Next month there will be public events around to world to commemorate the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin’s birth (February 12th). Here’s an interesting one I came across planned for Clemson University in the US.
A public screening of Ben Stein’s film Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed – followed by a discussion. It’s sponsored by the Departments of Biological Sciences and Philosophy & Religion.
At first sight this might appear to provide a platform for the anti-science, creationist brigade. Bit think about it. What would be the effect of showing this dishonest propaganda film to a mainstream audience (especially a university based one) and then subjecting it to informed analysis by mainstream scientific and religious experts? Surely this would expose the lies presented in the film and clarify the motives of the films makers and sponsors.
Mainstream university and scientific people probably are not often confronted with the reality of this sort of dishonest propaganda. Perhaps they should be – and doing this in a context where the danger of this propaganda can be exposed can only be a good thing.
Currently “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed in this Film” has a relatively narrow distribution – showing to mainly fundamentalist Christian audiences. In New Zealand this seems to be the only audience even contemplated by the films promoters.
So, perhaps the supporters of science could actually treat this dishonest film as a resource and put it to good use.