Ferris Bueller Gets Expelled

This is the seventh installment of my review of Expelled, the video produced by Premise Media and featuring Ben Stein. In the previous installment I reviewed the case of Dr. Michael Egnor, a prominent neurosurgeon who opposes the modern theories of biology. My review included some quotes from Dr. Egnor, one of which is interesting:

I call upon my “20 years [of performing] over 4000 brain operations” to attest that I have never once used evolutionary biology in my work. How could I since evolution is random and doctors look for patterns, patterns that lie far afield from the randomness that is evolution?

Dr. Egnor chooses to be ignorant of some basic biology and wants to make the case that this ignorance does not affect his work. It would seem that his work extends beyond his medical practice. He is a principal contributer to the Evolution News blog run by the Discovery Institute Center for Science and Culture (CSC), a major proponent of creationism. A recent contribution includes the following paragraph:

Scopes’s legacy consists entirely of inviting prosecution by proudly teaching human evolution from a eugenic racist textbook. Coyne offers no explanation for his embrace of Scopes’s legacy. He instead assures us that his feelings weren’t hurt by our posts, and castigates David and me for lying “in service of Jesus” (I’m Catholic, and David is an Orthodox Jew). Coyne insists that “an apology is in order” — our apology to him — yet he believes an apology is “about as likely as Egnor confessing that he’s finally seen the truth of evolution.” Ironically, telling the truth about evolution — telling exactly what Scopes taught to his students — is precisely what David and I did. Coyne replies to our simple observation by dissembling, changing the subject, and pouting.

This quote and the one before indicate some of the hazards of stepping outside one’s area of expertise. In the first quote Dr. Egnor displays either basic ignorance of some basic science or else merely some carelessness in stating his case. He makes a point of calling biological evolution a random process, which is not a complete and therefore not an accurate description. The modern theory of evolution involves random processes that induce changes in the genome of a species, but that is about the extent of randomness. Dr. Egnor would have been more accurate, more erudite, if he had emphasized that biological evolution is undirected. The facts be known, what creationists object to so much about biological evolution is not the random processes involved, but the lack of direction. That there is no guiding hand (God) involved is what gives them (including Dr. Egnor) heartburn. What do not like is the absence of God.

The second quote displays an ignorance about the Scopes trial, an ignorance that could have been resolved by reading any of a number of books about the trial. Specifically, Dr. Egnor should have known that John T. Scopes did not teach evolution. His prosecution was a sham, set up by prominent citizens of Dayton, Tennessee, along with the ACLU, to test the legality of the Butler Act. Not knowing some basic information and then revealing this ignorance might not damage Dr. Egnor’s ability to practice medicine, but it dims his light as a commentator on public affairs.

The Hitler Connection

An anti-evolution work of any great length would be incomplete without diving into the Hitler connection, and Expelled has it. But first we are treated to a view from the past—a clip of Uncle Joe (Stalin) waving bravely from the reviewing stand at Red Square. Then we see Ben Stein visiting the Hadamar Euthanasia Center in Germany.

Beginning in 1939, the Nazis used this site as one of six for the T-4 Euthanasia Programme, which performed mass sterilizations and mass murder of “undesirable” members of German society, specifically those with physical and mental disabilities. In total, an estimated 200,000 people were killed at these facilities, including thousands of children. These actions were in keeping with the eugenics ideas about racial purity developed by German researchers. While officially ended in 1941, the programme lasted until the German surrender in 1945. Nearly 15,000 German citizens were transported to the hospital and died there, most killed in a gas chamber. In addition, hundreds of forced labourers from Poland and other countries occupied by the Nazis were killed there.

[Some links deleted]

Ben Stein interviews Uta George at the center. She explains why all these people were killed. They were deemed unfit or undesirable.

The scene cuts to a clip from a Nazi propaganda film. It shows a deer in a natural setting:

We humans have transgressed the law of natural selection in the last decades…

The clip goes on to show images of undesirable people. They are homely to the extreme, some would even say ugly. They may be Jews. We have allowed such useless people to propagate. The error needs to be corrected. Stein asks her to confirm that this is a “Darwinian concept.” She does. He suggests a Malthusian connection. She does not understand. He mentions the economic theories of Thomas Malthus. She does not know Malthus. He mentions “limited resources.” That idea connects. She understands these people needed to be eliminated because their existence strained at society’s limited resources.

Ben and Uta tour this relic of institutionalized murder to lay bare the inhumanity. Here is the corridor down which “patients” took their final steps. Here is the examining table where brains were removed from skulls. Here are the two ovens where bodies were cremated. Darwinism.

Next Ben Stein journey’s with Richard Weikart to that world renowned site of inhumanity, Auschwitz in Poland. As a Jew, this place has a more specific meaning. Jews were murdered here and at similar sites on an industrial scale until European Jewry was nearly eliminated. The two discuss Weikart’s view that Darwinism promotes, and has in the past promoted, racism. Weikart’s book is From Darwin to Hitler.

From Darwin to Hitler: evolutionary ethics, eugenics, and racism in Germany is a 2004 book by Richard Weikart, a historian at California State University, Stanislaus, and a senior fellow for the Center for Science and Culture of the Discovery Institute. The work is controversial. Graeme Gooday, John M. Lynch, Kenneth G. Wilson, and Constance K. Barsky wrote that “numerous reviews have accused Weikart of selectively viewing his rich primary material, ignoring political, social, psychological, and economic factors” that helped shape Nazi eugenics and racism.

“No Darwin, no Holocaust” is a quote that comes up in this video and frequently in anti-evolution propaganda. To those who mouth this phrase I reply, “You wish.” If you want that to be true then you might be required to explain where racism and genocide got its drive before 1849. I will give you something to start with. Here is where racism and genocide come from:

Zephaniah 2:12-15King James Version (KJV)

12 Ye Ethiopians also, ye shall be slain by my sword.

13 And he will stretch out his hand against the north, and destroy Assyria; and will make Nineveh a desolation, and dry like a wilderness.

14 And flocks shall lie down in the midst of her, all the beasts of the nations: both the cormorant and the bittern shall lodge in the upper lintels of it; their voice shall sing in the windows; desolation shall be in the thresholds; for he shall uncover the cedar work.

15 This is the rejoicing city that dwelt carelessly, that said in her heart, I am, and there is none beside me: how is she become a desolation, a place for beasts to lie down in! every one that passeth by her shall hiss, and wag his hand.

And here:

Judges 1:1-8King James Version (KJV)

Now after the death of Joshua it came to pass, that the children of Israel asked the Lord, saying, Who shall go up for us against the Canaanites first, to fight against them?

And the Lord said, Judah shall go up: behold, I have delivered the land into his hand.

And Judah said unto Simeon his brother, Come up with me into my lot, that we may fight against the Canaanites; and I likewise will go with thee into thy lot. So Simeon went with him.

And Judah went up; and the Lord delivered the Canaanites and the Perizzites into their hand: and they slew of them in Bezek ten thousand men.

And they found Adonibezek in Bezek: and they fought against him, and they slew the Canaanites and the Perizzites.

But Adonibezek fled; and they pursued after him, and caught him, and cut off his thumbs and his great toes.

And Adonibezek said, Threescore and ten kings, having their thumbs and their great toes cut off, gathered their meat under my table: as I have done, so God hath requited me. And they brought him to Jerusalem, and there he died.

Now the children of Judah had fought against Jerusalem, and had taken it, and smitten it with the edge of the sword, and set the city on fire.

This is where people learn to hate. There’s more if you care to look.

So Ben Stein (and the CSC) want us to know that Darwinism contributes to racism. Really? I wonder if Stein and those at the CSC know what deep-dyed racism looks like. I decided to search out the soul of racism in America, and here is what I found. Here is what racism looks like. I found these in Google Images:

And this:

kkk4-650x479

And finally these:

KKKandCross ku-klux-klan

This is what racism looks like, Ben Stein. Please note the symbol that is a common denominator in all these images. Do you feel more comfortable now?

I point out that these people are not Darwinists. They are dead sure that God created the Earth and also created man in his own image.

Next up in the review of Expelled—the war between science and religion.

And may Jesus have mercy on our souls.

2 thoughts on “Ferris Bueller Gets Expelled

  1. Pingback: Ferris Bueller Gets Expelled | Skeptical Analysis

  2. Pingback: Traipsing into Banality | Skeptical Analysis

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