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Based upon the Gold-Medallion award-winning best-seller, The Case for Christ documents Lee Strobel's journey from atheism to faith through his two-year investigation of the Bible and the ... See full summary »
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Academic freedom is being suppressed, says Ben Stein. He contends that professors from around the United States are being fired from their jobs for promoting, or even exploring the possibility of, intelligent design as an alternative to Darwinism. Stein interviews the expelled academics and other supporters of intelligent design. He also interviews the scientists in the mainstream, who support Darwinism. Stein links Darwinism to Nazism, Communism, eugenics and abortion. Vintage clips of educational films and Hollywood movies are used to illustrate points in a satirical way. Written by
The movie has a complicated production history. It was originally pitched to Ben Stein as "Expelled", a documentary about "Darwinism and why it has such a lock on the academic establishment when the theory has so many holes" (in Stein's words). Scientific interviewees claimed, after the fact and without evidence, that the film was pitched to them as a Rampant Films production entitled "Crossroads", about how "the conflict between science and religion has unleashed passions in school board meetings, courtrooms, and town halls across America and beyond". When the movie began to be publicly promoted, it was back to the title "Expelled", was produced by Premise Media, and describes how "under a new anti-religious dogmatism, scientists and educators are not allowed to even think thoughts that involve an intelligent creator". The evolutionary biologists depicted in the movie have objected to the misrepresentation of the movie, and to the inter-cutting of their interviews with footage of Hitler and Nazi stormtroopers. In response, the producers have labeled these scientists "hypocrites". See more »
When entering a building, a plastic/glass divider (clearly motion activated) opened for Stein, but then also spontaneously opened again for the camera man. See more »
Before you can ask is Darwinian Theory correct or not, you have to ask the preliminary question, is it clear enough so that it could be correct. That's a very different question. One of my prevailing doctrines about Darwinian Theory is: man that thing is just a mess. It's like looking into a room full of smoke. Nothing in the theory is precisely, clearly, carefully defined and delineated. It lacks all of the rigor one expects from Mathematical Physics. And Mathematical Physics lacks all of the ...
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If I.D. proponents were hoping to look smart by making this movie, boy are they crazy!
It's common knowledge that actor and game show host Ben Stein was a speechwriter for President Richard Nixon, but does anyone know if he was a good speechwriter? Judging from his new documentary, Expelled, which argues that the discussion of intelligent design is barred from academia, Stein couldn't hold an argument with a mute clown. The film jumps all over the place with its ideas, setting up and knocking down the most obvious of strawmen and making leaps of logic, making him about as coherent as a schizophrenic homeless man. And, man, is he obnoxious about it. Imagine Michael Moore with a megaphone, pressed against your ear. Stein questions his allies with faux disbelief, and his foes with raging cynicism. The film begins with a montage of professors, academics and journalists who claim to have been fired for their belief in intelligent design. What evidence does Stein have? Their word, and that's all he needs to believe them. To make it look more official in the film, there have been documents typed up giving reasons, but these are pretty clearly unofficial documents, not the actual pink slips, and we're only shown selected, highlighted words from them anyway, so there's no way to judge for ourselves. The I.D. proponents claim vehemently that their purpose is not to insert religion into scientific discussions, but Stein harps on the atheism of his enemies, and even goes so far as to point out the word "Creator" in the preamble of the Constitution. In other segments, Stein interviews evolutionary biologists, asks them leading questions and gives each of them a total of about 20 seconds of screen time to answer while Stein sits there widening his eyes at them in fake disbelief. Not once does he bring together an I.D. supporter and an accredited scientist and have them discuss the subject at any length. The only scientist who gets any more than a moment of screen time is the infamous Richard Dawkins. Yeah, we all know he is kind of a jerk. Purportedly the filmmakers had to cut his interview to pieces to make him look worse, or so Dawkins claims. You have to believe him, considering how much the rest of the film cheats. To add insult to injury, Stein comes to the conclusion that Charles Darwin and those who uphold his theories are the reason the Holocaust happened. He's quite far off by this point, if you couldn't tell. His original premise is that I.D. proponents had been expelled from academia. That may be true. If he had asked one of the evolutionary scientists why that was and let him answer without interrupting, they would have basically concluded that I.D. is not worth discussing because it does not provide an argument. Expelled itself provides no real argument, either, and should definitely be expelled from the ranks of cinema. There is no competition for the worst movie of 2008.
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