Seeing Ben Stein's Hollywood screening of his new documentary, "Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed" provided an eye-opening look into how far American science has veered from its commitment to freedom of inquiry and of speech.
The documentary opens Friday in select theaters nationally. Find a theater in your area and see this challenging film.
If that film wasn't unsettling enough, watching Leslie Stahl give a 14-minute endorsement to Al Gore's global-warming message on "60 Minutes" provided yet another look into the annoying arrogance of scientific orthodoxy. How embarrassing to watch the once-hard-hitting show provide softball after softball to the former vice president.
When asked about those who disagreed with his views, Gore minimized the "few" whose "silly political games" aren't to be taken seriously. He likened the dissenters to ancient flat-earth defenders.
When Stahl countered that many pretty impressive people disagree, including Vice President Dick Cheney, Gore and millions of liberal viewers were given their opportunity to laugh. Stahl could have pointed to Richard Lindzen, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology climatologist, or any of the 19,000 scientists who believe the "inconvenient truth" that global warming is probably natural and not a crisis. She also could have asked why Gore has not appeared with any scientists who have willingly offered to debate the issue.
Although Stein's documentary looks at the treatment of scientists studying intelligent design, the movie's main target is "science" as practiced in the "politically correct" American universities and supported by our government agencies.
Stein, using both his intellect and quick-witted humor, interviews scientists who consider any mention of ID as a "science sin" against St. Charles Darwin, worthy of forced banishment from the scientific community. By challenging the status quo, you risk being punished. Many have paid a price for even questioning orthodoxy.
Dr. Richard Von Sternberg lost his editorial role with a Smithsonian Institution journal for including a peer-reviewed research article by Stephen Meyer that dared support intelligent design. Meyer shared the comment of a wise mentor: "As a scientist, beware of the sound of one hand clapping."
Science is built and evolves through responsible disagreement and critical analysis. Science needed Darwin to challenge the views of his time. Science now needs "new Darwins."