Monday, August 18, 2008

Jeff Schloss, Former DI Staff, Reviews Expelled

Jeff Schloss, a researcher who was, up until 2003 a member of the Discovery Institute, has his own take on the movie Expelled. The review is quite lengthy but worth reading. He concludes it this way:

Contrary to the furious responses many of my friends in biology have had and the enthusiastic responses many of my evangelical friends have had to the film - I think Ross’s assessment is best: sadly. Sadly, the film contributes to an approach that has raised rather than lowered walls between Christians and the surrounding culture. Sadly, it raises the already growing walls of suspicion about any scholarly attempts to explore the relationship between science and faith. Sadly, it raises walls that don’t protect but constrain the spiritual growth of our students, if they are driven to believe they must choose between God and evolution. And most sadly, it is raising all these walls unnecessarily, along a border that is never demonstrated to have been accurately surveyed, much less to be in need of defending.


  1. I am a member of the ASA and we commissioned that review. As you probably already know Denyse O'Leary was none too pleased with it saying:

    "Jeffrey Schloss is an embarrassment to scientists who claim to be Christians and part of the ongoing disgrace of the American Scientific Affiliation.

    His scholarship is unbelievably poor.

    But, of course, anyone who attempts to deny that Hitler was influenced by the Darwinism of his day would have to sign on to poor scholarship just for starters.

    It is one thing for a group of Christians in science to disavow young earth creationism on insufficient evidence, but quite another to deny design in nature and suck up* to atheistic materialists.

    = Hey! Guess what! The atheistic materialists as worried about design as we are! They have the courage of their convictions but we don’t. Still, they and we are friends, and whoop, whoop, they have invited us to coffee! So we are no longer scum, like the ID theorists.

    Any serious scientist who belongs to such an organization had better have a plan for rescuing it."

    The response of our executive director was as follows:

    "If Denyse O’Leary or anyone else has a concern about the objectivity and fairness of any of ASA’s activities, they are more than welcome to contact me or anyone on our council and engage in constructive private dialog. We will correct all documented and verified concerns of bias and I urge them to retract any that aren’t substantiated. We continue to foster and encourage serious dialog in the appropriate forums."

  2. I have prowled the web site of Ms. O'Leary. It is vitriolic in the same sense that those of PZ Myers and Richard Dawkins are, but with the ID perspective. It also reads like a creationist site in that there are sweeping generalizations such as:

    The history of life has not been the long, slow “survival of the fittest” transition that classical evolution theory requires. Life got started on Earth soon after the planet cooled. All the basic divisions of animal life took shape rather suddenly in the Cambrian seas, about 550 million years ago. Later, there was, for example, the "Big Bang" of flowers and the Big Bang of birds, where many life forms appear quite suddenly.

    Such musings can and have been easily shown to be wrong. See this for example. I would encourage Ms. O'Leary to go back and take some courses in evolutionary biology. Journalism is good but it does not qualify one to write authoritatively about the fossil record.