Presidential Candidate Obama and the Creation vs. Evolution Controversy

Genesis of a problem
Herald Sun (Australia), page 25
April 17, 2008

COMEDIAN Bill Cosby always maintained on his TV shows that it was children who say the ‘‘darndest things’’.

I’d back politicians over kids any day. Especially during election campaigns.

US Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama was asked what he would tell his daughters if they asked him whether the Earth really was created by God in six days.

‘‘What I’ve said to them is that I believe God created the universe and that the six days in the Bible might not be the six days as we understand it. It might not be 24-hour days,’’ he replied.

God works not only in mysterious ways, but also quickly. And, as we all know, the world’s a small place, but you wouldn’t want to paint it.

Nevertheless, if God created the universe, the stars, our star the sun, and Earth and all the other various bits and pieces and sent them spiralling to distant fates, then our 24-hour day is a consequence of His work.

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And the Campaign Against “Expelled” Picks Up Steam!

Creative writhing
by Kyle Smith
New York Post, page 56
April 17, 2008

IS intelligent design a legitimate topic for discussion on the science faculties, or merely a hidden pocket to sneak creationism into the classroom? Ben Stein — best known as the comic actor who played Ferris Bueller’s teacher, but also a lawyer, author and economics columnist — pushes the former view in the frequently witty documentary “Expelled.” It puts a conservative twist on Michael Moore-ism, with campy stock footage, deadpan humor, mocking musical cues and less-than-ingenuous  questions.

All of this sweetens a high-level debate for the general audience.

Unlike Moore, Stein doesn’t resort to (many) cheap shots. He gives the opposition — stoutly represented by “The God Delusion” author Richard Dawkins — ample opportunity to make its case. In getting Dawkins to concede that there might be some intelligent source to life, Stein scores big.

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Discovery Institute’s Bruce Chapman Defends “Expelled” Film

An intelligent discussion about life
by Bruce Chapman (Special to The Times)
Seattle Times, page B9
April 17, 2008

EXPELLED: No Intelligence Allowed” is a trenchant new film by actor/economist Ben Stein, the man first made famous in “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.” He’s now tackling with humorous dudgeon the classic example of ideological science, Darwinian evolution. Stein shows Darwinists insistently misrepresenting the scientific case against their theory. Where facts and reason might fail to persuade, personal attacks are employed, sometimes even by organizations supposedly committed to civil discourse.

When I was taught Darwin’s theory in college more than four decades ago, it was represented as unassailable. But I also was taught in those days to respect academic freedom, which is a good standard to apply in any field. In the 1990s, before intelligent design was added to the ideas studied at Discovery Institute, I learned about an assault on the academic freedom of Dean Kenyon, a biologist and author at San Francisco State University who had come to view Darwin’s theory as flawed. At first, the effort to restrain him from teaching seemed like just another skirmish over political correctness.

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Dawkins vs the Rabbi

The debate Richard Dawkins chose to forget
by Shmuley Boteach
Jerusalem Post (Israel), page 14
April 14, 2008

A friend recently called my attention to the official Web site of Richard Dawkins, the world’s most famous atheist, where, as a way of assailing me, he denied having ever debated me. “Boteach organized debates, with himself as chairman, and I sometimes took part in debates with the outside visitors that he imported, for example Robert Winston. Boteach was a surprisingly impartial chairman, but he was always just a chairman, never a debater in any of the debates that I attended.”

That is a particularly bold untruth. Our debate, which took place at St. Catherine’s College, Oxford on October 23, 1996, attracted hundreds of students and featured, on the atheist side, Prof. Dawkins and chemistry Prof. Peter Atkins, and on the religion side, me and Prof. Keith Ward, Oxford’s Regius Professor of Divinity. Student president Josh Wine was in the chair. In a vote at the end of the debate as to how many students had changed their minds after hearing the arguments, Dawkin’s side was defeated and religion prevailed, which might account for his selective memory. (The full footage of the two-hour debate is available on my Web site via IAmplify.)

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Ben Stein’s Expelled Film Shown to Missouri State Legislature

Actor holds special viewing of film for state lawmakers
by Kit Wagar and Jason Noble
The Kansas City Star, page B2
April 14 2008

Ben Stein pitches his new documentary, which questions gaps in the theory of evolution.

A bit of Hollywood’s right wing came to Missouri last week as Ben Stein showed up to pitch his new documentary, “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed.”

The premise of the film is that serious scientists are systematically disparaged, discredited and blacklisted if they dare to mention the possibility that the infinite complexity of organisms might indicate design by a higher power.

Stein, the monotone-voiced actor and political essayist, introduced a special screening of the film in the Capitol rotunda. Stein said the movie was inspired by skepticism that a single theory, based on a modest amount of evidence, could explain the entire universe.

“We’re not saying teach creationism,” Stein said. “We just think you should be able to question Darwinism.”

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