NCSE Genie Scott reviews Darwin film. Likes it.

Of Creation, starring Paul Bettany and Jennifer Connolly, Scott says:

I believe it to be a thoughtful, well-made film that will change many views of Darwin held by the public – for the good. The acting is strong, the visuals are wonderful, and it treats with loving care the Victorian details of the furnishings at Down house and other sites (such as Malvern), and the local church.

The movie takes place after Darwin has returned from the Beagle voyage, and has settled down with his wife, Emma. It concentrates on their relationship, on the growth of their family, and of course, on the production of his most famous scientific work, On the Origin of Species. …

Read Genie’s review in its entirety here, at The Panda’s Thumb.

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0 thoughts on “NCSE Genie Scott reviews Darwin film. Likes it.

  1. It not necessary for a movie to change views. That is hoping and asking too much. Everyone have their views, a film that is 100-200mins just tells a story from a script writer and a director point of views.

  2. This film like so many others remind me again of the central question regarding our origins and how important it is to apply reason and logic in supporting a view for the existence of the God of the holy bible.
    Here are some points to consider when discussing the subject from a pro-intelligent design or creation perspective:
    1) The Classical approach which includes cosmological and teleological arguments as well as the Evidential approach and the Pre-suppositional approach (all of which I will elaborate on) are essential in order to enhance the Classical approach. It is important to acknowledge that the ontological argument has a place in making the case for the God of the holy bible also. The ontological argument states that the idea for an infinite God in the finite mind of man is only possible if God put it there to start with. Still the ontological argument is ultimately an assumption which canâ??t be proven, so a very limited application.
    2) The cosmological argument considers why something exist whereas the teleological argument considers the nature of what does exist. For instance the reasoning goes since an event happened there must have been a cause and that cause was God because all things in the physical universe appear to be subject to natural laws as expressed in Newtonâ??s observations and the law of conservation of energy within a closed system. Still â??special pleadingâ?? (another way of saying one reserves the option of including an exception to the rule which can be viewed as a contradiction) is ultimately invoked when applying the cosmological argument; like stating that God who is independent of this closed system introduced the energy to initially set all things into motion, but God is not the result of a cause like everything else observed. Although it is reasonable to postulate an infinite being as the cause since it is greater than a finite being it can not be proven conclusively. This must be acknowledged as being in the realm of speculation and canâ??t be shown to occur through the use of the scientific method (within the cosmological argument) which is postulating a hypothesis about something, making observation, collecting of data, testing against a known standard (a control) and the establishing of trends by way of repeated independent application to see, if for example God is the cause.
    3) The scientific method has its limitations and can not be used to verify God, creationism or evolution for that matter. In fact, it clearly points out the contradictions in other belief systems such as evolution. The scientific method can be very helpful indirectly in making the case for the God of the holy bible by eliminating other possible explanations. An example would be what Francesco Redi in 1668 did and Louis Pasteur in the 1850â??s and 1860â??s did, both proving in experiments that spontaneous generation (or life coming from nonlife) is a false view, many before these experiments believed life came from nonlife. Still, evolutionist today although acknowledging these experiments to be a part of science believe life did ultimately come from nonlife, if one just goes back billions of years in time. Clearly a belief system because of the faith it exhibits. The scientific method in totality can not be applied to verify evolution, only observation and the collecting of data within the scientific method are fully used, everything else is in the realm of speculation. The same would apply to the theory of creationism (ultimately the individual must decide which one is more plausible).
    4) There are also many examples in science that possibly violate Newtonâ??s laws of motion and the law of conservation of energy which occur in nature as well as in the universe (ultimately a closed system) that have traditionally been used by creationist to defend their position. The following examples need to be examined more closely within the context of a creationist framework. Some examples would be the splitting of the atom and the release of great amounts of energy, gravity which performs an action (which the work function attempts to account for, but is unable to do so, resulting in a bigger contradiction), or light as it enters a prism and slows, then as it exits continues at the original speed. All of these examples have no known power source to draw from. According to accepted laws in science a power source would be needed and as the energy is used in the performance of work it would result in a transformation into a less available form (possibly back into the subatomic realm, where the atom is split for example performing work on the atomic level), eventually running all things down into a complete state of entropy or disorder. Perhaps a continuous cycle set in motion possibly by a god of some kind rather than everything being like a watch winding down? So the cosmological argument makes some contributions, but is incomplete, requiring more ways to hopefully make a case for the God of the Holy Bible.
    5) This brings us to the teleological argument which points to nature and the design found in nature, one could conclude there must be a designer. Included in this idea is the observation that there is a moral law in the hearts of men, therefore a moral law giver. Some critics of the teleological argument state that design in nature is being assumed because we cannot describe what a universe without design would be, at least in the functional way we are use to seeing it. It is also claimed that theist select some features in the universe to demonstrate that God must have made them like the structure of the cell, but gives other characteristics of the world such as evil and suffering to have been caused by man (forgetting that God is ultimately the first cause if all powerful). This picking and choosing of examples in the world by a theist again is â??special pleadingâ?? and can lead to contradictions in a personâ??s position if not careful. So the cell structure could be an example of no design, if we had an alternative to compare it to, but we donâ??t, therefore we assume it to be design. Sometimes this argument could be seen in relative terms based on what is being compared as evidence for design. An example would be a watch in a field. Yes, proof of a designer for the watch when compared to the field. However, in such an example the watch could be considered the exception to the rule, if the field is what is used as evidence for a lack of design (an island of design in an ocean of chaos, or lack of order and design). Framing the teleological argument in an inductive way (reasoning from specific to general) rather than a deductive way (reasoning from the general to specific) would be best. In other words use the teleological argument as one of the more likely explanations for apparent design. So much of what is observed implies not only a designer, but an intelligent designer of ordered and functional things with a purpose. The teleological argument doesnâ??t lead necessarily to a belief in biblical monotheism. It could for instance also support polytheism (belief in multiple gods) which is why more is needed from Evidential and Presuppositional approaches.
    6) Looking at things up to this point shows weâ??ve made progress, that there is a certain burden of proof required for the one claiming the statement. An example would be me claiming that superman just flew behind you. The burden of proof is greater on me making the claim than the one who doubts it to prove it didnâ??t happen. So what we can say so far is that man is limited to a finite understanding of an event, which is existence. It has occurred through something outside of man causing it. This existence, as understanding of it increases and functions of it are confirmed in purposeful ways in many and possibly all the parts which make up this existence, imply an intentional design.
    7) The Evidentialist argument confirms the holy bible as a reliable history book because other sources apart from the holy bible agree regarding geography and non-Christian historical facts. The accounts of Jesus in the gospels also do not contradict and give a clear description of who Jesus claims to be. Showing the accurate fulfillment of prophecy in the holy bible by comparing dates written with the dates such events occurred, along with secular history books which confirm many of these events and dates also is very powerful in showing a supernatural hand at work in the writing of the holy bible. The probability of such events occurring compared to other events, makes it a unique document implying that this intelligent designer played a part in the development of the holy bible thereby condoning what is written about god in it. However, one has to be prepared to take from this that everything spoken about on a supernatural level regarding the holy bible will not be accepted automatically by everyone. It does still require a reasonable faith which the God of the Holy Bible must provide (now in capital letters because it has been determined to be real like me or you based on the line of reasoning applied).
    8) Allow me to digress for a moment to address fellow believers. Since God consist of spirit among other things and we are not capable within our own abilities to know the things of the spirit as written in 1 Corinthians 2:14, we also lack the understanding or desire needed to achieve salvation outside of Godâ??s influence as written in Romans 3:10-12; then a requirement for God to be the first cause in the process of salvation is necessary. A lack of basic understanding from those who are believers on the limitations of man in such matters result in a serious misinterpretation of scripture as it relates to who is responsible for salvation. The obvious question which is sure to come when stating that man is responsible by first accepting Godâ??s son is; how can God send someone to hell for not accepting Jesus Christ when God is the one who gave the individual his abilities to accept or not accept to start with? God must be the one who initiates and follows through with it, not man, or else the justice of God in the sense of fairness is brought into question.
    9) In applying reason, I believe that such a distinction has more to do with a believer or unbeliever rather than who goes to hell and who doesnâ??t. An example would be me, I am both going to hell regarding my old nature and I am going to heaven regarding my new nature, not all of me one way and all of me the other way. I simply have a greater awareness of what God is doing in my life according to scripture because I am a believer. In fact in Romans 7 as well as other places in scripture the duplicity of man in this process is mentioned. To make the claim that God gives free will to the individual to choose is not logical either, because if true free will existed I would be able to get to God any way I wanted apart from Jesus Christ. So God has placed limits on free will. When interpreting the will of God as well as other things, doubt is ultimately caused in unbelievers regarding the accuracy of the Holy Bible because of such blatant disregard for reason in the interpreting of scripture. The result is a patch work of doctrine which ultimately appears to show a schizophrenic God as well as what those who believe in the God of the Holy Bible practice.
    10) In conclusion, it is understandable for unbelievers to expect evidence outside of the Holy Bible. Much of what is written in the Holy Bible can be independently verified outside of it. As a result the importance of the Presuppositional approach must be considered by looking at things from the position of an unbeliever and reasoning with them to show that they do not provide an adequate reference point for reasoning their point of view; and how their reasoning ultimately would result in an illogical conclusion as compared with the Christian worldview. The Christian worldview as presented through the various arguments already mentioned in a comprehensive way remains consistent and without contradiction. In this way the deductive method being applied (reasoning from the general to the specific) shows that the God of the Holy Bible is the true God who exist as well as the God who created and redeemed us in all probability. Thank you for being a true liberal and reading my comments, not blocking it out or responding with the standard party line. Continue to expand your thinking beyond the limitations imposed on us freethinkers or true liberals from so many places!

  3. Stacey:

    1. Horseshit.
    2. Horseshit.
    3. Horseshit.
    4. A lie. The truth is the opposite.
    5. Horseshit.
    6. Horseshit.
    7. A lie. The truth is the opposite.
    8. Bad premise, the rest is Horseshit.
    9. Delusional thinking.
    10. False justification based on lies and Horseshit.

    You are one sick, deluded, ignorant, illogical, nonsensical liar.

  4. Wyatt, I think the point was to save us valuable time. I found New England Bob’s summary nicely concise. I honestly got mired trying to wade through Stacey’s original. Thanks Bob!

  5. I am just wondering if Bob or Wyatt would please address their comments in a more intelligent way. This society has demeaned us to the point of responding like children rather than discussing differing opinions in a intelligent fashion. I hope my children and more from these coming generations can express what they think with out hate or lack of character.

  6. I am just wondering if Bob or Wyatt would please address their comments in a more intelligent way. This society has demeaned us to the point of responding like children rather than discussing differing opinions in a intelligent fashion. I hope my children and more from these coming generations can express what they think with out hate or lack of character.

  7. Va KP, will you teach your children to stop and explain everything about the world at the whim of any indivdual passerby? That’s basically what you’re asking of Bob and Wyatt.

  8. Stephanie z: Yeah, you’re right. It is just hard for me to see someone express their intelligence with such an ignorant comment. To totally give no thought or other veiw to the readers other than the word horseshit. If it is horseshit then why? Can we truly explain everything in this world? NO, and anyone that claims to be able to has become the fool. However, why can’t we simply explain why we think a certain way and freely express our ideas together. Knowledge is to be shared. Frankly, do we believe everything we hear. Of course not, but we go to major universities and schools to be indoctrinated with their forms of thought and obsevation. I am thankful for those that dare to think outside the box and at least share with others. How can we learn and observe unless we share. And frankly a comment like horseshit just does not cut the mustard. This man has to be more intelligent than this…can he not share his great wisdom?….

  9. Stacey: believe it or not, these arguments are quite old, and they have been refuted some centuries back. Pick up an introductory book on Western philosophy, and you will see them laid out in detail.

    VA KP: of course we are “indoctrinated” in universities, but most people call it education. There are certainly blinders as well as cultural and philosophical viewpoints presented, but I think most folks would find that ignorance is a far greater handicap. Once skilled in discourse, reason, and scientific methodology, one can sometimes reconsider a mistaken idea. An ignorant illiterate hasn’t a chance. The trick is to learn a wide range of knowledge (as you suggest), and to try to understand different viewpoints, both of which require learning. There’s really no substitute for scientific methodology in figuring out how the world works.

    If people respond rudely in newsgroups, forums, or blogs like this, sometimes it it because they are tired of hearing the same easily refuted claims yet one more time…

    Stacey, the existence of a deity (or belief in such) is largely irrelevant to knowing how to fix an automobile. So is it with understanding the mechanics of the universe. If you think your holy scriptures say X, and the data show otherwise, you have several alternatives:
    1. You are wrong in your interpretations.
    2. Your holy scriptures are wrong.
    3. The universe is an illusion, a contrivance, and nothing – including your holy books and your personal understanding of them – can be trusted.
    Cautious readers will note that I did not list a fourth alternative:
    4. The data is wrong.

    That’s because there is *always the possibility that the data is wrong (either our observations are wrong, or the model we use to explain them). But science looks for continual verification of the data, and the models are tested. They may always be wrong in principle, but if the models (theories) fit the facts and continually make successful predictions, they are as right and true as anything we can know.

    Some theories, like common descent thru modification, and the primary mechanism of natural selection, are supported by so much data from so many fields of scientific research that it would indeed be perverse to deny it. So fit a god or two in there if you like, but evolution is how they did it.

  10. Thank you kermit. Truly. You’re right there are many tried and true proven things in science. I do not dispute that and our friend Stacey hopefully would not dispute that either. It’s just hard for me to believe as I do in our evolutionary process and not still question origin. If it possibly could be understood? Can we as humans be so bold to say that we understand it all? Why keep searching to prove if we have become so sure? Maybe I am just of the inferior or less evolved that I still question things. Or could it be the opposite? I do agree with many of the points you ave made, but you cannot deny the areas of science where there are loose ends and blind data. I do thank you for your response.

  11. kermit: One more thing. You said Stacey’s claims had been refuted. Could you elaborate for me because I am new to those. I may need so ammo one day and maybe you could help me with that. Thanks again..

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