- I liked the interviews with some big wigs in the Intelligent Design movement (e.g. Stephen C. Meyer, Richard Sternberg, Douglas Axe, Guillermo Gonzalez, Kurt Wise, Jonathan Wells, William Dembski, Alistair McGrath, John Polkinghorne) as well as the interviews with atheists like Michael Ruse, Daniel Dennett, and Richard Dawkins. Not all ID-proponents interviewed were religious though (e.g. David Berlinski). In any case, it was a good way to get a quick feel for the personalities behind some well-known publications on either side.
- Maybe I missed them but I didn't notice Michael Behe, Francis Collins, or, perhaps most notably, Phillip E. Johnson.
- I only wish the interviews were longer and more in-depth. But the movie wasn't so much about making arguments against neo-Darwinism or for Intelligent Design as it was about presenting the case that the American academic scientific establishment is anti-ID (and religion) and basically any dissenting view from the mainstream one when it comes to neo-Darwinism.
- Seattle looked gorgeous! (And, yeah, the Discovery Institute's office space seemed rather modest in relation to their purported influence.)
- For some reason, Ben Stein's usual comedic shtick as a drab, nerdy professor with a monotone voice and colorless demeanor (à la his role in Ferris Bueller's Day Off) didn't seem as funny to me as it might've in the past.
- At one point, Ben Stein asked David Berlinski, if, in Darwin's day the cell might be compared to a Buick, what might it be compared to today? And Berlinski replied, "A galaxy." It's simply amazing to me how complicated any animal let alone human cell truly is.
- Speaking of which, there were a couple of pretty neat cell animations in the movie. Not to mention at least one funny cartoon which ended with a cartoon version Dawkins cursing his luck on a slot machine. And I thought the movie made pretty good use of old black and white footage from other movies and elsewhere throughout its hour and a half run.
- I was surprised that the German lady working as a concentration camp tour guide couldn't bring herself to condemn what one of the Nazi doctors did in murdering people. [Update: Please make sure to read Joe Carter's comment in the combox.]
- I was somewhat surprised that several neo-Darwinists are apostates. Indeed, neo-Darwinism can undermine and erode the faith of many Christians. In fact, Dawkins admitted he lost any vestige of faith he may have once had after studying evolution. That's why it needs to be confronted. And more than ever these days.
- On the flip side, there are some Christians who don't want the slightest thing to do with evolution, and will refuse to hear let alone learn about it for fear that they'll somehow be contaminated by it and perhaps led astray. Although the sentiments are understandable, their thinking is not.
- One apostate neo-Darwinist mentioned that, since he now believes in unguided naturalistic evolution, he likewise no longer believes in free will or that there is any meaning in life. He said he has a brain tumor and that he would rather shoot himself in the head than to go through such suffering. [Update: This was William Provine. Thanks to Dusman for pointing it out in the combox.] So neo-Darwinism not only condemns one to a meaningless death but also to a meaningless life. What's more, neo-Darwinism devalues human life because life and death are nothing more than "natural processes."
- Also, I think it's ironic to hear apostates in this movie talk about how "free" they feel now that they're no longer Christians. Now that they've been "liberated" from the shackles of Christianity after seeing the light of unguided naturalistic evolution and atheism. I don't doubt that that's how they may "feel." But, if unguided naturalistic evolution and atheism are true, then what does it mean to say that someone feels let alone is "free"? What, after all, is the "feeling" of "freedom" or "freedom" itself to the atheist and evolutionist (e.g. perhaps a series of biochemical reactions resulting in the illusion of choice)?
- At the same time, we hear other neo-Darwinists call religion "evil." But I wonder if they have considered from where they derive this moral category of "evil" for religion given their presuppositions?
- Ben Stein rightly noted that neo-Darwinism is not a sufficient but it is a necessary condition for Nazism.
- Someone mentioned something along the lines of, science should go before one's worldview but one's worldview often goes before science. One should go where the evidence leads, not predetermine where one is going and then shoehorn the evidence to fit the destination. Of course, this could cut both ways (assuming there's at least some validity in the statement). But it seems to me it cuts so much more against neo-Darwinism. For instance, at least one neo-Darwinist scientist would rather believe in (as Ben Stein put it) "crystals" than the possibility that God may have been the source for life on earth as we know it.
- Near the end of the movie, Dawkins himself admitted the possibility for Intelligent Design; he said panspermia was an intriguing possibility. It's just that he doesn't admit the possibility that the Judeo-Christian "God" might be the Intelligent Designer. He'll believe in anything in order to not believe in the God of the Bible. What a tragedy.
Saturday, April 19, 2008
First impressions on Expelled
Following hotly on the footsteps of the great Dusman, here are a few of my first impressions and thoughts after watching Expelled: