"Expelled Exposed" -- Exposed
[UPDATED] Richard Dawkins and the evolution lobby do not see eye to eye on strategy. But it seems that the National Center for Science Education and "Expelled Exposed", the NCSE's website assailing the film Expelled, don't want you to know that. The situation is evident in the film that opens Friday, for all to see. The interviews with Dawkins are dispositive.
First we meet Eugenie Scott of NCSE, sounding so invincibly cheery that one suspects she must moonlight for the Oakland, CA Chamber of Commerce. She relishes telling about all the nice religious people she has lined up around the country to support Darwinian theory.
But then, here comes Dawkins, backed by a parade of voluble atheist scientists who far outrank Scott. They are the famous experts, she is a lobbyist with a political approach that is too-smart-by-half. They don't want any more confusion raised in people's minds about whether religion is compatible with an accurate understanding of evolution.
It is not a question of who is more of an atheist. The NCSE is stuffed with atheists. The difference is over whether to lead with atheism, or hide it while you charge that the other side--the ID supporters--are the ones with a religious agenda. Indeed, Eugenie Scott makes this religious case against ID "creationism" in one speech after another, including, without irony, speeches to one atheist conclave after another.
But the evangelizing atheism that Dawkins and other top Darwinian scientists present to the Expelled audience--even including personal witness accounts of how they variously came to faithlessness upon hearing the Gospel of Darwin--is a political embarrassment for the NCSE. It probably is not a topic in the film the NCSE would like to discuss. It also is not a subject its close allies in the media and higher education want aired.
In turn, the NCSE's coy reticence about the end-game plainly annoys the world's most famous Darwinist. Dr. Dawkins rejects the pretense that real Darwinism is neutral on religion. Oh, you can believe that if you want, just as you can believe in "fairies at the bottom of the garden." But, believing that Darwin and religion are compatible doesn't make them compatible. Interviewed for Expelled, Dawkins makes clear that neo-Darwinism, properly understood, virtually compels atheism and leaves no room for religion, and, further, that this truth is being fudged by people in the "science lobby, evolution lobby" (the NCSE).
"There's a kind of science defense lobby or an evolution defense lobby, in particular," he tells the camera. "They are mostly atheists, but they are wanting to --desperately wanting -- to be friendly to mainstream, sensible religious people. And the way you do that is to tell them that there's no incompatibility between science and religion."This plainly rankles.
"If they called me as a witness, and a lawyer said, 'Dr. Dawkins, has your belief in evolution, has your study of evolution turned you toward (atheism)?' I would have to say yes. And that is the worst possible thing I could say for winning you that court case. So people like me are bad news for...the science lobby, the evolution lobby."
"By the way, I'm being a helluva lot more frank and honest in this interview than many people in this field would be."Dawkins wants an end put to pussy footing. The NCSE, however, wants to pussy foot as long as possible. That way they can enlist nominally religious people and people who wrongly think they can be both Darwinists (holding that there there is no guidance in nature) and theists (holding that there is guidance in nature, however disguised). If there are ministers and scientists who want to "believe" in Darwinism and also in a God who actually plays some active role in the world, or in the Easter Bunny, for that matter, the NCSE wants them on board. In fact, they must be pushed forward so they can gull the public and, one might add, the media and the courts.
Trouble is, here is Richard Dawkins in Expelled--exposing the NCSE.
Apparently, relations are strained between Oxford and Oakland and have been for some time. Now that story is real, unlike the straw men the NCSE's website is trying to construct.