Saturday, April 19, 2008

Intelligence Allowed Here: 'Expelled' Is Worth Seeing

I went to see Ben Stein's new documentary today, Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, and I recommend it, for what that's worth to anybody. If nothing else, Stein is striking a blow for freedom of speech and thought, something that is dear to our hearts here at Dearborn Underground.

The same mentality that presumes to declare debates "closed" on things like abortion and global warming first found its domineering voice deploying to an irrestible effect the Darwinian theory. Strictly aside from its scientific value or lack of same, the thought control and persecution accompanying the protection and passing on of this theory is something to behold.

As I have repeated often, DU is not a religious blog, except when we simply can't help it, and none of the many knots into which my knotty innards are tied result from controversies over Intelligent Design. I'm a Catholic so I believe in an omnipotent Creator, as prominently mentioned in Article I of our Creed. Nor do I believe humands descended from apes, accidentally or otherwise.

But aside from that I'm a committed skeptic on the subject of scientism. I can't think of a worse class of persons for society to hand control of life-and-death questions to than scientists, especially doctors, who proved their moral unfitness for such a role in the Third Reich, and repeatedly since then in inventing partial-birth infanticide, insane theories about population reduction, and who believe that euthanasia falls within their competence because they've got medical degrees.

Ben Stein also remind his audience of the link between both Darwinism and Nazism, (the former being a conditiion precedent for the latter), and Darwinism and the Planned Parenthood movement of the arch-racist Margaret Sanger. National Review Online's David Klinghoffer reviews the Nazi angle of Expelled in "Don’t Doubt It. An important historic sidebar."

I also find Expelled's release yesterday uncannily timely to illustrate two issues we've all been following the last couple of weeks.

One is a brief cut in Expelled of the odious harlequin Bill Maher, in an appearance who knows how old now, declaring that when it comes to government restrictions on dangerous things, drugs and guns pose much less of a threat to us than religion does--and therefore needs to be closely regulated (prohibited). Obviously, the footage of Maher in Ben Stein's documentary was inserted without knowing in advance Maher would make his childish remarks last week about the Pope and the Church on HBO.

I believe Maher's a fallen away Catholic, and there's no novelty for me any more witnessing the lengths a lapsed Christian will go to escape (as Flannery O'Connor wrote), the "ragged figure who moves from tree to tree in the back of the mind, pursuing the unwilling."

In this regard Maher is just a bore, and he was probably a flop when he first tried out this material in third grade. But the point is that Maher stood before adoring fans and actually advocated for the demolition of the First Amendment--to applause.

He doesn't scare me--they do.

Second, there are the interviews with the spokespersons for Darwinism in Expelled.

If you thought Obama's remarks about ignorant, desperate crackers clinging to God and guns in bitter befuddlement that Washington D.C. hadn't sent them a return-to-work notice, you really need to see Richard Dawkins and other supercilious scientists explaining all opposition to Darwinism in nonscientifc terms like "idiot, ignorant, stupid, insane," etc., etc.

Last of all, there is the media's tacit collusion, (as damning a piece of evidence as any smoking gun) to refuse to even review, screen, or allow any worth to the film at all. The Detroit News's Tom Long had to invent a "Hall of Shame" to avoid having to deal with it, (excuse: no advance peek), and the Detroit Free Press relied on an Orlando Sentinel hatchet job. ("Deceitful 'Expelled' takes on evolution"). If you don't want to read DFP review, I'll clue you in that the reviewer never took time off from calling Stein names to actually identify a single thing he said that was "deceptive." Instead, we get this:

"Expelled" relies on the viewer's inability or unwillingness to wrestle with a complex corner of science, double-talking its way toward a "must be a miracle" solution to anything that science may not claim to have an answer for. Dismiss that for having no basis in fact, and you're infringing on "academic freedom."

Two which I have two comments as "the viewer":

a) me 2 dumm to rassle with $ciancE, and

b) Nowhere in the film does Stein come anywhere near stating existence "must be a miracle."

My suggestions:

Stick it to the man.

Question consensus.

See this movie.


Anonymous said...

"Maher stood before adoring fans and actually advocated for the demolition of the First Amendment--to applause.

He doesn't scare me--they do."

EXACTLY!!! He is scary enough by himself, but the lack of respect a good part of the general population has for our most basic freedoms... I fear for my children.

Anonymous said...

" anything that science may not claim to have an answer for."

AND the journalist ended a sentence with a preposition? Just what are they teaching in journalism skool?!

Anonymous said...

Stick it to the man.

Question consensus.

See this movie.
WHERE IS IT SHOWING?! Last I looked, it isn't even showing in Michigan.

T.R. Clancy said...

I guess he's scary, but that's just the makeup. Someone needs to tell him pancake on harlequins is overkill.

What they teach in journalism skool is multiculturalism.

T.R. Clancy said...


I watched it at Star Fairlane, in good old Dearborn.

From the Detroit News:

Theater Times
MJR Marketplace Sterling Heights Cinema 20 10:30 am, 1:00, 3:10, 5:30, 7:45, 9:50 pm.
Emagine Canton 12:05, 2:20, 4:35, 6:50, 9:05 pm.
Emagine Novi 1:15, 3:25, 5:35, 7:45, 9:55 pm.
MJR Brighton Towne Square Cinema 20 11:15 am, 2:00, 5:00, 7:20, 9:30 pm.
AMC Star Fairlane 21 10:30 am, 1:15, 3:45, 7:00, 9:45 pm.
AMC Forum 30 with IMAX 11:45 am, 2:15, 4:50, 7:20, 10:00 pm.
Goodrich Quality 16 12:20, 2:35, 4:55, 7:10, 9:25, 11:40 pm.
AMC Star Great Lakes 25 11:50 am, 2:25, 4:55, 7:30, 10:05 pm.
MJR Southgate 20 10:00 am, 12:20, 2:40, 5:00, 7:20, 9:40 pm.
AMC Livonia 20 11:05 am, 1:35, 4:05, 7:05, 9:35 pm.
UA Commerce Stadium 14 12:10, 2:35, 5:00, 7:50, 10:15 pm.
Birmingham 8 1:45, 4:15, 6:45, 9:15 pm, 12:00 am.
Goodrich Canton 7 12:45, 3:00, 5:15, 7:30, 9:45 pm.
AMC Star Southfield 20 10:25 am, 12:45, 3:15, 5:40, 8:10, 10:30 pm.
AMC Star Gratiot 21 10:05 am, 12:30, 3:00, 5:30, 7:50, 10:20 pm.
Showcase Cinemas Ann Arbor 12:50, 3:00, 5:10, 7:25, 9:35, 11:50 pm.
MJR Waterford Cinema 16 10:10 am, 12:30, 4:20, 6:45, 9:00 pm.
MJR Chesterfield Crossing Cinema 16 10:40 am, 1:10, 5:00, 7:30, 10:00 pm.

Have a good time and let us know what you think!

Dracil said...

As a Catholic, you might be interested in what the producers had to say about Ken Miller, also a Catholic. And a professor of Biology at Brown University who believes in Theistic Evolution but also rejects Intelligent Design. Who also wrote Finding Darwin's God which is doing pretty well on Amazon, as well as several biology textbooks.

"But I would tell you from a, my personal standpoint as somebody who’s worked on this project, that Ken Miller would have confused the film unnecessarily. I don’t agree with Ken Miller. I think that you, I think that when you look at this issue and this debate, that really there’s, there’s one side of the line or the other, and you, it’s, it’s hard to stay, I don’t think you can intellectually, honestly, honestly intellectually stand on a line that I don’t think exists—"

and then he had the following to add:

"But I think if you talk to the average Catholic person and, and you start talking about how life came to be, they are going to cite a biblical view. Now there’s going to be some disagreement, and in some cases significant disagreement, about how that happened. Some Catholics are going to say, believe in a, uh, literal version of what is accounted for in the Bible—"

Never mind the fact that the popes have said several times that evolution is perfectly fine with the Catholic faith as long as it doesn't go into theology.

There's a good lecture by Ken Miller on Youtube where he discusses the Collapse of Intelligent Design as well (just search for his name)