Expelled: The Untold Story

Academics that teach theories contradicting evolution are harassed, lose their jobs and reputations or are refused tenure, according to Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed. It offers four examples of the so-called Darwinist conspiracy to silence “anti-evolutionists.” All of which are pitiful examples, since none of them lost their jobs because of their Intelligent Design beliefs. There were other reasons they lost their jobs. For perhaps obvious reasons, the movie fails to discuss the number of academics subjected to harassment by the creationist/Intelligent Design “hegemony” — y’know, the “good guys.” Blogger Blake Stacey has found at least 12 examples of creationists interfering with the careers of science instructors. You need to read his post in case any Expelled fans rail at you about the Darwinist conspiracy.

Parsing the Expelled Leader’s Guide, part 7

After summarising the last section, Why Does It Matter?, the Guide finishes its informational portion with a two-column comparison of evolution and intelligent design. Guide: Under the heading, “What Is Evolution?”, the Guide offers three variants of the meaning of the word, “evolution.” 1. Evolution is “change over time,” meaning that present-day life forms are different from earlier ones, or that minor changes within species can occur over a short time. 2. Evolution is associated with the theory of common descent, meaning that all organisms existing today have a single common ancestor. 3. Evolution is the “unguided process of DNA randomly mutating with ‘natural selection,’ blindly acting on those changes to gradually produce the variety of all life.” The Guide then cautions its readers that this multiplicity of definitions can confuse discussions when someone takes evidence for Evolution #1 and tries to make it look like it supports Evolution #2 or Evolution #3. Conversely, someone may discuss issues with Evolution #2 or Evolution #3 but is then falsely accused of also rejecting definition of Evolution #1. This is simply not the case, for most scientists who dissent from Darwinism accept Evolution #1. Comments: This bit of sophistry obfuscates the real ...

Intelligent Design pops up (briefly) in Bloomfield, Ky.

Bloomfield Middle School officials had to tell a seventh grade science teacher that she could not teach Intelligent Design (ID) after they received a warning from the Kentucky chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). The ACLU letter advised them that the teaching of ID was contrary to “the substantial legal authority establishing the illegality of teaching a religious doctrine within a science curriculum.” The Panda’s Thumb reprinted part of that letter yesterday. The teacher in question, Adonna Florence, confirmed the gist of the report to me today. I am awaiting details from her, the BMS principal and the ACLU. Technically, Florence’s introduction of ID into her science classes is not contrary to Kentucky state law. At one point in history, Kentucky law expressly permitted, but did not require, the teaching of the Biblical creation of Earth and the organisms on it. As part of the Kentucky Education Reform Act, that statute, KRS 158.177, was effectively repealed in 1990 and re-enacted with substantially the same language as before: SECTION 403. KRS 158.177 IS REPEALED AND REENACTED TO READ AS FOLLOWS: (1) In any public school instruction concerning the theories of the creation of man and the earth, and which ...

Academic freedom or academic tomfoolery? 1

The Ben Stein movie, “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed,” champions academic freedom, purporting to demonstrate how faculty who believe in Intelligent Design or Creationism are being forced from their jobs by some kind of “evolutionist” hegemony. The movie, which I have not seen, supports the opinion that someone who does not accept the theory of evolution cannot debate or question the theory in the classroom without fear of reprisal. The rights of anti-evolution faculty and students must be protected, the movie’s creators claim. It’s another version of the “teach the controversy” canard that IDists and creationists have been passing around for the last few years. First, they create a false controversy (many people doubt evolution is valid). Second, they contend that “evolutionists” are forcing this “controversial” theory down students’ throats. Then, they insist that other theories must be given “equal time” somehow in the classroom to give students a full education. This strategy to introduce ID and creationism in the public school classrooms failed miserably in Dover, Penn., after a federal judge (a Republican appointee) ruled that ID was just another form of creationism, that is, it was religion. Therefore, he said, ID cannot be taught in a public school without ...
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