expelled?

i’m not sure what i was expecting when i saw ben stein’s expelled this weekend.  it’s a documentary, narrated by mr. stein, essentially giving his viewpoint on scientific community corruption by the dogma of darwinism.  it seemed to me very personal in tone and content.

history has been described as a conversation of ideas, and popular ideas about science for two hundred years have been reductionist and materialistic.  reductionist because they assumed a relatively small body of laws governed the physical universe.  materialistic because they believed this body of laws was adequate to account for the universe we observe.  to distill this down to a simple statement of popular thought: “science almost has it figured out”.   these weren’t scientific ideas, per se.  they were popular thought about science.

darwin’s contribution to modern thought was his proposal that a mechanism exists adequate to explain life. he didn’t do this as a scientist, developing a hypothesis and verifying it experimentally.  he did it as a philosopher, conceiving an idea and throwing it into the sphere of philosophical debate.  it’s easy to understand why darwin’s proposal was accepted so readily – it’s completely in agreement with the “…all figured out” sentiment of popular thought. 

stein is critical of modern darwinism on two counts.  the first is that darwin’s proposal has been accepted so religiously.  darwinism has become the shibboleth of entrance to the mainstream scientific and academic community.  a scientist or professor who dares question darwin is treated with all the respect given a reformation protestant before the pope.  such thoughts are considered dangerous and the individual is banned from public discourse. 

there is nothing scientific about this.  if someone questions einstein or planck their hypothesis is tested on merit.  questioning darwin is summarily unacceptable.

stein’s second critique follows from the francis schaeffer’s observation that “ideas have consequences”.  it was an easy step from darwin’s natural selection to nietzsche’s nihilism and his super-man.  humanity’s responsibility, our moral imperative, is to take the next step up the evolutionary ladder.  and survival of the fittest means, of necessity, removal of the unfit.  darwin’s cousin, sir francis galton proposed exactly that with his science of eugenics.

eugenics became a significant driver of public policy in scientifically-motivated countries like the united states and germany.  in the us it led to around 65,000 forced sterilizations of those carrying “inferior” genes such as native americans, blacks, the mentally retarded, blind, deaf, epileptic, or deformed.  it spawned planned parenthood and the hemlock society.  in germany forced sterilizations were over 350,000.  eugenics was the rationale and motivation for the holocaust.  mr. stein points to both these outcomes.

given the motivation of the pro-darwin crowd it’s no wonder they censure criticism so harshly.  by naming their religion “science” they’ve won a level of government protection and sponsorship far beyond medieval europe.  

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3 Responses to “expelled?”

  1. Cassie Says:

    how very thorough and enlightening.

  2. Andrea Says:

    I can’t wait to see it when it comes here. We live in a very small town so it takes awhile. =)

  3. darwin survival of the fittest Says:

    […] by mr. stein, essentially giving his viewpoint on scientific community corruption by the dogma ofhttps://fierybones.wordpress.com/2008/04/28/expelled/”Assuming 20/20 is here to stay, the solution is to incorporate it into the official calender” – BA […]

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