Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed!
A Movie Review
During April 2008, the movie "Expelled, No Intelligence Allowed," was released for public viewing. This presentation tells a story from the perspective of Ben Stein, who is columnist, speech writer, entertainer, and intellectual spokesperson.
Now, years later, you might ask if the movie has had any great impact. In essence, many of the criticisms aired in the film are as relevant today. Watching the film brings us to still ask more questions. The fact that Ben Stein was moved enough to be a spokes person, that is, be in the movie, leads us to realize that a thinking celebrity asked question, saw gaps and errors and used the film to bring issues to light. And it's not just about intelligent design. Control of information and shaping people's thinking is an underlying theme in all this. If not intelligent design, can you think of ways outside persons try to influence your thinking? What are we to think of do when those persons are not objective?! We ask: What is Truth!?
Should you watch the film? Yes, you will find it informative and entertaining. It might get you thinking in objective ways!
Intelligent Design has generated a debate and a negative response from many in the world of academia. But after repeated efforts to label intelligent design (ID) as religion, the fact remains that without the scientific data, there would be no debate. The issue really does rest on the scientific data and where that potentially opens up a very interesting prospect for our origin.
The Movie - A Review (written December 2007):
We were privileged to get an invitation to view the movie “Expelled – No Intelligence Allowed” as a preview to the anticipated release in the spring of 2008. This screening took place in mid-December 2007. If you have followed anything concerning the debate on evolution and any form of alternate thinking, other than classic Darwinism, you’ll find this film intriguing. If you love evolution only, you’ll be rocked off your chair. Ben Stein asks the tough questions … all we need do is sit back and take it all in … it is a movie, but it is ultimately about who we are!
What are some of the characteristics of this film?
The first thing you will see is that there is creativity in
the presentation. In a word, it’s ENTERTAINING! But once you
get past some of the humor and quick film cuts and the switch from
color to black and white photos and back to color, it hits on really
CRITICAL ISSUES. What is striking is that the main issue is not just
of this day, but has historical roots. And we are not talking science
history alone. And this was an unexpected dimension that adds relevance
beyond what you might first expect.
Then, beyond the historical thread, there are persons who are interviewed, on both sides of the evolution coin. And yes, intelligent design is the counter point. And just when you think it’s going to be all about religion, according to some, in comes the issue of FREE SPEECH and your personal freedom, not to mention the right to get at truth. In this case the truth is in the DATA from SCIENCE.
There may be other truths you’d like to know about, but for this film the idea of getting a truthful representation of basically what intelligent design is and what it’s implications are … is enough. And just when you think it’s another dogma, you’ll see some surprises. The evolutionists, the HEAVY HITTERS, get their moment and they reveal themselves for what they are. That’s sobering.
Over the course of this presentation you’ll wonder why the Darwinists get so much acceptance today. And that will leave you wondering, about them, about truth, about life, about what YOU think is a fair assessment. Time to give up being spoon fed and time to get thinking. If that’s it, then the movie has got you where you need to be, awake, aware, and thinking.
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Any Down Side To This?
If the movie has one short coming it will be a need for answers
to questions that will come to mind as you leave the theater. In part,
the film can’t show you all there is to develop a full understanding
to INTELLIGENT DESIGN (ID). In fact some well known proponents to ID,
as found in the literature and media, are not in this film. Why? In
part because Expelled has taken a certain approach and played it to
the full. You just can’t drop in everything and stay with a certain
theme. This leaves you with some exploration to do. But we live in
a Google world and all you have to do is hit the Internet search engines.
The other ID proponents, and their writings will show up. And then
it will hit you, there is design in the universe as is evident by the
math, in physics, astronomy, chemistry, simple to complex life, biology,
medicine, and more. We’ve been blinded to the fact it’s
everywhere. In fact, simple life forms embody complexity, and that
too is evidence for intelligent design!
Our Down Side – Can we Reverse This Trend?
Having taught university classes for several years, this writer
is concerned for the public of this day. Academic environments, from
grade school up, spoon feed students. This happens more in some education
systems than others, the global approach to education is a patchwork.
In the US, it’s “give the lectures and have the stuff parroted
back” on the exam. No real room for objective or investigative
Can we reverse this trend? Can you take a bit of time to get more of the depth of the information that explains why ID is based on science, on data, on real investigative thinking? What if doing this offers the possibility that your entire world view of YOUR life and existence might be changed—gloriously changed!
Do you think for yourself? If you make a concerned effort to do just that, then you’ll be reversing the old trend. That’s freedom. And that is one of the underlying points to the film, don’t miss it!
At the end of the day, this film is about breaking through.
It may in itself be a film that is a BREAK THROUGH. The film critics
who will say that must be applauded. The media itself is NOT so free
to say such things. Don’t agree? Well, go see this film, because
this is yet one more of the themes presented (controlled media) … and
if the media is not free, then you have to FREE YOURSELF!
How do you break through? Think. Talk with people. See the film. Get others to see the film. Read. Read some more! Demand a dialog and just don’t take the first answer as the last word.
And in the meantime, even before and well after the film is out there in theaters or at the video stores, you can search the web, bookstores, libraries, blogs and explore. Do your homework now and be even more educated as to why it’s not simply a film about a concept called intelligent design. It’s about LIFE, FREEDOM, and the pursuit of WHO YOU ARE.
About Design: From the Words Of Others!
The following quotations and citations have come to us by e-mail from scientists who we consider reliable. If you find a need for a correction to any of the following, let us know, by e-mail!
Some Quotations: What Do Others Say About ID?
might now consider the design hypothesis as the best explanation
for the origin
complex systems in living organisms. Although
some may argue this is merely an argument from ignorance, we regard it
as an inference to the best explanation given what
we know about the powers of intelligent as opposed to strictly natural
or material ca uses ... In all irreducibly complex systems in which the
cause of the system
is known by experience or observation, intelligent design or engineering played
a role in the origin of this system."
- Scott Minnick, Second International Conference on Design and Nature
"Irreducibly complex systems ... serve as both negative arguments against gradualistic explanations like Darwin's, and as positive arguments for design." -Michael Behe, Darwin's Black Box
"All that is regrettable, but in the end does not impact the realities of biology, which are not amenable to adjudication. On December 21, as before, the cell is run by amazingly complex functional machinery that in any other context would immediately be recognized as designed."
-Michael Behe, on the Dover intelligent design trial.
"Intelligent Design researchers argue for design based on patterns within nature that they think suggests design, and nothing in ID arguments requires or prohibits such gaps" -Guillermo Gonzalez
Put simply, materialistic atheists are the only people who cannot live with a designed universe and they currently dominate science faculties (not necessarily scientists at large.) Their materialistic views are formed without any reliance on evidence, because the evidence is actually against them.
-Denyse O'Leary, ARN.org
"Unlike most of my colleagues however, I don't see ID as a threat to biology, public education or the ideals of the republic. To the contrary, what worries me more is the way that many of my colleagues have responded to the challenge." -Scott Turner, Darwinist Biology professor, SUNY
"Proponents of ID say some forms of life are so complex they can only be explained by the activity of an unspecified 'intelligent designer,' who some say is God." Nature
"It is wrong to say there is no way to bridge gaps except for intelligent design.
The whole history of science is that the gaps are always filled." Re the bacteria flagellum: "I'm quite sure that within a decade or two we'll understand where it came from. To give up now is totally ridiculous." -Bruce Alberts, President of National Academy of Science.
"The basic problem I have theologically (with ID) is that God's activity in the world should be hidden." "Primary revelation came through Jesus Christ, and I find it distasteful that additional divine finger prints should appear in nature." -George Murphy, Lutheran theologian and physicist.
"I think the most impressive arguments for God are those supported by recent discoveries ... argument for Intelligent Design is enormously stronger than when I first met it." -Anthony Flew, famous atheist
"If one proceeds directly... in this matter, without being deflected by a fear of incurring the wrath of scientific opinion, one arrives at the conclusion that biomaterialists (life forms) with their amazing measure of order must be the outcome of intelligent design." -Sir Fred Hoyle, atheist, and a prominent astrophysicist of the 20th century.
If I only examined the thumb, I would have to believe in an intelligent designer. - Paraphrase, Sir Isaac Newton.
"The argument for design has always been the best argument for the existence of God, and when Darwin comes along, he pulls the rug out from that." -Daniel Dennett, atheist
"Evolutionary biology has been so hugely unsuccessful as a scientific theory in accounting for the origin of life and the emergence of biological complexity, that it(doesn't)deserve a monopoly regardless of what state of formation ID has reached. ID is the only alternative to a mechanistic evolutionary biology."
-William Dembski, mathematician, philosopher, a leader of the ID movement.
"Observation and experiment demonstrate that law-like regularities explain much of nature. The same methods indicate that intelligence accounts for other aspects. It is ludicrous to forbid Fred Hoyle to notice what for all the world looks like design, or... say if he does... that he's no longer a scientist." -Michael Behe biochemist
"..there are no non-design explanations for the molecular machinery of life, only wishful speculation, just so stories" "Science is an unrestricted search for the truth about nature based on reasoning from physical evidence. By that light ID is indeed science." -Ibid
Abiogenesis: Life From Chemicals
is very authoritative, coming from Leslie Orgel, who has
decades been in the forefront of research on abiogenesis.
He wrote (1998)
" In my opinion, there is no basis in known chemistry for the belief that long sequences of reactions can organize spontaneously – and every reason to believe that they cannot. The problem of achieving sufficient specificity, whether in aqueous solution or on the surface of a mineral, is so severe that the chance of closing a cycle of reactions as complex as the reverse citric acid cycle, for example, is negligible."
Orgel, Leslie, (1998) "The origin of life - a review of facts and speculations," Trends in Biochemical Sciences 23: 491–495. (Dec)
Quotes about the Origin of Life
"There is no known law of nature, no known process and no known sequence of events which can cause information to originate by itself in matter." Dr. Verner Gitt, creationist, information theory expert.
"It's a shame that there are few hard facts when it comes to the origin of life. We have a rough idea when it began on earth and some interesting theories about where, but the how part has everyone stumped. Nobody knows how a mixture of chemicals spontaneously organized themselves into the first living cell." Paul Davies, Astrobiologist
"Many investigators feel uneasy about stating in public that the origin of life is a mystery, even though behind closed doors they freely admit that they are baffled. There seem to be two reasons for this unease. Firstly, they feel it opens the door to religious fundamentalists and the god of the gap pseudo science. Secondly, they worry that a frank admission of ignorance will undermine funding, especially for the search for life in space. Paul Davies
"One has only to contemplate the magnitude of this task to concede that the spontaneous origin of a living organism is impossible. Yet here we are as a result, I believe, of spontaneous generation." George Wald, Nobel Prize biologist.
"It has become inordinately difficult even to begin to think of constructing a naturalistic theory of the evolution of that first reproducing organism." Philosophy Now.
"The notion that not only the biopolymers, but the operating program of a living cell could be arrived at by chance in a primordial soup here on earth is evidently nonsense of the highest order ..." Sir Fred Hoyle, outstanding astrophysicist, and Chandra Wickramasinghe, both professed atheists.
False Charges Against ID
Evolution is science and ID is not, but is only faith.
(There are agnostics and atheists who along with theists accept the idea of intelligent design in nature.)
There is no evidence for ID. It merely attributes gaps in science to the supernatural.
(Books and articles supporting ID and creation are mostly about scientific evidence. Almost all scientists agree life appears to be designed; evolutionists say this is an illusion, but others believe it appears to be designed because it was designed.)
It is creation in disguise and was devised about 20 years ago to get religion and the Bible into schools after laws that asked for teaching of creation and evolution were declared illegal.
(This is easily seen to be false. ID has been accepted since the early history of man by great observers such as Socrates, King David, Albert Einstein, and a large multitude of others.)
Science excludes supernatural explanations, therefore ID is not science.
(This exclusion by definition is arbitrary and self serving for evolutionists. Science should not avoid reasonable explanations. ID has religious implications, but so does Darwinism.)
Creation by ID is un-falsifiable, not observed by man, and cannot be experimentally reproduced.
(Evolution theory has the same restrictions which do not necessarily exclude either explanation.)
ID articles are not in peer reviewed journals and other publications.
(Articles supporting ID are usually banned from main line publications, but there are exceptions. See ARN.org.)
ID and creation are anti-science, and are part of a war on science by the religious right.
(This so called war on science is a fabrication. Evolution is opposed by many because they believe it
is poor science at best. Many of the greatest scientists through the ages were believers in creation and/or ID.)
The Discovery Institute instigated attempts to get ID taught in schools such as in Dover Pennsylvania.
(The Dover situation was not started or approved of by Discovery Institute nor most other main ID and creationist
organizations. Discovery Institute actually asked Dover School board to stop this attempt.)
ID is religion, and religion is not allowed in public schools.
(ID proponents are often religiously motivated, but ID is not essentially religious. It is a reasonable inference from
observation. Most leading dogmatic evolutionists are atheists. What are their motivations?)
There is little doubt about the Darwinian theory of evolution. Almost all scientists accept it.
(Although a minority, there are thousands of scientists highly critical of Darwinism.)
Why do believers in ID not admit that they believe the intelligent designer is God?
(Most IDers do believe this, but quite a number of others do not. The main point is that observations of nature
lead many people to conclude that nature is designed.)
ID is not plausible since nature shows mistakes, vestigial organs and cruelty.
(Mistakes and useless structures are very questionable. Even if these are true, that would not nullify the
theory of intelligent design. These issues are addressed mainly by philosophy and theology.)
Evolution does not exclude the existence of God, so theists need not be concerned or have to propose ID.
(Evolution is essentially an atheistic theory of origins. Also, a God who does not act as creator and/or is
undetectable in nature is very different from the view of God in most religions.)