News: News Archives
New AAAS Statement Decries "Profound Dishonesty" of Intelligent Design Movie
A new movie released in support of the intelligent design campaign needlessly drives a wedge between science and religion and insults the life-affirming work of millions of scientists worldwide, AAAS said in a statement issued today.
The film, "Expelled," posits that science is unable to explain crucial gaps in evolution on Earth, and that the intervention of an intelligent designer was necessary to advance the development of life. The film claims that scientists ruthlessly suppress such challenges.
The AAAS statement responds that evolution is supported by extensive evidence, and rejects the movie as a divisive effort to inject controversial religious ideas into public school science classrooms.
To download the latest version of the free Flash plug-in, go to http://www.adobe.com/shockwave/download/download.cgi?P1_Prod_Version=ShockwaveFlash
View the full-size YouTube video
You may also view this movie using Real Player.
"We were... especially disappointed to learn that the producers of an intelligent design propaganda movie called 'Expelled' are inappropriately pitting science against religion," said the statement. "This production badly misrepresents the scientific community as intolerant of dissent, when, in fact, respectful disagreement and questioning based on physical evidence represent the core of the scientific process.
"AAAS further decries the profound dishonesty and lack of civility demonstrated by this effort. The movie includes interviews with scientists who report that they were deceived into appearing as part of such a production, and advance segments [of the film] broadly depict those who accept evolution as racist and sympathetic to Nazis. Such generalized insults are untrue and grossly unfair to millions of scientists in the United States and worldwide who are working to cure disease, solve hunger, improve national security, and otherwise advance science to improve the quality of human life."
For more than a decade, AAAS has worked to build a constructive engagement between science and religion, through its Dialogue on Science, Ethics, and Religion and other programs. Further, the statement noted, more than 11,000 Christian leaders in the United States have signed a letter affirming that evolution does not conflict with religious faith. The United Church of Christ recently sent out a pastoral letter expressing a similar position.
Evolution "is based on a diverse and robust body of physical evidence, from fossilized bones to radiometric measurements of the ages of the Earth's rocks," the statement says. But the movie, by conveying misinformation about science and researchers, seeks to force religious viewpoints into science class--despite court decisions that have struck down efforts to bring creationism and intelligent design into schools.
"At a time when the United States faces serious economic challenges, we cannot risk derailing efforts to provide the best possible science education for the next generation of problem-solvers," the statement concludes. "Our children deserve no less."
Edward W. Lempinen
18 April 2008