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Hip and Thigh: Smiting Theological Philistines with a Great Slaughter. Judges 15:8

Monday, April 21, 2008

More Reactions for Expelled

The last post from Friday highlighted Ben Stein's interview on Dennis Prager's radio program regarding his documentary Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed. I didn't get to see it opening weekend (four little kids tend to cramp the movie going style) though I hope to see it soon with a friend. Besides, I wanted to attend a lecture on Saturday night by a prominent geneticist, which I will talk about in a moment. More than likely I will have to wait for the DVD. I understand it is going to be a substantial production on the level of the extended editions for the Lord of the Rings.

I did, however, entertain myself with reading the reactions of folks from around the blog-o-sphere. Pretty much as I can tell, people really loved the film or they hated it with a severe, pathological hatred.

Those who loved it were generally supporters of ID; those who hated it were frothing at the mouth Darwinian atheists. The more laughable were the reviews by movie critics. These are people who make their living watching movies and yet some of them pontificate on the merits of evolution against ID as if they graduated with honors in biology.

The hostile reaction from opponents of this film reveal to me the significance of the origins debate. It is clear this film strikes at the heart of the fundamental axiom shaping the worldview of many folks. People don't like to have their worlviews attacked. You know arguments are becoming desperate when one of the key criticisms is phony charges of copyright abuse.

Some positive reviews from sources I frequent:

Mark Looy's lengthy review: Dr. Dawkins, Tear Down This Wall!

Dustin Segers's, brief movie review, and Patrick Chan's impressions of the film.

Dave Coppedge's round-up of evolutionary critics of the film. (Scroll down to read his links and comments smattered throughout his evolutionary news blog).

The most negative reactions are posted at Expelled Exposed, a website maintained by the National Center for Science Education.

The NCSE is a consortium of "dinosaur" atheists who advocate a philosophy of science straight from the Communist play book of 1955. Headed by the high inquisitor of the Darwinian thought police, Eugenie Scott, who makes it her life's passion to ferret out any apostates from the evolutionary fold and burn them alive at the stake, the NCSE lives in a time wormhole where it is 1923, pre-Scopes' trial America. Their cry is evolutionary science is being censored through out our schools, and they'll find one, obscure teacher who was let go in a town in Texas to illustrate their cause. I find their charge of censorship absolutely ridiculous seeing that I was immersed in evolutionary indoctrination at school from as early as I can remember, even having creationist beliefs mocked by a bitter high school biology teacher, and that was in rural Arkansas.

Surprising for some people are the harsh criticisms from what would otherwise be considered conservative circles. For instance, Charles Johnson, curator of Little Green Footballs, one of the more important blogs on the Internet, linked to the NCSE website against Expelled. The 2,000 plus comments (as of this writing) mainly by people who are angry with Stein for his documentary, only tells me that a) conservatism as a movement is not necessarily friendly with Bible-believing evangelicals like myself, merely just tolerating them for the sake of some faked "unity" when they need to use them, b) again shows the significance of the evolution/creation presuppositions of a person's fundamental worldview, and c) shows the willingness by even conservatives to compromise their views of free inquiry, and this from a large group of folks who grouse against radical liberals suppression of thought at universities and Islamic intolerance in Europe.

Now I had mentioned above about a lecture I attended. I went to the monthly meeting of the San Fernando Bible-Science Association to hear Dr. John Sanford speak on genetic entropy. Dr. Sanford was a professor at Cornell University for 27 years and the primary inventor for the gene gun.

The subject he was discussing Saturday night was on genetic entropy. His thesis is that the human genome is decaying, according to the law of entropy, way too fast for Darwinian evolution to be a fact. And this is not something speculative, but a factual reality backed by observable evidence. For instance, he shows how the human genome contains much more mutations than what natural selection can handle. In a sense, it is like a boat with thousands of tiny leaks and all you have is one bucket to bail out the water. The leaks are the mutations and natural selection the bucket. You can pick up his book on the subject if you have the wear-with-all to wade through the technical stuff.

At any rate, before he began his talk, Dr. Sanford spoke a bit about Expelled and testified that the main point of the film is true. That being, good scientific men are being black listed from the circles of academia for daring to challenge the primary tenets of Darwinianism. Dr. Sanford began his scientific career as an evolutionary believing atheist, then moved to a theistic evolutionary viewpoint, then progressive creationism, and then biblical creationism when he and his family started attending a strong, Bible teaching church that challenged the core presuppositions of his governing scientific authorities. Even as a theistic evolutionist he learned quickly not to invoke God or the discussion of ID at great risk of being tarred and feathered by his academic peers.

In spite of the merit of his scientific accomplishments, because he is a biblical, young earth creationist, he receives lots of shrill criticism. One example he gave was an guy reviewing his book on the subject of genomic entropy. Dr. Sanford said, "Here's a guy telling me, a person who has spent 30 years of his life studying this subject in detail, that I should be ashamed of myself for publishing a book like this that debunks Darwinianism." He went on, "This guy has absolutely no training in genetics and he thinks I should be ashamed of something I have devoted my life to studying and coming to the conclusions I have?"

His story is an example of why I have always stated that the creation-evolution-origins debate is not one centered around hard, factual evidence, but foundational, philosophical presuppositions.

It is a spiritual problem, not an evidence problem.

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4 Comments:

Blogger Patrick Roberts said...

i get the feeling that Ben Stein's goal is to promote dangerously-free thought, especially more thinking about motivations that drive American academia and a lot of other behind-the-scenes worldview that we tend to take for granted.

1:58 PM, April 22, 2008  
Blogger Hayden said...

Fred,

I just saw the movie on Wednesday. It was good in my opinion and was in no way a 'religious' film. I liked much of what Stein had to say and even went over to the Expelled:Exposed website and saw some grossly inaccurate statements. They did not even accurately deal with his major premise.

The film opens with Stein talking about freedom and ends with it as well. Why isn't the NCSE for freedom in academics?

Also, the best part of the film is when Dawkins admits that Darwinian evolution leads to atheism. It is like he pulled of the mask of the NCSE, you know like in some of the old Scooby Doo episodes.

The interview with Dawkins is worth the price of admission.

10:07 AM, April 25, 2008  
Blogger Ojalanpoika said...

Ever saw these figures of Dinoglyfs & Dinolits documented by man in the historical era:
http://www.helsinki.fi/~pjojala/Dinosaurs-in-history.htm
?

Here's one's critique against the current dating convention:
http://www.helsinki.fi/~pjojala/Mryr.htm
http://www.helsinki.fi/~pjojala/Molecular_Clock.htm
http://www.helsinki.fi/~pjojala/Cambrian_Explosion.html

pauli.ojala@gmail.com
Biochemist, drop-out (M.Sci. Master of Sciing)
http://www.helsinki.fi/~pjojala/Expelled-ID.htm

1:34 PM, May 12, 2008  
Blogger Fred Butler said...

I have seen some of those pictures before and though many of them are pretty cool, I believe a lot of them are opened to interpretation and in some instances may not be dinosaurs at all.

For example, those pictures of carcases are more than likely baskin sharks or other current day sea life that when they decay just resemble a sea going dinosaur.

Additionally, though I think many of those images are compelling, we must keep in mind that they are not compelling to the atheist who will find any means to reinterpret them according to his chosen worldview.

Fred

5:30 AM, May 13, 2008  

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