I (RJS) saw Ben Stein’s “documentary” movie EXPELLED: No Intelligence Allowed over Thanksgiving on DVD, or I saw parts of it anyway – some of the family saw the entire movie. I have also been asked about this movie at church on occasion. I have to say, I found the movie very hard to watch because of the format, which is designed for sound bites, entertainment and sensationalism, rather than accuracy and information.
If you’ve seen this movie, I have a question.
Do you think the movie serves a useful purpose? If so why?
Certainly there is hostility toward Christian or faith based thinking and a knee-jerk reaction to Intelligent Design by some in the academy and the scientific establishment. This movie, with it’s half truths, makes it worse. It gives rise to the same kind of indignation that Christians feel over sensational documentaries on topics like the DaVinci Code, the Gospel of Judas, or the Jesus Ossuary.
There is also hostility in parts of the church toward the scientific establishment and scientists in general. This film serves to reinforce these stereotypes, intensifying the conflict. Stein’s movie is a success (i.e. makes money) because of the conservative Christian market.
I must admit that I don’t think that it does any good to promote this “documentary” in a Christian setting. It seems to me that the half truths and the format only serve to make a bad situation much worse. But what do you think?