Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed Directed by Nathan Frankowski Written by Kevin Miller and Ben Stein Starring Ben Stein Classification: NA Rating:
A reading from the Book of Apocryphal Documentary:
1. Around that time, the people were set against each other, with some saying that man was made by God on the sixth day, and others that he was descended from a common ancestor with the monkey. So the Lord came to Ben Stein and said, "Ben. I saw you in the movie Ferris Bueller's Day Off, which was pleasing to my funny bone. And your TV show Win Ben Stein's Money was fine educational entertainment. I realize you also wrote speeches for Richard Nixon, but, hey, nobody's perfect. Except, of course, Me!" Which was accompanied by a heavenly rim shot.
2. And Ben trembled and cried out: "Lord, what dost Thou want of me?" And the Lord said, "Ben, take a film crew and go out among the people and speak to learned men and discover what is true and what is false about evolution and intelligent design and tell it to the people. And, if you can, try to make it funny."
3. And Ben agreed with his lips, but in his heart he had an agenda to tell only a small part of the truth. Following the model of Michael Moore, he assumed the persona of a disingenuous schmo on a quest to aid the oppressed, otherwise known as the proponents of "intelligent design," who, according to the film, are everywhere pushed down, stymied in their careers and expelled from jobs for their free-thinking ways.
4. As Ben sought the truth, the movie's director, Nathan Frankowski, mocked the infidel Darwin-loving scientists, employed fifties educational films, lots of footage of the Berlin Wall, Nikita Khrushchev pounding his shoe and Charlton Heston being hosed down by apes, while Ben declared evolutionary theory "a room full of smoke." Then Ben selectively quoted Darwin writings to imply that the theory of evolution led to atheism, eugenics, euthanasia, abortion, Stalinism and Nazism.
5. Then Ben Stein went to the former death camps at Dachau, followed by a scene where he visited a statue of Charles Darwin, with whom he engaged in a staring contest of many moments - but Darwin's heartless statue refused to blink.
6. And then the movie was finished and was shown to many Christian groups before its theatrical release in the United States. Among the many negative reviews, Scientific American gave Expelled a big scientific thumbs down, pointing out that anyone who thinks Darwinian evolution is an unquestioned orthodoxy has obviously never been to an academic conference on the subject.
7. And the Scientific Americans declared that the cases of persecution Ben Stein documented left out a lot of important details. Stein asserted that Dr. Richard Sternberg lost his job at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History because of intellectual discrimination, but, in fact, he was an unpaid research associate who had completed his three-year term.
8. Now it came to pass that one area where Expelled spoke the truth was in the film's claim that mainstream scientists has closed the door on intelligent design. The reason is that "intelligent design" is widely recognized not as science, but as the name for a strategy by Christian evangelists to end-run court prohibitions against teaching biblical creationism in science class.
9. Many of the multitudes declared, "Who cares about these science-bashing throwbacks?" And the answer was that such politicians as John McCain and President George W. Bush, mindful of the evangelical vote, have said, yes, schools should teach intelligent design alongside real science in science classes. And scientists everywhere are sore afraid.
10. Then the Lord looked upon Ben Stein's work and declared: "Though I am a loving God, quite frankly, Ben, this film is an appallingly unscrupulous example of hack propaganda and it sucketh mightily. What's more, I didn't laugh once."