Delightful, shocking, informative, perpetually light-hearted while deadly-serious, at times almost moving… Ben Stein’s documentary on the “Big Science’s” resistance of “smart new ideas” in biology, physics and cosmology, is a must-see. Stylistically, the film cuts back and forth from 50’s black-and-white film clips to recent interviews with some of the world’s leading scientists. The cut-away clips of Leave-It-To-Beaver-esque innocence and plastic smiles kept the audience chuckling the whole way through. (At least until the visit to Dakow.)
Thematically, Stein goes for the jugular. America is built upon freedom, he states. Freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of scientific research. A community or idea that resists free inquiry into ideas and theories best supported by the evidence is not just a bully, but is deeply anti-American. The neo-Darwinist establishment is just such a bully, says Stein.
Remarkably even-handed (as much as such an agenda-driven documentary can be), we hear the perspective of established scientific elites from their own mouths. The results are sometimes expected, sometimes scripted, sometimes slightly confusing, and sometimes horrifying… The (highly likable) Texan’s confessions about his lost hope for free-will and meaning in life chills the blood.
Of course, not everyone was chuckling: “When clueless creationists… throw away buckets of money making elaborate propaganda films arguing… nonsense, it’s worse than inane. It’s as if they have completely missed the point of the idea they are damning.” PZ Meyers
Agree or disagree, you have to ask yourself: why is it striking such a nerve? See it, consider both sides, and do your own research.
Oh yeah, the climactic interview with Dr. Richard Dawkins is worth the price of admission, twice over.