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« on: April 13, 2008, 10:30:28 PM »

Expelled Review

The Dissent of Men and the Rise of Their Oppressors
by Mark Looy, CCO, AiG–U.S.
March 17, 2008

Several weeks ago, the Answers in Genesis (AiG) staff was treated to a viewing of the director’s cut of the already-controversial film Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed.1 Expected to release April 18, Expelled is a hard-hitting, yet often humorous, documentary that chronicles how Darwin-dissenters have been ruthlessly expelled, or otherwise persecuted, in their professions. It is hosted by the very entertaining civil rights activist/economist/presidential speechwriter/cultural icon (actor and quiz-show host), Ben Stein, whom filmmakers follow as he goes on a personal quest to examine the origins question.

Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed has become controversial not only because it exposes those academicians who persecute people who have a belief in the appearance of “design” in nature, but also because the film is already generating a negative reaction (including from some of the film’s subjects who come off in a highly unflattering way, including famed atheist-scientist Richard Dawkins).

As a demonstration of how the evolution police can mete out injustice, the film’s first “persecutee” is an evolutionist himself: Richard Sternberg. He does not doubt evolution, yet Sternberg’s very act of allowing a peer-reviewed research paper that presented evidence for intelligent design to be published in a science journal (Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington) led to his forced resignation and a career “ruined.” Sternberg, with two PhDs, was the target of the anti-creationist group National Center for Science Education and the Smithsonian Institution (where Sternberg was a researcher), as these groups orchestrated an effort to have him expelled from his position.

In another segment, Michael Shermer, head of the Skeptics Society, described Intelligent Design (ID) as mostly nonsense and would not come to the defense of fellow-evolutionist Sternberg. Shermer bizarrely contends that Sternberg must have done something wrong to have been forced out (even though Shermer admits on camera that he did not know what that might have been).

An hour and thirty minutes later, we watch atheist Dawkins sniff that evolution is a “fact” and “securely” so, and thus dissenters are either not sane or are stupid—or (somewhat more charitably) ignorant. In keeping with the film’s ongoing Cold War metaphors of freedom under attack, Dawkins, earlier in the film, describes the origins debate as a “skirmish” and a “war.”

The arch anti-creationist William Provine is seen as incorrectly stating that it was illegal to teach evolution in Tennessee’s schools during the time of the 1925 Scopes trial. Actually, the state allowed an instructor to teach evolution, unless an instructor said that humans evolved from an ape-like creature. Then there is the stubborn and impatient Michael Ruse, who insists on presenting a non-answer to the question of how the first living cell could have originated; he repeatedly states that it occurred on the “backs of crystals.”

At film’s end, Dawkins makes a remarkable concession—probably jaw-dropping for those who have read his books or watched his media interviews. When pressed by Stein, Dawkins allows for the possibility that life’s apparent design could have been produced by intelligent beings elsewhere in the universe—who themselves had evolved and then brought life here!

Between Sternberg and Dawkins, the film is punctuated by examples of shameful mistreatment (e.g., the highly qualified Guillermo Gonzalez, denied tenure at Iowa State University), expulsion (e.g., Caroline Crocker from George Mason University), and silliness (e.g., protestors outside AiG’s Creation Museum on opening day last May).

Other ID-sympathetic academics give accounts of their persecution in silhouette to maintain their anonymity; these segments bring back memories of the dissenting authors of Soviet Russia who wrote under pen names to avoid being expelled (usually to a frozen Siberia).

In the second half of the film, Expelled settles into a very serious tone, especially in those scenes when Stein visits World War II death camps and explores the connection between the Nazi worldview and Darwinian thinking. Stein is brilliant in these scenes as he goes with the flow of the story as it unfolds in front of him and as he carefully listens to the answers he receives—and then follows up with penetrating questions. He is obviously not working from a tight script.

Yet there are some bright lights and moments of sanity in this penetrating documentary. John Lennox of Oxford correctly points out that all scientists have biases and worldviews that they bring to their research—and then to the conclusions they draw from evidence. Also, David Berlinski, a mathematician and philosopher, sits down with Stein and eloquently brings up the problems with evolution (comparing it to a “room full of smoke”).

Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, despite its subtitle, is not an intelligent design movement promo, per se.2 Also, some IDers, such as Bruce Chapman of the Discovery Institute, admit on film that ID is not a Christian movement and that people of various faiths are involved. Another IDer, Paul Nelson, though a friend of biblical, young-earth creationists, regrettably offers a wrong definition of creationism. He declares that it is a movement of taking the Bible and fitting it into science. To the contrary, creationists do not “fit” the Scriptures into science. If they did, creationists would be engaged in taking man’s fallible interpretations of science and somehow trying to conform them to the Bible. God’s Word is a book of real history. Using this as our starting point, we can build a correct way of thinking and truly understand the universe. The Bible explains all that is in the universe.3

Although not an ID film, Expelled does present a scientific defense of the idea of intelligent design (one that AiG would largely accept). The incredible complexity seen in a molecule like DNA is shown on the screen (though viewers uninterested in science may have their eyes glaze over during this animated section). Expelled asks the question often posed by creation scientists: where does the new genetic information come from as a mechanism to drive molecules-to-man evolution? Natural selection cannot explain the rise of new genetic information.

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« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2008, 10:34:39 PM »

Overall, the film is more about exposing the fear of evolutionists in allowing free speech in scientific inquiry (and their accompanying tyrannical behavior) than it is an anti-evolution piece. Stein discovers an elitist scientific establishment that has exchanged science’s supposed quest for open-minded inquiry for harsh dogmatism. Freedom, “the essence of America” says Stein (a former civil rights lawyer), is easily taken away at universities, with qualified scientists expelled for not embracing evolution.

In one of the many ironic and hypocritical moments seen in the film, a Baptist university, Baylor University in Texas, is documented as persecuting one of its professors because he questioned evolution. The façade of a Baylor building then comes on the screen, and we see an inscription of a verse from Colossians 1. It declares that “in God, all things were created by Him.”

So, how will hard-core evolutionists attack this documentary? It is likely they will attack it on at least two major fronts by:4

   1. objecting to how the film equates the behavior of the totalitarian regimes of Nazi Germany and Communist Russia to the actions of Darwin-defenders who squash freedom
   2. attacking the film’s claim that there is a link between evolution and racism

Regarding the latter, we wish to point out that from his own words, Charles Darwin can be shown to be a racist (even though he advocated abolition). On the last page of his The Descent of Man, Darwin said he would rather be descended from a monkey than from a “savage.” Furthermore, he called those with dark skin “savage,” “low,” and “degraded.” Also, the subtitle of Darwin’s main work On the Origin of the Species happens to be: “The Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life” [emphasis added]. This is not at all surprising, for, as AiG president Ken Ham points out in the new book Darwin’s Plantation, Darwinian evolution claims that humans descended from ape-like ancestors, and this logically implies that certain “races” are closer to the apes than others.5
Conclusion

In summarizing Expelled’s ultimate goal, Stein declares that he wants to see a world where “scientists are supposed to be allowed to follow the evidence wherever it may lead, no matter what the implications are. Freedom of inquiry has been greatly compromised, and this is not only anti-American, it’s anti-science. It’s anti-the whole concept of learning.”6

AiG has not been sanguine about elements of the intelligent design movement and some of its well-intentioned activists. But having watched the movie twice now, we note that the film is not about trying to push ID on society, much less argue that ID should be mandated in schools (which AiG would not support).7 Also, the film makes it clear that the ID movement is not a Christian one (although many evangelicals are part of it). More than anything, the documentary seeks to expose the ruthlessness of radical atheists and evolutionists and their attempt to erode freedom in order to protect their own worldview. In its goal, Expelled has marvelously succeeded.

Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed
~~~~~~~

No Intelligence Allowed, is a documentary that appears to be about Intelligent Design and the shortcomings of Darwinism. The film is not just an exploration of the limitations of The Origin of Species, but a journey to uncover the mindset that Darwinism engendered among those with an agenda to replace traditional understandings of God with pure materialism.
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« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2008, 08:52:17 AM »

'Expelled' makers go on offensive against 'thought police'
Movie producers seeking court ruling refuting copyright claim

A court challenge to the new movie "Expelled: No Intelligence allowed," by Ben Stein is nothing more than an attempt on the part of the pro-evolution believers in the science community to stifle the free expression and debate of ideas, movie officials say.

"We are not surprised that opponents of our film are attempting to interfere with its important message," said Executive Producer Logan Craft. "As the movie documents, similar tactics are being used across the country against many of the researchers, scientists, and professors who want to engage in free debate within science but have inadequate resources to challenge the Establishment."

Craft, who also is chairman of Premise Media, continued, "However, we do have the platform to confront the 'thought police,' and we will work tirelessly to open the doors of free speech and inquiry."

The groundbreaking movie is scheduled to open in more than 1,000 theaters on Friday.

But it is facing an allegation of "unfounded copyright infringement" from representatives of XVIVO, LLC, a scientific animation company, over the movie's use of "original animation Premise Media created for the documentary."

Instead of waiting, Premise Media went to court this week in a pre-emptive effort to get the issue resolved. Its lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, seeks a declaratory judgment that there is no copyright or other infringement.

"Premise Media also seeks its attorneys' fees in responding to the XVIVO claims," the company said today.

The action resulted from "unfounded claims recently made by representatives of XVIVO. These claims have received wide distribution as part of an ongoing campaign attempting to discredit the film and its producers," the Premise announcement said.

"Premise Media has also learned of grassroot efforts that are under way to try to influence the ranking of Internet searches regarding 'EXPELLED' by those wanting to learn about the film. Their stated goal is an attempt to counter-site those searchers to other websites that criticize the themes in the movie," the company said.

"Said Executive Producer Walt Ruloff. "It is interesting that these efforts are made less than 10 days before the movie debuts and involve those who continually seek to thwart open debate.

"While bullying tactics may work against some individuals who are trying to explore the origins of life, it will not work against us. We certainly will not allow a small group of self-appointed gatekeepers to infringe our rights of free speech and our obligation to expose them for what they are -- namely, intellectual thugs unwilling to accept any dissent from Darwinian orthodoxy," he said.

Stein said it was unlikely he'd pull his punches about the movie based on such claims, either.

"I came to this project unsure what I would find," said Stein, "I am now amazed at the intolerance of many academic elites. I feel that it is my mission to speak out on behalf of targeted dissenters and fight for their freedom of speech and freedom of inquiry."

"Expelled" covers the following key questions:

    * Were we designed or are we simply products of random chance, mutations and evolution occurring without any plan over billions of years?

    * Is the debate over origins settled?

    * How should science deal with what appears to be evidence of design?

    * What should be taught to children and college students about our origins?

    * Is there any room for dissent from the evolutionary point of view?

    * Is it appropriate for eminent scientists who depart from strict evolutionary dogma to be fired and blacklisted, as is occurring in academia today?

    * Should government schools and other institutions be engaged in promoting the secular, materialistic worldview to the total exclusion of differing points of view?

    * Is science so advanced and so certain that it should be exempt from the societal norms of open dialogue and free debate?

    * Why is it simply inconceivable and unacceptable for some evolutionists to consider the possibility – no matter how remote – that our world might actually have a Creator?

XVIVO officials have alleged a segment of the movie portraying the complexity of the cell is patterned on segments of their own animation. Expelled officials say they created their own animation.

The claims of copyright infringement have been publicized largely by pro-evolution organizations such as the National Center for Science Education and prominent atheist Richard Dawkins.

"This is not a scientific battle; this is a worldview battle," "Expelled" producer Mark Mathis told WND Columnist Jill Stanek.

"'Expelled' connects atheism and Darwinism with no missing link, one of the film's two major flashpoints," she wrote. "Darwinism is a specific evolutionary theory that excludes everything but material processes in the design of all life forms. No Intelligent Design allowed."

"What's driving it is Darwinism is a foundational principle – scientific validation of secularism, atheism, liberalism – and that it strikes at the core of who they are," said Mathis.

"Secondarily, these scientists are the high priests of the biggest question ever asked. They have all the authority, knowledge, power, funding," continued Mathis. "This is ground they own exclusively. They look down their elitist noses at the unwashed ignorant religious masses and scoff. That's why they respond with such extreme hostility. They are very concerned that if this monolith cracks, then the whole thing could crash."

"Not only is Darwinism foundational to atheism, it is foundational to eugenics, the other reason for the left's apoplexy against 'Expelled,' according to Mathis. They cannot tolerate the connection 'Expelled' draws between Darwinism and Adolf Hitler," Stanek wrote.

"Or Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood."

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« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2008, 09:08:42 PM »

We saw it today! It was excellent, with an excellent turnout. Thought it very interesting to hear the 'elite scientists' calling people of faith 'ignorant' among other things. Dawkins was very flushtered at the end, as you said Pizza_Mahal. Interesting also, was the plan of the scientific community to keep exposing us to Darwin until they chip away at us 'ignorant religious people' and wear us out until we realize there is no God!!!!

They seem extremely arrogant and convinced of their own superiority - interesting.

Stein's presentation is excellent as he exposes their 'plan' and the hopelessness of their beliefs. They seem to beleive there's no ultimate reason for existence and, of course, no one to answer to after this life. One scientist even talks about killing himself if he gets an illness (which he's had) before he has pain - to him suicide is a viable action, completely up to his own discretion.

We prayed for these scientists that the LORD of heaven and earth would open their eyes.

One excellent animation showed the workings of a single cell - which is like a universe unto itself - amazing!!

By the end the audience was clapping and cheering as Stein summed up the point of this excellent documentary.

This is, in my family's opinion, a must see!!!!!!!!
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« Reply #4 on: April 21, 2008, 08:55:53 AM »

'Expelled' propelled to box office top 10
Documentary scores estimated $3.2 million in opening weekend

Opening on about half the screens of other top 10 movies, "Expelled," Ben Stein's documentary on academia's censorship of any ideas hinting of intelligent design, scored an impressive $3.2 million in its opening weekend – more than all but eight other movies.

"Expelled" rolled out in 1,052 theaters, compared with 3,151 for the top grosser, "The Forbidden Kingdom."

The movie, promoted heavily in conservative and Christian circles throughout the U.S., performed much better than the weekend's other new current-affairs documentary, "Where in the World Is Osama bin Laden?" That movie, the second feature from "Super Size Me" filmmaker Morgan Spurlock, banked a mere $143,299 in 102 locations, for a terrible $1,405 average. "Expelled" brought in nearly $3,000 per screen.
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« Reply #5 on: April 23, 2008, 11:12:59 PM »

Wow!! My family and I are very glad to hear that!

We're probably going to see it again tomorrow - there were so many interesting facts we feel we need to see it again and are glad to support this effort.

Do you know if it will come out on DVD eventually?
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« Reply #6 on: April 23, 2008, 11:30:18 PM »

Maybe someone else can answer differently but I haven't heard anything about it coming out anywhere besides the theaters at this point.
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« Reply #7 on: April 24, 2008, 12:14:22 AM »

Brothers and Sisters,

I don't go to many movies, but I do want to go see this one. I do want to support good and decent efforts like this. From everything I've heard and seen about this film, it needs to be shown in our public schools. However, we know this isn't going to happen, but maybe we can get most of our kids and grandkids to see this.

I think this is an excellent step in exposing the foolishness and evil of teaching evolution. The so-called intellectuals believing and teaching Darwin need a dose of reality.

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« Reply #8 on: April 24, 2008, 10:37:21 PM »

'Expelled' to Yoko Ono:
Imagine a Constitution
Makers of intelligent design film respond
to lawsuit over brief use of 1970s anthem

The makers of Ben Stein's "Expelled" movie, which opened last weekend at No. 10 nationwide and already has become one of the top 25 documentaries of all time, say the U.S. Constitution will be their defense against a lawsuit filed by Yoko Ono.

Ono and the sons of "Imagine" songwriter John Lennon, Sean Ono Lennon and Julian Lennon, are suing the documentary makers for using a brief clip of the popular song in the film.

Lennon's 1971 song, which suggests an evolutionary utopia without heaven or hell, has been ranked No. 3 by Rolling Stone magazine on its list of the 500 greatest songs.

The action, brought in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, demands the filmmakers and their distributors remove "Imagine" from the film.

The makers of "Expelled," however, contended today they are protected by the fair use doctrine, which allows presentation of brief segments of copyrighted material for commentary. They called the suit just another attack on freedom in the U.S., a focal point of the movie that contends opponents of the Darwinian theory of evolution are being censored.

"Expelled" covers the following key questions:

    * Were we designed or are we simply products of random chance, mutations and evolution occurring without any plan over billions of years?

    * Is the debate over origins settled?

    * How should science deal with what appears to be evidence of design?

    * What should be taught to children and college students about our origins?

    * Is there any room for dissent from the evolutionary point of view?

    * Is it appropriate for eminent scientists who depart from strict evolutionary dogma to be fired and blacklisted, as is occurring in academia today?

    * Should government schools and other institutions be engaged in promoting the secular, materialistic worldview to the total exclusion of differing points of view?

    * Is science so advanced and so certain that it should be exempt from the societal norms of open dialogue and free debate?

    * Why is it simply inconceivable and unacceptable for some evolutionists to consider the possibility – no matter how remote – that our world might actually have a Creator?

The makers, as WND reported, previously went to court seeking a ruling after a company called XVIVO, LLC, alleged a piece of animation in the movie was an infringement on their work.

Filmmaker Premise Media filed a lawsuit last week in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas seeking a declaratory judgment that there is no copyright or other infringement, and the movie opened on schedule.

The new claim by Ono, however, opens up a new front "in the culture wars," the company said.

"Yoko Ono and others have now filed lawsuits challenging the film's use and critique of John Lennon's song 'Imagine.' One of the suits seeks to ban free speech through preliminary injunctive relief, which essentially means that they are trying to expel 'Expelled' as it is now being shown in theaters," the company said in a statement released to WND.

"If you really listen to the lyrics of 'Imagine' then you realize that it represents everything that the Neo-Darwinists want. 'Imagine there's no Heaven … No hell below us … Nothing to kill or die for And no religion too…' That's exactly what the Darwinist establishment wants to do: get rid of religion," said Walt Ruloff, CEO of Premise Media. "And that's what we point out when we play less than 15 seconds of the song and show some of the lyrics on screen."

Premise Media Chairman Logan Craft said, "The fair use doctrine is a well established principle that gives the public the right to freely use portions of copyrighted materials for the purposes of commentary and criticism. While some may not like what we have to say or how we say it, we have the free speech right to do so – just as other political and social commentators have been doing for years."

Officials said the company did not ask for a license to use the song, because there was no obligation to do so.

"Unbiased viewers of the film will see that the 'Imagine' clip was used as part of a social commentary in the exercise of free speech. The brief clip – consisting of a mere 10 words – was used to contrast the messages in the documentary and was not used as an endorsement of 'Expelled,'" the company said.

Ben Stein, himself, weighed in on the controversy.

"So Yoko Ono is suing over the brief constitutionally protected use of a song that wants us to 'Imagine no possessions'?" he asked. "Maybe instead of wasting everyone's time trying to silence a documentary she should give the song to the world for free. After all, 'imagine all the people sharing all the world … You may say I'm a dreamer But I'm not the only one I hope someday you'll join us And the World can live as one.'"

The film opened on about half the screens of other top 10 features and scored an impressive $3.2 million in its opening weekend – more than all but eight other movies.

"Expelled" rolled out in 1,052 theaters, compared with 3,151 for the top grosser, "The Forbidden Kingdom."

The movie, promoted heavily in conservative and Christian circles throughout the U.S., performed much better than the weekend's other new current-affairs documentary, "Where in the World Is Osama bin Laden?" That movie, the second feature from "Super Size Me" filmmaker Morgan Spurlock, banked a mere $143,299 in 102 locations, for a $1,405 average. "Expelled" brought in nearly $3,000 per screen.
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« Reply #9 on: May 01, 2008, 10:32:57 PM »

I haven't been able to see the movie, but here is a poem I i think God helepd me write) in memory of poor John.

"Imagine" sang poor Lennon,
hoping not to fry,
for all his life of sinning
that should have made him cry,

Rejecting the one who died for Him,
He'd rather believe the lie.
Now in Hell beneath us,
O how he wishes he could die.

(John 3:36)  "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him." 
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« Reply #10 on: May 04, 2008, 11:33:05 PM »

Ben Stein, himself, weighed in on the controversy.

"So Yoko Ono is suing over the brief constitutionally protected use of a song that wants us to 'Imagine no possessions'?" he asked. "Maybe instead of wasting everyone's time trying to silence a documentary she should give the song to the world for free. After all, 'imagine all the people sharing all the world … You may say I'm a dreamer But I'm not the only one I hope someday you'll join us And the World can live as one.'"

Excellent come-back, Ben.
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« Reply #11 on: June 01, 2008, 11:55:51 PM »

Intelligent Design Film Boosts Academic Freedom Bills, Advocates Say
Kevin Mooney
Staff Writer

(CNSNews.com) - A documentary released earlier this year may be partly responsible for "academic freedom bills" now advancing at the state level. Those bills are intended to strengthen the free speech rights of those who seek to examine the full range of views on evolutionary theory.

The film "Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed" suggests that biologists, chemists, and astronomers have been censored, denied tenure, and even fired in some cases after raising questions about Charles Darwin's 150-year-old theory that life results from random mutations and natural selection.

The film has prompted some states to consider legislation that would insulate teachers and students who believe there is evidence of "design" in nature, Walt Ruloff, a co-producer for the film, told Cybercast News Service.

In fact, within the next two weeks, one Louisiana state legislator expects his bill to reach the desk of Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-La.) where it will become law. The Louisiana Science Education Act, which passed by a vote of 35-0 in the state senate, has broad bipartisan support, said Rep. Ben Nevers, the bill's chief sponsor.
"Some teachers are afraid to teach certain subject matters, and they want to know the materials they bring into the class have been approved, and I think this piece of legislation provides them with protection. It also brings consistency to the school systems in our state."

Nevers told Cybercast News Service he has not seen the film "Expelled" and is more concerned about keeping the school curriculum up to date with scientific advances.

"This bill does not allow the teaching of any religious belief, or religious theory, so if it's not science...then certainly it couldn't be brought into our classrooms in Louisiana," he added .

Caroline Crocker, a biological scientist who appears in "Expelled," testified before the Louisiana House Committee on Education earlier this month.

"Our freedom to think and consider more than one option is part of what has given America her competitive edge in the international marketplace of ideas," she said in her testimony. "The current denial of academic freedom rights for those who are judged politically incorrect may put this in jeopardy.

"But I am also aware that Louisiana prides itself on being a melting pot for all, where people are comfortable with, and respectful of, divergent viewpoints," she continued. "Therefore, I am in favor of SB 733, which will help ensure the intellectually honest consideration of innovative, and possibly unpopular, scientific theories.

Model legislation

So far this year, legislation has been introduced in Florida, Missouri, South Carolina, Alabama and Michigan as well as in Louisiana.

"We are very excited to have seen some movement here," Ruloff said. "The idea behind the academic freedom bills is to allow teachers and students to ask critical questions and to weigh both sides of the scientific debate on evolution without fear of reprisal. Hopefully more states will follow suit and we can begin to see a change in the orthodoxy that has taken hold."

The bills vary somewhat in their language but they all proceed from a central theme, Casey Luskin, a scholar with the Discovery Institute, explained in an interview.

"The legislation protects the rights of teachers and students to discuss a wide range of scientific topics in the classroom, even if they happen to be critical of modern Darwinism," he said. "We would like to see evolution taught in an unbiased fashion and also want students to learn how to think like scientists and to weigh the evidence for and against."

The Discovery Institute is a non-partisan think tank based in Seattle, Wash., that supports research by scientists and other scholars who challenge various aspects of Darwinian theory -- and who are "developing the scientific theory known as Intelligent Design." The institute "encourages schools to improve science education by teaching students more fully about the theory of evolution, including the theory's scientific weaknesses as well is its strengths."

To this end, the institute has posted a model academic freedom bill on the Internet that provides teachers and students with protection at the elementary, high school and graduate school level.

The proposed legislation reads in part as follows: "No K-12 public school teacher or teacher or instructor in any two-year or four-year public institution of higher education, or in any graduate or adult program thereof, shall be terminated, disciplined, denied tenure, or otherwise discriminated against for presenting scientific information pertaining to the full range of scientific views regarding biological or chemical evolution..."

Some state officials sought input from Discovery, while others went in their own direction, Luskin said. The legislation currently under consideration is narrowly tailored so students can be exposed to the evidence both for and against evolution without getting into alternative theories like Intelligent Design, he added. Moreover, unlike the Discovery proposal, the pending state bills only cover the grades K-12 and do not touch on four-year colleges or graduate institutions, Luskin said.

While the publicity connected with "Expelled" has opened a nationwide dialogue on free speech within the scientific community, the various state proposals should not be seen as somehow advancing or promoting Intelligent Design, he said.

In fact, the Discovery Institute actually opposed the attempt of Dover, Pa., school officials to require the teaching of Intelligent Design in their school district back in 2005. (A federal judge reversed that policy in December of that same year in the case of Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District.)

"Our priority with Intelligent Design is to see it advance as science and not as political hot potato," Casey said. "We want to see Intelligent Design debated by scientists, not by politicians. When the issue becomes politicized, that tends to result in increased persecution of scientists supportive of Intelligent Design and in fact this is exactly what we have seen in the wake of Dover."

Meanwhile, in Florida -- where there appeared to be significant momentum behind the Evolution Academic Freedom Act just a few weeks ago -- the state legislature ultimately failed to agree on a final bill.

There is no evidence to suggest that any teacher in Florida ever lost their job as result of advocating a particular position on evolution, Jill Chamberlain, a spokesperson for Republican House Speaker Marco Rubio, said in an interview.

Therefore, there was some concern in the Florida House that the Senate bill was far too expansive and would have allowed some teachers to stray from the approved curriculum, Chamberlain said. For this reason, the bill was rewritten on the house side, Chamberlain said.

With the legislature out of session for the remainder of the year and with term limitations kicking in for some of the bill's supporters, including Speaker Rubio, its future is uncertain, she observed.

Earlier this year, Florida lawmakers attended a private screening of "Expelled" in Tallahassee, where they met with the film's producers and with Ben Stein, the former presidential speechwriter-turned-Hollywood actor who serves as the film's narrator. At the time, Stein expressed support for the Florida's Evolution Academic Freedom Act. (See interview with Ben Stein.)

Some critics, however, question the need for such legislation.

"What are teachers not able to teach now that will be able to teach as a result of these bills?" asked Joshua Rosenau, a spokesman for the National Center for Science Education (NCSE). "What is it exactly that these bills are supposed to protect? It seems to me like the teachers already have most of the rights that these (bills) protect, and so there certainly is a suspicion that these are intended to open the door to creationism and other topics that don't belong in science classes."

Moreover, the kind of instruction that would occur on the high school level, if the bills become law, would be counterproductive, Rosenau argued. The presentation of alternative viewpoints that stray from the scientific consensus is better suited for the college environment, he said.

"Students at high school don't have background to understand the scientific debate because they haven't learned the basics yet, Rosenau observed. High school should be about what the scientists agree on so the students are prepared. That's where this whole idea behind these bills gets weird. A 101 class in college is where it's more appropriate to get into where scientists who are on the cutting edge have disputes. Instead of protecting rights, this could be about promoting bad pedagogy.

Rosenau's organization has been highly critical of the "Expelled" film saying the accusations of scientific censorship are greatly overblown. An entire Web site is devoted to exposing what the NSCE views as "anti-science propaganda."

For her part, Crocker, the biologist featured in the film, has responded to the NSCE's arguments. She says the NSCE includes numerous inaccuracies of its own.

The NSCE's criticisms of the Louisiana bill do not hold up under close examination, and she encourages interested parties to read the bill.

"The legislation is fairly straightforward," she said in an interview. "Teachers should be allowed to teach the science, and it specifically excludes the teaching of religion, so I don't see that as a problem. It [the Louisiana bill] just allows teachers to teach evidence for and against controversial theories while providing for academic freedom. To me that's a very good thing."
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HisDaughter
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« Reply #12 on: November 07, 2008, 01:12:39 PM »

I finally was able to see this documentary last night.  Yes!  It is finally available on DVD.
As with "Obsession" I encourage all of you to view this film.  I won't go into detail because you can get it yourself, but I will say especially interesting to me was the link between Evolution and Hitler.
Between Islam and Evolution America is in real danger folks, as is the rest of the world!  Call me a doomsayer if you like but I'm just telling it like it is.
Grammyluv
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« Reply #13 on: November 10, 2008, 06:52:55 PM »

I finally was able to see this documentary last night.  Yes!  It is finally available on DVD.
As with "Obsession" I encourage all of you to view this film.  I won't go into detail because you can get it yourself, but I will say especially interesting to me was the link between Evolution and Hitler.
Between Islam and Evolution America is in real danger folks, as is the rest of the world!  Call me a doomsayer if you like but I'm just telling it like it is.
Grammyluv

Hello GrammyLuv,

As Christians, we already know that all of the Promises of GOD Will be fulfilled, and the Tribulation Period detailed in Bible Prophecy is one of those Promises. This will be DOOM for this EVIL world, but it will be on the opposite end of the spectrum for Christians. When these bad things start coming to pass, it will simply mean that we are closer to going to our REAL HOME WITH JESUS CHRIST IN HEAVEN FOR ETERNITY. It's sad to consider what awaits EVIL for Eternity, and I think that the time grows short to accept CHRIST as LORD and SAVIOUR!

If we look, we can see a host of links between EVIL and coming Bible Prophecy. GOD has been warning us for thousands of years now in HIS WORD, so there is no excuse. All we can do is keep trying to help them and pray for them. They will bear the consequences, good or bad, for their denial or acceptance of CHRIST. All Christians know that ONLY JESUS CHRIST can rescue us from the curse of sin and death. Sadly, most EVIL appears to be in a mocking mode of CHRIST! Many will even hate Christians for trying to help them. If the End Days are approaching, the Bible tells us these things will be so.

Love In Christ,
Tom

Matthew 5:6 NASB  "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
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