Help the TalkOrigins Archive’s bid to buy “Expelled”

Premise Media, the production company that produced the creationist pseudo-documentary “Expelled“, has gone bankrupt and is putting the film up for auction. The opportunity having presented itself, the TalkOrigins Archive Foundation is making a run at acquiring it.

Getting the rights to the film and related production material (unedited interviews of scientists etc.)  could be an invaluable source of ammunition in the defense of science education against the attacks of intelligent design creationists, so if you’re able please consider making a donation to the Foundation (if the bid is unsuccessful your money still goes to a worthy cause) .


Update: TalkOrigins lost the biding war. Oh well, it would have been interesting.

The Discovery Institute’s “A Scientific Dissent From Darwinism” list examined

In my review of the so called “Leaders Guide” (part 1 and 2) put out by the producers of the movie Expelled I addressed its reference to the Discovery Institute’s “A Scientific Dissent From Darwinism” list.

L.G. More than 700 scientists have signed this statement!

A Scientific Dissent From Darwinism

“We are skeptical of claims for the ability of random mutation and natural selection to account for the complexity of life. Careful examination of the evidence for Darwinian theory should be encouraged.” (p.12)

To which I responded: “Yes they have a list of scientists, and many of them are the usual creationist suspects. Still others are scientists whose field of study is not particularly relevant to the subject of evolutionary theory. More importantly they constitute a tiny fraction of the global scientific community.”

Read on»

Evolution, racism and the Klan

With the movie Expelled resurrecting the shopworn creationist guilt by association argument that since Nazis and other racists have used [perversions of] evolutionary theory to rationalize their racism, then there must be something inherently wrong with evolution, I thought it might be enlightening to take a look at some of America’s home grown haters, like the Ku Klux Klan.

Given the ‘irrefutable evidence’ linking evolutionary theory to racism and antisemitism surely Klan groups must inevitably be hotbeds of evolutionists right? Well, let’s take a look at what one prominent Klan group, “The Knights Party” has to say about the subject on their web site:

We DO NOT believe in evolution. We believe that God created each race as we see it today and that NO race evolved from any animal.

When we barred the school house door to God, traditional Christian teaching, prayer and Bible reading, and opened the school house door to sexual perversion, condoms, evolution, and abortion counseling, we robbed our kids of their moral foundation.

Adam and Eve were not the progenitors of all races. Isn’t it amusing how on one hand the modern church fights against the idea of evolution and than on the other hand wants us to believe that all races evolved from one source.

[…] Now within the last hundred and fifty years a very dangerous idea began circulating in the Church – again brought on by Jewish fables which said that the Black race was the children of Ham who was cursed. I am sure you have heard this; that the whole world was under a flood and only 8 people survived. This causes problems because the church must then explain how all of the other races came into being. So they latch on to the idea that the three sons carried the genes from Adam and Eve which all of a sudden caused the three sons’ offspring to become the different races. We see the church teaching evolution again.

Yep, a bunch of materialistic “Darwinists” right there. How is it that we didn’t hear about this group in Expelled?

I feel like I need to go take a long shower now.

Expelled Q & A at Biola University

This last Monday (April 28th) I attended a Q & A forum on intelligent design (ID) creationism and the movie Expelled held at Biola University (La Mirada, CA) which I saw advertised over on Uncommon Descent by Paul Nelson (who told me he has my blog bookmarked; hi Paul):

…If you’ve got a burning question or two about the Expelled controversies. Darwin-to-Hitler, doesn’t Sternberg still have his Smithsonian position, the Pepperdine students were extras, the cell animation is plagiarized, Dawkins and P.Z. Myers and all the rest were tricked into granting interviews, Darwin’s Descent of Man was quote-mined, why didn’t Ben Stein just use Google Maps to find the Discovery Institute, ID is religious ’cause Expelled admits it, Yoko Ono is suing…whatevah.

Bring Your Questions for Profs. John Bloom, Mike Keas and Paul Nelson

Joining me to monitor the goings on were my friends Don Frack and Cal. State Fullerton Professor Jim Hofmann. Besides ourselves and the three panel members there were perhaps 20 other people in attendance.

Read on»

And the award for most hysterical antievolutionist nonsense of the week goes to…

This bit of wackiness which comes from a site called California Catholic Daily (which is odd since most Catholics don’t have a problem with evolution):

Now that Darwinists rule academia, they will brook no contradiction, and they will happily commit employment assassination even against tenured professors who dare even to mention intelligent design. The Darwinists even have their own Gestapo in the National Center for Science Education led by a modern day Heinrich Himmler named Eugenie Scott.

The NCSE is like the Gestapo and Genie Scott is comparable to Himmler, really?

Read on»

The more the merrier…

RationalWiki has a point by point critique of the Expelled “Leader’s Guide”. I wasn’t aware of the RationalWiki or their article until after I had written mine, so any similarities are due to great minds thinking alike. :)

Check it out.

Expelled’s intelligent design theory – this IS your daddy’s creationism (Part II)

Part 2 of 2 (click here for part 1)

L.G.Modern high-speed supercomputers have now used large-scale number crunching to calculate the eons of time and probabilities that are required to develop a cell through chance and mutation. The result? The odds are essentially zero, no matter how many millions or billions of years pass. (p.6)

I flat out call bullshit on this one. I want to see references. First I doubt the claim that anyone has wasted the time on a supercomputer. Second I am unaware of anyone arguing that the first cell developed simply through “chance and mutation”. No one knows the process by which the first cell formed, therefore no probabilities can be attached its likelihood.

Read on»