Thursday, May 20, 2010

Expelled

I just watched "Expelled: No Intellegence Allowed" starring Ben Stein.

Let me just say that anytime you make a documentary "starring" a big-name celebrity as your host, you are setting yourself up to be criticized. Documentaries should not "star" anyone. If Ben Stein is your host, then fine, Ben Stein is your host. But the star of a documentary is the content presented, not the content presenter.

Now, about the actual documentary. I hesitate to say that I have never seen anything so slanted in my life...but...I have never seen anything so slanted in my life. At least not in feature-film documentary format. The film does make a few good points, and it does encourage you to think about possible problems and tenacities within the current scientific environment, but the picture that the documentary tries to paint is blatantly clear: Darwinists are evil, stubborn, power-hungry maniacs who trod without hesitation upon the humble, defenseless supporters of intelligent design.

It is flagrantly biased every step of the way, despite half-hearted attempts to seem fair and objective, and it uses dramatic music, extreme and sometimes nigh unrelated imagery, and even several appeals to senseless, feel-good patriotism in an attempt to sway the emotions of the audience. These emotional appeals are frustrating, as they are clearly attempts to persuade the audience without having to fully address the larger issue at hand: Is intelligent design science? The movie focuses simply on the fact that intelligent design is "being oppressed" (a fact which I am not yet ready to concede, given the obvious bias of the film) without giving any consideration as to why, assuming that it is, that that may be the case. For a group of individuals (to clarify, those in support of intelligent design) who constantly attack neo-Darwinists for settling on a theory that "answers the 'how' questions but none of the 'why' questions," this is a fascinating idiosyncrasy.

I am tempted to share my thoughts on intelligent design and why I do not believe that it should be considered science, but that is for another time, perhaps.

Now, all of that being said, I am not saying don't see the film. As I said earlier, there are a few good points sprinkled here and there. Overall, it is at best unreliable and inconclusive, but it is still worth a viewing, in my opinion. Just be careful. Do not fall into their trap and align yourself with their argument simply because they compare Darwinism to Hitler's reich. If you watch the film, think about it critically, and then if you still feel that you agree with them, fine. But think about it. Do not simply let them tell you what to believe.

TTFN

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