Go See It
Yesterday I saw Ben Stein’s movie Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed. If it is playing at a theatre near you, you really must go see it. It is informative, entertaining, challenging, even moving.
The film is a documentary about the Intelligent Design movement and its marginalization from the academic establishment. Stein interviews a number of accomplished scholars who are linked in various ways to the ID movement, most of whom have either lost their jobs or have been disciplined in some way by their schools or the watchdog groups that dedicate themselves to making sure ID never gets off the ground.
Stein also interviews a number of Darwinians on the opposing side, including the most radical and vocal of them all, Richard Dawkins. The interviews are truly eye-opening. They expose the Darwinian agenda for what it really is: a religion unto itself. Stein himself does not preach in this film. He never says whether or not he believes in God (though I’m sure that he does). The point of the film is simply to show that the scientific establishment has determined arbitrarily that certain answers to difficult questions are impermissible, no matter what the evidence says.
The most important part of the film, in my view, is the way it traces out the worldview connections inherent in this discussion. Scientists who say that the only explanations permissible in biological studies are those that claim that life exists and develops under an undirected process (rather than by a process directed by intelligence) are not making a scientific claim; they are making a metaphysical one. They are pretending that mere observation of the scientific evidence qualifies them to be philosophers and set the ground rules for inquiry from the start. They naively believe that they approach the evidence from a neutral perspective and that they derive their atheistic worldview as a result of an unbiased evaluation of the world. But the truth is, no one is a neutral observer. No one can interpret evidence apart from the framework of an overarching worldview. And what this film exposes is that you can hold to a worldview that automatically eliminates certain metaphysical claims (i.e., an appeal to intelligence as crucial to the origin of life), or you can broaden your horizon and allow various viewpoints to compete by offering rival interpretations of the evidence. Science is supposed to be about free inquiry, but the Darwinian establishment will have none of it. (Baylor University, by the way, comes off looking pretty bad in this film. Having grown up in Texas as a Baptist affiliated with the BGCT, I am very disappointed in that school. Like Esau, it has sold its birthright for a bowl of porridge).
The worldview connections inherent in one’s approach to the question about the origin of life and the species run all the way to the deepest questions of life. Stein investigates the connections between Darwin and Hitler, arguing not that Darwinism is a sufficient condition for Nazism (for there are many Darwinists who are not Nazis), but that it is a necessary one. In my view, every once in a while a person comes along who is able to see more clearly the ramifications of rejecting a belief in God than most any other atheist has ever seen. Nietzsche was one such person. Hitler was another. These kinds of people are dangerous, for they are able to trace atheism to its logical, ethical conclusions. Most atheists, as human beings made in God’s image themselves, don’t ever reach that point. By God’s restraining grace, they are never able to go that far in denying their own humanity. But Hitler did it. He applied Darwinism to the human race, and he decided that, so long as we give care and aid in the survival of the weakest in our society, we hinder our own evolutionary development. In the animal kingdom, the rights of the weak are not protected. They die off, as they should. Therefore, we should eliminate the weak for the good of the human race as a whole. If God is not the giver and taker of life, then dictators and doctors will be. (In the U.S., Planned Parenthood was born–or should I say, spawned–out of a similar philosophy).
Go see the film. It will be well worth your time and money.