Expelled the Movie - No Intelligence Allowed

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jethro's picture

badbenbenblowinghorn Expelled is a fantastic new movie coming out that threatens to blow the lid off the neo Darwinist / atheistic pogrom of suppression, persecution and discrimination against those who dare to stand up and exercise their (American) First Amendment rights to free speech, specifically in relation to questioning the flaws and holes in Darwinism and the theory of evolution. For 200 odd years this theory has been posited by scientists as a theory explaining the existence of life. However when Darwin a brilliant naturalist first postulated this theory numerous very important discoveries had not as yet been made, eg  the electron microscope, the structure and nature of DNA, cell structure and energy or ATP, and more. Large numbers of these now well known scientific facts do not fit into the evolutionary model which has been stretched and altered many times over the years in a vain attempt to make it fit the facts.

Now Ben Stein stars in a movie that

"..uncovers the dramatic exposition of the current and often hidden persecution of educators and scientists who are being denied tenure and even fired in some cases, for their belief in the evidence of “design” in nature, challenging the idea that life is a result of random chance or the result of evolution.

Unlike other documentary films, EXPELLED doesn’t just talk to people representing one side of the story. The film confronts scientists such as Richard Dawkins, author of The God Delusion, influential biologist and atheist blogger PZ Myers and Eugenie Scott, head of the National Center for Science Education.

The creators of EXPELLED crossed the globe over a two-year period, interviewing scores of scientists, doctors, philosophers and public leaders. The result is a startling revelation that freedom of thought and freedom of inquiry have been expelled from publicly-funded high schools, universities and research institutions."

The www.expelledthemovie.com website contains lots of resources to assist in promoting this movie including a press kit.

Here is a sample:

expelled-movieposterBen Stein, the lovable, monotone teacher from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and The Wonder
Years is on a journey to answer one of the biggest questions ever asked: Were we designed or are we
simply the end result of an ancient mud puddle struck by lightning? Stein, who is also a lawyer, an
economist, a former presidential speechwriter, author and social commentator, is stunned by what he
finds on his journey. He discovers an elitist scientific establishment that has traded in its skepticism for
dogma. But even worse, along the way, Stein uncovers a long line of biologists, astronomers, chemists and
philosophers who have had their reputations destroyed and their careers ruined by a scientific
establishment that allows absolutely no dissent from Charles Darwin’s theory of random mutation and
natural selection.
“Big Science in this area of biology has lost its way,” says Stein. “Scientists are supposed to be
allowed to follow the evidence wherever it may lead, no matter what the implications are. Freedom of
inquiry has been greatly compromised, and this is not only anti-American, it’s anti-science. Its anti-the
whole concept of learning.”

Another great resource for schools, teachers, parents and churches is this well put together PDF Expelled Leaders Guide. It contains lots of facts, links and discussions points.

I will be watching with interest as the momentum for this movie gains ground and starts to take off.


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hisherness's picture

Interesting. When I was very

Interesting. When I was very young, we recited something called the Pledge of Allegiance to instill some sense of patriotism into our childish minds. In this pledge there was a phrase: "one nation, under god." I recall asking my teacher about that, about whether I should say it knowing I had no god (at the time my phrasing was less diplomatic, but I was around four or five years old). She said yes, so I did, thinking "OK, this pledge doesn't apply to me ... only the children with gods count." While I don't think anyone should be penalized for their beliefs, I also think care has to be taken so children don't say "OK, science doesn't apply to me ... only children with/without gods can be scientists." That goes both ways, so I expect you'd need teachers of both persuasions.

jethro's picture

interesting response - i

interesting response - i hadn't thought of it like that, but i guess now i do that thats exactly what the point of the movie is. Ben Stein is trying to say its unfair that the science community should be closed in one direction. thats as equally discriminating as to close it the other way. We can get better perspective by analytically evaluating all possibilities, not blindly closing our minds to any one - especially on a non rational basis - eg just because it is faith based, or requires supernatural intervention or because (in the case of evolution) it requires stupendous probabilities to occur sequentially so many times that there is a large amount of faith required to accept that is the reason. however to simply close your mind to evolution, creationism or intelligent design without allowing the rational discussion that is required actually inhibits our faith in any one of these alternatives. faith should not be blind, but rational. Note i use the word rational even though that implies intelligent design, eg a machine mind that has evolved is theoretically not capable of rationality as we use the term, it is merely programmed as a series of evolved chemical actions, an involved mind cannot answer the basis question of why do i have personality, or morality, or even ask the question why do i exist.
thats a bit of tangent and maybe a topic for another post.
anyway thanks for the comment

hisherness's picture

In my opinion, the sciences

In my opinion, the sciences are strongly coupled with the concept "prove it or disprove it." I suppose we could be purists and claim that anything we can't prove just know isn't science, but in doing so we make the erroneous assumption that what we can't prove now can never be proven. What I'm trying to say is that beginning in faith doesn't disqualify an idea from ending in science, and that beginning in science doesn't disqualify an idea from ending in myth. Before the proof, the idea that the earth is round was faith. The idea that space is filled with some murky ether was faith. Some things turn out correct, some incorrect. I openly admit that I don't buy intelligent design; I don't even like the flavor of intelligent design. Arguably, the current impossibility of quantifying the concept could be cited in its disfavor ... but then, the same could be and is said of string theory which (since my hero, Ed Witten, entered the battle) comes couched in some of the most beautiful mathematics (and other natural science flavors) you can imagine. ID is a concept, like any other, and must be proven or disproven. There is no other meaningful way to approach it as a scientist, and to quash it without doing so is no better than forcing Galileo's retraction (though hopefully more civilized).

This is far too long, and I didn't even get to the tangents you presented. Let that be a lesson to you, sir: soliciting my thoughts is never wise. They're disordered at best!

jethro's picture

au contraire - thanks for

au contraire - thanks for your responses - they make for interesting reading. I very much like your idea about faith and science and the proof either way. Sort of allows clarity while still allowing ambiguity - eg the possiblity of proof being discovered that cancels out the faith or vice versa.

Feel free to have a go at the tangents, I might just have to turn them into a post of their own if you get my juices flowing enough!

I agree ID is a concept, just like evolution is, and in my opinion a better one, simply because evolution has so many flaws and major holes (never envisaged by darwin)
In my opinion the easiest answer is God, because he simply states it as fact, and there is the proof, He is self evident. Of course you need faith to believe it, but that is no different from any other alternate origin theory.

onein6billion's picture

"simply because evolution

"simply because evolution has so many flaws and major holes"

What??? You believe their propaganda??? And if evolution is not perfect, that means anti-science nonsense is correct???

jethro's picture

thanks for your comment

thanks for your comment onein6billion
im not sure what you mean by propaganda. the definition of propaganda is "The definition of propaganda is, information that is spread for the purpose of promoting some cause" In this case I am not sure there is a cause involved. However I think it would be pretty fair to state that evolutoinists have for years produced misleading and biased not to mention blatantly untrue information (eg piltdown man, pepper moths etc) that is deliberately designed to sway others to believe their version of the "truth". If thats not propaganda what is?

I think the pertinent point in this case is that the theory of evolution can not be proven to any degree of completeness, but requires some faith - or belief that the theory is true. Thus any adherents to its cause will be very likely to spread propganda in an attempt to convert others who may not be able to see the holes in its arguments.

Your logic in your second question is appalling (not to mention your grammar). I'm not sure what you are trying to say. What is anti-science anyway?

onein6billion's picture

"What is anti-science

"What is anti-science anyway?"

Creationism, "intelligent design" and Expelled are anti-science. They are an attempt to replace science with religion.

The scientific response is at www expelledexposed com

jethro's picture

evolution, creationism,

evolution, creationism, intelligent design are not science
We mostly agree

science is a observable hypothesis-test-rehypothesis cycle.
Science measures observable facts.
evolution, creationism, intelligent design are simply interpretation of those facts.

Lets be honest, we all have the same facts to work with, so none of these is realy science or anti science or any other emotional tag.

Lets take observable facts and interpret them.
when it comes to origins, a large number of the facts are actually not observable. They have already happened, and all we can see is the result. So things like carbon dating, speed of light degradation etc are all extrapolation of known observable results over potentially large periods of time prior.

At the end of the day, evolution is simply one way of interpreting the facts.

I am not speaking for the Expelled movie here yet, as I haven't yet seen it. However it is clear that there is a great deal of angst from the scientific community toward having evolution disproven. They speak as if it was already proven. Yet it isn't. No evolutionist can clearly stand up today and say that there is a hard cold observable fact of a transitional species. Yet the theory clearly revolves around this very requirement The other central core of evolution is dna addition. that is that the mutation / adaptation process not only changes intra species, but also adds genetic material somehow. Once again, something that has not been able to be proven.
The problem isn't evolution, creation or id. The problem is those people on either side who act as if they have proof where none exists.

Dracil's picture

There seems to be a

There seems to be a misunderstanding of science here. Science *never* proves anything. Rather science only disproves things. This is what separates evolution from ID and Creationism. ID and Creationist proponents, cannot accept any falsification of their position because it has theological implications. Furthermore, they make no falsifiable predictions.

Evolution though, does make predictions. This is where the tests come in. If evolution were false, the predictions it make would be wrong, but they aren't, and time and time again, the predictions have been correct. For examples take a look at talkorigins.org/indexcc/CA/CA210.html

Asking for transitional species/fossils are a red herring as well. Every fossil/species is by definition, transitional. What is being asked here is the equivalent of saying that there is no way the number 1 can become 2 because you cannot show every single transitional number in between the two numbers. If I show you 1.5, you ask for the transitional number between 1 and 1.5. If I show you 1.1, you then ask for the transitional number between 1 and 1.1. I then show you 1.15, and so on. It's the same thing here.

The reason why the scientific community and normal people are against ID and Creationism is their proponents trying to push it into science classes where it does not belong. It is a waste of resources, the same way covering Flat Earth, Geocentrism, Astrology, or Alchemy as if they were viable alternatives are a waste of resources in science classes. We do however, absolutely welcome the teaching of ID in a philosophy class, where it belongs.

Believe me, if evolution could actually be disproven, it would have been. It's a Nobel prize for the taking. Is it perfect? No. No scientific theory ever is (which BTW, includes the Theory of Gravity, Germ Theory, the Atomic Theory. I'm just preemptively deflecting "only a theory" fallacies) because as I said before, science does not prove. Rather, all we ever have in science is the *best* model that explains past data, and predicts future data.

jethro's picture

Hi dracil and welcome You

Hi dracil and welcome

You speak as if evolution is a proven theory. I ask you to name any evolutionist scientist who proclaims it as fact - eg proven and the evidence he gives to show it is proven.

Creationists and ID proponents need to use the same facts and make predictions and test those predictions. this is the same use of science that evolutionists make.
The science is the same - the facts are the same, the interpretations may be different. the predictions are different but the outcomes are the same.

so if we can agree as in your last statement that the data is there for all of us, the model that best fits the data is simply a theory - (including gravity and atomic theory as well) then the issue is about the model not the data.
OK so evolution proposes a model, that species can add genetic material somehow as a response to their newly hostile environment in order to survive. I have yet to see any evidence of that. Frankly there is none. (yet)Evolutions predict that this could have happened, and show plenty of facts that could support their theory, but they cannot prove it has happened. No one has ever demonstrated it to occur.
Creationists by the alternate, predict that the origin of all things was from the spoken word of a self revealing all powerful being, God. The same evidence can be used to support this model as well. frankly at the end of the day science actually has very little to do with it. rather it comes back to an issue of who we are - why do we exist. Creation, existentialism and other philosophical theories of existence attempt to provide an answer, and all as a result lean to some extent on the creation (or alternate) physical model (except those who state we are all figments of each others imagination and there is no physical reality at all).
Find the answer to mans humanity and you find the best model for the origin of the universe and its contents.

Dracil's picture

I think you completely

I think you completely missed my point where I said science does not prove. You're asking me for something I, and science never claimed. It is like asking for proof of the Theory of Gravity. There actually isn't any. Letting go of a ball and seeing it fall does not prove there is gravity. It may very well be the hand of God pushing it down, something we often joke as Intelligent Falling.

Evolution, however is the *best* model we currently have. That does not mean that tomorrow we may not find contradicting evidence that will require it to reworked and a new model created to explain the new contradicting evidence.

"OK so evolution proposes a model, that species can add genetic material somehow as a response to their newly hostile environment in order to survive." <- actually evolution does not state this. There's a few misconceptions in this statement. First, a species does not have control over its own mutations (science fiction and genetic engineering notwithstanding). What evolution would predict in such a case is that any organisms in the population who do not have the proper set of genes already would die off, or at least have a lower reproductive success rate compared to any organism without a gene more suited to the new environment.

Again, evolution does not prove (science does not prove) that this is always the case. They just need to show that for every known *past* case, it IS the case. They can also predict that for every *future* similar case, the same things will happen, and as long as it continues to happen, it is accepted as being valid. Which means, if one day, we found that organisms in a newly hostile environment ends up with the members of the population with the worse gene somehow doing better than the members of the population with the better gene, then evolution has just been falsified.

Just like gravity. All observed cases of letting go of an object so far results in it dropping. The theory of gravity also predicts that this will happen in the future as well. But this does not prove gravity exists, and it can be completely falsified tomorrow if we let go of a ball and it just hangs in the air.

Creationism on the other hand, states that everything was created by God. Dead stop. And here's the problem. It is not falsifiable. Science does not deal with the supernatural. But hold on there, there's a difference between not dealing with the supernatural (which science does) and claiming the supernatural does not exist (which science does not, and anyone claiming so fails to understand the nature of science). Creationism though, must, by definition, invoke the supernatural. The supernatural cannot be falsified because it is outside the bounds of natural laws. Therefore Creationism does not make predictions. It makes assertions.

Remember, the key in science is not provability, but falsifiability. I don't think any Creationist can honestly claim that God could be falsified.

However, you bring up a good point. What do we do about the origin of man, why we are here, etc.? All those important Why questions are outside the realm of science and science *should not* be touching it. That is fully in the domain of religion and philosophy. As such, Creationists are fully welcome to have Creationism, ID, or any other ideas they want taught in philosophy and religious studies class.

Keep the science in the science class and the philosophy and religion in philosophy and religious class and everyone will be happy.

onein6billion's picture

"Let's be honest, we all

"Let's be honest, we all have the same facts to work with, so none of these is really science or anti science or any other emotional tag."

I think you need to be honest - you don't have the slightest idea what you are talking about.

"evolution is simply one way of interpreting the facts."

Correction - evolution is the only scientific way of interpreting the fossil record, the DNA evidence, and a whole lot of other observational evidence.

"The problem is those people on either side"

The problem is that creationists want to teach their nonsense to high school students.

jethro's picture

ok if you cant debate

ok if you cant debate logically then don't try. i asked for a simple thing- find me one evolutionist scientist who will declare that evolution is a proven fact and not just a theory.
When you can do that you cam make statements like "evolution is the only scientific way of interpreting the fossil record, the DNA evidence, and a whole lot of other observational evidence" Until then you need to open your mind to the possibility of other interpretations

onein6billion's picture

"ok if you can't debate

"ok if you can't debate logically then don't try."

ROTFLOL. Then you follow this wise advice by a nonsensical non sequitur. So I think you failed to follow your own advice.

awc1366's picture

One of the popular myths of

One of the popular myths of creation science is that "evolution is just a theory". Now you've robbed it of even more credibility by demoting it to the status of "concept". Soon it will be merely a "notion", a twinkle in the eye of some biologist somewhere.

But evolution is much more than theory or concept. It is a fact, just like gravity is a fact. It is evident in the observations of all of the natural sciences: biology, comparative anatomy, geology, paleontology, ... If someone started questioning whether gravity was "only a theory" we'd think they were a bit strange.

The debate within scientific circles is not whether evolution occurs -- it plainly does -- but what are its mechanisms. (Gravity plainly occurs, but WHY and HOW it occurs are the great scientific questions.) This discussion has been evolving (sorry) ever since Darwin, in the way science moves forward in any field: facts are explained by a hypothesis and tests are designed based on what the hypothesis predicts. The result of the tests may be that the hypothesis is wrong and needs modification, but that is how we learn and how we advance. The point is that scientific theories are testable. Intelligent design could never be falsified by any test, so it is, by definition, not science. May be a perfectly good faith-based position, but it's not science.

The other thing to remember is that even if, as Ben Stein's movie presents, scientific establishments are making life politically tough for proponents of ID, that does not make evolution wrong, not does it make ID right. It's a different issue completely.

jethro's picture

hi awc1366 may i ask you to

hi awc1366
may i ask you to supply one observable scientific fact that can support the theory of evolution. eg show me a transitional life form, show me evidence of dna increase, show me beneficial additive dna change (not destructive mutation).
By observable scientific fact i mean - state the hypothesis, show the observable data and then demonstrate that the data supports the hypothesis. I am sure that you would agree this is right.
I agree that ID is equally faith based - if you read back you would note that i stated that evolution and id both required "faith"
Note that ben is not trying to rubbish evolution as much as he is trying to get a fair deal for all proponents of origin theories - at least thats my take on it - happy to be corrected if i am wrong.

awc1366's picture

Hi Jethro, OK. One fact. You

Hi Jethro,

OK. One fact. You asked for "evidence of DNA increase." The Drosophila gene bicoid in Drosophila (fruit flies) is an example of a gene that occured as a result of duplication - new genetic material.

You ask for a fact but then you define "fact" as the entire hypothesis-test-rehypothesis cycle of science. Actually the word "fact" means in science pretty much what it means in everyday life: "Something that has really occurred or is actually the case." (quoting the venerable OED here.) Back to my gravity analogy: it is a FACT that when I let go of something above the ground, it falls. So the existence of the bicoid gene is a fact. Any number of other facts, such as the similarity of avian and reptilian anatomy, suggest an evolutionary mechanism. When you accumulate thousands of such supportive facts, it seems pretty obvious. Well, it did once Darwin pointed it out in 1859: there was the usual scientific argumentation immediately, but within 10 years it was pretty much universally accepted. It's only in the last 20 years or so, it seems, that the creationism/ID argument has pretended there's another valid scientific position.

I was about to say that accepting creation doesn't require faith, but that's not quite true. It requires no faith of the professional scientist who comes to conclusions based on evidence and deduction. It DOES require some faith on my part: I'm not a professional, so I can't work my way through the complexities of the data and arguments (I haven't the ability or the time). So the big question for me is: who do I get my world-view from - from people who've made it their careers to understand how the world works based on a time-tested methodology, or from people who are interpreting literally a book that was written and modified by a series of religio-political committees over a period of 2000 years? I've made my choice.

As for what Ben intended, I can't say as I haven't seen the movie. I have HEARD that he makes the old Darwin-Hitler connection, which is 1)rubbishing evolution and b)REALLY not giving a fair dealto the evolution proponents. I hope he gives the proponents of the Babylonian creation myth as much air time as he gives the ID folks.

jethro's picture

Hi again from my reading of

Hi again
from my reading of Halder, G., Callaerts, P., Gehring, W.J., the drosphila eye gene was actually an artificially introduced mouse gene.
I asked for a fact; yes something that can be seen and understood; that supports evolution, not just suggests it. In addition the ability to alter an eye gene does not make a new species, or even a transitionary species. These "facts" are missing. I suggest they are missing because they dont exist - though I am happy to be proven wrong. (thats my hypothesis)
When you find it you will make history; as yet no scientist has found one fact that actually supports evolution - being the transition from one species to another. I agree that there is a weight of evidence that can be explained in the light of an evolutionary theory but this is not factual support.
I understand what facts are, but the hypothesis-test-rehypothesis cycle is what you do with facts. If the evidence can support the theory then the theory can be proven (for now). Note many theories have been later changed as new evidence came to light. Evolution is under attack now not by creationists - though it always has been by them. No it is under attack now from within itself as new information that was never available before is now discovered. Look at ATP for example. the basic building blocks of cells, the function of motor drives in cells. Check out the struggle in this answer to get evolution to be the answer to ATP's existence http://www.answers.com/topic/atp-synthase?cat=technology. The authors are really pushing water uphill with a rake. In short they have no idea and no evolutionary concept can be show that can possibly provide an answer. No where in nature can it be shown with a fact (observable - testable repeatable (like gravity)) that a motor drive can evolve from two non motor drives, and then improve the helical gears. I mean come on - no one who calls themselves intelligent can look at the statements in this article and actually believe that these are supportable facts proving evolution can they? Read some of this stuff "The evolution of ATP synthase is thought to be an example of modular evolution, where two subunits with their own functions have become associated and gained new functionality." and "The modular evolution theory for the origin of ATP synthase suggests that two subunits with independent function, a DNA helicase with ATPase activity and a H+ motor, were able to bind, and the rotation of the motor drive the ATPase activity of the helicase in reverse. This would then evolve to become more efficient, and eventually develop into the complex ATP synthases seen today. Alternatively the DNA helicase/H+ motor complex may have had H+ pump activity, the ATPase activity of the helicase driving the H+ motor in reverse. This could later evolve to carry out the reverse reaction and act as an ATP synthase." That is a wing and a prayer paragraph.
Be interested in your thoughts again.

hisherness's picture

Botheration. I had

Botheration. I had something to say earlier, and I've forgotten just what it was. In a general sense, I'll just say again that, while I don't happen to agree with ID, I don't suppose it should be discounted or squished because it doesn't fit the theory I like and consider strong. Science, in my severely uneducated opinion, is not a bubble in which we put our versions of what the world should be, or even what the world is popularly believed to be. Science a lens for examining the world as it is. If someone wants to prove ID or disprove evolution, I say have at it; focus the lens and see what you find. I don't, personally, consider that a line of inquiry that will displace evolution, but I also don't suppose it's an invalid line until it's disproved.

Now, I really ought to be quiet. I'm not even qualified for this discussion.

jethro's picture

great reply hisherness. i

great reply hisherness.
i like your sentence "Science is a lens for examining the world as it is". That is exactly right.
And you are qualified - you are a human - you exist, your thoughts as to how you came to be and why are valid. if not then your personality has no meaning, and you would just be a machine - an evolved substance with no raison d'etre. Yet clearly you are not, and hence to one of the biggest dilemmas of any evolutionary theory; how do you explain humanity in the general sense and personality in the individual sense?

onein6billion's picture

"how do you explain humanity

"how do you explain humanity in the general sense and personality in the individual sense?"

Humanity is the very lucky result of evolution over the last 3 billion years on a planet that has the incredible good luck to be "just right" for life. And it's a very lucky thing that that asteroid wiped out the dinosaurs about 66 million years ago.

Personality is the obvious result of intelligence. Just ask any dog or cat or elephant or bonobo. But that fact has nothing to do with the reality of evolution except it is clear that intelligence is one possible result of evolution.

jethro's picture

man that requires some

man that requires some serious belief in luck! good luck with believing that!
i think your faith would have to be stronger than mine!