Culture Intelligent Design

EXPELLED in Baptist Press

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Two interesting articles in the Southern Baptist Texan about Ben Stein’s EXPELLED:

Baptist Professors Featured in New Film
Written by Jerry Pierce | Managing Editor
Posted Monday, January 28, 2008

DALLAS­ — Two professors with ties to Baptist higher education are featured in an upcoming big-screen documentary that aims to expose the scientific establishment’s scorn toward academics who question Darwinian evolution.

“Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed” is scheduled for theaters in April and stars comedic actor and conservative activist Ben Stein as he travels the world interviewing intelligent design (ID) proponents whose careers have been threatened, as well as prominent neo-Darwinists who hold ID in contempt, including Richard Dawkins, author of the best-selling book “The God Delusion.”

A rough cut of the film, screened Jan. 10 in Dallas, featured interviews with William Dembski, a research professor of philosophy at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and a leading ID proponent whose books include “The Design Inference” and “No Free Lunch,” and Robert Marks, who holds the title of distinguished professor of engineering at Baylor University.

Marks is a co-laborer of Dembski’s whose ID research raised the ire of Baylor’s administration last year.

Dembski’s trials at Baylor from 1999-2005 are not documented in the film­among other things, he drew the wrath of the science, philosophy and religion departments early in his tenure there when it was learned that he was heading up an ID think tank on campus­but Dembski appears several times on screen as an ID apologist.

Dembski told the Southern Baptist TEXAN that those who most need to see the movie are “parents of children in high school or college, as well as those children themselves, who may think that the biological sciences are a dispassionate search for truth about life but many of whose practitioners see biology, especially evolutionary biology, as an ideological weapon to destroy faith in God.”

Marks appears in the film as one of the “expelled” academics. Although he remains at Baylor as a tenured professor, Baylor officials last year forced Marks to return grant money it received related to ID research and forced his ID research website to an off-campus server.

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Q&A: ‘Expelled’ producer Logan Craft
Written by Jerry Pierce | Managing Editor
Posted Monday, January 28, 2008

The Southern Baptist TEXAN’s Jerry Pierce interviewed Logan Craft, one of the executive producers of the upcoming movie documentary “Expelled,” starring Ben Stein, which will debut in theaters in April.

Craft, a University of Texas at Austin alumnus now living in Santa Fe, N.M., is chairman of Premise Media. “Expelled” exposes the blacklisting of academics who question the prevailing Darwinian dogma. It includes interviews with William Dembski, a leading intelligent design thinker and a research professor of philosophy at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, and Robert Marks, a distinguished professor of engineering at Baylor University in Waco. The following is transcribed from a phone interview with Craft.

TEXAN: How did Premise Media get involved in this project?

CRAFT: There are three partners, executive producers, of Premise­Walt Ruloff, John Sullivan and myself. I’m the chairman, Walt Ruloff is the CEO and John is the president. And we have an extensive team that works directly for the company and then is contracted also by the company on the film “Expelled.”

The original inspiration came specifically in this subject matter to Walt Ruloff, who is a Canadian. He lives in Vancouver. I used to live in Vancouver, where I studied under a theologian named J.I. Packer at Regent, and Walt and I became acquainted. Walt was a very successful technology entrepreneur, founder of a software company. And he was doing some business in Houston and he picked up a ‘Wired” magazine in the Houston Intercontinental Airport lounge and he read an article about this debate between evolution and intelligent design. He had always been interested in the subject matter and he got inspired and kind of had an epiphany on the flight back to Canada, and he wrote out a treatment on a screenplay. And that very beginning, a sort of inspirational moment for Walt, turned into a partnership between John, Walt and myself to explore controversial subject matter related to science and to science and religion.

I had been working in New Mexico. I produced and hosted a regionally televised program called “Church and State with Logan Craft.” And “Church and State” explored a lot of the controversial social issues and political issues that both religious and non-religious people were interested in. So when Walt and John brought this to me, I was interested because I had been covering a panoply of issues over the years and was very, very aware of the connection between the landmark issues in the culture war and the debate over evolution. So we formed a partnership in 2005, developed the company in 2006 and began filming and acquiring raw material footage in the middle of 2006.

TEXAN: How did Ben Stein come to be involved in the film?

CRAFT: Well, John had a real insight, we believe, into the necessity to have a person, first of all, who wasn’t overtly Christian or overtly religious and also someone who had a comic element to their personality or their repertoire, but also an intellectual. Well, that kind of limits the field. There aren’t that many of those folks out there.

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2 Replies to “EXPELLED in Baptist Press

  1. 1
    Mapou says:

    Wow! Logan Craft is really eloquent in the Q&A with Texan. I especially like his answer to the question regarding why ID is seen as such a threat by the Darwinian crowd. Bravo.

  2. 2

    I can hardly wait until this film comes out. I have been avoiding reading about it because spoilers will diminish my experience. I saw somewhere that Eugenie Scott and PZ Myers were whining about their rolls in the film, intimating that they were duped into participating–Typical evolutionist spin doctors at work.

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