I did not feel that way about Expelled. I thought the movie was entertaining and well done. I confess that in order to enjoy it fully you have to actually HAVE a sense of humor which it was obvious that some of the people did not have. And it's probably easier to enjoy the movie if the premise of the movie is not one that makes your skin crawl. Since I would like to think that I do have a sense of humor and the premise of the movie does NOT make my skin crawl I actually really enjoyed it.
Ben Stein basically seemed to have three points that he wanted to get across. The first one being that if you hold to the theory of intelligent design that you are "expelled" from the scientific and academic world. The second one being that there is a connection to the theories of Darwin and Nazism, abortion, eugenics, euthanasia ...etc. And the third being the idea that to some extent evolution is indeed it's own religion or at the very least has it's own 'religious' agenda. In my opinion he did a much better job defending the second two ideas than he did the first one which was basically the premise for the whole movie. To be fair he did not have that many examples of people who had been kicked out of the scientific academia because of their religious or ID views and not much time was given to those who would refute that there might have been another reason for what was considered ill treatment. I am not sure that Ben Stein is wrong. I think that it probably IS harder to get ahead in that world if you hold a view contrary to the 'mainstream' but that is going to be the case in any field, at any point in time. I think the only way to make headway is to come up with scientific proof for your ideas and theories and I think that those in the ID movement who are doing that best are finding that they DO have a place albeit a small one. They ARE being published, they ARE being debated.
I think there is a far more convincing case for his last two arguments. I think that it is more than a slight stretch to say that Darwinism is the reason for the holocaust. Obviously, there are hundreds of thousands of people who are Darwinian evolutionist who don't set out to eliminate an entire race of people. Hitler was a racist man, and an evil man. He used Darwin to justify some of his actions. At the same time Darwinian evolution and intelligent design and creationism do approach life with two very distinct world views. One eliminates God, or any outside influence on the world and the others at the LEAST embrace some sort of higher power that is responsible for putting life on this planet. I don't think that that can help but influence the value that you put on human life. If we are all simply evolved and humans are no different than the primordial soup we managed to crawl out of, if it is merely a 'survival of the fittest' world then on what basis are we to find value in human life? Is it 'wrong' to take another human life if doing so benefits yours? On whose authority are we judging right and wrong? Is it 'wrong' for some animals to eat their young? If humans are simply evolved animals why is there such moral outrage over child abuse or even neglect? There is no finger pointing in the animal kingdom if a mother walks away from her child. I guess I am a little confused as to why there is even such an outcry that this was suggested. Lets take a survey. Lets put everyone on one side of the room who holds Darwin's views, on the other side of the room lets put those who hold to I.D. or creation. Now lets ask who is pro-life vs. pro-choice. Who is OK with physician assisted suicide vs. opposed. Euthanasia vs. opposed (as long as people were honest). I think that with a show of hands the two sides of the room would find that they disagreed over a lot more than how life began. A lot of times when you talk about evolution vs. creation people will talk about finding a perfectly tended garden in the middle of the woods. You wouldn't assume that it had happened by chance over time, you would know that someone had planted it there. I think that the same argument could apply to ethics and morality. If you are walking through the woods and you think that you have no more right to it than someone else you are going to have a certain treatment towards it. You are going to pick fruit off a a tree and eat it if you so desire. You could cut some trees down for firewood or to build a shelter, you would never think twice. You would feel differently about the garden. It belongs to someone, someone is caring for it, has put value on it. You are probably NOT going to feel that it is yours to do with as you please.
The third argument is Darwinian evolution as religion. I think that like Michael Behe you can believe in some religion and some evolution (he holds to an I.D. view). He believes in common descent, he believes in evolutionary processes over millions of years but he does believe that it is far too complex to have happened without some designer who not only started life but coded it with the necessary information for the changes that came over the millions of years. You cannot believe in Darwinian evolution and believe in God. If God did not create us and place us on the earth, if we merely evolved from inorganic to organic through life and death processes over millions of years and through those millions of years God never intervened in ANY of it... then what is your definition of God? To that end you have to agree that if not a 'religion' it at least comes with an atheistic 'world view'.
Also, why do evolutionist make it so personal if it's really all about science? I mean in the movie one scientist says that since it could NOT have been God then those who hold that view must be stupid, insane , or ignorant. Richard Dawkins in attacking the movie and attempting to defend himself has taken to calling those who hold the view "IDiots". In the movie another scientist admitted that part of the plan in keeping God out of science was the hope that someday science would completely replace religion. Why would Richard Dawkins right a book "The God Delusion". If God and religion are meant to be kept so separate then why would a leading scientist right ANY book that dealt with God? What is his next book going to be "Is Islam a religion of Hate" or "How to Bring Peace to the Middle East"? Why not just continue in science and allow those who want to believe in God alone? Because they have at least as strong an anti-God agenda as any I.D. scientist has a pro-God agenda.
A professor in the Dept. of Biology at Kansas Sate University says "Even if all the data point to an intelligent designer, such a hypothesis is excluded from science because it is not naturalistic" . Richard Dawkins in the movie tells Ben Stein that it is quite possible that the deeper they get into molecular biology the more they will probably find what looks like the 'signature of a designer'. He has since come out and defended himself (somewhat sketchily) on why he said what he said about a more evolved life form having placed life here. But he did not retract what he said about the signature of the designer. OR come up with a more plausible explanation for life coming from non-life (the backs of crystals perhaps?).
Richard Lewontin of Harvard has said "We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some its constructs,...in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated commitment to materialism...we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counterintuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door."
Mark Singham a physicists said "our teaching methods are primarily those of propaganda. We appeal --without demonstration to evidence that supports our position. we only introduce arguments and evidence that supports the currently accepted theories and omit or gloss over any evidence to the contrary."
Julian Huxley said in his book "Religion without Revelation" said "The God hypothesis....is becoming an intellectual and moral burden on our thought....we must construct something to take it's place. His answer? "change our pattern of religious thought from a God-centered to an evolution-centered pattern."
I encourage everyone to see the movie. I mean if you agree it is nice to see a movie that actually doesn't attack Christians, the right , or the president (who in MORE than one blog I have read is being blamed for 1) the movie...2) the lack of academic freedom and 3) yeah..the holocaust) .
If you don't agree you don't want to actually confirm Ben's view that discussion is being suppressed do you? See the movie..question everything..draw your own conclusions.