Joined: Sep. 2006
I bow to no one in my respect of Arthur Caplan as a bioethicist - and now, I guess the DI is going to have to list him as another of their "enemies."
Ben Stein's so-called documentary ‘Expelled’ isn't just bad, it's immoral:
|The definition of what science is and what should be taught as science in a world in which Asia and Europe are itching to clean our economic clocks by seeing us throw away our considerable lead in synthetic biology, genomics, agriculture and the biomedical, oceanographic, geological and energy sciences escapes Stein and his producers. This despite the fact they have ample time to regale us with all the documentary stylings involving old movies, public health messages and TV film clips that Michael Moore has already made stale. The failure to say what science is constitutes a huge failing in this cinematic cant.|
Science, by the very definition of the term, wants to invoke god or divine intervention as little as possible in seeking explanations for natural phenomena. Is that because, as "Expelled" suggests, scientists hate religion? No. Rather it is because the whole point of science is to press to see how far natural causes and mechanisms can go in explaining what is going on around us. There is not much room in science, although there is in history, religion, philosophy or sociology class, for jumping up and down and invoking god as the explanation of anything and everything. Could such an explanation be true? Sure. Is it science? Hardly. Does the movie get us anywhere close to understanding the difference? Not a bit.
|This is the core of what is ethically rotten about this movie. Darwinism did not lead to Nazism in Germany. Nor does Darwinism inherently contain the seeds of Nazism. |
There were many nations, such as Brazil, where Darwinism led to no political ideology. There were some such as Britain which embraced Darwinism but saw a considerable number of their population killed trying to eliminate Nazism. There were other nations, such as the Soviet Union, where Darwinism was seen as so dangerous and subversive to state sponsored dreams of social engineering that those who espoused it were killed or exiled and a complete biological fairy tale, Lysenkoism, put into classrooms and agricultural policy ultimately leading to the deaths of millions from starvation.
And there were some nations where Darwinism was greeted with glee because it seemed so compatible with the prevailing ideology of the day. In particular the United States at the turn of the 20th century where robber-baron capitalists like the Carnegies, Mellons, Sumners, Stanfords and yes, even Jack London, could not stop rattling on about how the "survival of the fittest" justified crushing unions, exploiting immigrant labor or being left unregulated to amass huge fortunes while administering monopolies.
Ben Stein apparently understands none of this. He flags Darwin but does not bother to go and stare at the busts of Adam Smith, Herbert Spencer, Ernst Haeckel, Thomas Malthus so much beloved by American proponents of survival of the fittest.
Worse yet, while frowning at Darwin’s statute in a manly fashion, Stein makes no mention of the key factors driving Nazi ideology — racism, homophobia and hatred of the mentally ill and disabled.
To lay blame for the Holocaust upon Charles Darwin is to engage in a form of Holocaust denial that should forever make Ben Stein the subject of scorn not because of his nudnik concern that evolution somehow undermines morality but because in this contemptible movie he is willing to subvert the key reason why the Holocaust took place — racism — to serve his own ideological end. Expelled indeed.
Which came first: the shimmy, or the hip?
AtBC Poet Laureate
"I happen to think that this prerequisite criterion of empirical evidence is itself not empirical." - Clive
"Damn you. This means a trip to the library. Again." -- fnxtr