Wednesday, May 07, 2008

On the other hand...

Reading the reviews of Expelled, it seems to me that most of them are even-handed. For example, Matt McKilop suggests more than a few similarities to Michael Moore films. He writes:

Expelled then goes on to interview a number of proponents of intelligent design. Each of them sounds smart, obviously more knowledgeable about science and the origin of life than I am, but the film fails to define exactly what these men think and what they're proposing. I understand they reject the theory of evolution. I understand that intelligent design involves a "designer." But what else? What would intelligent design research contribute to the body of science literature? How would intelligent design researchers test their claims? Unfortunately, the film doesn't bother to provide answers to these questions.

Perhaps the worst part of Expelled comes when Stein tries to connect the theory of evolution and Nazism. While it's true that Hitler used Darwin's theories to support his ideology, it's intellectually dishonest to associate, however tenuously, today's scientific community with Nazism. Too often in today's public discourse, people feel it's not enough merely to assert that their ideological opponent is wrong -- they must also claim he's evil. This is shameless demagoguery, and it's not persuasive or constructive.

Check out the reviews.

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