Go See It

Yesterday I saw Ben Stein’s movie Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed.  If it is playing at a theatre near you, you really must go see it.  It is informative, entertaining, challenging, even moving. 

The film is a documentary about the Intelligent Design movement and its marginalization from the academic establishment.  Stein interviews a number of accomplished scholars who are linked in various ways to the ID movement, most of whom have either lost their jobs or have been disciplined in some way by their schools or the watchdog groups that dedicate themselves to making sure ID never gets off the ground. 

Stein also interviews a number of Darwinians on the opposing side, including the most radical and vocal of them all, Richard Dawkins.  The interviews are truly eye-opening.  They expose the Darwinian agenda for what it really is: a religion unto itself.  Stein himself does not preach in this film.  He never says whether or not he believes in God (though I’m sure that he does).  The point of the film is simply to show that the scientific establishment has determined arbitrarily that certain answers to difficult questions are impermissible, no matter what the evidence says.

The most important part of the film, in my view, is the way it traces out the worldview connections inherent in this discussion.  Scientists who say that the only explanations permissible in biological studies are those that claim that life exists and develops under an undirected process (rather than by a process directed by intelligence) are not making a scientific claim; they are making a metaphysical one.  They are pretending that mere observation of the scientific evidence qualifies them to be philosophers and set the ground rules for inquiry from the start.  They naively believe that they approach the evidence from a neutral perspective and that they derive their atheistic worldview as a result of an unbiased evaluation of the world.  But the truth is, no one is a neutral observer.  No one can interpret evidence apart from the framework of an overarching worldview.  And what this film exposes is that you can hold to a worldview that automatically eliminates certain metaphysical claims (i.e., an appeal to intelligence as crucial to the origin of life), or you can broaden your horizon and allow various viewpoints to compete by offering rival interpretations of the evidence.  Science is supposed to be about free inquiry, but the Darwinian establishment will have none of it.

The worldview connections inherent in one’s approach to the question about the origin of life and the species run all the way to the deepest questions of life.  Stein investigates the connections between Darwin and Hitler, arguing not that Darwinism is a sufficient condition for Nazism (for there are many Darwinists who are not Nazis), but that it is a necessary one.  In my view, every once in a while a person comes along who is able to see more clearly the ramifications of rejecting a belief in God than most any other atheist has ever seen.  Nietzsche was one such person.  Hitler was another.  These kinds of people are dangerous, for they are able to trace atheism to its logical, ethical conclusions.  Most atheists, as human beings made in God’s image themselves, don’t ever reach that point.  By God’s restraining grace, they are never able to go that far in denying their own humanity.  But Hitler did it.  He applied Darwinism to the human race, and he decided that, so long as we give care and aid in the survival of the weakest in our society, we hinder our own evolutionary development.  In the animal kingdom, the rights of the weak are not protected.  They die off, as they should.  Therefore, we should eliminate the weak for the good of the human race as a whole.  If God is not the giver and taker of life, then dictators and doctors will be.  (In the U.S., Planned Parenthood was born out of a similar philosophy). 

Go see the film.  It will be well worth your time and money.

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2 Responses to “Go See It”

  1. Marty Q Says:

    Blaming Darwin for Nazi atrocities is like getting struck by lightning and blaming Ben Franklin.

    People have been practicing various forms of eugenics for thousands of years—manipulating crops, selecting for better beasts of burden, crafting new breeds of dogs, etc. It’s called “artificial selection.” All Darwin did was point out that, hey, this stuff happens naturally, too—natural selection.

    He didn’t invent the artificial selection abused by the Nazis, nor did he promote selective breeding as a conscious effort to steer evolution.

    And just as Franklin alerted the world that lightning was really electricity, and invented the lightning rod to help protect people, Darwin showed us that steering evolution was a dangerous endeavor, and even warned against these practices in his book.

    This is an extremely dishonest movie.

  2. fenderpooh Says:

    Marty,

    I find this quote of yours extremely enlightening:

    “People have been practicing various forms of eugenics for thousands of years—manipulating crops, selecting for better beasts of burden, crafting new breeds of dogs, etc. It’s called ‘artificial selection.’ All Darwin did was point out that, hey, this stuff happens naturally, too—natural selection.”

    Exactly. Darwin said, “The same thing that we have been doing with non-human forms of life (breeding some, sterilizing others, killing off others) happens naturally, and guess what: that’s how the human species came into existence.” It was only a matter of time before someone connected the dots and began to treat weaker human beings like crops and livestock. Darwin gave them the tools they needed to do it. One particular scholar (self-described as a “leftist”) in the movie (I forget his name now) spoke of this as the “deprivileging of humanity.” On what ethical basis can Darwinists say that human beings are different, that the weakest among us should be protected, when we manifestly do not protect the weakest of other species? There is none. Every Darwinist with a conscience is a living contradiction. (Though, I must say, I am thankful that most Darwinists have consciences because of God’s common grace. I would rather they contradict themselves than be fully consistent with their worldview).

    The Ben Franklin example doesn’t work: getting struck by lightning is a non-moral act. Murdering people is manifestly immoral. Lightning doesn’t act on the basis of beliefs about the world and the nature of humanity; people do. Where did those beliefs come from? For Hitler, they came largely from Darwin. Now, a man cannot be blamed when some kook lunatic perverts his ideas and does something stupid on the basis of those perversions. But I would like to know this: in what way did Hitler pervert Darwin? Taking Darwinism on its own terms, without borrowing any capital from Christianity, how does a Darwinist find the moral ammunition to comdemn Hitler? I don’t think there is any.

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