"Expelled" and Intelligent Design: Help, Please

I’ve been given comp tix to see “Expelled” in a couple of days, just before it opens here in Canada. How can I not? Several of the Big Credits guys (one of the producers, one of the screenwriters, and the postproduction supervisor) are Regent College graduates whom I have taught and whom I both like and respect.

For a discussion that is supposed to be confined to facts and rationality, there sure has been an awful lot of confusion, accusation, and fabrication surrounding this movie and the Intelligent Design movement it represents. That’s hardly surprising, I suppose, since the theory of evolution has been linked with all kinds of other concerns in western culture not long after the first edition of The Origin of Species was published in 1859, from social engineering to sexual mores, from eugenics to freedom of speech, from religious orthodoxy to, well, scientific orthodoxy.

So I’m going to ask you for help. What’s the best stuff you’ve read, online or otherwise, on “Expelled: The Movie” or on the Intelligent Design movement it represents? Don’t upload whole bibliographies, please! But give us one or two (or three) of the most helpful links or references. And these can be critical items, too: I want to read the finest writing I can find on the subject.

0 Responses to “"Expelled" and Intelligent Design: Help, Please”

  1. E.G.

    Check out Denis Lamoureux’s material on the general issue of creation and evolution and his approach. He has a very interesting academic pedigree, so he comes across well to multiple audiences:


    Also, read the relevant chapter(s) in Francis Collins’ “The Language of God.” Collins was the head of one of the two human genome projects, is a physician, and a Christian. The theology may be a bit weak, but the science is robust.

    Finally, watch – or read transcripts – of the NOVA (PBS) program on the recent Dover trial:


  2. bobxxxx

    The NCSE has a website about the Expelled movie. Just google “Expelled Exposed”.

  3. Steve Martin

    Hi John,
    Long time reader – the blog & your books. (I read a draft version of “Canadian Evangelicalism” for a reading course with Rod Sawatsky at Waterloo in 1990).

    I should make clear my own stance prior to commenting. I accept the scientific evidence for biological evolution. I also strongly believe that this acceptance is compatible with my own Evangelical faith. I am also waiting to see the movie (opening soon in Toronto I’ve heard).

    Links to further reading:
    1. For the most even handed and best informed take on ID, I’d read Calvin College physics professor Loren Haarsma’s article in “Perspectives on Science and the Christian Faith” “Is Intelligent Design Scientific?” – see: http://www.asa3.org/ASA/PSCF/2007/PSCF3-07Haarsma.pdf (Haarsma is neither pro-ID nor anti-ID – one of the best (and underappreciated) voices in the science / faith dialogue).

    2. My own take on ID: “An Evangelical Approach to Intelligent Design” http://evanevodialogue.blogspot.com/2007/11/evangelical-approach-to-intelligent.html – summary: depending how you define ID it might be a label I’d wear. But I do not accept the conclusions, the theological assumptions, or apologetic methods of the ID movement. (Then again, they probably don’t accept mine :-)).

    3. For a positive take on Expelled, see this review by Michael Patton from “Reclaiming the Mind” http://www.reclaimingthemind.org/blog/2008/04/21/expelled-evolution-vs-intelligent-design-a-review/ . I appreciate Michael’s ministry & agree with him most of the time. On his review of Expelled, I agree that it will be effective, but we disagree on what that effect will be. I believe that Expelled will be (and is) effective in one area: completely alienating the scientific community, including many evangelicals in that community. Our prime objective as Christians is to present the gospel of Christ in an effective way. I believe this movie runs counter to that objective. (see comment #2 on Patton’s blog post for more details). Also note that Hugh Ross from “Reasons to Believe” feels the same way – see: http://www.reasons.org/resources/apologetics/expelled.shtml

  4. scripto

    Best overview of Intelligent Design I have read:

    Doubting Darwin by Sahotra Sarkar

  5. Beth

    Hi Dr. Stackhouse,

    I read a review of the movie on one of my favorite media review sites, Patrol magazine. It’s written by Christians, but definitely not stuck in the Christian subculture. Although I have not seen the movie, this seems like an intelligently designed review.


  6. donheinz

    Last one, Darwin’s Black Box by Michael Behe of Lehigh University is a must read.

  7. JRM

    Jeffery P. Scloss’s thorough review of Expelled is the last word from a Christian perspective:


    Jeffrey Schloss is Professor of biology at the Center for Faith Ethics and Life Sciences at Westmont. He graduated from Wheaton Coillege and was a Fellow of the Discovery Insitute.

    His review is incredibly detailed and scientifically elegant. I cannot recommend it highly enough.

  8. John the Skeptic

    The most definitive analysis of the development of the ID movement is “Creationism’s Trojan Horse: The Wedge of Intelligent Design” by Forrest & Gross.

    I would also recommend the opinion of the court in the Kitzmiller v. Dover trial, as well as the expert reports that are part of the record in that case. The National Center for Science Education maintains a web site that includes all the materials from the trial. NCSE also created the http://www.expelledexposed.com web site.

  9. thewordofme

    I would only add that over 90 percent of reviewers in the US…newspapers,secular websites, entertainment TV shows, magazines,etc…gave the movie a failing grade.

    They almost all mentioned the bad science and the fallacy of linking Nazi’s with Darwinism.
    After reading over 25 bad reviews from various news sites on the web, I decided to not support the movie.

  10. Jeff Kimble

    Dr. Stackhouse,

    Dr. William Land Craig recently posted a podcast on his website at Reasonablefaith.org that offers some incisive remarks about the focus of Stein’s movie.

    Also, I want to tell you how much I’ve appreciated your blog. Your comments are thought-provoking, insightful and even-handed. I read it regularly.

  11. Casey

    I hope you have had the opportunity to watch “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed.” It is a riviting and thought-provoking documentary.

    You asked for resources, and I can only think of books on either extreme. However, I found all of these books interesting:

    “Darwin’s Black Box” by Michael Behe
    “The God delusion” by Richard Dawkins
    “The Evolution of a Creationist” by Jobe Martin
    “The Case for a Creator” by Lee Strobel


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