The new documentary Privileged Species opens very dramatically with Bill "Science Guy" Nye addressing an American Humanist Association conference. To laughter and applause, Mr. Nye riffs on how being human means being no more than a mere "speck" in the universe.
I’m insignificant. … I am just another speck of sand. And the Earth really in the cosmic scheme of things is another speck. And the sun is an unremarkable star. Nothing special about the sun. The sun is another speck. And the galaxy is a speck. I’m a speck on a speck orbiting a speck among other specks among still other specks in the middle of specklessness. I suck.
I try to remind my kids not to say that anything "sucks" since that is a vulgar expression — I apologize for using it, and in a headline no less! But the word cuts to the heart of the scientific, philosophical, and spiritual question that separates a design-based view like Denton’s from the competing materialist conception.
The documentary is now available on DVD and makes a wonderful introduction to Denton’s work in his important book Nature’s Destiny: How the Laws of Biology Reveal Purpose in the Universe.
On one hand there is Denton, who talks in Privileged Species about how "The human form is something significant in the cosmic order," adding that that is a "scientific finding," not a subjective judgment but an objective one, as objective as the unique properties of carbon, oxygen, and water. And then there is Nye, who says, in effect, "Human life sucks." Unfortunately that is not Bill Nye’s lone, idiosyncratic view but one widely shared in and broadcast by the scientific and media communities.
Directed by Discovery Institute’s John West and featuring Dr. Denton, Privileged Species examines the scientific evidence behind Denton’s evaluation. He argues that far from being "insignificant," human life appears to be the intended outcome of ultra-finely tuned parameters in the chemistry of our universe.
Find the trailer below: