Monday, April 28, 2008

Expelled Gets Expunged

The Blue Collar Scientist blog has an excellent post that collects recent movie critic reviews of the creationist propaganda piece, "Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed":

I just did a quick google search on reviews of Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, and have come up with the following gems for your entertainment. And I have to say, my respect for movie reviews has gone up a lot in this process - not that I disrespected them before, but I did not have a lot of (ahem) faith that movie reviewers would be able to engage with the scientific issues as well as they have. In my searchings, I didn’t find any positive reviews that weren’t associated with religious or right-wing political publications - and then only two of those.

His collection of reviews is rather comprehensive, so go check it out. I'll quote just a few here:

The Star Tribune gives it one-half out of four stars:

According to “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed,” the source of all evil in the modern world is Darwinism, a philosophy that, the film posits, is responsible for everything from atheism to abortion, euthanasia to the Holocaust.

The New York Times leads with:

One of the sleaziest documentaries to arrive in a very long time, “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed” is a conspiracy-theory rant masquerading as investigative inquiry.

Mixing physical apples and metaphysical oranges at every turn “Expelled” is an unprincipled propaganda piece that insults believers and nonbelievers alike. In its fudging, eliding and refusal to define terms, the movie proves that the only expulsion here is of reason itself.

From Time:

It’s in the film’s final third that it runs entirely off the rails as Stein argues that there is a clear line from Darwinism to euthanasia, abortion, eugenics and–wait for it–Nazism. Theories of natural selection, it’s claimed, were a necessary if not sufficient condition for Hitler’s killing machine to get started. The truth, of course, is that the only necessary and sufficient condition for human beings to murder one another is the simple fact of being human. We’ve always been a lustily fratricidal species, one that needed no Charles Darwin to goad us into millenniums of self-slaughter.

From the Colorado Springs Independent:

Nazis? It’s all about Nazis?

In a parallel universe even crazier than our own, Ben Stein, former Nixon speechwriter turned ironic symbol of the anti-hip, may be making a documentary about how the Nazis used the “controversial” theory of gravity to make bombs fall to earth — so, of course, the theory of gravity must be wrong. But we are here, and in this universe Ben Stein is actually telling us that because the Nazis thought it would be a good idea to breed people like animals, the theory of evolution must be wrong.

It’s nuttiness right from the opening moments of Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed. Images of Nazi atrocities and the terrors of life behind the Berlin Wall are smugly deployed in an attempt to editorialize away basic scientific fact.

Expelled isn’t about “intelligent design,” about an alternative scientific theory, or even about academic freedom. It’s about Stein believing he has proven that acceptance of evolution leads to atheism (and also, we’re told, to such horrors as birth control). Hence, evolution cannot be allowed to be true. Even if it is.

Ouch. I was particularly tickled at the Colorado Springs Independent in where they pointed out that the Nazis also used the theory of gravity to drop bombs on people.

Anyway, if you want to find out why the "Hitler=Evolution" link is intellectually bankrupt, then you should definitely read my post, "Even the ADL [Anti Defamation League] Agrees its Bullshit," over at Goosing the Antithesis. It will give you an excellent logical argument to refute the ridiculous creationist claim that Hitler's genocidal campaign was in any way evolutionary, and instead show precisely how Hitler's final solution was thoroughly anti-competitive and anti-evolutionary.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Time to Buy a Nintendo Wii

It looks like an excellent game!

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Church: Cruel and Unusual Punishment

A criminal was recently sentenced to church as punishment for his crimes:

With a lengthy and violent criminal record to his name, Pachino Hill is going to church.

Hill, 29, of Davenport was sentenced Wednesday by Scott County Associate Judge Christine Dalton to a counseling program offered by Third Missionary Baptist Church. She also ordered him to attend church there eight consecutive Sundays, to pay a fine and be on probation for one year.

To me this looks like cruel and unusual punishment. Not only that, but I imagine its a bit counterproductive to order a criminal to worship, for eight consecutive Sundays, the self-professed highest-scoring murderer ever: the Christian God.

If I were in this guy's position, I would have requested to attend worship services provided by the Church of Satan, just to expose the silliness of the order, and to piss off judge Dalton of course. Failing that, I would try to attend some atheist church service or even a Universal Life Church service.

But hey, I'm an atheist, which means I'm far less likely to be facing prison time than a theist is anyway.