Posted on Apr 4, 2008 | by Benjamin Hawkins
FORT WORTH, Texas (BP)--A controversial documentary set for release
nationwide April 18 could foster a cultural shift "equivalent to the
fall of the Berlin Wall," says William Dembski, research professor of
philosophy at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.
seminary hosted a private screening of "Expelled: No Intelligence
Allowed" (PG) in early March. In the film, host Ben Stein tracks down
scholars who have been "expelled" by the academic community for their
support of intelligent design (ID), a research program that flies in
the face of Darwinism. Dembski is featured in the documentary.
film exposes the hypocrisy of an academic and cultural elite who
pretend that they value freedom of inquiry and expression but in fact
suppress it when it clashes with their deeply held materialistic
convictions," Dembski said. He and other proponents of ID have
suggested that the universe shows signs of having been designed by an
Many fields of study within modern science
involve intelligent design, including archeology, forensics and the
Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI), Dembski said. An
archeologist, for example, examines the evidence -– such as a curiously
shaped stone -- to determine whether it might be the product of a human
"These sciences, however, are uncontroversial
because any intelligence detected through them could be an 'evolved'
intelligence," Dembski said. "Most of the action with ID, on the other
hand, centers in biology, so that any intelligence involved with the
emergence of living things is likely to be an 'unevolved' intelligence.
ID therefore challenges materialistic theories of evolution, such as
Unlike biblical creationism, ID does not begin with
the Genesis account of creation, nor do its proponents attempt to
describe the nature of the intelligence that designed the universe.
Despite this fact, Dembski noted, "ID is friendly to Christian theism
in a way that materialistic forms of evolution never have been."
of the biggest obstacles to people coming to Christ in Western culture
is the impression that science has disproved the Bible and
Christianity," he said. "ID therefore helps to correct this false
impression by showing that our best science supports belief in a higher
intelligence responsible for life. ID does not give you the Christian
God as such, but it puts you in the right ballpark."
trials at Baylor University -- which describes itself as "the world's
largest Baptist university -- from 1999-2005 are not documented in the
film. Among other things, he drew the wrath of the science, philosophy
and religion departments early in his tenure there when it was learned
that he was heading up an ID think tank on campus. Dembski's role in
the documentary is mainly as someone explaining Intelligent Design for
Dembski told the Southern Baptist TEXAN that
those who most need to see the movie are "parents of children in high
school or college, as well as those children themselves, who may think
that the biological sciences are a dispassionate search for truth about
life but many of whose practitioners see biology, especially
evolutionary biology, as an ideological weapon to destroy faith in God."
Marks, who holds the title of "distinguished professor of engineering"
at Baylor University, also appears in the film as one of the "expelled"
academics. Although he remains at Baylor as a tenured professor, Baylor
officials last year forced Marks to return grant money it received
related to ID research and forced his ID research website to an
"I sat there and I laughed," Marks said of
his reaction watching the film. "I laughed because I have seen this
atheistic, big-science mafia squad come out and kill the careers of
many of my friends. Guillermo Gonzalez, who I knew at the University of
Washington. Richard Sternberg, who I recently met. And to see their
motivation and goals so clearly exposed in a Ben Stein sort of dry
humor was incredible. I really, really enjoyed the movie. I think it is
going to have an enormous impact. I hope it does."
more information about the movie, visit www.expelledthemovie.com. The
movie is rated PG for thematic elements and very brief language. Based
on reporting by Benjamin Hawkins, a writer for Southwestern Baptist
Theological Seminary, and Jerry Pierce, managing editor of the Southern
Baptist TEXAN newspaper.