Difference between revisions of "Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed"

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== Viewer Reception ==
 
== Viewer Reception ==
''Expelled'' opened on April 18, 2008, on 1000 screens. It grossed $300.2 million US, or more than $300,000 per screen.<ref name=wnd>"[http://www.worldnetdaily.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=62152 'Expelled' propelled to box office top 10]." ''WorldNetDaily'', April 21, 2008. Accessed April 21, 2008.</ref>
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''Expelled'' opened on April 18, 2008, on 1000 screens. It grossed $3.2 million US, or more than $3,000 per screen.<ref name=wnd>"[http://www.worldnetdaily.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=62152 'Expelled' propelled to box office top 10]." ''WorldNetDaily'', April 21, 2008. Accessed April 21, 2008.</ref>
  
 
==Movie Reviews==
 
==Movie Reviews==

Revision as of 22:21, 21 April 2008

Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed is a documentary charging Darwinists with suppressing and persecuting opponents in order to avoid discussing the scientific challenges which Intelligent Design presents to the Theory of Evolution. The film's premise is that scientists have been expelled like naughty children from schools, universities and the scientific community, merely for daring to ask inconvenient questions.[1] The documentary is co-written and hosted by Ben Stein and was released Friday, April 18, 2008.

  • You can locate a theater near you by state or zip code here.

The film is described in its online trailer as “a startling revelation that freedom of thought and freedom of inquiry have been expelled from publicly-funded high schools, universities and research institutions.” [2]

The film argues that scientists and educators who promote intelligent design are persecuted by the scientific establishment.[3] Examples given by the film include Richard Sternberg, a biologist and a journal editor and research associate at the National Museum of Natural History, and Guillermo Gonzalez, a pro-Intelligent design astrophysicist denied tenure at Iowa State University in 2007.[4]

In the film's trailer, Stein states that there are "people out there who want to keep science in a little box where it can’t possibly touch God" and that "freedom of thought and freedom of inquiry have been expelled from publicly-funded high schools, universities and research institutions."[4]

Eugenics

The film shows the historical connection between the ideology of "survival of the fittest" and the Holocaust. By the 1920s, German textbooks were teaching evolutionary concepts including heredity and racial hygiene. The Kaiser Wilhelm Institute of Anthropology, Human Heredity, and Eugenics was founded in 1927; in 1933, Germany passed the Law for the Protection of Heredity Health. Josef Mengele studied anthropology and paleontology and received his Ph.D. for his thesis entitled "Racial Morphological Research on the Lower Jaw Section of Four Racial Groups." In 1937, Mengele was recommended for and received a position as a research assistant with the Third Reich Institute for Hereditary, Biology and Racial Purity at the University of Frankfort, and subsequently became the "Angel of Death" for directing the operation of gas chambers of the Holocaust and for conducting horrific medical experiments on inmates in pursuit of eugenics. Evolutionist Stephen Jay Gould admitted: "The Nazi racial hygiene program began with involuntary sterilizations and ended with genocide."[5]

Filmmaker statements

"If you acknowledge this idea that design can be detected scientifically in the universe, then you open up the door to saying, 'Maybe this atheistic view isn't true,' [and] the entire worldview of people who are atheists crashes down around them," Mathis said. "This is a foundational concept for people who believe this way. So they defend it with incredible vigor."[6]

Liberal Reception

The liberal atheist Richard Dawkins claimed he was tricked into appearing, indicating that he had been told it would be a movie named Crossroads that would be focused on "exploring the controversy." (Two others who were similarly deceived said they would have appeared anyway.) In response, conservative Ben Stein said that no one he interviewed asked what the film would be about, and the co-producer Walt Ruloff said at the preview that interviewees were paid and were even told ahead of time what the questions would be.[7]

Before the film opened, pro-evolution opponents of the film were heavily critical of its premise. Evolutionist Vadim Rizov of the Village Voice called it "bizarre and hysterical",[8] even though there is no sign that any evolutionists were amused by it. Time magazine, in its review, said Stein misrepresented evolution as saying that the first cell "arose whole" from the primordial soup, which is unlikely as the movie website correctly acknowledges the evolutionary view that it took millions or billions of years for the first cell to be produced by random, natural processes.

The pro-evolution magazine Scientific American criticized the film, calling it "intellectually dishonest," and detailed their objections with the film and intelligent design in a series of inflammatory articles.[9]

The pro-evolution magazine New Scientist ran a review which described the movie as follows: "Expelled is pure propaganda, its style reminiscent of a substandard Michael Moore flick complete with voice-over narration and lots of aimless wandering around". The review criticized the movie's treatment of Dawkins and even made claims of trying to "sneak ID into schools".[10]

Viewer Reception

Expelled opened on April 18, 2008, on 1000 screens. It grossed $3.2 million US, or more than $3,000 per screen.[11]

Movie Reviews

In National Review, David Klinghoffer describes the Darwin-Hitler connection:

  • Expelled touches on Darwinism’s historical social costs, notably the unintended contribution to Nazi racial theories. That part packs an emotional wallop. It also happens to be based on impeccable scholarship. [12]
  • "The key elements in the ideology that produced Auschwitz are moral relativism aligned with a rejection of the sacredness of human life, a belief that violent competition in nature creates greater and lesser races, that the greater will inevitably exterminate the lesser, and finally that the lesser race most in need of extermination is the Jews. All but the last of these ideas may be found in Darwin’s writing."

Tom Bethel wrote:

The film, a documentary, is about scientists and researchers who acknowledge the scientific evidence for the intelligent design of life and who have been ostracized or denied tenure as a result. In a word, they have been "expelled" from the academy. [13]

Carl Wieland:

This powerful documentary is all about the persecution and censorship of any scientist who dares to oppose the Darwinist paradigm, by even suggesting the relatively modest hypothesis that the universe shows detectable evidence of design.[14]

As described by the review in the New York Sun, Richard Dawkins "becomes so flustered at one point that he even posits a creation theory of his own that fits the parameters of the film's working definition of intelligent design" in Expelled, but claims the movie is "dull, artless, amateurish, too long, poorly constructed, and utterly devoid of any style, wit, or subtlety."[15]

Roger Friedman, a liberal who writes articles on the website for the conservative Fox News Channel (as part of their ongoing goal to remain balanced), criticized the movie in a celebrity gossip column by personally attacking Ben Stein, and claiming that the movie's "warped premise" that "somehow the theory of evolution is so evil that it caused the Holocaust" is actually anti-Semitic:

"Expelled" is a sloppy, all-over-the-place, poorly made (and not just a little boring) "expose" of the scientific community. It’s not very exciting. But it does show that Stein... is either completely nuts or so avaricious that he’s abandoned all good sense to make a buck..... Who cares, really, if "Expelled" is anti-Semitic? It will come and go without much fanfare.[16]

Jeffrey Kluger's review in the liberal Time Magazine asserts that Holocaust was the result of "the simple fact of being human":

"The truth, of course, is that the only necessary and sufficient condition for human beings to murder one another [in the Holocaust] is the simple fact of being human."[17]

In his quest to attack Ben Stein further, Kluger puts words in his mouth, and then commits the strawman fallacy:

"[Stein] makes all the usual mistakes nonscientists make whenever they try to take down evolution, asking, for example, how something as complex as a living cell could have possibly arisen whole from the earth's primordial soup. The answer is it couldn't--and it didn't...[18]
The movie does not criticize Darwinists for saying the cell "arose whole" but for arguing "that life arose from a primordial sea on a lifeless planet through a chance collision of chemicals". This is the typical pro-evolution device of pretending that critics don't understand what evolution is saying. But it backfires, because the movie comes with a leader's guide which shows that Kluger is the one in error.

Justin Chang wrote the following for the liberal publication Variety, which has a circulation smaller than Conservapedia's daily page views:

"...the film's flippant approach undermines the seriousness of its discourse, trading less in facts than in emotional appeals....the filmmakers' failure to offer even a working definition of [Intelligent Design] leaves them open to the common charge that it's all unprovable, faith-based pseudo-science....Even more offensive is the film's attempt to link Darwin's "survival of the fittest" ideas and Hitler's master-race ambitions (when in doubt, invoke the Holocaust)..."Expelled" is technically well-mounted, though its aesthetics trump its ideas at every turn. If evolution is worth debating, it's worth debating well, and by a more intelligently designed film than this one."[19]

Craig Ghamberlain, at My Wise Generation, offers his "Six Things Expelled Critics Don't Want You to Know," in response to an earlier criticism[20] that he found unfounded and unfair after he actually saw the film.[21]

Wider implications of the movie's main point

Allen Roebuck argues:

  • ... basic intellectual integrity demands that you take seriously the criticisms directed against Darwinism. In other words, you must take seriously any evidence supporting the notion that natural forces are incapable of either originating life or changing it from single-celled organisms to the species we observe now. And you cannot, as the Darwinian evolutionists do, dismiss the possibility of divine action as being outside the scope of science, and therefore de facto false. After all, if natural forces cannot do what obviously did happen, something supernatural must have been involved, and a proper science would acknowledge this possibility. [3]

Criticism

The film quotes Charles Darwin's The Decent of Man to demonstrate how he supported what later became Social Darwinism, which became fashionable among the dictators and intellectuals who perpetrated the Holocaust. Here is the quote in the movie, which is accurate:

With savages, the weak in body or mind are soon eliminated. We civilized men, on the other hand, do our utmost to check the process of elimination. We build asylums for the imbecile, the maimed and the sick. Thus the weak members of civilized societies propagate their kind. No one who has attended to the breeding of domestic animals will doubt that this must be highly injurious to the race of man. Hardly anyone is so ignorant as to allow his worst animals to breed.

Darwin's full quote is more tedious but conveys the same objectionable belief that it is somehow unwise to help and weak and allow them to have children:

With savages, the weak in body or mind are soon eliminated; and those that survive commonly exhibit a vigorous state of health. We civilized men, on the other hand, do our utmost to check the process of elimination. We build asylums for the imbecile, the maimed and the sick; we institute poor-laws; and our medical men exert their utmost skill to save the life of every one to the last moment. There is reason to believe that vaccination has preserved thousands, who from a weak constitution would formerly have succumbed to small-pox. Thus the weak members of civilized societies propagate their kind. No one who has attended to the breeding of domestic animals will doubt that this must be highly injurious to the race of man. It is surprising how soon a want of care, or care wrongly directed, leads to the degeneration of a domestic race; but excepting in the case of man himself, hardly anyone is so ignorant as to allow his worst animals to breed.

The aid which we feel impelled to give to the helpless is mainly an incidental result of the instinct of sympathy, which was originally acquired as part of the social instincts, but subsequently rendered, in the manner previously indicated, more tender and more widely diffused. Nor could we check our sympathy, even at the urging of hard reason, without deterioration in the noblest part of our nature. The surgeon may harden himself whilst performing an operation, for he knows that he is acting for the good of his patient; but if we were intentionally to neglect the weak and helpless, it could only be for a contingent benefit, with an overwhelming present evil.[22]

Ben Stein's speech was done specifically for the film, as in most films.[23]

The movie completely omits Theistic Evolution, which is not taught in public school and used primarily by evolutionists to rebut their obvious correlation with atheism. Mark Mathis, an associate editor of Expelled, when asked why alleged religious evolutionists such as Catholic Kenneth R. Miller were not in the film, replied that this form of fallacious liberal logic (see point 6) "would have confused the film unnecessarily."[24]


See also

External links

References

  1. Expelled the movie website
  2. http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/27/science/27expelled.html?pagewanted=1&_r=2
  3. Lesley Burbridge-Bates (2007-08-22). Expelled Press Release. Premise Media. Retrieved on 2007-09-29.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Scientists Feel Miscast in Film on Life's Origin, New York Times, 27 September 2007
  5. http://www.georgetown.edu/research/nrcbl/scopenotes/sn28.htm
  6. Intelligent Design foes no match for Stein in 'Expelled' - Baptist Press
  7. Bethell, Tom, No Intelligence Allowed The American Spectator, 19th February, 2008.
  8. [1]
  9. http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?id=sciam-reviews-expelled
  10. Gefter, Amanda, Warning! They've Got Designs on You, 12 April 2008, New Scientist.
  11. "'Expelled' propelled to box office top 10." WorldNetDaily, April 21, 2008. Accessed April 21, 2008.
  12. [2]
  13. http://www.spectator.org/dsp_article.asp?art_id=12759
  14. Wieland, Carl, Cracking the wall in science 20th February, 2008, (Creation Ministries International).
  15. http://www2.nysun.com/article/74583
  16. Friedman, Roger, Ben Stein:Win his career, 9th April, 2008, Fox News
  17. Kluger, Jeffrey, Ben Stein Dukes it Out with Darwin, April 10th, 2008, Time
  18. Kluger, Jeffrey, Ben Stein Dukes it Out with Darwin, April 10th, 2008, Time
  19. Chang, Justin, Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, April 11th, 2008, Variety
  20. Rennie, John, and Mirsky, Steve. "Six Things in Expelled That Ben Stein Doesn't Want You to Know." Scientific American, April 16, 2008. Accessed April 21, 2008.
  21. Chamberlain, Craig. "Six Things 'Expelled' Critics Don't Want You to Know." My Wise Generation, April 21, 2008. Accessed April 21, 2008.
  22. http://darwin-online.org.uk/content/frameset?viewtype=text&itemID=F937.1&pageseq=181
  23. http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?id=ben-steins-expelled-review-michael-shermer
  24. http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?id=a-conversation-with-mark-mathis