An ‘edgy new video series’ from the Discovery Institute

From ENV:

As the news hammers home to us, young people are especially vulnerable to poisonous, Internet-mediated messages. That’s one reason Discovery Institute has teamed up with a gifted cinematographer who wanted to create a new video series, Science Uprising, that would be relevant to viewers in their thirties and younger. The series will launch on June 3, with new episodes to be released weekly through July 8.

An Edgier Style
The new series will have an edgier style than anything we have produced in the past. What does that mean? Take a look at the trailer…

Science Uprising is premised on the idea that a majority of us share a skepticism about the claims of materialism — the claims that people are just “robots made of meat, with a really sophisticated onboard guidance system,” lacking souls, lacking free will or moral responsibility, having emerged from the ancient mud without purpose or guidance. And yet, however skeptical we may be, the media labor intensively to correct our skepticism. Popular science spokesmen like Bill Nye and Neil deGrasse Tyson insist that people are anything but designed children of a loving, intelligent creator…

Each episode features a masked narrator. Why? Because much of the burden of resisting materialism falls to scientists and others in the universities who have been made to fear speaking out in favor of the design hypothesis.

Scientists and scholars who have spoken out, pulling the mask off materialist mythology, share the truth with viewers. From episode to episode, they include chemist James Tour, philosopher Jay Richards, neuroscientist Michael Egnor, biochemist Michael Behe, philosopher of science Stephen Meyer, psychiatrist Jeffrey Schwartz, physicist Frank Tipler, and others.

150 thoughts on “An ‘edgy new video series’ from the Discovery Institute

  1. OMagain: I don’t think anybody is interested in your opinion.

    Perhaps if anybody is they could say?

    Why do you read my comments and even comment on what you are not interested in then?

    Is it safe to say that you are contradicting yourself, again?

  2. J-Mac:
    Why do you read my comments and even comment on what you are not interested in then?

    Maybe thinking “what kind of stupidity is J-mac writing now?”

    J-Mac:
    Is it safe to say that you are contradicting yourself, again?

    Being curious about the depths of your stupidity and lack of self-awareness is not the same as being interested in your opinions. But, since you cannot read for comprehension, I should not be surprised that you don’t understand the difference.

  3. J-Mac: Quantum or subatomic…
    It’s the foundation of matter as far as we know…like it or not.

    I agree, though it seems to me some people use the word “ quantum “ as some sort of magical conjuring word which dispenses with the need to explain how quantum things do what they do.

  4. J-Mac: It’s not really new…

    It’s George Ellis’ statement:

    “People need to be aware that there
    is a range of models that could explain
    the observations, Ellis argues. For instance,
    I can construct you a spherically
    symmetrical universe with Earth at its
    center, and you cannot disprove it based
    on observations. Ellis has published a
    paper on this. You can only exclude it
    on philosophical grounds. In my view
    there is absolutely nothing wrong in
    that. What I want to bring into the open
    is the fact that we are using philosophical
    criteria in choosing our models. A
    lot of cosmology tries to hide that.”


    https://www.researchgate.net/publication/250803533_Thinking_Globally_Acting_Universally

    Thanks , I will look it over.

  5. newton: I agree, though it seems to me some people use the word “ quantum “ as some sort of magical conjuring word which dispenses with the need to explain how quantum things do what they do.

    True. That’s why I often ask for the justification or the mechanism how QM is involved.
    If quantum mechanics is at the very foundation of matter and life, do you think DNA is any different?

  6. Hi everyone,

    For what it’s worth, I thought the video was pretty slick.

    I’ve grown leery of arguments purporting to demonstrate the astronomical improbability of abiogenesis, but I have to say the team of scientists assembled by the Discovery Institute is starting to look more professional, these days. Apparently, the Brazilian wing of the ID movement is injecting it with new vitality. Marcos Eberlin’s new book Foresight: How the Chemistry of Life Reveals Planning and Purpose had endorsements by three Nobel Prize winners. Evidently the guy knows how to fight. It wouldn’t surprise me if we start to see a North-South split in the scientific world on whether methodological naturalism should be a guiding principle in scientific research.

    EricMH

    So, to attribute the qualities they want to humans, the DI will have to commit to there being some aspect of humans that is immaterial (information doesn’t count).

    Good point. For what it’s worth, what do people think of J. R. Lucas’s paper, Minds, Machines and Gödel? See also here

  7. Well, that was certainly a hatchet job.

    Shame on those heartless materialists. They don’t even believe in love and justice.

  8. keiths:
    The first episode is up at Youtube.With a rather tendentious title:

    Thanks Keiths.

    About time something like this was done. Sooo much more compelling than the usual dull preaching I hear on Sunday morning and the pontificating at UD.

  9. Vincent,

    For what it’s worth, what do people think of J. R. Lucas’s paper, Minds, Machines and Gödel? See also here

    For Lucas to be correct, it has to be possible for humans to identify true but unprovable statements in every sufficiently powerful and consistent axiomatic system, no matter how complex.

    We can do it for relatively simple systems, but no one (including Lucas) has shown that humans can do it for every possible qualifying axiomatic system.

    Without that demonstration, Lucas’s thesis is just a conjecture.

  10. They briefly showed in the video the face of Dr. Caroline Crocker. She and I were at George Mason University in 2005 (GMU). There are two sides of the story as to how she got dismissed from there, but there is no doubt it was a hostile work environment for her.

    The way the establishment treated her did something to strengthen my resolve to speak out against theories I think are dead wrong.

    There were 3 PhD biologists who are creationists who graduated from GMU, but I guess having an ID-friendly faculty member was waay over the top.

    The 3 PhD creationists biologists from GMU:

    Timothy Standish
    Gordon Wilson
    Timothy Brophie

    One creationist biology grad went on to get a Dr. of Education,
    Charles Jackson

  11. Sal,

    They briefly showed in the video the face of Dr. Caroline Crocker. She and I were at George Mason University in 2005 (GMU). There are two sides of the story as to how she got dismissed from there, but there is no doubt it was a hostile work environment for her.

    The way the establishment treated her did something to strengthen my resolve to speak out against theories I think are dead wrong.

    There were 3 PhD biologists who are creationists who graduated from GMU, but I guess having an ID-friendly faculty member was waay over the top.

    Crocker wasn’t merely “ID-friendly”. She was an outright propagandist for ID.

    I once saw a video of her in the classroom, and I grabbed screenshots of the slides she used. Alas, the image hosting site on which they were stored has since disappeared, but the slides had the tenor and quality of a Chick tract. I particularly remember Crocker’s efforts at character assassination, directed at Charles Darwin.

    She has no one but herself to blame for her troubles.

  12. Keiths:

    . I particularly remember Crocker’s efforts at character assassination, directed at Charles Darwin.

    I don’t ever recall her mentioning Charles beating a puppy, though.

  13. I originally posted links to the slides at AtBC, but those are no longer working.

    Fortunately, a blogger named ‘tinyfrog’ did an OP on Crocker and used my slides, so they’ve been preserved on his or her blog.

    Here they are:

    Slide #1:

  14. I commented at the time:

    It will be interesting to see Caroline Crocker do the Martyrdom Mambo in Expelled.

    I watched her lie her way through a Coral Ridge Ministries video called The Intelligent Design Controversy in Higher Education (the same one that Slimy Sal was so proud to have appeared in).

    The highlight is this self-righteous quote from Crocker:

    I decided not to give the students only the standard story, which is what they have heard since they were very small, but I did one lecture where I gave them the evidence for and against evolution, just the scientific evidence.

    I was so careful when I wrote that lecture not to be partial in any way. I was very careful to make sure that I would talk about point by point the evidence that the book would put forward for evolution and then talk about point by point the experiments and say “Well, you know, there’s a problem here.”

    And then I did at the end of the lecture talk about, “Well, this is evidence for a new theory that several, that some scientists are considering, and it’s called Intelligent Design…”

    I think it was on the last slide where I left the students with a question. I said “Is it evolution, intelligent design, or creation? Think about it.” At the end of the lecture students would tell me that they didn’t know what I believed and they would ask me, “What do you believe?”, and I would say, “Well, that’s for outside of class.”

    While she is declaring her innocence, images of her slides are being displayed on the screen. Check out what Crocker means by “impartial scientific evidence”:

    < Images of the six slides >

    If this is impartial scientific evidence, I’d love to see what biased creationist propaganda looks like.

  15. Keiths:

    , I’d love to see what biased creationist propaganda looks like.

    Really? Then I’m happy to oblige. Yay!

    Keiths:

    (the same one that Slimy Sal was so proud to have appeared in).

    For reader’s who don’t know who Keiths is referring to when he says Slimy Sal, that’s me!

  16. Sal:

    For reader’s who don’t know who Keiths is referring to when he says Slimy Sal, that’s me!

    And in case Sal’s reputation hasn’t preceded him, here is one of the reasons he acquired that moniker.

  17. keiths: I once saw a video of her in the classroom, and I grabbed screenshots of the slides she used.

    Let’s be clear. Did she actually use those slides in a biology class at George Mason University? If so, it’s certainly adequate grounds for firing her. (I’m particularly offended by the Archaeopteryx slide.)

    I wonder if Sal would like to defend the use of any of those slides. Or perhaps he’ll just ignore the whole thing, as it doesn’t fit his story.

  18. John:

    I wonder if Sal would like to defend the use of any of those slides

    Nope. I would have advised her not to present like that.

    But on the other hand, hardly grounds for firing given the garbage and damage that evolutionary biology has heaped upon the scientific enterprise and human understanding in general. The effects are now becoming more apparent with the crusade against the NIH.

    FWIW, her students loved her, and on traditional biology topics she was quite adept. She cobbled together some poor ID arguments, but now that more pro ID biology departments are emerging in Christian universities, hopefully she will be welcomed and equipped with better arguments such as those presented by James Tour and Marco Eberlin and “lesser” names like John Sanford and Joe Deweese.

  19. stcordova: But on the other hand, hardly grounds for firing given the garbage and damage that evolutionary biology has heaped upon the scientific enterprise and human understanding in general.

    Ah, you fall back on whataboutism. And fake whataboutism at that. Yes, that was very good grounds for firing.

  20. John:

    Let’s be clear. Did she actually use those slides in a biology class at George Mason University?

    Yes.

    Sal:

    FWIW, her students loved her…

    Like these students, quoted by tiny frog?

    Former Student: “I ended up having to drop her class just because of her attitude and her teaching methods. She has this pompous I’m-right-you’re-wrong type of personality and she seems to play favorites. I learned later from someone in the class that I had dropped that not one person got an A. Pick another teacher if you can.”

    And:

    Former Student: “She doesn’t know the material she teaches. She is unclear and changes her mind often. She doesn’t know how to answer students’ questions. Grading scale is out of wack; watch out for her subtracting points out of nowhere! Most exam questions are not on the material she lectures on. She uses a different textbook and not the assigned book.”

  21. John:

    I wonder if Sal would like to defend the use of any of those slides.

    Sal:

    Nope. I would have advised her not to present like that.

    Her slide on Charles Darwin was right out of the Sal Cordova “Darwin beat a puppy” playbook.

  22. John Harshman,

    Two of the candidates for falsification are:
    -her claims on birds
    -and horses.

    The ad hominem strategy to discredit Darwin is also interesting as micro evolution which we all agree on was not a trivial contribution to science.

  23. colewd: Two of the candidates for falsification are:
    -her claims on birds
    -and horses.

    Do you think that either or both of those can be demonstrated beyond opinion to be false?

  24. John Harshman,

    Do you think that either or both of those can be demonstrated beyond opinion to be false?

    Yes, if you show contradictory evidence in the fossil record.

  25. colewd:
    stcordova,

    What do you think can be demonstrated beyond opinion to be false on her slides?

    I would defer to the evolutionists here. This, for example is the reason I post stuff here. If they have an objection, then I consider whether to include it in my set of slides.

    The better argument is origin of life, start with that. James Tour set the example. The next best argument is the Eukaryote/Prokaryote transition. There is no need to invoke Darwin. Speciation examples don’t solve the Eukaryote/Prokaryote divide.

    I would have said NOT to discuss ID. Simply give an honest accounting of the mechanistic barriers. Tour laid out the model. He discussed pure mechanical and chemical considerations for the difficulty of forming certain functioning structures. There should be NO objection to that.

    So to answer your question, even if I assumed all of what she said was true, it’s not the best line of argumentation in a science class.

    Tour laid out the model approach to teaching problems in assuming no design and no intention. Just lay out the facts of what is expected of ordinary chemical processes.

  26. colewd: Yes, if you show contradictory evidence in the fossil record.

    I was asking if you had any knowledge of the subject. Are you completely ignorant of all this?

  27. Episode 1 has gotten less than 1,000 views per day so far. That’s got to be a disappointment to the Discovery Institute.

  28. keiths:
    Episode 1 has gotten less than 1,000 views per day so far.That’s got to be a disappointment to the Discovery Institute.

    Disappointment.

    Also episode 2 is lame.

  29. keiths:
    Episode 1 has gotten less than 1,000 views per day so far.That’s got to be a disappointment to the Discovery Institute.

    1) No need to be cynical. What’s the most views per day a video by keiths has ever ‘gotten’?
    2) Episode 3 has over 12,000 views in under 2 days. Still think they are disappointed?

    This is bad for so-called ‘materialists,’ either those self-labelled or those who are ideologically inclined to matter over mind.

    Hmm … are there any ‘materialists’ here at TSZ? LoL.

  30. Gregory,

    2) Episode 3 has over 12,000 views in under 2 days. Still think they are disappointed?

    Probably. I get the impression they were hoping for more.

    This is bad for so-called ‘materialists,’ either those self-labelled or those who are ideologically inclined to matter over mind.

    How is it bad for materialists/physicalists?

  31. keiths:
    I get the impression they were hoping for more.

    How is it bad for materialists/physicalists?

    I doubt your impression matters to them at all. However, the fact is that Episode 3 is doing quite well so far (over 13,500 now). What #s did you think they were ‘hoping’ for that you seem disappointed with for 48 hours following release? It sounds like you had really high expectations, much higher apparently than you hold yourself accountable to. Noted that you didn’t answer the 1st question.

    It’s bad because vilification is never a healthy solution. The DI is vilifying ‘materialists’ & ‘Darwinists’ with their crude IDist approach. More division at their hands, instead of mutuality or unity.

    IDists are more respected than atheists and anti-theists still, of course. And that isn’t going to change anytime soon.

  32. Almost 27,000 views in 5 days. Not too shabby, even for keiths’ ‘Christians don’t make anything positive’ standards.

  33. C’mon, Gregory. I’ve never said that “Christians don’t make anything positive”.

    These videos certainly don’t count as “positive”, however. Even Sal admitted that episode 2 was an embarrassment.

  34. Gregory:
    Almost 27,000 views in 5 days. Not too shabby, even for keiths’ ‘Christians don’t make anything positive’ standards.

    Look at you, rooting for the IDM all of a sudden. awww
    Do you actually think the argument that DNA is like a code, therefore jeebus, has any merit at all?

  35. There are a couple of conservative sites that have come out recently against evolution, and they may be linking to ID material.

    In the past, Republican presidents have openly courted evangelists, and I wouldn’t be surprised if websites aren’t doing a bit of clickbaiting.

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