Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community


FYI-FTR: “But, that’s CENSORSHIP!”

It seems that, in the interests of more responsible and responsive, on-issue commentary here at UD and elsewhere in the context of debates over design theory (cf. concerns here and here), participants in discussions in and around UD need to clarify some matters, especially the difference between fair comment dissent and defamation and that between acting to stop disruptive and enabling behaviour and censorship. All this, in the context of free and democratic societies that duly balance rights, freedoms and responsibilities — the difference between liberty and licence. First, defamation is not fair-comment free speech. Madeleine Flanagan of M and M blog in New Zealand writes, helpfully (and as already cited in correction but it seems ignored): >> . . Read More ›

Mark Armitage possibily the latest victim of the Darwinist inquisition

What happens when you publish a peer-reviewed paper that states inconvenient facts against Darwinism? Better yet, photos that cast doubt on prevailing paradigms: You get fired. At least that is what a researcher is alleging. We are very saddened and disturbed to report that Mark Armitage was fired from his position at California State University just days after his paper was published on line. http://logosresearchassociates.org/week-1/ Again, I repeat, if we assume the Earth is billions of years old, it does not mean the fossils are necessarily hundreds of millions of years old. At the very least, even if the fossils are old, it is still premature to be making claims about their age given the empirical evidence. See: Cocktail: C14, Read More ›

Review of a review of Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed

First posted at AITSE. With the release of Obama’s America, Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed is again attracting media attention. Both movies are conservative documentaries–Obama’s America has now displaced Expelled as the top conservative documentary. The difference between the two? You can see Expelled for free by clicking on the link above; you have to pay for Obama’s America. The similarity? Both movies elicit strong reactions–either people love them or they hate them. Politics is outside the purview of AITSE’s mission, except in so far as it infringes on integrity in science, so one may ask why a review of a film was addressed in our newsletter. Simply because, the main premise of Expelled is that scientists are being penalized for Read More ›

Darwinist bid to get hold of Expelled film fails

A bid by Darwinists to acquire rights to the Expelled documentary on the ID theorists has failed. From TOAF:

Combined with the funds the Foundation already had on hand, we had just over $50,000 available to bid on the film (and pay the 10% buyer’s premium). The winning bid, however, was $201,000. Because all of the bidders were anonymous, we do not know identity of the winning bidder.

Film probably went to business interest. More later.

Update, just in: Walt Ruloff and his associates, who were the original producers of EXPELLED, won the auction. More later.


Talk origins were trying to buy Expelled “The reason given is so they can then release unpublished material, but equally they could prevent future sales of the film.”

10 June 2011 Expelled film to be sold due to bankruptcy. That was not a surprise.

There is a hiatus in significant coverage at this point because the companies that owned various aspects of Expelled lost touch with the people featured in it – for reasons still unexplained – despite the fact that the film was doing well.

23 October 2008 Expelled #1 in documentaries, #11 in DVDs Read More ›

She said it: Nancy Pearcey’s thoughtful article on how “Christianity is a Science-starter, not a Science-stopper”

One of the most common objections to design thought is the idea that it is about the improper injection of the alien  supernatural into the world of science. (That is itself based on a strawman misrepresentation of design thought, as was addressed here a few days ago.)

However, there is an underlying root, a common distortion of the origins of modern science, which Nancy Pearcey rebutted in a  2005 sleeper article as headlined, that deserves a UD post of its own.

Let’s clip the article:

Read More ›

Expelled film to be sold due to bankruptcy?

Here. Note: Re Expelled, this was rumoured. The site has not been serviced for some time. Hang on to your DVDs.) Here is the auction page. Here are some excerpts from the screenplay. Expelled quotes

They said it: “Evolution is a Fact!”

The opening of  the current version of the Wikipedia article, “Evolution as theory and fact,” (with links and references removed) reads: The statement “evolution is both a theory and a fact” is often seen in biological literature. Evolution is a “theory” in the scientific sense of the term “theory”; it is an established scientific model that explains observations and makes predictions through mechanisms such as natural selection. When scientists say “evolution is a fact”, they are using one of two meanings of the word “fact”. One meaning is empirical: evolution can be observed through changes in allele frequencies or traits of a population over successive generations. Another way “fact” is used is to refer to a certain kind of theory, Read More ›

They said it: NSTA’s radical redefinition of Science

We have all heard of the NCSE, but the National Science Teachers Association [of the US], NSTA, has proposed a new definition of the nature of science, in a declaration signed off by its Board of Directors, as long ago as July, 2000.  Excerpting: All those involved with science teaching and learning should have a common, accurate view of the nature of science. Science is characterized by the systematic gathering of information through various forms of direct and indirect observations and the testing of this information by methods including, but not limited to, experimentation. The principal product of science is knowledge in the form of naturalistic concepts and the laws and theories related to those concepts . . . . Read More ›

The American Theistic-evolution Association

Thirty years ago, I matriculated from Wheaton College, a “fundamentalist” school 25 miles west of Chicago. Well, actually the faculty and student body never called it fundamentalist, that’s what the big TV station called us whenever they did their “local news specials”, and waited for the opening prayer at mandatory chapel to pan the audience for the obligatory “every head bowed” shot. In actuality, Wheaton was proud of its “progressive status” among the consortium of 13  small liberal-arts Christian colleges, promoting an “old-earth creationism” in contrast to the 24/6 “young earth creationism” usually associated with Bible colleges. They had even built their then-new science building with a rotating display of a student-excavated mastodon skeleton (“Perry”) to reinforce their commitment to Read More ›

‘Should Creationism Be Taught in British Classrooms?’

This is the title of an opinion piece that appears in the latest issue of the liberal-left weekly UK magazine, New Statesman. It is written by Michael Reiss, who 18 months ago was forced out of his position as director of communications at the Royal Society because he said that creationist and ID views should be treated critically but respectfully, when raised by students in science classes. (As you can see from the end of the piece, he is eminently qualified to speak on these matters.)  Reiss’ sacking has been perhaps the most public demonstration of an Expelled-like phenomenon in Britain to date. To this day, I am surprised at how little outrage it generated. I protested immediately at the Read More ›

Academic freedom for creation explanation

Reuben Kendall, freshman at UT-Martin, has written a thoughtful view point regarding Evolution vs Intelligent Design. He raises important points on metaphysical presumptions vs data. He raises the question of Academic Freedom which incorporates the foundational unalienable freedoms of speech and religion. May I encourage readers to write editorials and viewpoints raising such issues and standing up for our inalienable rights.
Academic freedom for creation explanation
Reuben Kendall, Issue date: 3/17/09 Section: Viewpoints

As a freshman, I haven’t been at UT-Martin for very long. But some problems are so obvious that they don’t take very long to notice.

In my studies I quickly realized that when it comes to the theory of evolution, Darwin is the only one who gets to answer questions-or ask them.

I want to question this theory-to test it; check its credentials. And I want honest, thoughtful answers to my questions, not pre-formulated quips and deflections.
But I have learned that if I’m not an evolutionist, my questions don’t get credited, or even heard.
Read More ›

Jeffrey Schloss, and Now Richard Weikart’s Reply to Him

Jeff Schloss, formerly an ID supporter and Senior Fellow of Discovery Institute (until August 2003 — click here for Way Back Machine), has since been distancing himself from ID and even going on the offensive against it. I witnessed the beginnings of this offensive at a symposium featuring Ron Numbers, Howard Van Till, Schloss, and me in 2007 at Grove City College (go here for the program). His criticisms of ID at that event seemed to me naive and ill-considered. Yet he did seem to advance them sincerely, and I hoped to have an opportunity try to persuade him otherwise, which unfortunately never happened. Schloss’s critical review of EXPELLED, however, raised his opposition against ID to a new level and Read More ›

Yoko Ono Lawsuit Expelled!

There may yet be hope for the First Amendment and common sense copyright.
Yoko Ono Lawsuit Expelled!: Judge Rules in Favor of Expelled Producers; Film To Be Re-Released In Theaters This Summer
(PRWEB) July 17, 2008 — The producers of the controversial film, Expelled, are celebrating their first legal victory in the lawsuit brought against them by Yoko Ono, for including John Lennon’s song Imagine in their documentary. Last month, a federal court in Manhattan denied Ono’s request for an injunction against the film that would have forced it out of theaters nationwide. The producers are celebrating this victory by announcing that the film will be re-released theatrically this summer across the United States. Read More ›

Texas educator sues over job loss and creationism

Published online 9 July 2008 | Nature 454, 150 (2008) A former Texas official is suing the state’s education agency, saying that its policies passively endorse creationism. In a complaint filed with a district court on 1 July, Christina Comer, a former director of state science education, alleged that officials tacitly condone the teaching of creationism through a policy of neutrality. Comer oversaw Texas’s science curriculum until last November, when she was forced to resign for circulating a notice of a talk entitled “Inside Creationism’s Trojan Horse”. In her termination notice, Comer was told that the education agency endeavoured to “remain neutral” on the issue of creationism. Comer’s complaint argues that board neutrality violates the separation of church and state. Read More ›

Making genetic history – Jerry A. Coyne

BOOK REVIEWED–In Pursuit of the Gene: From Darwin to DNA by James Schwartz Harvard University Press: 2008. 384 pp. Fruitful collaborations were formed in Thomas Hunt Morgan’s fly genetics lab. When I was a student, ‘doing genetics’ meant crossing two different strains or species. Now it means sequencing DNA, preferably human. Between these two poles lies the history of genetics, a pathway fraught with sharp turns, steep gradients and dead ends — and engagingly recounted in James Schwartz’s new book. Despite its subtitle, In Pursuit of the Gene is not a comprehensive history of genetics, but focuses solely on classical genetics. Schwartz, a science writer, begins with Charles Darwin’s ill-fated ‘pangenesis’ theory of the inheritance of acquired characteristics, and runs Read More ›