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The NCSE Exposed: Clunky Attack on “Expelled” Reveals More Than Intended

[Note: For a more comprehensive defense of Ben Stein’s documentary Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, please see: NCSE Exposed at]

The National Center for Science Education has just unveiled its expanded website denouncing the upcoming movie “Expelled,” but the website’s clunky attacks merely provide confirmation that the film’s essential thesis is correct: Darwinists really don’t believe in academic freedom regarding evolution, and they’re more than willing to smear any scientist who disagrees with them.

The basic thrust of the NCSE’s website seems to be the preposterous claim that pro-ID scientists never, ever face harassment, intimidation, or persecution. Not ever! Scientists who claim otherwise—such as biologist Richard Sternberg, astronomer Guillermo Gonzalez, and Baylor University engineering professor Robert Marks—must be cry-babies or worse.

The NCSE’s approach is otherwise known as “blaming the victim.”

Given that the NCSE is part of the very evolution lobby that is seeking to suppress intelligent design, its effort to further malign the victims of Darwinist intolerance is rather tacky. But tackiness doesn’t stop the NCSE from trying to depict its director Eugenie Scott as a veritable Mother Teresa, selectively quoting from her emails to make it appear that she was trying to protect evolutionary biologist Richard Sternberg from persecution at the Smithsonian!

Yeah, right. This is the same person who circulated “talking points” to Smithsonian officials to guide them in their campaign against Sternberg. This also is the same person who was asked to spy on Sternberg’s outside activities by a Smithsonian official in order to find a way to get rid of Sternberg. And this is the same caring person who when asked about Sternberg’s plight by The Washington Post, seemed to suggest that Sternberg was lucky more wasn’t done to get rid of him: “If this was a corporation, and an employee did something that really embarrassed the administration, really blew it, how long do you think that person would be employed?” Fortunately, if you want to find out what really happened to Sternberg at the Smithsonian, you don’t have to depend on the NCSE’s highly selective rendition of the facts. You can read for yourself the results of two separate federal investigations into the matter, here and here.

The NCSE also goes after Iowa State University astronomer Guillermo Gonzalez, asserting that “ISU was justified in rejecting his application for tenure.”

But the NCSE mangles the facts about Gonzalez’s publication record, misrepresents the role of grants in ISU’s tenure determinations, and ignores the extensive email traffic clearly showing that ISU officials lied when they claimed that intelligent design was not the reason for his tenure rejection. Indeed, the emails show Gonzalez’s department colleagues actively plotting to suppress evidence that would show they had created an illegal hostile work environment targeting Gonzalez. For the full truth about what happened to Gonzalez go to Free, or for more detailed info., go here.

The NCSE similarly does its best to cover up the facts about what happened to Baylor University engineering professor Robert Marks, making it appear that the only consequence he faced was the loss of a research website. The NCSE neglects to mention Baylor also forced Marks to return a grant he had received for intelligent design-related research (after the university had duly accepted the grant). The return of the grant meant that Marks was deprived of funding for a post-doc position for pro-ID mathematician William Dembski. The NCSE also neglects to mention that university officials pressured Marks to stop pursuing his intelligent design-inspired research. For more details, see here.

John G. West

Senior Fellow, Managing Director, and Vice President of Discovery Institute
Dr. John G. West is Vice President of the Seattle-based Discovery Institute and Managing Director of the Institute’s Center for Science and Culture. Formerly the Chair of the Department of Political Science and Geography at Seattle Pacific University, West is an award-winning author and documentary filmmaker who has written or edited 12 books, including Darwin Day in America: How Our Politics and Culture Have Been Dehumanized in the Name of Science, The Magician’s Twin: C. S. Lewis on Science, Scientism, and Society, and Walt Disney and Live Action: The Disney Studio’s Live-Action Features of the 1950s and 60s. His documentary films include Fire-Maker, Revolutionary, The War on Humans, and (most recently) Human Zoos. West holds a PhD in Government from Claremont Graduate University, and he has been interviewed by media outlets such as CNN, Fox News, Reuters, Time magazine, The New York Times, USA Today, and The Washington Post.