The pre-launch promotion of Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed is over. But has the film been successful?
We can only be judge this in relation to the motivations behind the film. It is clearly just another step in the programme declared in the creationist document The Wedge Strategy. This declares the intention to “reverse the stifling dominance of the materialist worldview, and to replace it with a science consonant with Christian and theistic convictions.”
The strategy goes further than an attack on science. It aims “to see design theory permeate our religious, cultural, moral and political life.” In particular it sets modern Christianity as a target – aiming to impose a “traditional doctrine of creation” on “major Christian denominations.” It also seeks to get Christian seminaries to “repudiate naturalistic presuppositions.”
Putting aside the emotional arguments has Expelled been, or will it be, successful in it aims of undermining science and the “renewal” of society? We can judge this in three areas:
No! And it won’t make any inroads here if science is permitted to continue with its extremely successful methodolgy of testing ideas and theories agaisnt reality. Reality, not religious or political opinion, is the arena of validation for any scientific theory and creationist/intelligent design ideas do not do well there.
The political arena
No doubt the film gives some strength to anti-science and conservative political groups. However, modern societies and their citizens, do rely on, and benefit from, science. Realisation of this encourages opposition to the dishonest messages this film promotes – a snearing attitude towards scientific knowledge, claims of scientific intolerance and a link between evolutionary science and Nazism (see, for example, video below – Science leads to killing people – according to Ben Stein).
This is where the film will have its greatest influence – and where it is targeted. The film has been promoted by conservative Christians and will continue to be used by them to promote their own messages.
In a sense conservative Christians will use the film to prosletise other Chrsitians. In fact, theistic beleifs make even liberal Christians vulnerable to the messages promoted by the film.
So the culture wars this film promotes is really taking place mainly within Christianity. The Wedge strategists see Christians as their natural constituency and they desire to eliminate what they see as the evil liberalism of pro-science views held by many Christians.
On the one hand this means that liberal Christians should recognise the danger the film (and its proponents) represent to their principles. they should actively oppose the promotion of the Expelled messages. Some Christian responses to this conservative attack can be seen at Science and Religion at NSCE Website, Science & Religion at Expelled exposed, The Clergy Letter Project and Reasons to Believe Scholars Expound on EXPELLED, the Movie.
On the other hand, we should recognise that the proselytising of Christians and mobilisation of conservative Christians is aimed at the whole of society. it is aimed at changing the ways science is done and how society is organised. It is aimed at reversing liberal political traditions.
Science and Religion at NSCE Website, Science & Religion at Expelled exposed
The Clergy Letter Project
Reasons to Believe Scholars Expound on EXPELLED, the Movie.
Science leads to killing people – according to Ben Stein (10 min)
Expelled for supporting evolutionary science
Freedom of expression and human rights
Should Dawkins have been Expelled?
So what does Dawkins think of “Expelled”?
Expelled – the movies
Intelligent design and the threat to Christianity
Religious opposition to “intelligent design”