Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Fox Review of "Expelled"

Some people have expressed surprise that even Fox News would give the Ben Stein movie "Expelled" a bad review .

It may actually make some sense.

The Republican Party is actually a coalition of several forces. Two of the dominant forces are big business and religious fundamentalism.

In the case of Intelligent Design and the quality of education, the two forces come into conflict.

Neil DeGrasse Tyson suggested a reason not to be surprised by these types of findings in discussing the Dover Pennsylvania trial over intelligent design. He said that he was relieved to hear that a Bush-appointed judge was hearing the case because "Republicans are scared to death that they might die poor."

Big business needs an educated workforce. Pharmaceutical companies need employees who can find cures to disease - drugs and treatments that can be sold for billions of dollars. Energy companies need employees who can understand the hundred-million year history of a rock formation so that they know where the oil might be found.

The ignorance that Ben Stein is promoting with his movie might appeal to the religious fundamentalists, but it is not necessarily a welcome development to the owners of big business.

And Fox News serves the interests of its big business allies.

So, there might not be so much of a mystery to discover that Fox News has also attacked the movie Expelled. It's just that the company knows who has the money to pay their bills. And the people with the money realize that real-world business requires that at least a few people have a grasp of real-world science.


Anonymous said...

So you presuppose that a person who believes in a higher power can not understand and believe in scientific principles and methods? That is ignorant. As a successful scientist and mathematician and believer in God my existence would prove you wrong. I would agree that what people believe in does not unnecessarily make a person a higher moralist, rather it is by turning your beliefs into actions that one demonstrates their morales.

Alonzo Fyfe said...


Nothing in what I wrote requires such a presupposition. There are a lot of people who believe in God who also believe that intelligent design is not science and does not belong in the science classroom. Indeed, this is the official view of the Catholic Church (though some individual Catholics have said other things).

The business arm of the Republican party has no special complaint against religion or those who believe in God, but has reason to pause when that belief threatens the science on which their business depends by mixing religion and science where they cannot usefully be mixed.

patrick said...

just saw Expelled... Ben Stein's goal in making this flick (i gather) was not so much to break any box office records, but rather to promote free thought, especially more thinking about motivations that drive American academia and a lot of other behind-the-scenes worldview that we tend to take for granted.