Skip to comments.Seriously funny: Ben Stein takes on the debate-phobic Darwinian establishment
Posted on 04/01/2008 12:21:24 PM PDT by Zender500
"The shot heard round the world" that started the American Revolution came on April 19, 1775. On April 18 this year, a seriously funny documentary is scheduled to hit 1,000 theaters across America and fire a shot that will go unheard if debate-phobic Darwinists get their way.
The 100-minute documentary, Expelled, is perfect for adults and children of middle-school age or above: It should be rated R not for sex or violence but for being reasonable, radical, risible, and right. (It is rated PG for thematic material, some disturbing images, and brief smoking.) The expelling of Intelligent Design (ID) proponents from universities is not a laughing matter, but star Ben Stein is amusing as he walks, in dark suit and bright running shoes, from interview to interview with scientists and philosophers on both sides of the evolution debate.
Expelled rightly equates Darwinian stifling of free speech with the Communist attempt to enslave millions behind the Berlin Wall. One Expelled scene shows Stein, mathematician David Berlinski (a sophisticated Paris resident), and nuclear physicist Gerald Schroeder (wearing a yarmulke), all now ID advocates, discussing the importance of freedom as they visit a remnant of the Wall. All three are Jewish, and they don't look or talk like the hicks portrayed in Inherit the Wind.
Stein, giving the Darwinists he interviews plenty of time to make their case, is particularly effective in his conversation with Richard Dawkins, atheistic author of the best-selling The God Delusion. Dawkins astoundingly admits that life on earth could be the result of ID, as long as the designer was a being from outer space who was himself the product of atheistic evolution. No God allowed!
Expelled's showing of the connection between evolutionary doctrine and Nazi eugenics has already infuriated some in academia and the media: University of Minnesota professor P.Z. Myers blasted Expelled as "ludicrous in its dishonesty," and Orlando Sentinel reviewer Roger Moore raged about "loaded images, loaded rhetoric." But since a movie is not a dissertation, films show linkages by juxtaposing clips rather than pages of footnoted type. The real question is: Did Darwinism bulwark Hitlerian hatred by providing a scientific rationale for killing those considered less fit in the struggle for survival?
The answer to that question is an unambiguous yes. When I stalked the stacks of the Library of Congress in the early 1990s, I saw and scanned shelf upon shelf of racist and anti-Semitic journals from the first several decades of the last century, with articles frequently citing and applying Darwin. If you read an anti-Expelled review that dodges the issue of substance by concentrating merely on style, you'll be seeing another sign of closed minds.
April 18 will bring an interesting test of whether Expelled, or any other documentary so conceived and so dedicated, can endure in movie theaters past the first weekend. Michael Moore's fatuous documentaries have done good box office with the help of sympathetic reviewers and network news producers. Ben Stein's excellent one might rely on evangelicals and others who are tired of being ridiculed by the closed minds of the Evolution Establishment.
Well I think that is referring to the large group of pro ID scholars who are censured, fired or otherwise intimidated by the establishment. Many of them are interviewed and they share their stories.
Good. It seems a lot of people are though.
I am offended when someone asserts that those uses are in any way relevant to the question of whether or not natural selection is a scientifically valid theory.
Very few would argue that "natural selection" is a valid scientific theory. The controversy is about the more ambitious subset of that theory called common origin. The doctrine that all life on earth descended from a single common organism. Indeed, folks like Dawkin are elated and rejoice in such a doctrine, and are more then a little anxious to have it confused with the former.
I'm not sure if you meant "common origin" or "natural selection". To clarify, I use the term Darwinism to describe the philosophical doctrine of "common origin" rather then the verifiable scientific theory of natural selection.
Also, I'm assuming you don't really mean "in any way". Obviously that is literally untrue, because both are related to human experience, moreover the impact Darwinism has on philosophy is certainly tied to anything that bears on its veracity -- or its perceived veracity. Which certainly has something within the realm of "any relation" to "whether natural selection is a valid scientific theory".
So I'm left unable to make logic sense of your position.
Can we agree that Darwin's theories would be equally valid (or invalid) if eugenics and Nazism had never come to pass?
My issue with ID proponents is that, having posited that the origin of life is complex beyond the capacity of science to understand, they resolve that dilemma by .... introducing a creator more complex still, by several orders of magnitude!!
Sure. As far as hypotheticals go, that's pretty reasonable.
And someone who allows for a designer only if he is a space alien is qualified?
I'm not sure they do either.
If I understand their position correctly (presuming the view of the most erudite among them) then they would say science can show that the origin of life is so complex that there must be a creator. This is different then saying its to complex to understand.
And they would not try to define the creator.
Seems valid as far as it goes (I don't consider it science though). Its like saying "some intelligence must have done this". Saying this does not require that you completely understand what kind of creature, spirit, demon, imp, gremlin or human interfered. Nor does it require you to know exactly how it was done.
For instance, the famous crop circles that some think were made by extra terrestrials appear to be made by some intelligence. Though defining and understanding extra terrestrial is not necessary in order to deduce this (my own inclination would be toward human pranksters in such instances).
Jew Hate existed for centuries before Darwinism. Darwinists invented the term “Anti-Semitism” in order to give a “scientific” explanation for Jew Hate.
I rather doubt they were able to name anyone who actually lost a job.
Is that supposed to be a good thing?
While proving a supreme being may not be scientifically possible, one thing is for sure - if there is a supreme being, we'll know it when we die, and all questions will be answered.
Until then, the debate will go on.
ok. see the movie.
Hitler may have promoted himself as a Christian, but that was just to make the Nazi sale to the German public.
Dinesh D’Souza pretty much pins it down here:
Athiests have been for years pointing to the inquisition to show that Chrisitanity is brutal and cruel and should be rejected in favor of Athiesm. One little problem though....Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot etc etc to the tune of 100 million plus murders......
It was not a question, rather he made two assertions about proponents of ID. Your willingness to be gracious aside, do you have any justification that either assertion actually has a valid basis. They both seem to fall flat to me.
If I look at a crop circle, I can deduce that it was made by something intelligent. This does not mean that the formation of crop circles is beyond my comprehension. This does not mean that I must prove the existence of space aliens much less do I need to accept their existence, nor even understand them in the least.
Alternatively, if I surmise the crop circles are caused by pranksters, should I listen to a "naturalist" who demands that I either provide a detailed psychoanalysis of the pranksters or accept that the crop circles just happened by some application of mindless nature? But that same naturalist has us assume the later. Should not the naturalist assume the former as well? (I allow there is a flimsy escape from this argument that gives naturalism a little wiggle room, but not much--its beyond the scope of this discussion though).
Is it not more likely that crop circles are the result of a mindless nature, then the entire super set of creation?
The naturalist world view can't even model the existence of any mind at all! So how the heck do they get off telling the non-naturalist to give them a frame work for the mind of God?
Ben Stein is an idiot lackey for a bunch of dumb a&*$ creationists.
I thank you for clearing things up for me, since I am a simpleton hayseed and believe that God created the Universe. :)
Who? It's a "large group", so there shouldn't be much trouble actually naming a few.
Another theory similar to evolution. No demonstrable reproducible scientific proof whatsoever to support it. Said theory is right simply because THEY say it is right.
This is satire, right? It's sometimes hard to tell around here.