The movie “Expelled”

If the movie Expelled is playing in your area, take time to see it as soon as possible. It may not be in theaters for long if it does not get much support. It is very worth seeing if you are at all interested in evolution and the validity of its place in public school curriculum.

The movie was produced by actor Ben Stein, who is Jewish, so it is not Christians versus science. Rather it exposes the scientific reasons why the theory of evolution doesn’t work. Even evolutionists struggle to answer the hard questions about it. Please make every effort to see this movie, to support free speech in America and the right of children to not be taught falsehood in schools.

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  1. I’m not trying to start a debate, but I am curious–do you also support the right of children to not be taught Judeo-Christian beliefs (that may go against their own religious beliefs) in school, or do you approve of evolution being taught as a theory along with other theories as to how the world may have started?

    I’ve tried to become more and more educated on this subject, and I’ve watched a number of videos from respected leaders in different church denominations who believe that both creationism and evolution can be taught in harmony with one another.

  2. Oh, and I probably will go see the movie–if I can get some free time!

  3. I believe that parents should have the ultimate authority over what their children learn. But when we put our children into the public education system, we are giving some of those rights to the school. I don’t think there is a curriculum out there that won’t undermine someone’s beliefs. That’s just one of the reasons my kids are homeschooled. My husband and I don’t feel confident that the public education system these days will support our teaching. Evolutionism is only one example of that.

    I do hope many people decide to go to see the movie. Too many people these days were taught to believe evolution as fact instead of just one hypothesis.

    Mary

  4. zachtelmar says:

    “who believe that both creationism and evolution can be taught in harmony with one another.”

    I don’t think it’s possible that they could be taught in harmony, per se. Maybe I’m just being to specific regarding your wording.
    But to give a youth the opportunity to hear both sides of the story is all I want. In all-too-many cases, evolution is taught as the one and only explanation. No chance is given to formulate a different opinion; despite the fact that evolution is classified as a ‘theory’, it seems to be taught as ‘fact’ in many schools.

    As a homeschooler just beginning high school, myself, I have access to multiple curriculums that allow a broader frame of mind. It worries me, though, the possibility that those in public school aren’t being given a proper opportunity to decide for themselves what they believe.

    On topic: I’ve always been intrigued regarding the topic of evolution, creationism, and the conflict between them.
    I’m going to put every effort into seeing this movie!
    It’s only being shown in select theaters, however (at least in my area). God willing I’ll have the chance to see it, though. :]

    Is Expelled going to be released on DVD?

  5. “…were taught to believe evolution as fact instead of just one hypothesis.”

    And it’s not even a valid/sound theory that can stimulate a reasonable hypothesis. Science demands rigor and asks that we study issues by observing, replicating and measuring. Macro evolution, as taught by most colleges and universities, doesn’t have any of the scientific support and yet as you stated, is taught as fact.

    I find it ironic that some of the “experts” said that Christians are idiots for their belief in a God that they personally know, and then turn around and tell us with a straight face that maybe an alien came and seeded the earth and thats how we got here (or on the back of crystals??). Funny if it weren’t so serious.

  6. thanks for letting us know. i look forward to seeing it.

  7. People have misintepreted what creationist’s believe. If you look in the museum of natyral history in london. It says that : Creationist believe that God created everything as it is today.
    That is totally wrong and deeply misguided.
    God created everything, yes. But Evolution does happen but not in the way the majority of scientists believe.
    But how can mutations evolve? (That is what they believe)
    Take for example over time 2 dogs who reproduce can create all types of dogs because of their genetics, over a period of thousands of years but not over millions.
    We need to be able to defend our faith scientifically and not just use excuses because that is how we have become ridiculed.
    I got my answers from: http://www.answersingenesis.org

    http://zelebrity.wordpress.com

  8. http://martyholman.com/?p=239#respond Hey Mary… this is another post by someone else about that same movie. There are some cool comments on it… BTW, the post was written by my pastor, and I know some of the commenters. Very interesting!

  9. Creationism should not be taught in science class because it’s not SCIENCE. It’s not testable. Any time that there’s a problem with I.D., where it doesn’t hold up to scientific standards, the response is simply, “God did it,” or, “God created it to look that way.” There’s no way to test that. Whether evolution is right or wrong, it’s science.

    Creationism and I.D. (they’re both the same thing) are not science and don’t belong in a science classroom.

    By the way, though, evolution is a fact. People get confused when they hear the word “theory.” Gravity is a “theory.” You wouldn’t go around calling people “Newtonists” for accepting gravity, would you? Relativity is a theory. Am I an Einsteinist for accepting it?

    The difference between science and religion is that science makes predictions based on evidence. Religion gives authoritative commands based on tradition.

  10. jeffsdeepthoughts says:

    I believe firmly that the account in Genesis is highly consistent with the evolutionary account. I don’t believe it would be appropriate to spend instructional time in the schools on this, mostly because there’s no good reasons to then open the door to every other major world religion’s creation account. The fact that I think Genesis is true is in fact rather irrelevant, because the adherents of other beliefs think there beliefs are true.
    By the time we are done, we will have sent our children to a course in comparative religion… If we’re going to do that, we ought to be honest about it and not call it a science class.

    There are lots of people who say that evolution is good science. There are lots of people who say it’s mediocre (or worse) science. I don’t have any particular issue with either of these groups.
    I do have an issue with something else, though. My issue is not with folks “on the ground.” It’s with folks up in the towers who are writing books, homeschool curriculum, and sites like ‘answers in Genesis’.
    The people at the top of the debate ought to know better than to continue to use old, worn out, and disproven arguments.
    All this discussion about “evolution as a theory and not a fact” just misses the point, and frankly, it makes we Christians look ignorant. The reason it’s wrong-headed is because that’s all science can do: produce theories.
    Science simply can’t and doesn’t generate facts. There are lots of arguments about what counts as a “fact” and who determines a “fact”… This is not so cut-and-dried. But there is nearly universal agreement that science creates theory. So yes, evolution is a theory. But the scientific explanation for what causes sickness is a theory; the scientific account of gravity is a theory; so is our explanation for why earthquakes happen, and why rain storms occur, and why the moon orbits the Earth.
    As Christian’s we have the right to critique science. When it’s doing wrong, we ought to speak up. But when the very first words out of our mouth betray the fact that we don’t understand how science operates, then we shouldn’t expect to be given a seat at the table where really complex issues (like the origins of life) are debated.
    The stakes are so important in this, because the contempt we manufacture for ourselves in this area infects the expectations and perceptions people have about Christianity as a whole.
    There are valid criticisms of evolutionary theory. But this isn’t one of them. (The argument from entropy is the other commonly used argument that doesn’t work either, by the way.)
    It’s completely true that evolutionary scientists haven’t done any better than Christians at listening to the other side. But the bottom line is this:
    Secular scientists aren’t claiming that the beliefs they have ought to encourage them to act more moral. It’s not hypocritical, then, when they aren’t more moral for them. It is for us, as Christians, because we’re claiming that morality is part of our beliefs.
    Interesting debate!
    -Jeff

  11. My purpose in mentioning the movie was not to host a debate, where I counter every argument. But here are a few things that came to my mind when I read the most recent replies.

    #1- I agree that teaching a variety of theories about how the world began would be more similar to a comparative religion class than science.

    #2- I haven’t seen evidence that ‘proves’ the theory of evolution. I don’t believe that the theory of evolution can be tested, any more than we can go back to the foundations of the earth to see God walking in the garden of Eden.

    #3– There are currently many very well-educated scientists who have come to see the many problems with evolutionary theory. IN the end, you have to decide for yourself which to believe. I feel very comfortable with putting my faith on the side of intelligent design and creation.

  12. I took my 2 oldest daughters to see this movie yesterday. It was a well done film, packed with a lot of information. I hope to see it again – this time with pen and paper.

  13. Shannon H says:

    I was taught evolution in school (public school) and the Bible at church and I have reconciled the two in a way I feel perfectly comfortable with. I think we as parents should help our children assimilate what they learn in school with our world view (or if it’s abhorrent, then choose private school or homeschooling). As a student of American history, for example, I take issue with how a variety of eras/events are presented in elementary textbooks, and so I’ll be teaching my son with additional sources, and I think that will be to his benefit. Knowledge is power.

  14. Well now you know, evolution is one of the topics you can’t mention without winding up hosting a debate. A few others include gun control, abortion, and something called the designated hitter rule, although I have no idea what that is.

    I’ve followed the whole evolution/ID thing pretty closely, and – no reason you should trust my opinion on this, I’m just some guy on the interwebs – but Expelled is full of some very familiar creationist canards.

    If anyone out there is really interested, here are a couple things to consider. First, like many words, the meaning of “theory” changes depending on the context in which you use it. In a scientific context it means something different from what it means in everyday speech. You can find a good explanation of fact vs. theory here. Briefly, theory is an explanatory and predictive model for facts. A rock falling 16 feet in 1 second is a fact, acceleration of 9.8m/s^2 is a fact. Gravitation is theory. Both are important and practical.

    Then there are the many canards creationists and ID’rs repeat over and over, like mixing up abiogenesis and evolution or that there are no transitional fossils (not true). A good discussion of those misunderstandings can be found at Understanding Evolution from Berkeley.

    The most egregious misunderstanding – a lie actually – in Expelled is that evolutionary theory somehow leads to Nazism and other atrocities. This is the worst kind of ad homonym attack. If Hitler misapplied Darwin’s theory that has no bearing on its veracity. He made chemical weapons too; should chemistry be discarded for Intelligent Alchemy? Evil is a human trait. It finds expression in any human endeavor, including religion.

    My apologies, I know you didn’t invite this comment specifically but if you want to know about evolution, Ben Stein may not be the most credible source.

  15. I just wanted to point out that the Jewish faith has the same creation story as the Christian faith does, so Ben Stein’s participation isn’t necessarily an indication that he’s neutral on that point. Also, there are some critiques of the methods used to tell the story in the film (omission of some key points in Darwin’s theories, for example). There’s a website called Expelled Exposed that goes into more detail.

    I think there’s definitely room for scientists to believe in God. But there’s a difference between that and Intelligent Design. The first can help give context to the usefulness of a scientific discovery (like the ethics of genetic testing). But the second steps too closely to forcing a scientific discovery into what’s expected by religious training.

    There was an article I read about the concerns that people had when it was discovered that the earth isn’t at the center of the universe, because it contradicted the viewpoint that man was the highest of God’s creation, and therefore had a physical place displaying that. Or that finding that there were multiple solar systems, and possibly other planets with life on them called into question the way that life off of Earth might have intelligent life, but not humans — and so how would be impacted by the concepts of original sin, and redemption by Christ’s sacrifice.

    The reaction to that was to deny the pattern of the solar system (and the existence of other solar systems) because it contradicted the interpretation of the Bible. We laugh at that now, but it was a life-or-death issue at the time. But now we know that it’s a rotation around the sun, and our faith is not at all troubled by this.

    What I’m saying is that faith can expand to hold science. But science shouldn’t be expanded to hold faith. When faith fits, it’s because it’s testable, reproducible, falsifiable and of a predictive nature. We can say with faith, that Jesus walked on water. But we can’t base a scientific idea on how water behaves with the knowledge that one man walked on it.

    However, we can understand polarity, hydrogen bonding and the unique structure of ice, and still believe that at one point in time, perhaps never to be repeated, water was solid like dry land.

    The goal of science isn’t to prove the Bible (or to disprove it either) but to uncover and explore the truth about the phenomena that’s being studied. The purpose of faith is to give context to why we even care to study these things.

    But Intelligent Design is different: by saying that a problem is irreducible, and therefore divinely created, removes the ability of science to do it’s job: to keep asking questions until the irreducible is, well…reduced!

    Faith instructs us, at times, to stop asking. To submit, and to trust, and let God handle these things for us. Science isn’t supposed to submit. It’s supposed to keep digging for the truth. But this doesn’t put it at odds with faith. It’s a different tool, for a different job.

    There -have- been studies that discuss evolution, in a scale that can be seen at this time: some relate to pupfish in the Mojave, also studies on yeasts, and in germ theory (studies on influenza virus). Even understanding dog breeds is a study in evolution. Evolution doesn’t mean that God didn’t have a hand, somewhere (if you believe in God.) But science isn’t supposed to be looking for the hand. It’s just supposed to be looking for what’s out there. If it finds a hand, great! But that’s not what it’s looking for.

    It’s very important to be able to have a fluency in scientific thought and language. This is not just to understand how the world works, but also to know when science overruns itself (Tuskeegee experiments, some animal testing), when it’s just plain daft (Radithor) or when it’s not gone far enough (learning about heart attack symptoms from studying men and omitting women).

    Fluency comes from a mature understanding of the basics of science: understanding what is and isn’t a theory (and the rest of the scientific method.) This is not irreconcilable with faith (at least, not to me!)

    The problem w/ID isn’t that it’s faith based (there’s tons of studies done on the effects of prayer, for example, and there are plenty of scientists that believe in God) but that it’s not able to hold up against the rigor of scientific standards. If it could, it would definitely be accepted.

  16. I think you should just look at the evidence without taking any religion into account. Then later on in life decide if a particular faith or mythology inspires you.
    My own story was that I was brought up creationist but after looking at not just Biology but Geology, Astronomy etc… I found that most of the main stream science that is taught made more sense to me than the theories taught by my church as far as material things go. After this I then came to my own conclusion that religion is not meant to explain hard material things but more the emotional ethical cultural side that cannot be nailed down as easy as testing a rock sample. My own opinion anyways, and everyone has a right to their own opinion true or false : )