Friday, April 18, 2008

Expelled: A Brief Movie Review

My family and I just went to our local theater and viewed Ben Stein's documentary Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed. This documentary has already created no small stir on the internet as the pre-release controversy generated by it held the number one spot in the blogosphere all day on March 24 per Nielson's BlogPulse, and also received over 800 Technorati results. With it's release in 1,000 theaters today (4-18-08), it will no doubt upset many people.

So why all the fuss over such a small-scale documentary that will probably be out of theaters in 2-3 weeks anyway?

The answer: Ben Stein and his crew have shown ho
w several highly credentialed scientists and academicians have been forced out of prestigious academic positions because they have called into question certain aspects of traditional Darwinian evolutionary theory or have given some type of credence to Intelligent Design (ID) as a viable alternative to Darwinism.

Stein demonstrates through a series of interviews with those both sympathetic and hostile to ID theory that the current American scientific establishment has no room for entertaining a debate that will question the prevailing and assumed paradigm of Darwinism. Stein also convincingly shows that the reigning scientific establishment has actively suppressed the ID movement in an effort to prevent the undermining of Neodarwinian theory, something that runs contrary to the basic principles of American and academic freedom.

Many Darwinists, skeptics, and naysayers have been upset about the release of "Expelled" for months while it was being screened across the U.S., but one particular Darwinist sums up the complaints quite well. Dr. Michael Shermer, who was one of the first people interviewed in this documentary, complained after a pre-release screening that his comments about his agnosticism regarding professors being fired from their academic posts because they hold to ID theory were conveniently misused in order to support the documentary's "conspiracy theory". It's no secret that Darwinists often love to hate the idea that any type of intelligent agency was involved in the origin of life. Richard Dawkins has no problem admitting this outright, with the exception of the panspermia theory, which just causes him to push his ignorance back one step further. "PZ" Myers, an adherent to Darwinism and a biology professor at the University of Minnesota and owner of the popular atheist blog Pharyngula, was also interviewed in "Expelled". His written comments below taken from The Panda's Thumb blog are also reflective of his attitude about ID theory in his live interview:

The only appropriate responses [to Intelligent Design proponents] should involve some form of righteous fury, much butt-kicking, and the public firing and humiliation of some teachers, many school board members, and vast numbers of sleazy far-right politicians." ~ Comment #35130, PZ Myers, June 14, 2005

With comments like Dr. Myer's, "Expelled" shows through live interviews that the scientific establishment absolutely has no room for ID theory and they will muzzle whomever they can to prevent academic freedom, research, and publishing in this area. However, there is more to this documentary than the mere suppression of academic freedom.

"Expelled" shows that Darwinism is the foundation for philosophical naturalism/atheism, the eugenics movement of the first half of the 20th century, and the modern abortion problem. The documentary demonstrates a direct correlation between Darwinism and Adolf Hitler's plan to eradicate the Jews and while eradicating them, use them as experimental tools for the purpose of developing the perfect Utopian human through biological experimentation. "Expelled" goes on to note that Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood developed her ideas about eugenics and sterilization through the influence of Darwinism.

But of course, since modern Darwinism is a theory that excludes any divine involvement in the world, then by default, only material processes are responsible for the design and propagation of all life forms. In other words, no Intelligent Designer is allowed. Of course, when the Creator is cast out, so are objective, transcendent morals, and what normally follows is cultural relativism; a type of relativism that can eventually lead to things like eugenics, euthanasia, abortion, and holocausts. The history of the 20th century demonstrates this to be the case.

In conclusion, I expect "Expelled" to be another useful tool in expelling the last leg that upholds the Darwinian establishment's power in suppressing the evidence that contradicts and undermines their theory. It would be pretty hard for the Darwinists to legally prevent scientific information that contradicts evolutionary theory from entering the movie theaters, especially when our nation allows for the sale and distribution of pornographic material. And, with Stein screening the documentary for Florida legislators last month and his doing the same for Missouri lawmakers last week, both states are making swift moves toward passing academic freedom laws; laws that may at least allow for students and teachers to discuss the scientific and philosophical viability of lack thereof of these two competing theories about how man got here and what his purpose is in this world.


  1. Do we need to present the "argument" that 2+2=5? How about that the Earth is flat? That's why these ID people should be nowhere near a classroom.

  2. Gosh, Stein should've just interviewed you, Dean. I mean, with a retort like that, you could've stopped this whole thing in its tracks!

  3. Just saw the movie tonite. Full theatre. 2 rounds of applause. Which is extremely rare for a movie.

    "And, with Stein screening the documentary for Florida legislators last month and his doing the same for Missouri lawmakers last week, both states are making swift moves toward passing academic freedom laws; laws that may at least allow for students and teachers to discuss the scientific and philosophical viability of lack thereof of these two competing theories about how man got here and what his purpose is in this world."

    That would be wonderful!

  4. Darwin's theory is about to collapse? It's on it's "last leg?" Where have I heard that before?

    "[Richard] Owen [the famed old-earth creationist anatomist] says my book will be forgotten in ten years, perhaps so; but, with such a list [of scientific supporters], I feel convinced that the subject will not." [Darwin in a letter to J. D. Hooker, 3/3/1860].

    "I have read lately so many hostile views [of The Origin of Species], that I was beginning to think that perhaps I was wholly in the wrong, and that Owen was right when he said the whole subject would be forgotten in ten years; but now that I hear that you and Huxley will fight publicly (which I am sure I never could do), I fully believe that our cause will, in the long run, prevail." [Darwin in a letter to J. D. Hooker, 7/2/1860]

    Note that Richard Owen's prediction that the "whole subject" would be "forgotten in ten years" proved false. By Biblical standards, that makes Darwin a "true prophet," and Richard Owen (who was a creationist) a "false prophet."

    The "death of Darwinism" has been predicted by at least one scientist or journalist every decade since Darwin first proposed his theory.

    The Imminent Demise of Evolution:
    The Longest Running Falsehood in Creationism

    For that matter, there are still a few college educated individuals today who continue to argue in favor of geocentrism! They are emphatic Bible believers of course. And they predict the "death of heliocentrism" once the Bible is taken as seriously as it once was regarding celestial matters.


    Religious Organizations Allowed by Law to Discriminate on Basis of Religion

    Christian churches and institutions of higher learning continue to fire (or not rehire) professors for teaching evolution, and/or for disagreeing with ANY of the beliefs of the religion of the institution at which they work.

    For instance Bob Jones fires any employees who are caught attending a church that features "contemporary Christian music," and it's perfectly legal.

    The California Supreme Court, unanimously decided, "We can discern no fundamental public policy that places limits on a RELIGIOUS employer's right to control such speech," i.e., in the case of a recently converted Evangelical who couldn't stop speaking about "God" to everyone on the job at a Catholic Healthcare West Medical Foundation. The employee was fired, and the institution, being a religious institution, has the legal right backed up by the Calif. Supreme Court to fire that employee.

    Wheaton College, an Evangelical institution, fired a professor recently who converted to Catholicism. They also let go a Christian biology professor who would not compromise and attempt to incorporate Genesis into his biology class. He viewed Genesis as a religious myth, and could find no point of accommodation between the Genesis story and the history of life on earth.

    Another recent case is that of Prof. Richard Colling, a long time biology professor at Olivet Nazarene University, and author of the book, Random Designer:

    See also an earlier case:

    Documents Related to the Evolution Trial of Dr. Terry M. Gray in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church (OPC):

    And see this very recent case:

    Westminster Theological Suspension
    Peter Enns's book Inspiration and Incarnation created a two-year theological battle that resulted in his suspension.
    Sarah Pulliam posted on the Christianity Today website 4/01/2008

    And these cases:

    Would your Church allow you to Publicly Support Evolution?

    I also have a personal email from someone in a geology dept. of a large Christian university (whose church's denominational view is young-earth creationist) who says every geologist he works with in that department is an old-earther and pro-evolutionist but none of them can come out of the closet for fear of losing their jobs and creating immense controversy.

    The following two paragraphs are from Christianity Today's website:

    "The ordeals of … professors at the more than 100 evangelical Protestant institutions in the United States that require such faith statements—orally or in writing—have spurred charges that they violate academic freedom," writes Beth McMurtrie. "Do they, in fact, defy the academic ideal of open intellectual inquiry? Are the statements—some of them generic—subject to such broad interpretation that they can be used to punish whatever teaching or lifestyle choices administrators may dislike?"

    The occasion for the article is Patrick Henry College's denial of accreditation because it requires all teachers to believe and teach seven-day creationism. But McMurtrie's article touches on just about every major conflict over Christian college faith statements in the last five years. There's Wheaton College's dismissal of anthropology professor Alex Bolyanatz; Seattle Pacific University's rescinding an offer to English professor Scott Cairns; Earl Ross Genzel's forced resignation from Messiah College; and successful battles by Greg Boyd at Bethel College and Howard J. Van Till at Calvin. This is an article that goes beyond generalizations and actually names names.

    Below is a link to the original article in the Chronicle of Higher Education:

    Do Professors Lose Academic Freedom by Signing Statements of Faith? Critics say the oaths at some religious colleges are intellectually confining

  6. Expelled is a farce and should be retitled, "Win Ben Stein's Career"


    see also

  7. Mr. Babinski,

    First, your pointing out of the censoring of pastors in denominations and academicians in seminaries and bible colleges is a classic category error because those who are ordained to pastor or hired to teach at Bible colleges and seminaries are ordained/hired on the *condition* that they agree to a clearly delineated statement of faith or historic creed(s) and confession(s), something that *is* historically verifiable and reproducible, which is not the case with Darwinian theory. This is especially clear in the case of those denominations and schools that adhere to confessional standards that clearly oppose Darwinian evolution. So, when pastors, Bible College, seminary, or even science professors challenge those fundamental *historically* verifiable confessional standards, they are clearly teaching false doctrine/ideologies that undermine the very thing they agreed to defend in the first place. Thus, they are violating their oaths/contractual agreements and must be defrocked or terminated.

    Secondly, I have never read a public university's statement of faith that *REQUIRES* the hiring and maintenance of only those professors who will defend Darwinian orthodoxy. This means that if these professors develop scientific questions and objections that undermine said theory and there is no contractual agreement for them to defend Darwinian orthodoxy from the administration, then there is no basis for censoring and terminating them and the merits of their scientific objections must be allowed to stand the test of peer reviewed scientific investigation, something that ID theory has not been allowed to do because the Darwinists refuse to allow any such ideas in the peer-reviewed literature since the reigning dogma is philosophical naturalism and it must be protected at all costs.

    Clearly delineating that a school or religious body has certain standards of faith that concretely set down in writing that upon the basis of breeching that statement requires investigation and possibly termination is one thing (which is the case in the instances you noted), but to my knowledge, none of the professors terminated in "Expelled" were obligated to uphold any such contractual agreement. Thus, they were censored and fired for asking *scientific* questions about the validity of some of the claims of Darwinism or they were merely recognizing that the competing theory of ID has at least some merits while still maintaining their Darwinian stance. In other words, they were censored for the very thing that the secular university's scientific establishment says they should not be, namely, academic freedom in the area of scientific inquiry.

    I would encourage you to pay a few dollars and go watch the movie. I have spent good money to purchase the books and materials of those who disagree with and seek to undermine my worldview in an effort to analyze the validity of their arguments and understand what they are saying. I will encourage you to do the same.

  8. Ed,

    Your comparison torpedoes your own position. Everyone knows that Christian institutions frequently have a confessional identity which forms the basis of membership or excommunication.

    When you draw a parallel between the evolutionary establishment and the Christian community, you play right into the argument that the evolutionary establishment is a secular church with its own unquestioned dogmas, Inquisitions, witch hunts, and heresy trials.

  9. just saw Expelled, Ben Stein's goal in making Expelled (i gather) is to promote free thought, especially more thinking about motivations that drive American academia and a lot of other behind-the-scenes worldview that we tend to take for granted.