Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Maryann Johanson on "Expelled!"

Maryann Johanson of the Colorado Independent suggests that scientists and the public need to go on the offensive regarding the new Ben Stein-narrated movie "Expelled!" She writes:

We cannot dismiss this movie, because all those who care about public discourse in America and the ongoing war on scientific literacy need to see it in order to arm themselves against the idiocy. The film — written by Stein, Kevin Miller and Walt Ruloff, and directed by Nathan Frankowski — shows just how insidious the "intelligent design" proponents are.

Aside from the Darwin/Hitler connexion, there are other insights:

Since Stein is unable to adequately critique evolutionary science, he resorts to a kind of name-calling that is purposely designed to mislead his audience. He constantly refers to those who accept evolution as "Darwinists," which is akin to referring to quantum physicists as "Newtonians" or "Copernicans." He does this even though one of his own ID proponents notes that biological science has moved on from Darwin just as physical science has moved on from Newton.

While Darwin's concept of Natural Selection is clearly the driving force behind evolution, it is important to remember that Darwin did not know of the existence of genes and by extension, could not formulate the concepts of genetic drift, flow mutation, and the various forms of speciation that occur. The negative review are building up.

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