Sunday, April 20, 2008

Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed

I attended an opening night showing of the new Ben Stein documentary with friends and colleagues on Friday. Interspersed with his trademark humor and some hilarious old and new footage, 'Expelled' follows Stein as he goes in search of the truth. Why, he asks, does America celebrate and uphold freedom of thought and expression in every other area except this one - science and its relationship to the big questions - the origins of life, the importance of human life, and that pesky question that just won't go away - from where did the first self-replicating cell come?
According to Richard Dawkins, one of the best known atheists in the world of unbelief, the answer to that last question is unknown. Why, then, do they seem so confident? Why do Darwinists take such great pains to defend what they don't know? And why are they so hostile to other theories? As Stein points out in the film, those who are confident about their beliefs are not going to turn to hostility when they are
challenged. It seems the first to do that would be the unsure and the confused. And yet, here they come, the new atheists, guns blazing as they attack and vilify religion. They have their theories, and we have ours.

It all boils down to the simple argument of design versus chance.

Did all this just happen, or was it planned and designed to happen this way? Are humans a special creation or are they just one of many species? Are our actions a product of genuine free will, or are they simply the result of natural selection? Why is there evil and suffering in the world? Is it somehow connected to us, or are we mere victims? Could it be that we are responsible to something bigger than us, a designer, a creator? And even more than that, could it be that this designer loves us deeply and has a purpose for our existence? Some say it is a bedtime story, a fairy tale. One of the scientists in 'Expelled' scoffs that they shouldn't even insult children with it. What if it were true? What if science could explore and reveal aspects of it? Are we going to let it?

Has life come to us by design or by chance? Do humans have a purpose? Are we special? Is science big enough to let God in?

Join the discussion here at LifeNotes: Design or Chance?