Friday, October 31, 2008

Exposing ExpelledExposed: Part VII, Conclusion. Following Jesus and Following Darwin? Is This Possible?

My fellow Christians, we can say "thank you" to the National Center for Science Education. If it wasn't for the NCSE's website, expelledexposed, we would never have known that we can be committed evolutionists and people of faith at the same time. Expelledexposed's section entitled "Science and Religion" tell us so. Some do claim to be disciples of Christ and evolutionists at the same time: "Evolution shows us how God works." As the website points out, the Catholic Church, mainstream Protestantism and Jewish theology accommodated Evolution a long time ago. Some of these accomodationists resent Ben Stein challenging Darwinian orthodoxy in Expelled. In fact, some of these accomodationists think of anyone who challenges Evolution as "noisy creationists."

But wait. Expelledexposed also instructs us that not all beliefs are compatible with Evolution. What are the implications of this statement?

According to the NCSE and its allies, Evolution is not theory but fact; it is the true scientific explanation for the origin of life on this planet, including the human race. Any rival explanation is false, a myth, certainly not scientific. Therefore, the NCSE and its allies anoint themselves as the arbiters of truth. They decide what religious beliefs may be expressed in the laboratory and the classroom. Those who consider themselves religious do not have to decide for themselves what role their beliefs play in scientific research and instruction. All they have to do is agree that Evolution is the only true explanation for life's origins and never publicly deviate from that position. Any religious belief that questions Evolution is deemed a false truth claim, therefore, according to the NCSE, certain religious beliefs are false, a superstition, a lie. Those religious groups that hold beliefs that are incompatible with Evolution and so viewed by the NCSE as being false, are left off of expelledexposed's list of acceptable religious expression. What groups? Certainly those Christians who claim that the Bible is God's inerrant Word, Creationists, Evangelicals. Like me.

But if the NCSE has the authority to proclaim which views are compatible with the truth, then no one should have any problem with me stating that Christian belief and acceptance of Evolution are incompatible.

Evolution presupposes a universe devoid of a creator. This is a fact recognized by H. James Bix in his Introduction to Darwin's "Descent of Man":

"Darwin's dangerous fact of evolution has changed forever how we view our own species within natural history...The myth of creation as espoused by religious creationists and biblical fundamentalists has been replaced by the fact of evolution." (Charles Darwin, "The Descent of Man", Prometheus Books, Amherst, New York, 1998, Introduction,p. xix)

Ernst Mayr is Alexander Agassiz Professor of Zoology, Emeritus, Harvard University. He has received numerous prizes for his work in Evolution and the philosophy of Science. This quote is from his book "One Long Argument:Charles Darwin and the Genesis of Modern Evolutionary Thought":

"Darwin was unable to build on this foundation but rather started from the fundamental question that Lyell bequeathed to him, namely, how do new species originate? Although Lyell appealed to "intermediate" causes as the source of the new species, THE PROCESS WAS NEVERTHELESS A FORM OF SPECIAL CREATION. [Capitalization mine] 'Species may have been created in succession at such times and at such places as to enable them to multiply and endure for an appointed period and occupy an appointed space on the globe' (Lyell 1835, 3:99-100). For Lyell, each creation was a carefully planned event. The reason why Lyell, like Henslow, Sedgwick, and all the others of Darwin's scientific friends and correspondents in the middle of the 1830s, accepted the unalterable constancy of species was ultimately a philosophical one. The constancy of species--that is the inability of a species, once created, to change--was the one piece of the old dogma of a created world that remained inviolate after the concepts of the recency and constancy of the physical world had been abandoned.

"No genuine and testable theory of evolution could develop until the possibility was recognized that species have the capacity to change, to become transformed into new species, and multiply into several species. FOR DARWIN TO ACCEPT THIS POSSIBILITY REQUIRED A FUNDAMENTAL BREAK WITH LYELL'S THINKING..." [Capitalization mine] (Mayr, One Long Arguement, Harvard University Press, 1991, p. 17-18)

In other words, for Darwin to formulate his theories, he had to reject the belief in the work of a creator in the creation of species. Can any one who claims to be a follower of Jesus Christ explain to me how the truth of man's origins could not be discovered without the rejection of an Intelligent Designer and how then one could reconcile these theories to the belief that the Bible is God's word to man?

Bix quotes Darwin himself on Darwin's own rejection of Christianity:

"Considering how fiercely I have been attacked by the orthodox it seems ludicrous that I once intended to be a clergyman...I gradually came to disbelieve in Christianity as a divine revelation. This belief crept over me at a very slow rate, but was at last complete...The voyage of the Beagle has been by far the most important event in my life and has determined my whole career..." (Darwin, p. xxii)

Lets finish the above quote by Bix:

Furthermore, anthropology teaches us that religious beliefs and practices themselves have evolved since the dawn of Homo sapiens sapiens (sic). Even ethics, morals and values are now seen within the scientific framework of human evolution." (Darwin, Introduction, p. xix)

Darwin himself maintained that man's intellectual and moral qualities had to evolve, to advance to a certain stage before he could even believe in God:

"No being could experience so complex an emotion until advanced in his intellect and moral faculties to at least a moderately high level. Nevertheless, we see some distant approach to this state of mind in the deep love of a dog for his master, associated with complete submission, some fear, and perhaps other feelings...Professor Braubach goes so far to maintain that a dog looks on his master as a god." (Darwin, p.99)

Can one believe in the God of the Old and New Testaments and believe that it took many generations of Evolution to even come to a belief in a supernatural deity? Genesis clearly shows Man as capable of fellowship with God from the very beginning. Even after the Fall, when sin is introduced into Man's makeup, God and Man still engaged in mutual communication. How can one reconcile Evolutions view of Man with the Genesis account of Abel knowing what worship is acceptable before God? According to Darwin, Man can't even conceive of a God until many generations of Evolution had occurred. Genesis tells us that Enoch walked in such close fellowship with God that God took him before death. Noah's walk with God was just as close.

If one tries to reconcile belief in Christ and belief in Evolution's truth claims, what is to be done with Paul's statements in Romans that sin and death entered the world through Adam. Evolution teaches that death has always been present through the survival of the fittest. Death reigned overall even before man could conceive of sin. If both Evolution and Christianity are true, then just when exactly was sin introduced? What about Paul's statement that Jesus is the new Adam? If Adam never existed, if the Genesis account of Creation is a myth, what are we to do with these statements? Is what Paul wrote to be discarded? If Evolution is true, why believe a symbolic truth if it contradicts the historical record? If ancient philosophy could have accommodated evolution of some type, then why did God wait till 1859 to reveal the real origin of Man? Why would His followers need to believe a myth, a symbolic truth for so long?

Why would Jesus teach that marriage binds one man and one woman and cite as His authority the Creation account in Genesis? Why would the Messiah who came to free us from religious legalism bind us with this command if the example of Adam and Eve is just a myth? Why would Jesus speak of the days of Noah as if they were a true account of history if the days of Noah never were?

And what of Christ's message itself? Is Christ's message a unique revelation from the Triune God? Charles Darwin didn't think so:

"The moral sense perhaps affords the best and highest distinction between man and the lower animals; but I need say nothing on this head, as I have so lately endeavored to show that the social instincts---the prime principle of man's moral constitution---with the aid of active intellectual powers and the effects of habit, naturally lead to the golden rule, 'As ye would that man should do to you, do ye then likewise'; and this lies at the foundation of morality." (Darwin, p. 131)

Is Christ's message the result of many generations of Evolution? How can we reconcile the Biblical message that sin can only be overcome through the death of Christ on the Cross with Darwin's assertion that morality is evolving overtime? Will Man evolve to the point that he no longer sins? If so, why did God sacrifice His only Son?

(For a more detailed treatment of these issues, please read the 3 part review of Francis Collins' "The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence For Belief." It appeared on 9/26/08, on this blog, immediately preceding this series.)

Expelledexposed would have us believe that modern science began with the divorce of the Christian world view from science. God as creator is not a provable hypothesis, it tells us, so a scientist can only explain the universe in terms of what is observable to the human senses. Yet it was the Christian worldview that birthed the modern Scientific Revolution. Francis Schaeffer in "How Shall We Then Live: The Rise And Decline Of Western Thought And Culture" puts it this way:

"The rise of modern science did not conflict with what the Bible teaches; indeed, at a crucial point the Scientific Revolution rested upon what the Bible teaches. Both Alfred North Whitehead (1861-1947) and J. Robert Oppenheimer (1904-1967) have stressed that modern science was born out of the Christian world view. Whitehead was a widely respected mathematician and philosopher, and Oppenheimer, after he became director of the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton in 1947, wrote on a wide range of subjects related to science, in addition to writing on his own field on the structure of the atom and atomic energy. As far as I know, neither of the two men were Christians or claimed to be Christians, yet both were straightforward in acknowledging that modern science was born out of the Christian world view.

"...Whitehead said that Christianity is the mother of science because of 'the medieval insistence on the rationality of God.' Whitehead also spoke of confidence 'in the intelligible rationality of a personal being.' He also says...that because of the rationality of God, the early scientists had an 'inexpugnable belief that every detailed occurrence can be correlated with its antecedents in a perfectly definite manner, exemplifying general principles. Without this belief, the incredible labors of scientists would be without hope.' In other words, because the early scientists believed that the world was created by a reasonable God, they were not surprised to discover that the people could find out something true about nature and the universe on the basis of reason." (Schaeffer, p. 132-133)

"Living within the concept of that the world was created by a reasonable God, scientists could move with confidence, expecting to be able to find out about the world by observation and experimentation. That was their epistemological base--the philosophical foundation with which they were sure they could know." (Schaeffer, p. 134)

"The Greeks, the Muslims, and the Chinese eventually lost interest in science. As we said before, the Chinese had an early and profound knowledge of the world. Joseph his book The Grand Titration (1969), explains why this never developed into a full-fledged science: 'There was no confidence that the code of Nature's laws could ever be unveiled and read, because there was no assurance that a divine being, even more rational than ourselves, had ever formulated such a code capable of being read.'...

"What was the view of these modern scientists on a Christian base? They held to the concept of the uniformity of natural causes in an open system, or, as it may be expressed, the uniformity of natural causes in a limited time span. God has made a cause-and-effect universe; therefore we can find out something about the causes from the effects. But (and the but is very important) it is an open universe because God and man are outside the uniformity of natural causes. In other words, all that exists is not one big cosmic machine which includes everything. Of course, if a person steps in front of a moving auto, the cause-and effect-universe functions upon him; but God and people are not a part of a total cosmic machine. Things go on in a cause-and-effect sequence, but at a point in time the direction may be changed by God or by people. Consequently, there is a place for God, but there is also a place for man.

"This carries with it something profound--that the machine, whether the cosmic machine or the machines which people make, is neither a master nor a threat--because the machine does not include everything. There is something which is 'outside' of the cosmic machine, and there is a place for man to be man." (Schaeffer, p. 142-143)

Evolution places man, including his highest thoughts, inside the "cosmic machine." Soon we will be told by scientists that we are NOTHING but the product of genetic activity, including our very beings, including what we believe about God.

Expelledexposed, and its parent, the NCSE, has no problem with anyone expressing their belief in God, just so long as they do not ask questions concerning the validity of Evolution's assumptions and conclusions. The very rational for the existence of the NCSE is to limit religious expression that questions evolution in the classroom, laboratory, or in the movie theaters, as Expelled has done. The Executive Director of the NCSE, Dr. Eugenie C. Scott, stated the hope in a podcast that so many evolutionist bloggers would link to expelledexposed that when someone typed in Expelled in a url., they would see many entries for expelledexposed. This is just another tactic to keep people from being exposed to objections to Darwinian orthodoxy. Other tactics, as we have seen throughout this series, includes the slandering of those who question evolutionary assumptions, as the NCSE has done to Richard Sternberg, Guillermo Gonzalez, and Pamela Winnick. Another tactic has been to lie about evolution's influence on some of the philosophies and political regiemes that made the twentieth century the bloodiest century in history. A third tactic has been to scare people into remaining silent about their objections to Evolution, making people fear that to voice these objections would cause them to be ridiculed as members of fringe groups. This tactic can be seen in the comment by bob xxxx that my rejection of evolution would cause me to be laughed at by educated people.

In fact, I notice that those who have chosen to comment on articles in this series never challenge the actual arguements contained in these articles or the evidence backing them up. They want to debate the merits of ID, but they don't want to debate the issues surrounding the dishonesty displayed on expelledexposed. Perhaps they can't. Perhaps the evidence contained in these articles, available to the public so that someone like me can access it, cannot be challenged in an honest debate.

It is my hope that this series can be seen when one types expelledexposed in a url. Not just so it can be seen, but so expelledexposed's message may not drown out what the NCSE doesn't want you to know. If those who work at the NCSE were so confident about their own message, then they would feel no need to engage in the character assassination and intellectual dishonesty concerning objections to evolution that is on full display on their webpage, expelledexposed. The stakes are higher than the reputation of Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, Ben Stein, or those he interviewed. The real issue is whether or not a self anointed group will go unchallenged in its attempt to dictate what is the truth concerning the origin of life and which religious views are valid and which religious views are untrue.

Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed is now available in DVD. By it at your local bookstore or order it online here.

For the Discovery Institute's webpage on ID , click here.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Exposing Expelledexposed: Part VI. Ben Stein Quotes Darwin

In Expelled, Ben Stein reads a quote from Charles Darwin's "The Descent of Man." Expelledexposed claims that the quote was read with the intent to portray Darwin as an advocate of Eugenics. The website also accuses Stein of reading the quote out of context.

In examining this claim, we begin with the passage from "The Descent of Man" that we read in Part V, for these are the beginning sentences of the entire disputed passage:

"I have hitherto only considered the advancement of man from a semi-human condition to that of the modern savage. But some remarks on the action of natural selection on civilized nations may be worth adding. The subject has been ably discussed by Mr. W.R. Greg, and previously by Mr. Wallace and Mr. Galton. Most of my remarks are from these three authors." (Charles Darwin, "The Descent of Man", Prometheus Books, Amherst, New York, 1998, p. 138)

Remember that Mr. (Sir Francis) Galton, Darwin's 1/2 cousin, was the father of Eugenics. Both men acknowledged that their research fed off of each other's work. We can see this on Darwin's part in the quote above; Galton testified of his debt to Darwin: "I was encouraged by the new views to pursue many inquiries that interested me, and which clustered around the central topic of Heredity."

Now we come to the next sentences from Darwin's book which Stein quotes in Expelled. The quote can be seen on expelledexposed. (I have only seen Expelled once, last May. Therefore, I must rely on the veracity of expelledexposed in reproducing the quote used in the film. In relying on this website, with its track record on presenting the truth, you might say to me, "Oh, Mr. Guthrie, you are so very brave!") Portions from the original quote left out by expelledexposed are included by me in brackets:

With savages, the weak in body or mind are soon eliminated; [and those that survive commonly exhibit a vigorous state of health.] We civilized men, on the other hand, do our utmost to check the process of elimination; we build asylums for the imbecile, the maimed, and the sick; [we institute poor-laws; and our medical men excert their utmost skill to save the life of every one to the last moment. There is reason to believe that vaccination has preserved thousands, who from a weak constitution would formerly have succumbed to small-pox.] Thus the weak members of civilized societies propagate their kind. No one who has attended to the breeding of domestic animals will doubt that this must be highly injurious to the race of man. [It is surprising how soon a want of care, or care wrongly directed, leads to the degeneration of a domestic race; but excepting in the case of man himself,] hardly anyone is so ignorant as to allow his worst animals to breed." (Darwin, p.138-139)

Expelledexposed claims that the next paragraph exonerates Darwin from the charge of advocating Eugenics. Before we explore that assertion, lets examine what we just read. Darwin listed categories of persons whose reproduction is in his mind highly injurious to the human race. The physically and mentally weak. Those with diseases such as small-pox. The poor. THE POOR. (Repetition intentional) The maimed. (Injured in childhood? On the job? Defending one's country?) Those who formerly enjoyed good health, but became ill, whom physicians treat up to the last minute of life. As anyone is foolish enough to "allow his worst animals to breed", he brings about "the degeneration of a domestic race." Only man is so "ignorant" to allow his own race to degenerate by preserving the lives of the weak.

What is Darwin's explanation for why man tries to "check the process of elimination"? The answer is in the next sentence from the disputed passage:

"The aid which we feel impelled to give to the helpless is mainly an incidental result of the instinct of sympathy, which was originally acquired as part of the social instincts but subsequently rendered, in the manner previously indicated, more tender and more widely diffused. (Darwin, p.139)

Immediately following this sentence is the evidence that expelledexposed asserts proves Darwin was not an advocate of Eugenics:

Nor could we check our sympathy, even at the urging of hard reason, without the deterioration in the noblest part of our nature." (Darwin, p.139)

Does this passage exonerate Darwin from the charge of advocating Eugenics? You could say yes. But that is not the specific charge made by Expelled. The charge made by the film is that Darwin's theories led to a drastic change in how man views himself; no longer does man see himself as the pinnacle of God's creation, but as just another animal. No matter how much Darwin would have protested, he could not stop others from applying his views to the elimination of the weak and helpless. As I argued in Part V, no scientist or philosopher has a veto power over what implications others derive from his own work. Darwin was not a Nazi; he was a typical 19th century British racist. And these racist tendencies colored his assumptions and conclusions. Modern day evolutionists argue that racism has been purged from modern day Evolutionary theory. Yet Darwin's racism was present in his original work and played a role in those who applied his theories of natural selection to the human race. No, Darwin did not advocate Nazi ideology. But his theories were an integral element in its formation.

Lets read the rest of the paragraph from Darwin:

The surgeon may harden himself whilst performing an operation, for he knows he is acting for the good of his patient; but if we were intentionally to neglect the weak and helpless, it could only be for a contingent benefit, with an overwhelming present evil. We must therefore bear the undoubtedly bad effects of the weak surviving and propagating their kind; but there appears to be at least one check in steady action, namely that the weaker and inferior members of society do not marry so freely as the sound; and this check might be indefinitely increased by the weak in body or mind refraining from marriage, though this more to be hoped for than expected." (Darwin, p.139)

So , the sound in mind and body must bear the effects of the weak reproducing themselves. But it bears these effects with the hope that "the weak in body or mind" refrain from marriage. How are they to refrain? Who is to teach them? The sound in mind and body. Yet this Darwin considered this just a hope.

People such as Galton found implications in such passages from Darwin's works. To preserve the weak and the helpless brings degeneration to the human race. The solution is to "assist" the weak in refraining from marriage, or in rendering the weak unable to bear children. (Sterilization) Eugenics was simply a plan of action to bring about the "hope" expressed by Darwin. A couple of generations later, the Nazi's formulated their own ideology, heavily influenced by Eugenics, and carried out their own plan of action, the Holocaust. (See Ian Kershaw's 2 volume biography of Hitler to understand the influence of Eugenics on the Nazi ideology of race.)

Ideas have consequences. From Darwin's theory that man is just an animal, he came to the conclusion that to preserve the weak led to the degeneration of the human race. But not to preserve the weak violated man's "evolved" consciousness; man can only hope that the weak would not reproduce. To others, this implied that a plan of action was needed to make this hope a reality. Enter the Eugenics movement. This movement influenced figures such as Margaret Sanger to form Planned Parenthood, an organization that still helps the weak refrain from reproducing. Just go to Google Video and enter in "Planned Parenthood Racism"; you might be surprised at how the organization encourages the termination of pregnancy for racial minorities. More on Margaret Sanger here and here.

Darwin may have expressed his doubts with Galton's application of Darwin's theories of natural selection to humans. But it appears to me that on this point Darwin wanted it both ways. By applying "the action of natural selection on civilized nations", as he did in "The Descent of Man", Darwin was in fact taking his theories of natural selection and applying them to Man. And others, such as Galton, saw the implications of Darwin's views, and tried to purge the human race of the weak and helpless.

Part VII will appear tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Exposing ExpelledExposed: Part V. Bad History Or "Those Darn Narrow Protestants!"

We have seen the tactics exhibited by expelledexposed against individuals who its parent, the NCSE, deems to have "left the reservation" of legitimate science. Lets see how history is presented by expelledexposed. The picture isn't any prettier.

Those responsible for expelledexposed take great exception to the charge made by Expelled that Darwinism was an essential historical ingredient in bringing about the Holocaust. They also deny any connection between evolution and the formation of Communism, the rise of atheism and the development of the Eugenics movement which sought to "cleanse" the human race of the mentally and physically challenged. Is history as presented by Expelled a false history, as expelledexposed charges? Is this history the work of a "narrow" group of Protestants? Is the alternative history put forth by expelledexposed a trustworthy account?

Expelledexposed states that to blame Darwinian Evolution for the rise of the Nazis and the subsequent destruction of 6 million Jews is to ignore the historical roots of these events. The website points to the devastation suffered by Europe during WW I plus the postwar social, political and economic turmoil suffered by its citizens as the real roots of the rise of Nazi Germany. An especially important factor in the Nazi takeover were the reparations imposed on Germany by the victorious European and American powers in the Treaty of Versailles. Increasing nationalism and anti-semitism were also historical factors, according to expelledexposed.

There is much truth in this historical account. Some group claiming it would end Germany's humiliation would have certainly come to power with or without the existence of Darwin's theories. The "peace" imposed by the victors brought humiliation and starvation to Germany. In Germany, money had become so worthless that people brought wheelbarrows full of cash just to buy a loaf of bread. Revenge for these peace terms as well as the urge to regain a lost empire was opportunity enough for the Nazis to gain ascendance by blaming the Jews for the hard times. Any group that promised a way out by eliminating domestic "enemies" would have gained followers. The Nazis were simply exploiting existing anti-semitism that was present in Germany and the rest of Europe. Not even the Church is to escape the charge of anti-semitism or blame for acting upon it throughout history. Anyone unfamiliar with this sad history can inform themselves of it by reading Michael Brown's "Our Hands Are Stained Blood."

This being the case, can it be legitimately claimed that Evolution was no factor at all in the formation of Nazi ideology and the Holocaust? Expelledexposed and the NCSE would have you think so. According to expelledexposed, the only group that considers Evolution to be a factor in these events is a "narrow" group of Protestants such as Henry Morris, The Institute For Creation Research, Answers In Genesis and Coral Ridge Ministries. Again, here we see the NCSE strategy at work. Present a historical account, which is truthful as far as it goes, and then present the alternatives as the product of the imagination and shoddy research of fringe groups. In this case, the fringe group being creationists. Expelledexposed makes it look that the view that Evolution was a factor in creating the Holocaust is not shared by reputable historians. And it does so without providing citations for its own conclusions.

British historian Paul Johnson, who is not a narrow Protestant but a Catholic, properly puts Darwinian Evolution in its proper historical perspective. In "Modern Times", he points out that the great scientific revolutions change the mindset of humanity more than any other historical factor. The work of Galileo introduced an empiricism and a natural philosophy that gave rise to the Scientific and Industrial Revolutions. Newton's physics led to the 18th Century Enlightenment, Nationalism and Revolutionary Politics. And Evolution certainly had a vital impact on the formation of the thought of Hitler and Marx. (Johnson, p.5) It would be intellectually inconsistent to recognize Evolution for the scientific revolution it was and then argue it had no impact on the world view of the following generations, including the most important negative developments in the 20th century. Can anyone really divorce Evolution from the increasing atheism in the western world? According to Johnson, evolution was a major factor in the rise of anti-semitism in 19th Century Germany. Previously, anti-semitism was greater in other European countries such as Russia and France. But in 19th Century Germany, with the rise of Industrialization and its attendant consequences on an alienated proletariat, the introduction of the notion of the survival of the fittest applying to humans had consequences. It gave rise to the belief that certain weaker social and ethnic groups were enslaving the masses and poisoning the natural selection among the races. This led to the targeting of the Jews as the race responsible for the bad times. (Johnson, p.117) As for the formation of Nazi ideology, and its outworking in the Holocaust, one of the factors was the eugenics movement, which we will be discussing shortly.

Expelledexposed denies the link between Evolution and Communism. Yet the Marxist view of class warfare developed from the evolutionary concept of the survival of the fittest: the destruction of the middle class addicted to the status quo which kept the masses poor developed from an evolutionary world view. Marx recognized this and asked Darwin if he could dedicate Das Kapital to him. (To be fair, Darwin refused. At least this blog engages in full disclosure, even if expelledexposed does not.) The marriage of Marxism and Evolution lasted well into the 1920's. Later, Stalin rejected the connection between the two because he thought Evolution was too connected to Nazi ideology. This is according to historian Robert Gellately's book "Lenin, Stalin and Hitler: The Age of Social Catastrophe." This is a secular book like Johnson's, not the work of a "narrow Protestant."

Does all this mean that Darwin foresaw all the consequences that his ideas would bring about, or that all who applied Darwinism to their own ideologies had a perfect understanding of his writings? Of course not. Darwin was not a monster; he would have been appalled by the slaughter of 6 million Jews and would have denied any connection between the notion of the survival of the fittest to the destruction of whole races. But acknowledging that does not let Darwin and his evolutionary theories off the hook. Evolution challenges the belief that Man is a special creation, made in God's image, God's greatest creation. When we reject the special creation of man, then man is viewed as just another animal. The most developed, the most evolved, but an animal none the less. When man is viewed as an animal, he will be experimented on as if he was an animal. There are those who will inevitably apply the evolutionary concept of the survival of the fittest to mankind. They will identify those classes of humanity who they believe threaten the process of natural selection among the races and contaminate future generations, which they fear could lead to extinction. Yes, the Jews would have been targeted whether Darwin published his theories or not. Yet the systematic destruction of 6 million Jews, carried out with such scientific efficiency, would never have occurred without the evolutionary belief that man was just an animal. The scientific establishment that sought how to murder the most people with the greatest of efficiency would never have been formulated had not Darwin lowered the status of man in the eyes of humanity. This is a historical fact that the NCSE does not want you to understand.

Nor does the NCSE want you to understand the connection with Evolution and the Eugenics movement.

The Father of the Eugenics movement was Sir Francis Galton. Galton happened to be the 1/2 cousin of none other than Charles Darwin. Galton proposed that the physique, ability and character are inherited traits as are intellectual ability, zeal and devotion to work. Therefore, for the good of the human race, all encouragement should be given to encourage the healthy to bear children, while every effort should be made to prevent child-bearing among the "dysgenic", those mentally, physically and behaviorally unfit. (Gellately, p.331) Galton himself expressed the connection between Eugenics and Evolution: "I was encouraged by the new views to pursue many inquiries that interested me, which clustered around the central topic of Heredity." It is true that Darwin did not agree with Galton's application of his own views to the human race. To acknowledge this does not necessarily obligate one to deny a connection between Evolution and Eugenics. Just because a scientist or philosopher objects to implications made by others of his own work does not make them the final authority as to where their original theories may lead. Nor does that bar subsequent generations from connecting those theories to later historical developments. And it is clear that Darwin and Galton corresponded regularly concerning each other's work. Can anyone find me a quote from Darwin decidedly rejecting the direction his cousin's theories took? Did not Darwin encourage him in his work? Darwin himself acknowledged his own debt to his cousin's views in "The Descent of Man" (Charles Darwin, The Descent of Man, Prometheus Books, Amherst, New York, 1998) :

"I have hitherto only considered the advancement of man from a semi-human condition to that of the modern savage. But some remarks on the action of natural selection on civilized nations may be worth adding. This subject has been ably discussed by Mr. W.R. Greg, and previously by Mr. Wallace and Mr. Galton."

The footnote to this section cites the work by Galton entitled "Hereditary Genius." (Darwin, "The Descent of Man", p.138)

Can we acknowledge family ties between Darwin and Galton and at the same time deny an intellectual kinship between their work? Can we deny a connection between the Eugenics Movement's purpose of preventing the "unfit" from propagating and the Darwinian notion of the survival of the fittest? We can no more deny that the Eugenics Movement was a child of Darwinism than we can deny the family relationship between both men.

Expelledexposed rightly points out that all segments of society in the late 19th and early 20th centuries embraced the Eugenics movement at some level, including the Church. It also points out that the movement had its critics. Who were these critics? Expelledexposed gives credit to some clergy and some of the intelligentsia. But the Evolutionary Icon, the late Stephen Jay Gould is more specific:

"We usually regard eugenics as a conservative movement and its most vocal critics as members of the left. This alignment has generally held in our own decade. But eugenics, touted in its day as the latest in scientific modernism, attracted many liberals and numbered among its most vociferous critics groups often labeled as reactionary and anti scientific." (Gould, "The Flamingo's Smile", p. 310)

"...groups often labeled as reactionary and anti scientific." Dare we say "narrow Protestants"? As Gould points out, it was "conservative Virginia Christians" who challenged a Virginia law that required women who were "feeble minded" to be sterilized. The case , known as "Buck v. Bell", was decided by the U.S. Supreme Court, which upheld the Virginia law. Writing for the majority, Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes declared : "Three generations of imbeciles are enough." (Gould, p310)

Yes, it was the "narrow Protestants", the Creationists, who were in the forefront of the battle against Eugenics. Yes, in many ways Fundamentalists were at a loss as to how to deal with modern culture. Yet they understood that accepting Evolution devalued the status of man in the eyes of mankind. And Fundamentalists recognized that that thinking inevitably led to attempts to control the development of the human race, to encourage the strong to rid itself of the weak. That is why its the most "vociferous" critics of Eugenics were Fundamentalists, those narrow Protestants. And we have the word of Stephen Jay Gould on this point. I make this point especially to you who work at or are allied with the NCSE: if we can't trust Stephen Jay Gould on this issue, who can we trust?

Part VI will deal with the quote from Darwin's "Descent of Man" that Ben Stein read in Expelled.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Exposing ExpelledExposed: Part IV. Isolating Opponents And Supressing Dissent Through Stereotyping

(Please read the Introduction and Part I of this series before reading this post. References to incidents and abbreviations are not to be understood without reference to these prior articles.)

"I have never been one of those Jews who make facial contortions at the mere mention of the Christian Right; I actually agree with them on some matters...But I'm offended that so many conservative Christians believe that theirs is the only path toward salvation. I'm sick of being proselytized. We Jews enjoy a more basic type of faith, a direct relationship to God that requires no salvation, no penitence, no supplication. We don't proselytize. And we don't worry about the next life..."

Does this person sound like a secret agent for the Christian Right, seeking to cram Jesus down the throats of America's unsuspecting school children? Is this person's modis operendi the advocacy of Intelligent Design (ID), a movement that purports to be science but is nothing more than a Trojan Horse to inject religion into the public schools?

This is what the good folks at the National Center of Science Education (NCSE) would have you believe.

The above quote is from a Wall Street Journal Article by Pamela Winnick. Winnick covered the controversy concerning the teaching of ID in Pennsylvania Public Schools. (A Pennsylvania judge ruled that ID was another version of Creationism and to teach it in the public schools is a violation of Church and State.) Winnick claims that her journalistic career was jeopardized by news paper articles she wrote, treating both side objectively. To give ID proponents a fair hearing offended evolutionist allies in the media. She was interviewed for Ben Stein's Expelled, and expelledexposed, a website sponsored by the NCSE, has attempted to discredit her and her story.

According to expelledexposed, ID is just Christian Creationism in disguise. Creationism accepts as fact the Biblical account of Creation found in Genesis, the first book of the Bible. Creationism challenges Darwinian Evolution and seeks to have the Biblical Account of Creationism taught alongside Evolution as an alternative explanation.

The ID movement does have Christians in its ranks. But even declared Christians, such as Michael Behe, distance ID from religion: one does not have to believe in the Christian God to be a proponent of ID. Winnick writes in her review of a PBS special on Evolution:

"I'm no creationist (believer in the Biblical Account of Creation), but as a reasonably intelligent person, I think that if there is a God, and if he is really in charge, he would not have left our creation to the mere toss of the genetic dice. Conversely, if God decreed that natural selection would lead to the creation of man, then the process wasn't random at all."

It would seem that from reading Winnick, that one can express doubts about Darwinian Evolution and not be a Christian Fundamentalist.

Dr. Richard Sternberg (see the Introduction and Part I of this series) , also profiled in Expelled, is a scientist who claims to be an evolutionist , but does not adhere to,the totality of Darwinian Orthodoxy. He details his views on his web page in a PDF document:

"I am an evolutionary biologist with interests in the relation between genes and morphological homologies, and the nature of genomic 'information.' I hold a Ph.D in Biology (Molecular Evolution) from Florida International University and a Ph.D in Systems Science (Theoretical Biology) from Binghampton University."

Sternberg also describes the formation of his early religious views in the same PDF document:

"As a teenager, I was repelled by the strain of fundamentalist Christianity that surrounded me in the deep South: the anti-intellectualism, the cultural flatness, and the pessimistic fatalism that seemed to go with the former two. Equally revolting to me was the accomodationism that I saw in the post-Vatican II Roman Catholic Church, that usually took the form of Liberation Theology on the one hand or a bourgeois moralism on the other. Like some of my peers, I was actively searching for an integrated picture of the world and I just could not find it in what passed for Christianity."

From my reading of Sternberg's statement "How My Views on Evolution Evolved", I would say that Sternberg does not consider himself an atheist, but still would not claim to believe in the Evangelical Protestant Christian God.

Factoring in this background information, any reasonable person, especially one trained to work only with hard evidence, say a scientist, for example, would conclude that Sternberg is not a Right-wing Christian Fundamentalist espousing ID so to sneak Biblical Creationism into American public schools and Universities. Yet, the sponsors of expelledexposed, the NCSE, believe that to challenge Darwinian Orthodoxy is to brand oneself a Right-wing believer in Genesis. The same is true for some of Sternberg's colleagues at the SI.

After the Meyer paper was published, one of Sternberg's superiors inquired of a co-worker of Sternberg concerning Sternberg's religious views:

"...asked me if Dr. Sternberg was religious. I said as far as I knew he was an Eastern Orthodox Christian...Dr...had heard a rumor that Dr. S had two PhD's, one in biology and another in theology. I said no, one was in philosophy (of science I thought). Later I corrected myself and told him that one degree was in biology, one was in systems designs theoretical biology), after I had read his C.V...

"Some time later in the summer we talked again about the paper, as were many in the museum. I told him the paper didn't bother me...He asked if Dr. S was a fundamentalist but I am not sure; I do not recall that he asked me if he was a right-winger. He might have asked me if he was a conservative but I don't remember. I think I told him he was a Republican for whatever reason." (Appendix, p.27)

In the Appendix where the NCSE is clearly shown to have conspired with SI officials to get Sternberg fired, one document from the NCSE's Executive Director claims that Sternberg is a "YEC", a Young Earth Creationist. (This view claims that the earth is only 6,000 years old, or just a little older.) The evidence: Sternberg's connection with the Baraminology Study Group, a YEC group. (Appendix, p. 31) Sternberg's website features a statement by the President of this organization which details Sternberg's association with it. Sternberg has spoken at their meetings and in dialoging with the members, he has made it clear he did not share the group's position concerning the earth's origins. Sternberg was asked to serve on the groups e-journal editorial board so he could contribute his insights as a critic of the group's views. Had the NCSE's Executive Director made a careful inquiry into the matter instead of searching for dirt on Sternberg, then the official would not have called Sternberg a YEC.

Does one have to be an Evangelical Christian to see merit in ID? Apparently not. Author and columnist David Klinghoffer has written articles on both the Sternberg and the Gonzalez cases. He clearly sides with both men concerning their treatment by the scientific establishment. This is how he concludes the article on Sternberg:

"Intelligent Design, in any event, is hardly a made-to-order prop for any particular religion. When the British atheist philosopher, Anthony Flew made news this winter by declaring that he had become a diest--a believer in an unbiblical "god of the philosophers" who takes no notice of our lives--he pointed to the plausibility of ID theory.

"Darwinism, by contrast, is an essential ingredient in secularism, that aggressive, quasi-religious faith without a deity. The Sternberg case seems, in many ways an instance of one religion persecuting a rival, demanding loyalty from anyone who enters one of its churches--like the National Museum of Natural History."

Are these words conclusive evidence that the writer is a Christian Fundamentalist? Hardly. According to editorial reviews at, Klinghoffer is an Orthodox Jew. In fact, one of his books is entitled "Why the Jews Rejected Jesus: The Turning Point in Western History." This book is not written from a Christian perspective.

So we have an example of a reporter who recognizes persecution of scientists when he sees it. He also sees merit in ID. And he understands that Darwinian Evolution can be viewed as a secular religion suppressing rival religious claims concerning the origin of life. And he is not a right-wing Evangelical Christian. This is not the profile of a critic of Evolution that expelledexposed, and its sponsor, the NCSE, would want the world to see.

Ben Stein himself does not claim to be an Evangelical Christian. In an interview in Christianity Today, he states that he is Jewish and always believed in a God who was the prime mover in the Universe, who can be described as the Intelligent Designer. Stein says that his own research into ID strengthed his belief in God and his doubts about Darwinism:

"...It has pointed out something which haunted me ever since I learned about Darwinism, which is, Where did it all start? How did life start? Darwinism has nothing to say about that-nothing useful anyway-but I think Intelligent Design has a great deal to say about it."

At this point, you may be asking "Why is an Evangelical Christian defending these people against the charge of being, well, Evangelical Christians?"

Actually, I don't consider being an Evangelical Christian a chargeable offense. But apparently, the NCSE believes being an Evangelical Christian disqualifies one from being a scientist worthy of the name. That is, if you don't give homage to Evolution as the only explanation of the origin of life. And if you challenge Darwinian Orthodoxy, or speak approvingly of ID, you will be labeled as a Right-wing Evangelical.

Why? First, the mindset of the NCSE concerning ID is truly paranoid. The documents in the Appendix clearly demonstrate this. After the publication of the Meyer paper, the rumor at the SI was that Sternberg is a conservative Christian. The NCSE takes it for granted that Sternberg's association with the Bariminolgy Study Group automatically classified Sternberg as a YEC.

There is a second reason. The NCSE and its allies know that there are those who question the assumptions or conclusions of Evolution. The NCSE knows that there are many within the scientific community who share these doubts. Yet many of these doubters are not Evangelical Christians. If the NCSE can convince these people that to dissent from Evolution automatically classifies one as an Evangelical, if it can make these people fear being labeled as such, then these people will suppress these doubts, or not make them public. "I don't want to be associated with those Evangelical Protestants. My professional life is going to suffer. People will think I'm a character in a Flannery O'Conner story!"

In their effort to silence all opposition to Evolution, reputable scientists will be labeled as Christian Creationists, even if they are not. This strategy serves to isolate the doubters so to convince others from voicing their doubts. The NCSE spends its money to create websites like expelledexposed to convince as many as it can that opposing Evolution makes one a Biblical Creationist.

This is one of the reasons I chose to write this series: to demonstrate that to doubt Darwin does not label you as an Evangelical. Why? For many, this intellectual stumbling block has to be removed before the mind and heart can later come to a belief in Jesus Christ. Before I became a Christian, God removed many intellectual stumbling blocks to my belief in Him. The last one to be removed was the belief in Darwinian Evolution as the only credible explanation for the origin of life. Evolutionists failed to win me over; but some, through the lies and sterotyping practiced by the NCSE on expelledexposed, continue to be kept within Darwinian fold.

Part V will be published soon.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Exposing ExpelledExposed: Part III. The Case Of Pamela Winnick

Most of those profiled on Expelled, most of those expelledexposed has sought to discredit, are scientists. Not Pamela Winnick. Winnick was a full-time reporter for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette when she wrote a series of articles covering the controversy over teaching ID in Pennsylvania public schools. Winnick, who states that she is not a Christian Biblical Creationist, claims that her objective treatment of ID hurt her journalistic career. Expelledexposed denies this. Its section on Winnick reveals the mindset of its sponsor, the NCSE: if one does not wholeheartedly condemn ID, if one seeks to give ID a fair public hearing, then that person is an advocate of ID.

Expelledexposed links to three articles written by Winnick on the ID controversy in Pennsylvania. The web site's comments on them reveal a paranoia concerning ID. The website charges Winnick with both describing evolution in terms of ID talking points and concluding that Pennsylvania's children suffered because ID was not taught to them. (The website cites no example.) This is a truly laughable charge to anyone who actually reads the articles with an unbiased mind, an activity expelledexposed probably expects readers not to engage in.

Throughout two of the articles, both sides of the issue are given their chance to give their perspective. There is no editorializing against Evolution by Winnick. In one article she explains how the Pennsylvania scholastic reputation was on the line within the scientific community for authorizing the teaching of Creationism. She even quoted the misgivings of an editor for the NCSE. While Winnick writes that many scientists claim to believe in both God and Evolution, she points out that Evolution is a direct challenge to "Fundamentalists' " views of life's origin. Perhaps Winnick's sin, in the eyes of the NCSE, was her portrayal of the diversity of Evolution's critics. She portrayed them as reasonable, willing for Evolution to be taught alongside competing explanations of the origin of life. Proponents of ID denied they were trying to force religion on school children. And as portrayed by Winnick, not all proponents of ID belong to the "Christian Right." Michael Behe, a Catholic, is a ID proponent who believes ID could be separated from adherence to Protestant Biblical Creationism.

Winnock quotes Behe as claiming that Evolution cannot be verified in the laboratory. Perhaps the NCSE thinks this is proof-positive that Winnick is a right-wing Christian Creationist. Yet the same article quotes an evolutionist dismissing Behe as a "screwball." Maybe the fact Winnick ended one article with a quote from Phillip Johnson, a creationist, is evidence enough for the NCSE that she and all ID advocates are soul mates. The Johnson quote stated that Darwinian Evolution is a brand of religion that evolutionists are pushing in schools while trying to ban all other explanations of life's origins. Yet just prior to the Johnson quote, Winnick quoted an evolutionist labeling ID a cult.

In another article (linked to by expelledexposed) written after the teaching of ID was rejected in Pennsylvania, Winnick covered the reactions of both side equally. She concluded by quoting then Governor Tom Ridge, praising what he considered the right outcome. A third article quotes only those who favor ID, but still, Winnick presented the evolutionist's side of the controversy objectively. I challenge anyone reading these articles to direct me to any language of Winnick's endorsing ID.

The NCSE mindset labels anyone who gives ID a fair hearing an ID advocate. Expelledexposed cites an interview of Michael Behe by Winnick, as well as a review she wrote concerning a PBS documentary on Evolution, as evidence. The website links to both. In the Behe interview, she acknowledges in objective terms that Evolution is the view explaining life's origins held by the vast majority of scientists and that ID is the theory of choice for a small minority. Behe even stated that Evolution must be taught in public schools. He even acknowledges that his scientific career has not been jeopardized by his work on ID. With these acknowledgements, what could have irked the evolutionists at the NCSE? Was it Behe's assertion that one does not have to be a Biblical creationist to believe in ID? That certainly goes against the NCSE template that ID is just a Trojan Horse to inject Protestant Christianity down every ones throats. Or could it have been Behe's claim that he and others who write books on ID have their work more scrutinized than those who get published in journals of evolutionary persuasion. Maybe it was Winnick's defense of Behe against the charge of being a crackpot?

Expelledexposed charges Winnick with asking Behe "softball questions." It is interesting that while the website should demand that Winnick challenge Behe on his views, or be charged with advocating ID, the website then criticizes Winnick for taking a PBS documentary to task for not including interviews with proponents of ID. There is a word for this. Hypocrisy. Not to challenge Behe aggressively suggests that Winnick is an ID advocate and creationist. To insist that a program on Darwin include criticisms of Evolution, well, that nails it! She must be a right-wing creationist ID zealot. After all, objectivity demands that ID proponets be challenged, while Darwinism is not to be questioned. This is the way the NCSE wants us to think. I find it interesting that evolutionists label ID as an attempt to force Christianity on the public, while at the same time believe evolution should not be challenged on a PBS program partly funded by public tax dollars.

What about Winnick's contention that her professional career in journalism suffered because of the articles she wrote for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette? She continues to publish articles in that paper and in other venues. She has written one book: "A Jealous God." So where is the evidence that her career has suffered. This is a debate I engaged in with the blogger Ben Franklin. My response to him (see the comment section for the May 14th post), with some editing, is as follows:

"As to Winnick's professional career suffering...She was a full-time employee of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, now they only publish her occasionally. Yes, she has written one book. Anyone can write a book. Even in the most repressed countries, enemies of the state can write books. The fact that they can do so does not mean they are not suffering. Do the names Alexander Solzhenitsyn and Salman Rushdie ring a bell? The fact is Winnick can write 50 books criticizing Evolution, but her books will not appear in most book stores. In some bookstores, if her books did appear, evolutionists would complain to the management. Neither could she receive speaking engagements or interviews at most public venues. If authorities in their academic fields were to endorse her writings, or merely compliment them, their professional standing would be threatened. Her views are welcomed in conservative circles, but I am sure she would rather be heard by a wider audience, the general public. So yes, she has suffered professionally. You say you don't buy that? Your only sources of information are those that promote evolution and debunk ID. Again, the assertions on expelledexposed that her claims are false are not accompanied by objective source citations. The criticism of her and others profiled in Expelled come from the Darwinist camp. To rely on their word without objective source material is not seeking the truth, it is seeking validation of one's biases...As to the negative review of her (Winnick's) book by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the paper did not pan the book, one of its writers did. If you were careful to read the review, you would see that the writer writes for Mother Jones, not exactly a creationist magazine. The paper did not endorse the review by publishing it any more than they endorsed Winnick when they published her pieces. So Winnik's work is criticized. So what. Does the fact that evolutionists criticize her on their blogs mean the criticism is valid? You seem to think that citing these critics is evidence. You assume that evolutionists are objective, while critics of Evolution are dishonest. What I read about Winnick on expelledexposed does not square with her published work, even expelledexposed's own links to her work. The website's designers are probably counting on a lazy reading public not to examine their website in detail."

Having exposed expelledexposed's attempt to discredit through a selective presentation of the evidence, we need to cover other subjects. Expelled profiled others who claimed they suffered professionally for their connection to ID. However, I have no access to evidence concerning their claims. Also, I saw the movie only once, last May, and my memory of their cases are not as good. Expelledexposed has sections covering these people. These sections are not any less flattering as the ones on Sternberg, Gonzalez and Winnick. Should we accept what expelledexposed says about them without question? Based on the track record we have already documented, what do you say?

Part IV will appear in a few days.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Exposing ExpelledExposed: Part II. The Case of Dr. Guillermo Gonzalez

(The author recommends that you read the Introduction to this series before reading this post. Matters merely alluded to here would be fully understood by reading the Introduction. Also, a few abbreviations are used in this article without explanation; the end of the Introduction will tell you what they mean.)

Imagine that you are a prosecutor in a criminal trial and I am the defendant. As you question me, I assert my innocence; I make an unequivocal statement as to my version of the facts. On further questioning, you then hear me give a totally different account of the facts in question. You then pounce on this inconsistency: "Sir, you cannot expect anyone to believe that two totally different accounts of the events in question are both true. You cannot give the Court two different, conflicting testimonies. Tell us, which version is the truth, or are both false?"

This hypothetical situation illustrates the position expelledexposed takes in regard to the case of Dr. Guillermo Gonzalez. Dr. Gonzalez, who was interviewed by Ben Stein in Expelled, claims that he was denied tenure at Iowa State University (ISU) because of his work on Intelligent Design (ID.) Expelledexposed takes issue with these claims, attempting to explain their version of the truth with two opposing versions of the facts. Expelledexposed's section on Gonzalez denies that his work on ID was the reason for him being denied tenure. Then it claims that it was perfectly reasonable to factor in his work on ID in considering whether to grant him tenure. Expelledexposed even links to an article on the subject containing quotes from those involved in the process; both quotes confirm that Gonzalez's views and work on ID was discussed. The other quote is from a professor who admits he voted against granting Gonzalez tenure for his work on ID, despite Gonzalez's impressive academic record.

Neither side of this issue denies that Dr. Gonzalez has an impressive record in his field. According to an article in The Weekly Standard, which expelledexposed links to, Gonzalez's record is impressive indeed:

"According to a Smithsonian/NASA astrophysics database, Gonzalez's scientific articles from 2001-2007 rank the highest among astronomers in his department according to a standard measure of how frequently they have been cited by other scientists. He has published 68 peer-reviewed articles, which beat the ISU department standard for tenure by 350 percent. He has also co-authored a standard astronomy textbook, published by Cambridge University Press, which his faculty colleagues use in their own classes." (Some Internet sites take issue with the "350 percent claim.")

One would think that ISU's Physics Department would grant tenure as soon as possible to someone with Gonzalez's record. However, Gonzalez co-authored another book, this one on ID, called "The Privileged Planet." The book's thesis is that for life to have developed on Earth, an innumerable amount of preconditions would have to have existed beforehand. For life to have developed then can be better explained by ID than the blind chance advocated by Darwinian Evolution. As we shall soon see, this advocacy of ID played a part in ISU's denial of tenure.

As in its treatment of Richard Sternberg, expelledexposed expects its readers to take certain evidence at face value. In the case of Sternberg, it was the denial by the BSW that the Meyer paper had been peer-reviewed. In this case, we are to put our total trust in the Official Statement of ISU's President that Gonzalez's views on ID played no part in the denial of tenure. According to the statement, Gonzalez's creative output in his field declined during his time at ISU, indicating that his early promise would not be met. The criteria used to determine whether to grant tenure consisted of refered publications, the amount of research funding and grants received, the number of graduate students supervised and evidence of future promise in astronomy. Expelledexposed reproduces a graph from a blogger it links to which is supposed to show the decline in output on the part of Gonzalez. While a decline in output may have been a factor, are we to believe without question that this was the sole factor?

Expelledexposed makes the point that gaining tenure at major research institutions is difficult. It links to a post on Ed Brayton's blog Dispatches From The Culture War. Brayton is contemptuous of Gonzalez's claims. He rightly describes the process of granting tenure as a game of crap shoot; people are denied tenure for a host of reasons. This blog cites the story of another astronomer who was denied tenure in spite of a very impressive record. This person did not whine, but applied for and received an appointment elsewhere. How does expelledexposed expect its readers to react? Probably something like this: "Like, oh my gosh, I never knew it was so hard to get tenure. Why doesn't Gonzalez get over it? Those who deny Evolution in the 21st century must be, you know, conspiracy buffs."

Like, excuse me, is this evidence? Is the fact that tenure is hard to come by to be taken as incontestable evidence that ID was not a factor in Gonzalez being denied tenure at ISU?

Lets suppose you take a close relative to the Doctor for a regular checkup. The Doctor prescribes medication for your relative. Five minutes after taking the prescribed dose, your relative drops dead. When you confront the Doctor with a malpractice suit, he defends himself this way: "Life is a risky business. It always ends in death. Even if you have no bad habits and avoid illness, you will die of old age. Your body will just wear out. The fact that we all die is evidence enough that my treatment did not constitute malpractice. It was just his time to go. Life is like a game of crap shoot." You would not be so stupid as to accept this explanation. Neither should we be so in believing that the difficulty to gain tenure is is to be taken as all the evidence we need that ID was not a factor in the specific case of ISU denying Dr. Gonzalez tenure.

Expelledexposed points out that those who vote on applications for tenure do so anonymously. Therefore, expelledexposed tells us, we can only speculate as to the factors involved in denying Gonzalez tenure. Yet The Weekly Standard Article cited by expelledexposed features two quotes from two ISU professors involved. One professor confirmed that the Physics faculty discussed "The Privileged Planet." "I would be a fool if I said it was not" he is quoted as saying. But he denied that the book was a big factor in the decision. Then the magazine quoted another professor who stated that Gonzalez "is a very creative, intelligent and knowledgeable, highly productive scientifically and an excellent teacher." Yet this professor voted to deny Gonzalez tenure BECAUSE OF "The Privileged Planet." Are we to conclude that this was the only one who voted to deny tenure based on Gonzalez's views on ID? Expelledexposed cited this article. Did the web site's authors expect that no one would actually read it? Did they think their criticism of the article would make readers think it was not worth reading?

Whether Gonzalez's advocacy of ID was a factor in ISU denying Gonzalez tenure, expelledexposed wants to have it both ways. First, it denies that his work on ID prejudiced his colleagues against him. Then it backtracks: It asks if it would have been unreasonable for ISU to consider Gonzalez's work on ID when it voted on giving him tenure. Expelledexposed's answer: No. Its rationale is that ID is not really science, so Gonzalez's work in this area should not be considered legitimate scholarship in his field. His work on ID is cited as a reason for his decline in output by expelledexposed. To do work on anything connected with ID is a distraction from true scientific endeavors. Expelledexposed quotes a statement from the American Astronomical Society denying ID is a worthy alternative to Darwinian Evolution as evidence that its argument is correct.

So, on the one hand, Gonzalez's work on ID played no part in ISU's decision to deny him tenure. His claims to the contrary reveal a persecution complex common among creationists. At least, that is what some evolutionists would have us believe. Ed Brayton's post on Gonzalez attributes this to the creationists' religion whose founder suffered an "alleged act of martyrdom."

But on the other hand, if his views on ID were a factor, so what?

Can you imagine yourself as a defense attorney pleading your clients case before a jury: "My client is innocent of the crime of murder. But if he did do it, so what? The victim had it coming!" I am sure your client would have grounds for an appeal.

Expelledexposed wants to convince you that Dr. Gonzalez's views and work on ID played no role in ISU' decision not to grant him tenure. Yet there is evidence to the contrary in the Weekly Standard article expelledexposed links to in the form of quotes from those who participated in the process. So expelledexposed carries the caveat that even if it did, this was justified because ID is not true science. While arguing two sets of facts, expelledexposed portrays Gonzalez as someone with a persecution complex. Do we need anymore reason to doubt the websites veracity on anything?

Part III will appear in a few days.