Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed (2008) Movie Script

[strings playing
"all along the watchtower"]
Male announcer: ladies
and gentlemen, welcome.
Today it is
my distinct pleasure
To introduce a man
who is recognized--
The battle over evolution
is only one skirmish
In a much larger war.
Science simply makes no use
of the hypothesis of god.
Ask yourself, what has
intelligent design given us?
We cannot accept
intelligent design
As an alternative
scientific theory.
They will never accept
that we have a better argument.
They just pester us,
and they waste our time.
Announcer: ...Variety
of topics, ranging from
economics, civil rights,
To how not to ruin your life
in ten easy steps.
Today, ben is speaking
on the topic
That has become
increasingly important
to him over recent years.
While ben has always been
an ardent supporter of science,
Lately he has noticed
an alarming trend
In the scientific
That could have
dire consequences
For every american.
Without further ado,
Please join me
in giving a warm welcome
For mr. Ben stein.
[audience applauding]
Ben stein: thank you.
Thank you very much.
Thank you very, very much.
Thank you.
Thank you very much,
Thank you very much,
Thank you
very, very much.
Freedom is
the essence of america.
We're talking
about freedom of speech,
Freedom of assembly,
Freedom from fear,
freedom of religion.
Martin luther king said,
"america is
essentially a dream,"
And he said it is a dream
of freedom and equality.
Freedom is the way
to equality.
And america simply would
not be america without freedom.
In every turning point
in our history,
The decision has always
been about freedom.
[stein narrates]
freedom is what makes
this country great.
Freedom has allowed us
to create, to explore,
To overcome every challenge
we have faced as a nation.
But imagine if these freedoms
were taken away.
Where would we be?
What would we lose?
Well, unfortunately,
I no longer need to imagine.
It's happening.
We are losing our freedom
In one of the most important
sectors of society--
I have always assumed
That scientists were free
to ask any question,
To pursue
any line of inquiry
Without fear of reprisal,
But recently
i've been alarmed to discover
That this is not the case.
It all began when I met
Evolutionary biologist
richard sternberg
In washington, d.C.
His life was nearly ruined
When he strayed
from the party line
While serving as editor
of a scientific journal
with the prestigious
Smithsonian museum
of natural history.
Your office
was over there?
That's correct.
This here
is the west wing.
Directly ahead of us
is the west wing
Of the natural history
So now you're
not there anymore
Because you were
a bad boy.
No, i'm not.
No, I was exiled.
You were a bad boy.
You questioned
the powers that be.
[typewriter clacking]
What was
dr. Sternberg's crime?
He dared to publish an article
by dr. Stephen meyer,
One of the leading lights
Of the intelligent design
The paper ignited
a firestorm of controversy
Merely because it suggested
intelligent design
Might be able to explain
how life began.
As a result,
dr. Sternberg lost his office,
His political
and religious beliefs
were investigated,
And he was pressured
to resign.
The questioning
of darwinism
Was a bridge too far
for many.
The mentioning
of intelligent design
That occurs
at the end of the paper
was over the top.
And I think
the intelligent design
Have raised a number
of very important questions.
And you wanted to get
those questions
Brought up and discussed.
- placed on the table.
- placed on the table.
People were so upset
about it.
They were so upset
that you could see their--
They had a physical
emotional reaction.
They were saying
That stephen c. Meyer
is a well-known christian,
That stephen c. Meyer
is an intelligent design
That stephen c. Meyer
is a republican.
It was all couched
in terms of
Religion, politics,
and sociology.
The way the chair
of the department put it
Is that I was viewed
as an intellectual terrorist.
Because of
giving the topic
Of intelligent design
some modicum of credibility.
What happened
to dr. Sternberg was terrible,
But surely it was
just an isolated case.
I was still
pretty skeptical,
So naturally
I checked in with the head
Of the skeptics society,
michael shermer.
So I can't prove
there is no god,
Or yahweh in your case,
Any more than I can prove
there is no isis, zeus,
Apollo, brahma, ganesha,
mithras, allah,
Or for that matter,
the flying spaghetti monster.
And think about just
one thing:
Why would the aliens
look like this?
- these are bipedal--
- king: who drew that?
Shermer: skepticism...
It's not a position you take.
It's just
an approach to claims.
This one's called
the borderlands of science:
where sense meets nonsense.
Is intelligent design
Well, it's unproven,
So in that sense
it's nonsense.
So I would put it
in the sort of shaded areas
Between good, solid science
and total nonsense.
You know, it's sort of
three quarters of the way
toward the nonsense side.
Stein: but you think,
People should be
allowed to speak about
And publish papers
about it.
They are free to write
and publish and be heard
In public forums
and go to conferences
Just like
everybody else does.
What if a person
published something,
say, at the smithsonian
In favor
of intelligent design
and lost his job over it?
I mean, it had been
peer-reviewed and published
And then he lost his job
over it anyway.
What about
that situation?
Well...I think
that particular situation,
There was something else
going on.
- what was going on?
- I don't know.
I mean, I don't know
because I don't know,
But I think there had
to be something.
People don't get fired
over something like that.
You roll up your sleeves,
you get to work,
You do the research,
you get your grants,
You get your data,
you publish,
And you work
your butt off,
And that's how you get
your theories taught--
What if you try and try
and roll up your sleeves
And go to work
and work your butt off,
And they say,
"we're going to fire you
If you even mention the word
intelligent design"?
I don't think that's happened.
Where is that happening?
Filmstrip narrator:
george mason university--
its 50-year history,
Our mission
has remained clear--
To prepare a diverse
population of students
To think and to grow
In a climate of unbridled
academic freedom.
[typewriter clacking]
Stein: after dr. Caroline
crocker simply mentioned
Intelligent design
in her cell biology class
At george mason university,
Her promising academic career
came to an abrupt end.
My supervisor invited me
into his office.
He said,
"i'm going to have
to discipline you
For teaching creationism."
And I said, "I mentioned
intelligent design
"on a couple of slides,
But I did not teach
He said, "nonetheless,
you have to be disciplined."
At the end of the semester,
I lost my job.
Not only did
this well-loved professor
Lose her job
at george mason,
She suddenly found herself
Unable to find
a job anywhere.
So whenever I
interviewed for a job,
I would be offered it
usually on the spot.
Since this has happened
And since people
can google my name,
I'm finding that when
I send my credentials,
I do get interviews--
I get many interviews--
But I never get
offered a job.
I don't tell them
about my--
About my, uh,
"science sin."
[bell tolling]
I was only trying to teach
what the university stands for,
Which is academic freedom.
Egnor: there's nothing
to be learned in neurosurgery
By assuming
an accidental origin
For the parts of the brain
that we work on.
Stein: it wasn't
just biologists
Who were feeling
the darwinist wrath.
When neurosurgeon
michael egnor
Wrote an essay
to high school students
Saying doctors didn't need
to study evolution
In order to practice medicine,
The darwinists were quick
To try and exterminate
this new threat.
A lot of people
in a lot of blogs
Called me unprintable names
that were printed.
There were a lot of very,
very nasty comments.
Other people suggested
That people call
the university I work at
And suggest that perhaps
it's time for me to retire.
I realized when
I kind of went public
With my doubts
about the adequacy
of darwin's theory,
You know, that I would
encounter criticism.
What has amazed me
is the viciousness
And the sort
of baseness of it.
I'm an old guy.
I have tenure.
I'm academically safe.
But the young people
And what
is happening to them
in america right now
Because of this
scientism gulag
Is really terrible.
Apparently professor marks
Was not as safe
as he thought.
A few months
after this interview,
Baylor university shut down
his research web site
And forced him
to return grant money
Once they
discovered a link
Between his work
and intelligent design.
In order to attract grants,
you have to market yourself.
So you put up sites
and call yourself
"labs" and "groups"
and things like that
In order to get
And in my entire
experience in academia
I never went
to any superior
And asked them
any permission
To put up
any of these labs.
So the fact that
this was singled out,
Let alone shut down,
is jaw-dropping.
It's astonishing.
I have never been treated
like this in my--
About 30 years in academia.
Shut up, you freak!
I said shut up!
it's a madhouse!
If you peel back
the onion,
I think that
there's no doubt
That the center
of this is my work
In what some would call
intelligent design.
Dr. Gonzalez:
people really get
emotional about this.
Whenever you say
"intelligent design"
in a room of academics,
Them's fighting words.
guillermo gonzalez
Found himself
in a fierce shootout
With iowa state university,
Following the publication
of his book
Arguing that the universe
is intelligently designed.
Despite a stellar
research record
That has led
to the discovery
of several planets,
His application
for tenure was denied,
Putting his career
in jeopardy.
I worried about my tenure
a little bit in 2005
When the petition
was being circulated
Because I viewed
that as a strategy
Of hector avalos
and his associates
To try to poison
the atmosphere
on campus against me
Because he knew I
wasn't tenured yet
And I was
very vulnerable.
I have little doubt that
I would have tenure now
If I hadn't done
any professional work
on intelligent design.
Dr. Gonzalez had
this advice for scientists
Who might be thinking
about following his example.
If they value
their careers--
they should keep quiet
About their
intelligent design views.
We know there are times
and places to be quiet
And other times and places
When we can make noise
if we want to.
- filmstrip narrator:
will you show us?
- of course.
Boys and girls,
How would you like to show
Some of the ways we know
of being quiet?
Man #1: it's the kind of thing
where you just learn
to keep your mouth shut.
Stein: in addition
to those scientists
Who were willing
to appear on camera,
We encountered many more
who didn't dare show their face
For fear of losing
their jobs.
Man #2: you use
an intelligent design
To get the research done,
But you're not allowed
to talk about it in public.
Man #3: and so there is
definitely incentive,
if you think about it,
For people to remain
within the mainstream.
Man #4: you know,
"what's he up to?
What is he thinking?
Is he one of them?"
that kind of thing.
Man #5: if I write
"intelligent design,"
They hear "creationism,"
They hear "religious right,"
they hear "theocracy."
So it appears mr. Shermer,
the self-styled skeptic,
Was wrong on this one.
Intelligent design
was being suppressed
In a systematic
and ruthless fashion.
But maybe intelligent design
should be suppressed.
I didn't like
what was happening
to these scientists,
But on the other hand,
We don't want
our kids being taught
That the earth is flat
Or the the holocaust
never happened.
It was time to ask
the scientific establishment
What was so bad
about intelligent design.
Intelligent design people
are not genuine scientists.
Intelligent design
is a racket.
It's just propaganda.
The only intelligent
thing about it
Is to have got people
to call it that.
It's really
very stupid, as well.
Everybody knows
science education
In america
is appalling.
What we don't need
at this time
Is intelligent design
in the classrooms.
To present
intelligent design
Stunts their
educational growth.
It stunts their
intellectual growth.
But what I don't understand
Is how these animals
could've been on earth
Millions of years
before man
When the bible says
the whole earth was created
in only six days.
It wasn't just
the educational aspects
of intelligent design
That had scientists
Many suspected the movement
masked a much larger agenda.
Intelligent design
is a set of excuses
To squeeze creationism
into the classrooms.
Get intelligent design
in the schools today,
And we can have
school prayers tomorrow.
Stein: any other complaints?
Can you imagine
anything more boring?
The boredom attached
to id is supreme.
It is so boring
That I can't even bother
to think about it
much any more.
It's just utterly boring.
John paul young:
love is in the air
everywhere I look around
love is in the air
every sight
and every sound
Stein: love was
in the air, all right,
But none of it was directed
toward intelligent design.
There seemed to be
a lot to hate about id,
And nearly all of that hatred
was focused on one place.
The people in the--
from the discovery institute--
The people who are doing
the intelligent design--
They're all varnish
and no product.
The discovery institute
is a propaganda mill.
It's a--
it's an institution
Designed to suck in money
from religious investors
And turn it into a sanitized,
somewhat secular version
Of the creation story
to get it into the schools.
If they have a way
of understanding nature
That's superior
to the one that we all
Are making lots of
discoveries using, great.
- bring it on.
- [rings]
[norman greenbaum's
"spirit in the sky" plays]
We are really,
really lost.
I think it's on third.
I think it's on third.
I think it's down there.
I have no idea
where this place is.
I guess I just
keep walking.
Do you have any idea where
the discovery institute is?
Have you ever heard
of that?
- never heard of it.
- stein: okay, thank you.
- man: hey, ben.
- how are you, sir?
- man: i'm good. Yourself?
- good.
Do you have any idea where
the discovery institute is?
- not a clue.
- discovery institute?
- thank you, it's very kind
of you to offer--
- welcome to seattle.
Thank you, sir.
It's gotta be
this whole building.
Yes, where is
the discovery institute,
Discovery institute--
on the eighth floor,
suite 808.
when I die
and they lay me to rest
gonna go to the place
that's the best
Okay, very good.
when I lay me
down to die
goin' up
to the spirit in the sky
Aha, success at last.
goin' up
to the spirit in the sky
Aha, we found you.
Are you bruce chapman?
- I am.
- how are you?
I'm ben stein.
- welcome.
- kind of you to have me here.
Delighted to meet you.
Can I look around
and see your offices?
Do you just have
this floor,
Or do you have several
other floors as well?
- chapman:
no, this is it.
- this is it?
You've made
an awful lot of trouble
For being such
a small office.
I thought it was going
to be like the pentagon.
We're like
the little boy that said
the emperor has no clothes.
And he didn't have
a big organization either.
When you go around
and raise funds,
Your people are
not saying to them,
"by the way,
we're going to get
"all these scientists
out of the classroom
And put christ back
in the classroom?"
Well, I don't know
that christ
Has ever been
in the science classroom.
This is not
a religious argument.
This is something
that people--
We have fellows
who are jewish
or agnostic
Or various other things.
There are--there are
moslem scientists.
There are people
of all kinds of backgrounds
Who agree
that darwin's theory
has failed.
So why would you bring
religion into it?
You don't need religion.
This is a red herring, ben.
People who don't have
an argument
Are reduced to throwing
sand in your eyes.
If the discovery institute
Could get its wish
about this subject,
What would your wish be?
Well, on this subject,
as on others,
We'd like people
to be able to have
A robust dialogue
and even a debate
Where the best evidence--
In this case
the best scientific evidence--
Is made available to people.
Surely no one questions
there should be a debate.
Oh, yes, they do.
- they do?
- they say the debate
has been settled,
- that the issue's settled.
- when was the debate settled?
Ben, i'd like you to talk
to the scientists.
You don't want to get
your science from me.
Mr. Chapman claimed id had
nothing to do with religion,
So why was my first stop
biola university,
Formerly known
as the bible institute
of los angeles?
[johnny cash's
"personal jesus" plays]
your own personal jesus
someone to hear
your prayers
someone who cares
Nelson: string theory
will be a footnote
in the history of science.
The inference that
stonehenge was caused
by intelligence...
your own
personal jesus
someone to hear
your prayers
someone who's there
Stein: how much money
have you ever gotten
from jerry falwell?
Uh, zero dollars.
How about
pat robertson?
Are you a minister?
- are you a priest?
- no.
- pastor?
- no.
- youth pastor?
- no.
I did teach
Sunday school once.
Hasn't this all
been resolved?
Aren't we all
darwinists now,
Except for a few
cranks like you?
Well, it's a funny thing
that questions
That aren't properly answered
don't go away.
This question
is loaded with all kinds
of political baggage,
But one-on-one
at a scientific meeting
After the third
or fourth beer,
My experience has been
That many
evolutionary biologists
Will say, "yeah,
this theory's got
a lot of problems."
So you mean to tell me
That there really is
a debate among scientists
About whether or not
evolution occurred?
Well, "evolution"
is a kind of funny word.
It depends
on how one defines it.
If it means simply
change over time,
Even the most rock-ribbed
Knows that the history
of the earth has changed--
That there's been
change over time.
If you define evolution
precisely, though,
To mean the common descent
of all life on earth
From a single ancestor
Via undirected mutation
and natural selection--
That's textbook definition
of neo-darwinism--
Biologists of the first rank
have real questions.
But the modern theory
of intelligent design
Is just microwaved
I don't think
that's the case.
properly understood,
Begins with the bible
and says,
"how can I fit the bible
into the data of science?"
Intelligent design
doesn't do that.
Intelligent design
is the study
of patterns in nature
That are best explained
as a result of intelligence.
So intelligent designers
believe that god
is the designer.
Not necessarily.
Intelligent design
is a minimal commitment,
to the possibility
Of detecting
intelligent causation.
Dr. Nelson didn't
sound like a crazy person,
But I still suspected
id was nothing but
reheated creationism.
My next stop
didn't seem like
It was going
to alleviate those fears.
Male country singer:
didn't crawl
out of the ocean
I didn't come
from no monkey
but science tends
to forget
evolution's just a theory
they present it
in the textbooks
and on animal tv
like it's fact
but tell me
were you there
12 million b.C.?
Evolution is a--
from an intelligent design
Is perfectly acceptable
if the sense is that
"how did the design
get implemented?"
The issue is, is there
a real design there
And are these
material mechanisms,
Like natural selection,
Are these adequate
to account for everything
We see in biology?
And our argument
is no, it's not.
But darwin produced
all this evidence
From his travels
and his studies
at the galapagos
That evolution
explained things.
If you look
at the history of science,
People often have
a good idea,
And then they decide
just to run with it.
And they say, "we're going
to apply this everywhere."
So darwin takes his idea
of natural selection
And says,
"i'm going to explain
all of life with it.
Physics used to be
newtonian physics.
Newton was physics.
And then you gotta
look to einstein,
general relativity.
It's not newton is enough.
I think, likewise,
what we're finding with darwin
Is that he had
some valid insights,
But it's not
the whole picture.
Okay, darwinism may not be
the complete picture,
But what made
these guys think
They had
the missing pieces?
I put this question
to dr. Stephen meyer,
Author of the paper
that originally got
Dr. Sternberg
in so much trouble.
Stein: it's hard to believe
that this little town
Is the headquarters
of giant microsoft,
Which enabled mr. Gates
to become fantastically rich.
Maybe that's what
steve meyer's doing here.
Maybe this is somehow
going to make him
fantastically rich.
We'll pin him down
Like a butterfly
on a butterfly board--
A butterfly
on a killing board.
Coffee shop
straight ahead.
Stein: newton is buried
in the genius's corner
At westminster abbey,
That's correct, yeah.
Darwin is also buried
in westminster abbey.
Right. And so is darwin.
- right, right.
- right near each other.
And you're here in redmond
In a little building
without a sign, right?
And you're obviously
an incredibly smart guy,
But how dare you challenge
Someone who's buried
in the genius's corner
Next to newton
at westminster abbey.
Well, it may seem
a little cheeky,
But it's what scientists
are supposed to do.
When I was in cambridge,
One of my supervisors
often advised us
To beware the sound
of one hand clapping,
Which was a way of saying
if there's an argument
on one side,
There's bound to be
an argument on the other.
What I found in studying
the structure
Of the argument
in the origin of species
Is that for every
evidence-based argument
For one of darwin's
two key propositions,
There is an evidence-based
Well, but--is it a debate?
There's just you
and a couple of other guys
In a dinky little office
downtown, say, on one side,
And there's
the faculties of all
The great universities
in the world
on the other side.
Speaking with a great, uniform,
and authoritative voice.
Yes, right.
Well, in any case,
the debate
Really isn't going to be
settled by numbers.
It's going to be settled
by the evidence
and the arguments.
While I was still
in bill gates country,
Dr. Meyer
recommended I check in
With molecular biologist
jonathan wells.
What kind of names
do they call you?
- uh, creationist.
- what do you say
back to them
When they say you're
a creationist?
Well, I usually don't
get the opportunity.
What's at stake
for you, personally?
First of all,
I love science.
I think
the way darwinism
Corrupts the evidence,
distorts the evidence,
Is bad for science.
Well, the other scientists
will tell you
To just shut up
if you love science, okay?
Because you're sort of being
a bomb thrower into science.
I am upsetting
the applecart.
I think it deserves
to be upset in this case.
Because the evidence
is being distorted
To prop up a theory that
I think doesn't fit it.
Was darwinism
really that bad?
Perhaps a change of scenery
Would give me
a fresh perspective.
[man singing in french]
Mr. Berlinski,
I assume?
- ben stein,
what a pleasure to meet you.
- how are you, sir?
So, where are you
from originally?
I was born in new york,
spent 31 years in manhattan.
- yes.
- and I spent a lot of time
in california, too.
And tell me
all the various universities
Where you've studied
or taught.
I was at princeton,
then I had a professorship
at stanford.
Then I left stanford,
and I taught at rutgers.
I left rutgers,
and I taught
At the city college
in new york.
I left the city college
of new york.
I taught at the baruch college,
I taught at san jose--
What did you teach
at baruch college?
Anything they wanted.
Come on in.
Thank you, monsieur.
What an old building! Wow.
It's the oldest in paris.
You're kidding.
Merci, monsieur.
- ah, je vous entre.
- merci.
Stein: wow,
this is fabulous.
let's put it this way.
Before you can ask
is darwinian theory
correct or not,
You have to ask
the preliminary question
"is it clear enough
so that it could be correct?"
That's a very
different question.
One of my prevailing doctrines
about darwinian theory
Is, man, that thing
is just a mess.
It's like looking into
a room full of smoke.
Nothing in the theory
Is precisely, clearly,
carefully defined
or delineated.
It lacks all of the rigor
One expects from
mathematical physics,
And mathematical physics
lacks all the rigor
One expects
from mathematics.
So we're talking about
a gradual descent
Down the level
of intelligibility
Until we reach
evolutionary biology.
We don't even know
what a species is,
for heaven's sakes.
So his theory is smoke,
but elegant smoke.
There's a certain
elegance to it,
But I think einstein had
the appropriate remark:
He preferred to leave
elegance to his tailor.
A room full of smoke?
That certainly wasn't
what I was hearing
From prominent darwinists
like richard dawkins.
Evolution is a fact.
It's a fact which is
established as securely
As essentially any other fact
that we have in science.
Richard dawkins
is so confident
That evolution is a fact
And that therefore
god doesn't exist
That he has devoted
his entire life
To spreading
the evolution gospel.
I'm an atheist with respect
to the judeo-christian god
Because there is not
a shred of evidence
In favor
of the judeo-christian god.
It is completely
right to say
That since the evidence
for evolution
Is so absolutely,
totally overwhelming--
Nobody who looks at it
could possibly doubt that
If they were sane
and not stupid--
So the only remaining
possibility is that
they're ignorant,
And most people who
don't believe in evolution
are indeed ignorant.
But the people I spoke with
weren't ignorant.
They were
highly credentialed scientists.
So there had to be
something else going on here.
So you think the whole theory
of evolution is false
Or just certain parts of it?
Well, again, "evolution"
is a slippery word.
I would say minor changes
within species happen.
But darwin didn't write
a book called
How existing species
change over time.
He wrote a book called
the origin of species.
- he purported to show
how this same process--
- huh, I see.
...Leads to new species--
in fact, every species--
And the evidence
for that grand claim
Is, in my opinion,
almost totally lacking.
How does darwin--
or darwinism--say life began?
Well, he didn't know.
And, in fact, nobody knows.
So darwinism,
strictly defined,
Starts after
the origin of life
And deals only
with living things.
How can there be
a theory about life
Without a theory
about how life began?
Well, a grand, overarching
evolutionary story,
Of course, does include
the origin of life.
Darwin's theory
doesn't begin
Until you have
the first cell.
Does someone have a theory
about how life began?
Man: this is the story
of a small planet in space
Called earth.
Stein: for a typical
darwinian explanation
Of how life originated,
Dr. Wells directed me
toward this documentary.
Man: the chemical elements
essential for life--
Hydrogen, oxygen,
carbon, and nitrogen--
Were now in place.
What was needed was
a way of combining them.
Perhaps the energy
came from lightning.
- whatever it was--
- [film pauses]
Stein: excuse me?
- [film resumes]
- man: whatever it was,
Energy managed to arrange
these chemical ingredients
In just the right way.
Stein: "whatever it was"?
I was hoping for something
a little more scientific.
The most popular idea
Has been that life
emerged spontaneously
From primordial soup.
In 1953, stanley miller
Mixed water, methane,
ammonia, and hydrogen
To simulate
the early earth's atmosphere.
Then he ran electricity
through it
In an attempt
to jump-start life.
It's alive!
It's alive!
It's alive!
It didn't work.
While the initial results
seemed promising,
50 years later
most serious scientists
Have abandoned this approach
In favor
of alternate theories.
Prominent darwinist
michael ruse
Attempted to explain
one of them to me.
He wasn't kidding.
How did we get
from an inorganic world
To the world of the cell?
Well, one popular
theory is that it
Might have started off
on the backs of crystals.
My crystal ball.
Molecules piggybacked
on the back of crystals forming,
And that this led
to more and more complex--
But of course the nice thing
about crystals
Is that every now and then
you get mistakes--mutations--
And that this opens the way
for natural selection.
But--but at one point
there was not
a living thing,
And then there was
a living thing.
How did that happen?
Well, that's just a--
i've just told you.
I don't see any reason
why you shouldn't go
From very simple
to more and more complex
to more and more complex--
I don't either.
But I don't know
how you get from mud
To a living cell.
That's my question.
Yes, well, i've told you.
I'll try one more time.
You think it was on
the backs of crystals.
On the backs of crystals is
at least one hypothesis, yes.
So that's your theory,
and you think that
is more likely
And less far-fetched
than intelligent design.
I think it is.
I wouldn't put
ben stein's money
On dr. Ruse's
joyriding crystals,
But it did make me wonder
What were the chances of life
arising on its own?
Bradley: it's been
speculated that probably
There would have to be
A minimum of
about 250 proteins
To provide
minimal life function.
Um, if that's
really true,
Then I think it's
almost inconceivable
That life could've happened
In some simple,
step-by-step way.
so the simplest form of life
Requires at least
250 proteins to function.
What's so difficult
about that?
[1950s school filmstrip
music plays]
Filmstrip narrator:
welcome to the casino of life.
Who wants to spin
for a chance to win?
Oh, sure.
I'll give it a shot.
What do I win?
Take a look at this.
- [man in audience
- huh?
How 'bout the world's
first single-cell organism?
This perfectly aligned
string of proteins
Could be yours.
Now, take a spin.
- [bell rings]
- I won!
Tina, tell him
how many times
He needs to do that
to win the prize.
Two hundred and fifty.
- [audience boos]
- show host:
that's right, folks.
And all
in the correct order.
But that's impossible.
[laughs] we've
heard that before,
Haven't we, richard?
[like dawkins] come on,
mother nature, do your thing.
[machine buzzes]
You stupid machine!
I hate you.
We're talking about something
that's staggeringly improbable,
Roughly one in a trillion,
trillion, trillion, trillion,
trillion, trillion.
Let all of life chose
a million, a trillion,
A trillion trillion--
The number is
essentially zero.
Something has to skew nature
to chose the ones that work.
So, in the game of life,
It looks
as if the house always wins.
Luckily, some serious
scientific minds
Have figured out a way
to beat the odds.
[man reads
in ominous voice]
Stein: when faced with
the overwhelming problem
Of the origin of life,
Nobel prize-winner
francis crick
Proposed this theory--
That life
was "seeded" on earth,
Which basically means
aliens did it.
I thought we were talking
about science,
Not science fiction.
We don't know what
caused life to arise.
Did it arise by a purely
undirected process,
Or did it arise
by some kind
Of intelligent guidance
or design?
And the rules of science
Are being applied
to actually foreclose
One of the two
possible answers
To that very
fundamental and basic
and important question.
So the rules
of science say
We will consider
any possibility
- except one that is guided.
- exactly.
No matter
how life began,
On the backs of crystals
Or in the test tube
of some intelligent designer,
Everyone agrees
it started with a single cell.
But what is a cell?
- let me ask you a question.
- yeah.
Darwin wrote
the origin of species
in 1859--
Published it in 1859.
He had an idea of the cell
as being quite simple, correct?
Yeah, everybody did.
Okay, if he thought of
the cell as being a buick,
What is the cell now
In terms of its complexity
by comparison?
A galaxy.
If darwin thought a cell
Was, say, a mud hut,
What do we now know
that a cell is?
More complicated
than a saturn v.
So what is in a cell
as far as we know now?
A world that darwin
never could've imagined.
I needed someone who could
Give me a glimpse
into this world,
So we went to molecular
biologist doug axe.
Axe: think of a cell
as being a nanofactory,
A factory where,
on a very small scale,
Digital instructions
are being used
To make the components
of the factory.
Here we have the famous
dna double helix.
You can see
the two helical strands
That are intertwined
and wind around each other
On the outside
of the molecule.
This is the material
that stores
All of our genetic
In higher life forms,
this would be the equivalent
Of something like
a gigabyte of information
Stored in the molecules
That form
the individual chromosomes,
All packed
within the nucleus,
Which is a tiny fraction
of the entire cell size.
So what does dna do?
Well, the information in dna
Ends up providing
the information
For sequencing the amino acids
to make protein.
We have information
in a one-dimensional form
That provides the information
for a three-dimensional form.
[liquid gurgling]
I'm finally
just beginning to grasp
The complexity of the cell.
Are there systems
within the cell
That go well beyond
darwinian evolution,
Some type
of cellular technology
That drives
adaptation, replication,
Quality control,
and repair?
What if these new mechanisms
Have massive design
Well, I say so be it.
The cell really is like
nothing we've ever seen
in the physical world.
That's got to be
firmly grasped.
That's not something
we can just say,
"oh, well, it's just
a little bit more of
the same old, same old.
It's not
the same old, same old.
What we are finding
is that there's information
That's in the cell
that cannot be accounted for
In terms of these
undirected material causes,
And so there's some other--
So there has to be
an information source.
So one of the key questions
faced by modern biology
Is where do you get
information from?
Well, darwin assumed
That the increase
in information
Comes from
natural selection.
But natural selection
reduces genetic information,
And we know this from
all the genetic manipulation
studies that we have.
Where is the new genetic
information gonna come from?
Well, that's
the big question.
So when we find information
in the dna molecule,
The most likely explanation
Is that it, too,
had an intelligent source.
We need engineering
To understand
these systems, okay?
It's only because
of our advancements
in nanotechnology
That we can even begin
to appreciate these systems.
But using intelligent design
Didn't seem to stop
the scientists I spoke with.
So why all the controversy?
Suppose we find,
simply as a matter of fact,
That our scientific inquiries
point in one direction.
Which is that there is
an intelligent creator.
Why should we eliminate
that from discussion?
Streng verboten?
How come? Why?
Streng verboten.
Very good.
What does streng verboten
mean, "strongly forbidden"?
Strongly forbidden.
You've got
two possible hypotheses.
You've got a wall
through the middle--
Through your brain, in effect--
through your thinking.
You say, well,
you can't consider anything
on this side of the wall.
Only hypotheses
on this side of the wall
Are permissible
for consideration.
What about
academic freedom?
I mean, can't we
just talk about this?
Their reply is that science
is not a democratic process.
Oh, really?
And that there is
a consensus view
And that we are to subscribe
to the consensual view.
Wait a second.
Darwin challenged
the consensus view,
And that's how
we got darwinism.
If darwin wanted to challenge
the consensus today,
How would he do it?
Science isn't a hobby
for rich aristocrats anymore.
It's a multibillion-dollar
And if you want
a piece of the pie,
You've got to be
a "good comrade."
Man: scientific ideas--
How we get them
to you, the people.
Every idea must be inspected
to ensure that it is safe.
All theories must pass through
a series of checkpoints.
First--the academy.
Stein: getting
a controversial theory
Through the academy
can be dangerous.
Few people know this better
than congressman mark souder.
He uncovered
a targeted campaign
Led by individuals
within the smithsonian
And the national center
for science education
To destroy
dr. Sternberg's credibility.
If you want peer reviews,
if you want to be published,
If you want to go
to respected institutions,
The core view does not
tolerate dissent.
There's kind of
a "this is the way it is,"
And anybody who's a dissenter
should be squashed.
Are you going to be
on my side if I let you up?
Sure, chick, sure.
I'm on your side.
Just let me up.
I'll do anything you say.
Souder isn't the only one
who has witnessed
the academy's tactics.
Journalist larry witham
Has seen similar behavior
during his 25 years
Of covering
the evolution controversy.
Once you're thick
in science,
You can't question
the paradigm.
But if you want
to get grants,
If you want to be elected
to high positions,
If you want to get awards
as a promoter
Of public education
of science,
You can't question
the paradigm.
People cannot be trusted
to form their own opinions.
This business about
open-mindedness is nonsense.
Why is
the scientific establishment
So afraid of free speech?
There is this fear
That if one aspect
of a theory
Is closely scrutinized,
There's going to be
an unraveling.
Who are you?
Oh, uh--
I am the great
and powerful...
[weakly] ...Wizard of oz.
I interviewed
dozens and dozens
of scientists,
And when they're
amongst each other
Or talking
to a journalist
who they trust,
They'll speak about,
Um, you know,
"it's incredibly complex,"
Or "molecular biology's
in a crisis."
But publicly
they can't say that.
Man: keeping a keen eye
on the academy
Are various
watchdog organizations.
Stein: listen to eugenie scott
Of the national center
for science education.
The ncse has been
at the heart
Of virtually
every evolution controversy
Over the past 25 years,
Vigorously defending
the darwinian gospel.
Scott: we have had
a lot of business,
Unfortunately, at ncse
in the last few years
Because virtually
every state
In which science
education standards
Has come up
for consideration
Has had a big fight
About the coverage
of evolution in them.
Scott: ncse was
started by a group
Of scientists
and teachers
Who were very concerned
Because in the late '70s
and early '80s
There were a lot
of attempts to pass
"equal time
for creation science
and evolution" laws.
Clearly, this is something
that neither scientists
nor teachers liked.
It wasn't exactly "help, help,
the creationists are coming,"
But, you know, kind of
along those lines.
Most scientists just
throw up their hands
and say,
They drive me crazy.
You handle it."
We've worked a lot
with science education
The most important group
we work with
Is members
of the faith community,
Because the best-kept secret
in this controversy
Is that catholics
and mainstream protestants
Are okay on evolution.
Are you sure
about that, eugenie?
Liberal christians
have been fighting with
Conservative christians
for so long
That they'll side
with anybody against
the fundamentalists.
And eugenie scott says,
"well, welcome over."
There's a kind of
science defense lobby
Or an evolution defense lobby,
in particular.
They are mostly atheists,
But they are wanting to--
desperately wanting
To be friendly to mainstream,
sensible, religious people.
And the way you do that
is to tell them
That there's no incompatibility
between science and religion.
But is there really
an incompatibility?
Can't we believe
in god and darwin?
Implicit in most
evolutionary theory
Is that either
there's no god,
Or god can't have
any role in it.
So, naturally, as many
evolutionists will say,
It's the strongest engine
for atheism.
If they called me
as a witness,
And a lawyer said,
"dr. Dawkins,
has your belief
in evolution--
Has your study of evolution
turned you towards atheism?"
I would have to say yes.
And that's the worst
possible thing I could say
For winning that--
that court case.
So people like me
are bad news
For the science lobby,
the evolution lobby.
By the way, i'm being
a hell of a lot
More frank and honest
in this interview
Than many people
in this field would be.
Man: working hard
to keep ideas in check
Are our friends
in the media.
Morning paper!
Paper, mister?
The tendency
of the media is to side
with the establishment
Because they inherently agree
with the establishment.
Abrams: eugenie scott,
my understanding is
That there is not a single
peer-reviewed article out there
That supports intelligent
design. Am I wrong?
You are not wrong.
You are correct.
I believe that
we get coverage,
But we always get coverage
like we're the outsider,
Not like it's
an even debate.
Filmstrip narrator:
but instead of merely
reporting news,
He analyzes it,
often expressing
his personal opinions.
We constantly deal
with reporters
Who refuse even to report
The correct definition
of intelligent design.
They, over and over again,
talk about
"life is so complex,
god must've done it."
- meyer: let me explain--
- abrams: admit it,
it's religion.
- it's very simple.
- you can't--it's religion.
It's a wanton distortion
of our position.
[phone rings]
City desk.
I've got
a hot story here.
You can look at
associated press stories,
And the same sentence will
appear in those stories
for 10 years:
"intelligent design says
that life is too complex."
It's called a boilerplate.
And the reporter
never reports any more
Or gets any new ways
to say it,
So the public understanding
never advances.
But what happens
if a reporter
Decides to take
a more balanced approach
to intelligent design?
There might be remarkable
pressure on that reporter
Not to side against
the evolutionists.
I thought I told you
to kill that story.
Few reporters
have learned this better
Than author and journalist
pamela winnick.
When she refused
to take sides
In an article she wrote
about intelligent design,
The darwinists
found a new favorite target.
Number one--
I wasn't christian,
I was jewish.
Number two--
I wasn't religious.
Number three--
I was not taking
A position in favor
of creationism.
I was writing about
intelligent design.
And it didn't matter.
After I wrote
that one piece,
Everything I wrote
on the subject
was scrutinized.
There were hate letters
coming into the newspaper.
If you give any credence
to it whatsoever,
Which means
just writing about it,
You are just finished
as a journalist.
Other journalists
we spoke with
Told similar stories
but didn't dare
appear on camera.
Filmstrip narrator:
and now the presses
are ready to roll.
Man: when all other
checkpoints fail,
There's always the courts.
We have spent
an enormous amount of time
Trying to prove
to the court
What everybody
already knows,
That intelligent design
Is a particular
religious belief.
But I thought
scientific questions
Were settled
by the evidence,
Not by taking people
to court and suing them.
How do other countries
deal with such disputes?
Dr. Marciej giertych,
a population geneticist
Who now represents poland
in the european parliament,
Was able to shed
some light on this topic.
the censorship of
Teaching criticism
of evolution
Is and always was
much stronger in,
Say, your country,
the United States,
Than it ever was
in poland.
Why? Why would
the censorship--
That is because you have
a political correctness
in your country.
These issues
are brought to court,
And the court says
What you can
and what you cannot teach.
We want to know
what you teach,
What books you use,
how you teach it.
We never had
that sort of way
Of deciding
scientific issues
in poland.
We never had
the courts involved.
So you are saying that
As far as the teaching
of science is concerned,
Poland is freer academically
than the United States?
I think--in this
particular issue
Of evolution,
I think this is true.
But how effective
are the courts
In deciding such matters?
What about
the general idea that
intelligent design
Is doomed as a result
of several recent
legal setbacks?
I think court cases
don't decide anything.
If you look at
the scopes trial,
who won that trial?
It wasn't
the evolutionists.
It was the--
The tennessee law was upheld,
barring evolution,
And yet in the popular
Scopes is the hero.
Inherit the wind--
that movie--
Which is really bogus history
based on the scopes trial,
Has carried the day.
These issues go much deeper
than any decision by a judge.
The evolution debate
Does seem to run much deeper
than the courts,
Much deeper even
than science.
To generate
this level of hostility,
Id must threaten something
at the very core
Of the darwinian
Filmstrip narrator:
the entire globe
Is today the site
of a momentous conflict.
It is the challenge
of ideas.
I'm edward r. Murrow.
For a little while,
I would like to review
with you
The great conflict
of our times,
One which demands
and must get
The attention
and the involvement
Of each one of us.
This conflict
Over the principles
of evolution
Has become
a religious war.
It really is no longer
about scientific
It is total competition
with an antagonist
Who is putting into it
within his capability.
The situation
has reached a point
Where many
of evolution's top apologists
Have switched
from defending darwinism
To attacking religion,
in what they see as a bid
To stamp out
intelligent design
at the source.
Richard dawkins
is the best example of this.
His recent book,
the god delusion,
Has sold over
one million copies worldwide.
The god delusion
Is my long-expected,
Full-frontal attack
on religion.
To me, science is about
trying to explain existence,
And religion is about
trying to explain existence.
It's just that religion
gets the wrong answer.
But is dawkins correct?
Are science and religion
really at war?
For an appraisal
of this continuing
and protracted conflict,
We can go to a reporter
Who has watched
the growing conflict
With the perception of
a trained military observer.
Oxford professor
alister mcgrath,
Author of
the dawkins delusion,
Seemed like the ideal person
to answer my question.
Mcgrath: richard dawkins
has a charming
And very, I think,
interesting view
Of the relationship
between science and religion.
They're at war
with each other,
And in the end,
one's got to win.
And it's going
to be science.
It's a very naive view.
It's based on
a complete historical
Of the way
science and religion
have interacted.
Dawkins seems to think
that scientific description
Is an anti-religious
how something happens
Somehow explains it away.
It doesn't.
But the questions
of purpose, intentionality,
The question why,
Still remain there
on the table.
I think it was just
a catastrophic mistake
To have someone like
dawkins address himself
To profound issues
of theology,
The existence of god,
the nature of life.
He hasn't committed
himself to
Disciplined study
in any relevant area
of inquiry.
He's a crummy philosopher.
He doesn't have
the rudimentary skills
To meticulously assess
his own arguments.
Genius guy, though.
Very smart guy.
Little bit of a reptile,
but very smart guy.
The opposing point of view
in this conflict
Rests on a fundamentally
different vision of man.
If you have two
distinguished scientists--
And, in fact, you can range
many more on each side,
as you know--
Saying exactly
opposite things,
That's telling me
that the conflict
Is not between science
and belief in god.
Otherwise you'd expect
all scientists
to be atheists.
But it's
a worldview conflict.
It's between scientists
who have different worldviews.
You've got two
competing explanations
of the evidence.
One says design,
one says undirected processes.
Both of them have
larger philosophical
or religious
Or anti-religious
So you can't say that
one of those two theories
is scientific
And the other
is unscientific
Simply because
they have implications.
Both have implications.
People who tell you,
For example,
that science tells you
All you need to know
about the world
Or that science tells you
that religion is all wrong
Or science tells you
there is no god,
Those people aren't telling
you scientific things.
They are saying
metaphysical things,
And they have to defend
their positions
For metaphysical reasons.
What is being presented
to the public is
First comes the science,
And then comes
the worldview.
I would want to argue that
that may not be the case,
That it may actually be
the other way 'round,
That the worldview
comes first
And is influencing
the interpretation
of science.
My deep regret
is some people
Are so deeply entrenched
in their own worldviews
That they will simply not
countenance alternatives.
I'm actually
a person of the left,
And not even a particularly
religious person.
I think of myself
as kind of humanist.
And I think it's sending
a very bad message
To religious people
who are interested
in science
That in some sense,
In order to do
science credibly,
They have to leave
their religious beliefs
at the door.
The founders
of early modern science--
Sir isaac newton,
robert boyle,
Johannes kepler,
Most of these
early scientists
All not only
believed in god,
But they thought
their belief in god
Actually made it
easier to do science.
You can be
religiously motivated
And you can
do good science,
And they have more
often gone together
Than not gone together.
Admitting our biases
Is the best way towards
rational discussion,
Which I would welcome.
Rational debate
is a nice thought,
But it's nearly impossible
in the current climate.
I'd seen the chilling effect
That this unquestioning
devotion to darwinism
Has had on science...
But were there
other consequences?
No gods,
no life after death,
No ultimate foundation
for ethics,
No ultimate meaning
in life,
And no human free will
Are all deeply connected
to an evolutionary perspective.
You're here today
and then gone tomorrow,
And that's
all there is to it.
Stein: dr. Will provine,
of the history of biology
At cornell university,
Gave us another
disturbing glimpse
Into where darwinism
can lead.
Oh, I was a christian,
But I never heard
anything about evolution
Because it was illegal
to teach it in tennessee.
Dr. Provine's first biology
professor changed all that.
He started talking
about evolution
As if it had no design
in it whatsoever.
And I came up to him,
and I said,
"you left out
the most important part."
And he said,
"if you feel the same way
at the end of one quarter,
"I want you to stand up
in front of the students
in this class
And tell them
this deep lack
in evolution."
And I read that book
so carefully,
And I could find
no sign of there being
Any design whatsoever
in evolution.
And I immediately
began to doubt
The existence
of the deity.
But it starts by giving up
an active deity.
Then he gives up the hope
That there's
any life after death.
When you give
those two up,
The rest of it follows
fairly easily.
You give up the hope
That there's
an eminent morality.
And finally, there's
no human free will.
If you believe
in evolution,
You can't hope for there
being any free will.
There's no hope whatsoever
Of there being any
deep meaning in human life.
We live, we die,
and we're gone.
We're absolutely gone
when we die.
Dr. Provine is no stranger
to the prospect of death.
Nearly a decade ago,
He was diagnosed
with a large brain tumor.
Let's suppose
my tumor comes back,
As it almost certainly will.
Well, i'm not
going to sit around
Like my older brother
did last year.
And he was dying of als,
lou gehrig's disease.
He wanted desperately to die,
but we couldn't help him die.
I don't want to die
like that.
I'm going to shoot myself
in the head long before then.
I'm going to do
something different.
I hope these
are empty words
From my friend
dr. Provine,
Because shortly after
this interview was recorded
He learned his brain tumor
had returned.
Provine: I don't feel
one bit bad
About holding
the views that I do.
There's not anything
in the views I hold
That makes me, "oh,
I wish I had free will,"
Or "oh, I wish
there were a god."
I don't ever,
ever wish for that.
Dr. Provine's
de-conversion story
Was typical amongst
the darwinists
we interviewed.
Biologist p.Z. Myers,
Who runs the pro-darwin,
anti-religion blog pharyngula,
Says science eroded
his faith as well.
I never hated religion.
I found religion
quite comfortable,
And I liked
the people in it.
What led to the atheism was
learning more about science,
Learning more
about the natural world,
And seeing these horrible
conflicts with religion.
And it was then,
when I discovered evolution,
When I discovered darwinism,
That I realized there's
this magnificently elegant,
Stunningly elegant
Which I didn't quite
understand to begin with--
But when I did
understand it,
Then that finally killed off
my remaining religious faith.
After hearing these stories,
I was not surprised
to discover
That most evolutionary
professor dawkins' views.
It appears darwinism
does lead to atheism
Despite what eugenie scott
would have us believe.
And if you separate out
the ethical message
from religion,
What have you got left?
You've got a bunch
of fairy tales, right?
I think that god
is about as unlikely
As fairies, angels,
hobgoblins, etc.
Religion--I mean,
it's just fantasy, basically.
It's completely empty
of any explanatory content...
And is evil as well.
Half the people in this country
think that drugs
Is what you have to regulate
to make us safer,
And half the people
think guns--
That's what
you gotta regulate
to make us safer.
But I always think
that if you're
going to regulate
One thing that has
the most potential
To cause death
and destruction--
You gotta start
with religion.
[audience applauds]
Religion is an idea that
gives some people comfort,
And we don't want to take
it away from them.
It's like knitting.
People like to knit.
We're not going to take
their knitting needles away.
We're not going to take away
their churches.
But what we have to do
is get it to a place
Where religion is treated
At the level
it should be treated.
That is, something fun
That people get together
and do on the weekend
And really doesn't
affect their life
As much as it
has been so far.
Stein: so what would
the world look like
If dr. Meyers got his wish?
Greater science literacy,
Which is going to lead
to the erosion of religion,
And then we'll get
this nice positive
feedback mechanism going,
Where as religion
slowly fades away,
We get more and more science
to replace it.
And that will displace
more and more religion,
Which will allow
more and more science in,
And we'll eventually
get to that point
Where religion has taken
that appropriate place
As a side dish
rather than the main course.
Stein: but will
eradicating religion
Really lead
to a modern utopia?
Let me try to imagine that.
And let's let history
be our guide.
Berlinski: in part,
I think matthew arnold
Put his hands on it
when he spoke about
Um, the withdrawal
of faith.
There is a connection
between a society
That has at least
a minimal commitment
To certain kinds of
transcendental values
And what human beings
permit themselves
To do one to the other.
That got me thinking.
What other societies
have used darwinism
To trump
all other authorities,
Including religion?
As a jew,
My mind leapt to one regime
in particular.
The connection
between hitler and darwin
Is of course historically
a difficult connection
Because they were separated
by a good many years.
One was english,
one was german.
if you open mein kampf
and read it--
Especially if you can
read it in german--
The correspondence
between darwinian ideas
And nazi ideas just
leaps from the page.
Of course you have to add
every historical caution.
Not everyone who read darwin
became a nazi, obviously not.
No one is making that case.
Darwinism is not
a sufficient condition
For a phenomenon
like nazism,
But I think it's certainly
a necessary one.
This was a connection
I had to explore personally.
[church bells tolling]
Filmstrip narrator:
american officers arrive
at a nazi institution
Seized by first army troops.
Under the guise
of an insane asylum,
This has been
the headquarters
For the systematic murder...
[filmstrip audio fades]
Stein: so, what
is this place?
the second world war,
15,000 people
were killed here.
Why were they killed?
They were killed
because they were
people with handicaps.
Why kill them?
What's the point
of killing them?
People who were
not able to work,
People who were not able
to live by themselves,
That they were
"useless eaters."
"useless eaters."
And "life
unworthy of living."
George: this idea
grew up in the '20s,
So long before
national socialism,
They thought that
maybe mankind could--
Or the government
could interfere
- into the growth
of the population.
- stein: I see.
And they had the...
- utopia.
- utopia...
That they would
have a society
Without illness
and without handicap.
[man speaking german]
So this was
a darwinian concept.
- yes.
- and also
a malthusian concept,
Very much malthusian.
- malthusian?
- thomas malthus, who said
That there was
a shortage of resources.
English philosopher,
said there was a shortage--
Yes, but the nazis,
they relied on darwin.
- they relied on darwin.
- yes, darwin
and german scientists.
Patients were led
down this hallway
To nazi doctors,
Who decided who would live
and who would die.
They were accompanied
by 15, um, 15 nurses.
- nurses.
- nurses.
Male and female nurses.
So nurses were helping
lead them to their doom.
So, were the prisoners told
they were taking a shower?
Yes, they were
taking a shower,
And here was
one or two showers.
So, how many people were
brought into this room?
Sixty to seventy.
So, what is this?
This is
the dissection table.
Do you ever think
to yourself
The sane ones
were the ones
Lying here having
their brains removed--
The insane one was
dr. Gorgass and all
the other people--?
No, no,
I don't think that
Because I think
those people who killed here,
They were very sane
because they had
their purposes.
They had purposes?
Yes. I don't think
they were insane.
- they had
two crematory ovens.
- I see.
And they killed
about 70 people.
- a day.
- a day, so they had--
That's barely enough time.
They had their work--
They only killed from
Monday to Friday, so...
Because the people who
were doing the killing
Needed to have
the weekend off.
If you met dr. Gorgass today,
what would you say to him?
I don't know.
I don't think that
it's my--my role
To--to tell
him something.
It's difficult to describe
How it felt to walk
through such a haunting place,
To know that these cold
stone and tile walls
Were the last things
the victims of hadamar
ever saw.
I wanted to explore
this connection further,
So I met with the author
of from darwin to hitler,
Dr. Richard weikart.
Hitler and many
of the physicians
That carried out
this program
Were very fanatical
And particularly wanted to apply
darwinism to society.
[hitler speaking german]
Many of these people
in the 19-teens, 1920s
Who were putting forward some
of these ideas about racism
Were considered
the leading scientists.
These were darwinists
who were taken seriously
by fellow academics.
It's not to say
that all academics
believed it.
These leading academics,
were there any of them
who were americans?
There were plenty
of americans
Who were saying
similar kinds of things.
Not only were americans
saying such things,
They were pioneers
in this fledging science
Known as eugenics.
They thought
they could help
evolution along
By sterilizing
the so-called feeble-minded
And prohibiting them
from getting married.
Physicians who
are aware of the history
Of 20th-century
american medicine
Harbor some bad feelings
towards darwinists
Because of eugenics.
And eugenics--
Which was an attempt
to breed human beings--
It was the darkest chapter
of american medicine ever.
There were 50,000 people
involuntarily sterilized
Because they were deemed
unfit to breed, basically.
Stein: eugenics
isn't just history.
The spirit of the movement
lives on today.
Weikart: margaret sanger
Was the head
of planned parenthood.
She was very fanatical
in her promotion of eugenics.
In fact, planned parenthood
was all about birth control
For the impoverished
and lower classes
To try to help improve
the species.
From hadamar,
I traveled
with dr. Weikart to dachau,
Where the nazis applied
the ideas of eugenics
On a massive
mechanistic scale.
When it was
a fully functioning
concentration camp,
Uh, what was
the purpose of it?
I mean, part of it
was to repress
political enemies.
What was the rest
of the purpose?
Well, beyond the repression
of the political enemies,
Which was its purpose
at the very beginning,
Then later on it transformed
into repressing racial enemies.
And sometimes
those categories overlapped
Because sometimes
they thought
That these people
were political enemies
Because they were
inferior biologically.
The war itself
was part of
The darwinian struggle
for existence, for hitler.
And he saw that
extermination of the jews
As one of those fronts
to this warfare going on,
As this darwinian struggle
for existence.
Would you say
that hitler was insane?
No, I wouldn't say
he was insane.
I think he had imbibed
some very, very wrong ideas,
And, in fact, I think
He took the logic of them
in certain ways
That brought
him to take
Very radical solutions
for them.
Would you say
he was evil?
Oh, i'd definitely say
he was evil.
Is there such
a thing as evil?
Oh, I think there is.
And is there such
a thing as good?
Oh, definitely.
And...Evil can sometimes
be rationalized as science.
Oh, sure.
And evil can sometimes
be rationalized--
When it's rationalized
as science,
And I think
when it was rationalized
in this particular way,
I think hitler thought
he was doing good.
He thought
he was doing good?
Oh, I think so.
He thought he was
benefiting humanity
By driving evolution
And creating
a better humanity.
Before leaving dachau,
I stopped by the memorial
the thousands of jews
Who were killed there
in excruciating conditions.
I know that darwinism
Does not automatically
equate to nazism.
But if darwinism
inspired and justified
Such horrific events
in the past,
Could it be used
to rationalize
Similar initiatives today?
There's a good
german expression,
"so faengt es immer an."
I mean, "always begins
in the same way,"
Something to remember
in the context of
The united states' discussions
of euthanasia and abortion.
It always begins
in the same way.
There seems to be
an excellent argument
For getting rid
of useless people
by killing them.
Or at least
it seems excellent
To the people
advancing the argument.
It's the love affair
with death
And, you know, the euthanasia
and this movement going on,
Which I find appalling.
And the idea is that,
you know,
Immediately rid our society
Of anybody
who might be a drain
And think of people
in economic terms,
And I think that's
where some of the darwin
fits in, actually.
It's just a devaluing
of human life.
First of all,
if you take seriously
That evolution
has to do with
The transition
of life forms
And that life and death
are just natural processes,
Then one gets to be liberal
about abortion and euthanasia.
All of those kinds of ideas,
Seem to me, follow
very naturally
From a darwinian
A de-privileging
of human beings,
And I think that people
who want to endorse darwinism
Have to sort of take
this kind of viewpoint
very seriously.
And when we see an elite--
and it is an elite--
An elite that
controls essentially
All the research money
in science,
Saying, "there is no
such thing as moral truth;
Science will not be
related to religion."
I mean, it's essentially
official policy
Of the national academy
of science
That religion and science
will not be related.
I mean, hey, that cuts off
a lot of debate, doesn't it?
What's going to happen
if this doesn't change?
I think we're watching
it happen, aren't we?
I needed time to think,
So I traveled
to the birthplace
of this idea.
"with savages,
the weak in body or mind
"are soon eliminated.
"we civilized men,
on the other hand,
"do our utmost to check
the process of elimination.
"we build asylums
for the imbecile,
the maimed, and the sick.
"thus the weak members
of civilized societies
"propagate their kind.
"no one who has attended
to the breeding
"of domestic animals
"will doubt that this
must be highly injurious
"to the race of man.
"hardly anyone
is so ignorant
As to allow
his worst animals to breed."
--charles darwin,
the descent of man, 1871.
[church bells tolling]
Meyer: throughout
the cold war in germany,
There was this wall erected
to keep ideas out.
It was erected by people
who held an ideology,
That were afraid
of a competition
From other ideas
that would come
into their society.
And what we're seeing
happening in science today
Is very much like that.
But I think that's
just a strategy
For protecting
a failing ideology
from competition.
America didn't become
the great nation that it is
By suppressing ideas.
It progressed
by allowing freedom of speech
And freedom of inquiry.
Thomas jefferson
got it right when he wrote,
"we hold these truths
to be self-evident,
"that all men
are created equal,
"that they are endowed
by their creator
"with certain
unalienable rights,
"that among these
are life, liberty,
And the pursuit
of happiness."
Hundreds of thousands
of americans
Have given their lives
to protect these values,
But now they're
under threat once again.
It wasn't just scientists
who were being expelled.
It was freedom itself,
The very foundation
of the american dream,
The very foundation
of america.
If we allowed freedom
to be expelled in science,
Where would it end?
The darwinian establishment
Is so massive
and so entrenched
It appears impenetrable.
I couldn't bring it down
But I could at least confront
Those who'd expelled
the scientists i'd met.
What would you say
if you had eugenie scott
sitting next to you?
What would you say to her?
I would ask her
by what authority
Does she
and those like her
Presume to declare
What is
and is not science.
He's sort of made himself
martyr of the day.
They've gotten a lot
of mileage out of,
You know,
poor rick sternberg.
And we got lip service
From the leadership
of the smithsonian,
But I didn't feel they
ever followed through.
We went into the smithsonian
looking for answers,
But we ran
into the same stone wall
as congressman souder.
You're not authorized
to do this here, so stop.
[overlapping chatter]
He said, "nonetheless,
you have to be disciplined,"
And I lost my job.
We did get an interview
With a spokesman
from george mason,
But it was impossible
to knock him off his script.
Her contract
was not renewed.
It was simply, um,
not renewing her contract,
Which she satisfied.
Her contract
was not renewed.
It had nothing to do
with the controversy
Of that topic
of intelligent design.
I have never been treated
like this in my--
About 30 years in academia.
We received
a similar reception
at baylor university.
They refused to admit
That what had happened
to dr. Marks
Had anything to do
with id.
Certainly the conversations
i've had, this has not--
The intelligent design
Has not been the thrust
of the conversation.
It was a procedural issue,
And that's the way
we dealt with it.
Funny, that's not
how dean kelley put things
In his original e-mail
to dr. Marks.
I'm not mixing my religion
with my science.
The questions that I ask
In my intelligent design
Are perfectly legitimate
scientific questions.
At least the top guns
at iowa state
Were willing to own up
to their actions.
What we wanted to stop is
the use of the name of isu
To validate
intelligent design.
And we did succeed.
I really think
a lot of guillermo.
He's a great guy.
So that's why i'm
kind of disappointed.
He should've just
left this alone,
In my opinion, should've
just left it alone.
Dr. Hauptman
elaborated further
On his great regard
for gonzalez.
Man: uh, this is quoting
an e-mail from you
to mr. Avalos.
You say, "sometimes
it is just best
to ignore idiots,"
In reference
to guillermo.
And then,
"the religious nutcases
Should be challenged
at every opportunity."
Yeah, because,
for example,
In that case,
i'm thinking more of,
Say, the creationist crowd,
who claims that god
Put all the animals
on an ark, and that's it.
That's where
all of our animals
came from today.
That's crazy, okay?
You shouldn't
be insulting
Even children with
that kind of thing.
So these are
the idiots, all right?
They've always been around.
They've always been around.
Going after the perpetrators
in each of these cases
Wasn't getting me anywhere.
So I reconnected
with dr. Berlinski
and dr. Schroeder
To see if they had
any advice.
there's a boundary
To what science
will accept right now.
I think the parallel
is exactly this wall
coming down.
Ask any berliner
from the east side
What it meant
to have the wall come down.
If it is possible to make
a break in the wall,
That would allow academia
To ask these fundamental
questions that exist
And allow them
in the science classrooms
as well.
It'd be nice to see
the scientific establishment
Lose some of its
prestige and power.
It'd be nice to see
other questions
being opened up.
Above all,
it would be nice
To have a real spirit
of self-criticism
the sciences.
Stein: what can I do
to bring down the wall?
Is there anything
I can do?
Make it apparent
to the world
That a wall exists.
There are vast numbers
of persons
Who talk about
academic freedom,
And there is
academic freedom
As long as you're
on the correct side
of the wall.
But if you're
on the wrong side
of the wall,
As you mentioned
a few moments ago,
You lose tenure,
and that's a given.
I took dr. Schroeder's words
to heart.
Obviously I couldn't
take down the wall myself,
But I could confront
one of its modern architects.
Hello, professor dawkins.
How are you?
I'm ben stein,
i'm so sorry
to keep you waiting.
- how are you?
- fine, thank you.
You have--
you have written
That god is
a psychotic delinquent
Invented by mad,
deluded people.
No, I didn't say
quite that.
I said something
rather better than that.
Oh, well, please tell
us what you said.
Well, I would have
to read it from the book.
No, please.
"the god
of the old testament
"is arguably the most
unpleasant character
"in all fiction--
"jealous and proud of it,
"a petty, unjust,
unforgiving control freak,
"a vindictive, bloodthirsty
ethnic cleanser,
"a misogynistic,
"racist, infanticidal,
genocidal, filicidal,
malevolent bully."
- so that's
what you think of god.
- yeah.
How about if people
believed in a god
Of infinite lovingness
and kindness
And forgiveness
and generosity,
Sort of like
the modern-day god.
Why spoil it for them?
- oh, um--
- why not just let them
have their fun and enjoy it?
I don't want to spoil
anything for anybody.
I write a book.
People can read it
if they want to.
I believe that it is
a liberating thing
To free yourself
from primitive superstition.
So religion's
a primitive superstition?
Oh, I think it is, yes.
So, uh, you believe
it's liberating
To tell people
that there is no god.
I think a lot of people,
when they give up god,
Feel a great sense
of release and freedom.
Why do you think that?
- you're a scientist.
What's your data?
- well, I...
Well, i've had a lot
of letters saying that.
There're eight billion people
in the world, dr. Dawkins.
Yeah, I know,
I know...
How many letters
have you had?
No, I--
that's quite true.
Professor dawkins
seemed so convinced
that god doesn't exist
That I wondered if he
would be willing to put
a number on it.
Well, it's hard to put
a figure on it,
But i'd put it
as something like,
You know, 99% against
or something--
Well, how do you know
it's 99% and not, say, 97%?
I don't. You asked me
to put a figure on it,
And i'm not comfortable
putting a figure on it.
I think it's--
I just think it's
very unlikely.
But you couldn't put
a number on it.
No, of course not.
So it could be 49%.
Well, it would be--
I mean, I think it's unlikely,
And it's quite far
from 50%.
How do you know?
I don't know.
I mean, I put
an argument in the book.
Then who did create
the heavens and the earth?
Why do you use
the word "who?"
You see,
you immediately beg
the question
By using the word "who."
Then how did
it get created?
Well, um...
By a very slow process.
Well, how did it start?
Nobody knows
how it got started.
We know the kind of event
that it must've been.
We know the sort of event
that must've happened
- for the origin of life.
- what was that?
It was the origin of the first
self-replicating molecule.
Right, and how did
that happen?
I've told you,
we don't know.
So you have no idea
how it started?
No, no.
Nor has anybody.
Nor has anyone else.
What do you think
is the possibility
That intelligent design
Might turn out to be
The answer to some
issues in genetics
Or in evolution?
It could come about
in the following way.
It could be that
at some earlier time,
Somewhere in the universe,
A civilization evolved
By probably some kind
of darwinian means
To a very, very high level
of technology
And designed
a form of life
That they seeded onto,
perhaps, this planet.
Now, that is a possibility
and an intriguing possibility,
And I suppose it's possible
that you might find
evidence for that.
If you look
at the detail--
Details of biochemistry,
molecular biology,
You might find a signature
of some sort of designer.
Wait a second.
Richard dawkins
thought intelligent design
Might be
a legitimate pursuit?
And that designer
could well be
a higher intelligence
From elsewhere
in the universe.
- well--
- but that higher
Would itself have had
to have come about
By some explicable
or ultimately
explicable process.
It couldn't have just jumped
into existence spontaneously.
That's the point.
So professor dawkins
was not against
intelligent design,
Just certain types
of designers,
Such as god.
So the hebrew god,
The god of
the old testament--
He doesn't exist
in your view?
Uh, certainly.
I mean, that would be
a very unpleasant prospect.
And the holy trinity
of the new testament--
No, nothing like that.
Do you believe
in any of the hindu gods?
- like vishnu?
- how can you ask
such a question?
- you don't, right?
- how could I?
I mean, why would I,
Given that I don't believe
in any others?
You don't believe
in the moslem god.
No. Why do you
even need to ask?
I just wanted
to be sure.
So you don't believe
in any god anywhere.
Any god anywhere
would be completely
With--with anything
that i've said in--
I assumed, I just
wanted to make sure
You don't believe
in any god anywhere.
- no.
- what if after you died,
you ran into god.
He said, "what have
you been doing, richard?
"I mean, what have
you been doing?
"i've been trying
to be nice to you.
"I gave you
a multimillion-dollar
"over and over again
with your book,
And look what you did."
Bertram russell
had that point put to him,
And he said
something like,
"sir, why did you take such
pains to hide yourself?"
But if the intelligent design
people are right,
God isn't hidden.
We may even be able to
encounter god through science
If we have the freedom
to go there.
What could be
more intriguing than that?
[at podium]
we take freedom for granted
Here in the United States.
Freedom is what
this country is all about.
And a huge part of freedom
is freedom of inquiry.
But now,
i'm sorry to say,
Freedom of inquiry in science
is being suppressed.
Behind me stands a wall
That encircles
the free sectors of this city,
Part of a vast system
of barriers.
There are people
out there
Who want to keep science
in a little box
Where it can't possibly touch
a higher power,
Cannot possibly touch god.
Those barriers
cut across germany
In a gash of barbed wire,
Concrete, dog runs,
and guard towers.
If you believe in god
And you believe
that there is
An intrinsic order
in the universe
And you believe that
it's the role of science
To try to pursue
and understand better
that order,
You will be ostracized.
I'm frightened by this,
But i'm not going
to let it stop me
From investigating
or from speaking.
The wall cannot withstand
What i'm asking for
is the freedom
To follow the evidence
wherever it leads.
My hope is that
there'll be enough
Who don't like to be
told what to think.
People on both sides
of the argument
Being prepared
to talk and listen,
And, above all,
a willingness
To keep
these dialogues open.
It might allow a lot
of very good scientists
To be scientists,
Who aren't allowed
to be scientists right now.
I don't care what they
end up as being.
I don't care if they
end up being religious
Or young-earth
If they have
thought their way
Through the issues
and get there,
I'm all for them.
And why do I think
we're going to win
in this struggle?
Because truth crushed
to earth will rise again.
To find out what's true
has a value all of its own.
If it has additional
good consequences, so be it.
Because no lie
can live forever.
I believe that science
gives us one perspective
on the world,
And our religious insight
gives us another perspective
on the world.
By putting the two together,
Then we'll see
more deeply and more truly.
And if we will stand up
for freedom...
Freedom is the victor.
If we all do that,
we will overcome.
[the killer's "all these things
that i've done" plays]
[audience applauding]
all these things
that i've done
yeah, you're gonna bring
yourself down
yeah, you're gonna bring
yourself down
I've taken a first step
By speaking out
on this issue.
But if the wall
is to come down,
We all have to do our part.
Some of you
will pay a heavy price
for speaking out.
You may even lose your job.
I guarantee you
you'll get hate e-mail.
But if you don't
get involved,
Will anyone be left
to carry on the struggle?
I got soul,
but i'm not a soldier
I got soul,
but i'm not a soldier
I got soul,
but i'm not a soldier
I got soul,
but i'm not a soldier
I got soul,
but i'm not a soldier
yeah, you know
you got to help me out
yeah, oh don't you put me
on the back burner
you know
you got to help me out
yeah, you're gonna bring
yourself down
yeah, you're gonna bring
yourself down
yeah, oh don't you put me
on the back burner
you're gonna bring
yourself down
yeah, you're gonna bring
yourself down
over and in
last call for sin
while everyone's lost,
the battle is won
with all these things
that i've done