There's a shakeup in the cult of neo-Darwinist pseudo-science, and that endearing, monotone high school teacher of “Ferris Bueller” fame is doing the shaking.
With his new feature documentary, “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed” (opening in theaters April 18), Ben Stein — actor, economist, presidential speechwriter and all around really smart guy — squares off with some of the world's most prominent anti-theist elites as he gets to the heart of the question, “Who are we, and how did we get here?”
This is not your father's documentary. “Expelled” rocks the house both literally and figuratively. It's gripping, music-packed, comically wry and always entertaining. But its entertainment value is yet surpassed by its educational merit. Throughout the film, Stein boldly shines a light of honest inquiry, revealing time and again that Evolution's Emperor has no clothes. In his trademark deadpan fashion, Stein skillfully debunks the dogmatic neo-Darwinist programming we've all had relentlessly rammed down our throats ever since “Big Science” went bananas over that cute little Scopes Monkey.
Unlike Michael Moore's anti-Bush propaganda flick “Fahrenheit 911” — which sold us a lemon with deceptive editing techniques and staged confrontations — “Expelled” is intellectually honest, cerebrally stimulating and delectably provocative.
Nonetheless, there are those who won't like it, not one little bit.
Enter Richard Dawkins. Dawkins, a prominent evolutionist, outspoken atheist and the best-selling author of “The God Delusion,” is featured throughout the film. In one segment, he sits down with Stein for a heart-to-heart. After dancing around several pointed questions about how life began, Dawkins finds himself at a logical impasse with no surplus of sci-fi rhetoric. He's finally forced to concede that, indeed, an intelligent being may have created life on earth. However, that being could not have been “God,” but rather, it must have been some organic, alien life form. Of course, that alien life form has to have been a product of “Darwinian evolution.”
Through tears of wild laughter, audience members watch as Dawkins — apparently grasping the dizzying nature of his own circular argument — turns three shades of red and becomes purply tight-lipped.
Dawkins? … Dawkins? …
But apart from space aliens, the general consensus among the evolutionary scientists interviewed was that all life, including human life, likely began when lightening struck a mud puddle (you know, like Frankenstein but without all the prefab body parts). This was then followed by a series of unexplainable, unprovable and totally random events that occurred over umpteen million years, eventually resulting in … you.
Although “Expelled” indirectly makes a strong case for the scientific theory of intelligent design, its primary message drives home the need for academic freedom, intellectual honesty and open debate on all scientific fronts.
As the movie masterfully illustrates, we live in a cultural climate where secular elitists in academia, the media and the courts chew up and spit out anyone who dares to question the gospel according to Charles Darwin. They're absolutely terrified to follow the scientific evidence wherever it may lead.
They don't want to upset the morally relative applecart, which is loosely held together by the notion that we're all just a bunch of monkeys with an instinctive, biological excuse for all our behavioral choices. To them, life's a whole lot easier under the theory of evolution. Without a sovereign Creator to answer to, we get to scoot along and party hearty, free from accountability.
Consequently, it's no wonder “Expelled” has Darwin's disciples scurrying for the shadows. Those secular humanist one-trick-ponies in the media, throughout academia, on the blogosphere and elsewhere are in full damage control. They're doing everything possible to discredit the film before it even opens. It's even been reported that two major networks are refusing to cover the movie. (Gotta love that journalistic objectivity.)
So, if you happen to be one of those evolutionary fundamentalists who were “randomly selected” to evolve with a built-in blindfold and earplugs, and you're comfy with your very limited worldview, be afraid of this film — be very afraid. However, if you're willing to have your eyes opened and are interested in looking at all the evidence, then suck it up, wipe away that Darwinian Kool-Aid mustache and hang out with Ben Stein for a night. What do you have to lose?
For everyone else, “Expelled” is a must-see. If you're already a person of faith, prepare to have your faith strengthened. And even if you're not, you can't possibly walk away without at least admitting that the debate over who we are and how we got here is far from over.
So hold on to your hat. “Expelled” is nothing short of earthshaking. And, as the scientific community clearly recognizes, its tremors may be felt for some years to come.
Matt Barber is founder and editor-in chief of BarbWire.com. He is an author, columnist, cultural analyst and an attorney concentrating in constitutional law. Having retired as an undefeated heavyweight professional boxer, Matt has taken his fight from the ring to the culture war. (Follow Matt on Twitter: @jmattbarber).