Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Kenneth Miller on "Expelled"

Please check out this excellent op-ed piece by Ken Miller on the ID-nonsense movie, Expelled.

"Intelligent Design," the relabeled, repackaged form of American creationism, has always had a problem. It just can't seem to produce any evidence. To scientists, the reasons for this are obvious. To conservative Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer, Intelligent Design is nothing more than a "phony theory." No data, no science, no experiments, just an attempt to sneak a narrow set of religious views into US classrooms.

Advocates of Intelligent Design needed a story to explain why the idea has been a nonstarter within the scientific community, and Ben Stein has given it to them. The story line is that Intelligent Design advocates are persecuted and suppressed. "Expelled" tells of this terrible campaign against free expression, and mocks the pretensions of the closed-minded scientific elite supposedly behind it.

After going through specific examples of false information and/or blatant lies in the movie (including the idiotic connection of Darwin with the Holocaust), Miller gets to the heart of the matter:

Why is all this nonsense a threat to science? The reason is Stein's libelous conclusion that science is simply evil. In an April 21 interview on the Trinity Broadcast Network, Stein called the Nazi murder of children "horrifying beyond words." Indeed. But what led to such horrors? Stein explained: "that's where science in my opinion, this is just an opinion, that's where science leads you. Love of God and compassion and empathy leads you to a very glorious place. Science leads you to killing people."

According to Stein, science leads you to "killing people." Not to cures and vaccines, not to a deeper understanding of nature, not to wonders like computers and cellphones, and certainly not to a better life. Nope. Science is murder.

"Expelled" is a shoddy piece of propaganda that props up the failures of Intelligent Design by playing the victim card. It deceives its audiences, slanders the scientific community, and contributes mightily to a climate of hostility to science itself. Stein is doing nothing less than helping turn a generation of American youth away from science. If we actually come to believe that science leads to murder, then we deserve to lose world leadership in science. In that sense, the word "expelled" may have a different and more tragic connotation for our country than Stein intended.

Read the full article here.

3 comments:

questionsaboutfaith said...

Salman,

Check out my blog. What do you think? See my Letter to Christian Friends in archive posts.

Ben Stein is amazingly arrogant. Wow, now I know why I dislike him so much. It's not just his attitude, but his ideas.

I've written all my family and some friends to tell them about your blog. Keep up the good work :)

Salman Hameed said...

Thanks for your compliments, and you'll be a good addition to the conversation about science & religion/faith on the internet. Good luck with the blog.

-Salman

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