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News – No intelligence allowed!

June 2008

No intelligence allowed!

 

A new documentary-style film Expelled: No intelligence allowed, which highlights the intelligent design (ID) controversy, opened in the USA recently.

     The Truth in Science website reports that the actor, game-show host and former presidential speech writer Ben Stein interviews scientists and journalists across the world about the ID debate. He meets scientists whose careers were damaged after they published in favour of ID, and interviews leading Darwinists and other more neutral academic onlookers.

     The film’s main emphasis is the major lack of freedom of speech on this issue in the scientific community. On the way, scientists explain current theories for the origin of life, discuss the difficulties of rigorously testing evolutionary theory, and describe the amazing complexity of living cells – visualised with realistic and beautiful animations.

     Stein also investigates some moral, social, cultural and spiritual implications of Darwinism. His particular focus is eugenics in the USA and Germany in the early twentieth century. Leading Darwinists are forthcoming about their own religious views.

     The film culminates with an interview with Richard Dawkins at the Natural History Museum in London. Dawkins says little he has not already published, but many may be surprised at his admissions. Dawkins has subsequently claimed to be unhappy with the film.

     Ben Stein’s deadpan style and range of interviewees and locations hold attention. The interviews are interspersed with black and white footage from the 1950s. The film is aimed at an American audience, but is very relevant to the UK and Europe. Many interviewees (on both sides of the controversy) are British or based in the UK – Sir John Polkinghorne, Prof. Alister McGrath, Dr John Lennox, Prof. Steve Fuller, Prof. Richard Dawkins and Prof. Peter Atkins.

     Opposition to ID is perhaps stronger in British universities than in the USA. The cases covered here are the tip of an international iceberg. DVDs of this film, with much additional material, are due for release later in the year.

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