Jim Brown teaches AP European History and World History at Brazoswood High School. He is also a reader for the AP European History exam. Jim and his wife Staci, who just joined the math faculty at HCHS, will be Houstonians in a few months. Jim is a great friend with much insight into matters such as politics, race, and education that are addressed here at The Proletarian. Click here to see Jim’s previous blog piece.
With the house on the market, we needed to try to stay away in case a buyer wanted to come by so we decided to go see the documentary Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed (see here). You can learn a lot about the movie by going to the website and see what its all about. I certainly don’t want to get caught up in an argument about intelligent design/ creationism v. Darwinian evolution, I’m sure I would lose no matter what side I took. I just wanted to give you my impressions of the film, one that I would recommend that you see no matter where you stand on the debate. Interestingly, I don’t think Mr. Stein takes a side in the debate either; his main premise is that the debate should occur. He examines the cases of several highly credentialed scientist that have been dismissed from their positions for questioning Darwinian evolution and suggesting an alternative theory.
Like I said, I don’t want to get into a rehash of all the arguments presented in the film, I’ll let Ben Stein do that. What I want to do is encourage you to go see it. This movie will get you thinking. As my 10 year old son put it, “It feels as if new parts of my brain have opened up.” ☺ It’s a look into the halls of academia that you don’t often get to see. Its refreshing to see intelligent people being able to explain their positions on an issue without being interrupted or talked over like we see on so many news programs today.
The biggest message to hit me from this film was that ideas matter. Ideas have power. Thoughts, philosophy, world-view, all of this can have an enormous on the world and the battleground is the classroom. They realize that first impressions are lasting impressions and that what students first learn about a subject will have a greater impact on their world view than later learning. I say the battleground is in the classroom but its also in the minds and souls of the young people of America and the World. Stein examines the logical progression of ideas that flow from a world with out a Planner or Designer. He talks about how Nazism and Eugenics flow from the ideas of Darwin and the bleak view of the world that has no moral authority. Its actually scary to see people explain how they lost their faith in religion and the feeling of freedom they feel at the though that there is no God.
I’m not going to suggest that this is a balanced or fair view of the Intelligent Design debate no more than An Inconvenient Truth or Fahrenheit 9/11 are fair and balanced about the issues they raise. What Ben Stein is doing, and I think he has done it well, is starting a debate that has been pushed aside by many people in the scientific community. This is a film that thinking people should go see.