MOVIE: "Expelled"

Brian, thank you for your thoughtful post; I’ll think about it and reply after I pick my kids up from school.


Sorry, ricmat, but you are the one missing the point. Regardless of whether or not the use of religion worked, the validity of Christianity is no more invalid because Hitler used it to justify mass murder than is evolution. Hitler would have used anything to justify his evil. It may be that the German population was no more educated in science than is their current American counterparts, but, once again, that says absolutely nothing about the science.

That is the point. In fact, I would say that Stein is using the same methodology Hitler used, although obviously for different purposes. He is playing on the general public’s abysmal understanding of science to scare people into rising up against the evil big science establishment.



Excellent point and yes, I fully agree.

the main point of the movie “Expelled”: that “the academic world” does not grant “intelligent design” even a moment of free time on the academic discussion stage

Expelled made that point in a convincing manner.

According to Box Office Mojo, Expelled grossed $1,394,940 this weekend, ranking it #13 among movies currently showing in the US.
It has grossed a total of $5,297,860 so far.

So you believe in Common Descent, but not in Darwinian theory?

Even if we ignore Darwin’s, Haekel’s, and Galton’s influence on the modern eugenics movement, most people today would be disturbed just by reading their writings. Their conclusions about humanity are more myth than science. Why it’s irrelevant to you, I can’t understand, considering these are the ideas being passed off as some sort of infallible science.

Ben Stein’s bringing up the Nazis was unnecessary. Darwin’s book, The Descent of Man, is dangerous on its own merit.

you haven’t addressed the point made numeroust times that Hitler used the bible as a justification for his evil on numerous occasions and in several documents. How come those of you who object to evolution based on this argument keep ignoring that connection? Why do we still teach Christianity to our children if Hitler used it to justify the holocaust?

I’m not aware that Hitler used Christianity to justify the Holocaust, but if you have any references, please let us know. He wasn’t a Catholic in good standing, considering the number of bishops, priests, and lay Catholics he imprisoned and killed in Dachau.

Janet << I’m not aware that Hitler used Christianity to justify the Holocaust, but if you have any references, please let us know. >>

Read the thread. Hitler was for something he called “Positive Christianity” :

“Adherents of Positive Christianity argued that traditional Christianity emphasized the passive rather than the active aspects of Christ’s life, stressing his sacrifice on the cross and other-worldly redemption. They wanted to replace this with a ‘positive’ emphasis on Christ as an active preacher, organizer and fighter who opposed the institutionalized Judaism of his day.” (from the above Wikipedia article, see also Adolf Hitler’s Religious Beliefs)

Nazi manifesto of 1920: “The Party as such takes its stand on a positive Christianity but does not tie itself in the matter of confession to any particular denomination. It fights the spirit of Jewish materialism inside and outside ourselves.” (from “Protestant Churches in the Third Reich”)

Hitler in 1927: “My feeling as a Christian points me to my Lord and Savior as a fighter. It points me to the man who once in loneliness, surrounded by a few followers, recognized these Jews for what they were and summoned men to fight against them and who, God’s truth! was greatest not as a sufferer but as a fighter.” (from Norman H. Baynes, The Speeches of Adolf Hitler [Oxford Univ Press, 1942], page 19-20)

Hitler in Mein Kampf: “His [the Jews] life is only of this world, and his spirit is inwardly as alien to true Christianity as his nature two thousand years previous was to the great founder [Jesus] of the new doctrine.”

Jesus in the Gospels: poisonous snakes, white-washed tombs, hypocrites, blind guides, liars, and devils, “you are of your father, the devil”, cf. Matthew 23; John 8:44; etc

Hitler: “Hence today I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator: by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord.” (above Wikipedia article)

Then from this Catholic Timeline on Antisemitism

Origen of Alexandria writes that the Jews “have committed the most abominable of crimes” in conspiring against Christ, and for that reason “the Jewish nation was driven from its country, and another people was called by God to the blessed election…”

St. Cyprian writes that the Jews have fallen under the heavy wrath of God, because they have departed from the Lord, and have followed idols.

The Council of Nicaea states conversation and fellowship with Jews is forbidden to the clergy.

Christian emperors of Rome decree that Christians converting to Judaism, and Jews obstructing the conversion of other Jews to Christianity, will incur the death penalty.

St. Gregory of Nyssa refers to the Jews as “murderers of the Lord, assassins of the prophets, rebels and detesters of God…companions of the devil, race of vipers, informers, calumniators, darkeners of the mind, pharisaic leaven, Sanhedrin of demons, accursed, detested…enemies of all that is beautiful…”

St. Ambrose calls the synagogue “a place of unbelief, a home of impiety, a refuge of insanity, damned by God Himself.”

St. Augustine writes: “…the Church admits and avows the Jewish people to be cursed, because after killing Christ they continue to till the ground of an earthly circumcision, an earthly Sabbath, an earthly passover, while the hidden strength or virtue of making known Christ, which this tilling contains, is not yielded to the Jews while they continue in impiety and unbelief, for it is revealed in the New Testament. While they will not turn to God, the veil which is on their minds in reading the Old Testament is not taken away…the Jewish people, like Cain, continue tilling the ground, in the carnal observance of the law, which does not yield to them its strength, because they do not perceive in it the grace of Christ…”

St. John Chrysostom calls the synagogue a “brothel and theater” and “a cave of pirates and the lair of wild beasts…” and writes that “the Jews behave no better than hogs and goats in their lewd grossness and the excesses of their gluttony…”

On and on until we get to Martin Luther the German monk (cf. 1543 book “On the Jews and Their Lies”). Do I need to quote him on the Jews?

THEREFORE, “Christianity” caused the Nazi Holocaust. Q.E.D.

Phil P

You would have to show why intelligent design is more appropriate to mention in biology than in electrical engineering, chemistry, or other science or technology classes.

As I’ve said before on this forum, a Catholic naturally believes that the universe is the creation of a loving God. We don’t all believe we can use science to discover that God.


Stop saying darwinism I don’t even know what that is. It doesn’t even exist.

Well, you might want to research that first then. It’s even found in the dictionary.

There is no alternative thoery to evolution


I don’t know that alternative is the word. There is a difference of opinion in the scientific community between evolution within a species and evolution between species. There is plenty of evidence to support the former and even the scientists in the movie don’t debate that.

And the anthroplogical, cosmic, biological and alot of genetic data that fits in with the current theory.

Which theory. The “popular” theory? That’s rather the point of the movie. It’s harder to discuss “alternate” theories.

There is no debate about the validity of evolution

Again, the debate is not that evolution exists but what kind of evolution exists.

There is debate in the exact workings of evolution.

Ding, ding, ding. We have a winner.

Okay fine IF there is this huge debate as to the validity of natural selection or evolution whats the alternate theory?

Like I said, there’s a difference between evolution withing a species and between species. There really are two arguments going on here. There is the difference in how far evolution goes and there’s a difference of opinion of who was the originator of life. Was it random or was it designed? People seem to think that there is just one debate going on.

God did it? MAGIC… The purple magnificant fantastical unicorn perhaps… How about aliens or the flying speghtti monster. How about a cosmic battle with all of these… Seriously if your going to say things along the lines of “the current atomic model is wrong” fine… evidence, research, trails and testing for your colclusion are needed you cant just make shiv up.

The expelled film is bullshiv. None of those scientists were removed from institutions over their beliefs or theories. One of the guys, who was it I can’t remember but he still works there and was having a winge because he didn’t receive tenier . And even before him there were 2 professors there that taught classes in I.D. All it is is a bunch of scientists having a winge.

Goodness. Really, is this conversation really so important as to get so bent out of shape. Changing a letter in a word hardly makes the intent better. And, btw, yes, there were some people removed for their beliefs. Some were removed from their positions, some denied tenure, one did lose her job (actually two if you count the reporter) and more are being persecuted.

You don’t get fired for bieng a proponent in creationism. You get fired for cheating or not doing your work properly, the work your payed to do. Some people may laugh at you and make jokes at your expense but you wouldn’t get fired.

And where were the charges that any of the above happened?

And finally you can’t just make shiv up in ANY field of science you need evidence, testing, proof and then pass peer review…

Stephen Meyer’s article was peer reviewed. That didn’t help Sternberg when he published it.:shrug:

:slight_smile: Well, as Bear06 pointed out, “intelligent design” is very often focused on the biological sciences, which would be germane to a biology class…

But seriously: I wasn’t seeking to restrict discussion of intelligent design to biology classes; biology was merely a convenient (and easily-recognized) example of a discipline which would be impacted rather greatly, if intelligent design were, in fact, true. You’re quite right; it would also be relevant to astronomy, geology, and the like.

As I’ve said before on this forum, a Catholic naturally believes that the universe is the creation of a loving God. We don’t all believe we can use science to discover that God.

I understand… but one of my main points was to address some concerns of “pure logic/reason”, among which are the serious intellectual limitations of discarding “intelligent design” simply because it doesn’t fit a given scientist’s preconceived notions (or even because certain individuals have proposed nutty versions which don’t hold logical water, and the other scientists subsequently do a sweeping condemnation of I.D. via “guilt by association”).

I would add that the very notion of “science can say nothing whatsoever about God, so every scrap of anything which might even suggest God must be scoured from all scientific arenas” is mere prejudice, built on a half-truth (at best).

In Christ,

Thanks for your references.

It seems like the point of your post (in a nutshell) is that there are no bad ideas, just bad people.

Is it your contention that there is no connection between Darwin’s writings and the eugenics movement?

In your opinion, are all ideas neutral? Are there no inherently dangerous ideas/philosophies, just dangerous people who take up neutral ideas and run with them?

Is the Christian’s view of the human person created in the image of God no different than Darwin’s view of the human person as just another animal when it comes down to comparing the two philosophies and their impact on society and human behavior?

Janet S - nice post.

Anyone can see in the pro-life / culture-of-death debates the use and re-use of Darwinian ideas on the death side. The idea that man derives his human dignity from what one can do, or what he can produce, or what genes he can pass along, or the “quality of life” that an individual can experience…rather than the dignity of being a special creation, a child of God.

Review the Terri Schiavo debates, or the history of eugenics. Listen to Jack Kevorkian, or Peter Singer. These death merchants do not use Christianity as a rationale for the devaluation of human dignity - because they know that they can’t pervert Christianity enough to take it where they want to go. But they do use the ideas of and vocabulary of evolution.

Here is another absurd “logical” result of the God-less thinking that man is no different than the rest of nature - plants have more dignity than unborn children:

Of course, there are many devout Christians who believe the science of evolution, and do not espouse the culture of death. Evolution (or Darwinism) does not inevitably lead to the culture of death, but their ideas must be put into a greater context which includes God, or as St. Athaneous said “Without God, anything is possible.”

So, Brian, would you use intelligent design to explain why giraffes have long necks? That God designed them that way because She foresaw that they would need to browse on tall trees on the open savanna? Or might there be an evolutionary adaptive explanation for that?

Do we detect divine design in the false “eyes” on the wings of some butterflies, put there to fool predators? What are the parameters of design theory? How would we test for intelligent design? Why is one phenomenon designed, and another possibly not?


Janet, I work with numerous scientist colleagues who are Catholics; not a few are Jesuit, Dominican, or SVD priests. So, clearly, they do not subscribe to the “culture of death” as you term it, but neither have they ever felt the need to invoke intelligent design in their teaching or scientific research.


Actually, you were responding to my post, not Janet S’s, so I’ll comment further.

  1. You seem to be saying exactly the same thing I said.

Clearly, those folks you mention believe in evolution, within the context of a God-is-involved framework.

  1. This discussion had nothing to do with ID. It had to do with dangerous ideas and philosophies, especially without the involvement of God.

I love the fact that they used the Kanamits’ spaceship.

To Serve Man: kanamits

 An alien visits the earth. He says they've come as friends, and they desire to help the earth and set up reciprocal visits to their planet. The aliens have noticed that the earth is plagued by both natural and un-natural calamities, and they only wish to help. They offer a new power source, an end to famine, and a force field to be used as a defense shield. The alien states, "We wish only that you simply trust us." As he departs, he leaves a book behind.

 At this point, the decoding experts for the U.S. government go to work. A man named Chambers is part of a team assigned to translate the book, which turns out to be a most difficult task. While he is discussing the situation with several army generals, his assistant Pat rushes into the room with news that the title of the book has been deciphered. The title reads To Serve Man.

   Meanwhile, the delegates at the UN watch a film of several tests given to the alien. It's basically a lie detector test, and the results show that the Alien is making truthful statements. He repeats his motive of coming to earth only to offer help.  The countries of the world offer their thanks as deserts become gardens and armies are disbanded. Next we see people standing in line to board spaceships as the reciprocal flights to the Alien's planet begin.  They are weighed upon entry, and speak of upcoming events as we would speak before embarking on a vacation.

Chambers and his assistant, Pat, discuss all the recent events. They note that there are no more codes to decipher, that nearly 2000 Aliens are now on earth, and how easily man decides to go off to a strange planet. In fact, they are both on a waiting list to go. Although Chambers has given up on deciphering the book, Pat states that she is still working on it and getting close to a translation.

Chambers is now in line to board the spaceship. As he is ascending the steps, Pat rushes up desperately trying to get his attention. As she is held back by the Aliens, she warns Chambers, "Don't get on the ship! The book, To Serve Man, IT IS A COOKBOOK!"  A struggling Chambers is forced into the ship.

   Chambers is taken to a solitary room. He is offered a meal, but he tosses it on the floor. An Alien enters the room, picks up the meal, and gives it to Chambers stating, "Eat. We would not want you to lose weight." 

   Chambers faces the camera and speaks directly to us.

   He says, "Whether we are on the ship with him or back on earth, it does not matter; we will all be on the menu.

   I could not say it any louder. We will all be on the menu!!

  This was a short episode of the Twilight Zone played back in 1962.


I think your conflating different concepts here. There is a difference between a scientific theory and a moral philosophy. Scientific theories don’t tell us how we should live or should behave. They simply help us understand how the world works. Evolution is not a philosophy that tells us how to live. Neither are quantum mechanics or Newtonian mechanics. As such they have no inherent moral value.

Is the Christian’s view of the human person created in the image of God no different than Darwin’s view of the human person as just another animal when it comes down to comparing the two philosophies and their impact on society and human behavior?

Once again, evolution is not a social philosophy that tells us how we should live or who we are. It is a framework to help us understand the world around us. Any philosophical inferences drawn from that are the separate concoctions of people, not a necessary derivative from the scientific theory. “Social Darwinism” is a philosophical idea that is distinctly different and is not a necessary derivative of Darwin’s work.

Darwin is not to blame for the holocaust or Eugenics.
Newton is not to blame for the use of ballistic missiles.

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