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PostPosted: 21 Apr 2008, 10:57 
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No "Intelligence" evident in Stein documentary

Sun Apr 20, 2008 9:15pm EDT
By Frank Scheck

NEW YORK (Hollywood Reporter) - Managing to make the films of Michael Moore and Morgan Spurlock look like dry, scholarly treatises by comparison, "Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed" more than lives up to its subtitle.

Co-written by and starring Ben Stein -- whose credentials range from serving as a speechwriter for Richard Nixon to game show host to acting credits including the beleaguered teacher in "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" -- this documentary purporting to examine the issue of freedom of expression in the debate between the competing arguments of "intelligent design" and Darwinism squanders the potential fascination of its topic with its simplistic, heavy-handed approach.

The independently distributed film earned just $3.15 million during its first weekend across North America, according to studio estimates issued Sunday.

The film's main thesis is that scientists and educators are being persecuted, in some cases fired from their positions, because they had the effrontery to challenge their institutions' scientific orientation toward the theory of evolution.

The deep-voiced, stone-faced Stein thus conducts a series of solicitous interviews with a number of such figures, in between his own musings about the beginnings of life. ...

Indeed, copious use is made of vintage film clips, often to truly goofy effect. From the image of a guillotine in conjunction with a professor's being fired to clips of Khrushchev pounding his shoe at the United Nations to scenes from such films as "Planet of the Apes" and "The Wizard of Oz," the proceedings start to most closely resemble HBO's late sitcom "Dream On."

...

Many of the central ideas expressed are truly offensive, such as the attempt to link Darwinism and Nazism, complete with footage of a grim-faced (not that he ever looks any different) Stein touring a Nazi concentration camp. At another point, the morose host ventures to the lair of the enemy himself, Darwin's home, and engages in a lengthy staring contest with a life-sized sculpture of the scientist.

Not surprisingly, there is a climactic showdown between Stein and the leading atheist of the day, Richard Dawkins (author of "The God Delusion"), that is as unenlightening as everything that has preceded it.

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PostPosted: 23 Apr 2008, 12:32 
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'Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed': Ben Stein's creationism documentary lacking in smarts

By Roger Moore | Orlando Sentinel
April 18, 2008

Droning funnyman Ben Stein monkeys around with evolution in the new documentary Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed. It's a cynical attempt to sucker Christian conservatives into thinking they're losing the "intelligent design" debate because of academic "prejudice."

Expelled is a full-on, amply budgeted, Michael Moore-style mockery of evolution. It's a film that dresses creationist crackpottery in an "intelligent design" leisure suit and tries to make the fact that it's not given credence in schools a matter of "academic freedom."

Using loaded language and loaded imagery, Stein and Co. (Nathan Frankowski is the credited director) equate evolution with atheism and lay responsibility for the Holocaust at the feet of Charles Darwin. They interview and creatively edit biologists and other scientists ("cast" for their eccentric appearance) to make them look foolish for insisting that science, not religion, can explain creation.

...

Shockingly, the crank "experts" Stein hurls up against evolution are disgruntled academics dismissed from lesser colleges because, they say, they wanted to teach creationism rather than science.

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 Post subject: Expelling All Reason
PostPosted: 26 Apr 2008, 13:56 
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Expelling All Reason

CFI’s Paul Kurtz Joins the Chorus of Critics Dismissing Ben Steins “Expelled” as Anti-Science Propaganda

Paul Kurtz, founder and chairman of the Center for Inquiry, has called the new anti-evolution film “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed” featuring Ben Stein, “anti-science propaganda” and an “exercise in anti-intellectualism at its worst.”

Kurtz went on to say that "the social and scientific progress we take for granted has been advanced by a basic scientific and philosophical point of view. As this new film makes abundantly clear, the methods of the sciences, and the assumptions upon which they are based, are being challenged culturally in the United States with a renewed fervor. Despite its success in providing us with unparalleled benefits, anti-intellectual extremists seek to inhibit free inquiry and misrepresent the tested conclusions of scientific inquiry. This is a highly charged political issue, as science is under political attack. Regrettably, we seem not to have come far culturally since the Scopes "monkey" trial."

CFI is particularly troubled by the fact that Stein and his producers apparently engaged in a shameless array of dirty tricks and dishonest tactics, among which many are detailed here by Scientific American. Even FOX News has felt compelled to wax criticalabout the film, saying that the film is "a sloppy, all-over-the-place, poorly made 'expose' of the scientific community....showing that Stein, who’s carved out a career selling eye drops in commercials and amusing us on sitcoms, is either completely nuts or so avaricious that he’s abandoned all good sense to make a buck."

In response, CFI's Committee for Skeptical Inquiry (CSI) has published a devastating critique of the film in the latest issue (May/June 2008) of Skeptical Inquirer magazine.

Recently, CFI published an extensive position paper authored by Barbara Forrest demonstrating convincingly that the ID movement is simply a continuation of creationism.

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PostPosted: 17 Apr 2018, 21:19 
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