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WARNING: THIS SITE FEATURES ORIGINAL THINKING...Jim Croce once sang Don't tug on Superman's cape..., which seems like reasonable advice should we not wish to anger the supreme powers. We do have this duality in our culture: the Superman that is the state collective, the leftist call to a politics of meaning managed by the state, the deification of "we're from the government and we'll take care of you" - versus the Superman that celebrates individual freedom, private property, freedom of conscience, free enterprise, and limited government. We humbly take on the latter's mantle and, eschewing the feeble tug, we dare to PULL, in hope of seeing freedom's rescue from the encroaching nanny state. We invite you, dear reader, to come and pull as well... Additionally, if you assume that means that we are unflinching, unquestioning GOP zombies, that would be incorrect. We reject statism in any form and call on individuals in our country to return to the original, classical liberalism of our founders. (We're also passionate about art, photography, cooking, technology, Judeo/Christian values, and satire as unique, individual pursuits of happiness to celebrate.)

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April 02, 2008
See Expelled...
Filed in: Current Affairs, Science

"Ben Stein has a new movie out. It's called EXPELLED: No Intelligence Allowed. It is powerful. It is fabulous."
-Rush Limbaugh, nationally syndicated radio host

"EXPELLED is an enormously important project."
-Michael Medved, nationally syndicated radio host

"Four stars!"
-Ted Baehr, editor, MovieGuide

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People Pulling

Expelled's main thesis, that anyone in the science community who believes in God, or is a Darwin dissenter is being "expelled" is false at its core.

In a New York Times interview, Walter Ruloff (producer of Expelled) said that researchers, who had studied cellular mechanisms, made findings suggestive of an intelligent designer. "But they are afraid to report them".
Mr. Ruloff also cited Dr. Francis S. Collins, a geneticist who directs the National Human Genome Research Institute and whose book, “The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief”, explains how he came to embrace his Christian faith. Mr. Ruloff said that Dr. Collins separates his religious beliefs from his scientific work only because “he is toeing the party line”.

That’s “just ludicrous,” Dr. Collins said in a telephone interview. While many of his scientific colleagues are not religious and some are “a bit puzzled” by his faith, he said, “they are generally very respectful.” He said that if the problem Mr. Ruloff describes existed, he is certain he would know about it.

Similarly, Dr. Ken Miller is a professed Christian who wrote "Finding Darwin's God" (which I suggest you read). Dr. Miller has not been "expelled" in any fashion for his belief in God.

The movie tries to make the case that "Big Science" is nothing but a huge atheist conspiracy out to silence believers, but only presents a very one-sided look at some of the Discovery Institute's "martyrs".

Carolyn Crocker "expelled"? - No.
Her annual teaching contract was not renewed. Was she "fired" for daring to bring God into research? - No. She was hired to teach Cell Biology, and she decided to ignore the schools' curriculum and substitute her own curriculum.

Guillermo Gonzalez "expelled"? - No.
He was not granted tenure. The film doesn't bring up the fact that in all his years at ISU he had only brought in only a miniscule amount of grant money. Nor does it bring up the fact that in all his years at ISU he failed to mentor a single student through to their PhD. Nor does it mention that in his career at ISU, his previous excellent record of publication had dropped precipitously.

Richard von Sternberg "expelled"? - No.
Sternberg continues to work for NIH in the same capacity. Of course the movie doesn't bring up his underhanded tactics in getting Meyers work published.

This movie attempts to influence it's viewers with dishonesty, half-truths, and by a completely one-sided presentation of the facts.

If a scientists' research is not accepted by the scientific community, it isn't because the scientist either believes or doesn't believe in God or Darwin, it is usually because they are producing bad science.

Posted by: Benjamin Franklin at Apr 2, 2008 8:49:31 AM

I have a body of work here in the Science category that belies in many respects what you suggest here. Please read that first - and I'll investigate the claims you make here.

Posted by: MC at Apr 2, 2008 10:27:25 AM


I looked through the science section, but could you please refer me to the exact items you were referring to?

I will say that the problem for intelligent design is not that it hasn’t been considered.
In fact, it hasn’t even truly been presented yet, and I don’t mean that the meanies in the educational establishment didn’t allow it a hearing. Rather, it simply has never presented a scientific program that could truly be tested. The ID crowd want something for nothing. They want to be regarded as purveyors of a scientific theory without doing the work. Some even want their theory to be presented in high schools adn middle schools, without going through the process of consensus building.

As examples, what have the leading scientific proponents of ID done in the last few years? Behe hasn't responded to experiments that clearly show what he has termed "irreducible" to actually be reducible. Dembski hasn't revised his design inference filter to account for what has been shown to be clear mathematical and logical errors. Most telling is that the Biologic Institute, set up over 2 years ago with major funding from the Discovery Institute, has not published the first paper, announced anything even promising they are working on, and if you look, they haven't even put anything more on their website that can be found on a business card, so where is the science? ID proponents claim to have been silenced, but in reality, it is they who are being silent.

Posted by: Benjamin Franklin at Apr 3, 2008 6:10:14 AM

Ben - I can see that you've been very busy on the 'sphere - posting your 'cut and paste' above what a few hundred times on any blog that mentions Expelled?

On this blog, I'd suggest that you read this, this, and this. The last one especially.

Re Crocker and Gonzalez - this post from Pharyngula tacitly acknowledges their dismissal from the public square and continues to denigrate them - specifically their support for ID.

Regarding Sternberg, a cursory review of his site clearly demonstrates the fallacy of your assertions. I suppose you'd feel just fine if you were subjected to what he's been through? Do you think that if you copy and paste your assertions enough that it will make them true?

And it's really a tired old saw to assert that ID wants something for nothing. The situation that exists is that the Brahmans of Science allow nothing but natural materialism to be discussed - nothing else is allowed. In a world of the free exchange of ideas there would be equal value to the propositions of "we are a machine" versus "we have a machine", for example, but that's not possible. "We have a machine" requires a 'miracle' and so, in the mechanistic/naturalistic worldview it is asking for something for nothing though in the sense of a propositional calculus it's no different than "we are a machine".

The fundamental fallacy is that the Darwinian priesthood projects its own religion/metaphysics/philosophy and calls it science - and decries any other religion/metaphysics/philosophy.

Posted by: MC at Apr 5, 2008 2:33:22 AM

I want to make the observation that is: advocates of intelligent design like to paint themselves as the lone heroes fighting against scientific dogma. They got a really revolutionary idea, and they're gonna convince everybody in science; give 'em a couple of decades. And you know, maybe they will. Maybe they will. And they cite the Big Bang as an example of an idea that was once regarded with suspicion, or as heresy, and gradually won over. But the interesting thing is not the question as to whether or not revolutionary ideas occasionally win out in science. The interesting idea, the interesting question, is “how” do revolutionary ideas win out. And the Big Bang won out because of scientific research, because Arto & Penzious found the background radiation to the Big Bang. They completed the theory. They stitched it together. It was a predictive theory, that says you ought to go out and find this in nature.

Now the curious thing is the advocates of that theory did not try to get themselves injected into curricula. They didn't produce pamphlets on how you could get the Big Bang taught in your school district and avoid the constitutional questions. They did the research, they won the scientific battle. That's how science actually works. And for all the high-minded statements about design, about the philosophy of Aristotle, about fairness, and about the implicit theological assumptions of evolution, the straightforward and simple matter, is that science works, and it is particularly good at predicting stuff that isn't true. If intelligent design has the facts of nature on its side, it'll win out. And I don't see any particular reason to fight it with this cimematic route, unless, unless, the battle you are fighting is primarily political, cultural, social, and religious, and not scientific. And in this case, to use a nice lawyer term, res ipse loquitor, the facts speak for themselves.

Posted by: Benjamin Franklin at Apr 7, 2008 6:36:00 AM

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