The Saddest Part of Ben Stein’s Expelled…

Before you get too excited about Ben Stein’s movie, Expelled, take a read of the most popular news article on Yahoo! today.

It’s a good read, but for the theist, it’s pretty depressing. It points out that there are many in academia who are antagonistic toward the movie — or better said, toward a Designer. And the author, Bozell, makes it clear that abandoning the idea of the existence of the Divine has contributed to horrendous atrocities as recently as the last century.

But the saddest part, to me, was not in the text of the article. No — the sad part, in my mind, is that with over 500 people voting on whether to recommend this well-written pro-creation article, it only gets three of five stars. This rating doesn’t come from Yahoo! France. Or from Yahoo! China. It comes from the American version of Yahoo! News.

It would seem that Americans don’t really believe in the free exchange of ideas. Worse yet, it seems that Americans don’t want to hear that there may be a Creator and he may have an interest in their lives.

That, in my opinion, is the saddest part of Ben Stein’s Expelled.

11 thoughts on “The Saddest Part of Ben Stein’s Expelled…

  1. I haven’t seen it, and don’t plan to. But some of the articles I read indicate that it misquotes various people, didn’t include interviews with scientist that both believe in god and practice science i.e. you have to be able to experiment and predict for it to be science. The biggest problem appear to be a logic fallacy which I don’t remember the name, but can stated as:
    If A happens then B happens then A must have caused B.

  2. The “reviews” I’ve read who say that it “misquotes” people have been secular reviews. Groups such as the Institution for Creation Research and Focus on the Family’s CitizenLink have endorsed it, as has Lee Strobel and others whom I trust.

    If you don’t go and see it (or rent it), then you can’t know for sure what it presents. If you are only going by what other’s say, then you have to take into account where they are coming from.

    I, for one, would like to see it. At least someone is taking a stand and saying, enough is enough. I remember being ridiculed in high school for not believing in evolution. Thankfully, I had classmates who stood by me. Our biggest argument was, if it’s a theory, then why is it being taught as fact? Why did we just go through this process of detemining hypothesis, theory and finally law if we’re going to disregard it over evolution? And why are we accepting something like evolution when it (and other theories accepted as facts) directly contradict established physical laws?

    Do I expect scientific excellence from Ben Stein? No. Do I expect him to approach this with the mind of a lawyer, political pundit and exasperated human being? You bet. If it goes so far as to open a dialogue, then it has done its job.

  3. I should say I don’t plan to pay to watch it. I had same reason not to pay to watch “An Inconvenient Truth”. The reviews and articles indicated neither had any new evidence either plus or minus. If they show up on TV and there is nothing else that I want to watch, I might watch them.

    I also don’t try to convince other people to change their views. But I am one of the people that doesn’t think the theory of evolution precludes a belief in God or vice versa.

    As for theories being taught as facts, I have to say my memories of pre college classes are that they did that. But my college courses carefully taught theories. We learn all about Newton’s theory of gravity. Then we were taught Einstein’s theory of gravity and how Newton’s theory is wrong. But formulas from Newton’s theory are the ones that are used to calculate how to launch a satellite, or space craft to the moon.

    In the structure of science, theories never become laws. Scientific laws are formulas, like Ohm’s law I = V/R. The formula was derived from repeated experiments. Theories are developed to try and explain the various scientific laws. So while related they are different. Note theories of electromagnetism explain Ohm’s law and even why it fails with superconductors.

    Finally I know no verified observation that if accepted means either one of the other current science theories is wrong or that if other theory is correct then the theory of evolution is wrong.

  4. Allen said…

    As for theories being taught as facts, I have to say my memories of pre college classes are that they did that. But my college courses carefully taught theories.

    My guess is you received your education in The Bible Belt. OK — it’s not really a guess. 🙂

    At the university I attended and later served at in a pastoral role, there was no room for any diversity of opinion regarding origins. Evolution was presented consistently as a given — something that every intelligent mind accepted as truth. Dissenting thoughts were silenced by scoffing professors, administrators, and students.

    In light of that, I think Stein’s probably right on.

  5. That was my experience as well. I also experienced the college classroom where truth was taught as a relative thing. Sometimes I regret not going to a Christian college, but had I done so, I might not have understood what is happening on the campuses of today’s universities. I had a better chance of arguing that George Washington was a short, fat man than I did anything that smacked of either “intolerance” or “creationism.”

    As to whether or not belief in evolution has anything to do with being a Christian…no, it doesn’t. But I was taught to believe the Bible as being literally true.

  6. Steve, remember that while I went to a university in “The Bible Belt.” It was a technical university. 🙂 I took no courses in biology, just the “hard” sciences, the ones where the theories have formulas that give easily testable answers, and would be easy to be called facts. In fact my roommate who was in electronic engineering school, had tests where he had to use various formulas to get answers to problems. Whereas I in general science school to pass a lot of my tests I had to take the theories and derive the formulas my roommate was using as givens. The theory of evolution just didn’t come up in my college career.

    But having a major in physics. I was taught that even if a theory could be used to derive a formula that could be used to give answers that matched the real world it was still a theory. A Scientific theory having these definitions:

    A logically self-consistent model or framework for describing the behavior of a related set of natural or social phenomena. It originates from or is supported by experimental evidence.

    A set of statements or principles devised to explain a group of facts or phenomena, especially one that has been repeatedly tested or is widely accepted and can be used to make predictions about natural phenomena.

  7. It was the BEST University in the South. GO YOU BUMBLEBEES! I mean — Yellow Jackets! 😉

    I think some theories are untestable, and therefore remain theoretical. Like the theory that Gore would have made a better president than Bush. That’s a theory, but it can’t be tested. To some I know, it’s not a theory. it’s a fact. To me, it’s a poor theory. But it’s still a theory.

    If memory serves me correctly, we use the word “fact” in a technically incorrect manner. At least that’s what my high school teachers said. A FACT was something that could be proven or disproven. So we prove that 2+2=4. So 2+2=4 is a fact. But according to the teachers, if we disprove 3+3=5 then 3+3=5 becomes a fact. I don’t know — it was the 70’s. Not sure what those teachers were smokin’. I think that definition of “fact” has faded. But all my teachers were adamant it was correct. I remember arguing with them

  8. You are confusing “Scientific theory” with what I would call “conversational theory”. Some of its definitions are:

    “a proposed explanation whose status is still conjectural, in contrast to well-established propositions that are regarded as reporting matters of actual fact.”

    “An assumption based on limited information or knowledge; a conjecture.”

    This is different from a Scientific theory which is not absolute, but must describe results of any known information including any experiments, and make predictions in the area it covers.

    Also you seem to misremember about disproving something produces a facts. If we disprove that 3+3=5, the fact is 3+4=5 is false. It would be like someone stated that “granite rocks float in water”. I disprove it by dropping a granite rock in water, I have established the fact that “granite rocks float in water” is false. Normally the fact would be written as “granite rocks do not float in water”, but both way of saying it are facts.

  9. That’s what I said to my teachers, but they didn’t see it that way at all.

    It was probably something they picked up at the university they all graduated from — about 30 minutes from my school. I’ll not name it, but I will say that those Eagles neither Yellow Jackets nor Panthers!!! 😛

  10. “Guillermo Gonzalez, an eminent astronomer who was denied tenure at Iowa State University, said that scientists will use intelligent design to do their research, but will not publicly talk about or admit it.”

    “According to From Darwin to Hitler author Richard Weikart, Hitler saw World War II as a Darwinian struggle for existence, and he justified the practice of eugenics by saying that mankind had ‘transgressed the law of natural selection’ by allowing inferior beings to survive and propagate (Mein Kampf, 1925).”

    These are two quotes from an article from the Institute for Creation Research (, a group of people dedicated to equiping believers with proof of the Bible’s authority through science.

    The idea that Hitler based much of his “final solution” on evolutionary theory is not a new one (though some people in the reviews I’ve read seem suprised that Stein would dare make the comparison.) I’ve never read Mein Kampf in its entirety, but I’ve read enough to know how both incredibly frightening and intelligent Hitler was. If someone comes up with a scientific theory to support his madness, so much the better.

    Someone needs to speak out. Hiter isn’t the only one who thinks this way. The push for leagalized suicide, legalized euthinasia, ABORTION, comes back to the misguided–evil–idea that some people are not “worthy” to live…that only the strongest, smartest,–dare I say it?–better looking, most perfect and youngest and healthiest deserve to live. If someone is born deformed or not “normal” in some way, then nature “obviously” has chosen that person to be “eliminated” and if the womb isn’t going to do it naturally, than its up to us. (Yeah, tell that to my friends who were each told their baby was “deformed” and should be aborted.)

    You’ll have to forgive me if I tell you that I don’t trust most scientists anymore. They’ve given me no reason to. All one has to do is read the headlines for the past 30 years to know that something is horribly screwed up somewhere. And then to have Universities, which are supposed to be pillars of the free exchange of ideas, tell someone “You can’t even consider trying to prove Intelligent Design as a scientific theory because it’s too much about religion.” smacks of censorship. (Hey, what about MY first ammendment rights? Oh, sorry, I forgot. They don’t apply to Christians.) Perhaps little evidence of the science of Intelligent Design exists is because scientists trying to work in that direction keep hitting a brick…no…granite wall.

    No documentary is perfect. Even the acclaimed Civil War documentary Ken Burns put out a few years back (as an aside, everyone should watch these) are incomplete. However, I commend someone who is brave enough to take a stand. And Ben Stein undoubtedly has a personal connection to all of this. Born and raised Jewish, the idea that another holocaust (of any kind…oh like, say…abortion?) could result from the idea that some are “evolutionarily superior” must haunt him, and the minds of not only all Jews but all Christians as well.

    Let me see…what am I doing this weekend? I think I can fit in a showing of Expelled.

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