Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed. -- Review

I finally saw it, at the invitation of a Creationist friend of mine and She was heartily disappointed in the movie. I am still writing up what I felt was wrong with it, but her words were surprising, so I put them here for anyone who is interested. Actually I put them first on Topix and decided to add them here.

First of all, she was disappointed because at no time did the movie define what was Intelligent Design and the supposed science behind it. She firmly believed that if they had, then no one could deny the movie a viable cry in the wilderness of fighting against the scientific community. So she was disappointed there.

Even she had serious issues with the connection between eugenics and evolution. In her words "That's the stupidest thing I have ever seen . . . I don't agree with evolution, but that's just plain wrong! . . . What were they thinking?"

The scene of Ben Stein running all over Seattle in his cheap suit and ugly sneakers was ridiculous. And portraying the Discover Institute as a hole in the wall office was just marketing to build up the appearance of being some sort of underdogs. Apparently my friend has been to the DI in Seattle and their facilities are remarkably modern, large, and plush!

She was also very disappointed in the scene of Stein lecturing what was supposed to be a group of students. She learned just after the movie -- not from me, but an article in a paper -- that the students were extras as opposed to real students -- she was pretty disgusted.

Her final words to me were an apology for putting me through that. I don't blame her, I blame Ben Stein. As you might guess I was looking to be pretty well bored, but I have to say I did laugh a lot, much to the displeasure of others in the audience. Anyone who swallows Ben Stein's 'mockumentary' really needs their heads examined.

I agreed with her on all points, plus a couple of my own: What the hell is "Big Science"? I think Ben Stein swiped the "Big" moniker from the "Big Business" of the 80's political debates and "Big Oil" of the 90's. There is no Big Science" and his approach at explaining it was ham-fisted and utterly hilarious. The Scientific Community would certainly have trouble pointing to themselves, or any subset of themselves as some super shadow organization keeping scientific ideas hidden from view.

The examples of the supposed people persecuted have all be addressed here and in others places. In my opinion Ben Stein lied! He didn't get the Sternberg, Gonzales, Crocker, or Marks stories straight and just presented them in the way he wished they had happened. My God, since when did "Academic Freedom" mean that you could do anything you like in the classroom and not be held accountable? The movie was certainly slanted in the extreme and anyone who says Sternberg, Gonzales, Marks, or Crocker are victims should get their facts together.

Even though the movie did its best to present Dawkins and Meyers is the worst possible way, I think they still came across more believable than the others -- but everything including the lighting and the way they were edited left much to be desired.

I have many more issues, but I am still writing them up. I have to look up a Darwin quote they used, I think they blew it big time, but I might need to see it again, I don't take shorthand and didn't get the whole quote -- as they said it. All in all, I think my friend, while she isn't moving toward any support for the theory of evolution, she is certainly heading away from Intelligent Design! She plans on informing her Church Group about the screening and asked for my finished notes of my comments when I get done. An afternoon well spent!

1 comment:

  1. Nice review but this is the part of the ID argument that I find particularly disingenuous and it revolves around Ben Stein.

    "It’s also true that the theory (evolution) lends itself to justify atheism, abortion, euthanasia, and eugenics” –as Stein points out. Here is another quote from Mr. Stein, “Love of God and compassion and empathy leads you to a very glorious place, and science leads you to killing people.

    Basically, Expelled or should I say Ben Stein, tarnishes all Darwinists and evolutionists as maniacal murderers responsible for the worst atrocities of man. Linking Hitler and Darwinism is basically a specious argument, after all how many Christian Germans prayed to God that Hitler would triumph? Should we equate Christianity with the Nazis too? That's stupid and simplistic, right? Or do we just ignore the previous two thousand years of anti-Semitism in Europe and assume it had it had no impact on the holocaust or do we blame all Christians for the camps? Again, that's a simplistic answer.

    To quote the Anti-Defamation League: “The film Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed misappropriates the Holocaust and its imagery as a part of its political effort to discredit the scientific community which rejects so-called intelligent design theory. Hitler did not need Darwin to devise his heinous plan to exterminate the Jewish people and Darwin and evolutionary theory cannot explain Hitler's genocidal madness. Using the Holocaust in order to tarnish those who promote the theory of evolution is outrageous and trivializes the complex factors that led to the mass extermination of European Jewry.”

    Erik John Bertel
    Author of Flores Girl: The Children God Forgot and the MillenniumWriting.com Blog