Wednesday, February 4, 2009

I Wish This Movie Was "Expelled" from My Mind

I knew nothing about Ben Stein’s documentary "Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed" except that it was about intelligent design and he related Darwinism to Nazism...not the best combo, but it’s an instant view on Netflix and I was hopeful that somewhere in the film he would say "Buller" in a way that made laugh (he didn’t).

I won’t say I was disappointed in the film. It was sloppy and biased, but I expected that. What troubled me about the film (aside from the Nazi stuff, which I will address later) was the fact that he didn’t really explain the theory of intelligent design--aside from saying it is not creationism.

If intelligent design should be taught in schools, as Stein believes, then it needs to have an actual theory, but no such theory is explained. I don’t really get the debate--God is faith, not a theory. Evolution doesn’t teach that there is not an intelligent designer; it merely shows a scientific theory used to show how species evolve over time to meet the conditions of their environment needed for survival. You don’t need to talk about how the cell began to teach it.

I happen to believe there is an intelligent designer, but I’m not sure how this fits into science, and Stein doesn’t help me out at all. I believe faith and science can coexist, but not in the world Stein sets up. I don’t see anything wrong with studying the theory of intelligent design if you are a scientist, but until there’s more of a hypothesis behind it, I’m confused about why it should be taught to mere students.

My belief is religious ideas, such as creationism or intelligent design, should be taught at all schools--but not in science class. There should be a religious history (covering all religions) in every school in the country so we have a better idea about why people feel so strongly about things and why wearing something around your head doesn’t make you a terrorist. But maybe that’s just me.

There’s a reason this film got a 10 Rotten on Rotten Tomatoes; it’s not because all critics are liberal and bias--it’s because the film went about things all wrong.

Instead of looking into the matter of design objectively, it said with bias that intelligent design theorist are victims being denied freedom (this from a guy who is pro-life (so am (though my feelings on the issue are probably much different from his own) I but I’m not the one preaching freedom)). Further, he concludes that there is a secret plot to get Protestants to believe in evolution just so they don’t sound like fundamentalist. That’s really where the film turns from bias to sloppy and in bad taste because this is where the Nazi stuff comes into play.

Stein is quick to point out that Darwinism didn’t lead to Nazism--it just was a key component. Because Darwin said survival of the fittest, many scientists believed we should kill off the weak. It was a bad idea and was even practiced to a lesser extent in America. Was it right? Of course not! Was Darwinism to blame? Let’s look at that question in another way...was the Bible to blame for the Salem Witch Trials? I suppose if Hitler is the product of Darwin then ex-President Bush is the product of intelligent design; I would prefer to believe science doesn’t lead, or even inspire, evil—only man can lead to evil.

The film further says that evolution can only lead to atheism, and evolutionists are all hopeless about life’s outlook. The movie could have been good if it explained the theory of intelligent design and used facts. Instead it was just a broad generalization that ultimately fell flat. Watch if you must, but don’t expect to learn anything.

6 comments:

  1. Oh God, I hated that movie! Nothing but right-winged propaganda.

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  2. I think missed the point of the movie. It wasn't about proving ID or debunking evolution. It was about the strangle hold secular humanism has on academia, so much so that no other ideas are allowed to enter the debate. Isn't it disturbing that in an educational setting that any ideas are quashed without even getting a fair hearing; that any who dare to offer something different from what is "accepted" thought are ridiculed and persecuted? You should really brush up on your history. As for the logic of your metaphoric examples...You equate Bush with Hitler??? Such hyperbole only accentuates your lack of understanding of the issue. Nazism is a logical progression from Darwinistic principles. Religion based on "survival of the fittest" naturally leads to devaluation of human life in those deemed "unfit". Intelligent Design is diametrically different. A creature has value imparted by its creator no matter what the creature's position. As to teaching ID, you do not have to teach it, but a careful study of the Earth and all that is in it will point to design, not random mutation, beginning with organic molecules.

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  3. I'm curious if you have indeed seen the movie, Anonymous? With a name like Anonymous, I am not surprised you have these views...for some reason this Anonymous fellow always pops up on blogs to share how deeply they feel about an issue, and how right they know they are--they just aren't comfortable using their own name because other people might find out how right they are.

    Stein had a very one-sided argument (he filmed the movie using a format similar to Michael Moore...completely subjective and manipulative). There are in fact teachers who believe in ID, and are not outcasts. Maybe it's just my liberal California teachers, but all of my biology teachers (even those who weren't Christians) had absolutely no problem discussing the ID theory in classes, when asked by students, and they did so in a way that was both intelligent and respectful.

    I believe that God is the ultimate creator, but that doesn't debunk the theory of evolution. Both can exist.

    I equate Bush to Hitler, because Bush is the logical progression from ID principles; does that sound like a dumb theory? It is! And so is the theory that Nazism comes from evolution. Nazism came from a lot of things. Did they believe in evolution? Yes. Is that what made them evil? No. Would they have come about if evolution had never had been a theory? Yes. Just in a different form. It's just a fact of life that there are evil people. If Nazism is the logical progression of anything it's Free Will.

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  4. I wonder if this is the same Anonymous that recently referred to Obama on my blog as "President Hussein."

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  5. I post as anonymous because I have none of the login choices available. My curiosity was aroused by tmamone's response to your blog which in linked to my Facebook. I trying to better understand him as we'll soon be related! You were blessed to have the professors you had. Mine were not so gracious. My experiences in college and at work line up with what Stein was saying. I believe that God gave his creatures the ability to adapt to their environs, and the creation account in Genesis is bore out by what has been observed. As to the origins of Nazism, of course evolution is not the only root of that evil belief system. But a key part in its guiding principles is the principle of survival of the fittest straight out of Social Darwinism. They applied it in a way that dehumanized what the party defined as lesser peoples. So this is what I meant when I said "Nazism is a logical progression from Darwinistic principles." I didn't say it was THE logical progression. All mankind's systems, apart from God are doomed to become beastial and inhuman. Is that what you mean by "Free Will?"

    I will say I'm not responsible for the "President Hussein" post. That's just foolishness. Obama needs all of our support and prayers!

    MC

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  6. Oh, hey Matt. I didn't know it was you. Sorry about that.

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