Ben Stein’s: Expelled the anti-science, anti-evolution “documentary;” bad science, bad reviews

One of the few drawbacks of being a full-time master’s degree student in history is that I do not have the time to keep track of the latest news on my favorite topics such as Intelligent Design. The movie Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed released on Friday, April 18, 2008, hit theaters near the end of the spring semester. A time when I was in the middle of writing my last five page book review, two ten to twelve page papers, and preparing for a final exam, thus I must have missed the television trailers promoting the film. I was not aware that a movie promoting Intelligent Design was due for release until today. I began my day with the intention of updating my Intelligent Design links page, and found that nearly two a half years after the Dover Pennsylvania decision that held Intelligent Design was not science and was Creationism; therefore, it violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, Intelligent Design was still seriously being advocated as a scientific alternative to evolution.

As I have stated, Intelligent Design is a social theory. It is not science. However, according to reviews, for I have not seen the movie, Expelled’s main theme is that “big science” is suppressing evidence that supports Intelligent Design, which is not true for Intelligent Design is not a scientific theory. No scientific evidence is offered in the movie to support Intelligent Design, according to reviews it is simply an attack on evolution. Ken Miller, biology professor at Brown University, argued:

“Expelled” is a shoddy piece of propaganda that props up the failures of Intelligent Design by playing the victim card. It deceives its audiences, slanders the scientific community, and contributes mightily to a climate of hostility to science itself. Stein is doing nothing less than helping turn a generation of American youth away from science. If we actually come to believe that science leads to murder, then we deserve to lose world leadership in science. In that sense, the word “expelled” may have a different and more tragic connotation for our country than Stein intended. Boston Globe, May 8, 2008.

Furthermore, Miller expressed concern that popular culture is increasingly turning against science and movies like Expelled are hastening the process.

John Rennie, the editor in chief of Scientific American, would agree with Miller. Rennie asserted that Expelled is “a shameful antievolution film [that] tries to blame Darwin for the Holocaust” (Ben Stein’s Expelled: No Integrity Displayed, April 9, 2008). Scientific American also did a podcast review of the movie as well as a discussion with the editor of the movie, Mark Mathis (part one, part two) in addition to other articles. Again, Intelligent Design is not science; therefore, mainstream science is not suppressing evidence that supports design theory because there is no evidence that supports Intelligent Design as a scientific theory. However Expelled maintains that Intelligent Design is cutting-edge science that the establishment is trying to suppress. In contrast, after evaluating the reviews and the evidence provided in the Dover decision and other sources it is clear that Intelligent Design is Creationism. It is unfortunate that in this movie Ben Stein appears to be a rebel without a clue. Hopefully, the public will choose to spend its money elsewhere.


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