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Expelled The Movie

Expelled: The Movie — Ben Stein's New Creation(ism)

I shun all things made up, my personal f-word is fiction, so imagine my delight when I found out Ben Stein, the clever-skirting-genius host of Win Ben Stein's Money that guy in that Ferris Bueller movie, and a former speech writer for Nixon and Ford has cooked up a new documentary.

It's called Expelled and looks at the teaching of science in schools. Either I'm wildly dimwitted, naive, brainwashed, or a scootch of all three, but I assumed the movie would be about how the education system is squashing scientific thought and empirical enterprise in America. And then I watched the trailer. Mouth, agape.

Whoa! Ben Stein, savant who sat in the final round of his game show crushing anyone who dared challenge his mental prowess, has made a movie about the strangle hold Darwinism has on other schools of thought. In the trailer he says this of the treatment of academics who don't strictly subscribe to the theory of evolution, "This tells me Darwinists are afraid. They're hiding something."

I'm going to be first in line when it comes out April 18. Ben Smartypants Stein, presenting a civil case advocating for free thought that might lead to intelligent design? This I gotta see. Check out the trailer and see what I mean.

Could he be right? Are evolutionists taking over and crowding out other ideas?

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pjojala pjojala 7 years
Haeckelian type of vulgar evolutionism drove not only the 'Politics-is-applied-biology' Nazi takeover, but also the nationalistic collision at the World War I. It was Charles Darwin himself, who raised the monstrous Haeckel in the spotlight as the greatest authority in the field of human evolution, even in the preface to his Descent of man in 1871:
princess_eab princess_eab 7 years
Yeah, there's this huge problem with science.... it's fact based.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 7 years
Well first of all let me say that I do consider my self spiritual because I have felt that place inside of me that says I am more than just an elemental cocktail. I believe that this film targets what is none as Neo Darwinism not the original Theory of Evolution. There is a difference which is too much to explain here but I would suggest checking it out on Wikpedia if you're interested. I also hope that this film is not taken as an opportunity to fan the flames of any attack on Darwin. All Darwin did was travel the world and record what he observed and present it, can't blame the guy for that. Nor can we deny what he observed since it has been observed now by hundreds of millions the world over since his presentation. As for the story of creation well I think most of us can agree that the stories of the Old Testament are written in grand poetic metaphor and can be intellectually digested in a few different ways. To take the story of creation as literal translation in my opinion is narrow minded. It is my personal opinion that all that we are, have been and will be is by the hand of intelligent design. Do I believe that any one prominent theory today masterfully navigates the great mystery? No, and just like all of these prominent theory's the scientists in this film who are trying to have their voices heard are presenting just that another theory. Since I was a child I never understood why people were so cemented in creation vs. evolution. Why does it have to be either or. Yes the story of creation says that God did this and God did that but there obviously has to be a process to the creation set in motion and in my opinion it is some measure of evolution that is the process. It is my conclusion that any explanation of evolution is simply an explanation of the mechanics of creation.
thorswitch thorswitch 7 years
The problem with considering Intelligent Design to be scientific is that - regardless of what you might consider the "designer" to be (ghosts, gods and aliens from Andromeda included,) it REQUIRES that you believe there is some kind of designer. The theory of evolutionary adaptivity is that traits which help a species survive will logically be passed on to subsequent generations because most of those individuals without it won't survive and reproduce. Eventually, as different traits are bred in or out of the species it will eventually become something other than what it started out as, which is how you get from the small, fox-sized multi-toed eohippus to today's majestic, tall, one-hoofed horse. This kind of micro-evolution has been fairly well established. Macro-evolution, as I understand it, can be seen somewhat in the differences between dogs and wolves. All of our modern dog breeds are evolved from the wolf - often with help from humans, but some of it spontaneous as well. Today, even though dogs and wolves are still *very* closely related genetically, they are very different creatures. I saw a show the other day where several wolf pups were raised along with several dog pups. They were treated the same by the people raising them, as they wanted to eliminate as many environmental or "nurture"-based factors as they could. When they wolves and dogs were older, they did a few tests and in general, the dogs would often look to the humans for help if they were puzzled by something, while the wolf would keep at the task without looking to the humans for intervention. It's not a perfect experiment, but it shows that even when raising-methods are accounted for, wolf instincts are simply different than dog instincts, one major difference between the two species. The theory that humans are related or, or evolved from a common ancestor with apes is because genetically, we are very similar to our simian cousins. No one has yet found evidence of the exact point where the break-off may have occurred, but looking at both the micro-evolution, like the horse, and macro-evolution, as seen in canines, indicate that its quite possible that it also happened to humans - and that theory doesn't rely on some outside force directing or designing anything. I do think that teachers should take care to explain to students that while there is some evidence for human evolution and that forms of evolution can be seen in other species, we don't, at this point, have any *conclusive* evidence that this is, in fact, what happened, and that other theories - both scientific and not - do exist, but that they are teaching evolution because, at this time, its the strongest scientific theory that we have. THAT kind of approach leaves PLENTY of room for parents to teach whatever they want their children to believe, yet still gives the kids a good idea of what we know scientifically. Intelligent Design, though, just can't really be called "science" because we can't explain or identify the designer. It requires a leap of faith to accept that such a designer exists, and it's a point that can never be proved as true or false. There is a bit of faith called for in evolution as well - faith that what we've seen and can explain in other species exists in humanity as well, but that *is* a point that possibly *could* be resolved at some point, if we dig up the right thing - and it possibly could be disproved (if we dig up something we're totally not expecting) - and it's generally understood that if that point can't be proved, other theories may overtake it. Teaching science skills, such as critical thinking, being able to look at things logically, and understanding that sometimes ideas or beliefs have to be set aside if they can no longer be supported are all skills I think kids **desperately** need.
annebreal annebreal 7 years
Kathleen - there's lots of theories that aren't scientific. Probably every discipline has theories in it, including religion. There's just a difference in scientific theories because they need to be tested in a certain quantitative way.
CollegeGirl CollegeGirl 7 years
Evolution should not be taught to the exclusion of all other viewpoints. I'm not saying that you have to teach creationism from the standpoint of each religion, but you can provide an overview that there are other theories out there aside from Darwin.
KathleenxCouture KathleenxCouture 7 years
"To me, Creationism has no place in science class because it isn't science - it relies on the supernatural. Science studies the natural. Creationism belongs in religion class, not science class." I agree. I also agree that we need a world religion class is High schools. I took a World Religion class last semester in college and it really opened my eyes, it's very useful.
KathleenxCouture KathleenxCouture 7 years
Actually, evolution is a theory just as intelligent design is a theory. Evolution just has more concrete "evidence". Little known fact, as Charles Darwin grew older he started having doubts about Evolution and never once intended it to become what it is today.
annebreal annebreal 7 years
I'm much more familiar with Creationism and not "Intelligent Design" but to me, science is based on doubt, not faith, and it has to be able to be tested. And if the Designer is supernatural - could be religious, or a ghost, or an alien, or simply intangible - then you can't test that. It's based in faith, not doubt. I'm not saying the theory isn't legit, it definitely has merits and has had intelligent people working on it - but it's just not science. It doesn't follow the Scientific Theory and it's supernatural. Either the public schools should stick it in their world religions/philosophy curriculum, or if they don't have those classes, I guess they have to leave it out and leave it to the parent to supplement. Not in science class, sorry. And personally, I'm a Christian and believe in creation, btw. But if my kids were in public school and their science class was teaching them this, I'd fight it.
Jillness Jillness 7 years
"Let's say for a minute that the science for Darwinism doesn't check out. It's a logical fallacy to assume that the only alternative is Intelligent Design, and that therefore must be correct." I agree.
Cassandra57 Cassandra57 7 years
I agree, creationism is pure religion and does not belong in science class. Intelligent design, however, is (IMO) as scientific as Darwinism. Shoot, you could conclude that the "designer" was a race of aliens from the Andromeda galaxy, the principle would not change. Cabaker, we had a Comparative Religion / World Religion class in high school, and that was a loooong time ago. I think every high school should have one, because it's useful in understanding other cultures, and that's more important now than ever. A straight catechism-type class though, no, that's not for public schools.
hausfrau hausfrau 7 years
Well most schools don't have a religion class so thats why its taught in science. Though I would be all for public schools and private schools having a class on world religions that children are required to take, esp. in this day and age of religious intolerance (see anti-Islam post). There's a fine line between teaching and preaching and I think our teachers are smart enough to toe the line when teaching religion... however, one could argue that, as many people here have pointed out, theres nothing thats 100% conclusive as to how we came to be here so in that sense teachers are preaching Darwinism.
thorswitch thorswitch 7 years
Re-reading my earlier comment, I realize I should add a bit of context to it. While I do not see a necessary conflict between science and religion, I do think that when it comes to teaching children in public schools, we need to stick to the scientific side of that. The parents and their chosen religious community can explain how the hand of whichever god(s)/ess(es) they worship can be seen in the design of creation, and how the science of creation and the idea of divine design relate to each other. So, basically, my position is that the theory of evolution is what should be taught in science class, and its up to parents and the family's religious community to put that into whatever context they deem correct and want the child to believe.
annebreal annebreal 7 years
To me, Creationism has no place in science class because it isn't science - it relies on the supernatural. Science studies the natural. Creationism belongs in religion class, not science class.
Cassandra57 Cassandra57 7 years
I absolutely believe that promotion of a particular religion should be kept out of the classroom. I include fervent secularists. We seem to be overlooking the Intelligent Design angle. This isn't just Darwinism vs. Creationism. Actually, Darwin's theory was formulated by simple observation and drawing patterns and conclusions. I'm personally in the ID camp. When you really look at the diversity, complexity and interrelationships of different species, it's impossible (IMHO) to think it's all just random accident. Also, rationally, I think it's the perfect meeting of the minds and compromise between Darwinists and (for lack of a better term) "magical" creationists.
stephley stephley 7 years
it's www.textbookaccuracy.ORG
InfernalMari InfernalMari 7 years
I'm all for Creationism, so long as there's no bias against the Flying Spaghetti Monster or the Invisible Pink Unicorn. ...No, seriously, religion has to be kept out of the classroom.
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 7 years
Let's say for a minute that the science for Darwinism doesn't check out. It's a logical fallacy to assume that the only alternative is Intelligent Design, and that therefore must be correct. It could be some other competing idea that no one has come up with yet. Also, most cultures/religions have tried to answer how we came to be. Many of them are nothing more than stories. Studying those stories is pretty much pointless in a scientific context (although wonderful in other contexts), and more than that, it ties religion to science fairly directly where in my opinion, it doesn't belong. If people have a competing "intelligent design" theory, and they have evidence to support it, they're doing themselves a great disservice to tie it to their particular religion's God. There's enough strife in the world. The last thing we need is people fighting over whose god, exactly, created the universe.
thorswitch thorswitch 7 years
I've never really understood why people seem to think that religion and science can't co-exist. Even if we could prove with 100% certainty that humans and apes both evolved from a common ancestor (which is, as I understand it, a more accurate statement of the theory than simply saying 'humans evolved from apes') there's still nothing in that the conclusively excludes Divinity as a factor in designing or driving the evolutionary process. I would wager that the same would hold true for most scientific theories. We may understand the mechanics of why or how something works, but we can't prove that a greater power didn't design it to work that way.
butterflyrouge butterflyrouge 7 years
I married a former science teacher- he is dead against evolution because the science doesn't actually check out. This is his website where he discusses specifics: www.textbookaccuracy.com I recently read that famous former atheist Antony Flew renounced his atheism, because he became convinced that the science for evolution is just not there. He doesn't subscribe to any faith, just believes that there is no credible naturalistic alternative at this point. Here is where this is discussed: http://www.aish.com/societyWork/sciencenature/An_Atheist_Turns.asp
Meike Meike 7 years
The most educated people I know have an understanding of not just what they believe in but all the other opposing views. One can hardly argue for their case if they don't possess knowledge about the side they're arguing against. So, why not learn about evolution and all the world religions in school? From there, a person can form their own educated opinion about how the world came to be instead of just accepting what the majority tells them is 'true' in lemming-like fashion.
Meike Meike 7 years
The most educated people I know have an understanding of not just what they believe in but all the other opposing views. One can hardly argue for their case if they don't possess knowledge about the side they're arguing against.So, why not learn about evolution and all the world religions in school? From there, a person can form their own educated opinion about how the world came to be instead of just accepting what the majority tells them is 'true' in lemming-like fashion.
JovianSkies JovianSkies 7 years
Well, be it far from me to question Ben Stein ;-) As for Creationism vs Evolution...I'll just stay away from that can of worms. I already recieved the "A" for it in my classes.
JovianSkies JovianSkies 7 years
Well, be it far from me to question Ben Stein ;-) As for Creationism vs Evolution...I'll just stay away from that can of worms. I already recieved the "A" for it in my classes.
MarinerMandy MarinerMandy 7 years
Jillness, I just saw that you already mentioned what a scientific theory is...I posted before I saw that!
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