Ben Stein: Expelled

We don’t need no education
We dont need no thought control
No dark sarcasm in the classroom
Teachers leave them kids alone
Hey! Teachers! Leave them kids alone!
All in all it’s just another brick in the wall.
All in all you’re just another brick in the wall.

Pink Floyd, “Another Brick in the Wall Part 2

The opening montage of Ben Stein’s new documentary, Expelled: No Intellegence Allowed (opening in theaters today), contains an orchestral violin rendition of Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick in the Wall Part 2.” An instrumental piece, the words are not there, but it sets the stage well for an entertaining and engaging look at how “free inquiry” can be anything but in today’s scientific community.

The film’s focus how intelligent design theory (ID) is being excluded from scientific discussions of the origins of life. I watched a screening and presentation by Ben Stein and the producers about a month ago at the National Religious Broadcasters convention, and was duly impressed. To be honest, I had low expectations — thinking that the savvy marketing of the film would outweigh the documentary’s content. I was wrong. Expelled is intelligently designed, allowing proponents of both sides to speak for themselves.

Renowned atheist Richard Dawkins, of The God Delusion fame, makes an appearance that’s almost painful to watch. In his interview with Stein, Dawkins more or less admits that a sort intelligent design is possible — but it must be from space aliens, rather than a loving Creator. And no, I’m not making this up.

Dawkins has reportedly charged the producers with deceiving him at the interview, but the charge seems to be nothing more than sour grapes. I attended a press conference for bloggers Tuesday at the Heritage Foundation where Stein was asked about this. Stein noted that Dawkins was actually paid for the interview in question — not to mention the fact that it’s him, unscripted, speaking on camera.

If you’re a Darwinist, I wouldn’t expect this film to cause you to renounce Darwinian evolution. It’s not so much an argument for ID as it is a case that the suppression of ideas by dogmatic Darwinists is based on something other than science. What the film will hopefully do — if Darwinists can contain their anger — is put the issue back on the table. These days, questioning Darwinism is verboten. This likely has much to do with the fact that to Darwinists, Darwinian naturalism is neutral. How can one question neutrality?

After viewing Expelled, will Darwinists repent en masse and allow ID’ers into their fraternal brotherhood? Doubtful, but perhaps the film will make it a little more difficult to expel their colleagues.

[7 out of 10]