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New Movie to Criticize Scientific Establishment
#1
Ben Stein to battle Darwin in major film
Actor-commentator stars in 'Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed'

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© 2007 WorldNetDaily.com

Ben Stein, the lovable, monotone teacher from "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" and "The Wonder Years" is back in the classroom in a major motion picture release slated for February 2008.

But this time, the actor will be on the big screen asking one of life's biggest questions: "Were we designed, or are we simply the end result of an ancient mud puddle struck by lightning?"

That's right. Evolution – and the explosive debate over its virtual monopoly on America's public school classrooms – is the focus of the film "Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed."

In the movie, Stein, who is also a lawyer, economist, former presidential speechwriter, author and social commentator, is stunned by what he discovers – an elitist scientific establishment that has traded in its skepticism for dogma. Even worse, say publicists for the feature film, "along the way, Stein uncovers a long line of biologists, astronomers, chemists and philosophers who have had their reputations destroyed and their careers ruined by a scientific establishment that allows absolutely no dissent from Charles Darwin's theory of random mutation and natural selection."

"Big Science in this area of biology has lost its way," says Stein. "Scientists are supposed to be allowed to follow the evidence wherever it may lead, no matter what the implications are. Freedom of inquiry has been greatly compromised, and this is not only anti-American, it's anti-science. It's anti-the whole concept of learning."

As "Expelled's" official website asks: "What freedom-loving student wouldn't be outraged to discover that his high school science teacher is teaching a theory as indisputable fact, and that university professors unmercifully crush any fellow scientists who dare question the prevailing system of belief? This isn't the latest Hollywood comedy; it's a disturbing new documentary that will shock anyone who thinks all scientists are free to follow the evidence wherever it may lead."

"Expelled" is produced by Premise Media, and being marketed by Motive Entertainment, which has spearheaded major previous Hollywood blockbusters, including "The Passion of the Christ," "Polar Express" and "The Chronicles of Narnia." It will be distributed by Rocky Mountain Pictures, with numerous box-office successes to its credit.

"Expelled" documents how teachers and scientists alike are being ridiculed daily, denied tenure and even fired believing there is evidence of "design" in nature and challenging the current orthodoxy that life is entirely a result of random chance.

For example, Stein meets Richard Sternberg, a double Ph.D. biologist who allowed a peer-reviewed research paper describing the evidence for intelligence in the universe to be published in the scientific journal Proceedings. Shortly after publication, officials from the National Center for Science Education and the Smithsonian Institution, where Sternberg was a research fellow, began a coordinated smear-and-intimidation campaign to get the promising young scientist fired. The attack on scientific freedom was so egregious that it prompted a congressional investigation.

In the film, Stein meets other scientists like astrobiologist Guillermo Gonzalez, who was denied tenure at Iowa State University in spite of an extraordinary record of achievement. Gonzalez made the mistake of documenting the design he has observed in the universe. And there are others, like Caroline Crocker, a brilliant biology teacher at George Mason University who was forced out of the university for briefly discussing problems with Darwinian theory and for telling the students that some scientists believe there is evidence of design in the universe.

Unlike other popular documentary films, "Expelled" isn't one-sided – it confronts scientists like Oxford evolutionist Richard Dawkins, author of "The God Delusion," influential biologist and atheist blogger P.Z. Myers, and Eugenie Scott, head of the National Center for Science Education. In fact, the creators of "Expelled" spent two years traveling the world and interviewing scores of scientists, doctors, philosophers and public leaders for the film.

According to the New York Times, Dawkins, Scott and other evolutionists are now claiming the film's producers deceived them into going on camera by hiding the "Intelligent Design" orientation of the film.

But Stein denies misleading anyone. "I don't remember a single person asking me what the movie was about," he told the Times.

In the end, say the film's publicists, the production delivers to viewers "a startling revelation that freedom of thought and freedom of inquiry have been expelled from publicly funded high schools, universities and research institutions."

"The incredible thing about 'Expelled' is that we don't resort to manipulating our interviews for the purpose of achieving the 'shock effect,' something that has become common in documentary film these days," said Walt Ruloff, co-founder of Premise Media and the film's co-executive producer. "People will be stunned to actually find out what elitist scientists proclaim, which is that a large majority of Americans are simpletons who believe in a fairy tale. Premise Media took on this difficult mission because we believe the greatest asset of humanity is our freedom to explore and discover truth."

Editor's note: The current edition of Whistleblower magazine, "THE RISE OF ATHEIST AMERICA," is a cutting-edge look at the growth of God-denial in the U.S., including the central role of government-mandated indoctrination in the theory of evolution. Find out more about "THE RISE OF ATHEIST AMERICA."
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#2
I will see this movie. I'm a bit surprised that Mr. Stein has put himself so far out on a limb. Will he loose his weekly NYT column as a result?
Jefferson: I place economy among the first and important virtues, and public debt as the greatest of dangers. To preserve our independence, we must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt. We must make our choice between economy and liberty, or profusion and servitude. If we can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of caring for them, they will be happy.
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#3
WOW. I wants. 8)
Sanders 2020

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#4
What I find so interesting here is the choice of extremes(complete design, or complete chance) with regard to how we came about. I too am surprised that Mr Stein goes out on a limb with this movie. Because, as in the universe, things always wind up being somewhere in between. And clearly Ron, you are doing as others here, by attempting to make this an "all or nothing" proposition with regards to evolution(no Creator) or creation(devine planning) of our physical vehicles.

I contend that the argument is childish in that we are posessed of an eternal spirit/soul, living within a physical body. Just as the concept of the Trinity, so too here a dual entity. Therefore, it is more than reasonable to understand that it does not matter a 'hill of beans' how our physical vehicle came to be. And I also suspect that the Creator is more in the grant scale of thinking, and not the minute one you, and others, are insisting.

To my thinking, this entire argument about evolution vs creation is a waste of time, and resources, in that you(third person) are atempting to lump both aspects in as one. I find this less than convincing, unless you can prove that one day we shall all be resurrected again, body and soul together.

My 2 cents, for what it is worth.
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"Falsehood flies, and truth comes limping after it" - Jonathan Swift, 1710
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#5
John L, I think you missed the key point here: the fact that there is an elitist scientific establishment that really does persecute any dissenters, as stated, for example:

"'Expelled' documents how teachers and scientists alike are being ridiculed daily, denied tenure and even fired believing there is evidence of "design" in nature and challenging the current orthodoxy that life is entirely a result of random chance."

This is not opinion, this is documentation of criminal behavior, actual persecution involving material harm being done to dissenters from something that is no more than a majority view. It is documentation of a betrayal of the most fundamental precept of science--open inquiry by open minds, willing to consider all the evidence, and follow the reasonable chain of evidence wherever it may lead.

Anyone who does not see the tremendous harm done to science and to all humanity by this, has no sense at all of what is important in this world. If you are not upset by the way people are being treated for merely suggesting there might be something to Intelligent Design, then what is wrong with you? The point is not whether you favor evolution or creation, the point is whether you countenance this kind of criminal behavior on the part of those who will apparently do anything to suppress dissent.

What is your response? Denial? Seek to divert your own attention and conscience by a rehearsal of your favorite arguments for whatever you believe about origins?

Let me quote again this paragraph:

"For example, Stein meets Richard Sternberg, a double Ph.D. biologist who allowed a peer-reviewed research paper describing the evidence for intelligence in the universe to be published in the scientific journal Proceedings. Shortly after publication, officials from the National Center for Science Education and the Smithsonian Institution, where Sternberg was a research fellow, began a coordinated smear-and-intimidation campaign to get the promising young scientist fired. The attack on scientific freedom was so egregious that it prompted a congressional investigation."

Do you admit that the treatment Dr. Sternberg received was criminal, yes or no? Do you admit that this kind of thing is destructive of science itself, and harms all humanity? Is this the kind of world that you want to live in, where things like this are allowed to go on as a matter of routine?
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#6
Ron Lambert Wrote:John L, I think you missed the key point here: the fact that there is an elitist scientific establishment that really does persecute any dissenters, as stated, for example:

"'Expelled' documents how teachers and scientists alike are being ridiculed daily, denied tenure and even fired believing there is evidence of "design" in nature and challenging the current orthodoxy that life is entirely a result of random chance."

This is not opinion, this is documentation of criminal behavior, actual persecution involving material harm being done to dissenters from something that is no more than a majority view. It is documentation of a betrayal of the most fundamental precept of science--open inquiry by open minds, willing to consider all the evidence, and follow the reasonable chain of evidence wherever it may lead.
It seems to me that you are missing the point here, not John.

To start with, the facts of this case do not seem as clearcut as you would have us believe.

Secondly, creationism or intelligent design is not considered a scientific discipline. As you may recall, a US court in Pennsyvania recently ruled that this is a reglious topic and cannot be taught in public school science classes.

The fact that a reglious paper was published in a scientific journal is in itself suspect and, to say the least, provocative. One wonders what would have happened if an article on astrology were to be published in a leading astromony journal or an article on alchemy in an authoritative chemistry periodical. No doubt, more than eyebrows would be raised.

In this case, it looks very much like the Smithsonian simply discriminated against Sternberg, not on scientific but on religious grounds. The question is whether Sternberg violated ethical principles in publishing a religious argument in a scientific publication. After all, people should be free to publish their views of religion in any publication that is willing to accept them.

I have my doubts as to how "criminal" this situation is, but I agree with you that it should never have happened. This is a topic that belongs, not on a science thread but on a religious thread.

The real issue is religous freedom, not scientific persecution.
Quote:"The true triumph of reason is that it enables us to get along with those who do not possess it." -- Voltaire
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#7
Quote:I contend that the argument is childish in that we are posessed of an eternal spirit/soul, living within a physical body. Just as the concept of the Trinity, so too here a dual entity.
Ron,
couldn't you at least agree with this cutting edge religioscience reported by John? Which I interpret as God injecting eternal spirits in physical bodies made by evolution? The dual entity, the fusion of creation and eternal change. Wisdoms final chapter.[/quote]
"You know, Paul, Reagan proved that deficits don't matter." Dick Cheney
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#8
Matrix Wrote:The real issue is religous freedom, not scientific persecution.
Indeed.
"Common sense is not so common" - Voltaire
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#9
No, the real issue is the right of qualified scientists to say that there is good, legitimate, evidence-driven science in Intelligent Design, that it is NOT just religious dogma. The possibility that the universe was created is certainly a reasonable alternative--arguably the most reasonable alternative. Why must everyone be forced to accept the premises of atheism in order to be considered scientific in their thinking?

That court case has certainly been seized upon by evolutionists with triumphalistic zeal. I felt from the beginning that those promoters of Intelligent Design who brought the matter to court hoping to get ID taught in schools were making a political mistake. It is too easy for human judges to be influenced by the same monolithic, overwhelming scientific establishment that has no scruples about intimidating scientists who do not toe the party line. Now of course all the evolution yokels trumpet that court ruling as "proving" that Intelligent Design is just religious dogma and not real science. The court ruling was in error.
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#10
mv Wrote:WOW. I wants. 8)
I'll be sure to watch this. I vote with my $$.
Solo~

When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty. --Thomas Jefferson
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#11
Darwin's theory is basically right though there are a few problems with it.

The biggest is the idea of 'random mutations' leading to more successful species. I don't buy that. I think so called 'random mutations' are the result of an environment impacting a pregnant mother while the baby is still in the womb. It doesn't make sense that something so fine-tuned as humanity is the result of randomly good things happening.
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#12
Anonymous24 Wrote:Darwin's theory is basically right though there are a few problems with it.

The biggest is the idea of 'random mutations' leading to more successful species. I don't buy that. I think so called 'random mutations' are the result of an environment impacting a pregnant mother while the baby is still in the womb. It doesn't make sense that something so fine-tuned as humanity is the result of randomly good things happening.

Mutation is one of the principle motivators of change within the gene pool. Mutations can be good or bad. And get this: in one locale the mutation may be good, while in others, it may be bad. Balanced polymorphisms are a good example. In Africa, the mosquito spreads malaria. The appearance of the sickling trait, certainly a random mutation, led to the gene pool being able to resist the disease. Only problem is that if you are homozygous with the trait, you will die of Sickle Cell Anemia, but the numbers are a plus for the gene pool. In areas, such as Europe or NA, where the malaria bug is not found in quantity, the sickeling trait is a disadvantage. People carrying the trait are at a 'select disadvantage' compared to those not having it, when it comes to passing on their genes to the next generation.

And yes, random mutation is the biggest factor in change within any gene pool, including humans.
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"Falsehood flies, and truth comes limping after it" - Jonathan Swift, 1710
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#13
Anon,
I have no problem with random change, but why humanity had vegetated with a fully developed brain along for hundreds of thousands of years, and experienced this cultural explosion just thousands of years ago, escapes me.
"You know, Paul, Reagan proved that deficits don't matter." Dick Cheney
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#14
quadrat Wrote:Anon,
I have no problem with random change, but why humanity had vegetated with a fully developed brain along for hundreds of thousands of years, and experienced this cultural explosion just thousands of years ago, escapes me.

Oh, that's easy to explain, if you are up to speed on how the genus 'homo' developed and the surrounding conditions. Up until the last 25.000-45,000 years, we were still developing as a species in rapid order. But there was one thing working against us up until the last interstatial: the pleistocene. An ice age is grossly underappreciated as to how it hinders advancement of any species.

It is fact that during the last series of ice ages, approximately 1/3 of the land mass was covered in ice, and about 2/3, or more, of the rest was covered in dessert, be it severe or not. Cultural development is next to impossible under such conditions. And it was not until the globe warmed during the Holocene that we were able to spread out, and guarantee our survival as a species.

As we grew in population, all sorts of things occurred. One of them was the domestication of plants and animals, which led to larger populations living in close proximity, which created a more comples social structure.

Another offshoot of this was division of labour. For the first time large groups were able to have designated individuals working in concert within the group. Certain individuals, such as priests, were able to do more than just worry about survival, so they had free time to think and do other things, becides having to make stone tools, cultivate new crops, or hunt prey.

The rest is history, so to speak.
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"Falsehood flies, and truth comes limping after it" - Jonathan Swift, 1710
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#15
Well, the implications of the ice ages were limited along the equator, and there was no desert, otherwise we wouldn't have all those tropical plants and animals. Humans must have lived there continually for hundreds of thousands of years. There have also been long gaps between the ice ages before, when early humans could spread at will. But didn't invent culture anyway, not the ones staying in their environment, not thew nomads.
"You know, Paul, Reagan proved that deficits don't matter." Dick Cheney
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#16
Ron Lambert Wrote:No, the real issue is the right of qualified scientists to say that there is good, legitimate, evidence-driven science in Intelligent Design, that it is NOT just religious dogma. The possibility that the universe was created is certainly a reasonable alternative--arguably the most reasonable alternative. Why must everyone be forced to accept the premises of atheism in order to be considered scientific in their thinking?
The problem is really quite simple. ID does not qualify as a scientific theory because (1) it posits a designer without showing any evidence for a designer, which means it is not falsifiable; and (2) the problem of design can be explaned by more simple means (Occam's razor). For example, Richard Dawkins' The Blind Watchmaker demonstrates effectively how such intricate designs such as the human eye could evolve within an evolutionary context.

The other problem with ID is that the group that promotes it, the Discovery Institute, has a religious -- not a scientific -- agenda:

Quote:On March 3, 1999, an anonymous person obtained an internal white paper from the CRSC entitled "The Wedge Project," which detailed the Center's ambitious long-term strategy to replace "materialistic science" with intelligent design. The paper describes the CRSC's mission with a sense of urgency:
"The social consequences of materialism have been devastating. As symptoms, those consequences are certainly worth treating. However, we are convinced that in order to defeat materialism, we must cut it off at its source. That source is scientific materialism. This is precisely our strategy. If we view the predominant materialistic science as a giant tree, our strategy is intended to function as a "wedge" that, while relatively small, can split the trunk when applied at its weakest points. The very beginning of this strategy, the "thin edge of the wedge," was Phillip Johnson's critique of Darwinism begun in 1991 in Darwinism on Trial, and continued in Reason in the Balance and Defeating Darwinism by Opening Minds. Michael Behe's highly successful Darwin's Black Box followed Johnson's work. We are building on this momentum, broadening the wedge with a positive scientific alternative to materialistic scientific theories, which has come to be called the theory of intelligent design (ID). Design theory promises to reverse the stifling dominance of the materialist worldview, and to replace it with a science consonant with Christian and theistic convictions."

If you substitute the word "facts" for "science" in the sentence above, you will understand why the judge threw the case out of court.

Science is not about atheism. It is not even about materialism. It is simply about gaining facts to explain how life developed on earth. The very nature of science requires a dichotemy between scientific fact and metaphysical belief. Evolutionary science does not study the origins of life, merely the development of life.
Quote:"The true triumph of reason is that it enables us to get along with those who do not possess it." -- Voltaire
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#17
Ron Lambert Wrote:No, the real issue is the right of qualified scientists to say that there is good, legitimate, evidence-driven science in Intelligent Design, that it is NOT just religious dogma. The possibility that the universe was created is certainly a reasonable alternative--arguably the most reasonable alternative. Why must everyone be forced to accept the premises of atheism in order to be considered scientific in their thinking?

That court case has certainly been seized upon by evolutionists with triumphalistic zeal. I felt from the beginning that those promoters of Intelligent Design who brought the matter to court hoping to get ID taught in schools were making a political mistake. It is too easy for human judges to be influenced by the same monolithic, overwhelming scientific establishment that has no scruples about intimidating scientists who do not toe the party line. Now of course all the evolution yokels trumpet that court ruling as "proving" that Intelligent Design is just religious dogma and not real science. The court ruling was in error.
What would you say if some good, legitimate, evidence driven science would be taught in your churches and bible classes, and not only religious dogma?
"You know, Paul, Reagan proved that deficits don't matter." Dick Cheney
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#18
It is. We have had Dr. Robert V. Gentry out to present his findings on Polonium haloes in granite.

For about five years I printed the church bulletins each week myself, and I always included a creation vs. evolution science feature on the back cover, with color pix or illustrations and a succinct summary of the scientific facts, pointing out the difficulty for evolution/gradualism, and how well they supported Creation/Intelligent Design. In five years, I never had to duplicate anything--there is plenty of scientific material available. I laugh when evolutionists claim there is no evidence to support Creation/Intelligent Design.
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#19
It's not what I was talking about. Distinguished atheists could lecture the church group why there is no God and why they waste time for something that is complete fantasy? That would be the equivalent of what creationists want to teach at schools.
"You know, Paul, Reagan proved that deficits don't matter." Dick Cheney
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#20
Not hardly. Students at public schools are not committed to atheism or evolutionism, whereas people at churches are committed to their religion. Public schools are where you are supposed to be presented with all the alternatives so you can decide for yourself.

What evolutionists want is to continue being allowed to hold captive and brainwash the children of religious parents, without any effective challenge.
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