blueollie

Expelled: The Ben Stein Film

The film is called “Expelled: no intelligence allowed”. I agree: there wasn’t much intelligence in this film. The premise was roughly this:

1. Scientists and Academia are in this huge conspiracy to keep intelligent design (warmed over creationism, really), out.
2. Evolution leads to
a. Atheism (I agree with that…at least it leads to a non-literal interpretation of, say, the Bible)
b. Social Darwinism

Note: in the film, Malthus was called “a philosopher”. It wasn’t mentioned that he was, in fact, a Reverend. Note: Darwin admitted that the writings of Malthus (which discouraged charity because it encouraged the thriving of the disadvantaged) influenced his ideas on natural selection. But Darwin encouraged charity.

Nevertheless, the stupidity is staggering. One doesn’t discard a scientific idea because the idea makes for an immoral philosophy of human behavior. Heck, many intellectuals have poor eyesight and yet intentionally produce children!๐Ÿ™‚ Many evolutionists are also research doctors who, by definition, attempt to prolong the lives of the sick.

Of course, there were many factual misrepresentations (e. g., that someone was “fired” from a job that they never had to begin with).

So, for resources about this film:

Exposed Exposed: provides the actual facts of those who claimed to have been persecuted.
PZ Myers was in the film: he was kicked out of the screening for the film, even though he was there with a legitimate ticket. Talk about irony.๐Ÿ™‚

Scientific American: some more lies and distortions are listed here.
Michael Shermer (also in the film) talks about these issues here.

Richard Dawkins: takes on the absurdity of the “Darwinism links with Nazism” here.

My take
There are two huge issues here.

Issue one: is “intelligent design” being suppressed? Well, yes, if you consider, say, the “ether theory” or heliocentric astronomy or alchemy to “suppressed”. It is in fact, merely a crack-pot idea that derived from a long discredited theory. Yes, most of us are not biologists. But evolution has produced things like effective vaccines and has produced testable hypothesis that have been confirmed with data. Intelligent design: not at all.
This isn’t a freedom issue. There are universities out there that indeed teach such nonsense (or teach creationism) and no governmental agency has tried to shut these things down. But “freedom” does not mean that professional scientists are obligated to take your ideas seriously.

But I admit that, on propaganda grounds, this might be the films best attribute. Americans are, after all, a “both sides” type of people; if one tries to explain that in certain situations that there really is only one side, many will take umbrage.

Issue two: Darwinism leads to Social Darwinism. I think that this claim is sheer nonsense, but that is irrelevant. Scientific theories are not judged by if those ideas are moral when applied to ethics. Example: it is a fact that frogs eat each other. It is a fact that male lions will kill the cubs of a female so as to bring her into heat. Nevertheless, no one sees those things as being desirable human behavior.

Funny, but while the Nazi genocide was horrific beyond words, there were many other genocides prior to Darwin’s work…and there were reports of genocide…IN THE BIBLE.

July 8, 2010 - Posted by | creationism, morons, movies, quackery, religion, science

5 Comments »

  1. I liked Eclipse way better than New Moon.

    Comment by deward walid | July 8, 2010 | Reply

  2. First let me say that your review is a bit late and sounds a lot like a dozen other atheist review of the movie, I hope you didn’t cut and paste.

    I would like to put out two obvious false statements you made.

    1.”But evolution has produced things like effective vaccines and has produced testable hypothesis that have been confirmed with data. Intelligent design: not at all.” Intelligent Design and creationism have led to things like vaccines and has produced several testable hypothesis that can be confirmed with data. Do some research and you will find the information, I’ll help to get you started (http://www.researchintelligentdesign.org/wiki/Main_Page).

    2.You claim the movie asserts “Darwinism leads to Social Darwinism.” False. The movie states that Darwin’s theory of evolution through natural selection is a sufficient cause to lead to social Darwinism, but the movie does say that not everyone that believes in Darwin’s theory will follow it to the extreme of social Darwinism.

    I appreciate that you took time to watch the movie, I only wish you had viewed it with an open mind and not have made up your mind a head of time. Thank you for you time.

    Comment by mcoville | July 8, 2010 | Reply

    • 1. Yes, they do put the disclaimer that “not all Darwinists are social Darwinists” but they spent much of their time showing Nazi imagery. Why do that if they aren’t trying to make a link, at least on an emotional level? (eyeroll)

      2. Your first point is plain wrong. Vaccines are updated because the organisms evolve due to natural selection. Perhaps you are claiming that some intelligent designer is causing these organisms to defeat the vaccines?๐Ÿ™‚

      By the way, having an open mind means being open to new evidence and not being open to every completely refuted crack-pot idea that comes along.

      Comment by blueollie | July 8, 2010 | Reply

    • A quick look at ‘recent changes’ on the ResearchID Wiki appears to indicate that it is moribund (the only substantive change in the last month is the uncorrected addition of irrelevant promotional material to the entry on ‘Explanatory Filter’). Cue ‘Dead ID Sketch’ ( http://www.noanswersingenesis.org.au/ID_dead_id_sketch.htm ) for the topic of ‘ID Research’.

      Comment by Hrafn | July 10, 2010 | Reply

  3. […] Visited The Creation Museum or saw Ben Steinโ€™s Expelled just so you could keep tabs on the โ€œenemy.โ€ I bought the DVD on sale…it was awful and I reviewed it. […]

    Pingback by Walking and hardcore atheism… « blueollie | January 4, 2012 | Reply


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