5
What is your opinion of 'Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed'?

Ben Stein’s new film has undoubtedly caused controversy. What is your opinion?

Posted: May 5th 2008

John Sargeant www

The film tries to suggest that far from credible scientific research and body of evidence for evolution being undermined in academia it is creationists that are subject to a witch hunt for believing in intelligent design.

Not only is that a falsification of what is going on, it then makes the age old evolution = atheism = Nazism. The point is rammed home with images of Nazis, and the song “Imagine” is used (Yoko is taking them to court for that).

The problem for supporters of science is whether showing this film up for what it is promotes the film or is necessary because this film shows the undermining of science by politicizing religious belief to do so.

Posted: May 7th 2008

See all questions answered by John Sargeant

SmartLX www

The film has three messages: Intelligent Design is being Expelled from academia by Big Science, evolution leads to atheism and evolution led to Nazi atrocities. No, no and no.

Intelligent Design isn’t being expelled, it’s flunking out. The evidence does not support it. Any research done in its name is an attempt to lend it credibility and discredit the alternatives rather than find the actual truth, and therefore really isn’t science. There is no actual ID theory, only a vague hypothesis. (Great talking point there: even if evolution is “only a theory”, ID isn’t even that.) Proponents trying to advance ID in spite of the preceding are seen as impeding real science, and are discredited as scientists. Their careers suffer in the same way as if they were trying to promote astrology over astronomy, or alchemy over chemistry.

Prominent biologists and devout Christians Ken Miller and Francis Collins will tell you that evolution does not necessarily lead to atheism. Even Richard Dawkins, who evolution did lead to atheism, will recommend Miller’s books to believers. Evolution simply refutes the Argument from Design as it relates to living things, and encourages one to look for similar natural origins for other phenomena. There are plenty of other reasons why people believe in gods. Saying that evolution leads invariably to atheism is like saying that the design argument is the only good argument for theism. (Certainly, some others are no worse.)

The Nazis practiced eugenics, which is a form of artificial selection and has nothing to do with Darwin’s theory. By trying to exterminate the Jews and propagate the Aryan race, they were doing what farmers and animal breeders had already done for thousands of years. In canine terms, they were building a stock of a pure breed and putting down the mongrels (from their perspective, of course).

Hitler didn’t say anything about Darwin or evolution in Mein Kampf. His hatred for the Jews echoed a long history worldwide of leaders attempting ethnic cleansings.

Darwin and “Darwinians” never presented natural selection as a guide for living and breeding anyway; it is simply the way life has developed so far. Proper, civil human behaviour is very anti-Darwinian indeed on the face of it, even if it got that way by Darwinian means, and so it should be.

I want to point out one particularly ironic image that was produced to counter Expelled’s publicity: a Nazi belt buckle saying “GOTT MIT UNS” with “DARWIN” newly scrawled over “GOTT” apparently by Ben Stein. The Wehrmacht buckle actually says, and always said, “God is with us.”

Posted: May 6th 2008

See all questions answered by SmartLX

brian thomson www

I haven’t seen it, but I have seen Ben’s remarks on various chat show clips. They seem to indicate that the negative reviews are not exaggerating what he says, or quoting him out of context. I probably won’t get to see it unless it’s on broadcast TV here (Ireland), which is unlikely: this may be a Catholic country, but they’re not that fundamentalist. 8)

Posted: May 6th 2008

See all questions answered by brian thomson

bitbutter www

For anyone not familiar with the film, the wikipedia entry is very thorough.

With the huge media hype and controversy surrounding the film, the producers were in a perfect position to show the world exactly why Intelligent Design is an idea that should be taken seriously. By all accounts they have missed the opportunity to do so. This seems to confirm what was already very clear; ID proponents are empty-handed.

The Expelled film has two main premises: That scientists critical of the theory of evolution are being silenced by the mainstream scientific community, and that Darwinism leads to genocide.

The Expelled Exposed site reveals that the alleged marginalisation of creationists by 'big science’ has been grossly exaggerated, and in some cases blatantly fabricated.

The idea that Darwin’s ideas have a share in the blame for the holocaust is pure fantasy.

Firstly, Hitler didn’t need Darwin’s ideas at all. His horrific plan was an implementation of artificial selection, which had already been practiced for millenia (Darwin’s contribution was to show that evolution also happens without man deliberately trying to steer it in certain directions).

If Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection does deserve a share of the blame for the holocaust, then so do roads, railway systems, and Christianity (Hitler frequently used Christian themes in his speeches). Furthermore, we should be blaming Isaac Newton and his evil 'Gravity’ theory for enabling German rocket scientists to plot the trajectories of their weapons.

To the best of my knowledge Intelligent Design offers no testable claims, no mean of falsification, and no reason to take it seriously except as a threat to the public’s (especially children’s) appreciation of critical thought, and understanding of what science actually is.

To help combat the misinformation contained in Expelled, it is helpful to link to the Expelled Exposed site whenever you publish the word expelled online. Like this: Expelled. This will increase the visibility of the site in search engines.

Posted: May 6th 2008

See all questions answered by bitbutter

logicel

The IDiots (proponents of creationism thinly disguised as 'science’), being the dogmatic fools that they are, are simply switching their tactics from school boards (they were throughly trounced at the Dover Trial, where a Bush appointed conservative Christian ruled that ID is religion and can not be taught in science classes) to state legislation. At present, in America, there are a number of state bills supposedly focused on 'academic freedom.’

The movie 'Expelled’ is an attempt to popularize this bogus concept and give support to the IDiots’ attempt to squeeze their intellectually dishonest wares into science class rooms via a new strategy.

Posted: May 6th 2008

See all questions answered by logicel

 

Is your atheism a problem in your religious family or school?
Talk about it at the atheist nexus forum