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Back to April Ed Reporter

Education Reporter
NUMBER 267 THE NEWSPAPER OF EDUCATION RIGHTS APRIL 2008

Scientists are 'Not Allowed to Think Thoughts about an Intelligent Creator'
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Two-thirds of scientists at elite research universities believe in God, according to a 2005 survey by a Rice University sociologist. Yet Intelligent Design, the theory that a designing agent best explains some features of living things, is so taboo in the academy that scientists who even consider it risk losing their jobs. In a new documentary, Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, Ben Stein investigates the suppression of free inquiry when it comes to Intelligent Design (ID).

Stein interviews scientists and other academics who have lost their reputations, their chances of tenure, or their jobs because they failed to denounce ID with the passion of Richard Dawkins. Perhaps the most famous case involved Dr. Richard Sternberg, formerly of the Smithsonian's Museum of Natural History. As editor of the journal Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington, Sternberg published a peer-reviewed paper that questioned neo-Darwinist orthodoxy. Smithsonian officials quickly sought a legitimate reason to dismiss Sternberg from the institution. When they couldn't find one, they took numerous steps to make his working environment intolerable so that he would resign.

"It is clear that I was targeted for retaliation and harassment explicitly because I failed in an unstated requirement in my role as editor of a scientific journal," writes Sternberg on his website. "I was supposed to be a gatekeeper turning away unpopular, controversial, or conceptually challenging explanations of puzzling natural phenomena. Instead, I allowed a scientific article to be published critical of neo-Darwinism, and that was considered an unpardonable heresy."

Expelled interviews a number of other scientists and academics with similar stories. The film also looks at neo-Darwinism's philosophical underpinnings, and their consequences. Stein demonstrates that instead of merely investigating life's origins and history, Darwinism functions as an all-encompassing worldview with its own complete set of answers to life's most important questions.

The answers Darwinism gives hold little promise for humanity's future. The movie explores the connections between Darwinism and eugenics. Misguided ideas about the "survival of the fittest" and the betterment of the human race through "helping evolution along" have led to forced sterilization campaigns, murder of the disabled and the elderly, and ultimately to the Nazi death camps.

Expelled opens in theaters on April 18. Visit www.expelledthemovie.com for more information.


 
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