March 24, 2008

Expelled, the Movie

Filed under: Church — Bob Gifford @ 8:54 am

Oh my. Via the War Room, it seems that Ben Stein has produced a movie called Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed that makes the claim that scientists arguing for intelligent design are being discriminated against. As the court ruling in the Dover, PA intelligent design trial concluded, intelligent design is not science, but here is yet another attempt to portray it as an unfairly maligned but perfectly valid scientific theory.

From the movie’s trailer, Ben Stein conflates Christianity and creationism, implying that one can’t be Christian without rejecting evolution. This is of course absurd. Taking the American religious census from the recent Pew Forum Survey on Religion, 78% of Americans are Christian. By my count1, at least 54% of these Christians belong to churches that accept and even celebrate2 the theory of evolution. So acceptance of evolution is the majority Christian position, at least based upon the teachings of various churches3.

Unfortunately, I think both sides in the intelligent design debate have an incentive to ignore we Christians that believe in evolution. The pro-ID side wants to present it as a choice between faith in God or faith in science, and to present themselves as victims of religious persecution. The New Atheists and Skeptics also like this stark choice, so they can claim that religion has been debunked by science. Both can only maintain this false choice by pretending that Christians believing in both the Bible and evolution don’t exist.

Speaking of the New Atheists, PZ Myers has a hilarious story about his attempt to attend a screening of the Expelled movie. It’s enough to make you believe that there is a God, and She is laughing Her head off!

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1. I’m counting the Catholics and mainline Protestants. I’m not sure about some of the historically black and the Orthodox churches, so I haven’t included them.
2. For an example, see here.
3. I realize that public opinion polls of Americans show a majority of Americans don’t believe in evolution. Given the religious census, I can only conclude that many Christians disagree with the leaders of their churches.

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