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"Expelled" Exposed for Hypocrisy

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Ben Stein, perennial curmudgeon and trickle-down economic warrior, has a new movie out called “Expelled, No Intelligence Allowed” about how “big science and Darwinism” don't let important ideas like intelligent design into our classrooms.

The big buzz on Internet blogs is that evolution advocates Richard Dawkins and PZ Myers went to the screening of Expelled, and the movie's producer spotted Dr. Myers, and had a security guard insist that he leave. The much more famous Dr. Dawkins was not recognized, and got to see the screening. Dr. Myers was delighted at the irony that he was expelled from Expelled, a movie about how scientists don’t give the other side a fair shake.

The premise of the movie, that science does not allow contradictory ideas to be examined, is so absurd that some scrutiny is in order.

The entire foundation of science is the examination of all ideas and hypotheses, designing experiments to test those hypotheses, and then evaluating the data in light of the hypotheses. The reason that intelligent design is not a scientific discipline is because it has no relationship to science whatsoever. No experiments are done, and no hypotheses are forthcoming. It is declared by Fiat. You know, like religion.

The hypothesis of plate tectonics was dismissed as absurd by geologists when first proposed. However, as more data was accumulated, it became clear to all scientists that the continental land masses move across a surface of molten magma. If intelligent design were actually a hypothesis, like plate tectonics, then the hypothesis would provide an experimental path for testing itself. Orbiting satellites and deep-sea submersibles have clearly shown how continental crust is produced at mid ocean ridges and moves outwards from those zones. How precisely do intelligent design proponents propose to test their hypothesis?

I'm still waiting.

Hopefully, intelligent design proponents are working diligently on new hypotheses to test. For example, does God have a “red phone” and can we call him in an emergency? What’s his number?

Look folks, believe what you want, but keep your religious ideas out of kid’s classrooms. We all know that kids are very impressionable, and that if you can get them “churched up” early enough, many of them will be religious proponents for life. But that has nothing to do with science, human knowledge, or what needs to be taught in science classes. Unless Sunday schools are going to give evolution equal time, then science classes don’t need to teach the bible, or intelligent design.
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John R. Moffett PhD is a research neuroscientist in the Washington, DC area. Dr. Moffett's main area of research focuses on the brain metabolite N-acetylaspartate, and an associated genetic disorder known as Canavan disease.

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