“Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed” is a deeply dishonest documentary.
I’m mad enough about it to give the movie and its claims a full-on, point-by-point rebuttal, but here’s two small tastes.
Did you know that Darwin was responsible for The Holocaust? That’s practically the film’s central thesis. They start laying the groundwork for that little bit of propaganda right from the top, as the credits roll over stock footage of the building of the Berlin Wall. Communists, Nazis… and Charles Darwin. The 15 minutes (I’m guessing) of Ben Stein being given a tour through a Nazi sanitarium and concentration camp are surreal – is this really appropriate for a movie purportedly about science? The film descends into self-parody long before Ben Stein tries to pin the evils of the world on noted hate-monger John Lennon.
No. I am not kidding. That’s the level of evidence that Mr. Stein and the producers are aiming for. Judge them by their conclusions.
Another argument the film tries to make is that scientists who attempt to research “Intelligent Design” are somehow shunned and blacklisted from the scientific community, denied any grant money and silenced for daring to challenge the orthodoxy of Darwinism (the over-use of that word makes Darwinism seem like some dangerous cult, doesn’t it?). But in order to evaluate that claim, the film’s producers leave out a huge piece of evidence for evaluating said claim, and leave out some background material to boot.
Like… the evidence. There’s virtually no discussion of what research Dr. Gonzalez (who is a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute, noted creator and proponent of the wedge strategy to get religion back into public schools), Dr. Meyer (Director of the Center for Science and Culture, a branch of… hmm… the Discovery Institute), or Dr. Crocker (Executive Director of the Intelligent Design and Evolution Awareness Center, whose board consists almost entirely of Senior Fellows of… hmmm… the Discovery Institute, again), were all pursuing. The most information we get is that their research included the phrase “intelligent design” and that they had their contracts not renewed, their tenure denied, and their research money taken away.
Gee, those poor scientists, just scraping by on the meager earnings they get from the Discovery Institute and the IDEA Center, which has funding from Christian conservatives in the millions. Yeah, that’s sad. And obviously they’ve been simply crushed by the scientific community. Oh, wait, no – they’re all collecting incomes and getting grant money from those pseudo-scientific and secretly-religious “think” tanks.
But, besides the money issue – where’s the research and evidence that is supposedly being denied? If their research is, in fact, credible and not just strings of half-truths and bad logic, why didn’t the producers spend some of their time on, y’know, showing the evidence? Oh, wait, they were too busy dwelling on the horrors of Dachau. I forgot.
Even on the “Expelled” website (which I am not linking to – Google it yourself) there’s absolutely no mention of their research. Maybe because said “research” couldn’t even stand up to a layperson’s review.
So much more to say… but suffice to say that “Expelled” is simply dishonest. Much like the Creationism movement itself.