DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Strict//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-strict.dtd"> Expelled: A New Documentary by Ben Stein
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Expelled: A New Documentary by Ben Stein

Ben Stein Expelled

The fact that someone - anyone - is willing to take on big science and secular fundamentalists like Richard Dawkins is terrific, but the last person I would have pictured in this role is Ben Stein.

Stein, however, and in spite of his most recent gig as the host of VH1’s thankfully dormant America’s Most Smartest Model, may just be the man for the job!

Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed is a Michael Moore-ish kind of documentary that investigates, exposes, and challenges the assumptions, presumptions, presuppositions, biases, and academic/intellectual prejudices of the so-called “big science” and its blind fascination and devotion to the Neo-Darwinian materialism that is funneled into classrooms all over the country in suppressing fashion.

Lest one think that Expelled is mere theater, visit the resources page of the official Expelled web site and sign up to receive updates that will inform you of ways you can get involved in Expelled campaigns at your school.

Involvement is important too. Big science evangelists like Dawkins and Harris would like to see all expressions of faith suppressed and eradicated, in the name of their own rigid secular fundamentalism and poorly celebrated examples of the very worst expressions religion has to offer. Dissenting members of the Scientific Academy are also being persecuted for their academic and intellectual explorations, investigations, and convictions. “Educators and scientists are being ridiculed, denied tenure and even fired – for the ‘crime’ of merely believing that there might be evidence of ‘design’ in nature, and that perhaps life is not just the result of accidental, random chance,” according to Expelled’s Overview. Reports such as this are not only unfortunate, but also detrimental to the discipline of science itself, which should always be characterized by academic freedom.

It would not be very difficult to place the fundamentalist perpetrators of big science and secularism into the same sorry boat that is occupied by the religious fundamentalists who sacked smart fellows like Copernicus and Galileo. It would not be very difficult at all to say that guys like Dawkins and Harris have become the very thing they detest most of all - intellectual and academic fundamentalists.

Is Ben Stein the man for the job? Perhaps! Time will tell! One thing is for certain: there is much, much room for God in science. It’s high time the subject is treated with academic and intellectual respect and honesty, from both sides of the societal and cultural fence.

12 Comments

  1. nick
    Posted April 22, 2008 at 8:29 am | Permalink

    I personally am very glad Ben Did this, that’s right we’re on a first name basis. Anyway, He is a very intelligent man and is looked at in that way by most of his peers, some may go as far as to call him a genius. I have not seen the movie but I have read a lot from him and others who appear in the film, and it really seams interesting. I can’t wait to see it.

  2. roger mugs
    Posted April 22, 2008 at 9:31 pm | Permalink

    the media is sooooo far left that they are unwilling to hear that a HUGE part of the population is conservative in at least some things.

    the more i hear about the science behind evolution the more I’m freaked out about what the schools teach.

    its a good deal when someone does something like this, but its shocking how much less attention it gets than a michael moore deal.

  3. Steve Caldwell
    Posted April 25, 2008 at 10:09 am | Permalink

    Of course, anyone who follows the ethical teachings in the Bible would not want to bear false witness against one’s neighbor — even if the neighbor is a godless atheist who supports evoluntionary theories.

    Check out the following web site:

    http://www.expelledexposed.com/

    It explores the facts behind the fiction in Ben Stein’s movie.

  4. Shawn
    Posted April 25, 2008 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    What in the world are you talking about, Caldwell? Who is bearing false witness against anyone? Where did that charge come from? I love my goddless, evolution lovin’ neighbors! I don’t have many, but I love ‘em just the same! And why are you preaching the Bible here?

    You zany Unitarian Universalist, you! Are you just trying to reinforce the New Testament idea that even the devils can quote scripture? You zany fellow, you!

    Stein’s flick is about academic freedom and big science’s attempt to stomp out Intelligent Design from classrooms, right? I ask because I have not personally viewed the film with my own two eyes yet, but that is the gist of it, right? If you are pointing at the above linked web site as some sort of fact-sheet, then don’t waste your time. Anyone can spin things; you know that, right?

    So, beyond Stein and his own film, why not have this conversation about academic freedom and competing theories in the science classroom?

    There are plenty of seriously credentialed and intelligent scientists who cite Intelligent design as a valid theory. So, what’s the problem? Science is about theory, right? So why not make room in the discussion for it too?

    … or do you want Dawkins to reign?

  5. Steve Caldwell
    Posted April 25, 2008 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

    Shawn,

    Stein’s movie asserts that “big science” is trying to keep out new theories like Intelligent Design.

    This assertion is a false accussation and I now guess that the Decalogue ethical constraint on spreading falsehoods about one’s neighbor is now optional for people of faith.

    The so-called “Big Science” isn’t impossible to challenge if the challenger has done the research and found the facts to back up the theory that challenges the so-called scientific orthodoxy.

    Have the Intelligent Design advocates done this? If not, why not?

    The Expelled Exposed web site has a detailed section that shows how real science is done and how new theories are presented and defended. You can read about how science corrects itself and adapts to new knowledge and new theories here:

    http://www.expelledexposed.com/index.php/the-truth/challenging

    This web article mentions several maverick scientists who challenged existing theories:

    ** Barbara McClintock (transposable genetic elements)

    ** Lynn Margulis (the symbiotic nature of eukaryotic cells)

    ** Barry Marshall (the bacterial infection cause of peptic ulcers)

    ** Stanley Prusiner (prions - an infectious form of life that reproduces without DNA or RNA)

    ** Motoo Kimura (random genetic drift and its effect on natural selection)

    So — I would suggest that there isn’t an unchallengable “big science” orthodoxy. It’s simply a matter of challengers needing to do the basic scientific work needed to challenge existing theories.

    The Intelligent Design proponents just are not doing the basic scientific work to support their theories.

    Since they are not doing the scientific work required to prove or disprove an Intelligent Design theory, it’s pretty disingenious to say their research is being suppressed.

    One cannot suppress non-existent research.

    The Intelligent Design advocates’ arguements have been examined by the scientific community and found to be lacking in both utility and accuracy.

    If mainstream science declines to accept intelligent design, it is the fault of the intelligent design advocates, who have not performed the research and theory-building demanded of everyone in the scientific enterprise.

    Even ID advocates like the immunologist Michael Behe was asked why he didn’t do any experimental work to test his ID theories during the Dover ID trial:

    http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/dover/day12pm.html

    He said “I myself would prefer to spend time in what I would consider to be more fruitful endeavors.”

    So if ID advocates don’t consider their own theories worthy of exploration and apparently a waste of time, why should the rest of the scientific community spend reserach time on them?

    It really doesn’t matter if “plenty of seriously credentialed and intelligent scientists who cite Intelligent design as a valid theory” — science isn’t determined by majority vote.

    Scientific matters are decided through facts, observation, and how useful a proposed theory is at predicting things.

    So — how would one test Intelligent Design as a theory? What findings would support a creator? What findings would suggest that a creatorless world (or at best a deist hands-off world)?

    And if these ID experimental tests returned negative results, would that imply that the Intelligent Designer’s (aka “god” or “gods”) existence is less likely?

  6. Steve Caldwell
    Posted April 25, 2008 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

    Shawn — contrary to popular opinion, this isn’t an academic freedom issue.

    Science is a human institution and isn’t perfect.

    But the institutional self-correcting mechanisms allow both for changes in theories and for discarding of theories when better ones come along. Here are some real-life examples of scientists successfully challenging “big science” through the practice of science:

    Challenging Science
    http://www.expelledexposed.com/index.php/the-truth/challenging

    The problem here isn’t with some so-called “big science” orthodoxy here.

    The problem is with the Intelligent Design theories. So far, there are no empirical observations that are better explained by Intelligent Design theories.

    For Intelligent Design theories to succeed, they need to make predictions and have these predictions be confirmed by empirical observation.

    This is how Intelligent Design can succeed with honesty and integrity in science.

    However, it may be easier to “succeed” outside the realm of science through slick marketing, bumper-sticker slogans about academic freedom, and being dishonest to the folks one interviews in a movie.

    So I ask you one more time — is lying about one’s neighbors an acceptable thing for Christians and other people of faith to do?

  7. Shawn
    Posted April 26, 2008 at 12:47 am | Permalink

    Yeah … Yeah … Yeah …

    We’ve all hear this before, Caldwell. You are a member of the Dawkins camp. Yippie! You have a problem with the ID! How surprising! Well, I guess you would! You are spouting all the predictable arguments against ID! How novel! And what am I to do? Spend my time arguing over things we both already know? No thanks! Am I to engage you and try to tell you that your godless materialism is pretty weak in light of things like Spirit, Redemption, Re-creation, Joy, Love, Charity, Empathy, etc., only to have you then accuse me of being some sort of mind-bent fundamentalist who just wants to change your beliefs and make you a Christian? LOL! Is that what you want me to do? It’s a lose/lose with individuals like you and I won’t be tossing pearls before swine this time ’round. I know why you are here and I won’t be playing that silly UU game. So, go sharpen a pencil or something, bro.

    Wait! I’ll give you one - and only one - point, before you run off to find a pencil and a sharpener. I have already said it, but I’ll say it again, just for you. My point to you is that there are very intelligent people on both sides of the debate. I’m OK with that, are you?!? Obviously you are not because you have been ranting and raving here and even going so far as to quote bible verses and principles delivered by a God you don’t even believe in and demanding that followers of said non-existent God repent for baring-false witness against evolutionists!!! What are you even talking about!!! What the heck is your issue, bro? You make little sense and you call this rationalism? LOL! Oh how rich!

    Anyway, back to my point: there are very intelligent people on both sides of the debate and both theories should be discussed in classrooms. If you say otherwise then it seems to me that you have proven Stein’s movie point valid.

    If nothing else, you have proved how irritable you are about the subject.

    Relax! Breath! Take an evening stroll in your Neo-Darwinian materialism and hold the hand of the mass of tissue, organs, and chemical reactions you refer to as wife or mate or whatever you call it these days.

    Then scamper back to your Unitarian Universalist fold and make good with the witches and warlocks … surely their brand of supernaturalism is cool with you and your so-called scientific rationalism, right? Maybe you ought to team up with your fellow UUs and try to rescue a smidgen of sense from your own denomination before you go run around the blogosphere trying to force others to swallow your wormy and godless hooks.

    Unitarian Universalists … you never know what you are going to get from them. Finding out should be a sport! … zany behavior.

    PS> Yeah, I believe that there is a designer behind this universe we live in … Does my believing that keep you up at night? Sorry! I’m sleeping great!

  8. Shawn
    Posted April 26, 2008 at 12:54 am | Permalink

    Oh yeah .. you can thank me for not just sending your posts to the trash bin. I normally don’t tolerate UU nonsense on this site, but I found yours to be fairly entertaining. I’m not sure how much more I’ll let through, so spend your next comment wisely!

  9. Steve Caldwell
    Posted April 26, 2008 at 6:52 am | Permalink

    Shawn,

    My concerns were not over the intelligence of those promoting Intelligent Design in the movie “Expelled” — my concerns were with their honesty.

    Is supporting dishonesty OK if it supports a cause one believes in?

  10. Shawn
    Posted April 26, 2008 at 9:04 am | Permalink

    Steve,

    Your citations of dishonesty are derived from the biased proponents of neo-Darwin materialists living on the big science/Dawkins side of the isle. To be fair, there is another group living on the other side of said isle who support ID theory. In big media cases like this one, both sides will have plenty of representation claiming error for the other side, even if there is truth behind it all. Most of the time, the POINT is lost in all the bickering and pointing towards any little issue that can be used as leverage against the other side. You are championing this sort of junk in this conversation and you are also trying to use the very scriptures and principles attributed to the God you don’t even believe in against those who do. It’s a tired and old strategy, Steve. It’s divisive and short sighted, not to mention academically stifling.

    I’m for presenting both theories in the classroom. Why? Because I’m willing to bet that a cold, neo-Darwinian materialism will loose out to ID when viewed through a lens honestly tilted toward real life and living and loving. Besides, none of us will ever figure out exactly how this universe and all its grandeur was created. It’s all theory, Steve. It’s all theory. I’ll bank on an Intelligent Designer; you can have chance.

    You are grumpy. You stormed into this little community and started barking like a mad pit bull. You have zero room for discussion re: ID and you don’t believe it should be taught in any classroom, in spite of the many, many credentialed and educated scientists who espouse it (which is the point of Stein’s film, from what I have gathered). You also twisted the Bible in the name of one side’s biased apologetics and tried to use the Bible and its principles against believers in an accusing sort of fashion. That’s just pathetic, bro. It makes little rational sense to me to use the God you don’t believe in against those whom you wish to prove that there is no God. It sounds like an act that you can get a prescription for, bro.

    So, rather than argue for the next ten years over this subject, I’ll bid you a good day, sir. Peddle this unfruitful dialog in the Unitarian Universalist sphere, where barren trees are plentiful.

  11. rogermugs
    Posted April 26, 2008 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    can i just say… wow…

  12. Shawn
    Posted April 26, 2008 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    @rogermugs: You sure can, brother! :)

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