googlef87758e9b6df9bec.html A Sure Word: March 2008

Monday, March 24, 2008

Responding to Anonymous Comments

An anonymous reader of this blog took exception with my last post and made a lengthy reply in the comments outlining his objections to the movie “Expelled.” Of course, I encourage everyone to read the comment for himself, but I wanted to respond briefly to some key points.

Mr. Anonymous said,
What I object to is that the films' main thesis, that anyone in the science community who believes in God is being "expelled" is false at its core.
So Mr. Anonymous clearly says he objects to the premise of the movie. I’m a little confused by this since he seems to argue that the movie is dishonest in the examples that it uses. Of course, the two ideas aren’t necessarily mutually exclusive – it could be that the premise is wrong and the movie uses dishonest examples to prove a false premise.

Honestly, I haven’t seen the movie. I remind everyone again that I have highlighted it as an opportunity to bring the creation/evolution debate more into the mainstream. The movie has gotten a lot of press (coincidentally, critics of creationism unanimously criticize the movie as well) but I won’t comment on the merits of the movie until I see it myself. Instead, I’ll spend just a minute discussing the premise of the movie – that is, scientists who believe in creation are often persecuted by evolutionary scientists.

First, I politely remind readers of my December 8, 2007 blog, Your Bias is Showing, where a marine biologist was fired from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution because he believed in creation. You can read the entire story in the Boston Globe here. While my take on the story was not one of religious persecution, we see here a de facto example of a scientist being “expelled” because of his beliefs in creation.

Then there is Dr. Michael Dini, a biology professor at Texas Tech University, who created a stir a few years ago saying he will not write letters of recommendation to any student who did not believe evolution: never mind how good of a student he/she might be; never mind how relevant evolution is/isn't to the student’s chosen career; if he doesn’t believe evolution, he would get no recommendation from Dr. Dini.

Of course there’s also the conspicuous absence of creationists’ papers published in mainstream science journals. Now, creationists have often published papers on topics not related to evolution – but editors aren’t interested in creationists’ papers specifically discussing creation/evolution. In 1985, a creation-believing physicist, Dr. Russell Humphreys, wrote to the journal Science, asking if there was a hidden policy to not publish creationists’ papers. Christine Gilbert, the letters editor, candidly admitted, ‘It is true that we are not likely to publish creationist letters.’ Scientists’ careers – both those who teach and those in the field – revolving around being published. The old saying is “publish or die.” Being published is the lynch pin of receiving grant money, tenure, or accolades of any sort. How sad it is that creation-believing scientists are blackballed – not because of their credentials - but because of their beliefs.

There are many more examples, some of which may already be included in the movie, but what I’ve shown here is fairly straightforward and indisputable. If the makers of the movie used dishonest examples, then shame on them. I’ll be the first to criticize them for that. But the premise that creation scientists who share their beliefs jeopardize their careers is spot on.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed

I don't like to do this, but I'm going to cut and paste an article from AiG's website. The new film coming out, Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, is a huge opportunity to bring the creation/evolution debate into more, mainstream outlets.

The article begins here:

Two of the better-known challengers of the evolutionary belief system met in Nashville, Tennessee, on Tuesday to discuss ways that the upcoming movie Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed can have a major impact on the creation/evolution debate.

Expelled is hosted by the brilliant Ben Stein, actor/economist/lawyer/presidential speechwriter/science observer—a 21st-century Einsteinian figure. While his film arrives at American movie theaters on the weekend of April 18, Mr. Stein came to Nashville for a special preview showing of Expelled for several hundred attendees at the annual convention of the National Religious Broadcasters (NRB). The audience leapt to its feet with generous applause at the film’s conclusion—moved by the undaunted attempts of the Darwin-doubters (and their filmmaking allies) as they challenge the elites in America’s educational and scientific establishments. Many of these Darwin challengers find themselves pitted against powerful evolutionists who despotically protect their evolution belief system, and sometimes expel those who would dare question Darwin.

Before Tuesday’s film preview, Mr. Stein spent 15 minutes chatting with AiG-U.S. President Ken Ham, who informed Mr. Stein that he had seen a director’s cut of Expelled last month at AiG’s Creation Museum. Ben told Ken that he was aware of the “wonderful” facility near Cincinnati and hoped to visit one day (and also to enjoy his favorite ice cream at a parlor chain in our area called Graeter’s, he told Ken!).

“I urge everyone not to miss Expelled. I found it riveting, eye-opening, even astonishing. Ben Stein does a masterful job of exposing the ruthlessness of evolutionists who will go after anyone who challenges or merely questions Darwinian orthodoxy. I was on the edge of my seat—entertained yet instructed.
“This movie is a must-see. Congratulations to Ben and the producers for the courage to create a much-needed perspective on the erosion of freedoms in America.”
—Ken Ham, president, AiG–U.S.

Ken pledged AiG’s strong promotional support to Mr. Stein, indicating that AiG will use its multiple outlets to spread the word about his excellent film. After previewing the documentary last month, Ken declared that the film was “riveting, eye-opening, even astonishing. Ben does a masterful job of exposing the ruthlessness of evolutionists who will go after anyone who challenges or merely questions Darwinian orthodoxy. I was on the edge of my seat—entertained yet instructed.”

Ken noted that while Stein is not a biblical creationist, the film he hosts provides a valuable service, as it exposes the tyranny of leaders in the evolutionist community. The film, notes Ken, also reveals the massive scientific problems with evolution theory.

“Freedom is the essence of America,” Stein declares in his narration. He adds that science is supposed “to pursue any line of inquiry,” but when it comes to evolution, that practice is not just ignored, but the freedoms of Darwin-questioners are trampled upon. Several such examples are presented in the film.
One of the saddest moments in the film occurs when a self-described Christian university (Baylor University in Texas) is documented as persecuting one of its own because he questioned evolution. Ironically, the fa├žade of one of its building has a verse inscribed on it from the book of Colossians, which declares that, in God, all things were created by Him.

How You Can Help

Ben and Ken are requesting the backing of AiG supporters to get out the word about this both entertaining (which features flashes of humor even amidst some tragic moments) and important film. Mr. Stein and the film’s producers told Ken on Tuesday that if large numbers of people come to the movie theaters during its opening weekend (April 18–20), it would send a strong message to other movie houses to carry it, for the film’s theme of repressive censorship and a call for a restoration of freedoms is resonating with so many people.

Here’s what you can do even now to ensure that hundreds of additional theaters not only show the film, but will keep it running for several weeks:

1) Call or go to your local movie theater and ask the manager to show the film. If you are not sure where/whom to call in your area, then call this toll-free number in the U.S. and someone will share that local information with you: 800-705-0485.

2) Go to your church leadership and encourage them to buy out a local theater so that Expelled could be shown there—and then make sure as many people from that church attend as possible.

3) Send the following e-mail link about the film to your email contact list: www.expelledthemovie.com/playground.php and also send them this AiG article you are reading.

These actions are key to a successful promotion of this heroic film, for a backlash is already building against it by the evolutionist community.
Ken Ham declares that this movie “is a must-see. Encourage your local school board members to watch this well-produced documentary. Even pay for their tickets, but get them there! This is a much-needed perspective on the erosion of freedoms in America.”

We encourage you to spend time browsing the interactive Expelled website: www.ExpelledTheMovie.com. Our movie review of Expelled will be posted to this website later this month.