Expelled - Ben Stein's Brilliant And Subversive Documentary

By William Mayer

April 19, 2008 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - Darwin...Darwin...Darwin...you can almost hear Ben Stein muttering to himself as this subversive little documentary, "Expelled - No Intelligence Allowed," unfolds. Having opened only yesterday it has already left the piggies that feed at the trough of big science foaming at the mouth and staggering about in near apoplexia.

So outraged are the fascisti intelligentsia by Stein's work that as the film's website makes clear, "...the National Center For Science Education has taken the extraordinary and unprecedented step of building a website devoted solely to discrediting the...film..." an overtly political act.

Science subordinating itself to politics?

How can this be and why was it deemed necessary?

Well primarily because Ben has seen fit to present the not-so-pretty face of what the field of evolutionary biology has become and how an obviously left-leaning bunch of fanatical atheists are suppressing - at all levels - inquiry into an interesting if not promising avenue of exploration called intelligent design.

But isn't intelligent design merely a code phrase for creationism?

No, not at all.

Intelligent design [ID] is a hypothesis, a way of attempting a better explanation regarding the origin of the species than Charles Darwin's now 150 year-old theory. ID rests heavily upon an idea called irreducible complexity, a term originated by biochemist Michael Behe and explained in his 1996 book "Darwin's Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution," which posits that biological systems are far too complex to have simply "evolved," from the inanimate components percolating in some primordial pool of mud.

Behe argues that the odds are impossibly high of such a thing happening by chance, ruled out mathematically because of the sheer number of mutations required, which would have to occur, in exactly the right order, at exactly the right time to construct the DNA for even such a simple organism as a bacterial flagellum.

But this is a movie review, not a scientific treatise.

The central topic of Expelled is not about the science of intelligent design, though that is certainly laid out, but rather it is about more universal concerns, liberty and freedom, especially intellectual freedom and its intentional suppression in this particular case.

To establish that fact Stein interviews on camera a half-dozen or so highly credentialed professional scientists who have been forced out of academia, lost their jobs and blackballed, one for the simple act of having allowed to be published in the periodical he was responsible for editing, a single article which mentions the verboten term, intelligent design.

For this and similar sins against scientific orthodoxy these folks are either fired, fail to be granted tenure, see their grants dry up or are simply harassed out of their positions. The anxiety quotient is so high over potential loss of employment and retribution that many scientists who have first-hand knowledge of this phenomenon refused to be seen on camera, for fear of reprisal, and were interviewed in the dark.

Stein does an extraordinarily good job exploring the dark side of the Darwinian theory of evolution, how explaining life as a mere series of complex chemical reactions cheapens it to the point where Hitlerian theories such as Eugenics and master race ideology become justifiable.

Lest one get the impression that this was somehow a European thing be warned that Margaret Sanger’s Planned Parenthood was organized around identical principles and that during the height of this mania in the early 20th century 50-60,000 Americans were forcibly sterilized [see, Edwin Black’s 2003 book, “War Against the Weak].

Though treated with respect, under Stein’s simple Columbo style, gentle cross examination, the defenders of Darwinian evolution – such as Richard Dawkins [author of “The God Delusion"] - come off as pompous asses, genuinely scary individuals who are fearful that their hegemony might be ending.

What emerges from Stein’s questioning is that the majority of these politicized practitioners of unfree inquiry are not just agnostic or atheists but are phobic in their reaction to any religion predicated on the existence of a Deity and quite willing in their position as “guardians of the truth," to impose their Godlessness as official dogma in America’s classrooms working in league with similarly motivated educrats through the control of textbooks and similar materials.

Such a reaction is explainable in that these people have replaced traditional belief with a totalitarian and regimented scientific secular religion in which freedom of inquiry is strictly controlled.

If the case of ID is insufficient to allow one to connect the dots regarding politicized science, kindly substitute the Gaia-centric secularism of Global Warming, because exactly the same modalities are in play.

To see the extent to which this suppression has take hold, consult the internet encyclopedia project Wikipedia on Intelligent Design or any of its proponents. The main article on the topic is a near carpet-chewing anti-ID rant obviously written by its detractors and - at great variance with Wiki’s usual open structure – the piece is actually padlocked by its author(s) and incapable of even being edited - a sure sign of intolerance and fear, equivalent to a cyber book burning.

The reviews of this documentary are simply amusing, take Jeffrey Kluger’s piece for Time Magazine, which includes the following:

“The man made famous by Ferris Bueller, however, quickly wades into waters far too deep for him. He makes all the usual mistakes nonscientists make whenever they try to take down evolution, asking, for example, how something as complex as a living cell could have possibly arisen whole from the earth's primordial soup. The answer is it couldn't--and it didn't. Organic chemicals needed eons of stirring and slow cooking before they could produce compounds that could begin to lead to a living thing…" [source, http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1729703,00.html]

There are so many problems with Kluger’s review that it would take a separate article to explore them, but let’s deal with the most basic.

Kluger writes, “makes all the usual mistakes nonscientists make whenever they try to take down evolution…"

Yet who is Mr. Kluger, what is his bio?

Uh…well he is a doey eyed auteur, a “science writer" and attorney by training who worships at the Global Warming church. He is manifestly not a scientist.

Even more basic, his offering of, “Organic chemicals needed eons of stirring and slow cooking before they could produce compounds that could begin to lead to a living thing…" as being supportive of a reasonable description of the origin of life and at the same time destructive of Intelligent Design is idiocy, so absurd and child-like that he might consider instead simply shrieking, “Creationism" and pulling his dress up over his head.

And that is how this argument is being conducted by the mavens of American science.

With the vast increase in knowledge that has come in the century and a half since Darwin, in evolutionary biology, biochemistry, nanotechnology and related fields weaknesses in that theory have prompted alternative explanations.

That is all that this is really about, the proponents of these alternative theses would like the liberty to discuss them in public, in peer reviewed articles without threat of banishment from the scientific community.

It stands to reason that if the forces of scientific orthodoxy were as confident in their theory as they say, there would be no need to carry on this manner, to base their defense on a policy indistinguishable from that of burning witches in the public square.

That tactic hints that the big science establishment has real reason to be fearful and that this debate should be kept firmly in focus, see Stein’s movie, it’s well made, thought provoking and more than a little maddening.

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