Only in America can the intelligent and reasonable be the minority. A new movie is in the theaters call "Expelled". It is about teachers being expelled for trying to teach creationism in the class room. Its centered around the idea that evolution is "just a theory" and "intelligent design" should be taught as its equal. That some how this entirely religious principle is some how on the same field of play as a scientifically proven theory.
But what Mr. Ben Stein fails at in this movie a basic understanding of either evolution or a theory. I will explain why.
1.) He states that evolution is, after all, just a theory. Just a theory, like something that hasn't been proven. Well, Mr. Stein, if you knew anything about science you would understand the falsity of this statement. Gravity is also just a theory. A theory is a working frame work for describing particular events. Even when a theory is proven conclusively, it is still a theory, and can still be changed if more evidence comes to light. A theory is the top title a new idea can be given, after facts are collected, a hypothesis is given and tested, and those two steps repeat over and over again. When a hypothesis has enough facts and tests that have proven it true, it is given the title of a theory. A theory is also testable and can be changed if new data becomes available. But it is always a theory.
2.) Mr. Stein also tries to put creationism, or intelligent design, on par with evolution, and indeed, even above it. But intelligent design CANNOT be on par with the Theory of Evolution. Why? Because it is not testable. Thats why courts have ruled that it can't be taught in science class, any more than teaching the Egyptian creation myths can be taught in the science class. Thus, if it can't be tested, it can't be falsified in theory, thus is not science. A rudimentary understanding of this would be nice on Ben Steins case, and indeed, the 75% of America who don't understand this as well.
3.) Expelled also makes the laughable statement that some how evolution teaches that every thing is by chance. They use the same worn our arguments that a tornado can't go through a junk yard and leave a fully assembled boeing 747.
No, it can't. But the comparison with evolution is faulty on many levels. First, a plane is not a living organism that will transfer genes to its offspring, thus it can't possibly be effected by evolution. Second, evolution simply does not teach that everything happened by chance. In fact, it is the opposite of random chance. It is a slow gradual process in which one single change happens due to one or more of a hand full of process from natural selection, genetic drift, or other ideas of how evolution has occurred. But the fact remains that the archeology and the current study of biology and genes proves conclusively that evolution has happened. And it happened over millions and billions of years. Most of the evolutionary changes have not been ultimately beneficial to a species as 99% of the worlds species over the years have died. But its never chance. On member of a species is born with something that gives it a better advantage over the rest and so he lives to reproduce and the others that don't are left behind. Or an event causes two different groups in a species to be separated from each other. Over time, as we can observe in real time with humans and other animals, the genes maintain small changes that slowly change their core dna. Ultimately these two groups become different species that can't mate any more. They are a different breed from where they came. This can be seen in real time with a couple species of fish and fruit flies. This is known proven and observed science.
Evolution isn't the theory of chance, it is the theory of adaptation. The theory that says our body simply adapts to its environment, and that our genes slowly change over time, and in the end, the one that is strong enough to survive an environment change will live on while the others die. And two groups of a species, when give enough time away from each other and in different environments while necessarily change to become distinct from each other. It is not change, it is cause and effect, plain and simple.
The simple reality of this "debate" between ID and Evolution, is that one is filled with scientific facts, including "missing links" and archaeological data to support it, and the other one wouldn't exist if not for people believing in an ancient text that tells of an omnipotent being creating the world. If not for religion, then this "theory" would never exist. ID isn't science, it is religion. If a SCIENCE teacher insists on teaching his/her religion as science, then they should be expelled. And if Ben Stein isn't going to bother looking at evolution from something other than a christian apologists ignorant point of view, then he shouldn't be making movies.