Expelled, the newly released movie by Ben Stein, will generate howls of horror by the community of evolutionists, particularly those in the academic world. Our readers should know what the furor is all about.
Intelligent design (ID) is a concept which has become popular mainly in the last two decades. It proposes that the multiple instances of precise fine tuning in the cosmos and the incredible functional complexity of living things from the cell to integrated organ systems bespeak origins which can best be explained by an intelligent agent. But any mention of ID in venues from research labs to public school classrooms generates mocking ridicule, or worse, from scientists and department heads securely locked in a box labeled “NATURAL EXPLANATIONS ONLY – NO SUPERNATURAL CONSIDERED!”
The case for design and the weaknesses of evolutionary theory are discussed in the film but play secondary roles as the film proceeds. Primary attention is devoted to the blatant suspension of academic freedom and the dangerous practices of social Darwinism such as the Holocaust, eugenics, and abortion. No professional scientist in the world of academia, no matter how well-reasoned and logical his proposal, no matter how his thesis otherwise conforms to recognized scientific principles, is ever allowed to propose, discuss, or even mention ID. The usual penalty if he does? Discipline, censure, non-renewal, and a bleak prospect for future employment. Many dismissed scientists, university officials who have sanctioned the dismissals, and well-known evolutionists are interviewed by Stein. The viewer is left to make conclusions primarily based on those interviews and historic film clips of the impact of social Darwinism in the 20th century.
This film will likely produce an “earthquake.” The strength of the worldview that supports evolution and excludes the supernatural will be tested. That worldview is that of atheism/naturalism. There will be a clash of atheism/naturalism with the theistic/Christian worldview. Expelled will take you on an emotional journey along the fault lines of the earthquake. It is a powerful film!