Sunday, November 4, 2007

Ben Stein and Intelligent Design

Ben Stein, he of "Bueller" fame, is apparently heading up a film on ID. The film is entitled Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed and focuses on ID, the "flaws" in evolutionary theory, and the controversy of how this aspect of science is taught in public schools. From the run-up I've heard about, this type of film is exactly what rational, pro-evolution thinkers need to come up with. Unfortunately, the first major volley in the evolution-ID wars to hit the big screen will come from the ID camp.

Ben Stein is a household name. Most people look at him as a very intelligent, reasonable person, and many will probably leave with the opinion of "If Ben Stein supports ID and thinks evolution is all wrong, and he's a smart guy, then he must be right, so I guess ID is correct." ID has the financial backing (from groups like the Discovery Institute) to put out big-budget movies, hire the notable names, and get people talking about the controversy. Stein was recently on "The O'Reilly Factor" where he and Billo were casually laughing and joking about those silly "Darwinists" and discussing how damaging the ideas of evolution are to society. It made me ill to watch.

The time has come to fight back, utilizing the same methods and funding that ID has. Some form of significant funding needs to help produce an entertaining, engaging, and educational film that illustrates the true nature of evolutionary theory. Science is getting it's collective ass kicked by IDers in the public realm because science feels that the facts simply speak for themselves. When presenting the case for evolution, most scientists feel they are getting their point across in a dynamic fashion. (Sorry guys, but we're not always the most effective at engaging the target audience.) Most refuse, or struggle mightily, to get funding and consult some media specialists to make a "trendy"film that entertains and teaches that evolution is a fact!!

In the 80s, science declared the creationism movement dead, after creation science was ruled to not be acceptable for the classroom by the supreme court. It came back as ID. Several years ago, ID was proclaimed to be irrelevant and essentially dead by many scientists. Two months later, it was on the cover of Time magazine. After the recent Kitzmiller v. Dover court case, science had a tremendous legal victory over ID, and many considered this case closed. Now, Expelled and Ben Stein prepare to bring ID to the mainstream audience on the big screen. What will evolution science do to respond? How will we put the final nail in the ID coffin?

Thanks to Dr. Randy Olson, make of Flock of Dodos, and Derek and Swoopy of Skepticality for some of the information used above.

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