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tkster
Skeptic Friend

USA
193 Posts

Posted - 05/31/2005 :  11:33:05   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send tkster a Private Message
Ah the debate that will stem from this will make me a very happy person though. I am so looking foward to hearing IDers claim this as evidence that ID is actually a viable scientific theory. I can almost taste the humor.

tk
Edited by - tkster on 05/31/2005 11:33:43
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R.Wreck
SFN Regular

USA
1191 Posts

Posted - 05/31/2005 :  16:54:39   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send R.Wreck a Private Message
quote:
“It makes the case for intelligent design in the universe based on astronomy and cosmology,” writes Rob Crowther of the Discovery Institute. “It doesn't deal at all with the Darwinian account of how life developed.” He goes on to say, “Although much of the public controversy over intelligent design has focused on the application of design to biology, it's important to remember that design theory itself reaches well beyond biology, and that some of the strongest evidence for design comes from such fields as physics, astronomy, and cosmology.”



Here is a fairly thorough debunking if this nonsense. Although written some 67 years ago (and therefore some of the science has been superceded), it still makes a pretty good refutation of the argument from design.

quote:
IT was the Psalmist who said, "The heavens declare the glory of God." They proclaim nothing of the sort: what they really reveal is nothing but extraordinary waste and ultimate futility. The blindly-working nature of stellar activity is everywhere apparent.
Wherever we look in the starry expanse we are faced with stupendous energy spent in the production of trivial "ends," which are like their "beginnings." Vast stores of solar energy are squandered throughout interstellar depths, while bodies needing light and heat are left in darkness and cold. Wherever we turn we are confronted with "means-to-ends" all out of proportion to the "ends" achieved, and with a consumption of time and materials which, measured by, intelligent standards, borders on the criminal. Everywhere is prodigious activity wasted in boundless dissipation. Untold billions of years are spent in the ceaseless revolutions of orbs only to result in a small inhabited planet and a myriad of barren and uninhabitable globes! An ocean of stars kept in endless rotation -- for what? Vast continents or clusters of stars, too hot for the sustenance of living forms, move in stupendous circles in dreary monotony. Stars are born from nebulae only to pass through successive degrees of temperature and end in death. One in every three stars splits in two through excessive rotation and leads itself a merry chase as double stars circling each other. The endless grind of motion of going nowhere and arriving at nothing is the supreme accomplishment of the universe. Everywhere is the dismal picture of undirected energy spent in bat-blind futility. "We find," writes Hugh Elliot, [Modern Science and Materialism, p. 39.] "nothing but unimaginable tracts of space and time, in which move bodies by fixed laws towards ends which are wholly fortuitous, and have not the smallest relation to the advantage and requirements of man."

From the viewpoint of utility, the motions of heavenly bodies are empty and meaningless. No one in his proper senses can discern the slightest trace of design in stellar gyrations and the ceaseless spinning of globes. Of what use is it to the human race (the so-called "end-all" of existence) to be hurled through the heavens at 18 miles a second? What good does it do any of us to be catapulted through the skies and whirled at the same time? What good does it do God's lesser masterpieces -- the toads, tarantulas and typhus germs -- to participate in these celestial rides? Why the silly goose-chase, the merry-go-round of the spheres over such protracted periods of time?

To ascribe these aimless and senseless activities to intelligence is to insult intelligence. Only a charitable sense of humor can help one to overlook the stark stupidity of attributing these motional futilities to a guiding min

The foundation of morality is to . . . give up pretending to believe that for which there is no evidence, and repeating unintelligible propositions about things beyond the possibliities of knowledge.
T. H. Huxley

The Cattle Prod of Enlightened Compassion
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Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
13467 Posts

Posted - 05/31/2005 :  19:22:49   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message
This from a JREF email:
quote:

IMPORTANT NOTICE

(This item has been inserted into an already-active web page because it involves a critical matter. I urge our readers to take action.)

Reader Isabelle Vella Gregory, a student in Archaeology at the University of Cambridge, is alarmed — and rightly so — at this development:

The Smithsonian has gone absolutely insane. They are airing a movie on "Intelligent Design" in return for a donation of $16,000 from the Discovery Institute. Worse, they are claiming this money will help them fund science research. See www.nytimes.com/2005/05/28/national/28smithsonian.html

I have just sent the following email to the dear people at the Smithsonian. I intend on being a major pain until they give up this nonsense:

Subject: Declining standards at the Smithsonian

Dear Sir/Madam

I am writing to you with reference to the Smithsonian's decision to air the Discovery Institute's film on Intelligent Design. I have always believed that the Smithsonian is one of the foremost institutions of learning, a bastion for science, and a public institution. Your mission statement clearly states that you want to promote "innovation, research and discovery in science." It is thus impossible to comprehend why you have chosen to air a film on ID. This volte face from your side undermines not only the way you have consistently chosen to present the past and scientific discoveries, but also your very integrity.

What is even more appalling is that one of your spokespersons has been quoted as saying:

The event should not be taken as support for the views expressed in the film. It is incorrect for anyone to infer that we are somehow endorsing the video or the content of the video.

I do not think you could be more incorrect if you tried. You know perfectly well that a museum's raison d'ętre is extremely apparent in the way it displays its material and the activities it organizes. That you would sell your integrity for $16,000 dollars is not merely incomprehensible but also shameful.

I do hope that after your short sightedness you realized that your actions will be taken to mean support for the ID movement. This, after many court battles to keep creationism and ID out of science class, do you not realize that you have also done a major disservice to the parents, educators and scientists who have fought tirelessly against this nonsense? Do you not realize that if ID had anything scientific to say they would publish their "findings" in peer reviewed journals? Is it possible that the eminent museum has no biologists to point out that ID is merely religious apologetics?

Please do not treat us with contempt and mumble that you will use the money for scientific research. You have just dealt science (and your public) an underhanded, unwarranted blow. I wish you luck in dealing with the backlash.

We need to be alarmed and militant about this situation. The "Discovery Institute" is the center of the Intelligent Design movement, which is only a semantically-disguised support group for creationism. By donating a mere $16,000, it has purchased the use of the Smithsonian facilities along with their implied co-sponsorship of the film, "The Privileged Planet: The Search for Purpose in the Universe."

The Smithsonian Institution has a space-use policy that precludes certain forms of religious presentations, regardless of donations that might be offered. Yet it welcomes the opportunity to sponsor this blatant "Intelligent Design" propaganda? The disclaimer that Ms. Gregory cites above will do nothing to nullify the damage done by the Smithsonian.

Though we cannot imagine what political external or internal pressure was brought to bear on the Smithsonian to trigger this incredible blunder, we can count on the creationists now crowing about validation from one of the world's most trusted scientific authorities. If James Smithson were alive today, judging from what he wrote in his diaries and letters, I believe he would want his money refunded upon hearing of this travesty...

Readers, do something about this. Please send an e-mail to giving@si.edu addressed to Mr. Randall Kremer, Public Affairs. Tell him of your concern over this situation. And, you might add that the JREF is willing to donate $20,000 to the Smithsonian Institution if they agree to give back the "Discovery Institute" $16,000 and decline to sponsor the showing of the film. And the JREF will not require the Smithsonian to run any films or propaganda that favor our point of view...





Linda Shallenberger

Administrative Director

James Randi Educational Foundation

201 SE 12 Street

Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316

954-467-1112

Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

Why not question something for a change?

Genetic Literacy Project
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Dude
SFN Die Hard

USA
6891 Posts

Posted - 05/31/2005 :  19:33:50   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Dude a Private Message
Read that on the JREF site today.


Ignorance is preferable to error; and he is less remote from the truth who believes nothing, than he who believes what is wrong.
-- Thomas Jefferson

"god :: the last refuge of a man with no answers and no argument." - G. Carlin

Hope, n.
The handmaiden of desperation; the opiate of despair; the illegible signpost on the road to perdition. ~~ da filth
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Ricky
SFN Die Hard

USA
4907 Posts

Posted - 05/31/2005 :  19:47:30   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Ricky an AOL message Send Ricky a Private Message
But what if Smithsonian does cancel the event? Will Creationists ID'ers not just say that science is censoring ID? That we will not let there ideas be heard (however unscientific they are)?

It seems to me it is a lose-lose situation now, might as well get 16K out of it.

Why continue? Because we must. Because we have the call. Because it is nobler to fight for rationality without winning than to give up in the face of continued defeats. Because whatever true progress humanity makes is through the rationality of the occasional individual and because any one individual we may win for the cause may do more for humanity than a hundred thousand who hug their superstitions to their breast.
- Isaac Asimov
Edited by - Ricky on 05/31/2005 19:48:30
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
26013 Posts

Posted - 05/31/2005 :  19:59:09   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message
The above item can be found at this link.

Oh, Bill Gates also funds the DI, but not (directly) their anti-evolution crappola (but one has to wonder if the DI's other projects are based on the same ideas about "science").

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
Visit Dave's Psoriasis Info, too.
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filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 06/01/2005 :  06:02:43   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message
Theh latest from Red State Rabble:
quote:
Smithsonian Protest Letters: Restore Credibility
Reader Davin F. shares this letter to the Smithsonian:

I was shocked and outraged to read in the New York Times today of the Smithsonian's sponsorship and screening of the Discovery Institute's film "The Privileged Planet: The Search for Purpose in the Universe."

The Smithsonian Museum of Natural History represents the highest standard of scientific research about the history of our planet and the Universe. To host a screening of this film, whether it is a paid rental or not, is completely against the mission of the Smithsonian. I am sure you have refused to screen other films and host other events due to their nature - this film should have certainly set off alarm bells at the highest levels of the administration there.

I've worked my entire life in museums spanning the entire country, and I can tell you that none of them would ever consider hosting an event, rental or otherwise, that went against our mission of presenting science to the public. Intelligent design is not a scientific theory, and given that its proponents are currently trying to replace science with this religious-based dogma in the nation's classrooms, the Smithsonian's responsibility seems very clear.

You still have plenty of time to come out on the correct side of this issue, and restore your institution's sterling credibility. Cancel the event. To let the screening continue with a carefully worded press release is show that the Smithsonian's scientific principles can be set aside for a sum as low as $16,000. From a public relations point of view, it will be a disaster. This issue will snowball in the media, not to mention with your supporters and colleagues in political and scientific circles. It won't be long until irreversible damage to the Smithsonian has occurred.

I hope you take the immediate action of cancelling the event. I look forward to seeing the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History make the course correction that is consistent with its noble mission.

# posted by Pat Hayes @ 12:00 PM 0 comments


Scroll down (the Rabble moves fast, as rabble must), but the whole thing is worth a look.


"What luck for rulers that men do not think." -- Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945)

"If only we could impeach on the basis of criminal stupidity, 90% of the Rethuglicans and half of the Democrats would be thrown out of office." ~~ P.Z. Myres


"The default position of human nature is to punch the other guy in the face and take his stuff." ~~ Dude

Brother Boot Knife of Warm Humanitarianism,

and Crypto-Communist!

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BigPapaSmurf
SFN Die Hard

3192 Posts

Posted - 06/01/2005 :  07:50:07   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send BigPapaSmurf a Private Message
Just sent them this message, with a promise to pull my donations and subscription.

I have never been so dissapointed as to hear the news of your selling out science to the Creationists. I do however know some nice Neo-Nazis who would like to screen a film that claims the Holocaust never happened, will 16,000$ do? You see their credibility is suffering and they need to use your (formerly) stellar reputation.

It's not too late to pull the film or resign, hopefully both.
--
The more the better folks.
giving@si.edu

"...things I have neither seen nor experienced nor heard tell of from anybody else; things, what is more, that do not in fact exist and could not ever exist at all. So my readers must not believe a word I say." -Lucian on his book True History

"...They accept such things on faith alone, without any evidence. So if a fraudulent and cunning person who knows how to take advantage of a situation comes among them, he can make himself rich in a short time." -Lucian critical of early Christians c.166 AD From his book, De Morte Peregrini
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Dr. Mabuse
Septic Fiend

Sweden
9677 Posts

Posted - 06/01/2005 :  07:57:42   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Dr. Mabuse an ICQ Message Send Dr. Mabuse a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by filthy

Theh latest from Red State Rabble:



For those who don't bother follow the link, at least check out this Poster image.




Dr. Mabuse - "When the going gets tough, the tough get Duct-tape..."
Dr. Mabuse whisper.mp3

"Equivocation is not just a job, for a creationist it's a way of life..." Dr. Mabuse

Support American Troops in Iraq:
Send them unarmed civilians for target practice..
Collateralmurder.
Edited by - Dr. Mabuse on 06/01/2005 08:00:40
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Siberia
SFN Addict

Brazil
2322 Posts

Posted - 06/01/2005 :  08:16:55   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Siberia's Homepage  Send Siberia an AOL message  Send Siberia a Yahoo! Message Send Siberia a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Dr. Mabuse

quote:
Originally posted by filthy

Theh latest from Red State Rabble:



For those who don't bother follow the link, at least check out this Poster image.






Boo! Access denied

"Why are you afraid of something you're not even sure exists?"
- The Kovenant, Via Negativa

"People who don't like their beliefs being laughed at shouldn't have such funny beliefs."
-- unknown
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BigPapaSmurf
SFN Die Hard

3192 Posts

Posted - 06/01/2005 :  10:09:18   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send BigPapaSmurf a Private Message
Thats such crap! They still have to show the film and they will still latch onto that news and use it. Do you really think the rebuttal will make headlines like the news of the showing did? This is totally unacceptable, I say send more letters till the idiot who signed the agreement resigns.

"...things I have neither seen nor experienced nor heard tell of from anybody else; things, what is more, that do not in fact exist and could not ever exist at all. So my readers must not believe a word I say." -Lucian on his book True History

"...They accept such things on faith alone, without any evidence. So if a fraudulent and cunning person who knows how to take advantage of a situation comes among them, he can make himself rich in a short time." -Lucian critical of early Christians c.166 AD From his book, De Morte Peregrini
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Ricky
SFN Die Hard

USA
4907 Posts

Posted - 06/01/2005 :  11:55:35   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Ricky an AOL message Send Ricky a Private Message
Why does the Smithsonian web page not seem to have this event mentioned anywhere on it? Searching there web page using google for

www.si.edu&btnG=Search" target="_blank">Privileged Planet

www.si.edu&btnG=Search" target="_blank">Or even without quotes

comes up with nothing.

Edit:

Something really funky is going on with the url tags, so you can just go to google and type:

"Privileged Plant" site:http://www.si.edu

And it certainly doesn't mention it on its events page.

Why continue? Because we must. Because we have the call. Because it is nobler to fight for rationality without winning than to give up in the face of continued defeats. Because whatever true progress humanity makes is through the rationality of the occasional individual and because any one individual we may win for the cause may do more for humanity than a hundred thousand who hug their superstitions to their breast.
- Isaac Asimov
Edited by - Ricky on 06/01/2005 12:10:57
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Dr. Mabuse
Septic Fiend

Sweden
9677 Posts

Posted - 06/01/2005 :  12:14:19   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Dr. Mabuse an ICQ Message Send Dr. Mabuse a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Siberia
Boo! Access denied

Damn...

Aparently they have some bandwidth-theft protocol in place prohibiting us from opening that .jpg directly from SFN.

Just go to Red State Rabble and click the fourth picture on the left: the black one with the yellow text "Historical discoveries".

Dr. Mabuse - "When the going gets tough, the tough get Duct-tape..."
Dr. Mabuse whisper.mp3

"Equivocation is not just a job, for a creationist it's a way of life..." Dr. Mabuse

Support American Troops in Iraq:
Send them unarmed civilians for target practice..
Collateralmurder.
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
26013 Posts

Posted - 06/01/2005 :  12:23:17   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message
Ricky, the SFN forum code has trouble with URLs which include more than one "www." in them. Just asking Google to search si.edu (instead of www.si.edu ) seems to work fine.

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
Visit Dave's Psoriasis Info, too.
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
26013 Posts

Posted - 06/01/2005 :  13:26:51   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message
From the Thumb:
...Upon further review we have determined that the content of the film is not consistent with the mission of the Smithsonian Institution's scientific research. Neither the Smithsonian Institution nor the National Museum of Natural History supports or endorses the Discovery Institute or the film “The Privileged Planet.” However, since Smithsonian policy states that all events held at any museum be “co-sponsored” by the director and the outside organization, and we have signed an agreement with this organization, we will honor the commitment made to provide space for the event.
From the director of the museum.

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
Visit Dave's Psoriasis Info, too.
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