Another failure in the Conservative Religious right wing War on Science.
The reviews are in ...the move Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed sucks. Called a "flunkout documentary," an "unprincipled propaganda piece that insults believers and nonbelievers alike," Expelled is a crusade by Ben Stein to show how believers of intelligent design are victims of persecution and that Darwinism is the root of all evil. As the Chicago Tribune put it:
"...a cynical attempt to sucker Christian conservatives into thinking they’re losing the “intelligent design” debate because of academic “prejudice.”
Typical of the religious right, Expelled is a loathsome and idiotic attempt to show scientific legitimacy for a creationist worldview while desperately trying to swiftboat science.
UPDATE: The National Center for Science Education has launched a website exposing the lies of the film "Exposed." Check out - Expelled Exposed.
Further exposing the films unprofessionalism, the producers of Expelled have been cited for copyright violations.
One of the sleaziest documentaries to arrive in a very long time, “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed” is a conspiracy-theory rant masquerading as investigative inquiry.
Mixing physical apples and metaphysical oranges at every turn “Expelled” is an unprincipled propaganda piece that insults believers and nonbelievers alike. In its fudging, eliding and refusal to define terms, the movie proves that the only expulsion here is of reason itself.
New York Post:
After all of his efforts to unhook the ID caboose from the creationism train, Stein makes it clear that his beef with Darwinism is that it weakens religion.
In a long, greasy detour, Stein shows that the Nazis were Darwinists. So what? They also liked skiing. Having Nazi fans doesn’t make Darwin wrong.
It’s in the film’s final third that it runs entirely off the rails as Stein argues that there is a clear line from Darwinism to euthanasia, abortion, eugenics and–wait for it–Nazism. Theories of natural selection, it’s claimed, were a necessary if not sufficient condition for Hitler’s killing machine to get started. The truth, of course, is that the only necessary and sufficient condition for human beings to murder one another is the simple fact of being human. We’ve always been a lustily fratricidal species, one that needed no Charles Darwin to goad us into millenniums of self-slaughter.
A flunkout of a documentary, this features Ben Stein—still best known for his monotone “Anyone…anyone?”—advocating creationism, er, intelligent design, in science classrooms. Stein’s credibility is blown on this poorly constructed diatribe, and you’d be smart to save your bucks.
Plus, he’s tedious and unfunny.
With a heavy, heavy hand, the pic punctuates every scene with over-the-top archival footage—the Berlin wall, Stalin and other Cold War imagery.
Despite insisting “intelligent design” isn’t pro-God propaganda, Stein argues we’re waging a religious war (cut to cannon fire) with Darwinists smiting the faithful with—gasp!—atheistic ideas. Most outrageously, he plays the overused Nazi card—he tours an old concentration camp and notes Hitler himself was influenced by Darwin. Yes, kids, studying evolution leads to this (cut to dead prisoners).
Expelled pretends it wants to encourage debate but shuts down and edits around every Darwinian scientist who attempts to explain complex issues, as Stein makes snide remarks in voice-over.
LA City Beat:
One might accuse Michael Moore of similarly facile, manipulative techniques – and I have – but Moore has never gone to lengths nearly as outrageous as the makers of Expelled. (For what it’s worth, he’s also funnier.)
In the third act, Stein and company move beyond mere visual associations, when they build a case linking Darwinism to Nazism – which is not merely insultingly lame, but also ranks as one of the cheapest, most offensive exploitations of the horrors of the Holocaust I’ve ever witnessed (and I’ve witnessed plenty).
Expelled is another expression of the right wing’s victim complex. It’s classic paranoid thinking: Since we’re pure and correct, any setbacks we suffer must be the result of an Evil Conspiracy. Communists are fluoridating our water. Purity of Essence. We couldn’t be doing substandard academic work. Our poor advancement must have to do with a blacklist! (Stein himself used this idea to bully Norman Lear into giving him a writing job.)
Ben Stein, the actor, lawyer, columnist and onetime speechwriter for Presidents Nixon and Ford, is probably smarter than you. He’s definitely smarter than I am. What’s galling about his new documentary, “Expelled,” is that he seems to think we’re both slobbering idiots.
In an increasingly hysterical tone, Stein lambastes Darwinians as misguided, ignorant fascists, cutting repeatedly to old footage of the Berlin Wall - a metaphor for squelched thought.
Finally, he unleashes his biggest attention-getter, holding Darwinism responsible for Nazi atrocities and genocide. I’m no lawyer, but that’s a pretty lousy argument.
Did Stein really think audiences wouldn’t balk at being suckered into a propaganda rally? Or was he preaching to the converted from the start? Stein claims to denounce the tyranny of dogma, then browbeats us with his own.