Ben Stein has his say

Ben Stein is a lot of things, lawyer, writer, comedian, movie star, suit and tie and tennis shoe wearer, and now documentary film maker. His recently released film, Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed investigates the clash of worldviews…one that accepts the existence of God and one that does not.

Stein believes he’s involved in one of the leading cultural and political battles of his life: the fight for academic freedom against an establishment that teaches Darwinian evolution as fact. Intelligent Design (ID) -– the belief that certain aspects of the world are so complex that they must have been created by an intelligent being, instead of by a random process –- deserves a place at the academic table, Stein asserts.

I’ve read some who say the film exposes the hypocrisy of an academic and cultural elite who pretend they value freedom of inquiry and expression but in fact suppress it when it clashes with their deeply held materialistic convictions. Could this actually be true?

Whatever the case, it is quite possible this movie will generate much needed discussion in the public square concerning the idea of Creation. It can certainly be used as an opportunity to dialogue with those who hold to the worldview of evolution.

Watching movies isn’t my favorite pastime but I plan on watching this one. Have you seen it? If so, what did you think? If not, do you plan of seeing it? Check out the trailer…


4 Responses to “Ben Stein has his say”

  1. 1 Dan Gorski
    April 25, 2008 at 8:14 pm

    Took the family to see Expelled last weekend. It was funny and sobering at the same time. The ID concepts tracked similarly to the DVDs, Icons of Evolution (Jonathan Wells) and Privileged Planet. Stein’s film was more entertaining than these other titles. Stein exposes a couple of instances of people who lost their jobs or were denied tenure. Whether this was because they embraced Intelligent Design or were macro-evolution deniers is largely immaterial.

    Stein takes particular aim at Richard Dawkins (who makes an ass of himself) and Eugenie Scott (National Center for Science Education). Scott’s views and agenda were effectively exposed in Jonathan Wells’, Icons of Evolution. Science must, by her definition, exclude the supernatural. Effectively, it’s the Jesus Seminar as applied to the physical world.

    Stein keeps the material rather lighthearted until he considers what he and Daniel Berlinski view as the natural progression of Darwinism: eugenics. He visits Dachau and briefly touches on the similarity of views of Darwin, Margaret Sanger (founder of Planned Parenthood), Adolph Hitler, and Josef Stalin.

    The movie is not so much an apologetic for ID as it is an expose on the syndicate of the education system, especially in the context of science education. Intelligent Design as science has many problems, none of which get explored in the movie. For all the problems with ID, Darwinism has many more yet Darwinism is deemed legitimate and non-Darwinism is rejected prima facie.

    I like the work being performed by Dr. Hugh Ross and Fuz Rana at http://www.reasons.org. They are developing a testable creation model that, once completed, will overcome the flaws of ID and, hopefully, will lead to the restoration of the scientific method in our search of our origin (and Originator?). In the meantime, Stein begs the question, isn’t questioning our assumptions what science is all about?! Both thumbs way up…

  2. 2 Joanne Couture
    April 25, 2008 at 9:54 pm

    I saw Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed opening weekend. It was excellent. It was refreshing to see the light of truth shining from the big screen, exposing the hysteria of those desperately trying to save Darwinian Evolution by silencing debate so their world view can survive. The interview of Ben Stein with Richard Dawkins(The God Delusion)at the end of the film is priceless. Dawkins admits he has no idea how everything started (it was probably a molecule replicating but does not know how it got there) and says that no one knows. He also admits that it’s possible that some advanced civilization out there “seeded” our world. So Stein asks him if he’s saying that possibly there is an intelligence behind it all, and Dawkins says yes! Stein asks, “So are you saying there could be intelligence behind it all but it’s not God?” And Dawkins says yes. Dawkins doesn’t know the source of the “intelligence” but is emphatic that he knows the “intelligence” in not God because there is no God.

    I would recommend anyone high school and older go see this informative, sobering, creatively done documentary to better understand the chilling current academic and scientific climate shaping our next generation’s thinkers. Here is a different trailer for Expelled that’s fun.


  3. 3 Christine Andreasen
    April 26, 2008 at 2:27 am

    What an exciting opportunity for believers to dialogue with those in search of truth!
    A friend of mine saw this movie and brought it to my attention. The conversation quickly turned to the question of when life begins; and the related topic of abortion, which then led to sin and how one interprets our relationship with God… then we talked about whether we can know for sure that we are going to heaven when this life is over- whew!
    As the Lord promised, the Holy Spirit gave me words when it was time to testify. What an exilerating conversation!

    I find intelligent design (ID) a little limiting on God’s power. A science teacher described their understanding of ID using the analogy of God using a science kit to see what would happen if He put evolution in motion. Pardon me, but the God I serve has enough power to SAY, “Let there be light”, and not only are the lights on, but all the mathematical formulas for lumens, wattage, candle power, etc. are lined up in perfect working order for us to discover and put to use.
    The power and authority God has to put this all in motion is something we will only dimly understand until we see His face on that glorious day.

    With regard to the freedom of speech, I find it ironic that within even my reltively short lifetime (41 yrs.), college/ university campuses have gone from being the preferred outlet for standing up to conformity and the status quo, to leading the fight to silence the dialogue. What’s up with that?

  4. 4 Bob Allison
    April 28, 2008 at 1:17 am

    I plan to see this one a.s.a.p. Going down to Eastern Illinois University for my son Cody’s graduation this weekend. He will be a science/physics teacher. Think I’m going to drag him and as many of his friends to see the movie while I’m down there.

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re: the random-ness

Husband. Father. Senior Pastor of Parkview Community Church in Glen Ellyn, IL.

Ok...so you've located the place where I put down my random thoughts. The key word here is random: music, sports, art, food, books, news, spiritual musings, weird stories, etc. I'm especially interested in how everyday experiences of life intersect with the ancient stories of Scripture. Thanks for reading.
April 2008
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"No problem can withstand the assault of substantial thinking." Voltaire



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