Captain Ed blows right by the issue

In a look at Expelled: The Movie at Captain’s Quarters, Ed stumbles for what should be a bloody nose. He tackles the wrong question with the wrong issue. In doing so, he totally discredits the value system of science and academia and accepts disingenuous modes of debate.

Overall, though, the film presents a powerful argument not for intelligent design as much as for the freedom of scientific inquiry. If scientists get punished for challenging orthodoxy, we will not expand our learning but ossify it in concrete.

Claiming persecution is a common tactic of those whose position does not fit where they want to put it. It is one of the characteristics of the arguments by those who advocate intelligent design that illustrates the weakness (or worse) of their position.

The academic community has often been derided for arguing about how many angels will fit on the head of a pin. What Captain Ed is doing is deriding the science part of that community because they won’t tolerate positions that have no evidence to show for them. That is a cheap and ignorant shot.

Credibility in science is established by adherence to a set of values. The mere existence of an idea, no matter the passion behind it, is insufficient to warrant its tolerance in an effective science community. It must have evidence to support it; a rationale for its existence that has its roots in the observable world.

When and if those scientists being “punished” have evidence to support their views, then there might be something of concern. The fact is that anyone promoting change, whether in the fields of science or elsewhere, is going to be subject to ‘punishment.’ That is human nature. But to confuse that resistance to change with bigotry in science is disingenuous. The arguments of intelligent design are not new, they do not represent change, and anyone who wants to put them forward as science has to demonstrate that there is something there that has not already been inspected and found wanting.

What Captain Ed says implies that the movie at issue is an insidious propaganda movie and a part of the problem rather than a part of the solution.

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