PDA

View Full Version : Thought provoking movie


Red_Chili
05-16-2008, 08:32 AM
Don't know if you've even heard about it, but we went to see 'Expelled' last night, a docu-movie with Ben Stein. It was not a movie I would have picked from a list, and the way it started I was thinking "oh yeah sure, right, kinda over the top with the parallels to the Berlin Wall" but darned if it didn't get me about 20 minutes into it.

Great movie and makes you think about the issues RE: naturalistic evolution vs. theistic evolution, and when science meets politics. I've always liked Ben Stein, I feel like I know his thinking a bit better now too.

Hulk
05-16-2008, 09:21 AM
Just looked it up on metacritic. The reviews (http://www.metacritic.com/film/titles/expellednointelligenceallowed) have not been kind.

"Regardless of your personal views, Expelled's heavy-handed bias (a visit to Darwin's home gets the same eerie music as a tour of Dachau) is exasperating."
-- Entertainment Weekly

I'll wait for it to come to HBO. :rolleyes:

Red_Chili
05-16-2008, 10:16 AM
I dunno, I originally thought it was over the top... but they stress repeatedly that atheistic Darwinism is a necessary, but not sufficient, precursor to extreme applications like Nazism or eugenics. There is no doubt that the Nazis thought they were doing the human gene pool a favor and reasoned so based on natural selection and evolution of the human race. The sense I got was that Darwin's complicity from his contribution was tragically unwitting. Especially poignant since Ben Stein is a Jew. It's not just hypothetical at that point. I think that was the idea behind Ben Stein visiting Darwin's home and looking into his eyes at the sculpture of him.

They also did a fair job of differentiating Intelligent Design from fundamentalist creation beliefs. Not something you get in the media, who lump them together and paint ID scientists as morons. They clearly are not, in the movie. The political pressures against even expressing doubts about naturalistic evolution within the scientific community are definitely against the idea of freedom of inquiry. Contrarian dialog is key to scientific development, and this kills it.

I thought they did a fair job of trying to rattle loose a few bricks in the wall. See for yourself, I often like movies the critics hate and vice-versa.

Mendocino
05-16-2008, 01:51 PM
Wow! I had a look at the reviews. I think this is one that I will avoid. I'm all for discourse, but given the plurality of opinions that this is very agenda driven I think I will pass (albeit with a small sample size). I have much better things to do with my time and money.

Red_Chili
05-16-2008, 02:04 PM
Yeah, it is agenda driven, it is an advocacy piece. Think Michael Moore minus the annoying personality (Ben Stein is funny just when he stands there).

Shame that the reviews are shutting down dissident voices. Which is exactly what the movie is focusing on, the very point of it. :(

Hulk
05-16-2008, 02:14 PM
Don't get me wrong -- I'm looking forward to seeing it. But I will wait 6 months for it to be on HBO rather than pay $9.75 per ticket. I have always enjoyed Ben Stein as well.

Michael Moore, huh? Did you see this review;

"Managing to make the films of Michael Moore and Morgan Spurlock look like dry, scholarly treatises by comparison, Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed more than lives up to its subtitle." -- The Hollywood Reporter

Red_Chili
05-16-2008, 09:14 PM
:lmao::rolleyes:

I wonder if they saw the same movie I did...

Well, it apparently messes with some sacred cows to get that kind of emotional reaction. :p:

mtncrsr
05-17-2008, 12:28 PM
I took my whole family to see the movie including my three daughters ages 12, 9 and 4. It's certainly not a movie that they were looking forward to seeing but it sure arroused some fantastic deep conversation afterwards. I thought the movie was quite well done and really made one think. From my perspective it did not seem to be agenda driven but ones bias always plays into our views. That being said, I would highly recommend seeing it.

subzali
05-19-2008, 10:05 AM
I liked it. I think the bias came through mostly because the whole thing started by him interviewing someone who had lost his job for making a statement that certain other parties disagreed with. So from the onset Ben is trying to rationalize the actions of "the more in number" against the "fewer in number," if I may be allowed to use that comparison, and it seems that he comes up emptyhanded. I don't think his research/interviews were agenda-driven, but by the time he gets all done he's not left with much choice: he doesn't see the equity/rationality of thought/solid scientific basis for what's going on and I think the movie is to get other people thinking about it/asking the same types of questions, hoping that someone will eventually fall upon the answer. Maybe he just didn't ask the right people, but his research seemed thorough enough, so why hide it/cover it/run away from it? :confused:

Red_Chili
05-19-2008, 10:45 AM
One critique of the movie: a friend of mine is a dean at a graduate school here in town, and he pointed out that the story of one faculty member who was fired from Baylor, and about whom Baylor said nothing of substance in response, had some holes in it from his personal experience.

For one, Baylor has been encouraging dialogue about Intelligent Design, as long as there is research and peer review to go along with it. For another, universities simply CANNOT comment on terminated personnel for ethical and legal reasons.

He did however find the movie to be compelling in most of its substance however. He has seen the "company line" thinking squash freedom of inquiry many times first hand.

Unless you're going in the direction of Ward Churchill - though that seems to be changing too, for the better.

I especially liked the interviews with opponents of ID - especially when they came up with their own personal theories of how design might have become part of the evolutionary process.

Aliens and crystals - for which there is no scientific or any other evidence at all. :confused::rolleyes: Aliens simply pushes back the problem to the origin of THEIR species, and crystals introducing the DNA structure as just the right combination of proteins coat them, though nothing like this can be repeated in the lab... well...

I very much appreciated the opponents' emphasis on supportive research, and especially the two fellas (one dying of cancer) who were in no way invested in ID, but thought it critically important to open the doors to debate.

Exactly. :thumb:

Hulk
05-19-2008, 11:22 AM
I've always figured that God works in mysterious ways, and He has a hand in everything. Me trying to figure it all out isn't going to come up with the answers. Listening to folks arguing about it isn't really going to change my mind, since I long ago accepted that I don't (and never will) know the details -- and I don't think any other human really knows the details either. In fact, I doubt that I could understand the details if they were written in a book somewhere. I think it's arrogant to pretend to know the mind of God.

People will spend a lifetime debating this stuff. Yet it seems few will try to obey one of the great commandments of Jesus: "Love one another as I have loved you" or "Love your neighbor as yourself."

OK: nothing but comments on gear oil for the rest of the day!

Red_Chili
05-19-2008, 11:57 AM
9144 :thumb:
I've always figured that God works in mysterious ways, and He has a hand in everything. Me trying to figure it all out isn't going to come up with the answers. Listening to folks arguing about it isn't really going to change my mind, since I long ago accepted that I don't (and never will) know the details -- and I don't think any other human really knows the details either. In fact, I doubt that I could understand the details if they were written in a book somewhere. I think it's arrogant to pretend to know the mind of God.

People will spend a lifetime debating this stuff. Yet it seems few will try to obey one of the great commandments of Jesus: "Love one another as I have loved you" or "Love your neighbor as yourself."

OK: nothing but comments on gear oil for the rest of the day!

With a caveat on whether it matters at all: If we wanna get kids - even kids who have religious commitments - interested in science (and boy oh boy do we need to!), we better stop making a winner-take-all barrier between theism and atheism when it comes to science.

You don't have to check your faith at the door to do good, robust, peer reviewed repeatable scientific research as a scientist. Those who say you do - and who make it a requirement of the job - need to rethink their premises.

mtncrsr
05-19-2008, 01:34 PM
Amen!!