Skepdude

From the creator of Video Skepdude

Expelled “Worse than stupid” says MSNBC

I know, I know I have been going on about the Expelled monstrosity for a while now, and I just posted an entry in regards to the NY Times review the other day, but this is too good to pass up. MSNBC has a review titled “Intelligent Design film far worse than stupid” which was a joy to read. You can go and read the whole thing or you can read some excerpts below. Of course Mr. Stein and the producers will cite all the negative reviews as just another example of the rigid, unforgiving, vengeful, unfair, close minded world they live in. God damn it, it is not only the Academia and Scientist that are expelling them. The mass media is in it as well. Enjoy the excerpts (bold emphasis added!).

There is not a shred of intelligence on display in this just released “documentary” purporting to be a careful examination of the fight over teaching creationism and evolution in America.

…what is really on display in this film is a toxic mishmash of persecution fantasies, disconnected and inappropriate references to fallen communist regimes and their leaders and a very repugnant form of Holocaust denial from the monotone big mouth Ben Stein.

What you may not know but most certainly cannot fail to realize by the time this film ends is that Stein has no understanding of science and is a proponent of a singularly despicable explanation of the cause of the Holocaust in Nazi Germany.

Making this narrow, crimped mess of a movie may not have been good for his mental health.

What is especially startling and monumentally deceptive is that the movie never bothers to tell us what Intelligent Design actually is. We hear cries of persecution but we don’t know why.

One suspects that sympathy for those portrayed in the movie as hapless pariahs might be reduced if the movie spent more time describing what it is this tiny handful of Ben Stein-proclaimed martyrs actually believe.

There is not much room in science, although there is in history, religion, philosophy or sociology class, for jumping up and down and invoking god as the explanation of anything and everything. Could such an explanation be true? Sure. Is it science? Hardly. Does the movie get us anywhere close to understanding the difference? Not a bit.

Then, and most culpably in terms of the downright immorality of the movie and everyone associated with it, we are presented with what will happen if we keep teaching Darwinism in our schools. The logical consequence of Darwinism is Nazi eugenics: the state directed murder of the handicapped, mentally ill, political dissidents and racial “inferiors”!

This frighteningly immoral narrative is capped off with a lot of shots of the Berlin Wall, old stock footage of East German police kicking around those trying to escape through the wall to the West and some solemn blather by Ben, who calls upon each one of us to rise up in defense of freedom and knock down a few walls in order to get creationism back into the curriculum at Iowa State, Baylor, and other dens of American secular iniquity.

This is the core of what is ethically rotten about this movie. Darwinism did not lead to Nazism in Germany. Nor does Darwinism inherently contain the seeds of Nazism.

Wow!

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April 21, 2008 - Posted by | Evolution, Intelligent Design | ,

5 Comments »

  1. Dude, I think it’s fairly obvious that this movie is full of shit if even the mainstream media (which is good at falling for this shit) hates it.

    But as I point out on my blog, this issue is bigger than you’d think, so we shouldn’t make fun of it only. It needs to be examined and completely obliterated.

    http://copache.wordpress.com/2008/04/21/a-fundamental-problem/

    I think you’ll agree, Mr. Dude!

    Comment by Copache | April 21, 2008 | Reply

  2. …a very repugnant form of Holocaust denial from the monotone big mouth Ben Stein.

    I’ve debated Holocaust deniers and there wasn’t anything like that in the film. Given this rather basic fact, everything that this journalists says is suspect.

    Darwinism did not lead to Nazism in Germany.

    Darwinian reasoning did lead to Nazism in Germany.

    Nor does Darwinism inherently contain the seeds of Nazism.

    No less than Richard Dawkins has said that he prefers that society not be based on Darwinian principles, yet apparently when someone like Stein comes along and apparently says the same thing (societies based on Darwinian principles are undesirable, etc.) some ignorant journalists find it despicable and so on. If Dawkins can say that the logical consequences of Darwinism are negative then why can’t Stein agree?

    Comment by mynym | April 21, 2008 | Reply

  3. Mynym,

    Your argument does not make sense. Darwinism reasoning lead to Nazism as much as knowing how to fly led to 9/11. Any philosophy, any system can be misused or perverted to justify any action. The point the movie is trying to make is that Evolution, INVARIABLY leads to Nazism. That is what is the stupid part. Sure, Hitler may have been an atheist (I am not saying he was, I don’t know much about his life, I am simply saying it is possible.) That is not the point though because he also had a mustache. Saying that eugenics is a product of evolutionary thought, is like saying pedophilia is a product of Christianity. As much as I don’t like Christianity I cannot bring myself to make such a statement.

    I wholeheartedly agree with R.D. I personally would not like a society based solely on Darwinian principles either,the reason being that, strictly speaking, the development of such a society would move in a totally different direction than what we like. We would have no reason to take care of the poor, the sick, the ones who need protection. There is no room for compassion in the evolution of species, because it is not a directed process. It has no end product in mind.

    Do not misunderstand me. The process itself has not end product in mind. It is not a conscious process. But the end product so far, humans, are conscious. We do not behave like cold-hearted Natural Selection. We have purpose, and feelings which are a product of evolution. We have evolved ideals and morals which have proved beneficiary, compassion being one of them. Because of that we cannot live our lives based on the simple rules of Natural Selection. That does not make Natural Selection any less of a powerful force. It is just that we have evolved to the point where we can in some way shape the future evolution of our species. That is, I think, the basic beginnings of eugenics.

    Let us not forget that math and physics, and chemistry were also necessary for the Nazis to carry out their plans. Are we going to claim that those lead to Nazism as well. Of course not! Evolution does not have a say on peoples moral choices.

    The funny thing is that the case of Hitler actually belittles the notion of an Intelligent Designer. Designer maybe, but intelligent not!

    Comment by Skepdude | April 22, 2008 | Reply

  4. Copache,

    I choose not to go into the details of the claims, simply because there are no new claims in the movie that skeptics haven’t already debunked a million times over. I find that when people cling to some belief, even in the face of unquestionable evidence, no amount of reasoning will get through to them. As such, ridicule becomes the only weapon that touches them.

    So yes you are right, but no I don’t think I want to waste time and space repeating what others, such as yourself, have already done. So, I’ll just call them dumb assess and be done with it. When they come up with something new and original then I’ll take a look at the merits of their arguments.

    Comment by Skepdude | April 22, 2008 | Reply

  5. Ben(jamin) Stein is under heavy artillery for ‘exaggerating’ or ‘going easy’ on the influence of evolutionism behind Nazism and Stalinism (super evolution of Lysenkoism in the Soviet Russia). But the monstrous Haeckelian type of vulgar evolutionism drove not only the ‘Politics-is-applied-biology’ Nazi takeover in the continental Europe, but even the nationalistic collision at the World War I. It was Charles Darwin himself, who praised and raised the monstrous German Ernst Haeckel with his still recycled embryo drawing frauds etc. in the spotlight as the greatest authority in the field of human evolution, even in the preface to his Descent of man in 1871. If Thomas Henry Huxley with his concept of ‘agnostism’ was Darwins bulldog in England, Haeckel was his Rotweiler in Germany.

    ‘Kampf’ was a direct translation of ‘struggle’ from On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life (1859). Seinen Kampf. His application.

    Catch 22: Haeckel’s 140 years old fake embryo drawings have been mindlessly recycled for the ‘public understanding of science’ (PUS) in most biology text books until this millennium. Despite factum est that Haeckel’s crackpot raging Recapitulation/Biogenetic Law and functioning gill slits of human embryos have been at the ethical tangent race hygiene/eugenics/genocide, infanticide, and Freudian psychoanalysis (subconscious atavisms). Dawkins is the Oxford professor for PUS – and should gather the courage of Stephen Jay Gould who could feel ashamed about it.

    Some edited quotes from my conference posters and articles defended and published in the field of bioethics and history of biology (and underline/edit them a ‘bit’):
    http://www.helsinki.fi/~pjojala/Asian_Bioethics.pdf
    http://www.helsinki.fi/~pjojala/Haeckelianlegacy_ABC5.pdf

    The marriage laws were once erected not only in the Nazi Germany but also in the multicultural states of America upon the speculation that the mulatto was a relatively sterile and shortlived hybrid. The absence of blood transfusion between “white” and “colored races” was self evident (Hailer 1963, p. 52).

    The first law on sterilization in US had been established in 1907 in Indiana, and 23 similar laws had been passed in 15 States and sterilization was practiced in 124 institutions in 1921 (Mattila 1996; Hietala 1985 p. 133; these were the times of IQ-tests under Gould’s scrutiny in his Mismeasure of Man 1981). By 1931 thirty states had passed sterization laws in the US (Reilly 1991, p. 87). Typically, the operations hit blacks the most in the US, poor women in the Europe, and often the victims were never even told they had been sterilized.

    Mendelism outweighed recapitulation (embryos climbing up their evolutionary tree through fish-, amphibian- and reptilian stages), but that merely smoothened the way for the brutal 1930’s biolegislation – that quickly penetrated practically all Western countries. The laws were copied from country to country. The A-B-O blood groups, haemophilia, eye colours etc. were found to be inherited in a Mendelian fashion by 1910. So also the complex traits and social (mis)behaviour such as alcoholism, schizophrenia, manic depression, criminality, rebelliousness, artistic sense, pauperism, racial differences, inherited scholarship (and its converse, feeble-mindedness) were all thought to be determined by one or two genes. Mendelism was “experimental” and quantitative, and its exaggeration outweighed the more cautious biometry operating on smaller variations, not discontinuous leaps. Its advocates boldly claimed that these problems could be done away within a few generations through selection, persisted (although most biologists must have known that defective genes could not be eliminated, even with the most intense forced sterilizations and marriage restrictions due to recessive genes and synergism. Nevertheless, these laws were held until 1970’s and were typically changed only when the abortion legislation were released (1973).

    So the American laws were pioneering endeavours. In Europe Denmark passed the first sterilization legislation in Europe (1929). Denmark was followed by Switzerland, Germany that had felt to the hands of Hitler and Gobineu, and other Nordic countries: Norway (1934), Sweden (1935), Finland (1935), and Iceland (1938 ) (Haller 1963, pp 21-57; 135-9; Proctor 1988, p. 97; Reilly 1991, p. 109). Seldom is it mentioned in the popular media, that the first outright race biological institution in the world was not established in Germany but in 1921 in Uppsala, Sweden (Hietala 1985, pp. 109). (I am not aware of the ethymology of the ‘Up’ of the ancient city from Plinius’ Ultima Thule, however.) In 1907 the Society for Racial Hygiene in Germany had changed its name to the Internationale Gesellschaft für Rassenhygiene, and in 1910 Swedish Society for Eugenics (Sällskap för Rashygien) had become its first foreign affiliate (Proctor 1988, p. 17). Today, Swedish state church is definitely the most liberal in the face of the world.

    Hitler’s formulation of the differences between the human races was affected by the brilliant sky-blue eyed Ernst Haeckel (Gasman 1971, p. xxii), praised and raised by Darwin. At the top of the unilinear progression were usually the “Nordics”, a tall race of blue-eyed blonds. Haeckel’s position on the ‘Judenfrage’ was assimilation and Expelled-command from their university chairs, not yet an open elimination. But was it different only in degree, rather than kind?

    In 1917 the immigration of “defective” groups was forbidden even in the United States by a law. In 1921 the European immigration was diminished to 3% based on the 1910 census. Eventually, in the strategical year of 1924 the finest hour of eugenics had come and the fatal law was passed by Congress. It diminished immigration to 2% of the foreign-born from each country based on the 1890 census in order to preserve the “nordic” balance in population, and was hold through World War II until 1965 (Hietala 1985, p. 132).

    Richard Lewontin writes:“The leading American idealogue of the innate mental inferiority of the working class was, however, H.H. Goddard, a pioneer of the mental testing movement, the discoverer of the Kallikak family,
    and the administrant of IQ-tests to immigrants that found 83 % of the Jews, 80% of the Hungarians, 79% of the Italians, and 87% of the the Russians to be feebleminded.” (1977, p. 13.) Regarding us Finns, Finnish emmigrants put the cross on the box reserved for the “yellow” group (Kemiläinen 1993, p. 1930), until 1965.

    Germany was the most scientifically and culturally advanced nation of the world upon opening the riddles at the close of the nineteenth century. And she went Full Monty.

    Today, developmental biologists are anticipating legislation of laws that would define the do’s and dont’s. In England, they are fertilizing human embryos for research purposes and pipetting chimera embryos of humans and monkeys, ‘legally’. The legislation should not distract individual researchers from their personal awareness of responsibility. A permissive law merely defines the ethical minimum. The lesson is that a law is no substitute for morals and that dissidents should not be intimidated.

    I am suspicious over the burial of the Kampf (Struggle). The idea of competition is innate in the modern society. It is the the opposite view in a 180 degree angle to the Judaeo-Christian ideal of agapee (contra epithumia, eros, filia & storge) (ahava in Hebrew), that I personally cheriss. The latter sees free giving, altruism, benevolence and self sacrificing love as the beginning, motivation, and sustainer of the reality.

    pauli.ojala@gmail.com
    Biochemist, drop-out (Master of Sciing)
    http://www.helsinki.fi/~pjojala/Expelled-ID.htm

    Comment by Pauli Ojala | May 1, 2008 | Reply


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