Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed

Netflix! Netflix! Netflix! Netflix!

I love it. I get movies sent to me in the convenience of my home, and there are thousands and thousands to choose from. Offbeat documentaries like yesterday's post about "Plagues and Pleasures on the Salton Sea." Today I am watching "Helvetica." This is a riveting documentary about a typefont. Now, I know that 'riveting' and 'documentary' rarely go together. And to put 'documentary' with 'typefont' has never been done in the history of mankind. But there you have it! Helvetica rocks! Summary from the movie's website:

"Helvetica is a feature-length independent film about typography, graphic design and global visual culture. It looks at the proliferation of one typeface (which is celebrating its 50th birthday this year) as part of a larger conversation about the way type affects our lives." How cool is that, a movie about a typeface! And it's interesting!

Another movie coming out, this one in the national theaters April 18, is "Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed." Do you remember Ben Stein from Ferris Bueller's Day Off? Anyone? Anyone?



Ben Stein, in the new film EXPELLED: No Intelligence Allowed, coming to a theater near you on April 18, 2008

"His heroic and, at times, shocking journey confronting the world’s top scientists, educators and philosophers, regarding the persecution of the many by an elite few. Ben travels the world on his quest, and learns an awe-inspiring truth…that bewilders him, then angers him…and then spurs him to action. Ben realizes that he has been “Expelled,” and that educators and scientists are being ridiculed, denied tenure and even fired – for the “crime” of merely believing that there might be evidence of “design” in nature, and that perhaps life is not just the result of accidental, random chance." Needless to say, the idea that there could something more to life than simple, random, monkey chance has sparked conversations around watercoolers from Seattle to Key West.



Yes! According to BlogPulse, "Something amazing happened just over a week ago. The controversy around Premise Media’s upcoming movie Ben Stein’s EXPELLED: No Intelligence Allowed became the hottest topic in the blogosphere. According to BlogPulse, a service of Nielsen Buzzmetrics, the issue held the number one slot throughout the day on Monday, March 24th. There were also over 800 results on Technorati."

The documentary is even-handed and Stein interviewed many, many scientists, from all points of view, and let them speak freely. I understand from reading reviews of those who have been granted advance screenings, that the film is about "the merits of Intelligent Design should be on the same level playing field as Evolutionary Theory. This film is about the freedom of speech, the freedom of ideas and ability to express those ideas...not about whether God created the heavens and the earth. The film’s main point was that Intelligent Design should be taught in conjunction with Evolution" because both have equal scientific merit. Can't wait for April 18! the movie website has a theater locator so you can check to see if it will be appearing in your area.

4 comments:

Michael S. Class said...

I wonder, would a public school teacher in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, be allowed to say the following:

"It is interesting to contemplate ... [all the many forms of life on earth] ... so different from each other, have all been produced by laws acting around us. ... There is grandeur in this view of life, HAVING BEEN ORIGINALLY BREATHED BY THE CREATOR INTO A FEW FORMS OR INTO ONE; and that from so simple a beginning, endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being evolved."

Just imagine a public school teacher who says those words: that God creates life and places it on the earth in a few forms, and then that life evolves according to the physical and natural laws that God put into place in the universe.

Would that be allowed?

Actually, it should be REQUIRED FOR THE TEACHER TO SAY THAT.

Why? Because the quote is from: On the Origin of the Species, Chapter XV, Recapitulation and Conclusion, By Charles Darwin.

If you are going to teach Darwin's theory of evolution in public schools, you should teach what Darwin actually wrote about it.

****

If you believe in God, you really have only two choices:

1. God created all life on earth like a carnival magician, or the Amazing Kreskin: a wave of the hands and poof! there was life. That's Creationism. (I dont believe God does his handiwork like a second rate magician.)

or...

2. God created all the processes, chemistry, mathematics, and physical laws that govern the universe with an end in mind - the creation of life. It's a belief in God as powerful and intelligent on a grand scale. In this belief, evolution IS intelligent design. It's not random, though it may have random elements. The goal was to create man.

All of science - everything we have learned so far - leads us to this view. It is not incompatible. I recall that AT&T/Bell Labs scientists won the Nobel Prize for "hearing" the remaining noise of the Big Bang - the origin of the Universe. But what they couldn't answer - an no scientist can yet answer - is where did the original matter come from, and how did life get breathed into it?

Einstein proved that space and time are related, and postulated that the Universe is finite. What is beyond the finite universe? What is its purpose?

I am an engineer by training, and have always enjoyed science and scientific inquiry. I believe that scientific inquiry only leads to one thing: the discovery and understanding of the rules of the Universe - how God decided the Universe would work.

That leaves us one question: Why?

And THAT is the right question.



Michael S. Class
Author

Anthony and the Magic Picture Frame: The History Book with a Message for Today's Young Americans

Read the book. Remember the truth. Share it with your children.

Web Site: www.MagicPictureFrame.com

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Cathy ~ Tadpoles and Teacups said...

I fell in love with "all things typography" in college. One of my favorite professors was Ron Arnholm -- he designed fonts back when all the letters were hand drawn.

Christie said...

I'm looking forward to this as well. I just finished reading The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins. It was an interesting read.

Elizabeth Prata said...

Around here there is deep audience interest (Georgia USA) that it is showing in two separate theaters and they've aded an extra showing, at 10 pm. I am going to the opening on Friday at 1:00.

The tv commercial on Discovery is hilarious. Ben is in the back row of a full classroom, the professor is just finishing explaining evolution, and Ben asks, "But, Professor, How did life get here in the first place?"

Next scene, he is sitting at the prinicipal's bench. A kid next to him asks, "What did you do?"

"I made a movie."

Scenes from the movie play, then the kid turns to Ben and says, "That must be some movie."

All in deadpan, of course!