Expelled Exposed

The National Center for Science Education, the premier creationist-watching organization, has put up a new web site, Expelled Exposed. It criticizes Expelled, the creationist movie about to appear in theaters very soon.

It’s worth a look, as Expelled seems to be getting good press in some conservative Christian circles. It’s bound to help the “Christians are persecuted by secular academia” meme propagate further.

About Taner Edis

Professor of physics at Truman State University

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01898478961169607232 MrMarkAZ

    Conservative Christians will ALWAYS be persecuted by facts. Facts are stupid things that refuse to recognize the supremacy of their lard and save-yor, Jeebus.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/17047791198702983998 bpabbott

    MrMark, I agree.

    However, I’ll go further and say that liars should all be persecuted for their lies.

    Those who lie in the name of their God in order to obtain influence, power, and/or wealth from the support of the unsuspecting followers should be handled with a particularly heavy hand!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/17047791198702983998 bpabbott

    oops, I neglected to add another link in the hope of bumping up the NCSE’s link for Exposed on google ;-)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/10099905896896905176 GOP Mammal

    Atheists and others who accept evolution and know what the IDiots are trying to do to science in America need to make sure people know this movie is propaganda and not based in fact.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/17047791198702983998 bpabbott

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/17047791198702983998 bpabbott

    Ben Stein’s vainful movie, Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed is a prelude to a conspiracy focused on displacing science education with sectarian instuction …

    At an April 15 press conference for bloggers held at the conservative Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C., the movie’s producers said that they plan to use the movie as part of a campaign to roll out legislation in states—so-called “freedom bills”—that would forbid anyone from “punishing” teachers and professors who question “Darwinism.” Walt Ruloff noted that the science standards of about 26 states are currently in play and that Florida was likely to pass such a “freedom bill.”
    Ronald Bailey of Reason Magazine

    Its not just my home state of Florida, the states of Missouri, and Louisiana are also being targeted … sigh, I hope that we won’t be so easily bilked by such cons for God :-(

    I couldn’t imagine there could be anything I’d agree with Ben Stein on, and then he said this

    “What’s happening here is politics [...] Politics in the halls of science and that needs to be stopped.”

    Where is God when you need a nice bolt of lightening ;-)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05525369403941127638 Major

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05525369403941127638 Major

    Someone help me understand. I have studied this subject in some detail and I even watched the movie this weekend. This argument appears to be built on science and the movie does expose oppressive action of prominent institutions. What is so offensive about the facts in the documentary?

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16826768452963498005 Jim Lippard

    Major: You didn’t look at the ExpelledExposed.com website, did you?

    It’s not the *facts* that are offensive, it’s the misrepresentation and deception that’s offensive.

    For example: Misdescribing the film with an alternate title and description when they already knew they were making “Expelled,” setting up a phony “Rampant Films” website as part of the deception when Barbara Forrest asked why they didn’t have a website (she smelled a rat and refused to participate), using a copyright-infringing film taken from XVIVO’s film for early screenings, filing a bogus lawsuit for declaratory judgment against XVIVO in Texas, giving false explanations for P.Z. Myers’ expulsion from an early screening, giving a misleading description of the film in order to get a license for the use of a song by The Killers in the film, falsely claiming that early screenings were cancelled in order to screen out undesirable attendees, giving the false impression that Richard Sternberg lost a job because of ID advocacy (while omitting good reasons that he could have been, but was not, removed from his position), giving the false impression that there were no good reasons for Guillermo Gonzalez to be denied tenure, giving the false impression that there were no good reasons for Caroline Crocker to not be rehired for an additional teaching contract at George Mason, trying to attribute the Holocaust to Darwinism, and so on.

    That’s what people find offensive. Don’t you?

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05525369403941127638 Major

    So if I understand you. You are OK with the facts of ID but you are not OK with the tactics employed by the movie?

    I have visited Expelled Exposed. Your list of complaints is long and some make me uncomfortable too (if they are in fact legitimate—but lets face it, the NCSE is looking for any reason to downplay and discredit this movie).

    I do not believe that some of your complaints are valid. For example, in the cases of Richard Sternberg, Guillermo Gonzalez, Caroline Crocker; we really should not expect for the respective institutions to list the actual reasons for their actions (we find only the excuses not the actual reasons). Also, the link between Darwinism and the Holocaust is pretty strong. This is evident from the writings of Darwin (which I have read). This movie was not the first to establish this link and it certainly want be the last.

    Most important, if these complaints are the legitimate concern of the NCSE why are the attacking ID as a whole and not just the folks at Premise Media?

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16826768452963498005 Jim Lippard

    What “facts of ID”? I’m not aware of any. I’m not even aware of a scientific theory of ID being formulated to date–the closest thing to positive arguments for ID have been in the work of William Dembski and Michael Behe, neither of which has succeeded in coming up with anything actually useful in scientific research or explanation.

    In the case of Sternberg, the Smithsonian *took no action*. Sternberg lost no position or rights or privileges, even though he probably should have for mishandling specimens. See Ed Brayton’s detailed account here. (And his response to the DI’s non-response here.) In none of these cases do we need to take the institutions’ word for it–Gonzalez’ publication record can be found in the ExpelledExposed.com materials, and Crocker’s teaching materials can be found here as well as in video form linked from ExpelledExposed.com. Again, the cases are set out in detail on that site.

    It’s worth comparing the cases of Sternberg et al to these cases, by the way.

    You say that the link between Darwinism and the Holocaust is found in the writings of Darwin. Where do you see Darwin advocating genocide?

    The NCSE does criticize ID in general, not just this film.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01898478961169607232 MrMarkAZ

    Major:

    To which facts of intelligent design are you referring?

    To the best of my understanding, intelligent design has not produced one testable hypothesis or repeatable experiment.

    Furthermore, none of the major players in the ID movement — Dembski, Behe, etc. — have published anything other than position papers on the subject in any of the respected peer-reviewed scientific journals in the biological sciences. Behe himself admitted under cross-examination that, in order for ID to be considered science, the definition of what was “science” would have to be generously adjusted to the extent that astrology would be considered as valid a science as astronomy.

    The major arguments or claims of ID (the best example would be Wells’ Icons of Evolution) have been refuted many times over by scientists (see the Index to Creationist Claims at http://www.pandasthumb.org).

    Given that ID’s rationale is simply a convoluted argument from incredulity, and that its assertions can be refuted by an examination of scientific data, I doubt very much that you can muster any “facts” about ID other than the fact that some people believe, however mistakenly, that it’s true.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01898478961169607232 MrMarkAZ

    Oops — should have clarified above that Behe’s testimony was given during the Kitzmiller v. Dover trial.

    Read the book Monkey Girl if you want a more accurate portrait of who is persecuting whom in the evolution v. ID culture war.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05525369403941127638 Major

    Here you are MrMarkAZ

    “Most of my remarks are taken from these three authors. With savages, he weak in body or mind are soon eliminated; and those that survive commonly exhibit a vigorous state f health. We civilised men, on the other hand, do our utmost to check the process of elimination; we uild asylums for the imbecile, the maimed, and the sick; we institute poor-laws; and our medical men xert their utmost skill to save he life of every one to the last oment. There is reason to believe that vaccination has preserved housands, who from a weak onstitution would formerly have succumbed to small-pox. Thus the weak members of civilised ocieties propagate their kind. No one who has attended to the breeding of omestic animals will doubt that his must be highly injurious to the race of man. It is surprising how soon a want of care, or care rongly directed, leads to the generation of a domestic race; but excepting in the case of man imself, hardly any one is so gnorant as to allow his worst animals to breed.

    Chapter V of the Descent of Man. This is where Darwinism leads.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05525369403941127638 Major

    “Facts of ID”? The two men you mentioned (William Dembski and Michael Behe) provide ample “facts of ID.” Further exploration of the “facts” will be forth coming so long as the establishment does not prohibit the progress. It is a reasonable commitment to the possibility of a designer. This requires no more faith than that required for evolution. By the way. . . where are the transitional forms Darwin promised us?
    Why not allow the discussion in our scientific studies. Both have very deep questions to be answered and neither can prove their argument beyond theory.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01898478961169607232 MrMarkAZ

    Major:

    First, that’s not evidence in favor of intelligent design. Shame on you.

    Second, you have selectively quoted from Darwin’s work as an ad-hominem attack on evolution, and, in doing so, attempted the creationist trick of assuming that evolution as it is understood today is the same as Darwin’s ideas on the same from two hundred years ago. Shame on you again.

    Third, your assertion that Darwinism inevitably leads to eugenics is flawed. In fact, it was Darwin’s study of animal husbandry — a form of eugenics in practice for thousands of years prior to Darwin’s writing — that led him to his observations regarding natural selection. You also neglect to point out that Darwin, for his time, was much more progressive on the subject of race than many of his religious contemporaries. Shame on you yet again.

    Fourth, speaking of eugenics, you fail to take into account Hitler’s Holocaust, in which Jesus and God were invoked as justification far more often than anything Darwin wrote. If Martin Luther had not been such a raving anti-Semite, if European society had not already been steeped in centuries of religious bigotry, then one contributing factor to Hitler’s genocide would not have been present. Evolution had little to anything to do with the rise of Nazi fascism in Germany, Ben Stein’s dribblings nonwithstanding. Shame on you one last time.

    I thought trolls lived under bridges. I won’t be feeding you anymore.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16826768452963498005 Jim Lippard

    Major:

    Behe accepts common ancestry and his latest work fell stillborn from the presses. He hasn’t published any peer-reviewed papers arguing for ID, and his books have been torn to shreds. Dembski also hasn’t published any peer-reviewed papers arguing for ID, and his work has also been torn to shreds. Both are an embarrassment to their cause–Dembski for his puerile dishonesty and Behe for his self-sabotaging of legal cases and argument that malaria was specifically designed (apparently by an evil deity).

    There have been plenty of transitional forms found, and speciation events observed.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16641266062186767500 Keith Parsons

    Isn’t it remarkable that creationism, in one guise or another, has been around for so many decades, yet its defenders never change their tune. The same hoary, creaking old canards are trotted out year after year. Perennially we hear that Darwinism caused the Holocaust. Nonsense. As other commentators have pointed out, this charge can only be supported by maliciously selective quotation and intentional misrepresentation. In fact, if we are going to start pointing fingers here, the Christian Church’s 2000 year war against Judaism would have take a great deal of the blame.
    We also hear the endless creationist whining that the supposedly oppressive scientific establishment won’t give them a hearing. In fact, many scientists, philosophers, and other scholars, who are very busy people, have each devoted hundreds or thousands of hours to the careful, rigorous, point-by-point examination of creationist claims. An excellent recent example is Sahotra Sarkar’s Doubting Darwin, a masterpiece of deft analysis and critique. Far from having been dismissed, creationism has been given vastly more scholarly attention than its paltry intellectual credentials merit. Creationists are indeed people of faith. They have the faith that a Big Lie repeated endlessly will finally be accepted.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/07321880618566923700 lcm1280

    What exactly is the lie. Therory is being contested to theory.

    Point 1) Propenents of ID simply want an equal playing field. I remebering reading Origin of Species in high school, believe it or not at a Christian high school and I saw it a philosophical rather than sceintific. It was simply theory.

    Point 2) People like myself, who beleive in creation, cannot prove ID. Nor do I wish do ever try. I hold to the things I believe to be true ultimately by faith, but what about all the scientists and philosopher in the movie that do not profess to be religious. What do they have to gain? It seems like they lost, so it must be their conviction for the truth, not the “lard Jeebus” that it propelling them to question Darwinism.

    I realize as a Christian, that I believe in a philosophy which cannot ultimately be backed up with irrefutable evidence. All I can say is that in Darwinism the answers do not lie. There is not a factual explanation in where the big bang originated. I realized that proteins come together to form the first living cell, but did they ride on the backs of crystals, or did extra-teresstials seed them into existence. Your explanation seems as far fetched as my belief in God.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16826768452963498005 Jim Lippard

    lcm1280: Read ExpelledExposed.com. It’s well documented.

    Your comment contains numerous misconceptions.

    1. “Theory” doesn’t mean unconfirmed idea or hypothesis. It means a well-tested and confirmed hypothesis that explains a collection of facts.

    2. “Intelligent design” is nothing more than the philosophical speculation that “God did it.” There is no scientific theory of intelligent design, it can’t be put on an “equal playing field” until someone constructs a scientific theory of intelligent design. You seem to admit this about ID, but you incorrectly state that evolution is also merely philosophy. That’s not correct.

    3. The Big Bang is a theory in cosmology, not evolutionary biology.

    4. Theories of naturalistic origin of life are theories of abiogenesis, and are also distinct from the theory of evolution.

    Please see the Index to Creationist Claims.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05525369403941127638 Major

    MrMarkAZ,

    Not feeling shame here, you can’t selectively disregard quotes from the founder of your faith.

    And Keith Parsons, here’s what I have to say about your remarks
    Isn’t it remarkable that evolutionist, in one guise or another, has been around for so many decades, yet its defenders never change their tune. The same hoary, creaking old canards are trotted out year after year.

    The facts that ID and evolutionist look at are the same. The evolutionist derives the conclusion of common descent and ID derives conclusion on common designer. Why should your theory be better then theirs? Both are based on the research.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16826768452963498005 Jim Lippard

    Major:

    Darwin isn’t the founder of a faith. Current evolutionary biology has changed a great deal since “Origin of the Species,” and continues to do so.

    And you’re quite mistaken that evolutionary biologists and ID theorists look at the same facts. Evolutionary biologists have an enormous scientific output in countless journals looking at all aspects of life. ID theorists, by contrast, really do say the same things over and over–they’re still repeating arguments from William Paley refuted by Hume.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16641266062186767500 Keith Parsons

    “Major” replies to my message by quoting my opening lines and substituting the word “evolutionist” where I put “creationist.” He means by this simple device to turn the tables and say that it is actually evolutionists who say the same thing repeatedly. Of course, this is diametrically opposite the truth. Evolutionary science is changing all the time. This is because it is a science, and, as a science, it is progressive, constantly making new discoveries, developing and testing new hypotheses, and refining old theories in the light of evidence. The latest issue of New Scientist magazine is a special issue on evolution and details the ways that evolutionary science has advanced in recent years. By contrast, such “research” as creationists do consists of endlessly trying, endlessly unsuccessfully, to punch holes in evolutionary theory. And what is the alternative “theory” it proposes? Despite the pseudomathematical trappings of Dembski’s stuff and the bogus biochemistry of Behe, the creationists, at bottom, can only propose what the author of the first chapter of Genesis did: “God said ‘Let there be…and it was so.’” A level playing field? The playing field metaphor begs the question by assuming that there is still a legitimate contest to be fought out. Is chemistry still expected to take the field against alchemy, or astronomy against astrology, or neurology against phrenology? No. These games are over. Science won and pseudoscience lost. Creationist pseudoscience has also lost. It is all over except for the shouting of its die-hard fans who refuse to leave the bleachers long after the game is decided.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01898478961169607232 MrMarkAZ

    In “Natural Selection As Affecting Civilized Nations,” Darwin did indeed write the passage cited by Major.

    What Major neglected to mention was the paragraph immediately following his citation, in which Darwin writes:

    “The aid which we feel impelled to give to the helpless is mainly an incidental result of the instinct of sympathy, which was originally acquired as part of the social instincts, but subsequently rendered, [by way of natural selection], more tender and more widely diffused. Nor could we check our sympathy, even at the urging of hard reason, without deterioration in the noblest part of our nature.

    By proposing a natural mechanism to explain human morality and ethics, Darwin provides an excellent argument against eugenics and artificial selection based on prejudicial ideas of what is “good” or “best.” Ironically, Major illustrates the same point by his selective quotation of Darwin. His assertion that human eugenics invariably follows from “Darwinism” is an inferior and specious argument without any real evidence, much like Intelligent Design.

    The following quote comes from the conclusion to Chapter V:

    “To believe that man was aboriginally civilized and then suffered utter degradation in so many regions, is to take a pitiably low view of human nature. It is apparently a truer and more cheerful view that progress has been much more general than retrogression; that man has risen, though by slow and interrupted steps, from a lowly condition to the highest standard as yet attained by him in knowledge, morals, and religion.”

    Although, given the behavior of our religious contemporaries, particularly the ID/Creationists, I would dispute Darwin’s inclusion of religion as evidence of humanity’s ability to progress.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/17047791198702983998 bpabbott

    Nice job MrMarkAz! :-)

    It is no surprise to me that those who see the hand of an intelligent creator at work in natural processes also see Darwin’s work as advocating a intelligent hand in be applied in fulfilling the evolution of man … of course they are mistaken.

    Darwin made no such statements.

    His was not a pursuit of what should be and how to accomplish that, but a pursuit of understanding of how the past unraveled and brought us to the present … and the mechanics that will carry us into the future.


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