Ben Stein, the lovable, monotone teacher from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and The Wonder Years is back in the classroom in a major motion picture release slated for February 2008. But this time, the actor will be on the big screen asking one of life’s biggest questions: “Were we designed, or are we simply the end result of an ancient mud puddle struck by lightning?” That’s right. Evolution – and the explosive debate over its virtual monopoly on America’s public school classrooms – is the focus of the film Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed.
In the movie, Stein, who is also a lawyer, economist, former presidential speechwriter, author and social commentator, is stunned by what he discovers – an elitist scientific establishment that has traded in its skepticism for dogma. Even worse, say publicists for the feature film, “along the way, Stein uncovers a long line of biologists, astronomers, chemists and philosophers who have had their reputations destroyed and their careers ruined by a scientific establishment that allows absolutely no dissent from Charles Darwin’s theory of random mutation and natural selection.”
“Big Science in this area of biology has lost its way,” says Stein. “Scientists are supposed to be allowed to follow the evidence wherever it may lead, no matter what the implications are. Freedom of inquiry has been greatly compromised, and this is not only anti-American, it’s anti-science. It’s anti-the whole concept of learning.”
Expelled documents how teachers and scientists alike are being ridiculed daily, denied tenure and even fired for believing there is evidence of “design” in nature and challenging the current orthodoxy that life is entirely a result of random chance.
In the film, Stein meets other scientists like astrobiologist Guillermo Gonzalez, who was denied tenure at Iowa State University in spite of an extraordinary record of achievement. Gonzalez made the mistake of documenting the design he has observed in the universe. And there are others like Caroline Crocker, a brilliant biology teacher at George Mason University, who was forced out of the university for briefly discussing problems with Darwinian theory and for telling the students that some scientists believe there is evidence of design in the universe.
Unlike other popular documentary films, Expelled isn’t one-sided – it confronts scientists like Oxford evolutionist Richard Dawkins, author of The God Delusion, influential biologist and atheist blogger, P.Z. Myers and Eugenie Scott, head of the National Center for Science Education. In fact, the creators of Expelled spent two years traveling the world and interviewing scores of scientists, doctors, philosophers and public leaders for the film.