Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Not ready to jump on the Expelled bandwagon

Almost overnight Ben Stein has become the spokesman for intelligent design. He's even received an award named after Phillip Johnson, the godfather of the ID movement. I find this an unfortunate development seeing as it will be equated by many with Stein being the spokesman for those of us who believe in the Creator God of the Bible. It doesn't help that the latest cause du jour for some prominent conservative and Christian media sources is to urge evangelicals to rush to the nearest theater and see Stein's new documentary. Can similar calls from the pulpit be far behind?

I haven't seen Expelled, but I did watch this 8-minute "super trailer" on YouTube. It looks to be entertaining and reasonably well done, if you judge it on the rules of documentary filmmaking set forth by Michael Moore. I have seen Moore's work -- he scores his share of points and I'm sure Stein does too. I surveyed the reviews of Expelled at and there is an evident double standard at work. The tactics that some of the reviewers decry in Stein's film, are the same ones praised or overlooked in Moore's polemics. Nevertheless, let's assume that Stein's polemic convinces millions of Americans that proponents of Darwinian evolution are jerks, idiots and latter-day Nazis. What then? Perhaps Expelled will lead a few people to thoughtfully examine the faulty assumptions behind Darwinism, but I doubt it. In any case, please don't assume Ben Stein speaks for me.

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