This past weekend I viewed the new Ben Stein documentary and was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it. I figured that Ben Stein would obviously bring some amusing and intelligent insights to the screen; I wasn't disappointed in the least.
I appreciated his main argument that the scientific world needs more balance when examining the origin of life; that evolution has some holes and cannot be the only answer. I especially enjoyed one scientist (who is in support of intelligent design) pointing out the fact that the I.D. argument isn't trying to deny the theory of evolution. It is fairly apparent that species have evolved over time in adapting to their environment, but evolution does not answer the question of how life was created or came into existence.
I was saddened by how many scientists readily admitted that their study of evolution led them to atheism; that they seemed almost boastful of their increased knowledge and "intelligence" solidifying these beliefs.
Throughout the documentary I was impressed with so many comments and arguments that were made in support of intelligent design, my favorite being Ben Stein's unquestionable support of God's existence. He wasn't insistent that all people believe in the same god or religion, but he wasn't afraid to strongly emphasize the significance of a belief in god and its affect on society.
Prior to viewing this film, I came across a quote by Abraham Lincoln, as quoted by Marion G. Romney. If Lincoln was concerned by the neglect of God over 150 years ago I can't imagine how disappointed he would be with the current state of our country.
"Consider these words written by Abraham Lincoln as part of a resolution in 1863:
"We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of heaven; we have been preserved these many years in peace and prosperity; we have grown in number, wealth, and power as no other Nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us, and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God who made us."
(John Wesley Hill,Abraham Lincoln, Man of God, 4th ed., New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, p.391.)" as quoted in (Marion G. Romney, "Gratitude and Thanksgiving," Ensign, Nov. 1982, 50)
For myself, the most refreshing part of this film was that Ben Stein wasn't afraid "step on toes" and state how things are and how they should be. We live in a society that emphasizes being politically correct and tolerant of others, but I don't think toleration or mutual respect requires apologizing for your own views and beliefs.