April 23, 2008
The full title of the movie is Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed. It focuses on the issues of academic freedom, freedom of speech, Darwinism and intelligent design (ID).
Two of my 8:00 class students saw the movie over the weekend. They both rated it a "10" on a scale of 1 to 10. (I agree with that rating.) The Star Tribune described the movie as, "A hard-core, fundamentalist bit of right-wing propaganda," thereby illustrating one of Stein's observations-that the Darwinians deal with intelligent design by means of name-calling, not informed discussion and debate.
Ben Stein graduated from Yale Law School in the same class as Hillary Clinton. Stein, however, was valedictorian of the class. He has talent that just doesn't quit.
The movie has no cast, no stage and no props. It consists mostly of interviews with people who have an interest, one way or another, in intelligent design versus Darwinism. Especially fascinating is the interview with outspoken atheist, Richard Dawkins (author of The God Delusion). You will be amazed at what Dawkins says, directly and indirectly, about intelligent design.
The movie also deals with the big questions of human existence-where did we come from? Is there meaning to life? Is morality real or a mere construct of human survival? And what are the consequences of viewing the world as material only (materialism)?
If you like the world of ideas, you will love this movie. It sheds light on one of the great debates of our time-that is, if the Darwinian side will stop the paranoia, name-calling and persecution long enough to allow the debate to take place.