"Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed" Review

I finally saw this movie last night with a group of friends I invited over to the house.  To get right to the bottom line, I thought it was very good and would highly recommend it.  The movie is not about explaining intelligent design, but about pointing out the persecution of those who think intelligent design may be a scientific hypothesis worth pursuing.  If you want a good explanation of the ideas of ID, this is not the movie for you.

The movie highlights several cases of people losing their jobs, losing tenure, and/or having their research shut down at major universities and institutions, including the Smithsonian.  I was already familiar with all of these cases because I follow the ID movement, but the folks who came to my house were all shocked and surprised at the level of persecution.  None of them were familiar with the controversy and it frankly fired them up.

I don’t think this movie will change any minds in the anti-ID camp, but I do think that folks who have never thought about this controversy will be impacted by the movie.  The producers and Ben Stein made a potentially dry subject quite entertaining.  It’s definitely not a boring documentary.

I’m interested to hear what others thought of the movie, so leave some comments if you’ve seen it, but only if you’ve seen it.

  • That’s the point. Ben Stein didn’t even bother to defend design theology. Without making a case for ID, every claim of persecution is meaningless. Science class should exclude non-science.

  • Bill Pratt

    Hi Stephen,
    Thanks for your comment. I’m not sure what design theology is. Could you explain? Also, are you sure you saw the movie? It wasn’t about teaching ID in science classes. In fact, most ID proponents I read don’t want ID taught in science classes before it has matured as a scientific enterprise. That could be years away.

  • Years is generous, Bill 😛

    As a matter of fact, I haven’t heard from many ID proponents with that view. What’s your opinion? What should public schools be saying about evolution by natural selection? This patient and confident attitude is certainly not reflected in the movement’s public actions… definitely not in the Wedge Document, definitely not in Dover.

    By the way, here was my reaction after seeing the movie last April.

  • Bill Pratt

    Stephen, I think you’re proving the point I made from my post that the movie will not convince the anti-ID folks, of which you clearly are one. 🙂

    I would still like to know what design theology is, since that’s the phrase you used. If you want to know what intelligent design theory is, read my post.

    Virtually every ID scholar I’ve ever heard or read is uncomfortable teaching ID in public science classes at this point in time. That is also the official position of the Discovery Institute, a position they have explained over and over and over, for those who will listen. As you should know, Discovery Institute opposed the actions of the Dover school board and strongly advised them not to pass the legislation they did. Unfortunately, the school board did not listen.

    My position on evolution by natural selection is that it should be taught in public schools, as it is the dominant scientific explanation for the development of new life forms. However, I would also teach the controversy which rages in the scientific community over whether random mutation and natural selection can explain the development of ALL life forms. There are many weaknesses in the theory that folks like Steven Jay Gould have pointed out.

    When ID accumulates a large body of research (there already is a body of research, but it’s too small) that is scrutinized and accepted by the larger scientific community, then ID should start being taught in science classrooms. I don’t know when that day will be, but I suspect it will be several years down the road.

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