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Note: February 12th is a world-wide celebration of Darwin's 200th birthday, and it will be used big time to promote atheism and evolution. Learn how to counteract this nonsense - watch Expelled!
If you haven’t seen Expelled yet, I highly recommend it. How many movies do you go to where the audience actually applauds? I had been looking forward to watching this movie ever since I heard about it in September 2007 – and that’s saying a lot since I usually don’t care about going to movies. (Hmm, the last time I ventured into a theatre was when we went to see The Passion; and that was four years ago!)
Adding to the excitement, a brand new Harkins Theatre near us was having its grand opening on April 18, 2008, the same day Expelled was released. So I would not only get to see the movie I’d been waiting for, I would also be able to sit in a new theatre before the seats got all sticky. The only problem was, the sound went out toward the beginning of the movie and by the time it came back on, we had missed at least one whole interview.
Now I can’t wait until the DVD comes out so we can buy Expelled for our collection and watch it whenever we want to. (And so we can listen to the part that we couldn’t hear when the sound went out in the theater.) Seriously, you won’t want to miss one bit of the fascinating interviews. Expelled is a fast-paced documentary that will leave you wishing it wasn’t over at the end. Hopefully they will come out with a director’s cut that contains even more footage.
The word “Expelled” refers to all of the professors, scientists, and others who have been ostracized simply because they dared to mention intelligent design in the classroom, in research papers, or on the job. The film’s subtitle “No Intelligence Allowed” is a funny play on words, referring to the fact that supposedly intelligent, open-minded academics aren’t even allowing intelligent design as a topic of discussion. Ironically, this is happening in a country that upholds the freedom of thought and ideas above all else. (Remember the old bumper sticker slogan from the 1970’s that said “Question authority?”)
Expelled is hosted by Ben Stein – a lawyer, economist, speechwriter, and comic actor – who in recent years has become an outspoken advocate for the intelligent design movement. With his characteristic style of deadpan humor combined with an interspersing of old black-and-white stock footage, Stein creates an interesting and often entertaining look at the conflict between evolutionists and intelligent design proponents. He even includes a light-hearted animated cartoon of neo- Darwinist Richard Dawkins playing a slot machine.
To underscore the seriousness of this movie, however, the visual metaphor of the Berlin Wall is prominently used to depict the barrier that’s been erected by the scientific establishment (as well as the media and the courts) to keep out anyone who supports intelligent design. Through clever editing and additional film clips, it shows how Darwin’s theory of evolution can be linked to eugenics, euthanasia, abortion, Planned Parenthood, Communists, Adolf Hitler and the Holocaust.
About halfway into the film it may seem like Stein goes off on a tangent as he dwells on the Nazi association with Darwinism. But you have to remember that Stein is Jewish, so this particular subject was likely the most near and dear to his heart. My husband always wondered why no one ever talked about the relationship between Darwin and Hitler, so it was neat to see someone else come to the same conclusion.
Expelled portrays several people including Richard Sternberg, Guillermo Gonzalez, and Caroline Crocker as victims of persecution for their promotion of intelligent design and/or for questioning Darwinism. Other intelligent design supporters such as David Berlinski, William Dembski, Stephen Meyer, and Jonathan Wells appear in the film as well.
Stein certainly can't be accused of denying the opposition a chance to tell their side of the story. The film includes interviews with scientists and others who advocate the teaching of evolution and criticize intelligent design as an attempt to bring religion into the science classroom. These include: Richard Dawkins, P.Z. Myers, Will Provine, Michael Ruse, Michael Shermer, and Eugenie Scott.
The interviews were quite eye-opening to say the least. It was infuriating to see the arrogant smugness of Eugenie Scott up there on the big screen. As Executive Director of the National Center for Science Education, she was totally against even considering the thought of giving equal time to the teaching of alternative theories in science classes. Even though evolution is not a proven fact and there is overwhelmingly no evidence to support it, she insists on promoting it dogmatically. And they say creationists are closed-minded!
Many people automatically equate intelligent design with religion. This is part of the reason why the intelligent design movement has faced so much opposition, because it's seen as a cover for Creationism. As a Christian, I do believe that God is the intelligence behind Creation. And even though Ben Stein is not a Christian, the movie is supportive of Creation Science vs. Darwinism. Nevertheless, the scientific theory of intelligent design isn't interested in the identity of a creator. It only presupposes that life couldn’t have happened by random chance, that there must have been some sort of intelligent design behind the formation of living things on this planet.
The best and most surprising interview was saved for last. Richard Dawkins – a popular scientist, secular humanist, and outspoken evolutionist – left himself wide open when he remarked that he's 99 percent certain there is no God. Stein honed in on the remaining one percent, trying to corner Dawkins into acknowledging the possible existence of God or at least some sort of intelligent designer. Finally Dawkins admitted in his quintessential British accent: “maybe there is a super- intelligent designer. But if there is, I can guarantee that THAT designer is a life form that evolved elsewhere and seeded life on Earth.”
It’s amazing to think that these scientists find it so easy to believe in aliens, but they find it so hard to believe in God! I’ve heard atheists say things like, “If there is a God, why doesn’t he show himself and make himself known?” What do they expect God to do, perform a skywriting stunt to prove that He’s up there? In reality, the proof that God exists is all around us – in the irreducible complexity of a single cell, in the grand order of the universe, and in the beautiful patterns of nature – if only we open our hearts and minds to see the evidence.
Expelled is a fascinating documentary about the ongoing controversy regarding the origin and nature of life, a debate which only seems to be intensifying these days. Although there wasn’t much of anything in the movie that I didn’t already know, it was nice to see everything that I had already suspected brought into the spotlight. If you aren’t familiar with all of the issues surrounding intelligent design vs. evolution, it’s well worth your time to see this movie even if you're just the slightest bit curious as to what the fuss is about. After all, the freedom to ask questions and the right to think for yourself is at stake here, and that's definitely something worth fighting for.
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