Re: [asa] Expelled Explained

From: Rich Blinne <>
Date: Fri Apr 11 2008 - 14:45:24 EDT

Michael Schermer did a review of Expelled for SA. Schermer graduated from
Pepperdine in 1974 when we was a Christian. One of the scenes of the movie
was shot at the university. Here's his description:

In 1974 I matriculated at Pepperdine University as a born-again Christian
who rejected Darwinism<>and
evolutionary theory—not because I knew anything about it (I didn't)
because I thought that in order to believe in God and accept the Bible as
true, you had to be a creationist. What I knew about evolution came
primarily from creationist literature, so when I finally took a course in
evolutionary theory in graduate school I realized that I had been
hoodwinked. What I discovered is a massive amount of evidence from multiple
sciences—geology, paleontology, biogeography, zoology, botany, comparative
anatomy, molecular biology, genetics and embryology—demonstrating that
evolution happened.

It was with some irony for me, then, that I saw Ben Stein's antievolution
documentary film, *Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed*, opens with the actor,
game show host and speechwriter for Richard Nixon addressing a packed
audience of adoring students at Pepperdine University, apparently falling
for the same trap I did.
Actually they didn't. The biology professors at Pepperdine assure me that
their mostly Christian students fully accept the theory of evolution. So who
were these people embracing Stein's screed against science? Extras.
According to Lee Kats, associate provost for research and chair of natural
science at Pepperdine, "the production company paid for the use of the
facility just as all other companies do that film on our campus" but that
"the company was nervous that they would not have enough people in the
audience so they brought in extras. Members of the audience had to sign in
and a staff member reports that no more than two to three Pepperdine
students were in attendance. Mr. Stein's lecture on that topic was not an
event sponsored by the university." And this is one of the least dishonest
parts of the film.

On Fri, Apr 11, 2008 at 10:32 AM, Terry M. Gray <>

> From the Scientific American weekly podcast:
> Predictably antagonistic, but I didn't find it problematical. Similar to
> some of the criticisms of ID that we hear from ASA folks.
> SA has other Expelled resources at their site. From the podcast which had
> a brief interview with Eugenie Scott. It sounds like NCSE is also gearing up
> for other Expelled education at
> If we're interested in integrity on these issues, perhaps ASA should make
> a statement.
> TG
> ________________
> Terry M. Gray, Ph.D.
> Computer Support Scientist
> Chemistry Department
> Colorado State University
> Fort Collins, CO 80523
> (o) 970-491-7003 (f) 970-491-1801
> To unsubscribe, send a message to with
> "unsubscribe asa" (no quotes) as the body of the message.

To unsubscribe, send a message to with
"unsubscribe asa" (no quotes) as the body of the message.
Received on Fri Apr 11 14:46:26 2008

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Fri Apr 11 2008 - 14:46:26 EDT