I’m Going to Get Expelled!

This afternoon, I won two tickets to see Ben Stein’s propaganda tour-de-force Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, the much-touted response to atheistic naturalism by the Intelligent Design community. (Of course, the ID community refuses—out of fear, I might add—to acknowledge that Darwinism and/or naturalistic evolution isn’t inherently atheistic, but I digress …) So it is that, the weekend of 18 April, I’ll be traveling up to a theater in Salinas (about 25 minutes from Monterey) to attend the show, after which I’ll jot down my thoughts on the movie and post them here.

If you’ve just won two tickets to the movie and you believe that evolution is scientific fact (and not just a theory), would you merely walk in the door, watch the show, and walk out again? Or would you attempt to present your viewpoint to any in the audience willing to listen? If so, how?

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4 Responses to I’m Going to Get Expelled!

  1. RBH

    My reading of the reviews that have appeared so far, both critical and friendly, suggests that the movie isn’t about evolution. It’s apparently about the dire (alleged) effects of “Darwinism” as a philosophy, a meetaphysical worldview. Hence arguing about whether evolution is fact or theory (it’s both) is not likely to be … um … on topic. 🙂

    Again, based on the half dozen reviews I’ve read and the clips I’ve seen, the argument of the film is roughly equivalent to arguing that Newton’s Laws of Motion are a necessary (but not sufficient) condition for the effectiveness of firing squads, and that the deaths due to artillery are attributable to rampant Newtonism.

    That evolution occurs and has occurred and that the mechanisms of evolution like mutations, natural selection, genetic drift, and so on operate as advertised, is bare fact. It does and they do. The theory of common descent — that life on earth is descended from a common ancestor and that we are cousins of all other species — is confirmed by evidence to a degree that renders rejection perverse. The theory of evolution — that the mechanisms like mutations, natural selection, genetic drift, etc. — account for the diversity of life on earth is also about as well established as anything in science.

    None of this is to say we know everything about it. There’s still an enormous amount to learn. But in the context of the film I doubt there’ll be an appropriate opportunity to make that argument.

    Again based on stuff I’ve read and clips I’ve seen, the main message of the film appears to be (a) Darwinism is atheistic, and (b) Darwinism is a pernicious and destructive materialistic metaphysical system. I don’t see much room there for a discussion of the science.

    As a Christian friend and evolutionary biologist says, evolution is as atheistic as plumbing.

  2. evolution is as atheistic as plumbing

    I love it. Gordon Glover used a similar line in his book Beyond the Firmament.

    Is your Christian evolutionary biologist friend anyone I might know? Quintessence of Dust’s Stephen Matheson, perhaps?

  3. RBH

    Mike asked

    Is your Christian evolutionary biologist friend anyone I might know? Quintessence of Dust’s Stephen Matheson, perhaps?

    I doubt if you know him. He’s not a blogger nor is he active on Web discussion boards. He’s a full prof of evolutionary and organismal biology at a major midwestern research university.

    On another note, today I was invited to teach a course on evolutionary modeling in the biology department at the college where I was a professor for 20 years in the 1970s and 1980s. That’s good news: I love teaching undergraduates.

  4. RBH,

    Congrats on the teaching offer! Did you accept?

    If I were to teach post-Navy, college is where I think I’d get the most joy. It’s a forum where the profs are more likely to learn from their own students. 😉

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