.

Sixteen posts claim to have been denied something: Tenure (3), tuition/scholarship (2), membership at church (1), participating at a website (5) (note- 80% of those were banned from ID sites), a potential future as an academician (1), a potential future as a football player (1), publication (2) (note- both were later published), and that a library refused a subscription to an unnamed journal (1).

Eleven posts claim to have been not expelled, but mocked.  These are some of my favorites.  Sorry, but anyone who considers Kent Hovind a scientist deserves all the mocking one can muster.

Nine additional posts were from creationists who didn’t claim to have been fired, or denied something, but they just seem pi$$ed off that their creationist claims weren’t taken seriously enough for them, i.e. “my creation club challenged the high school science teachers to a debate and they refused.” And “everytime I talk about Creation Science my teacher makes me feel stupid”.  Is this mocking? OK, it probably is.

One post was just a letter cautioning ID proponents to remain anonymous.

Here are some of my thoughts, and I would certainly entertain civil arguments and debate regarding them-

A great part of the problem we face here is - why does “Expelled” and the ID movement in general, while trying to make the case that “’Big Science’ has expelled smart new ideas from the classroom”, not distanced itself from the dumb, old, completely disproved ideas of literal biblical creation and a 6,000 year old earth?   Does anyone think that Michael Behe will abandon all his research because Ken Ham says “You can’t prove anything, YOU WEREN’T THERE!”?

Simply put, that move would alienate way too much of the populist base the ID movement is trying to rouse into social and political action.  Take for example, Don McLeroy, new chairman of the Texas State Board of Education.  As is evidenced by this sermon that he delivered at his church about ID:

This man is clearly an inerrant bible literalist, who believes in a 6,000 year old earth, which was created in 6 - 24 hour days, and covered by a global flood, from which Noah, his kin and the animals on the ark were the only survivors, and from whom all animal life on this planet came to exist.  Now, under it’s “big tent” philosophy, the ID movement is OK with having young earth creationists as supporters, and young earth creationists, for some reason that I don’t quite understand, are OK with the ID movement as well.

But will Don McLeroy be satisfied with Texas schools teaching science classes containing information that Michael Behe has publicly stated he adheres to – namely common descent and a 4.5 billion year old earth?  I don’t think so.

I don’t think creationists like McLeroy will be happy until the book of Genesis is substituted for the textbooks currently in use in Texas science classrooms.

So, I don’t think that it’s possible for the ID movement to ever achieve the slightest legitimacy within the scientific or academic communities until it at least separates the science wheat from the creationist chaff, which, I am sure it is loathe to do because, as stated previously, it would alienate too many of its major financial contributors, and its most powerful and politically influential supporters.  

Now, let’s revisit the “expelled”.  The first thing that concerns me is that we are only hearing one side of the story, and in cases like these there are always at least two sides to be heard, although I feel confident in saying, based on pre-release info and interviews that when Expelled is released, the movie will also be decidedly one-sided.    

But, six individuals have posted that they either lost their jobs, or were forced to resign because of intolerance.  Of those, one was a musician for a church, who was asked to leave because he taught a song whose lyrics questioned some church doctrine.  If true, this is certainly intolerant of the church, but clearly, it has been upheld, that some organizations, even when using Federal funds, may discriminate in their hiring decisions.

Another was a Sunday school teacher who claims he was forced to resign because he didn’t want to keep to the church’s “vague” lesson plan on creation.  If true, then, again, intolerant of the church, but certainly within their purview to have taught what they desired to have taught.

The remaining four are Jerald, Ross, Jerry and Christopher.

Jerry claims he was fired because of his anti- Darwinist views at a Spring Arbor University, which is an evangelical Protestant school.  He indicates that he was fired due to his doubts about Darwinism even though the President and Vice President of the school were openly creationist, although he does state in his post that he also experienced antagonism from “dogmatic Darwinists” at the previous University he taught at, Bowing Green State University in Ohio.  Jerry taught psychology, not any field remotely related to evolution.  It seems to me that something is missing from this story.  How pi$$ed off could he have gotten the faculty of the biology department for them to have them call for his ouster?  How does it serve “big science” to have him expelled?

Christopher was a teaching assistant who claims he was “let go for what he held to be true”.  He also states “I also invited others (creationists) to come and speak with me about the issue during my Teaching Assistant time. … not a smart thing to do”.  What is the moral here?  Whatever you believe, when you are paid to do a job, if you don’t do the job, your employment is, as it should be, in jeopardy!

Jerald and Ross both claim to have been fired for their non-Darwinian views.  If their stories are true and complete, it would seem they were treated unfairly.

Where does this leave us?  Is there discrimination in our society?  Undoubtedly,yes.  Is there some discrimination amongst scientists and academicians? Again, yes.  Are some scientists (and bloggers) hard-headed and unwilling to accept new concepts and ideas?  Sure.  But is this the major conspiracy Expelled claims it to be?  Decidedly, NO.  Just as the Discovery Institute’s constant assertion that evolution is a theory in crisis, so too the claim that ID proponents are being silenced is vastly overblown.

What can the ID movement do to gain credibility?  First, state clearly what ID is, and what it is not.  If the scientific heavy hitters of ID (Behe, Dembski, Denton, etc) all feel comfortable with an old earth, (I’m not aware of any of them who don’t) and some of them endorse elements of common descent, and speciation, let that be brought forth.

Second, come up with some valid research that isn’t 20 years outdated (Denton), or completely invalidated (irreducible complexity), and submit it for unbiased peer review.

But, as I contend that the ID movement is first and foremost a political and Dominionist Christian protagonist, the real science will always take a distant back seat.

Date: 2008/05/01 14:24:10, Link
Author: Benny H
Quote (oldmanintheskydidntdoit @ May 01 2008,11:58)
I wonder what the number of screens, currently at 1,041, will drop to after the initial 2 week commitments are up?

655, according to

Date: 2008/05/02 02:01:42, Link
Author: Benny H
Quote (oldmanintheskydidntdoit @ May 01 2008,14:29)
Quote (Benny H @ May 01 2008,14:24)
Quote (oldmanintheskydidntdoit @ May 01 2008,11:58)
I wonder what the number of screens, currently at 1,041, will drop to after the initial 2 week commitments are up?

655, according to

Hey Benny, welcome!

Cheers for the info, most amusing.

I wonder if it'll half again next week :)

Probably. If you were a theatre owner, which would you rather show, "Expelled" or "Speed Racer"? :)

Date: 2008/05/13 13:18:52, Link
Author: Benny H
If you want to see "Expelled" you better see it quick. According to the nearest theater to my zip code showing the movie today is 16 miles away. Starting Friday it will be 386 miles away, in another state.

Date: 2008/05/15 22:28:30, Link
Author: Benny H
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ May 13 2008,13:31)
Quote (Benny H @ May 13 2008,11:18)
If you want to see "Expelled" you better see it quick. According to the nearest theater to my zip code showing the movie today is 16 miles away. Starting Friday it will be 386 miles away, in another state.

I can top that.

According to Boxofficemojo, after this coming weekend the nearest theaters to the SF Bay Area that are showing Expelled are in Kirksville, MO and Cochranton, PA -- 1,594 and 2,235 miles from my zip code, respectively.

Oops, my mistake-it will still be playing in my area. I should have known boxofficemojo's info on theaters playing a particular movie wouldn't be accurate that many days in advance. Instead of almost completely disappearing it's losing half it's screens, which makes more sense in retrospect.

Date: 2008/05/21 13:34:58, Link
Author: Benny H
Quote (Richardthughes @ May 21 2008,12:43)
ID Gives up on empiricism:

21 May 2008
This Site Gives me 150 Utils of Utility; Panda’s Thumb Gives me Only 3
Any effort to give precise gradations of quantification to CSI is doomed to failure.....

Point and laugh at the whole thing yourselves.

So after much navel gazing, we return to "But it LOOKS designed (to me)"

ID - No mechanism
ID - No statistical test

Talk about "own goal." If you or I were to comment that CSI is entirely subjective and not objective the IDiots would ban us, but BarryA says it and the IDiots respond "great observation!"

Date: 2008/05/29 12:52:04, Link
Author: Benny H
Quote (oldmanintheskydidntdoit @ May 29 2008,11:44)
No doubt Sal knows full well you are banned and cannot respond.

I've heard, er, several stories now, er, about people who are not banned as such at UD but who's posts simply stop appearing.

I guess teh bannaition thread here is getting to them.

I tried commenting for a short while over at UD. Mostly I defended naturalism as the foundation of science because naturalism works. The first comment never appeared but the next three or four showed up right away. Then, without explanation, my next several comments showed up about a day after I sent them and then stopped showing up at all. I don’t care enough about commenting at UD to continue sending comments I know are probably not going to make it through moderation so it’s effectively the same as being banned. This is just a sleazy way for UD to ban people while denying that they’re banning people.

Date: 2008/06/25 22:47:54, Link
Author: Benny H
Quote (steve_h @ June 25 2008,16:43)
If the mutations were front-loaded wouldn't they happen in parallel in several or all of the populations, or be replayable in a sample of the successful population taken before the first mutation?

PZ seems to think this paper confirm Gould's theory that the history wouldn't replay itself.  Shouldn't preloaded history replay itself?

You're absolutely right. Since only one of the twelve populations gained the new talent chance MUST be at work otherwise all twelve would have evolved the same way in the isolated lab environment. Perhaps Davescot has subliminally recieved this message and that's why he's ripping on the paper.

Date: 2008/07/11 14:42:10, Link
Author: Benny H
[Graffiti moved to Bathroom Wall. -Admin]

Quote (keiths @ July 11 2008,14:11)
Quote (ERV @ July 11 2008,09:17)
keiths, ask yourself when I last supported someone just because they were on 'our side'.

That's irrelevant. The question is why you think we should have given Kwok a pass when you know perfectly well that any ID proponent acting the way Kwok did in that thread would have gotten trampled, most likely with you leading the charge.  

Abbie, if it upsets you this much when a thread doesn't go your way, you might want to seriously consider a hobby other than blogging.

I could be completely wrong - I haven't read that many of John Kwok's comments - but he appears to be not-all-there mentally, sort of like John A Davison, what with the constant repition of odd phrases, hypersensitivity to criticism, strange references to his high school days, and so forth. Personally, I would ignore him.

Date: 2008/07/11 15:14:06, Link
Author: Benny H
I'm curious about DaveScot's religious beliefs. It was my understanding that he was an agnostic, but his recent posts seem to me the words of a theist. Has he converted? Or perhaps he mistakenly believes non-denom theist and agnostic are the same thing.

Date: 2008/07/11 15:46:53, Link
Author: Benny H
Quote (dvunkannon @ July 11 2008,15:26)
Quote (Benny H @ July 11 2008,16:14)
I'm curious about DaveScot's religious beliefs. It was my understanding that he was an agnostic, but his recent posts seem to me the words of a theist. Has he converted? Or perhaps he mistakenly believes non-denom theist and agnostic are the same thing.

Before I was banned over at UD, he responded to one of my questions by saying he believed in the Gnostic Gospel of Thomas.

I don't know exactly what that is, but it's not agnosticism. Perhaps DaveScot was confused by the similar sounding words "Gnostic" and "agnostic."

Date: 2008/07/17 19:39:26, Link
Author: Benny H
Did I miss it? Were there fireworks?

Date: 2008/07/17 19:50:20, Link
Author: Benny H
Quote (keiths @ July 17 2008,18:03)
What I'd really like for Jonathan Wells to explain is how to be an intellectually fulfilled Moonie.

Does Jonathan Wells think that Reverend Moon is the Intelligent Designer? If that were true, you'd think Wells would be able to come up with an explicit theory of I.D., what with actually knowing the designer and all.

Date: 2008/07/17 20:01:46, Link
Author: Benny H
Quote (stevestory @ July 17 2008,19:00)
Let us begin with Isaiah 57:20-21:

But the wicked are like the tossing sea,
which cannot rest,
whose waves cast up mire and mud.

"There is no peace," says my God, "for the wicked."

There's no way this will go another 1000 pages. UD seems to be running on fumes now.

Date: 2008/10/13 16:00:46, Link
Author: Benny H
Your political compass
Economic Left/Right: 0.00
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -5.23

Date: 2008/11/07 13:39:19, Link
Author: Benny H
Quote (Maya @ Nov. 07 2008,12:19)
Quote (dvunkannon @ Nov. 07 2008,12:00)
Quote (Maya @ Nov. 07 2008,11:26)
Quote (stevestory @ Nov. 07 2008,09:54)
Davetard is back.

In Memory of Michael Crichton

That explains the six days he was missing.  He had to look up all the polysyllabic words he used and figure out why his word processor flagged all his grammar as "WTF, are you six?"

Nah, Scooter is just quoting Chrichton, we still haven't seen him defy the Second Law by putting his own ideas on the screen.

I thought that sounded surprisingly articulate for Davey.

Articulate and yet still full of it. And look at how busy UD is today - it's only 2:30 PM and they've already had 8 comments.

Date: 2008/11/13 22:50:14, Link
Author: Benny H
Dembski's quitting UD so he can spend more time doing research. Now that he's rolled up his sleeves we can expect Waterloo any day now.

Date: 2008/11/17 01:07:05, Link
Author: Benny H

17 November 2008
DaveScot is No Longer With Us
Barry Arrington
DaveScot has resigned his position as UD’s primary moderator. We wish him well in his endeavors.

Now that's comedy. Perhaps DaveScot can start his own blog - it couldn't do any worse than UD.

Date: 2009/03/17 18:56:17, Link
Author: Benny H
Quote (FrankH @ Mar. 17 2009,13:07)
On the misuse of probability at UD and other Creto sites.  Please correct me if I'm wrong on where I think they get their assumptions on the probabilities of the formation of complex proteins:

1:  That atoms forming together via covalent or ionic bonds are random and equal in probability.

2:  There is nothing special about Carbon nor its ability to form long and complex chains.

3:  A complex protein is formed spontaneously and no pre-cursors were needed nor formed first.

4:  The probability is done in a "Random Walk" style.  By that with three degrees of motion, in either a "positive" or "negative" manner (ie towards the completion or removing itself from the completion of the protein).

Am I missing anything?


I'm sure you're right, but they have much bigger problems with probability than what you've listed here. They don't seem to understand why it's meaningless to calculate the odds of an event that has already occurred and they don't seem to understand why long odds against a particular evolutionary pathway is not an obstacle for evolution in general.

Date: 2009/03/17 19:57:20, Link
Author: Benny H
Quote (FrankH @ Mar. 17 2009,19:44)
I was wondering if there is a place where I can go and find just how complex organic molecules can be without any "guidance".

You're talking about something a bit more technical than I was. I honestly don't have enough knowledge of Chemistry to help you. Perhaps someone else here has.

Date: 2009/09/18 03:21:21, Link
Author: Benny H
Quote (DiEb @ Sep. 18 2009,01:35)
Just a quick question: Waiting for an answer of kf, I've to read at the thread Uncommon Descent Contest Question 10: Provide the Code for Dawkins’ WEASEL Program:

Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Is this O'Leary's usual procedure?

From casual observation it appears to me threads on UD automatically have comments and pings turned off after three weeks.

Date: 2009/09/18 03:25:58, Link
Author: Benny H
Quote (franky172 @ Sep. 17 2009,19:20)
Dembski on why he publishes so many books:

[My books] sell well and they get read, especially in the Christian community.

Which is what matters to someone trying to make a difference and a lasting impact in science.

And legit scientists especially value having their work sold in Christian book stores, since Christians invented Science after all!

Date: 2009/09/28 22:54:19, Link
Author: Benny H
Considering Dan Brown’s Gil Dodgen's blanket mishandling of basic historical scientific facts in his novels posts, it’s hard to take Dan Brown’s GilDodgen's personal history seriously.

Date: 2009/09/28 23:11:25, Link
Author: Benny H
Dang, let me retry my last comment:

Considering Dan Brown’s Gil Dodgen's blanket mishandling of basic historical scientific facts in his novels posts, it’s hard to take Dan Brown’s Gil Dodgen's personal history disbelief in evolution seriously.

Date: 2009/09/28 23:13:09, Link
Author: Benny H
Dang again - well you get the idea. I'll just got to bed now before I can screw up any more comments.

Date: 2009/12/11 21:36:35, Link
Author: Benny H
Check this out:

Date: 2009/12/15 20:38:07, Link
Author: Benny H
—-Voice Coil: “I find it an exercise devoid of content to state that the “true meaning of morality” includes reference to an external standard, and then conclude thereby that no system of values that omits reference to an external standard can be morality, by definition. Your definition is essentially a statement of your position. It is an empty exercise assert the correctness of that definition in support of your position. In so doing you have simply asserted your position again.”

That is like saying that someone is very tall or that someone is very short, but the means for measuring height need not be objective.

My first thought was that StephenB had scored in his own goal, but then I realized that in StephenB's world the perfect height for a man would be that of Jesus. Too bad the Bible doesn't say how tall he was. (Of course the Bible doesn't give us his birthday either but that doesn't stop Christians from celebrating on Dec. 25.)

Date: 2010/01/10 18:09:11, Link
Author: Benny H
Quote (Bob O'H @ Jan. 10 2010,09:49)
Quote (Zachriel @ Jan. 10 2010,09:09)
On the Signature in the Cell thread, there is no comment box, though the comment box appears on other threads. Apparently, comments are closed, at least to Zachriel.

My sock can't see a comment box either.  I guess they've signed off on that post.  They could have an automatic cut-off for posts - 2 weeks, or whatever.

I think comments on UD threads are automatically closed when the thread becomes 3 weeks old.

Date: 2010/01/18 13:20:27, Link
Author: Benny H
Quote (Zachriel @ Jan. 18 2010,08:45)
Granville Sewell (beginning of video): The strongest argument for intelligent design is to clearly state the alternative view, which is that physics explains all of chemistry (probably true), chemistry explains all of biology, and biology completely explains the human mind; thus, physics alone explains the human mind.

No. The contrary view is that physics alone does not explain the human mind. That could mean that physics is incomplete. Or that we haven't found the necessary specifics. Or it could mean that the limited field of physics doesn't encompass the required mechanisms. It could mean Intelligent Design, but that's not the contrary view.

Basic Gap Argument. Find a Gap and fill it with metaphysical caulk, er, Intelligent Design.

I think he's talking about an idealized, complete physics. He's playing to the idea that religious people like O'Leary have that the mind is magic and not limited to physics.

Date: 2010/01/18 13:37:05, Link
Author: Benny H
Continuation of previous comment:

Of course it is a huge contradiction that ID people argue that the mind is supernatural and therefore naturalistic science can't explain human beings but at the same time ID is supposed to be a mechanistic theory. They claim that ID doesn't require a supernatural explanation, but that certain biological features are too unlikely to come about without intelligent intervention. But those biological features, even if designed by some intelligence, are still mechanisms. If we take ID seriously there is no place in it for a soul.

Date: 2010/02/13 00:49:18, Link
Author: Benny H
Quote (Joe G @ Feb. 12 2010,12:43)
Quote (Dr.GH @ Feb. 10 2010,16:10)
Well, we shall see if I pass "moderation."

I feel I have come a bit late to this particular party. However, I have been a long time student of the intelligent design movement. I would like to add a comment to Nick Matzke’s observations regarding ID and common ancestry, or speciation.

William Dembski and Jonathan Wells writing in their recent book, “The Design of Life”  deny common ancestry as it is used by mainstream biologists. They wrote that ID “neither requires nor excludes speciation,” and  that “ID is sometimes confused with a static view of species, as though species were designed to be immutable.” These remarks would seem to leave the door open to common ancestry. But, in their concluding remarks on speciation, they insist that “there are strict limits to the amount and quality of variations that material mechanisms such as natural selection and random genetic change can alone produce.”  So ID accepts speciation, but not by mutation, and natural selection- not by biology. No, rather their claim is that, “intelligence can itself be a source of biological novelties that lead to macroevolutionary changes. In this way, intelligent design is compatible with speciation. (pg. 109)”

Both authors are on record that the “intelligent designer” is the biblical God. So, their “speciation” is exclusively the result of Devine intervention. These acknowledged intellectual leaders of the ID movement wasted a great deal of ink just to say “goddidit.” Henry Morris or Duane Gish said it clearly and honestly.

And that is all that distinguishes ID from special creationism- honesty.

That is false.

ID says that not all mutations are genetic accidents.

Genetic accidents occur but they are a minor player.

Dr Spetner talks about this in "Not By Chance"- most mutations would be the result of "built-in responses to environmental cues".

IOW there are targeted searches going on.

So ID says speciation occurs by mutation but not all mutations are blind and undirected.

No intervention required- just the proper initial conditions.

Glad I could help...

The ID head honchos do not endorse front-loading because they have gone out of their way to tell Christians that ID is consistent with Christianity. A god that creates life and then leaves the scene is inconsistent with a personal god which constantly interacts with its creations.

Date: 2010/03/05 21:13:37, Link
Author: Benny H
UD is flatlining. The last post there to have more than 100 comments was two weeks ago.

Date: 2010/05/13 23:26:32, Link
Author: Benny H
Quote (olegt @ May 13 2010,22:02)
Cornelius reacts:  
This blog is erroneous and I will retract it. Apologies for the false publicity.

To admit that his whole blog is erroneous is, I think, a rather brave admission.

Date: 2010/08/18 15:55:18, Link
Author: Benny H
Quote (Richardthughes @ Aug. 18 2010,13:02)
They didn't manage to get to Xenophobia:

They also forgot "homicide bomber", a term apparently invented by Fox News to replace the more descriptive "suicide bomber".

Date: 2011/07/22 20:52:27, Link
Author: Benny H
Quote (socle @ July 22 2011,14:02)
Quote (Richardthughes @ July 22 2011,13:07)
Given the recent, prolonged non-calculation of CSI, or even operational definition of it, Dembski finally wades in:

And shows he's still shit at culture war.

Oh, this is classy:

I did a whois lookup on and was completely unsurprised to find that it is owned by one Robert Marks.