Some more of the footage from the Intelligent Design film Expelled! is becoming available. In this case, it’s some of the footage that the producers bought from unwitting scientists like Richard Dawkins and PZ Myers, both of whom are, in addition to being scientist, are also proponents of atheism. That is, of course, no accident: the message of the film is that evolution is an ideology, not science, and trying to confuse scientific evidence with the personal opinions of atheists in particular is key to that strategy.
But geez: this is some pretty darn tame stuff:
No burning down the churches, no banning public expression of belief: just the hope that as people learn more, they will become less religious. This was the best they could get for their supposedly damning clips?
And really, this expression of secular hopes are not exactly the only view out there about how science affects religion and vice-versa. Though atheists like Dawkins and Myers are of course critical, there are plenty of other scientists like Francis Collins and Kenneth Miller who feel that their religious convictions were enhanced by their understanding of science, rather than hurt. As far as we know, based on the now numerous summaries of the films content (and honestly, there’s ultimately not too much of deep substance to begin with in any film), none of these sorts of voices receive honest recognition or expression as pretty obvious counter-examples against the “evolution is an atheist religion” accusation.
The fact that science makes some God some beliefs (like Young Earth Creationism) untenable and others (like more deistic beliefs) unnecessary is a consequence of the scientific evidence, not the cause of it. That the filmmakers went to such dishonest lengths just to spend hours filming scientists talking about atheism, rather than science, just goes to show how desperate they are to avoid confrontation with this reality.
Update: Somewhat late, but Rush Limbaugh apparently loved Expelled! Who could have seen that coming? Unfortunately, he doesn’t do much more than repeat, undefended, the same litany of accusations that the film pushes, and then somehow add all of this rambling ranting up to the conclusion that (the religious!) Democratic candidate for President, Barack Obama, is terrible for the country.