Paul Kurtz, Center For Inquiry: Expelled is anti-science propaganda and anti-intellectualism at its worst

As a member of the Center For Inquiry, the world’s leading secular and rationalist advocacy organization, I received the following message in an email from CFI today:

CFI’s Paul Kurtz Joins the Chorus of Critics Dismissing Ben
Stein’s “Expelled” as Anti-Science Propaganda

Paul Kurtz, founder and chairman of the Center for Inquiry, has
called the new anti-evolution film “Expelled:No Intelligence
Allowed” featuring Ben Stein, “anti-science propaganda” and an
“exercise in anti-intellectualism at its worst.”

Kurtz went on to say that “the social and scientific progress we
take for granted has been advanced by a basic scientific and
philosophical point of view. As this new film makes abundantly
clear, the methods of the sciences, and the assumptions upon
which they are based, are being challenged culturally in the
United States with a renewed fervor. Despite its success in
providing us with unparalleled benefits, anti-intellectual
extremists seek to inhibit free inquiry and misrepresent the
tested conclusions of scientific inquiry. This is a highly
charged political issue, as science is under political attack.
Regrettably, we seem not to have come far culturally since the
Scopes “monkey” trial.”

CFI is particularly troubled by the fact that Stein and his
producers apparently engaged in a shameless array of dirty
tricks and dishonest tactics, among which many are detailed here
by Scientific American. Even FOX News has felt compelled to wax
critical about the film, saying that the film is “a sloppy,
all-over-the-place, poorly made ‘expose’ of the scientific
community….showing that Stein, who’s carved out a career
selling eye drops in commercials and amusing us on sitcoms, is
either completely nuts or so avaricious that he?s abandoned all
good sense to make a buck.”

In response, CFI’s Committee for Skeptical Inquiry (CSI) has
published a devastating critique of the film in the latest issue
(May/June 2008 ) of Skeptical Inquirer magazine.

Recently, CFI published an extensive position paper authored by
Barbara Forrest demonstrating convincingly that the ID movement
is simply a continuation of creationism.

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