Monday, May 5, 2008

Selective Intelligence


From TakiMag:

"Ben Stein’s movie Expelled has generated lots of commentary, most of it negative. Many have claimed that it is obscurantist and hostile to science, a veritable first shot in a wider war against knowledge.

Despite employing the same type of techniques that garnered Michael Moore an Oscar (and much critical acclaim), it has a 9% positive rating at rottentomatoes.com, the sort of rating generally earned only by slasher films and the like.

Curious about a movie that has generated such hostility, I went and saw it, and discovered an effective polemic that, while propagandistic and one-sided, also provided food for thought..."

Read more about this interesting movie here.

From NY Catholic Mom:

For your information, Phyllis Schlafy has also written a thoughtful piece on this compelling movie/documentary.

We saw this movie the day it came out, and have been talking about it ever since. A wonderfully crafted presentation of two opposing philosophies, it was at once informative, thought-provoking and entertaining. Even our six-year old was absorbed (mostly by the music and old black and white film clips.)

Expelled was also my introduction to a most interesting personality, David Berlinski, who was interviewed by Ben Stein in the movie as a critic of evolution.

Half-reclining at his desk in his Paris apartment, Berlinski casually delivers some astonishing reflections on the inadequacy of Darwinism as a scientific theory. Doing a little research afterwards, I was not surprised to find that he possess an academic pedigree as long as the Champs d'Elysees.

A Jewish agnostic, Berlinski holds doctorates in philosophy and mathematics, has taught at several prestigious universities, and has authored several detective novels and scientific works, one with the most intriguing title, The Secrets of the Vaulted Sky (2003), which compares astrological and evolutionary accounts of human behavior.

To my great delight, Berlinski has just written an article on Human Events, "Connecting Hitler and Darwin," which further explores the connection made in the movie between the Darwinian notion of the survival of the fittest and the Nazi obsession with eugenics.

Berlinski does not disappoint in this provocative piece which is written with a consummate elegance, a wonderful sly humor, and an effortless logic. It is definitely worth a look.

If Ben Stein's movie contributed nothing else to this very important philosophical and scientific question, it has showcased a major new voice in the debate, and I look forward to hearing more from the prodigious and fascinating Dr. Berlinski---"a critic, a contrarian, and — by his own admission — a crank"---in the future.

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