Pros: Intelligent examination of arguments regarding Intelligent Design. Allows input from both sides.
Cons: Stock footage distracting.
Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed is like many documentaries. Ben Stein acts as the host, taking viewers along on interviews. The interviews center around the discussion of Intelligent Design, with viewpoints explored from both sides of the argument. Stein exposes the complete intolerance in science for any point of view that challenges or threatens the Theory of Evolution. Because this film is a documentary, I will examine the content more closely than the style.
One of the points that Stein brings to light is that advocates of Intelligent Design are not Creationists. I did not know that. The media connects the two so firmly at the hip, that independent thought on the subject is never pursued. Not until I heard it directly from the strongest supporters of the ID theory did I realize that there is a disconnect between what is reported in the media and what Intelligent Design actually believes.
Ben Stein squares off with establishment science, highlighting several cases were scientists have been censured, denied tenure or simply asked to resign over the mere discussion of Intelligent Design as a theory that should be explored. A news reporter was also relieved for her examination of the subject. It seems that those in the field of science who are staunch Darwinists see Intelligent Design as an attempt to get God and Creationism into the classroom. For that reason, no discussion is allowed. Any proponent of Intelligent Design becomes anathema to the scientific field. It is equivalent to scientific excommunication.
After presenting the opposing arguments regarding Intelligent Design, Stein explores the role of Darwinism in Hitler's Final Solution. It is a big step to take, but certainly highlights the danger in espousing a viewpoint without considering the consequences or alternatives. Also in line with Darwin's theory, the United States involuntarily sterilized 50,000 human beings in a social experiment called Eugenics. Stein points out the flaws in Darwinism, yet cannot seem to move the ball forward against establishment science, who cling to their beliefs with religious fervor.
Yes, I referred to the scientific fervor over Darwinism as Religious. The "theory" does, after all, require faith. Isn't that the cornerstone of religion. I heard several top scientists try to explain the origins of life...the lofty claim that Darwin tried to make. So how did (at the very least) 250 chemical compounds arrange themselves in exactly the correct sequence to become life? To make me believe that this was an accident is impossible. That would be like saying you dumped 250 car parts into a tank and shook it up...causing all the parts to line up and make a car. It just does not make sense. So...how DO these top scientists explain it?
There are three theories put forward by Science. First, science has moved away from the ridiculous primordial soup theory, where the compounds collected and were then electrocuted by lightning into existence. Second, life was seeded on Earth by aliens (I am not kidding here). Third, the compounds piggy-backed on crystals. Okay...the compounds were on the back of a crystal...so HOW did the life part happen? A top scientist is repeatedly questioned by Stein and fails to answer that question. Simply put, it requires faith. I, personally, would rather believe in Intelligent Design (in the form of Creation) rather than to believe an Alien seeded life here (by the way...would that not still qualify as Intelligent Design)?
Stein presents this documentary in a ubiquitous manner. The clips of his interviews often segue into stock footage from a wide variety of sources. The film borrows heavily from the Berlin Wall which is an analogy that Stein uses for the wall science has erected around Darwinism. Science has become big business and outside theories are not readily accepted. If Darwin (who at the time was outside mainstream science) tried to publish his views today, he would be shouted out of existence.
Stein presents a much more balanced approach than documentaries I have seen from the left side of politics. He allows rebuttals from the scientific community, particularly those Institutions that have silenced any mention of Intelligent Design. Stein is incredibly intelligent himself, but allows others to make the arguments, pretty much standing on the sidelines and asking questions. These questions are directed at both sides of the argument. Although Stein demonstrates what side of the argument he is on, he does not manipulate the data or hijack people who disagree with him (other qualities common to documentaries from the left) to prove his point.
The funny thing about this documentary is that it applies to a single issue. Intelligent Design. It seems you could easily apply the exact same strategy to expose "Climate Change." The issue of Global Warming (or the trend of the day) is big business. A lot of funding is sourced by advocates of climate change. Anyone who questions the junk science that has been exposed within the climate change crowd is shouted down. But who will answer for the junk science? I love the planet and want clean air and water. I love the planet and believe in common sense environmental issues. So how do we determine what actions to take when data is supressed or manipulated to prove a point rather than to forward the science. It is a sad state our science has fallen into when theories prevail over scientific method. People should be scared that science has become a tool of the state.
I enjoyed the way Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed presented both sides of the argument, allowing the ridiculous ideas that Darwinists espouse to speak for themselves. I believe in Evolution within the scope of Intelligent Design. The planet changes and everything on the planet changes with it. Why do these two elements have to be diametrically opposed. I don't think they are. Darwin witnessed changes that were correct. His evolution theory was on the right track...his problem (in my humble opinion) was to be lofty enough to think that this observation could possibly allow him to jump from a naturally occurring event all the way to the origins of life. That is a big jump...one that I would not make without something more concrete than primordial soup. Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed was a bit distracting with the stock clips, but it was an attempt to keep a deep issue interesting. I could have done with more interviews and less Planet of the Apes (etc). I would highly recommend Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, which simply asks for debate and open science rather than stating one point is right. Four stars out of five.
For anyone interested in learning more about Intelligent Design and the Theory of Evolution from the other perspective, resources are available through a PBS Special at:
A website in opposition to this film has been set up at www.expelledexposed.com for additional information regarding this film, ID and TOE.