Another ‘Expelled’ Movie Review

This probably contains spoilers, but I don’t know how much that matters with a movie of this nature.

‘Expelled’ does what it sets out to do, that is, it raises awareness of the ‘blackballing’ of ID from the scientific community.  While Ben Stein’s own worldview does come through in his treatment of Darwinism, it is not the center of the movie.  The theme of the movie is that of Darwin’s detractors being ‘expelled’ from any forum in which some very important questions could be posed to Darwinian theory.

Ben Stein argues that the proponents of ID deserve a place at the table of Science based not upon the validity of their arguments, although he does not discount their arguments, but on the grounds of ‘Freedom of Inquiry’, which is one of the traits that has made our nation great.

He also points out the fact that while Evolutionists cite crystals, or aliens as the source of life on earth, they regard the theory of a ‘designer’ to be ridiculous.  But it is not simply the issue of a ‘designer’, as the alien theory suggests, since the alien would have been a ‘designer’ of life, but ‘who’ the designer would turn out to be.

The film is also disturbing as it shows the implications of a world based on Darwinian theory as found in history.

So, without giving away a whole lot of the movie, let me simply say that the movie is worth seeing, even if only from a ‘Freedom of Inquiry’ veiwpoint.

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16 Comments

Filed under Ben Stein, creation, evolution, Movie Review, worldview

16 responses to “Another ‘Expelled’ Movie Review

  1. No, no, no. Panspermia and crystals are not what scientists normally have to cite to explain the origin of life. Even if aliens were the widly accepted explanation for scientists, it’s still more possible because the aliens would have to have come about through natural forces. Panspermia does not ultimately postulate untestable supernatural explanations.

    For your convenience, I’ve used the awesome power of Google for you.

    http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=abiogenesis&btnG=Google+Search&safe=active

    Also, Hitler never mentioned Darwin in his book, Mein Kampf, though he did have a chapter on race. Eugenics did not require evolution by natural selection. It simply needed the concept of artificial selection. When you thinka bout it, we’d had eugenics for thousands of years before Darwin as we were breeding dogs, cabbages, pigeons, etc. for traits that we considered favourable.

    As for “freedom of inquiry” that’s all well and good, but he’s talking about academic freedom. It’s the responsibility of an academic to do his/her job well and that job entails providing evidence for your claims.

    Essentially, academic freedom is that you can say whatever you want… as long as you back up your claims with evidence which they have failed to do.

    Let me put it this way…

    If you hire a firefighter, their job is to risk lives to save people. If they’re unwilling to do that, they’re in the wrong job.

    If you hire an astronomy professor, you expect them to teach heliocentric (sun-centered) model of the Solar System. If they happen to personally believe passionately that the Earth is the center of the Solar System, they’re in the wrong job.

  2. “Panspermia and crystals are not what scientists normally have to cite to explain the origin of life.”

    Good. Give me some other examples of what scientists DO cite as the origins of life on earth that are widely accepted.

    “When you thinka bout it, we’d had eugenics for thousands of years before Darwin as we were breeding dogs, cabbages, pigeons, etc. for traits that we considered favourable.”

    We’re not talking about animal or plant life. We’re talking about human life. And the fact that you don’t see the difference is directly related to your acceptance of Darwinian theory.

    “As for “freedom of inquiry” that’s all well and good, but he’s talking about academic freedom. It’s the responsibility of an academic to do his/her job well and that job entails providing evidence for your claims.”

    I don’t know of anyone who has disputed that.

    “If you hire an astronomy professor, you expect them to teach heliocentric (sun-centered) model of the Solar System. If they happen to personally believe passionately that the Earth is the center of the Solar System, they’re in the wrong job.”

    Let’s argue for a moment that there was some Astronomical discovery that pointed towards, say, Mars as the center of the Solar System. Would you want your Astronomer to rule it out offhand, with no investigation? Or would you want him to interact with this new evidence and investigate it to the point of where he can state either the truthfulness or demonstrate the falseness of said evidence?

  3. “We’re not talking about animal or plant life. We’re talking about human life. And the fact that you don’t see the difference is directly related to your acceptance of Darwinian theory.”

    The poster above was not saying this. Reading your response I know all I need to know–your are arrogant, dishonest, and malicious. Ordinarily I would devote some time to correcting your errors, but since you’re clearly not interested in the truth, I won’t waste my time.

  4. “Good. Give me some other examples of what scientists DO cite as the origins of life on earth that are widely accepted.”

    I… did.

    http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=abiogenesis&btnG=Google+Search&safe=activ

    But, since apparently it’s too hard for a person to use Google even when the subject was already typed in for them… I’ll send you directly to…

    http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/abioprob/

    And in case you can’t click on pertinent links from there either…

    http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/abioprob/originoflife.html

    “We’re not talking about animal or plant life. We’re talking about human life. And the fact that you don’t see the difference is directly related to your acceptance of Darwinian theory.”

    You mean non-human animals. I do not accept Darwinian theory. I accept evolutionary theory. Believe it or not, I’m perfectly well aware that Darwin didn’t get everything right. The modern theory of evolution by natural selection goes way beyond Darwin’s original theory.

    It’s eugenics nonetheless. Humans were selecting traits in non-human animals that they liked. Hitler was selecting traits in Homo sapiens that he liked. It’s especially worthwhile pointing out that Hitler’s racism had nothing to do with evolution.

    “Let’s argue for a moment that there was some Astronomical discovery that pointed towards, say, Mars as the center of the Solar System. Would you want your Astronomer to rule it out offhand, with no investigation? Or would you want him to interact with this new evidence and investigate it to the point of where he can state either the truthfulness or demonstrate the falseness of said evidence?”

    I’d want him to investigate it. At this point, the Mars-centered model of the Solar System would be nothing more than a hypothesis. If he did many, many, many experiments showing that Mars is indeed the center of the universe, I would be absolutely delighted at the new scientific development.

    However, that’s not what the cdesign proponetsists have done. They’ve just pointed to structures like the flagellum, and said “I can’t think of a way this could have evolved, therefore a sky fairy did it!”

    That’s simply not the way science works. Personal incredulity is not evidence for anything except their own ignorance.

  5. Ugh… It seems that because of the links provided my comment got sent to the spam queue. I’ll see if the blog author digs it out, and if not I’ll type it up… again…

  6. Ooh! It got saved! Splendid!

    Thank you very much blog author!

  7. Spledidelles (and Nimravid),

    I wasn’t trying to be ‘arrogant, dishonest, and malicious’. I’m sorry if I came across that way. I was wanting to interact and have an honest debate, but apparently neither of you think that I have the mental capacities to engage in such a “debate. Apparently I didn’t evolve enough.

    I’m further sorry that I took the time while I was at work to respond to your comment and yet did not take the time to click on the link and follow the 344,000 Google results for ‘abiogenesis’.

    “You mean non-human animals.”

    No, I mean that Humanity is a totally separate classification from animal life. And that demonstrates my point. Evolutionists classify human life and animal life together, or at least very closely, but human life has something that is totally different from animal life, and that is apparent, in my opinion, from the very fact that we are debating each other right now.

    “It’s eugenics nonetheless. Humans were selecting traits in non-human animals that they liked. Hitler was selecting traits in Homo sapiens that he liked.”

    But see, if my argument that human life and animal life are different is true, then Hitler is committing gross immorality by tampering with human life. On the other hand, if I am wrong, then how can I fault Hitler for his attempts at ‘helping’ the human race along? Besides the fact that it would never work the way that he attempted it? Because we’ve already removed any reason to condemn him for any wrong-doing other than ‘accepted moral behavior’, which itself can never be constant in a world where pragmatism rules.

    “It’s especially worthwhile pointing out that Hitler’s racism had nothing to do with evolution.”

    I think that is utterly false. While Hitler talks of man as being created, he also talks of Nature as changing and selecting species and races. Granted he doesn’t have a pure evolutionary theory, as best I can tell, but to say that evolution was in no way a contributing factor to his racism is simply false. And I will be the first to say that the way that he used ‘God’ as a justification for his racism as well is despicable. So let’s just take Hitler off the table, because he screwed up both evolutionary theory and religion.

    “However, that’s not what the cdesign proponetsists have done. They’ve just pointed to structures like the flagellum, and said “I can’t think of a way this could have evolved, therefore a sky fairy did it!””

    If that is an accurate representation of any argument from any ID’er or Creationist, I’ve never heard or read it. Instead the argument, as best I understand it, is this…Our universe is intricately designed to work in the way that it works, there are no random molecules with no purpose. If there is a design to the universe, as all of the evidence points to, there must be a designer.

    Further, no scientist ever does any kind of study based upon randomness. All experiments are based upon predictability. So even when Evolutionists do their work, they do so on the basis of a design. Every time you drop an object it falls. Why? Gravity. How does gravity work? That’s what every scientist wants to know, and there has never been a scientist who said, “It just happens.” Instead they theorize and cite magnetism, the rotation of the earth, force from other planets, etc. as their conclusions. The point is, all of them base their studies on the predictability that an object falls when it is dropped. For here to be any kind of predictability requires that there be design, which in turn requires purpose, that therefore requires a designer who purposed that every time an object is dropped that it should fall.

  8. Sorry. Any posts with more than one link get sent to the spam file. By design. 🙂

  9. “But, since apparently it’s too hard for a person to use Google even when the subject was already typed in for them… I’ll send you directly to…”

    Wow, that was a little arrogant of me. Sorry, I tend to be an ass when I have sleep deprivation.

    “No, I mean that Humanity is a totally separate classification from animal life. And that demonstrates my point. Evolutionists classify human life and animal life together, or at least very closely, but human life has something that is totally different from animal life, and that is apparent, in my opinion, from the very fact that we are debating each other right now.”

    Granted, humans are conscious. We have society, civilization, poetry, art, music, and science. Biologically (and perhaps to some small extent, mentally) we are still animals. We are very closely related to the great apes and the chimpanzees. We share a huge portion of our DNA with them (99% is huge). Because we’re the only animals to have evolved a certain form of consciousness (and it may be arguable that other animals have another form of consciousness) does not mean that we’re separate from the animal kingdom.

    “But see, if my argument that human life and animal life are different is true, then Hitler is committing gross immorality by tampering with human life. On the other hand, if I am wrong, then how can I fault Hitler for his attempts at ‘helping’ the human race along? Besides the fact that it would never work the way that he attempted it? Because we’ve already removed any reason to condemn him for any wrong-doing other than ‘accepted moral behavior’, which itself can never be constant in a world where pragmatism rules.”

    Inflicting suffering upon sentient life is a step up from inflicting suffering upon animal life. I suppose a case can be made for eugenics through genetic engineering, but it is certainly immoral to kill people just because you don’t like their traits. I think that’s the main problem with human eugenics. We’re too biased to what we think is good. In Hitler’s case, he was a racist.

    But there is no scientific justification for racism.

    “I think that is utterly false. While Hitler talks of man as being created, he also talks of Nature as changing and selecting species and races. Granted he doesn’t have a pure evolutionary theory, as best I can tell, but to say that evolution was in no way a contributing factor to his racism is simply false. And I will be the first to say that the way that he used ‘God’ as a justification for his racism as well is despicable. So let’s just take Hitler off the table, because he screwed up both evolutionary theory and religion.”

    I had to laugh at Hitler’s ignorance while reading Mein Kampf. First, he talked about inter-racial hybrids as if they were inferior (I am an inter-racial hybrid so I took offence to that), and then he said that Nature doesn’t “want” to have hybrids. Well, if the hybrids were sterile, as is what happens in inter-species hybrids, then Nature might select against them as this would be a waste of resources, but selection really is an unconscious process.

    Though it is sometimes helpful to think in terms of “group selection” (nature selecting groups, or populations of a species), ultimately nature selects based on traits and the genes that are beneficial to an organism’s survival.

    So yes. Let’s please throw Hitler out.

    “If that is an accurate representation of any argument from any ID’er or Creationist, I’ve never heard or read it. Instead the argument, as best I understand it, is this…Our universe is intricately designed to work in the way that it works, there are no random molecules with no purpose. If there is a design to the universe, as all of the evidence points to, there must be a designer.”

    Please point me to such specific evidence.

    “Further, no scientist ever does any kind of study based upon randomness. All experiments are based upon predictability. So even when Evolutionists do their work, they do so on the basis of a design. Every time you drop an object it falls. Why? Gravity. How does gravity work? That’s what every scientist wants to know, and there has never been a scientist who said, “It just happens.” Instead they theorize and cite magnetism, the rotation of the earth, force from other planets, etc. as their conclusions. The point is, all of them base their studies on the predictability that an object falls when it is dropped. For here to be any kind of predictability requires that there be design, which in turn requires purpose, that therefore requires a designer who purposed that every time an object is dropped that it should fall.”

    But evolution is not a random theory! Not a random theory at all! Why do we have DNA in the nuclei of our cell instead of RNA? Because DNA is better at replicating itself without copying errors. Therefore, it become more numerous than RNA and become the superior self-replicating molecule? Why are some insects so well camouflaged? Because insects that look more like the background environment are less likely to be caught by birds and so their genes become more numerous.

    There is some randomness, however. Mutations, for example, are random. But the way that beneficial mutations are selected is not.

    Does that make sense or am I missing the point?

  10. “I’m sorry if I came across that way. I was wanting to interact and have an honest debate, but apparently neither of you think that I have the mental capacities to engage in such a “debate. Apparently I didn’t evolve enough.”

    On the contrary, I assumed that you had the intellectual capacity, but were more lacking in the moral realm. It’s because of this that you repeatedly misrepresent the opinions of your opponents. You did it above, saying that splendidelles saw nothing wrong with culling “undesirable” humans, and you did it again right here saying that I did not want to discuss this topic with you because I am a snob who thinks I’m “more evolved” than you, rather than because of my stated reason, which is that you’re acting like a jerk. Now if you’re really interested in discussing the topic, I’m willing to give you my opinion, but only if you’re willing to be more Christ-like. I can’t think of a single case in the New Testament in which Jesus managed an argument by malicious misrepresentation of his opponenets’ views.

  11. “Please point me to such specific evidence.”

    A lecture by John Lennox:
    http://bethinking.org/resource.php?ID=290&TopicID=2&CategoryID=1

    Is Intelligent Design Science? Four
    Views:
    http://bethinking.org/resource.php?ID=384&TopicID=2&CategoryID=1

    Theistic Evolution & Intelligent Design
    in Dialogue:
    http://bethinking.org/resource.php?ID=216&TopicID=2&CategoryID=1

  12. “Expelled”, the movie, seemed to present its case simply enough:

    1. There is no way to disprove the case for an “Intelligent designer”…

    2. Evolution remains a “theory” and cannot be verified as scientific fact…

    3. Even Hawkin admits to his own uncertainity about these matters – and stumbles terribly justifying evolutionary theory as being a 100% certainity. And why did he stumble at his own words? Because he possesses a “conscience” that continually bears witness to the truth…

    4. Conscience cannot involved but was given to each man by that same “intelligent designer” evolutionary theorist refuse to embrace…

    5. God has a name. He declares that He alone is the way, truth and life. Jesus Christ….

  13. Point 4 should have read, “…Conscience cannot evolve but was given to each man by that same “intelligent designer”…

  14. You can’t prove a negative. Disproof of evolution is not proof of
    ID. There is also no way to disprove that there are glowing unicorns on Neptune.

    About #5… Stein is Jewish.

    Thank you for the links. I’ll take a look at your evidence. In the meantime, I recommend doing some reading on evolution. Friendly exchange of reading material?

  15. “I’ll take a look at your evidence.”

    It’s all second or third-hand to me. 🙂

    “Friendly exchange of reading material?”

    Sure thing. I read the Moritz piece about a year ago. But I will review it once more, and I’ll follow as many of the other links as I can find time for.

  16. “5. God has a name. He declares that He alone is the way, truth and life. Jesus Christ….”
    “splendidelles, on May 3rd, 2008 at 11:08 pm Said:

    About #5… Stein is Jewish.”

    Stein’s Jewishness doesn’t detract from the fact that God has a name (YHWH) or that Jesus Christ is the way the truth the life. Because Stein doesn’t believe in the trinitarian God doesn’t negate the truth of the statement.

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