‘No intelligence allowed’: so reads the subscript to the controversial new film hitting the UK. Written by investigative journalist Ben Stein, it exposes an alarming trend among US academics to remove from their posts any lecturer or scientific researcher who advocates or even mentions intelligent design (ID).
The film shows several leading academics and even journalists in the US, France and Germany, who, although not necessarily Christian, are of the scientific opinion that there are fundamental flaws in Darwin’s theory of evolution.
Stein provided copious evidence that those not conforming to Darwinism are at risk of losing their jobs, despite a growing body of scientific research that points to ID being a viable alternative hypothesis.
The worrying question is, will what has been happening across America also happen in the UK? Has it already started? Many have for a long time been asking the question, ‘Is Darwinism used to substantiate eugenic and ethnic cleansing programmes?’ But scientists raising such spectres risk being ‘expelled’.
The film’s investigation was disturbing, despite lighter-hearted moments and a huge eye-opener when Professor Richard Dawkins asserted that life on earth could have begun as a result of intergalactic ‘panspermia’ – in other words, the first intelligent cell could have been seeded on earth by alien life forms! Of course, the aliens must have evolved based on Darwinian principles, he added quickly!
The pursuant debate, hosted by Premier Radio’s Justin Brierley, saw pro-ID advocate Prof. Steve Fuller of Warwick University and former schools inspector Dr Alistair Noble pitted against anti-ID proponents Prof. Keith Fox of Southampton and Prof. Susan Blackmore of Plymouth. The University of London’s Alexander Fleming lecture hall was packed out.
The anti-ID panellists were less than convincing, not just because they did not believe in God – Fox is a theistic evolutionist – but because Blackmore let her side down trying to explain genetic mutation to an intelligent audience with a toy rabbit as a prop.
The discussion centred on whether academics in the UK would be kicked out if they taught ID. While the anti-ID panellists did not believe they would, both believed ID should not be mentioned in schools.
Open debate needed
Blackmore said: ‘ID is not being ruled out; it should be debated, if it can be proved that there is some evidence to back its claims’. Until then, it should be kept out of the classroom. Fox said, ‘It should not be taught in schools. Graduates are already going to university with an appalling lack of knowledge about evolution, and ID will muddy the waters’.
Yet ID, with its appeal to irreducible complexity in cells, has plenty of evidence to back it. Noble argued that it was reasonable to allow ID to challenge the flawed theory of evolution. He said: ‘ID proposes a minimal commitment to the possibility of intelligent causation. Academic freedom should allow open debate’.
Worryingly, ID is already being shunted out of the school curriculum by the UK educational establishment. But Prof. Fuller said, ‘It’s the role of a teacher to open a student’s mind to the possibility that science can be tested, can be challenged. It’s how we’ve always learned new things. And I do believe that what has happened in the US may well happen in the UK’.
Will Darwinists accept there is room for open discussion of ID in the classroom and lecture-room? Or will ID proponents be forced into academic purdah? Whatever happens, 1 Corinthians 1:25 is certainly true – ‘the foolishness of God is wiser than men’.