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February 19, 2008

Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed Trailer

— Posted by John Campea

Expelled-Intelligence-Stein.jpgExpelled: No Intelligence Allowed is a new documentary by Ben Stein that dares to look at the other side of the Darwinism vs Intelligent Design debate. He takes a very unpopular stance in this film, and I can’t wait to see it.

Although I am no longer religious at all, the notion of pure Darwinism has never sat right with me. I’ve also been amazed at how many scientists dispute fundamental Darwinism, non-religious scientists, and yet are quickly silenced.

To me, the real issue in this documentary isn’t Darwinism vs Intelligent Design, but rather an issue of free speech. We like to believe in our society we encourage open thought, open discussion and the comparison of ideas… but the cold reality is that nothing could be further from the truth. In our society, we only believe in free speech and the value of different ideas if we agree with them… which ultimately makes us no different that cold war communism or the nazis.

Much like in the old days when pro-creationism folks ruled the scientific establishments and silenced anyone with different ideas… today the reality is the pro-Darwinism folks are ruling the establishments and silence anyone with different ideas. And from that perspective, I’m dying to see see this movie.

Having an “open mind” doesn’t mean not having an opinion. But it does mean being willing to entertain and engage other ideas, even if they are opposed to the ideas you currently hold. That is something our culture sorrily lacks, and something I hope a film like this (regardless of it’s subject matter) can expose a little bit.

But there will always be ignorance, and people on both sides of every issue will decry anything put out by the other side as “propaganda” or “manipulation”, and no one just sits down to talk anymore or seems capable of understanding they MAY be wrong. Yay us!

So agree or disagree with darwinism or intelligent design, this movie looks fascinating to me:

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  • Chisox

    Lets see here….

    1.God took a rib from Adam to create Eve. YIKES

    2. One day (no more than 6000 years ago)God got so mad at the world he flooded it, drowning everyone living on it except a lone family. This lone family is what every race in the world is now a descendant of.

  • doug nagy

    What interests me in this debate is the fact that some of the most educated theologians I studied under in seminary believed in evolution.

    Pope John Paul 2 announced evolution “as an effectively proven fact.” (ROA, 82)

    In fact, theologically, creation is not that big a deal. The first 2 books of Genesis deal with creation the next 10 are about adam, eve and lineage; the remaining 38 are about Abraham. Genesis is about God’s covenant with Abraham.

    Intelligent design is a long winded argument using scientific terms to say “god did it”. This is the realm of theology and Genesis pretty much summed it up on a page. If you think you can do a better job than the author of Genesis – be my guest.

    If anything these intelligent designers run the risk of blasphemy by trying to force their viewpoints and assumptions upon the Genesis narrative. So not only are they shunned by the scientific community, many in theological circles see them as a peculiar animal that are bastardizing theology in order to deflate the theory of evolution. This is like blowing up a mountain because you need a rock to throw.

    I believe the theory of evolution is as true as the theory of gravity but that is not the reason I disagree with the ID camp. I disagree with them because I am a theologian and their tactics are insulting to millennia of theological discourse. I am now most certainly a godless hedonist, but I owe it to my professors and education to stand against such nonsense.

    If this is to be a balanced documentary, the inclusion of theologians that oppose Intelligent design is a must.

  • alfie

    lets remember who ben stein is….a staunch right winger who has just a strong right wing agenda as micheal moore does a left.
    this documentary will be nothing more than another way to help push this notion that “intelligent design” a.k.a. creationism should be taught in the science class room which it shouldn’tt.

    by all means teach it as part of a religious studies program alongside the studies of islam, budhism, christianity but leave it out of the science room as it has zero place in there.

    to try and pass this bogus idea off as science is just another way to try and sneak forced religion into the class room plain and simple.

    it is amazing to me that scientologists are dismisse das wackos when you think about all the things other religions believe….scientology is no weirder..its just newer.

    keep ID where it belongs and thats not in the science room…..

  • MPW

    It’s also worth mentioning something I forgot to raise above – that the filmmakers went to considerable lengths to hide the real nature of this project from at least some of the scientists they interviewed, and of course are denying it vehemently now. Just one description of their tactics can be found here:

    http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2007/08/im_gonna_be_a_movie_star.php

    That’s the kind of people we’re talking about, and that’s yet another reason I don’t need to see the entire movie to know it’s made by lying bottom feeders and is probably not worth my time.

  • MPW

    The problem with all of you defending “Expelled” and urging us to just be “open minded” is that, assuming you’re all sincere, you’re coming from at least a couple of utterly incorrect assumptions:

    1) That this film might present anything new and eye-opening. I’ve been following news about it since its making was announced a long time ago, I’ve read stories about it and interviews with Stein about it, I’ve seen clips from it. So far all I’ve seen are years-old and in some cases decades-old evolution-denialist talking points, stale as last week’s donuts, plus a heavy dose of melodramatic martyr posing. Those of us who’ve followed this “controversy” for years have heard it all before 468 gajillion times.

    2) That the people behind this film, and IDists more generally, are basically honest and straightforward (even if maybe mistaken) and interested in doing science or honestly discussing it. ID is a political and religious movement that uses public relations tactics and a pseudoscientific veneer to target the scientifically untrained public with disinformation. This is the one thing you must always remember with regard to IDists – it explains everything they do and say. Its leaders and spokespeople don’t do any science – most of them aren’t even trained scientists, and they have no research program and have published not a single original research paper despite about 20 years on the scene and millions of dollars in funding per year. They constantly tell whoppers about the state of scientific knowledge and research, distort and quote out of context the work of real scientists, and dissemble their own motivations. Catch them with their guard down a little – for example, in front of one of the religious groups they often speak to – and their motivations are pretty clear: to beat back the rising tide of secularism and promote their conservative conception of God, in education particularly. Google “Discovery Institute” and “wedge document” to read it in their own words.

    Nobody in science is hurting ID proponents or blocking their careers. They’ve abandoned real scientific careers by refusing to follow the rules all the other scientists do (devise testable hypotheses and test them in the lab and the field, submit original research to peer-reviewed science journals and conferences, etc.). Instead they put out lots of press releases complaining about their mistreatment and attacking evolutionary scientists. Their big shots write popular press books aimed at laypeople who don’t have the knowledge to see through their distortions; edit “textbooks” aimed at high school students even less prepared to do so; and charge thousands of dollars a pop for speaking engagements with religious and political organizations. They have comfortable careers, voluntarily chosen, as professional martyrs for ID.

    Open mindedness, tolerance, etc., are of course vital values central to a healthy culture. These values do not require us to avoid calling people with a record of obvious dishonesty “liars,” or calling ideas unsupported by any evidence “wrong.” That’s not open-mindedness, that’s lazy thinking and lack of discernment. These filmmakers and the people they champion are not honest or honorable and don’t deserve your credit.

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