I don’t know where you stand on the “theories of evolution” (Darwinism) and the “theories of creationism” (Intelligent Design), but everybody who loves our democratic system should stand together for the defense of the “personal and intellectual rights” its citizens have to question anything taught as scientific truth.
This is what accounts, to the greatest degree, for the ongoing controversy surrounding Ben Stein’s movie, Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed. Stein has an issue with evidence of intellectual thuggery in our higher educational institutions, namely the silencing of any dissent teachers or professors might have with Darwinism.
He made it clear that he has found a mission in life. “I came to this project unsure what I would find. I am now amazed at the intolerance of many academic elites. I feel that it is my mission to speak out on behalf of targeted dissenters and fight for their freedom of speech and freedom of inquiry.”
He is not alone. Many states in the US are looking at the passage of bills (eg. Senate Bill 733 of the Louisiana Science Education Act) that permits a teacher to use “supplemental textbooks and other instructional materials to help students understand, analyze, critique, and review scientific theories in an objective manner.”
Kenneth R. Miller, writing in the Boston Globe, blasted the film as creationist propaganda. He warned America that “science is in trouble. Popular culture is gradually turning (youth) against science…” Well, Kenneth, on that point we agree. This has been growing for years. Remember Generation X? They are the generation that sociologists identified to be the result of years of Darwinism. They were told that they came from nothing, survived by chance, and were going nowhere. No wonder they are rejecting evolution, and are now looking for hope in faith.
Stein stated: “I’m Jewish, and I have always believed that there is a God who was the prime mover in the universe, so it’s not hard for me to think of him as the Intelligent Designer.” Stein went on to say that his research bolstered his faith.
Intelligent Design, as a counter scientific movement, is filled with concepts that build value to the origin of life, purpose for the living of life, and destiny, hope in its end. Maybe that is why The Purpose Driven Life has been so well received by this generation.
Stein is operating from a base that declares that neither theory is provable, so why not investigate both? It takes faith to believe either theory. However, Darwinism has never attempted to explain how life began, to give meaning for life. Intelligent design does.
I believe that Stein’s challenge of the scientific community is valid. If his claims are true, that there is suppression and entrenched discrimination in our institutions, selective granting and posting, and most importantly, bias in our classrooms, then it needs to be exposed.
There is a belief that freedom is not conferred by the government, but as Martin Luther King repeated often, is given by God. Freedom of inquiry is a basic human right, and is critical to all scientific advancement.
That freedom has the right to inquire as to whether a greater intelligence than man had anything to do with our beginnings, our daily life, or our future.
The fact that a movie has triggered the possibility of changes to the way a culture is thinking, and that Education Acts in state governments are being challenged as a result of new evidence, means that the winds of change may be starting to blow in Canada.
I pray that we Canadians will have the intellectual and spiritual maturity to cope with an emerging culture that is requiring of its institutions the freedom to inquire.