July 6, 2009
"Expelled Exposed" Is Wrong: Materialists Allowed to Challenge Neo-Darwinian Orthodoxy, Intelligent Design Proponents Are Not

[Note: For a more comprehensive rebuttal to "Expelled Exposed," please see: NCSE Exposed at NCSEExposed.org]

We're often told that the evidence for neo-Darwinian evolution -- where unguided natural selection acting on random mutations is the driving force generating the complexity and diversity of life -- is "overwhelming." But hints of dissent from this position can be found throughout the mainstream scientific literature. One article in Trends in Ecology and Evolution last year acknowledged that there exists a "healthy debate concerning the sufficiency of neo-Darwinian theory to explain macroevolution".[1] Likewise, Günter Theißen of the Department of Genetics at Friedrich Schiller University in Jena, Germany recently wrote earlier this year in the journal Theory in Biosciences:

while we already have a quite good understanding of how organisms adapt to the environment, much less is known about the mechanisms behind the origin of evolutionary novelties, a process that is arguably different from adaptation (Wagner 2000). Despite Darwin’s undeniable merits, explaining how the enormous complexity and diversity of living beings on our planet originated remains one of the greatest challenges of biology.[2]
Even more striking criticism of what he called the "dogmatic science" of neo-Darwinian thinking can be found in a 2006 paper by Theißen, also in Theory in Biosciences:
Explaining exactly how the great complexity and diversity of life on earth originated is still an enormous scientific challenge. ... There is the widespread attitude in the scientific community that, despite some problems in detail, textbook accounts on evolution have essentially solved the problem already. In my view, this is not quite correct.[3]

Continue reading ""Expelled Exposed" Is Wrong: Materialists Allowed to Challenge Neo-Darwinian Orthodoxy, Intelligent Design Proponents Are Not" »


February 17, 2009
"Expelled Exposed" Exposed: Your One-Stop Rebuttal to Attacks on the Documentary Expelled

Update: A single website, NCSEExposed.org, has now been created to host this response to "Expelled Exposed," as well as some updates. Visit NCSE Exposed for your one-stop shop rebuttal to Expelled Exposed!

In light of the DVD release a few months ago of the terrific Ben Stein documentary Expelled, we thought it would be a good time to provide a comprehensive listing of articles that correct the various misrepresentations and falsehoods spread by Darwinists about Expelled.

Most of the falsehoods in circulation about the film can be traced to a website called "Expelled Exposed" set up by the pro-Darwin National Center for Science Education (NCSE) as part of its PR effort to smear the documentary last year. “Expelled Exposed” alleges that Expelled made “dishonest attempts to make mountains out of molehills and to create martyrs where martyrdom does not exist.” As John West observed in response, "The basic thrust of [“Expelled Exposed”] seems to be the preposterous claim that pro-ID scientists never, ever face harassment, intimidation, or persecution. Not ever! Scientists who claim otherwise—such as biologist Richard Sternberg, astronomer Guillermo Gonzalez, and Baylor University engineering professor Robert Marks—must be cry-babies or worse. The NCSE's approach is otherwise known as 'blaming the victim.'"

Although the NCSE's website spends much energy attempting (poorly) to debunk and deny claims that ID proponents experience persecution, the attitude found at “Expelled Exposed” wouldn’t be any different even if its authors admitted that the attacks experienced by pro-ID scientists had actually occurred. In essence, “Expelled Exposed” effectively says, 'There’s no persecution of ID-proponents in the academy. But even if there was, so what? They deserve it.'

"Expelled Exposed" occasionally pays lip-service to freedom of speech, but the site itself should be exposed for what it really is: an attempt to subtly—and sometimes not so subtly—convince readers that the pro-ID viewpoint does not deserve the full protections of academic freedom. By unashamedly encouraging would-be persecutors, “Expelled Exposed” unwittingly justifies the central thesis of the Expelled documentary, namely that ID proponents lack academic freedom and experience unjust persecution and blacklisting within the academy.

Continue reading ""Expelled Exposed" Exposed: Your One-Stop Rebuttal to Attacks on the Documentary Expelled" »


February 4, 2009
Puppetmaster Richard Dawkins Pulls Strings to Get Revenge on Ben Stein

[Note: For a more comprehensive rebuttal to critics of Ben Stein's documentary Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, please see: NCSE Exposed at NCSEExposed.org]

Alas, poor Richard. Out of a job, and still twitching from Ben Stein's unveiling of his pro-intelligent design tendencies in Expelled last year, he apparently spends his time dogging Ben Stein's heels. Here's how a fawning university president gushed about getting an e-mail from Dawkins telling him to bounce Stein as a commencement speaker later this year.

Is the correspondence between you and Professor Richard Dawkins authentic?

Fogel: It is authentic; I admire his work greatly. I have read his work and I have been deeply instructed by it., as I said to him. I was really quite honored to have an e-mail from him directly.

What was the first e-mail from him about?

Fogel: It was to discuss his dismay and concern along the lines we have already discussed.

And also to give me some of his more person background that I had certainly been unaware of. I did not know that he was shown in the movie ‘Expelled’ and that he had been manipulated by the producers and that his words had been used out of context.

Continue reading "Puppetmaster Richard Dawkins Pulls Strings to Get Revenge on Ben Stein" »


February 3, 2009
Darwin Defenders Get Ben Stein Expelled from University of Vermont’s Commencement Address

The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that Ben Stein “has withdrawn from an engagement to speak at the University of Vermont’s spring commencement after his invitation drew complaints about his views on biological evolution.” The article reports: “According to the Burlington Free Press, the vast majority of protesters were not affiliated with the University of Vermont; only ‘about a half dozen’ objections came from the campus.” So why did protests about Stein start pouring in from outside the University of Vermont (UVM)? The answer seems clear: Stein’s invitation to speak at UVM was first raised to the Darwinist community in a post by PZ Myers titled, “University of Vermont makes an embarrassing decision.” Given the large following of PZ’s blog, this undoubtedly resulted in readers who were “not affiliated with the University of Vermont” sending e-mails protesting Stein’s involvement.

Continue reading "Darwin Defenders Get Ben Stein Expelled from University of Vermont’s Commencement Address" »


June 13, 2008
Ben Stein and Expelled Suit Up for the Summer Session

[Note: For a comprehensive defense of Ben Stein's documentary Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, please see: NCSE Exposed at NCSEExposed.org]

Even as school is letting out for the summer, Premise Media is working in conjunction with the distributor Rocky Mountain Pictures, to bring Ben Stein back for the summer. Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed is being made available from June 15th to August 30th for special group screenings at your preferred theater.

  • Larger groups and multiple groups can be accommodated by contacting the organizers directly.
  • Screenings will be prepaid and pre-scheduled group events so anyone interested must contact the organizers directly to coordinate your event
  • Please do NOT contact the theatre directly
  • For detailed information or to schedule a screening please contact Tripp Thornton, Premise Media EVP-Sales at Trippht@bellsouth.net, 678-546-5580
And over at Post-Darwinist, Denyse O'Leary has an update on the film's Canadian launch coming up on June 27th.
Considering the problems that dogged the production of Expelled (claims that key Darwinists were tricked into taking part, the ejection of "raving atheist" PZ Myers from a showing, accusations of copyright violation (not really substantiated), release delayed from February to April, (and of course, Ono's lawsuit), it is surprising that the film is even out of the can, let alone that it is #5 in political documentaries.
O'Leary is right, it is amazing that a documentary film has made over $7 million and at the end of May was still showing in almost a hundred theaters. Most documentaries never make it into that many theaters let alone open nationwide on over 1000 screens. As the film goes international, starting in Canada, it will be interesting to see the Darwinists squirm all over again.


June 2, 2008
Yoko Ono Copyright Suit Expelled from Federal Court

Update: Download the US District Court ruling here. The Wall Street Journal Law Blog has more on the story.

According to the Associated Press:

Yoko Ono has lost her Manhattan legal battle to block the use of John Lennon's song "Imagine" in a film challenging the theory of evolution.
EMI still has a state level suit in New York against Premise Media for the inclusion of Imagine in Expelled, and no word yet when that might be resolved one way or the other. Premise now looks north with plans to launch Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed nationwide in Canada later this month.

[Note: For a more comprehensive defense of Ben Stein's documentary Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, please see: NCSE Exposed at NCSEExposed.org]


May 28, 2008
MSNBC’s Alan Boyle and Sean B. Carroll Argue Scientists Should Keep “Quiet” about Support for Intelligent Design (Part 2)

[Note: For a more comprehensive defense of Ben Stein's documentary Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, please see: NCSE Exposed at NCSEExposed.org]

In Part 1 I explained how Alan Boyle and Sean B. Carroll unashamedly agree that scientists should keep “quiet” about their support intelligent design (ID). In this final response, I will discuss how the scientific evidence cited by Boyle does little to demonstrate the power of the neo-Darwinian mechanism. In Alan Boyle’s attack upon Expelled, he uses biologist Sean B. Carroll as his big gun scientist to attack intelligent design, touting Carroll’s book Making of the Fittest. In that book, Carroll argues that “[t]he argument for design by some external intelligence is eviscerated.”

Last year I wrote a response to Carroll showing that many of his arguments are frankly unimpressive. As I recounted at that time, "If the loss of function by turning off genes, and the usage of the same genes to build organs in vastly diverse organisms—a fact cited by design-proponents as supporting common design—are the best facts [Carroll] can muster against design, then it would appear that ID has very little to fear from the discoveries of evo-devo."

Continue reading "MSNBC’s Alan Boyle and Sean B. Carroll Argue Scientists Should Keep “Quiet” about Support for Intelligent Design (Part 2)" »


May 6, 2008
John Derbyshire on "Expelled," or How to Review a Movie without Really Trying

[Note: For a more comprehensive defense of Ben Stein's documentary Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, please see: NCSE Exposed at NCSEExposed.org]

I have always admired G. K. Chesterton's dictum that if something is worth doing, it is worth doing badly, but I never appreciated the full scope of its application until reading John Derbyshire's recent review of Ben Stein's "Expelled" at National Review Online.

"What on earth has happened to Ben Stein?" asks Derbyshire. "He and I go a long way back." Are the two close? Are they old pals who have been through a lot together? "No," he says, "I've never met the guy."

But wait. How can this be? How can Derbyshire have forged this bond of friendship with Stein without actually knowing him? "Though I've never met him," he explains, "I know people who know him, and they all speak well of him."

Got it.

In fact, Derbyshire displays an amazing ability, far beyond that of the rest of us, to engage with people and things even though he has had no direct contact with them. Take "Expelled" for example. "So what's going on here with this stupid 'Expelled' movie?" he asks — a question which could have been answered by the simple expedient of actually watching it. A man with Derbyshire's special talent, however, is not hampered by such constraints:

Continue reading "John Derbyshire on "Expelled," or How to Review a Movie without Really Trying" »


May 5, 2008
Ronald Bailey Attacks Expelled, Endorses Discrimination Against Intelligent Design Proponents

[Note: For a more comprehensive defense of Ben Stein's documentary Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, please see: NCSE Exposed at NCSEExposed.org]

Over at Reason.com, Ronald Bailey has taken the Michael Shermer (i.e. Fact Free) approach to attacking Expelled. Bailey charges that "the film is entirely free of scientific content—no scientific evidence against biological evolution and none for 'intelligent design' (ID) theory is given." But last time I saw the film, it featured well-credentialed scientists arguing that natural selection lacks information-generative power and arguing the digitally-encoded information in DNA and highly efficient micromachines and factories in the cell strongly indicate an intelligent cause. Bailey makes the simplistic (and inadequate) argument for neo-Darwinism based upon the fact that the fossil record shows that species have changed over time and younger fossils more closely resemble living species than older fossils. But this argument makes three mistakes:

(1) 2001 car models more closely resemble 2008 car models than do 1922 car models, but no one is arguing that cars evolved without intelligent design;
(2) It ignores that ID does not dispute the notion that species on earth have changed over time, but merely disputes the claim that the main driving force generating all complex biological features is natural selection acting on random mutation; and
(3) It forgets the much bigger problem that Neo-Darwinism has trouble explaining the paucity of intermediate forms in the fossil record;

Continue reading "Ronald Bailey Attacks Expelled, Endorses Discrimination Against Intelligent Design Proponents" »


May 2, 2008
Intelligent Design: It's a Creationist Plot

There are people who apparently have a deep-seated need to believe that Intelligent Design proponents are really creationists in disguise, and that once they have control over the nation's schools, they're going to rip off their clever scientist disguises to reveal men in short sleeve dress shirts and horn-rimmed glasses who believe that the earth is only 6,000 years old. Acting on a preordained set of instructions, this view seems to suggest, they will proceed to outlaw any mention of evolution in schools, and will execute plans that involve, among other things, taking students on weekly field trips to Ken Ham's Creation Museum in Petersburg, Kentucky.

It is a frightening vision of the future: a flood of creationism let loose on the nation's schools. The end of science is near, and to ride out the crisis, ID critics are building themselves a rhetorical ark and bringing the fallacies aboard two by two.

The charge that ID is part of some creationist conspiracy was recently reiterated by Larry Arnhart, the author of Darwinian Conservatism. Arnhart, a professor at Northern Illinois University, writes in a recent post about the "Rhetorical Blunder in Ben Stein's 'Expelled'," a blunder which has to do, he thinks, with what is really behind Intelligent Design.

Continue reading "Intelligent Design: It's a Creationist Plot" »


May 1, 2008
Stanford's Fair Use Project to Defend Expelled against Yoko Ono's Lawsuit

According to a press release just issued, the Fair Use Project of Stanford Law School’s Center for Internet and Society has announced that it will defend Premise Media's use in Expelled of a clip from John Lennon's song "Imagine." Yoko Ono, EMI and Columbia have all filed suit against Premise, which has claimed they used the clip under the fair use doctrine.

“The right to quote from copyrighted works in order to criticize them and discuss the views they may represent lies at the heart of the fair use doctrine,” said Anthony Falzone, executive director of the Fair Use Project. “These rights are under attack here, and we plan to defend them.”
You might want to get out and see the film this weekend before some wacky judge slaps an injunction on it.


April 30, 2008
Expelled Is Not a Film about Intelligent Design, Rather It's about Academic Freedom

[Note: For a more comprehensive defense of Ben Stein's documentary Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, please see: NCSE Exposed at NCSEExposed.org]

MSNBC.com columnists sure have it in for Expelled. What about the movie exactly has all their knickers in a twist? It might be easier to ask what doesn’t infuriate them about this film. Last week it was Art Caplan’s ridiculously absurd charge that Ben Stein is a Holocaust denier. This week it is Alan Boyle taking aim at the film, albeit in a less inflammatory manner. At least he, unlike some critics, appears to actually have seen, and reflected on, the movie.

Continue reading "Expelled Is Not a Film about Intelligent Design, Rather It's about Academic Freedom" »


April 29, 2008
Jay Davis: Uninformed

The Real Detroit Weekly is one of those free advertisers you can pick up on most downtown street corners in big cities. Some people read them for their announcements of local cultural events, others read them for their erotic personal ads, and still others use them to stay warm while living on the street. As sources of news and educated opinion, though, they’re of even less use than the politically correct mainstream media.

Last week’s issue of the Real Detroit Weekly included a piece by Jay Davis attacking Mark Mathis, one of the producers of Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed. Titled “Unevolved,” Davis’ piece calls Mathis “not qualified” to evaluate scientific aspects of evolutionary theory. In particular, he blasts Mathis for being unaware that “scientists have witnessed speciation, the arisal of a new species from an old one.“ Davis is indignant that Mathis has “just produced a film about evolution, and he’s never heard of the fact that speciation has been observed and thoroughly documented in the scientific literature? I’m stunned. I send him peer-reviewed research confirming this fact via e-mail.”

Continue reading "Jay Davis: Uninformed" »


April 25, 2008
Lying for Darwin

[Note: For a more comprehensive defense of Ben Stein's documentary Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, please see: NCSE Exposed at NCSEExposed.org]

In the week since Expelled came out in theaters, I’ve been startled not so much by the juvenile name-calling directed at me for defending the movie (“self-hating Jew,” “Hitler sympathizer,” “Jewish Uncle Tom,” “hired hit-pen and journalistic hatchet job expert,” etc.). That’s something that publicly admitted Darwin-doubters quickly get accustomed to.

Much more surprising is the sheer flat-out lying done by critics bent on denouncing the movie’s controversial linking of Darwinism and Hitlerism.

Now, I happen to think that the Darwin-Hitler link is pretty darn well established, as I’ve argued on National Review Online, Jewcy, and in this space. The major Hitler biographers agree with me that Hitler in Mein Kampf and elsewhere used transparently Darwinian arguments to motivate fellow Jew-haters to actuate the Final Solution.

I don’t care if somebody insists on disagreeing with my interpretation of the relevant texts – though frankly that would be hard to do if your powers of reading comprehension rise above sixth-grade level. Just please don’t lie in your representation of what I’ve written.

Continue reading "Lying for Darwin" »


April 24, 2008
EXPELLED Producers to Yoko Ono: Let It Be

From a press release sent out for the Expelled producers:

Yoko Ono and others have now filed lawsuits challenging the film's use and critique of John Lennon's song Imagine. One of the suits seeks to ban free speech through preliminary injunctive relief which essentially means that they are trying to expel EXPELLED as it is now being shown in theaters. ...

But the irony of this lawsuit was not lost on the film's star Ben Stein, "So Yoko Ono is suing over the brief Constitutionally protected use of a song that wants us to 'Imagine no possessions'? Maybe instead of wasting everyone's time trying to silence a documentary she should give the song to the world for free? After all, 'imagine all the people sharing all the world...You may say I'm a dreamer But I'm not the only one I hope someday you'll join us And the World can live as one.'"

Read the rest here.

Think There Is No Link Between Darwinism and Nazism? Watch This

Those like Arthur Caplan who claim that Nazi ideology did not draw on Darwinism should watch this clip from a 1930s Nazi propaganda film justifying forced sterilization. Near the beginning of the clip the narrator warns that modern society is transgressing against a fundamental law in preserving the unfit. Just what law is he talking about? (Hint: You find it mentioned repeatedly in The Origin of Species and The Descent of Man.)


April 23, 2008
Executive Producers of EXPELLED: No Intelligence Allowed Statement on Lawsuit by Yoko Ono

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 23, 2008

Executive Producers of EXPELLED: No Intelligence Allowed Statement on Lawsuit by Yoko Ono

The fair use doctrine is a well established copyright principle based on the belief that the public is entitled to freely use portions of copyrighted materials for purposes of commentary and criticism.

We are disappointed therefore that Yoko Ono and others have decided to challenge our free speech right to comment on the song Imagine in our documentary film.

Based on the fair use doctrine, news commentators and film documentarians regularly use material in the same way we do in EXPELLED: No Intelligence Allowed .

Premise Media acknowledges that Ms. Yoko Ono did not license the song for use in the Film. Instead, a very small portion of the song was used under the fair use doctrine.

Unbiased viewers of the film will see that the Imagine clip was used as part of a social commentary in the exercise of free speech and freedom of inquiry. Unbiased viewers of the film will also understand that the Imagine clip was used to contrast the messages in the Documentary and that the clip was not used as an endorsement within Expelled.

Is Ben Stein a Holocaust Denier? No, But "Expelled” Star Is Smeared by MSNBC Columnist Anyway

[Note: For a more comprehensive defense of Ben Stein's documentary Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, please see: NCSE Exposed at NCSEExposed.org]

In an over-the-top “review” of the film Expelled, bioethicist and MSNBC columnist Arthur Caplan has made the preposterous claim that Ben Stein is a Holocaust denier. Caplan's so-called review is so inaccurate that one can’t help but wonder whether Caplan even watched the film he denounced. If he did, he obviously didn’t pay attention. For the record, here's a catalog of Caplan’s most egregious errors:

Continue reading "Is Ben Stein a Holocaust Denier? No, But "Expelled” Star Is Smeared by MSNBC Columnist Anyway" »


April 22, 2008
Name Calling in Lieu of an Argument

[Note: For a comprehensive rebuttal to critics of Ben Stein's documentary Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, please see: NCSE Exposed at NCSEExposed.org]

It does not seem that Arthur Caplan, the toast of MSNBC, has even seen the film Expelled, his representations of it are so uninformed. Yet he is prepared to charge in public that Ben Stein is a "Holocaust denier," someone whose name should be forever "a source of scorn."

Would this be same Ben Stein who takes his Expelled audience through Dachau to show them where the Holocaust took place? Some denier!

Continue reading "Name Calling in Lieu of an Argument" »

The Historical Connection from Darwin to Hitler

If you're wondering about the historical connection from Darwin to Hitler, here are a few recently published articles you should take a look at:

Last week David Klinghoffer ran a series of posts on the historical link from Darwin to Hitler here at ENV:

[Note: For a more comprehensive defense of Ben Stein's documentary Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, please see: NCSE Exposed at NCSEExposed.org]


April 21, 2008
Is the “Science” of Richard Dawkins Science Fiction?

Following closely on the heels of Bruce Gordon, Jonathan Wells --himself a player in Expelled-- has just published a response to Richard Dawkins' recent LA Times opinion piece.

Atheist Richard Dawkins is hopping mad at the makers of Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed. Dawkins accuses the filmmakers of “lying for Jesus” because they make it seem that he believes in intelligent design and space aliens.

Dawkins is an outspoken critic of intelligent design (ID). In his 1986 book The Blind Watchmaker, Dawkins defined biology as “the study of complicated things that give the appearance of having been designed for a purpose.” Design is only an appearance, because (as the subtitle of the book indicated) “the evidence of evolution reveals a universe without design.” According to Dawkins, evolution shows that the universe and everything in it can be explained by undirected natural processes such as random mutation and survival of the fittest. By ruling out design, “Darwin made it possible to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist.”

According to intelligent design, however, it is possible to infer from evidence in nature that some features of the world and of living things are better explained by an intelligent cause than by undirected natural processes. Although ID says nothing about the nature of the designer (other than calling it intelligent), it leaves open the possibility that the designer is God.

Clearly, Darwinian evolution and intelligent design have different implications for God’s existence.

Read the rest of Wells' piece here.

Expelled Posts 3rd Best Opening for A Documentary Ever

[Update: A certain Iowa astronomer who shall remain nameless has alertly pointed out that the opening I refer to here was in Ames, not Des Moines.]

Across the country this weekend, people did a rare thing and turned out in droves for a documentary. In Des Moines Ames, Iowa the line to get into Expelled stretched around the block Friday night. In Seattle theaters were crammed with students — on a Saturday afternoon, no less.

Continue reading "Expelled Posts 3rd Best Opening for A Documentary Ever" »


April 20, 2008
Expelled Critics: So Bored They Can't See Straight

[Note: For a more comprehensive defense of Ben Stein's documentary Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, please see: NCSE Exposed at NCSEExposed.org]

I saw "Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed," the controversial new documentary film by Ben Stein on the intelligent design debate, at one of the private screenings that was part of the grassroots marketing for the film, and I was disappointed. That's right. Here I made a trip all the way to Louisville, Kentucky from my home in Danville (almost 2 hours away), I go get a big bag of popcorn and a drink, climb the steps in the stadium seating at the Tinseltown Theater for the private screening and, as it turns out, not a single, solitary Darwinist tried to sneak past the big, scary looking octogenarian security guards to try to get in.

So I watched the movie instead, which was excellent. Now I know why the Darwinists are having such a fit--and spending so much time and effort throwing it: This is a powerful expose of academic intolerance. If this one gets wide exposure, they get a well deserved black eye.

"Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed" is effective in its presentation of its views. It is by turns funny, ominous, clever, illuminating, and entertaining, which is more than you can say about some of the reviews of this movie which are merely hostile. Apparently their strategy is to convince people that the movie is not very good, something they have spilled a lot of ink trying to do.

There are several things the critics are saying to accomplish this apparent objective, some of which have nothing to do with the quality of the movie at all.

Continue reading "Expelled Critics: So Bored They Can't See Straight" »


April 19, 2008
“Expelled” Movie Sparks Tantrum by New York Times

The frustration level at The New York Times over Ben Stein’s new documentary Expelled can be gauged by the tone of its movie “review,” which might be described more accurately as a tantrum. It opens:

One of the sleaziest documentaries to arrive in a very long time, “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed” is a conspiracy-theory rant masquerading as investigative inquiry.

One of the sleaziest documentaries in a very long time? This comes from the same paper that hailed Michael Moore as “a credit to the Republic” and praised his dishonest Fahrenheit 911 as “achieving an eloquence that its most determined critics will have a hard time dismissing.” And it comes from the same movie reviewer who just last month lavished praise on an “endearing” gay sex comedy for “its breezy shots of male genitalia and characters nicknamed Long John and Tripod.”

As I’ve said before, it’s getting really hard to parody the Darwinists. They parody themselves.

But perhaps I should feel sorry for those at the Times, as they obviously had a bad week. The same day the Times blasted Expelled, after all, it reported that its “main source of revenue—newspaper advertising in print and online—fell 10.6 percent, the sharpest drop in memory.” Why am I not surprised?

[Note: For an extensive response to critics of Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, please see: NCSE Exposed at NCSEExposed.org]

Expelled Audience in Iowa Gives Standing Ovation to Persecuted Astronomer

The movie theater screening Expelled in the home town of Iowa State University (ISU) apparently couldn't handle all the people who showed up last night, and the audience responded with a standing ovation for ISU astronomer Guillermo Gonzalez, who was denied tenure by ISU because of his pro-ID views. According to The Ames Tribune,

A line for the 7:10 p.m. premiere showing of "Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed" at the Varsity II theater on Lincoln Way stretched back five storefronts to the Bali Satay House Friday... Those who made it into the theater before it filled up generally responded positively to the film. They greeted the ending credits with applause and, after Gonzalez wrapped up a brief discussion following the film, treated him with a standing ovation.

April 18, 2008
Discovery Salutes Expelled

[Discovery Institute President Bruce Chapman just asked me to post this on his behalf:]

Discovery Salutes Expelled

by Bruce Chapman

The producers of Expelled have high hopes as the film opens today.

Practical questions of theater exposures and audience awareness are things that we, as a think tank, cannot assess, of course. But we are cheering the filmmakers on. First signs look positive. The over-the-top attacks of most official reviewers--offended by the film's message, not its quality--may turn out to help in some quarters. These are the exact same reviewers who commonly tell us not to object to offensive Hollywood products, but just to judge a film for its production quality. By now a large share of the population is wise to such hypocritical standards.

Some other things already are clear. Just making a major documentary film on subject so serious--although it is packaged in Ben Stein's unique and uproarious humor--and opening it in so many theaters nationally is a huge achievement. The preview screenings that Premise media conducted around the country brought the story of Darwinism's attack on objective science to the attention of thousands of people who didn't know about it before, let alone understand it. The initial theater run will be followed by small-group screenings, TV and DVDs.

This film is going to be a classic and there is nothing the fulminating opposition can do about it. (In recent days they even resorted to threatening lawsuits, just confirming their growing reputation for ill-liberal spite.)

There is no way that we, for our part, could have persuaded the evangelizing atheists in science--that is, the big guns of Darwinism--to let their true personalities appear in front of a camera so people actually could witness their furious, unreasoning contempt.

Expelled has done that. Hearing and seeing Richard Dawkins criticize the disingenuous and propagandistic approach of the National Center for Science Education (a part of the film the Darwinists simply do not want to acknowledge in public, let alone discuss) was worth it all for me. And that was before Dawkins went on to explain the space alien theory of life's origin that Carl Sagan, Francis Crick and many other Darwinians promote as their own creation story. (This theory is real science, right, Richard? Testable, falsifiable, based on evidence you have researched?)

The film has one moment after another like that. The second time I saw it brought out aspects I had missed in the first. I'll see it in a theater this weekend. Already one can tell that this is a documentary that will be watched for years; it is authentic and path finding.

Almost all the main elements of the struggle in which the Discovery Institute Center for Science and Culture has been engaged are in this film pulled together in an artful, witty, memorable account. It is a great credit to the writers, editors, Ben Stein of course (who has found, as one does, that defending those under attack is to bring attack on oneself), and most of all the producers--and, most notably, Walt Ruloff.

Oh, if we had been making the film, there would have been even more about the scientific flaws in Darwin's theory and even more about the scientific case for intelligent design. If the filmmakers had been able to wait a few months we would have been able to provide them with some exciting new scientific studies and books to cite. But I have to concede that the resulting film would have been twice as long and probably unusable as a Hollywood feature!

In any case, this is not our film. We didn't come up with the idea and we didn't come up with the money (critics who think we did flatter us!).

Frankly, I not only was skeptical, but also suspicious when I first heard about the film project a couple of years ago. That suspicion was wrong. While it is not our film our fellows are the focus of much of the attention and Ben Stein has electrified his audiences with their story. It is brilliant. And for all this we are grateful. It moves the whole question of "what it means to be human" forward. It opens new doors. And it forces many potential allies who would prefer to avert their eyes to recognize that the fight for academic freedom in science is inevitably their fight, too.

[Note: For a comprehensive response to critics of Ben Stein's documentary Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, please see: NCSE Exposed at NCSEExposed.org]

Is There A Connection Between Hitler And Darwin?

David Klinghoffer has this up at Jewcy today:


Hitler understood something about Judaism that even many Jews today don’t grasp.

I mention this because you’re soon going to be hearing a lot about a new movie, Expelled, which understands something about Hitler that, in turn, many Jews and non-Jews don’t or don’t want to understand.

Starring comic actor Ben Stein, Expelled is a snarky theatrical documentary about the suppression of American scientists who dissent from Darwinist evolutionary orthodoxy. Controversial stuff. What’s really turning critics apoplectic, though, is the case made in the film that Darwinism inspired the Nazis.


Read the rest here.

[Note: For a detailed defense of Ben Stein's documentary Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, please see: NCSE Exposed at NCSEExposed.org]

Concerning Hitler and Darwin

David Berlinski has this piece in Human Events:


One man -- Charles Darwin -- says: “In the struggle for survival, the fittest win out at the expense of their rivals. …”

Another man -- Adolf Hitler -- says: Let us kill all the Jews of Europe.

Is there a connection?

Read the rest here.

Why the Jews?

In an illuminating irony, not one but two theatrical documentaries open today that trace the genealogy of the Holocaust back to earlier literary texts. One is Expelled, in which Ben Stein touches upon the use Hitler made of Darwinism. The other documentary is Constantine’s Sword, based on the bestselling book of the same name, by James Carroll.

Carroll tells the history of the Christian churches from the perspective of their countenancing of anti-Semitism. As Carroll argues, it all goes back to “the Jews hatred we so easily detect in the New Testament, and that would flower in anti-Jewish violence.”

Now which of these films do think has been savaged in the liberal press, and which has gotten raves? Clearly, to blame Christianity for Auschwitz is an industry standard in the mainstream media, while considering the role that Darwinism played is simply forbidden.

In previous posts this week, I’ve demonstrated Hitler’s debt to Darwin. The extermination of a supposedly inferior people for purposes of advancing racial hygiene is an idea with roots in Darwin’s Descent of Man. I said yesterday that the only major element in Nazism with no blatant reference point in Darwin’s literary corpus is the hatred of Jews in particular.

Today on the Jewish hipster website Jewcy, however, I uncover the deeper Darwinian logic of Hitler’s Jew-hating obsession. Not, I emphasize, that Darwin himself ever said a word against the Jews.

Continue reading "Why the Jews?" »

The Historians against the Darwinists

David Klinghoffer nails the Darwinists’ noisome effort to deny Darwinism’s influence on Nazi ideology in today’s National Review Online. He knocks down the straw man arguments they employ—the pretense that the film is mainly or even substantially about this topic, or that the film blames the bulk of the Nazi enterprise on Darwin or that the film calls today’s Darwinists Nazis. But mainly he simply marshals the historians. (The very best current history, of course, is Darwin to Hitler, by Richard Weikart of Cal State.)

Continue reading "The Historians against the Darwinists" »

Michael Shermer’s Fact-Free Attack on Expelled Exposes Intolerance of Darwinists towards Pro-Intelligent Design Scientists (Part 3)

[Note: For a more comprehensive defense of Ben Stein's documentary Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, please see: NCSE Exposed at NCSEExposed.org]

In Part 1 and Part 2 I discussed how Michael Shermer’s review of Expelled applies one-sided skepticism to anything that challenges Darwinism, withholding skepticism of claims made by pro-evolution sources. When claiming that Richard Sternberg faced no discrimination after sympathizing with Darwin-skeptics, but simply invented a “conspiracy," Shermer failed to scrutinize the blatantly false and contradictory claims by Darwinists trying to cover up what really happened. In that case, Eugenie Scott made private concessions that Sternberg did not do anything mortally wrong in his handling of the publication of Stephen C. Meyer’s paper on intelligent design (ID), and spoke as if Sternberg had been ousted. As I observed, Shermer’s methodology when dealing with the persecution of pro-ID scientists is as follows:

Continue reading "Michael Shermer’s Fact-Free Attack on Expelled Exposes Intolerance of Darwinists towards Pro-Intelligent Design Scientists (Part 3)" »


April 17, 2008
Expelled World Premiere

Last night in Dallas the official theater run of Expelled was kicked off with a gala premiere complete with red carpet, film narrator Ben Stein, and the film's main stars, the Expelled scientists. Here's a few pictures. (For full disclosure, I took the crummy one, the others were supplied by an attendee with a camera that far outclassed my phone.)

Click for full size images.

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Expelled scientists, Drs. Richard Sternberg, Guillermo Gonzalez, Robert Marks and Discovery's Dr. John West at the world premiere of Expelled.


GonzalezWestMarks.jpg
Drs. Gonzalez, West, and Marks on the red carpet.


Xppreshow.jpg
Attendees partied before the actual screening of the film.


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Some of the attending Expelled scientists being introduced to attendees by the executive producers. (Left to right: Robert Marks, Michael Egnor, Guillermo Gonzalez, Caroline Crocker, Richard Sternberg, Walt Ruloff, John Sullivan and Jeffrey Schwartz.)


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Supporters of free speech partied long into the night at Expelled's VIP after party.

The Descent of Darwinism from Hitlerism

Finally, a writer known to me personally to be a smart and honest guy, no ignoramus nor a propagandist, attacks the Hitler-Darwin thesis in Expelled.

Ronald Bailey, who used to write book reviews for me at National Review, comments on the movie in the libertarian magazine Reason. He complains that linking Darwinism with Nazism is the “most egregious part of the film.” He harrumphs that the Expelled filmmakers “overlook the fact that people down through the millennia have found all sorts of justifications for why they are permitted to murder each other, including plunder, tribal competition, and, yes, religion.”

OK, but when Muslims today commit mass slaughter in the name of their religion, or when Christians once did so, it becomes reasonable on that basis to ask probing questions about the truth of Islam or Christianity. For that matter, it’s fair to question my own faith, Judaism, for the Hebrew Bible’s countenancing of Joshua’s bloody war against the natives of Canaan.

It would be ridiculous to say that any of this adds up to a slam-dunk argument for rejecting Islam, Christianity, or Judaism. Similarly, Hitler’s appropriation of Darwinian language in Mein Kampf is by itself no case for rejecting Darwinism.

Continue reading "The Descent of Darwinism from Hitlerism" »

Seattle Times Publishes "An Intelligent Discussion about Life"

Today The Seattle Times is sure to provoke a reaction from Darwinists with an article by Discovery Institute president Bruce Chapman, "An Intelligent Discussion about Life."


"Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed" is a trenchant new film by actor/economist Ben Stein, the man first made famous in "Ferris Bueller's Day Off." He's now tackling with humorous dudgeon the classic example of ideological science, Darwinian evolution. Stein shows Darwinists insistently misrepresenting the scientific case against their theory. Where facts and reason might fail to persuade, personal attacks are employed, sometimes even by organizations supposedly committed to civil discourse.

When I was taught Darwin's theory in college more than four decades ago, it was represented as unassailable. But I also was taught in those days to respect academic freedom, which is a good standard to apply in any field. In the 1990s, before intelligent design was added to the ideas studied at Discovery Institute, I learned about an assault on the academic freedom of Dean Kenyon, a biologist and author at San Francisco State University who had come to view Darwin's theory as flawed. At first, the effort to restrain him from teaching seemed like just another skirmish over political correctness.


Read the rest here.

Historian R. Weikart On the Valid Way to Understand Darwinism’s Influence on Development of Nazi Ideology

[Note: For a detailed response to critics of Ben Stein's documentary Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, please see: NCSE Exposed at NCSEExposed.org]

The Darwinists claim that anyone who cites historical works in defense of the proposition that Darwin's theory influenced Nazi ideology is "quote mining." As usual, that is a cover-up. So is the straw man argument that the film Expelled is trying to blame poor old Darwin for the Holocaust or to claim that Darwinism originated anti-Semitism or that Darwinism was the sole source of Nazi ideology. Any such straw man intentionally exaggerates the message of the one segment of Expelled where the Nazi ideology of eugenics and race is explored.

Another straw man is the pretense that the film tries to stigmatize as Nazi-prone any contemporary Darwinist. Not so. The attempt here is to smear the film’s star, Ben Stein, by putting words in his mouth.

And please don’t say that applications that diminish the dignity of the human person merely derive from something separate called “Social Darwinism.” There is no such significant distinction in the actual history of Darwinism, at least not in Europe. Social Darwinism, especially in Germany, was the dogma of evolutionism applied to public issues.

This article by German history scholar Richard Weikart of Cal State should set any fair-minded person straight. That person then should repair to the wealth of primary and secondary sources Weikart cites in his book, From Darwin to Hitler.

Oh, yes, what was that secondary title for On the Origin of Species again? As David Berlinski, author of the new book from Random House, The Devil’s Delusion, reminded his audience at Benaroya Hall in Seattle last night, it was “The Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life.”

Michael Shermer’s Fact-Free Attack on Expelled Exposes Intolerance of Darwinists towards Pro-Intelligent Design Scientists (Part 2)

[Note: For a more comprehensive defense of Ben Stein's documentary Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, please see: NCSE Exposed at NCSEExposed.org]

In part 1 I observed that the famous skeptic Michael Shermer’s attack upon the movie Expelled over at Scientific American adopts the following approach when denying the persecution experienced by intelligent design (ID) proponents:

  • (1) Ignore all the facts showing there was persecution;
  • (2) E-mail the persecutor and ask them if there was any anti-ID discrimination;
  • (3) Withhold all skepticism from the statements of the persecutors, and then trumpet their response as evidence that there is no persecution against ID proponents, blaming the victim for losing their job and then claiming those who feel there is persecution are just promoting a “conspiracy.”

    Shermer Blames-the-Victim Case #1: Richard Sternberg
    The conversation with Michael Shermer in the Expelled film revolves around the publication of Stephen C. Meyer’s pro-ID peer-reviewed scientific paper in the journal Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington. The editor who oversaw the publication of that article was Dr. Richard Sternberg, who, according to investigations by both the U.S. Office of Special Counsel and also by subcommittee staff of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Government Reform, was subsequently was harassed, intimidated, and demoted because he broke ranks with the unwritten (or sometimes written) rule among Darwinists that you must keep ID out of science journals.

    Continue reading "Michael Shermer’s Fact-Free Attack on Expelled Exposes Intolerance of Darwinists towards Pro-Intelligent Design Scientists (Part 2)" »


  • April 16, 2008
    Opening up Mein Kampf

    [Note: For a more comprehensive defense of Ben Stein's documentary Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, please see: NCSE Exposed at NCSEExposed.org]

    It has become the main angle of attack against Expelled to express outrage at the film’s linking of Darwinism with Hitlerism. We need to look today at what Hitler himself wrote in Mein Kampf.

    Thus, London’s Guardian newspaper publishes a hit piece on Expelled by Adam Rutherford of Nature magazine. He hasn’t seen the movie but believes gentlemen like P.Z. Myers who “indicate that Expelled suggests the Holocaust was a direct result of Darwinian thought.” That’s not what the film suggests, but never mind. Rutherford dismisses the “absurdity” of the “reductio ad Hitlerum” as “specious and simplistic.”

    What Expelled has to say about the Darwin-Hitler connection is more along the lines of something a far more distinguished writer had to say in the very same newspaper just a month ago.

    John Gray, political philosopher at the London School of Economics, wrote an essay in the Guardian. In passing, he noted how,

    Always a tremendous booster of science, Hitler was much impressed by vulgarized Darwinism and by theories of eugenics that had developed from Enlightenment philosophies of materialism.
    Which is entirely correct.

    The key chapter in Mein Kampf is Chapter XI, “Nation and Race,” where Hitler discusses the imperative to defend the Aryan race from the Jewish menace.

    Continue reading "Opening up Mein Kampf" »

    Michael Shermer’s Fact-Free Attack on Expelled Exposes Intolerance of Darwinists towards Pro-Intelligent Design Scientists (Part 1)

    [Note: For a more comprehensive defense of Ben Stein's documentary Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, please see: NCSE Exposed at NCSEExposed.org]

    Scientific American has a long history of opposing intelligent design (ID), so it comes as no surprise that they have tasked their columnist Michael Shermer with the job of attacking Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed. Michael Shermer is the founder of Skeptic Magazine, who loves to boast about how evolution liberated him from belief in God. In fact, he does just that in his article attacking Expelled, opening it by saying: “In 1974 I matriculated at Pepperdine University as a born-again Christian who rejected Darwinism and evolutionary theory,” but when he “finally took a course in evolutionary theory in graduate school I realized that I had been hoodwinked.” In his book, Why Darwin Matters: The Case Against Intelligent Design, Shermer tries to convince the reader that he believes that evolution and religion are compatible, but ultimately concedes that, “were we to take a strictly scientific approach to the God question, we would have to reject the God hypothesis.”[1] It’s tough to take Shermer’s calls for peace between religion and Darwin seriously when he has elsewhere declared his view that “[t]here is no God, intelligent designer, or anything resembling the divinity as proffered by the world’s religions.”[2]

    Shermer is interviewed in the documentary Expelled, and he basically denies that there is any persecution of ID proponents. Since the film provides extensive documentation of the discrimination faced by ID proponents in the academy, Expelled disproves Shermer’s one-sided skepticism.

    Shermer’s day job is literally being a professional skeptic. He makes a living telling people that they should be skeptical of religion. But Shermer virtually never applies his skepticism to modern Darwinian theory. This film shows that sometimes his skepticism against ID goes too far. Shermer certainly has a huge stake in the debate over this film—in fact, it seems that his entire worldview, livelihood, and de-conversion experience depend heavily upon the veracity of Darwinian evolution. It therefore comes as no surprise that in his review of Expelled, he paints evolutionists as the saints, and Darwinism as a pure and unadulterated religion.

    Continue reading "Michael Shermer’s Fact-Free Attack on Expelled Exposes Intolerance of Darwinists towards Pro-Intelligent Design Scientists (Part 1)" »


    April 15, 2008
    The NCSE Exposed: Clunky Attack on “Expelled” Reveals More Than Intended

    [Note: For a more comprehensive defense of Ben Stein's documentary Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, please see: NCSE Exposed at NCSEExposed.org]

    The National Center for Science Education has just unveiled its expanded website denouncing the upcoming movie “Expelled,” but the website’s clunky attacks merely provide confirmation that the film’s essential thesis is correct: Darwinists really don’t believe in academic freedom regarding evolution, and they’re more than willing to smear any scientist who disagrees with them.

    The basic thrust of the NCSE’s website seems to be the preposterous claim that pro-ID scientists never, ever face harassment, intimidation, or persecution. Not ever! Scientists who claim otherwise—such as biologist Richard Sternberg, astronomer Guillermo Gonzalez, and Baylor University engineering professor Robert Marks—must be cry-babies or worse.

    Continue reading "The NCSE Exposed: Clunky Attack on “Expelled” Reveals More Than Intended" »

    Hitler's Debt to Darwin

    Time magazine and Variety have published the latest attack reviews of Expelled, in advance of opening day this Friday. As with previous hostile responses, the focus of outrage is on the film’s argument that Hitler drew inspiration from Darwin’s intellectual legacy.

    In Time, reviewer Jeffrey Kluger fumes: “Theories of natural selection, it’s claimed, were a necessary if not sufficient condition for Hitler’s killing machine to get started. The truth, of course, is that the only necessary and sufficient condition for human beings to murder one another is the simple fact of being human.”

    As more attacks come in, making either this bewilderingly inane point — or the one made by Scientific American editor-in-chief John Rennie that the role of Christianity in fomenting Nazism should have been discussed in the film — just keep in mind the response to recent books that have put blame for the Holocaust on the churches.

    Continue reading "Hitler's Debt to Darwin" »


    April 14, 2008
    Expelled does NOT try to "blame Darwin for the Holocaust”

    [Note: For a more detailed response to attacks on Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, please see: NCSE Exposed at NCSEExposed.org]

    With the attacks on Expelled from distraught Darwinists coming faster and sharper, I thought I'd ask Discovery senior fellow --and columnist for the Jewish Forward-- David Klinghoffer to provide us with some commentary to help put various aspects of the film into context. Here then is his first installment.

    This week I’ll be blogging about a contentious issue raised by Expelled, its linking of Darwinian theory with Hitlerian ideology. Critics have misconstrued the point Ben Stein makes in the film. Expelled does not – repeat: DOES NOT -- try “to blame Darwin for the Holocaust,” as the subhead on an attack piece at the Scientific American website puts it.

    Instead it shows the indebtedness of Nazism to ideas expressed in Darwin’s writing.

    Darwin’s theory of evolution is enmeshed in a worldview, Darwinism, that emerges clearly in The Origin of Species and, more so, in The Descent of Man. Hitler gave to Darwinism his own evil twist. Yet Hitler without Darwin’s influence, however indirect, would not have been the same Hitler we know from history. Without Darwin’s legacy to draw on, Hitler would have been compelled to frame his appeal to the German people in greatly altered terms.

    That’s different, it should be obvious, from blaming gentle Charles Darwin for genocide.

    Yet the author of the SciAm review, editor-in-chief John Rennie, feels that the movie should have given a fuller picture of Nazism’s philosophical genealogy:

    Continue reading "Expelled does NOT try to "blame Darwin for the Holocaust” " »

    "Expelled Exposed" -- Exposed

    [Note: For a more comprehensive defense of Ben Stein's documentary Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, please see: NCSE Exposed at NCSEExposed.org]

    [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.

    Continue reading ""Expelled Exposed" -- Exposed" »


    April 10, 2008
    Dawkins Outraged at Exposure of Link Between Darwinism and Nazi Ideology

    [Note: For a more comprehensive defense of Ben Stein's documentary Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, please see: NCSE Exposed at NCSEExposed.org]

    Richard Dawkins has been ranting that he's outraged (I'll just bet he is) that Expelled exposes for all to clearly see the connection between Darwinism and Nazi ideology.

    According to Dawkins:

    The alleged association between Darwinism and Nazism is harped on for what seems like hours, and it is quite simply an outrage. We are supposed to believe that Hitler was influenced by Darwin.
    Actually the discussion of the influence of Darwinism on the Nazis in Expelled lasts only about ten minutes, and outside that segment of the film there's no references at all to the Nazis.

    Dawkins of course has said he would hate to live in a Darwinian society. Jerusalem Post columnist Jonathan Roseblum explained back in December that maybe we already do. He wrote about Richard Weikart's meticulously researched book From Darwin To Hitler, which proves the point and then some.

    As Professor Richard Weikart chillingly details in From Darwin to Hitler: Evolutionary Ethics, Eugenics, and Racism in Germany, Mengele's experiments on "inferior" Jewish children for the benefit of the Master Race have to be viewed in the context of German Social Darwinism in the seven decades leading up to the Nazi takeover.

    In Weikart's estimate, a majority of German physicians and scientists subscribed to the naturalistic Darwinian world view and ideas that constituted a sustained assault on the traditional Judeo-Christian concept of the sanctity of life. Among those ideas are the claim that there is no fundamental distinction between humans and animals; human beings do not possess a soul that endows them with any rights or superiority to any other species; within the species homo sapiens, there are "inferior" and "superior" individuals, and inferior and superior races; and it is the iron will of nature that the species should evolve through the survival of the superior members and the death of the inferior.

    Darwin's cousin Francis Galton founded the modern eugenics movement on the basis of Darwinian arguments, and nowhere did eugenics catch on with greater enthusiasm than in Germany (though many prominent intellectuals in the United States, England and France were also enthusiastic supporters.) In Germany, many took the next step - from eugenics to involuntary euthanasia for the mentally ill and other defectives.

    Read it all here.


    April 6, 2008
    Lengthy Interview with Ben Stein About Expelled and Evolution


    April 5, 2008
    World Mag's Olasky Says Expelled is "Seriously Funny"

    Marvin Olasky has a great review of Expelled in the new issue of World magazine.

    Ben Stein takes on the debate-phobic Darwinian establishment"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.

    Click here to read the rest of Seriously Funny.


    April 1, 2008
    Why P. Z. Myers should be wearing the short pants and sneakers

    I have theorized elsewhere about the Darwinists' diminishing status in the gene pool, but there is new and even more alarming evidence of the deterioration of the Darwinist subspecies--further proof that those who believe in the survival of the fittest are less fit for survival. It is becoming increasingly evident that there is a serious lack of creativity among a few Darwinists that could threaten their station on the evolutionary tree.

    These days I get most of my news via my Google Reader, and about half of it over the last week seems to be about an attempt by biologist P. Z. Myers to sneak into a private viewing of the new movie "Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed," Ben Stein's expose of Darwinist thought control in our institutions of higher learning. Myer's attempt to get into the private screening (which was invitation only) was foiled when he was recognized and told that the private screening was, well, private.

    From the indignation with which this incident has been received by the anti-ID crowd, one would think that he was beaten with truncheons by big men in steel-toed boots and physically dragged away from the theater. But, alas, it is not so. Turns out he was just standing there dumbly in line waiting to get in to see the movie, was recognized, and was then asked by theater security to go away, which he did, according to reports, without a struggle.

    Such is the state of the Darwinist mindset these days that so unimpressive a performance is considered the stuff of heroism. But P. Z. thought it was something, and he has recounted several times now how he bravely endured his confrontation with theater security (and we know their reputation). I mean, what was he supposed to do? They had badges.

    Continue reading "Why P. Z. Myers should be wearing the short pants and sneakers" »


    March 28, 2008
    Darwinist Biologist P.Z. Myers’ “Nice Feedback Mechanism”— “Greater Science Literacy…Is Going to Lead to the Erosion of Religion”

    The most astonishing thing about Premise Media’s new documentary Expelled is the candor with which prominent Darwinist scientists admit their own ideological agenda in science education. In the film, Darwinists admit that atheist metaphysics is essential to their science. They insist that scientific education should erode their students’ belief in God.

    Among the most prominent Darwinists interviewed in the film is Dr. P.Z. Myers, an associate professor of biology at the University of Minnesota-Morris and author of the science blog Pharyngula. Pharyngula is one of the most popular science blogs, and Myers mixes Darwinist science with unvarnished venom for Christianity. Dr. Myers posted one of his more polite descriptions of Christianity on Easter Day:

    This is Easter, the day Christians everywhere set aside to celebrate the day they were hoaxed by a gang of Middle Eastern charlatans into believing a local mystic rose from the dead.

    Continue reading "Darwinist Biologist P.Z. Myers’ “Nice Feedback Mechanism”— “Greater Science Literacy…Is Going to Lead to the Erosion of Religion” " »


    March 25, 2008
    Ben Stein's New Film Expelled No. 1 in Blogosphere

    From a release issued by Premise Media:

    SANTA FE, N.M.Something amazing happened yesterday. The controversy around Premise Media’s upcoming movie Ben Stein’s EXPELLED: No Intelligence Allowed became the hottest topic in the blogosphere. According to BlogPulse, a service of Nielsen Buzzmetrics, the issue held the number one slot throughout the day on Monday, March 24th (http://www.blogpulse.com). There were also over 800 results on Technorati (www.technorati.com).

    “It is amazing to see the reaction of PZ Myers, Richard Dawkins and their cohorts when one of them is simply expelled from a movie. Yet these men applaud when professors throughout the nation are fired from their jobs and permanently excluded from their profession for mentioning Intelligent Design,” said producer Mark Mathis. Mathis was at the event that has raised this controversy.

    Mathis continued, “I hope PZ’s experience has helped him see the light. He is distraught because he could not see a movie. What if he wasn’t allowed to teach on a college campus or was denied tenure? Maybe he will think twice before he starts demanding more professors be blacklisted and expelled simply because they question the adequacy of Darwin's theory.”

    Read the rest here.

    Hundreds Turn Out for Seattle Screening of Ben Stein Film Expelled

    Last night was another screening of Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, this one in Seattle and sans the infamous partycrasher Richard Dawkins. Still, the downtown theater, AMC Pacific Place, was packed out. Like every other screening, the audience loved it. The movie, whatever you might think of intelligent design, or evolution, or Darwin, is entertaining and at times irresistibly funny. And lucky us, this was the first showing of the actual 35mm print -- exactly what audiences will see across the country when the film opens on April 18th.

    Discovery president Bruce Chapman has a good post about it at Discovery Blog.

    A crowd of 350 invited guests attended a pre-screening of Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed tonight in Seattle's Pacific Place. I can see now why the eminent Richard Dawkins, who crashed a screening in Minneapolis last week, remains so upset about Ben Stein's movie. He must not have realized until he sat in the theater last week and heard people laughing at him on the screen that he had made himself look foolish. On his website he calls the audience "sycophantic."

    Among other things, he writes that before he was interviewed he didn't know who actor/economist/columnist Ben Stein was or that his droll monotone had comedic appeal to those strange Americans. He's so "boring," Dawkins writes. (Ferris Bueller thought the very same, Richard.)

    Continue reading here.


    March 21, 2008
    Richard Dawkins, World’s Most Famous Darwinist, Stoops to Gate-crashing Expelled

    Like many films in pre-release, Ben Stein’s Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed is being selectively screened around the country to develop a buzz.

    Press will be invited to screen the final version in three weeks, I’m told, while the official opening in theaters is April 18. Surprisingly, even the private screenings are causing excitement. Audiences love it.

    In January I saw an early version that was screened in Fort Lauderdale and I will be at a Seattle screening soon. The Darwinists who are portrayed in the film -- giving answers to questions submitted in advance! -- are worried about what the public will think of their views when produced incontrovertibly in their own words. What they say is damning, all right, but it’s not much different than what they write in books and say in speeches and other appearances.

    Continue reading "Richard Dawkins, World’s Most Famous Darwinist, Stoops to Gate-crashing Expelled " »


    March 13, 2008
    Listen to Ben Stein's Comments at Academic Freedom Act Press Conference

    (UPDATE: I've updated this post with two smaller MP3s to make downloading easier. Part 1 features a number of speakers including Rep. Hays describing his bill. Part 2 features Casey Luskin and Ben Stein at the end, among others.)

    If you'd like to hear for yourself what was said at the press conference in support of Florida's proposed Academic Freedom Act in Tallahassee yesterday you can download an MP3 part 1 here and part 2 here. The speakers at the press conference included CSC's own Casey Luskin, and Ben Stein, among others.


    March 12, 2008
    Ben Stein Stands Up for Academic Freedom in Tallahassee

    image002.jpg

    For another story on the press conference today about the Florida Academic Freedom Act, see here. And you can watch a news report here.

    Ben Stein Promotes Academic Freedom in Florida

    The Tallahassee Democrat has just posted an updated article about the Florida Academic Freedom Act press conference earlier today:

    Actor and social activist Ben Stein visited Florida's capitol today, urging lawmakers to pass an "academic freedom" bill that would protect teachers and students from questioning evolution under newly adopted science curriculum standards.

    Stein also joined John Stemberger, head of the Florida Family Policy Council, and Casey Luskin, a lawyer from the Seattle-based Discovery Institute, in defending a private screening of Stein's new film that has been arranged tonight for legislators. They showed a brief preview of the film, in which Stein recounts his meetings with teachers and scientists who have been shunned for questioning evolutionary theory.

    You can read the rest of the article here.


    March 5, 2008
    Expelled and the Argument against Denying the Discussion

    CT Movies reviewer Brett McCracken has seen Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, and his thoughtful review is available online. It’s worth noting that McCracken, in his own words, “came into this film very, very skeptical . . . But I was pleasantly surprised with Expelled on a number of levels.”

    McCracken seems to get the point of the film, that it’s an argument against censorship.

    Indeed, the film hits a nerve in its critique of the contemporary American academy. As a graduate student immersed in academia and all its idiosyncrasies, I can attest to the pervasive and disturbingly hypocritical sense of close-mindedness that stifles the spirit of progressive discourse. It goes beyond the scientific communities in higher education and touches many disciplines. Quite simply: if you are not on the “right” side of the wall (whatever wall it may be), your voice is stifled, your work discredited, and your intelligence questioned. It’s gone beyond political correctness and is now something altogether more militant and sinister. Sadly, the academy today is less about the sharing and discovery of truth as it is about the wielding and protecting of power.

    Continue reading "Expelled and the Argument against Denying the Discussion" »


    March 1, 2008
    The World According to Ben Stein

    Minnesota Public Radio just posted online an hourlong program featuring actor, comedian, speechwriter, economist and historian Ben Stein. It's a delightfully funny interview. Stein is at his best when allowed to tell funny stories that are always quite insightful. One of the best such anecdotes is about his recent stint on VH1's America's Most Smartest Model and his opinion that there's an education crisis today and it's not the fault of teachers, but rather the fault of students themselves (about 10 minutes in).

    It's a wide ranging discussion, including Q&A at the end, and only briefly touches on Stein's involvement in Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed (about 46:00 minutes in).

    If an hour seems overly long, it isn't You'll quickly get caught up in his story telling and before you know it the hour has flown by.

    If that's too daunting for you, there's another option. For a less intellectual — but no less funny or insightful — interview, you can check out Stein's recent appearance on his old sidekick Jimmy Kimmel's late night show.


    February 28, 2008
    Re-examining the Darwin-Hitler Link

    Editor's Note: This special post comes to us courtesy of CSC Fellow Dr. Richard Weikart, author of From Darwin to Hitler: Evolutionary Ethics, Eugenics, and Racism in Germany.

    In the heated struggle over the teaching of evolution in the state of Florida, some have suggested that Darwinism is dangerous. They claim it has produced odious ideologies, most prominently, Nazism. Michael Ruse has castigated those trying to connect Darwinism and Nazism in his op-ed piece for the Tallahassee Democrat, "Darwin and Hitler: A Not-Very-Intelligent Link" (February 6).

    Ruse, a philosopher by profession, claims that the anti-evolutionists are "not very good historians." However, he commits some serious historical gaffes himself, undermining his claim to be setting the record straight.

    Continue reading "Re-examining the Darwin-Hitler Link" »

    Ben Stein Likens Darwinism to Imperialism

    It's clear that with Expelled coming to theaters in April that we will probably hear more from Ben Stein about what he thinks of Darwin and modern evolutionary theory. In his latest writing on the subject over at News Blaze, Stein says that Darwin created "a scientific theory that rationalized Imperialism."

    Darwin offered the most compelling argument yet for Imperialism. It was neither good nor bad, neither Liberal nor Conservative, but simply a fact of nature. In dominating Africa and Asia, Britain was simply acting in accordance with the dictates of life itself. He was the ultimate pitchman for Imperialism.

    Now, we know that Imperialism had a short life span. Imperialism was a system that took no account of the realities of the human condition. Human beings do not like to have their countries owned by people far away in ermine robes. They like to be in charge of themselves.

    Imperialism had a short but hideous history - of repression and murder.

    But its day is done.

    Darwinism is still very much alive, utterly dominating biology.

    This is a theme Stein is very interested in, and that is echoed in parts of Expelled. You can read the rest here.


    February 15, 2008
    Ben Stein Wins Money from Intelligent Design Community

    http://www.expelledthemovie.comFrom a press release issued by Biola University:

    La Mirada, Calif. -- Ben Stein, known for his lead role in the film Ferris Bueller’s Day and his Comedy Central show Win Ben Stein’s Money, believes in liberty and truth. In recognition of this, Biola University’s masters in science and religion program will present him with the 2008 Phillip E. Johnson Award for Liberty and Truth on March 27, a month before the release of his major controversial motion picture, Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed.

    Continue reading "Ben Stein Wins Money from Intelligent Design Community" »

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