Thursday, April 24, 2008

Best Argument for more Science Education: Ben Stein

"Ben Stein Flunks Biology 101"

Professor Smith: Today we begin with Darwin's theory of evolution, which is the foundation of all modern biology. Darwin postulated that the diversity of life can be explained by small variations (what we now call mutations) and natural selection.

Offspring will generally not be precisely like their parents. Some of these small variations will make it more likely that the plant or animal will survive and leave more offspring. Thus, bit by bit, plants and animals become more complex and more diverse. This mechanism is now almost universally accepted as the primary mechanism that explains the history of life on our planet.

Ben Stein: Excuse me Professor, I have a question: "Assuming it all did happen by Random Mutation and Natural Selection, where did the laws of gravity come from?"

Professor: I'm sorry Ben, perhaps you weren't paying attention. Evolution by natural selection is only an explanation of the origin of biological diversity; it has absolutely nothing to do with gravity. For that you can go talk to the physicists or cosmologists; it has absolutely nothing to do with mutation, selection, Darwin, or biology.

Ben: "Where did the laws of thermodynamics come from?" I mean, that question "just sort of blows the whole theory of Random Mutation out of the water," doesn't it?

Professor: Excuse me? The theory of evolution by random mutation and natural selection has absolutely nothing to do with explaining where the laws of thermodynamics come from. You can go talk to people working in statistical mechanics if you want an answer to that. Why on earth would you think that a theory of biology would have anything to say about the origin of heat?

Ben: So you're saying that "Evolutionism, as taught by Darwinism, has nothing - nothing - to say about how life originated. Has nothing to say about how the governing principles in the universe - gravity, thermodynamics, motion, fluid motion - how any of those originated. It''s got some gigantic missing pieces."

Professor: Of course there are more pieces! It's a theory of biology; it explains how, given a population of simple living things, that population could develop into extremely diverse populations of more complicated living things. It doesn't pretend to say anything about gravity, thermodynamics, mechanics, fluid dynamics, chemistry, astronomy. . . Nor does it say anything about why my car wouldn't start this morning, or about whether it's going to rain next Tuesday, or about who is going to win American Idol, or about what's being served for dinner in the cafeteria! It's about biology!

An extract from this made it up on Expelled Exposed. I'll polish up this extended version someday with the references below.

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