On April 18 a new documentary hosted by Ben Stein, former lawyer and speechwriter for Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford, titled Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed (watch preview – 8 minutes) will be released by Motive Entertainment. These are the same people that marketed The Passion of the Christ and Chronicles of Narnia.

I look forward to seeing this because I have followed with interest the fate of scientists who dared to suggest that it might be appropriate to mention Intelligent Design when the theory of evolution is being discussed. I understand this will be covered in the documentary.

Years ago (1952, to be exact) Dr. Mortimer Adler of the University of Chicago put together a 54 volume set of The Great Books of the Western World, published by Encyclopedia Britannica. This was accompanied by a two-volume guide called the Syntopicon, an index to the ideas contained in the great books. As a member of Dr. Adler’s staff it was my responsibility to index the salient points in the biological works of Aristotle, Galen, Harvey and Darwin for the Syntopicon. Hence, I had to not only read but to study the Origin of Species and Descent of Man from cover to cover.

I was young then, in my twenties, and I swallowed everything Darwin said, hook, line, and sinker. So detailed! So overarching! So beautiful and all-explaining! Years later, critical thought set in. The theory was full of leaps, of things that “must have” occurred but no amount of imagination could posit a step-by-step scenario as to a possible “how.” Now I can’t even get over the first hump in the theory of evolution–-the accidental formation of the first living cell.

President Bush’s controversial statement that the idea of intelligent design might be mentioned in school seems to me quite reasonable. Evolution (the “particles to people” kind) is definitely a theory and in the interest of truth it might well be communicated that many folks of respectable intellect know it is unprovable and think it is unlikely.

“Indeed, it takes more faith to accept that random chemical reactions over billions of years can produce the miracle of Mozart, than to think that Mozart and his music came from the hands of a supreme G-d.” (Posted by a blogger named tom, In the Agora, 5/4/07)

To read my current thinking on the subject, click on EVOLUTION–LITE.