Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community


Expelled at Baylor: Local reaction to film varies

Hre’s a thoughtful look by Tim Woods of the Waco Herald-Tribune at the response in and around Baylor University to Expelled – given that Baylor itself was one of the subjects. On the situation of Prof. Robert Marks, Woods records,

Marks’ involvement in Expelled centers on a Web site about his evolutionary informatics research lab.
The research is friendly to the philosophy of intelligent design, Marks says, but is not direct intelligent design research.
The site, formerly on Baylor’s server, was shut down last year by school officials who claimed it lacked sufficient disclaimers that the work was in no way that of Baylor University.

I admire the way reporter Woods relays – with no comment – a rationale so paper-thin as to display the institution’s contempt for the reader/hearer. So many journalists today, wedded to materialism, would choose to implicitly make excuses for the institution. One such might have written, “because, they explained, Marks had never made clear that the university did not support his research.”

Then Woods quotes a functionary: Read More ›

Australian Media on EXPELLED

In reading an Australian news report on Ben Stein’s EXPELLED, I came across this paragraph (go here for full story): Stein is [a man] with a mission: to prove US academics are being expelled from universities for daring to suggest creationism should be taught in science classes. And to prove that creationism — the belief that God created everything in six days, a creed accepted by 80 per cent of Americans — is the only riposte to Darwinism. Evolution, in Stein’s narrative, is linked to “communism, the Berlin Wall, the Holocaust and planned parenthood”. Whereas the American media by now understands that ID is different from young-earth creationism, it appears that some of the foreign media are still clueless. I Read More ›

Derbyshire reviews (and seems to have read) Berlinski

Derbyshire continues to embarrass himself — it’s as though on the topic of ID and God his emotions take over and he can’t think straight. I’ll spare you his review and simply quote Berlinski’s response, which skillfully shuts him down with very few words: [From] David Berlinski: 1 If I remark that no sane man would hesitate to choose between A and B, it hardly follows that either A or B is insane. This is a point of logic. It is obvious. 2 To suggest that Mbombo or Unkulunkulu have an enduring claim on our attention is to ignore the striking insight achieved by the ancient Hebrews: That various scattered deities are nothing more than local manifestations of a single Read More ›

John Derbyshire: EXPELLED as “Creationist Porn”

Back last year I reported on this blog that (go here) that John Derbyshire, despite repeatedly weighing in against intelligent design online and in print, gave no evidence of understanding the topic (to say nothing of doing any first-hand reading in it). Below he weighs in against Ben Stein’s EXPELLED, reviewing the movie despite refusing to see it. Derbyshire’s education, it appears, consists mainly in learning to sneer while striking an erudite pose. A Blood Libel on Our Civilization — Can I expell Expelled? John Derbyshire | April 28, 2008 | National Review Online What on earth has happened to Ben Stein? He and I go back a long way. No, I’ve never met the guy. Back in the 1970s, Read More ›

Dinesh D’Souza on his recent debates with atheists

D’Souza has been debating lots of atheists lately. One atheist who won’t debate him is Richard Dawkins. Dinesh comments: [M]y challenges to Dawkins to step into the arena have only met with pathetic rationalization: “Richard is simply too busy and smart to debate you Dinesh.” Busy doing what besides being caught with his pants down by Ben Stein? And I guess he’s smart because he doesn’t want to risk further embarassing himself and destroying his public reputation! Won’t it be hilarious if the “party of faith” is unafraid of opposing arguments while the “party of reason” cannot withstand the arguments of its critics? This is what Henry James might describe as a most interesting turning of the screw. READ WHOLE Read More ›

Expelled ten days later … plus other news

According to Box Office Mojo, Expelled is estimated to have

– earned $5,282,000 in 10 days.

– it is currently ranked 6th in political documentary, 12th in Christian, and 15th in documentary.

– It is currently ranked 13 in films, but every film ranked above it was released in far more theatres.

Meanwhile, Read More ›

Weikart-Ruse Debate in STANFORD REVIEW

This just published at the STANFORD REVIEW: The Impact of Darwinism By Tristan Abbey With the premiere of Ben Stein’s new movie, Expelled, many people are pondering the long-term impact of Darwinism on society. We touched base with two experts on the subject. Arguing that Darwinism has had a largely positive impact on society is Michael Ruse, the Lucyle T. Werkmeister Professor of Philosophy at Florida State University. Arguing that Darwinism has had a largely negative impact on society is Richard Weikart, Professor of History at California State University, Stanislaus. . . . ACCORDING TO WEIKART: “[I]n the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries most leading Darwinists, including Darwin, tended to stress human inequality more than equality, in part because evolution Read More ›

Is “Imagine” Even Copyrightable?

Yoko Ono, as many readers of this blog by now know, is suing the producers of EXPELLED for using a brief clip of John Lennon’s song “Imagine.” One of the stanzas of the song reads: Imagine no possessions I wonder if you can No need for greed or hunger A brotherhood of man Imagine all the people Sharing all the world Is it possible to copyright a song that disavows possessions (copyright being a form of possession)? Once Ono realizes the self-referential incoherence of her suit, I trust she’ll drop it. [[Addendum: Then again, Elvis Costello may be closer to the truth: “Was it a millionaire who said ‘imagine no possessions’?” — go here]]

Duped and Duping — What Goes Around Comes Around

Richard Dawkins continues to be indignant about being “duped” into taking part in Ben Stein’s EXPELLED. His indignation is a pose. Dawkins and his TV production company tried to dupe those who disagree with him into taking part in his “Enemies of Reason” series. Some of the people in that series (and in his previous polemic against religion, “The Root Of All Evil?”) felt that they had indeed been duped into taking part. For details about Dawkins the Duper, go here. In this vein, here is something I posted last week at UD (click here for the thread): [Denyse O’Leary] hit the nail on the head in noting that Darwinists redefine “lie” to mean anything that does not promote the Read More ›

Victimized by EXPELLED?

Richard Dawkins posts a letter on his website by an anonymous individual who, supposedly inspired by his viewing of EXPELLED, now holds Dawkins and fellow Darwinists responsible for the Holocaust. Dawkins then shifts the blame to Ben Stein and EXPELLED. This is the same Dawkins who in books and videos rails against religious people for their credulousness and stresses the need in science and all aspects of life to examine things closely and follow the evidence. So, what is the evidence that this letter is genuine? And who’s benefitting from the letter? We don’t know who the author is. Moreover, Dawkins is clearly putting it to good use in excoriating Ben Stein and EXPELLED. Until Dawkins provides some compelling evidence Read More ›

Will the Expelled film “flop” like Bella did?

Would you go to see a film about a pregnant New York waitress from a deprived background – estranged from her family, dumped by her lover, fired for being late, and about to arrange an abortion? Really? If you said no, you would certainly be affirmed in your decision by critics at the top Entertainment sections. But then Bella stunned film mavens by winning the Toronto Film Festival People’s Choice Award. Audiences have since made Bella a popular, award-winning – and well-rewarded – movie. There is currently an enormous cultural divide between elite culture and popular culture in North America, and film’s future rests with popular culture. To understand what will happen next for Expelled, ignore the derision of the Read More ›

One-stop shop for reactions to EXPELLED

With so many extreme reviews and reactions to Ben Stein’s EXPELLED, it’s hard to get a sense of proportion about the film. To that end, check out: www.arn.org/expelled

So Dawkins thinks design can be studied? Plus links!

Gonzaga law prof David DeWolf comments of Richard Dawkins’s effort to spin his recent sympathy for the idea of extraterrestrials bringing life to Earth – as admitted to the Expelled team in the film:

The point of Dawkins’ concession in the movie is not that panspermia is a preferable alternative to evolutionary theory, but rather THAT IT CAN BE STUDIED SCIENTIFICALLY. (Sorry for shouting, but I get excited about these things.)

Dawkins concedes that you could scientifically investigate whether or not the origin of life reflected natural processes or whether it was likely the result of intervention from an external, intelligent source. If you concede this point, which Dawkins appears to do on camera, then Robert Pennock, Eugenie Scott, Judge Jones et al. are dead wrong in postulating “that ID is an interesting theological argument, but that it is not science.” (Kitzmiller, 400 F.Supp.2d 707, 746) Read More ›

AAAS issues yet another denunciation of ID, this time against EXPELLED

You think the following statement from the AAAS is going to help heal the chasm in our society over evolution and ID? New AAAS Statement Decries “Profound Dishonesty” of Intelligent Design Movie A new movie released in support of the intelligent design campaign needlessly drives a wedge between science and religion and insults the life-affirming work of millions of scientists worldwide, AAAS said in a statement issued today. . . . NEWS RELEASE FULL STATEMENT

Expelled: When telling the truth means telling “lies”

The Expelled film performed agreeably at the box office (see link below) but just for fun google “Expelled” and “lies” and see how many hits you get from very angry Darwin fans. Apparently, a well-meaning Christian was concerned about all this steam and fog, asking, “Is it true? Did the Expelled producers really lie?”

Well, no, yes, … and no again. The term “lies” needs unpacking in the context.

As I mentioned to some friends yesterday, the Darwin fan, like other materialists, uses the term “lie” in a different sense from the traditional one with which that Christian is familiar.

To the Christian, a lie is a deliberate falsehood. In that sense, no, the producers are not lying. Darwin fans really behave as the film portrays them when anyone produces evidence or argument against their orthodoxy.

But Darwin fans themselves use the term “lie” in a quite different way. They mean any statement or piece of evidence that does not promote their party line or does not make them look good.

Their usage has nothing to do with the sincerity of the speaker or the quality of the evidence.

From their perspective, Expelled is full of lies.

But no again if you mean, does the film describe fact as opposed to fiction? It is fact.

Likewise with the claim that the Expelled producers tricked Darwinists into appearing. Read More ›