Ben Stein's new film, Expelled, should be seen by anyone interested in the new Dark Age of totalitarianism which seems to be creeping through our institutions of communication, information and education. Perhaps only Stein could properly portray the Kafkaesque persecution of scientists, journalists and other professionals who challenge the increasingly untenable proposition that an almost incomprehensibly complex mechanism -- the living cell -- could have evolved through the oafish mechanism of natural selection.
The object of hatred by the automatons of hoary Darwinism are not just those honest and open minded thinkers -- some of whom are Christians, some of whom are Jewish, some of whom are agnostics -- but also hated is the very idea of a Blessed Creator. Not only are these haters clear about the necessity of Darwinism to be true, even if it is not true, but they are equally clear about their lust to deconstruct morality and to reduce life itself to a meaningless treadmill.
These haters have no compunction about destroying careers simply for the sake of intellectual terrorism. The merits of guided evolution are dismissed without discussion, and the victims of this terrorism are dealt with in a manifestly dishonest way. Stein shows his audience the letters from academic thugs who deny tenure to promising professors or who deal roughly with tenured professors -- letters which show that the official explanations for their "discipline" were transparent lies.
Science is not science at all, he shows us: It is simply an effort to compel any representatives of academia or foundations to parrot the core principles of nihilism, leaving man as god. Stein is not afraid to pursue that nihilism to its ultimate conclusion in the Nazi "mercy killings" of the handicapped or the Nazi extermination of Jews as "inferior creatures" in his grim walk through Dachau.
The ugly tapestry includes many threads. Margaret Sanger and Planned Parenthood, respectable institutions in the eyes of ordinary Americans, held beliefs similar to Hitler; and before Hitler otherwise upstanding Americans were proposing things, in concept, as awful as Hitler. The perfection of humanity through selective breeding, though, comes earlier than Sanger or Hitler. Ben Stein quotes directly from Darwin in his Origin of Species, making it clear that to Darwin man was an animal, just like any farm animal, and that the perfection of humanity through "scientific" methods was commendable.
Stein closes the familiar escape hatch for this sort of malice toward human life and human purpose. Did Hitler know what he was doing? He certainly gobbled up Darwinism whole, and the "survival of the fittest" as a moral principle (or, rather, and amoral principle) fairly leaps from the pages of Mein Kampf. Hitler was not ignorant. But more importantly, Hitler was not insane. He was evil.
That is the darkest theme that runs like a cold, black undercurrent through Expelled. Evil is real, very real. Unless one is prepared to say the Holocaust was not evil (and some of the people who Stein interviews are quite willing to say just that), then evil is real. Unless one is prepared to say that firing serious professors to intimidate others into silence, and then lying about the reasons for the firings is evil, then evil is real. Unless one is prepared to say that concealing truth while hiding behind the banner of science is evil, thus insuring that science itself cannot progress, is not evil, then evil is real.
Our lives have been saturated with scientific lies. Men and women are interchangeable parts, scientists once said, because the reality demanded by feminists required that lie. Millions of men and women have been sacrificed on the altar of that pseudo-scientific theology. More torment is being invented each day by the priests of political theology so that mythical global warning can be appeased like some vengeful Aztec deity. What has been called science is increasingly a sterile, humorless theology.
The limits of human knowledge are well known to scientists. You or I can have no real information about reality that at the time of our birth is travelling away from us at the speed of light. We can refer to what other people have said or seen or written, but we can never know anything at all. Nor can we know with precision what will happen at the subatomic level. The Uncertainty Principle is an absolute bar to anything more than statistical patterns and probabilities. And we have no idea at all how life began. One of the funny parts of Expelled is when Stein tries to pry from certain foes of God and guided evolution how life began. The first cell glommed on to a crystal, one hater opined. Space aliens brought life to Earth, another suggested, hastily adding that this civilization itself arose through Darwinian means.
It might have been nice if Stein had pointed out that the example typically given of evolution by natural selection -- white moths in industrial Great Britain dying when the smokestacks appeared and black moths surviving -- was a proof that no change in species and no mutations were required at all: The black and white moths were both of the same species.
It might also have been nice if Stein had delved a bit into the necessity of the Medieval university, which was profoundly religious, as the birthplace of all of what we call science today (thus showing that not only is religion not incompatible with science, but religion may be indispensable to science.)
But these are small criticisms indeed. Expelled is a masterpiece. Watch it. Tell your friends about it. And most of all, show it to your children.