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Date: 2008/02/25 22:09:59, Link
Author: kevinmillerxi
Yeah, I'm here. Thanks for the invite, Chris. Sorry if I don't turn out to be the fire-breathing fundamentalist you all expected. Unfortunately, I don't have a ton of time to hang out and debate ad nauseum about the film. But if any of you would like to come over to my place (www.kevinmillerxi.com), feel free to post whatever evil, ungodly thing you want and perhaps we can get a discussion started.

Date: 2008/02/25 23:33:21, Link
Author: kevinmillerxi
Mouth-breathing. Very funny. When Chris sent his invite my gut response was to say I wasn't interested, b/c after over two years on this project, frankly, I'm a little worn out with all the fire-breathing (and mouth breathing) fundies on all sides of this debate. But if we can keep things halfway civil and actually have a discussion rather than a flame war, I'm all for it.

As for being mystified by "my cause," my main interest in this project is the whole philosophy of science angle. How do we conceptualize science and its implications? How can we know that we know anything? The debate between rationalism and empiricism. Epistemology, that sort of thing. Personally, I see ID as a challenge not just to Darwinian evolution but to the very foundation of the scientific enterprise itself. Will we allow non-material causation into science or won't we? Most people think this question was settled decades or centuries ago. IDers say new evidence in biology and elsewhere compels us to reconsider our answer. I find this intriguing, especially when you bring in philosophers like Michael Polanyi, Alvin Plantinga, and new discoveries in quantum physics that are essentially saying the same thing. I'm not talking about supernatural causation--as in magic. Just non-material causation, such as human consciousness. Right now, I see many branches of science--particularly evolutionary biology--as highly rationalistic. Theory-driven rather than evidence driven. ID seems to be an attempt to call science back to a more empirical approach--at least according to the rhetoric I've heard from ID advocates. (I can't tell you how many times I've heard them say, "Follow the evidence wherever it leads.") So I'm prone to wonder if all the fireworks over ID are really just the most recent manifestation of an age-old scientific debate that's been cloaked in all sorts of modern religious and political agendas. It's just the latest swing of the rationalist/empiricist pendulum. At least that's one way of trying to conceptualize it. I could be way off. It's been a long day.

Date: 2008/02/26 01:55:13, Link
Author: kevinmillerxi
Steve: For the record, I said, "ID seems to be an attempt to call science back to a more empirical approach--at least according to the rhetoric I've heard from ID advocates." You seem to have missed that qualifier. For a good discussion on this, I'd highly recommend "Science's Blind Spot" by Cornelius Hunter.

Wayne: To the best of my knowledge we never interviewed Robert Pennock. If we had, the transcript and footage would have definitely crossed my desk.

Doc Bill: I think the jury is still out on exactly what consciousness is. As for Sternberg, you'll just have to watch the film.

Richard: The Demarcaction Problem is the heart of this controversy, isn't it? I'm no expert on Popper's demarcation criterion, but I am somewhat familiar with his assertion that a hypothesis, proposition or theory is scientific only if it is falsifiable--as well as subsequent criticisms of his position, namely, that virtually all scientific inquiry begins with a set of unfalsifiable assumptions.

Date: 2008/02/26 13:18:59, Link
Author: kevinmillerxi
You know guys, you are about as predictable as an animal driven soley by hunger and instinct. Sort of like a crocodile. What never ceases to amaze me is how completely binary your thinking is. This is supremely ironic in a field that introduced us to ideas like transitional forms, evolutionary trajectories and continuums of change. You just can't seem to shake free of the "either/or" "black/white" thinking that pretty much became untenable during the first decades of the 20th century. You bear all the marks of the religious fundamentalists you despise: A complete inability to countenance two seemingly contradictory ideas in your brain and a fervent need to squash and destroy anyone who diagrees with you. This is exactly why I was initially hesitant to accept Chris's invitation to come over here and chat. Not because I'm afraid of criticism (I could get involved with a project like "Expelled" if I were afraid of that) but because of your utter disinterest in true debate and discussion. It's more like a dogpile than a dialogue. And frankly, it's just supremely boring. So I'll let you guys get back to being oh so clever while I get back to doing something a little more productive.

Date: 2008/02/26 14:30:24, Link
Author: kevinmillerxi
You guys are merely proving my point. The only thing you seem to be interested in is attacking me personally. Any attempt at discussion is immediately turned into an opportunity to tell me what a stupid, smug, ignorant propagandist I am. I'm not whining about that. It's just not my idea of a good time. If anyone wants to approach me with a formal interview request for an established publication or web site, I'm all for it. But I'm not going to be the bloody chicken in the henhouse just so you have a few hours of entertainment.

Date: 2008/02/26 15:04:29, Link
Author: kevinmillerxi
MrChristopher:

Here is my question - who was Ben's biology consultant for Expelled?  Who advised him on evolution, Darwin and biology?
Ben consulted with many individuals regarding biology and Darwinism, some of whom I know and some I don't. One individual who I know had a significant influence on him is mathematician and philosopher David Berlinski. He was also very impressed with Michael Shermer. But Ben Stein is no one's toady. He is a completely free agent who has developed his own unique perspective on this issue.


Did you guys do ANY checking up on the Discovery Institute?  Their goals and objectives?  Of course we did. We researched them extensively and conducted interviews with numerous Discovery fellows.

And I note Kevin never answered my question - have you read the Wedge Strategy/Document?  You can read the original here. Yes, I've read this document as well as Discovery's response. My response is that you can't disqualify a theory merely b/c it is religiously motivated. In that case, you'd have to disqualify anything coming out of Richard Dawkins or PZ Myers who aren't afraid to conflate their religious or areligious beliefs with their science. It all comes down to the arguments and the evidence. So the Wedge document is a moot point from my perspective. I'd rather disentagle the scientific questions from the religious questions so that the real question becomes, can ID produce compelling evidence and arguments to back up their theories? I think the jury is still out on that. But that doesn't mean they shouldn't get a chance to try. Virtually all of the IDers I met--and I met a lot--appeared to be sincere, hard-working scientists just like their peers. Religious agendas aside, I really do believe that people like Sternberg, Dembski, Marks, Berlinski, Gonzalez, Behe, etc are sincerely seeking the truth. That may be difficult for some of you to accept, but they weren't anywhere close to the fundamentalist bogeymen they're often made out to be.

And do you teach your kids that ID is science, Kevin?  Do you teach them that Darwin caused the Holocaust?

My kids are still pretty young, so at this point I'm merely trying to introduce them to the wonders of the natural world. How will that change when they get older? Rather than shove any particular theory down their throats, I hope to teach them how to think critically about the various options that are out there and then make up their own minds. But I also want to encourage them that life is about constant change and growth, so they should be wary of locking themselves down to one position for all of time.

Date: 2008/02/26 15:08:48, Link
Author: kevinmillerxi
I forgot to address the Holocaust. No, I won't teach my kids that Darwin initiated the Holocaust, because that is patently untrue. However, I won't shy away from explaining how social Darwinism and the science of eugenics--which was founded by Darwin's cousin Francis Galton as an attempt to apply Darwin's theory on a social level--were contributing factors to Hitler's views on race.

Date: 2008/02/26 15:25:30, Link
Author: kevinmillerxi
Annyday: I'm sorry I neglected to respond to your points. If you want to make a list of questions you'd like me to answer, I'll do my best.

Date: 2008/02/26 15:40:35, Link
Author: kevinmillerxi
Thanks, Chris. I actually do have a number of questions. I'll come back later.

Date: 2008/02/27 10:40:27, Link
Author: kevinmillerxi
Okay, here’s a question with an unfortunately long lead-up: The way I see it, one reason ID is so controversial is that it argues mind precedes matter in the form of a creative intelligence; whereas classic evolutionary theory says that mind is a product of matter. Intelligence is one of the last things to appear on the scene.

But when confronted with the question of how life began, many evolutionary theorists allow that perhaps Panspermia had something to do with it. This theory is broadly accepted as a scientific possibility even though it also posits that mind came first and matter—at least the highly organized arrangements of matter we call living things—second.

So my question is, why is one theory so controversial and the other not? What if you stripped away all of the religious and political baggage from ID? Would the theory be more acceptible then? And wouldn’t ID and Panspermia become nearly indistinguishable? After all, both argue that perhaps the best possibility for explaining how life began is a higher intelligence that seeded it on earth. We can argue all day about what the nature of that intelligence really is. But that’s beside the main point: Do we need intelligence to explain things like the origin and diversity of life or not? Classical evolution says no, ID and Panspermia say yes. Two different answers to the same question. I fail to see how one answer is scientific and the other not. That being said, I’m sure someone is going to go off about the scientific method and how the IDers aren’t serious scientists, that they’re a bunch of liars, etc. But once again, that’s beside the point. Never mind their methods or their ethics. Is the question the ID community is asking scientific or not?

Date: 2008/02/27 10:46:55, Link
Author: kevinmillerxi
You're dodging the question, oldman. You know as well as I do that evolutionary theory is supposed to explain the origin AND diversity of life. How about attempting a serious answer?

Date: 2008/02/27 10:48:04, Link
Author: kevinmillerxi
How has the theory of Panspermia proved its usefulness?

Date: 2008/02/27 10:49:05, Link
Author: kevinmillerxi
BTW: You're also shifting your ground. First you said evolutionary theory has nothing to say about the origin of life and then you turn around and say the theory of Panspermia is useful. Which is it?

Date: 2008/02/27 10:54:00, Link
Author: kevinmillerxi
Albatrossity: How is Panspermia consistent with the evidence? And exactly what evidence are you talking about? As for what the real question is, I'm accepting Mr. Christopher's invitation to ask questions today rather than answering them. As for your question, if you were really serious about finding an answer, a five-minute web search would give you more than enough information.

Oldman: You're dodging the question again. Is the question the IDers are asking scientific or not?

Date: 2008/02/27 11:03:48, Link
Author: kevinmillerxi
"Is it supposed to?
I always understood them to be 2 separate things." (Sorry, haven't figured out the quote function yet.)

From reading people like Dawkins, Dennett, Stenger, Darwin, and others, evolutionary theory most definitely includes the origin and diversity of life.

I think you ask a very telling question here: What difference does the origin of life make to current evolutionary theory about the diversity of life? (I'm summarizing.) There are two ways to answer that question. First, if it makes no difference (as you seem to be saying) then what's all the fuss about ID? Second, I think it would make a huge difference. If we look at a cancer cell as nothing but a highly successful Darwinian accident, that assumption will affect how we attempt to combat it. But if we can assume it was designed, we can reverse-engineer the cancer cell and potentially develop much more effective ways of defeating it's internal programming. Not the best example, perhaps, b/c I'm sure someone is going to turn around and say, "How could a good God design cancer?" But that's a philosophical question about the nature of God, not a scientific one.

Date: 2008/02/27 11:05:45, Link
Author: kevinmillerxi
I'm sorry these guys are confused, Carlsonjok, but if you go back to my original question, what I'm asking is, why is panspermia considered scientific and ID is not. I think I made it pretty clear there.

Date: 2008/02/27 11:08:09, Link
Author: kevinmillerxi
Erasmus: You can't be serious in saying evolutionary theory has nothing to say about the origin of life. Have you ever read "The Blind Watchmaker?" "Darwin's Dangerous Idea"?

Date: 2008/02/27 11:10:55, Link
Author: kevinmillerxi
oldman said, "Very well. Then do you have any examples of how presuming design helps understand how do defeat such things? Or are we still only at the talking about stage? No lab work as yet? If not, how long will it take?"

I think this is a good question. Unfortunately, I'm not a scientist so I can't wheel out a stack of journal articles or anything like that. But I can say that several scientists we talked to in our film--especially cell biologists--are finding the assumption of design quite useful in their work. And I don't mean useful in terms of creating a grand explanation for life. Merely in their day to day lab work.

Date: 2008/02/27 11:13:45, Link
Author: kevinmillerxi
Carlsonjok said, "To the extent that panspermia is a legitimate scientific question (and I am not necessarily convinced it is*), it would be so because it makes no untestable appeals to supernatural intervention."

But neither does ID!

That's not to say people don't hijack the theory to extrapolate to some sort of supernatural intelligence. But as I said in the lead up to my question, the nature of the supposed intelligence is beside the point. The question is, do we need to posit some sort of intelligence for the origin of life or not? I've yet to hear anyone attempt a full frontal answer to that question.

Date: 2008/02/27 11:20:35, Link
Author: kevinmillerxi
Now we're getting somewhere. Thanks, Lawnboy. I'll concede your first point--sort of. Certain versions of Panspermia don't require an external intelligence, but others do. Apart from that though, I agree that the best Panspermia can ever be is a hypothesis, because it doesn't answer the ultimate question of how life originated in the universe, just how it originated on earth.

As to your second point, I'm trying to cut away the religious and political baggage attached to this issue and focus on the scientific questions.

Date: 2008/03/22 02:02:20, Link
Author: kevinmillerxi
Writer of Expelled repents!! Read about it here: www.kevinmillerxi.com.

Date: 2008/03/23 11:54:27, Link
Author: kevinmillerxi
Hey Richard: As I said on my blog, as a documentary filmmaker, I'm under no obligation to be objective. As a journalist supposedly reporting the news for a major daily, Cornelia Hunter is.

Date: 2008/03/23 12:42:43, Link
Author: kevinmillerxi
Oh wow, you caught me, guys. Pants down and on fire! Anything to avoid the real issue I guess.

Date: 2008/03/23 14:17:18, Link
Author: kevinmillerxi
The "real" issue, or at least the one were talking about at the time, was journalistic integrity. But you know, maybe I'm being too hard on Ms. Dean. Perhaps objectivity is like certainty--unattainable.

Date: 2008/03/23 17:56:01, Link
Author: kevinmillerxi
Reed: Have answered your question on my blog. Added 2 my original post.

Date: 2008/04/03 10:33:50, Link
Author: kevinmillerxi
re: post 1582

Sorry Kristene, your question kind of got lost in the shuffle. It's pretty easy to answer though, especially if you read the article that accompanied the photo. Have you ever heard the saying, "The enemy of my enemy is my friend?" That's what you're seeing in that picture of Ben Stein and Ken Ham. As Ken makes pretty clear in his review of the film, his group has some serious reservations about Intelligent Design. But he recognizes that both ID and Creation Science (which he sees as two distinct movements, something few people on the other side of this debate have been able to do) face a common enemy in academic suppression. So he has decided to endorse Expelled on that basis.

Date: 2008/04/03 11:16:11, Link
Author: kevinmillerxi
Arden: Have you been to my blog lately? There's no running away there. Just because I don't have time to hang around here and debate things ad nauseum does not mean I'm unwilling or afraid to answer direct questions. Just to prove my point, I'll answer a few of yours.

Out of curiosity, how old do you think the earth is, and do you believe common descent?

I don't think the age of the earth is a matter of belief. I think it's a matter of examining the evidence and then coming to a conclusion based on those facts. And to the best of my knowledge, the evidence points to the earth being approximately four billion years old. So I'm going with that until people who know more about such things begin to suspect otherwise. I realize people like Ken Hamm dispute such a position, but to be honest, I haven't really taken a good look at the evidence he presents in support of his argument. Probably because I've just assumed that belief in a young earth is untenable in light of all we know about geology, cosmology, etc. But perhaps that merely reveals a blind spot in my own thinking. I've concluded that they're wrong before I've really listened to their arguments or their evidence.

I'm pretty much in the same boat for common descent. Right now, the evidence seems to point in that direction. And I think common descent is consistent with both Intelligent Design and Neo-Darwinism. However, I realize more and more people are proposing multiple common ancestors rather than a single common ancestor. So I'm interested to learn more about that.

And do you think it's a bad thing that creationism is not taught in (real) colleges?

I'm not sure if you actually want me to answer this question, seeing as it seems completely facetious. (It's also framed poorly, in a double negative.) But as I've stated elsewhere, I am not in favor of teaching Creationism or Intelligent Design in science class. That's not what this is about for me. It's about allowing scientists to follow the evidence wherever it leads.

Date: 2008/04/04 20:06:04, Link
Author: kevinmillerxi
i think wesley et al misunderstood my meaning. see my latest comment on the "everyone who disagrees with me is stupid' post on my blog.

Date: 2008/04/05 01:35:57, Link
Author: kevinmillerxi
Wesley: You could probably have saved yourself a lot of time (and a lot of words) by simply saying, "I'm going with the majority." But you of all people should know that consensus science is like patriotrism--the last refuge of a scoundrel.

By your logic, it was right for Galileo to be persecuted for his views, because the overwhelming majority of astronomers were certain that geocentrism was right and heliocentrism was wrong. The evidence was just so overwhelmingly obvious.  The same goes for virtually any other scientist that revolutionized his discipline.

On a related note, on my blog, Kristene said, "Try this on for size: It is absolutely safe to say that if you meet someone who claims not to believe in heliocentrism, that person is ignorant, stupid or insane (or wicked, but I'd rather not consider that.)"

I think she believes this refutes my point. But she's merely proven it instead. Prior to Copernicus, no one would have agreed with her statement, even though they were studying the same body of evidence that led Copernicus to conclude that the earth orbited the sun and not the other way around. Heliocentrism was just so obviously wrong. Wrong, because even though people were examining the same data as you, they brought a completely different worldview to their study and completely different methods, which led them to completely different conclusions.

So, as I said earlier, just because something seems obviously true to you does not mean that it is. Who knows when new information will shed new light on our observations? Isn't that what science is about? Looking for new information so we can understand the world better? Or is it merely about confirmning our pre-existing dispositions?

Date: 2008/04/05 01:37:26, Link
Author: kevinmillerxi
Who made our animation? Some nondescript place with no sign called "Plagermation." Seemed legitimate to me...

Date: 2008/04/06 02:26:09, Link
Author: kevinmillerxi
Once again, like a good reductionist, Wesley misses the forest for the trees. Despite his apparent fisking of my post, all he really did was throw up a lot of smoke in order to avoid my main argument, which is that no one approaches the evidence as a blank slate. All of us interpret the evidence through a different worldview. What is clearly evident to one person is not so to the next. Why? Because we all bring something different to the data. Are you denying this, Wesley? Because if you are, why aren't we in agreement on this matter?

Date: 2008/04/07 12:49:10, Link
Author: kevinmillerxi
Hey Wes: For the record, I'm not ticked off with you. If you'll notice, I also put myself (and all other Kevin Millers on imdb) into the mofo category. It's a tongue in cheek thing. I may not agree with a lot of what people like Christopher Hitchens, Richard Dawkins or PZ Myers have to say, but I still admire their chutzpah, and I’d gladly have a beer with them (and you) any time. So wear it as a badge of honor. I'm just trying to have a little fun here.

As for your responses to my statements, despite appearances to the contrary, I'm not coming into this discussion with the assumption, "Everything Wes Elsberry says is wrong." I am listening, and pondering. And I am open to revising my views in light of new and better information. So you'll have to excuse me if I don't dive into a line-by-line response to your posts right away. It’s not an admission of defeat. I just need time to process the various arguments. (Plus, it's been a busy weekend, we have a new baby in the house, and I'm just plain tired.) But even if it turns out that everything you’ve said is right and everything I’ve said is wrong, I’m okay with that, because for me, this has never been about winning or losing. It's about learning. The only thing that really matters to me is getting at the truth, because the truth benefits everyone no matter what side of the debate they’re on. Contrary to how some critics have depicted the film, Expelled is not about promoting a singular point of view, namely, Intelligent Design. It’s about ensuring that all points of view receive a fair and adequate hearing. We made this film because we had good reason to believe that this was not the case with ID, and I stand by that assertion. In addition, my hope is that the film will prompt people on all sides of the issue to engage with one another. Because what I've observed over the past two years is complete polarization. The various camps sit in their respective corners cackling about how stupid the other guys are, but they rarely talk to each other—except to hurl insults. Very few people engaged in this debate seem open to an honest pursuit of the truth. Most are more interested in scoring debating points, looking clever, and promoting their own agenda.

So what I’m trying to do both here and on my blog is engage. In the process, I may say some things that come off as stupid, ignorant or inflammatory. I may hurl a few insults from time to time, and I may needle a few people who need to be needled. After all, I’m only human. But the learning process is often messy and confused. So you’ll have to excuse me if I cack up the joint from time to time.

In light of the above, I do want to ask Wes (and anyone else who cares to respond) a couple of questions:

1) How does science distinguish between a paradigm problem and a research problem? In other words, when a researcher encounters an anomaly, how does he/she determine whether the anomaly is a result of a problem with the data rather than a problem with the theory under which the data is being examined?

2) I understand that you're a Christian, Wes. And yet I get the sense that you believe divine influence is not something that should be factored into your study of the natural world. Fair enough. So my question is, if God doesn't influence the world through natural processes, such as evolution, how does he engage with nature? For example, I assume that you pray. How does God answer your prayers? Does he do so in any scientifically detectable way? Or do you take the Ken Miller approach and say he influences things on the quantum level in a way that we are unable to observe?

Date: 2008/04/07 13:10:42, Link
Author: kevinmillerxi
Here's my response, Arden: I was involved in writing the film, not marketing it. The decisions about who does and who doesn't get to see a pre-screening of the film are entirely in the hands of our producers and our marketing team. If you sincerely want an answer to your question, I suggest you contact Motive Marketing or Premise Media.

Date: 2008/04/07 13:15:06, Link
Author: kevinmillerxi
JohnW: Like it or not, Hitler was influenced by Darwinian science and philosophy. So it's not about scoring points, looking clever or promoting an agenda. It's about setting the record straight. Whether Hitler hijacked Darwinian science for his own purposes or merely followed it to its logical ethical conclusions is a matter of debate. As I've said elsewhere, Expelled didn't invent these arguments. So if you want to quibble over them, I direct you to the people who make them in our film.

Date: 2008/04/07 13:28:44, Link
Author: kevinmillerxi
JohnW said, "If you're claiming that Darwinian science and philosophy was the primary, or even a major, influence on his ideas, I'd like to see some evidence."

I'd highly recommend you read Richard Weikart's book, "From Darwin to Hitler." In it, Weikart presents loads of evidence that Darwinian science had a significant influence on Hitler.

"And on a related note, what are the "logical ethical conclusions" of Darwinian science?"

Essentially, that humans are not qualitatively different from any other animal, that ethics and morals only exist in the human mind, that they are merely evolutionary adaptations as opposed to universal truths, etc. Weikart goes into full detail on this in his book as well.

Date: 2008/04/07 13:38:17, Link
Author: kevinmillerxi
Carlsonjok: I'm not trying to duck a bullet here; you are. I believe Weikart's arguments linking Darwinian science to Hitler's ethics are credible. Rather than stand and mock, study them for yourself and then offer a reasoned response.

Date: 2008/04/07 13:43:12, Link
Author: kevinmillerxi
Louis said, "I wonder if Kevin knows how much Hitler was influenced by christianity, and just how irrelevant to the factual accuracy of either evolutionary biology or christianity such "arguments" are."

I'm fully aware of how Hitler was influenced by christianity, enough to know that he fully rejected Christian ethics as weak and unnatural. His overriding ethic was that only the strongest should be allowed to survive. That was the rule of nature, so we should do everything possible to help evolution along. How does this bear on the factual accuracy of evolutionary biology? Not at all. But evolutionary biology has never been just about the science. Why else would there be such a heated debate over it? All scientific theories and philosophies have consequences, intended or otherwise. So you can't just pretend like the connection doesn't exist. Hitler isn't the only one to pick up on the ethical implications of Darwinism. They were evident to Darwin himself and everyone else who initially heard his theory.

Date: 2008/04/07 13:48:52, Link
Author: kevinmillerxi
JohnW: I understand your skepticism re: Weikart. I was skeptical when I picked up the book as well. And Weikart, himself, was skeptical when he started down the road to researching the topic. And in no way does he draw a direct line from Darwin to Hitler or say that Darwinian science was the defining influence on Hitler's ethics. Hitler's influences are complicated and difficult to trace, but there's no doubt that Darwinian science was a significant factor. Just where or how he imbibed these ideas is still not quite clear. The book is well researched and well substantiated by quotes from original sources as well as other scholarly works on the topic. This is not a shrill tome that's bent on proving Wiekart's thesis no matter what. I do believe it is a fair and balanced treatment of the evidence.

Date: 2008/04/07 13:54:35, Link
Author: kevinmillerxi
Carlsonjok said, "Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to explain why the integration of overtly Christian language into Hitler's speeches and writings should be held to a different standard to the far more scattered and oblique references to evolution.  For bonus points, explain away the influence of the virulently anti-semitic Martin Luther."

I'm not saying they should be held to a different standard. I'm saying exactly the opposite. Just as Christians can't gloss over the fact that Hitler used elements of Christianity to justify his actions, neither can proponents of Darwinian evolution gloss over the fact that Hitler did the same with this theory. As for Luther's influence on Hitler's anti-semitism, there's no need to explain it away. It's patently clear. No one is saying Darwinian science inspired Hitler's anti-semitism, he just used it to provide a scientific justification for what he believed.

Date: 2008/04/07 14:01:11, Link
Author: kevinmillerxi
Venus: Thanks for taking my questions seriously. I have a question about your second response:

You said, "There isn't anything to stop God throwing lightning bolts or inseminating women. Science doesn't rule that out - it just says we can't study it, because we can't repeat observations. You have mixed up 'science cannot describe this' with 'this does not happen'. No one says science explains everything. It doesn't."

Actually, lots of people say science explains everything. That's why we have no need for God. But that's beside the point. If God does influence this world, is this influence measureable in any scientific way? If not, how can it be detected? I'm really interested to hear from anyone who approaches this from a theistic position.

Date: 2008/04/07 14:03:05, Link
Author: kevinmillerxi
Rich: Whether or not Hitler ever mentioned Darwin is completely beside the point. His writings and speeches are rife with Darwinian language and ideas.

Date: 2008/04/07 14:33:44, Link
Author: kevinmillerxi
Albatrossity said, "But none of them are scientists; most of them are religionists like yourself, with a minimal yet twisted concept of what science is all about."

Is this how you would describe PZ Myers, Richard Dawkins, Will Provine and Eugenie Scott?

Date: 2008/04/07 14:36:28, Link
Author: kevinmillerxi
Thank you for the links, Wes. I will definitely have a look.

Date: 2008/04/07 14:37:21, Link
Author: kevinmillerxi
Rich: Always with the question-dodging.

Date: 2008/06/21 22:33:44, Link
Author: kevinmillerxi
Let's play nice now, Richard. You're blatantly misrepresenting my new editorial policy. As I've clearly stated on my blog more than once, I am merely deleting all off-topic comments and blatant thread hijacks. It has nothing to do with whether or not I like the content of your comment and everything to do with whether or not you are behaving like an asshole. As you'll note on my blog, I am still allowing all sorts of derogatory material through. In fact, I have not deleted a single comment since commencing my policy--during which I deleted several thread hijacks. In fact, even your latest comment got through.

Date: 2008/06/22 00:41:01, Link
Author: kevinmillerxi
As I said on my blog, Rich, you're right. All scientists want science to remain on topic, including those who support Intelligent Design. Thanks for pointing that out.

As for you, Doc Bill, sounds like I touched a nerve. Ouch!

Date: 2008/06/22 10:51:33, Link
Author: kevinmillerxi
ERV: Now you're sounding just like George Bush. Are you going to accuse me of being part of Al Qaeda next?

Date: 2008/06/22 10:52:08, Link
Author: kevinmillerxi
Here's your substantiation, Rich: http://scienceblogs.com/pharyng....ink.php

Date: 2008/06/22 16:32:38, Link
Author: kevinmillerxi
Congrats, Rich. You've just demonstrated your ability for selective reading once again. Try this PZ quote on for size, from the same article: "As I was puzzling over how to answer such an odd question, I realized why I thought it was odd. The scientist and atheist positions are the same. It doesn't matter which hat I'm wearing, the answers won't change."

Date: 2008/06/22 19:36:15, Link
Author: kevinmillerxi
Rich: You're like the last little pig, always running "wee wee wee" all the way home. If you want to engage me on my blog, fine. But I'm not going to run back and forth between there and here with you anymore. And I'm definitely not going to help you promote ATBC on my blog.

As for my point about PZ, he'd be the last one to deny that he's conflating atheism and science. In fact, he encourages such behavior. So you're fighting a losing battle, Rich--again.

Date: 2008/06/22 19:48:45, Link
Author: kevinmillerxi
ERV: You called me a retard? I thought elementary school was out for the year.

Date: 2008/06/23 09:59:38, Link
Author: kevinmillerxi
still crying all the way home, rich? i haven't deleted a single comment of yours, and yet you continue to act as if I have. What gives? Is it the fact that I've proven you--and the rest of this crew--wrong yet again on my blog?

Date: 2008/06/23 11:21:25, Link
Author: kevinmillerxi
Rich: I'm confused. Which discovery institute fellow gave me which book? Produce some evidence or stop it with the bald assertions. I assume you are bald, btw, that's why you wear the tard hat.

Date: 2008/10/07 18:01:52, Link
Author: kevinmillerxi
Hey folks, I'm sure you've missed me these past few months. I've definitely missed you. Just wanted to remind you to mark Oct. 21 on your calendar, because that's the day you'll be able to pick up your very own copy of "Expelled" on DVD.

Date: 2008/11/27 10:41:43, Link
Author: kevinmillerxi
Hey folks: You may enjoy this little interview  I did after an Expelled screening recently: <a href="[URL=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2I2SEkbQfR0" target="_blank">interview</a>]interview[/URL]

Date: 2009/01/10 13:40:25, Link
Author: kevinmillerxi
Hey, we can all be selective readers. Check out the hundreds of satisfied customers on Amazon.com. Winge away, but there is more than one school of thought on Expelled.

Speaking of which, if you hated Expelled, you're going to love my latest film:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uffWtjtXQb4

Date: 2009/01/11 11:19:44, Link
Author: kevinmillerxi
Louis: I never figured you to be prone to such wild flights of fancy. Do you seriously think someone would go to the extent of creating hundreds of fake accounts on Amazon and then review books and movies for months and years beforehand just so that when Expelled came out we could give it a positive review? Give me a break. I really expected more from you. Even a brief glance at the evidence would show you're off your rocker.

As far as I can see, the only real conspiracy on Amazon was PZ Myers and his little pack of Darbots running over to slag the film as soon as the DVD was announced. But they were quickly overwhelmed by those who had actually seen the film--and liked it.

Tsk Tsk. I know it's hard to take, Louis, and that your admittedly agile mind is scrambling to find some way--any way--to explain away the obvious data. Life would be so simple if we could simply write off everyone who disagrees with us as stupid or ignorant. But even though that may be true in a few cases, applying such a theory on a broad scale runs smack into the *overwhelming* contrary evidence. If you care about evidence, that is, not just the little snippets of data that support your dark, binary view of the world.

As for you, dnmlthr, the only thing sad here is a group of miscreants winging away for months and months on a discussion thread about a film they hated. In the words of William Shatner, "Get a life!"

Date: 2009/01/11 11:48:21, Link
Author: kevinmillerxi
just provin my point here albatrossity, just sayin...

Date: 2009/01/13 21:34:38, Link
Author: kevinmillerxi
Hate to burst your little bubble, ERV, but Edmondson was as much a part of the Premise team as anyone. He worked out of the Premise office, he was on the Premise payroll, "Beware the Believers" was overseen by the same producers as Expelled. I was responsible for bringing Matt Chandler onto the project as writer, and I even did the research and wrote the original scripts on which the rap was based. So if you love Edmondson, you kind of have to love the entire Premise team--including me. :)

Date: 2009/01/15 21:34:33, Link
Author: kevinmillerxi
Louis,

If you insist on bringing up the Nazis, at least get your analogy straight. What I said about Edmondson is more akin to: "If you love Leni Reifenstahl, you kind of have to love the entire Third Reich--including Hitler." (Not that I'm equating Edmondson to Reifenstahl, Premise to the Third Reich, or me to Hitler)

Does the starkly fallacious nature of your {ahem} "logic" stand out at [sic] you yet?

Dumb, unthinking and misguidedly smug--sounds like a bad case of projection, Louis.

As for me being a troll, you've devoted an entire thread to tearing apart Expelled and assasinating the character of everyone involved. If I'm a troll, what does that make you guys? I consider myself more of an honored guest.


K

Date: 2009/01/17 11:07:14, Link
Author: kevinmillerxi
Quantity over quality, hey Louis? I guess when you’re wrong; barking really loud will fool most of the folks most of the time. Right J-dog? "Yeah, Louis. You're so cool. I really loved it when you said..."

Keep it at the third grade level, keep playing to the peanut gallery, and who knows? Maybe Kristine might honor you with a shimmy (shudder at the thought). But wouldn't it be simpler to admit that your Germany/Nazi analogy was inaccurate and that anonymous character assassination is your forte? And now you're bragging about pirating a copy of Expelled? You're turning out to be a real class act, Louis. I'm glad at least SOMEONE is standing up there on the moral high ground...

Date: 2009/01/17 15:00:20, Link
Author: kevinmillerxi
Doc Bill:

You're right, there's a lot of character being revealed in this thread--yours included. But you do raise an interesting question: Why do I keep coming back here? I was asking myself the same thing last night. I guess it comes down to three things:

1) Plain, old curiosity. I don't know you people, so I'm not overly concerned with what you think about me or Expelled (I have my own thoughts on both subjects), but I'm always open to criticism (and some of what I've read here is certainly valid), and frankly, I'm always curious to hear what some of you will come up with next.

2) I love a challenge, and a few of you definitely provide that.

3) Something that really irked me during the time I worked on Expelled was the fact that people who occupied the various sides of this debate were more interested in hunkering down in their chosen corner and talking ABOUT the people who disagreed with them rather than actually trying to engage the other side(s). I identified this thread as one of those places where people were hunkering down, so I thought I'd crash the party. I realize that's never going to get me voted Mr. Popularity, but at least it gives me the satisfaction of knowing I'm not one of those people.

That said, there's only so many times we can go around the same Mulberry bush. So perhaps it's time I brought my sojourn here to an end. All in favor?

Date: 2009/07/20 15:30:39, Link
Author: kevinmillerxi
Long time no heckle, guys. Just wanted to alert you to the next film you should be concerned about: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1UjVYnhhnm0

Date: 2011/03/22 12:01:27, Link
Author: kevinmillerxi
Anyone still read this thread? If so, you may be interested in this: http://www.prlog.org/1138384....en.html

Date: 2011/03/22 16:03:08, Link
Author: kevinmillerxi
Looking for recommendations from you re: the best atheists and agnostics to interview for this film. For the record, this is not "Expelled II." I promise to play fair.

Date: 2011/03/23 10:27:01, Link
Author: kevinmillerxi
Yes, I do know you're a Christian, Wesley. That's one of the reasons why I'd like to talk to you.

Date: 2011/03/23 10:35:05, Link
Author: kevinmillerxi
Louis: Can't say I've missed your penchant for unfettered character assassination. But whatever gets you out of bed in the morning...

As for trust, I'm willing to work out a deal with whomever I interview where they have access to the uncut interview so they can post their own version of events if they object to how they are portrayed in the film. Not that I have any interest in interviewing you, Louis. Just posting this for general consumption.

Also, the reason I put a shout-out here--in addition to approaching some individuals directly--is b/c I know there are people on this board who have rejected Christianity and (subsequently) hell (and all religion) outright. So I thought you folks would be in a good position to recommend some potential interview subjects of whom I may not be aware.

Date: 2011/03/23 10:45:47, Link
Author: kevinmillerxi
Yes, I realize that, Rich. Thanks.

Date: 2011/03/23 11:39:35, Link
Author: kevinmillerxi
Seems I'm not allowed to start a new thread, so go ahead, Richard.

Date: 2011/03/24 00:31:58, Link
Author: kevinmillerxi
Thanks for setting this up, Richard. Framing questions to come.

Date: 2011/03/24 10:15:49, Link
Author: kevinmillerxi
Kristine, Robin, thanks for your feedback. Especially this:  
Quote
It has not made people more moral, this fear, but it has given people a new weapon with which to demonize their enemies. Say what you want about Richard Dawkins or PZ or me, but none of us believes that there is a hell waiting for anyone that we do not like.
This is one of the key areas I want to get into, the psychological function of hell as a way of enforcing boundaries/simplifying the world. Question is, can someone recommend someone a good authority on the psychology of religion?

Date: 2011/03/24 10:17:55, Link
Author: kevinmillerxi
OgreMkV: I find it laughable that you would quote J-Dog and then ask if  I'm going to discuss this subject in an adult manner. Clearly discussing things in an adult manner isn't a requirement to be part of this group. But to answer your question simply, yes. I don't need two millstones around my neck.

Date: 2011/03/24 13:33:24, Link
Author: kevinmillerxi
Thanks for the tip, J-Dog (re: Pastor expelled for doubting hell). I knew I came to the right place.

Date: 2011/03/24 13:38:42, Link
Author: kevinmillerxi
As far as this argument goes:
Quote
To me, something like The God Delusion  is a really good challenge to think through what I believe in and why do I believe it, and ask myself the big questions. Essentially, if Dawkins is right, the very tool he used to form his argument, which is reason, we have absolutely no reason to trust the outcome of. So his argument has destroyed the tool he used to create the argument. So it’s nonsensical.
I've heard plenty of you mock it, but no one refute it.

Date: 2011/03/25 00:52:52, Link
Author: kevinmillerxi
My thought process: If what we refer to as reason is nothing but the product of chance + necessity, then the outcome of our reasoning process couldn't be anything more than the same--a product of chance plus necessity. Therefore, the things we refer to as thoughts and arguments are of no more consequence than than the process in our body that manufactures insulin. I'm not saying that's how I think. I just see it as the logical consequence of an atheistic point of view. Put another way: If chance + necessity are the only forces at work in the universe shaping life and everything else we see around us (another way of saying random mutation plus natural selection), you can't sneak anything else in and pretend that the thoughts in your brain are a product of anything that would give them significance beyond what you ascribe to them. So why give credence to them? Why feel passionately about them?

I guess my point is, I hear a lot of people espousing an atheistic point of view but very people actually living out the logical consequences of that point of view. Even Will Provine, who has done as good a job as any of following things through to their logical conclusions, does not seem to live according to his espoused worldview.

But I'm off topic. This thread is supposed to be about hell.

Date: 2011/06/23 15:31:21, Link
Author: kevinmillerxi
Two new docs for you guys to check out:

http://www.facebook.com/pages/SpOILed-The-Movie/216288371729865

http://www.facebook.com/sexandmoneyfilm

Date: 2011/06/23 21:35:03, Link
Author: kevinmillerxi
Before you get too giddy: "The Picture may be subject to certain distribution and manufacturing rights held by Vivendi Entertainment. Vivendi Entertainment maintains an inventory of manufactured compact discs and has continued to distribute the Picture for the benefit of the bankruptcy estate of Premise Media Distribution, L.P."

Date: 2011/06/23 21:55:28, Link
Author: kevinmillerxi
I don't think you understand. Whoever gains the rights to those archives will likely have to abide by the current distribution deal with Vivendi.

Date: 2011/06/24 18:04:52, Link
Author: kevinmillerxi
Your suspicion/paranoia about what you will find is laughable, Kristine. Prepare to be massively disappointed with the lack of scandal. I have all of the interview transcripts on my computer, and I would gladly make them available online if they were actually my property. Nothing at all to hide.

Date: 2011/06/25 10:30:03, Link
Author: kevinmillerxi
I seem to have mistakenly touched a nerve, Kristine. I was simply trying to save you money. There's really no there there. I fail to see anything strident in my comment.

That said, it does strike me as rather odd to see all of you obsessing over gaining access to this film. If Expelled truly is an inconsequential piece of horseshit, I fail to see why it's so important to gain access to the archives. I can't imagine how pathetically you would view Christians who set about to do the same if they had the chance to get their hands on the original drafts, notes, etc. behind Richard Dawkins' "The God Delusion," for instance. The book was a full frontal attack on religion. But it's arguments were so easily defeated that its relevance (and perceived threat to theism) quickly faded from view. I defy you to find a group of theists hunkered down in a shady corner of the internet talking about it right now. And I can hardly conceive of a group of Christians gleefully plotting to gain control of the rights so they could publish their own annotated version of the book. And if they did, I can hear you people mocking them mercilessly. And it would be well deserved, b/c it would be a pathetic form of behavior fear-based behavior. It would also be extremely telling in terms of the perceived threat "The God Delusion" represented. The fact that you're still hunkered down over here chortling about "Expelled" three years later, full of vitriol and immediately defensive at the slightest criticism of your behavior is the most telling of all. Just an observation.

Date: 2011/06/25 12:07:35, Link
Author: kevinmillerxi
You haven't addressed my "shoe on the other foot" analogy, Kristine. And I'm sorry, your attempt at dispassionate interest in archiving the material fails to convince. This is all about vindictiveness. And I don't mean to single you out in that. Let's just call a spade a spade.

Date: 2011/06/28 10:11:01, Link
Author: kevinmillerxi
I think L. Susskind needs to read Thomas Kuhn.

Date: 2011/06/28 10:27:27, Link
Author: kevinmillerxi
Not exactly a well reasoned response, but not unexpected, either.

Date: 2011/06/28 10:31:58, Link
Author: kevinmillerxi
I love it. Thanks, Richard.

Date: 2011/06/28 10:38:57, Link
Author: kevinmillerxi
If Susskind has read Kuhn, then I'd like to hear him justify his analogy in light of the relationship Kuhn draws between science and philosophy, b/c I would call Susskind's statement is a gross oversimplification.

Date: 2011/06/28 10:47:14, Link
Author: kevinmillerxi
What I'm saying is that the relationship between science and philosophy isn't uni-directional like a cart pulling a horse. I would liken it more to two oxen attached to the same yoke. Sometimes they pull together, sometimes they pull against each other. Sometimes one leads and the other follows, and then it switches again. There's far more interplay going on that Susskind acknowledges in that (admittedly) brief quote (the context of which I'm unaware).

Date: 2011/06/28 18:13:57, Link
Author: kevinmillerxi
Quote (kevinmillerxi @ June 28 2011,10:27)
Not exactly a well reasoned response, but not unexpected, either.

Sorry, Kristine, I was actually referring to Dr. GH. You don't get under my skin at all.

Date: 2011/11/12 23:43:18, Link
Author: kevinmillerxi
Thought I'd let you folks know we just wrapped principal photography on "Hellbound?" You can read all about it here.

You may also want to check out my other two docs that are currently in release: spOILed and Sex+Money.

Date: 2012/01/27 16:41:23, Link
Author: kevinmillerxi
Thought you guys may want to see some of our latest imagery for Hellbound?

Date: 2012/03/21 10:33:58, Link
Author: kevinmillerxi
We've just released our new teaser trailer and web site for the film. Check it out: http://www.hellboundthemovie.com/press-r....release

Date: 2012/09/07 09:28:53, Link
Author: kevinmillerxi
A quick note to say "Hellbound?" is doing a sneak preview in Nashville on Sept. 12 and then opening in NYC, Dallas and Minneapolis on Sept. 21. See all of the details here: http://hellboundthemovie.com./....ie.com.

 

 

 

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