Intelligent Design vs. The Dogmatists
Ben Stein, the lovable, monotone teacher from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and The Wonder Years is on a journey to answer one of the biggest questions ever asked: Were we designed or are we simply the end result of an ancient mud puddle struck by lightning? Stein, who is also a lawyer, an economist, a former presidential speechwriter, author and social commentator, is stunned by what he finds on his journey. He discovers an elitist scientific establishment that has traded in its skepticism for dogma. But even worse, along the way, Stein uncovers a long line of biologists, astronomers, chemists and philosophers who have had their reputations destroyed and their careers ruined by a scientific establishment that allows absolutely no dissent from Charles Darwin’s theory of random mutation and natural selection.It’s important to understand that Intelligent Design is not the same as Creationism. The latter view sees the world created in six days -- just as in the Book of Genesis.
“Big Science in this area of biology has lost its way,” says Stein. “Scientists are supposed to be allowed to follow the evidence wherever it may lead, no matter what the implications are. Freedom of inquiry has been greatly compromised, and this is not only anti-American, it’s anti-science. It’s anti-the whole concept of learning.”
Expelled uncovers that educators and scientists are being ridiculed, denied tenure and even fired in some cases for the fact that they believe there is evidence of “design” in nature, challenging the idea that life is a result of random chance. For example, Stein meets Richard Sternberg, a double PhD biologist who allowed a peer-reviewed research paper describing the evidence for intelligence in the universe to be published in the scientific journal Proceedings. Not long after publication, officials from the National Center for Science Education and the Smithsonian Institution where Sternberg was a research fellow began a coordinated smear and intimidation campaign to get the promising young scientist expelled from his position. This attack on scientific freedom was so egregious that it prompted a congressional investigation.
On his journey, Stein meets other scientists such as astrobiologist Guillermo Gonzalez, who was denied tenure at Iowa State University in spite of his extraordinary record of achievement. Gonzalez made the mistake of documenting the design he has observed in the universe. There are others, such as Caroline Crocker, a brilliant biology teacher at George Mason University who was forced out of the university for briefly discussing problems with Darwinian theory and for telling the students that some scientists believe there is evidence of design in the universe. The list goes on and on.
Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed is scheduled for release in February 2008. For more information on Ben Stein’s journey visit http://www.expelledthemovie.com/.
Intelligent Design, in contrast, accepts evolution, and accepts that the universe evolved pretty much as the orthodox scientists say.
The issue is: is the universe we see entirely the result of random processes, or does it show evidence of design? Of course, if it shows evidence of design, that implies a Designer. And that’s where the scientists get huffy.
That there could be no such Designer is a matter of dogma with them.
Of course, they can’t prove there is not. And they certainly can’t explain everything about the universe. But they are keepers of the Faith.