If you have heard of the new documentary Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, opening April 18, chances are you have heard all kinds of distortions and myths about it. So let me set the record straight about some of the most common myths.
Myth #1: Darwinists interviewed for this film were tricked into participating.
Not so. Each scientist interviewed for Expelled, on both sides of the evolution debate, knew who would do the interview and what it was for. Each of them signed a release, allowing the producers to use the footage of their interviews.
Myth #2: The film is anti-science.
Wrong again. Many distinguished scientists were interviewed for this film and given the chance to express their views. Just like their Darwinist counterparts, the advocates of intelligent design and their supporters who are interviewed are there to talk about science, not to dismiss it. These are people like Cambridge physicist John Polkinghorne; Oxford mathematician and philosopher John Lennox; journalist Pamela Winnick, who has received hate mail for covering the issue; and biologist Caroline Crocker, who was fired from George Mason University for discussing intelligent design in the classroom. Some of them are religious believers; some are not. But what they share is a commitment to science and the unfettered pursuit of truth. Expelled is not anti-science; it is anti-censorship.
Myth #3: Ben Stein, the actor and writer who hosts the movie, has lost his mind.
Bringing up this very issue in a conference call, Stein quipped that he probably has, "but it was a long time ago . . . probably sometime around 1958." Well, I have known Stein well for years, and he is as bright as a button and anything but out of his mind. On a serious note, Stein and his film's producers explained that the mud that people are flinging at him is just one small example of what happens to people who question Darwinian orthodoxy. The original idea for Expelled, said co-producer and software engineer Walt Ruloff, came to him when he was working on a project with a group of biotechnologists and learned "that there was a whole series of questions that could not be asked."
The prevailing ideology among many scientists-it turned out-he concluded, was keep your mouth shut, take the research money, and publish only the data that fits with "the party line." The issue that concerns Ruloff and the others behind Expelled is whether the scientific establishment in this country is going to allow genuine "freedom of inquiry," or simply shut up-and slander-those who do not toe the line.
Given all this, Ben Stein states, "As long as the cause is right, I'm happy to be in an uphill struggle."
Myth #4: Popular author and atheist Richard Dawkins tells Ben Stein in this film that there could have been a designer of life on earth, but it would have had to have been "a higher intelligence" that had itself evolved "to a very high level . . . and seeded some form of life on this planet."
Well, actually . . . that one is not a myth. He really did say it-striking admission, though it is.
So, I urge you to go see Expelled when it opens at a theater near you. Believe me, in this case the truth really is stranger-and more compelling-than any fiction the film's detractors could possibly dream up.
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