Yesterday, I watched the film “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed” which is a documentary about the occupational persecution and ostracizing that exists in Academia toward college professors who dare to challenge the Darwinian model of Biology, or even so much as suggest that “Intelligent Design” might be a valid scientific hypothesis worth consideration. The movie does not really delve into the arguments for or against either side of the “debate”, but rather serves as an expose of the fate of those who fail to “toe the party line.” The purpose of the film is to uncover the suppression that exists in institutes of higher learning against those who are so presumptuous as to question the “conventional wisdom” of Darwinism and all of its unanswered problems, suggesting that the truth might be found elsewhere.
What is revealed in this movie, for me at least, is something that many theists have suspected for quite some time: Darwinism is in and of itself a “religion.” Dictionary.com gives the following definition for the term “religion”:
“a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, esp. when considered as the creation of a superhumanagency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conductof human affairs.” (1)
Darwinism ceases to be science and becomes religion when its ideas are extrapolated to interpret the origins of life. As is pointed out in “Expelled”, Darwin did not simply write a book defining what he had observed scientifically, which may have illuminated the mechanism of intra-special changes, he wrote a book called the “ORIGIN of the Species.” He went beyond the realm of the observable and entered into the realm of pure speculation. Such practice is certainly acceptable for scientific inquiry, such would even define “hypothesis” or “theory.” But when the unproven hypothesis or speculation is elevated to the level of that which is deemed conclusively proven, when the “theory” is canonized as “unquestionable truth”, when an establishment is set in place which governs the behavior of individuals or, as the definition puts it: “a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs”, when devotion and ritual observance accompanies the dispersion of the theory to the uninitiated (such as is the case in institutions where Darwinism is rigidly taught; one professor in the film describes his own indoctrination into Evolutionary theory to the intended exclusion of all other religious belief), this fulfills the parameters of a religion.
What is interesting to note is the utterly absurd suggestions that zealous Darwinists will make in order to explain the impetus that brought about life on Earth. Some of these ideas are explored a little in “Expelled.” The irony cannot be lost on the objective viewer as the same individuals who are calling traditional belief in God “ignorant”, “stupid”, “foolish”, etc. in the interviews, are later speaking with great sincerity over the possibility that life began on Earth from protein-rich seeds planted here in time immemorial by alien life forms (the theory of “Panspermia”). Fortunately for the professors making the suggestion, Ben Stein (the movie’s host) did not ask the obvious “begged” question of how in turn the alien life forms originated. Another scholar described with equal conviction the notion that proteins on the primitive Earth “hitch-hiked” on the backs of crystals in order to come together and form the building block amino acids of which all life is composed. As long as your theory precludes the concept of an intelligent, loving God, it seems all ideas are fair game, regardless of how ridiculous.
Finally, one of the most intriguing segments of the entire movie for me was the interview toward the end between Ben Stein and famed atheist Prof. Richard Dawkins. Author of the bestseller, “The God Delusion”, Dawkins goes beyond defending Darwinism from attacks by theists to making his own attacks against theism and organized religion as a whole. Prof. Dawkins read his own words of vitriol from his book concerning the God of the Bible with great panache during the interview, his smug, self-congatulatory arrogance thinly veiled. But as Stein pressed him as to exactly how sure he was that God does not exist, as Stein repeated his question again and again to clarify Dawkin’s complete atheism — forcing Dawkins to reiterate in his own words his absolute certainty that there is zero possibility for God’s existence– his discomfort and hesitation became quite obvious as his formerly confident articulation was reduced to a stammering befuddlement.
We should make no mistake, nor should there exist any pretense otherwise, that Darwinism is a religion. Its precepts are accepted on faith, in spite of abundant contradictory evidence, and dissension against it is met with hostile retribution. When its implications are carried out to their logical end, the value of life, especially human life, is reduced to the point of utter meaninglessness and the individual’s merits are measured in their ability to contribute to society as a whole. Consequently, the evils of abortion, euthanasia, eugenics, and genocide are seen as nothing more than mankind’s assistance of the natural, Evolutionary process. It is no wonder that Darwinism’s proponents feel threatened by the notion of a Personal, loving God to whom all men are morally accountable. Therefore, their agenda is to completely eradicate any reminder of God’s existence as they attempt to redefine reality by embracing anything else. Anything, that is, but God.