“Flunked Out” — A Review of Ben Stein’s “Expelled”

If I really wanted to let my sarcastic side loose, I wouldn’t have added any words to my review of Ben Stein’s propaganda tour-de-force Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed beyond those present in this post’s title. But I’m not feeling so sarcastic today. In fact, I’m feeling quite angry.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I won two tickets to see Expelled. Being new to the area, I really didn’t know who to take. By chance, I met JP, whose wife attends my wife’s local bible study. Being the intelligent fellow JP seemed to be, I figured seeing Expelled would be right up his alley. Thankfully, I was right, and we had an excellent conversation on the merits and boundaries of both science and religion during yesterday’s drive home from Salinas, where we viewed the movie. (Thank God it wasn’t an IMAX. The director of photography loves closeups. Remember the “Seinfeld” episode about the mole?)

We both admitted that the movie was an extremely powerful piece of propaganda, regardless of the truthfulness or falsity of its claims. The liberal use of pre-color television, news, and motion picture clips were ingeniously interspersed throughout the movie in order to reinforce the charges that Expelled made, namely: (1) people from various industries have lost their jobs and sufferered humiliating ruination all because they “mentioned” Intelligent Design in the workplace, and (2) Darwinism is the beginning of a slippery slope into atheism and a philosophy of life that not only allows but encourages abortion, euthanasia, eugenics, and other moral monstrosities, much like those (if not identical to) crimes against humanity conducted by mid-20th century Nazism and communism.

In regard to the first charge, I was naturally skeptical. One of my favorite rock bands of the 90s was Extreme, founded by former Van Halen lead singer Gary Cherone. As the band progressed through their four studio albums, Cherone’s Christian faith made its presence known increasingly. Their third album was titled III Sides to Every Story (1992), which was was divided into three parts: “Yours,” “Mine,” and “The Truth,” the last of which contained some of the most gorgeous statements of Davidic pleading and faith I’ve heard in modern music. But I digress. My point is that Ben Stein, et al, were not telling the whole story regarding the alleged dismissals of those Stein interviewed, and it appears that the interviewees took great pains to paint pictures of a vast atheistic conspiracy to target Christian scientists or teachers who believe in God by leaving out (conveniently, I might add) details that would change the story from “Mine” to “The Truth.” ExpelledExposed.com provides more illuminating details on each of the six “victims.”

Ironically, Expelled interviews two Christian theologians, Oxford’s Alister McGrath and Cambridge’s John Polkinghorne, both of whom haven’t been “expelled” from their respective institutions for being strong believers in the Judeo-Christian God. Thus, it stands to reason that the truth behind the dismissals of Expelled‘s six case studies may very well be for reasons other than the mere belief in an Intelligent Designer. On the other hand, if they were in fact dismissed for pursuing scientific proof of Intelligent Design in their work (and/or not producing enough grants, published literature, etc.), I can understand why they should lose their jobs: Intelligent Design is not science, and no self-respecting scientific or academic institution should have to allow psuedo-science into the classroom and/or laboratory. In the words of the American Astronomical Society,

In recent years, advocates of “Intelligent Design” have proposed teaching “Intelligent Design” as a valid alternative theory for the history of life. Although scientists have vigorous discussions on interpretations for some aspects of evolution, there is widespread agreement on the power of natural selection to shape the emergence of new species. Even if there were no such agreement, “Intelligent Design” fails to meet the basic definition of a scientific idea: its proponents do not present testable hypotheses and do not provide evidence for their views that can be verified or duplicated by subsequent researchers.

Has the Intelligent Design movement produced anything of scientific note? Anyone? Anyone?

The movie also makes the claim that scientists’ attempts to discover a natural explanation for the origin of life on earth have come to a complete standstill since the failed experiments of the 1950s in which scientists applied electricity to a primordial soup in hopes that life would spontaneously arise. This can’t be further from the truth, as scientists have recently made great leaps toward understanding what environmental conditions may have served as a cataylst for the origin of life. (No Lightning Allowed. Sorry, couldn’t resist.)

Also disturbing was Stein’s “guilt by association” sleight-of-hand, which linked Darwinism’s allegedly logical ends and the horrific Holocaust perpetrated by Hitler’s Nazi regime. Stein even quotes Darwin at length while touring the remnants of Germany’s concentration camps, creating a powerful indictment of a brilliant man who harbored no such ill will toward any of his fellow man. But Stein’s Darwin quote is selective, leaving out entire sentences in order to make Darwin sound like a card-carrying member of the Aryan race. To the contrary, if one were to read the passage in context and in full, it turns out that Darwin extolls the nobleness of the human race (having risen above its animal instincts) and depicts the elimination of the weak and helpless (like those conducted by Hitler’s goon squads) as a supremely selfish act and an “overwhelming present evil.” Shame on you, Ben Stein. Back of the line! No primordial soup for you!

And poor Richard Dawkins. If he only knew for what his interview was really intended. As much as I disagree with Dawkins’ philosophy, I feel sorry for him and others (like PZ Meyers) who were hoodwinked into thinking their interviews were being filmed for an objective documentary. Does anyone know if Alister McGrath and John Polkinghorne, both theistic evolutionists, knew that their interviews would be featured in Expelled? From the quotes used, I doubt anyone in the audience would have suspected that they are theistic evolutionists who, as far as I know, don’t accept the precepts of the Intelligent Design movement.

You’d think that Expelled‘s deliberate misrepresentation of the facts, both in terms of movie production and presentation of the scientific evidence, would make me angry. Not so much. I wouldn’t expect anything more from a fringe establishment trying to masquerade their faith as science. With such an entrenched paradigm, their actions don’t surprise me. So what is making me angry? Honestly, it’s the fact that one year ago I would have fallen for Stein’s presentation—hook, line, and sinker. I’m also angry at how easily Christians fall for half-truths and outright lies. I’m angry at how often we Christians check our brains at the door and are perfectly willing to serve as messenger boys for the most outrageous urban legends, folk sciences, doctrines, and just plain idiotic belief systems. I’m angry at Christianity’s penchant for dismissing the claims of biological and astronomical science despite the voluminous amount of evidence in favor of evolution.

Have you seen Expelled? What are your thoughts?

22 Comments

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22 Responses to “Flunked Out” — A Review of Ben Stein’s “Expelled”

  1. RBH

    Mike, I understand your anger. Want to know what my predominant emotion is when I think about the same things? Sadness. It used to be anger, but now it’s sadness.

    I live out in the country and walk my dogs late at night. Often the sky is clear (even in Ohio!) and the stars are bright, the Milky Way spread across the sky. Polaris in the north, maybe Cassiopeia in the east north-east, and the rest of the constellations in their places. When I see that I actually consciously think about the fact that I’m made out of atoms that were manufactured in stars! Then I hear an owl or a coyote (yes, even in Ohio), and I am consciously aware that they’re my cousins — that I’m deeply connected to every living thing in the world by virtue of our descent from common ancestors.

    That is for me, a nontheist, an amazing and awe inspiring pair of thoughts, and I can imagine that for a theist they’re just as awe inspiring. But the folks who reject evolution, who reject science, miss all that. And that’s very very sad.

  2. RBH

    By the way, Henry Neufeld (of Threads from Henry’s Web) has a link to an excellent sermon. The real interesting part starts around 14:30. I think you’ll appreciate it.

  3. Thank you, Mike, for your review. It is all as I might have expected. I appreciate your honesty … that such a propaganda piece might have captivated your mind only a year ago. The same could be said for me (though perhaps it would have to have been two or three years ago). I resonate with your anger/dismay at the gullibility of believers in general.

    An excellent book on the passage out of evangelical/fundamental group-think paradigms into views more respectful and responsive to good science is Paradigms on Pilgrimage. My copy arrived from Amazon yesterday, and I will finish reading it today, and review it soon at OutsideTheBox. I was going to recommend it to you, and then I saw it as one of your recommended books. Every evangelical believer should be forced to read this book!

    Thanks again for viewing and reviewing Expelled.

  4. Pete

    I can resonate with the awe of knowing that my atoms were created inside stars. I am less happy about sharing a common ancestor with many mammals because I enjoy eating some of them. But what I really don’t like is that I share a common ancestor with anthropods. Because I hate anthropods. Especially the fire ants that will make for a very miserable four or five days if you happen to step near them barefoot (I won’t go into detail about how this has happened several times). I watched a show on the History channel called, “Before the dinosaurs” which traced through the evolution of fish to tetrapod to mammal-like reptile and finally to early mammals. Along the way it outlined the hundreds of millions of year struggle between the vertebrates and the anthropods. Everytime now that I dump chemicals on my lawn to remove those fire ants I take pleasure in knowing I am continuing a 500 million year war and it looks like I have the upper hand for the moment.

  5. Mike, thank you for posting a reasonably calm review of Expelled despite your strong disagreement of the film’s content. In your email to Probe Ministries you asked us to look at your blog post on Expelled. So I did. However, I am disappointed that you have obtained your critical information from only one side. The film is a theatrical release and can’t be expected to shore up its case with academic rigor, but neither do the sources you cite.

    For instance, the connection between the Nazi holocaust and Darwin has been highly criticized by yourself and others. I suggest you read Richard Weikart’s “From Darwin to Hitler” (2004). Some of this analysis was previously published in peer-reviewed history journals. Weikart has examined the original literature (in German) from the late 1800s to the early 1920s when the “science” of eugenics was in its heyday in Germany. Many leading biologists and anthropologists supported a eugenic policy based on Darwinian principles. Hitler borrowed liberally from their reasoning even if he never directly quoted Darwin. This historical connection is widely recognized. Even the young German lady who guided Stein in the movie credited Darwinism in the scientific community of Germany for providing the scientific rationale for eliminating useless eaters as she put it. Is she part of Ben Stein’s conspiracy too? The proper discalimers were also given. Berlinski cleary states that not everybody who read Darwin was a Nazi. And he said, Darwinism was not a sufficent reason for the Holocaust but it was a necessary one. Of course there were other factors but the endorsement of key individuals in the scientific community, especially in the early stages, was critical.

    The information provided by the NCSEs Expelled Exposed website is incomplete at best. Gonzalez publication record did indeed fall off after he transitioned to ISU and even before during his professorship at Washington. That’s entirely expected when you transition from post-doc (research only) to faculty (add teaching, grant applications and grad students). He still published 14 papers at ISU during his 6 years there. His papers were cited more frequently than any other ISU tenured faculty in his department. This says that what he did publish was significant and referenced in other peer-reviewed articles more frequently than any body else in his department. A junior faculty member will rarely bring in more research dollars than established tenured faculty. That’s normal. Besides, if you look closely, ISUs Physics/Astronomy dept. does not specifically require procurement of grant money when considering tenure. I also didn’t see that the Expelled Exposed article mention that Gonzalez coauthored an astronomy textbook from Cambridge University Press while at ISU. That alone can diminish research production, besides being a definite indication of a nationally recognized research program. Besides, emails obtained through the freedom of information act clearly show that his tenure was denied bacasue of his work in Intelligent Design, even though he never used official ISU time to do that work and he never taught it in the classroom.

    The information they provide on Sternberg is also misleading. There are actual emails from Smithsonian scientists indicating they think Sternberg should resign after the Meyer article was published. When your colleagues say they want you out, that qualifies as a hostile work environment. They asked if he was religious. They asked if he was a Republican. None of this has any bearing on his competency as a scientist or journal editor. The paper was properly peer-reviewed by three evolutionary biologists who have been spared the embarrassment of having their names revealed. The President of the Biological Society of Washington examined the peer-review file himself and found no irregularities. Sternberg also consulted a scientist at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, who is also on the society’s ruling council, on three different occasions about publishing Meyer’s article and he advised to go ahead each time. Check out this blog post from Casey Luskin of the Discovery Institute for even more info regarding Sternberg, Gonzalez, and others to see that the film Expelled only gives you the tip of the iceberg. The real story is much worse.

    http://www.discovery.org/a/4689

    Regarding the connection between evolution and atheism, I don’t feel the least bit sorry for Dawkins, PZ Meyers, Will Provine or the rest. They said nothing beyond what they have said in print and in fact they were represented in a much more favorable light than they represent themselves in print. Each simply told their story of how Darwinism and science in general started them on the road to atheism. Sure the film could have offered a caveat that this doesn’t happen in every case. But the reality is that it frequently does. I have met many of them myself. They tell similar stories. I spent 15 years in academia, much of it in evolutionary biology programs. I’ve heard it many many times. But as both Paul Nelson and Jonathan Wells said in the film, evolution is a slippery word. Some of the very observable elements of evolutionary theory, everybody accepts. But when you define evolution as the common ancestry of all of life through a process of undirected unguided mutation and natural selection (a fairly stadard definition), a rejection of theism is not far behind. Even your new hero, Van Till, has segued to a process theology that says even God changes. That’s no longer theism. He has applied evolutionary thinking to his theology. Functional atheism is not far behind.

    Yes, I am the Ray Bohlin from Probe Ministries and a Fellow of the Discovery Institute. We have promoted Expelled and we are in no way sorry we did. We have hosted two showings of the film and audiences, not all of them friendly to ID, came away with positive reflections on the film and its message.

    One more thing about peer-reviewed articles. You’re right that there isn’t much there. But look what happened to one editor, Sternberg, of the first clearly peer-reviewed article in a biological journal promoting ID. Don’t think other editors of other journals didn’t notice the firestorm of complaints. Michael Behe was denied several times the opportunity to respond to negative reviews of Darwin’s Black Box in science journals. One editor said specifically that they don’t publish articles/responses outside the current paradigm! Every ID scientist knows that to mention ID in your paper is the kiss of death. Doug Axe, whom you can find in the pages of the Discovery Institute website, has published ID research, some of it funded by Discovery, he just didn’t call it ID. They are now pursuing publishing in less strict online journals to at least break the ice. On the one hand ID scientists are told you haven’t published, then when we do, the journal is criticized viciously, and they are also told that ID simply isn’t science so why would we publish it anyway.

    I think things are thawing a little but don’t get caught up in unrealistic expectations.

  6. Ray,

    Thank you for responding here to a (mostly) hostile audience. In reality, those of us who embrace Evolutionary Creationism have much in common with the Discovery Institute. I personally have (and use) several of your videos. They are very well done! You are battling hard for hearts and minds. Even if you disagree, I hope you understand the philosophical grounds upon which Mike (and many other believers including myself) reject the I.D. movement. Nevertheless, we still have much in common. And it would do us well to recognize that, and celebrate it.

    I did want to comment on your observations of people moving away from theism as a result of their coming to see evolution as the established science that it is. You are quite right. I encounter former Christians, now atheists, all over. Few, if any of them, migrated to atheism from the I.D. camp. Few, if any, migrated to atheism from the Evolutionary Creationist camp. Few, if any, migrated from the Theistic Evolutionist camp. Most believers turned atheists came out of the more fundamentalist Creationist camps; most were YEC Christians who were confronted with the false dilemma which YEC is guilty of erecting. These believers were mostly unaware that there are many Christians who embrace the evolutionary framework. What I am suggesting is this: while you blame evolution for the rise in atheism, I blame the false dichotomy which exists in the minds of theists and seekers alike, a dichotomy that suggests the complete incompatibility of Christian faith with paleontology, biology, DNA science, etc. This dichotomy was not created by Darwin, but by the church.

    I respect you, and many in the I.D. movement, for largely rejecting this dichotomy. I respect you for your acceptance of much of the evolutionary framework. But I believe that if you asked the typical believer (such as those who listen to popular Christian teachers like James Kennedy [click here for my comments] as he quotes Michael Behe) if the I.D. folks at Discovery Institute accept evolutionary science, most of them would say no. But, in fact, you do.

    From my perspective, you have chosen to ally yourselves more strongly to the likes of ICR and other YEC people than to Polkinghorne, Collins, Gingerich, Colling, McGrath, etc. Am I correct? And that being the case, the I.D. movement is perpetuating this false dichotomous dilemma, and feeding into the confusion of young Christians being bombarded with the solid evidence for evolution.

    I urge you in the I.D. movement to stress what you do accept in evolutionary science. I think your witness, and your effect on the falling away of thousands of young believers, will be far more profound. If, instead of vilifying Darwin, you recognized him for the absolute genius that he was, you would gain an instant hearing. You could go on to say that, in your opinion, his theory cannot stand alone apart from design and intervention. I think you could build your case then in a way that would be less divisive, more constructive, and more accepted.

  7. Mike, I just discovered your blog today and wanted to thank you for doing what you’re doing. Excellent review.

  8. Ray and Cliff Martin:

    I was really saddened about van Till’s recent change of heart about theism etc. But I do agree with Cliff Martin that it is mostly young people from YEC camps who are heading on a dangerous journey. I have seen people I love turn away from Jesus in part because of the feeling that they were lied to about the 6-day creation and a worldwide flood. I don’t think the movie will cross the Atlantic but if it does I will go along for sure.

    Thanks so much for this blog- although ix months ago I would have written you off as a heretic… 🙂

    God is working if he can change me!

  9. “I’m also angry at how easily Christians fall for half-truths and outright lies. I’m angry at how often we Christians check our brains at the door and are perfectly willing to serve as messenger boys for the most outrageous urban legends, folk sciences, doctrines, and just plain idiotic belief systems.”

    I literally cried when I got home for these reasons precisely. If the difference between Christianity and other religions is that Christianity is true, is it not odd that most Christians are wrong on the issue whose truth is most easily verified?

    I soon realized that the movie’s effect on me was not that of ID propaganda, but atheism propaganda. As far as I’m concerned, the movie ended with Dawkin’s retort to God unanswered. “Why did you take such pains to conceal yourself?”

    The movie served as a catalyst for many of my frustrations with Christianity. Since shortly after I watched the movie a couple weeks ago, I’ve been pretty much an agnostic theist (a god probably exists, beyond that I don’t know, but really really care.)

    I’ve struggled with moderate to severe doubt many times before. But only very recently did I admit to myself that more likely than not, I won’t come back. (I’m open to discussion, but preferably not on this blog.)

    I’ve gone YEC to TE to perhaps non-Christian evolution. For the record, I credit (blame?) TE with slowing the process.

  10. Perhaps you can help me with a question I can’t get answered.

    There are 750 trillion connections in the brain. It is believed that the brain started 600 million years ago. How many connections evolved per year?

    Thanks.

  11. Update: Don’t count me out yet. This isn’t my blog, so I’ll leave it at that.

  12. Thanks, Stan! Glad to be of service. =)

  13. Jeffrey,

    Thanks for swinging by and wearing your heart on your sleeve. Dawkins’ retort is indeed powerful. But my own doubts tend to be squashed by a single thing: the person of Jesus Christ, with whom I honestly believe I have a personal relationship. I’ve experienced too much outside the realm of objective science to discount this relationship. God’s hand has guided me in ways I would never have expected, despite my own personal failings.

    It’s that relationship that keeps bringing me back from the brink of doubt.

    Please don’t think that just because this isn’t your blog that you can’t unload your thoughts and concerns on those of us that frequent this cyber-place. That’s what this blog is for! If you’re not comfortable doing that, feel free to call me via the GrandCentral system provided on the front page of my blog. No need to worry about any judgmental attitudes from me. You’ll only find a listening ear and a sounding board. =)

  14. Mr. “S. Keita”,

    It’s a complex answer, but you’re complicating things further. For one thing, the brain develops tremendously after birth – babies aren’t born with all the complexity you’re referring to. So these “750 trillion connections” (if this is even a valid figure) are not passed down via evolution, but only the potential for that development. It’s like asking how a 1.6 meter tall woman could give birth to a 1.8 meter tall man.

    For more info, refer to this page, if you haven’t already.

  15. Pete

    “If the difference between Christianity and other religions is that Christianity is true, is it not odd that most Christians are wrong on the issue whose truth is most easily verified?”

    MY THOUGHTS EXACTLY. For a community that stressed for so long to capital T in the Truth we presented, why are we so afraid of the actual truth.

    I’m afraid I have struggled with exactly Dawkins sediments for a long time now. Why does God go out of His way to conceal Himself. Why is are source of knowledge about the greatest event in history captured only in human writings which we only have copies from hundreds of years after the fact. Why doesn’t God come down and tell us everyday Himself. Or as Carl Sagan put it, “why not have a supernatural floating burning cross in the sky to remind us everyday of what Jesus did”. (that is a paraphrase).

    Like Mike, I am clinging right now to my relationship with Jesus. And I ask Jesus everyday to end this mire of doubt I have been caught into.

  16. Dr. Bohlin,

    Firstly, allow me to apologize for not responding directly to your post ealier. My Farsi studies had just begun and have occupied that vast majority of my time. Now that I’m on convalescent leave, I can indulge myself a little. 😉

    I am disappointed that you have obtained your critical information from only one side. The film is a theatrical release and can’t be expected to shore up its case with academic rigor, but neither do the sources you cite.

    Actually, my information was obtained from more than one source, but I did fail to use examples from those various sources, choosing to focus on only once source—a decision I certainly regret and for which I humbly apologize.

    Regardless, the fact that the “whole story” for each of the “protagonists” in Expelled were not told and many events surrounding their plights were conveniently ignored and/or purposefully “modified” to exaggerate the level to which they were allegedly “persecuted” does not serve the truth and, as such, is not God-honoring. The film could easily have presented the whole truth, but the producers, editors, and/or Mr. Stein chose not to do so, for in doing so, the purpose of the film would no longer have existed. Too much was at stake to allow an objective look at the facts. Whether that choice was deliberate or not, Expelled is prime example of how not to make an objectively-based film.

    … the connection between the Nazi holocaust and Darwin has been highly criticized by yourself and others. … Many leading biologists and anthropologists supported a eugenic policy based on Darwinian principles.

    May I humbly suggest, Dr. Bohlin, that you’ve constructed a strawman argument here. If we are honest with ourselves, we can find a voluminous number of examples throughout history in which evil actions have been inspired by morally neutral scientific principles or discoveries. An objective historian can also point out how the Church, on a number of occasions, persecuted “heretics” for promoting scientific discoveries which threatened their particular interpretations of Scripture, which (thanks to modern science) have proven to be thoroughly faulty.

    Even the young German lady who guided Stein in the movie credited Darwinism in the scientific community of Germany for providing the scientific rationale for eliminating useless eaters as she put it. Is she part of Ben Stein’s conspiracy too?

    Of course not, Ray. But I wouldn’t be surprised if Stein manipulated her into answering carefully crafted questions in such a way that supported Stein’s assertion that Darwin was indirectly responsible for Hitler’s Holocaust.

    Berlinski cleary states that not everybody who read Darwin was a Nazi. And he said, Darwinism was not a sufficent reason for the Holocaust but it was a necessary one.

    “Necessary”? Hardly. Had Darwin’s theory of evolution not existed at the time Hitler rose to power, I’m fairly confident that the Nazis would have found some other source of inspiration, perhaps the Christian Scriptures themselves, which I hold to be the inspired Word of God. If one’s intent is evil enough, he or she can and will twist anything in order to justify their beliefs and resulting actions.

    Regarding the connection between evolution and atheism, I don’t feel the least bit sorry for Dawkins, PZ Meyers, Will Provine or the rest. They said nothing beyond what they have said in print and in fact they were represented in a much more favorable light than they represent themselves in print.

    The fact that you don’t feel sorry for them indicates that you really don’t care what methods were used to extract their interviews. In effect, you are endorsing deception to achieve a particular end, i.e., the discrediting of so-called “institutionalized atheism.” Your disdain for their atheistic philosophies have kept you from recognizing the plank in your own eye.

    Each simply told their story of how Darwinism and science in general started them on the road to atheism. Sure the film could have offered a caveat that this doesn’t happen in every case. But the reality is that it frequently does.

    And how many of them grew up in traditions that rabidly preached the YEC position? I’d be curious to see stats on that. My suspicion (and it’s only a suspicion) is that most formerly religious scientists who convert to agnosticism and/or atheism do so because they feel/felt betrayed by their particular denomination (typically fundamentalism), which offered them with a false dichotomy (YEC vs. atheism) and a singular, “infallible” interpretation of Genesis 1.

    Even your new hero, Van Till, has segued to a process theology that says even God changes. That’s no longer theism. He has applied evolutionary thinking to his theology. Functional atheism is not far behind.

    May I humbly suggest that Van Till’s devolution into deism (or, as you put it, functional atheism) was primarily fueled by persecution from within his own denomination. Since Calvin College’s gradual acceptance of theistic evolution as a viable alternative to the theory of human origins, I don’t see people like Stephen Matheson or the Haarsmas falling headlong into “functional atheism.” Indeed, I would say that their faith in God’s creative power have only increased exponentially as they delve into the details by which God created and continues to create.

    One more thing about peer-reviewed articles. You’re right that there isn’t much there.

    Steve Matheson doesn’t seem to have any trouble pumping out peer-reviewed articles (http://www.calvin.edu/academic/biology/faculty/FacPub/matheson.htm) and he’s a full-blown evangelical. Perhaps your colleagues need to rethink how the Discovery Institute approaches the peer-review process.

    On the one hand ID scientists are told you haven’t published, then when we do, the journal is criticized viciously, and they are also told that ID simply isn’t science so why would we publish it anyway.

    Perhaps a better approach is to leave the concept of ID completely out of your research and allow the fruit of that research to stand on its own merits. One shouldn’t have to invoke the divine in their research. For those with “eyes to see,” the divine behind the natural will make itself apparent.

    See, your institute’s goal shouldn’t be to prove the existence of God’s hand in the origin or evolution of life. It’s goal should be to expand our scientific knowledge to the benefit of mankind, which I believe is much more God-honoring approach. The patient dying of cancer could really care less whether the vaccine that could cure his disease has “Made in Heaven” stamped on the vial. All she cares about is that there are people out there who want to help her, whether they be rabid atheists or the most devoted evangelicals. Both should work together to a common end and, unfortunately, promoting the concept of ID works completely against any such atmosphere of cooperation.

    I think things are thawing a little but don’t get caught up in unrealistic expectations.

    “Thawing a little”? Things would thaw so much more if only we Christians kept our theism out of the laboratory and focus on how God’s nature works, rather than allowing our theistic agenda to obscure the goal at hand.

  17. Angel

    My main problem with this movie is how people believe it without even looking up extra info on the people to see if they were really fired for promoting ID. I’ve brought up ID and creationism. I’ve had no problems with any of my professors. Plus we watched the movie for an evolution class. If professors were just trying to indoctrinate us, I doubt we would have watched Expelled.

  18. Angel,

    My main problem with this movie is how people believe it without even looking up extra info on the people to see if they were really fired for promoting ID.

    Bingo. And that tendency extends to all aspects of theology.

    If you were to visit my home office and look at the books on my shelf (heck, you can see pictures of my shelves on Facebook!), you’d find that I’ve organized my library by subject. And within each subject, you’ll find books from a variety of viewpoints, some of which are completely contrary to my current position on things. Most evangelicals I know love to stock their shelves full of books that reflect their viewpoint and theirs alone. I think that’s a shame.

    we watched the movie for an evolution class. If professors were just trying to indoctrinate us, I doubt we would have watched Expelled.

    Excellent observation!

  19. Angel

    If you were to visit my home office and look at the books on my shelf (heck, you can see pictures of my shelves on Facebook!), you’d find that I’ve organized my library by subject. And within each subject, you’ll find books from a variety of viewpoints, some of which are completely contrary to my current position on things. Most evangelicals I know love to stock their shelves full of books that reflect their viewpoint and theirs alone. I think that’s a shame.

    That’s great. It’s reasons like that that got me to read Dawkins book. I just wanted to see his viepoints and reasons for being atheist. if I had my own house I’d do pretty much the same.

  20. It’s reasons like that that got me to read Dawkins book. I just wanted to see his viewpoints and reasons for being atheist.

    Exactly! I’m surprised more Christians (other than those involved in apologetics) aren’t reading The God Delusion. Heck, I’m of the opinion that every Christian needs to read that book, including myself. ‘Tis on my Amazon wish list.

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