Saturday, April 19, 2008

Movie Review: Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed. (Aka – Science is Deeply Divided)

Ben Stein seems to make his point. The scientific world is deeply divided. In the documentary, Stein effectively uses the image of the Berlin wall as a picture of modern science. On one side is the establishment set in Darwinian Evolution. The other advocates of Intelligent Design. One side has the prestige of institutions, the influence of Government and the power of money. The other has been expelled. Those who propose that there is another solution to the origin of life on earth are denied tenure, marginalized, and denied access to reasonable debate. The issue is Academic Freedom says Stein. Freedom does exist, if you are on the right side of the wall. Over and over again the Darwinian evolutionists are shown to say the debate of origins is over. The facts are established as well as any fact we know. The other side pushes for more debate. Darwin doesn't explain it all. The clash isn't over scientific theory, but instead a battle of worldviews. One is based on the premise that everything must have a natural explanation, i.e. there is no god of any kind. Science cannot survive with a creator. The other believes a designer is a possibility. The facts should determine the answer. Science is well served when it allows for the possibility of a designer.

But Ben Stein doesn't leave the point there. He also asks the question, where does the prevailing theory of origins lead? Stein a Jew, builds a connection to Nazi extermination camps. "This is deeply personal," he concedes. If life evolved by accident, the meaning of life is to ensure the survival of the species. Powered by Darwin and the eugenics movement in the United States, Hitler carried Darwin's theories to a logical, well thought out conclusion. He wasn't insane, just acting on a worldview. He was advancing Evolution on its natural course to improve the human species. Some lives are not worth the food they take to exist, they are idle hands. Hitler called evil, good. But can it happen again? Ben Stein asks. "It starts like it always starts," said one interviewee. People are marginalized based on their economics, or social standing. "Every child a wanted child." "He no longer had a quality life." These mantras are Darwinian. We are better off without these people. The value of human life is cheapened. Our society's acceptance of Abortion and Euthanasia are the canaries in the cage.

In spite of the serious nature of the topic, Ben Stein seems to enjoy exploring the topic. The film is filled with his dry wit. In one part of the interview with Darwinist/ Author Richard Dawkins he repeatedly asks if he believes in any god; The God of the Old Testament… the Trinity… the Muslim god… any of the Hindu gods? Dawkins exasperated reply says that everything he believes about Darwin excludes the possibility of any god at all. "How could you keep asking that?" Stein's reply simply says he wants to make sure and that it's fun to ask.

One very interesting moment in the film is Dawkins admission that life on earth could be designed by intelligent life. They would be a highly advanced race who "planted" life on earth. But they themselves would have to be a product of Darwinian Evolution.

The movie isn't going to convert any Darwin Evolutionists to Intelligent Design. That isn't its goal. It does ask that freedom be returned to the debate and that the dividing wall be torn down. He ends the film using his most famous line (from Ferris Bueller's Day Off,1986) If we don't stand up and speak about this will anyone be left to do it? Anyone… anyone…

2 comments:

Steven Carr said...

What must it have been like to be a Jewish child growing up in a Nazi Germany?

For some reason, the wise words of Paul Copan come to mind ””What then of the children? Death would be a mercy, as they would be ushered into the presence of God and spared the corrupting influences of a morally decadent culture.”’

patrick said...

Just saw Expelled, i gather that Ben Stein designed his movie to promote dangerously-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.