Tom Gilson

Expelled: Then What?

Jack Cashill writes:

Expelled opens nationwide on April 18th. The neo-Darwinists and their allies in the major media will do their best to kill it.

Co-producer Mark Mathis tells me that two network news producers have already chosen not to cover the film because it was “biased,” unlike, say, the much-covered Fahrenheit 911.

[From The blog for EXPELLED: No Intelligence Allowed ]

Neo-Darwinists are indeed lining up against this film. Controversy is rising. It remains to be seen how it will all play out: how many people will view this film? Will it seem believable to most of them? Will it succeed in making its case? Based on Cashill’s review it seems at least possible:

The choice of Stein as narrator is inspired for another reason. That reason becomes most apparent when he and two “creationist” allies, mathematician David Berlinski and nuclear physicist Gerald Schroeder, visit a remnant of the Berlin Wall, the central metaphor of the film.

At the wall, the three discuss the value of freedom, the central idea of the film, and the need for the same in science. The audience has already met Berlinski, an amusingly sophisticated American living in Paris.

The audience has seen less of Schroeder, but he is wearing a yarmulke. All three are Jewish.

Indeed, it would be hard to imagine any three individuals on the planet who less resemble the Inherit the Wind stereotype that Darwinists have been scaring soccer moms with for the last half century.

And wait until you read what he said about Dawkins admitting to the real possibility of a designer!

So let’s suppose the film succeeds in its intent, which is to raise awareness of severe restrictions on academic freedom of thought and inquiry for those are sympathetic to Intelligent Design.

Then what?

I’m going to speak to people like me who at least sympathize with Intelligent Design, and who know that it is routinely misrepresented by the media and by its detractors. Sure, if this film makes its point, we’re going to feel some considerable satisfaction.

Then what?

Intelligent Design will not be proved by this film. It will remain a theory under siege. Skeptics will continue to claim that evolution can produce irreducible complexity and the massive information stores found within DNA. They will continue to prefer the many-worlds theory for the universe’s fine-tuning, rather than admit there might be a God who made it that way. And this film won’t change that.

So, then what?

Evolutionists have been telling us for years that no true scientist doubts the basic neo-Darwinian story, and that this whole controversy thing is a public relations scheme concocted by right-wing religionists. If Expelled comes across as credible, they’re in for some serious embarrassment. It might mean the beginning of the end of a dogmatic stranglehold they’ve kept on the universities.

So, then what?

Then Intelligent Design would still have to make its case. What Expelled might do for ID–not immediately, but in the course of time–is provide it some breathing room, some freedom to speak openly, to seek funding from more diverse sources. It might allow more scientists who now secretly sympathize with ID to actually do some work on it openly. It could certainly open the door for research to accelerate. But the research has to be done, and the scientific case has to be made in scientific ways (not, however, meaning that it has to assume the truth of philosophical materialism, as some scientists claim).

And in the meantime, what?

Many Christians believe we have a stake in Intelligent Design’s scientific success. There’s a modicum of truth to that: if ID were ever to be established on scientific grounds, that would strengthen grounds for belief in God. It wouldn’t prove God. If skeptics can resort to the many-worlds hypothesis to explain cosmological fine-tuning, they can find other non-theistic ways to explain anything ID might put forth. And really, the evidence for God is already there. So our stake in ID as an apologetic for Christianity, while it exists, is not huge.

Let’s put it more bluntly: God made it through centuries without our knowing about cellular nanomachinery or the complexity of the genetic code. He can get along without our proving he is behind it all now.

On the other hand, we have a real stake in a correct understanding of Intelligent Design (whatever that correct understanding may be) for the sake of truly knowing reality. It’s no less important than understanding optics or relativity or plate tectonics. Science is about the pursuit of knowledge. Expelled is saying that some of that pursuit has been shut down. Opening it up for broader–yet still responsible–research can only be good for science.

And also in the meantime:

If what we’re really after is an apologetic for the truth of Christianity, let’s remember it’s not just the answers we find but the way we conduct ourselves along the way: without manipulation, without gloating (if the film makes succeeds, for example), without bending data; and instead of these, with a strong determination to conduct our side of the controversy with respect, charity, and a commitment to the truth.


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