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Review of the movie Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed

April 20, 2008

Last Friday night , my wife and I went to see Ben Stein’s Movie “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed”. I wanted to go see the movie for several reasons. First, I have always enjoyed Ben Stein’s wit and humor. His game show Ben Stein’s Money was hilarious. I also enjoy reading his personal finance columns that are published in Yahoo! Finance. The second reason is that my local paper raked the movie over the coals. They gave it 1/2 out of 4 stars and I usually love the movies they hate.

Being a guy that knows nothing – especially how to write a movie review – I searched Google for a review that best describes what I thought of the movie. I found one written by a columnist for Yahoo News. His name is Brent Bozell III. He is also the founder and president of the Media Research Center which is the largest media watchdog organization in America. His Bio states that “Mr. Bozell is a nationally syndicated writer whose work appears in publications such as Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Washington Times, The New York Post, The L.A. Times and National Review.” So I figured he knows more than me.

Here is what Mr Bozell has to say:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/uc/20080418/cm_uc_crbbox/op_235852

Ben Stein Vs. Sputtering Atheists

L. Brent BozellFri Apr 18, 3:00 AM ET

I confess that when the producers of Ben Stein’s new documentary “Expelled” called, offering me a private screening, I was less than excited.

It is a reality of PC liberalism: There is only one credible side to an issue, and any dissent is not only rejected, it is scorned. Global warming. Gay “rights.” Abortion “rights.” On these and so many other issues there is enlightenment, and then there is the Idiotic Other Side. PC liberalism’s power centers are the news media, the entertainment industry and academia, and all are in the clutches of an unmistakable hypocrisy: Theirs is an ideology that preaches the freedom of thought and expression at every opportunity, yet practices absolute intolerance toward dissension.

Evolution is another one of those one-sided debates. We know the concept of Intelligent Design is stifled in academic circles. An entire documentary to state the obvious? You can see my reluctance to view it.

I went into the screening bored. I came out of it stunned.

Ben Stein’s extraordinary presentation documents how the worlds of science and academia not only crush debate on the origins of life, but also crush the careers of professors who dare to question the Darwinian hypothesis of evolution and natural selection.

Stein asks a simple question: What if the universe began with an intelligent designer, a designer named God? He assembles a stable of academics — experts all — who dared to question Darwinist assumptions and found themselves “expelled” from intellectual discourse as a result. They include evolutionary biologist Richard Sternberg (sandbagged at the Smithsonian), biology professor Caroline Crocker (drummed out of George Mason University), and astrophysicist Guillermo Gonzalez (blackballed at Iowa State University).

That’s disturbing enough, but what Stein does next is truly shocking. He allows the principal advocates of Darwinism to speak their minds. These are experts with national reputations, regular welcomed guests on network television and the like. But the public knows them only by their careful seven-second soundbites. Stein engages them in conversation. They speak their minds. They become sputtering ranters, openly championing their sheer hatred of religion.

PC liberalism has showered accolades on atheist author Richard Dawkins’ best-selling book “The God Delusion.” But when Stein suggests to Dawkins that he’s been critical of the Old Testament God, Dawkins protests — not that Stein is wrong, but that he’s being too mild. He then reads from this jaw-dropping paragraph of his book:

“The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.”

Dawkins has a website. Its slogan is “A clear-thinking oasis.”

It’s understood that God had nothing to do with the origins of life on Earth. What, then, is the alternate explanation? Stein asks these experts, and their very serious answers are priceless. One theorizes that life began somehow on the backs of crystals. Another states electric sparks from a lightning storm created organic matter (out of nothing). Another declares that life was brought to Earth by aliens. Anything but God.

The most controversial part of the film follows Stein to the Dachau concentration camp, underlining how Darwin’s theories of natural selection led to the eugenics movement, embraced by Adolf Hitler. If there is no God, but only a planetary lab waiting for scientists to perfect the human race, where can Darwinism lead? Stein insists that he isn’t accusing today’s Darwinists of Nazism. He points out, however, that Hitler’s mad science was inspired by Darwinism.

Now that the film is complete, the evolutionist prophets featured in the film are on the warpath inveighing against it, and the alleged idiots who would lower themselves to watching it. Richard Dawkins laments how the film will solicit “cheap laughs that could only be raised in an audience of scientific ignoramuses.” Minnesota professor and blogger P.Z. Myers predicts the movie is “going to appeal strongly to the religious, the paranoid, the conspiracy theorists, and the ignorant —— which means they’re going to draw in about 90 percent of the American market.” Myers and Dawkins now both complain they were “duped” into appearing in the movie (for pay).

Everyone should take the opportunity to see “Expelled” — if nothing else, as a bracing antidote to the atheism-friendly culture of PC liberalism. But it’s far more than that. It’s a spotlight on the arrogance of this movement and its leaders, a spotlight on the choking intolerance of academia, and a spotlight on the ignorance of so many who say so much, yet know so very little.

L. Brent Bozell III is the president of the Media Research Center. To find out more about Brent Bozell III, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at http://www.creators.com.

COPYRIGHT 2008 CREATORS SYNDICATE INC.

Here is a link to the movie’s web site: Expelled The Movie

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14 Comments leave one →
  1. aegisofreason permalink
    April 20, 2008 1:23 pm

    http://www.expelledexposed.com/

  2. Todd permalink*
    April 20, 2008 1:34 pm

    Wow! That was fast! In less that 15 minutes there’s a comment for the National Center for Science Education’s web site “Expelled Exposed: The Truth Behind the Fiction”.

  3. April 20, 2008 2:55 pm

    Yes, I wanted to add my bit too:
    Learn more about the anti-evolution movie Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, featuring Ben Stein.

  4. April 20, 2008 8:03 pm

    Sorry – should have used the link: http://www.expelledexposed.com/

  5. Todd permalink*
    April 20, 2008 8:20 pm

    No problem Ken, I have trouble with links too.

  6. billhastings permalink
    April 21, 2008 12:01 am

    Wow, Mr. Bozell opened with almost the same thing I said in our chess game.

    I am amused by Dawkins’ conception of God in the OT. Yeah, that God guy… such a bully… imposing things on people like he’s something special. Dawkins uses a lot of “unpleasant” descriptions of God, but ultimately Dawkins main complaint seems to be that God is intolerant. He is evaluating God as if he and God have equal rights under the constitution or something. The logical mistake he makes in his analysis occurs when he assumes God and men are equal beings. They aren’t. God MADE men. If we make something, is it not our right to do with it what we will? If I made a man from legos and followed the logic of Dawkins’ argument, the man of legos would suddenly be my equal. It would be arrogant of me to impose anything on the poor lego man.

  7. aegisofreason permalink
    April 21, 2008 2:19 am

    Not really, Dawkins main complaint is not that God is intolerant, his complaint is that he doesnt even exist.

  8. Daren permalink*
    April 21, 2008 8:48 am

    It’s nice to know that we Westerners don’t need to wait for confirmation in order to teach something as irrefutable fact. We don’t need to employ ALL the principles of the Scientific Method in order to take the “evolution ball” and run with it. So we can ignore the little items of observability and repeatability.

    No, we have something even better –– agreement on key assumptions! We have lots of people who agree. And we all know that when lots of people agree, it can’t be wrong. Voila! Just ask European Jews in the late ’30s! Ask the Salem “witches.” Or even the Enron investors! They were all more than willing to adopt popular assumptions! So what’s the problem?

  9. billhastings permalink
    April 21, 2008 10:53 am

    He may think God doesn’t exist, but his main point of that paragraph was to show the character of God as unpleasant due to his intolerance. There was nothing in that paragraph about the truth or falsehood of God’s existence.

  10. Todd permalink*
    April 21, 2008 11:39 am

    Hi Bill,
    BTW, thanks for whooping me in chess.

    I think ageofreason is correct. Dawkins main complaint is that God doesn’t exist. He opens the paragraph above by stating “The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction:” The key word being fiction.

    What I thought was interesting in the documentary is that when Ben Stein interviews Richard Dawkins, Stein asks Dawkins about where the original molecules that formed life came from. Dawkins says that a possibility is intelligent design – that an intelligent being seeded the earth – but it is impossible that the designer is God.

  11. billhastings permalink
    April 22, 2008 12:22 pm

    Ok, maybe his point is that God doesn’t exist, and his description of God is used to support this claim. Still, all of his descriptions have to do with God’s intolerance, and my point still stands.

    The idea of intelligent beings seeding the Earth is only dodging the issue. The problem just shifts to the intelligent beings.

  12. billhastings permalink
    April 22, 2008 12:25 pm

    That’s why atheists cant use any kind of intelligent design theory. Eventually it comes down to God or random, sudden existence without any explanation.

  13. Daren permalink*
    April 26, 2008 9:55 am

    I’m sure glad I don’t need materialistic proof of everything in order to believe it. For some things, sure… but there is a lot more to life than matter. Emotions are more than chemistry. Relationships are more than just avoiding pain or gaining pleasure.

    Man, what kind of outlook do those people have? Very bleak. Totally self-absorbed. And apparently, I had better not trust them. Their “survival of the fittest” mindset may be used against me.

  14. Daren permalink*
    April 26, 2008 10:10 am

    Okay, I think I agree with Bill’s point about Dawkins. Yes, Dawkins says he does not believe God exists. God deniers like him often base their “proclaimed” disbelief on a profound disappointment with God. You can often feel it in their attitude. They reason that if there was a God, how could he allow famine, disease, murder, torture, etc. Since God has not intervened, he just can’t be real. Because “if I was God, I sure would do things differently…” They are dissing God by denying him, sassing him, taunting him.

    I suspect that most atheists are not really unbelievers. More likely, they are angry at God, and are punishing him for allowing man to fall. They don’t want to acknowledge that man has brought all this about by his own choices. That makes us accountable.

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