Last week I went to see Ben Stein's documentary, "Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed" http://www.expelledthemovie.com/ , which was playing in movie theaters. I do not know how well the movie is doing at the box office, but if you have a chance to see it, do so. It is an effective expose of academic and cultural prejudice against critics of Darwinian Evolution.
"Expelled" is not an overtly Christian film. Ben Stein has stated that he is not a Christian. He is best known as an entertainer ("Ferris Bueller's Day Off", "Win Ben Stein's Money) and commentator (The American Spectator). Yet in the film, we see another side to him, a man who believes in God and one who can intellectually work out the ethical and religious consequences of Darwinian Evolution.
"Expelled" is not a detailed explanation of or an argument for the theory of life's origins called Intelligent Design. What the film is is an exploration of the prejudice against Intelligent Design by the scientific establishment. We are introduced to a myriad of scientists who have lost their academic tenure and positions because of their research into Intelligent Design. We also learn the stories of those who have been fired from their jobs at scientific journals for approving articles that merely mention the theory. Not all these people are Christians; some are either secular in orientation or practice other belief systems. At least one of the scientists interviewed made the point that those who study Intelligent Design do not deny evolutionary change in animals and lower species. However, they are not convinced that this form of evolution proves that man is a descendant of lower forms of animals. The scientific establishment and its allies in the media label opponents of evolution as not real scientists, as rubes and charlatans. Yet "Expelled" introduces us to many impressive scientists and writers who attack Darwinism on scientific grounds. Some of these are proponents of Intelligent Design, some believe the theory is worthy of exploration and should not be suppressed.
"Expelled" gives equal time to Darwinists within the scientific community to present their case. They are given time to heap scorn on Intelligent Design and its proponents. The expressions of disbelief in God in general, and the events of Creation detailed in Genesis in particular, range from mild disdain to outright irrational hostility, Richard Dawkins representing the later. They are not shy about expressing their disbelief in God. In giving these people equal time, Stein and the filmmakers expose the hidden institutional machinery in the scientific establishment that is working to suppress dissent from Darwinism not only in the scientific community, but in the entire public arena. Their hostility and their absolute determination to crush all dissent is on view for all to see. And their hypocrisy is revealed as well. One of the most telling moments in the film is when an evolutionist is asked to comment on a colleague of his who was fired for his research into Intelligent Design. He expresses sorrow for what had happened to his colleague, declaring it to be an unfortunate outcome. Then the professor is confronted with his own e-mails calling the fired man an idiot. "Who are the idiots?" he was asked. His hypocrisy exposed, he labeled those who study Intelligent Design as idiots. He and the rest of his Darwinian colleagues, when their attempts at suppressing dissent are exposed, act as if they could care less when they are exposed. All throughout the film, "Expelled" makes a visual connection between the efforts of the scientific establishment to destroy those who advocate or are at least friendly to Intelligent Design to the communists who built the Berlin Wall. Just as the wall was built to keep all things western out, the scientific community is trying to build a wall around itself and the public, attempting to prevent any dissent from Darwinian Evolution from becoming part of the public debate. The humorous style in which the film depicts this will appeal to opponents of evolutionary theories (like me), while Darwinists will be offended.
At the film's conclusion, Stein links the rise of Darwinism to the formation of Nazi ideology and that ideology's culmination in the extermination of six million European Jews. Evolutionists will declare this to be nonsense. They maintain that to apply the evolutionary concept of the "survival of the fittest" to humanity is a perversion of what Darwin taught. Stein counters this with a quote from Darwin's book "The Descent of Man." I cannot give the exact quote, but in "The Descent of Man", Darwin maintained that certain "weaker" classes of humanity should not be allowed to reproduce. To paraphrase Darwin, "Even those who raise dogs know it is detrimental to allow inferior breeds to reproduce." Those who first denied that man was a special creation of God, the peak of God's creative work, made in His image, those same people set the stage for the designation of man as just an animal, a higher form of animal certainly, but just an animal. And this designation gave rise to certain groups who claimed the right to determine which segments of humanity were worthy of reproduction, declaring other segments a threat to the reproduction of the species. This is the intellectual beginnings not only of the Nazis, but those who successfully campaigned to legalize birth control. Originally, Margaret Sanger and her followers wanted to prevent the poor from reproducing, so the human race would, in their mind, rid itself of weaker, undesirable elements. The filmmakers have the courage for pointing out the real rational for the formation of Planned Parenthood and its advocacy of birth control and abortion.
Those that dissent from, or oppose altogether, Darwinian Evolution, should give kudos to Stein and company for having the courage to produce this film. I remember when I was young my surprise when I discovered the lack of objectivity among scientists concerning those things related to God. This surprise was just one of the ways God prepared my heart to accept the Gospel. While "Expelled" is not an overtly Christian film, it can have the same effect on someone who was just like me. It can open one's eyes to the real reason we exist and where disbelief in God and the Bible's account of Creation can lead.