April 20, 2008


Ben Stein Exposes Richard Dawkins (Dinesh D'Souza, Apr 18th 2008, AOL News)

And this is precisely the suggestion that Richard Dawkins makes in his response to Ben Stein. Perhaps, he notes, life was delivered to our planet by highly-evolved aliens. Let's call this the "ET" explanation.

Stein brilliantly responds that he had no idea Richard Dawkins belives in intelligent design! And indeed Dawkins does seem to be saying that alien intelligence is responsible for life arriving on earth. What are we to make of this? Basically Dawkins is surrendering on the claim that evolution can account for the origins of life. It can't. The issue now is simply whether a natural intelligence (ET) or a supernatural intelligence (God) created life. Dawkins can't bear the supernatural explanation and so he opts for ET.

Intelligent Critique : Expelled adroitly addresses the dogmaticism of Darwinian theory in the scientific world (Dave Berg, 4/18/08, National Review)
The highlight of the film features Ben Stein interviewing Dawkins, who concedes that an intelligent being may have created life on earth. But that being cannot be “God.” Instead, he suggests it may be an alien, itself a product of “Darwinian evolution.” Oh, the scientific imagination — there’s nothing like it on God’s green earth.

Dawkins has since complained that the interview was set up under false pretenses, and that he didn’t even know who Stein was. It is rather astonishing that it did not occur to the world’s smartest atheist to look up Ben Stein on the Internet, where he might have readily discovered numerous examples of his writings that are critical of Darwinism.

Dawkins dismisses the Emmy-winning actor as having “no talent for comedy.” He believes during the interview Stein is an “honestly stupid man, sincerely seeking enlightenment from a scientist.” A lawyer, a law professor, an economist, and a speechwriter for both Nixon and Ford, Stein hardly seems to fit the description “honestly stupid.”

In the end, the film isn’t really about intelligent design as much as about a relentless attack on an authentically free inquiry. As Ben Stein points out, “Freedom of inquiry has been greatly compromised, and this is not only anti-American, it’s anti-science. It’s anti-the whole concept of learning.”

Posted by Orrin Judd at April 20, 2008 8:46 AM

Fuzzy use of words.

Pray tell, do we term it "intelligent design" when a squirrel buries an acorn which then grows into an oak tree?

Of course not. We recognize that squirrels are part of the environment of the oak tree. Sometimes the squirrel serves as an adverse evolutionary stress; sometimes the squirrel becomes a helpful vector facilitating oak tree reproduction.

Now, if the data point to a non-random evolution of oak trees in the direction to a point of taking advantage of squirrels, then we have an indication of intelligent design.

In like manner Dawkins' space aliens are not "intelligent designers" of life, but merely helpful vectors, themselves part of life's environment.

Posted by: Lou Gots at April 20, 2008 2:34 PM

So if aliens came here and designed life they weren't intelligent designers but if we design life on Mars we are? Talk about fuzzy....

Posted by: oj at April 20, 2008 5:13 PM

Lou is correct. I doubt Dawkins is saying aliens "designed life." It's just a variation of the old panspermia idea, that Earth might have been "seeded." But he was just tossing out ideas, as there's no evidence of it, and I don't think any need for it, as Earth had the conditions for life to begin and eventually flourish.

Posted by: PapayaSF at April 20, 2008 6:33 PM

Bingo! All he does it toss out half--baked ideas he doesn't believe in. Like all Darwinists he's just a reactionary trying to escape the implications of God.

Posted by: oj at April 20, 2008 6:51 PM