Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed (2008) Poster

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alexmreid5 May 2009
Among this films multitude of sins you can count quote mining (contorting information from even Darwin himself), the blatant misrepresentation of it's supposed subject matter, evolution (which has nothing to say about the origin of life), and the offensive suggestion that being an atheist denotes a lack of morality to the extent that we all harbour genocidal tendencies.

Amazingly, the film doesn't even bother to define what the terms 'Intelligent Design' (read: 'God Did It') or 'Darwinism' mean, most likely to deliberately muddy the waters and reframe the discussion as one of free speech rather than evidence vs. magic. In terms of propaganda, this was probably a shrewd move on the part of the filmmakers because if they did actually shed any factual light on the precepts of ID it would disintegrate like a vampire. To set the record straight the term 'Darwinist' is redundant. There is only the theory of evolution. It is not a cult of personality but rather a hard-studied scientific construct supported by the work of thousands of scientists over hundreds of years. Furthermore, it is a bit rich to make an emotive plea for free speech in terms of a 'level playing field' considering that religion has a less than stellar history in such matters. In science if you can't back up what you have to say with evidence then it is of no use to the system. This uselessness is unintentionally (and ironically) embodied in Expelled as it is thick on rhetoric and wafer thin in terms of actual substance.

Plagued by dishonesty and misinformation throughout this film lacks the very moral values of transparency and fairness it claims to promote (for examples check out the trivia on IMDb.com). As well as being hypocritical it is also kind of cowardly. If you are going to make a documentary on this stuff at least have the integrity to say what you actually believe in instead of obfuscating the issues at hand and, frankly, lying. People deserve better which is precisely why rationalists balk at the idea of letting these folks loose in the science classroom. Overall, having set the bar so low, I would say that Expelled deserves to be looked back on by future generations and ridiculed and puzzled over in equal measure. 'Did people really think like that?' I am afraid so.
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Do The People Who Believe in Intelligent Design Really Think That It's Right to Slander and Lie?!
tonymurphylee1 May 2008
I am still waiting for a documentary that explains Intelligent Design in a way that makes sense and uses logic rather than incredible leaps in fantasy. The thing is, I don't think that it is possible to explain Intelligent Design in a way that is logical and makes sense. I have read literally thousands of different theories, essays, letters, and papers all explaining all kinds of different theories behind Intelligent Design and none of them have made a lick of sense. Now, for those of you who don't know what the theory of Intelligent Design is, it is the possibility that the reason why we are here is because God had crafted and allowed his world to morph and form into the world we have today. Darwin's theory of Evolution, on the other hand, is the possibility that humans are decedents of other forms of evolved forms of living beings based on millions of years of research based on bone formation, Pre-evolutionary concepts, and fossils. I was raised a strict Christian. When I was younger, I read the bible daily. I would pray every morning, night, and afternoon, I taped passages from the Bible to my notebooks in school, and I was always told about the great things that Jesus did and said. I always dressed in a suit and I always recited the bible and lived by the life lessons that I read about. Whenever life got really rough, I stuck by my faith and stuck through all the complications knowing that Jesus would have done the same in his infinite patience and understanding of human behavior. I could argue that I've read the bible more than any religious person I know. It wasn't until I took the time to learn things from a separate perspective that I learned of the Intelligent Design theory. Upon reading this, I slowly came to realize that my ideas about how the earth was created and how the humans came to be were completely nonsensical. I desperately searched for some way around the Intelligent Design theory and only grew more confused. I began to have religious friends who told me that everything in the bible about what Jesus's feelings about poor people and gay people was wrong and that they were all sinners. I slowly came to realize that they couldn't be sinners as they were just being themselves. I met so many religious people with varied opinions and ideas about the bible. Maybe it's because I wasn't a child who was sheltered by his parents, was constantly lied to about the bible, and had to go through home school, but I lost my faith and became an Atheist. Anyway, I've been trying to find something about Intelligent Design that is scientifically feasible. I was hoping that EXPELLED: NO INTELLIGENCE ALLOWED would spell it all out for me, but instead, it deeply offended me. Instead of explaining to me anything honest about Intelligent Design, it misquotes, misinterprets, and straight out lies about the Darwinist theory. It uses the Darwinist theory as the theory that has led to Abortion, Atheism, Murder, the Holocaust and the Nazis, and fascism. These are all things that could be proved wrong by anybody who paid any attention in History class, knows anything about religion, and uses common sense. So, as a result of it's lies, misquotations, and misinterpretations, it becomes straight out propaganda. Propaganda is something that I am highly against and something that I feel has done nothing but poisoned the human race that is capable of so much. To me, propaganda is as low as a person can go in film-making. So, not only do I not recommend this film to anybody who believes in the theory of evolution, but I also don't recommend it to the respectable people who believe only in Intelligent Design, for it is dishonest, cheap, and repulsive. It is a disgrace to call this a documentary. It is a disgrace to call this film-making. I do not blame narrator Ben Stein, director Nathan Frankowski, or renowned Atheist Richard Dawkins. I blame the people who make up such nonsense and misappropriates all of the men, women, and children who have died as a result of religious dictatorship. As of now, this is the worst film I have ever seen.


-the film has a sense of humor

-some interesting interview footage with scientists


-This film commits a number of documentary film making sins! This film is a perfect example of how not to do a documentary. Student filmmakers take notes

-most of it's claims based of scientists and Darwin being religious are irrelevant considering what the film is about

-the film is dishonest and misleading in that it uses Hitler and the Holocaust to slander the people who believe in the theory of evolution

-the filmmakers use music by John Lennon and The Killers among others out of context and in a non justifiable way -the attempt to connect religious theory vs evolutionary theory with politics is not only inappropriate but also poorly conceived as well.

-there is no rhythm, strategy, or effort put into the research displayed here. Anybody with a computer, the internet, and a keypad can find out why the filmmakers are lying

-the film is, at the end of the day, propaganda, and anybody with any sense of actual human morality and sympathy are going to not like this film very much
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Deceitful "documentary"
jaggedyer7 August 2009
I don't know if this movie could even be considered a legitimate documentary. The movie is filmed with interjected scenes of Nazi war camps while the interviews are taking place. Apparently Ben Stein blames the holocaust on science and uses this to support his view against evolution. The entire "documentary" is misleading, he rarely shows any subtext of who he is talking to or make mention of any of their accreditation. Ignoring this, Ben never actually makes any real scientific points at all during the entire film. He never even stumps or even makes it appear that he has stumped a scientists anywhere in this film.

Apparently, Mr. Stein's entire objective of this film is to convey no real science (not there there is any in ID to begin with) but rather to preach out about free speech and how we should "teach the controversy". However, there is no real controversy, the "controversy" was already sorted out decades ago. I guess this means we should teach alchemy AFTER the discovery of chemistry because some backwards, ignorant, bronze age people from a time capsule still think alchemy is viable science.

Creationism's explanation for the unexplained is that of supernatural. However, by definition supernatural is unknown. So what the film is really saying is: we cannot explain X with current knowledge, therefore, X = supernatural = unknown (why is there a middle term there?). Just because theory A may not explain X does not mean that theory B automatically explains X.

Disregarding everything that I have mentioned above, the movie is still directed poorly, uses cheesy clips and doesn't flow well.

It is a terrible and misleading movie.
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A Global Conspiracy?
egelman25 April 2008
For those who have found positive things to say about this film, I would ask you how the greatest conspiracy in human history might have been perpetrated. Virtually every major scientific society in the world has come out with the strongest support for evolution, a theory that has more factual underpinnings than the atomic theory of matter or quantum mechanics. The conspiracy to silence the dissent against evolution must include most people working in geology, biochemistry, paleontology, ecology, molecular genetics, etc., all fields where overwhelming amounts of evidence provide the basis for our understanding of how life on earth diverged from a common origin. When I am told that "leading" scientists have questioned evolution, it reminds me of the National Enquirer headline that stated that a space scientist had an encounter with aliens. Reading the article made it clear that this person was a draftsman at some NASA facility. Let us be clear that there is no scientific debate about whether evolution took place (that debate was finished more than 100 years ago), rather, it is religious fundamentalism that refuses to accept that humans evolved from other life forms (yet most Americans do not accept this fact). Ben Stein's agenda appears to be to drive America back to some fundamentalist time, while the rest of the world advances.
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There is only one issue.
Neil-9009 August 2009
Intelligent Design has no evidence to support it (everything they claim has been refuted, look for yourself) and states that life has a supernatural origin. This is creationism not science. Once you realise that then everything else in the film is irrelevant. Worse than that it's so utterly biased.

Arguments for evolution and the events surrounding these arguments are mentioned then dismissed with a single comment and a pointless piece of archive footage. This footage has nothing to do with the point in question and is only there to try and ridicule opposing views.

I have followed much of the ID story for years and so much is brushed aside in this film (I refuse to call it a documentary), so much is deliberately taken out of context that this travesty can only be described as blatant propaganda.

The worst thing in this film is the way they try and blame Darwin for the holocaust, this is like trying to blame the person who discovered fire for the witch burning during the inquisition.

I do recommend that you watch this film as it gives a good insight into the methods and motivations of the ID proponents and exposes them as nothing more than sick twisted liars.
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Falsehoods and lies abound
waltonan25 April 2008
Warning: Spoilers
About the only thing I can say about this movie is it's pure unadulterated crap.

The movie claims itself to be a documentary about big science ignoring valid inquiry into scientific area while banishing dissenters from its ranks. All centering around the "controversy" over Evolution and Natural Selection vs. Intelligent Design (ID). In reality it is a massive piece of propaganda designed, presumably, to stir ID supporters into action.

Strangely, whilst this movie is supposed to be about Evolution vs. ID, neither term is ever actually defined. Though I suppose that their target audience would already know what these two things mean, for the purposes of the film it would probably be useful to take 60 seconds to define each.

To compound the matter, while the argument is for the incompleteness of scientific evidence toward evolution, all signs point to the makers of the film not even bothering to find out what incompleteness exists. For example, one of the film's producers recently gave an interview with Detroit weekly, during which he made absolutely false claims about what science doesn't know, on top of not understanding how science was done. When confronted by the interviewer that he was wrong and given scientific literature he was quick to point out that he wasn't a scientist. The implication being that he can't be held responsible to know even the basics of evolution before making a "documentary" about why it's wrong. This, I feel, exemplifies the glaring incompetence of the people behind the scenes.

Cases are also presented of people who were fired or dismissed from their positions for "questioning the validity of Darwinism(Evolution)". Investigation of these cases reveals their characterization of the events to be false.

Furthermore they imply that Natural Selection leads to atheism leads to Nazism leads to genocide/holocaust by using Lord Privy Seal jumps to stock footage of concentration camps. As if the hundreds of years of antisemitism including systematic killings predating even the birth of Darwin didn't happen.

Much imagery and context is also used to suggest that ID is the religious (read:Christian) view while only atheists believe in Evolution. There are many many God (whichever God you'd like) fearing individuals who think that evolution is our best explanation going, including prominent evolutionary biologist Ken Miller (See:Finding Darwin's God). When asked why they didn't include anyone like Ken Miller, one producer said they didn't want to confuse the issue. Interesting how these people who present themselves as such good and devout people are so skilled at deception and lies, something that I believe is a major sin under the big 10.

Save your time and your money, this film is worth neither the price of admission nor the time lost watching.
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Dramatic fiction
grifr-126 April 2008
This movie is interesting in that it's done very dramatically and is able to raise strong emotions. Good merits end there.

Bad merits of this piece of fiction comes from posing as a document. This "intelligent design" is not taught simply because it's not science in any sense of the word, and the makers seem to know it well. They had to come up with desperate conspiracies of some big science (first time I've heard such a term) and accusations of destroying freedom of speech in order to make it effective to the regular religious American viewer. If their "studies" don't get through scientific peer-reviewing and are not published in Nature, it's not because "big science" suppresses "freedom of speech", it's because their "studies" spell out FAIL! in huge orange letters that are self-illuminating All they ever do in the movie is make the theory of evolution look like root of all the evils ever done. It's pure fiction, dressed in a fancy whore-costume and sold as a documentary.

I don't recommend this movie to anyone, but if you absolutely must see it, then keep in mind that it's pure fiction with no roots in reality what so ever.
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Lying For God
mercuryix200317 September 2009
POSSIBLE SPOILERS: This film for me sums up the mentality of people like Ben Stein and the Christian Right: The Ends Justify The Means. Which is ironic, considering they have the nerve to show evolutionists intercut with Nazi death camps! Dishonesty, half-hidden false accusations, unfair comparisons, it's all fair game to the Christian filmmakers.

If there is someone who is more grating or unctuous in his insincere sincerity than Ben Stein, I don't know who it is. The only way I could watch this movie is to watch it as a comedy. Otherwise, if you are given to occasional rational thought, it will make your head explode. It expects you to take faith-based attacks against rationality as rational thinking. Its cartoon of how a cell works reveals more about the mentality of the filmmakers than I think they are aware.

The funniest thing about this film is its rating, which presently is 3.8. I went to the "loved it" section to see who rated it highly. Not surprisingly, it was given ten stars by a number of people whose reviews were suspiciously similar. Hmm... They wouldn't be doing something dishonest to help the cause of religion (I mean, Intelligent Design), would they? Without all of these attempts to jack up the rating for this film, it might actually reach the number 1 bottom position, beating out Battlefield Earth, Santa With Muscles, and Manos: The Hands of Fate.

They didn't help the cause of religion (at least as a positive force), and they certainly didn't help the cause of any benevolent God, with this "documentary".
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Ben Stien Vs. Reality
loganx-228 April 2009
"Religulous" was a documentary about the ridiculous aspects of religion. Within the first five minutes we learn that Maher is an atheist, a comedian, and a bit of a prick. In Stein and Frankowski's "Expelled", we begin with black and white montage of The Berlin Wall, armed soldiers and huddled masses, this goes on over the credits for about 5 minutes, while a string version of "All Along The Watchtowers" plays. Then we see Stein behind the stage, an eager roaring crowd waiting for him, as he walks from his dressing room like a heavy weight boxer, and emerges into flashing lights with a greeting of "What up, Gangstas?" So from the word go, we know Stein is going for seriousness, drama, and a tiny bit of levity(not comedy, and certainly not satire as the plot synopsis suggests). We learn nothing about Steins personal views, other than that he is an impartial curious party, interested in defending free speech, wherever he finds it. Maher(who appears in a brief clip here), and Stein both use editing to their advantage, in order to smear, their subjects, but no matter how rude or impish Maher was he's never really dishonest, Stein and co edit quotations of Charles Darwin and Margaret Sanger, to make them into Eugenicists bigots, who all but built the blue prints to Nazi Death camps. Sanger, was a eugenicists but her politics began and ended with giving women birth control and allowing them to make their own decisions. Darwins quote says yes eugenics makes sense, you wouldn't breed inferior animals, etc, but Stein cuts off the next sentence which says, something to the effect that to ignore the weak and helpless, would be to ignore the noblest human virtues, and would be an invitation to great evils.

Richard Dawkins becomes the Darth Vader of the film, mocked in a cartoon, referred to as a reptile, the architect of division, and the climatic end interview pushes past dishonesty to discontinuity. When Stein asks Dawkins if there is any way that Intelligent Design would be possible, Dawkins responds, that if some advanced civilization seeded earth millions of years ago, maybe there could be some molecular signature, but even those advanced creatures would themselves have had to evolve. There the frame freezes, and Stein says "Woah, waoh, waoh, Richard Dawkins believes in Intelligent Design?" This explanation is also called Pansperima which is laughed at earlier in the film as "Darwinists believe in aliens???" There are no interviews with scientists who believe in evolution and religion, according to the film, even if they were to interview them it would be pointless, because they would only just be saying that to save their jobs.

The films charges include, that Darwinism leads to atheism, which leads to moral erosion, which leads to Nazism. The most emotionally manipulative sequence is a tour through a Nazi camp where the handicapped were executed. Darwin also leads to Planned Parenthood and abortion, makes life meaningless, and encourages suicide! While ID, can allow us to discover the existence of God...which will give us the opposite of all that. Societies who worship Gods, will limit themselves in what they will do to other peoples, is another claim. ID is not religious though, and has nothing to do with Creatonism or God. As many of it's proponents say, bringing religion into it is a Darwinist smear campaign to make them seem like fanatics.

There's a Nova documentary called "Intelligent Design On Trial" about the Dover school board case vs. the discovery institute, who was supplying ID books to their schools, school board lawyers won the case when they found early versions of the text books, which had a Freudian slip, and used the word "creationism", where they meant ID...

Very little time is devoted to exploring the cases of any of the scientists fired for their ID convictions. And even less time is given to explaining what advances ID has given science or could lead to. The film focuses mostly on negative proof, the horrors of Darwinism and atheism. And how time and time again, ID proponents are dismissed from their positions, for their controversial views.

I'm prepared to believe that scientists are just as biased as everyone else, if James Watson's comments last year taught us anything it's as much. Maybe Darwin is like Newtonian Physics and one day will discover an Evolutionary equivalent of Einstiens Relativity, but Steins pretentious examination, of an interesting subject, just makes a paranoid, conspiracy ridden mess of things. Its not even remotely funny, and at times downright dishonest. But it is thought provoking in a number ways, like is a movie bad, just because it's wrong? The music and editing was well done. The cartoon where Dawkins, is at the slot machine of life, trying to get all the necessary proteins to create a primordial soup, made me smile a bit. But if you look into any of this films many claims(a 5 to 10 minute goggle search should do it), it falls apart.
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If I.D. proponents were hoping to look smart by making this movie, boy are they crazy!
zetes23 November 2008
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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Better than I thought it would be - raises valid issues
fx_man19 April 2008
Warning: Spoilers
The vitriol in many of the negative reviews and the dogged defense of the "mislead scientists" is more indicative of the reviewers own biases than what is actually presented in the film.

I was dragged to this one by friends, to be honest. I had read about the film even before it was released and how it was "creationist propaganda", and how P. Z. Myers was not allowed in to a screening but Dawkins got in, etc. So I already had a negative bias going in. However, by the end I have flipped around quite a bit.

Stein is more interested in dissecting whether there really is stonewalling in academia, and more importantly, whether important issues regarding science, philosophy and metaphysics are being conflated and misrepresented to the public.

ID as a "scientific theory" might not be meaningful or even valid, but it becomes clear from the film that the issues to which ID is directed are not necessarily the "how" of biological processes but the "why". Of course many will recognise that science is not meant to tackle "why", science concerns itself with the "how". So where's the problem, then? Well, that is precisely where the problem is, as it becomes clear from the film. Dawkins and many like him have set up a straw man, claiming an explanatory scope for one particular interpretation of Darwin's theory of evolution far beyond its capacity to explain. In other words, they stretch science beyond the "how" to the "why", by hypothesising about life origins even though Darwin himself has not done so, save in some private letters, and Darwin's theory has never meant to encompass it. By doing this, Dawkins and many like him have created a false dichotomy, pitting science against religion, conflating science and metaphysics to the point of arguing metaphysics doesn't even have a place in the human quest for knowledge. Well, that is a strict philosophical position one can hold independent of empirical science. But it isn't any more valid than the metaphysical claims of ID.

The film wasn't deceptive or misrepresentative of any of the scientists, with the exception maybe of William Dembski, who was given a pass by Stein. Dembski has exhibited some of the same tendencies as Dawkins, on the opposite extreme. The documentary would have been stronger, had Stein asked Dembksi about some of Dembski's own statements regarding ID as the basis for a greater cultural movement, not really representing a scientific theory per se. Dembski is guilty of the same scope-stretching as Dawkins.

David Berlinski came across as the most incisive mind of the bunch, articulating issues for what they were. For example, he correctly pointed out how difficult it is to even talk about Darwinism since the concept of species itself is not well understood and continually redefined and refined. Reading the wikipedia entry on species and the species problem confirms this.

Finally, some have complained about the connection made between Darwin's theory and eugenics, and the connection to Hitler. For the record, connections have been made between Wagner's music and Hitler, and between Nietzsche's philosophy and Hitler. All this merely indicates that when arguing from the theory as a premise, one can easily end up devaluing human life. Thus, the main idea is that science cannot remain neutral in the sense that ideas it raises will have consequences. Berlinski, again, rightly points out that Darwinism was not a sufficient condition for the development of Hitler's "ultimate solution" and modern racism, but it was a necessary condition. If one thinks about it, it does provide a "scientific" basis for an already existing latent racism, giving it impetus and elevating it to what some consider justifiable actions.

The same connection has been made between religion and some horrible philosophies, and no one denies that the given dogmas of that religion might have been necessary for those philosophies.

So in the end, Expelled fulfills its mission in raising awareness of a very real problem today when it comes to discussing certain scientific and philosophical issues in academia and in the scientific establishment. I don't agree with the specifics of ID when it comes to biology, but as a general metaphysical world view, it has as much support in human history and evolution (yes, evolution) as atheism. And really, as it is clear from Dawkins' words, his real agenda is no less than to claim that atheism is the only intelligent choice. And apparently this should not be debated or arrived at by rational discourse,but by de-facto pronouncements and edicts, from Dawkins and those who think like him.

I don't think so. If anything, this film should encourage people to look into this for themselves and study what is at issue. In the marketplace of ideas truth eventually triumphs. History has taught us at least that. Why stonewall? I recommend this film to those with an open mind who enjoy a good debate now and then.
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The guys working with science has kept bad ideas out of the classroom...What they forgot is that every generation has its Retards!
fosterjv216 May 2009
Yes Ben Stine, there is a conspiracy against you. Normal people Like to call it REALITY! There is a reason why people don't take intelligent design seriously, and that's because it requires the existence of a variable that does not appear to be real. look, there is nothing to suggest that god even exists, other than some ancient documents. I don't mean to offend any one. whether you thing God made every thing or you think that it is just stupid it does not matter. It just isn't science. You can belief what ever you like. As long as you admit that it is just what you believe you don't have to defend it. but when you claim it to be a fact then you have to deal with peer review, a process of which many enter and few come out. There is a reason why intelligent design is not allowed in schools. it's because the theory was intellectually gutted decades ago.

Don't see this movie, it only encourages him. (by the way dose any body else think that it's ironic that he is preaching freedom but at the same time he attacks gay rights?)
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Ignores Science and Presents Lies as Truth
raynorgo5 December 2012
Warning: Spoilers
The Ninth Commandment certainly wasn't held in high esteem by the filmmakers (although they might argue that it only applies to witnesses held under oath in court). A thorough refutation would take several hundred pages and several years of biological education. As I specialised in business management and marketing in college, I will address the most egregious errors in the movie.

The lies and misrepresentations about what actually happened to the academics mentioned and interviewed in this "documentary" are already well-documented by Expelled Exposed, so I will not address them here. Suffice it to say that creationism isn't science and has no basis in academic journals until they can bring forth the evidence. So far, they have yet to do so.

The complexity of the cell - this is a red herring, and has nothing to do with evolution. It is more of an attack on abiogenesis (which we now know is possible). It certainly wasn't as simple as "lighting striking a mud puddle." The original cells that came into existence from self-replicating molecules and protobionts would have been much simpler than cells that comprise living beings that are the result of billions of years of evolution. Moving on.

"Science leads you to killing people." Get real, Ben Stein. Science is a process for learning about the world. It has produced innumerable benefits for humanity (and non-human animals as well). A short list would include:

  • Smallpox eradication - Measles vaccines - Annual influenza vaccines - DNA sequencing - Exponentially higher harvests worldwide - Contraception - Safe childbirth and elective abortions - Chemotherapy and radiotherapy (and soon, nanotherapy) cancer treatments - Computers - Calculators - Social networking - Skyscrapers - Antidepressants - Plastic - Cardboard - The Internet - Radio - Television

If Stein and his shills really believed in their nonsense, why don't they join the anti-vaccine movement? Is it because they see the consequences of dead children who were denied medical treatment from their parents? Vaccines need to evolve as diseases evolve.

As for his claim that "love of god and compassion leads you to a glorious place." He attempts to conflate Darwinian evolution with social Darwinism. "There would have been no Holocaust without Darwinism." A proper understanding of evolution would lead people to understand that mutual co-operation, rather than selfishness and genocide, leads people to a happier and more prosperous society. Stein doesn't know what he's talking about. He's far out of his depth on this issue.

Religion leads to scientific suppression, and does not have any methods or structures available for learning more about the universe. And before anyone trots out the nonsense about "the bible isn't meant to be a science book", why would the bible include "cures" for leprosy? Christians can't have it both ways.

Evolution has been observed in laboratory conditions. Fruit fly speciation and bacteria evolving to consume nylon prove this (see Michael Shermer's Why Darwin Matters). This is a propaganda piece filled with lies to promote the Creationist agenda. They won't be satisfied until Creationism has shoved evolution to the back of the bus, so to speak. And in a country like the US, where the majority of the population doesn't even understand evolution, this is sadly quite possible.
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I Keep Seeing Dumb People . And They Don't Realise They're Dumb
Theo Robertson24 July 2013
To paraphrase a passage from Professor Richard Dawkins book The Blind Watchmaker one day a primate woke up and discovered it was self aware . From that moment it started building things and because it was aware of the land , ocean and sky it came to the instant conclusion that these geographical features were also made by someone . On a similar note the oldest established religion in the world Hinduism believes in reincarnation almost certainly down to the fact that nature goes around in cycles such the seasons and the female menstrual cycle hence the believe that lives also go around in cycles . Think too of the forbidden foods in the Abrahamic religions such as pork and seafood . Eating such foods in a hot climate like the Middle East will cause you food poisoning . The ancient Hebrews would misinterpret this as God forbidding certain foodstuffs . You can see the logic and thinking behind these concepts and they do follow a recognisable logic open to interpretation and leads to a belief in creators and afterlives . However just because something is logical doesn't make it true and EXPELLED is not a documentary that concerns itself with truth

This documentary was written by Ben Stein and purports to be about scientists discriminated against by the evolution lobby at American universities . These poor people are critical free thinkers who put forward the suggestion of life on Earth and perhaps the universe itself down to intelligent design

" Whoa Theo . Lay off the big words . what's intelligent design ? "

It's a slightly refined type of creationism

" What's the difference between that and creationism ? " Creationists believe God created all life . Apologists for intelligent design would never use the word " God " have an almost identical train of thought that an intelligence of sort created life . It's like someone saying they're not a believer but they still have a surrogate new age belief along the lines of the Quakers or Bhuddhists

It turns out that if you do a quick internet search of these " intelligent design martyrs " then you'll find that there's much more to it than Stein's comments that they were victimised simply for not following the evolution crowd . Don't believe me ? Then look it up for yourself

Stein you see wants us all to believe that there's a massive conspiracy against anyone having a different opinion to the Darwinian crowd and he never misses a chance to compare it to the oppressive communist regimes of Eastern Europe . The irony of that is communist nations did away with genetics and replaced it with the pseudoscience of Lysenkoism because it was more in keeping with the Marxist doctrine of conditioning . That and the fact genetics was seen as being a reactionary concept used only by fascists

And this is where EXPELLED really scores an own goal . Despite painting scientists who believe in evolution as being on a par with Stalin he has to bring up the Nazis who were Darwinian dogmatists and that's why they murdered millions because they were replacing God with Darwin . Two facts you might want to consider here

1 ) Hitler never mentions the name Charles Darwin in Mein Kampf

2 ) Not one single Nazi leader was an atheist . All of them were brought either Catholic or Protestant . Christianity was not banned under the Nazi regime and was encouraged even though Nazi society did tend to mirror a sort of neo-Hindu paganism rather than the happy clappy vicar we are used to in 21st Century Europe . You might like to remember the Hitler oath taken by all military personnel in the Wehrmacht starts with " I swear by God this sacred oath that to the leader of the German empire ..... "

So you see there's a laughable irony to all this nonsense being put forward by Stein which does leave a nasty taste in the mouth . That said anyone with any intelligence can see through this tissue of lies and you come away with a feeling of both intellectual and moral superiority to Stein and his ID cohorts , so much so I could have given this 10/10 even though it deserves 1/10 so I'll compromise and give it 5/10
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Religion Disguised as Science
dehilster23 April 2008
The real problem is that ID is religion trying to disguise itself as science.

Creationism is circular and impossible to prove. The majority of Christians believe this and only a minority believe that religion and science do actually mix. They don't and should never.

Science cannot and will never prove religion. Religion is faith, science is facts that come from studying the universe.

Why are all the "proponents" of ID and this film all Christian? That is the obvious give-away.

Where are the atheist and Muslim and Buddhist supporters? They are not there since they believe science is one thing, religion is another and like this movie, ID is a trick to try and pretend religion can be proved by science and create some cause.

The ID people are good at "disguising" by using very well-thought out arguments that beg the main premise of trying to make religion provable by science.

-David de Hilster
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A procession of Holy Strawmen
wlwysxsbmskj23 April 2008
Warning: Spoilers
If you can't argue for your position on intellectual grounds, try politics. If you can't succeed with legitimate political argument, resort to ad hominem attacks. That's what the Intelligent Design (ID) movement has been reduced to, especially in Expelled. ID creationists have produced no credible argument against the theory of evolution.

Politically their fortunes have been devastated ever since the 2005 Dover, Pennsylvania court decision in which a George W. Bush-appointed Church-going judge found ID to be religious dogma that cannot legally be introduced in public school science classes. So now we are presented with a new line of attack: because natural selection was invoked by the Nazis in support of genocide (itself a dubious claim), the theory of evolution must be false.

What a towering heap of horse droppings this movie was. Urgh!
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Willfully Ignorant and intentionally deceptive
kergillian-121 April 2008
Expelled is Willfully Ignorant and intentionally deceptive. The subtitle "No Intelligence Allowed" is remarkably apt for this film. No intelligence was allowed was allowed in any way to disrupt the deceitful misrepresentation of evolution and the blatant Creationist propaganda that went into this film.

If Intelligent Design is ever to be taken seriously then ID scientists are going to need to start producing science, and not bad propaganda. After watching this film, I think what is really happening is that these "scientists" and "educators" are producing bad science, and crying when they are called on it. Crying isn't the solution, the solution is to check your ego at the door and follow the evidence. Produce some testing for your hypothesis and publish your results. But most importantly, always accept the possibility that you could be wrong. So far ID has proved to be bad science. Mocumentories like Expelled do little to change that fact.
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Flustered scientists cannot explain evolutionary beginnings
jamieann-rn21 April 2008
Warning: Spoilers
I was surprised to see Ben Stein hosting this film. Originally I had not heard of it and was not jumping the gun to see it, however, was glad that I did. I also thought the movie was going to be more along the lines of a debate between Creation Science and Evolutionary science, but rather, it turned out to be a debate between the politics of the issues, rather than facts.

I read through the vast majority of comments and noticed that many of the postings seem to be from angry evolutionists who are against any notion of intelligent design. The critics then go on to say that anyone who believes in ID is ignorant in science and just accepting religious banter for the sake of the masses. This claim seems to be ignorant and angry. I have done much research on the topic and I am disappointed in the evolution committee about the way "science" is approached and how the evidence is presented, or in this case, not-presented.

One fact that needs to be settled is the issue of the "creator" of ID. Not once in the movie did the scientists believing in ID claim that the Christian God of the Bible was the creator. Although possibly implied, it was never stated. But rather the statement that there had to be a design was stated. So upon this basis, obviously is states with theory.

The problem I have with the evolutionary science committee is this: by definition, evolution cannot be proved, has not be proved, cannot be replicated, and cannot be hypothesized, but merely theorized. I find it odd that so many scientist neglect the scientific method of study replication and evidential support in favor of theory. Such as the example of one scientists who explained that life began on the back of crystals. When asked how the crystal's came to be the scientist exclaimed, "I just told you", and that was it. The arguments are entirely circular in reasoning and provide no concrete evidence.

At the end of the movie, Richard Dawkins professes that there is the possibility of some ID (possibly aliens) that could have evolved highly and created what we know as humans...which leads toward the argument that even scientists believe in some form of ID, just not from a Christian creator.

This film seemed to portray the ridiculousness of the arguments presented by scientists in their efforts to quell any type of ID mentality, when they themselves are unable to prove the beginnings of the earth with science and which lends their evolution facts toward theory.

The movie poses good points. I had wished it would contain a more facts-based presentation, but nevertheless, it presents another side to the argument that mainstream evolutionists do not want people to see.
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"Expelled" Ben Stein should be ashamed!
Donato22 April 2008
I wish the people who slam Darwin would take some time to understand what Darwin is all about. Also, they should try reading the late Stephen Jay Gould, including his wonderful 1999 book, "Rocks of Ages: Science and Religion in the Fullness of Life." Yes, science and religion can co-exist, as he articulately writes. One does not have to believe the mythology of sacred texts, written when man was barely able to come to grips with life and thought, much less science and progress, to have a sense of spirituality and faith. Yet we humans need to believe we are special in the universe and that some Tennessee Williams-like Big Daddy gave us dominion over everything. Alas, if survival and reproduction, including gradual adaptations that lead to better survival rates, are the engine of all living organisms, then the virus with its incredible ability to adapt (evolve, if you will) and survive whatever we seem to throw at it, appears to trump our humble record on this planet. This film is going to make a few bucks from those who wish to feel justified in closing their mind to science and what Darwin is really about. That's okay. It's also easier than studying.
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Breathtakingly stupid and propagandistic
baserock_love20 September 2012
Warning: Spoilers
As a rational guy who flies on airplanes, owns a microwave, and is typing on a computer, I obviously have a deep respect and admiration for science and I have always found the pseudo"science" of creationism aka Intelligent Design to be really entertaining, simply because it is not science. It is religion.

When I heard that Ben Stein of all people made a documentary about creationism I was disappointed, I used to enjoy his show and I had a lot of respect for him. I decided to watch it to see what kind of a case he could possibly make for biblical creationism as a science.

What I got upon watching this was an astonishingly dishonest and propagandistic sham of a documentary. It starts with Ben Stein interviewing teachers who taught at SECULAR high schools and universities and were fired or had their tenure not renewed due to teaching or writing about biblical creationism, aka intelligent designed. Ben Stein paints a portrait of the stifling of science and paints these teachers who tried to sneak in Christian fables as science into their teaching as some sort of scientific martyrs. Conveniently not mentioning the blatant Christian creation myth basis for creationism/intelligent design.

Ben then dishonestly bumbles through a fake investigation pretending to be ignorant of what intelligent design is taking great pains to make sure his interviewee subjects all mention it has nothing to do with Christianity including a trip to the Center for Science and Culture which is the Christian organization spearheading the movement to get ID in public school science classes. He of course fails to mention the mounds of literature where the CFSC present themselves during fund raising as a wholly Christian organization and is of course entirely funded by various church and Christian organizations and of course fails to mention the damaging "Wedge Document" which is their blatantly Christian anti science manifesto which was leaked on the internet which cost the CFSC every shred of credibility it could have possibly had, which is zero.

What you won't hear in this documentary is any actual science, discussion of why 97% of evolutionary biologists have been brought by facts and evidence to the conclusion of Darwinian evolution, what the creationists evidence and science actually is that should bring them any sort of equal standing to actual science. No mention of scientific consensus or actual biology science is broached other then the absurd claims of a secret and hidden crisis in the world of biology where evolutionary biologists talk amongst themselves in secret about how the theory of evolution is increasingly making no sense as more evidence come in. There is of course no mention of the sciences of geology, genetics, cellular biology and genealogy which all corroborate every aspect of Darwinian theory.

Just when i thought it couldn't get any more laughable Ben drops so low as to speculate that belief in Darwinian theory did and will again lead to the ethnic cleansing of the Nazis. This fake documentary contains about every conservative trope imaginable from frequent talk of evolution, comparing the opposition to the Nazis and is peppered with footage of Ronald Reagan.

This is not a documentary, it is a piece of propaganda simply because the creator of it dishonestly presents it as a story of his journey to research something he clearly already was well informed about and then conveniently ignores every fact responsible for the situation the documentary is supposedly about which is the supposed stifling of "science". He also dishonestly downplays the entire motivation for the documentary and the side within it he blatantly takes.
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Flunked not Expelled
swoodapple-118 April 2008
Expelled is a lame attempt to pit science against religion. Evolution is one of the most developed and effective theories in the history of science. Evolutionary scientists haven't explained everything yet, but they are doing a lot better than proponents of intelligent design. If intelligent design wants to be respected, it has to work as science; so far, it has utterly failed in this regard.

Evolution is not going away. The Catholic church eventually accepted that the literal interpretation of the bible was wrong and the Earth does actually revolve around the Sun. Any religion that puts itself against science is doomed to failure. Evolution is an elegant and beautiful theory that explains some aspects of our origins. It goes against the literal interpretation of the Bible, but so does a lot of science. The Catholic Church realized that it was useless to fight science and has since found a way to coexist. The creationists have set themselves up for a loosing battle. Do you really want to go down with that leaky ship?
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Enjoyable, if you are willing to be objective.
Bweather19 April 2008
It would seem that the makers of this film had at least one premise of their film right, apparently this is not an issue someone is allowed to bring up for discussion. The only reason to give this movie the lowest rating possible would be a narrow-minded and intolerant pre-judgement of the film. Or a desire to keep anyone else from viewing the film. Certainly those people cannot be objective.

I personally found the film very enjoyable and much better than I expected after reading the reviews. I am a scientist (former chemistry teacher and current physician)so I think I am qualified to speak a little about the film. Yes it is pretty one sided, but I felt like it made its point in a funny and entertain-able way. I think it gave the scientists who spoke the freedom to say what they believe. If asked again, I doubt Richard Dawkins would contradict his statements in the film. One of the more awkward moments for Dawkins on film is when he insists on reading a quote from his own book, "The God Delusion".

I know from experience in the schools at all levels from grade school to medical school that there does seem to be a wall in this discussion that you are not allowed to breach. I have been there and seen the discussions take place. I challenge anyone else who has been involved in education and has a doctorate to tell me an example that shows otherwise.

You may not like the premise of this film. It is not a perfect film, but give it a chance. If you can be open minded, (most people can't)I think many people will enjoy the movie.
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Despite what some portray, this movie is NOT about "proving" ID or "disproving" evolution
shwilliams20 April 2008
Warning: Spoilers
First things first: the film itself. I it today and thought that it was pretty good for a documentary. It could have been done better, but all in all it was well put together and entertaining.

Now about the visceral overreaction to the film: I seriously question how many of the people giving it 1-star ratings have actually seen it. It seems to me that it's very likely people read a synopsis or a review and launched into action to demonize the film. I conclude this because many of the 1-star posts are just anti-creationist rants, or comment on things that weren't even in the film, or obvious misrepresentations of the film, such as:

* "This film attempts to blame Hitler's evil on the development of one of the most brilliant scientific discoveries in the past several centuries." - This is something I've seen in several posts and it's just plain false... the film even went so far as to explicitly state that there's no suggestion that the theory of evolution led to Hitler's evil or the Holocaust. They said that it paved the way for to the notion of eugenics, which was the philosophical foundation for the holocaust.

* Numerous references to interspersed stock footage of Nazis. Anyone with a fair grasp of history (and who has actually seen the film) knows that the stock footage was from Communist Eastern Europe and its entire point was to portray the erection of the Berlin Wall

* "The movie never makes a decent case for showing evolution as false" * "and contains not a single original argument for Intelligent Design" The film didn't contain ANY arguments for ID or AGAINST evolution... it wasn't even positioned as an argument in favor of ID. The whole discussion was about the absolute anathema that discussion of ID is in the scientific community.

If this is true, and there are a fair number of people rating the film as a 1 having never seen it (which seems likely... read the posts), then this only serves to prove Ben Stein's case: there is an institutional, and emotional stonewalling of any discussion of ID. An attempt to sink a film with horrid ratings just because you don't like the subject points to an unbelievably visceral zealotry.

By all means, watch the film with skepticism and a grain of salt... but be far more skeptical of the lopsided ratings given to this film.
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Silly me for thinking this might actually be good...
jonchristopher21 April 2008
Since reviews of this film are pretty much split right down the political divide, I suppose I should stress that I'm neither a Christian nor an atheist (although you might call me a curious agnostic who usually votes Republican), and have no emotional stake in ID or evolution. I WANTED this film to be interesting, enlightening and thought provoking. Sadly, it wasn't. I hoped that there would be intelligent arguments presented from both sides. There weren't ANY from either side. People keep mentioning that the main point of the film is a defense of academic freedom, not to prove ID or disprove Darwinism. But its 'defense' of academic freedom was every bit as contemptuous towards evolutionary science as is the behavior of the current scientific community towards ID. Are we really to believe that if the roles were flipped and intelligent design were the predominant ideology taught in classrooms, that ID supporters would allow Darwinists equal time? Just look at the reactions given by the comments being posted on this forum by people who, miraculously, found this film to be praiseworthy. ID supporters, like all ideologues, want equal time only until they achieve power. Perhaps evolutionists are the same way, though one of the examples of 'discrimination' given in this film has already been proved false. A waste of a fascinating topic, a waste of time, a waste of money. If this kind of film making is the fruit of Michael Moore's legacy, then he and Stein both should be shot for crimes against cinema.
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Filed under the wrong section,
gardengxc19 April 2012
The film belongs under fiction heading 100%. From the beginning Stine can't help but mislead the audience, twisting the facts if not outright making stuff up about the cases presented. Arguing that the right to lie to kids is academic freedom. Building a case that there is a conspiracy to silence critics (creationist) by deceptively editing interviews and filming under false pretenses. Claiming that Nazism and Darwin have a connection. Besides the fact the films scholarship is worse then the children it was made to fool, the film is boring. In the end the film is a propaganda piece for creationism (Intelligent Design) based around the watchmakers argument (irreducible complexity). "The complex inner workings of a watch necessitate an intelligent designer. As with a watch, the complexity of X (a particular organ or organism, the structure of the solar system, life, the universe, everything) necessitates a designer." If you are willingly going to watch this movie, then you probably have an idea what it is. Else avoid it. It is not worth sitting true for any reason. The claims in it aren't new and you can read most of it in books 100 years old or all in ones 30 years old.
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