The National Center for Science Education has put together a website to respond to the new pro-Intelligent Design movie “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed”. It is called Expelled Exposed. I have to say that red flags were raised for me when I heard a podcast about the movie based on this premise:
Have you ever noticed that Christians are fine with having God and science coexist? In fact, Christians see scientific discoveries as strengthening their faith precisely because they reveal the marvel of the world. So why is it that so many scientists seem to hate the idea of God so much?”
Um, yeah. Loonies like Richard Dawkins aside, suffice it to say that this has not been my experience of the “conflict” between Christians and science. I have already made known my stance on creationism and intelligent design.
Part of my problem with creationism and intelligent design has always been the dishonesty used to sustain the argument against evolution. I suppose it isn’t too surprising to see that this dishonesty isn’t limited misrepresenting main stream science and scientists. It turns out that many of the stories used in the movie to demonstrate this supposed intolerance for alternative views are misrepresentations as well.
For example, one scientist featured in the movie, Richard Sterberg, claimed that after using his position as editor of a small scientific journal to publish a pro-intelligent design article, he was fired from his post as editor, forced out of his office at the Smithsonian, and made to turn in his keys which gave him access to the Smithsonian’s specimin collection which he needed in order to do his work. Turns out that he had put in notice 6 months prior at the journal, had to move offices along with everyone else in his work area as part of an office re-arrangement and needed to turn in his keys so he could be issued a key card that would work with the new security system.
You can go to the website and check out the other stories as well as explanations for how the movie misrepresents the science of evolution. If you have time, you should also watch the video on the front page. Often Intelligent Design proponents insist that people are wrong to conflate their ideas with biblical creationism. In the video, they demonstrate that the book Of Pandas and People, (the Intelligent Design text the Dover PA school board tried to put into use in their schools used creationist materials), is taken word-for-word from biblical creationist materials. They simply replace “creationism” with “intelligent design” and “intelligent creator” with “intelligent design”. Otherwise, the materials were identical. Once again we see anti-evolutionary forces using dishonesty to forward their claims. Which is just disgusting, given that many of these people claim to be devout Christians.
Ben Stein was interviewed by Beliefnet about the movie. He said that the work of Michael Moore influenced him in the making of this movie. While I have heard that the movie is entertaining, it is unfortunate that Mr. Stein decided to crib Mr. Moore’s habitual dishonesty in the making of his film.
I am also disturbed that Christians seem so ready to embrace the idea presented in the film that Darwinism is responsible for things like the holocaust. Christianity has been blamed for virtually every ill humanity has faced over the last 2000 years. The reality is that even when Christians were indeed the perpetrators, they had to distort and violate the teachings of Christianity in order to do so. One would think that people who are well aware of how this smear tactic has been used against them would be a bit more credulous when the same game is used against someone else. To whatever extent the perpetrators of the holocaust used Darwinism as an excuse for their atrocities, there is simply nothing in Darwin’s work which would actually lead to the sort of hatred which fueled the holocaust. It’s not like if Darwin hadn’t come along Hilter would have spent his life making doilies and leaving the Jews alone!
All in all, once again it seems that anti-evolution forces are acting true to form in using dishonesty in an attempt to put forth and ideology which they believe to be more honoring to God. Somehow, I’m pretty darn sure that God is not honored when people who claim His name feel the need to lie in order to “protect” Him. I rarely see movies anyways, but I’m definately not going to see this one. In this house, you can call “Expelled” “Censored!”. But I’m sure it’s just because I’m so intolerant and hate God. As if.