Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Expelled Review (as promised)

Well, I saw Expelled, and I'm going to try to briefly describe my thoughts on the film. First off, I can say that this movie, contrary to the views of atheist and molecular biologist Richard Dawkins, was very well made. It had all the herky-jerky filming that we're used to seeing in a documentary, but there were also some scenes that were marvelously photographed and the movie, on the whole, was slickly produced.

The movie was also quite effective in demonstrating some of the weaknesses of Darwinian theory, and it made establishment scientists such as Richard Dawkins and PZ Meyers look condescending, and often times foolish. These folks had a particularly difficult time finding plausible answers to the question of how life begins. Their stammers and far-fetched explanations were somewhat alarming (Dawkins posits at one point in the film that the first cells were "seeded" on earth by some sort of alien force. Sounds a lot like Intelligent Design!).

There were two areas, however, where the film fell short (in my opinion). One was that the producers failed to give a clear understanding of Intelligent Design, and why it should be considered. They did a great job of showing the problems of Darwinism, but they didn't give a clear solution for those problems. They merely stated that other options should be considered. Who knows, that may have been their point, but I would have loved to have heard more about how Intelligent Design helps fill in Darwinisms gaps.

The second area of concern I had was with the turn in the second half of the film that sought to show the link between Darwinism and Nazi Germany. There is no doubt that Hitler and his minions were heavily influenced by Darwinian thought. There is also no doubt that Darwinian thought naturally lends itself to certain atrocities. After all, when your theory is based upon the survival of the fittest, it stands to reason that the least fit in society will be marginalized. If you're at the bottom of the food chain, you will be eaten.

There is a problem, however, with linking the brilliant scientists of the day with Nazi Germany just because they believe in Darwin's theories. The film was too heavy-handed in its approach to this issue, and it only served to close any doors to dialogue that may or may not have been opened as a result of the legitimate information the film highlighted.

In all, the film was good, but it had its shortcomings. It's still worth seeing, and my hope is that some eyes will be opened by its claims.

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