Have You Seen EXPELLED?

The hubby and I went to see EXPELLED last night. We had to drive 50 miles to find a theater that was showing it, but I’m glad we made the trip.

The premise of the documentary is that Americans no longer have speech that is as free as it was designed to be. To make this point, Stein examines those scientists who believe in evolution as opposed to those who believe in intelligent design.

Whenever you watch a documentary, it is a good idea to keep in mind that whoever produces it has a bias, and Stein’s bias is clear from the start because of the images he uses in his film, some of which are the Berlin Wall and images from the Holocaust. These are sensational images, designed within the film to make their point in a big way. What happens when speech is no longer free?

Stein interviews scientists who believe in evolution as well as those who believe in intelligent design. He makes it clear from the start of the movie that he believes in intelligent design. Again, keeping bias in mind, it would be a good idea to remember that Stein edited to make his point. Nevertheless, it is somewhat disconcerting to see how scientists were blacklisted for publishing articles that supported intelligent design or even mentioned it. You can find some of their names here. It was even more disconcerting to hear about the National Center for Science Education, mostly because they are the ones who “inform” the concerned public from their very biased point of view. The “evolution” scientists interviewed in this film cannot seem to separate the idea of intelligent design from Christianity, even though some of the scientists who support intelligent design are, according to the film, agnostic.

In the film, the scientists who support evolution make the claim that once you understand science, you will realize that there is no place for God. Richard Dawkins was the most verbal here. Dawkins has published a book entitled The God Delusion, and he read from it while talking to Stein. During this particular scene, Dawkins stated that he would be willing to consider that life on this planet had been seeded by aliens, which to me means that he will consider an intelligent design: he just won’t consider that the designer could be God.

Now if you have read this blog at all, you know that I am a Christian. I believe in intelligent design, with God being the Designer. There’s my bias, out there for everyone to see. There are, I know, a lot of people who disagree with me, even in Indiana. One of the most scathing reviews against Stein’s film was published in a city about an hour away from where I live. Rod Rose, the reviewer, echoes others in the film by saying that Stein has a “frighteningly shallow grasp of science.” I wonder if that’s true, or if the problem is that the “grasp” Stein and others have just isn’t the one that the powers that be in science want to propagate.

At any rate, back to my bias. I find it hard to believe as I look around this world that the its beauty and complexity could have come about by accident. I see God when I look at the faces of my students, at those that I love, at the river down the street from my house, in the Grand Canyon… I could go on and on, but you get the idea. The Bible says something about this, too:

…since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.

–Romans 1:20

I believe, like the apostle Paul, that God is revealed in His creation. You don’t have to agree with me. You have that right. But I have the right to say what I think. Don’t I? Freedom of speech is one of the basic rights our country was founded on. At least I thought it was….

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4 Responses to “Have You Seen EXPELLED?”


  1. 1 frankpryor May 3, 2008 at 6:36 pm

    Ben Stein has now invoked the Holocaust, saying that it was science and scientists that dragged millions of jews into Nazi extermination camps in WW2.

    “When we just saw that man, I think it was Mr. [PZ] Myers, talking about how great scientists were, I was thinking to myself the last time any of my relatives saw scientists telling them what to do they were telling them to go to the showers to get gassed.… Love of God and compassion and empathy leads you to a very glorious place, and science leads you to killing people.”

    Mr. Stein seems not to be in possession of any facts at all, at least none which he is unwilling to ignore.

    “God is With Us” was the slogan emblazoned above the swastikas on the belt buckles of the Nazis that led Ben Stein’s relatives to their deaths. It was pseudo-science they used to cloak centuries of institutionalized religious hatred and their ideology of racial superiority beneath a veneer of card-board legitimacy. The same kind of bilge preached by Stein and the Discovery Institute: Dogma slathered with fable.

    In opposition to reason, decency and science, the Nazi’s employed quackery, intolerance, defamation and religious fanaticism . The very tools used so enthusiastically by Ben Stein and the Creationist movement.

    We’ve been pummeled by images of 9/11 for the past seven years by the same party who’s dereliction made the attack possible and the tactic has worked very well. In homage Stein is now exploiting the holocaust and violating the memory of it’s victims in a way that is utterly contemptible.

    fp

  2. 2 Becky May 4, 2008 at 1:10 pm

    I don’t know that I agree that Stein “invokes” the Holocaust. You sound like you are hurting about the Holocaust, and it was a horrible thing. It should be remembered, and anyone who hears about it should feel bad.

    I think the movie made the point that EVIL, not science, caused the Holocaust. Perhaps Hitler and those of his regime applied science poorly (pseudo-science being your term), but there’s a certain logic to thinking that you can “help” natural selection along (not that I advocate that by any means), and I think that might have been the way they thought of their acts. Who knows? I don’t ever want to get close to thinking their way, and I presume that you don’t either. As for institutionalized religious hatred–you’re right, but they aren’t the first. Jews have been the victims of persecution throughout their history. I know that doesn’t excuse it.

    The fact that the Nazis thought God was with them is, as far as I am concerned, not the issue. A lot of evil has been done in the name of religion, the Crusades and the Inquisition being the first that come to mind.

    As to Stein’s not being in possession of facts, I would disagree. They may not be facts that you like, but the man appeared to me to have done his research. The fact that some of the scientists he interviewed disagree with evolutionary theory doesn’t mean they aren’t scientists. There are opposing views all over the place in science. There are people who believe in holistic medicine, people who go to chiropractors instead of MDs, and doctors who have seen things happen that science can’t explain. Maybe we are the society that we are because we have allowed such differences of opinion.

    I don’t quite see what you mean by the intolerance Stein exhibits, do you mean that because he has a point of view other than evolution, he should keep quiet? Is that what we do here in America? I thought we were OK with listening to other points of view. I have to ask–did you actually see the movie? There really was a lot of God-hate in it, not the least of which was exhibited by Richard Dawkins, who said that he would concede that life on this planet had been seeded by aliens, but he would not concede that life was created by God.

    So. Do you really hate the creationists so much? Is a difference of opinion really so threatening to you? Or is it the mention of God that got you going. I think that’s a question that’s worth an answer.

  3. 3 the nephew May 4, 2008 at 4:56 pm

    I thought you night enjoy reading this recent blog of mine:

    Optional Reading Material
    Category: Life

    So, yes, it has been a while since I blogged, and yes I feel bad about it, somewhat. Hmm… nevermind that, I’m raising a family, now, so if you don’t like it, tough patootie.

    Disregard, that , I’ll cut it out of the blog.

    Anyways, I just posted in my last blog the link to a review of the film “Expelled” by Ben Stein (he of monotone comedic fame). I had been meaning over the last few months to post blogs, sends e-mails, call folks, put up flyers, and generally try to make a big stink about this film in hopes of raising awareness. I dropped the ball on this, sadly. So now, I’m trying to make up for it, bear with me, please!

    The film I’m refering to documents how Intelligent design is not to be discussed in universities and intellectual circles (or squares, or what have you), and how those who do, particularly professors, are forced from their positions and castigated. It sounds to me as if evolutionists might be worried that they could be wrong. I haven’t seen this film yet, but I’m looking forward to it, and I hope that you are as well.

    Having said (or typed) all of that brings to its conclusion a prelude to the following collection of profound thoughts and other big-thinky-brainy-type-thingies.

    ——————————————————————————–

    Forget about scientific evidence, Biblical history, and all that goes along with the current debate about where we came from for just a few moments, and consider this: Whatever your belief about the origin of man, it is exactly that, a belief! There is no “Definitive Evidence” that can prove either side to be correct in this debate (that can be seen with the human eye, anyhow). Everyone has to choose for themselves what they will believe in, it is their choice, and their choice alone. So, lay the debate aside and ask yourself, “What are the consequences of my choice going to be on the way that I think and reason?”

    ——————————————————————————–

    As I lay in bed a fortnight ago, I thought to myself, “If evolution were really true, what impact would that have upon my life?” I tossed, and turned, and tossed, and stole my wife’s blankets, and after several more hours of careful deliberation, I began to put a series of answers to that question together in my mind.

    First off, if we are all a big cosmic hiccup, and there was no purpose or calling to our existence, then what is the reason for any social standard or human behaviour other than seeking pleasure for one’s own self with no regard whatsoever for anyone, be they friend or foe, parent or offspring, black or white? Why not gorge ourselves on food, sell our children – for whatever purpose, use and abuse whatever drugs can be found, and recklessly take whatever (or whomever) we want as soon as we see it? Why would any of this be wrong? Who is to say what is right and what is wrong? In short, what is the point of anything at all? Why bother?

    An offshoot to this line of thinking began to form within my mind, namely, where did life’s will to live come from? You’re telling me that billions of years ago, lightning struck a crystal and the first single-celled form of life sprung into existence, saying to itself, “Now don’t screw this up, you’ve only got one life to live, you had better try to exist for as long as you can!!” Where did that come from? Did the universe create a few life forms with no charisma, no will, no soul or personality, and then decide try another way after their certain demise? (Side note: It would be hilarious to see a book titled “Failures of Prehistoric Life: The Little Mold that Couldn’t”)

    Where did our fear of death come from? Why should we be afraid to die? What does it matter? We’re just random organisms, we don’t matter to anything of any real importance, right? Why would we feel the need to believe in something bigger and better than ourselves, something waiting on the other side, with ultimate power and knowledge?

    Why do we think we know everything now? Logically speaking, if for all of time we knew next to nothing about our origin until Darwin’s relatively recent stroke of genius, then why do we think that we now can be certain of it, why not wait until we evolve further to try to set such theories in stone?

    Why not breed ourselves into castes, one for labor, one for beauty and sexual pleasure, and one for the elite, the best and brightest, the rich and powerful?

    ——————————————————————————–

    I tossed, and I turned, and I twisted, and I tickled my wife, and I whimpered when she punched me, and I tossed and turned some more, and then suddenly…..

    I fell asleep, knowing that the answer to the entire universe was living within me, and loved me. Its presence fills me with life, its love fills me with compassion, its knowledge affording me the ability to think that one comforting thought that made my whole day, the crux of that aforementioned nagging question.

    The moment I thought it, I fell asleep happy…

    “If evolution is real, then flinging poo should be perfectly acceptable!!”

  4. 4 Becky May 4, 2008 at 7:42 pm

    Thanks for sending the blog, nephew. It helps those of us too old for a My Space. 🙂


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