Whether or not you ever watched his game show, if you’re a Thinking Parent you probably know that the anti-science, anti-human sophistry of Ben Stein is now a movie called “Expelled”, on its tightly controlled private propaganda tour prior to its actual “public” opening in the US April 18. My Sunshine State’s whole legislature was invited but not reporters.
Then in Minnesota, home of Pharyngula-famed PZ Myers, his even more famous colleague from across the pond Richard Dawkins wasn’t expected, hence slipped into the screening unnoticed — but PZ himself was blacklisted, police on high alert to enforce his, ahem, “expulsion” from this supposedly scientific, open-inquiry teaching of the controversy.
Which they literally did, on threat of his arrest — wonder if such ideological use of police power will be decried or defended, by those who characterize as “free speech” what the anti-abortion party-crashers did at the Dr. Seuss movie premiere? Did they have the absolute right not only to attend but to disrupt through ideological protest, to impose their message by exploiting the movie’s makers and invited guests and of course all their children? If so, surely PZ Myers shares that right, at least to get in the door if not take over?
Cock of the snook to the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies. Russell Blackford PhD LLB is a fellow of the IEET, an attorney, science fiction author and critic, philosopher, and public intellectual. Russell lives in Melbourne, Australia where he teaches in the School of Philosophy and Bioethics at Monash University.
He goes on about how Thinking Parents might respond and why:
Enjoy all this, folks, but take it seriously at the same time. It’s clear enough that there are people in the US (and elsewhere) who will never give up their bitter rearguard resistance to the main findings of modern biological science. These folks are intensely motivated, well-resourced, and supported by a huge proportion of the American public.
Those of who us who are committed to the cause of reason can have a laugh about this, but we mustn’t just sit on the sidelines laughing. The ongoing struggle against evolutionary science has had its political successes. . .
This is not a struggle that any legitimate scientist, or any other rational person, ever asked for, but we are now involved in it whether we wanted to be or not.
It may not always be clear what you and I can do as individuals when confronted by something like Expelled and the publicity machine that will now drive it. All the same, I do ask my readers reflect on it, and that you take a step or two to defend genuine science in whatever way you can.