Mr. Movie

Mailbag: Intelligent Design vs. Creationism

Markus writes:

Dear Mr Wolcott,

You seem to be unaware of the work done by scientists (or 'darwinists' as you prefer to call them) to address the scientific claims in Intelligent Design and Creationism.

If you look at the archive ( you can find their index of Creationist Claims ( which has a vast collection of these claims with responses.

For a current debate on any particular matter even you can get involved at sites such as Panda's Thumb, and the various blogs at ScienceBlogs.

If you have questions about particularities in the theory of evolution, or the age of the earth (which is common sticking point for creationists), I'm quite certain that your local college sciences department is willing to listen to your question and give you an explanation of what the science tells and why it tells that.

If you truly are a champion of open minds, hopefully you will have the courage to admit when an ID/Creationist claim has been found to have no scientific merit. Because Ben Stein seems to have a hard time admitting that most of the creationist claims have been found to lack merit.

Mr. Movie writes:

I am not unaware of the research done on both sides of the issue.

And not all who believe in intelligent design think the universe was made in six days or six thousand years and that it is very, very young. It is obviously billions of years old. Not all who believe in intelligent design think evolution has not taken place. Those believing in the theories of evolution presented in the movie have much fact on their side, and their science is excellent. But so is some of the science of those who believe there is an intelligent design to the universe, a plan, so to speak, and that it is worthy of discussion, debate and research.

And you're missing the point of Stein's film. He contends those with your beliefs shut out all debate on the issue, ban scientists who don't share their point of view from university jobs, research grants, etc. They are "thought police" who demand that everyone believe exactly as they believe and they use their science and their power as a club to beat those who disagree into submission.

Whether that is true or not, I can't say for sure. That is Stein's point of view. What I do know is the people I talk to, though not at that level or in those circles, most often will totally tune you out once you begin asking intelligent design questions.

I also find in debating everything from politics to this topic, open-minded in our society no longer means open-minded. We make a great show about stating that we are open to all opinions, but we are not. Many times I will sit and listen to someone's point of view on a controversial subject such as abortion or evolution or religion and will ask lots of questions and probe deeply to determine what they want me to believe. At the end of the discussion, and sometimes that is several hours, I will state that I don't agree with their point of view. To a person they will tell me that I am not open-minded. Yet, I sat there and listened intently and tried to see where they were coming from.

Open-minded means you agree with me. And if you see the movie, and you should if you haven't, you will see Stein's point.

Thanks for writing.