Thursday, April 10, 2008

SciAm eviscerates Expelled

Scientific American has a package on the movie Expelled. Audio of a conversation between SciAm editors and a producer of the movie is here. An article by John Rennie is here; excerpt:

The most conspicuous absence from the movie, however—and you would think it was impossible in a movie about evolution and ID—is any real science. Anyone looking for scientific reasons or even detailed arguments for why scientists maintained either position would go away unsatisfied. A half hour or so passes before anyone in the film offers even simplistic definitions for evolution and ID. Nor is there any discussion of evolution's accomplishments in illuminating the history of life and problems in fields as diverse as medicine and astrophysics, and its applications to technology such as combinatorial chemistry.

Instead, various Discovery Institute fellows intone that evolution is a "slippery," hard-to-pin-down theory. No such criticism is made of ID, a notion which firmly states that at one or more unspecified times in the past, an unidentified designer who might or might not be God somehow created whole organisms, or maybe just cells, or maybe just certain parts of cells—they're still deciding and will get back to you on that.

It's the vagueness of ID, not its religious motivation, that makes it impossible to take seriously.

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