About a week ago, I watched the Ben Stein movie “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed”. I don’t know if I just misread the short movie description or just misunderstood it, but I went in expecting Ben to do some serious analysis of the Evolution vs. Intelligent Design conflict.
I was disappointed.
Ben focused a lot on the conflict. In fact, he focused so much on the conflict between the two groups that he never actually said what the fight was about. Not once does he describe what evolution is, how Darwin came up with his idea, or vice versa, what intelligent design is, how it works, or who came up with the idea.
After we left the movie, my wife and I spent a couple hours picking apart Ben’s weak arguments in favor of ID. One of Ben’s arguments was that Darwin didn’t explain how life got started on Earth. In fact, he spends quite a bit of time making well-respected scientists look silly because we don’t understand how life started. At one point, he even remarks that how could Darwinian evolution be considered robust when it doesn’t even explain the thing it claims to.
Wrong, Ben. Darwin wrote a book called, “On the Origin of Species” not “On the Origin of Life.” Darwin does an excellent job of explaining species, which is to say, the various divisions from the original ancestor once life has originated. He does not ever attempt to explain how life started, nor does evolution have any role in explaining how life started whatsoever. Evolution is for explaining how life changes, not how it got started.
Add to Stein’s biased Michael Moore-esque documentary where the end goal (“see, Intelligent Design is a science! Evolutionary biologists are so ignorant and close-minded.”) was determined from the very start, the fact that he tried to link evolution with the holocaust, abortion, euthanasia, and immorality. He spent about 20% of the movie visiting Holocaust death camps and talking with other experts about the way that Nazi’s used a perversion of evolution to cause genocide.
I can only respond with one word: absurd.
Perhaps the thing I found most shocking about the movie was why on earth Ben Stein would associate his name intelligent design. Why would such a supposedly smart person make a movie promoting such a bad idea?